August 30, 2011

Rylan turns NINE!

Rylan. My dear sweet Rylan. You are 9 years old today, and I cannot believe it. 9 yrs. NINE YEARS. It's crazy. Words will never be able to express how much I love you. I dreamt of you long before you were ever here with us. All of those dreams have been blown out of the water by you. You are so much more then I ever imagined. You smile is huge; your heart even bigger. We're spending this birthday in a hotel room; all of your special decorations packed in a South Carolina storage unit, but you couldn't care less. Being with your family and sharing your enthusiasm is and always has been enough for you. I used to sing you a song when you were a tiny little thing, resting in the crook of my arm, and that songs rings true today... and everyday. "You are my sunshine" ... Happy Birthday my sweet boy. I am so happy to be your Mama. 

August 27, 2011

Freebird/ing through Cloudy Skies

Ok, it's a pain in the ass trying to blog on this broken computer (it's out of the shop without being fixed yet; I panicked and wanted to back up all my photos again before letting them open it up), but I'm feeling extremely overwhelmed and need a good *scattered* blogging session.

*I still have a backlog of posts I intend to publish ... 
there's happy in them ... 
smiles are coming ... 
get excited ...
just don't get confused if after todays bitchfest, a back dated sunshine and roses post appears tomorrow!

Nick is in a locked down portion of the VA hospital here.
We brought him to the VA hospital a few weeks ago because he's really not doing well. He was monitored overnight, and they hoped to be able to transfer him to an inpatient facility right away, but none of the programs they had available would be beneficial to the array of issues Nick has. Soo, they switched his medication, started the process of enrolling him here, and set up therapy and testing. They also helped to get him on a waiting list for an inpatient treatment facility near by (the wait is approx 4 months right now).  And then they sent him home. He's been struggling hard; per usual. The medication switch seems to have aggravated his already intense mood swings. He's been up and down for years now, but they're getting extreme again.

We brought the boys swimming last night. I was in a bad mood. He wanted to know why, I told him, and he started yelling at me. I could tell that he was struggling to not yell, but every time it seemed as though he was gaining control of his temper, he'd fire himself right back up. I refuse to sit there and be yelled at, so I told him I wasn't going to do this with him right now. He flipped. Stood up, grabbed the little plastic patio chair he was sitting on, and slammed it against the ground (I thought it was going to be thrown straight at me). It shattered! I mean, totally shattered ... tiny little green pieces EVERY WHERE. Then he stormed back into the hotel room (we were in a room that had patio doors leading right out to the pool), and there was a whole lotta banging and smashing going on in there. And then it stopped. Silence. My first instinct was to go after him to make sure he didn't hurt himself, but there was no way I was going near him. Instead we went to the front desk to call the police. I told them the situation, and asked that someone come make sure he was ok, and take him to the VA. I wasn't sure if Nick was still in the room; and if he was, I wasn't sure if he was even alive (he hasn't had fierce suicidal thoughts for a while now, but since started the new meds he said they're coming back). There was nothing else I could do. The kids and I need to be safe, and we're just not with him around right now.

The police showed up with an ambulance, and after about 15 minutes the officers came to tell me that he was fine, and he was voluntarily going with them to the VA. Nick asked that the officer make sure we knew he was ok. I didn't see or talk to him, so I have no idea his state of mind at the time. And I haven't heard from him, or anyone at the hospital all day, so I'm really not sure how things are going. It's both frustrating, as well as calming at the same time.  I'm so tired. Seriously fucking exhausted! I'm working so damn hard to remain strong, I just don't know what that is supposed to look like anymore.

With risk of sounding like a complete bitch ... I'm actually breathing a sigh of relief that he isn't here. He's a lot of work. I don't sleep well at all anymore. Every little noise has me shooting up to see if Nick is up. His behavior is so erratic. I don't know what he's going to do from moment to moment. I'm hyper-vigilant to the 127th degree. I can't trust him alone with the kids. I can't trust him alone with our money. I can't trust him alone with himself (can't take the chance that one of our kids walk into a room to witness the aftermath of him killing himself ... you just don't recover from something like that). I'm on alert 24/7, and it's really taking it's toll on me. It takes about every ounce there is of me to work with and manage Nick on a daily basis; I absolutely welcome this break. The last I knew, they are going to keep him in lockdown until his meds are adjusted/fixed, his mood is stable, and there is progress made. Who knows how long that could take. I'd like to hear from someone there to make sure he's doing ok. but otherwise ...  I feel a huge weight has been lifted.  He needed to go. He needs monitored help right now.

Something has to change, and I am sick to death of that change being so focused on me. Since he came back from Iraq, I've been hearing what I need to do. What I need to change. What I should say. What I should be doing. How I should be acting. From the get go I had all of this crap pushed off on me. I can't even count how many times in the beginning, when I noticed that he wasn't "him" anymore, I was told "He just came back from war. He's trying integrate back into the real world and family life. It's a process, and you just need to be patient". I was desperate and grasping for anyone who may be able to shed some light on what was happening to my husband ... to my family. No one took me seriously at the severity of the changes in him. Just kept chalking it up to "a normal period of adjustment".  I started to doubt myself. I listened to the advice I was given. I was patient. I was forgiving. I was inviting. But my gut kept telling me something else was going on, so I'd try again to find answers. I went to therapy (many different ones) for myself so I could learn how to cope with what I was told was "a completely normal transitional period".  I actually had one therapist tell me that I should wear more makeup and tight fitting clothes to keep Nick happy. "He's obviously not happy with his home life if he's acting out in the ways you describe, so why don't you whore yourself out to him so he'll be nicer to you". I paraphrased there, but that was the message. Are you fucking kidding me?!?!  I've been told that I'm an ignorant military wife because I had this "naive" expectation that my husband would come home from war and be the same person he was when he left. Ok, ass hats, obviously you can't go through an experience like war and not be forever changed by it ... but the changes my husband came home with don't fall into that category! It's a little bit more extreme then that. But he's the war vet. He's the hero. He gets the red carpet, and the excuses, and the understanding ... and I get the blame, and the worksheets to bring home to better educate and change myself. I'm sick of it. SICK . OF . IT!!! I have bent myself in every direction, worked from every angle, compromised, sacrificed, forgave things I never thought I was capable of, or even had the want to forgive. I've worked on every personal obstacle that I had that would stand in the way of our family making progress, and there's just nothing left that I can or will do. The change has to happen on the other side now ...

He's gone ... he's safe and getting help somewhere else. The kids and I are safe here.

if I stayed here with you, girl (nick)
things just couldn't be the same
cause I'm as free as a bird now
and this bird you can not change.

I hope they are able to adjust his medication and stable out his moods. I hope he is able to regain some control over himself so he can work to rebuild his life. He's a great guy ... in spurts. He deserves to have back what he gave to this country. Our whole family does. The VA here is great! It's smaller; not near any big military installations, so it isn't overrun. The level of care is so personal and catered. It's doesn't feel like you're just a number, and that really makes all the difference in the world. I hope that difference is enough to help Nick.  

Now if I can get the kids and I out of this hotel and into our house we'll be good. The house, though. Oh the house.  We're supposed to sign the lease on Monday, but now with Nick not being around, I'm not sure if it'll scare her away. Can't really feel secure renting out your home with this amount of instability, right? Just have to think positive and hope.

It's been a ride.
And not a fun amusement park giant slide kind of ride;
A shotty carnival coaster, with squeaky breaks and broken rails, conducted by a clown and headed straight for hell kind of ride.
I'm getting off for now ...
time to breath again.

*I love you, Nick ... I know you can pull through this

August 21, 2011


We planned a picnic at the lake.
From the freeway we saw this GINORMOUS stingray kite filling sky! 
It really was HUGE!
We were really excited for our lake day now. 
Took us a while to find parking, and by the time we were walking; we couldn't see the kite anymore. 
We thought they were probably done flying for the day. 
When we got a little closer, though, we saw that the kite had actually gotten stuck in a tree. 
Oh No!
We went to ask if they needed any help getting it down, but they already had a guy up in the tree. 
The untangled the mess pretty quickly, and got the Ray back up in the sky. 
And they said that was the smallest of their collection. 
The kids found some string and attempted to fly their shirts later in the day. 
I love them!

It's hard to give up this lake front park.
We found a house.
A house we instantly fell in love with. 
Gave up our downtown condo (2 blocks from this park).
Instead we're moving into a subdivision.
Mixed feelings. 

Surrey Rides and Dragonflies

Took the boys on a Lake Front Surrey Ride this afternoon
Love the lake
The surrey was surprisingly pretty easy to maneuver
A much smoother ride then I was expecting

And these bazillion Dragonflies we were riding with were SUCH a treat
Seriously, a bazillion
These photos don't do the scene justice
It was amazing

Surrey riding needs video
Try it ... you'll see
Almost as clearly as you can see up my nose in the video still

August 19, 2011

Laundry Day... and stuff

I know these photos don't so much represent laundry, lol. 
It was freakin' hot inside the laundromat today, so we walked over to a nearby park between loads for some freeze tag. 
One of the reasons I love downtown SO much are all of the parks all over the place. 
Big huge lake front parks, and tiny little neighborhood parks. 
Parks. Parks. Parks. Everywhere!
This particular park is in our new neighborhood!
Wait, wasn't this supposed to be about laundry?
Yea, I changed my mind! Figured I'd blog about our new place instead ...
We struggled hard with the decision between renting a single family home further from downtown, or renting a condo right in the mix of everything. 
There are pros and cons to both - and the back and forth was driving me crazy. 
Nick is a very indecisive person; and his indecisiveness triggers some of my own. 
I finally had to put a stop to it. A decision had to be made. 
We could get into a condo pretty immediately ... who knows when we'd find a house in a good neighborhood. 
We signed for a condo this afternoon. 
It's 2 blocks from the lake, right on the oak leaf trail, near many festivals and events, and we love it! 
Move in is scheduled for Sept 1st! 

Celebratory game of freeze tag can now commence ...

August 14, 2011

not so fast ...

As it goes, as soon as we make a decision, something happens to give pause. 

I was so very excited about our future. Our travels. I had found a few decent prospects on travel trailers, and I could already feel the warm salty ocean breeze against my skin as I sipped coconut juice on a California beach. Just as quickly as that daydream warmed my soul; life pulled me back down and gave me a good whack upside the head. 

Nick is not doing well, mentally. I had to bring him into the VA hospital here a few days ago with the intent of him being admitted into an inpatient program. Turns out the programs they have available wouldn't benefit Nick at this time (they'd actually hinder his rehabilitation), so he's back here already, but any plans for travel have been squashed for now. He is going to need some intense treatment, and we need to be in a stable environment for it. That has to be our priority right now. 

Aside from the inpatient program the VA here offers, the rest of the center seems amazing. It's smaller, and without a big military base near by, they aren't an over crowded system shoving patients down a conveyer belt. It feels like a much more personal experience. 

I wont lie and say I'm not disappointed. Heart broken, even. But, this is where our family needs to be for now. Wisconsin is going to, once again, be home. 

Bloom where you're planted ... so in the spirit of making the best of our new home, we headed to the lake for an early dinner picnic today.