Sunday, December 21, 2008

I hate Wisconsin

Just to let you know, I hate Wisconsin. I hate snow, I hate cold, I hate winter, I hate tornadoes. And I'm crabby today, in case there was any question.

I NEED to bake today. And wouldn't you know it my windshield wipers are frozen to the windshield. Like, let the defrost run for 30 minutes and still can't pull them off frozen. So I can't go to the grocery store to get the things needed which means I'll have to wait until Craig gets home which means I'll be up til 2 am wrapping caramels.

Hailey is at community service today. Teen court threw the damn book at her. Literally what it boiled down to is she was charged with harassment for calling S a whore. They asked completely ludicrous questions that didn't have any relevence to anything. They were scripted questions I'm told. Nice. I certainly hope S's punishment fit her crime. We were suppose to have a meeting with them on Friday which got rescheduled to Monday. As if I have nothing better to do than rearrange my schedule for all this stupid crap.

But Hailey, being the mature, responsible child I love has agreed to follow the sanctions she received and is serving part of her 20 hours of community service today. God love her.

My migraines continue although they seem to be back to "normal" in that I'm just getting the aura and not the headache. It's happening really frequently though which is concerning. I see the doctor the first week in January to figure out what the heck is going on with me.

Almost done with Christmas shopping. Almost.

Did you hear Michelle Duggar gave birth to her 18th child via only her THIRD c-section? Good lord that woman has a uterus of steel.

Nate's really learning to talk now and is showing big intrest in potty training! What? NONE of my kids show interest in potty training before at 3. No complaints from the mommy dept that's for sure. He sure is growing up.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Catch up

So, let me take you through last week, which was really interesting to say the least.

Monday we went shopping with my mom. While at Walmart I got one of my migraine Auras. (I often get them but thankfully for many years it's just been the aura and not a full on migraine). Monday night was Christian's christmas program and as always it was absolutely adorable.

Wednesday I went to work until about 12:30 and came home to get Hailey ready for the meeting with the restorative justice/teen court people. That went downright horribly. I think it all just kind of boiled to a head in that meeting and I lost it, the tears wouldn't stop flowing the entire 2 hours we were there. I'm sure they all thought I was absolutely positively insane. It's just been such a stressfull few weeks dealing with all of this, the frustration of it.

Mid meeting I get a phone call from work saying that OB is slammed and can I run the bereavement support group. Sure. No problem.

We finish the meeting at 6:15 with me telling Hailey that I think going through this process would benefit her in that she could have some closure and she and S could get some things on the table and live in this town without fear or hate or any of it. But in the end it's her choice. If she doesn't want to go through it I won't force her, she's been through enough. She chose to give it a try and we have teen court (where she will be "judged" for her offense by a jury of her peers) tomorrow night followed on Friday by a meeting with S and her foster mom.

We leave the meeting and head to the hospital to pick up the snacks for the group and then off to the church where the group is held. Craig met us there. Midway through the group I feel a horrible headache coming on and soon my telltale aura hits and I quickly deteriorated to it taking everything I had to fight throwing up. I ended up cutting it short and crawling into bed with my clothes on. I ended up calling into work Thursday.

Thursday I was tired but steadily improving. Stayed around the house and took it easy.

Friday at about noon while Craig was gone it hit again. The aura followed by the intense pressure in my head followed by the feeling I could vomit. Only this time it progressed into the world spinning and then starting to go black and when I stood up I would kind of tip over and stumble like a drunk person and bounce off the walls. It was time to go and get help.

Craig drove me to the ER where they started an IV and pumped fluids into me. Couldn't get the iv in the first spot and had to try the other hand. They gave me a dose of Reglan which gave me a huge panic attack and a bit of a scary drop in blood pressure but did help the headache a bit and took away the nausea. I came home and slept and rested all weekend.

Now my hands are covered with abnormally large and nasty bruises from the IV sticks that remind me of symptoms that led to my lupus work-up a few years ago that was too iffy to call either way. I think I might need to go back to the doctor....

Friday, December 12, 2008

Craig and I

Since I spent the afternoon in the ER with an IV in my arm and am not up for a real post how about a survey instead.

Craig and I

♥ What are your middle names?​​​​Norman and Ellen

♥ How long have you been together?​​​​12 years next month

♥ How long did you know each other before you started dating?​​​​ a week I think

♥ Who asked who out?He asked me out. Even after I fell asleep during the movie because I wasn't feeling well.

♥ How old are each of you? he's 35 and I'm 32

♥ Who's siblings do/did you see the most?​ mine

♥ Do you have any children together?​ 5

♥ What about pets?​ a miniature dachshund named Taylor

♥ Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple?​ Alex's death, obviousely

♥ Did you go to the same school?​ for a year, we didn't know each other

♥ Are you from the same hometown?​​​​ not even the same state

♥ Do you live in the same town now? of course

♥ Who is the smartest? Who knows. As he says I'm book smart but I lost the book on common sense lol

♥ Who is the most sensitive?​ definitely me

♥ Where do you eat out most as a couple?​ Lately it's this new mexican place here, but we rarely eat out anywhere

♥ Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?​​ Back to his hometown

♥ Who has the craziest exes?​ him, totally

♥ Who has the worst temper?​​​​ My fuse is definitely shorter. It takes a LOT to get him really mad

♥ Who does the cooking?​​​​ he does when he's home

♥ Who is more social?​​​​ me I think

♥ Who is the neat-freak?​ Neither of us is really a neat freak but he definitely is bothered by a mess more than I am

♥ Who is the most stubborn? Me for sure

♥ Who wakes up earlier?​​​​ He does, I'm a bit of a bear to be around in the morning

♥ Where was your first date?​ A movie

♥ Who has the bigger family? We have the same number of siblings but my extended family is much larger

♥ Do you get flowers often?No, I don't like flowers. I think cut flowers are a horrible thing to give someone. Why would it be endearing to give someone something that they have to watch die?

♥ How do you spend the holidays?​​​​With family

♥ Who is more jealous?​Probably me although neither of us are really jealous. We are very secure in our marriage

♥ How long did it take to get serious?​​​​ not long at all. A month maybe?

♥ Who sings better?​​​​ me

♥ Who does/did the laundry?​​​​ me again

♥ Who’s better with the computer?​​​​ Depends on what is going on. If it's finding information on the internet or doing anything with pictures I'm it, if it needs to be fixed it's definitely his thing

♥ Who drives when you are together?​​​​ Almost always him

♥ Who picks where you go to dinner?​​​​ usually me, he's quite indecisive

♥ Who is the first one to admit when they’re wrong?​​​​ him

♥ Who has more tattoos?​​​​Me

♥ Who eats more sweets?​​ Him, I'm not a big sweets eater at all. He loves his hershey bars and peanut butter

♥ Who cries more?​​​​Me

♥ Who has the older car? him

♥ Are you two still a couple?​​​​ Yep and hopefully for many many many years

Thursday, December 11, 2008

So you know...

As much as I've always said that this blog is my venting place and what I express here are my opinions of the way I see things around me, a phone call got me thinking. While all that is true, this blog is mine and is my place, it is also a public blog that is not only read by people around the world (hi Aussie friends!) but also people within my own community. And as such I have a responsibility in preventing my words from feeding the rumor mill and potentially hurting the people with whom I share this little town.

I tend to get a little hot headed. Are you shocked? Well I do. And there are things that I don't always address when the time comes but that come boiling to the forefront when another situation strikes them up. And there are times I make assumptions without having all the facts. And sometimes I don't realize that what I write in my blog affects other people. I tend to see my blog as this small sheet of paper sitting on my desk where I write what I write to release it and it's over.

A couple posts ago I made reference to the child of someone involved in Hailey's school issue. It wasn't something that should have come out on this blog. It just shouldn't have. I have removed it from that post and apologized to that child's mother and addressed the concerns I had and left it in her moms court to deal with with her own child. Which is precisely what I should have done in the first place. I also took words from a situation involving that child and without getting both sides of the story formed my own assumptions. And I'm sorry for that as well.

I guess sometimes I get a bit of tunnel vision and see what I want to see. That's not fair.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Getting to know me

Firsts!

1. Who was your FIRST prom date? Actually I didn't go to prom. When my classmates were at prom I was at home caring for my 4 month old baby whose father decided he had "other obligations" and was doing whatever it is he did.

2. Do you still talk to your FIRST love? Sure, because I'm court ordered to.

3. What was your FIRST alcoholic drink? Vodka. Which was also my 2nd, and 3rd, and 4th, and ....157th. I loved my vodka in high school.

4. What was your FIRST job? My first job was babysitting but my first REAL job was working as a cashier for $4.25/hour at Hardee's. And raising a child on that.

5. What was your FIRST car? A green and white 1977 Ford Thunderbird with a 427 Turbo engine. Fun fun fun til mommy took the T-bird away.

6. Who was the FIRST person to text you today?I have no idea since my phone has been in the drawer at one of the places I work since Friday. At least I think.

7. Who is the FIRST person you thought of this morning? Nate, I always check on him first thing. I'm still paranoid.

8. Who was your FIRST grade teacher? I can't remember who my first grade teacher was. Do you realize just how many years ago that was?

9. Where did you go on your FIRST ride on an airplane? I have never been on an airplane and it would be perfectly fine with me if I never did. At least not without a couple (or 20) xanax.

10. Who was your FIRST best friend and are you still friends with them? Heather. Sadly we grew apart when I moved in 7th grade but we still email occasionally.

11. What was your FIRST sport played? t-ball. I was the girliest tomboy you ever met.

12. Where was your FIRST sleep over? My cousin's. Does that count? If not then it was probably Heather's. She lived kitty corner from us from the time I was 5 until I was nearly 12. We spent many nights at each other's houses.

13. Who was the FIRST person you talked to today? Tanya

14. Whose wedding were you in the FIRST time? Umm, my mom's I beleive.

15. What was the FIRST thing you did this morning? Smacked the snooze

16. What was the FIRST concert you ever went to? I've never been to a REAL concert. Although I've seen some pretty good bands at local shindigs around here. 8 years after they ceased to be famous

17. FIRST tattoo or piercing? My ears when I was like 5.

18. FIRST foreign country you went to? Canada. As odd as it seems to call Canada foreign

19. What was your FIRST run in with the law? Ummm. When Angie and I got busted making prank phone calls.

20. When was your FIRST detention? 8th grade. I had 246 hours racked up by my junior year in high school. Never did finish them. HA! Take THAT Mr Huftel.

21. What was the FIRST state you lived in? Wisconsin.

22. Who was the FIRST person to break your heart? Ummm. I don't even know really. Probably John.

23. Who was your FIRST roommate? Tessa

24. Where did you go on your FIRST limo ride? The weekend that John rented a limo for a couple of friends and him and I. Same weekend we found out my friend Kristin was pregnant in a gas station bathroom.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

So much to say but where does it begin and where does it end?

There's just so much going on I find myself coming here to blog and giving up before I start because it's so exhausting to think about putting it all here at one time. So I guess I'll do it in separate posts, or maybe I'll get started and not be able to stop typing. I never know when I sit down in front of this page. Sometimes things will just start flowing at a pace even I can't keep up with and other times my mind is full but my fingers don't know what to say.

I guess I'll start with the latest on the Hailey/school situation which continues to be a huge stressor in our lives.

Remember how I had received that telephone call from the teen court facilitator? Remember how my idiot self for a minute thought that someone had finally come to their senses and decided that........ oh I don't know........ NO ONE deserves to be beaten up at school? Remember that?

Oh how I was mistaken. As it turns out HAILEY is being charged with a crime. Disorderly conduct and harassment to be precise. I received a letter from the teen court on Thursday informing me that if my daughter follows through with the program and is tried in front of a jury of her peers that this may not have to go on her "record".

I called the teen court facilitator immediately who called me back the next morning. I told her in no uncertain terms that Hailey and I were willing to cooperate but that would be up to and ending at the extent of allowing the victim to be further victimized. Hailey WILL NOT be tried in front of a jury of her peers, she WILL NOT be forced to relive what happened to her and we most definitely WILL NOT allow her to be bullied by a school official and a police officer who have something to prove. I pushed and they pushed back. My ONLY goal here is to protect my daughter, sadly apparently I also have to protect her from bullies who think that being in a position of power gives them the right to bully people.

If at the end of the day, after all is said and done a fair judge decides that Hailey DID deserve to be punched, choked, and thrown on the ground because she said S couldn't catch her than fine. Until then, we try to get through this with as little damage as possible while showing Hailey that if you follow the rules and do what you should and don't allow people to bully you, you walk away with more than they ever tried to take from you.

I'm not sure where the harassment part of it comes from at all. There are a couple incidents I can possibly see that could, if twisted the right way, be made to seem as harassment. There's the time when S called my home 16 times in one day bothering Hailey and I called foster mom and told her to stop her child from calling my house anymore. Maybe me calling her was harassment? ha! Or maybe it was the time S wrote a note in school that foster mom was a horrible b*tch other horrible things and I gave foster mom the note so she could have a talk with S about it since S was obviousely extremely upset. Or maybe it's the time Hailey was at my friend's house and S stood across the street swearing at my friends children and Hailey told her to "just shut up". Or maybe it was when S walked into my house uninvited and I told her to leave NOW and not come back. Maybe if you were really digging for something to pin on Hailey you could use those things as harassment. Maybe.

We meet with the teen court facilitator and 2 resource workers on Tuesday.


Here's a pretty fitting song for the night.... since I probably would have had a lot less problems in this town if we had just conformed to the robotic "norm". Such as

when they forced my left handed child to write with his right hand in kindergarten. I had a problem with that.

When my son's school bus driver came to pick him up talking on his cell phone. I had a problem with that.

When a member of the school board said in a meeting that they prefer to deal with issues (drugs) internally. I had a problem with that.

When my sons third grade teacher told me he needed to be on Ritalin. I had a problem with that

When the principal accused my daughter of having a "power struggle" when he accused her of stealing someone's shoe (no, not shoeS) and she got mad. (the girl lost the shoe and later found it) I had a problem with that

When that same principal told me that my son wouldn't once again be pushed through if he wasn't ready and he finished the school year with straight F's and started 9th grade right on time. I had a problem with that

When my son went to 7th grade not knowing how to add. I had a problem with that

When my daughter got detention for telling her teachers aide that she didn't beleive man actually walked on the moon. I had a problem with that.

Maybe if I had always just been a zombie and never stood up for my kids in this town. Maybe i'd have an easier time of it. But I didn't....

And I'm not sorry. And YOU have a problem with that.





Thursday, December 4, 2008

Bailouts

So my friend Trista blogged about the auto company bailouts. This is an issue that Craig and I have been venting about for days now. Cause we do wierd things like that, like we don't have enough in our lives to rant about.

Here's what I think about all thest bailouts. If you frequently get irritated by my take on matters, might want to go play yahoo games or something and come back later.

First with the banks. I heard someone say on CNN during all of that, that if they took that sum of money they gave to the banks and split it between every head of household in the country, each household would receive approximately $400,000. Enough to pay off most mortgages entirely. My first thought was "yeah, THAT wouldn't help the banks" but the more I thought about it the more I wondered....

You see, most people I know don't HAVE $400,000 mortgages. Take my modest home for instance. I owe approximately $60,000. My home is WORTH $169,000 at last appraisal. Right now the only thing keeping me in this town is that my home isn't yet mine. So what would happen if we got $400,000? We would pay off our house of course. We would take the remainder of the money and put a down payment on someone else's house and mortgage the rest, thus putting our business back into the bank. I'm going to assume that a few people would do this, thus sparking a housing boom and subsequent upward turn in the economy. But there are many people who wouldn't choose to move, what about them?

Well those people would likely do one of a couple things. They might spend that $400,000. Wouldn't that boost the economy! Or they might decide to be careful and save it, put it in the bank. The bank then puts it in stock and every stock they invest in BOOSTS THE ECONOMY. And yet other people, who don't even own homes would use that money to buy one! The way I see it we could have taken care of this recession in a hurry!

And now it's the auto companies. Call it a bailout, call it a loan... call it whatever makes your little heart happy. But we have to ask ourselves a couple of questions. First, WHY are auto makers in trouble? The recession you say? Well think about this?

This recession didn't suddenly start yesterday. We've been teetering on that edge of what defines "recession" for a few years. Take yourself back to say... 2005. What kinds of vehicles was GM strongly marketing then? Gas guzzling SUV's of course. Are you telling me that GM had NO IDEA the economy was in a downturn when they were marketing $60,000 gas guzzling SUV's? PFFT. Maybe they should have been marketing smaller, more fuel efficient cars THEN and they wouldn't be where they are now. They economy didn't DO THIS to auto companies. They were part of the entire process.

Another problem I have is where does it end? Banks, Auto companies.... next it will be other fortune 500 companies and eventually it will trickle down to Joe Shmoe who owns the pharmacy. Do you think anyone will be bailing out Joe? I think not. But why? Joe likely is in trouble BECAUSE of the economy and not his own poor choices, but who will be bailing him out? Exactly how much authority should the government have over whose business and livlihood thrives and whose fails?

Because when I'm sitting at work day after day and I see people who appear to have it together tell me they had to drop their insurance because they couldn't afford it anymore, that makes me very sad. When I have people come in unsure if they really WANT the medication they need because of it's cost that makes me angry. When I see people using the Emergency room as their family doctor because of lack of insurance that makes me furious. And those people are in that position because the banks, the auto companies, the fortune 500's MADE BAD CHOICES.

I say let GM and Wells Fargo fall on their ass and make room for some of the smaller institutions to thrive. Let them work out their own mistakes. If every one of those banks and companies cut the salaries of their CEO's in half for 5 years they would likely get back on their feet in no time and that CEO would still be living far more comfortably than most of us.

My brother and I were talking about it the other day releived because of our job security. What do people do when money gets tight? They shop at Walmart instead of Macy's (my brother is the assistant manager of a walmart store. They start using the ER as their family doctor (me), and they get desperate and end up in prison (my sister). Sad isn't it?

Soap box put away for another day.....

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

how funny life is

Last night I had quite a long telephone conversation with an old friend I haven't talked to in many years. It was very neat to catch up on the goings on of changing families and find some clarity in situations I hadn't known much about, except through others. It's funny how things kind of come full circle like that. It made me realize how much I've grown over the years and how I still see people as who they were and am strangely surprised to see that they have grown as well.

Yesterday while I was at work Craig and Hailey went to the restraining order hearing. We didn't get it. The judge felt it wasn't necessary, and it probably isn't since we have taken the steps to remove Hailey from the situation. It's just so sad that we had to do that, that no one would do their jobs and help. Apparently when Hailey or Craig were on the stand talking to the judge the foster mom and the social worker were making snarky comments and pffft'ing. (nice word huh?) I'm very proud of Hailey and Craig that they remained calm and mature about it and didn't let it get to them.

Today, surprisingly I get a phone call from the teen court facilitator saying that the officer had very recently turned the case over to them. hmmm, interesting. A week ago he wasn't going to do anything and suddenly now it's in teen court? I'm not expecting much but everything that happens just goes to send a clear message to that girl that even if she can fool the social workers, her step mom, the principal, etc... you still have to face the music for your actions at the end of the day.

Poor Craig has a project ahead of him tomorrow, and Craig really doesn't like these kinds of projects. You see, our house is 124 years old. Yep, 124. You would never know it unless you had to look at the upstairs plumbing. In fact, when we installed the shower when we moved in Craig had taken some peices to the local hardware store (think Tim the Tool man) and the guys there had never seen plumbing that old. Well after 5 years of battling that plumbing it's time to replace it. Poor Craig. Poor, poor Craig. He doesn't seem the least bit excited.

Time to go cut Chris and Jack's hair so they look like little boys again and not hoodlems.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Love this song

I heard this song for the first time in March 2006. Somehow the radio in the truck got turned to a Christian station and this song was what we heard as Craig and the kids dropped me off at the hospital one friday morning. They were going home for the weekend and I was to spend the weekend with Alex. This was the day Alex had his heparin overdose and nearly died.... We drove to the hospital in silence that day. I had nothing to say..... and had no way of knowing the turn our lives were about to take....


Saturday, November 29, 2008

The most wonderful time of the year

What is better than the time of year you can stuff your face with tons of calorie laden food and no one at the table bats an eye? Seriousely, I love food. I mean L-O-V-E food. It's really quite amazing I'm of "average" weight for height because my love for food borders on addiction at times. I don't just love food, I love anything dripping with gravy or with 4 lbs of butter in it. Which is pretty much Thanksgiving by definition.

lv <--- see that? that's Nate typing. He loves food too.

Anyway. So Thanksgiving is over and today I work on Christmas cards, otherwise known- in the politically correct world- as HOLIDAY cards. Whatever, they are cards, I bought mine on a black friday sale at Menards for 99 cents a box. Sorry folks, stamps are too expensive for Hallmark. So now I write the obligatory (and downright slightly tacky, even I admit it) yearly letter to put in my cards, updating folks on the goings on around here and linking them to my blog because frankly, 2 sheets of paper for a letter is plenty and it would take me about 300 more than that to tell everyone about a year in the life of 8 crazy northerners.

Wouldn't ya know it. No color ink. So before the cards go out a trip to Hatemart is in order. Always something.

On the school front. Homeschooling is wonderful. Dare I say it, a week into our venture? WONDERFUL. Allowing my kids to tell ME what they are interested in and then tailoring activities so they learn as much as they can from one subject seems to be what is going to work for us, at least as of now. They LOVE IT.

Speaking of. It went better than I expected taking them out of school. Hailey's principal looked surprisingly er surprised. Huh? You just thought we were going to bring her back and let her get beat up on again didja? apparently.

We didn't even talk to Austin's principal because he wasn't there. Oh well, like it matters.

The police refuse to charge the blond headed deviant with ANYTHING. Go figure. Can't think of a more clear message that violence will be tolerated and condoned in school. What a joke. Just another case of "if nothing happens about it, then it didn't happen" in this town. And you people wonder why nearly 100 children have been moved from this small district in recent years. Here's a hint, it's not because you are doing things right!

Anyway, off to make food. Did I mention I love food?

Monday, November 24, 2008

sickies sickies everywhere!

So I've now been battling this cold since Wed night. Yesterday my coworker "strongly encouraged" me to just go home and sleep it off, which after trying to argue with her that I was perfectly fine I decided to just do because my poor patients were probably freaking out that I was going to share it with them with all my coughing. Hand sanitizer can only do so much. Plus the night before my sleep was pretty broken worrying about Jack who was spiking 103+ fevers, everytime I'd get it to come down he'd start shivering and it would race back up.

So I went home and got a little nap in and about 1:30 Jack started saying his neck hurt. Gave him some motrin at 2 and by 2:30 his temp was still over 102 and he was crying and asking to go to the DR (he HATES doctors remember) so I figured he must be feeling really awful.

Get him to the ER and we go through all the zillion questions. Jack is a really tough nut to crack sometimes because of his SID. He just doesn't feel things like we do. Turns out it's strep throat again! Joy.

Get his meds and the damn lady on the other end of the instymed machine phone can't speak or understand english. No ma'am, our insurance card doesn't HAVE an RX number. Yes, ma'am I know what an RX number is. No ma'am, there is no RX number. Ma'am, do you realize I look at insurance cards ALL DAY LONG?! I know where to look. Fine I'll pay for the damn medicine in cash.... yeah, have a nice goddamn day too.

So I get his meds and get home and Hailey says "hey mom, my throat really hurts" Greee-at. Guess the doc will be calling in a few more scripts before the week is out. Thankfully I don't have to bring them all in for cultures or I might kill myself.

So I'm home about 45 minutes and all of a sudden I feel as though I've been stabbed in the back ... in the kidney to be precise. A-HA! Kidney stone time. Great. So I call Craig and almost breathe out enough of a "ki.......dney........st" for him to get what I was saying and he says he'll be home asap. Took a crapload of Motrin and curled up in the fetal position on the recliner. It had eased a little by the time Craig got home so I popped an oxycodone and went to bed. Pain was gone by this morning YAY! So either it passed and is sitting in my bladder or it dropped back into the kidney to torture me another day, who knows. Either way, there's many more where that one came from to look forward to, joy. I'm thinking about finally caving in and agreeing to let my urologist hack my kidneys open and do away with em. Shudder.

In better news, our PS-1206 form was received by the State of Wisconsin dept of public instruction today! Which means tomorrow we clean out Austin and Hailey's lockers and begin homeschooling! Well, we've been teaching Hailey at home for nearly a week now, but now we're official! Woohoo. I don't think it will go well tomorrow. I'm not even holding out hope. Too bad I know what the law says about homeschooling and what my rights are. I'm actually figuring he'll make something up and call CPS and they'll be at my door before the holiday. Anything to stir up trouble.

Craig got ahold of the superintendant today about his talk with the principal on Thursday about the situation and I'm not sure what all was said but he sent me a text message that just as we suspected, the superintendant wasn't willing to do anything to keep her safe either. We tried every option we could think of anyway, no one can say we didn't do our best. And for the record, we STILL haven't heard anything about the charges.

However if they think it ends this simply they are horribly mistaken. I am writing a letters to the DPI, to Mrs. Mary Hubler (our state representative) and anyone else I can think of who won't tolerate violence being allowed in a public school. This time it's Hailey, and thank God we are able, due to commitment and work schedules, to remove her from that environment and spend our days teaching her at home where she feels safe. But what about the next kid? What if his or her parents can't, or won't? This cannot continue to be acceptable. It just can't.

Period.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

deep breath

So I was told I needed to take a deep breath after last night. So I did. And I realized. I just can't go down the "why" road. The "why" road is an angry road that doesn't get me anywhere. God is not going to answer my questions and I have to accept that.

Deep breathe. Relax.

And life goes on.

Friday, November 21, 2008

And an update on the school situation

This morning I called and left a voicemail for the principal asking him if anything had been done to ensure Hailey's safety at school and reprimand S. I never got a phone call back. So today we sent the PS-1206 form to the state of Wisconsin department of education informing them that we will be homeschooling. We will have delivery confirmation by noon on Monday (per the post office) and Tuesday morning will be cleaning out Austin and Hailey's lockers. (Austin has been struggling in school and we had hoped high school would be different, it hasn't been and he is currently carrying straight F's and becoming increasingly frustrated by the lack of help from his teachers so the decision was made that as long as we were pulling Hailey, he could benefit as well).

Hailey has been doing great at home and today had a breakthrough in math that was a long time coming. She is also working on a project about dogs and about President Jefferson

Sigh

You know, there's this strange thing that happens sometimes. Sometimes I realize Alex is dead. I know, you are wondering where the hell I've been, he's been dead for 2 1/2 years. Tonight I read what I have of his medical record which is surgical notes and lab and radiology reports. I don't understand. I don't understand how things went the way they did.

I don't understand how he did so well after surgery the first time, coming off bypass and satting at 94%, to ripping all the sutures out and nearly bleeding to death and ending up on ECMO. I don't understand how the x-ray the morning he died showed "significant improvement" in the appearance of his lungs from the night before and 5 hours later x-ray showed his lungs still looked great, what they could see around the defibrillator paddle at least. I don't understand any of it.

I understand the words (well, enough anyway) but it doesn't make sense. My heart just can't even fathom what went on in those 6 weeks and 5 days.

Reading the ultrasound report from his head ultrasound. Reading the the Radiologists words that it was unknown what the bleeding in his brain would mean longterm. Reading the report from the neurologist that said "he turns his eyes left to look at his father". OMG that killed me.

I remember when he would lay there, eyes wide open even as doped up on meds as he was and his little body wouldn't move except his eyes, looking in response to our voices. I remember looking into those eyes that didn't show fear or pain, but a sense of calmness that gave me so much hope. A machine working for hisheart and lungs and still he was there, he was there.

And then I remember those eyes filled with pain. Those silent wails. And I would stroke his tiny cheek and he would stop, open his eyes and look straight into mine and cry again his silent cry.

Oh how I wanted to scoop him up and tell him everything was going to be ok. But I couldn't. I couldn't do anything.

The day he died I remember feeling the need to protect him. I hadn't been able to protect him for so long. Even though he was gone it felt so wonderful to finally have him in my arms where no-one could hurt him anymore. To shield him from the pain he could no longer feel. Or may I was using his tiny lifeless body as a shield for my own pain. I don't know.

Today I'm not ok. I wonder when I ever will be. Never? I feel so ripped off. Everything he went through was for nothing and today I hate God for that. I don't feel inclined to feel the "God's will" or " for a reason" bullshit today. I can think of a million reasons why children shouldn't die and not one reason they should. I feel today that God is a hypocrit quite frankly.

The only peace I have is knowing that this moment will pass and the thin film that covers my heart and protects it from this raw emotion will repair itself once again and tomorrow will be a new day. A new day where the sun comes up and life goes on. Even when it doesn't.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sick sick sick

I caught the sickies, blah. No wonder really with the amount of stress around here at the moment. Tried my damnest to not sneeze all over people at work and used about a half bottle of sanitizer before caving in and taking my sniffling self downstairs to the pharmacy for some dayquil which did clear my head a bit but didn't releive my symptoms nearly as much as I'd hoped. Blah.

Not a whole lot to report on the school situation since I spent all day at work but Craig did call the superintendant today to ask for his help in dealing with the principal. He called back as I was on my way home so unfortunately we will have to wait until Monday to hear what he came up with, apparently he's out of the office tomorrow. Here's hoping we make some progress and things can improve very soon. I did get some more information from another student tonight that will hopefully prove helpful.

Craig also had a guy come in and look at our floor today. Wait, I haven't talked about my floor yet in here have I?! Well, we got a wild hair last Friday and decided on a whim to pull up the carpet in the living room that has been there since we bought the house. Much to our surprise we found hardwood floors in excellent shape! Definitely have some cosmetic issues as far as the stain and some scratches but all in all in extremely good condition. So we had someone come look at them to give us an estimate on refinishing them and he said they are maple and very likely ORIGINAL to the house! This house was built in 1884!

He said he'd get back to us on the final estimate. Fingers crossed it fits within our budget.

Anyway, I'm going to down my germs in some french vanilla coffee and junk food and then hopefully get some sleep.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A news story from our local paper

Another example of what's going on with Hailey in this same community in 2005, has anything changed?


Imagine, if you will, that you are having a dream.
In that dream, you are a young child again - a kindergartner perhaps - standing and waiting for the school bus to stop at your house and pick you up to take you to school. For some reason you can't identify you are nervous - maybe even frightened. What's there to be frightened of, right? The school bus is a safe enough place.

But as the bus pulls up your heart begins to race. "I don't want to get on the bus," you say to yourself. Despite your mental protestings, you know you must. Sheepishly, you climb the steps into the belly of that yellow behemoth. As you pass between the row of seats, you remember why you are terrified - the bully. The bully that lurks just waiting for the right victim to catch their eye. You slink to your seat - head down, eyes focused on your shoes - hoping not to be noticed. Then you hear the voice that sets your hair on end and your heart into a full-on sprint. "Hey, did your momma dress you in that?" You freeze, hoping that by ignoring the culprit your fragile little body will be spared. No luck. Strong hands - teenage hands - grab onto your head and lift you up to the top of the bus, slamming your head into the metal ceiling, leaving you with a searing pain that is both physical and mental.You wake up and realize it's just a dream.



Unfortunately, for some children, that dream is a nightmare they live every single day. It comes in many forms, profiles and has many different results. One thing always remains the same though - until someone stands up to them the bullies will continue to bully.The Kolanczyk's storyFor Chuck Kolanczyk, the above nightmare is very similar to the one he endured Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2004.The day was just like any other for Chuck, 6, having had a delightful time at his Roselawn Elementary kindergarten class. Chuck is part of Tracey Meskers' and Holly Pember's kindergarten-first grade "loop" class, and he enjoys school very much.Every day, the bus picks up the elementary students at Roselawn and then drives over to the high school to pick up high school and middle school students. Upon arrival at the high school, the bus driver had to escort a student off the bus into the parking lot, temporarily leaving the bus unsupervised.It was at this point, allege Gerald and Corina Kolanczyk, that a high school student entered the bus, picked Chuck up by his head, and slammed him against the roof of the bus."Can you imagine these huge hands basically grabbing you by the ears, lifting you up and slamming your head into the bus?" asked Corina. "Can you imagine what effect that type of physical and mental trauma has on a child?""No child should have to deal with that," adds Gerald. "Ever."

Holding Jerry's hand, Corina describes Chuck's condition when he arrived at home as being "strange" and "so unlike Chuck.""When he got home he started vomiting," Corina describes with tears in her eyes. "He told me he was having head pains and chest pains. He was having a hard time breathing as well. At a point he just became inconsolable."With Corina gripped in the throes of panic, wondering what was going on with her son, she finally learned what happened."I finally got Chuck calmed down enough to find out what happened and then we went to the emergency room."Chuck was first diagnosed with a concussion and a neck sprain.

However, after Chuck kept experiencing shortness of breath and chest pain, the Kolanczyks decided to bring Chuck back in to be checked out again."We told them about the shortness of breath and the chest pain Chuck was experiencing, and they told us that what he was experiencing was trauma and shock from the attack," explains Corina."You'd be in shock, too, if something like that happened to you," adds Gerald. "He won't ride the bus anymore," Corina chimes in, "and at this point we don't want him to."Corina says she has nothing against the driver of the bus on which the assault occurred, she and Gerald are just worried about the physical and mental well-being of their son.

"We don't want Chuckster to be scarred for life by this, or to continue to be targeted because he told us what happened," says Gerald. "I think he has suffered enough."In light of what transpired on the bus that day, along with some other allegations the Kolanczyks have brought forth against the School District of Chetek, Gerald and Corina made the difficult decision to pull two of their three children out of the district - effective Wednesday, Feb. 16."As of Wednesday, Feb. 16, my 6-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter are no longer part of the Chetek School District," writes Gerald in a letter to School District of Chetek Superintendent Al Brown. "We will be home schooling them this year and they will be transferring to Cameron via open enrollment next year."

The decision to pull their children out of school in the middle of the school year was not an easy one for the Kolanczyks, but one they felt was necessary as a response to what they called "being pushed aside.""We were hoping to let Chuck and his sister finish out the school year in Chetek and then enroll at Cameron next year," explains Gerald. "But we have just had enough with them [representatives of the School District] and the way they have treated us."Gerald adds that the sad part of the whole thing is that no matter what happens with his kids the rest of this year, and next at Cameron, the fact remains that there is still a bully out there, ready to traumatize another child."

They haven't punished the kid responsible for this yet," states Gerald, with sadness in his eyes. "We've told them who did it. Chuck has even identified the boy, and there has still not been anything done about it."

Read the rest of the story at the Chetek Alert's website HERE

Another update

This morning Craig and I took the discharge summary, clearly stating the injuries the doctor observed last night to the principal and notified him that Hailey wouldn't be at school. I told him that she was really afraid of coming back and being forced to spend her recess in the library with S and he told me he never said that..... He also told me that one of the witnesses we mentioned told him she wasn't even out there when it happened. Funny since SHE was one of the two who ran in to tell him. DUH! We also informed him that the attorney we made contact with this morning clearly stated that choking and punching someone would most certainly NOT be disorderly conduct but rather assault and battery in that it has the potential to cause great bodily harm. Hell in my opinion choking someone would fit the bill of attempted murder actually....... but I'm no judge.


I'm impressed (and saddened) by the number of parents in this community who emailed me after my blog post last night. I had no idea that many people here read my blog! That and to read some of the stories is heartbreaking. Many of these parents no longer have their children in this district and some moved altogether. Some still have their kids in the school either for lack of options or because they don't know who to turn to. Most it seems have climbed the ladder. The principal, the administrator, the school board, even law enforcement and have gotten nowhere. How very sad that politics in this town has taken over what is truly best for our children. Sad indeed.

Anyway. So I got some of Hailey's belongings out of her locker and we left and went to the police station, hoping to make contact with the officer from yesterday and make sure that charges were filed and collect Hailey's disorderly conduct citation. The officer we needed to talk to wasn't working today so that was a bust. Not that we want Hailey ticketed, but if in fact her saying "you can't catch me" WAS enticement then we will take the charge presented, fair is fair. Mostly we want a court date to let the judge decide.

After that we headed over to the county courthouse to file a restraining order preventing S from harassing Hailey further. Rumor has it she was served at school. I am hoping she learns from all of this and doesn't create anymore trouble.

I was warned in a comment from a friend overseas that my blogging the events of all of this may be detrimental to any proceedings that need to come from it. Blogging this is serving a few purposes. It's helping me keep a timeline of events, allowing me to document the goings on so if the time comes to remember them I remember clearly, and to send a message to anyone who thinks it's ok to bully a child or families in the communities you serve. It's NOT ok for that girl to physically hurt another child, it's NOT ok for school and city staff to "dumb down" events in order to keep violent acts within the district "under the rug" (my opinion on what's going on of course, however one of the members of the school board did say, in a newspaper story referencing the drug problem in our schools:

"As a school board member, and I see other school board members present, we work very hard in a very competitive school situation to do positive things," stated Jost. "If we have negative concerns we try and deal with them-privately."

Privately? Tell me, why would we deal with illegal behaviors such as drugs in school privately, rather than refer them to law enforcement, Mr Jost? Does that even make any sense?

You can read this article, which I mentioned references drugs and not violence HERE

Back to violence....

It is NOT ok to make the victim of the assault spend her lunch in a room with her attacker ( a statement that "didn't" take place of course). It's not ok to try to back a parent into a corner and tell them that if the attacker is charged the victim will be too, in an apparent effort to put the kibosh on anything leaving the school (again, MY opinion. and not just stemming from my case, but from talking to other people this happens a LOT in this community. One parent in fact claims she felt she was being talked out of taking her child with a broken nose from a school assault to the hospital! Sadly she didn't end up taking him so there was no proof of his injury therefore no charges could be filed. ).

None of this is ok. Of course some of these things are simply my take on what is going on and may or may not be the intent of the people involved (there's my attempt at a disclaimer lmao) But I'd rather speak up and take that risk then have this little town be the next Columbine or Jonesboro because bullies were allowed to bully and victims were allowed to be victimized. When the victim of a crime at school walks away feeling scared to return to school because nothing was done to their attacker, that is NOT OK! What happens when one day the bully brings a weapon to school and something horrible happens. I'm scared to send my daughter to school for God's sake! This is NOT OK!

Whew, ok calming down slightly. It makes me so scared and sad and angry that his has happened to my daughter and to the other families I've been in contact with. Children should not be treated this way. Children should be protected and when we hand our most precious things over to the people at school we should be assured that every step will be taken to keep our child safe from violence. When we send our children out that door in the morning we put our faith in the adults that we have little choice in entrusting with their care...... what happens when they fail to do that? What happens when nobody holds them accountable for failing to do that? Eventually tragedy happens.

I don't honestly know what it will take to get the answers and accountability we (and others) feel comfortable with but I have some places to start. There are many state representatives and othe resources we can turn to if we look. I'm sure I will again look like the bad guy and have my house egged or something (hehe) but there are a few things I tell my kids on a regular basis. That I will do whatever it takes to keep them safe and that sometimes it's worth the risk to stand up for what you beleive in.


***Again, I don't know if these things are the intent of the people involved. I have no way of knowing exactly what each party thinks or feels in this or any other incidence. I do know that my child was physically inujured at school and that her attacker was not, in my opinion, properly disciplined or held accountable nor were steps taken to assure my daughters comfort in her future safety from this child in the school setting. It is not my intent whatsoever to place blame where it is undue or to make accusations that are blatently false. It is simply my intent to tell our story, as we saw it and to make sure my child and others in this school district are protected to the fullest extent possible to the end I am capable.***

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Good to know!

Did you know it's ok to physically assault someone? I just learned that today. At least in our town it is.

So at around 12:30 today I'm downstairs and Craig comes down in a hurry and says "lets go". Huh? Where are we going? "To the school he tells me. S just beat Hailey up".

WHAT? I tell him to call the police (knowing the school wouldn't have done it, oh no) and get my shoes and coat on and get Nate ready.

Now S. This girl really does have some serious issues. I feel for her, I really do. Sad story of a child in the foster care system who is now living with, in my opinion, less than ideal foster parents. This child has often been seen on the corner near her home just taking her clothing off, for no apparent reason. Hailey and her hung around briefly at the end of last year until the foster mom lost her mind one day and began screaming at S while Hailey was there, so loudly in fact that people blocks away heard her, and I put the kibosh on Hailey going over there in that environment.

For the most part we had little issue with this girl or her foster family until recently. A few weeks ago she had written a note to Hailey saying some really cruel things about her foster mother and my friend and I took the note over there, in hopes that maybe if the foster mother knew some of these things, she could help this child.

Apparently the foster mother did talk to her, and that's when she began saying horrible things about all of us around town. Then a couple weeks ago Hailey had stopped home before a game she was cheering at with her team/squad/what do you call it? mates and told them to stay outside while she ran in and got something. My friend and I were talking in the kitchen and when we saw S in the living room my friend simply asked her why she had been saying those things to people. This turned into this child swearing and me telling her to leave my home where she proceeded to call me names all the way down the street.

Childish, silly things. No biggie right?

Well then my friends house got egged. She couldn't see who it was but the person looked like a teenage girl and ran in the direction of S's house, which is only about a block away from my friends. This was reported to the police but little could be done without being able to identify her. A couple days ago I told Hailey that if she happened to hear S talking about egging anyone's house to let me know.

Fast forward to today at lunch. Hailey and her group of friends were sitting in the cafeteria and Hailey asked S if she egged my friend's house. S said no, but the cops were at her house a few days ago because she had flipped out on foster mom. Oh, ok. She then proceeded to swear at Hailey and soon they went their separate ways, and headed outside.

Once outside (according to Hailey and the other girls that were out there) S came over by Hailey and swore at her and walked away. Moments later another girl, B, came over and relayed a message to the girls that Shelby was going to kill Hailey. Hailey asked another girl, J, to go over there and tell S to leave her alone and stop coming over there and J does.

A couple minutes later S comes BACK over and tells Hailey she's going to beat her up. Hailey said "you can't even catch me" and S darts at her and Hailey does in fact run faster and gets away and stands in front of a classroom window hoping if anything further happened the teacher inside would see. S was near the door preventing Hailey or her friends from getting inside and the aide was noticing nothing, as per usual. I've heard from many people that things can happen right in front of his particular aide and he has no idea. Sounds like a great use of our tax dollars!

Then S came at Hailey again and punches her in the jaw before Hailey took off running again. Hailey trips and S grabs the back of her jacket and puts her to the ground where she smacks her head on the concrete and scrapes her finger. S gets on top of her and proceeds to begin choking her. Hailey pushes S off her and Hailey's friend M tries to get S to get away from her. H gets up and is punched in the eye before she and all her friends run into the building, Hailey into the office to call us and her friends to find the principal and tell him what happened.


So, we arrive at school and Hailey is in the office, cheeks red from a mixture of tears, pain, and anger. We are told that the principal is in another room with the police officer and S and sit and wait. We see S's foster mother come in and she angrily points a finger at me while saying something I couldn't hear as the secretary leads her to where they are at.

After a while the principal comes and leads us to a conference room. We see S and her foster mom sitting outside the room and take a seat inside with the police officer and principal. They ask Hailey what happened and take their notes. I got the sense right away that they weren't entirely interested. Stupid me, I still had hope. After everything we've dealt with with this guy, I still had hope.

He asks Hailey to tell her side of the story and he and the officer write asking her to clarify things here and there as she goes and then informs her that her story differs from S's (duh!). We ask him if they have spoken to any of the witnesses and he says no. He tells us that when Hailey's friends M and H came in and found him, they mentioned nothing of her getting punched only that she was bleeding and that he felt if she had gotten punched they would have mentioned that. I disagreed thinking that they would probably blurt out the bleeding.... but what do I know. We asked them to please talk with the witnesses and maybe some of the loose ends would be tied.

We were taken back down to the office and by then Nathan was getting restless so I left Hailey in the office and drove them home, thinking I could deal with this on my own since it was obvious Hailey had been the victim in the situation. My second mistake.

So after a bit we are asked back down to the conference room and the principal informs us that he has a good idea what happened and what they intend to do and asks Hailey a few more questions. He then informs us that Hailey is the only one who said anything about any punching. We found out they had only talked to one witness and not all of them. The officer informs us that since Hailey had said that S couldn't catch her, that was taunting and if he charged S with disorderly conduct, he would charge H as well. What?!? the same charge?

Knowing that it had happened again, that the victim had once again become the accused I bit my lip and listened in disbelief as the principal told me that Hailey and S, for the next few days would be spending recess together in the library to "work this out" and in a few days would meet with the guidance counselor I informed them that Hailey would be coming home with me for the rest of the day.

When I got home and told Craig what had happened he got his shoes and coat and left. Uh oh. Daddies pissed. He went to the school and told the principal and the officer that it was a bunch of bull and it wasn't over.

I decided at that time the best thing I could do was have Hailey's injuries looked at by a doctor and further document them in that way. We went to the hospital and they sent us to the emergency room rather than urgent care and the doctor looked her over, noting the zipper mark across her neck and the bruising and swelling under her right eye. (where she "didn't" get punched) he was concerned enough to order an x-ray to make sure the bone in her cheek wasn't broken, thankfully it wasn't. She had a horrid headache and he told her that she'd have some spasming in her neck from being choked but she should be ok, just really sore for a few days. When we returned home we found that all of her friends had either stopped by or called to make sure she was ok and upon calling them back 2 of them confirmed that they HAD in fact told the principal that Hailey was punched. Once again, the principal lied and only listened to the statements he wanted to.

We contacted the police officer and told him that we would like to have charges pressed and that if that meant Hailey got a ticket as well, he could bring it on over and we would just find out what the judge had to say in court. Tomorrow we will be going to the county courthouse to file restraining orders against S and her foster mother. As far as Hailey and school Ithink she's going to be pretty sore and will have to stay home for a few days and hopefully in that time the principal thinks a little more clearly and takes action to make sure students who commit violence are disciplined and victims are protected. I can't give a whole lot of info as to our plans as far as school but to say that unless we feel like enough has been done for our daughter to be safe at school we will have to pursue other options for her education.

Off to bed, it's been a long day!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sad update

A sad update to the missing mom I told you about. Her body has been found and her ex husband has been arrested and charged with her murder. Her 2 year old twin boys are now in state custody. How awful.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Prayer warriors! 2 requests!

I have 2 prayer requests for our ever diligent prayer warriors today.

First is little Will. Will's mom Heather and I have been friends via the internet for something like 8 years. Her little boy is in need of our prayers as he is facing a health crisis that gets scarier by the minute. They are on the verge of making some decisions for him that could alter his life immensly. I apologize for not giving a whole lot of info but I haven't obtained permission from Heather to do so. Just please pray for Will and his family as they face this test. I will keep you updated as much as I can.

Secondly is Alisha Sidie. Alisha is a 27 year old mom of twins from right here in Wisconsin. She is missing and her babies need mommy back! Please look at the link, memorize her face and contact the Jackson County Sherrif's dept at (715) 284-5357 with any information if you have seen her or have any info!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

ugh

Seriousely I'm so cranky even *I* don't want to be around me. I'm just crabby tonight and my legs are restless and I feel like I could crawl out of my skin and everything is making me angry. Gosh I hope i'm not getting sick or something. Blah.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I don't understand

A friend asked me to go to youtube and watch this video and I felt compelled to share it with you. I warn you, if you are anything like me you won't be able to stop sobbing.




Please, if you suspect a child is being abused DO SOMETHING. I don't care what you have to do, but do it. Children like little Kelsey deserve a voice, be their voice before it is too late. It may be too late for this child and for so many others but right now in your community a child is being abused, we can't let these horrible monsters continue to hurt babies and turn a blind eye.

But what if our suspicions are wrong? We ask ourselves. I'd rather be wrong than be right. Being wrong means little compared to being right and doing nothing.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Winter is upon us!

It snowed today! Ok so not the 30something inches they got in the Dakota's this week, not even anything that stuck to the ground, but white flakes falling from the sky no less. Joy, I hate winter.

I'm crabby today. Poor Craig, I was crabbing at him half the day. He always gets the brunt of it.

I know I've been quiet lately, there is just really nothing exciting going on! We are so busy it seems with Craig and I working goofy hours, the kids in school, Hailey and her babysitting and Poms practices. How I love living the American dream!

I can't wait to start Christmas shopping. The kids of course already have lists a mile long so that helps. I think I'll hold off until black friday to start my shopping and take advantage of any deals that might be going on that day, I hear they are going to be good since the economy is so rotten the stores will be having lots of deals to make some sales. hehe, bad economy is good for something....

Anyway, hope you all are well!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

History

Last night I let the kids stay up late watching CNN with me to witness history. Although I had and continue to have my doubts as to Obama's ability to make the change he promises to this country, I am excited to see the change just his presence in the White house means for our children and future generations.

Starting today this country affords all children of color to dream and to fulfill their dreams. That is amazing. It wasn't long ago we were enslaving people, it wasn't long ago that even a white woman was not allowed a voice in what happens in this country, this election has changed all of that.

Unfortunately now we have a president that cares not about the life of a human child in his support of abortion, that worries me to no end. We also have a president that "sometimes" puts his hand over his heart and recites the pledge of allegience. That scares me too.

I cast my vote and I did my duty. Now let's hope he can do his.

Palin for 2012!!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Christmas- another reason I am not totally frugal

I know, it's still technically October, why the heck am I talking about Christmas!

Well, because I just read something that disturbed me. I read about a family who, in the name of frugality is planning to do a "gently used" Christmas theme this year.

Ok. When I was a kid we were dirt poor. Shit, most months we couldn't even afford dirt. We lived on the amount of cash most people spend on starbucks in a month. A lot of my frugality has come from this upbringing. And I think I learned some wonderful lessons only poverty can teach a person.

As a kid there were a lot of things I simply could not have because there was no feasible way to buy them and still keep food on the table. But the one thing I could look forward to every single year was Christmas. I started fantasizing about Christmas around about July every year, and when the Sears Wishbook would come out my sister and I would spend hours carefully marking our initials next to every wonderful toy we hoped we would get.

The one thing my mother always made sure of was that although she couldn't buy us designer jeans for our first day of school or take us to Disney land in the summer she always did everything in her power to make sure that when we woke on Christmas morning there were a plethora of carefully wrapped gifts under the tree, lik a picture straight out of a magazine. Hours were spent carefully opening each gift and finding toys that we had been wishing for all year. We would wait patiently while my mom carefully removed barbie accesories from the packages. One for me, one for my sister. We called our friends and cousins and exchanged excited lists of what "santa" had brought us.

There is something to be said about getting things that were carefully purchased for you. I can't imagine the same thrill coming from a gift that was bought simply because it was a good deal at a garage sale, something someone had their fill of and tossed in the quarter bin.

I myself find a great sense of enjoyment in carefully listening to my kids' subtle hints and making my shopping lists. My husband and I have a wonderful time in the stores purchasing the perfect gifts for each child. Watching them open their own brand new toys they have waited for on Christmas morning brings us such immense joy it's indescribable.

I do think this country is far too commercialized. Products are overpriced and over advertised. I think making statements in your actions by being frugal are important. And I definitely think that children need to learn the value of a dollar. But there is something to be said for watching a child open that gift they wished for all year long but never dared to hope they'd get.

I choose to protect the magic of Christmas that only comes once a year. Let kids be kids and enjoy that one day, without worry. Knowing they meant enough to sacrifice your hard earned money on. Looking back I don't know how my mom did it, but the fact that she did, the sacrifice she must have faced to give us that special day....... brings tears to my eyes.

Because I like pictures











Wednesday, October 29, 2008

And to think 20 years ago...

How far medicine has come. 20 years ago, heck probably 10 years ago we'd be having a funeral now.

Last Friday one of my mom and her "significant other" for lack of a better term lost one of their new, $500 + Angus calves. The thing went psycho and busted through both the electric and the barbed wire fences and off it went. They spent hours that night looking for it, to no avail. The next day George noticed he was tired but didn't think much of it.

Wednesday night as I was working in urgent care my friend called me and told me that my mom had been trying to get ahold of me. My cell phone was in the car so I asked her to call my mom back and tell her to call me at the hospital. It turns out George had been not feeling well at work and went home and was now sweating and having chest pain. I told my mom to call 911 and a bit later the ambulance arrived at our hospital.

I finished up my paperwork and went up to ED where I overheard the doctor talking about a helicopter. OMG........ I was right, he was having a heart attack

They flew him to an acute care hospital and about 40 minutes from the time he was in the ambulance he was in the cardia cath lab having his main coronary artery, which was 100% occluded, cleared.

He went home Saturday....

How amazing.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What is faith

My faith is being tested in a huge way lately. It isn't due to an incident in particular, I just find myself once again questioning my faith. With the heartache that we have endured it has become increasingly difficult lately for me to beleive that a fair, just god exists. I am struggling to understand why such a God allows the things to happen that have happened to us, to those around us, and to the many people we don't even know who walk the same path of torturous grief we have and do. I struggle to understand how the God the bible tells us about can sit back and allow the things that go on in the world to occur, day after day.

I grew up in church learning about God as a peaceful protector who accepts us and our faults and guides us as we travel through this life. But to be honest, I don't feel I've seen a whole lot of that God. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for my family, for my home, and the things we DON'T struggle for, but so many others do... and that I can't comprehend. I guess I'm just finding it increasingly difficult to put blind faith into a God who it seems has abandoned me when I've needed him the most.

I don't expect that life will always grant me what I ask for. I know it doesn't work that way. I understand that life's lessons are just that, and without struggle a person can't fully learn and accept.

I use to consider myself Pagan. Not Wiccan, Pagan. No voodoo or spells or any of that but a wonderful appreciation for the world around us and what it provides us. I have always beleived in reincarnation and evolution, beliefs that have left me confused with what I was taught about God and Christianity.

I just don't know if I'm cut out to blindly beleive that there is a man in the sky making all the decisions for my life and the lives around us. I know, free will and all that jazz but in the end, really if Christianity is correct, at least the way I've been taught it.... we don't have much free will at all.

I also have trouble with the ideal that the mistakes we make in life's lessons ultimately dictate whether we spend eternity in a place of wonderful enlightenment, or in a place of dispair. I have trouble with the notion that there's some terrifying ex-angel who lives on misery in a place of fire and terror. I have trouble with not being able to truly learn from my experience for fear of whether or not the guy aloft will deem me unfit for heaven and cast me into the depths of hell.

You know what I have trouble with the most? I have trouble understanding why this all powerful wonderful being would take my child and the children of others and keep them in heaven away from us by choice. Face it, God can do anything God wants. The other day the kids and I were watching Pet Sematary (I know, bad mother of the year award!) and the part came on where the little girl asks "Daddy? God could bring Gage back if he WANTED to, can I have faith in THAT"? And it made me think. Yes, by all accounts God could do that. This just and fair and loving God that we devote our lives to COULD, for all accounts end much of the suffering here on earth should he choose to. But he doesn't. He doesn't EVER do that. Even when we do everything we can to follow him and have faith in him and love him. He doesn't take what would be such simple steps for him and stop our misery.

He doesn't. And I'm not sure he can, because I'm not sure he exists. Maybe we beleive because we are afraid that if we have nothing to beleive in we will have to face that death might really be the end. We have to face the thought that there may not be a heaven with streets paved in gold waiting for us at the end of all of this. We might have to face the fact that WE are the only people who decide where our lives go and what turns we will take.

And maybe that's just too much responsibility for us to take.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Walk to remember

Saturday we kicked off the OB bereavement group at our hospital with the first annual Walk to remember. There was a really good turn out! We walked the beautiful path behind the college and let leaves go in the river as a symbolic gesture to letting go of some of our pain. The kids had a great time rolling down the hill before it started. Sadly I forgot my camera (I know!) so didn't get any pictures of the day. Our first OB bereavement support meeting for anyone who has lost a baby in pregnancy or infancy is November 12th at 7pm if anyone is in the area and would like to attend let me know!

I was feeling kind of sad because the bereavement groups will be on the same nights as my prenatal class so I talked to Tracy about it and, the angel that she is, had already been thinking about a solution to that! So it looks like I'll still be able to do both! Woohoo!

A friend of mine is in the process of building a house with Habitat for Humanity, and is blogging the experience in pictures, if you'd like to show your support (and see some pics of some really cute kids helping) check her out! www.photographingmama.blogspot.com

Sunday, October 19, 2008

vacation pics ----- number somethin
















Be sure to look at the 10 or so posts before this for ALL our vacation pics (I'm a little camera happy, sorry!) Click on any picture for a larger version!

Vacation pics part --umm i lost count
























































vacation pics part 8















































































vacation pics part 7
























































Vacation pics part 6