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Freedom

Today I am overly grateful for those who defend our country so that we can enjoy the freedoms that we do. It is because of those brave individuals I was able to enjoy a day off work and spend the day going to the Zoo and waterpark. 

It bothers me when people say “Happy” 4th of July. It’s not really a “happy” holiday. We have this because of all the people who gave their lives for our independence. And no, I actually do not have anyone in my family in the military or have lost anyone.. but to me that just doesn’t seem right.

So thank you to all of those wonderful and brave people who helped us gain our independence and allowing me to have one of the best days I have had in actually long time with my family. I know that you all don’t get the thanks that you deserve, so I just want you to know that I appreciate everything you have done/do for our country. 

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Accepting Compliments

So the other day I am on a conference call with my boss, and her boss and another employee. And my boss gives me one,of the best compliments ever. She tells me I am a wonderful tech and I have learned a lot amd can help when needed. This made me feel really really good about myself…but also really embarrassed. 

I am not sure why it is so hard for me to take compliments, but I really struggle. And then I feel I make other people feel awkward because I dont know how to properly accept compliments. And I know it all stems from being in abusive relationships. So that is my goal this month… To work on being more accepting of compliments. 

I know I am a good worker and am efficient at getting things done. So I do feel great when other people notice. I have also been trying to do the same to others. Maybe if I give compliments as well as receive them, it will help me. I work with some super awesome people so that part isn’t hard. Hopefully watching them and seeing how others react will help me as well. 

Even if Jon compliments me, I have a hard time accepting his compliments. I get really embarrassed and my face gets all red. Which seems silly since we have been together so long. So any advice on how to take compliments from a loved one would be appreciated! 

So try to take the time to compliment someone today. You never know how much ot could positively impact their day! Even if they act all weird and shy like me.. It could be the highlight of that day! 🙂

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13 reasons why..or why not..

So both of my teenage sons and I have watched this show, and I have a lot of thoughts on it. I don’t agree that the schools should be telling parents that their kids should or should not watch it. And I think the show has some great points.

Being the parent of a child who attempted suicide, I think this show makes some great points. First of all, kids are assholes. There are some good kids, dont get me wrong, but most kids are assholes. They think they can treat people however they want, and can do what they want. I’m not perfect, I do not always catch when my kids act like that, but I do most of the time and there are serious repercussions if I catch them. It is not okay to treat other people like shit and talk about them. You have no idea what they are going through, be a decent human being for Gods sake. And we as parents need to teach our kids that. Pay attention to what they are doing, check their phones, talk to the teachers. 

My kids go to a school where there are counselors for each grade level and they have good resources. And still there are so many issues. I had to be all over the help for my son. I had to butt heads with the counselor a few times and push hard. 

I dont feel like this is glorifying suicide. I think it shows real problems that go on in real schools and happens to real kids. There is so much peer pressure, and drugs, and alcohol and favoritism that goes on, its a wonder half the kids survive high school. And I do know these things because I am very involved with my kids activities and I spend a great deal of time there. 

So seriously, we need to teach our kids to be better human beings. Not treat other kids like shit, no matter what. That its not okay to take advantage of girls, or boys, or make fun of other people. Be more aware of what your kids are doing. Check their phones. And no, I don’t believe there is any right to privacy until they are about 18. With all the social media drama there needs to be some vigilance. I don’t check everything on their phones, but I check facebook, Instagram and snapchat. If I see something I dont like I call them out on it. Maybe if there was a little more tough love, and not so much babying these kids, there would be a few less problems.

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Mother’s Day

So as mother’s day is approaching, I see all these posts about everyone making plans with their mom. But that is something I have a hard time doing. My mother was diagnosed with glomerulonephritis and has been in dialysis for years. But when she recieved that diagnosis, she pretty much gave up on life.

Now, my mother has never been the most loving or friendliest, or easy person to get along with. Quite frankly she is kind of hateful, and very hard to be around. But over the years I have tried to be patient and taken care of her. But this year, I am just completely out of patience. 

She has ended up in the hospital again, because she fell again, because she sits all day long and chain smokes. So her muscles are completely atrophied and she can’t walk because she gets out of breath. I am at the point in my life, where I can not continue to take care of someone who won’t take care of themselves.

So now my brother and I have to find a nursing facility for her to go to and can handle all of her needs. Which is a big undertaking. More so for my brother because she pretty much put him in charge of everything. 

So I guess my point of this is, if you have a mother who supports you and loves you, don’t take them for granted. Take them to dinner, or buy them a small gift, or even just making something can make all the difference in the world. There are many people going through what we do and don’t get to enjoy the time with our mother anymore. 

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Superstars

Teachers today are seriously underpaid and over utilized. My kids have some of the most awesome teachers who really care about the kids and go out of their way to help kids who really need it. 

Tyler is a freshman in high school and has a 504 plan. I know at some schools it is a miracle to get one, but Milford has been super helpful and accomidating for us. The teachers help Tyler throughout the day, give him extra time to turn thing in, work with him through lunch, and keep in constant contact with me. They dont have to do all those things. They could just tell him, oh hey, you didn’t do the assignment so you fail. 

His English and Biology teachers have given him extra weeks and have really taken the time to work,with him,on major projects. If it wasnt for this extra help, he would not be able to perform in band. Which would devastate him. And yes, my child is old enough he should be able to do his work on his own. But the teachers understand his needs and his issues and make it a point to help.

The same is at the Junior High with Jordan. These teachers, in my eyes, are saints. They are dealing with hundreds of kids who are hormonal and trying to figure out who they are. All the drama and drugs and meanness. As a parent it is hard for me, let alone these teachers who have to deal with it for 8 hours every single day. Plus they have to deal with some of the as whole parents as well. 

For all the kids, they give them extra time, usually until,the end of the quarter to finish some work. They really understand the needs of most if these kids. Jordan is a pretty laidback kid, just lazy with his work,sometimes. And these teachers just go above and beyond. 

I make zure at every meeting, and every conference and email I let these teachers know how much I appreciate everything that they do. In my opinion, this is the most underpaid profession in the world. These teachers help shape who our kids will be and teach them valuable lessons, and they make cheap for salaries. But we pay professional athletes millions of dollars for what, a few hours of entertainment each week. This is a big part of what’s wrong with America today….

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The Real Struggles

Today was really hard to adult. I just woke up in kind of a panic, and the day just progressed from there. I am 33 years old, and dealing with money gives me such anxiety. I mean, all I did was pay all my bills and ordered a couple things for my kids after I got my taxes back. And I felt like having a complete meltdown. I am not sure why this was so hard for me this year. I do mostly the same thing every year, and it has never been like this.

However, I did have more bills to pay, especially since I am hoping to move into my own place by the end of the year. This is the one thing I am working for this year, so I chose to pay all the bills that I owed and seriously cut down on the spending I usually do on the kids. They each get a set amount to go get some clothes that they need, and I went to the grocery for them. But I feel that what I am doing will be much better for them in the long run. And I am sure that is where a great part of my anxiety comes from as well.

Usually I am that mom that buys my kids passes to Kings Island, and gets them new gaming systems or electronics and takes them out to nice dinners. Well, this year they get a set amount for clothes and I got a pass to the Cincinnati Zoo. And other than that, they are kinda SOL. I feel making a better life for the boys is more important. One day I am hoping they will understand. But for today I am the mean mom.

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Diaries of a Band Mom

So I am a dedicated band mom. I have spent the last 2 days with the Milford Winter Drumline in Dayton for WGI Regionals. I love these kids, almost all of them if they were my own, but after 2 days of more than 12 hours each, I’m pretty sure my nerves are shot. 

These kids are so awesome. They put in so much hard work 3 to 5 days a week plus competitions. The improvements I see week,to week or even day to day are just incredible. The passion tjese kids have for music is a wonderful thing to see. But after almost 24 hours of herding kids, and pulling speakers, and loading trucks, and making sure these kids are safe, I’m fried.

Part off being a chaperone is helping the kids get on amd off the performance area. And that in itself,is nerve racking because there is a time limit, amf not all the parents know what they are doing, etc. So thats fun..lol. But one of my favorite things in the world is listening to them warm up and perform their show.

My least favorite part is about 30 minutes after the show when everyone is all wound up. And I get it, especially having a kid with ADHD. They put all this effort and seriousness into their show, they have to release that tension and excitement some how. And trying,to get 33 kids fed at a restaraunts is a mess at best. But our kids are so good and patient, usually. I am super proud of the way they were this weekend.

The labor of their hard work paid off. They came in 3rd out of 5 teams and raised their overall score 2 points. Today was one of the best shows I have seen from them yet. So even though I am exhausted and cranky from having to be up at 4 this morning, I am grateful that me and Tyler are a part of this awesome group.

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Reality

So as I scroll through my Facebook or Twitter feed, all I read about is Trump, or hate, or Russia. And it has driven me to the point I can’t watch the news or even listen to the radio or even see how my friends are doing online. I mean, I understand that he was not the best choice, ever, but I mean come on. I never even really know what is the truth anymore.

I have friends,on both sides, and I respect everyone’s right to their,own opinion. But one post says Trump is doing one thing, and the next post says he is doing the exact opposite. All the attention and media and people are the only ones spreading the hate and fueling the fire. 

I am aware there will be some big changes, amd some that may affect me. But for the moment, what’s done is done and I have to focus on my job of helping people and raising my kids. And I am using this election and the fall out as am example to my boys of how not to treat people. And that posting political things on Facebook will do mothjng but start a fight. I mean, people who have been friends for years are no longer speaking. Is,it really worth all that? 

So seriously, take the time today to be kind to someone. Smile, say hello, help them, love them. Thats the real way to fix all the hate going around. Not by fighting or spreading lies. To be cliche, be the change you want to see in the world.

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Battle of the Bands

So Sunday night Jon and I went to Bogarts in Cincinnati to see Badflower, Red Sun Rising, and Pop Evil. We have seen Pop Evil numerous times, and I have never seen Badflower or Red Sun Rising. I feel each band put on a pretty good show separately, but in a whole the show was just okay.

The first band on was Badflower, who I had never heard of. But I thoroughly enjoyed their set. The singer was lively and animated, and the guitarists were as well. I feel the drummer was good as well, though not as lively as the others. But to be fair, the stage was awfully small. They put a lot of passion into their show, they didnt just go up on the stage and strum a guitar and sing. We will he seeimg them again at Rock on the Range and I am happy about that.

After them we saw Red Sun Rising. This was one of the best performances I have seen in a while. There are 5 guys in the band, and there was very little room for them to move around the stage. But they managed to make it work anyways. My favorite was the bass player Ricky Miller. He was so much fun to watch! And for their last song, Emotionless, he switched guitars while Mike Protich played the other bass guitar. The crowd loved them which makes it more fun as well. 

Lastly was Pop Evil. We have seen them multiple times, but never with Hayley as the drummer. I was doubtful at first because I don’t like change. But she was awesome. And Jon and I feel that she played a lot cleaner than Chachi used to. So that was a very pleasant. But I feel the rest of the show was just okay. I have seen shows,in the past where they were more animated and more fun to watch. The vocals weren’t as passionate as I have heard in the past. 

So I learned yesterday that Red Sun Rising is no longer touring with them. And honestly that does not come as a surprise to me. Usually at shows where more than 1 band performs, all the bands talk up all the other bands. And that just didnt happen at all. Usually the openers will try to get the crowd excited for the main band, and the main band will thank the other bamds for touring with them and try to promote them to the fans. But none of that happened, and that was pretty sad. 

So all in all it was a pretty good show. 🙂

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My life with depression

Unfortunately, depression has been in my family for generations. My mom gave it to me and I passed it down to Tyler, my oldest son. I have been fighting it since I tried to kill myself when I was 17. I regret every day trying to do that and thank God I wasn’t successful. But it has not been an easy road trying to function with it.

When I was young and naive I didnt know about medications to help, or therapy. And if I did I didnt have the money to pay for it. So I turned to sex and lying to help deal with all the feelings I was having. At 17, not the best decision amd I became pregnant with Tyler while a senior in High School. He is the greatest gift I have ever been given, however not under the best circumstances. 

After Tyler was born, I continued down my destructive path, being with men who were no good for me and I ended up marrying one of them. He stayed at home while I worked, would rape me in the middle of the night, used drugs, and was a terrible human being. But I felt so worthless that I felt I had no other choice. 

In that marriage I had my youngest son Jordan amd 11 months later I gave birth to my daughter Aryssa. She was born on July 7th 2005 and died November 14, 2005. The coroner ruled it SIDS, but I know it was my ex husbands fault. I had worked all day long amd had been up with her the first part of the night. So I woke him up to sit with her so I could sleep. Well, he took some pills and put her on his lap. She emded up rolling in between his leg and the side of the recliner and suffocated. That day will forever be etched in my mind. So that only added more fuel to my depression and added PTSD to the mix.

Eventually I left him because I knew it was his fault and I started saying Jon. Which was one,of the best decisions I ever made. It was a very rough beginning for us and I didn’t know if we would make it, but here we are 11 years later and everyday I am so grateful for him. 

So through the 11 years my depression became memory loss, days where I couldn’t get out of bed, sever mood swings and self loathing. Because of,the PTSD I have a hard time remembering things, like when my boys first started walking, or got their first tooth, etc. And that makes me,feel like the worst mom ever. I mean how,do you explain that to a kid? But I gave them all the love I had. But there are days when they wanted to go to the park, or for a walk and I just couldnt get myself up to take them. So my depression not only affects me, but my kids as well. 

As the years went by, I managed to keep a steady job and was able to see a doctor to help me and we tried medicine for,the first time. I started on Zoloft and it helped for a while, but then I would forget to take it and so it was useless. I tried therapists and doctors, but I could never find the ‘right’ one. Which was all in my head. So I kept going and for a while I did really well. I put myself through school while being a mom and working full time. 

I was able to,find a job right out of school and have been there ever since. But the depression was still there. So I linked really hard for a good doctor. I found one and she has been a blessing. She helped me find the right balance of medication plus encourages me to exercise and take time for myself. 

I also see a therapist now, which helps a lot. It is so nice to have someone who i can tell everything to and they give me pointers to help. I am on 2 antidepressants and see a therapist biweekly and do Zumba weekly. But that doesnt mean my depression doesn’t still hang around. Its there, but those things make it so much easier to deal with, they are tools. I also have to have faith in myself and want to work through it. I have my bad days, but so does everyone. We are human.

So I want you to know that there is help out there. There are people who care, and you are worth it! Reach out to someone, anyone, even me and it will help.