Select Page

Dose of Happy: Baby Olive’s Mom

If you’ve not heard of Baby Olive’s Mom, please read this post here (there are mentions of baby loss and suicidal ideation), so do be careful with yourself.

I promise, this will make it worth it all:

Dear Becky and The Band,

I am unsure of where to begin.

Reading back on my post, I realize how disturbing it was and that my judgement on that night was wrong.

However i do thank you for the support. This was the first time that i reached to such a low level emotionally and the holiday blues just made it worse for me.

However, it did help so much seeing all my loved ones again during the holiday season because my work is of such nature that it requires me to be away from home for long periods at a time. There are currently no construction / mining projects with open positions close to home and our project has a lot of shift changes according to project scope changes.

Due to that, i have isolated myself for a few years not realizing the emotional damage i caused.

However after my post and reconnecting with my friends at home during the holidays i realized that there is so much beauty in healing too.

When i came back i also started being more social and involved in charity events, small talk to fellow neighbors and joining the church again – which I have not done the past couple of years.

The blog made me realize that it is important to realize your weaknesses and pain to be able to adjust your lifestyle more for improved mental health and to help you heal and use the life experiences you went through to help others in need  – even though it might not be directly linked to your own pain.

Since i started healing from my pain, i have grown to be such a better and kinder person and although it has only been just over a month i am exited for my life ahead and it feels full of purpose again.

I still miss her so much, but using the pain to help other people in need has changed the experience from a dead end to a positive life choice – without the requiring of medication or seeing a therapist.

I really thank you for that from the bottom of my heart.

And again i really apologize for my post; it was an emotional breakdown of all the hurt of the divorce and her loss that has just smothered me that night, but i am certain that i will never reached that point again.

I have also posted the following to just say thank you for the responses and prayers although I only read it now it has really helped so much and forever!

i can assist your team on helping other women in similar situations or completely other situations i would love to.

Reaching out has helped a lot and i also reached out to a family member.

I am glad that i pulled myself out mentally and i feel like a different person.

I also started by helping others where i can (e.g registering for bone marrow donation and donating blood ). It gives me another reason to hold on as well as spending more time with my two daughters has also cleared my min. This made me realize it is okay to break down for a minute – but it is not okay to leave them behind without a mother.

This blog has also helped me realize that there is so much people with the same pain and that it is okay to open up and that there is support without judgement.

i thank each and every person that shared their concern and opened up about similar heartache it really does make my burden more bearable.

rocks with the word grateful

And another AWESOME update:

As a women in the construction industry and a single mom, I do come across as a very strong and independent women and if my thoughts were shared with my family and friends, I would totally feel ashamed and isolated again, however after sharing my thoughts with you a lot has changed before i even read your posts, but i do feel that your page has saved my life and turned it around completely and here is why…..

I felt a sense of relief that i could open up about my loss for the first time without the judgement of close friends, family, and collages in my personal life so i finally had a go-to safe haven place to deal with my grief. After i wrote my letter, i felt compelled to read other stories on your page (witch made me realize I am not alone with this loss & if they can survive it, I can too).

Then i felt somewhat better and thought hey how can be proactive? have nothing more to lose how about i just check the self help links?

So i did and i realized there is hope. I gathered some tips and gave it a try and I am so amazed by the results.

I don’t only feel better but i actually truly feel like the strong women that i pretended to be for three years.

You may share as much about my letter as you feel comfortable doing as long as i stay completely anonymous, simply for the fact that i would hate to be judged by anyone close to me as i still find myself to be fragile sometimes (not in a suicidal way, more like “i want to eat that whole slab chocolate and cry for a while” kind of way ) but i not ready yet for such a setback.

hence, I have reached out to you.

You are so sincere in your posts and your page is amazing and i believe you have saved my life that night and i can not thank you enough for that.

You gave me a place to go to with all my overwhelmed emotions when i needed it the absolute most.

It was so inspiring that i decided to give back in a way.

I am not a very good writer but I thought hey everyone struggling is in need of something so i started donating blood and registering at SABMR to give back as my general health is at a stronger stage than my writing.

Your are the best.

All my love,

Baby Olive’s Mom

If you are feeling alone, scared, helpless, and suicidal, please contact the National (US) Suicide Lifeline, which provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, across the United States. Call 1-800-273-8255.

AT THIS TIME, THE SUICIDE HOTLINE CODE 988 IS NOT ACTIVE. 

If you are not in the US, I have created a list of international suicide lifelines, which can be found here

(apologies for the sporadic posts – we’re getting our ducks in a row)

Dose Of Happy: Oh. There’s No Place Like Home For The Holidays?

dose of happy

Anyone who has had to bear the burden of being married or in a long term relationship has inexplicably been stuck in the same predicament year after year. Who gets you for the holidays or any other day of the year that your family may deem IMPERATIVE that you be home.

I have been blessed with both in-laws and a family who do not become angry if I am unable to make a particular holiday. Neither of us gets outright YELLED at or threatened to be written out of a will or two. No, they’re MUCH more subtle than that. I’ve experienced the passive aggressive, sullen and disheartened,

“Well, ooooookkkkkay, I GUESS it’s OKAY if you don’t make it. Your BROTHER would have made it.”

The Daver deals with the same stuff.

And I have to be honest, I ADORE the holidays.

It’s the most wonderful motherfucking time of the year, after all. There is nothing more magical than the Christmas season, aside from maybe a freshly shorn nutbag, but I digress. The lights, the smells, the sounds, the bells, I love it all. I love shopping for gifts, I love decorating for the holidays; I love that magical first snow of the year.

And I admit that I even love seeing my family and my in-laws. I adore both sides of our family; and I love seeing them for the holidays.

As usual, there is a catch: both sets of parents EXPECT that they are the most important members of the family, and are therefore entitled to certain unalienable privileges. Most of those being our time WHENEVER THEY WANT US TO for the holidays. It isn’t as though I don’t want to see them; I do.

But I can’t say that I enjoy my holidays spent in the car going from one place to another. Although traveling isn’t a problem for us; we like to get going as much as the next person. But spending 7+ hours a day in a car with a small child for a couple of hours with each set of families is going pretty far beyond what anyone else in the famili(es) do.

It only compounds matters exponentially that my parents, living about 1 hour from us, see us far more than Dave’s do, living 3+ hours from us (although, by some untapped miracle Dave claims that it only takes an hour and a half. Aside from teleportation, I have no idea how he gets there with such speed), which makes us feel bad. This, in turn makes us try to bend over literally downward facing dog AND the tree trying to appease whatever holiday requests they ask of us.

But no matter how much we break our backs for the families, no one else will meet us halfway. We get no”Well you came out by us last time, now it’s our turn.” If we cannot attend a gathering, there will be no offer to see us or come out to our house at a rescheduled date. Which would explain why I found a couple of little gifts I had picked up for my in-laws LAST YEAR in my vanity. Just SHAMEFUL.

Let’s compound things once again: I have a child whose father is not Dave, and said father wants to see his child on the holidays, too. So Dave, Ben and I are stuck grappling with the seemingly senseless fragments of 3 timetables from 3 families.

We have to make it to cities, W, X, Y and Z in a matter of 1.5 days. These cities are 1-4 hours apart. So we could alternate the cities based on a number of factors (If we leave for W at 6pm after work, get there at 9, stay til 6am drive 4 hours, arrive at 10:30, open gifts, smile, laugh, eat, leave at 1pm if Ben has had nap, drive another hour, drive an hour back, open more presents, better not nap b/c you’ll look like you’re not having fun, drive 1.5 hours home, utterly exhausted), but it essentially boils down to extra traveling time for us, but not for anyone else.

Here’s my resolution, dear Internet, next year this foolishness will be done, and we won’t exhaust ourselves traveling multiple hours in the car just to appease everyone for the holidays.

Next year, we’re embracing the “N” word.

Originally posted on my blog Mommy Wants Vodka and reproduced with the author’s (HIIIII!!!) permission.

In The Kitchen With Aunt Becky

This was originally posted on Mommy Wants Vodka, content reproduced with author’s (me) consent. 

One of those things that I always figured I’d do when I was bored and had scads of free time, which, you know, I’m just swimming in with my three kids and houseful of pets, was to learn to decorate cakes.

I somehow forgot when I was hatching my Great Plan, that I have absolutely no eye for detail and have about as much fine motor skill as my poo-eating dog. But yes, in my head, I was going to be the next star baker.

Just like I was going to be the next Rembrandt, Britney Spears, and uh, Martha Stewart, because all of those plans were SO SUCCESSFUL.

But when I saw that I could buy something that fit my “I never got an EZ Bake Oven” fix AND test my prowess as a Master Cake Baker, I was all over it. (if you have no idea what I’m talking about, go here)(then come back)(and you should know that I do love me some Pioneer Woman)

Really, I didn’t see how I could go wrong. Except that a 29-year-old woman with a full kitchen of her own had bought a toy cake bakery. That seems all kinds of wrong when you put it THAT way.

But let’s not dwell on the negative here, Internet!

Microwaving, AWWW YEAH!

Now, see, THAT is the kind of cooking I can do. Short and sweet. None of those wonky STEPS that I can misconstrue or FORGET because I’ve accidentally wandered off to see what happens when I put the cat in a box.

While I don’t know why someone would want a pamphlet of “DUFF” inside a box clearly marketed for children, I suppose that is neither here nor there. He seems a little, uh, CREEPY and vapid, doesn’t he? (I know he’s on the Ace of Cakes)

No accounting for taste, I guess. Which is why you read my blog.

While shit, man, that’s waaaay too many instructions. I don’t need to read instructions. Those are for sissies.

Why, isn’t that perfectly darling? A wee cake decorating set! I can’t figure out what most of the doo-hickies are for, but, you know, I AM READY TO LEARN. Providing I don’t have to READ WORDS and FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS.

Well, THAT is fancy-pants. It’s either a toothbrush holder…or a sex toy. Kind of advanced for children.

Huh.

If parents can get outraged by the Fresh Beat Band, why not providing our children SEX TOYS!!1!! OH THE HUMANITY!!

Guess you know what I’ll wander off to do.

….

BRUSH MY TEETH, YOU PERVERTS.

Here we go, with some mother-humping yellow cake. That’s wicked yellow and I stirred it approximately 4.3 times before it was mixed thoroughly. Because that is the way I make cake, bitches.

Well, now, here I have expertly poured two thimbles of cake into the microwave pan where I shall bake it for exactly 30 seconds. How can this be bad?

(cue ominous music)

Well. That…uh, looks appetizing. It’s really a shame that I can’t make this blog post scratch and sniff, because this smells like burning hair.

nom nom nom SOYLENT GREEN nom nom nom.

The Soylent Green patties are, I should note, about the size that one might expect to feed a wee field mouse. I am holding my lens cap up for perspective.

Cue the old joke… “the food was so bad….And there was so little of it!”

In an effort to cover up the horrible yellow color of the cake, I have chosen blue as my fondant color. Note my expert mixing technique. I should probably get a medal from the Mixing Olympics.

This fondant looks like a pile of, well, blue…poo.

I’m certain that I can roll it out and make it look better.

Oh. Well. Um.

Maybe I should have read the directions.

I know, I’ll read them now!

Okay, that looks NOTHING like what I’ve got.

Uh. Well. I KNOW. NEXT STEP.

Icing. I can cover this with icing. THAT’S ALL. I bet it’ll look as good as new in NO TIME.

That looks a lot like we’re about to artificially inseminate something. WICKED.

My pre-iced cake on it’s pretty little platform. Doesn’t it look like, well, someone with no thumbs decorated it?

Scratch that. People without thumbs could do better. BLIND people without thumbs could do better.

Aunt Becky’s Weapon of Mass Destruction. The ICING GUN. Prepare to meet your MAKER.

Uh. WHOOPS.

I genuinely do not know what I did wrong here. It appears as though my icing gun misfired.

I, um, I swear guys, this NEVER happens to me.

(cue inappropriate jokes)

UGLY CAKE, PREPARE TO MEET YOUR MAKER, uh, PART II.

Awww! Lookit my whimsical, drippy heart! With some balls thrown on it for good measure. Because everything is made better with colorful balls and icing.

(go ahead)(make your jokes, people)

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the reason that you do not want me to cook when you come to my house. THIS is the reason that I order takeout.

Because while this appears to have been done for comedic value, it actually was not. This was genuinely the best that I could do.

For serious.

Dose of Happy: Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: Or, How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love My ICD

 

dose of happy

When I was young, I always hated gym. I was never good at it. The running and the throwing of things was just never my bag. I was always short of breath and sometimes even came close to fainting. I always chalked it up to being a fat little kid who was grossly unathletic.

I lived for ninth grade because I only had to take a semester of gym and then it would be over forever, or at least until I got to college. I finished 9th grade and gladly went on my merry gym-free way.

Fast forward to 2007.

I had been out of high school and was in my third year of college. I began experiencing back pain, the likes of which I had never felt. I finally went to the doctor, and while the Nurse Practitioner was listening to my heart, she looked up and asked “You have a heart murmur, don’t you?”

I had never heard such a thing.

After tests, including one where they sedated me, shoved a “probe” down my throat, and looked at my heart (after which I cried for want of a cheeseburger), I was diagnosed with a regular heart murmur with Mitral Valve Regurgitation (which I described to people as “my heart pukes”) and Sub-Aortic Stenosis.

Some time later (2010-ish) my dad, who has CHD, began having Atrial Fibrilation episodes.

He eventually got in to see the doctor his brothers go to, and we loaded up to see if he could fix my dad’s bum ticker.

The next phase of the story I wrote about earlier in this post. During this time I was re-diagnosed with a condition called Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy or HCM for short.

All of the things that I had experienced as a kid, all of the shortness of breath while running, all of the blacking out in PE episodes – they all made sense now (granted, they still don’t account for my athletic abilities or lack thereof).

After my diagnosis, I was scared. I began taking my drugs like a good little girl and prepared myself. I scheduled an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) implantation for July, the month after my dad got his. I recovered just in time to return to work for the school year, and I am feeling better than ever.

After all of that worry and fear I have come to realize some things.

Not every 25 (almost 26) year old can say that she is battery operated.

Before any of this happened, I used to tell my students that I had a plastic heart; now I (sort of) have a metal one.

I tell people that I am part computer, or even bionic.

I make sick jokes about being shocked all the time.

My dad and I even joke about starting a doo-wop group with 2 of his brothers who have ICDs called The Pacers.

I never knew that having HCM and an ICD could be such a source of amusement. I even love to freak people out by letting them touch it under my skin. There is nothing better than the slightly horrified look on someone’s face when they touch the hard, metal rectangle on my chest.

In the end, the laughter and the jokes far outweigh the fear and uncertainty that I had before I got the surgery.

Plus, I hope that in the 6-10 years that it will take for me to need a replacement, they will have integrated an MP3 player into the device.

Dose Of Happy: Repression = Fashion…RIGHT?

I tend to get into television shows far later than most. In fact, if there’s a series that’s about to be cancelled or IS, in fact, cancelled, I will probably get into it, fall in love, then be devastatingly crushed when it is over. BECAUSE I WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT, DAMMIT.

I’m still not over the ending of Prison Break – I cannot think of it without weeping. I may have a little bit of a problem.

(shut UP)

A couple of months ago, probably while looking for tweets about laser kitties, I stumbled across The Twitter babbling on about a show called Mad Men. I sorta want to put it in inappropriate quotation marks just because.

Well, I figured that if the REST of the world was watching it, I’d probably hate it. Even though I’m married simultaneously to Dr. House and Dexter – both popular shows – I always assume I’ll hate popular culture. You can thank my parents for that one, Pranksters.

About a month ago, after reaching the end of Numbers, spending several days in mourning and then realizing I needed a new hobby besides becoming overly invested in television shows (see also: my marriages to Dr. House and Dexter), I finally queued up Mad Men.

I’m hesitant about any show that I alone pick because I spent at least three months watching Nip/Tuck while hating every goddamned minute of it. I screamed at the TV like it was a football game every night until I watched every single episode. And then? I’m STILL furious that I spent so much time watching a show while hating every. single. character.

Alas, I digress.

But I picked Mad Men, and I began to watch it, unsure of how I could handle a show where people aren’t eaten by sharks or otherwise horribly disfigured, depressed, or maimed (see also: my love of Cold Case and Law and Order: You Lead A Charmed Life, Motherfucker).

I admit, I was bored by the show. But I kept on because I HAD TO SEE IF SOMEONE WOULD BE EATEN BY A GIANT BEAR.

And then, I sorta, kinda, maybe liked some of the characters. Like a little.

But mostly, I liked the clothes. So what if everyone is repressed, drunk, and chain-smoking? THEY HAVE KICKY CLOTHES THAT I COVET! So what if everyone is having The Sex with everyone else? LOOKIT THE FANCY HAIRS!

I’m making an executive decision. I will go back to being a repressed housewife in the 1960’s IF I can get clothes like that. Because have you BEEN to The Target recently?

One word: ROMPERS. For WOMEN.

(that was more like two words)

I’m SO not okay with that. I’m also not okay with the scrunchies, acid-washed jeans, or jeggings.

NOT OKAY, PRANKSTERS.

So bring on the copious amounts of booze, gimmie my pack of smokes and fancy lady lighter, and screw being liberated. IF I CAN WEAR A TWIRLY SKIRT, I’M YOURS.

This post has been reposted by express orders from Your Aunt Becky, a Master of the Universe, and the author of my blog Mommy Wants Vodka.

Dose of Happy: Even The Mistakes Are Good

With all the upheaval and negativity running rampant through our lives, it’s important to be able to stop, take stock of what’s important, and find some joy wherever we can.

At The Band Back Together Project, we like to take the time specifically to arrange a little happy boost for everyone.

You’re always welcome to share your story with us!

dose of happy

My daughter has always loved to cook and create in the kitchen. When she was four, we were able to have cable television for a time, and the Food Network.

She was in heaven.

Other children turn on cartoons on Saturday mornings. My daughter would rather watch Paula Dean or the Barefoot Contessa.

She had – and still has – such a passion for cooking. She would get so excited every time she made something. It was always excellent! And amazing! Delicious!

Even when things didn’t turn out quite right, she always found a way to declare them good.

The bottom of the cookie might be burnt, but the top of the cookie? That was delicious!

dose of happy

Our scalloped potatoes and ham might be a touch closer to soup than a casserole, but didn’t it taste amazing?

She’d declare our efforts good, and then turn to me and say something like,

“We made this good. But next time, we should make it different, so it’s more good!”

Grammar aside, my daughter knew something at four years old that I still forget:

Even our mistakes can be good.

Our mistakes are how we learn. We muddle through our situations as best we can, and then we look back and see where we can do better next time we’re faced with something hard.

Even our mistakes can be good, if we learn from them.