Mom is now completely moved out of our house, and is living in her apartment complex. There’s a bit of confusion from people about what exactly she’s moved into. It’s not a “home” and it’s not entirely correct to call it an “assisted living facility”. It’s more like a sort-of-assisted-living-apartment-building-and-community-of-seniors.

There are two connected buildings that each hold around 200-250 people, and each have their own community spaces (dining area, centre, education rooms, etc etc). One is for retirees and it costs like 4k a month to rent a bachelor. The other building is nearly identical and is for low-income seniors and is rent-controlled depending on their monthly income. My mom brings in a maximum of $795 per month (well, BEFORE disability decided to cut her cheque in half for no reason) so they would take something like 70-85% for her rent. With that they include use of all the community rooms and participation in their events (some of them, like trips, cost money), the ability to buy into their lunch or dinner ($10-$15 per meal), a complimentary cup of coffee and a muffin every morning, a LIFE alert necklace and system set up in their rooms in case of emergency or fall, full accessibility already installed (bath supports, a seat, etc), daily housekeeping and daily home support. She has parking for her scooter and is directly across the street from a major grocery store, and a ten minute ride from another one. She’s about an 8 minute walk from our house (5 on the scooter, tops) and while they haven’t been advertising this, they will accept her cat D’Argo as long as she’s discreet with him.
I get their pet policy; some of the seniors in the building may be too old to properly care for pets so they can’t advertise their leniency in case they end up having to remove an animal against a person’s will due to lack of adequate care. They sort of have to make sure the person is physically and mentally capable of caring for an animal first. So it’s sort of an “unofficial” pet policy: there’s paperwork for it that exists but if you ask them they’ll tell you ‘no’ at first.

Moving out was an adventure. She had the worst movers ever. My father used them a bit ago and he had such a great experience that he recommended mom call them when it came time for her to leave. As I explained in my last entry, disability gave her the run-around about calling them and conveniently “lost” all of her information, paperwork and whatnot and for a while there she was really freaking out. Fortunately, the moving company and one helpful person at the office (who was not actually assigned to her) went out of their way to try and make it better and had it figured out the day before she was set to leave.
They arrived at around 1pm and immediately left the door wide open and started tromping through MY HOUSE with their muddy boots on. Dumbfounded, I stood in their way as they started through my kitchen and said, “Please take your shoes off when you come through my house. The downstairs is my house, the upper suite belongs to the woman you’re moving. This is someone else’ s house.”
The two men immediately took an attitude with me and snarked about how they were going to have their shoes on anyway. Someone pointed out to me later that this could have been an injury-prevention thing, and that would make sense, if they had taken the time to explain that to me and not be sarcastic and rude about it. Asking them to remove muddy boots is perfectly reasonable, and the last time I had anyone in my home moving things, they always worse little bootie cover things on their shoes to prevent a mess.
After giving me attitude they tromped upstairs for exactly 1 minute before realizing they were an hour and a half late and then leaving again.
They returned two hours later and just walked in without knocking, left all the doors wide open (without asking me) letting all our cats outside and lay down this grotty old carpet through our house as a way of making the shoe thing better.
I had to try and put Z to bed so I disappeared into the bedroom for a bit. While I was in there, mom mentioned there was a shelf of ours she wanted in exchange for hers upstairs. So – without asking, AGAIN – they came into my section of the house and took all our stuff off a shelf and spread it all over the floor, the couch and the table, then took it and left the replacement shelf (which is extremely heavy) upstairs. When they left, all the doors were still wide open.
When I was finally able to come out to pick up the elders, I realized that as a result of tearing apart that shelf we had no place to eat, no place to sit, and no place to fucking live that wasn’t covered in books or games or something. Our house was now a mess. I am not capable of doing all that lifting, and neither are the kids, so it left us rather helpless. I couldn’t risk putting Z on the floor to crawl around because of the huge fucking mess.
Upstairs was way worse. They left half of moms stuff still there, spread randomly around, her closet hadn’t even been touched and the place was absolutely COVERED in dirty bootprints (on carpet), newspapers, garbage and junk.

I took the kids out to the bakery so we could get out of the house (as I obviously couldn’t stay in it), came home and took a bunch of pain medication and ordered them to help me work while I put Zephyra on my back. Curtis came home half-way through, and we all worked non-stop for over four hours to clean up the mess the movers left. Some of it wasn’t the movers (like the walls and floors) and that was by far the grossest part. It’s been a while since mom has been able to clean up after herself real well, and though she has home support twice a week, they’re all lazy assholes who never spend more than 15 minutes here (out of the two hours they’re supposed to spend helping her clean). Suffice to say it wasn’t pretty. After everything we could reasonably do was done, Curtis sealed off the upstairs and bleached the fuck out of the bathroom and the sliding glass doors. By 10pm it was livable and we were able to move our stuff up there.
The next day was taken up with getting our room transferred upstairs, and getting the kids room transferred into our old room. That took even longer. We get those kids to clean their damn room every goddamn day and it was still the most horrific mess. Once we got their furniture moved it revealed a world of filth occupied by used band-aids, pieces of bedding, scraps of old paper, dust and food scraps. I am not even kidding. It’s been three days and we’re still not done cleaning it. We still have to do all their walls.

The upstairs is working out really nicely for us. It’s a self-contained suite so it’s very quiet, so baby naps and sleeps WAY WAY better when she’s not constantly hearing the kids arguing and screaming through the house. I sleep better, too. It’s also more spacious and we have a full closet to take advantage of so we were able to get rid of our dresser and pass it onto the kids, who desperately need it because they completely destroyed their last dresser.
It also has this living room type area that Curtis has taken to calling “The sex room” because it’s separate from the bedroom but still rather private. We can even put a door between them (but won’t). This proved especially useful when we were finally able to have sex last night after like two weeks of not being able to sneak off. We quickly realized we have no where to do it though… no bed, no couch, and everywhere else in the house was either occupied or covered in boxes. In desperation we dragged up Tempest’s bean bag bed. Curtis felt sort of weird about that, but I reminded him that 1. she doesn’t use it anymore, and 2. if we can have sex in his parents bed underneath a 1.5 foot crucifix, we can do it here.

I’m so incredibly sore from the moving and cleaning. I went way too far and now I’m paying for it. Curtis has the next few days off, thank god, because I don’t think I can manage without him until I get through this. Two hours ago I took 30mg oxy, 2 extra strength tylenol, 2 extra strength ibuprofen and a celebrex and I’m still in such bad shape I can’t get down the stairs. If I can get baby to sleep I may try a hot shower/bath (because that works just like morphine, right?) and some gin.
Pain makes me tired, so I had a Bad Parent Day™ and told the kids they could have free reign of the TV and Wii while I curled up in bed with Zephyra and napped on and off. I only got up to make them food, get a cup of coffee and move to the couch a few times when Zephyra was awake and playing. I feel like ass.

A few people have asked for updates on Marika, but right now I can’t go into details. It’s complicated. Suffice to say she needs to be here, but refuses to leave because “this time” it’s better. No wait… this time. No… this time! Last time was different, but this time it’s cool. Okay, so that was bust but THIS TIME… etc etc.
I’m growing weary of being drained like this, and had make the incredibly painful choice to tell her I can’t keep getting up at 4am and dropping everything I’m doing for the next five days to prepare for her arrival… only to have her bail without communication and refuse to speak to me for two weeks due to embarrassment. I want to be here for her no matter what, but I can’t keep doing the wolf cry thing over and over again. Two dozen times is too much for me. If I was single and had no kids it might be different, but I need to split my spoons between all the people I’m taking care of, including her. I really wish she’d make better choices. I wish she’d be more mature. I wish she’d think of her future. But she’s only 17 and has a long way to go, so the best I can do is just back off and be a soft space to land when she finally does leave.
The suck part is that by telling her I’m feeling drained by the constant wolf cries, she’s now refusing to speak to me (which is typical. She’s learned how to be passive aggressive from the best source) and I have no idea how long that will last or what’s going on in the meantime, or if she’s going to delay some sort of horrible disaster until it’s way too far because she doesn’t want to risk me being minority irritated or something else stupid. This is so much more complicated than it needs to be.

And that’s like… 1/50th of what I could go into, and can’t, or won’t, or I don’t know. It’ll all come out eventually I think. Just not right now. I’m weary. She needs more than she’s willing to reach for right now, which is like the story of every teenager’s life, I’m sure.


Tempestism of the day:
Tempest, baby and I were sitting on the couch while Curtis was at the computer, and we were talking about babies eating food.
Tempest: “How big is baby’s stomach right now?”
Me: “About the size of her fist. Your stomach is about that big, too.”
She holds up a fist and looks at it thoughtfully.
Me: “Also, your uterus is the size of two of your fists put together.” I put my fists together to show her, “Mine is probably a bit bigger since I’ve had four kids.”
Curtis holds his fists up: “Mine is this big!”
Tempest: “Daddy you don’t have a uterus.”
Me: “Ha ha you can’t make babies and we can!”
Curtis: “I can so. I made that baby.” He points at Zephyra.
Tempest: “Nuh-uh. Mommy made that baby.”
Curtis: “NUH-UH! I made just as much of her as mommy! I made half of her! I contribute just as much as she did!”
Tempest rolls her eyes: “You did not. You only contributed like the tiniest little bit at the beginning and mommy everything else.”

Links of the Day:
YouTube Reacts : Angry Facebook Dad – The first video of a new Youtube series entitled, “Youtube reacts” where comments from popular viral videos are chosen at random and read aloud with the inflection best suited for them. I watched this with Curtis last night and laughed so hard I nearly peed myself. In this first video, the comments are taken from the “facebook parenting” (dad shoots laptop) vid.
11 mistakes you didn’t know you were making – There are two parts to this, so make sure you read the second one as well (linked at the bottom). All together this is a list of 19 common mistakes that parents and care givers make with carseats (including using strap pads and infant headrests you bought at Costco, putting your carseat on a shopping cart, putting the chest strap anywhere but the chest, etc…) that can injure or kill your child. Please read and pass it on. We all make mistakes before we know better: so know better, and then do better.
Birth Stories on Demand – If you’re a birth junkie, you’ll love this site. I submitted Zephyra’s birth story a while ago and it was featured the other day. 🙂 They have a lot of wonderful, inspiring birth stories there that are arranged by category. They just recently added a “professionally photographed” category and need submissions, so if you have a birth story with professional photography, make sure you submit it!
Facebook’s top cop – This is a fascinating look at the inner workings of Facebook’s security, privacy and crime prevention. It’s an especially good read if you’re the type that gets freaked out over Facebook privacy issues.
House passes HR 358, the “Let women die” act – I wrote this on my FB, but I’ll repost it here: “While pregnant with Z I developed severe hyperemesis gravidarum. This condition can (and does) kill if it’s bad enough, and many women with severe cases are forced to make the extremely painful choice to have therapeutic abortions to save their lives. I personally know women who have had to do so, because of HG, in order to survive. Not 50 years ago. Today.
My HG was controlled by medication that was paid for by Canada’s government. Even with that medication (up to 16 pills a day), I barely stayed out of the hospital, and lost a dangerous amount of weight from vomiting sometimes up to 30 times a day. My body has been badly damaged from this experience and it may take me years to fully recover, but still I recognize that I was extremely fortunate.
Consider a hypothetical with me: if I lived in the states I would not have been able to afford my medication, and may have been forced to have a therapeutic abortion to save my life. Baby Z may not have made it, but in turn I would have survived to continue raising my other children. And if this law had been in affect in that hypothetical, I could have been left to die by pro-life staff. That is the reality of this bill. It may kill women YOU love. I’m horrified that this has happened.”

Comments

comments

17 Comments

  • kirstene says:

    Thank you for the car seat link. It answers all my questions.

  • Anonymous says:

    Cloth diapers

    Not to break the subject, but we are expecting another baby and I was wondering if you still made Cloth diapers? I know you’re looking for stra money, and I’m looking to buy from someone reliable. The ones you made before with the snaps and the insert that soaks up a lot of volume? This baby will be born in Septemeber, and I have another baby turning 1 the end of this moth. So I would want to build a supply for the next baby and for my soon to be 1 year old. But I would rather spend my money for quality goods to another fellow Mom that really needs it as opposed to a company or someone that doesn’t have any financial concerns. I can’t imagine how much it would cost to diaper 2 babies in disposable diapers. But let me know if this is something you’re interested in. Ill check back here to see If you are interested and then if you are I can email you with how many/how much we are looking to spend.

  • rdfreak says:

    wow, I sure hope you lodged a complaint regarding the movers, especially their utter rudeness and lack of communicatio.

  • Anonymous says:

    I am totally guilty of #2 on the carseat list. Rowan was so tiny when we took her home (5 lbs. 7 oz) that without head support she slumped sideways in the seat and my first-time-mommy self freaked out that she couldn’t breathe. Our seat did not come with head support, and the store did not carry the specific one for our car seat (it would’ve been ordered), so we bought a generic one. The straps still fit correctly, though.

    I always remember when we called a firefighter friend to see if he had any car seat installation tips, he said, “I clip the latches, then sit my fat ass on the thing and tighten it as far as it’ll go!” Two and a half years later I still plunk myself down on the seat/base every time I have to reinstall one…works awesomely. I’ve gotten it so tight a few times I had trouble unclipping it later. (also? The straps of both of my seats are permanently attached to the body of the seat. The cover comes off around them…are there seats where they’re removable?)

    If you’re curious, I pay $10 for 30 (generic) Zofran. Since I miss a dose every night while I’m sleeping, this lasts me about 10 days. My insurance (which in and of itself costs several thousand dollars a year) saves me $39 a refill. So generic ondansetron costs about $160 a month for the uninsured in the US…crazy isn’t it? I’ve already been taking it for 8 weeks and the nausea isn’t showing any sign of going anywhere any time soon. Having read your story with Z’s pregnancy has made me realize that even though this situation sucks the big one, I am so very, incredibly lucky because it could be 100 times worse. You are amazing for having gone through that and still managed to care for two kids at the same time. Simply amazing.

  • Anonymous says:

    HR 358

    This looks like a really big exception:

    ‘(c) Limitation on Abortion Funding-

    ‘(1) IN GENERAL- No funds authorized or appropriated by this Act (or an amendment made by this Act), including credits applied toward qualified health plans under section 36B of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 or cost-sharing reductions under section 1402 of this Act, may be used to pay for any abortion or to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion, except–

    ‘(A) if the pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or incest; or

    ‘(B) in the case where a pregnant female suffers from a physical disorder, physical injury, or physical illness that would, as certified by a physician, place the female in danger of death unless an abortion is performed, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself.
    ******************************************************************
    If you want to read the entire bill, it’s here:
    http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h112-358

    • admin says:

      Re: HR 358

      The section you’re quoting is about abortion coverage, not about the issue of allowing care providers to give or refuse care based on their personal views about abortion.
      However, that’s still bullshit.

  • lottiekate says:

    My mother had an abortion to save her life, without it she would have died. Had she died she would have left behind three children and a husband. I was seven at the time and the whole experience left me staunchly pro choice, which is quite a feat when you consider my crazy religious childhood. This act is very worrying. To be at the mercy of the moral beefs of medical staff at a time when your life is in danger is a scary thought.

    I hope that you mother will be very happy inner new home especially after all she’s been through to get there. Hope the cat settles in too.

    Maybe the sex room could be used as a home office for you. When you’re not having sex of course.

  • bluealoe says:

    The place your mom is in sounds perfect for her. It’s almost like a complex I visited once, where there’s independent apartments for seniors, an assisted living section, and a nursing home, all in one set of buildings.

    The movers…wow. They were late, so they LEFT? Huh?

    The plan, at least so far, is for you and Curtis to have your room upstairs and the older kids to have your old room, right? What will happn to the kids’ old room?

    I’m thinking of Marika and hoping it all works out. I think it’s perfectly reasonable to tell her you can’t keep up with the wolf cry thing. You’ll be there for her when she does leave, and hopefully she knows that. Watching someone you love make bad decusions and being unable to do anything is just so hard, to say to the least.

    Curtis may have contributing to the making of the baby, but you did the work of growing her. 🙂

    The “Let women die” act just makes me furious. I thought that even those who are against all abortions make exceptions for when the mother’s life is in danger. Allowing any medical and support staff to opt out of assisting in a medically neccessary procedure….I don’t have words for the stupidity. It’s all about the politics.

    *hugs tight* I love you.

  • Anonymous says:

    I saw on Tumblr that you’re cool with physical violence being used in response to verbal comments. Want to elaborate on why that’s OK? I certainly don’t care how white you are and do not have any problem calling you out. Trauma is not an excuse for assault.

    • admin says:

      Hahahaha. Holy shit. This is so adorable. OMG I DON CAR SO IM CALLIN YOU OUT! Except anonymously, to someone who responded to the original issue rather than taking it to the OP, on their LJ, instead of Tumblr, far away from the conversation so that no one else can see or showcase how ridiculous it is, lacking the context, and with painfully obvious trollbait… Hahahaha!

    • admin says:

      Alright this is too adorable not to repost hang on.

  • Anonymous says:

    Housing Question

    Were you able to resolve the financial issues around keeping your house?

    I hope so.

  • jenrose1 says:

    Hot baths are totally like morphine. The hotter the better. I sneak them whenever I can.

    You only contributed like the tiniest little bit at the beginning and mommy everything else.Totally. You tell him, Tempest.

    I’m O.O at the movers. What. I don’t even.

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