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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Tuesday 5: It be Stormin'

Hey everyone!  Time for a Tuesday 5.  I'm not doing these regularly anymore, but that's okay, I still like to contribute every once in a while.  I get so caught up in the random mundane stuff, between a new job and a prayer retreat, it's been a busy few weeks.

1.  It is raining cats and dogs over here today.  Don't step in a poodle!  Haha.  We had the tornado sirens going off about an hour ago and it's still raining like crazy.  Just another wild day in Kansas.  When I was a kid and it was getting ready to storm, my Dad would open up the garage door and we'd sit on lawn chairs in the garage, just watching the weather roll in.  I love the smell of a storm moving in and I love the smell of the cleansed earth after it's done.  I've become a bit more cautious as I've gotten older, but I still love to watch storms roll in.  That elemental feeling is hard to describe.

2.  Unfortunately, bad weather now means my husband is sure to get called out.  He's a signal maintainer for the railroad and whenever bad weather hits, he almost always gets called out, because either the signals are malfunctioning because of lightning strikes or the water rises over the tracks and causes stuff to go off.  He got called out about 30 minutes or so ago.  I do worry, but I know that he is good at his job and he is a smart guy, so he's going to do what he can to mitigate any danger.  Still, I sometimes hate when he gets called out.  My stepkids are with their mothers and I'm here alone with the cats.  Thank goodness for books.

3.  Speaking of books, I just finished Paige Kellerman's new book, The Beer's Folded and the Laundry's Cold.  It was full of funny anecdotes related to her new role as mother and housewife.  It's a quick read and as always, full of pop culture references.  Paige is very good at turning a phrase and I enjoyed it.  She's also a fellow Kansan, so I'm sure she's outside right now looking up at the sky, too!  You can read more of the funny by following her on Facebook and at her blog, There's More Where That Came From.  Buy it here.

4.  This week is National Infertility Awareness Week.  I have blogged about this several times, but my (in)fertility journey has been a long and arduous one.  It was hard.  It was REALLY hard.  It's not hard to remember how I felt during those endless months of being poked and prodded, told I was too fat, given endless vaj cams, and made to feel about as tall
as Tom Thumb any time the subject of pregnancy came up.   It's so hard to know how it's all going to turn out when you are in the middle of it.  Looking back on those years of struggle, the torturous pregnancy tests, shots, and feelings of hopelessness seem so overwhelming.  And yet, here I am.  I made it through to the other side.  One angel baby in heaven waiting for me and no babies in my arms.  I'm not sad, but I am wistful.  I am also very, very grateful for God's love and grace.

5.  I was part of a Christ Renews His Parish retreat at my parish two weekends ago.  I'm Catholic and this program was started in the 70s in another state.  Its aim is to help people find a deeper commitment with Christ, but also to get to know their neighbors and friends that occupy the pews.  It's a wonderful program and there were some amazing witnesses given.  I would encourage anyone, Catholic or not, to find a church offering this and check it out.  Then, bring it back to your church if you like it.  It's a fabulous way to learn more about yourself, Christ, and the other people in the parish.  I have met some very dear people and been delighted to share time, prayer, and scripture with them.

Have a great week everyone!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A Child's Hurt

I am so frustrated today.  This is probably going to be kind of a long story, but I need to get it out.

I don't even know where to start.  Do I start with the fact that my stepson, who is nearly 14 years old, got kicked out of school AGAIN today?  Why this time?  Very similar to the last time.  He did something stupid and got called out by the teacher.  His reaction, instead of just taking his lumps and sitting through class, was to write a note about why doesn't the teacher just kill him...last time he drew a picture of himself dead on the ground after getting caught playing around in class.  However, this time no one saw him with the paper, so because he's sick of the class and is too embarrassed to stay in because he got in trouble, he brought it straight up to the teacher.  He knew it would get him sent to the counselor, which it did.  Then, he got upset when he found out he was in trouble with his mom and dad.  Well DUH kid, every other bleepin' time you've pulled this crap, you've gotten in trouble.  This is NOT NEW.

Yes, he has anxiety.  Yes, he has ADHD.  Yes, he is in therapy.  However, his mother only takes him once a month to therapy and the anxiety workbook that's supposed to help was completed last summer and still he reacts like this to anything that upsets him.

Just this past Sunday, he was wearing dirty clothes that had been laying on his floor.  I knew because every time I opened his door, I saw them laying there.  Look, he knows they go in the hamper.  He's 13 and smart.  He should know what to do.  So, I called him out on it and told him to find something else to wear.  He immediately turned the corner in the hallway and I hear a 'slap, slap, slap, slap'.  I told him to get back out here and told him that he knows better than to hit himself.  He knows that doesn't solve anything.  So he tries to lie and say that wasn't what that was.  I call him out again, because I know EXACTLY what that is and he admits that yes, he was hitting himself.

Child, GET A GRIP!  This kid is very close to ending up in a PRTF (Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility).  His mother knows it, his father knows it, and I know it.  They told him about the consequences, but he just can't redirect his anger/embarrassment/hurt to something other than self-flagellation.

His dad and I are getting to the ends of our ropes.  He has had behavior issues ever since he first entered school.  I understand that it was a very difficult transition to move here from California and then surprise, at 7 1/2 your mother finally decides to contact your dad and let him know she's back in Kansas.  His maternal grandparents severely dote on him, to his detriment, and then threaten his mother that they're going to take him away if she doesn't allow them more time with him.  He gets away with a lot over there and then has to come to our house, that's full of rules and chores and a half-sister who is here most weekends and has known us since she was born.  It's a tough hand to play, but kid, you are only doing yourself a disservice.

On top of it, his mother thinks that he needs to be exactly like her.  Pushes him into stuff he didn't express interest in, solely because she likes it and making sure he believes what she believes about everything.  Of course she's also an atheist and while everyone's opinions are their own, a 13-year old that claims he also doesn't believe in God has no clear basis for that belief, besides that his mom told him he shouldn't because she doesn't, even though neither of them have researched any of it.

Rick and I sit here and just shake our heads so often because, even though we know he's hurting and a mess, we don't know what to do.  How do you get a child to understand that he is only hurting himself and saying the same things over and over until it's just an echo chamber of shit nobody listens to?

My stepson is a smart kid.  He's funny and sweet and plays well with younger children.  He loves comic books and superheroes and Legos and I just don't get how this sweet kid can be so broken.  Why is it always a fight?  Why does he hate himself so much when we all show him love?  Why can't he know God's love in his heart?

I don't want him to be 35 and living in his mother's basement.  He deserves better than that.  He can do better than that.  I think a lot of this stems from his anxiety, but he has been given many things to help cope with it.  That aforementioned book, a worry ring, and lots of other distractions to help are all things he has to rely on.  I told him that he needs to ask God for help when he's sad or mad and that's when he said that he's not sure if he believes in Him.  Argh.

My heart hurts for what this child could have been like, had his antisocial mother not tried to make him antisocial in turn.  I still love him no matter what, but knowing that had she stayed here when he was born, he may be a more stable child who accepts love instead of pushing it away.

Pray for all of us.  Pray especially for my stepson, that he may receive calmness of spirit and solace from the anxiety today and always.  Thank you.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Tuesday 5: Baseball, books, and BRINNER!

1.  I successfully made chilaquiles for supper this evening.  It is traditionally a brunch item, but I need brinner in my life!  Especially some bomb af chilaquiles!  However, it made me realize that my small city only has a couple of Hispanic/Latin markets.  Traditional chilaquiles (red sauce) are made with guajillo chiles.  These are flavorful, mild chiles.  You buy them dried and then pour boiling water over them to soak for 15 minutes.  They are also topped with yolky eggs, my favorite!  My husband is crazy and only likes hard cooked eggs, so I had to make a couple for him.  It was a winning recipe and Rick and my stepson Daden loved them.  Bonus:  I get the leftovers for lunch tomorrow!  Mmmmm...chilaquiles.

2.  I have not been doing so well on the whole weight loss thing recently.  I have gained back a lot of what I lost.  Partly because I couldn't afford my trainer anymore, which led to zero discipline.  I am part of a Facebook group of alumni from my alma mater that is focused on health and fitness though.  We are currently reading a book called "Made to Crave" by Lysa Terkeurst.  I couldn't wait for the person in charge to catch up with the questions and stuff, so I went ahead and read the whole thing.  I finished it today.  If you are a Christian, this is a great book to help you focus on weight loss as a spiritual journey and not just as a weight loss journey.  It focuses on self-discipline, which can be great for weight loss and help you increase in holiness.  I loved that perspective and am going to do my best to focus on that and also to pray, pray, pray.  Which to me is something that helps in so many areas of life.

3.  Next up is Jenny Lawson's "Furiously Happy", which I have heard nothing but good things about.  I also have Martin Short's memoir, "I Must Say" and Bill Bryson's "Notes from a Small Island".  I discovered a new way to get ebooks along the way.  It's an app. called Overdrive.  You log in to your public library account through the Overdrive app. and choose books available on their site.  Then, you can download it as a regular ePub book or in Kindle format.  I have a Kindle, so when you choose that, it sends you to Amazon, where you log in and download the book.  It's amazing!!  And Free!!  Did I say FREE?!?!  I meant it.  Also, you can get lots of NEW books on it and place holds.  I currently have holds on the new David Sedaris and Chrissy Teigen's cookbook.

4.  Baseball is back baby!!  I can't wait to see how my WORLD CHAMPION Kansas City Royals do this year.  Dang, it feels good to say that!  They are amazing and really just such a great team, because they are a true TEAM.  Four of the players who are really good friends, Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain, Salvador Perez, and Jarrod Dyson even did an awkward family photoshoot!

L to R:  Cain, Perez, Hosmer, Dyson
5.  I interviewed for a new position last Wednesday.  This new position would be in a different state department, as a medical trainer for Elderly and Disabled Medicaid.  They only interviewed 3 people!  Eek.  I thought I had a pretty good interview, but it's so hard to tell.  Of course, I haven't heard anything about it yet, but I know they were checking my references.  I would love this because it is truly what I want to do, but I do enjoy my current position and my current supervisor is amazing.  It's always hard to leave one job that you love for another that you hope to love, but aren't sure about.  Although, in this case, my direct supervisor would be someone who is a friend.

Have a great week everyone!!  Lob some ideas my direction, because I am failing miserably with thinking up my own.  Yes, I've tried idea generators, but I can't seem to find something I like.  Hmm...maybe I should just start jotting down my dreams.  I have some crazypants dreams!  What do you think?