Monday, December 28, 2009

A Winding Rambling Update

In no particular order -
Christmas - I had a great Christmas. Munchkin was super excited about presents and had to be reminded often about the real meaning of Christmas. Bugaboo was most interested in the wrapping paper, but got into the toys once they were assembled. Munchkin's big toys were a pogo stick, roller skates and an art easel. She has inherited her daddy's artistic ability and is quite good at drawing. Bugaboo got an inflatable ball pit with balls that he delights in throwing everywhere, lots of cars and trucks and a train set. I got a scrapbook table and some other odds and ends. Husband and I bought a Wii as a family gift and have been having fun with it.
Renovations - my sister and her crew are visiting this week. It's always tight adding 5 extra people, plus her dog. So we decided to make the finished part of our basement into a rec room. I went to Roses, Big Lots and the Dollar Store. Spending just $150 made a huge difference. We now have throw rugs on the floor. One is a princess castle and the other is a racetrack. I bought a "coffee table" which is really 3 fabric bins with a table top, on rolling wheels. Perfect for holding blocks and games. I moved all my old papers and stuff onto 2 shelves and organized the desk and my scrapbook stuff. This freed up 4 shelves for games and the kids' toys. I bought two $10 lamps (plastic) and two $10 endtables (PVC pipe). No worries about people putting drinks on them - and I don't care if they get beat up. There is a pull-out couch, a space heater and a big bean-bag chair. Now it looks really homey. I hung old curtains and put Munchkin's easel by the window. Her table and chair set is down there too. It is a great play area and will feel less like a basement when we have visitors.
Visitors - my sister and her crew arrive tomorrow. My sister and BIL are not getting along well. They are sort-of separated. For economic reasons, BIL is living at home, but in their basement. He works second shift and weekends. So he stays downstairs until my sister leaves for work and the kids are off to school. When they get home, he has left for work and doesn't get home until they are in bed. On his one day off, my sister goes to an evening Bible study. On his other day off, he takes the kids out and does something. It is working for them, but difficult during the holidays or when the kids are off from school. They are in counseling - individual and family - and trying to work on things, but not sure of their prognosis. Anyhow, they are all coming down to visit. Sister will sleep in the guest room with her daughter; BIL will sleep in the basement with the two boys. My mother is supposed to come too, unless the weather gives her an excuse to skip out. I last saw her this summer. Mom last saw my sister 2 1/2 years ago. My sister's kids barely know her. The youngest was 4 last time he saw her and hardly has any memory of her. It's going to be awkward for sure. Mom is coming Wed and staying to Thursday (she can't possibly take any time off work after all). I have a therapy appointment set early next week to deal with any fall out.
My Marriage - well hunting season is over which means Husband's attitude should start to improve. He's already talked about how committed he is to finding a job now. We continue to do our own things. My being off from work for the holidays equated to him spending several evenings and one full day hunting. With Bugaboo's lack of good sleeping habits, we haven't shared a bed or bedroom in 3-4 months. Husband keeps talking about sleep-training Bugaboo but hasn't yet - I'm not pushing it. Husband continues with the negative talk, put-downs and talking to me like I'm stupid. The day before Christmas Eve I told him that I was tired of things the way they were and we needed to make it through the holidays and then seriously decide where we were going with our relationship. Husband says he's draw a "line in the sand" and that he is "not changing." I can appreciate his honesty. I guess the ball is in my court now to deal with things as they are or do something about it. The thought makes my head spin.
My Health - I'm tearful a lot. Not sure if is depression or just my sucky marriage, or what. I'm sad a lot, so that makes sense. I've gained well over 50 pounds and have doubled my clothing size. Come New Years Day I've resolved to eat better and lose weight (long with millions of other people). I need to work out more - exercise does help my attitude. On the day after Christmas, Husband left to go hunting. I took the kids to see the new Alvin Chipmunks movie. In my attempt to make a bottle really hot so it would still be warm 1 hour later at the movies, I used boiling water. The bottle bag burst and I spilled boiling water all over me. I now have second degree burns across my stomach. Ouch! They have blistered. I went to the health clinic today and was given care instructions. The practitioner cautioned there might be scars but seriously, who am I going to be baring my belly too?
Situation - I'm on the outskirts of a situation where I see an elderly gentleman acting inappropriately with some pre-teen girls. I've made my concerns known to the appropriate people. I've run a background check (clean) on the guy. I've talked with the parents. My friend had a run-in with this guy and her daughter. Grew appropriately concerned and has limited/stopped contact. She shared her concerns with the appropriate people too. Everyone else thinks we're over-reacting and this guy is just a lonely man who is acting as a surrogate-grandparent to these children. The situation freaks me out. I've had nightmares about my suspicians being proven true. There isn't really anything else I can dob but keep my eyes open, keep my kids away and pray.
Extended Family - I received a card from one step-sister; emails from my other step-sister and step-brother. Nothing from the "boys" - not even an email. My grandmother sent an email to sister and I saying that she was only sending out cards to a few select people. Guess we weren't one of them because I didn't get one. I did get a small email acknowledgement of the gift card I sent her. My great-aunt sent me a wonderful card with a long-handwritten note. That was nice to get.
And Now - back to work. I work today and part of tomorrow. Then off the rest of the week to be with family and celebrate New Years.
Hoping All my Blogging Buddies have a Wonderful New Years and that
2010 is a Great Year for All of Us !

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

I wish you and yours the best during these Christmas holidays!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Beautiful Christian Sister

I saw this recently and had to share. I love the message.


By Maya Angelou

'A woman's heart should be so hidden in Christ
That a man should have to seek Him first to find her.'
When I say.... 'I am a Christian' I'm not shouting 'I'm clean living;'
I'm whispering 'I was lost, Now I'm found and forgiven.'

When I say.... 'I am a Christian' I don't speak of this with pride.
I'm confessing that I stumble and need Christ to be my guide.

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not trying to be strong.
I'm professing that I'm weak and need His strength to carry on.

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not bragging of success.
I'm admitting I have failed and need God to clean my mess.

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not claiming to be perfect,
my flaws are far too visible, but God believes I am worth it.

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I still feel the sting of pain...
I have my share of heartaches, so I call upon His name.

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not holier than thou;
I'm just a simple sinner who received God's good grace, somehow!

Pretty is as pretty does... But beautiful is just plain beautiful!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Two Perfect Days

This picture is from our trip to the park very early this morning. It started snowing yesterday morning. School closed early and Munchkin was sent home. I picked up Bugaboo and came home myself. We bundled up in our makeshift snow clothes. After all we don't get enough snow to keep boots and snowsuits handy. Plastic bags over socks work in a pinch.

We play in the snow. We sled down the small hill in our yard, throw snowballs and laugh. When we go in, we start a fire and warm up. I nap in the chair with Bugaboo.

It snowed all night. We woke up to 8 inches of fluffy white stuff. Munchkin was awake before 7 am, insisting I said we could go sledding first thing in the morning. I guess I forgot to clarify it needed to be daylight first!

About 8 am we bundled up and drove, slip-sliding, to the nearby park. Husband told me I couldn't possibly sled down the one steep hill. "You Southerner!" I replied. I hopped on the sled, put Munchkin in front and whee ...away we went, squealing all the way. I think I screamed just as loudly as Munchkin. Bugaboo didn't much like the sledding but he did enjoy throwing snowballs and watching everyone. For awhile I forgot I am mid-30s and played like a kid. That will hurt tomorrow!

We came home and Bugaboo and I came in to hot cocoa (me) and warm milk (him) . We sat in front of our huge picture window, enjoying the sun, and watching Munchkin and Husband build a snowman. Then we got sleepy so we went in and napped on my bed, with the sun streaming in the window. There is something magical about napping in sunlight reflecting off snow.

In another hour, I'll go out and take a turn shoveling the drive, while giving Munchkin another run in the snow. Husband will start a fire and we'll snuggle up with hot chocolate and homemade chocolate chip cookies (I can be domestic sometimes). We'll giggle at Bugaboo standing up so proud of himself and encourage him to walk. Later we'll tuck two exhausted kids into bed.

It's a great day.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sigh of Relief

He got one - a deer, that is. With a gun this time.
I'd like to think the whininess and pouty-ness will end, but I know better.

Last night he announced he was going to use the $$ his parents gave him toward Christmas to pay for before/after school care for Munchkin. That way he could go hunting. I told him Wednesday and Thursday were no good this week. He starts whining about how the weather might not be good Tuesday (today). I told him the weather was not my problem.

After repeatedly asking me if I was sure Tuesday would work, and my repeatedly telling him that I would not object to Tuesday (what he really wanted was for me to give him my blessing and be happy for him going Tuesday), he decided to go.

So then he asks me to email Munchkin's teacher that Munchkin will be in before/after school and should not be put on the bus. I tell him he can do it. He says, "but I can't." I told him very calmly that I was not going to stand in his way, but I was not going to enable him either. He didn't like that very much.

We yelled back and forth and I finally said, "Look I hate you and hunting and I am not going to enable that any more."

He thought I said I hate YOUR hunting. There is a difference in my opinion. I don't mind him hunting. I hate the way he gets and hunting - his obsessiveness.

So anyway, he usurps Munchkin's time on the computer to try to email the teacher. Why he didn't just handwrite a note and put it in her folder, I don't know. Instead of logging my account off, he clicks some button ends up on my Enola account. In the subject part of the message he writes "Munchkin will not ride the bus."

So he sent the teacher an email from "Enola" listing my blog address. the teacher knows my blog name and that I'm crazy.

Husband said he thought my attitude "stunk" because after all, he did cancel his job interview to stay home with a sick Bugaboo. First of all, I was in court or I would have come home so he could have gone to the interview. Second of all, it makes no sense for me to jeopardize my job so you can go to an interview for a job you might (or might not) get. Third of all, that is your JOB as a PARENT. You don't get some sort of reward or sticker for that. So when he said he earned the right to go hunting I was livid.

He'll want to tell me all about the killing tonight. I don't want to hear it. When hunting becomes less important than family I might show some interest. Until then I'm not interested.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009

Random Friday Vents

My mouth still hurts from where I bit the out of it after a root canal. The protective skin coating is off and it's raw. Ouch. My jaw still aches too. I really miss coffee but it hurts to drink it.

Munchkin's sedation dentist procedure was moved up to TODAY. I'm glad it is getting done with. I hate that I'm not there and I'm on pins and needles waiting to hear. But Bugaboo is sick with a fever. Well he had a fever yesterday. None today but daycare has that darn 24 hour rule. So Husband is taking both kids with him and I hate being stuck here at work.

(He just called and "it was tough" but she did "okay." She was crying that she wanted Mommy but I told her about the movie and she was better)

Daycare found someone to purchase our spot from Dec 28 - Jan 16. We keep Bugaboo at home and they pay to use our spot. Great since Husband is unemployed and the only reason I haven't pulled Bugaboo completely is that I'm afraid of losing the spot permanently. Except now Husband has a second interview on Monday and they're talking a Jan 1st start date. UGH!!! Him possibly getting a job is great news. Now what about daycare? Luckily I have a friend that offered to take him starting Jan 4th but I hate to ask that of someone. Grrrrr

Husband thinks that because I wrote him a letter "unrestricting" his hunting that he can go all the time and I'll just twist into all sorts of shapes accommodating him. I have tried to be accommodating - paying for daycare for Munchkin so he could hunt all day; cancelling an attorney event we were to attend; rushing around on a court day to accommodate him. What do I get? A pouty, juvenile, foot stomping baby who whines because he (1) missed a deer, (2) didn't see a deer, or (3) shot a deer but couldn't find it. Well guess what? I'm tired of your crap. I put it in writing and am giving it to him to discuss with his Therapist. What is my incentive to accommodate your hunting more? I don't get a thankful, grateful, happy husband in return. So screw you - I'm taking Munchkin and we're going to the movies tonight (a reward for surviving the dentist). Sorry that interferes with your hopes to hunt yet again (4th time this week). It's not on the calendar (despite repeated requests) so I'm going on with my own plans. Plus I just can't stand to be around you right now.

I'm bummed that Husband's interview made it neccessary for him to cancel his therapist appointment on Monday and that he couldn't reschedule until after the holidays. I might have to kill him before then.

I'm tired of crazy clients making threats. We have 4 people on our 'watch list' now that have targeted my group.

Munchkin has been on her best behavior since I "threw out" her gingerbread house kit last weekend. The Elf on a Shelf has been working wonders too. I have her convinced that Elf reports to Santa about her behavior every night. I wonder how I can incorporate this into all holidays. If she is really good this weekend, I think the Elf might bring her a new gingerbread house to work on.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Dental Nightmare

After jaw surgery, braces, appliances, and numerous fillings, I have had to adjust and learn to cope with dental appointments. They are not easy. I certainly miss my xanax, but given that I am still nursing, that is not an option.
Munchkin and I both started with toothaches last week. She has six cavities in her mouth right now. The poor thing inherited my weak enamel. Neither Husband nor I are thrilled with her pediatric dentist. She doesn't explain things very well, including why the need to rush and fill baby teeth. She just wants her money up front and then delays with giving us the paperwork so we can process the claim.
So we decided to try making an appointment for both me and for Munchkin at my dentist. He is great and his daughter (also a dentist) is wonderful too. Off we go. Husband meets us there. I go in my room and Husband and Munchkin to theirs next door.
My dentist comes in and explains that things are worse than expected. I need a root canal. Good news is that he can do it right then. Hmm.....go home and live in dread till the next appointment BUT plan ahead and take the xanax with plans to just pump and not nurse ... versus...get it over with now. He promised to numb me extra good. And to extent I trust any male and any dentist, I trust him. He lets me loose to go check on Munchkin while he sets up.
Lo and behold, Munchkin needs a mini-rootcanal. I forget the technical name. But it is a molar and since it is hurting her, we need to preserve it. If it gets pulled, then we have to have a bridge type thing put in to keep the spacing until her grown up tooth comes in. They don't use sedation there. So we talk and decide to try.
I go in and am getting numb and I hear Munchkin crying. The assistant leaves and comes back to say it was just munchkin getting numb but she's okay now. Okay, I want to cry when I get numbed too. So I'll try to relax.
We are almost done my stuff - which was not so so bad, when I hear more crying and screaming and "I want my Mommy!"
I come out of my chair. The dentist gets to a stopping point and lets me go. I go in there and they are trying to drill. She's numb and I know she can't feel it, but the vibrations and sounds are too much. Husband is trying to reason with her. The dentist and I lock glances and the dentist shakes her head. We're done. I grab Munchkin and the dentist gets us a referral to a pediatric dentist next town over that will do sedation dentistry.
The dentist was great. She told me that she would work with children that are doing "cooperative crying" - crying but relatively calm and cooperative. But she was not going to hold a child down or force anything. All that did was traumatize children and teach them to fear dentists.
I carried Munchkin back in to sit on my lap while I finished up. She didn't much like the drilling noise when they were working on me either. But I tried to be really brave and not clench up while they did it.
The dentist praised Munchkin a whole lot for her getting so far. She got a game and then a milkshake on the way home.
I have an appointment next week to finish up the root canal and do another filling. Munchkin has an appointment in two weeks with the pediatric dentist for hers. I also have pain meds to take for the next few days since the pressure on my jaw from dental procedures is tough for me to handle. I'm still drooling too.
I certainly don't wish pain or discomfort on Munchkin. But I am so glad I was there when she called me and needed me. I am glad she knows she can yell out for "mommy" and that I'll be there. I'm glad she knows that I (and her father) will stop unnecessary procedures and look out for her best interest. I'm glad she knows that we will not hold her down for dental exams. I'm glad I'm able to get over my fear enough (or cover it up enough) to be there for her.
I wish my mother had been able to do that.....

Sunday, December 6, 2009

But Mommy, all the bad guys are black......

I told my daughter it was time to go to church and to get moving. She started whining about leaving her piggy bank money out and that the bad black guys would come get it.

"What?" I asked. "What did you say?"

"The bad black guy robber will come take my money," she repeated.

"Black guy? Why would he be black?" I asked her.

"But Mommy, all the bad guys are black," she explained in that exasperated tone of voice that conveys, "don't you know anything?"

I took a deep breath as my mind raced to think where on earth she had gotten such an idea. The news? Her grandparents?

I tried to explain that bank robbers, and all robbers, came in all shapes, colors, sizes and sexes. She kept shaking her head, "No." She kept explaining, "They are all black, Mommy. All of them."

Husband came in and we both tried to explain to her that all black guys were not robbers and all robbers were not black guys. We weren't getting anywhere. I kept asking where she heard such a thing. She replied, "the news....and Martha speaks."

"Martha speaks?" I asked. Martha Speaks is a cartoon. One of the few I let her watch because I actually think it teaches some good things. Had I been wrong?

"Yes mommy. The robber was all black. Head to toe. Like that mask thing Daddy wears when hunting."

"Huh? Oh wait? You mean a ski mask? Like a hat that covers his face?" I asked.

"Yes Mommy," she sighed, rapidly losing patience. "The one all the bad guy robbers wear. With their black shoes, black pants and black shirts. Oh and black gloves. Then the black mask. All the bad guys are black guys. So no one can see them."

"Ahhhh," I said, the light finally dawning, "so you mean the bad guys WEAR all black."

"Yes Mommy,that is what I said," Daughter explained. "Do you get it now?"

Yes I get it. My adult mind assumed the worst. I forgot that kids are supposed to be innocent, and that mine are. I forgot that they aren't growing up in a house where people are judged by skin color. For a minute there, I wondered where I had gone wrong in teaching her. Then I learned it was me who had gone wrong in assuming the worst. I'm glad I was wrong. I get it now.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Boundary Crossing

Sister and I took a very long walk while at her house. It was a great time to catch up. One thing we discussed was boundaries and the inevitable crossing of the line that occurs. We talked about the fact that she and I are very similar and have trouble enforcing our boundaries.
I have had to learn to set boundaries. Rules and boundaries stir up a whole myriad of emotions. On the one hand I feel the need to have rules. On the other hand, I wasn't allowed to have boundaries growing up so I'm not sure what is appropriate and what is not. When my boundaries were crossed and I commented, I was laughed at. So I retreated and backed down. I still do that.

If you've been reading long, then you know the gun saga. If not, then the brief version is -- DH thinks guns are necessary for protection. I'm not a huge fan. Before we had kids, he kept a loaded gun in his dresser or on a closet shelf. When Munchkin started to walk, we made changes. The first issue was when I found Munchkin playing with the gun cabinet keys at 18 months. The keys were in the open gun cabinet door. She was interested in the keys. I was mad the cabinet was unlocked and unattended. DH & I had words and I told him it was unacceptable. Years later I found an unloaded rifle in the basement where he put it instead of putting it up after hunting. I told him if it happened again, there would be no more guns in the house. Then there was the big incident where I found a gun (he claims for protection). Husband and I created a written contract which we negotiated and signed.

So with first incident I make clear is that no guns are to be left out, unlocked. He then crosses the boundary by leaving an unloaded rifle out in the basement. I confront him and he defends saying it was unloaded and Munchkin isn't allowed in the basement unaccompanied at that age. I relent. Then there was the huge incident where he left the weapon unlocked in his dresser drawer. Boundary crossed again. He wanted a second chance. I made the contract with him and urged him to buy any gun safe he wanted. He finally bought a gun safe.

So then last week I discover he is leaving the gun safe unlocked at night. Boundary crossing. I noticed it when he did it. I shut it and told him not to do it again. He says he puts his keys in the safe so he'll never forget to lock it in the mornings. He says he's in the room when it is unlocked so it's okay. But I know he doesn't always need his keys first thing in the morning. I know 90% of the time he ends up on the couch or downstairs because we're switching off baby duty. I know that the kids love to crawl into bed with me (or him) and that they can reach the safe. I know Munchkin tried to access the safe recently because we keep her money inside it too.


I just let him violate my boundary, cross the line, break his verbal and written word. My thinking was that it was a "little" issue because I discovered it immediately and he quickly agreed not to let it happen again.

Two nights later I had a horrible nightmare that Munchkin was standing on the bed looking out the window and noticed the safe open. She wanted to count her money (we keep it in the safe until it accumulates enough to put in the bank) and moved the gun to count the money. The gun fell and went off, just missing Bugaboo who was playing on the floor. Horrible dream. Not outside the realm of possibilities though.

I'm not sure what to do now. Do I give him one more chance? I already have, really. Do I go back and insist the guns get out? Do I talk to him and let him know he crossed the boundary and while I may have let it slip, it's weighing on me?

Sounded like a good topic for this week's T session. So last night I discussed that with T. As well as the fact that Husband has still not enforced the rules with his parents. His father promised to build a gun safe and put his guns in it. He has one safe, but insists he needs some guns in the basement - they hang on the wall now.

I sat down with Husband last night and handed him the written agreement to review. He denied it being a violation and tried to argue a loophole. I tried not to act all "lawyerish" but pointed out that it was really clear that this stuff wasn't allowed. He finally conceded it might have been a gray area, and that he had read the contract to see if he could argue his point before doing the actions. I managed not to blow a gasket at that. I suggested next time there was a gray area that he discuss it with me. I told him I would not tolerate my boundaries being crossed again. I also told him that it would be wise to discuss things with his folks when he goes in this week because Christmas is coming and he surely wants to take the kids to his folks' house then (which won't happen if the gun issue isn't resolved).

So he's going to have to talk to his parents which will be really difficult for him. But he has his T's number so it's on his plate now. We'll see what happens.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thanksgiving with my Family

I wrote about the fact that my step-sister was invited to Thanksgiving dinner at my sister's house. We read on facebook that there were some problems with the visitation exchange of her daughter. So we wondered if that would effect the plans.
We never heard from her. Sister and I were not terribly surprised. I'm not sure if it is the habit of not depending on others or what.
We later heard that she got "caught up" at an event with her friends. That's all we heard.
I was a bit disappointed. Only because it would have been nice to see her and catch up. Honestly, the biggest thing was my desire to fish for information about her relationship with Toilet and things that I remember. Some of it I'm sure she told me before, but I was so "out of it" as a child that I would like to hear it again.
What I found really interesting was my mom's reaction to the news. Sister told my mom that Step-sister was invited. My mom initially said, "Sister you just need to put your foot down with Enola and stop letting her invite people." I don't know where that came from, except that I have met up with some people at my sister's house before. But Sister never cared. I think it was just the first thing that came out of mom's mouth. Sister said Mom shut up when Sister said it was her idea. But Sister could tell Mom was pissed.
It's not like Toilet has a relationship with his daughter. I think Mom was afraid of what we might learn and how it might affect things with her. I wonder if she told Toilet and what he said.
I find it interesting to see the reactions of mom and other family members when we dare to break the childhood rules of "don't talk to anyone."