January 21

A God Bleeds & Cries- Guest Post, Rachel E. Bledsoe

Rachel E. Bledsoe is an extremely talented writer and Mother. When I decided to kick off a segment on my blog highlighting real parents and honest feelings; I knew I had to have her as my first featured guest post. So here is the first installment of “Real Parents”: A God Bleeds & Cries by Rachel E. Bledsoe.

​One Gatorade bottle sat on the blue kitchen counter full of needles. Every day required three to seven finger pricks, and one shot to the abdomen. Needle after needle was placed into the orange capped bottle.

​Gestational diabetes left my pregnant body with bruised fingers. Big black bruises coated an expanding belly and love handles. Some days, I cried because I didn’t want to inject another insulin shot. I didn’t want to find the finger that didn’t hurt; they all hurt. I didn’t want to do it anymore, but my doctor’s orders required every number to be counted. And I wanted my baby. I wanted a healthy baby.

​I’ve watched “The Crow” every year since I was a freshman in high school. Every year, I fell harder in love with this movie. Every year, a nuance made a bit more sense. It wasn’t until I had my baby I understood the true depth in one quote.

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​Children think their parents are Gods. We are their original teachers. We are what they idolize from the beginning. We are their first role models. We are the first God they know. Parents, supposedly all knowing and omnipotent, are only a God façade.

​Our babies don’t realize we’re not equipped to be placed on their pedestal. We were never given a parenthood manual. Mostly, we are just as innocent coming into this new role as they are upon inhaling their first breath. They are our teachers, and we’re all in the same school. The school of life is a brutal bitch for everyone.

​My child never notices when I’ve forgotten deodorant. He never remarks, “Mommy, you haven’t washed your hair in a week.” He never concerns himself with the fact that my blonde hair is being rooted away by a dark brown color.

​He doesn’t understand that I didn’t buy those “Toms” shoes on sale at Whole Foods because I wanted to save that money for him. He doesn’t see the holes in my secondhand clothing. He is not fazed by the new patterns of snot stains adorning all my black yoga pants.

​He doesn’t see the fading figure which has lost over 25 pounds in two months. The weight loss is due to my every day toddler chasing, never eating an entire meal, and the worry. To my God, hear my prayers, “Take care of my child. Watch over him.”
​My child sees his own God in the form of his “Mother.”

​I say to my child, “I am no God.” I bleed. I bled for nearly eight months trying to get you into this world safely. Little blood droplets fell from my fingers onto an electronic measuring system. Every day and night, I placed the needles which drew my blood or injected my medicine into a Gatorade bottle. I wanted to save that bottle, but it was rapidly replaced by a bottle warmer and Playtex Ventaire bottles.

​I cry. I cry more than anyone will see or know. I cry from rejection. I cry from worry. I cry from feeling like I’m never doing enough. Gods don’t cry, but I do.
​I want to be the God he sees. But, I am not. I am a parent. I am a mother trying desperately to be the best Mama to one little boy. One day, he may have his own son. One day, a child may consider him a God. I hope I have prepared him. Today, I am a parent. We are all parents doing the best we can. We are trying the best we can with what our Gods taught us.


​Rachel E. Bledsoe-Rachel is an Appalachian mayhem loving Misfit Mama who works at a local newspaper during the day. At night, she stays up late and writes her blog, The Misfits of a Mountain Mama. She enjoys long walks on the beach, puppies, Marie Antoinette biographies, and babies (only the one she birthed.) She is the Mama to the Terrific Toddler who is rambunctious, rowdy, and can bite other kids within a blink of an eye. Be sure to follow all the antics and chaos by visiting The Misfits of a Mountain Mama’s Facebook page or join her on Twitter @MisfitMtMama.

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January 15

Bunker Punks Tour

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Your favorite band of misfits have decided to go on tour! As a group we have tackled everything together. Baby pages turned rock stars. Here is my interview! Scoot over Jenny, I need to put my ego there.

What is your most prized possession?

I am going to be honest here. The first thought that came to my head was “awww, my kids!” Before doing a jump in the air and clicking my heels. And then I was told kids are not possessions.

It’s not true though, because my kids act possessed ALL THE TIME. But not by me. So I guess they are not my favorite possessions. I would have to go with that Metallic Box, and not just to send you to reread my Christmas piece, I swear!

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How do you unwind after a long day?

Well that depends, long days and long nights come hand in hand with toddlers and newborns. I try to get some me time in with an ice cold beer and some friends. I don’t hit bars hardly ever, but tossing back a few with good people is always a great unwind and decompress. And you’re not an alcoholic if you drink with people, right?

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What is one song that has followed you throughout your whole life?

Throughout my life? Like chased me? That’s frightening! And a hard question to answer, I have a few songs that haunt me I guess. If I HAD to pick one song then I have to be absolutely 100% honest. Ready?

” You’re Still the One” by the great Shania Twain. That song I heard as a boy and it formed my notions of love. It made me lovesick! Every relationship since hearing that song as a boy has been compared to that song! I wish I was kidding!

If you could give one piece of advice to new bloggers in your field, what would it be?

Stay out of my fucking field before I burn the field down with you in it.

Just kidding! Do you! I don’t have a field! I like to think everyone has a voice to be heard and an audience to connect with. Write with passion and never look back after hitting publish.

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Now that you’re famous, we need a quote from you.

There are a few SUPER CORNY things I say constantly that I’m rather proud of. To be honest, I probably stole them from someone along the way:

Don’t worry about today, tomorrow is a day away.

I love getting out my Pom Poms and cheering.

No one punk is the same, we love being different.

I seriously love and treasure my Bunker Punks. Without you guys, I would have lost any fire and drive to pursue writing and rockstardom. YOU GUYS ROCK!

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January 12

We are parents.

Usually my pieces are read by four to five different people before I even publish or put the link up on my site. Grammar errors, wordy sentences are cleaned up but, more importantly, my self doubt and anxiety over putting myself out there are subdued.

One of these people who read my articles before anyone else is Samara. Without her drive and friendship and cheering I wouldn’t be able to share my life with the world. She pushes me to better myself. She works with me to shake those feelings of anxiety and pre publish jitters.

When I showed her this parent piece and she told me that she wanted to run it on Sisterwives, a collaborative of jaw dropping good writers, I felt like I might faint. I look up to Samara. She is one of my biggest supporters and also someone I look to as a bloggy mentor of sorts. My Yoda.

So here I am, still not quite sure if it’s real, on Sisterwives, talking about the one thing I love above all else, being a parent. You can read my piece here

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January 10

The time my kid tried to kill me or make sure you pay attention to your kids

Long before discovering the joys of writing more than witty one liners, there was an incident in my house with Killian that I posted about on my Facebook. I seem to talk about Killian more then Nicolas because he seems to be the one doing more things that cause me to shake my head or scratch my head quizzically. This incident was documented on my fb page when I had about 200 followers. If you are one of those been there since the beginning folks then this story is a retelling of the time I found my kid tried to take me out.

I work at night. This makes it easier on our family, I can be there to take care of the kids during the day while my wife goes off to do whatever she does to earn a paycheck. No, I don’t know what she does for a living, she has told me a hundred and one times and I just can’t remember. It earns her a paycheck and she doesn’t leave the house in hooker heels so I really don’t care to try and remember what it is. Something to do with being a social worker, and while that is a very appropriate term for stripper I really don’t think she works the red light district.

Working all night and raising kids all day is hard. It’s something that is done out of necessity, not choice. I would love to ship the kids off to a Haitian daycare provider so I could sleep. Actually did do that! They attended daycare for a grand total of four days before anxiety gripped dad pulled them. The point of them going to daycare was so I could rest. All I did was stare at the clock waiting for my kids to come home, worrying about their well being.

So, being at home with the kids, you still have housework to do. So I would try and set the kids up with some distracting activity and set about cleaning like dude Cinderella.

Every parent knows that if a house with kids goes quiet something is up. I was so busy cleaning the living room, I missed the quiet creep in.

As I swept the floor, eyes half open and bloodshot, humming some song about how bad I had it, the quiet crept in.

We had recently moved, so we had moving boxes everywhere. Unbeknownst to me, Killian had taken an empty cardboard box and pushed it up against the cabinets and countertop area. Then he climbed onto it.

CLANG!

“What the fuck have the kids gotten into now?” I wondered to myself as I headed to the kitchen.

And there he was. Killian on top of a box.

Next to the knife block.

Steak knife in hand.

As Killian giggled and stomped his feet I’ll always remember the, “Dude, Not cool!” look on Nicolas’ face. I’m pretty sure that clang I had heard was a knife directed in his direction.

So here I am, face to face with a knife wielding toddler, unsure of exactly what the hell to do. It felt like a tense stand off between us. I knew that if I yelled or moved to fast I might scare him into accidentally dropping the knife, possibly cutting himself. While my kids drive me insane some days, I do enjoy them whole. Didn’t want little man losing a toe! Or worse!

“Hey bubba, what are you doing? Give me that please”

“Killian, you’re so silly! Can daddy have that”

I coaxed and crept closer. Coaxed and crept closer. Coaxed and crept closer.

When I closed about half the distance, I began to reach my hand out for the knife. In my mind I had just negotiated the suspect into handing over his weapon and was going to receive a special commendation from the wife when she got home, if you know what I mean.

Then Killian’s smile grew large and wicked. Little man had other plans.

I recently read an article that said babies are born bad. I’m not for reinforcing that article, but an evil glint crept into this tyrant’s eyes. He pulled his hand back.

CLANG!

I winced. I jumped. I swore.

I’m not proud of swearing at a child, but I stand by it. That motherfuckin kid threw a knife at me.

I swore at my kid.

“WHAT THE FUCK DUDE!”

He THREW a knife at me!

Luckily, this one year old totally sucked at knife throwing. The knife harmlessly slid across the kitchen floor. I sprinted in, scooping up both children and carrying them away from the knife range before returning to gather weapons and break down Killian’s homemade stepping stool.

While the outcome did not involve injury and I can laugh about it, the gravity of the situation has never escaped me. I know how serious the situation was and learned from it. You could say this was the day I grew eyes in the back of my head. Obviously taking your eyes off your kid for a second can lead to disastrous consequences.
Fortunately no one was hurt in my house and it’s something I can laugh about, the knife throwing toddler. And yes, we moved the knife block.

Do you have a similar story? Have your kids ever gotten somewhere they shouldn’t? Is it wrong that after this incident I tried to sell Killian to a traveling circus as the great knife throwing toddler?

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January 6

Family Photoshoot

There is a reason my kids are in all my pictures.

No, it’s not because of my unwavering love or affection for them. Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids! Adore them, even! But the reason they are in my pictures is not rooted in that.

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Kids are attention gold mines! Seriously, the children provide much needed confidence boosters throughout the year. Test my theory. Take a selfie with a kid. Take a selfie sans child. Watch the difference in attention you get.

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Sure, okay, most of the compliments will be directed towards the kid. I know that, I get it. So here is what you do. Write how that child is a terrible person and attach it to the picture.

“This little monster hasn’t let me sleep in three days! I love him, though!”

BOOM. Attention and praise is being focused on the one person who really needs it in the picture. Me, baby! I know some people are this far and thinking “wow, that punk rock papa is a horrible person,” but come on, am I really? Horribly honest is quite possible, but horrible? No way.

I’m doing what any and everyone else does! Go through your newsfeed! You KNOW who has a kid because that kid is in their picture or IS their picture. Why? Because they know that kids are a goldmine. No one sees a picture with a kid in it and scrolls past. I’m pretty sure you would break your scroller. Some message would come up saying, “Don’t move past this without liking or commenting, this person needs this! Don’t be an ass. There you go, hit that like button. Now you may carry on, happy scrolling!” Actually, I’m not sure what would happen. I’ve never tried to scroll past a picture of a kid. I know the rules.

I’m sure there are parents out there right now shaking their heads and saying, “NOPE! I do it because I love little Johnny! I post those pictures because of my love for him!”

OH REALLY!? Little Johnny got a Facebook where he gets to see how much his mom adores him? Little Johnny knows you love him because of all of your selfies? No, you’re doing it for the likes and the compliments. Just. Like. Me.

Another great thing is no one tells you your kid is ugly. It’s always, “How adorable!” Now, I’m not saying I’m worried my kids are ugly, but it’s reassuring to hear from people how NOT ugly my kid is. I know I wear parent goggles that make my boys more handsome than that Bradley Cooper fellow or that Magic Mike dude. Maybe you’re posting because you’re worried about Little Johnny looking like he fell from the ugly tree and hit every branch. If that’s the case I am sorry for accusing you of posting his picture for the attention and I happen to think he is quite adorable… We cool?

Some parents can get by on their own looks and I envy them. Me? No way; I’ll stick to using my kids as the little self esteem boosters they are. I spend my days clothing, feeding and nurturing them. They can pay it forward. It’s not like they hate getting their pictures taken. Sure, I might have to tickle one into an illusion of happiness. That end result though? Daddy has fifty likes on a selfie that would, under normal circumstances, get twelve likes tops. And the kids? Well, they have a dad who struts around like a proud peacock, only MY beautiful feathers are my children. Now excuse me while I go stage a loving moment with my kids.

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Who am I kidding? You’re probably off to do the same.

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January 5

Original Bunker Punks

Who are the Original Bunker Punks?

We are five writers from different backgrounds and lifestyles. We found each other through a passion for writing, a need to be heard and a desire to be published. This site isn’t about us. This site is a movement.

A million sites are committed to blogging and this one is a movement? Yes, it is. We pride ourselves in our differences. We celebrate and encourage each other to push the limits in our respective fields. This isn’t a site focused on one particular site or person.

We are about taking the blogosphere by storm. Why do we have to fit into a theme? Why does a blogger have to be typecast to one category? A father of twins, a Cub Scout Den Mother, a selfie queen, a kid in a dog suit and a wine loving, humor blogger. We love being different.

Everyone is welcome to join the takeover. No one punk is the same, we love being different. Our goal isn’t just to gain notoriety or become published. It’s about creation, pushing the envelope, changing the landscape of blogging as you know it.

Are you an Original Bunker Punk too? Then join us in pushing the envelope. Become a part of the movement, become an Original Bunker Punk.

The countdown is on…

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January 2

Weno

I began my two week vacation today! It’s not so much a vacation as it is diving into dirty diapers, midnight feedings and spit up. I am so excited, that’s not even sarcasm. I love being home with my kids. If it were possible, I would never go back to work; it takes away from my parent time.

It is what it is. I still get my precious dad moments.

Anyone who spends any amount of time following/ talking/ hearing any sort of thing about me knows I have a deep love for being a father. I never knew my dad. The person I considered my father passed away when I was about five. He was a kind man and I remember spending days with him. I loved Weno and he loved me. Finding out he wasn’t my dad, casually, after lunch, when I was thirteen was not ideal – to say the least. My mother was visiting me in Connecticut and randomly dropped into he conversation that my dad was someone named Jason. We met briefly, but that isn’t a story for here.

Weno taught me, in the too short time I had with him, how to be a father. His devotion and love helped shape and mold what became my devotion and love to parenting. Was Weno a good man? My mother is dodgy when it comes to that question. She tells me he had his personal battles and such, but he loved me.

I remember gathering walnuts with him as a little boy.

I remember sitting in his trailer with him watching some kids show, possibly Barney, and feeling safe and at home.

To be honest, most of my childhood remains in this repressed section of my brain. Some memories I am almost unsure of as reality. Did it really happen, or did a boy who grew up unhappy make it up to cope? Years of my life as a boy have been censored and blacked out by my brain in order to protect me. Not Weno, though; my times with him are safely stored and fondly remembered.

I remember the time his girlfriend was kicked out of his trailer for calling my mother a whore and me the son of a whore.

“I’m spending time with my son and you’re getting the fuck out of here bitch!”

Weno had no reason to be my father. He just sort of did it. He and my mom had dated, I guess, and it ended amicably. She tells me he proposed. She tells me he wanted to adopt me and give me his last name. Even after she refused him and moved on, he didn’t abandon me. He was still a father figure.

I don’t remember much from when I found out he died. It’s been censored and the file has been largely destroyed. Only memories are left of my first real anguish.

He never left me, though. Even with him no longer being on this earth, and me ending up halfway across the country, his presence is still felt. It comes time to time. I’ll get a sudden feeling of strength to go on and know it’s Weno. I wish he could see my sons – his grandkids. I know the love he taught me is the same love I pass on to my kids. An unbreakable bond forged with unconditional loyalty.

I don’t even know his real name. I have seen it a million times, on paper, or in his obituary. I could call my mom to remind me for the thousandth time. It’s no use. I won’t remember it. His name was Weno.

His name was Dad.

For whatever he was or whatever his demons were, I may never know that side of him. All I can do is appreciate the side of him I did get to know and relish the greater appreciation I got when I found out we weren’t blood.

Thanks for teaching me how to dad, Weno. If you were still around, I’m sure you’d be teaching me how to granddad.

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January 2

An Award for my Blog Mantle

When I found out I had received an “Inspirational Blogger Award” from csmommy I thought ” Wow, Liebster 2.0″. For those unfamiliar with the Liebster I’ll fill you in! The Liebster was a chain award I got nominated for three times! This was particularly magnificent because I had only written like two posts. So I said my thank you’s and what not then slinked into the shadows to avoid having to do the blog write up and subsequent nominations.

Not this time!

This time around I will be all over this award like white on rice! I like this award, I feel as though I’ve actually earned something here. During my short span of time as a “blogger” I have had a few posts that resonated with people enough that they thanked me for writing them. If that’s not inspirational and only thoughtful B.S. then they are quite the grand bullshitters. Anyways, thank you Shot of Common Sense for the honor!

1. Why did you start your blog?

I have no idea! People kept pushing and prodding for me to write more than snarky statuses. I think I started the blog in hopes that people would see it and be like “Man, I shouldn’t have asked him to blog and now I have to tell him to stop because it’s awful and embarrassing”

Turns out I carved a cubby hole sized niche out for my blog and I fell in love with writing. So I guess thanks for pushing me, kicking and screaming, into the blogosphere guys!

2. What is the book you have read that has touched you the most?

Wow, that’s a tough question. I like to think there have been multiple books that have touched or shaped me. As a kid Where the Red Fern Grows made me sob and feel the bond of love that can be forged between a human and their animal companion. As a young teen Perks of Being a Wallflower taught me to live in the moment and be infinite, completely forging my belief that being different is okay as long as you surround yourself with people who accept you. The Shadow of the Wind made me a hopeless romantic spellbound at the notion of the magical thing that is love. Finally, The Glass Castle taught me to let go of my past, of anger or sadness, because I wasn’t alone in not having a less than desirable upbringing.

3. If you could eat dinner with a famous person who is still living, whom would you choose?

Famous person? Donald Glover! Troy and Briton eating dinnerrr!

Haha I feel it would be a good time and I could learn so much from him but to be honest I would much rather have a meal with my fellow Bunker Punks, they have so much more to say that I would be interested in hearing than anyone “famous”. We are famous, we made our own community and did it in style!

4. Where is the one place you have visited that gives you complete calmness?

I haven’t really visited anyplace that gave me calmness. The only times I feel truly calm is snuggled up with my children on the couch while we watch the purple dinosaur.

5. Are you a bucket list person? If so, name one thing on it?

Absolutely! My bucket list is vast and will need to be divided among friends to be completed. I will say that seeing something I have written in print with my name attached to it is on there.

6. What is the goal of your blog?

The goal? Oh dear, I don’t know. I guess some people are in it to get the thoughts out of their brains while others are in it with dreams of becoming writers and quitting their day jobs. The goal of my blog? That’s a tough one. I would like to see my words affect more people, whether bringing them to tears or laughter. So I guess my goal is to weasel my blog somehow into everyone’s hearts.

7. What is a well day spent to you?

The curtain opens to a punk rock parent snuggled on his couch with three tyrants. They all seem to be smiling and watching football. No one has any bruises or bite marks and everyone napped for at least three hours. End scene.

8. How do you start your day?

My kids shout “Dad!” from their cribs and I shout it back until finally we are all giggling. Then I tell my wife that I am malnourished and wish she fed me more. When she asks me what I want for breakfast I say either good or nothing, leading to me getting punched and her making me eggs. That’s pretty much your average morning in my house.

9. What is your favorite holiday?

My birthday. Does that need explanation? Yes, my birthday is a celebrated holiday and if you were smart you would use the day as a holiday in your life too. “Can’t work today, it’s Punk Rock Papa day, sorry”

10. Are you where you want to be professionally and if not, what will you do about it?

Hahahaha! No, I hate my job! I work at night driving a forklift around doing a ton of crap. I do it to provide for my family, not out of my love of retail and merchandising. What will I do about it? Well I’ll keep working there until someone tells me that they discovered my writing and want to hand me large sums of cash to focus on it.

11. What is your favorite quote?

“Life’s too short to be pissed off all the time” which is from the movie American History X. It’s funny as an angry youth I took that movie completely different than I do now. I remember lacing up my boots and being some angry white boy. Now that I have children the message from the movie is vastly different to me. I have the pitbull tattoos Edward Norton rocks in that movie on my back actually! I love that movie!

Okay, so I am supposed to give five nominations, no? That’s so difficult! I have to choose between people who I find inspirational and those I know will actually take the time to do this! Didn’t even factor in that someone else might nominate my nominations then we have this awkward fight over who gets who and it’s prom night all over again. Well if I’m picking, take me to hussytopia. I nominate The Original Hussy and That Shameless Hussy. Follow them up with Developing Dad, his big words inspire me to break out a dictionary, once I figure out what he is saying I’m left nodding my head in agreement most days. Then I am going to spin to Danielle, Loorducate me baby! Can I nominate myself again? I did get three Liebsters two weeks into my blogging career! Fine I won’t nominate me! I guess it’s Tracy on the Rocks, who is an inspiration and my blog workout partner, thanks for constantly pushing me T.Rex!

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