Friday, January 28, 2011

That just really chaps my hide

You know how you just have those times where you feel like a little bit of a Negative Nelly and that maybe if you just spew what's ticking you off you might feel better?
Yeah, me too.

Things that are just chapping my hide:

Public restrooms where the toilet paper roll is loaded backwards.  Serio - there is ONE right way. 

Preparing for a major landscaping shave job today and discovering that my shaving cream is all gone.  Hope that whatever manchild borrowed mine enjoyed smelling like Tropical Island.

The Wonder Pets on Nickjr.  The MOST ANNOYING show ever.  I want to drown the turtle, strangle the duck, and shove the gerbil in a heat duct.  Anything to make them stop singing.  Why a pre-schooler needs an opera aria to inform him that the telephone is ringing is just beyond me.

Fellow Marine's who stole my son's stuff while he was gone.  What happened to your oath of integrity boys?

Atrophied muscles.  So quick to lose strength, so hard and long to gain back.

January.  I hate you.  What with your freezing temperatures, and icky inversions.  You are downright depressing.

Liars.  People who bear false witness.  People who create their own reality and then present it as truth.  I can't respect you, I can't believe you, I won't trust you.

My hair falling out by the handfulls.  Gross.

Chest pain.  Back pain.  Not able to catch my breath.  I'm so over this.

Wow - I think I feel better.  How cathartic

What's chapping your hide today?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Post of the Day

I found a new fun blogger - okay so she was Jillian's best friend - but she has started a blog and her first post was a beautiful poem that she wrote.

Click on over to Newbe and give her a little love......


Monday, January 24, 2011

Tender Mercy

(image via here)

It's no secret that I am an active member of this church.  It is the predominant religion in Utah so someone reading this from my neck of the woods will understand our church's belief in the after life.  For those who are not familiar - you can go to the main website for more specifics, however, let me explain in a nutshell.

One one passes away, their Spirit then goes to the Spirit World to await their resurrection and final judgement.  A lot happens in the Spirit World.  Reunions with loved ones and friends who have passed before, learning and gaining as much knowledge as one can.  Where is the Spirit World?  Right here.  We cannot see the other Spirits because of a veil that hangs between us, but they can be felt.  They can see what is happening in our lives.  I also believe that they can comfort us.  I love this particular doctrine.  As I have grown and hit milestones in my life, it has been nice to know that perhaps my Dad was with me.  Was watching over me. Cheering for me in my successes and crying with my in my heartaches.  To think that someone who has passed away can be so very close to us is a huge comfort indeed.

I've debated blogging this, but after much thought I want it recorded for Sissy.  She might not remember as she gets older and I don't want her to ever forget.  And for anyone else who has lost a loved one, perhaps it can give some peace and comfort to them.

Sissy hasn't asked a whole lot about her Mommy.  Once in a while, she will ask, "Why did Mommy die?" but I can count on one hand the times that she has.  She is busy with school, family and learning all the new things that a 4 year old learns.

About a week after J passed, Sissy was sleeping and all of a sudden sat straight up and called out "Mommy".  I placed my hand on her back, and called her name softly.  She turned and looked at me saying, "Mimi?"  She laid down, and snuggled into my neck and fell right back to sleep.  The next morning, she told me that she had dreamed about her Mommy and that her Mommy told her that she "woved her".  It was a quick conversation and she didn't elaborate more.

The next time was more impressive.

There was a small program that was made for her graveside services and it has J's picture on it.  It has been hanging on my fridge amongst the many other pictures and treasures that you tend to collect on the front of that particular appliance.

Several mornings ago, Sissy was opening the fridge to get milk for her cereal when her attention was drawn to the picture of her Mommy.  Our conversation went like this:

Sissy: "Mimi, I dweamed about Mommy wast night.  She tawked to me."
Me:  '"She did?  How great - what did she say?"
Sissy: " I was asweep and den she was tawking to me.  She said she woved me and in my heart"
Me:  "Sis - that is so nice!  Did you feel happy?  Was Mommy happy?"
Sissy: " Yeah, she's happy and she woves me in my heart."

And then her Lucky Charms were on the forefront of her mind and our talk moved onto pouring the milk and getting a spoon.

I have thought about this for the past several days.  What a tender mercy from a loving God in Heaven.  He knows if one of his children needs a special blessing and He finds a way to provide it.  Maybe Sis needed just a couple of quick "touch bases" with Mom.  I don't know- she isn't particularly verbal about it right now.  But I am thankful for a Heavenly Father that allows a mother from one side to visit her child on the other, Spirit to Spirit, and remind her how much she is loved.  Not once, but twice.  I can't know what it is in Sissy's heart and head right now, but her Father in Heaven does.  And He will make sure she is taken care of.  That her needs are met.

It was also a reminder to me about how important Sissy is to so many people.  Her Mother is trusting that we will do the right things for her.  Her Father is trusting us to take care of her until he finishes his duty to our country.  Her other grandparents are trusting that she will always know of their love for her.  Her Heavenly Father is trusting us with this precious, precious soul who will have many struggles ahead of her.  He trusts that we will look to Him for guidance, and in return, I feel like He will let her Mommy stay close by.

Tender Mercy indeed.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

An Open Letter to the ER staff at the Mother Ship

Dear ER staff members who worked Thursday night January 20, 1010,
     Just to let you know, this letter is two fold.  Some praise and some rebuking from a patient who has spent more than her fair share there.

I had to come in Thursday night because of back/chest pain and shortness of breath.  I'm a healthy 44 year old active woman, so there is normally no need for concern, but in light of the fact that I had a pulmonary embolism about 3 years ago, we have learned that we have to check it out every damn time.  Am I happy about coming in, sitting with the other sick patients in the lobby, hoping I don't catch something else while I am there? Of course not, but your triage staff is well trained and know that anyone presenting with my symptoms gets a fast pass to the back.  Thank you.

Kudos to the paramedic student who introduced himself as he started to get my vitals and monitors hooked up.  He didn't even give me a dirty look when I asked him if he was 12.  Well done kid.
Shout out to Martha my nurse whose broken English made me both long for Cancun, and wish I spoke Spanish so I could communicate a little better.  She was the epitome of professionalism.  Not only did she get me with the first poke on the IV - but days later, I don't even have a bruise.  Awesome!

I believe I had the kindest ER doc I have come across.  Dr Mooers.  I even asked him about being related to another Mooers physician and while admitting being siblings, cracked a joke that put me at ease.  He was thorough, professional and when it came time to discharge me was the most gentle, sweetest, kindest doc ever.  He has a new fan.  He prolly has as many or more fans than his physician sister.

CT tech?  You rock.  Well done.  I've had my share of CT scans and this was done quickly, efficiently and even though I wanted to die when the heat of the contrast hit me, you quickly moved me on my way and took my mind off it all.

HOWEVER - to the idiots who stood in the hall talking outside my room before I left for my scan?  You can suck it!  I think you may need some lessons in sensitivity.  While you did not disclose names, I still didn't need to hear about how you are PSA (Patient Safety Advocates), how you are preparing for a suicide watch, how you have had two patients in the past attempt to hang themselves in the room, and worse, your laughing and lightheartedness.   I drifted into my phentyl doze for a little bit and awoke to a big mouth nurse loudly berating the patient that had been admitted to that room about her swallowing the large amounts of pills.  Her abrupt questioning and rude demanding tone about set me right off the edge.  I asked Splenda to shut the door.  I couldn't listen to her and them anymore.

When I came back from my scan, I was grateful to note that they had changed me rooms.  When I asked Martha why, she said something about a patient that needed to be watched closely.  That's when I let loose and told her what happened and how much it had bothered me, and why.

ER Patient Safety Advocate dudes  - you may see it all.  I cannot even imagine a typical night on your shift, and granted it was a full moon - guaranteed for even more odd stuff.  But for the love of all that's holy, have a little sensitivity.  Do you have any idea that EVERYONE in that hall could hear you talking?  And maybe suicide hits a little close to home for some people - did ya ever think about that?  Next time, how's about you keep your chatter to a private area, stay on a professional level and consider that others might find your discussion less than entertaining.  I hope the young lady that you were assigned to that night was able to sift through your callousness and hopefully someone was there for her that she could talk to and get some help.

As for me, I am thankful for the great care I received.  I was treated quickly, professionally and with respect.  My every need was seen to.  I couldn't asked for more, and for that I am thankful.  I ended up walking out of there with a diagnosis of pleurisy, and while my back and chest still hurt, I know that over time, I will get better.

My heart goes out to the young patient that was across the hall.  I am hoping that with time, she will too.

  The patient that brings her own blankie with her.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wednesday's Wrandom Wrambling

Marines, jinxing and dishonesty.....and a whole lot of other crap wrattling around in my head.

It feels like a long time since I've just rambled.  Let me clarify, that I've just wrambled on my blog.

The past few weeks has been intense.  Huge family changes.  Huge life changes.  Lot's of support from all kinds of people.  Some hate from other's.  I guess you can say we've experienced the whole range of feelings and I am sure we will experience a whole lot more.

'dawg goes back to So.Cal next week.  I've been impressed with how kind the Marine's have been.  I hope that all this emergency leave doesn't come back to bite him and that he has to make it all back up.  If he does, it could be another year or more before he gets to come home again.  That would suck.  Rocks.

I have jinxed us. I did that great post about Sissy sleeping in her bed, and how smart her daddy was with his idea....blah  blah blah......yeah totally worked for a little while.  Not so much now.  She is afraid of being alone.  Plain and simple.  She hates going to bed alone.  She hates waking up alone.  She hates sleeping alone.  She is afraid.  And no matter how much we stress how safe she is, leave the door open, use a nightlight - you name it, we're doing it - no go my friends.  So for now, she lays down, closes her eyes while me or Splenda tells her some fabulous story involving her, us and something fun.  She drifts off.  At some point in the night, she wakes up - cries and wanders in with her pillow pet and prayer bear and needs to be snuggled.   I really don't even care.  When I was little, I was afraid EVERY SINGLE NIGHT.  Serio - I had nightmares every single night of my life until about the time my first child was born.  Some recurring nightmares, some new - but always scary dreams.  Due to my own Mom's health, we were not allowed in their bed to snuggle when we were afraid.  I think because of that I swore I would never turn my kids away.  So I didn't and I don't now.  They eventually grow up and stop needing you and all is well.
Lesson learned?  Be careful what you blog about - you could totally jinx it.

I have got to get back to the gym on a regular basis.  Seems like one thing or another gets in my way, but I have so much on the agenda this summer that if I don't get serious in my training, I won't be able to do any of it.  Stressful.  Besides, I need the endorphins bad. 

We've been watching the HBO series The Pacific.  I'll do a whole blog review about it when we are finished, but I have to say I am loving it.  Especially with my built in censor.  'dawg has already watched it, so when there is a scene that is simply there for gratuitous stimulation, he skips the chapter and we get right back to the violence and F-bombs.   The real Marine life.

Jordan and Jack have become best friends.  Had I known our life was going to get upended, I would have held off getting Jack when we did, but now that the housebreaking is getting under control, he is settling in as a member of our family quite nicely.  And Sissy loves him. 

Sunday, I was teaching a lesson about challenges and adversity in our lives to my Young Women.  I asked them to tell me what kinds of challenges they were facing. The first answer that came was "drama at school"
I had to smile only because, it seems that 'drama' never leaves.  As adults we are still susceptible to being sucked into drama and crap that drains the very life out of us.  In fact, I have been thinking about this a lot.  As I look back, every single relationship either in my own life or the lives of my friends or family, any relationship that has failed has had it's failure originate in dishonesty.  Half truths, gossip, wrong perceptions that get portrayed as truth or bald-face lies all lead to ruined relationships.  There is no way around that.
Lesson learned?  I can spot a dishonest person much quicker now, and am learning to keep my distance.  I am also MUCH more cognizant of how accurate my own speech needs to be.  I don't like my words misunderstood or misrepresented so the more accurate I am, the less chance there is for that. 

Discovering how cool NickJr is.  Really.  I had no idea that Blue's clues was actually educational.  Sure, Joe is a bit over the top - but hey, it beats that Caillou kid.

Guess I should go pull some rolls out to go with the roast in the oven.  Yeah, I said roast.  And it's not even Sunday!  Ssshhhh...don't let out the secret that I actually cooked a meal.  I don't want anyone to get any unrealistic or incorrect expectations!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

How do you get an almost 4 year old who isn't used to sleeping alone, to sleep in her own bed at night?

All night long?

(thank you Lundells for the daybed, Shark for the bedding and painting and Ree for painting - my Diva's took it by storm!)

You get a freakin MARINE on the job!

Okay, so Sissy just hasn't been used to sleeping by herself.  When she stayed at my house before, she always slept with me and Splenda.  We tried to get her in the Yankee room and bed by herself, but she wouldn't have any of it!

I asked her Mom once what she did to be able to get her to sleep alone and she told me she was too soft hearted and that she didn't make her either.  We both agreed that Sweet lil punkin is just too fun to snuggle with.  I even asked Sis once where she slept so I could show her that if she slept alone at someone else's house, she could at mine.  I got a typical toddler answer that she slept with Mommy, or Ganpa, or us.  And then something shiny caught her attention and the convo ended.

Well, her wise Daddy put an end to all that.  I wish I had been smart enough to think of it myself!  Props to him.

Last week, he let HER put HIM to bed in her bed.  Tucked him in, turned off the light and shut the door.  When she got up in the morning, he was still sleeping there.

The next night, he took her into her room.  Laid her in bed - amid whimpering, crying, and protests- and reminded her how she had helped him in there the night before and that he slept there all night long, all by himself.
He then explained that while he was there the night before, he made sure that EVERY scary thing in that room was gone.  Any ghosts, monsters, sounds, (anything a pre-schooler might imagine).....her daddy took care of them.  The room was spotless of any scary.

He then drew her attention to the Marine flag hanging over her bed.  He reminded her that his job is being a Marine and that Marine's protect people.  They keep them safe.  He explained that the flag was there over her bed to protect her.  Nothing bad or scary could ever happen with that flag hanging over her bed.  It was her protection.

(thank you Countess and your congregation for the prayer bear)

He then upped the ante with a reward in the morning with a toy or a treat if she made it all night long in her own bed.
She asked him if he was going to stay there all night.  He told her no, but reminded her that the flag was there all night. 
She rolled over and went to sleep.  He shut the door and walked out. 

The End.

Really..... she has been there every night on her own since then.  She does the typical stall tactics wanting a drink, one more story, sit for awhile..... all perfectly normal stuff.
Each night she has woken up during the night once or twice or four times, but she is easily calmed and goes back to sleep.

Brilliant I tell ya - just freakin brilliant!

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful for a thoughtful son who saw this at the funeral home, loved it and snapped a photo on his cell phone.

I am thankful that he shared it with me.

I am thankful for the feelings of truth that it stirs in me.

A once, old and tired woman crosses the veil to the other side as a vibrant young woman in her prime headed straight into the outreached arms of her Savior.

I love this.

It makes me feel calm and thankful.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Our love for sharks

"Go sell crazy somewhere else

'cause we're all full up here"

Sad, that I now have to remove my Formspring because a very sick and obviously mentally unstable person cannot control themselves and continues to harass me.

For the record.

No - I did not have the perfect relationship with Jill.

No - I did not always love her choices.

Yes - I did love her. She was a part of my life for 5 years.  Lived in my home,  and I took her in as one of my own.  No one will ever understand our relationship but the two of us.

Yes - I believe she was the best Mom she could be.

No - I do not think I contributed to her taking her own life despite your accusations

Yes - I can sleep at night.

So wacko - go find someone else to spew your venom on.  I am tracking you and your IP address and your cowardly little self is known. 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A video tribute to Jillian

A huge thank you to my Shark for taking so much time to put this together.  It will be something for Sissy to treasure always.

Now - off to catch up on what all my other blog friends are doing, my reader is calling me!

Peace and love

Friday, January 7, 2011

It's hard to find words

Where do I start? 
How do I find words that come close to even expressing my feelings? 
Why can't I shut my mind off? 
When will I feel peace again?

So many questions - too few answers.

First off, I must thank every single person who commented on my last post. Except of course for the ANON ones, but I'll address them later.
 Every blogger knows that a positive comment, however brief is extremely validating.  And we all need validation.
I must thank every person who took the time to email me privately, text me or send me a message through Facebook.  The concern via written word from real and virtual friends are tangible things I will have forever.
I want to thank the many friends, coworkers and neighbors that brought food, flowers/plants, diet coke, offers of babysitting, offers of basically ANYTHING.
I want to thank my family members close and extended who jumped to my defense when necessary, had my back and gave me continued encouragement and support.
A very special thank you to my Diva's  and particularly the Shark who spent days at my home cleaning (gasp), painting, preparing and setting up a new bedroom for Sis.

 So much has happened and I haven't journaled a bit of it.  This post will be a reader's digest version, no one wants the nitty,gritty details.  Even I don't like the nitty gritty.

Christmas eve was a long night.  After getting the call about Jillian, Splenda and I sent Sissy home with Uncle Tuffy and Uncle Luka.  They made cookies for Santa and put in a movie.  Splenda and I headed to J's parent's home.  We spent a couple of hours consoling, grieving and talking about the chain of events.

'dawg made the wise decision to hold off telling Sissy until Christmas was over.  And besides, he wanted to be the one to explain it to her.

She loved Christmas and all her presents while the rest of us went through the motions.  After a lengthy call to the Red Cross, 'dawg was finally granted leave and we booked him a flight home.

Sissy took it as well as an almost 4 year old can.  She understands heaven.  That Mommy is there and we will see her again but not for a very long time.  She understands Mommy is happy and helping Heavenly Father.  She knows that her Mommy is with Kasey and is watching over her.  Other than asking where Mommy was on Christmas morning (before she was told) - she hasn't asked since.  I find that a sweet tender mercy for now, but know that hard questions are to come in the future.

J's parents opted for no obituary or funeral service.  Instead, they chose a small, private graveside service with a word from the bishop, a family prayer and the grave dedication. It was quiet, sweet and peaceful.
 'dawg was a pallbearer and was striking in his dress blues.  Sissy sat very quiet on the chair next to her Gampa and in front of  the casket and didn't move a muscle.  It was sad and quite heartbreaking

The following Saturday, our family held an open house for the many friends of J's that were struggling for closure.  It was low key and simple.  Another shout out to the Shark for making a video tribute.  After the video, we turned the mic over to whomever wanted to share a memory, a funny story, or say goodbye.  I didn't count the actual number of people, but the cultural hall of the church was full.  A big thanks to my ward Relief Society for handling the refreshments and my other ward friends for helping me set everything up.
But I especially want to thank everyone who came out to honor Jillian and support  Sissy.  J would have been so pleased.

Since then it has been nothing but paperwork.  'dawg is turning guardianship over to Splenda and I until he finishes his 4 years in the service.  He needs the benefits that the Marine's can offer him and since he knows she will be well taken care of, he can leave with peace of mind.  As you can imagine, the legal forms, social security, insurance, etc is unbelievable.  The Marine's have been fantastic to him, it's just a lot of paperwork to take care of.  In the long run, it will be able to set him up to be able to provide for her and care for her.

I had so much time away from my own job that I am swamped and stressing about catching up.

We have Sissy enrolled in a private preschool.  She is adjusting well and very happy there.  In fact, we observed tonight that she is the happiest we have ever seen her.
She is still not ready to sleep in her own bed yet, but we are being patient and trying to gradually get her doing that.  I had asked J about it a month or so ago and she told me that she has always slept with her, so obviously this is something new and foreign to sleep alone.  No pushing from us.  She can take her time.
 Her potty training regressed for a day or two but since then, she hasn't had one accident.
She had a physical exam and got caught up on her immunizations.  Next up is the dentist, but I think I need to give her a little bit of time to recover from the doctor experience before I let someone get in her mouth : )  She still is pretty ticked about getting "pokes".

Everyone seems to be handling everything so well except for me.  I should be adjusting right?  I try to sit down and write thank you notes and all I do is cry.
I close my eyes at night and all I can do is picture Jillian's last moments and wonder what she was feeling. Was she frantic?  Hysterical?  Calm?
I was shown her suicide note to read.  My heart aches for her.  For her pain and anguish that we didn't fully understand the magnitude of.  I wish I had.  Could I have?  Could anyone have done anything different for her?
Splenda and I had talked to her a couple of weeks earlier, and she expressed that she was in a bad spot.  We offered help, she wanted to feel better and was working on some things and looking into some options we suggested to her.  Should I have pushed more? 
These are the questions that haunt me.  They stress me out.  They make me cry.  They make my chest pound with anxiety.
Logically, I know all the right answers.  But in my heart - I still hurt.  I can only imagine how I would feel if she were my own daughter.  I cannot even begin to wrap my head around the grief that her parents are feeling.  And while our relationship with them is strained at best, I pray that they might find the solace, peace and comfort that they need.

Over the past couple of days, I have come to realize that every person in her life will struggle with some level of guilt.  I am told it is normal and to be expected.  I hope that anyone struggling with that can find their own peace.

I think of Sissy.  Of what lies ahead for her.  This is with her for the rest of her life.  For now, she is everyone's focus.  Stability.  Stability.  STABILITY.
Our goal is to provide the happiest, most fulfilling and opportunity filled life possible.  I want her to not just know, but KNOW -deep in her heart and soul that she is loved beyond comprehension.  And not just by me or Splenda, or Daddy and her Uncles, but by her Gampa, Gamma and other extended family and friends.  I want her to KNOW that she is a beloved daughter of God and that her Mommy is always watching over her.

To those cowards who have hidden behind the label of ANON - let me say this:  I know who you are.  It's not hard to track an IP address.  You don't know the whole story, you don't know the situation and while you are trying your hardest to hurt me, I refuse to let you.  Sorry, you lose.

I love my blog.  I love my own personal outlet to express my feelings, share my funnies, and connect with friends.  While I am now no longer allowing anon comments, and enabling moderation, it is merely to protect myself and my family from those who think they can sit in judgement.  I don't need anymore negativity in my life.

Thanks again to all my real life friends, my blog/virtual friends, my family and the perfect strangers who have taken the time to pass on a cheery word of encouragement.  Your support is greatly appreciated.

And, I promise I'll get my funny back!