Friday, October 11, 2013

The Sad Truth

I read a story today (how could you not, it was all over social media) about an NFL player's son being in critical condition due to injuries he sustained from his mother's boyfriend. The boy was two. I say was, because he passed away earlier this evening. I think the only question that I continually keep asking, is "why?". What the hell possessed this grown man to beat the living shit out of a defenseless baby? This really hits home for me, as I have an almost 2 year old. He is the same height, same build, same grinning smile as this boy that is in heaven, looking down at the entire nation mourning his loss at this very moment. My heart goes out to his family. Let justice be served on this no good asshole that deserves to be thrown to a pack of vicious lions, in my opinion.
RIP little man, you most certainly will not be forgotten.

Nowadays, people wear their emotions on their sleeve, on their face, they hide nothing. Which is understandable, who wants to hide how they truly feel? What people don't seem to get, is that children need security, they need to know things are going to be okay, they NEED to feel safe and loved. If you can't give that to a child, in a tough situation or not, then you have no business being a parent. Granted, that may make me seem like a hypocrite, as I'm sure I haven't hidden when things were tough or stressful for me. And I regret it. A lot. My boys depend on me to show them stability and give them security and all the love I can offer. They need my discipline to thrive in a world like today's is becoming. Does that mean I beat their asses because they don't listen in the grocery store? Absolutely not. Does that mean there will be consequences like time out, privileges revoked, toys taken away? Absolutely. The reason our world is going to shit is because of our generation. It's funny, a lot of people say the reason that so many kids now are disrespectful, is because they need a good ass whooping. Have you ever thought that maybe the reason the kid was being disrespectful in the first place, was because he wasn't being respected? If you come from a home where disrespect is all there is, how are you supposed to know any different? I was in Wal-Mart the other day, and saw a woman flat out SCREAMING at her son. Mind you, he had to be around 11. Why was she screaming at him? Because she told him to "push the fucking cart you lazy motherfucker," and when he did, she screamed at him to stop and told him, in front of a very busy checkout area that she was going to beat his ass when they got home. For what? Doing exactly what you said? When I was younger, I knew to listen. Not because if I didn't I would get my ass whooped, but because I knew if I didn't listen my mom would be disappointed in me. A child shouldn't go to bed scared they did something wrong because they're going to have the shit beaten out of them. They should go to bed knowing that people make mistakes and we're supposed to move on, take the consequences, learn from them and make a better decision next time. Too many children are being taken advantage of, having the innocence ripped away from them at such a young age. I wish I had more power to stop the abuse in this world. Our children shouldn't suffer like this. It's just not right.  

I'm now going to go hug my kids before I rinse out my hair and go to bed. They may frustrate me to the max some days, but I would never intentionally inflict excessive bodily harm on them simply because I was pissed off. Anyone that thinks that's okay needs to be treated the same way. Just saying. 

Perceiving life..

In light of certain events that occurred the past few days, I've decided to write about the views of life from a child's perspective. It might not make sense to you, but it makes sense to me. Let me explain a little.

I've learned that life is shown the way you choose to perceive it. As a child, life is perceived to you as your parents see it. Young children are like sponges. They soak up everything. Emotions, things that are said, reactions. Anything you think in your mind may or may not be shown on your face. Whether it's pain, happiness, anger, sadness, it's always there. I am so blessed to have the parents that I do. Loving, caring, supportive, understanding, the list goes on and on. But most importantly, it was the gift of living life to the fullest, and appreciating the things you do have versus the things you don't or want. Growing up, my family wasn't rich. Not even close. It didn't matter though. One of my favorite childhood memories is when Mom would get paid and we would go grocery shopping. I don't mean weekly grocery shopping. I mean three shopping carts full of stuff that's going to keep us fed for 6 months kind of grocery shopping. We'd get up early, and head to PathMark. (Sad that there aren't many left around here, I'd go back simply for the memories.) We would spend hours walking around, trying to determine whether we needed this or that. Most of the items were essential items, veggies, pasta, staples that could bring a meal together if things got tight. But my mom would ALWAYS let me get this one type of dessert. For the life of me, I can't remember what it was called. But I remember what it looked like, the joy it gave me to have it, and of course, what it tasted like. Vanilla ice cream, with layers of hardened chocolate in between. Crunchy and sweet, sticky and satisfying. My mom, dad and I would all share it after we ate dinner that night. It wasn't much, but it was enough for me, especially after a long day of grocery shopping for what seemed like eternity. Okay, so I've strayed a bit here by going on and on. My point is, that my mom never let me see that we weren't financially rich. She showed me we were rich by having one another, by having family and love and happiness, by little things like a dessert surrounded by family. I am so grateful for the awesome lesson she taught me, and I can only hope that I can teach my boys the same (a lot easier said than done.)

My point here, is that no matter what the situation, in a child's mind, things are always going to seem different. Whether they are aware of the issues in the world, in their household, or not, they will interpret things in their own way. Life is shown to you, as you perceive it. If you perceive life with a positive outlook even when the worst is happening, life will be good. 

Life goes on. So cherish it. 

Good Old HalloThanksWeenChristGivingMas

With the holidays fast approaching, people are rushing out to buy toys and goodies for their kids, putting things on layaway, buying holiday decorations. It's the middle of October, are you serious? What happened to waiting for the anticipation of Halloween and all the great candy? And then moving on to Thanksgiving, a reminder of giving thanks and appreciating all the great things life has to offer us? Nope, now it's Happy HalloThanksWeenChristGivingMas. All thrown into one. School supplies come out in June, Halloween stuff gets put out in July, Thanksgiving and Christmas stuff starts going up in September. Ridiculous. Besides all of that, my point is that the holiday season isn't about material gift giving. It's about spending time with family, giving back to the community. So many more things than getting the hottest new toy that just came out for your child that's going to break it the first day they have it. Companies do their best to market as early as possible, to make as much profit as possible. I find it appalling, and wish I had more power to demand them to knock it off. 

I was told the other day that we were two weeks behind on our Christmas set up. Two weeks?! It wasn't even the beginning of October yet. Seriously? Something's gotta give.

Okay end rant. :)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Top Ten

Top Ten Things I Love Most About My Kids

1. The good morning and good night hugs and kisses I get, like I won't see them ever again.

2. Laying in bed in the morning with them and watching them watch TV like it's teaching them as they watch.

3. Not being able to yell at them without cracking up because they're giving you the "I'm trying my hardest to make you laugh" look.

Chase yelling back at me that it's not fair, and the face he gives like he's dead serious. And then the face he gives me when I crack up laughing because I think it's hilarious.

4. Watching them play with the imaginations they have.

Shane yelling "beep, beep, beep" as he backs up while running around with a dump truck. Chase telling me he needs this or that to build a ramp or a building for his trucks.

5. Watching your baby grow, in general. From carrying them around for 9 months, to caring for them as an infant, to them becoming a toddler to a preschooler is just amazing. All of the steps you go through, from feeding them to them feeding themselves, to you talking to them and telling them what things are to them telling you what things are (Shane: "Mom wook! Airpane!"). To disciplining them so they are good kids with huge imaginations. I love it all. 

6. Watching in amazement as they devour their entire plate at dinner, tell you, "Mom you're the best cook EVER!" and then asked to be excused to go play, even when it's hamburger helper. 

7. Watching them sleep after they've fallen asleep and gotten tangled in the blankets. What sweaty, snoring angels.

8. Alone time with both of them is so much fun. They each act like different children. Both connected to my hip, happy to not have to fight for attention with brother.

9. The way they can trash my house in a mere 30 seconds after I just spent 2 hours cleaning it all. What talent. 

10. The way my little one just ran over to me, gave me a huge hug and said "stinky" because he needs his diaper changed. Time to go! 


Seven Months Later...

It has been about seven or so months since I've last written, and a lot has happened since then.

We moved in June, to a bigger apartment, in a safer location (in my opinion). Less than 2 weeks after we moved, there was a shooting in front of the building across from ours. It was drug related, and the gentleman did not survive. I understand that you cannot dodge drugs by any means, no matter where you live, however there's a difference between knowing it's going on and actually seeing it. I used to be afraid that I would see something I wasn't supposed to and that myself or my family would suffer because of it. It's also a little hard to explain to your very curious five year old when he sees an exchange going on and you tell him to not stare at people simply out of fear. Thank goodness we moved! Chase's behavior has changed dramatically since we moved, and he is only scared to go to bed when it's thunderstorming outside. 

Although I'm happy that we moved, of course you can't have anything positive without throwing something negative in there. The first day after we moved in, our neighbors complained about us, and wrote us a letter. Okay, you didn't even give me a day to get my stuff into my apartment, cut me some slack. It's not my fault you go to bed at 8. So I now close my bedroom door at 8pm, and don't let the boys in there. But of course, they've still come upstairs to ask us to "quiet down" when the boys have not done ANYTHING. This past Saturday he came upstairs five minutes before the boys were going to bed and he asked us to have them quiet down. They were playing with their cars. Quietly in the living room, our bedroom door was already closed. Seriously? If you want things to be quiet 24/7, you should have picked a different community to live in, where you don't have people living above you. It's apartment living! I dealt with it when I had neighbors upstairs, and you take that risk when you choose to live downstairs. I'm still giving them the benefit of the doubt (who knows, maybe they had a headache), and I still haven't gone to the office about their complaining. But the next time they come upstairs when my kids are simply being kids at normal hours, you bet I'll be in the office first thing to let them know what's going on. I don't pay a ton of money to live here and get complained about when I'm not doing anything wrong. Okay, vent over :)

This year has been very hard for me. The beginning of the year was filled with a lot of stress. Between not being a full time associate, living in a place that I hated, and my two best friends moving away, it was hard. One of my friends has since returned (she was in the Disney College Program in Florida until May). I've gotten the opportunity to hang out with her some since she's been back, but things honestly aren't the same :(. My other friend, however, is most likely not going to move back here. While I understand, I'm still really sad. I miss our talks and doing laundry, and just hanging out and drinking Mike's Hard Margaritas. She was one of the few people that understood I couldn't just drop everything and everyone (my boys) in order to hang out. She would always tell me to bring them along, and although I'm sure they annoyed her, she never once complained. I'm happy for her though. She's a ZMS in Maryland, with plans to go into the Assistant Manager program and possibly move to Tennessee. You go girl! I'm so proud of her. Since June, however, things have gotten WAY better. I no longer have to commute an hour to get to work and back (driving from Blackwood to West Deptford back to Deptford, and then from Deptford to West Deptford to Blackwood, ugh!) I save so much not only on gas, but on time, which to me is really important. I'd rather be able to lay around with the boys in our house, than have to talk to them in the back seat. I also have a washer and dryer in my apartment, so I no longer need to take an entire day off to do it, I can just throw a load in here and there. I can truly say I am 100% happy with every aspect of my life. 

With being more happy, my relationship with T has flourished (is that the right word to use?) It has never been this good. Ever. We actually spend more time with each other, and put our phones down when we're around each other. We work together as a team to keep our house a home. He helps me, I help him. We have recently been talking about marriage, which really excites me. I just hope this is truly what he wants. I feel like he wants to but something is holding him back. That's bothersome. 

Chase is now five and a half (crazy, right?), and Shane is about to turn 21 months old (almost 2, oh my). They are both their own individual. Seriously, they are so different. Shane is a monster. He destructs EVERYTHING. You give him a bottle of water, cup of milk, juice, cereal, banana, oranges, anything, and it gets poured on the floor. He's a terror. The tantrums that he throws are absolutely unbelievable at times, and I have no idea how I just allow him to throw his fit, because any other time I normally would freak out. Chase, on the other hand is a mix. He's so kind hearted (well both boys are, Shane's just doesn't show as much), and willing to help others, but at the same time he has quite the attitude. He's in preschool again this year, we didn't think that he was ready for kindergarten yet. Best decision I've ever made. I can already see a difference. He's excited to get up and go to school, he doesn't fight me. He participates so much and helps out while he's in school. I have to give him hugs and kisses in the car before we go inside because he always gets so excited he runs inside without saying bye. It's sad, because I feel like he's growing up way too fast, but at the same time I'm happy that he's being so independent. 

As for work. Wow, a lot has changed there. A lot of my fellow co workers are moving up, going to other areas, getting new jobs altogether. It's crazy. I'm happy for each and every one of them, but I feel as though things are going to get worse before they get better. That scares me. I can deal with change, even though it takes me awhile to get used to it, but when things get worse before they get better, it's hard to adapt. I'm sure things will be just fine, it's just going to take time.

I feel like I've gotten so much of my chest, but I have so much more I need to get off my chest. Oh well, another day. 

22 days.