Edgar & Esmeralda: The Piggy Parent Chronicles

A year ago we brought home a Vietnamese Potbelly Pig: Edgar aka The Super Bestest Pig Ever! It’s been a learning curve ever since! Just like bringing a baby home you have to have your house baby pig proof and they are as smart as can be so they pretty much potty train themselves but they are much happier piggies if they have a schedule! They strongly dislike change and they will let you know in their own little way!

 

Edgar is now a year old! My Vietnamese potbelly was acting out, being aggressive, sleeping more and not playing “crazy pig” (running around the house or yard either from me or after me at a remarkable speed for a pet that weighs in at 150 lbs and is only 18″ tall) so like any good piggy parent I consulted the FB piggy group and they felt it sounded most like he needed a companion!

So 3 1/2 weeks ago we brought home a female Juliana pig and named her Esmeralda!! Like everything these days I researched all about pet pigs and even researched having more than one pig but it never occurred to me to check the difference in breeds or gender!! Esmeralda’s personality is completely opposite of Edgar’s!! He is a no fuss, no muss type of Piggy!! Esmeralda on the other hand she is sweet and sassy!!

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Zachuery aka Zachariah aka Pooky Wooky

October 19, 1994 (2 weeks after my due date, 1 day after a failed attempt at inducing labor and 4-6 hours after the Dr assisted my water breaking) came my 2nd bouncing baby boy!

The next day we took him home and unlike his older brother he started sleeping 4+ hours at night within the first couple of weeks. He was such a calm baby (especially in contrast to his brother) that I called the pediatrician concerned something was wrong! After a handful of questions the pediatrician assured me that Zach was just fine and just a good sleeping baby!

I’ve mentioned this in a past post but I like to remind my kids that they are so smart and healthy because I breast fed all of them and Zachuery for the longest. I’m sure there is a direct correlation to his good health and generally good decision making!

As the boys were growing up we always told them Zach would be president and his older brother Sean would be his bodyguard. That’s not quite how things have turned out but it gives you a feel for their personalities.

Zach did great in school and starting in 5th grade (due to his distain for daycare) he started watching his little sisters before and after school. He was always so responsible and fairly meticulous. We realized at one point that he had been folding his dirty clothes and when we would eat out everyone would be done eating but Zach would just be done cutting his food into perfectly even pieces!!

A review of over 200 birth order studies found that middles are characterized as sociable, more faithful in monogamous relationships, and have the fewest “acting out” problems…..

However, if events would have been different then I would not have spent this summer with the newest born love of my life…..Zachs’ daughter : Rima

Unfortunately in September Rimas’ mother came and took her to Texas and will not allow us to see her or talk to her. Zach and her mother were never married so at this point he has no legal rights. However, I have quickly become a legal self help guru as a result and I have begun filing the necessary paperwork to get into court and establish paternity and custody/visitation. We do not have lots of money for an attorney but we are going Monday for a free consultation! In the meanwhile we are keeping busy using our missing her as motivation to work hard on getting her back in our lives!!

Days like this

 

wp-15353072867981784191584359699017.pngEvery once in awhile I actually slow down long enough to enjoy life. It feels so strange, like doing something your not suppose to be doing ie: sitting around all day watching football/ bachelor in paradise and your favorite music videos of all time. I feel like that last sentence just told my age…..I did own….well my mom owned an 8 track version of the pop song: Little Red Riding Hood by, OMG, I just looked up the artist: Sam the Sham & The Pharaohs. Like really…80s….you couldn’t come up with anything better….maybe shorter. Well anyway, moving on…….I feel as though maybe I shouldn’t write during these times because it will either ramble on, get off track several times……or worse yet, just make absolutely no sense whatsoever. Actually I like that idea! My goal will be for this post to make no sense whatsoever!

wp-15353072248564090604442485858113.pngSo, last night I was babysitting my beautiful Granddaughtermvimg_20180725_133016-animation

She just so happens to love music which works great for me! She really gets excited over every genre that I play from the 70s through today but she really seems to love the 70s & 80s! I think she appreciates (I’m having a very hard time articulating right now) the grandness? the bigness? the loudness? Hell, I don’t know, all I know is that she is clearly from my DNA!! She loves:Queen, Aerosmith, Pointer Sisters, Ciara, Nikki Minaj, EMINEM….that was the most important test! At any rate she took a late nap last night so she was raring to go, singing and dancing to music with me and then running off to wreak havoc on the house, the pig, the cat and my Mom! Nonetheless we had a great time!

So, if anyone is keeping up I’d like to give myself props: A week ago Wednesday I stopped taking some “unnecessary” medication. Luckily I was already sick as I could possibly be and for the 6 days following I was able to taper down another “unnecessary” medication. So today makes 5 days or 120 hours with nothing “unnecessary”.

I have to write lightly for another 30-60 days because what I write could effect much more than this blog. So in this post and “all in a week” I had to write in a manner that I will clarify later but I feel like if I don’t add some “fine print” that I am not being honest…if none of this makes sense than: 1: I’ve accomplished my earlier goal for this post and 2: I’ll clarify it all at a later date.

Father’s Day

as-a-father-this-was-the-best-mothers-day-gift-ever-109493.png

It was only recently that I realized how little regard I had for the “father role”. I had no idea who my biological father was until I was 15 and when I met him he said “I couldn’t be sure at the time because of your mom”. So in once fail swoop he let me know that 1: it didn’t matter enough to him to figure it out and 2: because of your mom…….implying what? That my mom was sleeping around? Wow what a good start. At any rate, no real love lost there. During my childhood my mom did marry several times and all though they all had some endearing qualities (I use this term in the loosest possible way) they all were actually the last person you would want your mom to marry.  OK, after saying that I feel kind of bad, 1 1/2 of them were OK. Point being still no one showing me that fathers actually matter. I remember thinking to myself at one point that if/when I had children I would be better off just raising them on my own.

After doing everything ass backwards, getting pregnant very young, married very young, divorced young and then having my girls, and then leaving their dad. I actually found myself in a position in 2013 that would lead me to realize how important and wonderful fathers can be! My girls father and I got back together as our youngest daughter was starting her freshman year of high school. I thought I had made an awful mistake because our daughter aka our Princess aka Alexa and her Dad could not see eye to eye. Alexa gave her Dad a run for his money every time he tried to enforce the rules. She would even tell me I was letting him be mean to her by taking her phone away.

In 2015 my husband had a diving accident (this was kind of self induced but changed our lives forever due to the traumatic brain injury TBI) Austin and Alexa could not see their dad in such a condition but Alexa clearly has come to love her father more than ever!alexaanddad.jpg

So, here we are: 2018. Our 3 children we raised together have all gone off to college, are working while going to school, have their own places etc. I genuinely believe now that God intended on their being 2 parents (or more) involved in a child’s life. Regardless of the family dynamics it is virtually impossible for 1 parent to give a child everything they need. There is no balance.

I just want to say: Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers. If you aren’t in your kids lives please make an effort to do so!

This is my husband and I the day before the accident, We’re pretty sure he got a face lift in surgery! =+)meandrogdaybeforeaccident

Love and Happily Ever After

So I am sure that many people ponder the true meaning of love! However, I am not sure that everyone is willing to feel vulnerable enough to find any answers. I do believe there are some necessary ingredients in “love”.  For the sake of this particular post I want to point out that I am speaking of the love between 2 people that are either married and or in a committed relationship that is intended to be long term. 

There is more than one way to maintain a committed relationship! Having said that; maintaining a committed relationship that is loving and mutually respectful takes work every single day. It is much like anything else worth while in life: good health/ losing weight, raising well rounded children (sideways glance), a good education, a fulfilling career……it takes hard work, dedication, mindfulness, passion and a ton of patience!!

For me I do not think any of the above is done well on our own, I know that it is because I have a relationship with a very loving, supportive, forgiving and ever present God that makes me the person I am:  I will never pretend to be the spokesperson for most peoples idea of a highly religious individual but I know full well that I couldn’t have made it through the things I have made it through much less continue to strive to be the person I want to be on my own.

I happen to be a hopeless romantic and I have always long for a “happily every after”. It took me years to realize that I can have “Happily Ever After” but it doesn’t fall in your lap and it most definitely won’t occur in a storybook manor and no 2 couples will have nor should they have the same path to get there!

Depression, Doom & Gloom, The Dark Cloud

It took me years to recognize when I was depressed.  I was always running on empty, raising the kids, working all the time, going to school and hardly sleeping. As time went on I realized that if I wasn’t taking my medicine I had more days that gave me the constant feeling of impending doom.

After life calmed down I guess I thought I could be depression free. Of course deep down I knew that wasn’t true but I still tried several times to go without medication. I’ve also learned what makes “The Dark Cloud” darker and I’ve tried to keep anything like that at bay. Additionally I have learned what fills up my cup and I desperately try to keep a good balance of those things so that the cloud doesn’t take over.

So, having said all this, it seems as though depression has not acted in a conventional way over the last year. All the things I’ve known to work, to keep that feeling of Doom & Gloom away are failing. I hadn’t been taking my medicine regularly but I have for the last month and I am still waiting for the relief.

Last year, for months on end, I couldn’t get my bearings. I was taking my medicine, staying away from triggers and filling up my cup with very little change in my mood. It seems to have spilled over in to this year. I suppose I could choose to look at it another way! Maybe the feelings of Doom & Gloom, or the inability to get rid of the dark cloud has to do with the fact that my baby just turned 18 and will be going to college in August. Being a mom is all I’ve known for the last 25 years and with everyone leaving I’m not sure where that leaves me.

“Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness”

I would venture to guess that the person that came up with “money doesn’t buy happiness” never had money troubles. It has been my experience that although Happiness isn’t in a bottle for us to run out and buy, being broke makes for a much more miserable existence than not being broke.

Anyone that knows me at all knows that I’m not high maintenance (financially that is). I love to pay my bills, have food in the fridge, buy things for the house and for my family. If/when I don’t have money for these very basic things than I become  very anxious and irritable and difficult to contend with.

I grew up with next to nothing and I have been working ever since I was 16. I’ve never been the one to call in to work. First of all my conscience wouldn’t allow it and secondly neither would my bills. After graduating from nursing school in 2005 I’ve had a handful of nursing jobs and I can guarantee that I can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve called in. Not only are my residents and coworkers that important to me, so is my paycheck.

I’m always trying to come up with ways to find financial stability!  I keep thinking that one day soon I will write a book about my life and it will be a best seller and we will have all the money we need! Of course until then, I’ll continue to huff and puff during the times that funds are low!

They say finances are one of the top problems for couples. I can certainly attest to this. With the kids all over 18 with jobs, the only thing left for Rog and I to argue about is money! When he has plenty of work , with me working full time we do fine. (everyone and everything is Happy Happy) During the times that isn’t the case than everyone should stand clear! That alone proves that money DOES buy happiness!

The Weird Category

I read some where (don’t quote me) that nurses have one of the highest rates of mental illness. I can understand why! Anyone that has a heart doesn’t stay in long term care unless they care! Of course there are some nurses that play tough (fuzzy wuzzy) but for the most part you don’t make it any length of time as a LTC nurse without having a heart. I would like to add that the home I work at now far surpasses any other facilities I have worked at in the past when it comes to caring nurses, CNA’s and caring families! So props to us for that!

So: The Weird Category. I was getting report from a nurse this week and some how the term weird came up. I told her that I would put myself in “The Weird Category”. I think it causes me just a little bit of trouble and it requires a lot of patience!! My personality seems to be associated with a Big Heart . Unfortunately they don’t pay well for “Having A Big Heart”.  I find the term: Weird to be endearing for some reason. I think it means that people these days are far more accepting toward people that aren’t in the “normal” category. So although I have little love for what “Politically Correct” has gotten us, I absolutely love that fact that my children are far more open minded toward people than my generation.

At any rate if you show up on our door step with one of our children rest assure we will waive you in no matter, race, gender, sexual orientation.

Life as I see it (rambling)

I’ve been a mom for 24 years and a nurse for 12 years. Clearly that makes me an expert on both, right? Sitting here now I realize I can’t give myself such a broad subject because I can’t figure out where to start!

Our youngest turns 18 in 2 weeks, graduation in next weekend. This has made me so very sad/tearful this week. I really don’t know what to do if I am not being a mom/wife/nurse 24-7. It just doesn’t seem that I’ll have enough to keep me busy and if I’ve learned anything from years of counseling I’ve learned there is no better way to avoid resolving a disastrous childhood then to have a very busy life!!

We all know children don’t come with a handbook but I’ll tell you what, I know what things I got right and…….which one’s I got wrong!!  I can also tell you that the older I get the better I get at parenting, I am sure of it!!  To anyone that ever tried to claim that you can be a great parent at a young age hadn’t been a parent at 40+.  Everyday I get better, I become more humble, more wise and all around better parent!!  Although  I raised 4 kids while finishing nursing  school and working 5 doubles a pay period, I do much better work over the last few years, working 40 hours a week and co parenting!! Although the children often ask where the other mom went, they are quick to tell you how great the last few years have gone.

1st Anniversary

So, Roger and got together in 1997 for the first time. In March of 1998 I had Soleil. Around my birthday in December of 1997 I was several months pregnant with Soleil. For my birthday that year Roger took me to a “fancy” restaurant in downtown Decatur. Upon our arrival there was a dozen red roses!! We left there and drove to the “fantasy suites” in Clinton. As we walked in the room I realized there were a dozen roses worth of rose petals strewn over the room.  After being there for a bit Roger asked me to sit on the ledge of the hot tub. My version of this memory is that my 20 year old, fat, pregnant, half dressed self sat there as he approached me, got down on one knee and proposed to me!! Of course I said YES!! The next day we went home, real life set in and no real wedding plans formed. I had Soleil and then shortly after that became pregnant with Alexa. After having Alexa I came to a point where I couldn’t put up with our life. Looking back now I realize that the grass was not greener on the other side but at the time I thought I was doing the right thing. At any rate Alexa (our youngest) was born in May of 1999 and we split up in January of 2000. The kids and I moved to Springfield in August of 2001. So many events took place but in June of 2013 Alexa had her tonsils removed and some how, Roger and I were in a place in our lives that led us back together thanks to Alexa wanting both her parents after surgery. On June 5th, 2013 the girls and I moved back in with Roger and on 2/25/15 Roger proposed. We eventually set the wedding for: 2/26/2016 and here we are, celebrating our first official wedding anniversary!!

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