29 October 2012

Sandy Jack-o

Passing the time, with Sandy bearing down, we decided "hey, why not carve pumpkins and try on costumes and eat delicious home-baked goods?"
So that is what we did!
Excuse the jumble, they uploaded wonky, and fixing the order is proving too difficult



Boy was *so* excited to show me his costume, but still got very shy when he came back out!
I asked "are you a goldfish?"
"nooooooo, I'm a shawk!"
"noooo, are you sure you're not a penguin?"
"nooooooo, SHAWK!  Like 'RAAAAAAAWWWWWRRRRRWWW!!'"
Then got the picture

The kids and their friend eating dinner

Scooping pumpkin guts!



Loving pumpkins!
Our friend and Wife "guiding" the project....
This little guy really enjoyed carving a pumpkin with me :)
My little pumpkin gutter




All dressed up, but still....
My little pumpkin gutter!



















Our friend finding out he doesn't much like guts....




















17 October 2012

Getting help, part 2

Suicide is a choice. Life is a choice.
I have seen people in horrible circumstances, who have pulled through and gotten past the hard times, just as I have seen people who drowned in their situation, unable to break the surface again.
I grew up in less than ideal circumstances, and am a product of the foster care system. I lost my daughter 11yrs ago. I deployed to Iraq at the beginning of the war, and I saw some bad shit, and got wounded. I deployed again, and got shot.
My buddy, whom I deployed with my first time, grew up with an abusive father, and a drunk and hateful mother. He went on to join the Army and deploy. He saw the same shit I saw, during his first deployment. During his second deployment, he got blown up, losing his right leg, above the knee. His wife left him while he was still in the hospital. He got to drinking to drown out the pain and the flashbacks. But he eventually decided to get help.
He is remarried now, with 2 step kids and one of his own. His life isn't always easy, but it is his, because he made a choice.
A soldier I knew came back from a deployment with less rank than when they'd left. They chose to be unfaithful in their marriage, got caught, and had to face the consequences. They were losing their family, and because of their reaction to their punishment, they lost more rank, and were losing their career. They tried to kill their Platoon Sgt, they tried to kill their 1SG, the two people who tried to offer help. This person shot them self in front of barracks full of junior soldiers. They never considered the consequences of a single one of their actions.

People do stupid shit all the time. Bad things happen to people all the time. It is our job to respond the best we can to our circumstances. There are resources out there, but our society is so fucking trained against asking for help, that we just spend time glorifying those who were too weak to do so! Because, yes, after fighting your demons for long enough, anyone would grow tired and weak. And then, they may choose to take the "easy way out".
Because it means they don't have to fight anymore!
And if they don't succeed, maybe someone else will notice their struggle, and that person will pick up arms with them, and help tame their demons.

There is such a bull shit stigma on asking for help. But what is worse: the shame of everyone finding out you swallowed a bunch of pills to end your own life, or the shame of everyone finding out you are seeing a doctor to try to be a better person?

I'm seeing a doctor, to help me with my issues. And, yes, I may have been reluctant to do so, but that was I.....
....I don't even really know why.
I was hoping the other meds would work?
I was too busy to make time?
I was trying to pretend I wasn't having problems?
I was afraid of what others would think?

Okay, that last one did play a role, but only a small one....
I've had enough issues over the years to know when I need help, but I hesitated (not for long) because I am with new people, who don't know my history.
They have accepted that I am "broken".
We are all "broken" in some way!
Some of us fit back together better than others, but if you work hard enough, and find all the pieces, you *can* be whole again! And if there is not enough of the old you left, change from seeing yourself as a jug to seeing yourself as a bowl.... Both can still hold substance!

13 October 2012

Calling the Fire Department

Sitting in with a patient and the provider, going over the treatment options, when all of a sudden this ear piercing screech blares out throughout the half of the building!
Dammit, the fire alarm.
This happened last week....at 3am.
Fortunately, it turns off on its own, but still gotta call the FD. Talk to Dispatch, and they ask if we want them to come out. I was like "yeah, last thing I need is to make that decision and the building burn to the ground"
They are coming.
I walk to the back, to inform them that the fire department is coming to clear things.
Halfway to the back, I start smelling this toasted, smokey smell.
It's coming from the providers office.
I walk in to find one of our providers wearing paper shorts, his underwear in the trash can, and his pants soaking wet on the floor.
"what the hell happened here?"
Paper Shorts looks up and says "nothing......"
I'm like, "well, the fire department is coming, to make sure we don't all burn to death"
"really?"
"yeah, we have to call them whenever the fire alarms go off!"
"YOU called THEM???"
Other guy chimes in, "he sat on an icepack, and it exploded on the back of his pants, he was trying to get his underwear to dry faster, so he put it in the microwave"
*Dumbfounded look on my face*
*hear the garble over the Fire Dispatch radio, that they are on scene*
Me to him: "you know there is a fan in the trauma room you could have hung it on.....or you could have gone to the laundry point *right across the street*?
Man, the Firefighters are gonna get a kick out of this!"
*i walk away to go handle FD and tell them the story*

11 October 2012

Outercourse

Found this on the Planned Parenthood website...
When I was young, all PP seemed to do was hand out condoms and BC.
Now, they have an entire foreplay guide??????


+-
What Are the Disadvantages of Outercourse?
Outercourse has several disadvantages:

Women and men may let outercourse lead to intercourse without being ready to protect themselves from pregnancy or infection.
Some people may find it hard to abstain from intercourse.
Sperm may come in contact with the vagina.



How Do I Have Outercourse?
There are many ways to be sexual without intercourse:


Kissing — Many people explore different ways of kissing. They may also explore kissing different body parts.


Masturbation — Many people enjoy touching their own sex organs. It's the most common way to be sexual. Partners can masturbate alone or together. They may hug and kiss while they do it. They can also watch each other — which can be exciting and a good way to learn what kind of touch a partner likes.


Manual Stimulation — Many couples fondle each other's sex organs using their hands. Some also use their bodies or mouths.


Body-to-body rubbing — frottage, "grinding," or "dry humping" — Many couples rub their bodies together — especially their sex organs — for pleasure and orgasm.


Fantasy — Couples can read or watch sexy stories or pictures together. They can also share or act out sexy fantasies. People do it in person, on the phone or Internet, or through e-mail or instant messaging. (Using online technology for sex is called cybersex.)


Sex Toys — These include vibrators and dildos. Toys can be used to explore and caress the body. Condoms can be used on toys that go into the vagina or anus. Condoms need to be used if partners want to share the same toy. Use a new condom for each partner — and for each part of the body. Sex toys need to be cleaned — different toys have different cleaning instructions.


Oral Sex Play — Many people like to use their mouths on each other's sex organs. Oral sex on a woman is called "cunnilingus." On a man it's called "fellatio." It cannot cause pregnancy. But it can pass infection. Using a barrier can reduce the risks. Condoms that have been cut open, Sheer Glyde dams, dental dams, and plastic wrap make good barriers for oral sex on a woman. Condoms make good barriers for oral sex on a man. Many people use latex or plastic barriers that are non-lubricated or flavored for oral sex.


Anal Sex Play — Many people enjoy anal sex play. Partners can explore each other's buttocks, anus, and rectum with their hands, mouths, sex organs, or with toys. Anal sex play cannot cause pregnancy — but it can easily pass infection. Using a latex or plastic barrier can reduce the risks. Using lubrication can make it more comfortable.

It is important to talk to your partner about the kinds of sexual activities that you do and do not want to engage in — including outercourse. But it may not be easy to talk about at first.

Here are some tips for talking about outercourse:

Think about what kinds of sex play you want to do and don't want to do.

Practice having a discussion with your partner. What do you want to say? What are all the possible things your partner could say?

Try to have talks with your partner before you get into a sexy situation.
Talk when you both have time and privacy for these discussions.

Be very clear about the limits you want to set. Remember that your partner cannot read your thoughts. It's important to talk about what you want and how you feel. It's important to hear your partner, too.

If you are feeling nervous or embarrassed, tell your partner. Maybe your partner feels the same way you do. Sometimes sex is hard to talk about. It's okay to say that.

Ask how your partner feels about outercourse. Being honest with each other can make a relationship more fulfilling.

Set limits upon which you both can agree.
Keep talking about the sexual limits you set together. What feels good? What may not be working out so well?
If you decide to have intercourse, instead of outercourse, there is a risk of pregnancy. Be sure you have another kind of birth control. Also be ready to protect yourself against infection.

08 October 2012

Admitting you need help...

Why? Why bring others into your world, your secret place? Your hide away from the reality around you.
It's hard to fathom wanting to do that, when the person in question isn't someone you love. Even letting in those you love can feel hard, almost impossible at times. To find someone you trust enough is a large task, and you only hope they take the task to heart, and help you do what needs to be done.
Accepting you need help is never easy. Especially in today's world, and in my profession and position. Being willing to reach out takes guts. The gratitude you feel when your call is answered, though, is immense. A burden lifted, and a breath breathed easier.
I never want to admit when my walls start crumbling down.... I never want to show that "weakness".
I can't remember a time when my needs were placed first and foremost. I can't even recall them being considered too often. I am partly to blame, though, as I too often bear a mask that has everyone believing I'm okay. And some have grown to expect that from me, never being able to see beyond the mask.
I can be standing in the ruins of my shelter, and they see the veiled sarcasm and witty banter, rather than the glistening eyes and aching heart. They don't realize how tired and hurting I am, wishing and praying for a reprieve from playing strong, but knowing they are too absorbed in their tasks to notice.
It takes a while for me to crack and crumble. This time it took a month, before a singular event cascaded my thoughts and emotions into a burning heap of confusion. The difference being that, this time, they saw it coming. Those around me saw my downward spiral, and only two of them thought enough to inquire. But none thought to intervene.
When have I ever, in my life, asked for help? Know me a week, and you should know it is harder for me than just about anything else. So, don't wait for me to do it.
I grasped....
I sent out little flags, hoping someone would take the bait, and help me out.
They didn't.
They even tried to reprimand me, for a crash they saw coming, and refused to stop, because they refused to offer the help they knew I couldn't ask for myself.
I don't trust easily. I have been disappointed, let down, betrayed, fouled, and made a joke of enough in my life to not trust but a handful of people. I can count, on barely both hands, the number of people I trust.
And less than one hand, the number of people I trust with what is in my head. Funny thing being, two of those I trust so deeply, are very new additions to my world, within the last several months, one within the last week.

You see, I hit that point, where I knew I had no choice but to reach out, before I drowned. I ignored the false caring of others, and went straight to the only person here that I would trust, wholly, with my life.
And he did just what I needed, something that has never happened. He took me where I needed to go, to get the help I needed. And I'm grateful for that. He realizes that what I shared with him, I wouldn't share with a single person in my entire unit, and couldn't share with my family. He realized how much it took for me to reach out to him, and he didn't take that lightly.
The relief that brings me is immense. On top of what I've now accomplished with the doctor he got me. I am breathing a bit easier now, and feeling better about what's happening. And I have someone along with me, to help with the adjustments, and track the progress, the meds, and help with the turmoil that always festers beneath the surface.

I have someone here to talk to.

01 October 2012

Our whirlwind month

Today I am 38 weeks pregnant! It is amazing to think that you will be here so soon and at the same time I can not wait until October 15th to meet you! (if you really make us wait that long) Thoughts have been running rampant in my mind the last couple of weeks about how you will be welcomed into our family. Last night you were so excited to kick in my belly. You showed me you were ready for a little mommy/baby chat by scooting your booty wwwaaayy over to the left side of my belly. My stomach was the exact shape of Gumby's head. It looked hilarious. Thankfully you did not hold that pose for too long. I asked you if you loved your mommy...you gave me a kick. I asked you if you loved your daddy...you gave me a big kick. Then I asked you if you loved your big sissies and big bello...you kicked me so hard I thought you might pop out of my tummy right then and there. Well, sweet button your big sissy and big bello love you too. Sissy is to excited to see you. She says, "Baby come out at Halloween" (because October= Halloween) to anyone who asks. And she is so excited to hold you. When we ask her how she will hold the baby. She puts here little hands together and holds them up in front of her. Or she puts her lovey in her shirt and says, " I have a baby in belly". Or, most recently she wraps her lovey in a little lovey blanket and holds the lovey to her chest and says, "My baby nursing!" Your brother is also thrilled to meet you. He likes to climb in mommy and daddy's bed in the morning, pull down the blankets, pull up my shirt and kiss the belly. He says, "I love you baby!". Then he likes to 'hide' with you under the covers. Only belly is allowed to hide from monsters...not mommy. Boy also loves to give you big, big rasperries.

This next month is going to be full of anticipation and excitement. Our plans to get your room together, pack for the hospital stay, line up childcare for your brother and sister during your arrival and planning first visits from Nana and Papa and Grama and Grampa...and enjoying our last couple of weeks with the twins as our 'only' little kids. One on hand, I hope time flies until your arrival. On the other hand, I am trying diligently to enjoy this last month and cherish every moment of being pregnant with you and watching your bello, sissies, and daddy love on this big belly.

I love you sweet heart and I can not wait to meet you!

Our little lady,
You have earned the nickname of Early Bird this week. Not necessarily because you wake up that early, but because you are always the first one up in our family. Today I heard your tiny pitter patter foot steps coming from your room, around the hall, to my side of the bed around 7:40am. You gave me a sweet wake up kiss and curled up into bed next to me. You let me rest for about 2 minutes before you started your little whiny voice, “No sleepin. No close your eyes.” We cuddled and chatted about starting school and it being a special day so Daddy would be chatting with you this morning! When daddy is "home", you get chocolate milk for breakfast, so I went downstairs and got you your milk. You said you wanted it in a cup, with a lid…very specific you have been lately. Usually I get exact colors too, but not today. I started to get ready for the day and my heart just melted when I looked out of the bathroom door and saw you and Daddy just chatting in bed, giggling and sharing a quiet time together.

You picked out and put on your own undies, Elmo. You put on your pants and (1) sock by yourself. I put you hair in pigtails…half way through you asked for ‘poofs’….so cute. You ate a wonderful breakfast of yogurt with ‘finkles’ (sprinkles), toast and an apple.
After all was said and done, and you were ready to go, I gave you a goodbye kiss. You said, ‘Don’t leave’…which has to be one the most heart wrenching sentences for a child to say to a parent, but I knew it was going to be okay.
We got you two into the car, and got our goodbye kisses in, before a single tear was shed. You did amazingly, me: not so much.

I love you little princess of peace!

Our man of the house,

You slept in like a little champion. You came running into mommy and daddy’s room at 8:15 and said, “I’m nakey!” You were sleeping in just a diaper and pants. You were so excited to see sissy and daddy. You drank chocolate milk in bed while everyone got dressed and mommy picked your school (a first!). You played with your little Diego digger truck while Mommy got you dressed. Teenager put ‘jello’ (gel) in your hair and you were so excited to go to school. Mommy and Daddy were excited that you did a pee pee and a poo poo in the potty! You finished your first potty sticker chart today and we scheduled a dinner date for Chucky Cheese this Friday, which Big Sis is very excited to accompany you for.
You promised to behave today, and I'm hoping you will oblige. It's a different ball game now, and it can be difficult to distinguish between toddler-behavior and AS-behavior, but you are making progress with understanding limits. The tantrums/meltdowns are improving along with your ability to communicate your needs, but the biting and pinching are still a problem. You crumble (and melt my heart) when you know you're in trouble, and you will resign yourself, cuddle up on me, and say "I'm tired, Mommy". I know it's to keep from getting punished, but it's heart-tugging just the same.

We love our little prince of turmoil!

Teenager/MJ,

You have been an amazing part of our lives for so long, and even as you venture on your own path, you are never more than a phone call away. Since starting university, your time home has shrunk dramatically, but you jump at any opportunity to help out.
You were pure excitement to come home for an extended weekend, not only to be with your little brother and sister, but to attend a doctor's appointment on Friday, and play chauffeur on Monday! You are an amazing daughter, sister, student, person, and I have been so lucky to have you as my daughter, my first born.

You have helped me in a bind this week. Your grandmother flying in the same time your siblings needed to be in school, you stayed the extra night to help me out. I know driving in traffic is not on your list of favorite things, but you are still willing to do it, graciously, and I truly appreciate it.
I also appreciate you being "on call" until your baby sibling, who you've affectionately dubbed (#)4Ever-Baby, arrives, though I'm sure you don't mind having your father's car at your disposal the last few weeks, and however much longer until the "show" begins.
On top of all of this, you are excelling in your new environment, and pulling great grades this semester. I know you've still undecided about what you want to do, but you are cutting a great path for yourself, and making us more proud than we can express in written word.

Thank you for being in my life, Duchess of my heart.

Now, we get down to the wire. My mother has arrived, the bags are packed, the paperwork submitted. All we have left to do is wait for the queue.