Questionable

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I said the word ghetto today, and got a funny look from a stranger nearby.

I realized they thought I was being offensive. I reealized they thought I was saying something racial.

And all I could think was…if you think the word “ghetto” has anything to do with race, it is YOU that is being racist.

Ghetto is a lifestyle. A lifestyle anyone can choose.

I have some very ghetto relatives, as white as I am. They make a lifestyle choice to be this way.

It isn’t about color, race, ethnicity, etc. Anyone can be ghetto.

Just as anyone can be upperclass.

I realize some have an easier path than others; I understand privilege.

But I also understand this word shouldn’t be offensive or thought of in terms of race.

If you have feedback, feel free to share.

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My favorite day, Friday

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My youngest son had his crib in our bedroom as a baby. He never took to a pacifier. He never had a special comfort item. It was just…me. He was (and still is) an awful sleeper. He may have a sleep disorder according to the doctor.

He slept with me quite a bit as a small child. It was the only way for either of us to get rest. At age 2, he moved into his own room, and a twin sized bed with bedrails. And I continued to end up sleeping next to him most nights when he woke.

Transitioning him to his own bed was hard. Trying to get him to sleep alone even harder. So, floor bed Friday became a thing. We would “camp” out together on the living room floor every Friday. It is one of the best ideas I have ever had.

Last year I was considering being a surrogate. It ended up not working out due to a change in insurance. At that time we had gotten a sleeper sofa for Friday because I didn’t think I could sleep on the floor pregnant. Well…this damn sleeper sofa is worse than the floor!!!

Truth is, I love our Friday cuddle night just as much as my now 5 yo little guy does.

Some days, I still end up in his twin bed, in his room, when he has a hard night. I don’t mind either. I know these days will come to an end, and I will miss them. Even when he wakes me several times a night…someday, I will wish for these moments back.

We both look forward to Friday. We count down the days all week.

So happy for our fun tradition.

Happy Friday everyone!!

Current mood: life is good

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I am lounging in a steamy hot bath, typing on my phone. Maybe not my brightest moment…

Today, I was able to volunteer for the second time this week in my little’s classroom.

I visited my daughter at her college this week, and saw her perform for choir. Later this week, I will watch her perform in a play.

My husband and 2 boys are watching a movie together. It is a movie that doesn’t interest me…hence, the bath.

The day wasn’t perfect. Middle misbehaved at the before school program. Little got sick at school and was sent home. Middle struggled with homework.

But life is good! I am feeling better! Even though I think I may be getting a cold…my attitude is so much better. I am not so overwhelmed. I don’t feel hopeless. I am able to cope with middle’s behaviors better. I am able to feel more relaxed rather than wound tight and anxious.

Medication made the difference. Grateful my doctor kept trying to fi d the right fit for me.

I am trying to convince my husband to allow me to get an exotic (but not dangerous) pet. Life is good.

Nothing like the holidays to ruin your good mood…

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Things at home lately have been pretty good. We are all taking our medication. Small things no longer feel impossible. Middle hasn’t been on my last nerve every day. Overall, just a better attitude and less chaotic household.

Enter the holiday season. A brother I don’t hear from often asking what my kids want (hoping I say cash and keep it simple). My response was spend time with my kids if you want to do something nice. They don’t need “stuff” or cash.

I got a response that accused me of isolating myself (cuz clearly when I request he actually spent time with my kids, I am truly isolating).

The thing is my family SUCKS. I haven’t spoken with my mom since June. When I got angry with her for asking my daughter to lie to me and hide that my SIL was pregnant from me, she told me she was “done with me.” Somehow, I was wrong to be angry, and it is my fault.

When I gave my older brother several chances, and he continues to be drunk or high and contact me using racial slurs and thinks he is funny…it is also MY fault I no longer deal with him.

When my other brother chose to carry a gun on his hip to family Thanksgiving, and I asked him to put it out in his car, since foster licensing stated my kids (at that time not yet legally adopted) were not allowed near weapons and he refused…so my family had to leave…again MY fault. He has rights too, damn it. When his wife told me I had my kids to get money (wtf, are you kidding me??!) and I worried I would beat her ass and my brother would then need his concealed weapon to save her…totally my fault.

Oh, and my husband’s family isn’t much better. Trump voters. How can they claim to love and support out family when they voted for a racist?

It is all so messy.

We are going on vacation over Christmas…fuck it. For real.

Playdates and misbehaving

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My littles have begun having playdates with friends.

The youngest has had his friend to our house twice so far. Both times went great, and we hope to do it again soon.

Middle has gone to play at a neighbors a few times. This kid is fearful of dogs, so our house isn’t an option.

The problem? If middle asks to go and we say “no” he is a nightmare all evening. He seems to sabotage himself sometimes too. For instance, he wanted to play today…yet he proceeded to rip all the corners of his library reading book and throw them on his floor. So, of course I said he would not be allowed to play at the neighbors house today.

I can only assume he is sabotaging on purpose. I don’t understand why.

If he does go to their home, I am told he behaves there. However, when he comes home he is rude and mean. He will be extra mean to his brother, refuse to interact with anyone nicely, and again make the evening miserable.

So we are in a bad situation with him either way. Any day he asks to go to his friend’s house, we are guaranteed a behaviorally challenging night.

Oh, the joys…

Dear “family,”

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Dear “Family,”

Here is the thing…

If you need to ask me what my kids want for Christmas, chances are, you don’t need to worry about a gift.

If you have no idea what they would want, clearly you haven’t spent the time with them to get to know them.

This means you don’t need to cover your ass for the holiday, and spend some crazy amount of money on a gift pretending you care.

If you truly cared, you would spend a little time with them.

So, those who don’t take the time to know us, we don’t need the gifts that are supposed to buy our forgiveness for your lack of interest.

Keep your bribery gifts and your money.

We are good.

Thanks so much!

Thankful for Stability

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After spending some time with an acquaintance recently, I realized how thankful I am to be financially stable. We don’t live paycheck to paycheck like so many people do. That is how I grew up…my family always lived payday to payday, sometimes floating checks to cover until money became available.

I realized this small family was living this way. At nearly 40 yrs old, I am so glad I don’t have to add financial stress to my list of worries.

We are financially ok. We have savings. We have college funds for the kids. We are actually GOOD at saving and budgeting.

We aren’t one small incident from disaster. If the car needs repair, we can handle it. If something breaks at home, we can repair or replace it.

I recently paid for an aquaintance to purchase a headstone for her father. A young girl, single mom, who had lost her father too young. Her family doesn’t have much, and she was trying to raise the money herself.

The stone wasn’t fancy, and she chose it to be inexpensive. Considering she couldn’t afford anything, she chose the inexpensive option and asked for help. Her efforts were mostly ignored. Initially, I donated a small amount. I had hoped by donating first her friends and family would step up. They didn’t. A month later, she only had one other donation.

My husband and I decided to just pay the balance. It felt good. Having lost my dad not too long ago, I understood how important this must have felt for her.

This is the first place I have spoken of it. I don’t want attention for doing it. I just hope she remembers the gesture when she can help another in some way.

I think if we could all just do random kind things, the world would be better. It doesn’t have to be financial (we just happened to be able to do this). It could be holding a door, or assisting someone with finding the soap in the store. Who knows? A small gesture can make someone’s day!

Someone always has it better, and someone always has it worse than you. This is something I try to remember.

Crafts and sadness

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I recently participated in a craft event. It went better than I expected, simply because I expected nothing. I figured, if I sell anything it was a bonus. But, I actually sold more than I would have anticipated. Especially considering someone was selling similar items that I felt were much better than my own.

The day was hard for me though. It was opening day of the gun deer hunting season. My dad wad on my mind. It is a day I miss him a little more, as he loved to go deer hunting.

I also realized it has been a full year since I stopped at his grave. Last year, I went on opening day…and haven’t been back.

I have a hard time with death. I function in not really acknowledging death. I know it happened…I just choose to not deal with it.

In some ways I feel guilty that I haven’t been to his grave more. But I don’t really believe I need to go…but it seems disrespectful somehow.

I struggle with his death. The way it happened…the drawn out ICU stay and numerous procedures. I struggle with the fact that I was the only one who took time to see him daily. The only one who watched the changes happen…from bad, to better, to worse, to no hope. I saw his eyes go from hopeful, to scared, to hopeless.

I miss you, Dad.

Ignored

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We had a meeting with my middle son’s teacher, principal, school guidance counselor, and school psychiatrist in the first month of school. We indicated we felt he could benefit from an IEP. They said his diagnoses were not enough, and he didn’t qualify.

Currently, he is diagnosed ADHD, RAD, and DMDD.

We were told we could start a behavioral intervention plan, to have ideas in place if needed.

Well, his state testing was done without IEP accomodations. He did fine in reading, but totally blew the math portion. Both tests have a time limit of 30 min. He completed the tests is less than 8 min.

While reading shows he is doing well, we don’t have an accurate idea how well since he didn’t take his time.

Math showd he is struggling. His teacher told me the 8 min time was his second try…the first time he took the test in under 5 min. There isn’t supposed to be a second attempt, but she gave him one somehow. Yet, he still raced through the test far too quickly.

We also tried to educate the team about RAD, and how this impacts how to handle him. We were careful to point out not to use nicknames or endearment terms with him, only his name. We explained teachers shouldn’t be affectionate with him, as he creates inappropriate bonds and it breaks the bonding we are trying to establish.

When I visited his classroom a week ago, I heard his teacher refer to him as “sweetheart” several times. I wanted to scream. She also hugged him when he asked. Right in front of me. My child rarely hugs me on his own. It seems silly…but his teacher hugging him ensures he won’t hug me. It takes away our bond, and he places his trust there instead.

We also asked that all correspondence be done via email. If he sees teacher notes, good or bad, his behavior escalates at home. And, what do you know, notes are written in his planner anyway.

It is hard to have a kid with these different needs. We struggle to get ut right too. But it is frustrating when we took time to sit down and write it all out…and the established guidelines aren’t followed anyway.

And I know they mean well. But they cause us harm when they do it their way instead.

A moment to be petty

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Can I just take a moment to complain? I know it is petty and stupid…but I need a moment.

Last week, my husband legally adopted my adult daughter. At age 18, she was able to consent to a step-parent adoption without notifiying her biological dad (who she no longer has a relationship with).

This is awesome, and I am so proud of them both. It was a long time coming, anf I am relieved to have it finally legal.

So…where is my complaint?

Not one person in my family acknowledged the announcement.

I haven’t spoken with my mom in about 5 mos (after she asked my daughter to keep secrets about the family from me). Our daughter does speak to her though, so you would think her grandmother would acknowledge her adoption. My niece also is close with our daughter…but is supported a lot by my mother, so she also hasn’t acknowledged the big news.

It is maddening. It is petty. It is unkind. My family sucks.

This is why I don’t deal with them…it is all drama!

Ok…thanks for letting me vent.

Happy national adoption awareness month!!