CANCER…

Cancer. There is no word that scares me more. Guns are scary in the wrong hands, knives the same, but cancer is your own body coming after you. Your own body trying to kill you, how messed up is that.

They are trying to find out if she has lung cancer. She is a former smoker of 40years and she stopped smoking a year and a half ago when she was diagnosed with COPD. She’s been my best friend since I was little and we have been through so much.

She had back surgery, and then another and another and another, for a total of 5 in just 6 months 10 years ago. She ended up with osteomyelitis, a staff infection of the bone. They usually amputate, but they can’t remove your spine. She was in good health minus a small amount of back pain before those surgeries. She isn’t an “old lady” either ,she is 64, now she has to take meds constantly for pain. During those surgeries she had to have someone there to take care of her 24/7. I dropped out of high school, got my GED and started staying over night with her.I was the only option my Mom had the day shift, my aunts worked and had kids , one was pregnant at the time. I love my Grandma. I’m kinda crazy over her , and she’s crazy over me and my children.

I’m terrified that the PET scan will not have the out come we want. Just 2 years ago my cousin’s 2 year old was diagnosed with leukemia, he’s in remission now and went into remission quickly. My son is 6 months older than him. Cancer is heartbreaking all the time, but feels especially personally when it hits so close to home like this. Surely it can’t be back at our door again.

Please if you read this be in prayer for my grandma. We know the Great Physician, please go before Him on her be half.

Love and thanks!

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Drill weekend and teenage toddlers…

It’s that weekend again , correction , it was that weekend again, drill weekend. It comes every month just as it has for the last  6 years and every time it comes I feel so under prepared.

Did I wash all the clothes from last drill? Check. I even put all the clothing articles where they belong. Kids are getting ready for bed, formation is at 5 am and the drive is about 2 hours.  Leaving as soon as we finish praying. Prayers said grabbing 2 ACU’s and he’s out the door for the weekend. Leaving me home alone with the kids while he goes and lives his glamorous life with all the male comradery he could dream of and without really having to worry about anything at home.

Except ACU’s are grabbed, starts to walk out the door . “Babe where is my duffel.”

“Just take the ACU’s on the hangers.”

“I’m going to but I was going to take my sleeping bag, and I need shower supplies.”

So much for me trying to make sure we were prepared ,again a slight fail. He is finally out the door and will arrive probably around 10:30 and get hardly any sleep before he has to wake up and get ready. My night won’t start until the kids have finally fallen asleep, this weekend that was 10pm for the 2 year old.  L on the other hand was up until 1 am , mostly because we went and picked up my little brother (17) and let him stay the night so they were up playing games. Finally L is in bed and now T is up to nurse, back to sleep now I HAVE  to clean up before I can finally go to bed.

In bed and its 3 am , I made it at my normal bed time. Wake up at 9 am . First T-ball practice ( here is another story ). Brother back to Mom’s , go to the store with 2 of the 3 kids, home , finish cleaning. Go switch children so L can stay with Grandma.  Home for the night.

Say our prayers , lay down to sleep. A starts bawling crying for his L. Not his Dad not me but his L and nothing will calm him. Cries himself to sleep asking for L the whole time. Wakes up asking for L and has to call and talk to him, and we leave basically right after the phone call so he doesn’t start crying again.

Husband gets off and gets to go out with the guys. Glad he doesn’t drink anymore this could be expensive if he did. Though he went from never going out because drinking was cheaper when you weren’t paying per drink to having to go out every drill to be DD.  He text me the whole time he’s out, he’s amazing. I’m ANNOYED.  He deserves this time with these guys. IF he deploys he needs to already be friends with them, I need him to have people who love him if he ever goes over seas, this all being said I’m at home alone with our children for a weekend and he’s having fun.

The last day of drill no one knows when they will be released. He is as annoyed at being stuck there as I am at still being home alone with our MONSTERS. The boys are acting a mess because they miss their Daddy, I’m stressed and trying to avoid yelling and remember they are just children.

“L don’t drink my drink.” *Sits drink on counter, misses , big cup of juice spills all over the freshly mopped kitchen.* I start to yell and he starts yelling that it was an accident. I calm down and apologize , and go mop again.

Cleaning is done food is on the stove , still don’t know when GG will be released and its a 2 hour drive. Laying in the floor with T, A is watching L play on my phone, L doesn’t want him to. L pushes A. Go to your room L.

He pouts and refuses to go. “Go NOW”. Refuses to move, I  get up to carry him to his room. He stands stares at me and yells no words just a yell and runs to his room. I walk back to talk to him.

“I hate this house , I don’t love you, I hate it here.” Sounds of him hitting and kicking the walls echo through the house. 4 year old was grounded to his room until Daddy got home (Daddy was 30minutes out)

GG gets home and the big kids run to him, little T starts crying , same as every night when Daddy gets home . If Daddy isn’t holding within the first 5 minutes he’s just not having any of it.

I have family, but most drill weekends they aren’t available. That is why Family Readiness Groups are important. Most aren’t very active. Ours certainly isn’t. The point of theses groups are to give the families people to turn to while our husbands are away. I can change a tire, if your car breaks down I can come pick you up…It’d be awesome to know that the other wives and husbands would pitch in and help me out if I needed. It’d also be awesome if they knew I’d help them.

If you are a military spouse talk to someone about your FRG , make some friends in your unit. I’m sure not everyone feels as alone as I do on the drill weekends but I’m sure some others do. If they deploy we need friendships of people who understand what we are going through too. Being a Guard or Reserve family member is harder in that senses. We are not centralized, we don’t have instant access to all the help, we got to look for it. A lot of our husbands aren’t good at sharing the info about the family events, find away to get it.

 

 

 

What happened to Music?

I do a lot of things wrong… I never thought listening to music with my kids was one of those things.

When I was growing up I was only allowed to listen to Christian music and Country music and Classical , until I was 13. At 13 I decided I did in fact like some Rap and Metal and Rock. I LOVED all music. If it carried a tune if it had a rhythm I wanted to listen to it. As I have aged I’ve settled back into the Christian , Country and Classical ( of course nursery rhymes too).

We were driving down  the 2 lane highway that connects our town of less than 4,000 to  “the city” 30 minutes away, listening to my favorite country station. I pray while I drive A LOT , I have a lot of anxiety and a lot of my praying is repetitive, I was at this time praying for God to help me raise my kids to be good God fearing men and that their future wives will be God fearing women. Praying my kids would know how to respect women and that they married women that deserved and demanded the Christ like love that my sons as men will be called to give…. This may seem weird when my oldest is only 4 years old but what if these girls, my future daughters , don’t have a Momma and Daddy praying for them right now…. anyways back to the story, I was praying and the words in the music began to stand out to me.

It was a love song as most country songs are. Something to do with how this love started with a beer. I decided to change stations to my favorite Christian radio station, my mind kept going thinking about what that country song was saying. The song is giving credit to beer bringing them together. Thinking about other country songs , you know the “safe family friendly music” so many reference alcohol over and over. Talks of being drunk, of drinking to get over the ex’s , talks about sex with girls they met to get over other women. Maybe  even my “children safe” music isn’t children safe at all.

I’m not calling you to give up country music, I still love it , I’m an adult . Music isn’t teaching me to run around and be an alcoholic. Just a thought on how I just sang along to that beat I loved. I let my children sing with the music I loved. The beat carried us away.

I do now believe , WE will avoid country in the car with my children. GG is overcoming alcohol addiction, he’s dad is an alcoholic, his grandpa too. My mother is a recovering alcoholic, grandma, and grandpa too. There is far to many issues with  OUR family and alcohol to allow music that glamorizes it. Songs that tell my children that it is what brings you love, helps you feel better, not needed.

Christian Wife of a use to be Believer

This topic makes me cringe, it makes me cry ( ALOT).

He use to believe, I don’t know why he stopped. I don’t how you stop, I could not stop believing.  I’m scared for him, the END seems so near and tomorrow is never promised.

He still prays with us, still teaches our children to be respectful during prayer. I ask why and I’m told , ” Because it’s important to you.”

I ask why he stopped believing ,  and he says he does not know.

What I know about his fall, he was passed up for a promotion… 5 times now. The first time he wasn’t directly passed up, they passed up his supervisor and he was suppose to be next in line for that position. That happened one additional time. He felt wronged ,he felt his supervisor ( my brother was wronged), and he started drinking. He battled drinking alone, and hid it from me for along time.

He really started having a problem with drinking , one he couldn’t hide anymore when they finally promoted my brother, and passed him up for the spot THEY asked him to apply for.  The first time he ever came home REALLY drunk, with me and the kids home is the time he told me he no longer believed… Well he was drunk and mad that I wouldn’t let him drink more and I was putting the kids to bed and was praying with them. He told our children “God’s a fairytale, A God wouldn’t let bad things happen to good people.”

I raged. Hard core flew off the handle , mad he no longer believed , even madder he was trying to damage my young children’s walk with God. Raise a child to walk with God and they won’t stray, why was he doing this.

Looking back the yelling and pretty much everything I did was wrong. God is love, God is patient , God is kind. The best thing we can do for an unbelieving spouse is pray, and show God, show Christ through us.

So as a wife I AM still suppose to be submissive…  hmmm that maybe another topic considering people’s misconception about being submissive to your spouse… He is still the spiritual head of the house. In our new relationship that doesn’t mean what I thought it would mean. He doesn’t come to church, he doesn’t pray over dinner those are my jobs. He does still pray before bed, he does still read Bible stories to our children, if I ask him to pray for something for me he doesn’t scoff ( though I don’t think he does it).

Being married to a non believer is addressed in the Bible, as long as the non-believer is willing you are suppose to stay married , good because I didn’t want to leave. We are not suppose to preach at them, not suppose to rub stuff in their face, not suppose to be “Holier than thou”. We are suppose to pray, show love , and continue to be submissive , supportive , and live a life so full of Christ that they want what we have.

1 Peter 3:1-2 (NIV)

“Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives,  when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.”

Be a light for your husband, not a preacher.

Ps. He is in treatment for his Alcohol addiction and does not drink any longer.

The ugly head of Post Partum Depression

The worst part of motherhood had not showed it’s ugly head until my third perfect little boy arrived. I never know which day will be a good day or which day will be a bad day until it’s already here, of course ,days I forget to take my medication will be worse than they could have been.  Post partum depression is no joke. It leaves you feeling empty, angry, anxious, it is one of the most miserable things I have ever experienced.

It’s embarrassing to admit that this time in life where I should be beyond happy, I’m miserable. I still cherish every smile , think he’s growing to fast, want to just hold and love him. PPD DOES NOT mean I’m a bad mom… Oh, but it feels that way.  I feel like I am failing all three of them everyday. I snap a lot , I yell , and I cry. I didn’t want to be this mom, my children deserve more.

If you feel this way GET HELP! Don’t suffer in silence , don’t let embarrassment hinder your health. I was less than a week out from giving birth and I called my doctors office and asked to set up an appointment to talk about post partum depression. I told the girl who answered the phone my symptoms, and as her way of offering comfort she told me, “This is normal, every mom experiences anxiety when they first bring the baby home.”

I started yelling and crying , “It is NOT NORMAL! He is my third, I know normal. I should be able to take a shower without literally getting out 7 times to check on my kids. Covered in soap and soaking wet HAVING to get out to check on them.” She set up my appointment for the next day. Within an hour my doctor’s nurse called me and told me she had sent a prescription to the pharmacy and I didn’t have to come in.

Studies have shown the sooner you get help with your post partum the more quickly it is over come. If you think you have it and you haven’t yet made it to your post partum appointment CALL them. If you think you are having a problem and you’re at your childs appointment mention it. Ask for help, don’t be embarrassed, don’t wait.

Most days are manageable, like I said I have a lot of anger and I feel like I can’t control it. I start to yell without meaning to. It just keeps coming out while I’m trying to stop. Most nights I don’t go to bed until around 3 am , because I have to check all my children’s and my husband’s breathing every few minutes. I wake my littlest a couple times a night because “SIDS often occurs because the baby is in too deep of a sleep.”  I know I sound crazy…worse I feel crazy.

A week or so ago my baby who is teething was crying and had been most the day. I COULD NOT take it anymore , I could not hold him another second, I could not listen to it anymore. I laid my screaming, crying baby, who was in pain , in the floor on his back. He just looked at me while still screaming and crying. My husband got up , picked up the baby and went to another room. I curled up in a ball between the chair and the wall and I covered my ears so I wouldn’t hear him cry, and I sobbed. I begged God to help me over come this,to help me not be a failure. In this moment in my soul I heard , “I AM with you,stand up.”

I was not ready  to stand up I still wanted to lay there and cry, but I got up. My husband had came back into the room with our still crying baby. He hadn’t even known I was there between the chair and the wall. When I stood up my precious baby boy looked at me and smiled. He completely stopped crying.

I felt awful, but in that moment I did exactly what I had to do to keep my child safe. How awful I had to lay him in the floor to keep him safe, but at least I knew to walk away. Sometimes we have to walk away, the babies that suffer from Shaken Baby Syndrome so often wouldn’t have if the person caring for them would have walked away for just a few minutes. Be Mom enough to ask for help, be Mom enough to walk away if you need that break. This isn’t pretty but it’s life. We can beat this.

What being a less than Mom means!

I’m that Mom, you know the one that tries to be perfect but struggles , and the good news for me , when I remember it, is YOU are too. We are all battling , trying, and failing to be the perfect Mom, the perfect anything.

There is beauty in imperfection , there is humor in it. How boring would life be if you didn’t back over cable boxes occasionally, or you checked on your kids every time they were to quiet , what if you didn’t fall in the mud on your way to the car ( while running late and carrying your 2 year old).

The internet still worked and my Suburban wasn’t damaged… And though the mess of chocolate sauce to be cleaned up was awful, these are funny memories, and stories I’ve now told hundreds of times. These are things that I’ll remember when I’m old , why would I want to tell stories to my future grandkids that involved my always spotless house and a perfect life. Hardships and mistakes make us who we are.

 I’m The Less Than Mom, I’m Jessie. I’m the mother of 3 of the most perfect boys ( L , A,  and T ). They do the most imperfect things , I’m sure many of my stories will involve the hijinks of the 4  and 2 year old and soon also follow that of the currently 5 month old.

I’m married to a Less Than Husband , we will call  him GG. Though he is “less than” he is truly perfect for me , our “less than-ness” is what makes us human. We have been together since we were 16 and married since we were 18. We are fast approaching our 8th wedding anniversary. Life has thrown us lots of curve balls but we are making it through everything together. Right now we are battling his alcohol addiction and depression. Facing everything as “we and us” has kept us strong. We refuse to give up even when many would have thrown in the towel. Some may call that stubbornness but love has to be stubborn or the world will destroy it.

Lots of stories to come, I hope you can relate and I hope you will follow me on my Less Than Life.

Hungry

If you look at me you would probably notice, I don’t appear to have ever had a day in my life where I was truly hungry. I haven’t and I thank God for that, I’ve never not known where my next meal was coming from. Money has been tight but my parents always managed to feed us, and my husband and I have always managed to feed our children, but for so many out there this isn’t the case. Yes, even people who have internet access and that in part is why I feel so led to write this.

In recent days I had a friend , who is a young single mom, a woman I have known since junior high make a post about how she has had to go hungry before to feed her daughter. I had another friend who’s family had the chance to help some people out. The people were dumpster diving looking for food or something they could trade for food. I would have never guessed that here were people going hungry that near to me, I wish I would have known , I wish the topic wasn’t so taboo, I would have fed them. The truth is hunger is all around us and you never know who might not have ate today, or who might not know when they will eat again.

There are so many resources out there to help if you are hungry, if you can’t get food for yourself or your family. Don’t be to proud to ask for help, that is exactly why people and organizations offer these things. We all know about SNAPS ( food stamps) and WIC, we hear about soup kitchens, and food pantries but where do you go to find these thins. There is help to put you in touch with these resources at your local DHS center, that is where you go to apply for SNAPS in the first place. These are not hand outs these are hand ups , these are the help you need to stay on your feet to keep your family going. We have had to have SNAPS before, it’s a little embarrassing but it would have been worse to not feed my family.

The soup kitchens, well to be honest I can’t tell you of one in my area, though I’m positive we have one. I can tell you I had an opportunity to volunteer cutting hair at the local Salvation Army Homeless shelter, and was surprised to find out you don’t have to be staying there to eat a meal. They open every night for dinner for anyone who is in need. Even if you have a home a car and a job if you and/or your family are hungry they will feed you.

Many local churches will have food pantries, and in some of those they will also have diapers, make up , toilet paper, body care products. The local Department of Human Services should be able to put you in touch with things of this nature, though I know how hard getting through to them can be.

Hunger doesn’t have to happen, there is help, don’t be to proud to get it. I’m not saying you are hungry because you are proud, I’m saying you have options. If you for some reason don’t qualify or can’t get into these programs ask for help. I don’t have a lot of money but if a hungry friend came to me I’d feed them. Have that friend that you aren’t scared to ask for help, or be that friend for someone else.

Ways you can help: Feeding America is a great way to offer support.  Also donations to the Salvation Army Shelters , they get over loaded with donations at the holidays but forgotten about during other times of the year.