Saturday, August 30, 2014


Suicide is in the forefront of everyone's mind these days.

I'm gonna let you in to some of my dark history, some of the stuff I don't really talk about.

During my early to mid teen years I talked about suicide.  Like a lot.  I 'wanted' to end things, but I never had the 'courage'.  I had a couple of friends that we had it all figured out, how we would do it, when, etc.

I'm beyond glad that I never was so incredibly stupid.

I'm not judging others, so let me make that clear.  But when I look at all these wonderful, amazing things I have in my life, I think to myself about how I would have missed all that.  How it never would have been.  And that is a sad, sad thought to me.  A scary thought.

All those bad things, the bad times, the difficulties when I had no idea how to handle the mass of feelings I was having during those tender years, I get why people do it.  I don't agree with it.  I am amazed by how my life has turned out though.

But I did lose one friend to suicide.  That's what I'm here to tell you about.

I met Rachel through some mutual friends when I was around 16.  It was during my downward spiral that was my life at that time.  I was an addict, and it was getting worse during that time.  I was in with a bad crowd, and barely making it through the things that I had obligations to do.

I was a teenager.

And don't get me wrong, I wasn't as bad as other kids out there.  I'm not here to compare, I'm here to simply share my experiences.

Rachel was this calming force in our lives.  She was about 18 at the time I met her.  She was awesome.  We all loved her.  The guys in our group were infatuated with her.

I saw her as the balance to all of our craziness.

She was my anchor.  When I was having a bad day, she's who I called.

When I needed to get away, she's who I called.

When I wanted to laugh and just hang out, she's who I called.

And when I was having a bad trip, she's who I called.  She was the only one that could bring me down from the ledges.  And there were plenty of times that happened, and plenty of times that she was called.  The last time being the worst, and someone else had to call her, and she almost had to come to save me.

We spent a bit of time together for those next few years.  We had a lot of fun, and partied hard.

But Rachel had her own demons.  She took on everyone else's demons, and never took care of her own.  She was in and out of treatment for mental health, but we all thought she was doing good.

Then she wasn't.  She spent the better part of a few months in intensive treatment.

Then she tried to end it all.

And then she spent months in inpatient treatment.

It didn't work.

She found the key to her dad's gun cabinet.

She unlocked it and took out a gun.

She put it in her mouth, and pulled the trigger.

She ended those things that she couldn't figure out how to take care of in her own life, all the while taking care of everyone else's issues.

It was 1999, and I remember her funeral like it was yesterday.

And after the funeral, I went out with friends and partied like there was no tomorrow.

And in those moments, those days, those weeks of sorrow I was both jealous of her for having the courage that I didn't, and beyond pissed off at her that she could do that to us, to her friends, her family.

How could she make the decision to end our time with her?  I didn't understand it then, and life experiences have helped me to get it in some ways, but not in others.

To this day I love that girl.  I ache that she chose to end it when she did.

But it was in the aftermath of that death, the wake of emotions that tore me up beyond belief, that I realized I wanted only one thing.

To live.

To live my life in the best way possible.

To fix the person I was.

To choose life.

It wasn't easy, and it didn't happen overnight.  But that was the start of the me that I am now.  That was the start of a new life, the life that I live, and love today.

And I couldn't imagine it any other way.

Rachel, I miss you.  I miss how giving you were, how thoughtful you were, and how badly you wanted to help everyone in your life, at the expense of your own happiness.  I hope beyond hope that you have found peace, and that you are watching down on me now and proud of where I have ended up.  I know that had you stuck it out you would be an amazing person today.  You would have remained the selfless, loving, caring person that you were back then.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Sometimes, I hate this lifestyle

Because being a pilots wife is a lifestyle, isn't it?

And sometimes I hate it.

Don't get me wrong, sometimes I love it.  I love the time that I have in my routine with the kids when K is gone.  But I love him coming home.  Like really love him coming home.  And then that time home with him?  It's wonderful, and needed beyond anything I could ever explain.

But sometimes it's really really hard.

K left early this morning for his first week actually 'on the job' after his 3 week training.

Last night we were reading to the kids together before bed, and Goose made it clear that he was ready to nurse.  So I left K to finish reading to Bug, and took Goose to bed.  After I nursed him, sang to him, and got him down I stepped outside and went to go back into Bug's bedroom.  But I paused for a moment and listened before going in.

K was talking to Bug about having to leave this morning.  It was low so I just caught snippets of what he was saying.

But it was what Bug said that broke my heart.

When there was a pause in what K was saying, Bug simply said 'No go daddy, no go.'

It simultaneously broke my heart and made me smile.  I know it broke his heart too.

I let him have his moment with Bug, and I headed downstairs to finish some things from dinner.

So he told me that he let her he would kiss her good bye this morning.  I knew what time he was getting up (4:40) and what time he had to be out the door (5:15) so I didn't want him to go into her room, I knew it would wake her up.

But I couldn't tell him that.  He needed to make that decision on his own.  And I sure couldn't tell him that he couldn't say good bye to his little girl.

So he did this morning, and she ended up whimpering in bed next to me after he left.

It. Was. Miserable.  I felt so bad for her, so horrible, so sad.

K agreed that he wouldn't do a morning good bye again if he left that early.  It was miserable for him too as he was trying to pry her arms from around his neck while she cried into his shoulder.

So tonight my mom picked up the kids for me as I had a work function that had me out just a little later than normal.  I was home by 6, so in time for dinner and bed.  When I got home mom said the kids had been good.

I swear, within 5 minutes, Bug was a MESS.  An absolute wreck.  Didn't want to eat dinner, didn't want to get ready for bed, do her hair, let Goose get anywhere near to her, let anyone touch her.  I tried talking to her about understanding that she misses daddy, but nothing helped.

It finally ended in bedtime without her normal Curious George episode while we get ready, and with no books.  She earned back a song by letting me braid her hair.

After I get Goose down, I went back into her room and cuddled with her for a bit.  I curled up into her and stroked her hair.  I whispered in her ear that I loved her, and that I knew she missed daddy, and so did I.  She simply curled into me more and laid there.

I hate that every time he leaves it throws off everyone's routine.  I hate seeing what it does to our little girl.  I hate that she can't fully communicate just how it affects her.

And sometimes, I hate this lifestyle.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Day 2

Today was day 2 of our new daycare for the kiddos.

It has been way more smooth than I expected.  There were delays in my getting out of there both mornings, but yesterday was worse than today.  It took 40 mins to do drop off.  I ended up asking at one point if Bug wanted me to call Nana and ask her to pick them up early.  She actually didn't answer the question when I asked, but when she finally stopped clinging to me and I was able to leave, she stopped playing for a sec and, without looking at me, said 'call nana.  bye bye mama.'  It was super adorable.

So my mom, Nana, picked them up yesterday.  She typically gets them around 2:30 or 3:00 when she picks them up to help out.  Apparently when she got there to get them, neither one of them were particularly interested in leaving.

That makes me so happy!!

Today when I dropped them off Bug was saying 'my school' as we pulled up, with a big smile on her face.

It still took about 20 mins for me to get out of there this morning, but it wasn't nearly as bad as yesterday.  Not that yesterday was bad, just lots of clinginess.

They seem like they are really enjoying their time there.  I'm hoping this isn't a honeymoon period, but typically daycare switches are not quite like this.  I can't really explain it.  But this is her 4th daycare since she was about 19 or 20 months old.  That's a lot.

This one really might be it!!!

I expected a potty training regression.  There's been no regression.  She's still going to daycare in underwear, and making it to the potty to go pee.  She is still having accidents to go poo, but we're getting there, and I honestly think this daycare is going to help.

I am beyond happy.

On a side note, K comes homes tomorrow after his 3 weeks of training.  I. Can't. Wait.

(and if timelines seem a little strange, please note that I'm typing these and then scheduling them to post.  So in reality, I probably wrote this a week or two before it actually posted :-)  I'm ahead of the game right now ha ha)

Monday, August 18, 2014

Sweet Bug

Potty training continues to go pretty well.  She has less and less pee accidents.

Poop though, that's a different story.

At first I thought she just didn't want to poop in the potty.  Then it seemed as though she was maybe struggling with constipation.

This weekend I realized I don't think any of that was true all along.

Her poor little butt hurts.  I think she's trying to NOT poop.

We've struggled with diaper rash type issues for a while.  We've tried all different kinds of things.  In the last 6 months I've mentioned it to my 'new' pediatrician who pretty much blew me off.  'Just put her in a sitz bath' was what her answer was each time I mentioned it.

I mean come on, one time the visit was for Goose and I made her look at Bug's butt.

I started to think I was crazy.

Then I was talking to a couple of mom's at work with young kids.

They reminded me to TRUST MY GUT.  That if I thought something was wrong it probably was.

So let me back up a step.  Not long after Goose was born their pediatrician was noticeably pregnant.  She went on maternity leave and never returned.  We all LOVED her.

So we had a locum tenon for a while, basically a fill in.  She was a really sweet older woman who was retired, but filled in when needed for the system that our peds are in.  We really liked her too.

Right before Goose turned a year we 'got' our 'new' pediatrician.  During the wait I had asked to change peds within the practice and they said no.

Should have known at that point.  But I try so hard to give people the benefit of the doubt.

So we met her for the first time at Goose's 12 month check up.  I don't even remember what it was exactly that she said, but when I advised I was still nursing and wasn't in a hurry to stop, she made some comment that I didn't appreciate.  Whatever.  I let it go and decided to give her a couple chances before I made my judgement.  Especially since for most sick visits I did see other docs in the practice.

Well, in the last 6 months we've seen her multiple times between the kids.

My mom put it best during a visit that she went with to help out (both kids going).  She said the ped was clinical.

Yep, she's right.  At Bug's 4 year check up and Goose's 18 month I realized just how right my mom was.  She didn't try to get the kids happy, she didn't try to win their attention, affection, or love.  She was clinical and the kids cried The. Entire. Time.  All she was interested in doing was forcing Bug to let her see her ears, or Goose to see his teeth.  You get the point.

So after those visits I knew I was done.  And yes, I brought up her diaper area during that appointment too.

Then the conversation with the other mom's.  I. Am. Done.

I delayed the change a little because I knew I needed to get her 4 year shots, and we were changing daycares so I needed them to fill out the medical forms.

Today I had to take her in for her 4 year shots as we couldn't get them at her appointment.  I knew going into it that this was the last appointment.  I already have the name of a new ped that a friend took her daughter to, and her daughter has had some similar issues to Bug.  She loves this ped, says she takes lots of time with them, etc.  So, at today's appointment I told the chick at the front desk that Bug is to the point of holding her poo, crying in pain when she goes, etc and could one of the docs, ANY of the docs stop in for a minute to check it out?

Nope.  The answer was No.

I came home frustrated.  Then for the rest of the evening I had to spend comforting my little girl as she howled in pain while trying to NOT let her body poop as her body NEEDED to poop.  Arching her back, locking her knee's, face turning beet red, teeth clenched, butt clenched.  Then it got worse because she got something out twice and I had to hold her down each time to wipe her and put something on her butt in hopes it will help.  Because she doesn't want it cleaned up, which makes things worse, so much worse.

Seriously, it's gotten so bad that there's ALWAYS a streak in her diaper.  When she goes it's a small little bit (and no, it's not hard, it's nice and soft).  So she goes CONSTANTLY.  Like I'd guess maybe 10 or more times a day.  If I bought new underwear every week I'd spend at least $30 a week on underwear.  Instead, every evening I wash poo out of underwear while I cry silent tears of worry for my daughter.

So that's it.  I'm done.  I don't know why I tried to give the benefit of the doubt when this is MY CHILD.  My little girl, my first so she's my learning curve.

Tomorrow I call the new doc.  Tomorrow I start the process of finding someone who will listen to me that something is NOT right.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Gender Roles

So we don't really believe in gender roles in this family.

It's nothing we ever really thought about, or talked about, it just is who we are and always have been.

K loves to cook and clean.  Maybe even a little more than I do.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoy both as well.  Let's be honest, if I didn't, then we'd eventually starve while he is gone (or be really fat from eating lots of fast food) and my house would be condemned because it would be so gross.  (don't worry, it's not :-))

I enjoy mowing the lawn, doing 'work' around the house.  I've done lots of tiling job, some plumbing, lots of painting, I've helped to lay lots of pergo type flooring, etc etc.  I really really enjoy it actually.  Put it this way, I was the one who tiled part of my parents house by myself (a small part, but whatever) when I was around 6 or 7 months pregnant with Goose.

And I'd bet that the majority of pilots wives are similar, after all, we have to deal with all the crap while our pilots are away.

So anyways.

One of the difficulties of being a pilots wife is sometimes fitting all that crap in.  Especially with 2 kids.  It's really exhausting sometimes, and sometimes I really don't want to do it, and put something off as long as possible.

So we've actually had a lot going on recently.  My best friends wedding, then her reception 3 weeks later back home in T town.  My friend's angel babies 4 birthday party.  Finding a new daycare, preparing to move the kids to said new daycare.  Lot's of craziness going on at work.

So, mowing the lawn.  I actually enjoy doing it.  But I'd enjoy it even more if I could be like 'hey K, I'm gonna go mow the lawn, so have fun playing with the kids while I do so.'  But that's not the reality.  I'm mowing because he's gone.  So I'm doing it in the evenings, after the kids are in bed, after the dinner dishes are cleaned up, and before I shower and do whatever else needs done.

Yeah.  That kinda sucks sometimes.

I've figured out how to make it work for me though.  I break it down into 2 nights.  I'll do the front lawn one night, the back lawn another.  It helps to break it down, and as long as I time it right (and don't leave, you know, days and days between the 2 halves) then it actually works out really well.

So I mowed the front lawn 2 nights ago.  It wasn't too long so I was able to mulch it, which was nice. But I choose the front lawn that night because the back lawn was already longer, and mulching couldn't happen.  And it was a day I took a PTO day to spend with the kids, to take them to meet their new teachers, and I ended up feeling like crap.  Dizzy, headachy, stuffy, sinusy, etc.  And the kids were HORRIBLE.  ALL DAY.

So I picked the easy way, and did the front lawn, and didn't bag it but mulched instead.

So tonight I had to do the back lawn before you know, the neighbors or the city called to see if we were still alive.  Cause it was long people.

But the backyard always needs cleaned up first, you know, chairs, the kids pool, toys, and all that fun stuff.  and the pool needed emptied of course, which I can't just dump it, I feel like I need to use the water to water the gardens, so as not to waste that precious resource.  (timing here is interesting, as T town (my hometown) just had some severe water issues recently with some pretty serious toxins in the water supply.  Like they couldn't even boil it.  Fun times).

So I take care of cleaning up and get to mowing.  As I'm working, I'm writing this post in my head, enjoying myself even though I was SO ready to be chilling watching TV.

And the mower starts putting and coughing halfway through.  And I'm begging and pleading like the dang thing is one of my kids, NOT to run out of gas.

And like our kids so often do, it ignores me.

It puts it's way right to not moving anymore.

And in my non gender role gender moment, I had to call K and explain that like another child, it didn't listen and ran out of gas.

And I had NO idea where the gas was.  In fact, I was just HOPING that there was more gas, as I was looking at half mowed, half long hair looking back at me.  And silently I hung my head while laughing at myself that as I was writing this post in my head about gender roles, I had to call K to tell me where the gas was.  Gotta love moments like those.

Needless to say, by the time everything was done, I finished the last bit of mowing without really being able to see what I was doing, and where I was needing to go.

Always love moments like these :-)

Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Pilot Changes

So K was working for a local regional carrier.

And the mainline that that regional carrier did their thing for, well, they closed their hub here.

So the regional carrier ended up losing flights in the mix.

So K went from being domiciled here, to being domiciled in Washington DC.

And he still had lower seniority, so he was only getting a couple of nights worth of hotel room paid for.  And crappy (non) routes as he was getting put on reserve.

So that meant no per diem.  And we had to cover his crash pad.

Seriously people, we were paying for him to work.

It was getting more and more stressful.

So, he went looking.  Well, not really, but he talked to someone that he knows that works at DPJ, and she talked to the Chief Pilot for him.

Interview happened.  Job offer happened.

So, he took it.  Got a raise, became home based.  He's no longer nervous about being 'stuck' in this type of job, he thinks he can still move up to a mainline.

He'll have an 8 day work schedule.  Tuesday to Tuesday.  Consistent, which is NICE in this industry.  I know there will be trips that last longer, and the yearly training will be in his off time, but who cares.  I'll take it.

I told him it didn't matter to me, as long as it didn't harm our family and it made him happy.

So he's currently almost through his 3 week training.

Since I start back to school soon, I'm curious to see how he handles both kids, daycare pick up, dinner, and bed time, when he is home.  It'll be interesting as he's never really had to do it before with both of them.  My mom is going to watch them when he's working on my class days.

I am SO ready for him to be home.  Some days have been easy and others tough.  That's how it goes and I'm OK with that.

But I miss the man.  Oh do I miss him.

I can't wait for his return!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

It's about time....

So, part of the reason I haven't posted much in recent months (well, other than the obvious 2 kids and part time single mom status) is because I didn't have a working computer.  Our desktop took a crap a while back, and our laptop finally stopped allowing blogger to work correctly.

Then my work stopped letting me post.

So I was trying to post from my phone, or K's IPAD, or my nook... all of the above were a pain in the butt to post from, and left all my posts in a freaking mass with no separation or anything.

It was annoying.

So.  I got a new computer today!  I get to actually post again!

You know, when I have time.  Between the 2 kids, and part time single mom status.

Oh yeah, and school.  Because after 8 years I finally took the leap, and I start back for my MBA in about 3 weeks.

And holy crap, I'm scared.  I mean, I'm excited too, but I'm scared.  It's been a while since I've done the school thing, and doing it with all the above mentioned items as part of the mix, well, I'm nervous.

But it's OK, I'm gonna make it happen.

So deep breathing, and here's to moving on with good things in my life.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Speech Delay

My bug is getting so big.

Where has the time gone? Where has it disappeared to?

And why don’t I feel like I know my little girl as good as I should? Why do I look at her and think to myself that there’s so much in her life that I don’t know, that she can’t communicate to me.

There’s so much to HER and WHO she is that she can’t share with me. It’s so hard to see other kids her age that will ask me ‘why doesn’t she talk.’ It’s heartbreaking. It’s made more heartbreaking as they go on to have ENTIRE conversations with me. Or another kid. Or a teacher, or another parent. 
When I know I’m lucky if I get a few words strung together to make a pseudo sentence. It makes me worry for her.

I don’t want her to be an outcast, left to the sidelines by her inability to communicate. I don’t want her to burrow into her own little shell and give up. I look at her every day and realize how much she has grown, not physically (although she has!) but in the person that she is.  In her verbal skills. She has SO MANY words today compared to a year ago. She TRIES so much more than she ever did. 

But so much of it is difficult to understand to an outsider. So much of it isn’t clear enough that sometimes WE can’t figure it out. When we are out and about people love to say ‘hi’ to her. She’s a cute kid, and it seems like people love to try to talk to her. She typically looks at them and doesn’t say a word. Sometimes she’ll hide behind me, so sometimes people take it as shyness, the whole ‘don’t talk to strangers’ thing.

Other times not so much.

People will ask how old she is, and when I tell them ‘almost 4’ I get the look. The look like I’m somehow not doing enough to get her to talk. Even with prompting.

It’s even worse if they can see she’s wearing a diaper. Heaven forbid, WHY isn’t your 4 year old POTTY TRAINED!? I swear I can hear their internal dialogue.

‘You’re not doing enough.’

‘What kind of parent are you?’

‘You obviously haven’t tried everything in the book.

‘Just let her run around naked.’

Or ‘just put her in underwear’ or ‘put a pull up on over the underwear’

Like I haven’t tried everything. Like I haven’t attempted. Like I haven’t begged and pleaded and cried and thrown my own adult sized tantrum in hopes that she’ll Just. Do. It. But she won’t do it for me. I know that. She’ll do it in her own time, I just don’t know when that time is.

I read with her and try so hard to get her to repeat after me. Sometimes she will. Others not so much. 

I’ve tried bribing her to potty with Everything. Under. The. Sun. Seriously people, I TRY. But she has to want it too. She rolled late. She sat up late. She walked late. But she’s smart as a whip. I can see that. And to all those people that always said ‘she’ll talk in her own time and then you’ll wish she’d just stop.’ You know, the old adage of ‘we teach them to walk and talk so that we can spend the rest of their lives telling them to sit down and shut up.’

I hate that. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it. Do you know how badly I want to hear her voice say an ungarbled, fully understandable sentence? Do you know how badly I want to hear her tell me about her day? Do you know how badly I want to hear her ask the WHY questions over and over and over again until I want to rip my hair out??

Because that would mean my baby girl is communicating to me. That would mean I have a chance to get to know her and what her interests are, what she spends her day doing at daycare/preschool, who her favorite friend is and more importantly WHY that is. I don’t want to have to drag out of her that ‘yes’ she colored or ‘no’ she did not.

I want to know her sense of humor. Because I know it’s there, but I don’t get to hear it.

I want to know WHY she doesn’t want to take a bath tonight.

I want to know what makes her love ‘monkey’ so much.

I want to know what SHE wants for dinner tonight. Or lunch tomorrow. Or what kind of ice cream she wants at the ice cream shop. I want to hear her ask me why the sky is blue and the grass is green, and so many other things that I may or may not know the answer too.

I want to know my little girl more than I feel I do now.

And that feeling, that feeling of not knowing your 4 year old, is soul crushing and heart wrenching.

Update: I actually wrote this post almost a month ago, and felt it deserved to be published. The only change I made was the very first line where I originally said she was 'almost 4' so as not to confuse people after her birthday post. I felt it was important to post, but also to give a quick update. Bug has been wearing big girl underwear during the day for almost an entire week now. She still has accidents, but SHE wants to wear them, and has started to have near meltdowns when I try to put her in underwear. So I'm hoping that she's finally making the decision that she is ready, that it is time. She's going potty on the potty with no prompting at times and only a little prompting at others. We are changing daycare centers next week (hope to write about that later), and I'm hoping, hoping, hoping that we don't revert back to 'baby diapers' due to that change. I don't care that I'm doing a lot of extra laundry - anything to help get this girl in underwear full time :-)