Category Archives: Raising Teens

Cars, Kids and the Concert

I just wanted to follow up my previous posts with some updates. First of all, it turns out we were fully insured. Insurance deemed the car a total loss and paid us out. We were able to find a minivan at a reasonable price and are getting some repairs done Friday to make it last us a while. Felix continues to do amazing at physical therapy except for the last couple days, when he just wants to be held all the time. I’m sure a big part of that is the fact that he’s teething. He’s gotten one tooth and the second one isn’t far behind.But anyway, Felix can roll front to back and back to front now, and when he does the exercise when he’s on his tummy on his boppy, he’s getting strong enough to push himself off and over it. He’s also really been studying faces lately. I’m so proud of his progress.

Andy got his braces off today! He had them for 3.5-4 years, with a jaw surgery during that time. He said it feels weird and a little sore. But he’s happy.

Evan had court today to review his court ordered outpatient committal. The judge dismissed the case, saying Evan was no longer a threat to himself or others. But he’s gotten 2 criminal charges and has violated his probation (recently). I told him the ruling may seem like a good thing, but what it really means is that now when he decides to act a fool, he can’t hide behind mental health. He will just be treated like a criminal. He faces a judge about his second criminal charge soon.

Jarrod had a really good time at Riot Fest despite his shitty adventure on the way home. He got to see a couple bands in particular he was very excited to see: Guided By Voices and Ween. I’m glad he was able to go and enjoy himself, even if I was unable to join him. Hopefully I get so fortunate as to be able to go to a concert soon.

Left: Guided By Voices โ€” Right: Ween, photos by Jarrod

I finally saw a doctor about a few things I had been avoiding and/or putting off. Nothing too serious. I’m not going to go into any of that right now because Felix is starting to wake up from his mini nap and I don’t have time to type about it. I’ll update again soon.

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Year By Year

I came across this Instagram photo the other day and it got me thinking about all the changes Iโ€™ve gone through in the last few years.

2016 (April): In the pic on the left I had just started on my journey to becoming healthier, and had already lost about 25 lbs. In this picture, we were in Florida (with my ex-husband) as a family on vacation. It was the first time the boys or I had experienced the ocean or even gone on a family vacation, ever. I thought my life was going well, even though my relationship was on the rocks. I figured weโ€™d work it out. I was working full-time, as was my husband. We were financially stable for the first time in over a decade. We were renting a house, and after we were done on this vacation we went home and bought a new vehicle. I had no idea what was in store for me in the future.

2017 (May): A year later, in the pic on the right, I had lost 60 lbs. and had a Panniculectomy (surgery to remove loose skin on my belly). Pictured here, Iโ€™m showing off my new, leaner body. My husband and I had split up and divorced. I had moved twice since the beach pic. At this time I was dating a life-long friends but he was incredibly verbally, mentally and emotionally abusive. I was trying to give him the benefit of the doubt because of our history, and I wasnโ€™t thinking much about myself. I had been fired from my full-time job due to performance issues, which, looking back, probably had a lot to do with that abusive relationship. I wanted to be home a lot because not only was I worried about being cheated on, but I was worried about the safety of my children.

2018 (April): Jarrod and I had traveled to NC and I got a tubal ligation reversal. During that year, I started a new job delivering pizza at Pizza Hut, I kicked my abusive boyfriend to the curb for the sake of my kids, Jarrod and I found each other (at work) and fell head over heels for each other in a matter of days, we ran off to Colorado and got married, I got a panniculectomy revision and breast reduction, we merged our families into one home, and we decided to expand our family.

2019 (April): The final picture in this seriesโ€ฆ Jarrod and I and our new baby, Felix. In the course of the year, Jarrod had a vasectomy reversal, my middle teenage boy, Evan, had some serious mental health issues that needed to be addressed throughout the year, two of Jarrodโ€™s girls went to live with their mom, I fought a serious infection from my breast reduction resulting and 2 extra surgeries to clean out the infection and a lot of antibiotics for several months. I went through an entire pregnancy resulting in a healthy baby. Jarrod lost his job at Pizza Hut after Felix was born, and Iโ€™ve been staying home with Felix, which has caused us financial turmoil. But he has since found a couple new jobs and things are finally starting to look brighter.

So many changes year-by-year, it really makes me not take anything for granted. I never imagined back in 2016, that I would be where I am now in 2019. In fact, if anyone would have told me, I would have thought they were a fool. I am so very grateful for what I have now, who I have become, for my amazing best friend and husband, and for my growing family. Hereโ€™s to seeing where we are in another year.

Birthdays

On May 6th, Andy, my first baby turned 17! We didn’t have a party this year for him, for the first time ever, but he got a few small gifts and cake and ice cream, after making him a supper of his choice (pancakes). He’s about to start his senior year of high school this fall. I plan to take his senior photos myself sometime this summer. Time really has flown by with him! He is the only one who was my “only child” for the first 2 years of his life. And it’s hard to face that he’s almost all grown.

Yesterday, July 1st, my 2nd baby, Evan turned 15. He’s living with his dad now, but he asked to come spend the night with me the night before his birthday. I had cancelled plans for his party when he moved out, but we ended up with a very small impromptu party after all, with just one friend and my mom invited. He got a couple gifts, and had cake and ice cream after we grilled burgers and hot dogs for lunch. It ended up being a pretty fun day, and I really enjoyed his visit. I really do miss having him at home full time, but this arrangement seems to be working much better for us all. And I get to see him whenever he or I want.

Cory’s 14th birthday is in the first part of August. I am focusing all the party-planning energy on him this year, because he usually doesn’t have a big party after his brothers take all the attention. So there will be another post for his party after it happens.

Also, Autumn turned 14 in March. She has gotten her driver’s permit and completed driver’s ed already! And Willow turned 12 in April. They both live with their mom and were at their mom’s for their birthdays.

School Is Out

Itโ€™s officially summer for the kiddos!

Andy just finished his junior year in high school. Heโ€™s been messing around so much that he is not on track for graduation with his class, so he starts credit recovery with the start of his senior year. He can either go to the alternative high school to finish up, or he can take extra online classes in addition to his full classload. But he must pass everything. Heโ€™s fully capable of passing, even with exceptional grades. Heโ€™s just not willing to put in the work. Iโ€™ve been having conversations with him about it quite a bit, and Iโ€™m hoping at least some of it is sinking in. Also, Iโ€™m requiring him to get a job this summer. Heโ€™s 17, and itโ€™s time for him to start preparing for adulthood. I canโ€™t believe I have a baby who is nearly an adult!

Evan spent most of his school year at Orchard Place, where he refused to do much school work at all. When he came home he did very, very well for about a month, until I expressed how proud I was of him. Then he stopped doing work and eventually got expelled for the remainder of the year with the option of finishing online. He didnโ€™t take that option, so he will now be required to repeat his freshman year. Itโ€™s really too bad because he proved heโ€™s capable of getting As and Bs. He just refuses to do it, for whatever reason. It may be a part of his mental illness. Or it may just be defiant adolescence. Or both. But I sure hope he can pull himself out of it.

Cory finished his 7th grade year! He was trailing behind on a couple of classes until the day before the last day. He and I sat down and I told him (for the millionth time) that he is nearly 14, not 6, and he needs to start being responsible for himself. And that the only one heโ€™s hurting by not doing his work is himself, and he was about to have to repeat 7th grade. He pouted for over an hour, then got some work done that night. The next and final day at school he was able to find the motivation to get caught up.

Zoey, Autumn and Willow all did much better than the boys, as they donโ€™t avoid their schoolwork, and are all moving onto the next grade.

The boys definitely had a lot of struggles with school this year, but we made it through. Hereโ€™s hoping next year isnโ€™t quite the struggle for them… and congrats to the girls for doing well!