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Pour Your Heart Out: Beyond Salvage

pouryourheart1-e1328022968330This is a difficult subject to write about not only for the subject matter (infidelity in a marriage with children that is now heading for divorce) but also because it’s not really my story to tell, so I have to tell it without too many details. Know that it is not about me, but about people I’m close to and because of this affair, my relationship with all involved with be forever changed.

Someone I love made some very bad choices and did something really stupid and hurt a lot of other people I love. This person knew better. In fact, this person had this done to them a long long time ago so knew deep down what an unforgivable hurt it would cause.

And yet.

They did it anyway. Instead of talking to the multiple someones, myself included,  they should have talked to when things in the marriage were rocky, they instead plunged into an illicit relationship with an outsider.

So maybe that’s what I’m really angry about. I felt blindsided. Why didn’t this person come to me and let me know what was happening before causing irrevocable damage?

When the guilty party called to tell me what was going on, their relationship was already beyond salvage. And I was shocked, then numb, extremely pissed off, sad and pissed off again. Because of my relationship with this person, I have chosen to support them through this mess. I don’t really have a choice, there are just certain things you do for family. But part of me wants to throttle this person. Yell at them. Maybe even throw something. I want to reach out to the other person involved and say I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry, I didn’t know, I’m as shocked, pissed and sad as you are. I want to scoop the child in my arms and shelter them from all of it. Kiss it and make it all better. But this other person wants nothing to do with me or my family because of this. I didn’t even know it was going on, but this mistake by another has reverberated far and wide. And that pisses me off too.

I can’t make it better. This didn’t happen directly to me. I’m part of the inner circle but I wasn’t there. I didn’t know until it was too late. And I cannot fix it.

What I can do is listen, be there, offer support and hope that one day my relationship with everyone involved, while forever changed, will somehow mend to the point that we can begin again.

 

 

gingerbreadmama

Pool Safety – Please Read!

Our daughter almost died on Sunday. This is not a joke or an embellishment. Our two year old baby girl fell into the deep end of our pool, wearing a diaper (that gets very heavy when wet), while her father, mother, aunt and older brother were all in the house. I wanted to write about this yesterday but every time I thought about it I started to cry.

What I know…

The pool gate was not closed. None of us adults closed it and none of us, myself, my husband or my sister-in-law can answer why we left it open. But it was.

I was in the kitchen getting dinner ready. My husband and sister-in-law were in the backyard, near the BBQ. Little Miss wandered outside, and I heard my husband say “You don’t have shoes on, so you need to go inside”. I didn’t see her, or my husband or sister-in-law come inside.

I finished what I was doing in the kitchen and went to the living room where my sister-in-law had just sat down with my son and out of the corner of my eye I saw my husband react. I saw him throw papers in the air and run outside. He had been coming out of our office with something he had retrieved off the printer and before the papers could flutter to the ground I knew. I just knew that our daughter was in the pool.

I ran outside after him and he was already in the water, pulling her up. She was conscious. She spit out water and started to cry. She clung to me for 20 minutes before she’d even let me take her diaper off. Her eyes were as big as saucers.

My husband said he didn’t hear anything, not a splash, not a cry. Nobody heard anything. What he saw, what caught his attention, was our dog looking into the pool. He then realized the pool water had ripples. He said when he dove in, she was almost to the bottom. Our two year old was almost at the bottom of the deep end of our pool.

I think of the what ifs and I start to cry. My husband is a hero for noticing what my sister-in-law and I didn’t, but we are all to blame for not closing the pool gate. We are blessed that she is ok, and the pool gate will never be left open again.

According to the CDC every day, about ten people die from unintentional drowning. Of these, two are children aged 14 or younger. Drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States.

Summer is here, doors are open, distractions abound. Please, please, please be safe around the water and take as many precautions as you can. Drowning is silent, it is quick, and it can happen to anyone.

Tips to help you stay safe in the water (sourced from www.cdc.gov)

  • Supervise When in or Around Water. Designate a responsible adult to watch young children while in the bath and all children swimming or playing in or around water. Supervisors of preschool children should provide “touch supervision”, be close enough to reach the child at all times. Because drowning occurs quickly and quietly, adults should not be involved in any other distracting activity (such as reading, playing cards, talking on the phone, or mowing the lawn) while supervising children, even if lifeguards are present.
  • Use the Buddy System.  Always swim with a buddy. Select swimming sites that have lifeguards when possible.
  • Seizure Disorder Safety.  If you or a family member has a seizure disorder, provide one-on-one supervision around water, including swimming pools. Consider taking showers rather than using a bath tub for bathing. Wear life jackets when boating.
  • Learn to Swim. Formal swimming lessons can protect young children from drowning. However, even when children have had formal swimming lessons, constant, careful supervision when children are in the water, and barriers, such as pool fencing to prevent unsupervised access, are still important.
  • Learn Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). In the time it takes for paramedics to arrive, your CPR skills could save someone’s life.
  • Air-Filled or Foam Toys are not safety devices.  Don’t use air-filled or foam toys, such as “water wings”, “noodles”, or inner-tubes, instead of life jackets. These toys are not life jackets and are not designed to keep swimmers safe.
  • Avoid Alcohol.  Avoid drinking alcohol before or during swimming, boating, or water skiing. Do not drink alcohol while supervising children.
  • Don’t let swimmers hyperventilate before swimming underwater or try to hold their breath for long periods of time. This can cause them to pass out (sometimes called “shallow water blackout”) and drown.
  • Know how to prevent recreational water illnesses.  For more information about illnesses from recreational water, see the More Information section below.
  • Know the local weather conditions and forecast before swimming or boating.  Strong winds and thunderstorms with lightning strikes are dangerous.

If you have a swimming pool at home:

  • Install Four-Sided Fencing. Install a four-sided pool fence that completely separates the pool area from the house and yard. The fence should be at least 4 feet high. Use self-closing and self-latching gates that open outward with latches that are out of reach of children. Also, consider additional barriers such as automatic door locks and alarms to prevent access or alert you if someone enters the pool area.
  • Clear the Pool and Deck of Toys.  Remove floats, balls and other toys from the pool and surrounding area immediately after use so children are not tempted to enter the pool area unsupervised.

If you are in and around natural water settings:

  • Use U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets. This is important regardless of the distance to be traveled, the size of the boat, or the swimming ability of boaters; life jackets can reduce risk for weaker swimmers too.
  • Know the meaning of and obey warnings represented by colored beach flags. These may vary from one beach to another.
  • Watch for dangerous waves and signs of rip currents. Some examples are water that is discolored and choppy, foamy, or filled with debris and moving in a channel away from shore.
  • If you are caught in a rip current, swim parallel to shore. Once free of the current, swim diagonally toward shore.

gingerbreadmama

Kicked, while down – A TMI post. You’ve been warned.

On days like today, I’m so happy for yoga breaths.

As previously blogged, last month I had a miscarriage and a D&C. I was supposed to have follow-up blood work done until my HCG levels were under 5 but I never did it. Chalk it up to stress, exhaustion, denial, whatever, I just couldn’t go once a week and have more blood drawn to tell me that I was no longer pregnant. I already knew that. And yeah, yeah, I get it that the blood work was to make sure the doctor didn’t miss anything, but I just wanted to put it behind me. So I didn’t go.

Flash forward to end of January, when I finally got my period. Because our birth control options are in flux, I am going to go on the pill until it’s figured out. So I dropped off my prescription on Monday but they didn’t have it so the gal said they’d order it and get it to me Tuesday.

I go to pick it up last night and the gal hands me a bottle of pre-natal vitamins. Can you say DUMBFOUNDED? WTF?

Obviously I mixed up the prescriptions. My doctor had given me the pre-natals on that oh my god I think I’m pregnant visit but I never filled it because it turned out I didn’t need to.

I went home and tore my house apart looking for the pill prescription but couldn’t find it so I called my doctor today, and you know what?  She won’t fill it until I have the stupid blood test done. I admit, I begged but she won’t budge and since she wields the power with her prescription pad.

Yoga breaths, yoga breaths, breathe, breathe…

As always, there is something funny in this little effed up situation. The mix up does explain why the pharmacy gal looked at me funny when I was dropping off the prescription in the first place, as I was there with my two small children who were tackling and terrorizing each other in the pharmacy line. At the time, I looked at her knowingly (and may have winked) and said, “I haven’t been on birth control in a long time” and she responded with a weird look and an umpfh. Clearly because she knew she was filling pre-natals and thought I was adding to my chaos.

So off to give blood that is only going to state the obvious I go…

Breathing all the way.

 

 

gingerbreadmama

Losing it

I so wish this post was about losing the holiday pounds but alas, it is not. It is about me being a dumb-ass. I’ve lost (and lose) many things; my sanity, my temper, my patience all being high on the list but I don’t lose material objects. That’s not to say I’ve never lost anything tangible, I’m still mourning that cute sweater and dress I left in that Vegas hotel room 12 years ago (and no, it’s not a what happens in Vegas story, the clothes were hanging in the closet and I just forgot to pack them). But I digress. I’m good at keeping my wallet, my shoes, my lipstick, my glasses, my keys – you name it – where I can find them.

Until yesterday.

Crusher and I were heading for a trail run but stopped at Petco to get dog food first. All good. Quick trip, dog and dog food loaded in the car. And then I can’t find my car key. Anywhere. And when I say anywhere, I mean I even crawled under my car to look for it. It was truly the mystery of the vanishing key.

A woman parked next to me helped me look around the car and as she drove off, left me with this parting gem, “You know, when you stop looking for it you’ll find it”. Helpfully unhelpful, thank you very much. Like I didn’t already feel stupid.

I called hunky hubby but he had gone surfing, and was not close enough to help. After my initial annoyance passed, I took a deep breath and reminded myself that I am capable and was going for a run anyway. It all comes back to the concept of making lemonade.

So I got the dog back out of the car, grabbed a bottle of water, my house keys (could you imagine if I had left those in the car) and took off running. It’s only about 2.5 miles so it didn’t take forever. Once home I got my extra car key, hopped on my bike and went back to my car. A dude hanging out by his truck in the parking lot (I didn’t ask) helped me load my bike in the car and when I got home and tried to open my tailgate, it was stuck.

I drive a Volvo XC90 and the back hatch is split into a top piece and a bottom piece so it opens wide. Somehow my key had slipped under the bottom half where it bends to connect to the car. While I was driving it must have loosened and lodged itself in the joint (for lack of the proper word, though I’m sure some car-guy or engineer knows what it is really called) that makes it close and got stuck.

After a  little maneuvering, I was able to jiggle it out, get the tailgate open and recover my key. Thank goodness.

It wasn’t the workout I had planned, but it was a workout, so I’ll take it.

What is the dumbest thing you’ve ever lost?

gingerbreadmama

Miscarriage sucks

The flowers my husband brought to my work, as a surprise

Miscarriage sucks for so many reasons. It’s an emotional rollercoaster, a physical drain. Even though this pregnancy was unexpected and at first I wasn’t sure how I felt, every day I was pregnant I was more comfortable with the idea of having a third child. You can’t help but imagine the what’s next, what the baby will be like, if it is a boy or girl, names…

 
This past week was a really rough week for me. I felt like I needed a sign that said, “I’m going through a miscarriage so either back the f*@k off or give me a hug” because I wasn’t able to just curl up in the fetal position and cry, like I wanted. My friend Tonya shared a quote that explains it well, “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life. It goes on.”
 
Life goes on.
 
I had to keep a smile on my face, and keep putting one foot in front of the other because I have children, a career, things that required my attention. I swear, on my death bed I should be given an academy award. I’m sure there are many of us that feel deserving of that accolade. Sometimes, you just have to keep on keeping on.

This is my second miscarriage but the saddest part of that is that I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count the women I know who have also suffered this loss. I read a static that 1 in 3 pregnancies end in miscarriage. That is a staggering number.

Most of my friends have had multiple miscarriages, and unfortunately I even know a few who have had as many as four. It’s unimaginable. And difficult to discuss. But we are unified in our pain and misery, and keeping quiet about it just isn’t my nature.

I meant to publish this post yesterday, so that today would be a fresh start but I just wasn’t up to it. We found out last Friday that the baby wasn’t growing and had no heartbeat. So I had a D & C yesterday. 

And now,  my procreation quest has come full-circle. My first miscarriage in 2006 also resulted in a D & C,  and even though it was a different doctor, it was in the same surgery center as my last D & C, because it will be my last, I’m not going through this again.

We are going to be very diligent in our birth control moving forward and remain a family of four. And I’m more than ok with that. I love my life, my husband, my boy, my girl. And as much as another baby would have been welcome, we are done.

Things happen for a reason and while I’m not sure yet what the reasoning behind our unexpected pregnancy and then the loss is yet, there is a positive take-away. My husband and I got pregnant without trying. That had never happened for us before. After so many years of trying to get pregnant without success, and my husband asking “is this procreation or pleasure” (and it was rarely just pleasure) and only ever getting pregnant with help from our fertility doctor, we did it. We had a good time, just us, with no agenda and we made a baby. And even though that baby is now back with God, I have that knowledge in my heart that we created something beautiful, without trying.

Thank you to my husband, my family and my friends, who have given me love and strength these past few weeks. I hope I can always be that type of strength and inspiration to you.

Life goes on.

Every day is a new day.

So far, so good.

gingerbreadmama

Wonder Dog has left the building

Caleb the Wonderdog 2011

Caleb the Wonder Dog went to doggy heaven yesterday.

He was almost 12 years old. We’d had him since he was a puppy; he became part of our family in July, 2000 the year my husband and I got married. I saw him at a pet shop and fell in love. He was my boy.

I always knew he was meant to be mine because he was seriously over-bred and had debilitating issues that would have gotten him destroyed if I wasn’t the one to save him. We were even given that option, once it was clear he had hip dysplasia. We’d had him about a year, and the pet shop offered to take him back but I couldn’t do it. He was my boy. They ended up paying us 150% of his purchase price and that money went towards his hip and knee replacement surgery. Have you ever had to rehabilitate a dog who just had hip surgery? It wasn’t easy but we got through it. My husband frequently referred to him as the six million dollar dog. But he was loyal and sweet and you cannot put a price on that. I’ve been called a “bleeding heart” yet sometimes the label fits. He was my boy.

When he about 5 we noticed that he was going blind. Our vet confirmed that he had degenerative eye disease and there was nothing we could do. His eyesight went fast and his blindness caused him anxiety. Some days were a major challenge, but we all made do.

Even with all his health issues, he had a good life. He was spoiled, loved, well-fed. When he could still see he loved to swim in our pool. We had this fish toy that ran on batteries and he’d swim and chase it around for hours. He loved walks, and would proudly carry his leash in his mouth and “walk” himself. He was a huge golden retriever, 100lbs, but would have sat in your lap if you’d let him. He adored children and they adored him. He was a good buddy.

Little Miss and Wonderdog 2011

Captain Fussypants and Wonderdog 2007

Captain Fussypants and Wonderdog 2001

This isn’t the first pet I’ve lost. In fact, my husband and I have lost three dogs in the last 10 years, all to old age. But just because we’ve been through this before, it doesn’t make it any easier. Pets are family, and they leave a void when they are gone.

A friend summed it up perfectly for me. She said, “They leave such a huge hole in our homes when they’re gone, but seem to take up so little space when they’re there”.

I miss you Caleb, you were my boy.

gingerbreadmama