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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Weird place

So I'm in another one of those weird places - you know, where my mind is going a million miles an hour about a million different things but I can't pinpoint a single thing that I'm actually thinking about. Yesterday was rough for some reason. I had all sorts of plans to get all sorts of things done, and I didn't do ANYTHING. Literally. I sat around all day, playing on the computer, watching movies with the kids, and eating. I won't even go into the amount of food that I ate yesterday - it disgusts me to think about it.

One of the things that I can pinpoint as being directly on my mind is my ex-husband's family. For almost two years, they have had zero contact with our son. Wait, I take that back. His grandmother sent him a couple of birthday cards and Christmas cards. Nothing from his grandfather. Nothing from his uncles. No phone calls from anyone. Nothing. My ex used the excuse at one point that the restraining order forbid them to have contact - that's pushing it a bit, but still only accounts for about 7 months out of the last 2 years.

The day after my ex died, his sister-in-law called me and informed me that the family wants to "have a relationship" with my son. I got angry and told her exactly how I feel about that family and the way that they have ignored my son's existence for the last 2 years, and that I wasn't sure that I wanted him to have any sort of relationship with them. After all, he is 3 1/2. His father has been out of his life for almost 2 years. He doesn't remember him, he doesn't ask about him, and he certainly has no clue about anyone in his father's family - what is the point of introducing these strangers into his life? They live 1600 miles away - it's not like they're going to be popping over for tea on a regular basis.

This is something that I am really struggling with. In a perfect world, they would have maintained a relationship with my son throughout this whole ordeal. They would have cared about him enough to call him and check on him and make sure that he was ok. But they didn't. They didn't care. They walked out of his life as soon as I kicked his drunk father out of ours.

In the 3+ weeks since I had that conversation with the sister-in-law, I have heard exactly NOTHING from any of them. They have not sent me the paperwork for the trust fund that they supposedly set up for my son and his older brother. They have not called my son. They have not sent him a letter or a card or even an email. Yet they want to have a relationship with him?

Are they waiting for me to make the first move? If they are, they're going to be waiting a heck of a long time. In my opinion, they have already written him off. They have ignored his existence for two years. The sister-in-law didn't even know what YEAR he was born - she was shocked when I gave her his date of birth for the trust fund paperwork. It's not like she didn't remember the exact day, but to not even know the year???

I know that I should forgive and forget, let bygones be bygones, etc. etc. etc. But the fact is that I am extremely angry with them. They ignored my son. They took my ex back into the fold and provided him with a place to live and food to eat and (most likely) liquor to drink. They continued to enable him, rather than make him take responsibility for his own actions. They blame me for the lack of contact between him and my son - hey guess, what? I'm not going to put my son on the phone with someone who is so drunk that he can't even form complete sentences. Call me crazy if you want, but I'm not going to do it. I gave him so many chances to clean up his act, but he chose not to. Yes, alcoholism is a disease - but there is treatment for the disease, should the affected individual CHOOSE to seek that treatment. He chose not to. Had he sought treatment and counseling, he could have had all the contact that he wanted with my son.

This is one of those times that I wish I could see into the future and see the various outcomes that could happen. I would like to know if allowing (or not allowing) a relationship between my son and his father's family is the best thing for my son. Because in the big picture, it doesn't matter what I think or feel about them - it is about what is best for my son. Personally, right now, at this moment in time, I think it's best to pretend that they don't exist, just as they have done to him. He is too young to understand who they are. I feel like they only want to have this so-called relationship for their own selfish reasons - they aren't thinking about what is best for him, only what is best for them.

Ugh. Add this to everything else that is on my mind right now, and it's just a little overwhelming....

But now that I've gotten all that off of my chest (wow, I really didn't mean to type that much) I have to get back to cleaning and laundry and running my daughter's lunchbox across town to give to the stepmother and watching the race and watching the weather (hail in February? really?) and figuring the bills and all sorts of other stuff that I have to work on today. Maybe I can be more productive today than I was yesterday.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

I've been slacking

Just realized that it's been a couple of days, but as is typical in my life, although I've been insanely busy, not much has happened.

Probably the most excitement that we've had is that when my 5 year old got off the bus from preschool yesterday, his bus driver handed me a letter informing me that the preschool was now closed. Until further notice. That's it. It's closed. Wha..........? The driver and the aide were both in tears - they had been informed just before they brought the kids home.

The letter was vague at best - something about looking for a new grantee to run the program and they would reopen as soon as possible, blah blah blah. OK, luckily I don't have a "real" job so in the grand scheme of things, it's not that big of a deal. But at the same time, I am so incredibly angry. There are other parents who work outside of the home who now have no one to watch their kid(s) while this grantee business is worked out. The kids are now totally thrown out of their routine. It's a mess. No one knows anything. Typical of a government funded program, I suppose.

I did finally receive my temporary daycare license in the mail today. I have been struggling with what I want to do as far as the daycare goes. Honestly, it's a hassle. Not the kids themselves, but the paperwork and the inspections and all that jazz. I enjoy the kids - I just don't enjoy the other stuff. I had almost decided that I didn't want to do it at all, other than the little bit of part time stuff that I do now. But, now that I have my license in hand, I think I'm going to go through with it and just keep it as a part time gig. I have other sources of income now, and running a daycare can now be more of a "fun" thing to do rather than something that I have to do. I think it's all going to work out just fine in the end.

So, in the morning, the three older kids will be heading off to their father's for the weekend and I *think* that my 5 year old is going to his father's, so it'll just be me and my youngest - I think the weekend will be devoted to cleaning (imagine that) and getting daycare stuff put together. I need to work on some advertising and go through some more paperwork and get some more stuff done, and I'm more likely to get that done with only one kid running amok.

We'll see how well that plan works....

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

We're walking, we're walking, we're walking...

So, because I just don't have anything fun or witty or deep to say tonight, I figured I'd give posting pictures a try. I was down to only one kid for most of the day today, so we went out on a little pre-half-marathon jaunt, for a grand total of 7.24 miles. I took my camera and got some random shots along the way....

He has the best vantage point on our walks. He gets to sit back, relax, suck his thumb, play with a few toys, and chatter about everything that he sees. I love to see the world through his eyes!

We got to see a tall water tower....

The Blue Sky Sculpture...

An awesome old railroad bridge over Sand Creek....

Kells, if you're reading, this one is for you... ;)

Wildlife included an attack dog....

....and lots of ducks and geese, which my son took great delight in counting!!!

And of course, the obligatory trains....

...and tracks, that are such a joy to cross with a stroller. I believe we crossed a total of 11 sets.

Our final leg was up Main St.

Our beautiful Amtrak station...

And the old Railroad Building & Loan building, which is now offices. When Ex1 and I bought our house back in 2004, our realtor's office was in this building - we signed all the paperwork sitting in the original vault, which had been converted to office space.

And some of Newton and Harvey County's finest!

So there you have it.....7.24 miles summed up in a bunch of pictures. Maybe I'll have something more brilliant to say tomorrow. But until then, I get to play the role of Vomit Wrangler Extraordinaire. Yay me!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Just pointless stuff...

Today was interesting. Since the little one let me sleep until almost 10am (a perk of him staying up playing until midnight last night when he finally decided that he wasn't sick anymore) I was a bit slow to get moving. My 5 year old came home shortly after that and I wandered around the house, still in the clothes that I slept in with my medusa-like hair flying around my head.

Next thing I know, there's a knock at my door. Not just any knock, but the loud *BAM* *BAM* *BAM* that can only come from law enforcement. Sure enough, there's a sheriff on my front porch, wanting to know if some guy lived here. I said no, and he asked me, "are you sure?" Uh yeah, buddy. I might look like hell, but I'm pretty sure I do know who lives here! Once I convinced him that I did not know the guy and that he never lived here with me, he apologized for bugging me and left. Whoa. OK, that was strange.

I finally showered and got dressed and made myself look presentable. I did a bunch of stuff on my list, including cleaning out and reorganizing my freezers (ew) and then tweaked my grocery list for a shopping trip later.

Another knock at the door, this time nicely and politely. It was a gentleman from the electric company, informing me that they were going to be cutting power to my house so that they could replace a transformer. Oh, yay. I thanked him for the warning, shut down the computer, and got the boys ready to go grocery shopping. We went out to get in the She-Beast, and she had somehow slipped into a coma. *growl* So what did we do? We walked to the grocery store. OK, it's not like it's that far - it's only a block and it looked nice enough out. We got jackets on and started walking, and then I realized that it was actually pretty cold out. Dammit.

Anyway, we got to the store and got some stuff. I only got about half of the things on my list because we were walking, but I still overestimated the weight that I was going to have to carry home. Thankfully I had brought my reusable bags, so once they were crammed full we headed out to go back to the house. Perfect timing, as the electric trucks were pulling out of the alley as we walked across the front yard.

In the meantime, I had emailed a friend about the comatose She-Beast, and so he showed up to jump it for me. We hooked it up to his truck, she started, we let her run and she seemed to be fine. Hopefully she won't have an attitude in the morning again. Stupid thing.

Then another friend called and asked if he could come over - he was having troubles with love and needed to talk for a while, so we hung out and chatted.

After he left, the boys finally wound down and crashed on the couch and I tossed them into bed and started playing around on Facebook. The things I see on there amaze me. The love and support to the family of my classmate that passed away yesterday is uplifting to say the least. I see new relationships forming, relationships that are troubled, relationships ending, expectant mothers receiving chemo, the long-unemployed getting jobs, deaths, births, illnesses, recoveries, venting, rejoicing - it's all there. People that I haven't seen in 20+ years have been an unrelenting source of support for me as I have gone through all the BS of the past year or so, and sometimes it still catches me by surprise. And I see some of the struggles that my friends are going through, both near and far, and it makes me realize that no matter how crappy of a day I've had, someone else has had a worse one. And when I'm having a good day, I can pass along some cheer and smiles to someone who needs it. Facebook is a powerful thing.

(And yes, it is also drama-driven and a major time suck, but I'm trying to be positive here.)

The good thing though, is that I have accomplished most of the stuff on my list today. I did the girls' laundry, I stripped and remade their beds (I just have to put the blanket and comforter back on the top bunk and then I can say that task is done, and they're both in the dryer) and I vacuumed their room. I organized the freezers and I got half of the grocery shopping done. Tomorrow I am going to straighten up the boys' room, do their laundry, strip their beds, hopefully wash the towels, and work with Connie for a few hours. As long as the She-Beast starts, I should be in good shape, but we'll see if that happens. *crossing fingers*

But for now, I believe that I am going to go watch whatever movie it was that I rented last night. I can't even remember what I got at this point. I think I have once again lost my mind.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Amazing how the mind works sometimes


Another night where I just don't even know what to say. My mind is going a bajillion miles an hour, but I can't seem to form a coherent thought. The unexpected loss of our high school classmate at the young age of 40 has been on my mind most of the day, and has had me rethinking some things.

Heather was the last person that I would have ever expected to have had a heart attack. She seemed to be so happy and so healthy. She hiked and had a garden and a good job and just seemed happy. She was only 2 weeks older than I am, and when someone who is your age dies, it makes you think about how it could happen to you too. Or, at least it does that to me, but I also tend to overanalyze things.

Still...it got me to thinking...there are so many things that I could be doing to be healthier in so many ways. I know I could eat better. I know I need to exercise more. I know I need to take care of my finances better. I know I need to keep the house neater and more organized. OK, so maybe these don't all relate to physical health, but they are part of my overall health. And I know that I've made half-hearted efforts at these things before, but I never follow through with them.

So, I have some goals for the next few days. I am going to list them out here with the hopes that it will help to keep me accountable and on track. Yeah, we'll see how that works. Anyway, here they are, in no particular order:
1. Make a menu for the next couple of weeks - healthy meals and snacks.
2. Make grocery list from the aforementioned menu. I cleaned out my cabinets the other day so it should be easy to make the list and not buy a bunch of stuff that I don't need.
3. Go grocery shopping and actually buy the stuff on the list and avoid the junk foods.
4. Actually set aside time on my calendar to work out - either walking or working out if the weather is bad. But scheduled the time and then stick to it. I do have a half-marathon to prepare for, you know.
5. Set aside time every day to actually balance my checkbook. *gasp* I haven't done that in about 2 years. Time to start over.
6. Make a schedule for cleaning and laundry - that may sound silly to some, but if I break it down and clean 1 room and do 2 loads of laundry every day, it won't take long at all to do my housekeeping every day (instead of slacking for 2 weeks and then killing myself to get it all done).

If I can set up a plan - use the date book and plan out a schedule to do everything, and have it on paper where I can check things off as I get them done, I am much more likely to stick with it. I am the type of person who has to have things in black and white - and if I have to schedule when to do laundry, that's what I have to do.

I have to take better care of myself. It's something that I've never done, and I know now that I have to. No one else is going to do it for me.

Time to start on the menu....

Friday, February 18, 2011

Welcome to the Barf-O-Rama

Ugh. That's about all I can say about this day.

We all got up this morning and I managed to get everyone up and dressed and fed and to school on time, and then the 2 younger ones and I came home, as they didn't have school today. I called Connie to let her know that we would not be coming to see her, as Sir Pukesalot was continuing to spew from both ends, and I didn't think that it was a good idea to expose her to that. So we tentatively rescheduled for Tuesday.

I spent the day rotating between laundry, mopping, disinfecting, dishes, holding the puke can, racing the little one to the toilet, and trying to sit and relax occasionally. It was nuts. But I did get a lot of cleaning done around the house, and the floors actually look really good for a change. Now, if I can only keep them that way.....

After the older kids got home, we ate supper (leftovers!) and then went out to run a few errands. The brake lights on my dash are still on from the near-accident yesterday, so I know that I'm going to need to get those looked at soon. We stopped and got a card for a high school classmate who is going through some major health issues (mental note: put in mail tomorrow) and then we went and got some milk and ice cream.

After we got home, I let the girls run across the street to rent a couple of movies and then everyone started to relax a little bit. I *think* that everyone might be asleep, which makes me wonder - why am I still up? I did manage to get some sleep last night, but if I went to be now, I could theoretically get 8 or 9 hours of sleep, barring any unexpected spewage from any of the kids.

(Right on cue - just did a round of poop/puke cleanup. Yay me.)

Now where was I? Honestly, I have no idea. These last 2 days have really just blended into one big long puke-filled ordeal. Thank God tomorrow is Saturday, we don't have to get up early (although I'm sure I will anyway), we don't have to go anywhere, and maybe we can just relax. I haven't checked the weather, but if it's decent hopefully we can get outside and play (assuming the pukage stops) and just have a good day. I need a break.

On that note, I am going to clean the piles of laundry off of the futon, put in a stupid movie, and try to go to sleep. If I'm lucky, I'll be out cold by 11:30pm.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The rest of the day...

....didn't get any better. Once the 5 year old went to preschool for the afternoon, Sir Poopsalot and I laid down for a little bit and took a nap while the 6 year old (who really wasn't sick) amused himself and played quietly. I didn't get much sleep, but I felt a little bit better. By the time everyone got home from school, I had made yet another executive decision and announced that we were going to walk to McDonald's to get food. The little one seemed to be doing better, and he *wanted* to go, so I took that as a good sign.

While we were walking there (it's less than a block away - dangerous for a fast food junkie like myself) I happened to look down and lo and behold, there was a $20 on the ground! Woot! That just about covered supper for all of us! Bonus! Anyway, we got our food, came back home, ate, and then went outside to play. While we were out there I scoped out the back yard trying to figure out exactly how I am going to fence it in to meet daycare regulations. I really need to talk to the landlord and see if he will work with me on it - then I can put up something decent. If he doesn't, it's going to be cheap and ugly. But we played, we threw a football around and then we came inside to get ready for bed.

Once we got inside, the little one crawled up onto the couch and fell asleep again. I started baths for the others and then of course, he got sick (think Exorcist) again. I stripped him on the couch and carried him at arm's length to the bathtub. Once I got him in the water and cleaned up, I stripped the covers off of the couch cushions and threw those, the throw pillows, and his clothes in the washer.

More baths, more cleaning, more homework...bedtime drama...once I got them all into bed I sat down to relax a little bit and then mopped the worst of the floors, so now I am sitting here inhaling all sorts of *ahem* lovely smells from my house.

I talked to a friend for a while on the phone, and realized that I haven't spoken to her since my ex passed away. Honestly, I haven't spoken to a lot of my friends. I've been in my own little world, dealing with my own drama, trying not to dump it on anyone else (other than here, but you can make the choice whether or not to read it). My life has changed dramatically in so many ways in the 15 days since he died. I realized that I no longer have to live in fear of him coming back and causing problems for me or our son. I don't have to live in hiding like I have been doing. I don't have to constantly look over my shoulder anymore. I don't think that a lot of people realized how much I feared something happening if he showed up here again. But at the same time, I realized that in a way, I did still love him. I knew realistically that he would probably never sober up and be a decent father, but I still hoped that he would have. As I've looked at old pictures over the past 2 weeks, I've smiled thinking about the good times that we had - but I have also shed more tears over the bad times. I have gone through every emotion imaginable, and I feel like maybe I am starting to come to grips with it all. I feel like I am finally starting to handle things better, and I feel like in the grand scheme of things, we are going to be ok.

And that's a good feeling to have.

Sleep is overrated.

At least that's what I keep telling myself at this point.

I admit that I stayed up way too late last night. I got on the phone with a friend and we chatted until close to 1:30am. Knowing that I had to be up at 5:15, I finally got off the phone and laid down, but it was probably close to 2:00am before I fell asleep. The next thing I knew, my oldest daughter came out to get me telling me that the youngest had thrown up. Huh? What? Who are you? In my fog, I staggered back to his room and the smell woke me up instantly, and I realized that it was about 2:45am.

I got him stripped and into the bathtub, as that was the only hope for him at that point, and took his comforter and pajamas and immediately threw them into the washer. I got him into a fresh pair of jammies and put him in bed with me. By this time, it was close to 3:30am.

He fell asleep, but from that point on, he woke up and puked more about every 30-45 minutes. I knew that I still had to get the 3 older kids to school and so around 6:00am I sent a text to their stepmother asking if she could please come and pick them up, as I didn't want to take the chance of him getting sick on the way to or from, and thankfully she agreed.

In the meantime all of the kids were getting up and getting ready, and the 6 year old just didn't look right. Sure enough, he started saying that his stomach hurt. Fine - I made the executive decision to keep him home as well. I got the pancakes made, got everyone fed who wanted to eat, and sent the girls to school with their stepmother. I dozed off and on while the boys played but then had to get up to get the 5 year old to playschool. About this time, the youngest one's diarrhea started. Fun fun.

As we pulled into the playschool parking lot, a car started backing out of a parking space and came within inches of slamming into my door (ironically, the car had PA tags on it) so I slammed on my brakes and hit the horn. I felt the brakes lock up but didn't think too much about it. I pulled up behind the school, took the 5 year old inside, and when I came back out I noticed that both my "brake" light and my "anti-lock" light were lit up on the dash. I turned the van off and back on thinking that might reset them, but no, the lights stayed on while we drove home. The brakes feel ok, I think - I just don't know why the lights won't go off. Add it to the list of repairs.

Now for the rest of the day it's laundry and cleaning to try to get the smell of vomit out of the house, figure out something for supper (as usual), homework, paperwork - I was going to try to do some grocery shopping but I'm not sure if I can do that with Sir Poopsalot, but I need to figure something out. And maybe at some point I can actually take the time to get a shower. Excitement!!!

I wonder when I'll be able to get a full night's sleep.....Let's see, the youngest will be 18 in June 2025 - I think I can hold out that long.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Buy one, get four free...

Yep, it's Wednesday. Wednesdays are notoriously crazy around this house. It is the first night that the older 3 come back here from their dad's house, and they are always fired up.

It started out as a fairly easy day. I got to sleep in a little bit, and I didn't have any extra kids for the day. I also didn't have to go take care of Connie today, so there was no place that I had to be. After I got the 5 year old on the bus to preschool, I decided to take the youngest and go for a walk - after all, if I am going to do this half-marathon in May, I need to really start working for it. The weather was perfect, so we loaded up the stroller and took off.

I had mapped out my route before we left and was aiming for 6.5-7 miles - I wanted to do at least half of a half-marathon. We stopped at the library to drop off some books, stopped at the post office to check the box, and kept going. 6.63 miles later, I turned off the tracker on the phone because I was getting tired and screwing up my pace, and we stopped to get lunch (I got a salad). We came home and I got a shower and cleaned all of the mud off of me (stupid melting snow) and then started getting supper ready while I cleaned up the house.

In the meantime, I got a call from Social Security about my youngest son's benefits that he'll be receiving from his father - luckily that phone call went very smoothly, thanks to my ex-husband's first wife getting the ball rolling for both of us. The same worker is handling both of the boys' cases so she already had a lot of the information that she needed. I am so very thankful to her for giving me the name of the lady that she had spoken with as it made things so much easier.

The older 3 got home around 5:30 and we had about an hour to eat before they had to leave again to go to church with their father and stepmother. They ate (well, 2 out of the 3 did - the third refused because "it was gross") and played out in the front yard with the football until it was time for them to leave. There was some I Can't Find My Shoes and I'm Still Hungry drama, but no more than usual. After they left, I made the 2 younger ones clean up the toys in the living room under the Don't Make Me Get A Trash Bag And Clean Up The Toys Myself threat.

The younger 2 will be going to bed very shortly - early for them - so that I can finish cleaning up the dinner dishes and do some more laundry in addition to the load that I already had to do because the 5 year old's version of playing football was actually more like throwing himself into a mud puddle and rolling around...*sigh*. Then the older 3 will get home, get ready for bed, and go to bed while I continue to clean and do dishes and do laundry and try to do the reading that I have to do to get my daycare license back.

And of course, my body is feeling every inch of the 6.63 miles that I walked today. I've said it before and I'll say it again - ibuprofen is my friend. Hopefully I can walk in the morning, since I have to be up and running at 5:15am to get everyone up and ready so that I can get the older 3 to school on time. Please let me remember to set both of my alarms AND the timer on the coffee pot - I'm going to need all of the help that I can get in the morning.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Reality Check

So I'm going to say it one more time - Valentine's Day sucks.

(Just in case you missed it, be sure to check out yesterday's rant post.)

Today started out ok. I got to sleep in a little bit, which is a rare treat. My 5 year old was brought back home after spending part of the weekend with his father, and we chilled out until it was time to start getting ready for school.

Then I got the mail. Yup. That's when it all started falling to pieces. Getting a letter from the Internal Revenue Service is never a good thing. NEVER. Long story short, apparently my dead ex-husband drained his 401K sometime in 2008 without my knowledge and then filed our taxes together without claiming that money as income. So now there is a nice chunk of money that *I* am responsible for. Really? The IRS lady that I spoke with was actually really nice (except for that horrendous Boston accent that makes my skin crawl every time I hear it) and she was very understanding. But regardless, the money is coming out of *my* tax refund (you know, the money I was planning on surviving on for a little bit), I have to file for Innocent Spouse Relief, and then if I qualify, they'll give me the money back.

Not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things, but you know, I thought that I was done cleaning up his messes. That's what I get for thinking. Whatever. I'll deal with it. I'll clean this one up too.

I did a little bit of shopping today, and for the first time in probably a decade or more I bought myself a pair of pajamas. Yup. Why? Because they were cute and dammit I wanted them. So there. So I am now sitting here sporting my new St. Patrick's Day pajamas and drinking a beer just because I can. Yep. And no one can stop me. Deal with it.

As I've talked to friends and family about my ex's death, I find myself wondering about the What Could Have Been scenario. You know, I always hoped that he would straighten up and be a decent father. I hoped that he would beat the alcoholism. I hoped, I hoped, I hoped. Then I rented "Charlie St. Cloud" tonight and sat here and watched it. I wasn't impressed by the movie as a whole - ok, it wasn't bad...just wasn't fabulous. But throughout the whole movie I kept thinking about how the little boy, Sam, looked like my ex's older son. And he was into baseball, like my ex. And he always wore a Red Sox ball cap, like my ex. One of Sam's last lines in the movie was "no one ever gets to see what could have been". I can sit here and think about all the potential scenarios of how our lives could have been different had we chosen to do things differently, but the point is that I'll never know. I need to stop beating myself up over it. It is what it is.

Now that I have that food for thought, I believe I am going to go crash. I have an early and long day tomorrow, with extra kids in and out and playschool and preschool and working with Connie and cleaning and laundry and all of the other fun stuff that I do on a daily basis. If I sleep now I can get a good 6 hours in before I *have* to get up.

"No one ever gets to see what could have been." I just can't get it out of my head.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine's Day sucks.

Anyone who really knows me knows that I absolutely hate Valentine's Day. I find it utterly annoying that people feel that they have to have a certain day to show their love for someone - shouldn't you do this every day?

I mean really - if you're in a relationship and you love someone, shouldn't you show that person every day? Shouldn't you tell him/her every day, even multiple times a day, that you love him/her? Do you really have to have the multi-bajillion dollar greeting card companies tell you when to be affectionate?

OK, so let's say that you actually "celebrate" this day. You do everything that you are supposed to do - the flowers, the card, the chocolate, the fancy dinner - and then on February 15, things go back to normal. But shouldn't the "normal" be special? Don't "normal" days warrant displays of love and affection? Or is it ok to NOT show love to your significant other just because it's not a (made-up) holiday?

So I might be a little bitter about it just because I'm not even in a relationship, so displays of affection for me consist of kisses from my kids and cards made out of construction paper (which I do love), and this day just rubs my singleness in my face. Do I want to be in a relationship right now? Mmmmmm....maybe, maybe not. The jury is still out on that one. I miss having someone around, but I'm also way too independent to have someone around all the time at this point. I do enjoy my singleness (to a point) but at the same time, I miss being part of a couple.

I just get really aggravated with people who go all out for one day each year. I feel like their significant others are getting shafted every other day. Maybe I'm old-fashioned...but I think that maybe if we treated our "special someone" better every other day of the year, a lot of people would be a lot happier. Just sayin'.

Oh, and for the record - I have felt the same way about this day for as long as I can remember - even when I was in a happy relationship. It's not just me being bitter and single. So there.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Yesterday was Friday. I think. Wasn't it? *scratching head*

All I know is that I ran myself ragged yesterday. Up at 5:30, got all 5 kids up and dressed and fed, out the door and into the She-Beast by 7:15am. I dropped the older 3 off at school and then ran about 15 miles up the road to take care of my lady (I need to come up with a name for her. I feel weird calling her "my lady" but I'm trying not to use real names on here. How about if I call her.....oh my gosh I really can't think of a good name....I'll call her Connie. I don't know why, it just popped into my head, but it sounds good) who shall now be called Connie. I got to her place shortly after 8am and got to work doing her laundry and cleaning her bathroom and doing dishes and stuff. The boys were watching movies in her living room and we actually behaving fairly well for a change. Connie's brother came over with a gentleman who was outside shoveling the snow, and this man was nice enough to put more oil into the She-Beast, as I had mentioned that I was praying the whole way to her house that I was going to make it. Stupid oil leak. Anyway, he got the oil out of the back end and filled her up and she ran ok for the rest of the day.

I worked with Connie until just afternoon and then took my 5 year old to school and stopped and got some lunch for me and the 3 year old before heading back up to her house to finish up some things. I stayed there for another hour and a half or so and then we had to head back to pick up the 5 year old (yep, going to come up with names for the kids now too) from school. I ran to the bank, picked him up, went to pick up some pizzas for supper, and ex#1 met me there with the older three kids.

Back home, pizzas in oven, straighten up, eat supper, load up the She-Beast, head back out to the kids' school for a basketball game (which turned out to be 2 games), try to control 5 kids through 2 basketball games, back home, kids to bed, more laundry, more dishes....then I finally crashed.

3:20am today, I woke up with a leg cramp. Not a normal leg cramp either - you know, the ones in the calf that can be easily stretched out. No, this one had to be up the outside of my leg, from my ankle to my knee. I could't stretch it, and since I was in an exhaustion-induced coma, I really couldn't even figure out what was going on. So I wobbled over to the kitchen, slugged down some ibuprofen and a bottle of water, wobbled back to the futon and passed out again.

Woke up at some point this morning and the 5 year old was snuggled in with me. Cool. At least he wasn't trashing the joint - and I fell back asleep. Then the kids started getting up and I noticed that he was gone. And then I noticed the big wet spot on the futon. Then the 6 year old started screaming that the 5 year old pooped on the floor. Oh good God really? REALLY? So I got up and went to investigate. Sure enough....So the 5 year old got a bath and got dressed, I stripped everything off of the futon, started laundry (imagine that) and got breakfast thrown in the oven.

Fed them all...cleaned up most of the mess....kept doing laundry....broke up a few fist fights between the girls over cleaning their room before their father got her....did more laundry...played around online and read a few blogs....started working on this one....

And it's already 12:30. How is it that I've been running non-stop and still feel like I've gotten nothing done yet? But I do have some plans for some things that I do want to get done today - I just need to get some more caffeine into my system first. And maybe some more ibuprofen too.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

*insert catchy title here*

It's Thursday. On Thursdays, I am supposed to have my two youngest boys at playschool at 9:00am. Since my other kids ended up spending the night with their dad because of the weather, I didn't have to get up as early as I typically do on Thursdays, and I think I set my alarm for 7:30. The boys got up and started playing around, and I continued laying on the futon, which was sooooo incredibly comfortable. And warm.

The next thing I knew, it was 8:39am. I had exactly 21 minutes to get them to school, and by God they were going. These mornings are the ONLY times that I have time to myself and I was not giving it up. I grabbed some clothes for them and got them dressed and then took a quick look at myself. Luckily, I generally sleep in sweats, so if I have to I can make a quick public appearance before actually getting dressed. While it's not my preference, it does occasionally happen. I grabbed some fruit snacks for them to eat on the way and we took off out the door.

I got them to school at 9:05 and was feeling quite pleased with myself for being close to on time, and I went back home. When I got out of the She-Beast, I slammed the door and turned around to walk to the door, and as I did, I bumped into a low-hanging branch on the neighbor's tree. Snow immediately dumped down the back of my bare neck and started melting down inside the back of my shirt. I bolted for the house, got inside, and was in the shower in about 2.5 seconds.

So began my day. I did manage to get my legs shaved with no bloodshed, which was definitely a plus...

I got out of the shower and got dressed and within moments there was a knock at my door. I wasn't expecting anyone and there was not a car in the driveway, so I cautiously opened my door. It was my neighbor lady, who apologetically asked if she could come inside, as she had locked her keys in her car and couldn't get back into her house. She had her cell phone with her so she had called her son to get him to at least let her back into her house and then she was calling her roadside assistance people to get the keys out of her car. We sat and visited for a while before her son arrived and she went back home.

Another knock at the door. What the.....? I opened up and it was the lady from the health department who was here to do the next portion of the inspection for my daycare licensing. Needless to say, I haven't done much of anything over the past week, so I now have a list of things that I *must* do this week.

She left exactly 5 minutes before I had to leave to go get the boys. So much for my me-time. Grrr. I went to get them and then hurried back home so that the 5 year old could get on the bus for preschool. The plan was for me and my youngest to leave as soon as he got on the bus - normally at about 11:20am - so that we could head up the road to work for the lady that I try to work for a few times per week. We waited for his bus, and at about 11:30 I called the school, only to find out that the busses weren't running today. Gee, thanks for letting me know that - NOT. So I told them that he wasn't going to be at school today, as I had plans that I had to get to, and since I DIDN'T KNOW that the busses weren't running, my plans were already screwed up enough.

We ran across town to get gas and some lunch for the boys, and his bus driver called me - she was following me and recognized the She-Beast (who wouldn't?) and was giving me a hard time, but also informed me that the busses weren't running again tomorrow. Ugh. Mess up my day some more, will you?

Anyway, we got gas, got lunch, and headed up to my lady's house. The boys watched a movie and ate lunch while I did some of her laundry and cleaned up around the house a bit. She has spent the past few months in either the hospital or a nursing home and so there is quite a bit of cleaning to do, but she is a lot of fun to work with and I enjoy going to see her.

Once I got done with her, we headed back home to wait for the older 3 to get home from school. Once they did and I visited with their father about stuff (Picture day is tomorrow. I have to take them to a basketball game tomorrow night. Weekend schedule. Homework stuff. Valentine crap.) we started on supper and homework and Valentines. I *hate* Valentine's Day. Always have, even when I wasn't single. But being single just makes me hate it even more. It is annoying. And why on Earth is my 6 year old's VD party tomorrow, when VD actually falls on Monday? Why do I have to deal with helping him fill out these stupid little cards today, when he should have all weekend to do it? Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

Bath for the 5 year old, who once again pooped in his pants. Supper. Homework. Bath for the youngest. Valentine crap. Laundry. Dishes. Cleaning. Change the 5 year old into a different pair of pajamas because he pooped in the first pair. Send the 5 year old to bed. Send everyone else to bed. Take some time to type out this mindless drivel.

Now, it's almost 10pm. I still have to pack lunches, empty the dishwasher, pick up toys in the living room, I think there's a load of laundry that needs to be folded, not to mention actually washing the poopy load (it already went through the pre-soak cycle), do some paperwork, try to do some of the reading that I have to do for the daycare licensure, make sure all the backpacks are ready to go for tomorrow morning, and gather up whatever we need to take to my lady's house because I'm taking the younger two up there to work some more in the morning after we drop the older 3 off at school.

Yep. I need a clone. I really do. But then again, it would probably end up like that movie.....I don't remember the name of it, but I think the guy cloned himself, but the clone wasn't quite "right" and so he had to constantly clean up after the clone, and the clone's clone, etc etc etc. That was a movie, right?

Good grief I need sleep.

One of those days

We've all had them - those days where nothing goes right, or nothing gets done, or it's constant chaos, or whatever. Today is more of an "off" day than a "those" day for me...

I think it started at about 1am last night. I was on the phone with a friend, talking about the events of the past week and analyzing things with him - he's always good at giving me a long-distance smack upside the head when I need it, and for that, I am eternally grateful. Anyway, while we were talking, my 5 year old got up out of bed and came out to the living room with "the look" on his face. About a nano-second later, he started puking all over the living room floor. I hung up on my friend and grabbed a trash can to catch any remaining spewage and then got him cleaned up. He seemed to be fine, so we changed his clothes, he brushed his teeth, and went back to bed. I got the mess cleaned up and called my friend back to continue our late-night counseling session.

I finally got to bed around 3am, thankful that the weather had cancelled any plans that we might have had for the day, but bummed that it meant that my older three wouldn't be coming back home - but I'd rather have them stay safe at their father's house than risk driving out here with a foot of snow on the roads. The boys woke me up around 8am and I laid around for a while before I finally decided to get up. I made breakfast for us (double chocolate chip muffins)(out of a box) and then decided that we were going to go outside to play in the snow.

We recently got some hand-me-down clothes from a friend and there was a pair of snow boots in there that would fit my youngest, but I didn't have a pair for the 5 year old. I thought for a minute and then remembered that I had put a bag of shoes (also HMD's) in the garage when we moved, and I thought that there might be some boots in there. So, in order to get into the garage, I had to fire up the She-Beast, back her up about 5 feet away from the garage door, clear the snow away from the base of the door, pry the door open with the shovel, clear away some more snow, pry some more, and finally opened the door. I found the bag of shoes, and whaddya know - the boots were in there! I did a little happy dance and went back into the house clutching my new find.

Of course, in order to actually go outside, I had to get both boys dressed, put on their snow pants, put on their boots, get their coats on, then hats, then gloves, then make them stand around and wait while I put on a second pair of socks, my boots, my coat, a hat, and gloves. Then we could finally go outside. We had exactly 12" of beautiful white powder on the ground - more than I've seen at one time (that I can remember) in the 13+ years that I've lived in Kansas, so I was having a ball! I love snow - but only when it's "real" snow, which I define as a minimum of 12". We played around in the snow and I took a bunch of pictures and then we went back around front so that I could shovel the sidewalks.

I'm not sure why I bother with shoveling. I mean really, no one else does it. I've never bothered with it. But for some reason, after moving into this house, I've been shoveling. It is good exercise - and it is good stress relief. But I can already tell that I'll be feeling it later.

Once we got done playing around outside, we came in and I started uploading the pictures that I had taken. I got a nice hot shower and changed into my official Domestic Goddess Attire - sweats, tshirt, and sweatshirt. The rest of the day up until now has been more of the usual - the never-ending laundry, picking up toys, straightening up, doing dishes, etc etc etc...

But at the same time I've also been processing a lot of things in my head. I've been doing a little bit of online research into some ways to help me to reach the goals that I have, and although I wouldn't say that I'm feeling motivated, I'm at least starting to formulate some plans in my head. My next step will be to get those plans down on paper (or better yet into a document on the computer so that I don't lose the paper) so that I can figure out how to put them into action. My biggest thing right now is getting the house cleaned up - I bought and installed an 8' shelf in my laundry room yesterday, which is helping immensely, but I really just need to get moving - I bet if I seriously focused for one day (or even one long evening), I could have this place done the way that I want it to be done. And then once the house is clean and organized, I'll feel like I can concentrate on the other stuff.

So tonight's plan - find food for the kids (which might involve going out to get a pizza, just so that I can fire up the She-Beast for a while and keep her warm and fuzzy) and then start REALLY working on cleaning up and organizing. If I can get them into bed no later than 9pm, I can easily clean for 3-4 hours and really get a bunch done.

And now that I put it out here for the world to see (or at least my 20-something stalkers) I have no choice but to do it. Yep. It's all a part of the plan......

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Trying to get back to normal

Now that the fog in my head is starting to lift and I have analyzed everything that has happened in the past couple of years or more to the point that it just can't be analyzed anymore, I realize that I need to get on with my life. I'm not "over it" - I don't know that I ever will be - but I also know that as a single mother who is trying to survive, I have to start to function again. I have to live.

There are so many things that I want to do. I have so many goals, but so many of them seem so hard to reach right now. Some are small, some are huge. And these are in no order, other than the order that I am thinking of them.

1. I want to get the house completely and totally cleaned up and organized - I still have so much crap in here that I need to get rid of, but I just haven't done it yet.

2. I need to get ready for this half-marathon. I have put 7 pounds back on this past week (thank you stress and Mother Nature, you little brat) and I just can't keep going up and down like that.

3. Along with the half-marathon deal, I just need to be healthier in general. OK, I know that it's a morbid thought, but now if anything were to happen to me, my youngest son would be lost. I have to keep myself healthy, for all of my kids and especially for him. And with no health insurance, I need to pay better attention to what I eat and what I do to my body.

4. Finances. Yeah, my finances suck. I really need to focus on that, but I'm not even going to go into detail there. Way too depressing. Maybe once I get my taxes filed, I'll feel better about that situation.

5. Crafty stuff - My ultimate dream is still to have a little shop of my own with my craft stuff, and to actually make a living at it. I know that at this point it's a pipe dream, but it's still a dream. So I will keep putzing around doing stuff here and there and selling it here and there and just enjoy being able to do it when I can.

Those are the main ones that I can think of right now but I know that there are so many more. But for now, my goals for this once-again snowy Tuesday include things like getting the kids dressed, getting my 5 year old to preschool (if it's open), cleaning things up around the house, figuring out something for dinner, possibly running up the road to take care of my lady that I help out when I can (going to depend on the roads on that one), getting my taxes filed (or at least started), and doing the usual laundry/dishes/scrubbing that needs to be done.

Like I said, I'm not over it. Not even close. But I know that I have to get past it. So, I'm going to go put a pot of coffee on, see if I can warm up a bit, and get started on the little things that will make me feel like I'm getting back on track.

And try not to focus on the fact that the funeral is going on right now.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Super Sunday

This has probably been the best day that I've had since getting the news. I went to church this morning with my youngest, and it was the first time that we have made it in quite a while. Everyone knew what happened and I was greeted with lots of smiles and hugs and tears. It was comforting to be with such a wonderful group of people for both the service and the chili/chicken noodle soup luncheon afterwards.

After we came home, I put a movie in and my son went to sleep on the couch. I cleaned up around the living room a little and then did my nails while I watched the movie. It was nice to just sit and do something that didn't require a great deal of thought, and to have peace and quiet at the same time. It was really the first "alone time" that I've had, and I really enjoyed it.

Then we ran to the store to pick up a few things to go over to our friends' house to watch the Super Bowl. And yes, even though I am from Pennsylvania, I was absolutely thrilled to see the Steelers lose - so sue me! After it was over, I got to spend some quality time in the hot tub, talking and thinking out loud.

Back home again, and the little one is asleep on the couch. I'm sitting here playing around online, catching up with people on Facebook that I haven't had a chance to talk to with all of the commotion that has been going on around here. My mind is still going in about a dozen different directions at any given time, but the fog is starting to lift from my brain. I know that I have to get past this, and our lives must go on. I am still struggling, and I know that I will continue to do so for a long time. I was thinking back to the last time I talked to my ex-husband, several months ago. I was brutally honest with him at that time and I said some things that he didn't want to hear, but I still believe that they were the truth and they needed to be said and he needed to hear them. I still remember his responses to me and that conversation will haunt me until the day that I die.

I will always wish that things had turned out differently. I wish that I had handled certain situations in a different way, or that I would have been able to deal with some things better. But what I have to keep reminding myself is that what happened can't be changed. Even if I had done everything perfectly, the outcome may have been the same. I need to try to get past my own feelings of guilt and move on with my life and make a good life for not just our son, but all of my kids. Day by day, bit by bit, it will get easier. At least that's what I keep telling myself when I feel a meltdown coming....

Saturday, February 5, 2011

One day at a time...

Today was another attempt at maintaining normalcy around here. I took the kids (4 of them, anyway) to the final basketball game of the season (yay!) and managed to limp the She-Beast home with her massive oil leak. After we got home, I started cleaning and doing the massive amounts of laundry that needed to be done. I lost track of how many I did, but I did at least get all 3 boys' beds stripped and remade, a few loads of clothes done, and the towels are washing and drying as I type this.

Luckily, a good friend showed up unexpectedly with her daughters, and while the kids played she helped me to do some cleaning and straightening up. It is times like this that make me realize how lucky I am - I might not have any family nearby, but my friends are incredible. Another friend brought dinner by as well.

I got another call from my ex's family, this time informing me that they had decided to set up a memorial fund for my son and his brother. I gave them the information that they needed and they assured me that they would send me all of the information that I would need for it.

My oldest daughter has a friend spending the night, so the 3 girls are in the bedroom playing around for a while longer before I send them to bed. I had to throw a major temper tantrum to get them to all play nicely together - when one of my girls has a friend come over, she never wants the other sister to play with them and it always creates drama. Once I went off on them and threatened to send the friend back home, things calmed down considerably.

Of course, in the middle of doing laundry, the dryer died again. Ugh. I crawled up onto the kitchen table - the only way I can reach the breaker box - and flipped all of the breakers off and on, and it still wouldn't work. So I pulled the dryer out from the wall, unplugged it, and plugged it back in. Voila. It works. Stupid piece of crap. *grouch*

Somewhere in the middle of all of this, I realized that today would have been Gramma's 102nd birthday. She died in 1994 from cancer, and not a day goes by that I don't think about her. She's even the one who taught me how to do laundry back when I was a freshman in college and living with her and my aunt and uncle. Life was so much simpler then. She and I would load up our laundry in my 1976 Mustang II and head to the laundromat. While our laundry was washing, we'd go to the pizza place next door and have pizza and soda and chat about life in general. Such good times.....

I feel like the fog that I've been in for the past few days is starting to lift. I still have an occasional meltdown, but it's getting easier to think and easier to breathe. I'm planning on taking my youngest to church tomorrow, and there's a dinner after, so we'll have lots of time to visit with our church family. I'm sure that there will be tears, but I know that's next to impossible to avoid right now. Each day will hopefully get easier.

I know I've said it before, but my friends are amazing. I know that I couldn't have made it through the past few days without you. Thank you for everything.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Life goes on.

So here I am, 48+ hours after hearing the news. I feel like I am starting to get my emotions somewhat under control, although I still have occasional meltdowns throughout the day. I think I have just hit the Numb Auto-Pilot stage - I am going through the motions of doing what needs to be done. Regardless of what is going on in my head, I still have 5 kids to take care of, and with them comes their laundry and their baths and feeding them and getting them to school and all of that fun stuff. I have been trying to maintain some sense of normalcy, but it hasn't been easy.

I don't even really know what to say tonight. I feel lost. I spent most of the day working for a lady who just got out of the hospital, doing some laundry and housekeeping for her, and the rest of the day was spent running kids back and forth to school and dealing with my own household stuff. Or, I should probably say avoiding my own household stuff. My house is trashed. I mean, really trashed. I have been in such a fog that the kids have torn just about every toy out of the toy box, there is still laundry all over the place (would you believe that I am sitting on a pile of laundry that somehow ended up on my chair?), and there is a massive amount of dishes to do. I just can't bring myself to do any of it, but I have made up my mind that as soon as I post this, I'm going to get to it. I will put a stupid movie in and get to work.

The weekend will continue as usual. Up early tomorrow for basketball games, then back home with all of the kids. I have to try to convince my girls to clean their room as my oldest is having a friend come to spend the night and I will not tolerate their room looking the way that it does now. My 5 year old is going with his father tomorrow for at least part of the weekend, and then up early again on Sunday to send the three oldest to church with their father while I take the youngest to church with me, and then a dinner at the church after the service. So maybe, just maybe, I can have some quiet time Sunday afternoon with just my youngest, who is generally more than content to watch Thomas the Tank Engine movies and play with his trains.

I'm still feeling just totally overwhelmed by this whole thing. I got information from the family today about the funeral arrangements, and then found out that I was given wrong information - really? Was that necessary? Maybe it was just a mistake, but somehow I doubt it. I just need to let it roll off of me and let it go, but I really hate evil spiteful petty BS like that. It's stupid and a waste of energy.

Anyway....*sigh*....I need to get to work. Maybe if just clean up a little bit real quick, I can still be in bed before midnight. That'll give me about 7 hours to sleep - more than I've gotten in the last 2 days combined.

This sucks.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A whirlwind of emotions...

I don't even know what to think right now. I'm physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted. Yet with the exhaustion, my mind is still going a billion miles a second.

I woke up this morning and had to get the kids up and dressed and fed and ready for school. As I was making pancakes, the strangeness of the situation hit me. My ex-husband just died, and I was making pancakes, like I always do. Regardless of my inner turmoil, I still have to go on living. Life goes on.

In between taking the three older kids to school and taking the two younger ones to playschool and then picking them up, and then getting the 5 year old on the bus for preschool, I was trying to clean and keep up with the almost constant phone calls and text messages and facebook posts that kept coming in. Thankfully I was able to talk to a friend who had been through this before - the death of an ex - and she assured me that the emotions are normal. I had no idea that I would hurt this much. I mean seriously, I divorced the guy. I didn't want to be with him anymore. I wanted him out of my life. But did I want this? Hell no! I still always had a tiny glimmer of hope that he would become a good father, and now that glimmer has been permanently extinguished. He is never coming back.

I got a call from one of his family members today, and suffice it to say that it wasn't pleasant. While informing me that she wasn't here to judge anyone, she made it damned clear that he had been in a severe depression because he wasn't able to see our son, and that ultimately contributed to his death. Really? He hasn't even been gone for 12 hours, and you want to blame me for it? Whatever lady - go ahead. Blame me if it makes you feel better. And now you want his family to have a "relationship" with my son? Now that his father is dead? Hello...what happened to the last 2 years, when you didn't acknowledge his existence? I got angry and said some things to her that I probably shouldn't have said, broke down crying, apologized, yelled at her some more and apologized some more. I have way too many emotions going through my head right now for some virtual stranger to inform me that a family that is 1700 miles away wants to have a relationship with my son. I'll make that decision eventually, but it's not going to happen today. Or even tomorrow.

I wish that I could just put everything that I'm feeling into words. I have so much going through my head right now and I just can't seem to make any sense of it. Why did this happen? How? How could someone who is 46 years old die of congestive heart failure? I know that there's a family history of heart problems, and I know that the alcohol and the smoking contributed to it, but still...46 years old?

I can't wrap my head around the enormity of this. I just can't do it. I have about 14 loads of laundry to do, bedrooms to clean, sidewalks to shovel, kids to pick up, supper to make, baths to give....and I can't even figure out how to do any of it right now.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

He didn't make it.

And with those four little words, my entire world turned upside down.

Some of you know, but most of you don't. I found out yesterday that my ex-husband (the second one) was taken to the hospital by ambulance. Through a series of messages today, I found out that his condition had deteriorated quickly - multiple organs were failing and he was on a ventilator. I packed up the kids and we went to our friends' house to hang out, because I didn't want to be at home alone when I got the word. At about 7:30pm my time I received another message - "He didn't make it." I looked at my phone and couldn't breathe. I handed the phone to my friends so that they could see the message too, and I lost it. Completely and totally lost it.

Our marriage was not a fairy tale story by any stretch of the imagination. We met online, we rushed into a relationship and we rushed into a marriage. We both had our demons - his was alcohol - but we tried to work past them. There were numerous times when the police were called to our home because the drinking had gotten out of hand, and he did a stint in rehab, but the lure of the alcohol was always too strong.

Kicking him out for the final time was the hardest thing that I have ever done in my life, but I had to protect myself and my kids. Since that time, I have had very little contact with him. I have not seen him in over a year and a half, and he has not seen our son in that long either.

I told my girls about him being in the hospital first. I knew that I had to tell them - to prepare them - because I wasn't sure how I was going to react when I found out that he was gone. They were devastated. So they knew as soon as I broke down at our friends' house what had happened. I waited until we got home to tell my 6 year old. He didn't fully grasp it, and I didn't expect him to. I haven't told my 5 year old yet, and I haven't told our son.

I have gone through a complete rollercoaster of emotions today. I am pissed off at him - I don't know what the official cause of death was, but I'm quite sure that alcohol played a part in it. Why couldn't he just stop drinking? Why was booze so damned important to him that he gave up his LIFE for it? I am sad that our son will never know his father. He was not quite 2 years old when he left, and doesn't even ask about him. He has never asked me why he didn't have a daddy in his life, and now when he does, I have to tell him that his daddy is dead. I am devastated because even though our marriage wasn't perfect, I still believed that deep down inside, there was a good man trying to get out. I still had that tiny little glimmer of hope that at some point, he would get the help that he needed and become a father to our son, even if from a distance.

Now, any hope is gone. He is gone. I didn't expect to feel this many emotions. I didn't expect to have this horrible pain in my chest and the knot in my stomach and the eyes that are almost swollen shut from crying. Our divorce was just final 20 days ago, and I thought that the emotional rollercoaster was over. Sadly, I think I just got back on for another ride.

I know that we will get through this. I know that we will be fine. But right now, I am hurting. I think I am hurting more than I ever have before. Not only am I still mourning the end of our marriage, but now I am mourning the death of a man with whom I was once crazy in love.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Just because I can....

Thanks to my post yesterday, I found out that there was another way to do the phone tethering thing. Turns out that there's an app that lets you do it for free.....so, needless to say, I am typing this on my computer, and then I do NOT have to email it to my trusty assistant, because I can post it by myself! Yay me!

I did manage to get the She-Beast fixed today. The roads were horrendous to even get to my friends' house (less than a mile away, mind you) but I got there and the boys went inside to play while I got to work - after I handed over two loaves of still-warm banana bread as "payment" for borrowing their garage and tools. As soon as I got under her, I could see that the pressure hose had come loose from the power steering pump. When I took it off the whole way, I saw that the o-ring had also been damaged. So I borrowed my friend's car and ran to the auto parts store and got a new o-ring and a quart of power steering fluid. Once I got back, it took about 10 minutes to get it reassembled. It doesn't *appear* to be leaking, so maybe, just maybe it'll be ok, for at least a little while, for a grand total of $4.96.

While this little Adventure in Mechanic'n was going on, the temperature was in the single digits outside and the wind was howling like Mother Nature had just discovered that not only had someone peed in her Wheaties, but they also dumped them on her head and then poked her in the eye. The wind was unreal, to say the least. Although we had a space heater going in the garage and it was out of the wind, it was still bitter cold. The snow didn't even melt off of the She-Beast while I was working on her.

Once I got home (ah, to have power steering again!) I immediately got into the shower to try to thaw my feet out. The rest of my body was fine (might have had something to do with the 4 layers of clothes) but my feet were numb. It took several hours for my toes to get back to their normal size and color but they are feeling much better now, thankyouverymuch.

Other than that, my afternoon/evening hasn't been terribly exciting. I made some more banana bread to give to a friend (in trade for some very yummy cinnabon buns, I might add) and started cleaning out the toybox. I do need to finish doing that now that the boys are both asleep. All of the schools are cancelled again tomorrow, so I have to run out to pick up my older three from their dad's house at some point in the morning so that they can be here for their usual Wednesday - but I'm guessing that basketball and church will be cancelled and so the usual chaotic Wednesday won't be quite as bad.

Anyway, I'm just so excited that I can now post these on my own, and so I'm going to post it. Just because I can. Haha.