Truly Chaos For the Moment

Okay, so let me start with current events, M has gone to National Guard training leaving me home with both kids… alone… yeah.  We had a hard day that first day he was gone (Aug. 6th.) but things got better the next few days until yesterday on the 10th. Then I had a mothering melt down literally. So many things at play yesterday. And then trying to get Jeff to sleep and the A/C quit. I called the after hours number because it was almost 11 pm and 80 in the house. They called back in like 5 minutes and were out here in about 15 minutes in the dark with a flashlight. It was fixed by the time he left at 1 am. Laid down, Jeff decided to almost roll off the bed at about 2 am and when I moved him he started screaming and woke Charlotte up. Gah! So, I got up and made her a bottle brought him up on my lap and rocked him back to sleep, it is now almost 3am. I laid him back in bed turned on Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood (Thank God for Amazon Prime!) and told Jeff I would be in as soon as I could be.

Went back out and tried to get Charlotte back to sleep, which did not occur until about 4am. She was rolling over in her bouncy seat (her new trick) every five minutes and I had to flip her back over like a pancake because she would start screaming! On and on.. Finally in bed at 4ish am and then Charlotte wakes up at 7 am and did not go back to sleep until almost 9 am in which case Jeff was already up. So this momma got 3 hours of sleep and I have no idea how I am even still upright at this point, I am praying that they both decide to take naps today cause I could sure use one!

Something I have not really talked about here is my adoption journey. Before I had Charlotte M got me a Ancestry DNA kit because I was wondering what ethnicity I was. I wanted to be able to tell the kids what I was, so they had the whole picture. Well, that actually put me in touch with a biological cousin and her family. It looks so strange to me to even type the preceding sentence at all. She has been helping me track down my biological parents because I am a huge mystery in the family as it were. So, for all of you keeping score, in my adopted family I am the black sheep and in the biological family I am a mystery! LOL. She has gone through and compared my DNA, her DNA, and her sister’s DNA line by line.

We have narrowed it down to about three people who were in the right area at the right time, now we are looking for records to back it up. So, I have been on a mission most of this week and on the phone a lot! A roller coaster of emotion does not even really begin to cover it. Some of the original information that I was given back in the 1990’s turned out to be totally false and I am wondering why someone who did not know me from Adam would tell me such a lie. Anywhoo, I digress… I was told that my adoption records were destroyed in a fire at the Children’s Services building. The only thing wrong with that information is that fire happened in 1907. Yea, nothing to do with me or my records. So, a wall of sorts, but good news is that my records exist someplace!

Called the heath department and a very nice lady directed me to another health department in the capital of Ohio, called there and got a guy who sounded really unhappy with his job choice (my inference, he did not tell me that) he directed me to a web page with information on how I could get copies of all the paperwork in my adoption file. So, I have an answer and a way to get the information that I need. I am overwhelmed because I am doing this all on my own right now and I have to be the only parent to the kids at the same time. Needless to say my mind is in other places and that is where the trouble starts.

We are having a better day today. We have the living room almost totally cleaned up. Jeff has been a huge help with that! I am so tired. So, I have been through the ringer since Monday basically and it is only Thursday and M is not back for another whole week!! Life is crazy right now and I am on a roller coaster! I guess I can scream through the ride or throw my hands up and try to enjoy it…


An Experiment of Sorts

This past weekend, Friday through Sunday my house was a lab of sorts. See, M had a 3 day Drill and while I hate these because it is usually hard on Jeff and then on me, I was not looking forward to this one bit. Then I started to think of it as an experiment of sorts. They hypothesis was that Charlotte would sleep through the night for me and that Jeff would be okay with dad gone 3 days and 2 nights.

The experiments went like this: Friday was like any other day, we got up and did the things we normally do. Had lunch and so far everything was going well. The real test would be Friday night when Jeff realized that dad was not going to be home. We ate dinner at the normal time, and while Jeff was wondering where dad was, he was not  upset. We ate dinner without incident and hung out in the dining/living room until about 8:30pm. I then brought everyone into the bedroom with me. Changed diapers and generally got ready to wind down for the night. So far, so good. No fits, no tears. Charlotte dozed on and off on the bed with me and after her bottle at 11pm she was hopefully down for the count. I moved her to her bed at midnight and did not hear from her until almost 9 am the next morning. Jeff also went to bed about 10:30ish and slept through the night. One night down one more to go. Let me say that we had minor issues with Jeff on Friday but normal stuff..

Saturday started like normal. Woke up fed Charlotte, changed her. Changed Jeff got us breakfast. Began the day. Charlotte took her morning nap, so Jeff and I had lunch about 11:30ish. So far no fits out of him that dad is not here, things are looking good. The day went as mostly planned. We  had dinner a little early at 6:15ish that night. Again we hung out in the living/dining room until about 8:30ish. Again, I moved them into the bed room and we started to settle down for the night. Diaper changes, drinks, some TV. Charlotte had her last bottle about 11ish and crashed on the bed with us. Jeff was out just before that. At 12:30 AM I went and took a 1/2 hour bath to unwind a little bit. No one woke up. When I got out at 1ish I moved Charlotte to her bed and she slept through the night, waking up Sunday morning about 9ish.

Sunday is where things fell apart somewhat for Jeff. Not that he was upset that dad still was not here, he just had a bad day. He was into everything.. M got home 5ish Sunday evening. Since then Charlotte has not slept through the night.

My conclusion is this: M has a funky energy that he brings into the house. I am not sure what exactly it is. Charlotte feels it most. I have spoken to him about this. I have no idea what to do about it. I am pretty confident that next month’s 3 day drill will go pretty smooth for us here…

Those Kinds of Days

I was reading a blog post over at Joy of Mom today and she wrote about a day that she was about to give up. It made me realize I have those kinds of days more than I care to admit. Especially with a toddler and a baby in the house. Don’t get me wrong, I adore and love my kids to the moon and back but some days I want to throw my hands up and yell at the top of my lungs that I quit.

I feel that as a mom I do not write about these days as much as I should. There are days that I am in tears for most of the day. With a 3 month old daughter who has more medical issues at the moment than I can shake a stick at, it is at best difficult and at worst very depressing most days. We have a ton of appointments to get to and every two weeks I have to people stick my daughter multiple times to get an IV in veins that are too tiny and fragile to handle this. All of that so she can get a blood transfusion that keeps her semi-healthy so she can gain weight like she is supposed to. On those days I know I am doing what needs to be done for her good, but as I listen to her screams and see her tears I feel like the worst mother of all.

Then there is Jeff, my perfectly healthy, active. crazy little boy. I know he gets bored being at home with us and not some place where he can run and let the energy out. Honestly, most days I do not have 1/100 of the energy that he has. I feel like I am not doing enough for him or with him. His tantrums are sometimes well deserved in my eyes. Sometimes not. I get tired of the hitting and head butting, which I thought we had left in the past, but it is coming back as is the biting sometimes. I know his life changed so much the day his sister was born and the fact she is not totally healthy means he gets less attention than I want to give him.

Most days something has to give and honestly it is me. I have damaged my shoulder some how and I was supposed to go to the hospital last weekend, but I had a horrible two day migraine. When I have those kinds of days I can barely move, but because I am a mom I keep going through the pain, misery, nausea, and everything else that comes with those kinds of headaches.  I have no idea how I get through those days at all. I know I am not giving my best, but honestly, I am amazed those days I even make it through.

I am not saying that M does not help because he does. A lot. Eventually he will have to return to work and I will be on my own with the kids all day long. Right now, my daughter mostly wants to be held all day, which with my shoulder is a challenge. My son wants to play and when I have my arms full of Charlie it is hard to play with him. We do play ball but his attention span is short as it is with all 2 year olds. I feel like I am letting them both down which leads to me feeling like crap and wanting to curl up.

I am barely running on little sleep, guilt, and caffeine. I know this will get better eventually, but right now eventually does not seem all that soon or close. Ugh. Well, off to play ball and stop the melt down that is brewing.


The Reality Is…

In case I did not mention it here, M is in the Army National Guard where we live. When we met he was in Active Duty Army and was for 9 years. When it came time for him to quit, he had a choice, National Guard or quit totally. At the time, the Army was what he loved and did well, so I encouraged him to transition into the National Guard so he could still serve his country. Something he loves doing dearly.

The reality of life in the National Guard is not an easy life really. Yes, it is one weekend a month and 2 weeks in the summer, but what they don’t tell the families until it is too late is that some of those weekends are 3 day weekends with training away from home and the whole 2 weeks in the summer, yeah away from home too usually, at least here it is. So, it is great when it was just the two of us. Although I missed him terribly, it was easier. Now that we have a 1 year old, it got progressively harder this weekend, as this is one of those 3 day weekends away from home.

See, when M had the 2 weeks of training last summer Jeff was so little he did not know the difference. Well, he did, but not on the level of this time. So, last night was the first night M was gone and Jeff sat at the edge of the bed on M’s side looking at the front door waiting for his daddy to come home. It was so heartbreaking for me to watch. When I would bring him back up on my side near me on the bed, he would crawl away and go back to his watch for daddy. Eventually, it included crying and rocking back and forth because daddy was not home. Truly heart breaking for me to watch because I can not fix this with a kiss or hug. He does not understand where daddy is, just that he is not here like normal.

Today so far, has been a rough day for us too. If M was home he would be working today, but because Jeff knows daddy did not come home, he knows this is not a normal day either. We are both totally exhausted because Jeff fell out around 12:30am because his little body could not take anymore. I on the other hand did not sleep well at all. All the noises that a house makes that you don’t notice are amplified when you are alone at night.

M will be home sometime Sunday evening, so I only have 1 more night to deal with. I am so happy about that. Although I think tonight might be worse for Jeff. I try to keep him occupied by playing with him and his favorite toys, but it does not always work. He knows daddy is not home and he misses him.

That is the reality of my life at this moment. There are other harsh realities about having a loved one in the National Guard, but I will save those for another post.


Home Schooling

Recently Michael and I have been talking about home schooling Jeff. It seems almost every single day that I turn on the news there is another reason to go this route. Honestly, the school systems are bad now, I am not thrilled about what they will be like when he is old enough to start school in a few years.

I know I will be home schooling pre-school for him because honestly, pre schools and day cares are super expensive and I want this time with my kid anyway. I know I will run into people who do not understand my choices or just flat out think I am totally wrong, but hey you all are entitled to your opinion, but please remember ONE small detail: HE is MY son, not YOURS. I am doing what I think is best for him.

I have been looking into private schools and oh my gosh, you might as well have your own money tree growing in the back yard. Since I have not figured out how to cultivate that particular tree yet, I am going to go with what I think is best. I have been praying about this and it seems like it would be the best way to go for my son.

Also, I know some of you are thinking, “ he is only 5 months old!!” Yes, he is and right now we are working on his hand eye coordination and sitting up. He is doing fantastic! He is able to take a toy from my hand and put it to his mouth. He is also rolling on to his belly and getting his arms out in front of him all by himself. As well as getting on occasions his knees up under him so I expect him to be crawling here soon! Exciting times!

I am also looking for a book of Bible stories for him. On a child’s level of course. I am starting to read to him more and more. I would like to be able to give him a good foundation of Bible stories. Lots of stuff going on here!

Of course the curriculum that I would be home schooling would be age appropriate and would have some bible and religious aspect to it as well. I Have found one that I really like and and has a pre-school and well as a pre-kindergarten curriculum and I would be doing both to get him ready for school. My main thing, is to work at his pace, which they will not and can not do in public schools. Not to mention all the violence, bullying, and money issues in education these days.

We found out that if Michael has to have surgery on his knee that the Army will give him his pay for his rank while he is recovering. Also, if they medically discharge him, he will get his active duty pay for his rank every month including BHA (Basic Housing Allowance) which at this point would be enough for us to move to a 2 bed room and still have some money left for bills. Of course we would rather have the surgery and let him continue with his military career, he has about eight more years until his 20 to retire and that is what we are shooting for! If they medically discharge him, he is still able to work as well as collect his disability from the Army, which is a good thing. So honestly in my opinion, it is a win-win for us.

Well, I am going to run for now, the dishes are calling my name!


Busy Life!

Hello everyone! I am so sorry that it has been such a long time since I last updated this! So much to talk about here. So, first of all, 4th of July was touch and go because Jeff did not like the loud noises of fireworks that people were letting off around here. Honestly, they were not that great for me either, but we got through it somehow.

Michael got the job at FTSB and is working 16 hour days, which is good money wise, but not good family wise. I have been trying to keep Jeff up until he gets home so they can spend some time together everyday. He leaves about 4:30am and does not get home until 8pm or so. He has been training and has been doing a great job! They will pay him for the time he is away at annual training for the Army, it will be a straight 40 hours for the week, 2 weeks running. Like vacation pay. Honestly, I am thrilled that he is even getting paid from those weeks.

Michael did get his MRI finally. He has a torn ACL in his knee. They are not sure if it is totally torn or partially torn. He has another ortho doctor appointment on August 12th. They need either another MRI view or an ultrasound on his knee to access how badly the ACL is torn. We are moving forward with all of this and I am happy that finally there is progress. Once we establish how bad the ACL is torn, then we can move forward with surgery.

We were thinking about moving, but since there is the idea of surgery in the future and we are not sure how long he will not be able to work, we decided to stay where we are at the moment. It is small and we don’t have too much more room to grow, but for right now it is fine.

Jeff has his next appointment on July 29th. I get the information on his hips and he gets more shots. Michael is at Annual Training with his National Guard unit, so he will not be able to go with me there. Jeff is 4 months old now and is growing like a weed! I have started to give him baby cereal on a spoon. He is not really liking it, but it is a learned skill. He is amazing and such a happy baby most of the time. Although he is a bit out of sorts with Michael gone for a week, because he does not understand.

Hope all is well with you all! I am sorry about the no picture thing, but I have to find my camera again, I had to put it away because of the renovations and I have yet to actually look for it.


Ultrasound and Updates

So today was Jeff’s ultrasound on his hips. In case you did not know, he was born breach and this is why they are ultra sounding his hips again. They did one after he was born and now to make sure everything is still growing the right way with his hips and leg bones. It was difficult on him because he was supposed to lay still and our little drool monster is a wiggler! So, it probably took longer than it should to get both sides done.

Michael had a job interview this morning and it went so well that they are checking the back ground and driving record. If and when that comes back clean, he will be given a DOT physical. We need this so badly so prayers and good thoughts are appreciated! Also, with the National Guard, they have started his paperwork for the security clearance once again. This is a good thing! Also, we have an appointment for an MRI on his knees in July! Praise God!

Jeff is now 12 weeks old and I am sorry I have been slacking here. Things have been so terribly busy for us lately as you can see. He is a happy baby normally, but today was a bad day for us. He had a rough morning which messed up the whole schedule. Then the trip to the hospital for the ultrasound, which upset him. When we got home he was asleep so we decided to let him sleep at that point, so he is just now getting his bath. It is a couple of hours late but hopefully it will relax him enough to sleep well tonight.

Michael is working at the armory tomorrow and what they were going to pay him ($50/day) I think turned into straight active duty pay when he works, which helps us out a ton! Also found out that he is scheduled for Advance leadership school, but not until he gets out of the medical flagging, which could take 2 years, but this is so exciting because with that schooling, he will be able to be an E-6. Once we get the knee fixed, and he gets unflagged for weight and PT scores, he will be able to get his E-5. As told to me, he could be an E-6 before the schooling and once he is unflagged he will be sent to school, which could mean being away from us for about a month or so. Worth it in the long run and not for a couple of years down the road yet.

Well, Jeff is playing my song.. (screaming) so I gotta run!


Thankful Thursday & Other Stuff

My favorite picture of Jeff so far!On Facebook there is a thing on Thursdays called Throw Back Thursdays or TBT. I keep threatening Michael that since his mom sent some really great old photos of him that I would scan them to my computer and post them. I have not done it yet, but I will eventually. There are some really great embarrassing photos and since all of mine are in Florida and out of reach of me and him, I feel pretty safe doing this. LOL.

I used to post a Thankful Thursday post before I had Jeff and I want to continue to do that here. So today’s Thankful Thursday is in no particular order:

  1. Jeff- This one is so obvious, I am thankful to be this amazing boy’s mother. He has been so wonderful and loving even when he is fussy. I just look at him and tear up.
  2. Michael- This one is obvious too, without Michael in my life I would not be this happy and content. He is a wonderful dad and husband (although we are not married yet!).
  3. Having a roof over our heads
  4. Having what little food we have in the house.
  5. Having wonderful friends who helped us out with stuff for Jeff
  6. God in my life- I know it is a little far down on the list, but this is not in any kind of order!

Lately we have been so frustrated by things that have been happening here. It is good for me to remind myself of all the good things I have going on in my life too. This weekend is Drill weekend for Michael, so if you need to call him do so after 5pm our time. He generally will not answer his phone at Drill. Besides the reception is spotty there and his phone is being a pain.

To update you all on what is going on, the transportation service that is supposed to help me decided that I could walk the 1/5 of a mile to the bus stop near the house and walk the 1/2 mile from the bus stop near the doctor’s office with Jeff in his car seat. Ugh. Right now, honestly that is impossible for me to do. Not to mention that Jeff weighing last time we were at the doctor’s office over 9 pounds in his car seat feels more like 15 pounds! I think Michael will take him to the doctor appointment on the 26th of this month for me. I want to be able to go, but can not walk that far. I have talked to the doctor’s office about this and I need to talk to my doctor. Hopefully when I see them on June 6th.

The Foodstamp people closed our case out because supposedly Michael did not send him his income statements from the National Guard. He did, we sent them to the local office and I guess they did not put them in the system. So when he called the other day, the lady he spoke to said that if we had no income it would be so very simple, but because he has a small amount of income, it is ‘complicated’. The application says that if you have less than $150 in income, assets, etc… you can get food stamps in 5 days or less. Well, Michael makes a little bit more than that with the Drill pay. However, he was also told that if I applied with just Jeff and I with no income that we would be approved within 5 days. So, I printed out a new application and filled it out for Jeff and I. I am waiting to see what will happen. I am not sure that we can get his income statements to them until after the end of the month, because Michael wants to go down there and watch them put it in the system. Problem is that we don’t have the money for that right now. Sigh.

It is frustrating when people don’t want to do their jobs. Especially when Michael is looking for a job and can not find anything that would support us. Sigh. I know we will eventually get it all together, but it is hard not being able to just go and do the things we need to get done at the time we need to do it.

I need to run and do some things while my boys are sleeping!


Drill Weekend

This is Michael’s first Drill weekend with the National Guard since we had Jeff. So, last night I was on baby duty solo. Which is fine because I knew he needed his sleep because they were having a PT test this morning at like 8am or so. Ugh. The only problem with that is that Michael was supposed to see his doctor yesterday but apparently had the wrong time, so they rescheduled for May. So, no profile for him. I am hoping his knee held up okay and he won’t end up at the hospital, although it might be for the best at this point. At least at the hospital he will get the MRI he so desperately needs on his knees. We have been dealing with this knee issue for over 2 years now together and he has been dealing with it even longer on his own. It totally frustrates me that the Army will not get him the treatment that he needs!

Jeff is doing well today and yesterday I got a couple of packages from a couple of friends on Facebook.  They were filled with things like diapers, wipes, baby bath, and my friend Nicole sent a few things off my Amazon baby registry and some things I forgot. Aunt Carol sent a letter and a wonderful gift for Jeff as well! He was fussy last night so I got the boxes opened, but the regular mail had to wait until he was asleep.

We are extremely grateful for all who have helped us out and those who continue to do so! As most of you know we were so not prepared! Michael’s family has been wonderful! His parents are amazing. Victoria and John sent a lot of clothes which came in REALLY handy, so thank you!!

I am currently looking for a stroller and a play yard for Jeff. I have been looking on Craigslist and I am going to have a look on Ebay later to see if there is anything there. I have both on my Walmart baby registry and I think on my Amazon baby registry too. The stroller is the biggest need at the moment because when he is fussy I can put him in that and go for a walk. Right now, Michael puts him in his car seat and carries him around.

Jeff’s next doctor appointment is April 8th, which is this coming Tuesday. I am hoping that after this one, we will not have to be at the doctor until his 2 month check up. My doctor appointment is not until May 5th, which is my post partum check. As usual we are both still tired, although I think I am adjusting better to it. Mostly because I have been here before. He is an amazing dad and he helps me out so much. I really appreciate all that he does for us.

Well, it is just about time for Jeff to eat again so I have to run.