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Friday, December 31, 2010

One of Many Reasons....

Tonight we were supposed to go to dinner and a movie with some friends. It is FoTB's weekend with Zack and I had asked him last week if they had plans or were just staying in. He had told me that they would just be hanging around the house and so it would be fine for him to have Zack. (I offered to keep him if they were going out and going to get a babysitter) I even reconfirmed this with both him and his girlfriend on Wednesday night when I picked up Zack and they told me they would all just be at home. That some friends of hers and their kids were coming over.

So this morning, after staying up till 10:00 watching movies with us, Zack got up at 6:45. We went back to bed but I'm unsure that he fell back asleep. So at 10:30 when he was falling asleep watching a movie, I thought nothing of it. At 11:45 when he got up and still looked glassy eyed I thought something might be wrong.

Fever: 101.5....

So I text FoTB and told him that Zack had a fever. My thought was, perhaps you will not be able to have your friends over if you don't want their kids to get sick. Instead what I got was a phone call from him telling me that they were taking her son to her home town (about an hour and a half away) to stay with his Grandma and that perhaps he should just pick up Zack in the morning instead of putting him in the car for that long when he was sick.

Translation: I was going to drop our son off with a woman he doesn't know to babysit him without consulting with you but now that he's sick she probably won't want him so can you just keep him?

My options at this point were to cancel our plans with our friends and stay home or force him to take Zack, knowing full well he would pack him in the car and take him there anyway, instead of staying home with him like a real parent would. I choose the former. I would rather stay home and know he was happy and safe then ship him off there not knowing what was going on.

So I called my friend and then I text Jim. With tears running down my cheeks I text him that I felt REALLY bad about ruining our night out but I REALLY didn't want to make Zack ride in a car for an hour and a half (possibly three if they just dropped off her son and brought Zack back) when he was sick.

And of course the answer I got was not to worry about it. That it was fine.

And then 20 minutes ago I looked at Facebook and this is what I saw:

So, my stepson's dad is to have him this weekend. Zack comes down sick this morning. So, the idiot doesn't want to take him tonight since it'll ruin his New Year's Eve plans. For lack of wit, I'll just say I'd like 5 mins alone with him to show what dad will do for his son. So I'll stay home tonight with my fiance & MY son, & relish in what I've gained in '10 & get to look forward to in '11.

Just one of the many reasons I love that man!!

Happy New Year Everyone!! I hope you are spending your evening with people who love you as much as Zack and I feel loved tonight!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Weather Beacon...

We are having a bit of a heat wave around here. Yesterday it was 37 degrees and today it is supposed to be in the low 40's. Consequently the snow, it is a melting fast. Much to Zack's dismay, might I add.

Last night when he got out of the car he looked at the ground and he said in his most sad four year old voice, Mom... why can I see the grass? Why is the snow melting? That isn't even fair!!

Then this morning, while Jim was getting him ready to get in the shower he mentioned to him that it had not gotten below freezing last night and that even more of the snow had melted. He didn't believe him and demanded to be held up to the window. So Jim picked him up and out of his mouth squeaked the most pathetic.... "Why??"

You would have thought that the world was ending. His favorite song right now is frosty the snow man and in his words... there isn't even enough to build a snow man and that is not even fair!! (I have a feeling this could become a catch phrase in our house.)

On my way to work this morning, I was looking for the weather beacon to get an idea of what to expect today.

In Des Moines there is a weather beacon. It is basically a tall tower with colored lights that is supposed to give you a quick glance at what the weather will be. When I was little I learned a poem about it:

Weather beacon red, warmer weather ahead
Weather beacon white, colder weather in sight
Weather beacon green, no change is foreseen
Weather beacon flashing, precipitation is on the way

I know... the last line just kills the whole rhyming thing. Don't judge, I didn't make it up, I just recited it.

Anyhow, as I looked for the weather beacon this morning I noticed something strange. The tower was dark. The tower is NEVER dark....

Apparently this weather has the weather beacon all confused too. Perhaps it just gave up and will turn back on when the weather drops back to what it's supposed to be again. :-)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

You Have to Feed Me....

Monday night FoTB had Zack. Actually, he had him all day. It was his birthday. Terms of the divorce decree I suppose. He gets him on his birthday, I get him on my birthday we switch every other year for Zack's birthday. Such is life.

That part I have somewhat adjusted to.

On Sunday they moved, so when he picked him up on Monday he took him to his new house. The new house which apparently has no food.

At 7:00 I arrived at the new house to pick up Zack. He was grumpy and tired, which I've come to expect. FoTB told me he did not nap and he played hard all day.

I was standing in the entry way, FoTB was about 5 feet from me, his girlfriend was in a chair about 10 feet away and a friend of theirs was next to her. They were all three looking at me and listening to me as I said to Zack, "It's ok if you're tired buddy. You can fall asleep in the car and Mommy will carry you in."

Not one of them said anything about this. So we left. We pulled out of their subdivision and I once again told Zack if he was tired he could close his eyes. It was at that point that he said to me, "I can't go to sleep Mommy. You need to feed me!"

I what?? Huh??

For a year and a half now we have been doing visits during the week (Mostly Wednesday) and every time I have picked him up at 7:00 he has fed him before I got there. EVERY TIME.

So I text FoTB and asked if Zack had eaten.... no response.

So I called FoTB... no answer.

Finally, I got a text message saying that they ordered pizza but it wasn't there yet and they had eaten a late lunch so they weren't hungry yet.

WTF?? Three adults sat there and listened to me tell him he could fall asleep on the way home and not one of them felt it pertinent to mention to me that he had not had dinner yet?

Their new house is two blocks from a gas station, yet not one of them thought, hey we should get him a hot dog and a bag of chips or something so he can eat since we are not hungry?

I ended up swinging through McDonald's with him but he was so tired he fell asleep mid-chicken nugget in the back seat.

And this is the man who thinks that I should consider amending our visitation to 50/50 custody..... yeah right.... I think not.....

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Party Time

For: Zack

Do I put Zack or Zack Lastname... hmmm... I think there is only one Zack.... how about Zack lastname here and just Zack on that paper... that looks good...

Date: January 9th

01/09/11?? Or just January 9th... surely I don't need the year. The year is obvious....

Time: 2:15 - 4:15

Why couldn't they have assigned me 2:00? 2:15... what a pain... did I write that right on the last one? Oh man... maybe I should go back and check.....

Place: Kid's party place - nearby town

Do I need the town? The address is on the insert I put in there. Should I just write the name? Do I need the full name? Maybe just a short version...

R.S.V.P: Heather - 123-4367 (call or text), heathersemail@yahoo.com

Are they going to think it's strange that I put they could call or text? Is it too much to give them my email? I want them to be able to RSVP either way and I know they are more likely to do it if I give them some very non-confrontational methods. Just shoot me a text or an email. How did we get so connected? What happened to the days of check the box yes or no?

More importantly... how did I get here? Filling out 25 birthday party invitations for a four year olds birthday. Wasn't I going to wait until he was 5? But he has been invited to two other parties this year. Is four the new five?

So, there I sat yesterday, filling out the invitations. One for all the kids in his class. Can't leave anyone out. Several of them are his friends, several others will here him talk about the party. A few more for friends who have moved up to other classes and about 5 that we had to put in the mail. All strategically delivered AFTER Christmas, so as not to get lost with all of the Christmas cards and festivities, but early enough that they can plan to come.

Oh how, oh how did I get myself into this??

Monday, December 27, 2010

Happy Holidays!!

Sorry to go kind of silent. Work was CRAZY last week. 40 hours in 4 days and then all of the Christmas festivities this weekend. Right now I just want to go home and take a nap. So, I just wanted to pop in really quickly and wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

Love,

Heather, Jim & Zack

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Partial Solution

After racking my brain all night on Friday I finally came up with the only thing in Zack's life that has changed in the last few weeks.

FoTB is moving. On Wednesday when I got there to pick up Zack his living room was filled with boxes.

So Saturday morning I sat down with Zack and asked him what he thought would happen when daddy moved. Dud he think he would get to see him again. His answer was no.

So, we went to the bookstore and bought a couple books about moving. Since he has never known anyone that has moved it makes sense that he is wondering what happens to his things? What happens to this new little boy who has been telling Zack he is going to be his step-brother

After we talked about it and read the books his attitude seemed a bit happier. I also let FoTB know about it so he could talk to him and reassure him.

Then on Monday we took his new books (I bought two copies, one for us, one for daycare) to daycare with us. I explained to the teacher and the director a bit about what I thought might be going on.

He was in the office once on Monday. Not great but a vast improvement over Friday. Still the director and I both agreed that something still needed to be done.

So, yesterday we started him on a positive reinforcement program. Basically they break his day up into half hour incriminates and for every half hour he has without an incident he gets a stamp. Every 4-6 stamps earns him a reward.

Yesterday he had no incidents and he only lost one stamp. (For getting off his cot during nap time) He was so excited when I picked him up yesterday. He talked my ear off about how he had gotten his stamps, etc. Then when Jim called he had to tell him all about it.

At this point I'm hoping it's a good start. I know he could still back track, that the novelty of this could wear off. I hope not for awhile though.

Like maybe when he's 10.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Discipline for a four year old...

My mom just picked up Zack from daycare and she made him call me from the car.

He was in the office six times today.

He hit his friends in the back. (Two of them that I know of)
He woke everyone up from nap because he wouldn't sleep.
He told his teachers no.
He threw water on the floor in the bathroom.
He kicked a wall.

I'm frustrated beyond belief right now. My child hardly ever acts like this at home and I'm at a loss for how to discipline him at home for behavior at daycare. More over, I am at a loss for how to consistently discipline between two households.

I text FoTB when I got off the phone with my mom. Told him Zack was in the office six times today and that he would not be taking phone calls. His reply, "Great. Ok well maybe next week will be better..."

There are no consequences with him. Luckily he is at home with us this weekend so at least there will be consequences then. The most frustrating thing for me is that we have him for a week or so, get him acting well at daycare again and then one weekend over there and boom... back to terror of the daycare.

I just got off the phone with Jim. We are going to take the presents out from under the tree and take down the Christmas train before Zack gets home. We also tossed around the idea of making a Santa video for him using the option of he has not been good this year. (Although I kind of hate to use that as a ploy.)

So... oh wise people out in the blog-o-sphere... what have you done? What worked for your kids? Do you think part of it is just him being a four year old boy?

He Threw A Rock at His Teacher....

Yeah... I think the title pretty much sums it up.

I was not pleased. Jim was not pleased. FoTB... well who the heck knows what he was.

The plan last night was for Jim to pick him up early and for them to watch Christmas movies and then we were going to show him the Santa video I made.

Quick side note... if you haven't been here to make one of these for your kids yet, go. Go now... it's TOTALLY amazing and completely free.

Anyhow, I got a phone call at 4:15 from Jim and he simply said, "We are not watching Christmas movies."

Apparently he was playing with another boy, he hit him (in the context of the game I'm sure) but the teacher didn't like it and was going to make him sit in time out. That is when he threw the rock at her.

Jim made him sit in his room for awhile... the exact details of how long are sketchy but I'm hoping it was not the original "hours" that were threatened when he first called me. Then he talked to him about it and by the time I got home from dinner with my co-workers he seemed resigned to the fact that he was never ever going to do it again.

His description:

"First I sat in my room and thought about what I did. Then I came downstairs and sat in the chair and we talked about what I did. Then I could get up."

When FoTB called for his nightly phone call (another matter all together) I didn't answer. I text him back and told him Zack was not taking phone calls. That he was in a lot of trouble because he had thrown a rock at the teacher. His text back to me said that he would like to tell him what he thought of that. Thinking perhaps hearing it from all three parents might be better I agreed to have Zack call him.

It was a waste of time... I should have known better.

The phone call went something like this:

"Hi buddy, did you have a good day? You didn't why not? You know I'm not very happy with you about that and neither is your mom. You're going to make better choices tomorrow right? Ok, I love you. Good night."

No, I'm not paraphrasing for times sake. That was the whole conversation. I just looked in my phone. One minute and 30 seconds. So much for that great parenting moment.

Anyhow, after that phone call Zack and I sat and talked for awhile about what he did, why he did it and what would happen if he did it again. He then went to bed right around 8:00 (which is early for him but well needed...)

This morning when I asked him what he was going to do today he told me "be good." so I hope he's right. I feel like I'm now the mother of the problem child. I'm just waiting for him to attempt to burn down the school or smash another child with the giant "love rock."

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Help for a Friend

A Message from Katie:

I hope I never wake to find my husband unresponsive.

Kathy did.

I hope that if I ever have to go through something as heart wrenching that I have half the strength that she has shown. On November 30th, She posted this on her blog:

24 hours ago, I was sleeping peacefully. blissfully unaware that my husband would be waking me up, having a stroke. my amazing 27 year old husband. who knew that in the future hours to come, he would be poked, prodded, moved to three different rooms in two separate hospitals. that the high point of my day would come when eye contact would be made, his good arm reaching up and being pulled in for a kiss. that we would celebrate something as simple as a flinch from pain. that our future plans – this week, next month, the year to come would flip on it’s head.

24 hours ago was a whole different world.


Since then her husband has shown improvements and Kathy has shown so much love. Every time she updates her Facebook it is a testament to her love, and strength, and courage. So much courage.

The Cambpell family is supported by Kathy's job and her husband being a rock-star stay at home dad to their daughter.

Right now, and for the foreseeable future they will no longer be able to live as they have. They cannot stay in their home and have to move before Christmas. I am sure there are multiple reasons for this, however the one that I would like to help with during the holidays is the money.

I am going to donate all proceeds from my Etsy shop to her family for the month of December.
My prints start at $7.00. Think of what that is-- a lunch out, two cups of coffee at Starbucks, less then the cost of a movie ticket. Really, not much. But if we can all come together it could mean a whole lot to their family.

So please go take a look, consider a purchase and think about just how much you have to be thankful for this holiday season.

Youtube Fun

Ok, I couldn't pass up sharing this with you. There are several videos. If you go to youTube each one links to the other ones but I'm going to put them all here for you. Just watch them in order and then let me know what you think. Music geek or not, these guys are pretty good.

If you go to the one guy's YouTube channel it is the two of them performing together so they are friends in real life and just do this for fun.














Monday, December 6, 2010

Monday Magic

Yesterday we went shopping for the last of our Christmas presents. While out and about we stopped into the jewelery store to look at wedding bands.

Right now, on the table in my living room sits my wedding band. The only one out of 10 - 15 I have tried on. The one I liked two months ago, and last month and again yesterday.

It sits there, waiting for the time, six months from Saturday when it will be placed on my finger for good. Six months people and I will be married!!

And I haven't stopped smiling yet....

Friday, December 3, 2010

Counting My Blessings...

This morning when my alarm went off I didn't even have to roll over to know Jim was in the bed with me, his arm was already around my waist. Where it seems to be more often then not when I fall asleep, when I wake up and sometimes most of the night.

I usually don't think much about it but today I want to take a small moment in time to say how grateful I am to have this man in my life. How much I appreciate the little things and how I hope, in 20 years I still wake up to him, with his arm around my waist.

Last night we all decorated the Christmas tree as a family. FoTB and I lived in that house together for 6 1/2 years. We celebrated 7 Christmas's there. If the tree went up, I put it up. If the decorations went up, I put them up. If there was Christmas shopping to do, I did it.

Most people take for granted the small things in life. Shopping together, eating dinner together, decorating the Christmas tree together. I do not. I hope that is the case for the rest of our years together. I hope in 20 years, in 30 years I can still appreciate the little things in life. The fact that I get to sit on a couch with a man that I love more than I can possibly put into words and bask in the glow of a Christmas tree decorated as a family.

Last night, sitting there watching Zack marvel over the Christmas train it really hit me how different my life is just two years later. How I never, in a million years thought that I could EVER be this happy and how lucky I feel each and every day to have the life that I have right now.

So, today, I'm going to take some time to count my blessings. To bask in the glow of this new life and just be amazingly happy for all of it.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

And then I saw the ceiling...

I had this whole post planned in my head on Gratitude. All the things in my life that are different and changed and how grateful I am for all of them....

But as always... time... it got away from me....

You keep meaning to write and meaning to write and then one day, you're lying on the floor of one of your favorite restaurants thinking, perhaps I should have written...

No, that's never happened to you? Well... let me tell you about my life.

On Friday night we did Christmas with some of my immediate family. As we were laughing and talking and watching Zack and the other "kids" shoot each other with nerf guns someone mentioned restaurants. And one of my FAVORITE restaurants was brought up.... and a plan was formed. Saturday night we would all go to this restaurant together.

So excited was I about this plan that as I was saying goodbye to Jim on Saturday morning I whispered it in his ear and giggled. Yeah... I like it that much...

We got there about 6:00 on Saturday and by 6:30 my stomach was HAPPY!! Oh so happy....

Jim and I were finished as were most of my other family members. My pop was empty so I offered to go fill up Jim's along with mine. I was walking along to the pop machine, I turned the corner and the next thing I knew I was lying on the floor, staring up at the ceiling thinking two things:

1) How the hell did I get down here?

2) Well get up off the floor ya dumb a$$, you probably look pretty stupid.

The second one is what caused me to sit up abruptly only to realize that my shoulder kinda hurt... A LOT. So much so that getting off the floor and onto a chair was NOT in my plans anytime soon. Instead I asked the manager to round up Jim and I tried to breath in and out, figuring that I just bruised it.

No such luck. My sister was there and she quickly informed me that not only had I fallen on the floor, I had also dislocated my shoulder. Now I have spent the last 18 months with Jim telling me about his various injuries and the one I remembered most vividly at that moment was his shoulder dislocation and how they had to lay him on a cot and hang weights on his arm until it went back into socket and I can tell you the idea of that happening to me sounded about as appealing as cutting off my arm with a butter knife.

Yet, as I sat there, it quickly became apparent that something had to be done. So, an ambulance was called and I began my 1 - 2 hours of begging for pain medicine like an addict. Please just a little more. It hurts... give me another shot.

Finally sometime around 8:00 they fully knocked me out (oh yes... modern medicine) and popped my shoulder back in while I was sleeping. Which was probably a good thing because by that point I was fairly hysterical. Crying and begging for them to just knock me out so it stopped hurting.

Once I came back to the relief was almost instant. They wrote me a prescription for something strong but I only ended up taking Aleve when I got home.

And today, other than the fact that I'm a little sore, I would never know that I was in so much pain a few hours ago.

As for the restaurant, their covering the medical and I'm hoping they throw in a few free meals since I didn't get to keep mine down on Saturday. :-)

Monday, November 22, 2010

He's not a posession

I must apologize up front if any of what I say doesn't make sense or seems to ramble at times. I am extremely livid at the moment and really just need a place to vent before I explode.

I wrote the last post because I was sort of called out on being excited that Zack had picked sides. And I tried, possibly very badly, to explain that his relationship with FoTB was his to figure out and I would never encourage him one way or the other.

HOWEVER... what I left out was that I'm not necessarily excited THAT Zack has picked (because he has... we all know it, let's not sugar coat it....) I'm just ecstatic that he has someone he CAN pick who is loving, and decent and not completely self absorbed and self centered.

Case in point:

"It is MY time with him... he can't go there."

"Of course I don't know that he has a field trip. Why would I look at the calendar? I'm not there to do that, I'm there to pick up MY son."

"I miss you... do you miss me?"

"I love you... do you love me?"

"We have plans today, he can't go." And then when I get there, they have done NOTHING all day.

This last one, is the one that has me up in arms today. This is the second, possibly the third time, he has denied Zack the ability to go and do something he would really enjoy because they have "plans" only for me to get there and discover that they have done nothing all day and he simply didn't want Zack to go because it was "his time" and he was not giving it up.

Zack is not a possession. He is a little boy and the reason he doesn't like going to FoTB's and the reason he has so clearly chosen Jim over him is because Jim and I do not treat him like one. Now I realize that every child can't do every thing they want. I realize that sometimes people have plans and up until this point, I've just kind of let things ride. Up until this point what he's missed has only been stuff with Jim and I and/or our families.

This weekend he missed a birthday party. A party for one of his very bestest friends. Zack and her have been almost inseparable since the baby room and this weekend, instead of bowling with her and the rest of his friends he sat in FoTB's living room and played by himself because he didn't want to take him and he didn't want to allow me to take him.

Believe me, I offered. I called him and asked him last week if he could take Zack to the party or if I could pick him up, take him and then bring him back. Now mind you, he lives 20 minutes from me and from where the party was. So I was offering to spend 80 extra minutes in the car just so Zack could go because I knew it was a big deal to him to be able to go. It was what all the kids in his class were talking about last week.

But no... they had plans. His girlfriends cousin was coming and she was bringing her kid and they wanted Zack to be there to meet her and to play. It would be fun for him.....

Translation: I don't want to drive him all the way over there and I don't want you to take him because I would miss out on "MY TIME" with him and it's all about "MY TIME" so I'm going to tell you we are busy.

When I got there yesterday, once again Zack looked sad and tired. There were three women I didn't know in their kitchen and a one year old toddling around. There is no way in HELL this one year old was playing with Zack. He was in the living room playing by himself. When FoTB's girlfriend introduced me to her friends I said I'm Zack's mom and one of them hit me with, "Zack, oh... we haven't seen Zack yet. Is he here?"

And all that flashed through my mind at that point was anger. Anger and smart ass thoughts that I wanted SOO badly to say but kept to myself.

They were getting ready to eat. They made and entire dinner and never once asked if Zack could stay to eat. If it was that important to you that he was there don't you think you would have asked if he could stay?

When I asked Zack what he did all weekend he told me he just played. When I asked him if he had fun, he told me no. Then in the car, on the way home, he fell asleep again. Because I don't think he naps there and I don't think he sleeps enough, or very well, at night.

And somewhere between then and now I have been trying desperately not to pick up my phone and call FoTB and explain to him that next time there is a party for Zack he will be going, whether he takes him or I take him. That next time it is "HIS TIME" and all he is going to do is sit around and have Zack play by himself that there will be no "HIS TIME." I want so badly to just scream at him to stop being a selfish F^%$ and think about his son. Not his possession but a living breathing almost four year old child.

But alas, Jim has convinced me not to. He has reminded me, in his ever infinite wisdom, that I have been saying these things to him over and over again for fourteen years and nothing has changed yet. That I, DHS and a counselor all told him these things over and over again for the past year and it has made not one bit of difference so realistically, what good is it going to do for me to tell him one more time?

And so what it leaves me with... is just a large sense of anger and frustration. The courts think he needs time with his son. They want to force Zack to be over there until he is 18 years old. To make him spend time with a man who shows up because he feels like he has some sort of claim over Zack.

So to swing back full circle to the post I put up last week, this is why I may sound like I am happy that Zack has essentially chosen Jim. This is why I'm thrilled beyond belief that he calls him dad. Because it means he has one. Because it means that despite the POS I married and divorced who will never, ever be capable of putting Zack first or showing Zack how a true man should live and act, he HAS someone in his life that will.

He has someone who loves and cherishes him the way a real dad should. Someone who puts him first and never treats him like something he owns. Someone who knows that Zack's love is earned not required and someone who would never put his own happiness before his son's.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Two Daddies

I just received a comment from B on my last post asking, in effect if I was bragging about Zack calling Jim dad and encouraging me not to put Zack in the middle or to make him pick. The rest of her comment was overwhelmingly positive and I don't think she meant any harm or was trying to "call me out" in a way, just basically asking if I had thought of these things.

And it's ironic to me the timing of her comment. Just a mere 5 minutes earlier I had hung up the phone with FoTB. So B... in answer to your question, yes... every single day.

The purpose of our call today, was not because of the previous post, but rather the one before that. Once again last night, and this morning Zack told me he didn't want to go. Once again on the way to daycare he asked me if he called me if I could come and pick him up.

So today, instead of feeling bad about it or rooting for him to hate it there so we win and our house is better I picked up the phone and called FoTB. (I'll write a post about it later but I can tell this one will be long so I'm going to leave it as it's own post.)

Let me back track a bit. Because I have sort of dropped out of blogging and then come back only for bits and pieces you all have missed a lot. My effort to keep some of my private life private has left you out of a few things you probably need to know to understand the last couple of posts I have put up.

So here goes:

Do I wish FoTB would go away? Am I happy beyond belief that Zack loves and respects Jim as a dad?

Absolutely.

Am I going to do anything about it besides be frustrated and happy as hell in my own head?

Absolutely not.

When I divorced FoTB I had the option to fight for sole custody of Zack. And most likely could have won sole custody of Zack. FoTB had just been arrested, was hanging out in jail and was, by all accounts, no where close to a model citizen.

I said it then and I will say it again... that is NOT my relationship to end. If he is sober, and he wants to be in Zack's life, that is their relationship to figure out, not mine to take away. Now obviously there are SEVERAL safe guards in our divorce decree to keep Zack safe. I'm not the woman who takes my kid over to his baby daddy's house with the drugs all around and the unsafe people and says here... it's your turn.

But, as long as he is sober and making an effort, it is not my place to stand in the way of that.

Now I'm not going to lie to you and say I don't wish every day it was different. In my book he is not worthy of having time with Zack. I want him to disappear and never come back. Obviously, I divorced him. But I would never EVER let Zack know that. I would never EVER tell Zack that he has to pick one over the other or that one is better than the other.

He knows he has two daddies who both love him very much and he knows that he never has to pick between either of them. When he asks me why he has to go to FoTB's I tell him he will have fun and that daddy wants to spend time with him. I would never tell him I don't want you to go there either or I know it's not fair. I just remind him of the fun stuff he does and let him know that I will be back on Sunday to get him.

It kills me to do it. I would love for it to just be the three of us, but again... that is not a decision I get to make. As much as I hate it, my job as his parent is to love him and encourage him in his relationship with FoTB as long as that relationship stays positive.

And I know, there are going to be those of you out there shaking your heads at me for being so honest here but really.... I divorced one and I'm marrying the other. Obviously I think one is better. Obviously Zack knows I love Daddy Jim much more than FoTB. I live with him, I tell him I love him, etc.

But I would never make Zack pick. Please know that as much as I may not show it or tell you about it here, I do not make Zack feel in any way like he needs to like or love one more than the other.

As far as he is concerned he is just one lucky little boy with extra love from two families.

Monday, November 15, 2010

He Calls Him Dad....

From the moment Jim and I got serious the question we have been asked the most is what does Zack call him and how does FoTB feel about it.

From the beginning, he called him Mr. Jim. He was used to calling everyone Mr. & Miss at daycare so it only seemed fitting that it carried over. Then when it became apparent that Jim and I were moving in a much more serious direction we had a talk. You may remember it from this post, and it was decided that he would call him Daddy Jim.

We talked with him about how special he was to have two daddy's and how both of them loved him very much. I didn't, however, discuss this with FoTB. This was my fault. To my face Zack always still called him Mr. Jim so I didn't think it was necessary. Then one day, about a month after we had the talk, he was with FoTB and he called him Daddy Jim. And FoTB snapped on him....

He told Zack that Jim wasn't his daddy and he wasn't supposed to call him that. That he was supposed to call him Jim and do you know what my 3 1/2 year old son did?

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He argued back with him.

He put FoTB in his place and told him he WAS his daddy and that Mommy told him he could call him that and he wanted to call him that.

And after a somewhat heated discussion at a DHS team meeting the next day where I informed him in no uncertain terms that he had NO right to tell Zack that and that Jim had spent more time with him and was more of a dad to him than he had been... that was that.... Daddy Jim it was and never another word was mentioned.

And then slowly.... ever so slowly... the Jim has gone away. He only uses it now when he wants to distinguish between the two of them. If he wants to tell me which one he will say my Daddy Jim or my Daddy J@ke. (Yes, he knows his name....)

When we are at home or out in public, it is just dad or daddy. And what does FoTB think of it... I'm not sure he knows, but I know whatever he thinks it is... it makes him insecure. He has started calling, EVERY night. It used to be every other night, then every week night. This weekend it was EVERY day. He calls to tell Zack he loves him. Do you love Daddy? Do you miss Daddy?

He has also been talking to him about step-parents. I found that out from Zack this weekend. Apparently at some point they have reinforced to him that Jim is not his "real" dad, he is his step-dad.

And do you know what Zack did? Any ideas what my now almost four year old has done with this information?

He walked right out of their house last Sunday, opened up the car door and said HI DADDY!!

Because to him... Jim is still just dad.....

Friday, November 5, 2010

I don't want to go...

5 words, so much meaning....

Those are the words that were uttered to me right before bed last night. He's tired I thought, he'll change his mind in the morning. Wednesday he was so excited to go. Wednesday he wanted to spend the night.

Then this morning, as he was brushing his teeth he said them again. This time in front of Jim, this time I'm not the only one hearing it.

As we got in the car he hit me with this one:

Mommy, when you get to work can you call daddy and tell him not to pick me up?

Then when we got to daycare:

Do I have to spend the night? I don't want to spend the night, I want to stay home.

And it's happening all over again.......

For three months he's been living with the new girlfriend and Zack has been fine. He has been wanting to go there. She has a seven year old boy. She seems somewhat normal, all be it small town and kind of nieve and I think Zack has enjoyed the company and having someone to play with.

Until this weekend.

I don't know what is different but it breaks my heart to have to make him go there. Week after week, month after month. We are almost 18 months into this visit thing and he still doesn't want to go and I am wondering if he ever will. I thought it would be different by now. I thought by now he would like spending time with him. Somehow, I thought the broken would be fixed but I'm now realizing once again just how broken their bond is. I'm now smacked in the face once more with the realization that sometimes what is broken can never be fixed.

I had no answers for Zack as to why he had to go. He is not yet four. I can't even begin to explain to him that he must go because a judge says so. Because FoTB doesn't believe me when I tell him he doesn't want to go. Because his main concern is his "property" and getting "his time" whether that makes Zack happy or not.

I can't explain these things to him but I know in time he will come to understand them himself. For now I just assured him that he would have fun. That it would be a good time and I would be there to pick him up on Sunday. I told him if he wasn't having fun and wanted to come home he would have to tell FoTB and maybe he could call me and I could come get him early.

I know he won't call. I know even if he cries and throws a fit he won't call me. It is "his time" and he won't give it up. Not for anyone, including Zack but I had nothing else to tell him.

I just gave him big hugs, assured him once again that he would have fun and sent him on his way. Then I got in my car, tried not to cry and prayed that Sunday would come quickly.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mind like a steel trap

Sometime in March or April we took Zack to the playground at the mall. It is a mall that is about 30 minutes from our home so we have not been back there since.

Yesterday I went back to get my watch fixed. As soon as we walked in the door he started looking around....

"I've been here before."

"You have?"

"Yeah, I came here with you and my daddy Jim. I had ice cream with sprinkles. I didn't like it."

How does he remember this stuff??

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Hello out There....

Recently a friend of mine pointed out to me that I have a blog...

And not only do I have this blog but that this blog has seemed to become abandoned.

Hmmm.... who'd a thunk... me? A blog abandoner...

Yet, it seems that is exactly what has happened. And in all reality, I really don't know why. The only excuse I can give you is that life has been crazy. Amazingly wonderful and crazy. I used to use this blog, NEED this blog, to rescue me from my reality. But I don't need rescuing anymore. In fact, if I have any free time at all I much prefer to immerse myself in that reality now.

So where do we go from here? For years my identity was as a blogger but now my google reader is filling up and not only am I not writing.... I'm not reading either.

Part of it, yes, has been that I've been busy. Amazingly, insanely busy. I haven't had an 40 hour week in MONTHS. Some have been 43... some have been 65. Today I ate lunch, not while working, not in my car on a 5 minute break, actually sat down and ate a real meal... took a lunch hour. It was kinda nice.

Oh yeah, and did I mention I got engaged? I think I still owe you a story for that... how about now? There is no time like the present right? Let's see... August 5th was the 1 year anniversary of my divorce. I sent Jim a text that morning just joking saying something along the lines of it's a good thing you're not proposing today. Ha Ha...

Yeah... about that..... we were leaving for Vegas on the 6th. He had it all planned out, no idea what day it was. Why would he. And then he got my text..... So when I got home from work we were heading to dinner and he just nonchalantly mentions, "So I really can't propose to you today huh?" My answer, "Ummm NO!! That would be weird. 12:01... feel free but today would just be too strange." Go ahead, shake your head at me.... possibly smack your forehead and say DOH on my behalf... you know you want to.

So, he decided he would wait until 12:01.

He tried to drop some more hints while we were at dinner but I was pretty insistent. Joking with him that I knew he wasn't doing it, he hadn't even had time to talk to my dad, etc. Even going so far as to tell him that I was 100% certain that he wasn't asking me before Vegas or IN Vegas. In fact, when we got home and got packed I even called Jess and told her the same thing. Told her that he didn't pack his own carry on so not to hold her breath for a Vegas proposal because unless she had the ring with her, he wasn't bringing it.

About 10:30 I decided I was tired. We had to get Zack up and to daycare and then head to the airport in the morning and I wanted to go to bed. He, of course was trying to keep me up for another hour and a half but I, apparently was NOT getting the hints. He asked me to come sit with him on the couch and I did... but I wasn't happy about it.

Finally I just told him look... if you want to stay up that's fine. I don't care but I'm TIRED... and I'm going to bed. And about 11:00, up the stairs I went. Real smooth huh?

By the time he got the ring from where he had hidden it and made it up the stairs I was already in my pajamas and getting ready to crawl into bed. (Yeah... NO idea what was coming... I had always told myself I wanted to be all dressed up with my hair done, etc. when he asked me.... and this... this was CERTAINLY not the case that night....)

I knew as SOON as he walked into the bedroom something was up. He had his hand in his pocket and he NEVER has his hands in his pockets. He walked up behind me and put his arms around me and started to talk.

"So, you know how you didn't think I had time to talk to your dad?"

"Ummm... yeah..."

"Well, as it turns out, I did have time to talk to him. I went to talk to him this afternoon."

"And what did he have to say?"

As he was talking my mind was sort of racing. At this point I was still thinking he had just talked to him. He wasn't actually going to ask me until we were in Vegas or after Vegas. Certainly not right now... we had talked about right now....

Yet, as soon as I turned around to face him he put his hand back in his pocket and I knew what was coming.

The question was, "So now that we know your dad has said yes, what do you think you will say? Will you marry me?"

And my answer? In my lovely... OMG state??

Ya really want it?

Are you sure?

"Oh shit..."

Yeah... that is what I said at that incredibly romantic moment as he was going down on one knee and asking me to spend the rest of my life with him. It just sort of slipped out and then I stared at him. Not for one second... not for two seconds... but for something like 10 to 15 incredibly uncomfortable seconds before I got enough wits about me to realize that he was actually down there, waiting on me to give him an answer.....

At least it's a story to tell the grandkids.

So there you have it, the proposal.

What else have I been up to in the past two months? Oh, a million and one things that will have to wait for another day as I am out of time. Hopefully this was enough for now.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Maintaining the Status Quo

In case you were concerned that I had lost my edge according to FoTB this morning I am still a "F$%&ing stupid selfish F*&%."

Why yes.... that is a direct quote.

Isn't there a song for this? "I see your true colors shining through....."

What was my egregious act that earned me this distinction?

His visit with Zack begins at 5:00 pm on Friday and he wanted to pick Zack up at 9:00 on Friday morning so he could take him to the homecoming festivities in his girlfriends home town.

Zack has a field trip Friday morning that he is excited about and has been talking about for over a week. I told FoTB he was more than welcome to pick Zack up early but he needed to wait until noon after his field trip.

I know.... how dare I offer him 5 extra hours instead of 8???

Just when I think perhaps he might be making positive strides in his life he reminds me that deep down, he is still the same person.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Mama's Song



Mama's Song

Carrie Underwood


Mama you taught me to do the right things
So now you have to let your baby fly
You've given me everything that I will need
To make it through this crazy thing called life
And I know you watch me grow up and always want whats best for me
And I think I found the answer to your prayers

And he is good, so good
He treats your little girl like a real man should
He is good, so good, he makes promises he keeps
No he's never gonna leave
So dont you worry about me
Dont you worry about me

Mama theres no way you'll ever lose me
And giving me away is not goodbye
As you watch me walk down to my future, I hope tears of joy are in your eyes

Cuz he is good, so good
He treats your little girl like a real man should
He is good, so good, he makes promises he keeps
No he's never gonna leave
So dont you worry about me
Dont you worry about me

And when I watch my little baby grow I'll only want whats best for her
And I hope she'll find the answer to my prayers
And that she'll say

He is good, so good
He treats your little girl like a real man should
He is good, so good, he makes promises he keeps
No he's never gonna leave
So dont you worry about me
Dont you worry about me

Mama dont you worry about me

Dont you worry about me

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Not mine...

Yesterday after the funeral I went to pick up Zack from daycare. As I got there I saw the teacher with two little boys who were obviously in trouble. While I was waiting for Zack to get down off the playground equipment I heard her talking to one of them.

R, why was your private part out of your pants?

Is it bad that my first thought was oh thank God that's not my kid.....

..... yet.....

Monday, August 30, 2010

Awkward is...

Attending a funeral visitation for your fiance's aunt and realizing that one of the seven people you have dated in your entire 30 years of life.....

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is his cousin.......

Monday, August 23, 2010

Away

I have been a horrible blogger lately. I have so much to tell you I hardly know where to begin so I just don't.

Things here have been nuts. Jim has finally moved about 95% of his stuff in. Six weeks of moving little by little. I think it's worse than if he just did it all at once. Just when I think I've finally found room for it all and have gotten back some semblance of order to our house he brings in more stuff.

Last night it was a huge TV for the bedroom. Purchased in 1998 this 36" TV weighs as much as me and guess who got to help him carry it upstairs last night? My God if ever there was a time I considered this move a bad idea.... that was it.

On top of the moving, I've been working out of the office on some book keeping disasters for a client and I've got a 9/15 tax deadline looming on the horizon. Add to that the great office server move of 2010 that had me working a 17 hour day on Friday and you're starting to understand where I've been.

In fact, right now it is 10:15. I'm lying in bed, typing this on my phone.. fairly certain I may pass out from exhaustion mid sentence. I just got on to tell you one little story but apparently my brain had other ideas.

So anyway here it is.....

Tonight I went to Target to buy my son new shoes. Size 12 shoes. I have a 3 year old with the feet of a 6 year old and all the shoes he wants are too small and half the shoes he fits into he can't have because he can't tie his shoes yet.

Is three too little to tie his shoes because by mid March we may be out of other options?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Zack's Weekend Review....

Two full nights and two full days with FToB (Friday at 6:00 through Sunday at 5:00)....

One nap....

Zero Baths....

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Is there an appropriate way to explain to FToB that just because he is not a big fan of personal hygiene for himself doesn't mean he shouldn't practice it on his son? By last night when he was returned to us he smelled and he was scratching in his underwear (that hadn't been changed in three days....)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Awkward is....

Getting engaged on the one year anniversary of your divorce being final....

Even more awkward is....

Telling your ex-husband you're getting married again.....

Friday, August 6, 2010

So....



I have some news.....

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Little Things

Last night Jim and I went out to a local bar/restaurant to meet a few of my friends from way... way back. He was a bit late getting out of work and then he had to get his hair cut and come home and get ready. We had told them we would be there at 8:00, they text me at 5:00 and said they were all meeting at 7:00. So, needless to say, we were a bit late. Like 8:15 ish. Either way... it was fun. I had a few drinks... ok, who are we kidding, a few too many but it was a GREAT time.

This afternoon this arrived in my email inbox:

By the way, in all the rush of getting ready last night and getting to the bar, I may have failed to mention how great you looked. Maybe a day late, but you looked amazing.

I immediately turned 5 shades of red. Jim would say to me, this is how it's supposed to be. I would say to him, I never even imagined it could be this good. But I like it....

Monday, August 2, 2010

Monday Frustrations...

Someone hacked into my email account for the old blog and spammed everyone in my address book. If you were one of them... I apologize profusely. I am usually REALLY, REALLY careful about what I open so I have no idea what happened. I went to my sent items folder and it didn't show anything sent from my email account. I changed my password but if it happens again I'm going to have to probably close that email account.

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The county guy and the plumber were supposed to come to look at our plumbing today and FINALLY begin work on the new septic system. Or at least get the workings started for permits, etc. It was raining this morning..... AGAIN.... for the 300th day this year.... Really? Can I just get a break so we can get the dang thing replaced??

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We are going rounds with FOtB's employer on child support. For some reason she has decided she loves him. He can do no wrong. She is a friend of a friend but apparently she thinks he must be the son she never had or something. First I found out that she purposely made his wages lower last year so his child support would be lower. Then once they had all of that decided she gave him a raise, then another one and then a third within the first six months he was there.

Now, she is withholding the child support from his checks but is not mailing it in. As of April 30th she was up to date and then she didn't send anything in for two weeks. Then she started sending in weekly again but never made up the two weeks she missed. Then in the middle of June she stopped sending anything in at all. She was withholding it from his check but wasn't remitting it.

She finally sent in the amount for four weeks but then told the Child Support person who called her she would check on the other two weeks and if she owed those she would remit them. (She does... she didn't.) That was on June 15th. Would you like to guess if she has sent in a payment since them?

If you guessed no, you would be correct. He has gotten two more checks since her last payment, one on the 23rd and one on the 30th. The amounts for those plus the other two weeks she is behind, a grand total of four weeks of child support for those of you keeping count, are now MIA in her outbox, in her bank account... who knows.

So today, I had to speak with the lovely man from Child Support again. He is going to contact FToB and see if he can get his last paycheck stub to ascertain exactly how far behind she actually is. He will call FToB and FToB will immediately run to his employer or call me. Wanna take bets? At this point, I don't care. It is illegal for her to withhold and not submit. It's not like I really NEED the money but it's the principal of the fact.

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Speaking of money with FOtB, he still owes me money, a lot, for Zack's surgery back in November. He was originally supposed to pay me the money but his previous girlfriend got it in his head that he should not do that because I might steal the money and not pay the bills. They are in my name... they will ruin my credit... yes, that is exactly what I'm going to do.

So he decided he would pay them himself. He made two payments and now has conveniently "forgotten" for two months. Finally I talked to him last week and told him to just give me $25 per week until they were paid off.

He asked me if I would give him a receipt.

He showed up to drop off Zack on Sunday and conveniently forgot his first $25 installment.

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Speaking of dropping off Zack. DHS is now officially out of our lives. This weekend was FOtB's first visit after the case closed. He has been told on multiple occasions to make the visits about him and Zack. To leave any girlfriends out of it until he has known them at least 6 months and is sure they will be sticking around awhile.

He picked up Zack from daycare on Friday and headed straight for the new girlfriend's house (he's had this one four months) and proceeded to camp out there all weekend with Zack. To make matters worse he didn't tell me. I had to find out from my three year old son.

And... there is NOTHING I can do. In the eyes of the court, he has been clean 16 months and this new girlfriend has no criminal record so they are leaving it up to him to decide if it is an appropriate environment for Zack. His girlfriend is a single mom to a seven year old. Zack doesn't act like he hates it there and he is not acting out when he returns. SHE is not the problem. The situation is the problem. His lack of consideration for what might be best for his son and only consideration of what might be best for himself frustrates the hell out of me.

The courts inability to do anything about this frustrates me even more.

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I leave for Vegas to see Garth on Friday. This does not frustrate me. In fact it excites me quite a bit. I NEED a vacation. I NEED some relaxation. I'm ready... is it Friday yet.....

Friday, July 30, 2010

Happiness is.....


(I'm sorry for the somewhat questionable quality of the videos. They came off of my phone but they are cute, none the less.)

video

I love about 14 seconds into this video when you hear Jim say oh boy... about got out of that one fast... and then I cackle.... Notice where Zack has his feet... :-)

video

This whole video makes me giggle. (Or laugh loudly in the background...) I love where he tells him he's doing to do the taco. Or where Zack continues to say to him over and over, choke hold get out of me, (as opposed to choke hold, got to get out of it....) or about second 40 where Jim says choke hold and Zack matter of factly states, that's not a choke hold!!

But my absolute favorite part is the ending. Where Jim says to him figure four, how ya gonna get out of a figure four and Zack promptly kicks him in the face and if you listen really closely you can hear Jim say, well I guess that's how as he holds the side of his face and lets Zack go!!

video

This was my night last night!! This little piece of normalcy is what I have always hoped for. I laughed and smiled and enjoyed every minute of it!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

New Bed



Taking full advantage of all of the room in his new bed.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Too Late...

Grandpa I have to go potty.

Ok, just one minute and I'll be done working on this.

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Grandpa I don't have to go potty any more.

Oh no, did you have an accident?

No, I went on that tree over there.

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And this is when we begin the appropriate place and time to pee on a tree. In the middle of a full RV park... probably not so much.....

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Just Hair?

Zack wants to get a mohawk, not spiked, not colored... just cut. When we told certain people in our lives that we were going to let him do this (Jim, FOtB & I are all in agreement) their reaction was less than stellar.

I believe the exact words were that it was rude, disrespectful and was this just the beginning of something bigger. Would we let him do anything he wanted when he got older?

Our thoughts, he is three years old. It is just hair... it will grow back. Jim says he will not let him grow a pony tail or dye his hair purple and green (although I could personally care less) and he also says that in 10-12 years his answer on whether he can have a mohawk would be different.

My thoughts are that it is just hair. If he is 16 years old, getting straight A's, very respectful, never in trouble and he wants to dye his hair and spike it up a foot off of his head so be it. Jim's answer is different... I guess that we will cross that bridge when we get to it.

For now... we are talking about a three year old. His cousin C has a mohawk. Several kids in his swimming class have mohawks. Several kids at his daycare have mohawks. They are young kids and it's just a hair cut.

So... what are your thoughts. Is it just hair at this age or will us letting him get a mohawk now set a precedent that may very well lead him to a life of rebellion, crime and drugs?

Friday, July 9, 2010

It's official...

I showed up from work last night and his xBox was in our living room. It's official, he is now living with me.

Zack's reaction when I told him this morning:

Did he give you your ring back yet?

No.

Then he can't live with us.....

Cute kid... cute.....

The other thing he brought yesterday was his movie collection. An entire laundry basket full of movies which I must now take upstairs and attempt to integrate with my movies. Because in my world, movies go in alphabetical order. It makes me happy. :-)

Jim was actually giving me a hard time about it this morning, I also organize Zack's toys and the clothes in the closet, and then over my lunch hour I stumbled on this picture and it was too perfect not to share.

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

So this weekend I will be organizing movies and trying to get everything out of my house and down to my friend's house for our garage sale next weekend. I'm hoping to find my office floor again by the end of August.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Moving In

Last night I did laundry.

I washed it, I dried it and then... instead of standing in my kitchen sorting out his clothes from mine I took the entire basket upstairs and put it all away.

It was strange and surreal and sometime in about 10 weeks I might be able to wipe the smile off of my face.

He is not officially moved in yet. All that is there is about 80% of his clothes but it is a start. It is enough for me to know that he is coming. He has given notice to his landlord, told her he would be out by August 1st.

He's moving... and I couldn't be more thrilled if I tried.

Friday, July 2, 2010

What a Difference...

I feel like something needs to be put in this space. Something honoring the tremendous fight my sister has put up this last year. But I'm not quite sure what it should be. It would be easy to come here and tell you where we were.


I wrote 116 posts last July, most of them while sitting in the ICU waiting room. I can still remember exactly where I was sitting when I text Jim to tell him that I was in the emergency room waiting on the ambulance to bring by baby sister to the hospital.


I remember walking around the parking lot with her husband praying more than I ever had in my whole life and all the while thinking, she can't die.... she just can't. It can't be her time.


I remember all too well the line I wrote on my blog, her blog, every email I sent to friends, and every Facebook message I sent to her friends:


If you pray, please do so now. If you don't... please start.

As I read back through those posts it is hard to believe that was ever her life. She was just home two weeks ago and to see her today, aside from a few gnarly scars (she really needs to think of a good story for those), you would never even know she had been in an accident.

God truly does work in wonderful and mysterious ways.

So I guess, what I really want to put up here is a message of hope, of strength and of love. Our hope, her strength and everyone's love, making it possible for us to spend this 4th of July celebrating not only the birth of our nation but the wonderful miracle we all got to witness last year.

I love ya sis!! I'm so glad you decided to stick around and put up with us all for a while longer!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Reinforcements

Mommy, do you know how to drive that thing?

No

Mommy, do you know how to start that thing?

No

But Mommy... I think Grandpa said we can drive that thing.....
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We have called in the reinforcements. My father has arrived with his trackhoe in an effort to find the collapsed tile and stop the flooding in our basement.

Cross your fingers that this works. I'm tired of moping and pumping......

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Flooding

On Tuesday at 1:00 I participated in a market research study about local radio stations. One in particular and their syndicated morning radio show. I almost didn't answer when my home phone rang on Monday night with a blocked number. However, my mom's number shows up that way so I picked it up.

The process was fairly short, 30 minutes, and pretty painless. They asked me some questions about the morning show and about things that I thought would or would not be good topics for that show. And for my trouble I was paid $75. Where do I sign up for the next one??

Yesterday morning I woke up late and stumbled down to the basement to check on the water situation (since it had rained 2" over night). As soon as I got about halfway down the stairs I saw the water. About half of the basement floor was already covered, any where from 1/16 inch to 1/4 inch of water, and it was slowly creeping towards the rest. I put my shoes on and headed for the pump.

I got the hose dragged outside to the sound of thunder and the feel of a few raindrops on my skin. Quickly I hurried back downstairs, plugged in the pump and listened gratefully to the whooshing sound as it started pumping all the water outside. I was just getting ready to head back upstairs to take a shower when it just stopped. No warning, just done and the water came rushing back in.

So I quickly unplugged the pump and flipped it over trying to locate the reason for it's lack of functioning. I think it's important to add here that I had no idea what I was looking for. None what so ever. It was the equivalent of my car breaking down and me opening the hood of my car and staring at the motor. It might look good but it is totally pointless.

So, I set the pump down... having deducted that it looked perfectly fine to me, and plugged it back in. Swish... the water started pumping again. Alright, I thought, just a fluke. I stepped off of the pallets to head for the door and once again it stopped. So, once again I unplugged it and walked over and picked the pump up. A pointless exercise but one I engaged in none the less. Having once again deducted that it looked perfectly fine to me, because of course I would know what I was looking for, I plugged it back in. Nothing. Not a sound... not a whir... nothing....

So, yesterday morning at 7:45 am I got to take my newly acquired $75 and buy a new pump for our basement.

Uggg....

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Slipping Slide

Last Sunday we bought Zack a slip and slide. Or as he refers to it... his slipping slide.

At first he was not really sure what to do with it.

Didn't quite fully understand the concept.....
So, Jim had to give him a lesson....


He was a baseball player so for him, sliding down this thing is no big deal. Just dive!!

After he went down the first (or possibly the second) time I started getting the look. The look that said... it is your turn now.
I am 30 years old. I have never (that I remember) been down a slip and slide. And I was wearing my clothes. Hadn't I been designated group photographer?

Yet, the next thing you know, my shoes and socks were off and I was standing in the grass looking at this thing wondering how did I get myself talked into this?

I have a mental block about throwing myself face first onto a hard surface so I ran... then I stopped...

Then I sort of hit all fours and fell onto the slip and slide. It wasn't pretty....
And I only made it about halfway down the first time.....
But it was fun!!
I looked at Jim after I was done and through the laughter I simply asked him, "Who are you and how is it that I let you talk me into this? This is not me... I am not the fun parent."
And yet, there I was in my jeans and tshirt (sans bra... I took it off... Jim said that completed the hick look) sliding down a slip and slide with my son and my boyfriend and loving every minute of it.

Sometimes, life catches up with you in unexpected ways and you realize that where you are now is 100% different, yet 100% more fun than you ever thought it would be!


Friday, June 18, 2010

Say what?

What's wrong with your shirt?

What?

Look right there.

Mommy, look, I have a hole in my shirt.

(Then he says in a volume that reminds people he is in fact my son, because I am nothing if not seriously volume challenged at times... )

Look Mr. Jim, you can stick your finger in the hole and touch my wood!

**blink, blink... crickets chirping**

Your what?

My wood. (He says while rubbing his arm....)

Skin Zackary. It is called skin. Trees have wood. People have skin.

***************

I may have laughed hard enough to almost shoot pop out of my nose and I had tears streaming down my face.

Children..... making the world a funnier place one innocently inappropriate comment at a time.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Yup... I'm an ass..

He came over tonight and while we were talking he told me that he had decided he was ready to live here.

And I laughed inside....

I couldn't help it. Because I knew I had to come here and admit to all of you that I am.... indead an ass....

Then I told him about the blog post and he laughed. Right before he told me I better get online an update my blog.

So he's moving. Not next week, obviously, but shortly there after. I'm thrilled. I'm pulling my foot out of my throat.... but thrilled just the same.

Who's Daddy?

Mr. Jim is coming to our house tonight.

I thought we decided we were just going to call him Jim.

No mommy... I thought we decided we were going to call him Daddy Jim.

Well you can call him Daddy Jim if you want to but I'm going to just call him Jim.

Why?

Because he's not my daddy.

But he's MY daddy!!

Yes, he is.

Mommy...... he can be your daddy if you want him to be.

No Zacky... no he can't......

Thursday Thoughts

I have been struggling this week/month with expectations. I told Jim a couple weeks ago that my goal in life is to try not to have expectations. That way when things don't happen as I expect I am not disappointed. In Al-anon we say that expectations are premeditated resentments. And for the most part, I think this is true.

However, as Jim reminded me... you have to have some expectations in life. Realistic expectations keep your life and your boundaries in check. There are people in the program who live with active alcoholism and addiction. I often hear these people talk in meetings and wonder if they have any expectations left at all. Some of them are struggling but some of them seem to be happy right where they are. I am not them. As much as I would like to not have expectations I very much think Jim is right. There are certain things I feel like you should be able to expect of your partner and when you live with active alcoholism and addiction you don't get those things.

Which brings us back to my expectations. Realistic expectations. Before I begin, #1) I asked Jim if he read my blog, he told me he was here a couple times after I gave him the link but has not been back in a month or so.... which is why I am posting this here. Which leads beautifully into #2) unlike the previous topics of discussion last week and this week, I have not talked about this with him. You'll understand why in a minute.

As I'm sure you have figured out from reading here, Jim and I are not engaged, nor does he live with me. He started telling me he was going to marry me at the beginning of February. For a long time he told me at least once, if not multiple times, every time he saw me. When I asked him why his answer was that he was 36 years old and had never said that to another woman. He liked saying it and he really wanted me to believe it and know how important it was to him.

Sometime in March, he started telling other people he was going to marry me. Casual conversations, talking about future plans, flat out questions to him by his friends & family, things of that nature. Somewhere between March and April I started forming an expectation in my mind. He talked about it so often and was so excited about it I just figured that it was something that would be happening sooner rather than later.

We had talked about him living with me and I had basically told him he was welcome any time after April 15th. Slowly April 15th kept getting closer and closer and there was no mention of Jim living with me. So, one night I asked him what the plan was. He seemed to skirt the issue any time I brought up him living with me and I was wondering how he could be so excited about marrying me but avoid the topic of living with me. That's when he admitted to me that he didn't plan to live with me until we were engaged and also not until we had been together a year.

In his mind all too often people move in together before they are engaged with the intention of getting engaged but it just doesn't happen. A week turns into a month and a month turns into six and before you know it you are settled into a routine and not yet engaged. In his mind he is only getting married once. He is only picking one person to say that to and that person is me. So if he has to wait a few more months to live with me than that's what he is going to do to make sure he does it the right way.

So... I adjusted my expectation. A few more weeks went by and one day we were at the mall with Zack and we passed a jewelry store. He wanted me to go in and look at rings, I almost passed out. At that point, he was convinced that I still didn't believe him and so he started telling me that he had been in stores, that he had been looking, that he had talked to sales people, etc. Sometime around the end of April he told me he had found the ring and that he had bought it (or put a down payment on it or something to make me believe that he had already picked it out and they were holding it for him).

It was at this point, like it or not that my expectations changed. I knew from discussions with him that he would not be giving it to me in May but somehow I just figured that once we made it to June we would be engaged and he would be moving in. I would tease him about not having it until 2012 and he would say to me it will be sooner than you think. During one conversation I told him I didn't care what date he picked but not to make it September 20th (my old anniversary) and his answer was you will have it by then. So, somehow I convinced myself that sooner rather than later meant June. I don't know why I got that in my head but I guess there was a part of me that didn't figure he would buy a ring at the end of April and then hold on to it for 4 months.

I was wrong.

It is now June 17th and from what I can tell the possibility of us becoming engaged before the middle of July is slim to none. See Jim sells iPhones and the preorder was on Tuesday and the new iPhone 4 launches next week. He will be working eight days straight starting Monday and will be lucky if it slows down before the first week in July.

And suddenly, there is a part of me that wishes he had never told me about the ring.

If I didn't know that he had looked, if I didn't know that he was thinking about it, if I didn't know that he was planning to ask me then there wouldn't be this part of me that continues to feel overwhelming disappointment as the days turn into weeks and the weeks turn into months.

I guess for me, it's not even the being engaged part so much as the living together part. When I redid the house the timing of it was because I thought he would be living there soon. This is the part where I explain to you why Jim and I haven't had this talk. We haven't had this talk because I don't want him to ask me to marry him and move in with me simply because he thinks I was expecting it or because I'm disappointed that he hasn't yet.

I didn't redo the house so that he WOULD move in sooner. I redid it because I thought he WAS moving in soon. Because my expectation was that he had a ring, he had a date he had picked and surely he would not wait until July or August to ask me since he had been saying it since February.

And now... I'm kinda kicking myself. I love the house, I love all of the remodeling. The new feel and the new design is just as much for me as it ever was for him but at the same time I'm disappointed. I sit alone usually 3 - 4 nights in this house that I want to share with him. Last night he was off work at 7:00 and he went back to his place on a technicality. And it drives me crazy.

He will be at our house tonight, he will stay until Monday morning which in my mind means that he might as well be living there but he won't. He won't "officially" move his things in until we are engaged and we won't be engaged until lord only knows when. I'm starting to think 2012 again.

And believe me when I tell you, I get it in the grand scheme of things. What is a month or two when I am going to be with him for the rest of my life? I am seeing him 3-4 nights out of 7, why can't I be patient and just let things work themselves out in their own time?

So, this is why I come here to tell you, oh great people of the Internet. Because I can't tell him. Because I can't tell this wonderful man who has been loving and supportive and who is trying his hardest to make sure he does this the right way for all of the right reasons that I'm disappointed or that I'm frustrated with how things are going. Because that's not fair to him. Because he loves me and he loves my son and he is just trying to make sure he does this right.

And really... in the grand scheme of things... what is another month or two or three.... however if it becomes six... we might have to revisit the expectation talk. :-)
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