Alone

I’ll never understand just how single parents do it. They are honestly superheroes. I’m not even a single mother, but I feel like I am more often than not. Since day one, I have changed every poopy diaper (yes, every poopy diaper), and most of the wet ones. I have cooked and fed every meal. I have executed every bath, and read every story. Given every dose of medicine. I have put him down for every nap, and every bed time. I have woken up with him night after night, and rocked him back to sleep. I am the one who wakes up with him every morning. Just last night, he woke up at 1:30, and would not go back to sleep, not matter what I did. We spent hours rocking, and got nowhere. My back was on fire from the crappy, old rocking chair, and I was so exhausted that I was fighting the urge to throw up all over his sweet face. I ended up lying down uncomfortably on the couch in the living room around 3:00 in the morning, and he fell asleep on top of me from 5:00-7:30. All I could do was try to cry silently, like I’ve been doing most nights lately, and try not to wake him up. I got no sleep. None.

His separation anxiety is so extreme this time. It has never been this bad. He screams and screams and screams when I try to put him in his crib, if I even lean over it. He wakes up the second I put him in there, even if I’ve been rocking him for an hour, and he was passed out. He open his eyes, stand up, and scream.

This morning, he refused to nap, just like every day for the last week. This sleep regression/cold/ear infection/teething/separation anxiety has hit him like a ton of bricks, and it is wearing me thin. He has been so fussy during the day, and it has been so hard to get anything done, whether at home or in town, because he is just so clingy and upset. I tried to leave him with his father today, so I could try and get a few moments of sleep, but honestly, I don’t trust him with him. I know he would probably never hurt him, but he has a very short fuse, and a very bad temper, and often raises his voice at him, or cusses at him, and it makes me so angry. Sure, I get angry sometimes, and I’ve raised my voice more often than I’d like to admit in just the last week, but he just gets ridiculous. Nevermind the fact that our son is barely over a year old, and doesn’t even understand what is going on, but what reason does HE have to be upset? He doesn’t DO anything. He has never spent a night, getting zero sleep, rocking in a creaky rocking chair for 3 hours. He got 10 hours of sleep last night! So, I do everything. I sacrifice sleep to make sure his diaper is always clean, or that he gets his meals on time, because Kyle always seems to “forget” or “lose track of time” when I leave him alone with him, even for an hour, so I can sleep, even though he is just sitting on his ass playing a game, or watching TV. I hate it.

I made a comment out loud to my son today, a bit passive aggressively, about how I was too exhausted to make lunch, but that I had to, because no one else would, and Kyle stormed off to the bedroom, slamming the door behind him, to play his Gameboy (yep, talking about a grown man here). He gets so upset when I voice my frustration about doing 90% of the work when it comes to our son and our household, yet he throws these tantrums, and shuts himself in the bedroom for hours, leaving me even more alone. Proving my point. I’ve been asking him to get out to the laundromat for the last three days to do some laundry, since we are completely out of clean clothes, and he just keeps forgetting. A few days ago, I asked him if he would help me with the dishes, not DO the dishes, just help me, since I had already done nearly half of them, and our son was clinging to me, whining to be picked up. He just ignored me.

Last night was trash night, one of the only chores he will partake in, if I don’t do it, and he always waits until we are going to bed to do it. I was already under the covers, with the lights off, and with my glasses on the end table, when he came in and asked me to get the kitchen garbage out, and empty Liam’s diaper bin for him, which is something I always seem to end up doing for him. I stood my ground, and told him to just do it. He made sure to make as much noise as possible, sighing and gagging dramatically, cussing at the garbage bin when he dropped it and made noise. Then he came to bed, in a huff, and rolled over angrily. Absolutely unnecessary. And I get bitchy, and I get passive aggressive, and he brings out the worst in me. I don’t mean to, but I just get so upset. He doesn’t fight, we never fight. And that is a problem. He doesn’t talk back, because he doesn’t talk at all. He just shuts off, often storming off to the bedroom. And nothing gets done. I am so tired of it.

I love him, I really do, and I know he loves me and his son, but this is frustrating, and it is destroying me. I am exhausted, my blood pressure is through the roof, and I have been so, so depressed. I am tired of the bullshit excuses, and the immaturity. I want him to grow up, but he just won’t. I want him to listen to me, and understand how hard this has been for me, and what I am going through. The only reason I keep going is because I know that my son needs me, and no one else will take care of him.

But I’ve been having days lately, where the prospect of simply disappearing, leaving everything behind, seems more and more tempting.

I shouldn’t feel like this. I shouldn’t feel this overwhelmed, and this alone, when his father is RIGHT THERE. He doesn’t even work this week. He has been home for days, and will be home for the rest of the week, but… nothing. He won’t help me. It honestly feels like he doesn’t care.

I am at the end of my rope. I just want a break. A nap. Some quiet. I need help, and I have no one. Some days, I feel like it would be better if I actually were alone, then I would only have one toddler to deal with. Only one person’s messes to constantly clean up.

Anyway, thanks for reading, friends. Thank you for letting me vent. I’m off to feed my overly exhausted kiddo a snack, and try to get him to take a nap, even though I know it won’t happen.

Jan

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Another Quick Update

Ugh.

Liam is still sick. I haven’t slept in over a week, and I am miserable. I was finally able to bring him to the clinic today, and found out that he has a double ear infection and a post-nasal drip. Fantastic. Got some antibiotics.

Kyle has been applying to a dozen jobs a day since getting fired, but they are all dead ends, and are going nowhere. He has his second job still, but his department’s hours got cut, and we can’t live off of his 12 hours a week.

Family drama. Kyle’s mom was just diagnosed with clinical depression, which she has been struggling with, and has openly talked to us all about. We all love and support her, and she knows that. After getting on medication, Kyle’s grandmother (yep, same one I’ve written about before) took it upon herself to group message myself, and both of Kyle’s sisters, on Facebook, telling us that we need to “behave”, and lecturing us about this disease. We are all grown adults, who have each struggled with our own demons and darkness, and she really struck a nerve with all of us. But that’s just what she does.

So, yeah. That’s my life at the moment. I’m sorry that I have been absent. I have been having a hard time with… everything. How are you all? Did you have a nice Easter? We don’t really celebrate, but we went to Kyle’s mom’s and Liam had an indoor Easter egg hunt (it was raining). Fun times.

CenRPihWEAABAQL

Jan

Daily Prompt 2/22/2016 | Triggering Memories

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 2/22/2016 | Drawing a Blank

When was the last time your walked away from a discussion, only to think of The Perfect Comeback hours later? Recreate the scene for us, and use your winning line.”

A comeback? No. I just wish I had the right words to say…

I sat helplessly behind the screen of the computer that he had given me just after my 15th birthday. I could barely read the words popping up in the X-Fire chat window through my tears, let alone see the keys to formula some kind of response. Not that it would have mattered at that point anyway.

I’m sorry.
I’m tired of this.
I’m coming over.

We had been arguing. Over the course of 3 years, he had been my everything, but he had broken my heart so many times, and I always came back. I didn’t know any better, and I had no one else. But not the last time. I had chosen to move on with my life, and had found someone else to share myself with, who didn’t treat me that way. He didn’t like it. I sat there for what seemed like hours, when really, the drive from his house to mine only took a few minutes. I heard the knock on my front door, followed by footsteps coming to my bedroom.

His eyes were red, and he was shaking. He reached for my computer, and began unplugging it, taking it apart to take back to his house. Taking away my only form of communication with the outside world, and my new, long-distance boyfriend. Taking away a part of me. He was angry, and he was hurt, and I didn’t try to stop him. At least, not from taking the computer.

You can’t do this…” I said to him, grabbing his shoulders, trying to calm him down. I was bigger than him, and stronger, but he was in a bad place, “I won’t let you do this.

He ignored me, and I choked back tears, trying to stay strong. I didn’t know if he wanted me to try to stop him or not, I didn’t know what he wanted to hear. I didn’t know what to do. My mom and her friend sat in the kitchen, just outside my bedroom door, and I thought about telling them what was going on, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t even speak. So I didn’t.

I watched him dismantle my computer, get into his car, and drive away. I waited until I knew he was back home, and called him. He answered, much to my surprise.

Please, don’t do this. Can we talk about it?

No,” he choked out, he was crying.

Then I heard the pill bottle, and my heart stopped.

Stop. STOP.” I demanded, but all I heard was sobbing, and the sounds of pills scattering across his desk. He was in his room. Was his mom home? Should I call the police? I’d have to hang up the phone. I couldn’t hang up the phone.

Don’t do anything,” he said, seemingly reading my mind,his voice raw, “I’ll unplug the phone. My mom has a gun upstairs. Don’t make me do that, Janise.

I was sobbing. I had no words. I was frozen. I could hear him counting pills out loud… 1… 2… 3… I didn’t know what he was taking. Why was he doing this?

Please…” I sobbed.

Thank you,” was all he said, then, “goodbye.

Click.

I sobbed loudly. My mom had already left with her friend, and I was alone in the house. Had I lost him? Was it too late to do anything? I curled up on my bed, and I cried. My body shook, and I soaked my pillow. I never did anything. I don’t know when I fell asleep, but I woke up to my phone vibrating. The sun was up.

I reached for it, and saw his name on the called I.D. I didn’t want to answer. What if it was his mom? What if it was him? I answered.

I need you to come over. We need to talk,” came his voice from the other end of the phone. I agreed, and he hung up.

The sobbing started all over again. I had my mom drop me off, and told her that his mom would be bringing me to school. She still did not know anything about what was going on.

I didn’t knock on his door, I hadn’t done that in months. I went straight to his room, where he was sitting at his desk. He looked awful.

Are you okay? What did you do?” I demanded, “Did you tell yout mom?

He nodded slowly, and told me that he had told her everything. Everything about us. Everything he was feeling. He had taken 22 extra strength Tylenol, and 6 of his ADHD pills last night. I dropped to the floor, crying. Why wasn’t he at the hospital? Why was he here?

I needed to tell you… that I’m sorry…” his breathing was starting to sound labored, and I looked up, just in time to see him fall from his chair. I heard myself scream, and his mother and younger sister came running downstairs. He was still lucid, and he got to his feet. He swayed, and tried to run to the kitchen, with us right behind him. He fell to the kitchen floor, and I knelt beside him, placing his head in my lap, while his mom sobbed into the phone. She had called 911. The ambulance was on it’s way. The wait was terrible. His mom was crying, his sister was saying this was my fault, and I was silent.

I rode to the hospital with his mother, who had some very cruel words for me. She blamed me for this as well.

I missed the entire school day, and spent nearly 8 hours in the hospital with him. I was there when they gave him charcoal, to flush his stomach. I sat by his side, holding his hand, and talked to him about everything. About us. About what was on TV. Everything. I was so thankful that he was alright, even though he wasn’t. I didn’t know if I was helping him, or hurting him, but I got my answer later. They made him talk to a therapist, and we were asked to leave the room. The therapist also blamed me, and they all agreed that it would be best if I get out of his life. Forever.

I called my mom to come get me, unable to stand another moment with his mother, and I broke down in her car, and told her everything. She didn’t blame me.

The weeks and months that followed were some of the worst of my life. I had lost my best friend, even though he was still alive. Every single friend that we shared, had turned their backs on me, and rumors flew around the school about what really happened that night and the following day. It was absolute hell. Seeing him, every day, and not being able to say anything to him, to see how he was doing, was awful, bur that’s what he wanted. He made that abundantly clear when he switched out of the 3 classes that we shared, and glared at me whenever we passed in the halls. How could people hate me so much, when I was simply trying to move on, and make myself happy?

I never defended myself. I never gave my side of our story. I never tried to correct people when they spread blatant lies. He was fine, but a piece of me had died that night, and it still affects me to this day. Triggers me.

We have since made up, and are friends from a distance, talking every once in a while via Facebook. We have never spoken of it, and I sometimes wonder if he ever thinks about that night, and if it ever cuts into him like it still does to me, nearly 10 years later. If I had the right words to say, would it have changed the outcome of that night? Or did what little I was able to say actually keep him alive?

I wish I could say this this was the last time that I was put in this situation, but unfortunately, it happened again more recently. However, that’s a story for another time.

Thank you for reading, friends. If you, or someone you know, is thinking about suicide, please get help.

US: 1 (800) 273-8255
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week

Jan

Daily Prompt 2/14/2016 | Thanks, Hindsight

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 2/14/2016 | Thanks, Hindsight

“How is the year shaping up for you so far? Have your predictions come true, or did you have to face a curve ball or two?”

This year started out rough, and hasn’t showed any signs of improving thus far. The optimist in me wants to believe that, even though it had a rough start, it will be a better year than last year… but the realist in me knows that will probably not happen. That’s just how it goes for me. Unless Kyle and I find some way to get away from the toxicity in this area, then it just won’t happen. I’m tired of people telling me things like, “Life is what you make it.” and other similar, meaningless phrases, when that simply isn’t true. Why on earth would I want to put myself through these types of things? Or my family? Life can be shit sometimes, and more often than not, I didn’t make it that way, and can’t do much about it.

If there were one thing that I wish I could have seen coming, it would be all of this unnecessary, ridiculous drama with Kyle’s family. Specifically, about this car situation, which we are finally done with. If you don’t know about all of that, you can read about it here. Kyle’s mom took the Journey off of our hands, and we have our Lincoln, and that is that. I should have seen it coming, as his family is comprised of mostly controlling, overly dramatic women, each generation more petty than the previous one, and they have always ganged up on him, twisting his words, digging up things from the past, and purposely trying to make him angry. They do it with each other as well, constantly fighting and being immature, but whenever Kyle is around, he is their target. Always. There is no reason for it, and it is usually unprovoked. There isn’t a damn adult in the whole bunch, I swear. You may think I am biased, as Kyle is my partner, but rest assured, when he is guilty of being an ass, I call him out on it myself.

Let me give you a little background. Before Kyle and I met, his family was brutal. His grandmothers, specifically, can be just awful, and they passed that down to his mother and aunts, who then passed it down to his sisters. No joke, it is a trickle down of pure bitchiness. When we started dating, his sisters eased up a bit, but his mom was… insane. There is an age difference between Kyle and I of almost 5 years, but he was 18 and legal when we started dating. His mother was not okay with this, despite letting his sisters, who were 22 and barely 16 at the time, go wild. I don’t even drink, and neither does Kyle, but she was convinced that I was going to destroy his world. Or something. She even used an app to track his iPhone, and would drive to wherever we were hanging out, and stalk us. Even in broad daylight. Let me remind you, he was 18 years old at the time. His oldest sister already had a child, and the youngest was mouthy, sleeping around, and drank constantly. All under her roof. Heck, when the youngest was nearly 17, she had a pregnancy scare from a one night stand during a party at her mom’s house, while she was out of town, and her mom was a little too okay with it. Yet when we excitedly announced that we were expecting our son a few years later, we faced a lot of harsh criticism and skepticism from the entire family, despite having a place of our own, steady income, and a strong relationship.

They eased up a bit once they realized that I wasn’t going anywhere, because they saw that I didn’t allow that kind of garbage to happen around me, especially when he doesn’t deserve it, and I spoke up. They have since stopped caring. Half of the time, it seems like they are joking, but I know better. They don’t drag me into things, and leave me out of aggressive group conversations, I think because I am intimidating or something, which has worked out for me. Unfortunately, since I do get left out, I have to hear everything from Kyle secondhand, and he doesn’t seem to realize that I know when he is lying to me, or stretching the truth. Even when I call him on something that I know isn’t true, he gets defensive. Why? Why do people do that?

Anyway.

So, yeah, if I had foreseen all of this hostility surrounding us purchasing the Journey from his aunt, I would never have allowed Kyle to do it. We even had reservations at the start, because loaning/buying from family can get really messy. And it certainly did. This all could have been avoided had his aunt been upfront with us on exactly how much we would be paying, but instead, she took advantage of our desperation for a vehicle, and gave us a car that we could not afford in the long run, then hid that from us for months. When we confronted her about somehow still owing over $700 more than the original price that we were told, after having paid over $1000 into the loan already (not even including the $1,100 that we’ve put into it in repairs, because we were lied to about the condition of the vehicle by everyone who already knew), she got defensive, and dragged Kyle’s grandmother and mother into the conversation, where they had no business being. Instead of owning it, and handling it like an adult, she acted like a child, and pulled two more immature parties into the situation, who did nothing but spout out ignorance, and ask bad questions.

That was what pissed me off.

His grandmother even took is upon herself to inform Kyle’s aunt that we were planning on getting rid of the Journey, and were looking for a new car. The kicker? She didn’t know that. Nobody did. We had decided the night before that we were going to do that. She was just trying to create drama, and she succeeded. In the days following, just like the month before, we were called ungrateful, among other things, for not wanting the vehicle anymore. I think they were just upset that they were losing a small amount of control that they had on us.

So, no, this year is not going as well as I had hoped, and I refuse to believe that it will get much better. Whenever I try to be positive, and let any amount of hope into my life, it all comes crashing down anyway, and I end up hurt and disappointed. So why bother?

Damn, I got myself all worked up writing this post out. Crazy families, man. What can I say? I’m going to go watch some Flashpoint on Netflix with my fiance (amazing show, check it out), and enjoy the last few hours of Valentine’s Day. Hope you’re all having a good day, however you choose, or don’t choose, to celebrate.

Thank you for reading, friends.

Jan

Daily Prompt 2/13/2016 | Never Again

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 2/13/2016 | Never Again

Have you ever gone to a new place or tried a new experience and thought to yourself, “I’m never doing that again!” Tell us about it.”

I’ve made a lot of stupid choices in my life, but I will never again move to a different country, state, or city, just to please someone else, while simultaneously sacrificing everything in my life that I’ve worked so hard for. I’ve done that too many times, and I will never do it again, unless it is mutually beneficial. Does that make me selfish? No. No, it doesn’t.

When I was 16, I fell in love with a guy I met online. His name was Matt, he lived in Missouri, and he was an amazing guy. When we were seniors, we applied to several of the same schools, and ended up moving to Newfoundland, Canada together, after never meeting beforehand (although, I did fly to Missouri to spend a week with him at his family’s home before we left for Canada together). I had nothing going for me in my life, or so I thought, and chose to give up everything that I did have to be with him.

Matt had dual citizenship, and was able to get several scholarships, and paid virtually nothing for school. I qualified for one scholarship, and nothing else. I had a hard time getting any loans, and ended up going through a sketchy bank to get money. The bank ended up closing, and my money was actually taken back from the school, and I had to take out a loan through my mom to pay for the rest of my first semester. Seven years later, I still owe the school money, which I fear I’ll never be financially stable enough to pay back completely. After our first year in college ended, I was unable to stay in Canada with Matt, and was forced to return to the US, and found myself panicking to find a place to live. I felt as though returning home was not an option, and chose to live with another friend from online, and his roommate, just to get money to go back to school.

Well… that never happened. Matt and I broke up, and my friend and I started dating shortly after. I’ve written about my ex before, and how I moved from town to town, further away from any sort of life and friends that I had made for myself, to better his job, or to appease his family. I was completely isolated from everyone that I knew, and was stuck in a toxic, unwelcoming, environment. After four years, he broke up with me, after accusing me of cheating on him with our roommate. Basically, I woke up at 2am to go pee, and when I got back to the room, he was sitting up, demanding to know where I went, and who I was with. I was confused, and tried to calm him down, but he was upset. I blamed it on him being delirious from sleep (he had a history of sleep-walking), but then he got out of bed, and grilled me for nearly an hour about it. Our roommate wasn’t even home, as he worked 3rd shifts. A few days later, two days after Valentine’s Day, he broke up with me, out of the blue. I won’t go into the messy details of our screwed up relationship after that, but eventually, I was tired of being used, and moved into the basement of the apartment we shared. I started dating Kyle, and was kicked out shortly after, despite having my name on the lease, and we haven’t spoken since.

Once again, I knew no one, despite having lived in that town for nearly two years. I was able to move into a slum apartment the next day, and moved from apartment t apartment for a while, until Kyle and I moved 45 minutes away to start our lives over. We still desperately want to get out of this area, but who knows when that will happen. Our next move will be on OUR terms. Mutually.

Never let anyone control you, or manipulate you, for their own gain. Don’t let them make you feel like you don’t matter. You do matter. You are important, too. You always have a choice. Always.

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

Daily Prompt 2/11/2016 | Under My Skin

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 2/11/2016 | Quirk of Habit

“Which quirky habit annoys you the most, and what quirky habit do you love — in yourself, or others.”

Strangely enough, peoples’ various quirks don’t bother me all that much. There are a few things that I would prefer that people refrain from doing around me, but nothing too crazy. I’ve seen people get physically angry at someone smacking their gum, or clicking a pen, or constantly clearing phlegm from their throats (okay, that one is pretty gross though…), but I’m just not one of those people. I’m not perfect, and I know I probably do things that might annoy other peoples, and I’m okay with that.

I do enjoy when people are kind, and do nice things for others, without being given orders to do so. I greatly admire people in the medical community, specifically doctors and nurses, who give up sleep, sanity, and often times family, to help others. I admire volunteers, whether it be once a month at a food kitchen, or every day at an animal shelter. People who sacrifice a little bit from their lives to improve the lives of others. Those people are just wonderful.

So, habits don’t bother me, but I guess you could say certain personalities do. Even certain, tiny aspects of peoples’ personalities. Is that a habit? I actually don’t know. Let me just give you a few examples of things that do get to me, and be warned, this is going to get a bit ranty, and may likely offend someone.

1) When teenage girls refer to a grown man, who is a complete stranger, as “daddy” on the internet, and says things like “fuck me“. I specifically see this on Facebook/Twitter/YouTube, directed at YouTubers, or musicians, etc., and it is SO creepy. Now, I’m no prude, and I’m definitely not going to judge grown men and women who call their partners “mommy” or “daddy“, or any variation of the two, in the bedroom, because that is none of my business. But when a 12-year old girl comments on a 29-year old YouTuber’s Instagram selfie with “OMG daddy fuck me“, I get concerned. Where the hell are the parents? Who is teaching them this? Ugh. That really gets to me. It is just so unhealthy.

Related irks: People who obsessively “ship” two real people, young teenagers writing VERY smutty fanfiction, stalkers.

2) People who blatantly fish for compliments. I’ll be the first to admit that I have low self-esteem, and I know there are many out there who feel the same way about themselves. Recently, on Facebook, a friend of a friend shared an image of a piece of paper that simple said “Share this if your ugly!“. Grammatical error aside, things like this piss me off, because this is 110% for attention. The ONLY reason to post something like this is to get responses like, “Aww, no, you’re beautiful!” but this is the wrong way to do it, and it just irks people, and makes you look insane. The kicker in this situation was that the girl was GORGEOUS, and upon further snooping, I discovered that she is actually a MODEL. Are you joking? No. Just stop.

3) People who constantly butt into other peoples’ issues and problems. As many of you know, we recently had to deal with some stupid, family drama surrounding the Dodge Journey that we received from Kyle’s aunt. Well, as of last night, we got a new car (that gorgeous Lincoln LS), and Kyle’s mom took the Journey off our hands to use as a second vehicle. But just a few days prior, our drama reached a boiling point, when Kyle’s grandmother poked her nose into a matter that did not concern her, and tried to play middle woman, but ended up twisting everything that Kyle said, passing along false information (lies), and ultimately made the whole situation 10000% worse. In the end, Kyle ended up blocking his grandmother, and both of his aunts, and we most likely won’t be attending Christmas this year. Ugh. If a problem has nothing to do with you, then leave it alone. If it is not directly affecting your life, then butt out, and let the other parties sort it out.

And now… the big one. I’ll apologize ahead of time. Sorry.

4) I’m not religious, but I am also not disrespectful towards people tho choose to believe in what they believe in, as long as they are not forcing those beliefs on others in order to control them and their lives. We’re all living on this planet together, and life is too short to hate on someone for believing in something different. With that being said, one of the things that bothers me more than ANYTHING else, is people who use the Bible to justify their hatred of something, i.e. homosexuality, but cherry-pick through the rest of the sins, simply because they want to do them. You all know what I’m talking about. Saying that you hate homosexuality because it is an abomination, because the Bible says so, but being guilty of ANY of the following, makes you a hypocrite:

Divorce/Adultery.
Love of money.
Any of the following dietary abominations: eating shellfish, eating many kinds of birds, eating anything that has many legs, or stands on four legs, and eating and touching PORK!
A woman wearing PANTS.
LYING, guys. That’s a big one!
Arrogance.
Blatantly ignoring the law.
Wearing mixed fabrics.

Getting a HAIRCUT, or shaving your beard.

So, if you’ve done any of those things, which I know you have, guess what? Those are all considered just as sinful as homosexuality. Those are abominations, according to the book that you quote from, to prevent two people who love each other from getting married, or living happily. You can’t pick and choose what things to be an asshole about, just because you like to eat shrimp, and think that two men kissing is icky, or unnatural. Guess what? There are over 1,500 species of animals that display homosexual behavior, and many of these species are older than the human race. You can’t get any more natural than nature, folks. So, I’m sorry, but that just isn’t how it works.

Now, if I remember anything from my time in the Brownies, I seem to recall that the original book was written with no punctuation, and was completely open to interpretation, and has changed so many times throughout the years, to fit the specific beliefs of whomever was interpreting it. If this is correct, then couldn’t it be possible that many of these things, as well as homosexuality, were not originally meant to be labelled as abominations, but the words were misinterpreted as such? Just something to consider.

As I said before, I personally don’t believe in any of this. I lead a life free of religion. I do believe that, as long as you aren’t hurting anyone, or infringing on someone’s legal and human rights, then everyone deserves to be happy. But you need to understand that there are so many religions that are practiced on this earth, and not everyone believes in yours, and they all have different rules, which are open to interpretation, and we are all live vastly different lives, and just accept that. Stop thinking that just because someone chooses to believe differently, or acknowledge different things, that you and your beliefs are being threatened. Relax, folks. I do apologize if this offended anyone, but if it did, then maybe you have some things you need to think about?

Anyway, I’m done. Those are some of the big ones for me. I’m not trying to start a debate in the comments, or attack anyone’s beliefs, I’m just trying to tell you things how I see and interpret them.

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

Daily Prompt 2/9/2016 | Stats

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 2/9/2016 | The Stat Connection

“Go to your Stats page and check your top 3-5 posts. Why do you think they’ve been successful? Find the connection between them, and write about it.”

Hello, friends! For today’s prompt, I did a little digging through my stats for 2016 and 2016, and discovered that the following are my top 5 posts on my blog. My top pages were actually my Home/Archives page, as well as my About Me page, but I don’t count those as posts. I’m actually not that surprised by these results, as I’ve noticed that my personal blogs, as opposed to my prompt posts or reviews, tend to get a bit more attention and feedback. Here are my top 5 posts, with links and descriptions, in case anyone wants to check them out:

1) My Thoughts On First Birthdays
Exactly what the title states. My son was creeping up on his first birthday, and I was feeling a lot of pressure from society, and family, to throw him a big bash. Spoiler alert: I had other ideas.

2) Sinking Ships
A complete stranger attacked my parenting via Twitter, after following the leads of two of my so-called-friends, who had been sub-tweeting about me that morning, all over a completely innocent tweet, which was taken out of context, and blown out of proportion. It got heated. Spoiler alert: I’m an awesome mom.

3) 15 Facts About Me!
Just some more fun with my Twitter followers, involving a graphic, some hearts, and some fun facts about yours truly. There was even a Part 2! Spoiler alert: I’m not very interesting.

4) Most Terrifying Experience of My Life. WTF!
Just another day in the life of living in shitty apartments. Yellow jackets burrowed into my apartment, and my neighbor had to come rescue Liam and I. Spoiler alert: Yellow jacks are assholes.

5) Why I Chose to Leave WoW
World of Warcraft has played an unimaginably large part in my life, and after many years of playing, I say goodbye (for now?). Spoiler alert: Sad post is sad.

So there you have it! If you normally read my daily prompts, or my baby blogs, and want to get to know a bit more about what goes on behind the screen, I would suggest checking those out. I lead a verrry interesting life (no, not really).

Thanks for reading, friends!

Jan

Family Drama, Car Drama, Drama Drama Drama!

Hello, friends. I have something that I just need to rant about for a minute, if you don’t mind. As some of you may recall, back in September, our Ford Mustang suddenly stopped running, leaving us without a vehicle. At the time, I was still not working, and Kyle was only working one job, and we had no funds to get it fixed, let alone enough for a new car. After going to multiple banks and lenders, and coming away without a single loan for a cheap vehicle, we were forced to ask Kyle’s mother for rides. We reached out to friends and family, to anyone who would help us out, and maybe work with us on payments for a vehicle, as Kyle was about to start working at his second job, a distribution center, and we would soon have enough to make payments on a car.

In late September, Kyle’s aunt informed us that she and her wife had been trying to sell their 2009 Dodge Journey for a while, and had been unsuccessful. Kyle had just started working at the DC, and his paychecks were phenomenal, so when they told us that they only had $5500 left to pay on the vehicle, and we could pay $275 a month for it, we decided that it was within our price range. We even decided to pay $300 a month, since that would help pay it off faster. We realized that we had lost the key for the Mustang, and had to sell it for $800 less than the price we were hoping to get for it. We later found the key, of course.

Some drama went down between Kyle’s aunt and her wife, and we almost didn’t get the vehicle, because they were fighting, and just to spite us, her wife said that we couldn’t have the vehicle. We were so upset. You can read all about that drama in this post. Well, it ended up all kind of working out in the end, and we got the vehicle. The Journey was massive compared to our Mustang. There was so much room in the back seat, and in the back. It was such an upgrade.

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Of course, just like everything else in our life, days later, it started falling apart. We’ve had to take it to several garages, one of which was over an hour away, because his aunt wanted us to use her guys, to fix issues that we were unaware of when we got the vehicle, and have had to pay more in repairs than we’ve paid for the vehicle itself so far. Kyle, who is unable to contain his urges to vent on social media, mentioned car troubles in a status, which caused a shit storm of drama from his mom, grandmother, sister, and aunt, who always seem to find a reason to gang up and attack him. They began putting words in his mouth, and calling us ungrateful, etc. What was his status that caused all of this?

“I just want a vehicle that runs.”

THAT. That was it. Luckily, it blew over pretty quickly.

We were on track to finish paying off the car later this month, once Kyle gets his tax return, but then more shit happened. Of course! Just a few days ago, Kyle asked his aunt to check how much exactly was left to pay on the vehicle, so we would know how much we would have left after paying it off. Her response? $5700. We somehow owe $5700 on a vehicle that we were originally told was going to cost us $5500, that we’ve been making $300 payments on since September. I’m no mathematician, but WHAT?

Now, I know there’s a chorus of voices out there saying something about interest, blah blah blah. Well, we were NEVER told any of this. We were told (and have written proof), that she owed $5500, and that is how much we had to pay. Had we known that it would be over $1000 more than that, we never would have gotten it. Apparently, we also owe more because we are not paying in cash, which would be impossible for us since her bank is over an hour away from us. All of this information was held from us, until we asked about it on that day, and she made us feel like idiots for not knowing all of this. We are furious. Because now, not only will we not be able to pay this piece of garbage vehicle off with our tax returns, but we will still owe more on it, and definitely won’t be able to get the washer and dryer that we were planning on getting, which we DESPERATELY need. So, yea, we’re pissed off.

After Kyle had a word with his aunt, she texted his mom to whine about us (without giving her all the facts, mind you), who then stuck her nose into it, and started bitching about how grateful we should be that we even got a vehicle. A vehicle that we can’t afford, mind you, because we were lied to about the total amount owed, and because we’ve had to put nearly a grand into it in repairs, in just a few months. And we should be grateful? Grateful that she lied to us, and took advantage of us, because she knew how desperate we were? Um, hell no.

We could have kept getting rides until Kyle had saved up a few paychecks to get a vehicle. We would have been fine. But they insisted, and we were excited, because it seemed like a nice vehicle, within our price range. Boy, were we wrong.

So, we’ve been looking into getting a new vehicle. Kyle has been trying to get a small loan, since he now has a decent credit score, but has had no luck, once again. Luckily, we found a guy who is willing to hold a 2005 Lincoln LS for us until Kyle gets his money. It really is a nice car, with only 100k miles (half the amount that the Journey has), and automatic everything. After a bit of negotiating, they agreed on a price of $3200 for it, which includes the cost of title and plates. The dealer apparently knows Kyle from his automotive class back in the high school, and has his own dealership. We had to put down a $100 deposit to hold it, which Kyle was more than happy to do. Our plan is to fully pay off that car with Kyle’s tax return, and then sell the Journey for the remaining amount that we owe, or as close as we can get to it, and be rid of that piece of crap for good. The only problem is that we don’t have the title, his aunt does, of course. So whoever we sell it to will have to wait a bit for them to send us the title, once it is paid off, if she doesn’t sign it over to us beforehand. There’s nothing else we can really do, right?

This has all been so frustrating. Kyle really likes the LS, but I am a bit disappointed about giving up the roominess of the Journey. But, I suppose it is for the best. I am so tired of this drama, and so tired of being called ungrateful, and being judged for no reason. I just want a freaking vehicle that we can all fit into comfortably, that runs well, and that we can fit our damn stroller in. Seriously!

Ugh. I guess that’s it. I’ll update you guys if anything changes or progresses with this situation. This little beauty should hopefully be ours within a month or so, unless something else goes horribly wrong.

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Thanks for reading, friends. Sorry about the rant.

Jan

One Year Ago, Liam’s Birth Story

Today, my beautiful, baby boy turns one. I’ve had him in my life for a whole year, and it has been the most incredible experience. As well as writing a post about all of his milestones up to this point, I thought I would share the story of his birth. Warning, it is a bit graphic in some parts.

On January 23, 2015, my life changed forever.

I woke up at 5:07am with stomach pains. It was one day past my due date, and I thought I was just having Braxton Hicks contractions. I hadn’t had a single contraction through my whole pregnancy, and honestly had no idea what to expect. I waddled to the bathroom, barely making it to the toilet before I threw up. I hadn’t thrown up once during my entire pregnancy either. In fact, I hadn’t thrown up in years. After throwing up a second time, I walked back to my room, and tried to fall back asleep.

Several minutes later, more stomach pains caused me to jolt awake. I walked to the bathroom once more, and threw up once again. Then, it hit me. This was it. My son was on his way. I sat there for a while with my phone, timing my contractions, to see where I was at. They were anywhere from 8-13 minutes apart, and not too severe. I walked out to the couch and turned on Netflix, deciding to let Kyle sleep in a little longer.

Around 7:00, I walked to the room to let Kyle know that my labor had started, but told him there was no rush. He immediately got out of bed, and began making sure our hospital bags were ready for us to leave. I just laughed and sat back on the couch.

At 7:30, I decided to take a shower. I was still able to stand and walk without much difficulty, and my contractions were still around 7-8 minutes apart. I put on a little make up, double checked our hospital bags, and sat back on the couch to watch Netflix. I labored at home until around 8:45, when my contractions started coming every 2-3 minutes, and even walking them off was becoming painful. We left the apartment at 8:50, and arrived at the hospital just minutes later. I checked in (I had submitted all my paperwork weeks in advance), and waddled up to the maternity ward.

I changed into my hideous hospital gown, and waited for them to tell me which one of my midwives was on duty that day. I was relieved when they told me that my favorite midwife, Liz, would be delivering my son… if I gave birth that day.

Liz came in to check me, and was surprised to find that I was already 7cm. dilated, and that I wasn’t in much pain. She commented on being able to feel my son’s head, and mentioned that she could feel that he would have a lot of hair, which made me smile. She also mentioned that he was in the posterior position (head-down but facing your abdomen), which could possibly lead to complications during delivery, but I wasn’t too worried. She asked me if I wanted an epidural, and I quickly answered yes. The anesthesiologists came in to administer the epidural, and I made the mistake of catching a glance at the needle that they were about to insert into my back. The extremely attractive duo informed me that I would only feel a pinch, and then I wouldn’t feel anything.

They were absolutely right, and it was glorious.

Unfortunately, my painless high did not last. The nurse came in to check my blood pressure, which had been a bit high in the last week of my pregnancy, and informed me that they thought I may have Preeclampsia. They tested my urine, and sure enough, they found protein. Because I was already in labor, they chose to let things progress on their own. My heart rate was fine, and my baby was doing great. They gave me Pitocin to try any speed up my labor a bit, as well as a Magnesium drip for my Preeclampsia, and fluids to keep me hydrated, as I wasn’t allowed to eat or drink anything. I had forgot to have breakfast that morning, and I was starving.

The Magnesium drip made me so, so sick. I was able to get some sleep, thanks to my epidural, and was in and out of consciousness for several hours, only waking up to vomit, or when the nurses needed to check me. They did not insert a catheter, even though I had an epidural, and also had to wake me every hour so that I could pee into a bed pan, which was really awkward and strange. I couldn’t feel anything! Despite the nausea and exhaustion, I felt great, with zero pain. Kyle and I excitedly talked about the arrival of our baby boy, and Kyle started sending out the texts to let family know we were in the hospital.

Hours passed. Many hours. I could see that it had gotten dark outside, but I had no idea what time it was. The pressure was getting intense, and I could no longer sleep, so Kyle and I watched some TV for a few hours. The nurses kept coming in to check me, but it felt like I was stuck at only 8-9cm. dilated for the entire day. Finally, just after 7:30pm, they told me it was just about time to start pushing. Since 12 hours had passed, the anesthesiologists came in to touch up my epidural, which had started to wear off. I still didn’t feel any pain from contractions, but there was definitely pressure. And it was incredibly uncomfortable.

Suddenly, I was terrified.

Liz, my team of nurses, and Kyle were at my side. Liz and Kyle each held one of my legs, and I was instructed on when to push, and what I should be feeling. After several minutes of practice pushes, Kyle left the room. While I had expected this to happen, as Kyle has a weak stomach, and does not do well in high pressure situations, it scared me, and I suddenly felt alone. Liz took charge, instructing one of the nurses to grab my other leg, and the pushing continued.

Once again, no pain. Tons of pressure.

After 45 minutes of pushing on my back, Liz instructed me to get on all fours, and rest my chest on the top of the bed. This is when I started to feel some pain. Or something.

I found pushing in this position to be much more difficult, but Liz informed me that it was progressing much more quickly that way. I don’t remember much, just a lot of pushing, and the nurses laughing at me when I responded with, “I can do better!” when I was told that I was doing great.

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Another 45 minutes of pushing, and Liam was finally here. He came out sideways, of course, and caused quite a bit of damage with his shoulders. One of the nurses passed him to me between my legs, and I was able to finally lay my eyes on my son. He was perfect. His head was covered with thick, black hair, and his skin was perfect, and not wrinkly or splotchy like some newborns are. He looked just like his daddy. I remember thinking, that is a BIG baby!

Kyle came back into the room to cut the cord, and I remembered repeating, “Hello, baby boy!” over and over again, before they took him away to get him cleaned and measured. I sobbed with joy. And shock. Kyle was at my side, holding my hand when I was instructed to push again, to push out my placenta. It came easily, and unfortunately for him, Kyle got to see the whooole thing. He handled it quite well!

Unfortunately, I couldn’t hold my son, or attempt to nurse him, for another hour and a half. Liz informed me that I had a 4th degree perineal tear (the worst kind), probably because of the position that I was in when I delivered, and the position Liam was in when he came out, and would need a lot of stitches. I then met the newest doctor to the practice, who was almost unbelievably good looking, and he proceeded to sew my lady parts back together.

I remember Liz and the other nurses laughing and commenting on how calm and talkative I was, considering that I had just gone through 14 hours of labor, and 1.5 hours of pushing, and a pretty significant degree of tearing. I was calm. I was happy. I was exhausted. I still wasn’t feeling any pain. I wanted to see my son.

There was also a comment made about how my lady parts didn’t look like “ground hamburger“, which apparently some look like after experiencing this type of tearing… good for me?

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My baby boy came into this world at 9:01pm, at 21 inches long, and 7 pounds 15 ounces. He was absolutely perfect.

Unfortunately, despite my plans to exclusively nurse, Liam was unable to latch. There was nothing wrong with him, he just didn’t want to, no matter what we tried. Even the lactation consultant couldn’t help us. He also would not use a nipple shield. I ended up pumping, but it broke my heart, not being able to have my baby latch onto me, to feed him from my breast.

It got worse.

I was in the hospital for a total of 4 days. For the first 2 days, I was horribly sick from the Magnesium that I was on, and was extremely nauseous and drowsy. Kyle also spent most of his time throwing up, due to stress and exhaustion, which made for a very stressful environment. I sent him home on the 3rd day so that I could have some quiet.

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I also received harsh criticism from Kyle’s family, who were not allowed to visit in the first 24 hours, which was hospital policy, and was told that they wouldn’t be visiting because that was the only day any of them could come, despite only living 15-30 minutes away. Kyle’s youngest sister, who was 17 at the time, was also not permitted to visit, because no one under the age of 18 is allowed to visit the maternity ward during cold and flu season, once again, hospital policy. For four days, I had no one. No one came to take pictures. It was just me, my broken body, my beautiful baby, and my baby’s father, who couldn’t get up from the couch without throwing up. Not to mention, the unnecessary drama that my son’s birth had created. It was hard, and it hurt.

When we went home, Kyle was called back into work immediately, despite having taken a week off to help me in our first week as new parents. He went back to work early, and I was alone with our baby, who still refused to nurse. He also would only sleep if I was holding him, and refused to sleep in his bassinet, swing, or bouncer, which made finding time to pump impossible. I had no help from anyone, and experienced a lot of frustration and depression over not being able to nurse or breastfeed. After a few weeks, I switched to formula, and have harbored so many regrets.

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My healing process was relatively smooth. When I went in for my 6 week postpartum exam, she commented on how great a job the doctor had done sewing me up. Despite my 4th degree tear, I didn’t have much residual pain, my bleeding had completely stopped, and I hadn’t experienced any incontinence. I felt great… despite having some pretty bad postpartum depression, which I wish I had talked about more. I gained 31 pounds during my entire pregnancy, but lost all of it, plus an extra pound, before we even left the hospital. I was put on blood pressure medication, but after a few months, my blood pressure returned to normal, and I haven’t needed it since.

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I also ended up sleeping on the couch for 3 months with Liam, before we got a new couch (our old couch was actually a small love seat), and Kyle switched with us, allowing Liam and I to co-sleep in the bed together. When Liam was 6 months old, I transitioned him to his crib, which went fairly smoothly, and he has been sleeping on his own, mostly through the night, ever since. My back, however, has still not recovered from those several months of love seat sleeping.

It has been quite a journey, this last year… but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Not one, single thing.

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And I can’t wait do it all over again in the future.

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan