Friday, February 26, 2010

Moving on

I can't say this was a total surprise- it wasn't. Cat had been migrating out of the house for weeks. Any time she wasn't needed to help out with the kids she'd have herself stuck over at her new boyfriends house, even when he wasn't home. When she began calling his house "home" a few weeks back I shuddered. Not again. But yes, here we go AGAIN.
Finally, she left the alcoholic and went to school and gotten her dental assisting degree. During this time she met the new man...a guy 14 years her senior and a widower. Did she meet him at school? Nope. A New Age book store. While he may be a perfectly nice, upstanding man. He has a job and owns a home and doesn't have a criminal record or alcohol dependence- as far as I know. I'm not happy the behavior she began exhibiting once she started seeing this guy. She doesn't look for a job in her dental assisting area- claiming that with the recession there aren't any jobs out there. And the couple interview's she's been on she's managed to blow. Including one at our dad's dentist- which really wasn't a good idea- they told him she went in there and pointed out in detail every one of her tattoos. Which, you are required to cover while working in dental offices, by the way. That should be the hint that you shouldn't talk about them there. It left their relationship strained for a while. But I digress. The new guy's hours of employment are between 1-10pm. So she has been staying up all night w/ him then sleeping half the day when she should be job hunting. She started dropping WC off at school and going straight to his house and going back to bed for most of the day and becoming less and less reliable to help me with the kids. Because she was supposed to be at my house and not a half an hour away. There were times I needed her but she mysteriously wouldn't answer her text messages or phone for hours on end. So of course she began to go through more gas and asking me for gas money. Now I have taken her in (more than once), fed her, clothed her and not charged her a dime of rent in exchange for her help. But I started giving her a few dollars here and there to help with the gas even though it was her choice to do all the driving back & forth. And Jay's twelve hour days and very little flexibility in his work leaves him unable to do more than drop CJ off at daycare 3 days a week. So I depended on her to help with drop off and pick up from school and karate.
Last week she came in one night and said she had to talk to me. Then told me that her "work" (retail shop) needed her for more hours, so she'd no longer be able to come and help out with the boys. Because her "home" is closer to work so she would just stay there all the time now. I just nodded and said Okay. What I really wanted to do was raise my hand and scream out "I call BULLS***!"
She took WC to school the next morning and I haven't seen her since.
Now we're looking at probably putting CJ in the daycare all 5 days (instead of 2 w/ mom) because of the time WC needs to be dropped off at school, I can't leave earlier and taking WC to school then CJ to moms leaves me 10 min late for work- at best. Luckily it isn't a huge deal with the company right now. But I don't want it to become one either. And I still haven't worked out on how to get WC to karate two days a week.
I knew she wasn't there forever. She'd leave at some point. But the senario in my head was that she'd had her job that she went to school for. That she'd saved up some money and was moving into her very own place. However, she is an adult. She has to make the decisions about her life for herself. And regardless of whether or not I agree...It isn't up to me.
A few days after she left she posted to her social networking page that she was so very blissfully happy. And I wanted to punch her. Is that wrong? Probably. Hey, I'm not perfect.

Monday, February 22, 2010

If Your Brother Thinks it's a Good Idea...

There we were, sitting around my friends living room. The Mallomar incident (see below) had come and gone. We sat there talking and laughing; the children were quietly playing upstairs. It was too quiet...for too long. As a seasoned mom, this should have tipped me off. But really, they had their back pack from home filled with games and an entire chest of toys, crayons, markers, etc. up in our room. Why would they possibly need any other form of entertainment? Why would they go roaming around in some one else's bedroom...let alone her husbands closet? What would be so interesting about a man's wardrobe?
I've been a mom for six years; oh how I should have known better than this...
Back downstairs Jay, Michele, her infant twins and myself sat blissfully unaware that, the tweedle brothers had located an old wooden rocking horse that Michele had carefully hidden away in the back of Peter's closet. They ever so stealthily removed the horse from it's hiding location and silently slid it across the wooden floor over our heads. WC had formulated a plan for this horse. I've often said that if he jumped off a cliff that CJ would follow...not only is that literally true but CJ will also allow WC to send him off that cliff first.
Perched at the top of the stairs, WC put CJ on that horse.
The worst crashing noise I've ever heard in my life came bounding down those stairs. From my vantage point all I could see was wood and feet. Initially I didn't know which child had come down.  Jay, who was sitting in direct view of the bottom of the stairs saw it, in slow motion. He was to the crash scene first and pulled CJ up and immediately handed him to me.
CJ was in hysterics. I sat down with him and began to inspect him for damage- there just had to be something broken. In those rare moments of real danger I've noticed that I manage to sort of automatically stuff any emotion relating to 'my baby is hurt' sort of thing. I don't genuinely become scared until after the fact; then the Oh My God sets in. I felt around his head, I moved his limbs, poked & prodded his body listening for him to cry in pain instead of the scared wail. I couldn't find any obvious damage- how could that be?
While I examined CJ, Jay went to find the obviously missing piece of the puzzle- WC.
We turned Sesame Street on tv to see if that would help draw his attention away from what happened and help calm him. It worked. But it didn't help make sure he didn't have a concussion because a two year old watching Elmo isn't exactly the most responsive thing in the world. While he watched, I continued my examination and feeling for lumps and looking for bruises. I began to ask him questions about what was happening in the show and he could tell me. Sometimes it would take a minute to respond but he could tell me. It appeared that he had some redness around his left eye- we figured it would be black the next day.
How did he go down those stairs on a rocking horse and not end up with something broken?
If I had fallen down those stairs, I'd have ended up in a full body cast.
After a while, he climbed out of my lap and began playing again. That night when we went to bed, I poked him to make sure he would stir. Something I learned the last time I had to watch him for signs of concussion.
The next morning, he had a spot near his left eye but no bruising. How?
Then, the thoughts about how it could have turned out scared the hell out of me.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ash Wednesday

From dust you came; to dust you will return.

Father in Heaven,
the light of your truth bestows sight
to the darkness of sinful eyes.
May this season of repentance
bring us the blessing of Your forgiveness
and the gift of Your light.
Grant this through Christ our Lord.
International Committee on English in the Liturgy (ICEL)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

First Came The Mallomar Incident

My children. I love them but they test me. They test my skills, my nerves, my patience, the limits of my insurance. It's like their hobby...if you will. And taking them to another state didn't prove to damper their experimental tendencies. It may have amplified it.
Our first evening settling into the home of our gracious hosts turned out to be a bit more exciting than any of us could have ever predicted.
She offered snacks and of course Jay and the boys don't turn down food. I was happily hugging babies so I stayed in the living area while the others disappeared into the kitchen. Jay and Michele return to the room leaving the boys at the table with their snack- a chocolate marshmallow cookie for each of them.
There we are conversing like old friends do when you haven't seen each other in a long time. And we proceed to talk for a while not even noticing the older children are still in the kitchen. We're holding babies and having a lovely chat when in toddles CJ...
He looks like a gluttonous squirrel with lock jaw. There had to be at least two whole Mallomars shoved in there. Unlike the squirrels take, chocolate on the other hand...melts.
There's a slobber and chocolate goo oozing down his chin. He seems okay with this.
Immediately the thought hits my brain & I look at Jay, "Did you leave the box of cookies on the table?
He responds with that dear in the headlight look and took off into the kitchen.
It would seem that he did. He handed each of them one cookie and left the room leaving two children unsupervised with an entire box of cookies.
Between the two of them, they split eleven Mallomars.
Probably with WC doing the handing out. One for for me. Mom will be so happy that we are sharing.
All I could do was shake my head and laugh while Jay cleaned up CJ.
Now I'm not saying that mom's are perfect, cause we definitely are not. However, I do not know of a mom who would have left those cookies on the table...that's all I'm going to say.

Luckily, they did not get upset tummies from this but the surge of sugar through their systems may have had a little something to do with their shenanigans a little later that afternoon...
To Be Continued...

Friday, February 12, 2010


Seven years ago today I sat on a table in an exam room wearing a paper napkin. When the dr stuck her head in the door and said, "Guess what?" I would have never guessed the next words out of her mouth, "You're pregnant."
You could have knocked me off that exam table with a marshmallow.
Mentally, I had prepared myself, prepared myself for the journey to find out why I wasn't getting pregnant. I was 26 and had been trying for a year. I'd read everything I could find on how to get pregnant, poured over TTC message boards and charted and took my temperature every morning trying to be able to pinpoint ovulation. Over the past year, I'd had my "monthly visitor" a total of once. Home tests were all negative. So there I was ready to be the doctors guinea pig.
My face must have reflected my shock because she looked at me and asked if I was happy about it. Of course I was. The gears just had to shift from what I thought I was there for.
She did an ultrasound to try and pinpoint the age of the fetus since the date of my last period meant I should have been like 7 months pregnant & obviously wasn't anywhere close. It was more like 3 weeks. Black and white lines waved across the screen and after a couple minutes she pointed to dot on the screen. "There it is. That's your baby."
Knowledge might be power but knowledge can also make you a raving lunatic. Being very aware of the miscarriage rate in the first trimester, I was terrified about finding out so early. No, sometimes you just can't make a woman happy. She wants to have a baby, finds out she's pregnant & instantly afraid she will lose it.
When I left the office that day, I called Jay who was working. When he answered, I asked him simply, "So, do you want to be called dad or daddy?"
After a silence he replied, "I'll have to get back to you on that, honey."
He was standing right in front of customers, whom he was trying to sell a car to. At that time, he was selling cars to make ends meet (don't hold that against him- he sucked at it because he couldn't be a 'salesman').
Later, I was going through some letters that I had received from my friend, Michele. One of them dated a couple weeks before I found out about my pregnancy, detailed a dream that she had that I was pregnant. I had to laugh. She knew before I did. And from 800 miles away too.
Today, also is the birthday of my late maternal Grandmother. She'd be 88, if she were still with us.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

First Plane Ride

Last Friday morning we embarked on our first airplane adventure as a family. WC had highly anticipated this day for the two weeks he'd known about it. A few months back he'd asked me if he could go on an airplane and I assured him that one day we would. Little did I know how soon that day would really be.
Getting through the security checkpoint was my main concern. In true, CJ, fashion he simply refused to cooperate with standing in line. He was all over the place, tried to swing from the "ropes" meant to keep the cattle in line. Somewhere, people in TSA jackets were watching and radioing to each other. I just knew that one of them would do something crazy in the middle of security and we'd end up locked down and masses of people around would be pissed. The last time I'd been searched in an airport was when I was 7 months pregnant with it only stood to reason it was time for another search. With all of our bags stuffed to the brim...I just knew it. Luckily It didn't come to fruition and we made it through security at BNA with as much ease as you can with pulling shoes & coats off of two children and ripping the security blanket away from the two year old, making them walk through a metal detector. The woman told CJ, his blanket would be waiting for him on the other side & he screamed his way through until it was returned. Why a blanket can't walk through the metal detector too, I don't know but it had to go through x-ray. 
WC & I had a conversation the night before regarding airport security and what to expect before we could get on the plane & a little reason why. The child wasn't alive for 9-11, so I didn't get into that part of it. Just a simple explanation that since a bunch of people have to sit in a confined space, up the air together, they make sure no one can carry anything on that will hurt anyone else. There simply are bad people out there. Not many...but there are. It seemed reasonable to him and he cooperated wonderfully.  
We enjoyed a nice breakfast at one of the restaurants afterwards. The excitement began to really build for the children when they saw airplanes sitting right outside the restaurant window.
After eating, we made our way the departure gate & found a nice little soft play area for small children. WC was too tall and he seemed bummed about it- but nothing in it looked like it would interest him for long. So Jay took him around and he watched some planes take off & land.
We were called to line up and board the plane. After we were seated, I took a picture of their first plane ride. Unfortunately it was cloudy when we took off, so WC didn't get the great view. But it didn't damper his excitement. And let me say that loading a Phinneas & Ferb episode & a childs movie on my ipod was one of (if not the) best idea(s) that Jay has ever had. They each took a headphone & watched. They were well occupied for the rest of ride until we had to put away the electronics.
I must admit, I was about as excited as they were. Not over going in a plane but what I knew would be waiting when we landed in PA.
                                                     To Be Continued...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Back Home

After a wonderful weekend away in PA we have all made it back home safely. I have some work to get caught up on before I can post stories and photos of our travel.
It was a blessing to witness the christening of my beautiful niece and nephew. They are amazing little people. Both unique and special. I loved my too short cuddle times with them.
A special thanks to their parents for their generosity and hospitality. They opened their home to us and made us feel welcome. Their home is warm, inviting and filled with love. My children had no trouble in adjusting to the days and nights away from their familiar surroundings. It was like they had been there a million times.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Winter Wonderland...

So, Thursday night when they closed the public schools before a single snowflake fell, I laughed. Cynical, I said to myself: "Here's another wasted day." Friday morning the radar showed a significant looking system headed our way. They were stating that we should begin to see snow fall by noon. I decided to go on and get my errands out of the way that morning: a stop at the new liquor store for a bottle of zinfandel for a new beef stew recipe (called in the lovely lady working that morning who would have a bottle ready at the counter so I didn't have to drag 'crash & oops' through the store); then off the Great Clips for a hair cut for shaggy little CJ; finally to the grocery store for the weekly food supply. When I arrived at the liquor store the sleet had started to fall & the radio DJ's were now stating the roads were expected to become bad in the next two hours & also that this was the kind of storm we see once every 7-10 years here...great. But at least all stops were within a few miles of our home.

By the time we arrived home from our morning errands 10:30:
Around eleven Jay called and said they were closing down the shop. He would stop and pick up lunch and be home. Two hours later when arrived home without lunch and bit shaken up. He'd caught an ice patch while changing lanes on the interstate and whirled a complete 360 around in the middle coming to a rest on the left side of the road. By the grace of God no one was around and he was able to continue home. It snowed for the rest of Friday. Around three Saturday morning I woke up to the sound of sleet hitting the window.

Saturday morning we found an inch or more of ice covering the snow. If it were up my kids they'd freeze to death before they would willingly come in out of this:

The ice on our trees & plants:

This is an amount of snow that neither of the kids have seen before. They loved it. They were able to use the homemade sled again.

At one point I was concerned Jay was
having a heart attack out there. But

they were just having fun

CJ's little feet didnt even break the ice that covered the ground:

All wiped out at the end of the day.
It's been a long weekend. Today we are still at home. Jay went off to work after the sun came up. Schools are closed. But with a high temp today of 45. I'm grateful that will melt away today.