Friday, March 31, 2006


He's the birthday boy!

Michael is 17 today, woo hoo! It's hard for me to let this sink in since I was only a year younger than this when he was born. The fact he hasn't done the bad things I did at his age is an accomplishment because I know I got off on the wrong track and it took me for a long ride. Being a teenager is hard and there are so many wrong decisions and friends that can be made that can steer you in all kinds of directions.

I took the day off today so we could go get his drivers license. I'm proud of him for this because it took a lot more than just going to the class and getting a passing grade. He had to really work for it by keeping his grades up in all classes and has proved himself to be responsible enough to drive!

He chose to have a few friends spend the night and play XBox and eat subs, drink Coke, munch away on chips, cake, ice cream, and other various junk foods. So you can guess what my night will be like, eh? I hope it will be fun for him and will post some pics later.

17 years ago you couldn't tell from looking at the back of me that I was pregnant with this little boy that did not want to come out! I was only 102 lbs. when I got pregnant, so you can just imagine what I looked like. Michael was two weeks past his due date and as comfy as could be where he was. We waited and waited with no signs of labor, the doctor finally decided it was getting to be too long to wait any longer. Any longer than two weeks when it is a first baby can be very risky.

I went to the hospital the evening of March 30th where they induced me at about 7:00 pm but things didn't start really taking effect until midnight. I was only dialated at a 2 when I they started it which made things progress slowly. Pains would come and go but I they weren't bad at first and when they got worse, I had an epidural. I was scared but mostly excited. I had my mom in the labor room with me as my support since she had already done this 7 times before and 6 of those 7 were without anesthesia! My ex-husband was there too, but to tell you the truth I don't really remember a whole lot of him other than his sleeping most of the night and rushing off right afterward to go home to sleep some more.

Around 5 in the morning I finally dialated to a 7 and then stopped. We didn't know why, but after stripping the membrane some more and the nurse pushing on my belly, he finally was born at 6:40 A.M. That's when we found Michael had a square knot around his neck that was keeping him from moving in the birth canal. The doctor took one look and chuckled saying, "Looks like we have a boy scout!" I'm glad everything went okay cause if the cord would have gotten any tighter around his neck, he may not have been here today.

Michael weighed 7 lbs and 14 oz. and was 21 inches. (Now he's 6' and 140 lbs!) He would not breast feed for the life of him! That kid only wanted a bottle and nothing else for the next year. He wouldn't eat baby food or anything! Just his bottle. And the nipple had to be practically falling apart before he would use about lazy! Other than that, he was the easiest baby to care for. Too easy in fact. What did I learn as a teen mother from him other than having a cute baby that people "oohed" and "awwed" over was fun? He cried with his mouth shut and only when he got really hungry. He was so content and happy, I was very lucky.

He's still a quiet kid, seems to be content, but outgrew that bottle thing! You should see him eat! Happy Birthday Michael!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

To write or not to write?

So I've been working on writing my "success" story for the Workforce Professionals Conference I told you I was invited to, right? Well, I've come to find that I hate doing this because of three reasons:

1st - I am sick of the story and having to write it again because I lost the electronic version I had really sucks (But I will add that I'm a much better writer than I was four years ago.)

2nd - I don't like talking about myself.

3rd - What makes me so special? As I was walking to my car to go home from work yesterday, I was thinking, "If there were a pool of people to choose from to represent Workforce Services at this conference that also have related success stories, they wouldn't choose me. There are far better out there if they took the time to find them. I am just the most accessible since I work here and the first person that pops in people's minds. I haven't accomplished any more than anyone else, really. Others that never make mistakes or only minor ones should be commended more than people like me who failed time and time again in life."

You ask, "What is this story all about?" Well, I told you it was about me being a former client living on welfare, right? So, it's about a lot of bad things that happened to me and how I got back on my feet only it's themed around how I succeeded with the help of the government agency I work for called Workforce Services.

But instead of discounting my experience with all those thoughts, I should relish in the fact that someone is interested in what I went through in life and how I came out of it. If I hadn't, what would my life be worth writing about? And as I write it, I find it's good to reflect back on how I suffered and struggled. My life now may not be full of hardship so what better way to remember what hardship was in order to appreciate what I have today? Best of all, this whole thing has made me want to start my auto-biograpy. Only thing is, when I think about it, it blows my mind away and I become so overwhelmed that I don't even want to start. But I am inspired to nonetheless. It will be better to now than to wait until I'm old and have a bad memory so I will make it one of my goals and even post the chapters here on my blog as I finish them.

Since you all know I had my first child at age 16, that should be a clue where the battle started for me in making many wrong choices in life that followed much later inlcuding abuse of drugs, addiction to alcohol, and codependency. So my story is actually a lot more than about being on welfare and how the government helped me and that is why I need to write about it.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Happy Birthday Dad

Today is my Dad's birthday. He would have turned a young 64 today. On his last birthday here I remember him saying how depressed he was and that he spent the whole day waiting for the guy to come and cut his trees in the yard but that he never showed up. I didn't have a gift for him since we were on such a tight budget while I was working part time and nothing was planned for us to celebrate. Since it was a weekday I stopped by after work to give him a hug and a kiss for his present and as I did so, I remember hearing in my head and heart the words spoken as a loud whisper saying "I love you." To this day I couldn't tell if it was his voice or mine.

Dad always hated celebrating his birthday, I think he just didn't like attention drawn to himself, but I know he liked the cake. I think German chocolate was his favorite and for ice cream he loved strawberry. It was always fun finding him gifts though. Dad loved to collect little miniatures or other unique items so it was a challenge to find something he would get a kick out of.


Goodbye Hammy

Michael's pet hamster died sometime yesterday. We don't know when it was but he found her last night after he noticed the room was too quiet. I felt so bad for him, he told me "I know you can't tell I'm sad, but I am," and actually I could. His voice was cracking and you could tell he wanted to cry. Even though he never was as close to her as his last one, Patrick, she was still his buddy. I imagine the boys get used to the noise their hamsters make at night so when it's not there, it can be all too noticeable. He hadn't really found a name for her and rarely took her out of the cage, so I was a little surprised that he was as sad as he was. I'm not sure exactly how long we've had her, I don't quite remember, maybe a little over a year or so? Maybe two? This will be the last pet hamster for him, he announced, and plans to throw the cage and all away. At least she had a friend to meet up with in heaven that recently died too.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Mommy, don't go!

Funny thing happened yesterday morning when dropping Savannah off at her babysitter's...

You see, Savannah has become extra clingy when we leave her with others ever since Charlie started his new job and doesn't watch her during the day. She has only been this way once or twice since she was born, so I guess since she's older now the separation anxiety is more at the forefront of her mind. Even distractions aren't working. What's more, is it's not just when I go to work, it's all the time. I know this is caused from the change in the schedule cause the week before he changed jobs, she was fine and was happily intervened with crayons and a coloring book by the Sunday School teacher. (Yes, for those of you that know me, we go to church now.) Even when we left her with the boys the other night while visiting Grandma to take a peek at the Aquarium store across the street, she was upset.

So her babysitter and I have been brainstorming on how to help her cope. Yesterday I decided to not rush off so soon to help make the transition a little easier on her and took more time than usual so that Savannah wouldn't be so nervous about my leaving. After a few minutes, I knelt on my knees to chat with her babysitter and noticed that she was starting to get comfortable. I thought it would be a good time to ask for a kiss and get on my way, but when I said to her, "Can I have a kiss?" She said, "Nuh-uh," and plopped herself on my lap so I couldn't go. Made for a good chuckle all day yesterday. She's getting smart, that one is!

Friday, March 10, 2006

What's going on...

Well Savannah did well last night, no poopies! So far so good and she ate a bunch of starchy potatoes too, so that ought to thicken her up! She still hates Pedialyte and we have to force it down her throat. If you've tasted it before like I have, can you blame her?

Jacob is required to attend a play and write a report about it for his drama class each term of the semester. Therefore we are going to see Westside Story at the Hale Center Theater tomorrow. Our whole family is going (all but Boo's), even my mom and sister, so I'm looking forward to it.

Michael has decided that he wants to take a home building construction class at the MATC next year for his senior electives. Next week we talk to the counselor about what credits he needs for graduation and what electives he wants to take to help him figure out what he wants to do in life. At first and for the longest time he planned on going into the military, but he admitted last night that he's not so sure and is a little scared thinking about the experiences he might have. I'm sure it's just that thing we all went through trying to figure out where we would fit in after leaving home for good. He will be 17 the end of this month so I hope he can really find himself during this coming year.

Charlie starts his new job on Monday and is a little apprehensive but knows it's an answer to our prayers and a blessing to keep our family organized the way it was before. I think he will actually like this place better since it's not such a large corporation like where he worked before and hopefully not as much pressure as they had on him there. What's neat though, is last night at 9:30 p.m. he received a call from a lady who's husband has his own electric company two streets down from where we live! She asked him if he was working, and if he would be interested in a job as a residential electrician although he isn't certified. When I asked him how they got his number, he told me they had it from Workforce Services and in looking at his resume she said they were very impressed. This is the third job offer he's had since he left his other back in January, and what's funny is he hasn't even had to try to find these people!

As for me, my former Regional Director called me yesterday to invite me to a Workforce Professionals conference to share my story of being a former welfare client and the experience I had in getting from where I was to who I am today. I took this as a compliment since it's been over 6 years since I started back on my feet after my X left the boys and I, my 2 year bout of drug use, and the lack of a stable residence or a job. For so long I suffered and my boys suffered from my denial that I needed counseling and I got so mentally incapable of functioning that I went rock bottom. I had to hit the bottom though before I was able to work back up. I never knew that all the pain and suffering I went through would still affect my life today...

Well that's what's going on...happy Friday everyone.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Just a thought...

Charlie starts his day job next week and I'm getting more and more back to my old self as I think about it. I guess I need him more than I thought I did.

I have come to find that I don't realize just how much someone brings joy into my life until they are gone out of a large chunk from the time they used to spend with me. Don't get me wrong, of course before he was ever gone, I knew he brought me joy, I married him didn't I? It's just that I can now really measure just how much joy it is and now I know how much our relationship has grown from when we were married 3 1/2 years ago.

But then I think about Mom. Dad died almost two years ago and she can never look forward to him changing his schedule and coming back to spend the evenings with her. I feel bad that I have been so selfish and have acted like a baby and it's even worse now that I feel happy to have him back because I think of her. So really what right do I have to complain? I miss Dad too, but I didn't spend my days with him like she did. I guess I can just say I truly understand the pain to some of the extent she deals with everyday.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Silly Girl

Savannah has been doing the funniest things lately. She's been using the arm rest covers from the couch as blankets for her stuffed animals or babies. She has several baby blankets, but she likes to wrap them up carefully with the arm rest cover and lays them in a safe place and looks at me with her finger to her mouth and says, "Sshhh." Too cute! I wonder if it's easier for her to handle since they are usually stiff, not soft as they are made out of the fabric the couch is. Sometimes she'll put her babies in her bed with her blanket on them and shut the door and as she's shutting it, she says, "Nigh-nigh. Shh." But the funniest thing of all was last night when she used her play telephone in place of the animals or the babies. She was even rocking it to sleep! I'd say she's starting to get an imagination.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Good news.

First off, can you believe it's March? Second, the skies have cleared and the sun is out today. Third, my husband has been offered a job working dayshift!

I am so happy to get him back! Need I say more?