Friday, September 30, 2011


My mother has court on Tuesday, October 4th. She also gets paid around that time {She receives Social Security Disability} and cannot access her money because my Dad has her debit card.
So, she's coming back.
And yesterday this text conversation occurred: {exact texts are in Italics}

Mom: So I will be there Sun evening and was gonna share Mackenzie's bed is that a problem?

Ha, you ask...but you already know.

Me: That is not possible. Dad is still here, obviously and he has told everyone he has come into contact with that he fully intends to strangle you the next time he sees you. Also, Howard does NOT want to see you. Also, I am still beyond hurt and angry about what you took off and left me to deal with, with no regard to what you ere leaving in your wake and I am not the only one that feels that way.

Mom: I made some really bad choices. My mother is dying and my Dad's heart is breaking and I cannot undo what I have done. I will stay in a motel but can I see the kids and can you take me to court?

Me: Yes, you most certainly did. And I know what your parents are going through is a terrible ordeal. But as noble as your purpose is for being there it doesn't erase what you did to Dad, me, Howard and the kids. They don't cancel each other out. And yes, you can see the kids, and yes, I will take you to court.

Mom: Thank u

Mom: There was nothing noble about wrecking mine and y'all's life and I will be sorry and pay for it forever. I make bad decisions anyway but this hurt, this helpless grief I am going through right no is pretty overwhelming and I just want to cuddle both my parents in my arms and make it better, but I can't.

Me: No, there wasn't. And I'm surprised you're sorry because you sure haven't said it. I can appreciate what you're going through Mom. I can't say I understand it because I've never gone through that but I can imagine. I am thankful that you are there for them and for you but like I said, it;s hard to deal with the level of betrayal that you committed against us. You have no idea what it feels like to always back someone up, always try to help them through anything hard in life no matter what to have them all but physically spit in your face. It hurts, and I'm angry, but that's temporary, I'll get over it. What IS important is what your parents are going through but I cannot ignore what I have been through either. I cannot allow you into my home, a home full of people with a lot of negative emotion towards you and act like nothing happened.

Mom: I did say sorry, that day on your bed {She's referring to the day before she took off when I blew up at her for doing this to everyone telling her she needed to man up and take care of her own responsibility which also meant that if she is leaving, she needs to take my father with her and she the time} and I am sorry taking care of your Dad is such an ordeal {it is, but I have NOT EVEN ONCE said a thing to her about any of the things I am going through with him} So, I wish I had done everything different. From the bottom of my heart I am so sorry.

Me: That day, on my bed, you also said you were taking Dad with you.

Mom: That was just not possible.

Me: Considering that alleged apology happened that day as well, you can imagine why it holds ZERO significance.

And I haven't heard from her since. She did call my father yesterday evening, about an hour after this text conversation ended. She told him that apparently we care about her anymore and don't want her here or want to see her so she is going to get a motel.
She's my mother, of course I care and I do love her. But I don't like her at all. I don't owe her anything, she owes me...everything. Howard keeps asking me if this situation was finally my breaking point with her, and really is. I don't regret anything I have said and done in this situation. I have kept my integrity and stood my ground.

It makes me feel so good.

♥ Kristin

Monday, September 26, 2011

To my son, on your 2nd birthday

Dear Bubbers,
I cannot believe you are two years old already. I can't comprehend how my life was without you in it because you have made it so full. Full of laughter, tears and joy. I am still afraid of you, and probably will be until my dying day. The love I have with your father swept me off my feet, but our love little lopped my head right off.
I never pictured having a son, I had never been around boys at all. I cannot even explain in words how thankful that I am to have had you. To have had this amazing opportunity to raise you and see what you will become with your outrageous personality and heart stopping smile.
You've grown a ton, now towering over your (older) bestie Cael by 4 inches when not even 6 months ago you two were the same height. You'll love that height when you get older, you're welcome for that. We all know you didn't get that from your Daddy (sorry Howard, it's true). For now it makes all your pants shorter then they should be.
Your current obsessions are Mickey Mouse, Yo Gabba Gabba, Wow Wow Wubzy and Ni Hao Kai Lan. You love all things trains, trucks...anything that has an engine (Gee, I wonder where he gets that from). You also love balls (take that as you will), balloons, being outside, and pestering your sisters to death.
You said your longest sentence to date on your birthday. I told you to say "Thank you for my PJ's Grandma, I love you." and you repeated me...but it sounded like this "Daint Du fur ma JJ's Gramma, I dus you."
You are an amazing little creature that constantly brings a smile to all of our faces. You are silly, hysterical and full of testosterone. Thank you so much for coming into our lives and bringing it such joy and laughter.

I love you Parker Philip, My sweet boy, My Bubbers,


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Temporary vs. Permanent

Despite everything that is going on with the drama that surrounds my parents and everything we're up against right now I got a sharp reminder that all of this is temporary.

Things change minute to minute. I need to focus on what's permanent.

People. Relationships. Family.

My Maternal Grandmother's health is failing fast.

Over the years she has battled thyroid disease, high cholesterol, kidney cancer (resulting in the loss of a kidney), colon cancer (which resulted in the loss of a good portion of her colon and intestine) and she also had a full hysterectomy due to tumors and endometriosis.

In July of this year my Grandmother was having some scary symptoms regarding her overall health and since then up until a week ago she was having tests, MRI's, CT scans and biopsies done too often to name because they found cancerous cells on her remaining kidney. Their goal 9 days ago was to go in at the most recent biopsy site and remove the parts of her kidney that were cancerous but leaving the organ working and intact. That didn't happen. After putting a shunt between her bladder and kidney they realized that my grandmother has tumors all over her bladder, kidney and intestines. So, they didn't operate.

They have now told her that the cancer and tumors are on her bladder, kidney, stomach, intestines and liver. It seems the more biopsies and tests they did, the more the tumors grew and the more the cancer spread.

She is not a candidate for chemo. She'll be 87 in October. She weighs just barely over 70 pounds. So, they have called in hospice care and now she is just doing whatever she can to enjoy life. She's eating whatever she wants, spending time with family, planning a gambling trip to Louisiana. No doctor has given us a clear picture on the time she has left. So far the only answer we've been given to this delicate situation is one week to six months.

Our prayers are not for miracles at this point. They're for her to be pain free and happy in the time she has left. She has had a full and happy life surrounded by people who love her. If only all people could be so lucky.

♥ Kristin

Monday, September 19, 2011

We all have mental issues

I was able to get into my parents apartment and get the few articles of clothing left of my fathers, his medicine, some of his toiletries and his USMC Korean War Vet hat. That was all that the apartment complex was willing to let me get out of the apartment. I am thankful that they let me in without an issue and without having to pay off their balance. They weren't nasty about the situation and were generally good spirited about the whole thing when it could of turned out very different.
The chest x-ray for my Dad came back ok. He was a few steps away from having pneumonia but with an aggressive steroid and antibiotic treatment he is feeling better. We went to the doctor again this morning, and his doc said he was fine sickness wise now. His current concern is his mental well being. My Dad has continued having panic attacks and they're becoming more frequent. So, his doctor put him on an anti depressant and some panic attack medicine to help with his mental well being.
He is still very short tempered. When he is not sleeping he is usually freaking out at me or the kids. He is belligerent to say the least and a bit delusional as well. He seems to think that my mom left town to get away from bad influences. According to her, she left town because it was the only way she could think of to get rid of him. I didn't say this to him of course, because I'd rather not give him another reason to freak out on me.
In the past week I have spoken to my mother a few times, all because of my grandmother's health which is not good at all. She barely asks how we are doing. Has not asked once about her grandchildren and has yet to apologize for anything she has done. The anger I feel is so strong I don't know how much longer I can contain it.
Will it do any good to blow up at her? Probably not.
Does it stop me from feeling like I need to and I'm entitled to? Not one bit.
One part of me is saying to tamp it down. Quit thinking about it. Think about the positives in the situation and just go on like it didn't happen. But the other part is like, WTF KRISTIN?! I have to live every day with what happened. I have to clean up the aftermath of her complete and total selfishness and lack of giving a crap about anyone but herself.
I'm torn, to say the least.

I spoke to my sister about this on Thursday. I told her that I felt terrible about not being able to get everything out of the apartment and everything I did do before we were locked out and everything I've done since then. Her response was to tell me that I didn't owe my mother anything. Now that's a novel concept. In my brain I am still paying for getting pregnant at 16 and having her help me through that. Still...11 years later. And she helped me through that for almost 2 years until I was a legal adult. I've been cleaning up after her since BEFORE I got pregnant. Why the hell do I feel this way? Obviously I have some major psychological issues going on here, lol. But dammit, my Sister is right. I don't owe either one of them a damn thing.

...Except maybe a thorough chewing out.

♥ Kristin

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


The situation with my parents wasn't like I thought it was in the previous post.

My mom did the bipolar thing and totally wasted away their September funds leaving them with no way to pay their bills so they're being evicted. They are moving close to my mom's parents, in a house my uncle owns and rents out.
The first sentence is correct. The second is as well, except for one word...They.

THEY didn't go anywhere.

She did.

With 2 suitcases of clothing and toiletries.

Leaving her 900 sq foot apartment, everything in it (minus her sectional couch which she sold for money for bus fare) and my father behind, never looking back.

So I am forced to sell, throw away or pack and move into my garage everything my parents own before the 15th of the month when their apartment complex will lock them out of their apartment for nonpayment.
But, they didn't give us until the 15th (which they were within their rights). My dad was locked out today. Leaving My dad's medicine, a ton of toys, everything in their kitchen, all their plants, their flat screen TV, 2 DVD players, their kitchen table and chairs, My great grandmother's marble table and my Dad's entire solid cherry wood bedroom suite that's not even 3 years old.
My new challenge will be to contact their property management company and beg to be let in to get my kids toys and my dad's medicine, which is the only thing I am asking for because I'm sure they want the rest to make up for payment.

Now, lets look at the person that is facing the aftermath. My dad.

My dad's current challenges are the fact that he's 76 years old, has melanoma, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, he's a smoker (2 packs a day), recovering from a stroke (last winter) and has Dementia which causes major mood swings, extreme anger and confusion.

Since this begun my Dad hasn't been feeling well. He's been dizzy and wheezing at lot. He's been complaining of stomach and headaches and having panic attacks as well. The stress is unparalleled. I took him to his doctor today and his blood pressure was through the roof, he had a panic attack while he was in there and his doctor wanted him to have a chest x-ray. So, we did that and now have another appointment in the morning.

My Dad is angry and bitter at my mom and at the situation. He has been constantly screaming at me and the kids. He yells at them for playing with toys, watching TV, playing with each other, even laughing. The tension in my house is so thick it makes me dizzy.

I can't do this.

I can't take care of my family, my kids, my husband, my household and their drama and my Dad. It is just too much. His health is so bad and it's so incredibly time consuming to take care of it all and there aren't enough hours in the day. My kids have barely been home this week. They're not sleeping enough, not eating right, not getting homework done and my house...ugh my house...ew.

So, what do I do? Howard and I have talked about an Assisted Living Facility but if I do that, will my Dad hate me? Will he resent me for leaving him like my mom did? Right now, he's my only parent. I don't want to lose him. But I'm afraid of what I might lose if he stays.

♥ Kristin

Friday, September 9, 2011

Culture Shock?

My relationship with my parents has always been close and...interesting? Not sure if that's the right word, but it's certainly never boring.

I lived a seemingly 'perfect' childhood until one day, literally I saw my parents fight for the first time. It was in May of 1997 and it was a violent fight. I had never even heard them raise their voices to one another.
My parents split up that very night and I lived apart from my mother for the first time in my life. I had only been away from her for 3 days until then. I was 13 years old.

In August of 1998 my parents divorced, amicably. My mom remarried as soon as it was legal for her to do so. Between 97 and 98 I was apart from my mom for a few weeks at a time, but not too much longer than that. She dated a lot between then too.

I lived mostly with my Dad because of school boundaries and bus riding but I still saw my mom at least once a week. In July of 2000 I found out I was pregnant. I was 16. My mom's husband killed himself a few months later. Since then my mom and I have either lived together or within 10 minutes of each other.

My daily life today consists of taking care of my children, husband and home but also dealing with my parents issues (my parents live together, as roommates and have since 2004). My mom has a lot of legal issues, health issues and just all around...issues. I take them everywhere and handle all of their business, health care needs, you name it...I do it. I see them practically every day.

And now, they're moving. 4 hours away.

My mom did the bipolar thing and totally wasted away their September funds leaving them with no way to pay their bills so they're being evicted. They are moving close to my mom's parents, in a house my uncle owns and rents out.

I have never been this far away from my parents in a living situation...ever. I don't see how they are going to survive without me handling all of their business from day to day. They have no car, no coping skills, no budgeting skills and when they move they will have to hunt for new doctors to oversee their care, my mom will have to find a way to get to Austin in the coming weeks so she can go to court. I don't see how they are going to do this on their own, but apparently they think they can because they're definitely going through with it.

It is going to be strange to not have to be a caretaker to them anymore. To not have them in my daily life. For them not to be in my kids daily life. I will admit, I'm kind of excited about having my work load lifted a bit but it is going to be a culture shock not having them with me every day and factoring them in every decision I make about schedules and things that my family and I do. My children are going to be heartbroken, and I would think my parents would be too. But they seem fine with it.

So why aren't I?

♥ Kristin

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Simple, Mouthwatering Oven Brisket

Labor day weekend is usually a big BBQ time for us in Texas. Well, anytime is BBQ time. However, with the terrible fires that are plaguing the state, using our BBQ was out of the question, so...we used the oven.
Here's my recipe for a simple, mouthwatering oven brisket!
REMINDER: click on any image to make it bigger

What you need for this recipe:

Brisket! Mine was a 14.45 lb beef brisket

Grill Seasoning (or your favorite roast seasonings) and 2 cups of water

A roasting pan (and foil if you don't have a lid to your roasting pan)

A pair of kitchen scissors to open the package of the brisket and a small, sharp pointed knife (I use the smaller of the two shown, works amazing!)

After opening your Brisket with kitchen scissors you need to rinse your brisket with water to eliminate any plastic that may of gotten on it during the opening process and also to eliminate any blood that may be on the cut of meat. Pat dry with a paper towel.

How to trim your brisket:

Remember that small, pointed, sharp knife I said you needed? Now's when! The first thing you need to do is get your hands on your beef (har har) if you feel any hard spots of fat, that almost feel like bone, those need to be removed, and they can go deep!

See that? Remove as much of that as you can!

Then, you need to put it in your large roasting pan with the marbling side UP and the side with all of the thick layer of fat side DOWN!
Then add the 2 cups of water all around (not on top of) the brisket.

Then, season with grill seasoning, or any of your favorite spices for beef or roasts. You only need to season one side, trust me. The underside will have plenty of flavor.

Then, if you have a fancy roasting pan with a lid, go ahead and close it up. I don't, I just have my trusty turkey roasting pan. So, I took out the rack and covered mine and foil and it worked just fine.

Now, here's the hard part.
Place the brisket in a 250 degree oven for at least 6 hours. 8, if you can stand it. WARNING: this smell will drive your entire family crazy. It smells incredible all day long and you'll literally be salivating by the time it is out of the oven.

After 6-8 hours, take the brisket out of the oven and let it rest for 20 minutes before cutting into it so the juices will have a chance to distribute themselves all throughout the meat.
After that, time to enjoy!

Please excuse the chunk taken out of it. My neighbor's husband was called into work suddenly and so I provided them with a quick dinner.
Don't you wish you were my neighbor?
Look at all the moisture! Incredibly moist and delicious!
You can also use the pan drippings to make an incredible gravy if you are so inclined.

I really hope you enjoyed this recipe, and hope you try it sometime! Let me know what you think! Enjoy!

♥ Kristin

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Why hello September

Um, where did August go?

Update on Sickies: Mackenzie and Maddie are 100% better except for asthma issues. Parker is pretty much 100% or he was until this weekend when he was around a cat (we all are majorly allergic) and now he has an allergy rash and a runny nose.
On Tuesday, Howard went to the doctor because he had some major symptoms. I'm so glad he went. He had a sinus infection, bronchitis and a double inner ear infection. It always seems like if there is an illness around Howard, he'll get it and it'll be 10x worse than anyone else. He is feeling back to normal now.

We just came off of a busy 3 day weekend. On Saturday we were supposed to take my Dad out for a belated birthday lunch, but that fell through because of my parents ever surrounding drama. So, after Howard got off work (he had a short day) we went out anyway and had a nice lunch and then came home and cleaned house and just kind of hung out.
On Sunday we left bright and early to go visit Howard's grandmother and parents in Wharton, Tx. The food was terrible, but the company was amazing. I love his grandmother so much. I am very lucky to love my in laws (and trust me, it hasn't always been this way).
West...Party of 9?!
L-to-R: (First Row) Maddie, Mackenzie. (Second Row) Howard SR, Ann-Howard's grandmother, Howard and Parker. (Back Row) Todd-Howard's brother, Linda-Howard's mom This was almost a full family picture but Howard's oldest brother Karl, his wife Angela and their kids couldn't make it.

We had a very nice time and a very long drive home that night. It was long enough considering the kids were tired and cranky but then, as we were making our way home, we smelled smoke. Our normal route consisted of driving down Hwy 71 through Bastrop. THIS is why we smelled smoke, saw flames shooting through the air and saw the sky and smoke glow for MILES. It's also why we had to take a back road detour in the middle of the night. But, we made it home safely thank God.

Labor day consisted of me baking a brisket (grilling is a big no-no), getting a constant update on Central Texas going up in flames via Twitter and KXAN news and cleaning out our garage. Despite the terrible flaming destruction it was a gorgeous day. Cool breeze, not a cloud in the sky, cooler temperatures (compared to the 80 100 degree+ days we've had this year) I didn't want to go inside!

What did you do for the long weekend?

♥ Kristin