Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tis the Season

There are seasons in domestic law, just like in life. Presently I'm in the midst of one of the worse seasons.
All Holidays - the parents look at their calendars and determine that Johnny isn't with them on the day of their family party. That just isn't going to work. So they call me and want me to "fix it" quick. These calls usually come 2-3 days before a holiday. I had three of those calls. Two were settled by a quick call to the other attorney. One did not work out because the other side refused to respond.
There are also the calls that the other spouse has mis-interpreted the Order and/or hasn't returned the child. This week I had a new situation - Dad decided that he and new wife would go ahead to his parents to celebrate. He just didn't show up to get the child from Mom. The child was very upset. Luckily Mom didn't have plans that she couldn't change.
After Christmas - the out-of-town parent gets to spend time with their children. The children love time with Disney parent who, of course, spoils them rotten over the holiday. Children decide that they like the situation and want to stay there. Or, worse, the child reveals abuse and now needs to stay. Client calls and needs emergency custody now, before they are scheduled to return. I had two calls like this.
Post Holiday - holiday is over and Mom just had her holiday weekend. Next weekend was supposed to be Mom's every-other-weekend time. Dad is upset because now Mom has two weekends in a row. Dad calls to complain. I had a call from a client that owes me $12,000 about this. I decided not to call her back......
Money - child reveals that Dad is working more hours and got a raise. Mom wants her child support increased. Dad gets laid off over the holidays and wants support decreased. I had three calls about this. I ran the numbers and only one met the "substantial affect" test justifying a change.
Summer - child comes to visit. Decides they don't want to return to the other parents. Of course this isn't decided until 2 days before they are scheduled to return and start school. Which means things must be done last minute.
The split - parents share child on a week-to-week split but do not live in the same school district. The child reaches kindergarten age. Parents can not agree what to do or what school to use. I'm getting ready to file one of these.
Ah this is fun................

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Change in Plans

I had intended to be packing to leave for my sister's house today. But plans have changed. My husband started coughing and hacking. When he took my daughter into the doctor for a rash (nothing serious), he asked about the cough she's had for 2 weeks. The doctor also heard Husband hacking and sniffling. The doctor remarked that Husband and Daughter likely had RSV. In older children and adults, it typically stays as a cold without complications. However, they can pass it on to others, including back on to Baby.

On Sunday I started noticing pain in my ear. By Monday it was quite painful. Neither tylenol nor ibuprofen helped. So I called to get into the doctor. My other ear was aching then too. Turns out I have an ear infection. It's a virus so no antibiotics. But I do have pain meds, numbing drops and a steroid/anti-inflammatory. The doctor said that adult ear infections are pretty painful because the ear drum pushes out and gets hit by air which causes pain. I have been keeping cotton in my ear which helps keep the drops in, as well as the cold air out.

Then my sister called. She is almost recovered from pneumonia and just has a lingering cough. However, her daughter has bronchitis. And her youngest son, who was hospitalized with RSV as a baby, still suffers from asthma. To protect everyone, we decided to postpone our trip to February. I'm really sad about it. I'll also miss getting together with my blog buddy - although I'm hopeful she can come in February.

So with that change of plans, we had to juggle. We had signed for Daughter to be out Wed and Friday. However, there were going to be enough teachers to meet ratio, so she can go. We had already had the in-laws take the dog back to their house (they are our dog-sitters). So I suggested Husband (yes, I suggested) go in hunting. He gets really irritable when restricted inside for long. So it will do us both good for him to get out. We decided I would go into work today, and he would stay home. It let him rest some too and hopefully heal from his cold. Thursday is family day. Then Friday he'll leave work a bit early and go into his folks and hunt then through Saturday. He'll bring the dog back with him. I miss Tallie dog. But I know she has thoroughly enjoyed running around all the land at the in-laws. They spoil her rotten too.

I've invited some girlfriends over to scrapbook Friday night. Saturday I plan to go through Daughter's room and organize her toys. Plus sleep!

Husband and I stopped doing the strict stay up in shifts schedule. Baby has coughing fits but not bad. We now just take turns being "in charge" of Baby. The person in charge sleeps on the couch with Baby on or near us. It's that light sleep that parents learn to do. Last night I woke Husband up to switch at 1 am since I was working. He went to bed at 7 tonight. I'll try to let him sleep a bit longer since he is working tomorrow.

I've got several posts ruminating in my head so going to work on them now.

Monday, December 29, 2008

My Gift to You this Year

I wish I could give each of my blogger-buddies friends a present for the new year. So in the spirit of true virtual reality, here is my gift to each of you (in no particular order).

To 16 Blessings - sleepy vibes for Camille so she will sleep through the night, eyes in the back of her head to watch Charlotte Claire, safe travel for Emily as she is travelling this year, good health for all of her children, and a peace that passes all understanding as she and her husband manage (quite well, I might add) the challenges of having 16 children.

To Beauty - rock salt so she won't have any more falls on the ice, successful sales of her beautiful softies, and an instant transporter so she can escape from her house while her mother is visiting next door. Also blessings for each of her children and grandchildren, and especially for Tim in his continued recovery. And peace in her new "snug."

To Marcy - quick and nimble hands for her dulcimer playing, continued determination as she works on projects like this (her stick-with-it attitude is so admirable), and of course, patience and tranquility as her daughter enters the "terrible" twos.

To Strong & Determined - best wishes as she starts her new blog. As well as a gift of technical knowledge as she gets it up and running.

To Tamara - what can I give her that she hasn't already given herself? Her progress in healing is the best gift. I wish her the best as she pursues her new studies of Chinese Medicine, Reiki, and EFT. Oh and a warm heater that runs on something other than electric to keep her warm this winter when the electric goes out.

To Mike - the gift to continue his inspirational efforts to reach out to survivors and their family everywhere with his Survivor Network.

To Erin - success in her graduate studies and publishing success with her new book.

To Lynn - the antidote to writers' block and the gift of wisdom and discernment in her stock trading efforts. Also a blissfull night's sleep, full of peaceful and happy dreams.

To Rindy - strength in her journey, protection for her and her boys, and that her Walls Down Church will be a blessing and inspiration for everyone that enters its doors (can a Church without walls have a door?)

To Maia - continued success in meeting her weekly goals, the ability to take some time off from work and leave it at the office, soccer goals for all the siblings and continued healing as she and her family mourn the loss of their sibling Ceyja.

To DM - good weather for his work, calm nerves as he prepares to teach a class, organized thoughts as he works on his book. For Mrs. DM, patience as she deals with Mr. DM (kidding!!), strength for her back. And for both of them, continued blessings for them and their family.

To JIP - clarity of direction as she continues her journey. Continued success, including her remarkable ability to not let life get her down. Empowerment as she continues to stand up for herself and her littles. And strength as she is a single mom to her wonderful children.

To Kahless - peace at work (no more job reviews), a year of no necessary home repairs (especially those involving water or electricity), and an escape hatch from the negativity and funk she finds herself in.

To Keepers and JM - health and happiness. No more injured shoulders or stomach bugs. The financial ability to keep KK going. And continued success in her remarkable ability to find positive life lessons in all circumstances (like here).

To Angel - fruitcake and eggnog since she has had neither, and peace in the daily cat war that continues in her home.

To Lynx - good health for Nimbus, Mr. Cat and Curzon. Also continued success in her writing endeavors.

To Mssc - continued healing from the loss of his son-in-law, Sgt. Buddy James Hughie and blessings as he continues in his unique roll of being both a Poppop and Daddy.

To Cassie - to one of my youngest blogging buddies, I give you a compass to guide your way in life, and prayers that the peace you discovered during your time in Texas continues.

To Lawyerchik - my fellow attorney, I wish you a magic fairy who will pay off your school loans and fulfill your billable hour quota. Barring that I wish you direction and peace in your job - and protection from oversize anonymous gifts.

To Kim - my best blogging buddy - you and I have been through a lot of up and downs together. You have come so very far. I'm amazed. I wish you continued success on your journey, especially as you try to pull strings with the Renfrow Center. I wish you continued peace in your role as mother to your beautiful and wonderful daughter. And a gift I know you will appreciate - a magical visit to your daughter from the poo-poo fairy!!

To RR - I wish you Arabian horses in a 5 star facility, lots of time spent riding your horses with the wind rushing by, health and healing for you (and your animal menagerie). Also peace in the relationship with her daughter.

To Nick and Alex - for Nick a never-ending supply of oxygen in a tank that never ends, wisdom and endless patience in dealing with the VA officials, and lots of visits from his children and grandchildren. For Alex, a warm place to sleep, a magical machine that makes that "icky white stuff" disappear, and lots of kitty treats (plus a sudden absence of any desire to attack the "nose hose").

To Marj - a continued escape from the Dissociative Twilight Zone, healing from her infection of cyber klutziness, and healing from the pain of body memories. Selfishly I wish her an influx of assistance with hosting upcoming episodes of the Blog Carnival against Child Abuse (because I enjoy it so much).

To Austin - continued success in the sale of her beautiful artwork, peace in the land of Fife-living and wisdom in find new living quarters if that need arises. Also, health and peace among her feline and canine companions. Also for freedom from triggers and that she will continue to be the awe-inspiring "free one," whose butt-kicking powers I admire.

For April - that her son will thrive in his new home, lots of inspiration for her writing career, and a continuation of the freedom from the triggers of guilt and shame.


For myself, I wish for health for my children, and especially my son. A good start in kindergarten this fall for my daughter - and a sense of peace as I deal with realizing that my "baby girl" is growing up enough to start school. I would like a renewed closeness in my marriage and discernment in knowing when to speak and when to hold my tongue. Also direction in my career path.

To all of us, I wish health and blessings, freedom from the after-effects of abuse and safety in all areas of life.

Happy New Year Everyone ! See you in 2009!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Lifestyle differences

I grew up in the northeast - fast paced, in town, near to the city, lifestyle. My family put the "D" in dysfunctional. We moved a lot - 2 states and 6 houses. We did not live near extended family. We travelled often and didn't think anything about driving 8 hours. Sister and I were encouraged to try all sorts of different things and to strive for the best. My parents insisted we use proper grammar and learn proper table manners. I was required to do well in school and no matter where we moved, the quality of the school systems were of absolute importance.
My husband grew up in the south - slow paced, out of town, not near a city, lifestyle. His family is Rockefeller normal. His father built a house on a plot of land given to him by his father. It is surrounded by land of his brothers and sisters. Seven of the nine siblings (one is deceased) live within a 2 mile radius on adjoining family plots of land. Husband never lived anywhere else. His family did not travel out of state except for two beach trips over the state line. They are not sophisticated. They had rotary dial telephones, antenna TV, and limited exposure to big-city life. Husband never had a computer in his house and only limited exposure in school. His parents had never eaten in a restaurant with cloth napkins and his mother didn't know what to do with it when I took her to one.
I went to school with Husband's cousin. It is how we met. She graduated toward the top of her highschool class - same school Husband went too. When we got to college she struggled in English and Math. Basic skills I had learned were lacking. She has found it difficult to find a job outside of their small hometown. She's received several interviews and I suspect the lack of a job is due to the fact that her grammar is not the best.
Tonight Husband bemoaned the fact that he doesn't like living here and wished we lived closer to his hometown. I know that it is 99.9 percent the fact that he wants to live closer to hunting land. He thinks that if he could just go on Saturday mornings instead of making a day out of it, things would be better. If he could just get out in the woods and shoot his guns, things would be better. I know better. He'd become even more immersed in hunting and family would lose out. He would want to go backwards and become entrenched in his childhood, instead of moving forward into being an adult.
He tried to make a case for his hometown. We'd be close to his family who is getting older. Husband's only brother is autistic so it will fall to us to care for his parents and brother if the need arises. He thinks the schools here are full of troubled youth. He remarked that the neighbors to his parents attend one of the best private schools in the state (which happens to be 1 hour away and just as close to our current house as his folks). I asked Husband how much of it was hunting related and he admitted most of it.
My counter argument - we both agreed a long time ago that the quality of education in that county is deplorable. Neither of us wanted our children to attend there. When we were making up our will and choosing a guardian for Daughter, we talked about how his hometown was very small-minded. There is no diversity. There are no jobs in that town - all of the big factories have closed.
My job is not transferrable. It takes years to build a client base and contacts and referrals. You can't just up and move. We have discussed caring for his mother (much younger than his dad) and brother if need arises. His mother is willing to move here and has researched facilities to assist with BIL in our area.
Husband thinks I am being elitist. I told him I do not think any less of his family or his hometown. But, I want more for my children. I don't care if they work at McDonalds when they grow up. I want them to be able to fit in there. If they want to be a high level executive who jet sets around the world, I want them to feel comfortable doing that too. I want them to be able to eat a meal in a homeless shelter and the next night dine at a 5 star restaurant. I want them to choose a career that fulfills them and where they feel they make a difference - if that is as a waitress, stay-at-home-parent or doctor, it doesn't matter to me. If they want to say "ain't" and other poor examples of grammar in the right circumstances (if there any) that is fine. However, I want them to know how to speak properly when needed.
I am NOT moving to Husband's hometown. I would be miserable. We discussed this in-depth before marrying. I insisted on some pre-marriage counseling sessions because I knew our backgrounds are so different. I was entering law school when we met and I discussed with Husband the parameters my job requires. We talked about his discomfort with the events I'm required to attend and the socialization it requires. We talked about my impatience with the slow lifestyle of his hometown. We each decided we were willing to make sacrifices.
Husband doesn't understand enjoying a career. He works to earn a living. I work to not only earn a living, but because I feel called to my vocation. I enjoy my work and making a difference. I have told Husband that we will do whatever it takes if he wants to switch fields. We will sell everything and move to a 1 bedroom apartment for him to go to school. He's not interested. He likes his job good enough - he has no desire to find a place where he can find purpose in his work. He wants to go in, work, get paid, come home. He doesn't want to make the effort school would require.
Husband said he doesn't like our friends. He said he doesn't have anything in common with them. He says the men are too "into sports and not hunting." He has nothing in common with the men because they are career men. This is not true. He has no problems talking to them when we are together. Some are career minded but some are not. He could certainly call some up to go hunting - he just doesn't.
As the years go by, Husband is more and more discontent with the path our lives have taken. He wants to go back to his childhood. He doesn't want to grow up. I've been grown up for a long time now. I find it much easier to get into the role of sacrificing for my family. He does not. This issue is driving us further and further apart. I am willing to sacrifice for my family when I think it is the right choice - but moving to his hometown is not what is right. I feel confident of that. So much so that I told Husband if he could honestly look me in the eyes, after much prayer and consideration, and tell me that moving was what God wanted and what he really thought was best for our entire family, that I'd move tomorrow. I don't expect to see packing boxes in my future.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Shot Himself in the Foot

Husband shot himself in the foot, and he is not liking it one bit. After much arguing, I resigned myself to DH hunting last weekend. He asked which was better, last weekend or this and I said last weekend. I had a strong feeling that things would shake out like they had in the past - that he would want to go again this weekend.

I decided that I was going to try something new. I wasn't going to yell, scream, rant, rave or anything. I was going to calmly express my feelings and leave the choice up to him. I would pray for him and encourage him to do the same. I saw him off on his hunting trip last weekend with smiles and welcomed him home with the same. It was a good time for him and my positive attitude made the whole weekend more enjoyable. (the hole in my tongue wasn't too painful).

Husband gets into a deep funk the day after Christmas every year. I've gotten used to it and know to just let him do his thing. His parents were up yesterday and of course his dad and he start talking hunting. Husband really wants to go shoot his new gun. Last night he mentions that if Baby is doing well, maybe he would take Daughter into his folks. I just stayed silent.

Baby is not doing that well. He was wheezing more today and coughing a lot and getting choked. So we still need to stay up with him. I was hoping that tomorrow we could take turns napping and get caught up on sleep a bit. I mentioned napping today and he told me to go nap. I knew from his tone that he was trying to butter me up to agree to the hunting trip.

I took Daughter to see a movie with a friend, while Husband stayed with Baby. She was so thrilled to get out of the house. She is having a tough time being restricted to the house. I began to wonder if she would enjoy going to her grandparents more than staying home tomorrow.

On the way home as we were sitting in the drive-through chatting, she asked me what we were doing tomorrow. I told her that Daddy wanted to go to Grammy & Pop-Pops hunting, and asked her if she wanted to go. She said no.

Daughter went on to explain that she doesn't like hunting. Daddy takes her in and then leaves her. He won't play with her. He takes her out hunting but makes her be quiet in the deer stand and won't talk with her. One of her favorite things is to tell stories and play imagination type games. I asked some open-ended questions to see what she liked and what she didn't like about the trips. I don't want her dragged there all the time if she's truly unhappy. One of the reasons I'm slightly laid back about Husband hunting so often is that he does take Daughter with him. That gives me a break and gives them time together. I know he and she both enjoy the drive time when they get to chit-chat and talk. I also like her spending time with her grandparents. But if she's not enjoying herself then I have to reconsider.

I found myself trying to change Daughter's mind. I found myself trying to talk her into going and enjoying herself. WHAT WAS I DOING? I was trying to give her an opinion instead of letting her form her own. I heard my mother's words coming out of my mouth and I hated it. So I stopped. Right then and there I stopped.

Over dinner I brought up our plans for tomorrow. Daughter mentioned the gun show in town. (secretly amazed at her ability to remember dates and events). Husband said he didn't want to go to any dumb gun show - he wanted to hunt with his new gun. (said in a 3-year old pouting tone). I asked Husband if he wanted to go hunting around here, not knowing deer season was out in this county. He mentioned going at his folks (different county) and I told him that Daughter didn't want to go. I encouraged her to explain why. I heard Husband start to do the same thing - well what about this and what about that? Daughter had told me that Daddy tells her she can have a treat if she goes hunting. Husband saw it as giving her a special snack while they sat out in the woods. Daughter saw it as a bribe.

Husband was really down about not talking her into going. I have been saying for years that he needs to be aware that neither of the children may enjoy hunting. We may both find ourselves attending activities that neither of us particularly enjoy. If Baby wants to wrestle (blech), I will find myself sitting on the bleachers cheering, when I really don't like wrestling at all. That's what good parents do. Husband didn't think it was possible for the children not to enjoy hunting and fishing. In his insistence to make it happen, he has tried everything including "buying" Daughter's love with food, treats and other things.

Husband asked me why I thought Daughter didn't want to go. I told him that what she really wanted was time with him doing things she liked. His insistence that she do things he liked had shot himself in the foot. His trying to shove hunting down her throat had been the death of her desire. He was not at all happy about that comment. But maybe this experience will help him put hunting into perspective. I know the talk with Daughter helped me realize that she is one opinionated girl and I LOVE IT.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Cheer

We had to be flexible with tradition this year. Baby's illness made things a bit tricky. But we enjoyed ourselves anyway.

On Christmas Eve Husband took the 2 am - 8 am shift. So I got to sleep and then wake up and try to get ready. We did our last advent calendar day. Then we packed up the car and hit the road. With one stop to change and nurse Baby, we made it there without much fuss. I mostly stayed in the corner rocking chair with baby. Husband took Daughter outside. We did not have a white Christmas - it was remarkably warm. Good thing because Husband forgot Daughter's coat at daycare...again....she now has 3 there and none at home.

We didn't get to go visiting this year. Husband's aunts and uncles are getting older and since RSV is dangerous in the elderly, we opted to skip visiting. I also didn't want to take Baby to the nursing home. We had really wanted to visit a cousin who just had a baby, but decided not to share the germs.

We did go to the family gathering. We called everyone and cleared it with them. Daughter would have been so disappointed if she couldn't go. I stayed in the corner mostly. There were 7 kids there ranging from Baby (3 months) to oldest cousin (age 8). It was mass chaos. We tried to have the children take turns opening gifts but they weren't having it. They took advantage of adults trying to talk and catch up with family. In 5 minutes there was wrapping paper knee high and demands to help get the toys out of the packages.

Speaking of packages, can someone tell me why manufacturers find the need to tie every single little piece with twisty tie wire? Then tape. Then strings attached to the box. UGH! It took forever to get things open. The Little Pet Shop house was the worst. I've swept twice and I know there are still strings and ties everywhere.

We drove home Christmas Eve night with Daughter watching the sky for Santa's sleigh and Daddy watching the side of the road for stray (rein)deer.

When we got home we finished the "What God wants for Christmas book" and learned that box number 7 held a mirror, showing that God wants us for Christmas. Then Daddy read the Christmas story from the Bible and he and Daughter went to bed. Of course we left milk and cookies for Santa, and carrots for Rudolph.

Santa Claus came during the sleep shift change. Boy did he make a mess coming down the chimney. There was soot and boot prints on the hearth!. He also snuck into Daughter's bedroom and put two presents underneath the small tree in her room.

I knew I would not get to sleep in until 8 Christmas morning. I was pleasantly surprised that Daughter slept until 7:15. We made her wait to walk down the hall until we were ready with the camera. She was SO excited. We opened stockings and then had cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate for breakfast. Then back for more presents. The in-laws came about 11 and we had more presents. Then lunch and playtime.

Baby slept through most of it. I did get some good pictures of him in camoflage jammies, holding his lifetime hunting/fishing license and webkinz deer! Daughter baked Jesus a birthday cupcake in her Easy Bake Oven and we sang Happy Birthday.

I played Pet Shop doll house, legos, a pet shop board game, cooties, made cupcakes in the Easy Bake overn, helped Daughter on her pink laptop computer, assembled a fisher price crib aquarium and washed three loads of laundry so everyone could wear their new clothes. It was so warm, that Husband and Daughter played outside awhile.

Last night I got to play with my scrapbook software that I received. I am going to have to spend some time learning it. Daughter loved the storybook scrapbook I made her. She insisted I read it to her four times. Her favorite pages are the story of her birth, along with the song I made up to sing to her.

We called my Sister and heard all about her kids' Christmases. We'll drive up there to see them next week if Baby is better. We also heard from my Mom. She sent Baby a handmade quilt. She makes them for each of the grandkids. She ordered an apron with Daughter's name on it and then wrote out some recipes in a spiral bound notebook for her. Also bought them two dollar store toys. She told me the neighbors had invited her and Toilet over after finding out they were not going anywhere or having visitors. Can't imagine the sob story told there. Mom declined but they brought over food anyway. That was good. Money is tight with Toilet out of work still and they have trouble meeting bills.

All in all it was a wonderful Christmas. The best was still listening to the Church choir with Baby nestled in my arms and Daughter leaning on me. And now I'm being summoned to play Cootie. Anyone remember that?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

Happy Birthday Jesus!

Isaiah 9:6 -
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Matthew 1:18 - I learned about the true meaning of Christmas from Charlie Brown's Christmas - this is the version I learned. This is what Christmas is all about.

And there were in the same country shepherds, abiding in the field keeping watch over their flock by night, and Lo the Angel of the Lord came upon them. And the glory of the Lord shone round about them. And they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, "Fear not,for behold I bring you tidings of great joy which should be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you. You shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger."

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, Peace and Goodwill toward men."

That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown!


And for some funnies.

Merry Christmas Everyone !!!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Sick Again

My Baby started with a cough on Sunday night. We've all had coughs here so I didn't think much about it. Daughter has had a cough for several days. Hers is productive. She can blow her nose, cough, clear her throat, have medicine and take cough drops. Not Baby. I just want to say to him, "clear your throat already." He had that raspy, wheezy type sound.

RSV, pneumonia, strep and a nasty cough are all going around daycare. So in an abundance of precaution, Husband wanted a doctor to see him. Off I went, sure I would pay my $20 copay to be told it's just a cold.

The doctor came in and said it was probably a cold, but because it was the holidays and all that junk was going around, he would take blood, get an oxygen level, and run an RSV nasal swab test. Good news - no infection and oxygen levels are good. Bad news - he has RSV.

Doc said we all probably have it. Husband, Daughter and I probably won't ever experience anything other than common cold symptoms. In babies though, it can be quite serious. Because it is a virus, antibiotics won't do anything. The biggest risks are breathing related. To be safe, the doc wants his breathing monitored 24-7. Since it was no fun being in the hospital last time, we can do this at home. Husband went to bed at 8 pm. I'm up until 2 or 3 am to carefully watch Baby breathe. Then I'll wake Husband and we'll switch. Really, getting 5 hours straight may be better than spread out like it has been. We are to do this through Sunday and then if he seems better, we can quit.

We decided to go ahead to the in-laws. Husband and Daughter can go visit family. We'll skip the elderly aunts & uncles, as well as the cousin with the new baby. We'll go to the family gathering if no one there is sick. Doc wants us to avoid sickly people to avoid Baby getting anything else. If we go, he will be in a sling and no one will be near him. No passing the Baby around this year.

Really I'd like to stay home, but I know my Daughter would be terribly disappointed. She's feeling a bit left out already with him being so sick.

I figure I'll pull out the scrapbook stuff a few nights, catch up on blogging, play online games and lysol everything!

Oh, and just in case that wasn't enough, the doc decided it was time to ultrasound Baby's hips since they still seem tight. So that is Monday. I just decided to heck with work - I'm staying out Monday and Tuesday too - no way I'm putting Baby in daycare for those two days. Fingers crossed he is better so we can travel to see my Sister.
Hey, I wonder if I'll get to see the fat guy come down the chimney since I'll be awake???

Monday, December 22, 2008

Monday Morning Gratitude

I'm borrowing this idea from Austin. This Monday morning I am grateful that -

  • There are only 2 work days this week. And next too.
  • I got up the nerve to apply for that other job, and I have an interview mid-January.
  • That my job is flexible enough that if Baby is still coughing and fussy when I call to check in after my 10 appt, I can go get him.
  • I got caught up on sleep this weekend, thanks to a good night's sleep Friday and naps both days.
  • I accepted the invitation to go to a friend's for an impromptu pot-luck celebration. It was lots of fun and I got to really sit down and chat with some good friends. I also planned an outing for December 26th.
  • The Christmas musical at church yesterday. Nothing (and I mean nothing) is better than holding my baby boy in one hand, having my daughter lie her head on my lap and listening to wonderful Christmas music. It made me realize how truly blessed I am.
  • My mother-in-law's cooking. Chocolate covered pretzels, chocolate covered peanut butter Ritz crackers, vegetable pizza, cheese ball, fudge, mini-ham and cheese sandwiches, cucumber sandwiches......thank goodness Christmas is only once a year.
  • For being assigned to bring peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to the family gathering - since I have the youngest child this year, I get the easy job!
  • For in-laws that will take care of Tallie so we don't have to board her while we go to my sister's.
  • For a baby who has learned to grab things in his fists and delighted all of us by playing peek-a-boo.
  • For a Husband who didn't laugh (at least not in front of me) when the deceased's relative showed up to avenge his honor. He might have been smaller but that sucker was quick. Not as quick as my valiant husband, who at my shrieks, swooped in with a tissue and squished him with his fingers (yuck).

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Caught in the Web of a Panic Attack

I hate bugs in my house. I hate big bugs. I despise big bugs in my house. I loathe bugs that crunch when you kill them. I despise bugs that crunch when you kill them in the house.

My husband thinks it's funny. He can't figure out how I enjoy hiking, camping and being outdoors, but hate bugs. I have told him - I respect bugs in their own environment. I will avoid them, give them a wide berth. I expect to see bugs outside. I do not expect to see them in my own home.

Last night it was just Baby and me at home. I go in the bathroom to brush my teeth and get ready for bed. I remove my contacts and am walking out the door when "oh @#%$^!" There on the floor is a HUGE spider. Fuzzy and furry. The legs are thick. And it is big - as big as my palm. I don't see any evidence that it is a black widow. I put my glasses on just to make sure I'm not seeing things. I'm not.
I look around for a weapon. Not much to choose from in the bathroom. I pull out a sand bucket that Daughter likes to use in the tub. I hold it in my hand. I make sure the bottom is not so curved so as to prevent squishing. I take deep breaths. I wait. I take deep breaths. I wait. Sweat is pouring down my neck and I'm shaking. Then....BAM.....I throw the bucket down. Spider is thrown. I scream and jump. Shake my feet. Make sure spider is not on me.
Okay, deep breath. Kick bucket over - no spider on bottom. I look around. No spider anywhere. Crap. Where is the stupid thing? I jerk open the linen closet - no spider. I ease forward to peer around the door into the hall. Yikes! There it is, along the edge of the wall. I leap across the hall into Baby's room to search for another weapon. Nothing. Why did husband chose this day, of all days, to actually put his shoes away and not leave them out where they would be readily available?
I leap down the hall into my bedroom and look for a shoe. I need one with a hard sole - no rubber grooved sole. I find a few. Now, to get up enough nerve to get close enough to slam the shoe down. I just know if I get too close, this spider is going to jump on me. Just like that Arachnophobia movie. Maybe I can throw the shoe. I slowly move forward watching for any sign that the spider is moving. Slam! I throw the shoe and it moves a bit. Then stops. Hmmm, dare I hope I killed it? Slam, Bam. I throw two more. It doesn't move. Okay, it has to be dead, right? I mean what sort of thing stands there when shoes are being thrown at it's head. Even President Bush ducked.
I get another shoe in my hand, ready to creep forward and deliver a final blow. I raise the shoe over my head and "@^(#&, AGH." The thing scurries around the corner behind daughter's bedroom door. I run down the hall for a fly swatter, wondering if it has enough force to kill this thing. Who knew spiders had 9 lives?
As I grab for the fly swatter, I notice "flying insect spray." I grab it and read the label. Nothing about spiders. Can't hurt though. Contemplate the whole hairspray and lighter to make a torch approach, but given we have wooden floors I decide that might not be a good idea. So I head down the hall, spray in one hand, swatter in other.
I get to the door and realize that the spider is behind the door. I peek and don't see it. I rattle the door. It doesn't move. So I have to walk into the room and shut the door to get to it. I just know this thing is hanging under the door to jump on my foot as I walk by.
Hoo-jah. I jump into the room. Whew, made it. I use the flyswatter to shut the door. There it is. I get the spray and psshhhh. It moves. Doesn't shrivel up though. Again. Again. It's moving slow now. But there a burst of speed. #%$^ it is going into my bedroom. Where Baby is lying. "Oh no you don't," I say.
Big huge breath and swat. AAAGGGGHHHH. The fly swatter thrust the spider somewhere. Where? I peek around. There. On my floor. A squished, dead spider. Yeah. I run down the hall and find another fly swatter. I open the front door. Go back and scoop the dead spider onto one fly swatter with the other. I am carrying it down the hall. Hand outstretched, keeping it as far away as possible. I am sure this thing has another life left in him, and will use it to jump on me. My hand is shaking, causing the spider to move around on the fly swatter, contributing to my fear. Open the door. Flick. Slam door.
Back on door, slide down to floor, deep breaths. Jump up - what if spider isn't dead and crawls under the door? Go down hall. Wash hands. Repeat. Look around bathroom and hall for any relatives of the deceased who might be bent on revenge. Seeing nothing, I jump into bed.
Wiggle, twitch. I feel things crawling. Panic sets in. What if another one comes out at night? Crawls in my bed? Agh. I pull out my PDA and google search "xanax and nursing." Hmm. Not safe. Oh wait, here's something. Ambien is okay while nursing. Take leaping steps down hall. The ambien is, of course, in the dreaded linen closet, from where the spider surely originated. Open door, grab bottle, take pill, slam door.
Into bed. Nurse Baby. Tuck him in and lie down. Ahh blissful sleep - and no spider dreams either.
Final score - Enola 1; Spider 0
(I tried to find a picture of the spider. What was I thinking? As if I'd be able to search through spider images without screaming ?!?!)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Blog Carnival - Holiday Edition

The Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse is up here. Check it out. Give Marj a big hand for getting this together so quickly. I know I'm impressed that she would even think of tackling such a project this close to the holidays.

General Update

The Blog Carnival will be up later today. I'll post a link when it posts. Be sure to check it out.

Hunting won. Husband is going tonight after work. So I'll pick the kids up and get them home and fed. Then he's leaving, later in the evening to go to his folks to hunt all day tomorrow. At least he is taking my Daughter. She'll enjoy hanging out with Grammy and baking cookies and stuff. And I'll get a break - well a break from 2 children so that I might possibly get the house ready for the holidays and visitors. I told Husband how I felt. He disagrees with everything. He has convinced himself that he does equally and does not put hunting first. I can't make him see things differently so it's either put up with his moping around or make the best of it. I told him that if he insisted on hunting, he could at least leave tonight and not wake me up at 6 am to go in the morning. I also told him that he was not obligated to come to my sister's. It was his choice. If he CHOSE to use vacation time to travel with us, then I didn't ever want to hear that brought up in an argument. He decided he'd come along.

I'm working on a mom post. Blech. Holidays bring out the worst in our relationship.

I'm lounging in my pajamas still. Husband took the kids to daycare. I've got two breakfast casseroles baking in the oven. Today is the day the associates fix breakfast for the entire office as our Christmas present to them. I hope the casseroles turn out well. It's my "secret" recipe (see below).

It is in the SIXTIES here. Ugh. I've lived in this region for over 10 years. I'll still never get used to this weather around Christmas. I want snow, darn it.

Daughter has a horrible cough. I pray she isn't getting sick. I laid my head on her chest this morning and she seems to be breathing fine. No wheezing and heart rate is normal. At least I think it is. Hard to tell because she kept giggling at me lying on her chest listening.

Baby isn't sleeping at daycare. They aren't allowed, by state regulations, to let him sleep in a swing or bouncy seat. So they put him in a crib and then he wakes up. He's only been up 1-2 times a night though. He had NINE messy diapers yesterday. Hope he isn't getting sick either. I should work on getting him to sleep on his own at home. But at 4 am, I'll do anything to get him to go back to sleep, including letting him sleep on me. And I plan to definitely nap with him sleeping on me tomorrow. It's my most favorite thing in the world.

I should know better than to shave when mad. I cut my legs to pieces last night. Which relieved the anger and pain....Which reminded me of SI and why I used to do it.

I guess I really ought to get dressed. I put my hair up in a ponytail this morning. I will tell people that I pulled it back because I am cooking and don't want hair to get in the food. Really it's because I didn't want to take time to do it.

My best moment of the day so far. Holding Baby and nursing him. He pops off and gives me a huge, milky smile. Daughter comes in to do her advent calendar. I ask her how many days until Christmas. She concentrates real hard and counts, then goes running out to the kitchen, "Daddy, only 6 days until Sand-y Clause." I love her excitement.

Breakfast Casserole - can be made the night before and cooked in morning.

1 package (1 pound) of sausage
12-18 eggs
1 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste (not too much salt because chips add salt)
16 oz (1 package) of shredded cheese - I use cheddar
Add onions, peppers, mushrooms or anything else you want
Crushed potato chips

Spray casserole dish with cooking spray. Crush up chips and line bottom.
Brown sausage and drain grease. Layer on top of chip crust. Sprinkle cheese over sausage.
In bowl beat eggs and spices. Add any veggies you want. Pour mixture over cheese.
Refrigerate overnight or bake immediately - 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes (until bubbly)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Getting to Know You - Holiday Edition

Kim said to consider yourself tagged if you wanted something "frivolous and fluffy." Sounds right up my alley. So I'll play. Likewise if you're up for soCheck Spellingme fun, tag yourself and play along.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? "Santa" uses special wrapping paper. Mommy and Daddy use wrapping paper and bags. Actually I like to use wrapping paper and then put it in a bag. Makes opening the presents last longer.
2. Real tree or fake: We had a real tree until the year of the drought. All the trees were so dry. Ours fell over, spilling water everywhere and causing a small flood. Now we worry about a real tree getting too dry by the fireplace.
3. When do you put up the tree? Usually the Saturday or Sunday after Thanksgiving
4. When do you take the tree down? Varies depending on visitors and travel plans. As early as 2 days after Christmas - as late as New Years Day
5. Do you like eggnog? Yes, but given my lactose intolerance, it doesn't like me!
6. Favorite gift received as a child? My Cabbage Patch doll. My Nana stood in line to get each of her 4 (at that time) grandchildren one the year they were so popular.
7. Hardest person to buy for? My brother-in-law. He's autistic and doesn't really play with anything.
8. Christmas eve midnight mass/service or Christmas Day: Our church has a candlelight Christmas Eve service but we are always travelling to the family shindig. We went one year - the year I was pregnant with Daughter and couldn't travel.
9. Do you have a nativity scene? Several. One wooden one my husband made by hand. One that is from a book called, "What God wants for Christmas." One small, miniature one on my desk.
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Picture cards by mail, with letter enclosed to family I don't see.
11. Worst Christmas gift ever received? a wooden dollhouse. The gift itself was nice. My grandmother made furniture to go along with it. However, the house required assembly which took months for Dad to attempt. Then he was drinking and messed it up. It never did get finished.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Charlie Brown's Christmas
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Black Friday usually
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I respectfully assert my 5th amendment privilege against self-incrimination
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? my mother-in-law's fudge, my sister's chocolate chip cookies, my mother-in-law's vegetable pizza, the breakfast casseroles at the firm breakfast
16. Lights on the tree? Yes white (I converted from color to white when I married)
17. Favorite Christmas song? Carol of the Bells, Christmas Canon
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Travel Christmas eve and New Years. Home on Day
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Absolutely. In fact, I sang them (after a few glasses of wine) at the firm Christmas party this year in order to earn extra "Santa bucks" with which to bid on things at the present auction.
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Star - we had an angel until last year.
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or Christmas day? with husband's extended family on Eve, Christmas pajamas on Eve, rest on Day
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? my husband wanting to buy his own presents and not getting into the spirit of picking out the perfect gift for others.
23. Favorite ornament theme or color? We have a special ornament for each year. We also buy ornaments every vacation/trip.
24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Turkey - because I love it and just having it at Thanksgiving is not enough.
25. What do you want for Christmas this year? An answer to my prayers about what direction to take with my job, health and peace for my family, watching the joy on my daughter's face on Christmas morning, kissing the top of my Baby's head and remembering that this time last year I never ever would have guessed we'd have a new baby this year.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Hunting comes in first, family second

Mssc made some comments on my post that tied in nicely with what I wanted to say in today's post.

Husband and I started into counseling because we were having the same fights over and over again. One of the bigger topics of discussion was hunting. So I thought it productive to think back upon what was discussed and learned then.

What I remember learning is that I see Husband as choosing hunting over me, which goes back to the "never been good enough or important enough to be chosen" theme of my life. Husband sees hunting as the way to gain his father's approval, and a way to be "manly."

In an attempt to compromise, we talked about each of us needing time to do our own thing. Also, about the fact that I needed Husband to prepare for hunting by making sure the cleaning, errands, etc were done in advance of his leaving. We agreed that one "me time" event a month was good. So when the calendar flips, we take our colored marker and block off our event. Mine is typically a Friday night from after work until 11 pm or so. I go scrapbooking. Husband wants a whole Saturday. But since he took our Daughter with him some, I didn't mind. Of course, he had to leave Friday so he could be there to hunt early Saturday. That was okay too. Only then it turned into leaving early on work Friday (unpaid time off) so he could hunt Friday night. Of course if he kills a deer on Saturday evening, he has to stay until Sunday. Then on Sunday, he requires several hours to clean his guns and re-organize his stuff.

I've commented to Husband that "it's never good enough." No matter how much I give in, he wants more. So I find myself saying things like, "you'll not get to hunt at all this year because of our new baby." My hope is that then when he does get to hunt a little, he'll be satisfied. It doesn't work that way. though.

I tried to find him a place to hunt locally, rather than having to drive 1 1/2 hours to hunt. That helped. He's hunted two evenings here locally. And I found a colleague with some hunting land who offered to take Husband hunting turkey. I am hoping that if Husband becomes interested in hunting more than deer, then he can spread out the hunting instead of trying to do it all in two short months. Part of the problem is that deer hunting season and the Tgiv/Christmas holidays overlap and it just becomes crazy. However, Husband doesn't appreciate my efforts except to think it means MORE hunting for him.

I've been hunting with Husband. I used to go quite often. After our daughter was born it became difficult for me to go. Then when it became an obsession with him and he began to do more regarding hunting than me, well I lost any desire to share in his interest.
I've told Husband that I would like him to spend as much time, energy and effort planning something for us and our family, as he does with hunting. I'd like him to spend as much time shopping for Christmas gifts for our family as he does finding gifts for himself (which he then has his parents send him $$ for). I'd like him to spend as much time overseeing our finances as he does browsing for deals on firearms. I'd like him to spend as much time organizing our documents and making sure they are secure as he does recording gun serial numbers and locking them in the safety deposit box.

When I first told him all of this about two years ago, he planned a very nice date night. We left our daughter with his parents, had a very nice dinner and stayed in a hotel that evening. Nothing like that has happened since.

Over the weekend, he asked if I minded if he went out to finish his Christmas shopping. Of course I didn't mind. He even took our Daughter with him. He came home several hours later. He went to.....Dick's sporting good and Walmart. Where he bought a hunting blind for himself (insisting he used money left over from his summer birthday) and a scope and mounts for his gun. Oh, and he needed to run back out and finish up shopping for me. He didn't quite get around to that.

Right now my emotions are running high. With starting back to work, I recognize that I'm not calm enough to discuss much. But after the holidays (and hunting season is over) we are definitely going to have a talk. If it requires returning to counseling for a session or two, so be it.

However, there is one thing I will address now. He is not invited to my sister's house for New Years unless he promises that he will never ever complain about having to use his vacation time to see my family. If he doesn't want to use his time off to visit, then I don't need him too.

So - if your significant other has an obsession, are you involved in it? Do you participate or attend? Do you find your involvement varies depending on your relationship? I find that I'm much more inclined to suggest he go hunting, accommodate hunting, and even go out in the woods with him, when he has made an effort and put time into our relationship.

(my idea of hunting these days :) )

Monday, December 15, 2008

Back to Life, Back to Reality

As this blog entry posts, my alarm clock is going off. I'm probably groaning. It will certainly be tough getting up so early with a baby who wakes 3-4 times a night. I'll miss that 6:30 - 8:30 stretch of sleep I've become accustomed too.

I have bottles made and labeled. On Friday I took diapers, wipes, a mobile, a blanket, pacifiers and pictures to daycare for Baby. I've laid out my pump, purse (sure will feel weird to carry a purse instead of a diaper bag), and clothes for all. Daughter's shoes and clothes are laid out. My clothes are picked out. Baby's clothes are laid out too. The camera is ready so I can take pictures of Baby's first day.

Husband and I will work together to get the kids ready. I will drive them to daycare where I will leave Baby for the first time. WAHHHHH. I know I'll cry. Probably not until I get in the car to drive away, but I'll cry.

I've included some gingerbread flavored coffee creamer. My legal assistant and I plan to lounge in my office over coffee and go through my case list, make a to do list and coordinate schedules. I plan to work a few hours - enough that Baby gets one bottle at daycare. Tuesday I'll work half-day and Wednesday it's back to full day.

I'm worried they won't know how to comfort him when he cries. That they won't get to him quick enough. That they won't realize that he hates wet diapers and even though you just changed him 5 minutes ago, he could still be wet and upset. That he likes to fall asleep upright with his back patted.

And now it is off to bed for me. To snuggle with a blue stuffed blanket. I'm sleeping with this Lovey under my shirt tonight. Tomorrow it should be full of my scent and can cuddle with Baby in his crib at daycare.

I know he'll survive....but will I?
ETA - I am at work. Thank goodness for waterproof mascara. On my desk is a small picture of Daughter at 3 months - the same age Baby is now. Boy do they look alike. She made it through daycare just fine and I know he will. When I left, he was fussy and the worker immediately switched positions, crooned to him, and he settled back down. 5 minutes down - 2 hours, 55 minutes to go. Boy I wish I believed in playing the lottery....quitting work would be awesome.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Gloves are Off

I can fight dirty. I learned from the best of them. Toilet was good at arguing. You could see the glint in his eyes as he drew you in, then went in for jugular and scored. Over time I learned, and even won some arguments.

After leaving home, I began to see that winning arguments at all costs wasn't the best thing. I slowly learned how to think of zingers, but keep them firmly inside my mouth. Cutting people down might feel good in the moment, as you taste the sweetness of victory in the argument. But the bitterness of having hurt someone you care about, soon consumes you.

I save most of my shots for the courtroom now. However, my husband can drive me to lose my cool and let a few jabs fly. Especially when he makes me mad and then laughs at me. That makes the gloves come off. He can fight dirty, but I can fight smart.

I start back to work on Monday. I'm stressed about it - anxious - and depressed. I've let Husband know all this. He mentioned going into his folks to hunt this weekend, or hunting after work one day this week. I told him that given it was my first week back at work, I was anxious about trying to juggle the morning and evening routines and wasn't sure his being gone one evening would work. Also, this is the last weekend before Christmas and we need to finalize shopping, wrap and get ready for the travelling for the holidays. He let the topic drop. I should have known that was a bad sign.

At lunch today, my husband mentions that he wants to take Daughter into his parents next weekend and hunt. Of course he mentions this in front of my Daughter who is of course, excited about seeing Grammy and Pop-Pop. So if I say "no" then I'm the bad guy. I told Husband we'd discuss it later. He again let it drop, which again I should have seen as a bad sign.

After I returned from a trip to the grocery store, Husband makes a comment about my having stocked up on too much freezer food. He said, "if I get a deer, there won't be any room for meat."

I remarked, "Well isn't deer season about over?" He says, "well I might get one this weekend."

Apparently he has decided he was going hunting this weekend, regardless of my thoughts. I told him that it would really stress me out. He said, "well I've been thinking and you keep saying that I need to cut back because of the Baby, but you've not cut back. This year has been all about you." He then started listing all the trips we took to see my family and my friends, and reminded me that he had changed his hunting plans for my family to come in at Thanksgiving. Also, that we were planning to visit my family for New Years too. He had the dates down pat. He knew exactly how many days we had gone, how many days he took off work, and the approximate costs of each trip. He then compared that to the time he had spent hunting.

I saw red. This wasn't a "heat of the moment" response. What my husband likes to do is end an argument when he sees it not going his way, then retreat to his corner to think up some zinger, and start the fight again later. Unlike me, who will occasionally say something nasty in the heat of the moment, Husband takes his time to think nasty things up. He had obviously spent the hour I was at the store, preparing his case. I started to respond, then realized my daughter was in the room. I said, "we'll have to finish this later or I'm going to say something I ought not say in front of Daughter."

After I got Daughter in bed, Husband raised the issue again. I told him that there was no need for him to go hunting this weekend. He could go over New Years, while Daughter, Baby and I drove to my sister's. He was mad and accused me of "threatening him." I told him it wasn't a threat - I don't have any problems driving by myself. Husband said, "You can't do that" and I said, "don't tell me what I can or can't do." He says, "Well you can't take the kids then." And I said, "fine, you can't go hunting this weekend or take Daughter with you."

As far as I'm concerned, equating hunting to visits with family is just low. Limiting hunting because of a new baby is a far cry from not seeing family. We did take more trips to see my Sister this year because BIL was in Iraq and we needed to help out. I offered to drive with Daughter, but Husband insisted I fly. Now he throws up the plane fare in my face. Overall though, we didn't really spend more days visiting, because we missed our usual summer beach trip.

That reminded him - the fact that we didn't go to the beach this summer is my fault. Forget the fact that (1) Daughter has never liked the waves; (2) I couldn't very well go body surfing or get tossed around in the ocean while pregnant; (3) I couldn't stand the heat and broke out in a rash when exposed to the sun while pregnant and (4) my sister wasn't going to be able to meet us since BIL was in Iraq. Husband had agreed the beach wasn't a good idea this past summer and we made other plans. Plans he utterly enjoyed. But the fact that he enjoyed himself doesn't matter in the heat of the argument. It was "my" idea and therefore all about me and counted in "my column."

I told Husband this is a situation easily fixed. We can move up north and live near my Sister. Then we'll use our vacation time visiting his family. Then he can combine visiting his family with hunting. Of course moving might cause some difficulties given that his parents hate driving on the interstate and have never (ever) travelled out of state (unless you count 20 miles into a southern state while at the beach). Husband didn't find that offer amusing

I told him that we had made the choice to live in this state. That means that we get to see his family more often. We spend almost every holiday with his family. We go to family gatherings very often. Living here means that a large portion of our vacation time is used visiting my Sister. But we can change that, and if he insists on continuing down this line of arguing, that just might happen.

I told him that if he really thought hunting was the equivalent of family then he should go hunting and let me go see my family. I would never dream of making him give up his vacation time to do something he didn't want to do. Of course, he doesn't really want to stay home. He enjoys visiting my family, especially our nephews. But he'll use anything to win an argument. When called on it though, he retreats to his corner.

He had also counted up the number of days spent with my family and argued that we spend more time with my family than his. Well, I'm not so sure about that. He wanted to argue that we don't spend enough time visiting his folks and they deserve to see the kids too. "Fine," I said. Let's go visit this weekend. V.I.S.I.T. That means sit down and talk and visit. Not dump the kids off on your mother and leave to go hunting. Not drag me along and insist I cart the kids around to all your aunts and uncles, while you hunt. Ahhhh.....that's not exactly what he was thinking. It sounded good in theory. But what he really wants is hunting time - not time with his folks. Frankly, he doesn't care anything about visiting his family - it's just convenient that his family lives near prime hunting land.

In the end, Husband said we'd see how this week goes before he decides about this weekend. And that we'd keep our plans to travel to Sister's for New Years. Which means he again will go to his corner to think up something else utterly low to hit me with. Odds are we'll end this argument the same way we always do. I'll say, "I give up. Just go hunting." I give up because I don't want to fight dirty like him. And because if he did stay here, he'd just pout. He can act like a baby, that way. And because by Friday, he'll have made so many other low comments that I'll be glad to have him get lost.

Really, I'm tired of this crap. I've accepted that we are going to have our disagreements. If he wants to hunt, then just go and accept the fact that I don't like it and won't be happy about it. That's not good enough though. He has to beat me down until I beg him to leave just to get out of my hair. He has to get me to agree that he has won the argument and ought to go. Which usually ends up sounding something like me saying, "Just GET OUT AND GO ALREADY."

Friday, December 12, 2008

Healing is a Video Game

I have come to the realization that healing is like a video game. There are lots of levels. Sometimes you lose a man along the way. And if you are like me, you can never ever win the whole game.
I started out at level 1 which in it's barest form is just surviving. Avoiding anything abuse-related. Dodging the flashback bullets. Just meandering through the level (and life) aimlessly. Just living through level 1 is success.
Level 2 was much harder. You add in new memories, body memories, more flashbacks, panic attacks and depression. All while trying to maneuver around regular life. And survive. This is the beginning of dealing with the abuse.
Level 3 adds in family and friends and work. Not only must you do everything from level 1 and 2, but you must cope with everyday and ordinary life too. Don't let any of those balls you're juggling fall down.
Other levels add in the normal bumps of life - job changes, an illness, new baby, trouble with spouses, raising children, getting a dog, losing weight, etc, etc. All those normal things that normal people deal with. But you're not normal. You have to deal with abuse and life.
If you dare to think that you might be ready to advance to a new level, then you fall down and have to repeat a level. Over and over again. Rinse, lather, rinse, repeat.
Every time I think that I've finally conquered some abuse-after-effect, it rears it's head again. Right now it's two things - (1) the paralytic fear of making any life changes or life decisions; and (2) looking too much in the past or future without living in the present.
Each time I repeat a level, I feel like I'm more prepared and have learned things. At some point though, I'd like to beat this game.