The Middle Sister

Anyone who has younger siblings things it’s hard to be the oldest.   They feel that their younger siblings get away with everything and get whatever they want.  It’s also not fair that they have to babysit them as well.

Anyone who is the youngest feels they have it the hardest.  They never get to do what their older siblings get to do.  It’s just not fair.  I too am the youngest.  I have five older siblings.  I felt that if they could do it then I should be able to as well.

Even though I am the youngest child, I now know better.  After having my own children I have come to learn the truth.  It sucks being the middle child.

Being the middle child, you tend to hear things like, “your older sister never behaved this way,” and “Why can’t you be more like your older sister?”  The older child gets to do everything first.  The middle child wants to do everything the oldest child does but can’t.  Having a tantrum about it is simply not acceptable, because that is a bad influence on their younger sibling.  The younger children are always watching and learning from the older kids.  The younger sibling is more likely to get away with have a tantrum.

My 14 year old has been the middle child for eight years now.  She has always wanted to be just liker her big sister.  Sara took dance lessons and Kalli had to take the same lessons or “it’s just not fair.”  Sara plays an instrument and Kalli had to as well.  Kalli plays the flute.

Kalli feels like her eight year old sister gets away with everything.  They shared a room for the past seven years.  Kalli did not like having the responsibility of being the older sister and helping clean up her younger sisters mess.  It wasn’t fair that they had to share a bedroom.  The two rarely get along.  We acknowledge it when they do, because we like and think it’s important to recognize the good behavior that we expect them to have.

Kalli has always tried to get good grades in school just liker her older sister.  Kalli has struggled all throughout school.  Being the middle child is almost like being stuck in the shadows.

Kalli finally found something she is excellent at doing.  Something that is all hers that she does better than anyone else in our house.  She is an excellent photographer.  She is not a professional yet, but for a 14 year old who just a little of a year ago started taking pictures with her cell phone, she is excellent.  So much so that we spent extra on a much better camera for her last Christmas.

I have attached a few of her pictures below.  She also has an instagram @photos.by.kallista .

If you are or have a middle child, mom & dad don’t love you any less.  We know it’s not easy.  Like the old childhood rhyme goes, “2nd is the best.”

The Marching Band Life

My 17-year-old is in marching and.  She has played the clarinet since she was in 4th grade.  Marching band has been a part of our life for past 3 years now.

Marching band isn’t just another after school activity.  It ends up being like an extended family.  Not only do the band parents car pool, but the upper classmen who drive also help the under classmen with transportation to and from events.  Sara has had to find her own way to and from practices and events because something is always going on during my work day.

First starts out with the band meeting to discuss when band camp is during summer vacation.  How much band dues are for the year.  What fundraisers are going to be to help cover the costs of band dues and trips.

And then…this one time at band camp.  Yes, for those of you who don’t know, band camp is a real thing.  It’s more of a day camp of marching band rehearsals.  This is where the new band members learn how to march and everyone learns the upcoming football season field show.  It is really intense but a lot of fun for Sara.

Once school is back in session the after school rehersals and football games start.  We also add in the band competitions, parades and winter concert preporation.  There are more smaller band groups as well.  So band season in the south is not really a season.  It is an all year event.

Wish us luck this year! Not only is Sara the clarinet section leader, but she is also Band Captain.

Go Jags!

 

SURPRISE!!!

You know that moment when you think that you are done having kids.  You say no more, we are all done.  And then one day you wake up and SURPRISE! there is another baby on the way.  Yeah, that was my husband and me last August.

We kept our little surprise quiet for quite some time, due to m history of complicated pregnancies.  I was considered high risk right away, and had to be followed by a team of doctors.  We waited to tell our families until just before Christmas, when I was cleared by the specialists that everything with this pregnancy was good.

I continued to wok until I was five months pregnant.  Not long after I put in for my early maternity leave at work, my husband received a transfer letter from his job.  We had two weeks to pack up our house, get the kids school and medical records, and find new doctors in Florida.  None of which is easy when you are in your third trimester.  We sold one of our cars, and some of our other bulky furniture.  We gave our parts car to a friend of ours.  My car is sitting in our friends back yard until we have the money to tow or ship it down to Florida, and all of our other belongings are in a storage unit, that I have no clue as to where anything is or how its packed because I couldn’t help pack it.  We loaded up our minivan and m husbands car with clothes, the kids school things, a few toys, and the dogs things.  My nephew took vacation time to drive the minivan down while my husband drove his own car.

We get to Florida and get the girls all set up in their new schools.  The transition was hard for my oldest daughter, her gpa dropped some.  She mad a few friends and seems well adjusted now.  My next daughter who is also now a teen adjusted well.  She is getting lazy with her schooling though.  My seven year old adjusted the best.

Our little surprise was due April 14th.  Due to m previous complications, I was scheduled for a c-section at 37 weeks.   Our baby had other plans.  She came at 36 weeks.  We got to see her for a quick minute before the nurses whisked her away to the NICU.  Our beautiful Melanie Grace spent ten days in the NICU.  When she was a day old, she ran into more complications.  Her lung collapsed, causing her to have to have a chest tube placed, and there was talks about sending her to Miami.  Thank god they didn’t have to.  She was able to stay where she was, and quickly recovered.  She was able to come home on Easter Sunday.

So here I am, not just a mom of three girls, but now four.  It loos like I will be Mom of a Teenage Girl for a long time.

 

Pay Attention Grandparents!

Do your parents or in-laws ignore your kids, their grandchildren?  It is frustrating as a mother to watch my girls constantly get disappointed when it comes to my father-in-law.

We are not talking about the occasional, “oh, I didn’t hear you.”  We are talking about not even acknowledging them.  He was forced by my sister-in-law to come to the hospital the day that the twins were born, and that was only because one of them was not going to make it.  After that, he never came back to the hospital, never visited when we brought her home.  We still lived in the same state as him at the time.

When Amberly was 3 years old, we got her a Nabi Tablet for her birthday.  She was so excited and couldn’t wait until we went to CT to visit him for Christmas so she could show him and tell him all about her new toy.  He completely ignored her, didn’t even acknowledge her, and every time she would start talking to him, he would either start talking to someone else or get up and walk away.

The next year, my sister-in-law had her son over the summer.  My father-in-law visited with his new grandchild every day. Even purchased most of the baby’s necessities before he was born.  When we went to visit for Christmas, we figured that he would at least be happy to see our girls.  Boy was I wrong.  Once again, Amberly was completely ignored.  My oldest daughter, who was at the age of puberty at the time, had a purse with her.  All of our purses and coats were placed in my father-in-law’s bedroom.  Well his new wife hollered at my oldest daughter for going in there to get her purse.  My oldest daughter was also hollered at for gently touching her new cousin’s hand.  After dinner was over, my husband went outside with his father to have the after dinner smoke.  I immediately put the girls coats, hats, gloves on and packed up Amberly’s toys she had been playing with.  As soon as my husband walked back in the house, I said we are leaving right now, and the girls and I walked out to the car while my husband said his goodbyes to his family.  I was so furious!

This year I don’t think we are going there.  Amberly graduated Kindergarten this past spring.  I had messaged my father-in-law in facebook messenger, “Dad, we wanted to let you know that Amberly’s Kindergarten graduation is on Thursday, June 11 at 1:30.  She would love for you to come.”  I got no response, so a few days later my husband messaged him via text message.  He told my husband he had to work.  (Now, when you send an invite like that to someone who is married, it is an invite to their spouse as well, why send 2 invites to a couple, right?  Apparently wrong.)  We found out later, by another family member that he did NOT have to work, he didn’t come because his new wife did not get a separate invite.  Amberly was once again left disappointed.

All over his facebook page are photos like this one…

grandson

Nothing at all about granddaughters.

It is really sad that he behaves in this manner.  He is missing out on getting to know 3 incredible, wonderful granddaughters.

When Life Gets In The Way Of Life

We take so many things for granted in our daily lives.  We don’t appreciate things until they are gone.  Simple things like electricity, heat, even our vehicles.

After last year, when everything that could go wrong, was going wrong.  It was one bad thing after another, after another.  We have really had enough.  So begins the tale of the past 15 months.

November 2013, our landlord informed us that our rent would be increased by $200 on January 1, 2014.  We knew we could not afford that high of an increase in the rent so we chose to move.  We found a ½ double home in a small town that we heard was not a bad area to live in.  The rent would be $300 less than what we were currently paying.  Great, we thought because then we could catch up on some things, pay off others and have some spending money.  So we were supposed to move in the weekend after Christmas.

Wrong!  The new landlord informed us that we could not move in until January 3, 2014.  My husband picked up the moving truck in a snow storm.  We loaded the truck in the snow storm.  The people that said they would help us never showed up and were not answering our calls.  The moving truck gets loaded and we were making good time.  We start my SUV and the moving truck.  We got all the kids into the SUV and my husband calls my cell phone to inform me that the moving trucks emergency brake is frozen and will not turn off.  We get all the kids back into the house, and call the moving companies roadside assistance.  We had to wait 4 hours for them to come and fix the truck.  That night was also the night that the “polar vortex” that we kept getting all winter long began.  We get to the new place and unload the truck in temperatures that were below 0.

The new landlord calls my husband to inform him that the furnace guy would be coming to explain some things about the new furnace.  What a joke that was.  The furnace was never properly installed.  The automatic water feeder was never put on, so my husband had to manually fill it with water every other day.   Also the washer machine drainage was not up to code and that he installed a drain on the opposite side of the basement as the water hook ups, but would be back in at the beginning of the next week to installed new water hook ups by the new drain.  Neither the automatic water feed nor the water hookups were ever installed, and the landlord did not want to hear anything about it, because this guy was a family friend of hers.

Also in January, we get a letter from the department of motor vehicles stating that we had no car insurance on our SUV and that the license plate was being suspended.  That was news to us.  We were never informed by the insurance company that they stopped covering the SUV and no explanation of why.  My husband’s hours at work were being cut back, and the cost of home heating oil between January and March.  After the temperatures warmed up we noticed that the railing on the back porch was not even attached, it was just frozen on there all winter long.

Now we are in March.  My husband job was cut along with everyone else in his department, just before our teen’s and preteen’s birthdays.  So now were are just living off of my salary which is not a lot.  Unemployment took over a month to start paying him.  So I tried taking a higher paying job back in our home state of CT.  Friends and family were letting me stay with them for the first few weeks, while I was actively looking for a place to move us to.  The last place I was staying was with my in-laws who decided after 3 days to tell me I could not stay with them any longer.  I had to resort to sleeping in my SUV & once or twice a week staying at motels witch was costly.  My husband was offered a job back in PA at an Amazon.com warehouse that he had to accept or he would lose his unemployment.  As soon as he accepted the position the last week in April, I put in for a transfer to a nursing home back in PA that the company I worked for owned.  I did not hear anything from them.

Between the costs of oil during the winter, me working over 300 miles away and staying in my truck or hotels, and paying all the bills and rent for our place in PA, we did not have the money for my car payment and they came and took the SUV.  We knew that was happening and tried to come up with the money to keep it by selling things, it just didn’t work out for us like the first 5 months of the year.  I had to quit my job in CT.  Two weeks later the company recruiter in PA contacted me about the position I had put in over a month before to transfer to.  It was too late.  I was denied unemployment as well.

I applied to numerous places every day.  On July 2, 2014 I get a call from Amazon.com saying that my husband was being taking to the hospital because he had a heart attack.  Yes, you can have a heart attack at any age.  I had to call around to get a ride to the hospital that he was being taken to.  The hospital let him come home with me and we scheduled testing for him.  After his testing he was allowed back to work, he was out of work for 2 weeks.  The week he returned, he gets hurt because Amazon.com does not allow its employees to use forklifts, they have to use manual pallet jacks to move pallets from one end of the warehouse to the other.  Most of the time these pallets weigh in at 100lbs.  Again he is out of work.  They refused his workers compensation claim.  We are now flat broke.

I obtained a position at a nursing home not far from where we lived.  My husband also obtained an executive chef position at a local hotel.   He started 2 days before me.  Now we have the dilemma of only having 1 vehicle still and we both worked day shift.  I was stuck finding rides to work and he would pick me up.  We moved my oldest daughter in with my nephew in another school district because over the summer she informed us that the kids at school were severely terrorizing her.  She started shaking and crying when she saw one of the kids at the grocery store.

We finally found a car for me in September.  It needed just a little bit of work, but would get me back and forth to work and to the grocery store.  Until I got pulled over by a cop who did not believe that I just purchased the car and still was within my time frame for getting it inspected, and he told me that my license was suspended and that he was taking my car, even though I said I can have my roadside assistance company come an tow it.  Now my car is impounded and I have to pay to get it back along with a huge ticket.  Now that that is all taken care of.  My husband obtained a 2nd full time job to try to get us out of the horrible rut we have been in for the past 9 months.

October is my youngest daughter’s birthday, and she get sick the week before with a high fever, so one of use needed to call off of work for the week to care for her.  We both do not have any pto time because we were both still within our first 90 days on the job.  We were able to give her a nice birthday weekend though.  We got her a new Nabi tablet to replace the one she broke in March, and did some family fun things.  Also, our horrible landlord took us to court trying to say we were not paying the rent.  We decided enough was enough in that town and that we were moving.

November, we found a great place in the same town that we used to live in that is also in the same school district that our teen was going to.  I started packing immediately, and we moved Thanksgiving weekend.  We had some help this time which was great.

Everything was going great the first two weeks of December.  Then my husband’s car breaks down.  We took it to the repair specialist who says that everything looks good.  I pay for the repair and tell him that we will pick up the vehicle after I pick up my husband from work at 10:00 pm.  I took my daughter on a date to a safe movie theater 30 minutes away.  Her sisters and I went to window shop at some stores.  When I went to pick up my teen and her date, I noticed my battery light was on.  I made it to my husband’s work, where my car died.  Now his car is still at the repair shop and now we have no vehicle.  My nephew brought my kids and myself home and my husband’s coworker took him to pick up his car.  My car would not start after work a few days later and no one would jump start my car even though I had jumper cables, finally after I started to cry someone came to my rescue.  My husband fixed my car the next day.

The following week, my sister in law informed us we were no longer welcome for Christmas, to just stay home.  We made arrangements with my family instead, and then she changes her mind.  We went to my families.  We had the trouble with ordering the tablet for my preteen from Wal*mart.  Then 3 days before Christmas, my husband calls me at work to inform me that on his way to his 2nd job his oil pump went and his engine was done for.  Christmas was good.

January 2015: My husband found a car that was cheap that we decided to purchase and then in a month or two would trade in for a new car.  We purchased the vehicle and were bringing it home when it dies on the highway.  Of course a cop is going to show up out of nowhere.  He tries telling my husband that the car is stolen because we don’t have a bill of sale.  The state we live in does not use a bill of sale for a car purchase.  My husband got a ticket which we are going to fight.  This was at 1:00 am.  The car did not get towed to our house until 5:30 am even though the tow truck picked it up off the highway at 3:00 am.

Needless to say, we still are using 1 vehicle.  My husband is extremely close to losing his 2nd job, because the people that give him rides from his first job to the second are not reliable and continuously make him late.  I get up an hour early for work to take him to work and then I go to work.  He is supposed to be at his second job before I get out of work and I cannot leave to bring him.  I also do this on my days off, except on my days off I drive back up to his first job and bring him to the other.

We are both exhausted and cannot take any more of this bad luck streak that we have been on.   We don’t know what to do anymore.  Life keeps getting in the way of life.  I know there are people out there that have it worse than us.  I am grateful for the things that we have I do not know what we are going to do anymore.

How Wal*mart Ruined Christmas

We were doing our Christmas shopping & purchasing the big gifts for the girls.  We had order a fancy art kit for the teenager.  We purchased a battery operated volkswagon for the 6 year old.  We just had one more big gift buy for our preteen.
Here is where the problem begins.  My husband goes online to order the Nexus Tablet on December 19th.  Walmart.com declined his card (which had more than enough money on it).  My mom offered to let us use her card.  Her card worked.  My husband left for work & got an email on his way to work saying the order was canceled.  I gave her the money when I got home from work.  My husband called me before dinner to tell me walmart canceled the order saying it was canceled for security reasons.  Wal*mart told him that the money would be returned to the card within 48 hours which would put it back on my moms card by December 23 because of the weekend.
Well….Wal*mart lies!  They did not return the money in time for Christmas.  So we were out over $100.
We were able to still purchase the tablet but not other things we need to purchase.
Needless to say, we will jot be purchasing anything from Wal*mart or Wal*mart.com.  It is safe to say that I am boycotting Wal*mart.

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

I haven’t written to you in many years.  Just because I haven’t written, does not mean that I no longer believe in you.  I do believe.

My two older daughters wrote to you back in 2008.  It was probably the most important letter to you that they have ever written.  we, as a family, had a rough year.  It was a difficult holiday season with the loss of Arianna and Amberly still being in the NICU.

The girls wrote about the usual.  How are you and Mrs. Clause?  I would like such and such for Christmas.  They also asked you for a few things for Amberly.  She was under 3 lbs when they wrote to you.  One of the girls asked you for Amberly to get bigger so she can come home and the other asked you for a stuffed animal friend for her and her Lamby that the hospital gave her the day she was born.

image

My husband and I did not mention the letter to anyone associated with the hospital.  On Christmas night, my husband and I went to see Amberly.  When we got there we found a picture of you and her.  You had given her a kitty cat beanie baby, ans some stickers.  She had also weighed in at 3 lbs Christmas morning!

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I may not write to you like I once did as a child.  You are real and I still believe.

Merry Christmas,
Mom of a Teenage Girl