Just a first time mom writing about the randomness of life and how being mom is full of laughter, tears, fears and happiness. Living it out one gray hair at a time.

Ketchup #48 – A Difficult First

A little late, but it’s time to do the ever so wonderful link-up, Ketchup With Us, hosted by Mel of According to Mags and Michele of ODNT. There’s only a few link-ups left before Ketchup seals up their bottle, at least for a little while. Hopefully these ladies won’t be on hiatus for too long. This link-up is ALWAYS fun AND it gets me to remember to write. That’s always important, right?

This time around, we were asked to either link-up an old post or write about a “First”. There are many firsts I could easily write about. The first time I learned I was pregnant, the first moment I held my now 4 year old (almost 5) in my arms, even the first time I wrote and directed a screenplay. Instead, I decided to write about a difficult time in my life. A time where I witnessed a family member lose control. The reason I chose to write about this is because, as you all know, recently we lost an incredible man whom I greatly admired. He made me laugh until I was in tears every single time I saw him. Robin Williams was generous and brilliant, but also so terribly tortured inside that he made the decision to take his own life. Depression is a wicked disease and I have seen it take hold of a family member, who attempted to take her own life.

I was about 23 years old, my aunt had been in an out of psych wards dealing with major anxiety and depression. She was recovering from open heart surgery and a mass of other health problems, which I’m sure didn’t help her mental state much. I remember before the horrific event happened, my mom and I had taken her to a doctor in Fremont to try and figure out why she was having debilitating stomach pains. I remember sitting in that cold office chair. My mom at the far end, my aunt in the middle and me next to her. The doctor, who was harsh and rude, said “there is nothing wrong with her”, talking as if my aunt wasn’t even in the room. Fed up with doctor after doctor unable to find anything physically wrong with my aunt, I spoke up and said “if there is nothing wrong with her, then why is she in so much pain?” He pulled his glasses off his face, stared directly at me, and in a cold voice said, “because she is faking it all.” Right then I could feel my whole entire body tense up. How dare he! I’m a pretty calm person and it takes a lot for me to get completely angry to the point where I will speak up and say something and within a matter of five minutes this dude seemed to accomplish that. My voice got loud and my hands tightly clenched around the arms of the chair, “how can you say she is faking this whole thing?!?” To which he replied, “Easy. Attention.” I can’t remember what was said after that, I probably mentally blocked it out because I was so angry. With no emotion, my aunt walked back to the car.

Early morning, close to 3am, my mom gets a phone call from my Nanie. She runs out of the house, gets in her car and leaves. I find out a little later that my aunt had attempted to take her own life. She had taken a pair of dull scissors and slit both of her wrists during the night. Thankfully, she didn’t go deep enough. This was the first time I had ever known anyone to be so sad and broken down inside that they just no longer wanted to be here. I remember seeing her at the psych ward later that day, both wrists bandaged up, soul broken. What do you say to someone in that situation? I had to be sensitive, but at the same time I had so many questions. This was the first time I had sat directly in front of my aunt feeling as if I had let her down. I had spent years taking her in and out of hospitals trying to diagnose her pain (physical mind you), not once did I think about the pain she felt inside. It was the first time I had felt completely defeated. I couldn’t help her. No one could. She never really overcame her depression and subsequently passed away in 2008, in her early 50’s. They say she passed due to mass amounts of health problems, but honestly I’m not sure if that is entirely true. After her passing, my mom and I had gathered her things at the home she was living in. Going through small trinket boxes I discovered lots of her medications hidden. How long was she not taking her heart or diabetic medication? Could this have had a hand in her untimely death? Did she know that this could possibly happen?

We will never really know. I know that she was sad. I know she felt as if she was abandoned. I know that she wanted to be with her dad again. I just hope that now she is at peace with everything. I still feel guilty about what transpired between the two of us and how I wish there was more I could have done for her. In a way, that’s why I wanted to share this story. If this story can help anyone with coming to terms with depression or how to handle someone that you fear may be dealing with depression, then I’m glad I wrote this post. We never really know what is going on on the inside. 

judy

Thank You For the Laughs

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Celebrity deaths don’t usually strike me as hard as the most recent one has. Any loss of life is tragic, but for some reason, Robin William’s death has struck a chord in my heart.

Maybe it’s because he is my mom’s age; maybe it’s because, in my own family, depression has dealt a huge role in family members lives and I have seen first hand how strong it can take a hold of individuals. Also, maybe, it’s because yesterday, a small light of my own childhood dimmed. For any reason, he will be missed by many. He left a sheer genius legacy, which no one will ever be able to fill.

He lives around my area and he use to come into my town regularly for biking gear. I never met the man, although I wish I had. I saw a glimpse of him in Reno, Nevada while he was filming the movie Father’s Day with Billy Crystal. He seemed to love people, always interacted with them and that “stand-up” side always seemed to be on. 

I remember, back in 1989, my aunt (who suffered from her own demons of depression) was watching my younger brother and I while my mom went with my Nanie to visit my Papa in the hospital. It was late, I didn’t want to sleep, and she was had brought over a VHS tape to watch of Robin William’s stand-up, A Night at the Met, that she had recorded off of HBO. I was only 9 at the time, a little young to be watching that kind of stand-up, but in all honesty, I didn’t get the jokes. I just remember him, all that energy. Bouncing from one end of the stage to the other. Never stopping. His comedy wasn’t just funny, it was much more than that. There was always a spot in his show where he would speak such profound words, something that you could relate to, something that made you think.

To honor this spectacular human being, I just wanted to share some of my favorite movies and quotes from him. 

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Popeye

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Aladdin (Probably my all time favorite Disney character)

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Good Morning, Vietnam (Pretty much a one man 2 hour movie. Brilliant!)

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Hook (Who could have dawned a better Peter Pan?)

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What Dreams May Come (still gets me to this day)

Birdcage

The Birdcage

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Patch Adams

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Dead Poets Society (my favorite movie)

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Mork and Mindy

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So thank you, sir, for sharing that little spark of madness inside with all of us. 

You will be greatly missed. May you find whatever peace you were seeking that you could not find here on earth. Nanoo nanoo, dear sir.

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If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, please know it is okay to talk. Speak with your family, speak with your friends. It’s a silent demon that does not go away on it’s own.

1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Getting Back in the Saddle

It’s been almost a year, August 23rd to be completely exact, since I have had a paying job. I have really enjoyed my time at home with my girl. I LOVE being a SAHM, but sadly it can’t remain this way. It’s not easy living off of one income, in fact, I am surprised we have made it this long on one. However, it’s been getting increasingly difficult and without going into too much more debt, the inevitable was bound to happen sooner or later.

Thankfully, I will be working with a familiar face. A former colleague from my last job. She is a great person and I have the utmost respect for her. She balances work and being a mom to two beautiful little girls (and soon will be bringing a 3rd child in to this world) all while making it look easy. I would love to be this balanced and organized.

It seems like good timing and it will be part-time, which is great since my daughter will be starting school part-time everyday in a few weeks. I can’t help but feel nervous and also a little guilty. Sometimes I feel like I took this time at home for granted. Why do some things have to be so difficult? Why does responsibility have to be like a double edged sword sometimes? I wish I had a magic lamp or something. I know what my wishes would be.

 

Imagination Movers: True Power of Imagination, Faith and FUN

If you don’t know, I’ve been fortunate enough to become a contributor to an awesome Mommy site called Typical Mommies. It is chalk full of great resources from fashion to health and beauty to budgeting. It is also a great site for 1st time moms (and dads). 

Recently I had the opportunity to interview Scott Durbin of the Imagination Movers (Mover Scott). I feel very excited and blessed that I was able to do this interview and have the opportunity to share their story with others and hopefully pass the word along about their PledgeMusic Campaign. 

If you have a moment, please click on the link, read the article and share this with others. Not for my article, but for these fabulous 4 men and their upcoming 9th studio album. Also, a portion of the proceeds goes to the National Down Syndrome Society of which they are spokesmen. 

Link Below and enjoy!

Imagination Movers: True Power of Imagination, Faith and Fun

 

Fb

 

5 Dreaded Things About the New School Year

It’s just about that time again around here. Kids are winding down their summer vacations and gearing up to start that good ol’ book learning again. This year, my daughter will be entering Transitional Kindergarten! Deep breaths, you can do this, she’ll be 5 in October and she will be entering the public school system. Dear holy book worm, seriously?!? When did she grow-up? Feels like I just had her yesterday; this pissed off, screaming baby that didn’t want to come out of the nice hotel room I provided for her for 9 months. Now she is no longer a toddler, but a kid, beginning her true first year of school. Please allow me a minute to gather my thoughts, and possibly prepare my closet for an upcoming extended stay during that first week. 

I know that she has to go. She needs to learn and she needs that social bonding with all those other kids and with adults other than family. There is, however, 5 things I am dreading about the start of a new school year…

1. The mass amounts of germs

Okay, yes, I am a bit of a germ-a-phobe (although my husband would call that an understatement). Can you blame me though considering I get EVER SINGLE COLD, FLU, EVIL SPAWN MUTATION that enters my child’s body or even is just brought home on her clothes. Seriously, not even close to exaggerating, my daughter and I were sick EVERY OTHER WEEK while she was in preschool. This lasted until April! Currently, I have been suffering from some kind of cold that is now on week 3. Double ear infection, worst throat pain I’ve ever had; I’m pretty much done. With Em starting school in 3 weeks I just cringe because I know this is all going to start up again. I wonder if you can buy hazmat suits on e-bay?

2. Copy-cat Attitude 

Em already has her own 4 1/2 going on 14 attitude. She is a VERY strong willed little girl. She takes crap from NO ONE, which in some ways is good. I don’t have to worry too much about her getting bullied on the playground. However, she does tend to bring home other forms of this attitude that correlate to some of her classmates. So not a fun time. One attitude is plenty, but dealing with 2 or 3 other spin-offs can peck at a mother’s sanity.

3. Being a late bird

The one thing I liked about her preschool last year was that it was morning classes. When I received the school letter in the mail a few weeks ago, I was informed that she was going to be in an afternoon class. So, this means since she is going to a public elementary school, I will be fighting traffic and parking when I drop her off because of all the parents picking up their early bird kiddos AND dealing with even more traffic when I pick her up because ALL the kids will be getting out at that time. Especially where her school is, there is no parking. This is going to be so much fun.

4. School is now 5 days a week, instead of 2

I got use to her being gone 2 half days a week, but now with her entering the public school system, she will be in school 5. This is that whole growing up thing again that I seem to be not very fond of.

5. I am going to miss her like crazy

Yes, it is only 3 1/2 hours we will be apart, I’m still going to miss her. She’s glued to my side every day and now half that day she will be somewhere else. Yeah, we drive each other nuts, but honestly I wouldn’t have it any other way. She’s my baby and always will be.

Ketchup With Us – Mission: Ussie

It’s already August 2nd (AUGUST PEOPLE) and it’s time for the ultimate tomatoey link up that comes in a fancy glass bottle (or squeezey bottle if you prefer). It’s Ketchup With Us time, hosted by the ever so funny and beautiful ladies, Mel and Michele. This time they have made the link up super simple (even though it’s pretty easy to do regardless). All you have to do is link up an USSIE. What is an ussie you may ask? Well, an ussie is defined as this through Urban Dictionary:

A self inflicted group photo; When the participant of a group photo also acts as the picture taker. The number of participants in an “ussie” is not limited, but typically does not exceed 3 due to the close nature of the photo. Though not always, the background in an “Ussie” is often the focal point and subject matter of the picture…

I think it is almost safe to say that my daughter is the princess of this. She’s at that age where she no longer likes you to take a picture of her, but a selfie or ussie, she’s all in. 

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She started pretty early…

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Most are requests from her…

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Mostly us just being crazy (she did my makeup btw).

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We both are silly…

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And even though I despise my picture being taken…

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I do it for her, because someday…

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She’ll be all grown up and won’t want to take pics anymore.

Guest Post: Boldly Going…(Radio Chick’s Reflections)

Between blogging, freelance and trying to earn a little money to help with finances and chase after an active child…I may have worn myself a little thin lately. I don’t mind at all! I love doing everything I am doing and I feel very fortunate for the opportunities I have been given to be creative and talk with some wonderful people. So, I figured, why not get some guest bloggers to write some posts for me while I give myself time to work on other things.

My good friend Shannon, over at Radio Chick’s Reflections, agreed to do just that! She is a great writer and I hope you all will go visit her personal blog. You can do that by clicking here.

 

Boldly Going…(Radio Chick’s Reflections)

My husband and I are going to do something we haven’t done for a while.  In fact, we’re probably going to have to dust the cobwebs off.

OF OUR PASSPORTS!  What were you thinking??

We’re actually about to go on a vacation for the first time in a long time.  Okay, that’s not entirely true.  We went on a vacation last summer with our two kids – then six and two – and my parents, to Florida, to spend most of the 10 days away at Walt Disney World.  It was a fun trip.  The first one for both of our kids, anywhere farther than a few hours by car.  And I’d do it again in a heartbeat.  The memories we made were precious.  Zoey, who was two at the time, still talks about seeing Buzz Lightyear and Woody, and asks to go again.  However, it wasn’t truly a vacation for me or my husband.  The parents out there reading this will understand what I mean.  You’re constantly on the go with the kids, keeping a close eye on them while at the theme parks, entertaining them in the pool, and lying with them at bedtime for what seems like hours (just like at home!).  I think my husband and I actually got less sleep than we do normally at home, and that’s BAD (it’s tough to get less than 5 hours a night…).

And so though we did “get away”, we didn’t get a chance to relax, which is what I want to do on a vacation.  It’s what we used to do on a vacation, before we had kids.  So, we made a decision a few months ago to go away, just the 2 of us, and do just that.  It’s kind of our 10th anniversary present to each other and ourselves, as well as a 40th birthday present to me.  It took a bit of convincing to have my parents watch both kids overnight for a week – Zoey’s only been overnight to their house once, a few months ago, for one night – but they agreed to it.  For that we are so thankful.

These were my wishes (it is, after all, my 40th birthday, so why shouldn’t it be my wishes we fulfill?!):  go to a place that’s a short plane ride away, that is clean, where there is a beautiful beach, and that is warm.  Honestly, I just wanted to book a spot where I could lie on a beach all day and have drinks brought to me.  Not too much to ask, right?  And as much as I am looking forward to doing NOTHING and having some “me” and “me and hubby” time, I’m starting to feel a little anxious about leaving my children.  As I mentioned, we’ve not been away from Zoey for more than one night, and we’ve not been away from Zander for more than a few days (when he’s gone to Grandma and Grandpa’s for a weekend).  I’ll worry about them.  I know they’re in good hands with my parents, but I’ll still worry about them.  It’s my job.  I can’t NOT do it.

And the way Zoey’s been the last few days has added to my anxiety.  I’ve been busy with work and work obligations, and Zoey’s response has been, “Don’t go Mommy.  Stay five more minutes.  Stay with us.  Don’t go to work.  Okay?”  That’s just because I’ve been out and about for most of the last two days.  I can’t even imagine what she’ll be thinking and feeling after three days…and then four days…and then five days…

But I really feel like my husband and I need this.  We’re sleep deprived, and, as a result, cranky (I’d even add ABNORMALLY before that “cranky”), and that means we’re not performing our best as parents.  I know I am not, for certain.  So, I guess, the kids need this too.  I really hope this vacation allows us to recharge our batteries and come back more patient, better parents for Zander and Zoey.  They deserve that.


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