Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Pistachio in a Bag of Mixed Nuts, I’m Already a Little Cracked

So, by now you probably know that I have a “Dad’s Schedule” with my son. I get him 1st, 3rd and 5th weekends and one afternoon/evening a week. Until this weekend I was figuring on getting him on Tuesday afternoons. I had forgotten completely about last year’s schedule. Since he plays football on a night where all of the teams besides Varsity play, we would spend the time with him after his game and watch the older boys play. Since he lives 30 minutes away it helped save us gas. It was his dad’s suggestion. He knows it takes a lot of gas and time out of the evening for traveling. And, it kills two birds with one stone. And, luckily his games will be close enough I only have to miss one.

He has two weeks until he actually plays. So, I figured I will get him for a few hours on the next two Thursdays. Here is where my paranoia and anxiety kicks in. I wouldn’t say that I am an over protective mom. And, I am so not a “schedule” person. I wish I was. And, I am working on it. But, I am a little OCD when it comes to making arrangements to meet people. Especially when it involves dropping off and picking up children. I want to know exactly when and where they will be. What car they will be in? Do their parents know about these plans? Do I know the parents?

At times this completely contradicts my normal fly by the seat of my pants nature. I would much rather schedule exactly when I will have my son for the rest of the year. But, since we only have schedules for football and not the rest of the year (Basketball is next.) I can’t. I don’t know if this stems from the fact that his father and I are no longer married to each other and I am scared of screwing up and losing him. (He’s 13. He could probably fend for himself in the wild if he had to.) Or, if I am scared he will feel abandoned. Again. The poor kid. If anyone has the right to feel abandoned, it’s him.

But, what brought the subject up today is that in these 2 weeks, I get to pick him up and take him to the local Dairy Queen. This is customary for us when he doesn’t have a game. We go have some ice cream and a drink and work on homework. A lot of the time Jerry comes along. This is advantageous because well, he is just plain smarter and has a better memory than me. So, the older Ty gets, the more I have to let him rely on Jerry for help.

But, I digress. The reason I even bothered to write this to start with. The varsity team is playing in my town today at 7:30. He wants to go to the game. So, I am getting him after work so we can visit for a bit. If he can find a ride home, he can go to the game.

But, the hard part for me is letting someone else take him home. There are a handful of parents in his town that I know very well. So, the idea of relying on someone I don’t know carrying my son in their vehicle 25 miles away freaks the ever loving bologna out of me. We’re talking full blown nuclear meltdown panic. So, there is a little part of me hoping that no one will be able to. That I can just have our time at DQ and I will take him to his dad’s. But, that isn’t fair to him.

I am a big ole can of mixed nuts right now. It isn’t fair that I take it out on everyone else. I try really hard not to. But, sadly my son and husband bear the brunt of it. So, I hope and pray that the day goes great. Ty gets to go to the game. That also means he gets to see his step-dad. And, the dog.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Holy Moly a Blog on Religion

BEFORE READING THIS … Please keep in mind that I know that people grieve differently and have different sorrows. Losing the child is not the same as fighting a disease. I am writing this from the viewpoint of someone who has lost a child. More than anything, remember that you should always remember who you are speaking to. Not everyone that you will encounter is a Christian. Sometimes we have to be an example of what is to be a Christian. And, the person you are speaking with may be mad at God and you may just push them further away.
Also, please keep in mind that I am emotionally and physically exhausted. And, this happened. So, yeah, I may ramble.

I shared a blog today. By doing so, I opened a HUGE can of worms. You might want to read it before you go any further.

No, go ahead . I’ll wait.

1. I’m not Job. Never have been. Never will be. I have had sorrow and pain in heaping doses and I fight on. I have never once scolded God or got mad at him. I have had long talks asking why. I mean I know he has a reason for everything he does. And, I know that he will help me through the valleys of darkness and sorrows. But, somehow, when someone says “God never gives us more than we can handle” I felt like I was being scolded. Somehow, in my experience, people use this phrase the most immediately after whatever event occurred. This was the time in my life where I would collapse into a sobbing heap on the floor at a moment’s notice.  I quit functioning. I was hypercritical of myself. I was already finding blaming myself for Sarah’s death. If she had lived with me. If we had taken better care of her. If I had stayed with her dad. If we hadn't let her do athletics…  
 And, now people are telling me that I should be able to handle this? AND MORE?! I know I can. But, you know what. I couldn’t. Not on my own. Not without God’s love and direction. I have prayed a lot.

It took until today to realize why I don't like the statement. God allows us to have far more burden’s than we can handle alone. That is the key. ALONE. No, we can't always handle them. He is there to help ease our burdens. That is part of the gift of his grace. To ease our burdens even when we don't deserve it. That is the point of Grace after all, isn't it? I remember someone saying, “God will help you through it.” That meant far more to me. It gave me far more comfort and made me feel less alone. “God told me…”

2. Yeah, I like how he put it. Especially talking about the communication between you and God as being sacred. It reminds me of a blog I started about people throwing scripture around on Facebook.
For some reason, it bugs me when people throw scripture around on Facebook. It always has. And, I don't mean posting a verse as your status or anything like that. I am referring to using it in comments and such.
Scripture is personal. It is sacred. In my eyes, if you want to witness with someone or share scripture, it's not something you just throw out there. It is like taking an english book and throwing it to a preschooler and saying, "Here. Learn this. It will help." Being Christlike means taking the time for genuine connection.
And when sharing your testimony, which is using what you and God have discussed it is best to do it as personally as possible. In person or even in a hand written letter.

3. When you lose a love one, you hear a ton of platitudes. “I will pray for you.” Is one of them. You hear it a lot. And, you know people mean well. And, I am not saying it’s a bad thing to say. But, there are better things. “I have been praying for you.” “You are in my prayers.” My favorites are can we pray for you?” and “Can we pray for you now?” It is far more personal. And, there is something that is amazing about having a group of people praying with you right there. I felt the sensation of being bathed in prayer. When we sat at Sarah’s funeral, we could feel it. A sense of peace and relief.

The main things to take away from the lesson is to choose your words wisely. Everyone copes differently and people have differently. Just because someone doesn't believe in God or they are struggling with their faith doesn't mean you don’t pray for them. And, just because you are praying for them, does not mean you have to tell them you are.

And, one last thing, whatever you do, when having a conversation with a person you are disagreeing with, do not say “God bless you.” Or “I am praying for you.” It’s catty and it is the equivalent of a dirt look down the nose.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Don't Take This Personally, But, I Don't Want To See A Picutre Of Your Kid

Dear parents of the children smiling brightly in your first day of school photos,
Please do not take it personally when I skim past your darling child’s photo while checking my Facebook feed. I mean it sincerely. They are precious all decked out in their finest, smiling ear to ear. Well, at least the younger ones. Smiles of children eager for education and to see friends they have missed since May.
I am not being spiteful. Yes, I am jealous. I miss the days of taking my children for the first day of school. Twice over.

We bought my son’s school supplies.  We got to talk to him about his new clothes. He took me for a tour of his closet. Sent pictures of his new shoes. But, I will only see him once a week and every other weekend, until the holidays. It is hard to be the parent who isn’t the one there every morning to set his schedule at home. It is hard when the contact you have from the school is through the other parent. I will not get to see his face the first day of school.

And, I know that even though he has so much bravado, he us still worrying. It makes it even harder. He doesn’t always realize I know these things. But, I do. He wants a girlfriend really bad. And, he is trying to learn how to interact with them. He has made good friends with a couple of young ladies this summer. Also, his locker has two to three girls on each side. We are trying to encourage him to be his charming self. Not to push things. And, just make sure they know he is there. And, he will have it made. But, I still feel like I have had someone else drop him into a tank of Sharks. Middle school girls can be horrid, mean creatures. But, trying to step in for your child can be far more scarring than anything the girls can do.

Then there are the posts from parents whose children are starting their junior year of high school. My daughter should be with you. There should be great photos of her in some over the top hairstyle with a Black Veil Brides messenger bag. She would still be pouting because she can’t get her lip pierced. There would be a pencil bag full of sharpies and pencils. A sketch book full of designs that she has planned. There would be some boy would be hanging around.
But, that will not happen. I am so happy that you get a first day of school with your child. And, I expect you to relish in it. I hope to you soak in every tiny detail of every moment. The way they smell. How their hair feels when it brushes against your face. Their little quirks. Take it in and make a mental photograph. Squeeze them extra tight. You can never take too many photographs of them with their friends. Take time to cry if you need to. For those who get to spend every bit of their time in the summer with their children, it is terribly hard sometimes to let them go.

And, as I said, I am not bitter. Just jealous and happy for you at the same time.

Monday, August 19, 2013

A Nerdy Rant After Exercising and High School Football

So, most of the people I know were at Run or Dye in Abilene this weekend. A lot of the pictures had a lone Stormtrooper showed up in many people's photos from the event. He was introduced to my husband and I by Jennifer over at It's Not My Workout, It's My Diagnosis on Facebook today. We were discussing how nerdy children will save the world. Jennifer also shared the above link with us. She has a nerdy kiddo. It is hard for her to relate to her child sometimes because, well, she just isn't into the same thing. I have the opposite problem. Sarah was my nerd child she had favorite comic book characters that she was in love with. She wanted to do cosplay and go to conventions. Sadly she is gone. Her brother is nowhere near the fanatic we are. I call him my closet nerd. He likes Star Wars, Star Trek and Firefly. He watches Firefly and Doctor Who avidly. He loves comic book based movies. And, he had a great time at the convention he went to. But, he just does not have the same over the top, die hard, agonizing love for the subjects as we do. He has far more in common with his father. He would rather be out on the tractor than going to the comic book store. Rather watch the Rangers than Star Trek. (He will never turn down Star Wars, though.) We are still working on finding something we share interest in. So far, Geocaching works one we actually get to the first cache. He whines until then. Then he whines when we stop for the day. But, the gym seems to be the one place we are meshing well. But, more about that in a bit.

On another note, this has been a prayer heavy day. One friends went to court to modify their child custody agreement. A daughter of a friend had her baby yesterday at 29 weeks. He is NICU in Lubbock. His name is Mason. Another friend is having to be a single mom while her husband is working out of state for a good while. She misses her husband. And, running her house all alone. We got a hint that Jerry has a good job at the job he interviewed for. If you could keep us all in your prayers, I would appreciate it.

RON PERLMAN IS COMING TO COMIC CON IN DALLAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OK, I'm better.

Well, the Whetsels are on the road to a healthier life style!!! We have had a gym membership for over a week. And, we have actually gone. We've cut way back on sweets. I have only had a couple of sugared beverages in the last few weeks! I am down to one Diet Mountain Dew a day. And, I we have been far more active around the house. The only time I have sat down today was while writing this! (In two sittings, while dinner was cooking and when I went to bed.) And, I have an appointment with the doctor on Wednesday so I can find out why I am so dadgum tired all the time.

Confession Time: For the first time in my adult life, I think I could actually be a stay at home wife. I would love to have time to sew, craft, garden and blog. Also, there will be many tears shed this weekend. This is my last week with my son before school starts. This time next year, he will be in football. That means two a days. If you are not from Texas you may not know what that means. I am not sure how high school football works elsewhere. But, he will workout early in the morning and late in the afternoon before school starts. So, this means, I will not have near as much time with him in the summers from here on out. Sigh... I am trying not to think about it. Instead, I will remember that he tried to kill me at the gym today. Actually, he is encouraging me. Nothing like getting a thumbs up from your 13 year old at the gym.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Please Be Gentle With My Baby's Heart

     This week we had a new experience in the Whetsel house. Ty has been texting girls. I have actually been looking forward to this day for a while. Ty has not been great about keeping his phone charged or on him. But, all of the sudden it stays charged and is on him at all times. I am trying to work on the concept that he does not need a girlfriend. Not that he can not have on. Just that you should let things come naturally. I cringe when he and his friends use the phrase, "Get a girlfriend." I worry just as much that he will hurt a girl as a girl will hurt him. Ty has always been a daddy's boy. I struggled over how to explain my relationship with my kids. That was until I read a blog from I Want a Dumpster Baby that helped me. My daughter was my first child. I was going to school and spent a lot of our time just she and I. When my son came around, we had moved closer to my husbands place of work. So he was around more. And, he and my son are outdoors people. My daughter and I rather stay in with a book. Plus, what little boy doesn't want to farm with his Daddy. This led to us pairing off.
     It was also problematic when I left their father. What gap was there just got deeper and wider. But, in time it healed. I never imagined that he and I would be as close as we are now. I have terrible guilt that we were not this close when he was younger. Don't get me wrong, I was still Mom and he loved me. But, I still missed out. After we lost his sister, I realized how much I had missed out on with him. Me trying to give him and his dad space to "be guys" turned into me neglecting him. And, on some level, I don't feel like I deserved his time. All he would learn from me was to be neurotic and downtrodden. He did would teach him to be strong and motivated. He would learn to not let people run over him. But, I finally came to realize, through encouragement from friends and my husband that I did have things to teach him. Compassion, patience the ability to bend (and that it's important to bend and not break), meekness, charm, warmth. Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that I am his only example of the traits. But, I am a strong exam me for him.
And, now that there are girls in the picture, I am hoping that he learned from the mistakes that his father and I made. I also hope he learns from what we are each doing right in our current marriages. I fear that the relationship that his father and I had may have hindered his future relationships. And, it also hurt our relationships with him.
     My son goes to therapy to help him cope with losing his sister, the divorce, ADHD and just being a thirteen year old boy. After his last session, his therapist asked that his dad and I start talking to him about relationships with girls. So, we have both been talking to him. I am sure there are many tears to come in our future as well a many smiles. I just hope that the girls have parents that have taught them how to be ladies and to be gentle with my son's heart.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

One Tooth at a Time

I don't like myself. At all. I tell my husband regularly that I do not know how he can stand me. I can barely stand myself. I have let myself go. And, I don't mean in the sense that I have put on weight and look like a "Person of Walmart." Honestly, I just gave up. On my health, taking care of myself and my home. There is a Catch 22 here. When your body fails you, it effects you mentally. So, did my mind start this, or did my body. I don't know. And, I do not care. I have learned that people actually care about me. There are people on this planet that actually love me. People that are not obligated to give a shit about me. They are not married to me. They are not related to me. If they find my value. I should to.

Sunday last week, I had a horrid pain in my mouth. My teeth are atrocious. I mean REALLY bad. A few years ago, I had one tooth removed and 2 that are badly broken on top or all sorts of cavities and such. So, I called the dentist and they got me in that afternoon. Sure enough, I have an abscess. The teeth on either side of the one needed root canals. And, the one in the middle is completely dead. (It is also happened to be one of the broken ones.) I also saw my weight. 180 lb dressed. My stomach dropped. I am officially at my heaviest. My prescription was called in for antibiotics and pain pills and an appointment was set for a few days later. I went to work Tuesday. My mouth didn't bother me. But, I developed what we decided had to have been a migraine. I got home Tuesday and went to bed. I didn't get up except for showers until Thursday. By the time I got to the dentist, I felt good. I had a full set up x-rays and examine first. We wanted to start a plan for my mouth. The x-rays were a pain. Apparently, my lower jaw is very shallow. And, it makes it really hard to x-ray.

Jerry went with me when it was time for my tooth yanking. Keep in mind, the tooth I had removed a couple of years ago came out REALLY easy. It was out literally before I realized it. I could see Jerry watching the procedure and even making comments about, "That looks cool!" The tooth came out in pieces. The top come off. And, the roots were being stubborn. I was in the chair longer than any of us realized. And, my mouth was killing me. Pain meds were not working anymore. So, we took a break and I go back in a few days. I got the lecture about only putting healthy things in my body.  Especially one we get all of the work done.

I knew that I needed to work on my teeth. I am embarrassed by them. But, I also know that I need to loose weight. And, don't give me the "oh, you look fine." spill. About four or five years ago, I lost several pounds. I was down to 132.  Yeah, I loved pretty darn good. My ideal weight is supposedly 121. I don't want to be that this. 135 is my favorite weight. I feel healthy there. I can breathe with so much more ease. My joints don't hurt. I sleep better. Everything just works like it is supposed to. When my body works better. My brain functions better both on an analytical level and an emotional one. Yes, my self confidence goes up, too. Shoot, clothes fit better, too.

So, I have decided that if I am going to care about myself and be the best me for the people who love me, I need to take care of me. And, make healthy choices. I will be able to do cosplay costumes that I should not and can not attempt now. And, if I am functioning better as an individual, I will function better as a member of society. I will be a better employee, artist, friend, mother, husband, child of God. I will have the physical motivation to clean and work on this house. So, I am going to working on putting better and fewer things in my body. That doesn't mean I am not going to have a glass of wine every once in a while. and, I will still have cakes at birthdays. But, with the help and encouragement of my husband, I am on a mission to be a better person inside and out.

NOTE: Do not send me advertisements for Advocare. OR, any diet plans really. If the time comes that I need additional assistance I will seek it out. Every time I post about needing to lose weight, a different person contacts me about Advocare. It is getting old.