When is Enough, Enough?

If you do not want to read a book, I suggest you just close this post out now.

The text I got from my mother in law this morning, “Austin’s mom died from an overdose yesterday.”

I FUCKING HATE DRUGS.

Austin is my nephew. Austin now has no mother thanks to heroin.

I’ve never really went into any detail about Scott’s family, but I will today so I don’t have to keep throwing around mother, brother, sister, nephew.

Scott’s Mom – Tina; Scott’s Dad – Barry, Scott’s Brother – Jason; Scott’s Sister – Jenny; Jenny’s Husband – Josh; Jason’s Son – Austin; Jenny’s Son – Hank; Jenny’s Daughter – Harper.

Since we were in high school, Jason has fought a very tumultuous battle with drugs. Started with weed, grew into pills, and eventually superseded to heroin. In 2007, we had an intervention with Jason. He had just started stealing and pawning to get money for his pill addiction. It was just like the TV show, if you’ve ever watched it. We got in a circle and read him letters and gave him a bottom line. They sent him to an upscale rehab facility in Delray Beach, FL. While in the facility, he relapsed twice. Once on alcohol and once on pills. He didn’t want to get clean so he wasn’t going to. Whenever he came back his relationship with drugs continued and grew exponentially stronger.

Pills became to expensive so on to heroin he went. From 2007 – 2014 he was a very avid pill and heroin addict. I don’t believe that heroin started in 2007, but I know it wasn’t long after. I could always tell when he was fucked up. He had AWFUL anger, even worse mood swings. He was a ticking time bomb. He was not enjoyable to be around. It got to the point that I told Scott if he was going to be at his parents house then I would stay at home. Whenever I was pregnant with Raelynn, I told him that if I ever caught him high around Raelynn, we would leave in a heart beat and not think twice about it.

From 2007 – 2014 he was in and house of detox facilities, rehab facilities, halfway houses, the list goes on. He NEVER held a steady job. Most of time didn’t even have a job so he would steal and pawn things for money. He was kicked out of his parents house more than I can count on both hands. I know he sold drugs at one point and time because he pretty much put it on Facebook.

His last run was his worst and most emotional for all involved. It was a four day binge. On Saturday August 16, very early in the morning, Scott’s parents caught Jason shooting up in the bathroom while his son was there. Spoon, lighter, needle all on the bathroom sink. He had more and they hid it from him. Barry woke up to Jason searching for it. He was so fucked up, then ended up taking him the ER. Jason was begging for that one last hit and he was going to go to rehab. They refused to give it to him. He refused to go to rehab. Barry and Tina were leaving to go out of town to visit Barry’s brother in Virginia Beach. They thought about not going because of everything, but we all encouraged them to go to get their mind off of things. They changed the alarm code on their house and made sure Jason was locked out so he couldn’t access anything in there. They had no idea where Jason would go, but it wasn’t going to be in their house. They left for Virginia Beach on Saturday August 16, around 7pm. At 9:30pm we got a call that their house had been broken into. It was Jason. The cops were called but they weren’t going ot arrest him because his drivers license said he lived there. The cops ended up calling Tina and Barry and they asked the cop to take him somewhere safe. They drove him to the local Walmart because driving any further would have been out of the city limits.

Sunday August 17, Tina and Barry called us multiples times to get Jason and take him to rehab because Jason had called them and said he wanted to go. I was beyond pissed. I didn’t like that they were putting that on us. Oh, and mind you, I was almost 38 weeks pregnant. Scott ended up locating him and taking him to a couple of different facilities, even a homeless shelter and if I remember correctly, no one would take him.

We later found out that he made his way back to Bullitt County and he proceeded to overdose in McDonalds and the cop told him to either go to jail or go to the hospital. They took him to the hospital. They gave him the Naloxone drug that pulled him out of the overdose on the way to the ER and as soon as the ambulance came to a stop at the hospital he was out and on his way back to Bullitt County again. He somehow made it back.

On Tuesday August 19, Jason was finally able to get into a detox program, and has been drug and alcohol free ever since that day. I can honestly say I never, ever thought I would see a day that Jason would be drug and alcohol free. Scott and I were convinced he was going to kill himself from his drug addiction. We were just pretty much waiting on that call. But, now he has been clean over a year and Jason is pure joy to be around. When Jason is not on drugs, he is one of the most caring, kind-hearted, and hilarious people to be around. I am so thankful for the clean Jason.

On to his mother. I personally don’t know a lot about his mom. Austin was conceived on accident. Austin’s mom was with Jason’s best friend at the time…put two and two together…yea….

For about 3, maybe 4 years, they thought the kid was Jason’s friend. Then Austin’s mom and Austin started to come around. It was CLEAR it was Jason’s kid. Austin was a spitting image of Jason. I think Austin was 4 when they had the paternity test done and found out that Jason was the father. We thought this would be the turning point for Jason and it obviously wasn’t.

Austin’s mother and Jason somewhat continued to hang out. I’m fairly certain they did drugs together on a regular basis. After Jason got his shit together and became a REAL father, Austin’s mom continued the drug abuse. I believe it worsened. Eventually Jason was doing so well, he got full custody of Austin. Again, something we thought we would never see. It was truly amazing to see Jason act like and be an adult.

Just yesterday at Thanksgiving dinner at my in-laws, we were talking about Austin’s mom. Jason has been having a really hard time battling with child support. Long story. But he has been in and out of court multiple times regarding this. We started talking about that, but then he changed the subject to Austin’s mom. He said he offered to go shopping with her and Austin. He said he believed she was getting high still, but he wasn’t sure and he didn’t want to accuse her unless he knew for sure. Plus, he said he wanted Austin to see her. And she said she wanted to see Austin. He said that would give them time together and it would give me an opportunity to assess the situation with her. He continued to say he understood what she was going through and wanted to help her if he could. I looked right at him and told him how sweet and understanding he was. At that very moment, I realized how much he truly has grown. Old Jason wouldn’t have given Austin’s mom a chance in hell if he had any suspicion at all that she was getting high, nor would he have agreed to let her seem him. It literally made my heart full to know what a strong man he was becoming. Again, something we thought we would never see.

And then, the text message. Scott had to work this morning, but I was off. I am a light sleeper and an early bird, so I always wake up whenever his alarm goes off. He grabbed his phone and said, “Oh Fuck. Austin’s mom died.” I sat up and immediately went back to the conversation that Jason and I had yesterday. It made me so sad for him. He wanted the opportunity to help her, and he is never going to get that opportunity.

Jason is now the sole parent of Austin. THANK GOD HE IS CLEAN. THANK GOD HE HAS HIS HEAD ON STRAIGHT. THANK GOD HE IS WILLING AND ABLE TO BE A PARENT TO AUSTIN.

I pray to god that Jason keeps his shit together during all this. He has made it this far and I hope he keeps trucking forward in the right direction. This is a huge, life altering event. I just hope God gives him the strength to pull through this. I will be praying for him every single night.

 

–The Kentucky Momma

November 17th…A Day that I will Always Remember..

I’m really behind. As always.

On November 17th, 2015, one of my very best friends left for the air force. It was such a bittersweet day. I am so happy for her and the new and exciting journey she is going to embark on, but I am really going to miss her. I already miss her like crazy.

IMG_7622

We met at work. We were coworkers for about 4 years. After I left, we remained very close friends. She was just that type of person that nonjudgemental and I could say whatever I wanted around her. And she was a straight shooter. She would say whatever was on her mind to me no matter what. I still have this with other friends, it’s just not the same. It’s not her.

I was trying to think of something to do for her while she was gone. I ended up making envelopes that she is going to be able to open each week until she graduates. I thought it would be something cool for her to look forward to each week. She is currently in basic training and will be there for a total of 8 1/2 weeks. She is going to be there during, Thanksgiving, her birthday, Christmas, and New Years. That’s a lot of major things to miss. It makes me sad that she is going to miss that time with her family, but it’s also just part of the journey.

FullSizeRender

Yesterday was the first holiday she missed, Thanksgiving. I can’t even explain it but she was on my mind all day. As soon as I woke up, I kept thinking of her. Before she left, she created a group and included close friends and family so we could all be included on any updates anyone got about her. My husband said to me around noon, “Keisha, you need to look in Krista’s group.” There was a picture of her and four other girls. I instantly started crying. She looked so good, and even happy. It just warmed my heart. I went to one of her sister’s pages and they actually got to hear from her. Krista called her mom briefly and one of her sisters videoed the call. I couldn’t really hear what she was saying, but, again, I just knew everything was okay. It just made me so happy that she got to talk to her family. I know that meant a lot to her.

IMG_7720

Then, I got the call. She actually called me. We were at my in-laws when she called me. We were outside getting ready to take a picture and my mother in law was holding my phone. She said, “Someone is calling you from San Antonio, TX.” It was Krista. As soon as I heard her voice I broke down into tears. It was pure fate that she called me. I let her talk and talk and talk to me as much as she could because I knew we wouldn’t have a lot of time to talk. They were being honored at a local Harley Davidson store. They cooked for them and gave them a huge Thanksgiving meal and they were able to contact their loved ones. There was just so much to say and our call only lasted 9 minutes. I was just elated to hear from her.

I miss her so incredibly much. Her graduation is set tentatively for January 8th and Scott and I plan to attend. Krista and Scott have a very special bond too. And I love that they do.

Krista is going to make the air force her career. I am so happy about that. I think she will go very far in this field. Plus, she will be very secure and get to see the world. For that, I am jealous 🙂 I told her once she gets stationed, it better be somewhere warm or close to a beach so we can go on vacation for free. In all honesty, no matter where she goes, we will visit.

More than anything, I hope she finds her true self while she is away. She has struggled a little with her place in the world and I think this will help her tremendously.

Until next time…

 

–The Kentucky Momma

Our Last and Final Breastfeeding Milestone

Friday, November 6th, Raelynn had her last bag of breastmilk. It was a happy and sad day all in one. At this point, I know both my husband and I were tired of dealing with thawing out a bag of breastmilk, mixing it with whole milk, and sending it to daycare. Now we just send a half gallon of whole milk every week and it’s much better and easier and just less to deal with in general.

FullSizeRender

Of course, I had to take a picture with our last bag of milk 🙂 It turned out cuter than I expected!

While I don’t feel like a “pro” at pumping, I think I probably have some useful advice to offer or things I would have done differently, especially towards the end. I feel like I must disclose that everyone “pumps” differently. Everyone will develop their own schedules and fall into their own routine that works for you and your family. I felt like I was constantly searching the internet for mom’s schedules and how mom’s made pumping easier because pumping really fucking sucks. So, while this may not help everyone, maybe it will help just one person. And for that, I will feel useful 🙂

  • In order to keep up with the needs of your baby, you have to pump every 3 hours. Some moms even have to pump every 2 hours to produce more. I know if I ever had a dip in supply, I would add in an extra pump until my supply came back up. Breastfeeding/pumping is a supply and demand relationship. You must pump or breastfeed to tell your body to continue producing milk.
    • As far as a schedule goes, I think that solely depends on you and your work schedule. There is not a schedule that works for everyone. After going back to work, it takes a couple of weeks to get back in the swing of things. As long as you are being mindful of pumping every 3 hours, you should be okay.
  • PUMP AND DRIVE! I cannot stress this enough especially if you have a long commute to work or if you have things to do on the weekend. PUMP AND DRIVE!! It will save you so much time. This is somewhat controversial because some women do not feel this is safe. I never felt that I was harming myself or other drivers out there. It’s a little awkward at first, but you will get used it to and then you will question yourself as to why you didn’t do this from the start.
    • I had a 45 minute commute to work. I would drop Raelynn off at daycare, pull off to the back of the parking lot, put on my hands free bra, hook up my pump, start the pump before I actually took off, drive to work, then when I got to work, I would unhook and store my milk.
      • Things you need in order to do this: hands free bra, car adapter for your pump (Medela makes them), a nursing cover if you want one (my windows were like limo tint so I never used one), the Medela cooler and ice pack that I could store in my backpack pump, cleaning wipes so you can clean your pump parts quickly.
      • IT’S TOTALLY DOABLE AND TOTALLY WORTH IT.
  • When I started freezing milk, I feel like my logic behind it was good. I started freezing in 3 ounce increments because that’s what she was eating at the time. When she went up to 4 ounces, I increased how much I was freezing to 4 ounces. She only ever took 5 ounces, so toward the end all of my bags were 5 ounces.
    • When she was just getting breastmilk, I would add fresh and frozen. For example, if she was getting 4 ounces bottles, but I was still on the 3 ounce bags, I would add one ounce of fresh milk from the day before.
    • This became tricky when I was trying to portion out whole milk. I very, very slowly introduced whole milk. I did 1 ounce in her bottles for like 2 weeks, then 2 ounces in her bottles, etc…. Towards the end, all I had was 5 ounce bags so it didn’t always measure out correctly. Point being, I wish I would have frozen in all different increments towards the end, if not throughout. I wish I would have froze more 2 and 3 ounce bags because it would have been easier.
      • Something important to remember: from the moment you pull the frozen bag of milk out of the freezer, you are supposed to use it within 24 hours. Sometimes I went over that threshold and Raelynn was fine. But I always tried to be mindful of that.
  • Cleaning pump parts….this is also a touchy subject and totally up to you and how you want to handle it. But here are some options and hopefully helpful information:
    • Breast Milk stays good at room temperature for up to 8 hours. This is good to know in case you are in a bind and can’t wash your part rights away. The world is not going to end and you’re not going to spoil your next batch of milk you pump if you don’t wash your pump parts right away. I’m not saying DON’T wash them every time, I’m just saying shit happens and it’s okay.
    • I am a firm believer in saving time and cutting corners. When I pump and drove, I strictly used the Medela wipes to clean the parts. 3 hours later when I pumped at work, I would go to the bathroom afterwards and rinse out with hot water. When I got home for the night is when I would soak them in warm soapy water and clean thoroughly. Some people feel like they need warm, soapy water every time. Great, if you want to do that. I sure as fuck didn’t want to. I had better shit to do.
    • An alternative, you can store your pump parts in the fridge in a gallon size ziplock bag or by putting them in tupperware. The reasoning: if there is any milk leftover on your parts, the fridge will help keep the milk good. I know several people that swear by this.
    • Sterilizing….sorry, but my take, fuck it. Some people sterilize their pump parts after every pump, once a day, once a week. Me, once a year, when i packed the shit up and I was done with it.  Just solely my opinion.
  • Do invest in a set or two of extra tubing. No matter how careful I was, I would always get milk in the tubing, somehow and I could not get it out. I did try to sterilize it and clean it but then there was condensation buildup and it turned into a moldy mess. Just buy the extra damn tubing and save your time.
  • Also, buy extra membranes. Super cheap pretty much everywhere. They need to be replaced every so often to help suction. I think I replaced mine a total of about 2 times.

That’s it. That’s everything.

–The Kentucky Momma

Halloween…A Little Behind…

I completely forgot to post our Halloween pictures!! Last year we didn’t dress Raelynn up. She was 2 1/2 months old, it was cold and rainy and I just didn’t feel like messing with it. But this year, I did! I made her costume. She was a bag of money and Scott and I were robbers.

IMG_7455 IMG_7456

We actually had a costume fail before this. Her original top was made out of fake money in the kids section and I hot glued it over every single piece of her onesie. Bad, horrible, awful idea. I wasn’t thinking when I did it, but the onesie had no “give” to it. It was stiff as a board. When I tried to put it on her, all the money just ripped. So, I printed out some fake money, laminated it, and used velcro to stick it on there. MUCH better idea. Originally I wanted a top with money print on it but I could not find one anywhere, so I opted for this. I still think it turned out pretty well.

I really enjoyed Halloween this year because several of our friends dressed their babies up too and we all walked around. It’s so fun to see all the babies interact with each other. And we have more on the way. So exciting! I hope we are able to keep the tradition up and do it every year.

IMG_7581

–The Kentucky Momma

Parenting Manual

The weather in Louisville these past couple of nights has been really amazing. We’ve been able to have the windows open at night and everything. I love being able to have the windows open because it’s just so nice to let in some fresh air. I know that sounds so cliche, but sometimes it’s the little things. We still currently live in the cul de sac so our street tends to be pretty busy with kids. We normally overhear kids playing games or dogs barking, but last night I overheard something that made me feel all kinds of emotions.

Across the street from us there is an overall “unruly household”. We have lived in our house for almost 8 years and the same people have always occupied the house. We don’t really talk to them except in passing. From what we have gathered, the dad works away from home as he is rarely ever home, we do know the mom works at UPS and holds an office job, they have 3 kids, a girl in high school, a boy in middle school, and a boy in elementary school, they have two house dogs, and I’m pretty sure several hunting dogs they keep in their backyard. How in the world they even manage in that tiny house is beyond me. They normally air out their “dirty laundry” aka shit no one should hear, on a pretty regular basis. Like, I don’t even have to eavesdrop, especially on nights like last night when Raelynn was already in bed, Scott wasn’t home, my dogs were asleep and I was watching a show on TV with the windows open.

The mom and the daughter proceeded to get into a heated argument which I have no idea what the content of the argument was about. The daughter said, “I just won’t fucking come home from school tomorrow then.” The mom said, “Well, that’s just fine with me, less I have to worry about. But when you do come home, you’re grounded so don’t even think about going…..(didn’t hear where her mom was forbidding her to go)…., because you are grounded and I mean it.” I’m fairly certain all of this took place in the house because I heard the daughter walk out the door, slam the door, and proceed to say, “GOD, I HATE HER.” My heart dropped. I don’t even know these people and I was so sad and mad and I had come to a realization. I used to be that ungrateful little girl.

I’m pretty sure the daughter is a freshman in highschool and she is going through her rebellious stage. Scott and I see her smoking cigarettes on the side of house or walking a lap around the neighborhood to get in a couple of draws. I’ve saw her at a liquor store with someone older that was getting her alcohol. I’m certain she didn’t see me. But when she said she hated her mom, it just stung me.

I used to be the girl that smoked outside of my bedroom window at night or walk around the neighborhood just to get a puff or two of that cigarette. I used to be the girl that stole alcohol from wherever I could just to get drunk on the weekends. When I was a freshman in high school, there wasn’t a day that went by that I wasn’t trying to figure out how to get a joint. I didn’t do shit at school. I was too interested in hanging out with friends and boys. I don’t even know how I had time to hang out with anyone or do anything my freshman year in highschool because I stayed grounded that whole year it felt like. But not for any of the above. For not cleaning my room, or not putting my clothes away. My mom was pretty naive when it came to what I did on the weekends. Or if she thought I was doing something inappropriate, I could pretty much make up a huge story and she would believe it. She knows now about everything because I’ve told her. I’ve asked her before why she believed my very unbelievable stories and she said just she just did.

I think when the girl said she hated her mom, I imagined Raelynn saying she hated me one day. I imagined if Raelynn did ANY of the stuff I did whenever she is that age. What am I going to do if Raelynn is this rebellious little girl one day? What am I going to do if she tells me she hates me one day?

No one told me being a parent was going to involve all of these questions!!!!!!!!!! Why is there not a manual on this?! Someone could make millions on this shit. I think everyone hopes they will never need a manual on how to parent on these issues, but in today’s world, I think it’s almost inevitable. I think I was raised really well and I still did some pretty stupid shit. I put myself in some really bad situations. How do you stop your kid from doing this without them hating you?

I want my little girl to love me always and I want her to look back and be happy with her life and the way she was raised. I want her to have good morals and values. I want her to make the right decisions for her life and I want her to excel. I want her to know she can be whatever she wants….within reason.

I do want to be her friend, but first and foremost, I am her mom. Being a mom comes before being her friend.

Now, I’m going to go start working on that parenting manual that doesn’t exist…

–The Kentucky Momma