Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I'm a Grandma!

Wow!  I was so NOT prepared to deliver puppies, but that's what ended up happening.  Maddie was so freaked out with the first one that she just pushed him (using "him" loosely, it's impossible to tell what sex they are) out and ignored him.  So I got a crash course on helping babies and placentas (yech) out of mom, stripping off the amniotic sac, cleaning, tying and cutting umbilical cords and sucking out crap from puppy mouths with a syringe.  LOL  I ended up delivering all 6, yes 6 puppies.  We had to put them on a heating pad under a towel while she delivered the other ones because she kept rolling on top of them. 
 
The last one almost didn't make it.  He wasn't breathing when he came out and I ended up giving him doggie CPR a bunch of times.  He was too little and weak to be put in with the other puppies, so I carried him around in my shirt next to my heart (or my boob, take your pick) for a couple of hours and we've been feeding him with a syringe and formula.  He's now perky and wrestling with the other pups to get the prime spot next to Mom.  She's calmed down and is taking care of them now that the messy part is over.  :-)
 

We have 5 black tri's and one red/brown one.  The littlest one, of course, is special and is probably the one I'll keep.  He has a little horseshoe on his nose.  If he survives I might just name him Lucky.  Cliche I know, but he is lucky to be alive.  There's a pic of him below.  Little guy fits in the palm of my hand.







Saturday, March 15, 2014

My So-Called Life LOL

No puppies yet.  Poor little Maddie is as big as a house and uncomfortable.  Max has turned out to be a wonderful companion for her.  He snuggles with her and seems to have instinctively figured out that something is different so he tries to engage her in play gently and not boisterously as usual.  So far Mama and babies are healthy.
 
I've been trying to figure out what to do with Big Kid for months now.  It's so hard to put into words, and I'm so tired.  When I think that this is  what the rest of our lives is going to be like I get so horribly depressed.  I think the winter weather and gray skies haven't been helping either!
 
After more than a year of not being able to get him a psychiatrist (there wasn't one within 100 miles that would take Medicaid, which he has now that he gets Social Security), his therapist was able to hook him up with a great one.  This doctor wasn't taking any new Medicaid patients, but agreed to take him on as a favor to the therapist.
 
The first thing he did was start rearranging Big Kid's meds to see if they could find a better cocktail with fewer medications (Big Kid was on like 7 different ones), which was a great place to start.  Some of the meds Big Kid has been taking aren't really good to take for the long term.  Things seemed to be working well.
 
Here is the problem.  And it's a biggie.
 
Every few months, like clockwork, when things seem to be stable and going well, Big Kid decides that:
 
A) The doctor doesn't know anything because he read something on the internet that was contradictory to his treatment plan
B) Some "friend" or internet "expert" had horror stories about a medication he's taking
C) He's bored and wants to shake things up a bit
D) He's unhappy because he doesn't have any interests or passions to keep him engaged with life
E) There is just not enough drama in his world.
 
So he:
 
1)  Stops taking his meds
2)  Starts drinking
 
What ends up happening is:
 
1)  He pawns all his stuff so he can have money to buy useless crap, and even though we've warned him countless times that we're not going to bail him out again, he continues to do it.  And then he's lost a bunch of valuable electronics because he can't buy them out and we refuse to.  Or
 
2)  He doesn't want to wait until the first of the month when he has money to get his stuff out of pawn and hounds the crap out of everybody to front him the money until then.  Of course, this is all our fault because we won't support him in the manner to which he'd like to become accustomed.  Personal responsibility?  He can't be responsible because "I'm disabled".  Hubby previously went to countless pawn shops to ask them not to take Big Kid's stuff because of his brain injury, but they know an easy mark when they see it.  And of course, since he can't drive, who do you think takes him there?  Kitty.
 
3)  He starts fights with Kitty (or she starts with him) and the two of them will call me relentlessly expecting me to "Dr.Phil" them.  I just stop answering the phone, so I get countless shouting messages on the machine for being so selfish not to interrupt my day to solve their stupid problems.
 
4.  He calls constantly---sometimes up to 9-10 times a day, either for something trivial, like is a can of food still good a week after it's expiration date (probably, why don't you open it and smell it?), or to lament how crappy his life is, or to confess that he's been drinking and not taking his meds, and he promises to do better, can I give him a hundred dollars?
 
I know it sounds as if I've abandoned him sort of.  I haven't.  He spends 2-3 nights a week here, sometimes with Kitty, sometimes without.  She needs a break too.  I can't do any more, because the two of them just wear me out.  This is all that's happening when they're NOT here.  gah.
 
The last episode ended with Kitty dropping him off at a local mental hospital on the advice of his doctor at 9pm in a snowstorm.  Instead of going inside with him to make sure that they'd admit him, she drove off with her phone turned off.  They wouldn't take him, so he ended up calling us when they turfed him out.  Hubby had to drive down from the mountains at 11pm in blizzard conditions to rescue him.  For the next three days I ran around getting him emergency appointments, taking him to specialists, having tests done (MRI, EEG) because he was positive he was having seizures or something and his doc wasn't going to risk telling him he was full of shit.  After he shook everybody's life up for days he finally admitted to me that he had been drinking again.  And Kitty knew it, but didn't give anyone a clue.  She's between a rock and a hard place, I understand that.  But neither of them is considerate of the time or energy of others.
 
I love my boy.  I do.  I do.  I just don't know what to do to help him.  He's 27 years old now, and he needs to learn how to live his own life.  We've done everything we know how to get him to find a vocation, a passion, an interest to keep him busy and fulfilled.  We've supported him financially and emotionally in every way we know how. 
 
I know he has a mental illness and a brain injury.  But it hasn't affected his intellect so it's hard to tell which behavior stems from that, or is just manipulation.  He is capable and responsible for following his treatment plan.  He chooses to go off his meds and to drink, and it makes me so angry that he does this every 3-4 months.
 
I feel so tired and helpless most of the time.
 

Sorry to vent, but that's why I haven't been around much lately.  Hope you all are well and happy.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Granny Panties



Sorry I've been away for so long---Big Kid has been having enormous issues with his mental health and brain injury and I've been exhausted.  Every time I sit down to write something my mind goes blank.  Don't you hate when that happens?

Well it looks like I'm going to be a grandma.  That's news!  It was confirmed yesterday by ultrasound.

Mad Max and Maddie managed to hook-up about six weeks ago and we're due for a litter in a few weeks.  

Yes, I know how that happens.  LOL  That's the main reason we got Max to begin with.  I wanted another Toy Aussie or two (we've always had 4 dogs) but the breeder we'd been using lives far away and increased her prices astronomically after we got Max and I really can't justify spending $2000.00 on a dog.

Why not get a shelter dog, some might ask (and have)?

Well, because I don't want to.  5 of the last 9 dogs Hubby and I have had in the last 20 years together have been shelter dogs.  All but one were fantastic and very loved (the one that wasn't fantastic was loved but a total pain in the ass).  I wanted a very specific breed, and fortunately they are popular so that there just aren't many breed rescues available.

We have a list of people who would love one of the puppies and were willing to wait to see if Max and Maddie made a go of it, so we've got that covered.  When this is over I'm going to get them both fixed and that will be the end of it.  No career as a backyard breeder for me!  LOL

Poor Max.  He just discovered the joys of sex and now it will be all over for him.

I'll keep you posted on our new adventure.  Wish us luck!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Out With the Old

Hope you guys had a wonderful holiday season.  We've just been so busy that I haven't had much time to be online.

Since it's the new year, I decided to make a couple of changes.

Especially since the Big Kid just turned 27.

How in the world could he be 27 when I'm only 35??  (wink wink)

So in keeping with the "out with the old" theme, I decided to replace my old profile picture with a newer, Milfyer one.  LOL

What do you think?













Thursday, December 05, 2013

Why is it....

That in the summer, when the temperature in your house is 62 degrees it feels perfect...

but in the winter, 62 degrees in your house is cold as hell?

Inquiring minds and all...

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

You Know You're Having a Good Day...

...when the college kid working at Subway tells you you're hot and you smell fantastic.

You know you're having a GREAT day...

...when that same kid suddenly realizes who you are after he sees the name on your credit card and he gives you his employee discount so you won't call his mom and rat him out.

Didn't want to tell the little shit that he made my day...no my week!

I remember him from the third grade when he was in class with my kid and wore a Power Rangers costume for Halloween.  Go go Power Rangers!!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Peanut Butter and Jelly

Sorry I haven't written sooner---I've been putting the finishing touches on my next book and my brain is mush.  :-)

I've talked to my oldest birth brother a few times since I last wrote, and am still trying to assimilate all the information I've gotten.  We get along like wildfire--or like peanut butter and jelly.  LOL

Here's something interesting; he's a special education teacher.  He lives over an hour away from where he works, so he puts on his headphones and calls me on his way home so we can chat while he drives.

I found out that our father had sudden heart failure at the age of 48 (I was 41 when I had it).  Also, two years later, after he had lost a bunch of weight, he started aching in his back and legs and feeling like crap.  Just like me.  And just like me, those were the only symptoms of diabetes he had when he was diagnosed. 

Hmmmm.  Who said biology doesn't matter?  Oh yeah---that was the adoption industry about 40 years ago!

Apparently, the brothers have a quirky sense of humor very similar to mine.  They find my existence to be quite amusing, because our father was a bit of a hardass ("who knew the old man had it in him!" was the comment the younger brother made when he found out I was the product of a wild college weekend).

I'm freaking out a little bit over the fact that my youngest birth brother is only a year older than Big Kid.  Gah!  That and he's actually 6'7.

I'm also the stupid sister of the family (just kidding).  Between the three of them, there are 6 Master's Degrees and a PHD.  Very accomplished group!

We haven't made plans to get together yet, since we live across the country from each other.  We're just enjoying getting to know each other. 

And I'm truly, truly enjoying it.

Thanks so much for your support, guys!

xoxo

Friday, October 04, 2013

Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

Thanks so much for all of your kind words of support regarding my birth father.

I bit the bullet and wrote a letter to his oldest son, and then spent a sleepless week waiting for a reply.

Seriously, I had all kinds of horrible scenarios running through my head.  Why hasn't he responded yet?  Does he think I want money?  Maybe a kidney?

I had emphasized to him that I didn't want to intrude on his life, and that I understood if he didn't want to know me.  The information about me was his to do with what he would, and that I wouldn't be trying to contact anyone else.  All I asked for was a family medical history and maybe a picture or two of my birth father.

Also passed on what had happened to me medically in case there was a family history of it.

He wrote back to me yesterday!

He and his mother were a bit shocked and surprised at my existence, but not unpleasantly so, I don't think.  In a true act of graciousness, his mother has been in contact with my birth father's doctors and is putting together a file of information for me.  It is so much more than I dared hope for!

Turns out birth father had both of the medical conditions that I have.

Brother and I have made plans to chat for the first time on the phone this weekend.  I can't wait!

Love you guys!

xo

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Can't Help Falling in Love

Click on the picture to get a close-up!
 

That's my froggie!

No, that's MY froggie!


Sometimes nothing feels better than a hug from a good friend...

xoxoxo

ATM


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Bringing Back a Little Spontaneity

I can't remember the last time Hubby and I decided to be spontaneous.  When you have kids who have issues, everything but a trip to the store needs the logistical military planning of a major invasion.  Even though the guys are grown, it's still nearly impossible to just drop everything and take off.

Spontaneity?  What's that?

Last year at about this time, Hubby and I drove across the state to pick up a toy Aussie Shepherd puppy.  Little Guy was away at camp, and Big Kid and Kitty came to watch the house and dogs.  We had planned this trip far in advance, working with the breeder and working our schedules around this.

Matilda, our large Aussie, is aging.  She has doggie lupus, and some hip problems which have been exacerbated by rolling around with and playing with Maddie, the puppy.  We had discussed getting another puppy to keep Maddie entertained and as a companion for when Matilda finally and inevitably goes off the the Rainbow Bridge (why oh why don't dogs have the same lifespan as people?)  We had just planned on doing it in another year.

I saved the website of Maddie's breeder and look at it occasionally to see the new puppies.  I have to admit it, I'm a puppy junkie.  I looked at it Friday afternoon, because we had just brought Matilda back from the vet with a ton of meds to ease her hips and had puppies on the brain.

And promptly fell in puppy lust.

Called the Hub and said, "what if?"  He looked at his schedule and said, "well, I might be able to get away August 15th."  So I called the breeder to see if the puppy was still available.  He was, but just...there was a lady in another city who was interested, but had been kind of dithering for a couple of days.  Maybe she thought the breeder would come down in price, or just wasn't sure an active puppy would fit in her lifestyle.

Saturday morning, we got a very early call from the breeder.  The other lady had called the night before and asked if she could drive down to see the puppy.  If we wanted him, she would take a deposit from us and hold him (these puppies go incredibly fast).

I looked at Hubby and said, "do you have to work today? What about tomorrow?"  He didn't, so we bribed the Aspiring Adult to sacrifice his day off to stay with Little Guy, and talked Big Kid and Kitty into spending the night.  It took all of 10 minutes. 

Then we threw ourselves into the car and went on a road trip (6-hour drive).

We made it back on Sunday night with a new addition to our family.

Everybody say hi to Mad Max!  All 7 pounds of him. ;-)
 
 

 
Of course, on Monday morning, I woke up with a total "WTF did I DO?" moment.  LOL

But after 10 minutes of playing and holding the little guy (he's completely potty trained and went right outside to do his business and went off to play with his new pack), I knew that at least THIS time, spontaneity was a wonderful thing!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Traveling with Diabetes

Since I was diagnosed in January, I haven't eaten out a whole lot.  Mostly because I can't have any sugar, bread, rice, pasta or potatoes.  I also have to be very careful what kind of fruit I eat as well, dammit.
 
The biggest problem seems to be a side effect of the meds I'm taking.  The smell of cooking meat makes me ill.  It doesn't matter what it is...bacon, pork, steak...I can't walk past the deli of my grocery store (where they roast and fry chicken) without wanting to retch. 
 
I guess the upside to that is that it's easy to keep the weight off.  I'm now on the low side of normal for my height.  In fact, my doctor wants me to lose MORE so that I'm on the low low side of normal.
 
I said, "you have GOT to be sh*tting me!"  Alas, no.  Supposedly it will help the diabetes, because I'm on the brink of needing insulin vs. the pills that I'm taking. 
 
But where is it going to come from?
 
Seriously, there ain't nothing left.  I have absolutely no fat on my legs, my butt, my hips or my stomach.  Well, there's probably about 10 pounds of excess skin all over, but that will take about a year to go back as much as it's going to go back.  And he isn't willing to count that.
 
The only thing I have left is boobs.  I'm a C-cup for the first time since I was 12.  If I lose any more weight, it's all going to come from there.  Then I'll have two empty sacks I can toss over my shoulders and wear like a mink stole.
 
Hubby and I went to a ski resort for a conference he had to attend.  I got to have some time alone sans kids and dogs which was wonderful.  I brought some food in a cooler that I'm allowed to eat, just in case I had trouble finding something suitable.
 
Anyhoodie, there's a big outlet complex nearby that I was excited to visit, because at that point, I only had 2 pairs of pants that fit and 3 tops.  For the first time in a very very long time, I'm able to wear regular sizes.
 
I ate breakfast at about 7am and headed off.  You can't park in the complex, so there is a lot of walking involved.  I shopped at a few places, bought a couple of fabulous outfits, and walked around for about 3 and a half hours, not really being aware of the time.
 
I went back to the hotel around 1, and as I was walking down the hall to my room, suddenly I face-planted myself and flailed around on the floor.  There was no strength in my legs whatsoever.  WTF?
 
Got myself to my room, and realized I was suddenly starting to feel really ill.  I had also cut my hand somehow and was bleeding all over this nice upholstered chair.  Gah!  I took my blood sugar and it was 70.  Holy crap!
 
After I got something to eat and stopped the bleeding, I grabbed a washcloth and scrubbed the seat cushion on the chair.  Figured that if I didn't get it all out, I could always flip the cushion.
 
I did it experimentally and yikes!  It looked like someone had sacrificed a chicken on the other side.  There was a brown/red splotch the size of a salad plate with spatter.  Did somebody get murdered in there?  And this was supposed to be such a nice place!  ;-) 
 
I scrubbed harder and got all the blood out.  Unless of course, CSI came looking.
 
It is really HARD to find stuff to eat when you're on the road.  I ended up eating practically nothing but soup and salad the whole trip.  But now I have a couple of pieces of candy in the car just in case my blood sugar drops again.
 
So much to learn...

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Making Love Last

A friend of mine is getting married soon.  She's in her late 30's, and this is her first (and hopefully last) marriage.

It's not that she put her career first, or that she had a long unreasonable list of traits that she insisted a prospective mate should have.  She's always been looking for "Mr. Right" and never wanted to settle for "Mr. Right Now".  Her parents have been married for over 40 years, and she's longed to find a partner she could spend her entire life with.  She's finally found the man who fits the bill.

We were talking a couple of weeks ago about the upcoming nuptials, and out of the blue she said, "You know, Atilla, you're the only friend I have who is still married and crazy in love with her husband after a zillion years together.  Got any tips?"

First I was flabbergasted.  That has got to be one of the very nicest things anybody has ever said to me.  I told her I'd think about it and get back to her.

Hubby and I went out of town last week for a few days to a conference he had to attend (more on that in another post) and on the drive we talked about it.  He was also very flattered to hear my friend's opinion about our relationship.  We've been together for 21 years---most of my adult life!----and he wanted to hear what I came up with.  I discarded all the trite advice, like "never go to bed mad at each other" (What BS.  Quite a few times over the years I've gone to bed wanting to rip his face off). 

This is what I narrowed it down to:

1.  No matter how mad you get, never EVER call each other names.  It's one thing to say I'm being bitchy, it's another to call me a bitch.  Over the years, Hubby and I have been the unfortunate witnesses to a few spats between partners, most notably the Aspiring Adult and his last long-term girlfriend.  You would not believe the things they called each other when arguing! Gah!

This is supposed to be the person you love more than anyone else in the world.  Yeah, we all get mad at each other from time to time, but how can you look tenderly into the eyes of a person who called you a piece of sh*t?  Seriously?  How do you do that?

2.  Never make your beloved look stupid in public or make jokes at his/her expense.  Too many times we've been at functions where spouses have "jokingly" said unkind things about their mates.  One guy, when asked about his wife's recent serious illness made a snarky comment about her being too sick to bathe and how her body funk put a hurting on his nose.  He thought he was being funny and making light of a truly scary situation, but really, how humiliating for his wife.

We are a united front against the world.  My husband is my haven, my safe place.  He would no more share about the time I was having painful stomach issues and accidentally farted a couple of corn kernels in my panties (shrapnel!) then I would share about...well, I'm not telling.  That's private.

Last, but not least....

3.  Never let him see you poop (or any other bathroom functions).  Yes, I know he is your soul mate, but you gotta maintain a little mystique there to keep the relationship alive.  That's why Barbie is still a multigenerational sexy sex icon.  She doesn't poop.  Witnessing you doing it or changing a tampon will wreck your mystique.  Trust me.

I'm thinking about putting a list together and sending it to my friend with her gift for her bridal shower.  Unfortunately I won't be able to attend as she is out of state.

Do any of you who have been in long-term relationships have more advice?

Spill!

xoxo

ATM

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Outing Myself

You know, I've been blogging for years under the name Attila the Mom.  Hubby didn't have any problem with it, as long as I didn't post family pictures when our kids were underage or much identifying information.  That way I could post all about my hopes and dreams, and my angst and aspirations.  I've met so many fantastic people on this journey and made some wonderful friends.

So when I wrote a couple of books recently, I really wanted to share it with you guys, but had to think it through.  Is it time to out myself?  I guess maybe it is.  ;-)

Anyhoodie, I created a seperate blog for my books and low-carbing.  Here I'll still be ATM, but there I'll be my "other" self.

Hope you'll come visit me at Not Your Mama's Cooking!

xoxox

ATM

Monday, March 18, 2013

Still Kicking

Hey all,

Just wanted to check in to let you know that I'm still alive and kicking.  ;-)

Got my blood sugars under control with a pill and not insulin, thank heavens.  Then I started feeling so dizzy that I was afraid to drive.

I guess with all the weight loss it was time to adjust my heart meds.  My blood pressure has always been on the low/normal range, but with all the changes, it's been on the low/low side.

Turns out 4 of the 6 meds I take can "cause dizziness".  Ow.  I was just a faint waiting to happen.

So we've been busy messing around with them to find a better combination.  Unfortunately it makes me feel like crap.

I will be back soon, and I hope you are all doing well.

xox

ATM

Monday, January 21, 2013

Goin' Fishing

Well no, not really.

As you guys know (because that's about all I've been blogging about), I've been bitching and moaning about some lower back and leg problems for the last 10 months or so. Some of it (joint pain and fatigue) was probably caused by fibro, and some of it (aching legs and neuropathy from the waist down) was probably caused by the deefed out disc in my lower back.

 
This has been getting progressively worse---and I actually fell down a couple of times. Seems my legs didn't want to obey the signals from my brain and did their own thing instead. The nerve blocker I was taking wasn't really helping, and Advil just wasn't cutting it any more.  I was exhausted and overwhelmed all the time.

 
So I went back to the family doc a couple of weeks ago, and he said, "when's the last time we did a blood sugar on you?"


It had been about a year. So we did some tests. Oy.

 
I guess maybe I should have known something was up when I was able to lose weight quite easily in the last year. I figured I wasn't that hungry in the past few months because of the pain.

 
Well. About that.

 
The next day I was nearly hospitalized when the tests came back. My blood sugar was 450.

 
I've got diabetes.

 
I've been practically asymptomatic. Fruity-smelling urine? No. Blurry vision? No. Pee a lot? Well yes, but I take diuretics for my heart condition, so of course I pee a lot. Fatigue? Yes, but that could have been explained by the fibro. Neuropathy? Yes, but that could have been explained by my injured disc.


For the past 10 days we've been trying to get it under control. I've been taking oral meds and avoiding sugar and starches like the plague. Lost another 10 pounds that I really didn't need to lose---which is ironic. I've spent my adult life trying to keep weight off and suddenly I'm trying to keep it on before I become a stick figure with boobs.


One good thing that has come of this is that the neuropathy is completely gone, at least for now. It doesn't seem to have done any permanent damage, and the relief from the muscle pain and weakness is wonderful.  I'm not tired any more and can sleep without all those jabs and electrical shocks along my nerve paths.


I guess the moral to the story is that as we age, it's important to get regular check-ups and blood work done.

 
My blood sugar still isn't under control, so I'm going to take off a few weeks to learn how to manage it. If it doesn't improve any more, I'm going to have to switch to insulin, and I really, really don't want to have to do that.


I didn't want you to think I was disappearing on you. I'll catch up with you all soon.

 
xoxox


ATM