Tuesday, April 30, 2013

I lost the dog....

In my house.

No, I do not leave in a mansion.  It's actually a very modest house.  And she's a big dog.  Like 80 pounds big.

It was after I put the kids to bed, so both of their bedroom doors were closed.

I was standing at the sink washing bottles and the dog was whining at the door.  I told her to give me a minute.

A minute later I went looking for her to take her out and she was no where.  I mean no where.

I looked in our bedroom.  Not there.

I looked in our bathroom and the spare bathroom.  Not there.

I looked in the living room.  The dining room.  Not there.

I walked around the house about 5 times.  I whistled and called out to her.  She wasn't anywhere.

Last ditch effort I checked the garage (I had taken some mama's milk out to the deep freeze), but I knew I did it before I washed bottles.  She wasn't there.

Then she came sauntering into the kitchen.  From the living room area.

I have no idea where she was hiding.

I'm not sure, but I'm thinking maybe I'm going a little crazy.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Ordinary Girl posted about siblings the other day, and it got me to thinking.  I'm not sure how much I've really said about my family on here.  I know I talked a bit about them in my addiction post, but I think that's about it.

So I'm one of 5.  Well, kind of one of 5.  I mean, I am one of 5, but I am really only one of 3.  Have I thoroughly confused you yet?  I'll start backwards.

I'm the baby.  Then there's my older brother J, who is 4 years older than me (soon to be 37).  He's my full blood brother.  He's probably the hardest one to write about.  I know him the best, and through the years we have both loved and hated each other.  I'll focus on him and our life in this post.

I have an older half brother (we share a dad) S, who is 10 years older than me.  I grew up with him in my life although he lived with his mom.  Then I apparently have another half brother and half sister, both older than S.  I found out about them when I was 17.  We've never met and I know minimal information about them.  I've tried to find them unsuccessfully, although I admittedly don't really know how to go about the search.

Back to J.  When we were kids he liked to torment me because I was the younger sister.  So I would let him go so far, and then I would do what any sane girl would do.

I'd kick him where the sun don't shine.

Then I'd find myself in time out on the couch, every time.  Oops.

He became a drug addict when I was only about 12 and he was 16.  At least this is when I knew about it.  He ended up in and out of rehab for the next year or so.  Inpatient, outpatient, intensive outpatient, court required.  You name it, he did it.  Family counseling happened, but we were all a wreck.  At this point my dad even went to rehab after my brother called him out.  Something along the lines of 'if you think it's so easy why don't you do it' so he did.  Didn't help him any more than it helped my brother.

When J was 17 (I think) was when he started disappearing for days, weeks.  He'd go out on binges and follow around the Grateful Dead (this was shortly before Jerry Garcia died), Phish, and other bands.  He got into horrific car accidents, had my parents bus him home, told lies, stole money and stayed high.  He'd come home now and again.  He dropped out of high school days before his 18 birthday.  He has never gone back.

When I was 16 was when I made the bad decisions related to drugs.  For a while he and I got along real well, and partied together.  This lasted on and off for a couple of years.  Right after I turned 18 I graduated high school.  At that time J and I didn't get along.  At All.  Not even a little.  We couldn't stand to be in the same room as each other.

One day he called me the C word.  I hate that word and I'm sure you all know what word it is.  He said it with so much force, so much anger and resentment.

I told my parents it was him or me.

I left.

I lived out of my car and slept over at my boyfriends.  I couldn't 'move in' with him because it was 3 guys living together and they didn't/couldn't agree to let me and one of the other girlfriends move in.  This lasted for a number of months and then the single guy moved out.  So the two remaining had their girlfriends move in.  We lived in a scary part of town, and the other girl was pregnant.  Before we moved out she had her baby.  It was an interesting set up.

Anyways, during those couple of months that my truck was basically my home, my parents tried to convince me to come home.  I refused.  I finally agreed to meet up with them for dinner one night, but I wouldn't go to their house, so they took me out.  I told them that I couldn't understand how they could allow him to stay with them; drug addicted, couldn't hold down a job, didn't go to school, etc etc.

Yes, at the time I was still an addict myself.  But I worked 3 jobs and was going to college full time.

The problem was that my dad refused to let my mom kick J out.  Dad had been an addict most of his adult life, and his mom took care of him and continued to let him live with them whenever needed.  So he wanted to do the same for his son.

For me, it was horrible.  I didn't see any of them much for a while.  I felt that they were screwing the kid who actually was trying to make something of her life.  It was very rough times.

Throughout the next 15 years a lot happened.  J left town and came back.  Every once in a while he'd settle down in an apartment with a buddy and keep a job.  Then he'd get bored and pack up and leave again.  He ended up spending a couple years homeless out in Washington/Oregon/California.  Then he was back with my parents for a bit.  Now he's in Colorado, and loving it, but not really settled down.

We chatted the other week when he got worried because Dad wasn't answering his phone.  He asked me to promise him something that I couldn't promise, but I couldn't bring myself to let him know that I couldn't promise it.

He wanted me to promise that if one of my kids wanted to live the life that J is living, that I would accept it.  That I would be happy and not take issue with it.

I skated around it by telling him that as long as my kids are happy, then I'll be happy.  Which is partially true.

But I hope to God, I pray to God they don't ever choose his lifestyle.  I see the way it tears my parents up, the way my mom worries and stresses, knowing he's hitch hiking, sleeping God knows where, not sure when he's had his last meal, etc etc.

When he was homeless in CA my mom and I went to see my Uncle, who lives in Long Beach.  My parents have paid for J's cell phone since he took off many many years ago, as a way to keep in touch with him.  They've had to replace his phone too many times to count (theft/mugging mainly) but I understand why they do it.  Anyways, we let him know we'd be there, and we managed to meet up with him.  He'd been sleeping on the beach for months.

It tore my mom and I up.

He seemed happy, don't get me wrong, but neither one of us was ready for it.  To see the dirty, long haired, sun tanned hippy that he was.  He stunk.  He was carrying everything he owned in a hiking bag.  And when we left we knew he was going back out to the streets.

I love my brother.  I love him more than he could ever understand.  I fear for his safety, I fear for his life.  I fear that if something happens to him we'll never know, it will just one day be silence, and we'll never hear from him again.  I know my parents feel this same way, have these same fears.  I don't know how they do it.

I just continue to pray that God will keep him safe until he maybe decides to grow up.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The wheels on the Bus

Is currently one of Bug's favorite songs.  For some reason she has deemed it as a bedtime song, though who knows why it became that.  Now I think it is because that's when we sing it.

The other night I got Goose to bed and was able to join K as he finished putting Bug to bed.  She's so opinionated these days, and insisted on K singing first, and singing the Wheels on the Bus.  It's the most adorable thing I've ever seen, as she does all the hand motions while you sing it.

So K sang it.

The last song of the night (when I'm involved) is typically Amazing Grace.  It's been Bug's favorite song for as long as she's been alive (actually, it even calmed her down in utero), and has always had a calming effect on her.  Hence why I leave it for last at night.  So I started to sing.

She reached up and put her hand on my mouth and said 'no, top' (meaning no, stop).

Then she reached her hands up and started doing the wheels on the bus motion.

So I asked her if she wanted me to sing Wheels on the Bus again, which she did.

So I did.  With a big smile on my face the whole time.

Too freaking adorable.

Sunday, April 14, 2013


April 14.

This is an important day in my life.  For one, it’s the day I was born.  Today I turn 33 years old.  I cycle through another year of my life, and realize just how very very happy I am.  I have everything I have ever dreamed of having; a loving husband and two beautiful children.  We even have the dog J 

Last year, on my 32nd birthday, we took a leap.  Last year on my birthday, sometime around 10:00 in the evening, our last fresh cycle of IVF became a reality as K gave me my trigger shot.  It was our last attempt at having a child that is biologically both of ours.  We were hopeful, scared, excited and nervous. Our prior attempts at IVF had gone over so poorly that neither one of us were really sure that it could work.  We wanted it to so bad, bad enough that we were willing to try one last time even though the hope we had was very cautious hope.   Up until the trigger shot it wasn’t as real, it could have been cancelled as so many times before, it could have been stopped and we could have moved on as if it never was.

But we didn’t.  We took a deep collective breath, and took the leap.

And on my 32nd birthday, we became parents again. 

I know, nothing was fertilized yet, but it was the big leap in the process that gave us our precious little boy.  We were parents multiple times over at this point, but only to 1 living child.  This was the day that the wild crazy ride really really began of being parents to 2 living children.

K and I struggled with some relationship issues this past year.  They were very difficult, and potentially marriage ending.  But we got counseling and worked through it.  We both made the decision that we WANTED it to work.  That we needed each other, and that we wanted nothing to come to an end.  It was tough times, but we made it through to the other side. 

So I say Goodbye to 32 with happiness as well as sadness.  But I say Hello to 33 with love and excitement as I know that I have the family I have always wanted.  That while IF will always hold a part of my heart and soul in its nasty vice grip, that I will never have to confront it in the same way again; I will never have to fight to overcome it in order to expand my family.  Instead I can (attempt) to gracefully accept that it is and was, and look at the two beautiful children I gained out of it, and remember how much I love them, and how much more I appreciate them because I had to fight so hard to get them.  I had to put on my armor and fight infertility as well as the marriage separation and almost divorce that stemmed from infertility 4 years ago, but we are now long past that. We are renewed, in our hope, in our faith, in ourselves and each other.

I turn 33 where I thought I would be years ago, but that no longer matters.  Because as I turn 33, I am right where I want to be, with everything I could dream of having.

Welcome to the rest of our lives.

Monday, April 1, 2013


I know I've mentioned addiction before, I don't remember how detailed I've gotten, but I think I've glossed over it mostly.  But it's been on my mind a lot lately.  I have fears about addiction, not for myself, but for my little miracles.

See, addiction runs in families.  It's actually in the genes and hereditary.  There have been studies on it, although I don't plan on citing them or anything, after all, it's a blog not a research paper :-)

Anyways, I've got it in scores.  Both of my grandfathers were alcoholics.  Both of my brothers are alcoholics and drug addicts.  My father is a drug addict.  I am a recovered drug addict.  And that's just as far back as I know, I have no idea about my great-grandparents or back further.  So you can probably see where my fears come from, a long line of addicts with a gene tucked away in there somewhere.

Sometimes I do wish I had made different decisions. I don't regret the choices I made, or the life I lived during that time of my life.  It made me who I am, and I actually like the person I've become.  But looking back I wonder if I might be living a different dream if I had made some different choices.  But that thought scares me too, I LOVE my life, I wouldn't want anything different in terms of my husband and children.  It would have been interesting to see what career path I would have chosen, but that's the only thing I'd be interested in.

Don't get me wrong, I actually have good memories from those years.  Some good memories.  But I also have bad memories, some scary memories, and entire blanks hidden away in there.  I have a few friends that date back to before those years, and they will tell stories, of me, during that time and I will look at them like they're talking about a complete stranger.  It's not like it strikes a chord and you think to yourself that you kind of remember that happening, it's not there, at all.  You assume she is talking about someone else, or a book she read, but that's not the case.  She remembers it clear as day, but the memories have been erased, dashed out by the drug riddled days.

I had this friend that I met my senior year in HS.  She was a Freshman.  We were in band together, and I was a group lead, and she was in my group.  I was supposed to be someone that she could look up to.  We became fast friends, having some of the same 'issues' and (lack of) feelings of self worth.  I was ocean deep in my addiction by then.  She was fresh and young and naive.  One day I agreed to let her party with me, and she found that she couldn't stand the lack of control.  She freaked out and swore she'd never touch drugs again.  I'm glad that she made the decision.  But it was really hard when by the end of the year she told me that she could no longer watch me waltz my way down the path to self destruction.  That if I continued to partake then she was going to walk away from our friendship.  She felt it was easier and better for her to lose the one person that she felt really understood her, then to watch me continue doing what I was doing.

I watched her walk away, sad that she was doing so, but in my haze wished her good riddance.  I don't know where she is today, nor do I know how she is.

When I think back to the person that I was, it scares me that my children could follow in those footsteps.  I remember the nights of partying so hard that I don't know how I made it home.  That I wouldn't remember the night, that I honestly thought I was dying.  I remember the suicidal thoughts, the 'friends' that would save me when I was having a particularly rough night, simply to take me out and feed the demons with more drugs.

I remember closing myself in a tent because I was so paranoid and scared of the world around me that I honestly could not leave.  It was a crippling fear like I've never felt before.  I remember locking myself in a bathroom and sitting on the rug in the middle because I was so afraid to step on the tiles.  I was locked in there for hours before I was able to be talked down enough to gain the strength to reach across the 2 feet to the door and unlock it.  They had to carry me out and then put me on the phone with the one person that could pull me down from those heights.  That person took on everyone's demons, and never managed to deal with her own.  She committed suicide a couple of years later.

I managed to pull myself out of the depths of this addiction, with help of some very good people in my life, along with the NEED to make something of myself, to be more than what my father and brothers ever became.

These are the memories that haunt me, that make me so afraid for my children.  What if they fall prey to drugs, or alcohol?  What if they don't have it in them to dig their way out of those trenches?  My brother is still there, and has been for around 20 years.  He's a wreck of an adult, living on peoples couches, jumping from state to state.  Everything he owns fitting in a hiking bag that he uses when he's hitching from one town to the next.  He was once a boy with a high IQ, and now only lives through books.

I worry.  I know part of it is the environment.  I was surrounded by it, I remember watching my dad roll joints when I was growing up.  Then my brother started in.  It was all around me, it seemed like the thing to do.  I was lucky, not only that I got out, but that I got out with minimal scars.  Not everyone is that lucky.  And I know that our children will not be around it in a home environment.

But I still worry, with all my heart and soul and being.  I am scared, scared that they will walk down that same path, fight those same demons that almost lost me to the world, the same way they stole other family members.  I do not want that for them, I want better for them.  It's a tough tough road, pitted with holes and snakes and hidden obstacles, and I hope and pray that they never walk down it.