Tag Archives: family

Tick-tock, tick-tock.

I’ve rejoined the wubbulous world of Facebook.

Over 2 years ago I decided one day that I was sick & tired of people always complaining about the same things, the ridiculous abused children/animals posts, the in-your-face religious memes…just all of it. So I quit. Cold turkey. Which is surprising for me because I have an “addictive” personality & can’t even quit cigarettes cold turkey.

I guess I was just bored & looking for something to do. Usually I’ll play Pet Rescue but when you’re stuck on a level & already in a worried/depressed mood, it isn’t very helpful to take your mind off of things…it’s downright aggravating. It took me a few lots of tries to remember my password but eventually I did. I have to admit, I did miss it somewhat…being connected in some way with people I know & the world in general; I missed seeing the cute/awesome/so true memes; I missed seeing people’s pictures. And I’m already instantaneously re-addicted. It is such a time passer! I feel a little like an idiot liking & commenting on posts & pictures that people probably haven’t thought about it months, but I’m playing catch-up so I guess it’s alright.

Reconnecting with people & extended family has been nice, though. It has made me feel a little less lost, a little less alone (and by alone I mean the 5 of us as a family kind of being on our own, feeling disconnected from family). Of course it sucks when I finally pull myself away & my reality comes back smacking me in the face. And it sucks to see other people’s lives so successful, complete, happy…normal. Not that I begrudge them that, no no no; it just hammers home how upside down my life is right now, which really gets to me if I let it.

I’d like to link my blog to my profile, but lately all I can seem to write about are my troubles (because they’re the main focus right now) & I don’t particularly want all of Facebook knowing all of this. I’m not one of those fakey-fakers who is all “Oh my life is so perfect, I’m so wonderful, ain’t everything great!”; I think there is a difference between purposely portraying something (like an ideal version of your life) & choosing not to actively disclose details. Of the people who have asked “How are you?” I’ve answered them honestly with “Okay” (because technically I am okay…we’re all alive & healthy) & haven’t elaborated with lies or the truth. So, until things work out, I don’t feel comfy linking the two. It’s embarrassing, depressing, unnecessary.

Aside from that, we’re in limbo. Well I don’t guess it’s “we’re” since the kids are unaware of “the housing situation” but all the same…it’s very awkward having an elephant in the room. Despite the fact that all 3 of us are adults & hubs & I are perfectly okay with “adult talks”, it’s hard to know what the right thing to do is…if we should approach him or wait until he approaches us. We have some progress & possible developments in the wings however they require a little time before (hopefully–fingers crossed!) coming full circle. If he’d be willing to work with us & allow us a little more time, I truly feel–with valid reasons–like we’re on the brink of being able to start repairing this mess. Really.

All we need is just a little time.

Meanwhile, take a minute & be grateful for what you do have. If it’s a secure place to lay your head at night…if it’s a best friend to help absorb your troubles…if it’s a fresh taco & glass of homemade lemonade on a hot day…if it’s the ability to go watch fireworks on the 4th…whatever it is, recognize it & be grateful for it.

All of it.

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Woes are me.

What a rollercoaster of a week thus far. I feel like I say that in every post but this week it’s truly true. There is so much I don’t know where to begin, what to disclose, how to organize it to be coherent…I just feel the need to write. I want to pour my heart out, but can’t without revealing every..single..last..detail that I don’t particularly want all of creation to know. I also want to just spit out a simple feel-good post, partly because I never do anymore…a majority of my posts are depressing, depressed, whiny, bitchy, negative, etc cetera.

Now that I’ve brought it up I may as well tell you that we’re on the brink of pure homelessness, which is completely terrifying. I’m pretty sure the past year (and moving forward yet) has been the most horrible year we’ve had; well, neck in neck with the year Mom passed. Without rehashing all of the previously disclosed details (haha, gives you a reason to go back & read more of my posts!), our Housemate is anxious to put his house on the market; that means we need to skidaddle & he seems to think that a week’s length is adequate time for a family of 5 (with, ahem, no vehicle–no money–no place to go–no resources–no prospects) to figure it out & make it happen.

Sure, if we had money saved to cover: a rental deposit, first month’s rent, a lights deposit, a water deposit, then it’d be easy peasy.
        Except we don’t.
Because we’ve been living in a vicious cycle of having just enough money to continue existing, yet no where near enough to actually make life worthwhile. Or, for that matter, to save.

Add to that the fact that we have no vehicle. 8 months ago I remember feeling so so lucky to have two...two! But now we have neither. So we can’t even count on that as a temporary shelter, or to get anywhere. I hate this thought & it’s crass…but…is Housemate going to give us a ride to the homeless shelter, dump us in front, then drive merrily into the sunset?
        How could someone feasibly do that? Without feeling like a world class piece-o-shit?
I couldn’t. When we had our house, we made it well known (to my sister, to our friends, to anyone we knew & trusted) that our home was always open to them if they ever needed a place to fall, and for however long they needed it (The way Mom always was to me & would still be today…if only she were here). We don’t have that. I feel like we’re dangling our feet over the edge of a cliff. Hubs has family but I don’t even know if we could stay with them, plus it’s in a different state (which would mess up the life we’re trying to remake here). I would greatly prefer staying with family over staying in a shelter…but who’s to say they’ll even help us? Sometimes they can be great, the ideal family, standing right up shouting “yea, yea y’all can stay with me! I love family & wanna show it! Come on over”…and other times they can be the “oh, you have absolutely no where to go? Well sorry but I don’t have enough room in this big house, sounds like a real problem, good luck, hope something works out, talk to ya later”-kind of family.
        Yes, I’m dead serious.

So, the ever-present feelings of sickness, worry, depression, wistful-ness & anxiety are even stronger than before. I don’t sleep. I can’t eat. My brain feels fried & yet empty from trying to figure out solutions.  I was going to post a quickie post about grilled cheese & how they make a great last-minute meal (especially when you have extra kids, like we most always usually do because we’re suckers); how I love a grilled cheese with “everything”, and how I even had the opportunity to first have one that way. But…alas…I don’t feel like it now. Now that I’ve dredged up all bad news & worries it’s kind of hard to back pedal & talk about cheese & childhood memories.

Oh, how I wish I could.
I wish like hell that was all I had to concentrate on, to worry about.
Instead I’ve got 3 little faces looking up at me, wondering what comes next.

And the only answer I have is terrifying to us all…I don’t know.

The Momiversary.

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Christmas 2007, me, my daughter, Mom, my sister, my other daughter.

Yesterday marked the (unbelievably) 5th year since my Mom’s sudden passing. Unfortunately if I allow it, memories of that day & the following days (and weeks) haunt me until I’m literally so stressed out by it that I find myself suddenly waking from too-real nightmares, tears pouring down my face. I miss her so much I can’t even type that without getting that little nose tickle you get when you’re about to cry. And watery eyes. As most mothers are she was a huge part of my life, of my children’s lives. She was my rock, my cheering section, my voice of reason, my memory bank, my best friend…at the risk of sounding too “lover-ish” she was my everything.

Then poof…she was gone. What a cruel, cruel world it can be.

Luckily despite various paths in life, my sister & I have found ourselves living in the same town (not our hometown) & have therefore developed a much closer, deeper relationship than we ever had before. She is 6 years younger than me so there has always been a natural gap between our interests but now as adults we find ourselves on a lot of the same pages, which is nice. It’s extremely comforting to me to know that I have someone who has my back. We’re old enough now to surpass any petty fights, although we never have any. I can confidently say (and rest assured that it’s true) that we will always be there for the other, no matter what. Mom passing away helped bridge that age gap as well…we were both suddenly thrust into a forces membership in the “One Deceased Parent”‘s club, so we are together on a level most people can’t access until later in life.

For the past 5 years I’ve struggled to find an appropriate term for recognizing this terrible day in our lives. It’s not that I want to celebrate it; I just feel guilty if it goes unnoticed…like we’re forgetting her, or the worst day of my life wasn’t truly the worst day of my life. I’ve also struggled to think of a way to honor her: prepare a favorite meal of hers (although I’m ashamed to say I’m quickly forgetting what those were)? Buy some balloons & release them to the heavens, with other without letters attached? Exchange letters with my sister containing memories or thoughts on what our mother would think of us now? Get lost in memories by sifting through pictures & eventually sobbing myself to sleep? Nothing seems fitting. I have stumbled upon a name however…”Momiversary”. It doesn’t depict any depressing thoughts of death, yet it also doesn’t imply a joyous celebration. It is an anniversary, and it is for our Mom. I just happened to have a lightbulb this year.

I wish I had pictures to share…Mom was definitely a camera ducker but she was beautiful & when you were lucky enough to catch a real smile it is contagious…I can’t help but smile back. All of my photos are packed up or on the computer (to which Hubby misplaced the cord); I hate that I can’t post any here. I have no grand final thoughts on this post…I’m thankful for family & my sister…I ache inside for my Mom, I can feel my heart crumble when I think of her & the looming void now in my life…I urge all of you that still have your Mom to seriously cherish her, don’t let small things annoy you, remember that she won’t always be there, don’t take her life for granted because the cold hard truth is that you never know when her life might be gone…leaving you with open wounds, an unfillable void in your soul and more regrets than any human being should have to bear.

My Michael Jackson post (years after the fact).

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I would imagine it would be the rare person indeed who could claim nowadays to never have at least heard a Michael Jackson song, younger generations not withstanding of course. Almost all of us have had some contact with his genius whether through a movie, the radio, our own personal music collection, television, books/magazines…somewhere along the way we’ve heard or seen the King of Pop. Having recently read the biography about him by J. Randy Taraborrelli I have renewed my (recurring) mini-obsession with MJ. Don’t get me wrong….I’m not a super fan & I don’t claim to know every factoid about him. I just know what I’ve read/seen & have my opinions on it.
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Michael’s attitude & actions
I’ve heard & read countless times that Michael was the type of person where if an employee/friend/family member told him “no” or wouldn’t get what he’d requested, they’d simply be “out”. He’d stop associating with them or they’d be fired. People were (apparently, according to the biography I read by Tarraborelli) fearful for their jobs. This is completely understandable & completely believable. Michael was treated-quite literally-like a king; he’d become accustomed to a way of life the majority of us will never live & therefore fail to grasp. He probably hadn’t been told “no” more than 8 times since the age of 5….long, long ago he acquired the luxury of people at his beck & call, staff to cater his whims, “handlers” (for lack of a better group term) to foresee & appease his wants & needs. I can understand the mentality of it all, even if I admittedly can’t fully understand what a life like that must be like (on either side of the fence). People were disposable….and that’s not implying Michael was some hateful, spoiled, crappy person who treated others badly (I’ve heard & read the exact opposite so much I’m beginning to wonder if he had a golden heart)….he was, plain & simple, rich as shit; he was free to do what he wanted; if one person wouldn’t do this or that then fine, this person over here will. That’s what I mean by disposable. There would always be someone, somewhere & he knew it.
The reason I flew off on this tangent is because during my mini-obsession I can’t escape the “what if” plague. What if his family would’ve intervened? After his death, everyones (EVERYONES) excuse is that they knew but couldn’t help MJ because he’d either fire them or kick them out of his life. I think we can all agree that most families will get along as well as have fights, stop speaking, be really mad at each other, all that jazz. However family should & usually does find their way back to each other & make up. I know not all families do that, I realize we don’t live in My Little Ponyville or Smurf-land. But the Jackson’s prior history certainly indicates that if there is a disagreement/fight, after some time passes everyone is welcomed back into the fold, hunky-dory. I can’t help but wonder if family-someone who Michael couldn’t get rid off & would eventually make up with-would have succeeded….if they would’ve just pushed & pushed until he went to rehab, then fought & fought to keep him there Do whatever it took. Michael would’ve been mad & resisted, I’m sure….but maybe-just maybe-he’d still be here today.

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Michael, circa 1989

Michael’s appearance
Personally I think the time frame he looked his best was the last couple years of the 80’s. He was just starting his “King-ship” and getting a taste of financial freedom & making his own choices. He had a small amount of plastic surgery & turned out like the photo above. If he would’ve only felt confident enough to stay like that! Instead he had to keep pushing & tweaking, trying to achieve a certain look he had set in his mind. Unfortunately he ended up like this….

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Michael's mugshot, date unknown/after the 90's

…which isn’t even the worst photo but definitely one of the creepier ones. I hate that he felt so insecure in himself that he literally turned himself into this. To be on top of the world financially, career-wise, health wise….yet to feel so badly about yourself that you reduce yourself to an unrecognizable shell. It’s sad, very very sad. Unbeknownst to him, by starting the surgery obsession he opened the flood gates for people & the media to start running their mouth. Then he probably felt the need to continue the surgeries, in a futile attempt to be normal again; all it ended up accomplishing was more negativity.

Michael & molestation

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Michael Jackson & Jordie Chandler

Where to begin with this Pandora’s box? What is there to say–in support of either side–that hasn’t been said a zillion times before? That being considered, I’ll just stick with my personal opinion as opposed to trying to exonerate (or condemn) MJ. Nothing I say will convince anyone anyway, I don’t think…they’d have to research & read & discover just like I did in order to be convinced. For years I have been undecided as to whether or not all of the abuse allegations against him were true…now, after extensive reading, various sources and a better (aka adult) perspective on life, I can safely say that I don’t believe he molested anyone, anytime. It seems quite obvious to me that the Arvizo’s were after money: plain & simple. The Chandler situation seems to be the same way, although it seems like a bigger betrayal because they were much closer than the Arvizo’s. It would take a whole other post to specify each point so I won’t drag that up here. I think Michael was an easy target because he was lonely, insecure, had a soft spot for children (& animals, as many of us non-serial killer people do), was eccentric & rich…very…very rich. The media & the accusers picked up on these traits (though not in that order) and exploited them as long as they could. Today, Jordie Chandler enjoys his millions while living in a penthouse & apparently having a wonderful time shopping with friends…

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Jordie Chandler today; spending his "hard earned" millions with a buddy.

I’m sure the Arvizo’s are also enjoying a largely enhanced lifestyle due to their “hard earned” millions as well. The truth is we will never know the truth. Even if MJ were here today & proclaimed his innocence (like he did before, yes) people wouldn’t believe him. There will always be a divide on this topic because there is no definitive, 100% proof either way. Instances such as this really gnaw at me because I want a firm, fact-backed answer, you know? It all comes down to what you believe & what you don’t believe. I used to lump him in with the majority of the media & society, but after my research I now understand all the different levels of this situation, and of Michael Jackson. I pity the poor man. This may be overdramatic but I truly wish I could rewind time for him & magically fix all the bad in his life….it just seems so unfair, once you absorb all the details (the same details from different sources-that’s what lends credibility to them), that he suffered as he did in so many ways.

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Michael, 1988 Bad Tour, London

R.I.P. Michael Jackson.

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In concert during the glory days.

Family football….it’s a contagious obsession….

My husband (otherwise known as C in this blog) has become quite the football fan over the past year or two. He’s always had an interest in it, but now that he’s desperately in love with Peyton Manning a huge Broncos fan he’s really into it. This fact inspired a rant post (currently a draft) by me yesterday but it has also inspired 2 other things:

#1-quality time with our children & nephew, which they (our kids) kind of needed after being “Daddy deprived” this past week while he was at work (something they are re-adjusting to)

#2-I have an excuse to post a couple cute pictures & attempt to post a video for the first time! I realize I’m about 4 years behind on the magic of posting videos online, and that normal people are like “What a douche….I’ve been posting vids online since I was in diapers”….but I don’t care, haha. I’m old & willingly use that excuse for my lameness.

So, here goes….marking a notable event in history (ours, anyway)….some cute football videos & photos. You’re welcome. 😉

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L to R: H, C, A, N(ephew), D

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A apparently went out of bounds but it's a-okay because they're "training", haha.

Update: I attempted to publish my cute little family football post & received a message saying “To upload videos get Videodpress” (whatever that is); I clicked it but it did nothing. I searched for it in the Play store & found nothing. So….I guess I won’t be posting a video for the first time, haha. Oh well. 😦

Schooooooool’ssssss out…for…SUMMA!!

It totally snuck up on me.  I’ve had a lot on my mind lately & completely didn’t realize the end of school was upon us, until looking at the calendar one day & it was like “Oh, the last day of school is in 3 days.  Wait…whaaa??!”.  Anyway, now I’ve got all these random thoughts, tips & ideas floating through my head & taking up too much room.  So I figured well hell, why not blog about it?!  So here we go:
(This list may or may not evolve as I think up new crap…feel free to leave your own ideas in the comments!)

*Make ice cubes out of whatever non-carbonated drinks you have on hand, that way your drinks won’t get watered down in the summer heat yet will still be cold! For example: kool-aid cubes for kool-aid, lemonade cubes for lemonade, etc.

*Set up a lemonade stand & get your kids to “work” it.  It’ll teach them all kinds of great, valuable life lessons as well as earn them some summer spending money (plus 10% for yourself for raising them) & give them something to do to keep them out of your face for awhile. (PS: I have a great homemade recipe on this blog!)

*Water.  When it’s hot outside water is a great toy.  If you’re like us & don’t live somewhere that is flat enough for a cheap-o pool, give the kids water to play with.  Some people would worry it would run the water bill up too much but it really won’t & the few cents extra that it may cost will be worth it to keep those kids busy…trust me.  Invest in a slip & slide maybe.  Or water guns.  Or even just some water in one of those athletic type water bottles that you can squeeze & it streams out.  Hell, fill up a Rubbermaid tub & let them splash each other in the driveway.  Water amazes kids.

*Utilize your crock-pot & outdoor grill.  Grills are a summer staple but a lot of people tend to view crock-pots as being more of a winter time thing.  Not at all!  Using your crock-pot will save you time in the kitchen, therefore giving you more time with the family.  It will not turn your kitchen into a sauna, like the oven will.  Doesn’t suck a lot of electricity, which is important during the summer if you use central air & your bill is higher.

*At the risk of sounding like a Martha Stewart rip-off, try to plan 1-2 things to do with your kids every week.  It doesn’t necessarily have to be a craft, but summer is a great time to keep in tune with your kids…they’re not gone at school all day & quality time is extremely important.  Something as simple as a walk or weeding the flower bed together counts.

*Two words: MOVIE.  NIGHT.  We do movie night pretty much every Friday & Saturday during the school year, & then during summer it’s usually every night.  Sometimes we do family movie night (self-explanatory) & sometimes we send the kids off to their room(s) to do their own movie night.  A lot of times we pop popcorn (from the kernels!) & have other snacks.  It’s just a cool yet cost effective way to get the kids out of your face watch a movie.

*Go to the local library.  At the risk of sounding like a complete After School Special (remember those?!) I highly recommend the library.  It is free(!), they usually will have at least 1 free(!) summertime kids program/event, & nurturing a love of reading early on provides soooo many benefits I won’t bore you with them all here (just think on it a minute & you’ll see). 

*Invest in bug spray.  Lots of it.  I don’t know about you but bugs irritate the living shitballs out of me.  Also invest in some itch relief cream/gel, sunscreen (wear it/put it on the kids every sunny day!), sunburn relief & it wouldn’t hurt to grab one of those to-go “boo-boo” kits….places like Hellmart Wal-Mart used to have them for, like, 98¢ but they’re probably $4.99 nowadays.  You could probably just build your own from stuff you already have.

*PoPsIcLeS!!  Up until this year I was totally one of those popsicle Nazi’s that despised them because when it’s hot out (of course) they get everything within a 2 mile radius drippy & messy & sticky.  Blegh.  However I have seen the light!  You can get a box of 100 (I think) for $3.80 at Hellmart Wal-Mart, the childhood-reminiscent Pop Ice brand.  They taste great & there are lots of them & they’re basically frozen sugar water.  Sure the kids may get a little hyper but in my opinion it’s a fair trade off for a little extra mopping & a chunk of time that I don’t have to hear “I’m bored”.  I’ve even stepped my game up to letting my kids have more than 1 in a five minute period.  I mean hell…it’s not like they’re filling or something, like a T-bone.

*Cook-out time, bitches!  We love feeding people (must have 1/4 Italian in us) & having a cook-out is awesome.  It’s relaxing (well…more so then preparing a regular dinner), you can have friends/family over, you can keep the menu relatively cheap, and everyone can just hang out & enjoy summer….coated in bug spray of course.  If you don’t have a grill just grab a bag of charcoal & go to a local park & utilize one of their built in grills.  If you don’t have a lot of budget then decide on cheap stuff & split the grocery list with whoever is coming (who said you had to be the one to always provide everything?! Plus true friends/family should be more than happy to pitch in, in my opinion).  All in all it’s a good time & one of our favorite things.

*Chores.  As a stay at home Mom I keep a pretty usual, mundane schedule of daily crap to do.  The kids have one or two chores to do regularly but during the summer they get a couple extra.  Why?  Because they’re there & perfectly capable of helping out.  Because there are more dishes to wash, clothes to launder & mess to continually clean up.  Because they can earn money.  Because it teaches them responsibility.  Because they’re good kids & usually don’t mind helping out.

There went Peter Cottontail, half-assing it down the bunny trail….

Easter has come and gone, and I’m relieved.  When the hell did Easter turn into a spring Christmas extravaganza??  I don’t know if it was my dread of having to spend money or the ever continuing after effects of losing my mom or just plain laziness but I could not get in the holiday spirit this year.  Sure we made some homemade Pinterest crafts to decorate with a little but we didn’t even bother getting our other decorations out.  We didn’t even get the kids’ baskets out of the closet until “Easter eve”!

When I was a kid our Easter tradition was to go to my nanny’s, along with my aunt, uncle & 2 cousins.  I remember it being so cozy & exciting & fun…all of us getting together, catching up, dyeing eggs, watching TV, the kids being silly, squeezing in quality time with my nanny…the feelings & smells (eggs boiling, Easter dinner prep, my nanny’s house) & memories I have are hard to put into words.  Family time.  Togetherness.  Relaxation.  I loved it and now I miss it so so much.  First, in 2008, my nanny died.  And it felt like that threw so many things into chaos, including holiday traditions.  What do we do now?  Since my husband, kids & I had moved in to help care for her, we were still living in her house.  So our first Thanksgiving without her consisted of us & my mom at this huge dining room table where countless Easter & Thanksgiving dinners had held court.  It was completely different yet eerie remnants of familiarity remained.  Then, we didn’t even get another Easter with my mom because she passed away the following February.  It rocked my world & still does to this day.

I had thought maybe my aunt would take over the family get together responsibilities but she didn’t, except for once when we had it at her house because we were staying there for awhile.  Essentially, after losing my nanny & mom, the responsibility fell to me.  Which I have mixed feelings about…on one hand I love it because I’m a control freak & it makes me feel special to reign our family in and force quality togetherness down their gullets.  But on the other hand…I constantly question if I’m doing things the right way (aka the way it’s always been done in our family), I question choices that my mom would’ve made, and I miss them & the old traditions so terribly bad it gives me a lump in my throat.  I feel like a total let down in the Holiday Manager department, yet just like the whole birth right storyline in the Lion King it’s as if it’s fallen to me to do it.

This post was totally depressing.  And I can’t decipher an actual point.  It’s more of a deluge of words & feelings.  Thanks for listening.

As your reward, here are some Easter pictures of my amazing family.  Hope you & yours had a good holiday!

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Working on Easter cards for Great Grandma.
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Pinterest craft experiment #1

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Let them dry, pop balloon.
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End up with candy magically inside!
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My kids & nephew working on Pinterest craft #2.

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Wa-la! Stained glass decorations.
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Pinterest craft #3/childhood church craft: hollowed eggs.

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Why yes, that IS my husband's sexy arm. Rawr. 😉

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And yes...I *did* make a blood of christ egg. I had to.
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Unfortunately I didn't write it to be very readable.

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I am obsessed with taking pics of easter eggs. I apologize for the overload.

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Only at our house. Happy Easter!!

PS~  We had my sister & her family (husband & 2 kids) over for egg dyeing & easter dinner, I was just so busy I didn’t get a chance to take any pics.  Boo!  But that is our new tradition, 2 (maybe 3??) years running & I’m so grateful for it.

There’s nothing better than family.