Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Hold tightly

In the wake of the unthinkable tragedy in Connecticut, I have heard countless people, from an older gentleman I'd never met at 7-11, to the President of the United States say that we will all hold our children a little bit closer.  So imagine my shock when Dr. Drew, who I'm not the biggest fan of, and Supernanny, who I'm also not the biggest fan of, were discussing whether or not it is appropriate for parents to allow their children to come into bed with them if they are scared in the next few weeks.

ARE YOU SERIOUS!!??  Why is this even up for discussion!?  What is the fear in holding our children AND each other close?  Are we really scared that we will create codependent children by loving them too much?  I just don't understand!  What on earth could we possibly gain by pushing our children away when they need us most?

We are becoming so disconnected form human touch it's scary!  We hardly even speak face to face with people anymore as it is, and now some "expert" is going to tell me when I should and shouldn't allow my scared child to cling to me?  Why is is that when we as adults are feeling sad or scared for our children that we get to hold them tighter and sneak into their rooms to watch them sleep, but if they are scared we question whether or not they should be allowed to hug us tighter or gasp, bother us when we are sleeping.

When did children become such a massive inconvenience?

If you are feeling sad or scared in the middle of the night do you cuddle up a little closer to your partner? (dogs included!)  Do you have a hard time sleeping soundly?  I imagine you do, and so why as a culture do we expect anything different from children.  Why is a scared toddler seen as an annoyance rather than an opportunity to hold tightly to the love of your life.  It is easy to see children as tiny adults with developed coping skills and control over their emotions, but they are not little adults, they are immature, dependent, emotional children and they NEED YOU!!!!!!

And that's okay!  I promise your college age child won't want to cuddle in bed with you when they are scared, but if they do I imagine most parents would welcome it.  I know I would.   I could go on and on about this topic in which I feel quite strongly about, but I'll save the ranting and raving for another time.  In the mean time, hold whatever you want as close as you want.  I'm no "expert," but I doubt anybody has ever wished they were loved less.

Monday, December 17, 2012

A different look

I am in my own little world, I haven't even heard of the horrific tragedy.  I turn on the news and see a soft spoken 7 year old girl recounting the incident,  "A lot of the kids said they had a stomach ache afterwards."  So do I sweetheart, so do I.  And so I spent the next hour watching CNN through a teary glaze until I could watch no more.

This post is likely to offend some, but my hope is to make you take a step back and alter your perspective just a little bit.  I kind of wrote this in the few moments I had here and there so bare with me, or skip this post.

First, when are we going to WAKE UP!?   How many more lives need to be lost before something is done about the ROOT of the problem.  And I'm not talking about metal detectors at the doors of our elementary schools, either.  I'm talking about the stigma that still surrounds mental illness and our BROKEN system!

We are failing the mentally ill and their families, FAILING!  And as a result, innocent people are dying.

Now, I don't know much about the young man who chose to take nearly 30 lives, including that of his own mother and innocent children, but I'm willing to bet that he gave some warning signs of instability.  This is psychopathy!  Amoral, antisocial, egocentric, unpredictable, calculated and TERRIFYING!  This is the act of a person who felt justified in taking the lives of beautiful, innocent children and adults who gave their own lives to save them.

I urge you to take a deep breath, open your heart and your mind, and read this painfully honest post before you read on.

How are you feeling?  Are you angry?  Sympathetic?  Do you call bullshit?  Now, of course I do not know this woman or her family.  She absolutely could be lying, over exaggerating, herself mentally unstable, or just trying to capitalize from a horrible tragedy, but I do know this, her voice in this blog post IS that of hundreds if not thousands of mothers across the country. 

Their children are sick and they don't know what to do.  

Many people don't buy it.  They think mental illness is a cop out, an easy card to pull when you just want to get off.; Plead insanity.  True, some use mental illness as an excuse, but the truly ill, the clinically insane, they have no choice in the matter.

Have you ever been in the presence of an insane person?   Has your life ever been threatened by a 5 year old who just minutes before was running his fingers through the sand and telling you how much he liked you?  Have you ever had a conversation with a person suffering from disorganized schizophrenia?  Antisocial personality disorder?

I have

Ever spoken to a mother who is in complete denial that her child would harm himself or others...even after hanging the family dog because his video games were taken away?

I have

Do you know someone who's child has ADHD?  Autism?  Depression?  Are they in denial?  Are they embarrassed?  Do they feel supported?  Do they have access to meaningful resources for their family?

Do YOU suffer from depression?  Anxiety?  A mood disorder?  A learning disorder?  Are you in denial?  Embarrassed?  Do you feel supported?  Do you know your options?

The sad reality is that mental illness is still vastly misunderstood.  When a mother drowns her children because a voice in her head tells her that she must, do you assume she is a monster or believe she is a woman suffering from postpartum psychosis?  Of course the cause does not change the outcome, but it is something I think we a a culture must consider doing something about! 

People don't just wake up one morning clinically insane, there ARE warning signs.  Unfortunately we don't typically hear about them until it is too late.

And it is too late...

*For the record, I am in NO way trying to diminish the unthinkable heartbreak that comes with the untimely death of innocent children and those who gave their lives trying to protect them.   I am simply trying to shine a light on mental illness in this country and what can happen when it goes untreated. 

I also think it is important to point out that there is a big difference between having say, general anxiety and having antisocial personality disorder, HUGE.  Unfortunately they are lumped into the same category, mentally ill.   And therefore looked upon the same by insurance companies (good luck getting insurance if you have a history of a "mental disease") employers, family members and the general public who just doesn't understand. 

Most people suffering form a mental disorder are NOT a threat to themselves or others, but sadly, some are.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The good

I told you there were some good, fun, and unexpected things that also happened during the shit storm that was the past few weeks, and here they are...

Thanksgiving, I love Thanksgiving.  Last year I was on a very restricted diet and could have NOTHING but vegetables and hummus, a hard boiled egg and a only good because I was desperate, gluten free cranberry cake.  This year though, I had it ALL, and it was delicious.  Of course Caches smashed all my food that I don't like touching into one huge pile and put his fingers and 4 different spoons in my food, but that's okay, we enjoyed our meal.  Vegan turkey and all the trimmings mmmmmmm :)


A visit to great grandmas house.  Caches has only one great grandparent and she lives in Modesto.  We see her all to rarely so we decided to take a little family trip to visit a few weeks ago.   Caches was actually a half way decent human being in the car and was pretty darn sweet with his great grandma.  We also go to see aunts and uncles!


A new ride, minivan style.  Ryan and I have been talking about getting a new/bigger car for a while now, but it always ended up being put on the back burner due to my forgetting about it, finances, anxiety, or any number of other reasons.  Well, Caches actually slept a few hours one night when Ryan was working and I decided to do some research.  SUV or minivan?  I always said I wouldn't drive a minivan, like I'm sure every human being says, but it just makes too much sense not to!  Lighter than a large SUV so better gas mileage.  Lower to the ground so easier for dogs and kids to get in and out.  Quite a lot of space for dogs to lay around the back and/or for the ridiculous amount of shit that we need to travel these days.  And...the doors open automatically, yeah, that sealed the deal, it's BRILLIANT!  Why don't all car doors open automatically!?  Okay, I know why, but my house door..can my house door open automatically?!

Anyway, we were still not planning on getting one right now but when I went to test drive, things just worked out and in a serendipitous kind of way and the next thing we knew, we owned a minivan!  Oh, and I did all the negotiating, yeah I DID!  ME!  The rattled one!  And I was on fire.  We got a great deal and are officially NERDS!

Nerds with automatic sliding doors!

*I wanted to post Thanksgiving and great grandma pictures, but my storage is apparently full.  I need to somehow figure out how to deal with that so I'm posting this sans pictures for now.  Hopefully pictures coming soon

Monday, December 3, 2012

It can't be...

It can NOT have been almost a month since I have written?!  Yep, it is.  Shit.  Okay.

I'm trying to decide whether to dedicate this post to a champagne hangover worthy pity party or an update on the wonderful, fun and unexpected things that have happened while I've been "away."

What was that?  You love self pity?  Me too?

*sips champagne*  Where shall I begin...

The week leading up to Thanksgiving Caches and I were both sick with a minor cold.  Not a huge deal, but it was the first time I had been sick since I was pregnant and let me just say for the record that  it is NOT fair to be sick at the same time as your baby!  It wasn't too bad though and we lived to make and enjoy yummy food for the fun family holiday.  I'll post pictures when I decide to write the good things post, this is about pity...mine.

The week after Thanksgiving I am not quite sure what the hell I was doing, but obviously it wasn't writing.

Okay, fast forward to last Sunday, not yesterday, and Cache has a fever.  Fuck. It is low and he is drooling like a crazy and chewing his finger so I hope it is teething.  Okay, he is teething his molars, but he is also really and I mean REALLY bummed!  He is an emotional kid, and an epic piece of shit sleeper, but this was/is nuts, even for him.  The NEIGHBORS could hear him screaming at night!  Yeah, absorb that.

A few days later I notice a blister on the tip of his tongue...and then some on his inner cheeks. Ahh, a doctors appointment confirms that it is a virus that is quite painful but not serious and should clear up soon.  Okay, I can deal with that.

But now MY throat hurts...I better not have a flippin' mouth blister virus, kid! 

Friday and my throat still hurts.  Handy flashlight app on my phone and a mirror show white spots on my tonsils.  Damn it!!  I make a doctors apt for myself hoping that I don't have strep.  Nope, not strep...mono.  Yep, high school, kissing disease, could fall asleep standing up mono.  Perfect.

Doctor wants me to rest as much as possible, sleep extra hours when I can, no unnecessary lifting, and the list goes on.  Um, doctor...not happening.  I have a toddler.  A sick toddler.  A sick toddler who is up even more than usual through the night.  A sick toddler who must be held and picked up all day long.  A sick toddler who refuses the pacifier and is determined to torture me with hours of nursing.  A sick toddler who doesn't give a shit if I have mono or an inflamed spleen.  He has his own needs damn it.

When do kids develop empathy?

Sigh.  So I have been holding him for his daily nap in hopes that it will force me to rest and going to bed early because a sick Caches will NOT be put down twice and a sick mama has no fight left to try.  These are basically the only times I have to write and I'm holding a kid so...no writing.

Now yesterday, just when I thought things were looking up, Caches has a fever AGAIN.  This poor kid can't catch a break.  I hate when he is sick!  And even though I am usually against medicine and hold off on giving him anything, this week Advil is MY BEST FRIEND!!  He has had more Advil this week than his entire life combined.  Judge away...

Oh, and because no post is complete without vomit, yesterday Lilly decided to eat an entire pound of almonds while we were out and was sick all last night.  It went a little like this.  Baby scream, Lilly puke, Abner snore, mama cry, repeat...repeat...repeat

Was that a fun party everyone?  Can I have some of your champagne?  No, don't want my disease...fine.  Thanks for listening