Thursday, January 31, 2008

How does this happen?

My nephew is 5 months old and just got out of the hospital with a broken pelvis, broken ribs, a broken arm and a broken hand. FIVE MONTHS OLD!! I'm so mad that I can't even express it anymore. It's like I'm so blown away by recent, ridiculous family events that I've grown numb. I guess I'll try to re-hash everything but it's such a big cluster that I'll be all over the place so bear with me. OK, a little history:

My brother is Brad. He's 24 years old and just moved out of Mom's house last year when he found out his girlfriend was pregnant. My mother is mentally ill. Brad is completely dependent on other people. He gets severely depressed when he doesn't have a girlfriend. I don't really think it would matter who it is as long as they cater to his "needy" lifestyle. Since Brad turned 18 he has stolen thousands of dollars from Mom and my step-dad. He's stolen checks and cash and taken objects to the pawn shop. He somehow feels entitled to all of these things cause he feels like he was denied "things" throughout his life. Brad has another daughter from a previous relationship who he has virtually nothing to do with, including paying his child support. My mom recently started paying his child support for him to keep him out of jail. He has chosen not to see Izzy (his 4-year-old daughter) because his girlfriend, Beth, has forbidden it and told him he had to choose. Beth thinks Izzy is "the spawn of Satan" and she has wished her dead on multiple occasions. She even went so far as to threaten to cut Izzy's mom's brake lines and said, "I hope Jennifer and Izzy are in the car together and they both die in the wreck." A couple weeks back, Brad came home from work and Beth yelled at him, "Take this effin' baby before I break his neck and throw him out the window!!" For some reason, Brad believes that these things are only said in "anger" and that Beth doesn't really mean it. Whatever. So my sister called Izzy's mom and she proceeded to get a restraining order against Beth. And the only reason we ever find out about the things she says is because they have fights and while Brad is angry he tells us things he normally wouldn't. Beth comes from a pretty little know, multiple family members in and out of prison, drug dealer, alcoholics, etc.... Beth also has a daughter (McKenzie) from a previous marriage. She does NOT have custody of this little girl because when Kenzie was a baby, Beth left her in the bathtub and she was hurt. Go figure. Is anyone starting to get the picture? Beth is no June Cleaver. She and Brad both did drugs throughout her pregnancy and live this totally crazy lifestyle and are always working out ways to stay on government support. Like, if Brad gets a job then Beth quits hers so she can get more food stamps, but for some reason whenever my sister would go to their house, there would be no food in the fridge. I'm sure she was selling them. Anyway, fast forward to the birth of Nathan, Brad and Beth's baby. I had already moved to Texas when he was born, so all I've ever seen of him is pictures. My mom babysits him often and Beth's crazy family babysits him mucho mucho. Like I said, Beth's family is just as nutty as Beth, but my brother doesn't listen to me so it's been no use talking to him about it. It doesn't seem to bother him that his child could be in danger. Oh well. Every time my sister would go and visit little Nathan at Brad's house he was never dressed, Beth was never dressed, the house always a disgusting mess and Brad and Beth were always fighting. On one occasion she was beating the crap out of Brad and kicked him out of the house. Like he did something..... Anyway, he went crawling back like always, using Nathan as an excuse (isn't that how all violent relationships happen?). We all saw this coming. At least my family did. I guess this is par for the course for Beth's family cause they don't seem upset by it at all. So last week Angie (my sister) calls me to tell me that Nathan is in Riley's hospital and Brad and Beth are in jail. She went through all his horrible injuries and tells me they suspect Brittle Bone disease. What was so bad about that is that I was struggling with whether to hope he had Brittle Bone or not. I mean, if you think about it, if he had that then that would totally explain everything, but if he didn't then that would mean that some evil, horrible person did this to him. After the tests came back they determined that he did NOT have that disease. I'm disgusted by it all. It makes me want to throw up. That poor, helpless little boy. I want him to come and live with me so bad so I can just love him and be gentle with him and smile at him and make him laugh and feel warm and secure. I want him not to hear screaming all the time and not be jerked around and not wondering whether he would ever be fed again and not shiver from the cold. I want none of that for him. I can't make the lump in my throat go down. I feel like I swallowed a big ball of cotton. I can't do anything from here. I don't have the money to go there. I feel like I'm just making excuses and I should just go. I know that I couldn't keep him here though because my stupid brother and his stupid girlfriend are ENTITLED to visitation and the chance to get him back. For the time being, Nathan is in foster care because he had to have surgery and has to stay with a medically certified family until he is stable. Oh but wait, it gets even worse. My sister, Angie, is a state licensed Clinical Social Worker. She loves children, is wonderful with children, but has never been able to have children of her own. She has helped hundreds of families and stepped up to the plate when all this went down with poor little Nathan. She went to court and met with the caseworkers so that she could keep him until Brad and Beth were deemed "rehabilitated," whatever that means. Know what they said???? Angie's work schedule would not work out with his needs and so they're gonna place him with Beth's crazy ass aunt. What purpose do they really think that's gonna serve??? Beth will be there everyday!!!! Hell, her mom just lives right next door. SHE'LL BE THERE ALL THE FREAKIN' TIME!!!!! Angie told them that she would take a few weeks off work to get settled with the baby and to find an appropriate day care for him for when she went back to work. I'm so pissed because none of it makes any sense! I keep asking myself how they could pass over Angie for Beth's aunt??? Don't tell me to trust the system and it'll all work out. I used to work for CPS in Indiana before my husband enlisted. I have seen the system from the inside. It's all just a big mess. It's a big mess. Don't talk to me about funding and all of those things, I'm sick to death of hearing excuses like that. So now here I am, not able to help my nephew, not able to give him hope for his future. I told my sister that we've lost this little boy to Beth's family. Brad is totally brain washed by this crazy idiot and her family. Nathan is doomed to grow up askin', "When's Uncle Joey gettin' out?" He is destined to grow up and repeat the mistakes of his family.

Dear God, please help my nephew. Please help him rise above his unfortunate circumstances. Please encourage Brad and Beth to make a miraculous turnaround. Help them to love their children. Help them WANT to love their children. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Before I Was a Mom

A friend of mine sent this to me. I think it's perfect. Enjoy!

Before I was a Mom I never learned the words to a lullaby.
I never thought about immunizations.
Before I was a Mom - I had never been puked on.
Pooped on.
Drooled on.
Chewed on.
Peed on.
I had complete control of my mind and my thoughts.
I slept all night.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple little grin.
I never sat up for hours watching a baby sleep.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces when I couldn't stop the hurt.
I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much.
I never knew I would love being a Mom.
Before I was a Mom - I didn't know the feeling of having my heart outside my body.
I didn't know that bond between a mother and her child.
I didn't know that something so small could make me feel so important and happy.
I had never known the warmth, the joy, the love, the heartache, the wonderment or the satisfaction of being a Mom.
I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much before I was a Mom.

And remember that behind every successful mother... is a basket of dirty laundry.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Sometimes when you're all alone...

In college I had a roommate who would not laugh out loud if she was by herself. I mean, like, not at a funny movie or a show or the radio or a book. I don't know how she would laugh because I was never there when she was alone, but I imagine she would just hold her breath and smile at the same time and then look around to make sure that the nobody that was there with her didn't see her. I can't imagine being so self conscious that you can get embarrassed when you're all alone. I admit, I've got a barrage of self-esteem issues, but when I'm alone there are no holds barred. I wonder if she ever sang to herself in her bedroom mirror with the door closed. Maybe someone slammed open the door once when she was doing that as a child and it traumatized her so deeply that she vowed never to show emotion again in private. I have held very deep conversations with myself (out loud) in the privacy of my own home. These days I can even do it in my car cause people will just assume that I've got one of those Blue Tooth thingies in the ear they can't see. Little do they know, I'm just a loon talking to myself. Once I was listening to morning talk radio and they said that you can test your breath by licking the back side of your hand and then waving it around to dry and then smelling it. I was about to test that theory out when I came to a light and I looked at the car next to me to see some guy smelling the back of his hand. KARMA was on my side that day. Strange how these thoughts come to me.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

What's Up Doc?

I went to my new doctor today. To say the least, it was very awkward and somewhat embarrassing. I went because I've been having weird pains all through my torso. It's like a massive pressure on my ribs and it seems to originate from my right side. I am guessing it's my gallbladder and from a poor diet. I've also been having quite a bit of back pain, but most of that I assume is from the weight I still need to lose from my pregnancy. See, most of that weight seemed to settle in my boob area and so I've had a ton of upper back pain. Anyway, I get to the office and it's kind of run down, but I was not put off by it. It actually looks more like an urgent care facility, but not as nice. Like, the chairs in the waiting room are only slightly better than padded metal folding chairs and the entire room would shake when the water fountain would turn on and off. When I signed in they had a ridiculous giant pen that was a gift from one of their many pharmaceutical reps. Also, there was no one there in front of me, but instead of taking the clipboard that I had just signed in on while I was standing at the window, the receptionist actually watched while I walked to my seat and then opened the window to read my name - only to call me right back up to the window so she could give me all my new patient paperwork. Ok, so paperwork's done and they call me back. I thought it was weird that they had the janitor there in the middle of the day, but I was still nervous about the whole new doctor thing and didn't pay him much mind. The exam room was so drab. There was no reading material so I intently studied the aged pictures of the human anatomy tacked to the wall. Soon there was a knock (I was happy for the quick entrance), but the janitor from the hall was who came in. He looked at me and said, "Hi, I'm Dr. Hoohoo." Ok, that's not his real name, but I'm not one to name names so for now he Hoohoo. I think my attempt to hide my surprise was not successful. I thought for a moment, "Is he joking?" but he wasn't. This was my new insurance chosen doctor. He was in jeans and a t-shirt and didn't even have a lab coat on. He was a middle-aged handsome man as well, which makes everything worse. I prefer an old doctor with a good sense of humor. Now, if you've read my first post you'll know what his first question was. "Now, tell me how to pronounce your last name?" I laughed, I always do when they ask, it's like giving them permission to laugh and there's no discomfort. Do you know what my doctor did then? He raised his hand in the air (like he was "raising the roof") and started singing, "HOOOO, HOOOO" like they yell in rap songs. Oh, yes he did. I felt my eyes bulge out and stopped myself from jumping up and running away. Not only do I prefer a practically elderly doctor, I prefer one dressed in professional attire. I am fully aware of the fact that the "clothes do NOT make the man," but it just makes me feel as though they dressed for something important when they take the time to put themselves together. I feel as though being a physician is something important so at least put on some khaki's and a button down. However, I cast all of those feelings aside cause I do not want to mess with contacting the insurance company to change docs so I am still giving him the benefit of the doubt. Now he starts going over my medical history. He stops when he gets to the date of my last pap smear and comments that I need to get another one done, but he didn't stop with just a reminder. He went on to say, "You don't need an appointment for that here, we understand that people have hectic lives so why don't you and the girls go out, have a few margaritas and have 'em drop you off on the way back...I'll hook you up then."
::::nervous laugh:::: "Ok"
So, on to the examination. Understand, I'm practically jumping out of my skin at this point. I go on to explain to him the problems I'd been experiencing. During my explanation he comes and stands beside me and, literally, starts massaging my shoulders. On the one hand I was like "what the crap is going on here?" but on the other hand I was like, "oh my god that is awesome." Humor me, I guess I need to get to a spa or something. He asked me if that made my back feel better, and after answering him honestly he jumped in the air, clapped his hands together, laughed and said,"Ok then, that'll be an extra fifty bucks!" What? He then turned all serious and was looking at me from the side when he stated, "You know, you ARE a heavy breasted woman." Now, I've been called a lot of things, but never that. I must have turned three shades of purple cause I was totally embarrassed. He explained that he was saying that because if I wanted a breast reduction he could "hook me up." At this point I was really starting to wonder if he actually was the janitor and was just pretending, but then he started with some real doctor questions about my gallbladder and went into a big dramatic explanation using grand gestures and poking me in places that made sense. After explaining a little more to him he ordered an ultrasound and some blood work. He thinks that along with my gallbladder that I may have hypothyroidism. AWESOME!!! If I have that then I can blame my weight on it and not just the fact that I spend hours and hours on end laying around on the floor playing with my 15 month old and snacking. I really don't think I have that, but I can dream right? And for all you who do have it, I'm sorry for sounding so insensitive. I never even considered that for any reason when I went in there. He was actually the one who brought it up. He said that my extreme fatigue would not be related to my gallbladder and the fact that I am having trouble losing this weight, even with sensible diet and losing a ton of hair are tale tell signs so we'll just have to wait and see. The rest of the appointment went pretty typically, but before I left he stopped me and said, " Don't forget to get in here for that pap." Thanks, Doc.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Christmas with the al.

When we moved into this house I was stoked because it came with one of those fridges that has the slide out shelves. I remember telling Nick how cool that was, but after being here for 6 months I just realized that I have never once slid one of those shelves out to get something. I still move everything around to get to what I need in the back. That inevitably prompts me clean out the fridge. I ask myself now, "self, if you didn't have to move everything around to get to what you need, then would you ever clean out the fridge?" The answer is, "probably not." So I think GE needs to do everyone a favor and just do away with the sliding shelves, cause we all need cleaner fridges.

No seriously, folks. I haven't posted in awhile because the family has been here for two weeks. Yes, fourteen days of family living in my house. It wouldn't be so bad, I think, if we lived where they lived, but because we live in a different state that creates an obligation to go sight seeing. Hell, I haven't even gone sight seeing, but once they step foot here they've got their plans all laid out. Forget about schedules and routines for the kids, when they're here you gotta turn on the entertainment button in your brain and schedules go out the window. Now that they're gone I'm stuck with a 15 month old who feels that staying up til 11 pm is cool and sleeping til 9:30 is A-okay. I would love to sleep til 9:30 everyday, but since my oldest has to be on the bus at freakin' 6:30 in the morning, 9:30 is outta the question. In the meantime, I'm losing precious sleep and the patience that's required when dealing with tres ninos. I wish I had the button that makes the swirly symbol so I could put it above the second "n" in ninos, but for those that don't know, it's pronounced "neenyos." Ok, and the tres is "trace." Overall, we had a great Christmas though. The kids went temporarily insane on opening day and have since justified their constant inside playing with justifiable excuses that their toys are new and they wanna play with them bunches. Yesterday I had ten kids running amok in the house. Yes, ten. I only have three children. However, my kids apparently got some really cool toys cause every friggin' kid on our street decided it was time to visit the Hooes. Truthfully, it was kinda fun. There were actually little girls that came to play too! I have always dealt with boys. I say "dealt" on purpose cause that is what one does with boys. All this girl stuff is totally new to me, including the glass breaking soprano squeals that go along with it. The neighbor girls were here modeling in Olivia's dress-up trunk clothes, and my younger boy (with his two friends) were dressing up in his pirate gear and chasing the girls away with swords, snakes, dinosaurs and anything else that little girls apparently find terrifying. And then it was "do my hair time." Geez, what else have I forgotten from my childhood. I've lived with boys for so long that I worry I've forgotten how to be a princess. I want my girl to be a girl. I really don't want a tomboy. I want a little girl in dresses and bows, who finds great satisfaction in being able to do the splits and handsprings. My husband, on the other hand, thinks there's nothin' cuter than a little girl in hunting clothes toting a 12 gauge around. I guess we'll see how it turns out. I really can't wait to see... it's gonna be fun. Raising kids is like riding 'It's a Small World' at Disneyland, you never know what's gonna be around the next corner. Ok, so that's my update for tonight. It's 10:34 and I'm gonna try and reason my non-talking 15 month old into bed. Much love my sistas and brothas (lol that's funny) and good-night.