Friday, May 29, 2009

Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse

It's up here. I didn't submit this time. If you've been keeping up with my posts, you know I've been quite distracted. I hit a wall last night and shut down. My wonderful husband took Bugaboo and slept with him on the couch until 4:30 this morning. I got to sleep 6 1/2 hours straight. Woo-hoo.

Please read the carnival HERE.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Hawk Nelson

On the funeral home web page there is my dad's obituatry - the one where neither my sister or I are mentioned. People have been leaving comments. Several pertain to Sister & I. We have no idea who is writing them.

This was from "unknown" - What about HIS daughters??? He was a father to 2 wonderful daughters who DESERVE to be listed!!!!!!

This is from "sad" - I wondered the same thing. Both of his daughters, Sister and Enola, are wonderful women with wonderful husbands and 5 beautiful, gifted children between them. What a shame to have disowned nine beautiful people running from the past.

"A song for You" posted this - From Underneath by Hawk Nelson. From Underneath I wanted you To see the first thing I ever poured my heart into You'll never know the pain that I've been through I'm not so sure you'll ever know And so I'll make you understand the words that built my life Were not from you, but from my father's hand Do you remember that cold day in December Leaving everything you knew behind I may never know how it feels to stand beside you Or take your hand when I need some direction And I may never know what it's like to see you smile back at me Or know you'd be proud of me From underneath I promise to erase the past And let my heart forgive the former you Replace the dark of old and start brand new I never thought I'd see the day I walk toward the end of life and turn the other way I'm reaching out to take my Father's hand

I had to go hear that song. (you can scroll down and hear it). I looked up the lyrics and the meaning. This is what one person said, "I think it means that his own father walked out on him when he was little and he never had a father growing up, and watching his friends around him hang out with thier dad's and have that father-son connection hurts him. He asks him basically if he remembers walking out on his family and tells him that he will never know what it was like to see him grow up into a man. He had no where to turn so he accepted god as his savior and now has someone to turn to instead of his actual dad.Someone to help him through everyday challenges and a hand to guide him through life. "





I was always partial to this Hawk Nelson song. The first time I heard it, it struck me about my relationship and history with my dad. Especially this part - "I tried to be perfect...tried to be everything that you ever wanted."



At first I was mad at the comments, because I thought my aunt (Mom's sister) had written it. She says no, though. I really wonder who it is. Or who they are. I was mad because I didn't want to "cause waves." But now I'm thankful that someone recognized our absence.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Denied

I think the worst thing about the situation with my father is being denied. The obituary hit hard. I just wanted to be acknowledged as his daughter. For the fact that I mattered - maybe not recently, but at one time. I wanted the chance to see relatives and old friends.
My one aunt emailed my sister. Have not heard from anyone else at all.

My dad once asked me how I could choose Toilet over him? How can I even begin to answer such a f-ed up question? and I want to ask him -- how could you choose a new wife and kids over us? You saw how it hurt when Mom put her husband aad of us. You promised never to do that. You promised that no girlfriend would ever come before us. You lied.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Done

I just heard my mentor died this morning. His first name and my father's first name were the same. My mentor was more of a a father to me in recent years. They are both being buried on Wednesday. I'll attend my mentor's service. I know he would want me there. There is going to be a huge cookout after - that makes me smile because it is exactly what he would want. The situation is sad though. Can I be done with death now? I can't take any more....

Friday, May 22, 2009

Not Welcome - Not Wanted


I have been all over the map this evening. Sister and I pretty much decided that we would either not go or that we would attend the funeral and just stay in the back and duck out early.
Then my sister emailed me the obituary info from the funeral home. We are not mentioned -
Of NJ, age 59yrs, went to be with the Lord suddenly on May 19, 2009. He is
the beloved husband of Rita. Father of (her son #1) and his wife, (her daughter) of Atco, (her son #2) and his loving youngest son (her son #3) of Berlin. He is also survived by his siblings, (names listed), his Godmother, (names) of NH and
many nieces and nephews. He gave to the community his time, devotion and energy. He was a lifetime member and former Asst. Chief of Fire Co. and 3rd and 4th Degree Knight of Knights of Columbus Council He will be remembered as a "Freedom Fighter." He was the State Representative of NJ Legislature for ABATE of the Garden State. He worked hard and diligently as a Medical Engineer. He was a very multi-faceted human being that God above endured on Earth. He will be sadly missed by his family, friends, and co-workers.

I have no idea what that next to last sentence means - "that God endured on earth?"

Apparently he adopted those 4 children because their last names are the same as Dad's (and my maiden name).

I was speaking with my sister about the obituary when a call came through. It was my Uncle. My dad's younger brother. He and his wife were the friendliest. His wife (a pastor and social worker by training) was a mentor, of sorts, to Rita. Uncle just found out about the death yesterday even though it happened on Tuesday?????

Apparently Uncle drew the short straw. I had left a message on my aunt's phone. She asked Uncle to call me.

Story is that he was working 7 or so hours away from home when he suffered a blood clot which burst near his groin. He had a seizure. Drove home and his wife noticed and took him to the hospital where he died. He was just 59 - would have turned 60 next month.

Uncle said, "I know there were problems. And I know there is usually some responsibility on both sides." I said, "well there was strain, but I always left the door open - he just didn't take advantage of it." I was then chastised and told "we won't go there and say things about your dad now." Guess we can't say anything about the dead.

I told my Uncle that we thought we would not go. Uncle said, "well your dad said specifically in his will that he did not want you there."

~~~ Thud ~~~

So I guess any thoughts and hopes that I had of a deathbed reconciliation are gone. I had this whole fantasy that Dad really wanted a relationship but was just too weak to defy his wife (yeah, just like my mom is too weak to stick up for me against her husband). I fantasized that he would mention us in the will. Leave us something. Not that I wanted materialism. I just wanted to be recognized. I wanted to matter. But this shows me that it was his choice.

At least now I know for sure not to go. And I'm more pissed than numb. I still have some xanax in the cabinet. Think Baby will get some formula and I'll take a pill.


My Father is Dead


I am in Walmart grocery shopping. I'm waiting in line at the deli and decide to see if I have messages. I pull out my hot pink blackberry and notice a facebook message. It is my cousin. He says "sorry to hear about your dad. Not sure how you feel but we are praying for you."

Huh? I call my sister. She knows nothing. I pick up my cheese and meander over to the check-out line. All the while typing to my cousin. "I don't know what you are talking about. Call me please." I give my cell phone.

I hit 411 and get my aunt's phone number. I leave her a message. I look and I've missed a call. My cousin. I call him back. "I'm so sorry to tell you this. I never meant for you to find out on facebook.....your dad died. Heart attack. No one knows details. No one in the family has had contact with him since nana's funeral."

(** the back story of my dad was told in 4 parts - Part one, two, three and four)
When I wrote the back story, I said this, "Thus ends the story of Dad. I've not had a real relationship with him in 16 years. I've not had any contact at all in 5 years. I suspect I may learn of his demise from my aunts/uncles (his sisters and brothers) but then again I might not."

I do not remember the rest of the Walmart trip, except that I apologized to the cashier for being on the phone. I called my sister and told her - I think the poor cashier overheard things - she looked sorrowfully at me. I called my husband - not sure what I said, but he met me at home.

When I got home I started googling. I could not find an obituary. I finally found a listing of funeral homes in his area. Searching all led me to find that the funeral is Wednesday.

So now what? I'm numb. I have all sorts of thoughts going through my head.

Go to the funeral? My two uncles and one aunt are going. Another aunt may go depending on her chem treatment.

It is an 8 hour drive to my sister's. Then two hours to the funeral. What to do with the kids? Would definitely not bring them.

Will it cause a scene if we go? Probably would. He adopted her four children. The youngest was 3 when they married - probably 20 or so now. That's the only dad he knew. Those kids are innocent in all this - I don't want to cause a scene and disrupt their mourning. Could go and stay in back.

At this point, sister and I are leaning toward just having our own private funeral service at the graveyard in July when we were scheduled to go visit.

I guess it is over. No more chance of reconciliation.

Wonder if he changed things back? Wonder if anything will come my way? Maybe it's crass to think of it, but heck, he promised to pay for my education and then didn't at the last moment. He's very wealthy. If he left things to his "children" then I'd get something. I'd take it too. Pay off my school loans.

It would be nice to have the closure of the funeral. It would be nice to see aunts and uncles.
Have any of you dealt with this? What did you do?
My head hurts

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The End of the Road


I think I've been to more funerals in the past two months than I have in the past 10 years combined. Add in my family's own health crisis and not sleeping and you get a blubbering Enola.

The majority of these deaths were caused by cancer. I hate cancer.

First was my previous Sunday school teacher's husband. He filled in teaching some and was a fabulous man. He died less than 6 weeks after learning he had cancer. Then was a young man from our church. The cause of his death is unknown - some mysterious ailment after returning from a military deployment. Next the father of church friends - cancer again, less than 2 months after diagnosis. Last week the father of my husband's co-worker had a stroke and passed away with in 48 hours. Husband had worked with that guy a few years back. Today we learned that the grandson of my husband's co-worker is expected to be taken off life support. He is three years old. Doctors said if he did survive, they would have to amputate both arms and legs.

Tomorrow my husband is a pallbearer in a funeral. It is a beloved church member. Cancer again. It took longer with him. Tim was a feisty old man that I loved. Truth be told, he scared me a bit. Tim was our church custodian and maintenance man. He is a veteran and boy did he run a tight ship. Munchkin has only ever written on a wall, and it was at church when she accidentally colored too far - right off the dry erase board. I just knew Tim would kill me. My hope was that he would not notice and I could return the next day with some cleaning products. The next day the wall was spotless. I was scared to see Tim for awhile after that. Tim was 79 and still played church softball. He pitched. He was good. One game he slid running and broke his hip. My husband took him to the hospital. Tim made me leave. Said he needed to curse and couldn't do it in front of a lady. We took him a meal. He sat and talked with my husband for hours. Husband helped clean up after the meals on Wed nights, working side by side with Tim. Tim is a loner who loathes asking for help. The Church pitched in to bring him meals, as he has no local family. Most people had to ring the doorbell and leave the meal on an outside table. Few were invited in. Tim did not want people seeing him so frail. My husband was one of the few invited in. He stayed for hours, listening to war stories. Tim died this week.


Another church friend's mother passed away from a long battle with cancer. She is younger than me. To lose her mother at this stage in life is tough.

I learned not long ago that my aunt has cancer - again. She survived brain cancer in the 90s. Now she has breast cancer. She is the only remaining link to my dad's side of the family. Her son and I were best friends growing up - very close cousins. I hate to think of losing her.

The one that pushed me over the edge is my former mentor. He too survived cancer years ago. You may recall me writing about him having a serious health crisis a few weeks before I returned from maternity leave. I had to pick up some work at home. Soon after my return I learned he has cancer. He fought it valiantly. I just received word yesterday that he has made the decision to stop all treatment and just recieve comfort measures. It won't be long. I was supposed to go visit him two weeks ago, but that day he wasn't up for visitors. He is not receiving visitors now. So my last meeting with him will be the day I said goodbye and left the law firm. Most people saw this guy as a cantankertous attorney. I saw a softer side. He changed a lot after having grandchildren. He truly began to see the struggles of balancing home and work life. He was my staunchest advocate at the firm. He taught me just about everything I know in the practice of law. He and I handled many cases together, and had some good times in court. Fought some good fights. My favorite memory is of him walking in my office when I was 7 months pregnant with Bugaboo. My feet were swollen, shoes off, propped up on a box. He said, "we can do better." He left and returned with a leather ottoman. Just a simple gesture, but it meant a lot.

My family and church family have had more than our share of death lately. I'm done. While I believe in heaven and that these people are there, it still is sad. I really, really hate cancer.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Mixed Feelings

I attended a day of juvenile court this week. I am going to be helping with some overflow in the child protective services arena. It was a full docket. Non-secure custody hearings for abused, neglected and dependent children. Those determine placement. Review hearings which are hearings to determine if the parents are working through their case plans and doing what they need to get their children back. Determining if reunification with parents is goal or adoption or what. Adjudication - finding neglect, abuse or dependency. And termination of parental rights. I saw a bit of everything. The courtroom was packed with relatives of all shapes and sizes, foster care parents, social workers, guardian ad litems and attorneys.


I didn't know the backstory on most cases but I gathered enough to fill in most blanks. And the blanks are horrifying. I left court at lunch to go home and take care of my own sick child (who after 1 episode of getting sick managed to run around, play and eat anything she wanted, quite happy to be staying home -- but alas I digress). I am quite sure I do not want to work in this area long-term. I am, however, quite grateful that my area seems to have excellent attorneys and judges and social workers.


The first case I saw was a review for a teenager in a foster care situation. She was present in court. The Judge asked this young girl if she wanted to say anything. Also asked how she was doing. This was the last review hearing and this case was being closed. The Judge told the teen that she had a long road ahead of her, that she was going to have tough times. She told the girl to ask for help when needed, and to be willing to seek therapy, both now and when an adult. The Judge assured the girl that any resources she needed to assist in healing would be made available to her. At then end of that hearing, I felt good about how things had turned out.


The next case involved another teenager. I figured out that the teen was sitting with her older sister and BIL, who were now her caretakers. The girls; mother and mom's husband were there. During the case, the girl was startled to learn that husband is not her biological father. Mom doesn't know who the father might be. I'm not sure exactly what happened to this girl. I do know that she is now a pregnant, unwed teen. The mom suffers from bipolar disorder and refuses to seek treatment. The husband (previously thought to be dad) is a paranoid schizophrenic with PTSD stemming from his service in Vietnam. He refused treatment at first, but then consented. Due to a procedural error on mental health's part, the Judge was forced to postpone the final award of guardianship to the sister. In the meantime, mom promised, yet again, to work her steps. The Judge asked the young lady if she wished to speak. This young lady stood up, and looked straight at her mother and said, "I don't understand why you are now looking for loopholes to keep this case ongoing. You said in court last time you did not want counseling, and that you knew that meant giving me up. Why were you so willing to turn your back on me before, but now you are saying you want me back? I am happy where I am for the first time in a long time. Why can't you leave me alone?" I wanted to both cry and applaud this young lady. The Judge looked right at her and said, "that was very well said, and that is a great question - one that you are entitled to have answered. Unfortunately I can not answer that for you. But if you want, I will arrange for you to have a meeting with your mother and you can ask her." The whole time the daughter was speaking, the mother was making faces of astonishment and shaking her head. I wanted to slap her. It's apparent these parents had some mental health issues, but it is also apparent they were not seeking help.

Then there was the case where mom's boyfriend abused the children. Mom said, "well I got rid of him." But random checks revealed his belongings still at the house and car parked outside.

The last case I observed was pretty heart-wrenching. The mother was obviously pregnant. Daddy to one child was in federal prison. Daddy to second child was present in court but didn't care what happened. Daddy to third child (the one Mom was carrying) is a boyfriend that Mom is not supposed to have living with her. The two children are young and have some special needs. I do not know exactly what the situation was, but there was such severe anxiety after every visit with mom that the youngest would get sick. The foster parents testified to carrying bags and buckets in the car during visitation exchanges, because they knew the child would get sick. The mother was still fighting. The Judge lectured the mother, telling her, "This is your fault. You caused this."

Talk about flashbacks. They were everywhere. The first teen looked exactly like Erin's picture on her website. There were the parents that were mentally ill and refused treatment, like so many of my blogging buddies' parents. Then there was the mom who refused to truly kick out her boyfriend (could have been my mom). And the moms who thought it might "look bad" if they truly gave up - who were willing to put their kids through hell, just to save face.

I sure hope I don't have to do much of this work.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Blah - an update



This is Bard. He is one of the starring hand puppets on the Baby Einstein videos. I call them "Baby Crack." The run 30 minutes or so. If you have never seen them, catch a preview here. We're not huge TV watchers here, but Baby Einstein is a lifesaver. Munchkin loved them and Bugaboo is following in her footsteps . Put either one in a bouncy seat, pop in the video and if you hurry you can get a shower and breakfast.

Bard is a dragon that says, "blah" in a distinct, drawn out sound. Munchkin laughed hysterically every time he did it. His feature DVD was her favorite. We bought a new exersaucer for Bugaboo and it is the Baby Einstein version. It features Bard the puppet. Munchkin remembered him immediately. Bugaboo has taken to Baby Einstein too. In the mornings I often put Bugaboo in his bouncy with the video on so I can get ready. Many times I peak out to the living room to see Munchkin curled up next to Bugaboo watching too.

Like his sister, Bugaboo loves Bard. In fact, he can do a perfect imitation of the "Blah" sound. It is so perfect that we had to encourage him. Picture me, husband and Munchkin sitting around Bugaboo saying "blah" over and over. Quite comical! And I figure it is a good thing to encourage him to express his emotions early - LOL.

Blah is a good description of where I am right now. Not down in the dumps. Not on a high. Just here. It's rained every day for about a week, and that is not helping. I think we are over the medical stuff. I hope anyway. So I hope things are looking up. Munchkin got her cast off early so we are ready for the summer and swimming. Work is okay - having to do more work with abuse cases than I'd like. On the plus side, I know I'm making a difference. On the negative front, it takes a toll on me and it's hard to leave those cases at the office.

Bugaboo still isn't sleeping well. Husband and I are surviving. For the most part, I take the first part of the night and Husband takes over about 3 am. It is a Catch-22 -- we could try some things to get him on a better schedule. But we are too tired to follow through.

It is scrapbook season. Lots of good opportunities coming up. Gotta get my time in before hunting season. Husband took the kids to see his folks while I scrapped. The in-laws bought some goats for the kids. Munchkin named the girl goat (hers) "Lizzie." She insists Bugaboo wants the boy goat (his) named "Goo Goo Ga Ga." I love her sense of humor!

I am curious where this path I'm on is going. I feel as if I am wandering aimlessly at the moment.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Love Means.......

LOVE MEANS -

....not laughing (too hard) when your husband tells you he got his second speeding ticket since you've been married. It is really hard not to laugh considering everyone calls me a speed demon, and him a slow poke.
....not getting too mad when the first speeding ticket is 20 miles from the state line, meaning it's in a state I am not licensed to practice law in (meaning we paid $350 for attorney's fees).
....not getting too mad when the second ticket is in the one county in which out-of-county lawyers know better than to appear. Meaning we paid someone $75 to handle it (plus court costs and fines).

...calling your husband, who you know, goes 45 or 50 in the 35 mph zone on Main Street, to tell him there is a cop hidden there, so he can avoid his 3rd ticket.

Maybe next time he should try this vanity plate - although it didn't work too well for this guy

He could try this approach


Or just hope the cops are busy with other matters.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

I had a great Mother's Day weekend. On Friday I met some friends for lunch. Then it was over to do some shopping. Got some great deals. After that I attended the Mother's Day Tea at daycare with my kiddos. Munchkin gave me coupons for things like "Free Hug" and a decorated clay handprint. Bugaboo's class put together a DVD video of all the babies. It was adorable. Friday night was pretty low key.

Saturday was a rough night - Bugaboo had been up a lot. Hubby and Munchkin got up early and went to pick up donuts. Bugaboo and I chit-chatted and snuggled and played in bed. I was then served my favorite cream-filled chocolate donuts with coffee. The best was when Munchkin ate the chocolate frosting off the top of one donut and then gave it to me!

We all gathered to participate in a Walk to Fight MS. One of our church friends has MS. Many of our church friends came to walk. We had matching shirts that said "A's Angels" It was a 4 mile walk, pushing strollers, in the heat and very hilly. Good workout. Then I took Munchkin to a birthday party where there were horse rides. She loved it. Then we went to Olive Garden for dinner.

Saturday night was great. Hubby gave me a nice backrub. Then he took Bugaboo and settled in on the couch. I got to sleep in our bed, ALL night long. I can not remember the last time I've slept through the night. I was served breakfast in bed. Munchkin had bought me a butterfly prism for my office. Husband gave me a gift certificate to a spa. We attended church and then picked up sandwiches.

This afternoon Munchkin and Bugaboo played under the trees, in the shade of the backyard, while Husband and I prepared the garden. We picked up our vegetable plants and seeds and will put those in this week - tomatoes, carrots, green beans, squash, cucumbers and zucchini. Yum! I got a nice tan and a good workout.

My sister and I exchanged nice cards. We talked often. I placed the obligatory call to my mother during the 10 minute drive to church. The rest of the day was about spending time with family. It was great. Exactly what Mother's Day should be.

Friday, May 8, 2009

DysFUNctional Mother's Day

Because having a sense of humor about it helps - Here are some card selections.

Mother, I Know You Missed My Recitals, My Ball Games, and My Graduation, But I Understand...You Were 'Tired.'"

You must be so tired. It’s got to be exhausting always being right.

You taught me the value of money. I’ll be sure to find a “deal” of a nursing home for you.

Happy Mother's Day.....I remembered the card, isn't that enough?



(some language but hilarious!)



Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Sad Day

I missed the one case. It was continued. But I did get to watch an abuse/neglect case yesterday. It involved a child who suffered traumatic brain injury at age 7 months from multiple skull fractures. I have a seven month old, so it hit a bit too close to home. I sat there and listened as witness after witness tried to explain away the injury as accidental. This child "jumped" out of one person's arms, fell off a bed three times, ran into a wall when crawling, was fed sweet tea from a bottle, as well as chocolate cake that probably accounted for her projectile vomiting, and didn't sleep well at night which accounted for her "passing out." Both children were born addicted to drugs. Another family member was supposed to raise the children and keep mom away, but after mom's 27 day (got kicked out of program early) stint at rehab, they just knew she was "cured." I know my eyes rolled in my head several times. Over lunch, which I could not eat, I asked the attorney how she does it. She said you just adapt. But I noticed she doesn't have children. We got finished a bit early. The Judge immediately found the children neglected, but needed to review the 6 inch thick stack of medical evidence for ruling any further. As if multiple skull fractures on all sides of the head could ever be caused by a simple fall off the bed? So the children remain out of the home for now. I decided not to return to the office, but instead pick up my two children and love on them. What really gets me - is that I spent several hours in the same courtroom with someone, although we couldn't prove who, inflicted those injuries on a child.

No worries about me ever switching over to do this kind of work. I'll fill in when absolutely necessary. But I can't do that stuff - because I'd soon be a defendant in a murder trial.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Scatter Brain - Random Thoughts



My brain doesn't work so well without sleep - and sleep is hard to come by at my house. Bugaboo just doesn't sleep. No debate please, but I am not a CIO (cry it out) believer. I have read Pantley's No Cry Sleep Solution and am working through it. Hubby and I are having trouble discerning when he's just fussy and when he is fussing because of his GI issues. Hubby thinks every time he cries, he is hungry. But I know there is no way this baby needs to eat every single hour.

Add in the fact that we have absolutely no routine and I'm a mess. Just when I thought I had adjusted to Tball practice and games, Munchkin breaks her foot and it all goes away. I readjust. Then Hubby goes on overtime and we have to readjust again. I love the overtime. We sure can use the extra money. I just have to figure out how to readjust the morning routine now that I'll be responsible for the daycare drop off.

We had Kindergarten orientation last week. Munchkin did great. They gave all the children a sunflower seed to plant in a Styrofoam cup. We're supposed to take care of it and take pictures all summer, then bring them in for the fall. Uh...excuse me? Did you not get the note? I do NOT have a green thumb. This plant is doomed. It has sprouted in it's little cup and I have read the instructions that say it is time to transplant it. Poor little plant - it is on it's last legs now. My husband told me I have to do a good job, since this is for a 'real school' project (notice he didn't volunteer). I think I have a plan though. Munchkin may not learn gardening skills from this project, but she will learn to think on her feet. See I'm thinking that I can send some sunflower seeds and money to Austin. (The money is for water, fertilizer and whatever else it is you use for plants - can't be leaving Austin with no money for the flower - that would make me like you know who). I'll ask Austin to take pictures of the flower and send them to me. Then I'll submit those. Munchkin gets her pictures - of a real, growing flower and not a dead thing. Austin gets sunflowers. Win-win, right? (Now I just have to convince Austin this is a good idea - hey Austin, you reading this?).

I know better than to go get my hair cut on a whim. But I was so enjoying my time alone yesterday as I drove to the grocery store without the husband or the kids. I decided to prolong it just a bit and detour to get my hair trimmed. Alas, there were two people ahead of me. I picked up a magazine and it was a hairstyle magazine. Go figure. So I flipped and found something. The hair that I have spent years growing out to one length........not so much anymore. I have bangs. Not sure I like them yet. What irks me is that I chop 4 inches off my hair and get bangs and a new part - not one person noticed. Which means it really isn't that drastic of a change. Or it looks bad so they aren't commenting.

I'm going to have to take drastic measures against our new neighbors. They work nights and come home at 1 am. Bugaboo generally sleeps from 11:30 - 2 am. So I'm asleep at 1 am. I NEED that stretch of sleep. But here comes the neighbor - thump - thump - thump. You can hear his music through the windows and over the AC. Then if it is a good song, he sits in his driveway until it is over. I think I'll go mow my lawn tomorrow - at 4:30 am, when he is good and sleeping. I'll be awake after all.

Mother's Day is Sunday. Munchkin is just dying to tell me their plans. I know it involves breakfast in bed. I'm hoping the rest stays a surprise. Sister and I were discussing Mother's day stuff. I purchased some family pictures for my mom. My sister got mom this card - on the front is a picture of a donkey with a 75% off tag and it says "mom, i know you love a bargain..." The inside says, "so i got you this cheap-ass card. Happy mothers day." On the back it says "I know this is a proud moment for you." I love it. My card for her says on the front "Happy Mother's Day from the good one...." Inside it says, "Just kidding, it's from me." It's hard work finding something non-sappy. I did purchase sappy cards for other mother figures in my life, including my sister. My husband refused to get anything mushy for his mom, so I may send her one just from me.

I was supposed to go to court today. A world-renowned expert in childhood sex abuse is testifying in one of the cases that the child-protective-services team has going on. I forgot I had a meeting at 10 though. So I'll go to that and then head over for a bit. It's a great opportunity to meet this expert that I've spoken with several times, but never met. Not sure how long I'll last listening to the case though. I'm supposed to shadow the CPS attorneys in case I ever need to fill in for them. But another day might be better.

My work computer died Friday and they brought me a new tower yesterday. When I first turned it on, I couldn't access any good websites - weather, games, facebook, blogs, nothing. I was panicked. What on earth would I do all day? Never fear - a restart fixed it. Ahh. It's a bit disturbing how much I need the internet.

I'm tired of medical bills and funerals. The medical bills are mine mostly Then, we've had three deaths in our church. One was my Sunday school teacher's husband - cancer. Dead in less than 3 months. Another was a very young man. Sick with some mysterious illness after returning from Iraq. Very unexpected. This last one is an older woman - in her 80s I suspect. Lived a long and wonderful life. Her passing is the least sad - she was ready to go. I know she is dancing with her husband in heaven right now. My old work partner is still hospitalized with cancer. It's not looking good. I'm meeting some of my former co-workers for lunch on Friday and then may go by the hospital and visit him.

At last look I had 5 blog posts halfway done. I really need to quit rambling and finish those up........