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Monthly Archives: August 2012

Lazy? Far From It, Fool! (with the Z Formation)

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Through all of the political comments on Facebook, I have come across some I nod my head to in agreement, some I say, “You have GOT to be kidding,” and some that hit really close to home. One in particular refers to  those on food stamps and  I just HAD to put in my two cents in.

This image I recently came across REALLY irks me.  It would be difficult for someone to read that and not feel lumped in to a category by those who have never been struck by hardship. Just because one requires assistance with food doesn’t immediately make them “lazy couch potatoes living off the taxpayers money”. I hope those who make these statements NEVER have something drastic/traumatic happen to their cushy little lives and find themselves in the pride swallowing line at the state human services department. Why? Because I was there once with my mom and I knew it was anything BUT laziness that put us there. Here is my own PERSONAL experience with that Monopoly money that was like gold to us.

During my years between ages 13-17 we struggled. After my parents got a divorce, we were flat broke and my mom was unsure of our future because of it. We went from a middle class lifestyle with two incomes (although my mom’s income wasn’t enough to support herself and 2 teenagers) to living in a new town in a room at my grandparent’s house. We soon moved in to a cozy (in other words TINY) duplex where Natalie and I shared a room.

Carrie, the oldest of us three kids, had turned 18 and struggled herself when she moved out on her own, not really having much of a choice. For all of us, those years were HARD. My dad had lost his job due to reasons I will one day cover in a separate blog post altogether….or a book. haha But for now, let’s just say he was NOT a dead beat dad and life had it’s own internal struggles for him, which left all of us drowning financially and emotionally. So my mom did what she had always dreamed of doing: she went to college. She enrolled at New Mexico Tech at the age of 39 and embarked on this journey to become a Registered Nurse.

In order to eat we needed food stamps. Period. This road we were on was going to require all of us to struggle for a few years while she worked hard at her education.

I remember the first day we went with my mom grocery shopping. We were new to town and Natalie had just started her junior year in high school. What a difficult age to go from middle class America and almost getting her own car, to coming up to the register with food stamps; not to mention this was when it was paper bills and not a dignified card that looked like any other debit card.  A tad mortifying for a 16 year old with the worst part being that the sacker was a popular and cute boy from school. I vividly remember her fidgeting in her body wondering how she was going to get out of this situation. I understood, but at 13 I hadn’t gotten to the point where I was embarrassed about that stuff yet. I was just happy to have a cart full of groceries and cereals that I got to pick out. So Natalie asked my mom if she could wait outside. The fact that she was THE most beautiful girl in town and everyone turned their heads when she walked in the room made a disappearing act impossible for her, but she tried anyway. Natalie wasn’t bratty about it, it was just going to take some getting used to. This would then become a bond that she and I would forever share; hard times can either rip you apart or pull you closer together and thankfully we got closer and learned to laugh about all of it as it was happening and for years to come.  One of the funniest moments was when I was a freshman and she was a senior.  Natalie, my mom and I shared clothes to give us more of a selection and when she got ‘Best Dressed’ for the yearbook her senior year, one, we were shocked and laughed hysterically and two, my mom and I joked that we should stand with her in the photo. I still laugh about that. 🙂

Then two years later, off to Laredo, TX  my mom and I went. Natalie stayed behind and lived with Carrie and continued in their struggle, while we went to Texas where my mom was accepted in to a nursing program.

Things didn’t get any easier there since financially things were the same. We continued on food stamps, medicaid, grants, scholarships and credit cards to keep us afloat. My mom would send food stamps back to my sisters in Albuquerque because they needed them as well. At 18 and 20, they were living with our dad who was unable to contribute much because of his illness; times were dark for them and any little bit of help was welcomed. I qualified for the free lunch program, free school shoes for those in athletics and anything else that was “given” to those of us who were in financial need. And yes, we took those “handouts”. We HAD to. My mom continued busting her butt at school and got excellent grades. She graduated with a GPA that any student would be ecstatic over and soon thereafter took her first nursing job in San Antonio. My senior year we were off to another city  to continue this journey together. Once she got her first paycheck, we stopped all form of government help. I was so proud of her and through it all I learned that I came from a magnificent woman who set her mind to something and made it happen. I also got a job because even though my mom was working, she still had racked up credit cards from paying rent, traveling to see my sisters, student loans, school shopping over the years and other life expenses that incurred. My measly little paycheck went straight to her and I was happy to help since she put on her brave face for me during those years. Through her hard work she paid those credit cards down to nothing and even though it took several years to do so she never filed bankruptcy in order to wash it all away.

So with these ads and comments regarding welfare and food stamps, just know that there are many that needed it to get through (and out of) those extreme lows that can happen in life.

Life as we knew it was ripped out from under us, yet with our wonderful government programs she was able to better herself for the family. Her nursing degree has been able to provide her with job security over the economic downturn and has allowed her to be generous to the family and helping out Natalie’s family after we lost her. God led her towards the necessary path required to have been able to take care of Natalie those 13 months she battled cancer. Without my mom’s specific skills Natalie would have needed to be in a home and for that I’d have been on food stamps and struggled alongside her all over again.

Thank you, mom, for being such a blessing to this family. XOXO

10 Years and 50 Premature Grey Hairs Later

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*This is NOT a spoiler blog post as I haven’t finished the books yet. While reading the second book I couldn’t help but imagine what would happen if they got married and what their lives would be like 10 years later. 🙂

It’s been 10 years since we exchanged vows. Yes. Ten gloriously looooong years of endless sex and romantic getaways. Well, actually those stopped after the first 2 years and we haven’t done anything since our 6 month old twins came along. I’m waiting for them to stop nursing so I can get my vaginal reconstruction done; that area just doesn’t work the way it used to and in fact, I accidentally peed on ‘C’ the last time we attempted to get it on. Apparently that’s NOT one of his fetishes. Who knew I would be allergic to our new pillows and sneeze until I wet myself?

Babies #3 and 4 have been using my body in ways I never knew possible. As a matter of fact, this part of my body has stretched and contorted in far more positions than ‘C’ could have ever done with any of his clamps and bars from the “playroom”. Ah…….the playroom. As much as I was never a real fan of that room, it was hands down far better than this new playroom we have that has it’s own causes of torture: Legos, Hot Wheels and dress-up high heels. Step on one of those suckers and you’ll see what pain REALLY is!

But life is great. Truly fantastic some would say. I live in a mansion that overlooks the most beautiful scene in Seattle. But due to my 6 year old’s Agoraphobia (gets that kind of stuff from his father), we had to build a wall along the whole back of the house in order to make him feel more “closed in”. I will occasionally sneak out the front door and around to the back of the house with one of the twins on my boob and watch the sun set with tears in my eyes knowing that I might never be able to enjoy this view in peace. Why do I let these babies use me as their pacifier?

Gail (bless that woman) has already started cooking so I sit in the library for quiet reading time with the kids. We each grab a book and try to squeeze everyone onto the loveseat. I get another elbow to the ribs and a head butt to my nose and just as my eyes start to well up with uninvited tears, HE walks in to the room. He stares at me with that look on his face; the look that tells me that he’s ready for it….”PFTHRARTPH!” Along with a leg lift towards me, he proceeds with his nasty fumes that sounds like he might actually need to go change his pants. Why does he have to enter the room I’m in to do it? What kind of sick fetish is that? As he is in hysterics at my look of disgust I run away from him with both babies in tow.  “ ‘A’, don’t run! Please don’t run! I have another one coming!” Gasp. He’s such a foul pig!

Dinner time is a freaking nightmare. No longer do ‘C’ and I get to stare longingly in to each other’s eyes. In fact, I can’t remember the last time he and I looked at each other over the utter chaos that is our current situation. With 6 month old twins and a 3 and 6 year old we have said sayonara to those dinners. The last time we had a dinner like that, I popped out TWO babies 8 1/2 months later and now I’m just petrified.

As bed time approaches, I can almost feel how dark my circles are becoming. I glance in the mirror and take a look at my pathetic self with a different twin on my boob. Then quickly look away from the reflection since it’s so sad to see myself like this. I quickly lick my front teeth before I bite my lip to hold back the tears. Oh Crap, I forgot to brush my teeth today! And what the heck happened to my skin? And my hair is just plain gross. Maybe I should wash my hair the next time I shower? My inner goddess is facing the corner rocking in the fetal position sucking her thumb. She’s given up on me and I’m too damn tired to give a shit. Those twins haven’t slept since they were in utero.

The 3 year old is a nightmare and I can’t help but blame her spoiled brattiness on HIM.  I mean, what the hell was he thinking buying her a boat for her 3rd birthday? Is he an idiot? We need to discuss these things with Dr. ‘F’ because this has got to change or else our kids will become just as messed up as he is.

I slump on our bed after getting the kids to sleep for the moment and stare at the ceiling. What a beautiful ceiling it is. ‘C’ comes in with a handful of nuts, eating each one in my vicinity, with his mouth open nonetheless. I don’t care how beautiful he is. His jaw pops with every bite down and my peace has now vanished. “Pop. Pop. Pop”. I continue trying to find my happy place, but the popping is starting to echo in my head. My subconscious is telling me to stay quiet and not to say anything out of respect for my husband.  Screw off you goody two shoes….I. JUST. CAN’T. TAKE IT ANYMORE!! “WOULD YOU CLOSE YOUR FREAKING MOUTH WHILE YOU CHEW?!?!?!? AND GET THAT POP IN YOUR JAW CHECKED OUT!!” His response. “What the hell is wrong with you? PMS?” I don’t respond since I know it can escalate and I don’t have the energy. I continue staring at the ceiling.

Why didn’t I hire a nanny again? Oh  Because I was needing to prove to myself that I could do it. Well, I’m done with that ridiculous thinking. A tear of failure falls down my right cheek. He walks over to me, wipes the tear from my face and says, “I’m going golfing in the morning so I won’t see you until tomorrow night.” Then he gives me the ever endearing boob “honk” and says he wants to get some. I look at him like he’s a mysterious creature. Is he for real? So I ask him, “Are you for real?”  “Yeah, baby. Come on, it’ll be quick.” Ugh. So I roll over, tell him to hurry up and please, don’t worry about my needs. Just as he finishes, we hear a cry on the monitor and I get up without saying anything. In an almost robotic fashion, I head out the bedroom door.

He stops me. Turns me around and says, “I’ll get him.”

And my body quivers. That’s LOVE right there.