Monday, June 29, 2009

Behind the Scenes of NO MORE PAIN

I remember it like it was yesterday. All the surroundings are still so fresh in my mind. It was October of 2002. I was home from college for the weekend. Daniel and I had been dating for almost two months. Daniel was spending some time in Sumner County Jail (that is a story for another time) for some child support issues. I so looked forward to my bi weekly phone calls from him.

The phone call I got on this Sunday morning was not what I expected. The phone call I am talking about was not from Daniel. It was from his friend Brian. The words he said to me will forever ring in my ears. He informed me that Zach, Daniel's little brother, had been in a car wreck and passed away. I was blown away. At first, what he was saying to me did not even register. I suppose that is normal. I heard what he said but I did not comprehend it. My first question was, "How is Daniel?" He told me that Daniel knew and that they were working on getting him a furlow so he could be with his family. How did he survive hearing that news knowing that there was nothing he could do. He could not be with his family. He could not hug his mother and sister. He could not have a normal grieving process. I was so devastated for him, for the family. I immediately wanted to wrap my arms around him. But I couldn't. I couldn't even speak to him.

It was hours after initially hearing the news that I finally heard from Daniel. And when he did call my stomach sank. I had no idea what to say to him. I was surprised by his calmness. He was broken inside but kept it together as we talked. It was a Sunday so, finding a judge that would approve a furlow was hard to do. But God made it happened. He got a two week furlow so he could attend the funeral and mourn the loss of his brother. That was a very hard two weeks for all of us.

The last six and a half years have been equally as hard. I know for myself, there is not a day that goes by that I do not think of Zach. I would love to see his sweet smile and hear his laugh. I know that he is humoring the heavens every day!

So, since the death of his sweet brother, Daniel has been trying to decide on a tattoo in memory of Zach. He has teetered back and forth between several different options. He made his mind up a few years ago. However, there have been several issues that have stood between him and the permanent ink that could be defined as closure for his grieving process,, timing, etc.

Daniel called me on Friday and said I am getting my tattoo tonight. This was a shock to me as we have not talked about it in a while. But he braved the nerves and sat through nearly an hour of pain to tribute the loss of his brother. He sent me texts through the adventure explaining how it hurt so bad and he couldn't breathe. He described how the best part was when he let off for a second before starting back.

So, the first part of his tattoo is finished. NO MORE PAIN. Zach no longer has to endure pain or hardships or struggles. He is without trials and tribulations. He is at peace. He is at the right hand of our Savior. He is resting. His family and friends miss him dearly. And his brother still has more "pain" to sit through to finish his memorial. He will add angel wings and JZO (Zach's initials) to the already present NO MORE PAIN ink. He is very stoked about finishing his tattoo, even though it was excrutiating for him to sit through.

In Memory of John Zachary O'Neil

Friday, June 26, 2009

Thoughts from Thursday

Thursday was one of those days that you need about twelve hours to reflect on all the happenings of the day and then respond to them. So, here are some of the "insights" (if you want to call them such) I had throughout my day yesterday. Take them for what they are worth!

  1. I absolutely hate taking my baby girl to get shots. She cried big crocodile tears and that makes my heart break into little pieces. Not to mention, she is so lethargic the rest of the day and altogether grumpy. It just isn't fair to torture your kids this way. Is it good for them to be vaccinated, right?!

  2. Why do you leave messages for nurses to not call you back? Update: She finally called me back and now the doctor is out of town (why am I not surprised?).

  3. I am so glad I only work a six hour day. If I worked an eight hour day I would be gone from my home and my kids for ten hours. I am in the car for two hours a day and that is not fun for me.

  4. Why is it okay for my boss to get personal phone calls that keep him behind closed doors for well over half an hour hence, leaving one person to take all the calls and leaving our customers on hold for way too long? That should not be allowed. As a matter of fact, I may try it one day and see how he likes it.

  5. God is so good. We go and make all these plans and (IMO) He just laughs at our plans. Daniel has been doing a paper route in addition to his full time day job. The paper route has been such a blessing. It got us through Presley's birth and my maternity leave. And while we could still use the extra income God has provided Daniel with a break. They will be relocating the White House station to Hendersonville. With this change it will not be beneficial for Daniel to continue to do his paper route. What does this mean for Daniel? He gets 7 full nights of sleep!!! I know God will provide our monetary needs to support our family.

  6. Should you share embarrassing pictures of your kids? We had some sunglasses on Presley last night. These sunglasses in particular are not dark tinted so, they look more like reading glasses. They are much larger than her little pea head! It was hysterical looking at her in these over-sized glasses. So, I considered this an incredible Kodak moment. I got my camera ready and snapped a few shots. When I reviewed these photos I nearly fell on the floor laughing. One picture in particular caught my beautiful baby girl (in these over-sized glasses still) with her eyes crossed and her mouth cocked to one side. While Daniel and I had a great laugh at this photo. Our sweet daughter had no idea we were laughing AT her!! So, should I publish this photo? I have your interests peaked now, don't I?

  7. I have a new website I have added to my favorites! It is Urban Dictionary and it is very amusing.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Monday that Started on Sunday

When I got to work this morning I took a big sigh of relief. You would think that I would feel differently about being back to work on this Monday morning...the second week of my return from maternity leave. BUT, beginning Sunday afternoon my "home life" was more chaotic than my "work life".

Of course, we had a nice celebration for the father of my children. Triston was very excited to get Daniel his very own fishing pole. Now the two of them can go on their fishing expedition they have been talking about for so long. And Presley did so well at picking out an Itunes card for her daddy and a very appropriate ladybug card (her nursery theme is ladybugs). He loved his gifts and after relaxing for an hour or so we headed to the in-laws to celebrate Daniel's dad and have dinner.

The plan was to have an early dinner and head home to relax the rest of the evening. Our lovely daughter had different plans though. She took a cat nap at her Grandma's and woke up on the wrong side of the bed. She decided she did not want to eat...she only wanted to fuss. You must understand that the girl does not cry over much so if she cries for an extended amount of time there is something wrong. As she was drooling and chewing on her fingers we assumed she was beginning the teething process. It is amazing how teeth coming in can turn a good baby into a super-fussy baby! Bless her heart. Cutting teeth is making her not want to eat or sleep. She takes her Tylenol well though!! I am so very thankful for that much anyway.

So, after a fussy night with her there was no relaxing for this girl. As a matter of fact, it took about an hour and a half for me to watch a recorded show. I finally fell asleep and about two hours later Presley was up for the first time of the night. After taking about half a bottle she fell back asleep. I was not too far behind her and I got another two hours in before she awoke yet again. This time taking a little longer to get back to sleep. So, I finally crawled myself back into my bed and got to sleep for a whole three hours this time! At this point, it was 6:00 and time for Presley to stay awake and for me to get ready for work. Presley does not like to entertain herself while I get ready, either! She did not want to eat when she woke up this time. She ended up going back to sleep about thirty minutes before we had to go to Mrs. Vickie's.

Needless to say, even though my work day has been pretty hectic, it can't beat the long previous 24 hours I have had at home! I sure hope Presley is being a good girl for Mrs. Vickie. Please God, make the rest of my Monday be less crazy!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Working Mom

As I sit here racking my brain for a topic of today's post I find myself falling back to the whole going back to work thing.

My stay-at-home mom journey has concluded and I am officially a working mom. I would rather sit around eating worms than leave my kids with someone else to take care of them for 8 hours a day. I hate leaving them in the mornings. I sit at my desk and stare at the clock, counting down the hours until I get to leave. I dread the thought of missing all the firsts. By the way, if you are keeping my baby and she has a "first" do NOT tell me. Let me think that the first time I see her doing that is the real first. Feed me full of lies to help my conscious.

I sincerely hope that my thoughts about day care'd children are completely false. See, I keep thinking to myself that if I put my child in day care they are going to be introduced to so many "bad" things that we will have behavior issues to deal with constantly (yes, I know we will have behavior issues either way!). I find myself thinking that she will be abused or neglected or chew on some toy that some other child has chewed list goes on and on!

I suppose the biggest obstacle for me is letting go of that control! In my mind I provide the best care for her and I should be the only one providing that care for her. But in reality (my mind is so not reality) there are so many who are very capable of caring for her.

The best thing about going back to work and leaving my kids with others is coming home from work and seeing my kids when I pick them up. And, coming in close second to the best thing, is the people who take care of my kids. They are a God-send and they take such good care of her.

All that being said...I guess I should get back to work!!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Last night was one of those nights that only come around once in a blue moon, for me anyway!!! Between the wonderful foot rub, the glowing toenail polish, and the delicious dinner I can't pinpoint which was the best part! Did I leave out the part about good friends? I think I did.

We decided that we had had enough of mommy time and we needed some me time. So, we took matters into our own hands and made some me time. We visited a remarkable nail salon nearby that treated us like stars! They asked us what is was we were celebrating and we figured our best response was..."being tired mommies". So, we all got pampered...well our feet did anyway...while we got kneading and massaged by the comfy chairs. And from the pictures some of us enjoyed that more than others!!

Then we chose a nice restaurant for dinner. Yes, seven women agreed on one place to eat. Thanks to our fearless leader!!! We wined and dined (minus the wine) and had great conversation. It was overall a blissful night.

Personally, I cannot wait for the next girls night to come around!! Thanks ladies!!

I guess I should throw a word or two in there for the hubbies and grandparents that kept the kids and allowed us to have this special night out!! :)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Mother May I?

I have learned a lot of things since birthing my child, hence, becoming a parent. Somethings have been so wonderful to learn. Like, per say, how much you love your child. Whether they are "good" or "bad" you love them nonetheless. Or like how no matter what you do your child adores you and the ways they show that they adore you. All of these things are such a blessing.

Then there are the things that have been not-so-fun to learn. For instance, how much sleep you lose or how little "me" time there is. Of course, in return you get to be with your offspring instead! These things can still be hard to deal with.

But there is one thing in particular that I have absolutely despised learning as a "new" parent. That is that no matter what you do you cannot and will not please everyone. The thing about this that is so hard for me is I am the kind of parent that feels that if it is my child I will do things my way. In my opinion, if its my child then my way is the right if, ands, or buts about it! Stubborn or it what you may but it is my nature!!

So, since I have learned these things through experience I do have a slight chip on my shoulder. I am irritated that my parenting skills or decisions are questioned. I am irritated that my improvement over time has not overcome some people's opinions. As far as I am concerned, I did ALL the work to get my child into this world therefore, I have the righ to do as I please. I am not neglectful or cruel in any way to my kids. I just feel some people should just be quiet!!

For those of you who are parents you probably know how difficult it is to inform your friends and family of certain decisions you have made for your child and then hear all the opinions of your loved ones (especially if you have family members like we do). At times, I want to inform them that I was not born yesterday. I have made it in this world twenty-five years and am still breathing. My kids will be okay under my supervision, I promise!! And do not even try to undermind me. If I say no, then no it is!!! That must be a very hard concept for grandparents!!

So, you can imagine how difficult it must be when you are not only making decisions for your biological child but also for your not-blood-related child as well. Not only do you have to discuss with your spouse your decisions and at times feel like you have to defend your decisions; you also have to defend them with the whole "village". I agree that it takes a village to raise some children. And I love that God has blessed me with a child that I did not have to labor for hours to have! But I must say the labor and sweat and tears that are put into him now must mean that God has big plans for him.

We make a lot of choices for both of our kids. What food to eat, what school to attend, what time is bed time, to wear long sleeves or short...and so on. When you get questioned for the choice you made it makes your whole world feel worthless, pointless, idiotic, stupid, and so on. You get what I am saying. We have come very far in our lives only to see lots of progress in a lot of areas. We have seen one of our kids make better decisions and have better manners and be better behaved in general. Which is such a wonderful praise. We have seen major improvements in one of our kids health and growth and well-being. I think overall we make good decisions for our kids and ourselves. I just can't help but feel ridiculed and bashed from outsiders with all their questions and comments.

I guess we ask for it at times...sharing all of our thoughts to others. So, yes we medicate our son and yes we send our kids to day care. But most importantly, our kids are loved and will forever be loved. Don't question that much!!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Spell Check

After reading my previous post I realized several things. One is that either having a child made my grammar that much worse or that lack of sleep made me write the wrong words altogether! The other is that, for my reader's sake, I need to start proofreading!! So, sorry for all the errors last time. I will do better from here on out!!