Monday, December 23, 2013

Toys for Tots can suck it...

Yeah, you heard me, they can suck it.  They are supposed to be some great charity right?  That's what I'd always thought, that's what I'd always heard, and that's what I'd always read.  Well, I guess I was wrong.  I've had good years and I've had bad years.  On good years, we've even been the family that donates to Toys for Tots.  A few years, we "adopted" a family and bought gifts for them.  That's why I thought that this year of all years it would be ok to ask for help back.  I've had a bad few years financially.  We barely squeak by most of the time.  I supplement a lot of what we have here with my free stuff, I get stuff for the pets and the kids, and I have some really generous friends that have helped me, but I wanted to be able to give my younger two kids a few things from "santa" this year.  My older two kids aren't even getting ANYTHING from us.  Not one damn thing.  19 and 17 and there won't be anything under our tiny little tree for them to open, except what their aunt brought them.  But they are old enough to understand this.  My younger two are not.  They are almost 8 and 2 and a half. It's the almost 8 year old that is having the hardest time here.  His aunt brought him something too of course, but there will also be absolutely nothing from us under the tree.  Not for him, not for Memphis.  We almost never get gifts for each other, so that's no big deal either, but THESE ARE KIDS DAMN IT!!!

So here's the story.  I had signed up for Toys for Tots.  I got the confirmation email back on December 14th at 8:56 pm.  The pick up time was at 6pm on December 20th.  I did try to contact them by phone and by email between the time I got the email and the day to pick up to make sure I had everything in order and would have everything I needed to pick up.  I had a bad feeling about it, but I couldn't nail down why, I just had a bad feeling about it.  Like I knew something was gonna happen and we wouldn't get them, but I still for some reason unknown to me now, counted on the damn gifts.  So I did the responsible thing and I spent my husband's tiny little paycheck paying our gas bill to keep the heat on.  I didn't even manage to get enough stuff to finish off our private Christmas dinner, but I did manage to get the stuff for our family dinner that I shared in the last post.  Thankfully, I'd managed to get a ham at the beginning of the month or I wouldn't have that either, but that's another sob story altogether.  Anyway, back to the story here...

The number in the email is not to the actual Toys for Tots organization, but to the church where the pick up was being held and only rang to a voicemail.  I did leave a few messages, but they were not returned.  I also tried the phone number that was on the Toys for Tots website (located here), but it would not go through.  I have no idea if they have updated it at this point or not.  I never got a response.  So the 20th rolls around and I have spent literally every dime I've got on the gas bill, food and diapers for Phiz, and my husband has a friend that will take him there because we don't have bus fare for him to get there and obviously, if we don't have bus fare, a taxi is out of the question.  When he gets there, he sees that there are literally HUNDREDS of people waiting, of course, because if someone is giving away something free, people here will take it if they need it or not.  He gets his ticket and asks the man that hands it to him if he needed to bring anything with him and if he's ok with with he has.  The man tells him he was supposed to have brought the kids, but that he'll be ok without them, they'll let him pick for the kids and it's fine.  This is at 6pm.

He waits in the line until almost 8pm before he gets to the door of the church to get inside.  Mind you, we do live in the desert, but it gets cold at night, we were under a wind warning and it was roughly 40 degrees outside so it wasn't a super fun wait, all I can say is I'm glad he DIDN'T have the little boys because Maxwell still has a horrible cough from the virus we're all still getting over.  He gets just inside the door to check in and a very rude woman asks him where the kids are.  He tells her he didn't know he was supposed to bring them, and tells her that the man that gave him the ticket told him he'd be fine without them.  She tells him no, he can't go any further without the kids.  He tells her we tried to find out what to bring, we just didn't know, is there anything they can do to help us because we are desperate.  She tells him that the email said right on it what we needed to bring.  I don't see where it says you?

He tells her no, we looked at the email right before he came to get the address to get there.  Then she tells him it's all over the website that he needed to bring them.  I never found anywhere that it said that either.  But she's yelling at him and he gets embarrassed, and he asks to talk to the guy who gave him the ticket.  The one who said he was FINE without the kids there.  The man tells him they'll let him go home and get the kids and come back.  The problem with that is twofold, it's not our car, it's a friend of his and we don't have any more gas money to give the guy for another ride (because it seems like no one is a good enough friend to give a ride without gas money) and they guy doesn't have a vehicle big enough for everyone.  Not to mention that they are still both sick and they'd have had to wait in the line in the cold again.  We had to decline that offer.  Declining the offer made them act like we had done something terribly wrong, like they couldn't comprehend that there are people in the world that don't have transportation of their own and have to rely on others to help them get places and sometimes those other people really aren't doing out of the kindness of their hearts but for the gas money we can give them.  When you can't give up any gas money, people won't give you a ride.  So he ended up just coming home empty handed and upset.  

There are a whole lot of things I really don't understand about the deal.  Now don't get me wrong, I understand that people take advantage, and that people steal.  I understand that people take things they don't need and that ruins it for people that DO need it.  I have no problem proving I have kids.  I have no problem proving I am in need.  I honestly wouldn't have had a problem taking the boys IF I HAD KNOWN I WAS SUPPOSED TO. But I didn't.  And the way they treated the situation was deplorable.  So they expected that while we were there with a hand out to accept charity, that we should bring our small children 5 days before Christmas so they could see that we needed the charity to provide them gifts.  How nice for the kids huh? (yeah, that was sarcasm there)  So the kids can lose faith in their parents and then lose their belief in Santa if they had it to begin with.  Awesome job Toys for Tots.  Thanks for nothing.  I appreciate it.  

I know the reality of this is that it is my fault.  I shouldn't have relied on a charity to give my children the only gifts they were going to receive from us.  I should have made better choices.  Maybe I shouldn't have wanted to have a family dinner.  Maybe I shouldn't have wanted to have heat in my house, maybe I should have Memphis potty trained by now, or maybe I should just have never gotten so sick I can't work anymore (but not QUITE sick enough to get permanent disability yet, go figure...though the 500 pound man down the street had no problem getting his check simply for being fat).  I don't know.  I do know that I had really worked hard to make myself try to put so many bad things aside to make this a good holiday season for my kids and my family.  With so much loss in 2012, how could we not have a hard time still?  This happening was hard on me.  It'll be even harder on an almost 8 year old who will have nothing from his parents on Christmas.  Now, I'm so lost and depressed about the whole thing I spent the entire day in bed yesterday. I alternated between escape sleeping and crying because I can't figure out how I'm going to handle Maxwell's disappointment... Toys for can suck it!  

Until next time...

***I do want to add a quick little note that I had made a post on a Facebook group I help admin and there is a lady that offered to donate a few handmade crafts for the boys, but unfortunately, they will not be ready in time for the 25th, and Maxwell is having a really rough time understanding a lot of other things in life right now, so I'm extremely worried about how he's going to (not) handle this.  It's going to be very difficult for me because he takes out his anger on me most of the time.***

Friday, December 20, 2013

Lips and Asses...

Yeah, you read that right. Lips and asses.  I usually associate the term with hot dogs, and it's usually lips and assholes, but there is a reason I wrote it that way.  This is not about hot dogs.  Or assholes really, unless you count my family being jerky rude assholes and then yeah, I guess that counts.  It's been a while since I posted and I have a little catching up to do with ya. 

Thanksgiving was ok.  It was a fully satisfying huge meal that we ended up eating off of for days afterward, thanks to my very dear friend helping me yet again.  I made a beautiful meal that included homemade rolls even.  I made almost everything from scratch and it was amazing and I was and still am pretty proud of myself for having done it.  See?

That's my lil Phizzy man there in the background.  He's gotten pretty tall, eh?  So there was that meal, and then this one right after that was turkey a la king, home made bread and in the jars behind the bread is turkey stock...

This girl can cook like a mofo.  I don't do it as often as I used to for several reasons.  My kitchen here is small, and my mom complains about almost everything I cook.  She always does it in a sneaky weird way anymore, like telling me the next day how dinner kept her in the bathrom all night.  I find that less than complimentary.  I have no idea what to do about that though.  Except let my husband do a lot of the cooking anymore.  

Moving on to the title, the lips part.  Last night, Memphis ran into a bookshelf and busted his upper lip open.  It scared the shit out of me more than anything because he barely cried.  He did almost nothing but stare wide eyed at me while I cleaned the blood that was dripping off of him.  It also gave him a knock on the forehead, but it wa the lip that was and is still scary to me.

Both pics are while he was asleep because that's the only time he is ever still!  Top is last night, bottom is this morning.  It's not too bad, I know, but my kids getting hurt freaks me out.  Blood from a child is never fun for a mommy.

On to the "ass" part of the title.  Who here has heard of pilonidal disease?  About a year or so ago my tailbone got really painful.  I take a hell of a lot of drugs too, so for the pain to be almost unbearable I knew something was off, but where it was located, I wasn't really excited about having a doctor look at it so I sat on my heat pad, took hot baths and tried to just cope with it.  Mind you, this was not the first time it'd happened, it was just the worst pain I'd had from it.  So, eventually I felt better and at my next appointment with my pain management doctor I mentioned it.  A few months later, I Started hurting really bad again, only this time, there was a swelling in my ass crack the size of a marble and when I looked at it in the mirror (that was acrobatic of me, believe me) my whole lower back and buttcrack was green with bruising.  So this time I sucked it up, got over being embarrASSed and called the doctor.  But they couldn't get me in for a couple of weeks and told me to go to the ER.  I had another pain management appointment the following week, so instead I had that doctor look at it.  She immediately knew what it was, told me it was a pilonidal cyst that was probably very abcessed and gave me some antibiotics and told me I really needed to have it lanced.  But here's the thing, my brother had this when he was about 18.  They actually leave the thing open and pack it with gauze and let it heal from the inside out.  The doctor also told me I really need to have it surgically removed because I have some pretty serious spinal damage already and the pressure that fluid puts on my spine is dangerous.  That's not even talking about what happens if the infection breaks free and ends up in my blood stream.  That'd probably kill me according to her.  So that round of flare up ends in the gross swelling eventually draining on it's own and the bruising subsiding eventually.

About oh, I dunno, a week or so ago, I started to get up in the morning and moved wrong and felt the now familiar sharp pain in my tailbone.  There is again a swelling, but it's minor in comparison to the patch of skin that looks like broken blood vessels or something.  I don't even know.  I am scared to go anywhere and have it looked at because I know already what the treatment is for this.  None of them are pleasant, all of them will put me in bed until well after the first of the year, and it's almost Christmas.  5 days before to be exact.  And I'm doing my very best just to keep everyone from killing each other as it is.  Not to mention that my family can not function without me telling them what to do and how to do it. Sadly, I have to yell at people here to get them to do anything at all most of the time.  My husband can't handle things when I'm at what is now 100% for me, what the hell would he do if I was laid up in bed all day?  So I'm kind of stuck being butthurt, literally.  So that's where I'm at.  Fun times!

On an entirely opposite and happy note, I just want to show off my Christmas present from my friend in Georgia.  I got this to keep some food upstairs so that when funds and vittles are running low, my darling mother doesn't do her typical tricks of eating everything she can stuff in her mouth while simultaneously feeding whatever she can think of to the cats.  AND IT'S PURPLE!!!

So, I've written enough to keep ya busy for a few minutes at least, and I'll try to get a new post up on Sunday.  I've got some pretty cool shit to show you as far as product.  You can totally look forward to seeing a few recipes too.  Y'all are awesome for reading.  Happy Holidays to you too, whatever you celebrate, and much love from us crazies over here.  Until next time...