Sunday, June 4, 2017

Thirteen Reasons It Could've Been Me (but wasn't)

In my last post Thirteen Reasons Why I Hated This Show, I talked about why this show was not my cup of tea. Many readers may have thought "What does she know? She probably can't relate to being raped or bullied. She probably had a perfect life growing up." I am here to tell you that is not so. I had much worse happen to me on top or being raped and bullied. My ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) score was very high, yet I made it through somehow and am a well-adjusted and productive adult.

Here are my 13 reasons why it could have been me but wasn't:

  1. Age 9-my sister and father both died suddenly within 6 months or each other.
  2. Age 12/13-all of  7th and 8th grade my sister and I had the nickname lesbian twins.
  3. Age 13-my mother remarried.
  4. Age 14-witnessed stepdad being arrested for selling marijuana.
  5. Age 14-my first sexual experience, never even been kissed, and I was raped by a boy I just met that day. The next day at school I earned the reputation of being easy, since I would sleep with someone I just met. 
  6. Age 14- earned the nickname "black and decker pecker wrecker". I made out with a much older boy and when he went to school the next day his neck was covered in hickeys. OOPS! 
  7. Age 14-I got wasted and was molested in the back seat of a car by a 7th grader.
  8. Age 15-Black and Decker guy had sex with me at a party immediately after having sex with my friend. I didn't know at the time and actually thought I was his girlfriend. At school, I was teased about "sloppy seconds". 
  9. Age 15-got my first real boyfriend, gave him sex and blowjobs willingly only to be dumped 2 weeks before prom. He took one of my friends instead. I spent 2 weeks crying in bed. Everyone at school still thought I was slutty.
  10. Age 15- had a one night stand with Black and Decker guy. The next day he went to school and told everyone I smelled like tuna.
  11. Age 16-I was raped for the second time. 
  12. I witnessed drug/alcohol use in my home throughout my teens.
  13. I was called stupid bitch almost daily throughout my teens.
This is not my whole story, just 13 things that could have pushed me over the edge but didn't. I don't know how I made it through all these events, but I do know I was not going to lay down and quit at life. I knew logically all of it was temporary and would be over when I graduated and that then I could start over. I am happy to report that I have a very happy life, 5 gorgeous kids and a great husband of 20 years!

Do you want to read my whole story? If so tell me in the comments. I just may write a memoir of my life. 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Thirteen Reasons Why I Hated This Show

After a never-ending slew of people either raving about or revolting against this show based on the book by Jay Asher, I decided I had better check it out to see what all the fuss was about. I have to say I was not impressed.

In the spirit of the subject, here are my thirteen reasons why.

  1. Bullying does not cause suicide. Experts agree that there needs to be an underlying issue such as abuse and/or neglect or mental in order for bullying to trigger a suicide attempt. 
  2. Hannah is a mean whiny girl. She can be just as mean as the people she accused of bullying her, including the one person who cared about her deeply.
  3. The parents blame the school. I am sorry but the so called bullying Hannah experienced was so subtle there is no way the school staff could have caught it especially since she never went to turn anyone in. Suing the school will only hurt the students left there.
  4. Most of what happened to Hannah is typical High School bullshit. These things happen to just about every high schooler at some point. Rape is the only exception. 1/4 of high schoolers have been raped and that many to not commit suicide. 
  5. What Hannah did making the tapes is vengeful and vindictive. Leaving the tapes behind is cruel, just the same as the bullying Hannah experienced. To get revenge from the grave is not right. It helps nothing.
  6. Rape does not cause suicide. If it did, 1/4 of kids would be dead. 
  7. The suicide is too graphic. There is no reason to show Hannah slitting her wrists and blood spurting out. It would have sufficed to show her in the tub with the razor blade, then a painful face, then her dead in the bloody water.
  8. Alex's suicide is not a realistic scenario. Guilt about a list would not make him do that.
  9. This show should not be touted as an educational tool. It is more for entertainment if you ask me. 
  10. The beating of Clay was just too much. I do not understand why this had to be shown. 
  11. This show glorifies drinking and drugs. The show portrays this all to be a great fun part of high school. None of it has to be. High school can be a lot of fun without drinking and drug parties. 
  12. This show glorifies rape. Showing the rapes makes it look like a fun thing to do and may turn some boys on and give them the idea.
  13. This show glorifies suicide. Hannah gets so much attention, care, tears shed over her, and love after the suicide and paints her as a heroin, so much that some teens may fantasize about all the attention they will get if they commit suicide, and it will drive them to do it. 
There you have it. My opinion about this awful show. Tell me what you thought of the show in the comments.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Twins-A Blessing or a Curse?

Are twins a blessing or a curse?

The first 31 years of my life, if I had been asked this, I would have said a curse. I grew up with an identical twin sister and I always felt as if I never measured up to her. She was the leader and I was the follower. She was the smart pretty thin good twin. I was the dumb ugly fat evil twin. She was always better than I was in every way. By the time I was 32 I would change my mind and say twins are a blessing.

I was at my twelve-week prenatal appointment and everything checked out great. The doctor asked if I had and questions and I asked her if I was measuring big because I was showing a lot and had gained twelve pounds already. She said I was measuring where I was supposed to and that it was probably because it was my fourth pregnancy in quick succession. She told me we could do a dating ultrasound to be sure I wasn't farther along than I thought I was.
I knew for a fact my due date was correct because I had been keeping track of ovulation. I reluctantly agreed. As I walked to outpatient scheduling I thought "this lady is stupid, my due date is not off." I scheduled the ultrasound for the following week anyway.
The day of the appointment I almost just didn't go. I would have to pick up a babysitter, take a one, three, and five year old out by myself and have them sit in the tiny radiology waiting area with the babysitter during the ultrasound. I was thinking "This is such a waste of time, I know my damn due date is correct." I went anyway. That's when things got real!
As I lay on the ultrasound table and the ultrasound technician started to scan my already huge belly I saw two babies on the screen and nearly screamed "NO ******* WAY, THIS CANNOT BE TRUE, KILL ME NOW." I stayed silent and waited for her to say something. She then said in the most cheerful of voices "oh, look, two babies!" I snapped "I know, I saw that already!" She kept talking incessantly about all the cool stuff she was doing but I was too pissed to look and just stared at the ceiling. When she said " Here is baby A's heartbeat, here is baby B's heartbeat," I snapped "I do not want to look at any of this crap, just do whatever it is you need to do so I can go home." I spent the next twenty minutes staring at the ceiling, pissed as hell, having racing thoughts about what this meant for us.Thankfully she was silent the rest of the time until she asked if I wanted pictures. Of course, I did because how else was I going to prove that it was true to myself or to my husband?
I told my twin sister I was having twins and that they were due on September 21st, 2008. She thought it was so cool and said that maybe they would be born on our birthday which is August 15th. I told her that would be impossible since that was 5 weeks before they were due and it would be too early. What are the chances?
I was pretty upset for the first few weeks. I wanted 4 kids not 5, and surely not twins. I didn’t want them to have the experience I had of competing with a twin and always feeling inferior. However, as the weeks passed I got used to the idea of having twins. I started telling everyone we were getting a bonus baby. I loved and wanted them both and talked to them constantly, and when there were growth issues with one of them I would tell her “come on baby grow”.
My water broke abruptly on August 14th, 2008 at 10 PM and by 2 AM August 15th they were here! YES! They were born on my and my twin sister’s 32nd birthday! What are the odds of that? Well, according to the Minnesota Twin and Family Study it is a 1 in 3.8 million chance! WOW!
After being flown on a life flight to another hospital they spent a short 6 days in NICU then were sent home. Caring for them was much harder to do than it had been with all my others. I had never had a preemie and never two babies at once. I slept very little and spent all my time nursing two babies. They grew and thrived. They were fun babies, very content and quiet. As toddlers, they found ways to get in trouble together. As preschoolers there was a lot of fighting, scratching, biting and hair pulling. There was also a lot of laughter and play. As kindergarteners and first graders they were in different classrooms and began to come into their own. It was a little sad for me to send them to school, since they are my youngest children, and to start seeing them more as individuals than a pair. It has been very good for them though.
Today my twins are eight years old and about to enter the second grade and if you ask me now if they are a blessing or a curse, as a mother of twins, I would say a blessing. We still call our youngest twin our little bonus baby!

What do you think? Blessing or Curse?

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Tearing Down the Walls

The day after Trump became president my daughter went to school crying because she was sure her Hispanic friend would be sent back to Mexico.

That very day at the bus stop a group of kids were chanting "build that wall" over and over to a group of Hispanic children.

Families and children are afraid and confused. People are being bullied, mistreated and abused.

This hate has got to stop. It seems hate is being encouraged these days.

Here is a novel idea. Instead of building new walls of exclusion, how about we tear down some existing ones.

There are many groups of people that have walls they need to get over in order to be accepted.

Just to name a few: those with mental illness, those with disabilities, those with addiction issues, minority races, the LGBTQ community, those of different religious beliefs, those that participate in social programs and more.

America is a melting pot. It was meant to be a place of acceptance for all people. This is not the America I see today. It is not what it should be. ALL of us need to start to tear down these walls that separate us instead of creating new ones. Although they are invisible, they are a barrier as strong as any physical wall could ever be.

Can we love all people? Can we accept those that are not like us? Can we see and try to understand their struggles? Can we include them? Can we give it a try?

Let's all do that. Let's start today!

Monday, June 27, 2016

ADHD in Aisle 3

Last week 3 of my children had dentist appointments 20 miles from my home in the town I usually do all my errands. I usually do errands alone to avoid behavior problems, this time, however, in order to save a trip back to town, I decided to do my errands after the dentist appointments. Keep in mind we were at the dentist for 2 hours.

After the dentist, we went to Target to get a few birthday gifts for parties coming up. After Target my 13-year-old son and I needed hair cuts so we went to Great Clips. My other son who is 9 years old and has moderate ADHD started getting antsy and was peeking behind the curtain to see me, standing on a chair, wandering back and forth from the product shelves to the opposite wall. All the while, my 7 yr old daughter was sitting nicely and being quiet. By the time the hair cuts were completed we had been gone for four hours.

Looking back, I now see the error of my ways.
I guess I should have known better than to think my 9 yr old could make it through another store, judging by the way he acted at Great Clips, but I pressed my luck. Next stop, the grocery store.

We began the shopping trip with the kids each being asked to retrieve a grocery item. I allowed them to choose fruit and put things into the cart to keep them busy. Five minutes into the trip, my 9-year-old started running. I begged, I pleaded, I nearly cried.

After a bit, I grabbed his neck so he would look at me and quietly said, "Please slow down." This is when things got a little out of hand. We only had dairy and frozen left to get through, so I thought we could manage. He immediately began walking is super slow motion. He loudly said, also super slowly "I can't keep up." He looked ridiculous and I was mortified. People were staring. Others were shaking their heads as if to say "She can't control her own kid." I ignored all the looks and told him I was not waiting and the other kids and I went to the frozen foods without him.

Eventually, he showed up. I assumed this would be the easy part because I was allowing each of them to choose a TV dinner, which I rarely get. He chose his quickly then decided it would be a good time to begin writing the word "poop" on every freezer door since I was distracted trying to choose dinners for myself, my husband, and the 2 kids left at home. I had no idea he had done this until he had written it on every freezer door in that aisle. I held onto him while my 13-year-old went to all of the doors and rubbed the word away.

This concluded the shopping and all the kids were super helpful putting the groceries on the belt, but then after they were done, the 9-year-old was goofing off at the end where everyone walks through and he was getting in people's way.

What people do not understand is that ADHD kids do not have the same impulse control as the rest of us and often display behaviors 3-5 years behind their actual age. He will be 10 in July. Yes, he looks like a normally developed 5th grader. But behavior reflects that of a 5-7-year-old. It seems as if he has bad parenting. I will tell you, none of my other kids act like that. I actually spend double or triple the amount of time correcting his behaviors than I do on the rest of the children. He really is a very sweet kid with a ton of amazing qualities. They are just difficult to see through all the rambunctious behavior.

Next time you see a seemingly normal looking child acting out at a store, keep in mind that there is maybe something you do not know that can not be seen. Consider that this tired mama works hard to help her child overcome these obstacles but can not possibly stay on top of it every second of every day. Consider the daily struggle this family encounters and the judgments by others they face. Above all else, recognize the treasure each child is and realize there are probably amazing things about this "terror" that you are not seeing. It makes me very sad that people can not see the amazing kid under all of the crazy behaviors. I am the only one who really knows him. Let me tell you-I am oh so blessed!

Do you have a child with struggles that are hard for others to see? What are your solutions?

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Grilled Hawaiian Chicken Sandwiches and Hawaiian Pasta Salad

I am not a food blogger but I just needed to share my versions of these recipes! I don't know how to make them printable so I apologize for that in advance! I hope you like them!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Motherhood:What it Means to Me

Motherhood is painful, scary, and unpredictable.

Motherhood is body changing, life giving, and life altering.

Motherhood is little hands, little feet, and big hearts.

Motherhood is late nights and early mornings.

Motherhood is cuddles, kisses, and hugs.

Motherhood is soft, comforting, and precious.

Motherhood is creating, discovering, and exploring.

Motherhood is anger, yelling, and apologies.

Motherhood is compassion, support, and forgiveness.

Motherhood is hellos, goodbyes, coming, and going.

Motherhood is joyful, peaceful, and graceful.

Motherhood is school programs, football games, and dance recitals.

Motherhood is powerful, all encompassing, and soul searching.

Motherhood is overwhelming, disappointing, and bewildering.

Motherhood is tickles, laughter, and rosy cheeks.

Motherhood is hard, confusing, and frustrating.

Motherhood is wonderful, exhilarating, and fulfilling.

Motherhood is tiring, thankless, and heartbreaking.

Motherhood is holding on and letting go.

Motherhood is lonely, sacrifice, and expensive.

Motherhood is giggles, smiles, and games.

Motherhood is dance parties, picnics, and trips.

Motherhood is busy, crazy, and scheduled.

Motherhood is goofy, silly, and sweet.

Motherhood is beautiful, important, and magical.

Motherhood is emotional, brutal, and  frightening.

Motherhood is messy, irritating, and cluttered.

Motherhood is forts, movies, and talks.

Motherhood is everything, indescribable, and priceless.

Motherhood is love!