Archive for the ‘Family Mom’ Category


Do you have siblings?

I do. I have two brothers, both younger. BroOne, who has two daughters, is two years younger than I am. BroTwo, who has two sons, is ten years younger than I am. Yes… I’m the eldest. In case you haven’t been able to tell from my writing over the years and my parenting style, I’m an eldest child.

Are you close to your siblings?

When I was growing up, I wasn’t close to BroOne but I was loyal to him. We had a lot of sibling rivalry, which I’m sure my shrink would say is due to the fact that we’re two years apart. [NOTE: That’s what she says is the reason my lovely Dear Girl has rivalous feelings towards Sweet Girl and Darling Girl. SIDE NOTE 2: Eldest of mine, Dear Girl and I chatted, and she shall henceforth be known as Bunny. That is all] We fought constantly as kids. My mom tells this story, which I remember because I was so distressed: I was little and he was a baby. I had this amazing little musical carousel for little kids, and it was one of my favorite toys. It ranked up there with Barbie dolls. We’re talking serious child currency, here. Well, my mom played the musical carousel for my tiny brother and I was devastated she took my toy and “gave” it to him without asking. I took it back, hefted it under one arm, and stomped down the stairs declaring the whole way down that it wasy MY toy, NOT my brother’s, and he wasn’t allowed to touch it. My mom didn’t do that again. She asked to share other toys that had less value to me after that, ha ha. I think that set the tone for our entire childhood and majority of our teen years.

We, BroOne and I, began to fight less frequently in high school. I think it’s because we were both out of the house less, and a lot of our friends were siblings to each other. There was always loyalty, though. We may have driven my mother up and down every wall in the house due to our constant fighting and bickering, but when it mattered we were loyal to each other. I hated seeing him in serious trouble, so I started to protect him at home when I could. Once, I locked him out of the house when my parents were out and he was so angry with me he tried to kick the door in. It was a wood door, and getting old, and it cracked in a few places. We had to press the door back into place but the cracks were huge. We found wood glue, filled them in, and then found wood stain to match it to the door. It was a bonding moment. Ha, see what I did there? Wenever told my parents until I told my mom after they were planning to replace that door. She still couldn’t tell the door had been essentially broken since I was 14/15 years old.

And of course, no one could bully him in school. No one. I’ve always been anti-bully, but to family? Oh no.

We got a lot closer when he met his now-wife. We’re close enough now that he’s Godfather to two of my daughters; I’m Godmother to both of his daughters. I have a great relationship with his wife, and always have. She’s an incredible woman, wife, and mother. I envy her in a lot of ways. I’ll bet she’d be shocked to know that. That said, we have a lot of things in common in our lives including health issues, but mostly in our views on life and parenting. I would do anything for BroOne and SisOne. Their girls are like my own daughters. People say that, but having daughters of my own, I know what that love feels like.

I think I was closer to BroTwo when we were younger. Since he was born when I was a skinny little ten year old girl, and I was thrilled to have a baby in the house, I helped take care of him. I didn’t even mind most nights when he woke up to be fed and changed; I would change him and warm his bottle so my mom could feed him. Sometimes I would feed him myself during the night, just snuggling on my bed. I begged to have him in my room. His crib was in my room until he was three years old. I learned how to care for a baby, and as he got older I learned to babysit during the summers. I loved it. We had a rough couple of years, which I believe I blogged about at one point. We have a much, much better relationship now, but it’s not like it was. We’re still working on it, finding the balance. I’m not sure he feels the distance, but what’s really good is that since his boys were born it’s been easier to relate to his wife. I love them, I love those boys. I love spending time with them. They’re generous and BroTwo is Godfather to Bunny. That’s important to me.

Do you visit your siblings often?

We try to visit with them as often as we can. We live about 18 miles away from my brothers, and around the same from our parents. When we bought our house, we were in a stage where we needed some physical space from the family where no one could simply drop in without calling first. It’s different when family lives anywhere between 2-to-6 miles away. Now, 14 years later, we miss that closeness. I think part of it has to do with the fact that my brothers both have children, and also miss getting to see my nieces and nephews from my Spousal Unit’s side more often too.

I never thought, growing up, that I would feel a need to be physically close to all of our siblings. I guess we’re lucky that they’re only about 20 minutes or so away, for the most part. One of my husband’s sisters lives about 40 minutes away. They’re all in state, so there’s that. We mostly see each other at my parents’ house but that may be changing. We also see each other for events we might host at a restaurant or something, or another family member does.

Do you babysit your siblings’ children?

Most often, when I do babysit, it’s BroTwo’s and SisOne’s girls. Recently, Darling Girl [my youngest, 13 years old] and I went to BroTwo’s house to babysit all four Littles. Both of my brothers and their wives had an event to attend, and it made sense. GoddaughterOne is seven years old now, so she’s not quite so little, but her sister, GoddaughterTwo is three years old. NephewFour [we have three nephews on my husband’s side of the family] is also three years old, and his little brother, NephewFive is two years old.

My brothers left pizza and we had a lot of [tiring] fun that evening. It had been awhile since I’d cared for multiple toddlers before; not since my best friend’s children were toddlers at the same time Bunny and Sweet Girl were toddlers.

While watching the kids, I was thankfully able to use the ladies’ room due to having brought my youngest daughter. LIFE HACK: When you babysit multiple toddlers, limit your fluids that evening.

BroTwo has crucifixes on nearly every wall in his home, and images of Jesus on several walls. He’s very, very dedicated and passionate in his Faith. He has several statues around the house too. Upstairs he has a beautiful, simple, distraction-free prayer room.

While in the ladies’ room, I noticed one or two religious inspirational quotes sticky-noted to the mirror. One says, “God, Others, Self,” which is kind of nice.

As a child, whenever my parents or the priest during homily or my CCD teachers would say,

“God is always watching you; Jesus knows your heart and is always watching,”

I would always, always get nervous not because I have something to hide but because I wanted to ask if that included showering and using the toilet and changing my clothes. Therefore…. The statue of Jesus on the window sill of my brother’s bathroom gives me heebie jeebies.

Sigh.

Jesus Statue, image from Amazon

Jesus, with a kind, loving expression on his face, one hand raised to his Sacred Heart and the other palm facing outward, is facing the toilet most often; sometimes the shower. I swear the eyes on that statue, that particular statue have a mischievous glint in them. He knows what I’m about to do, and it’s like He’s daring me. Or maybe He’s begging me, I’m not sure. Maybe it’s a bit of both. Based on stories told about him in the Bible, and stories Jesus told, I know Jesus had/has a sense of humor. Plus, if he would never force his way into anyone’s home to witness, he’d never, ever force his way into someone’s toilet.

Just sayin’.

So I take up the dare.

Every time I’m in the bathroom, I turn Jesus to face out the window to get a nice view of the trees and creek in the yard. I love Jesus and all, but I doubt he really wants to see me peeing. I say a quick prayer when I turn Jesus.

“Hi Jesus, it’s me, Jessica. But you know that. You’re Jesus. So hey, here goes.

Dear Jesus,

Most holy, he who sacrifeced his life so that we could have eternal life in Heaven, I have the utmost respect for you. My brother has this statue of you in his bathroom. Please don’t be offended when I turn it away from the toilet. I know you’re not in the statue, but it feels like a privacy thing. I’m sure you can understand. Toileting stuff probably isn’t even your thing anyway. I apologize for any offense I may have caused you. You’re still awesome.

Amen

P.S. I love you

Double Amen

And every time I come over, there’s Jesus facing the toilet. Again.

And every single time, I get the overwhelming feeling that I have to turn Jesus away from the toilet. I’m not turning away from Jesus. No, no I’m not. I’m turning Jesus away from something he doesn’t need to see. I stay out of Jesus’ toileting business, he can stay out of mine.

I finally admitted it to my brother when we were about to leave after babysitting. He chuckled. So I’mma keep on doing it.

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Backstory, I Hope I Can Keep It Short

I’m likely going to oversimplify things; warning that I’m only providing one article source below, and it’s in reference to my last paragraph. Also to warn you, I’m in MASSIVE pain right now, because it’s raining and all of my meds have completely worn off. Every single one. I’m an hour late and just realized it. Please be gentle in your critique. No, just kidding, discussion is welcome.

A few weeks ago, Trump was puffing his chest like an old gorilla, insulting anyone he could including previous presidents as far back he could pronounce their names.  He was worked up because he needed. a. big. win. and it just had. to. be. North Korea. You probably remember the drama unless you were lucky enough to be stranded on a tropical beach without any wi-fi, data, or cable access to anything for two or three weeks. If you were stranded on a beach, you’re lucky.  There was so much propaganda in both countries, it was sickening. Guess which ones in the U.S. fell for the Trump propaganda and disinformation campaigning? I’m not even talking about anything aside from NK. Did you know the WH even put out a VIDEO touting the awesomeness of NK? It’s like a tourism video, carefully ignoring the fact that the dictator is a murderous serial killer who even had his own brother killed, and imprisons anyone believed to speak out against him? Who will murder entire families for the actions of one citizen that he believes could have betrayed him even in their thoughts? A dictator who is guilty of countless inhumane acts against his own people, is so genocidal, many consider him to be as evil as Hitler. Remember that.

Anyway, the closer we came to the meeting date, day by day, minute by minute, the propaganda, rhetoric and hype were at the point that (some) people believed he was going to NK to save the U.S. and save the entire world from certain, immediate annihilation. Some people here had the audacity to believe Trump was going to save the North Korean people with the fabulous deal he was going to make with their dictator. His personality alone would overpower Kim Jong-un and if not, then his business expertise would do the trick. None of the U.S. leaders for the past 70 years, Trump’s entire lifetime, would be able to live up to what he was about to accomplish. The world was just waiting for him, apparently, and didn’t know it. Oddly enough, Trump wasn’t interested in learning anything about the 70-year history of severe problems that not only the U.S. has had with North Korea, but the world.

Trump started complimenting and praising Kim Jong-un. I just can’t even … even with that one.  You don’t do that.  Don’t compliment a dictator on his leadership skills.  He stopped tough talking and started courting. Remember what I said a couple of paragraphs ago about Kim Jong-un.

Caution and Education Are For Sissies, Apparently

There were a lot of concerns moving forward, though, as you would expect.  There should have been vocal concerns considering the magnitude of the summit.  There are always going to be security concerns when any of our delegates and officials leave the country for something official. Like, say, the G7 Summit. Wait.

There are always red flags to pay attention to, some that even lay people know are serious.

The quotes that were given to the state-run propaganda news outlets in NK by Kim Jong-un weren’t a big enough red flag; they were largely ignored in the U.S.

The warnings from the Intelligence Community that no matter Trump’s stated goals, Kim Jong-un’s goal is to continue developing a nuclear arsenal and to embarrass Trump (among other warnings) weren’t a big enough red flag and also largely ignored in the U.S. This was a moment where you have to say, just like during Trump’s presidential campaign when he told and showed America who he is,

“The man has told you in clear language what he will and won’t do. This is a man who has consistently behaved in an abhorrent manner without plans to change. Believe a man when he tells you and shows you just how much of an asshole he really is.”

It was big news in the U.S. if you were voicing concerns; to be cautious; if you had doubts; if you were suggesting to please study up on the North Korean History, Mr. Trump, just please educate yourself. The fact that such concerns were being minimized and denigrated by the White House was a red flag.

Of course, it was also big news that Trump refused to study up on the past 7 decades of North Korean dictatorship, and ignored that advice from advisers. Red flag? Maybe?

Anyone with any sort of intellect and knowledge about world history and U.S. history would have anxiety, doubt about this summit’s long term and short term results; anyone paying attention to current events would be concerned and doubtful just in a general manner. Anyone with a passing knowledge about Trump and his history of getting along with everyone no matter what it takes, plus his sparkling personality and confidence, would have concerns about the immediate issue of the meeting itself. The fact that nothing changed in Trump’s attitude on this subject was a huge red flag.

Now we segue.  If I don’t I’ll go on a tangent.

I Concede, You Concede, Gentlemen’s Handshake

Trump and Kim Jong-un met, pretended to be brahs, while each also pretended to be the alpha gorilla.  In the end the dictator won.  It was described as an exchange of opinions and how to reach peace between NK and the rest of the peninsula.  Trump committed to “security guarantees” as Kim Jong-un reaffirmed his “firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.” I’m noting just how carefully worded that is. Kim Jong-un wants the peninsula denuclearized. It doesn’t state specifically North Korea. Maybe I’m nitpicking but it’s red flaggy to me.

The establishment of new U.S.-DPRK relations will “contribute to the peace and prosperity of the Korean Peninsula” (oh yeah and of the world too, but let’s not specifically state America). Apparently our new relationship alone will be enough to contribute to peace and prosperity.

They recognized that “mutual confidence building” [Okay, wait a minute, when I saw this one I wanted to know: Does that mean ass kissing?] can promote the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.  Neither of these men are known for doing what anyone else tells them; for upholding promises; for building confidence with others.

President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong-un talked about releasing POW’s and MIA’s remains to their families. Thumbs up, Big Guy. As with our most recent President, we’re continuing the trend of bringing our people home.

Building a last peace REGIME on the Korean Peninsula. Like the wording on that one? Red flag, maybe? For there to be true peace in Korea, for them to be a United Korea again, I can only imagine that South Korea would insist that a dictatorship would have to be dissolved. I don’t see, especially in wording such as that, that Kim Jong-un intends to release any of his political power or his nuclear power. He holds the cards as long as he holds and can make nuclear weapons.  The world will pay attention to him as long as he holds those cards.

There was nothing resembling a peace treaty that could be worked with,  in depth, to be further fleshed out, endorsed by Congress, and signed.  With no actual peace treaty and nothing for Congress to flesh out, mark up with red pens, approve, and have both nations sign, we have nothing except the fact that these guys sat down and had dinner together.

They outlined, sort of, some loose goals signed by them as an intent to work on the goals; but it’s nothing binding.  Nothing.  If there had been, he’d be complaining about Democratics holding up the process of saving the world.  Instead he just complained that Democratics and haters didn’t want him to save the world and want war and open borders. Distraction at its worst. He’s not even good at it.

Anyway.

Trump essentially came back to the U.S. from the NK Summit with the equivalent of chicken scratch on a bar napkin.  He managed to convince his base that it was binding and wow! a peace treaty! and he managed to do something unprecedented never ever before accomplished by any U.S. leader ever.  Obviously anyone who has a passing relationship with reading American History or Google knows that particular claim is a lie.

I’m not going to lie: sitting in a meeting face to face with Kim Jong Un, a ruthless, vicious, mass murdering, genocidal dictator takes a serious game face. It is an accomplishment, especially considering this dictator is considered to have been (until recently) reclusive. The problem is that because Trump wanted to teach this punk a lesson, one thug to another thug, and he legitimized Kim.  I really do wish he had intimidated Kim Jong-un into submission.  That would have been a great accomplishment.

But there’s history to consider, hence the mother hen worrying and caution:  Kim Jong-un recently fucking over South Korea and China weren’t big enough red flags, I guess.  The thing is, I never want to be right when I have this kind of anxiety.  I really don’t want our government to fail.  I don’t.

Then this happens.

Plot Twist. 

I wonder if sprucing up their nuclear facilities to be more productive for, oh, I don’t know, producing nuclear weapons will be a big enough red flag that the summit itself was a failure.  Because lookie what I found:

 

Satellite images from last week show that North Korea is making numerous improvements to the infrastructure at a nuclear research facility, according to a new study.

Article by Avery Anapol; 6/26/2018; Source: Satellite images show North Korea upgrading nuclear research facility: report | TheHill

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