December 19, 2009

Once again, I have been slacking...

So sorry about that. Been kind of...distracted.

D was home last week. He should have been home on Friday, 12/11. But, of course...truck drivers are NEVER home when they should be. Not his fault, but I must say I'd love nothing better than to hire a hitman for his dispatcher right now. He didn't get home until Sunday night. They couldn't find him a load to get him home. He was stuck in Mobile, AL. It cost him more to sit there than it did to get home. He's supposed to be home for my birthday, and is in fact, putting in for a couple of days beforehand, so that he should, even late, be here for the actual day, but if he's not...there's a man in NE that will not like me very much. :)

It was nice that he was home, though. I didn't get to spend nearly as much time with him as I would have liked, but still. He met the kids and my parents, and things went amazingly well. Better than I expected, in fact. The kids adore him. They love his truck, and they are so excited because he got them Christmas presents. And boy, did he get them presents. I figured he was just going to get them a little something, kind of a "don't hate me for dating your mom" kind of thing. He went beyond that. He went more into "I'm dating your mom, and I'll do anything I have to to get you to think I'm awesome". The boys are going to absolutely lose it when they see what he got them, I think.

My parents seem to really like him so far, too. Of course, my dad says anything is an improvement over my ex, so it's still kind of hard to judge. But they got along really well, and D scored major points by not being intimidated or afraid of my dad. EVERYONE is always terrified of my dad, so the man who is not impresses me in a big way.

But I did end up getting insecure, more than once, and almost ruining the little bit of time that we had together. Lucky for me, he's a very forgiving and patient man, and isn't willing to let my insecurities get in the way of our relationship, even though I seem to be trying to. I'm working really hard on getting past all that stupid crap, though. D is too wonderful to let go.

All my Christmas shopping is done. Everything is wrapped, except for a last couple of gifts for D from the boys, only because they haven't gotten here yet. I ordered them, but apparently there's been some kind of delay. So...he has his gift from me on the truck with him, but he won't get his gifts from the boys until he gets home. It sucks. And he won't be here for Christmas, which really sucks. I told him I would use the video function on my camera to tape the boys opening his gifts and then e-mail it to him so he can at least see it.

I'm still trying to figure out what I'm going to do for my parents for Christmas. There's not much I can think of that's new or different from what I've done before, and they really don't need any more of that kind of stuff.

Kids are out of school for the break. Two weeks at home.....aaaahhhh! I don't think I'll survive it. Someone save me now! Seriously, it's not THAT bad. But I didn't get a whole lot of sleep while D was home, and I'm trying to catch up, but...well, it takes a while, ya know? And trying to keep two kids away from the tree and the presents and keep them entertained when funds are limited so you're pretty much stuck at home is...well, not fun.

Oh, and just to give you a laugh...while D was home, most nights after the boys went to bed at 9, he and I would leave and go out. Since it was pretty much our only time alone together, we'd be out til quite late, usually about 3am (now you know why I'm so tired!). Well, on I think the second night, I came sneaking in as quietly as I could, trying not to trip or stub a toe or do anything that might make noise and wake up the house. I'd left the tree lights on when I left, thinking to use them to see by. Well, my mother turned them off. So I'm kind of sliding my feet thru the house. I get to my room, turn on my light, put my purse down and turn to go to the bathroom and change for bed. There's my 8 yr old, arms folded across his chest with this look on his face.

"Where have you been?"

"Out with D. Go to bed."

"Do you know what time it is? You have to get up in the morning."

"Yes, I do know what time it is. Do you? And yes, I know I have to get up in the morning. Go to bed."

"Why did the light keep coming on and off?" (We have motion activated lights.)


"D and I were talking. Go to bed."

"Mom, you have responsibilities. You can't stay out this late."

"Go to bed!"

Finally, my mini father goes back to bed.

That evening, comes out that not only does my 8 yr old know what time I'm getting home, so does everyone else, except my 6 yr old. So much for thinking I was sneaking in and being quiet.

November 29, 2009

Even Bigger Big Changes

So, the move is complete. Well, mostly. Everything is out of the old house, and into the new place. Slowly things are getting put in their new places, as we figure out where those places are. In the meantime, my bedroom is a maze of boxes and I feel as though I'm on a reality game show everytime I try to go from one spot to another.

D & I have taken a huge step in our relationship. We said THAT word. :) It is really very funny how it all happened. I've been thinking for some time now that I am in love with him, but I didn't want to say it. I was afraid it was too soon, too much, too...everything. Apparently, he was wrestling with the same thoughts. The night before last, he was twisting himself into a pretzel thinking through the whole thing out loud before he finally said, "Damn it, I love you!". It was awesome. Have to say though, it's the first time anyone has declared their love for me using the words "damn it". LOL It was a huge relief to have said it now, though.

We also decided he's going to meet C & J when he's home next time. I think it's time. I always swore I'd never bring someone around my kids until he'd been a part of my life for at least 6 months, and that it would have to be serious. But this is different. I think it definitely qualifies under the serious restriction. And although it hasn't been 6 months, there's just something telling me that waiting would be a mistake. I don't want the kids to feel left out. And I think that in 6 months, things may be so serious and so far along that the kids will really feel as though I left them out and didn't want to include them. And I can't do that to them. Plus, I really want them to like him. I think they will, I can't really see why they wouldn't, but they are kids. Kids can be fickle. Plus, they've never had to share me with anyone else(well, C did but he doesn't remember his father living in the same house, so might as well say he never did), and they might think that he is trying to take me away from them. It's better that they meet him now so that there is ample opportunity for them to realize he doesn't want to take me away from them, but just to share me with them.

He's also going to meet my parents. I'm not really sure anymore which is the bigger step in a relationship: meeting the kids or meeting the parents. I suppose it doesn't really matter, as either way is a big deal and is a way of moving the relationship forward into very serious territory.

There'a new country song by Darius Rucker called "History In The Making". The first time I went to meet D, I heard the song 3 different times on 3 different stations on the car stereo. I tried not to think too much of it at the time, but it kind of stuck with me. The first time he kissed me, I kind of heard it in my head. And sometime during our second date I fell in love with him, and thought of that song again. Ok, who am I kidding with the "sometime" crap? I know exactly when it happened. It happened when we were in the museum, standing there looking at this really amazing motorcycle, and he bent down to take a closer look at something, and twisted his arm at this really awkward angle just so he could keep holding my hand, and I was just looking at him while he did that and I just thought right at that moment, "Oh, my God, I am in love with this man." He's just...amazing. I really, truly love him.

I've never been happier than I am right now.

November 25, 2009

Moving, Holidays, Kids...slowly going insane, I think

We are moving this weekend, and although I've gotten quite a bit packed up and ready to go, there is still soooo much more that needs to be done. And the kids help at all, of course. I tell them to sort their toys, and I get hours upon hours of whining. Then, when they actually do it, they must be overly dramatic and either throw away everything, including their favorite toys, or be desperately attached to each and every toy and find it absolutely impossible to part with it. Why can't they just be simple and decide to toss this and keep that? But then again, I am the mother who is going through every piece of artwork, every school paper and report card they have ever brought home and finding reasons to save them. So, I guess I should stop throwing stones before I break the glass house I'm living in.

I've gotten most of my Christmas shopping done for the kids. I still don't know what I'm going to do for my parents. And I'm also trying to figure out what I'm going to get D. I want to get him something special, something nice,'s hard. I mean, I know a LOT about him, but still...what do you get for a guy you've only recently started dating, and will have only been together with for a little over a month when Christmas arrives?

I still have to get a couple more small items for the boys, and some clothes. C is outgrowing his clothes faster than I can keep up. J isn't doing too shabby in the growing department himself, but at least with him, I can just give him his brother's old clothes. Well, when C hasn't completely shredded them or made them filthy beyond repair, which often happens, it seems.

And for the last week or so, C & J keep waking up fighting, and it continues all day. I asked C the other morning if he woke up on the wrong side of the bed and his response was to tell me he got off the end of it. Clearly we didn't get it.

The worst part so far is that there was no school today, and it was cold and rainy all day. Being cooped up with two rambunctious, arguing boys is NOT fun, in case you were wondering. I did manage to get them outside for a few brief minutes this afternoon, maybe a half hour, but it was not enough. Although they do seem to be getting along slightly better, but that, I think, is soon to change, if the rumblings from the sofa are any indication.

I'm looking forward to getting this move over with so that we can get on with things. Feeling stuck in limbo is driving me crazy. And of course, the fact that once this move is over, it's only a little more than a week, maybe two, before I get to see D again helps too.

Every time I talk to him, I fall more and more for him. He's so sweet, and nice, and funny. He's always making me laugh or smile. He asks about the kids, he knows their names, he wants to meet them. Even though I always wanted it, I thought it was too much to ask that a guy accept my kids. And yet he has, fully and completely. That alone would make me weak in the knees for him, but then when you add in everything else, he's quickly turning out to be everything I've ever wanted in a man.

Now, if the kids could just stop fighting...and if my house would pack itself...and if I could find a decent life would be perfect. Oh, who am I kidding? It's pretty great as is.

November 24, 2009

He Thinks I Make Killer Banana Bread :)

As if I didn't think D was already awesome, now I got to hear him brag about me. As I may or may not have mentioned before, he's an OTR truck driver. He also trains new drivers. Right now, he has a student on the truck with him. When he was home last week, I made him some banana bread, which he absolutely loved.

Last night, he asked what the kids and I were having for dinner, which happened to be meatball subs and fried spaghetti. He'd never heard of fried spaghetti, but when he repeated it, his student had and made a joke that he'd be right over. That was when D told him "Oh, she makes a killer banana bread, too!". He wants more banana bread the next time he is home. I have no problem obliging. :)

I hate the fact that he is gone for 3 weeks at a time, but I have never been happier than I am right now. I love the thought of him coming home and being in his arms, kissing him and holding him. I wish I could do it the entire time he's home, but alas, we both have things that have to be done. But I do plan on spending as much time in his arms as possible.

I made a joke yesterday that I was going to put a love potion in the banana bread. He said it wouldn't take much. I think I could easily end up falling in love with this man, if I haven't already. I'm trying so hard to remind myself to take it slow and not rush things, but damn, it's hard when you've got such an incredible man.

November 22, 2009

Big Changes

So, last time I blogged, D and I were just talking on the phone and such, and I was very interested. Well, now we have actually met, and are officially "together". It became official on our second date. :) There was such an instant connection, such great chemistry right from our very first date. We've both already made references to the future, talking about things we'll do next year, and while those kind of things might scare me with someone else, it doesn't with him. We're both already thinking about the whole meeting the family thing, and both think it's going to happen sooner rather than later. My parents are already pretty impressed with him just based on things I've told them. Which, granted, is all good stuff, since I want them to like him. I want the kids to like him too, but they're a little harder to finesse, since I have to worry about making sure they don't get hurt if this all falls apart. But, I really don't think I have to worry about that.

This man just amazes me. When he holds me, I feel so safe and secure, and I just never want to leave his embrace. I love it when he kisses me, and it always makes me smile when he kisses my forehead or the top of my head. I love holding his hand, I love hearing his voice. I never thought I'd be this into someone that I've only known a very short time, and I am.

November 12, 2009


I've been slightly...distracted(?) and therefore have neglected my blog.

New guy and I have been talking...well, pretty much constantly. Well, sometimes we don't really talk, we just kind of sit there on the phone in silence. And yet somehow, it's not awkward or feeling like it's an indication that things aren't going well. It's more like...comfortable, I guess. It's nice.

He impresses me more with each conversation. He fully accepts my kids. He doesn't refer to them as "the kids" or "the boys" or some other way that kind of seems to keep them at a distance...he'll actually use their names. And he remembers the things that happen. Such as....

J threatened to kill his teacher the day before yesterday. He got mad at her because she disciplined him for some other thing he had done wrong, so he decided to tell some classmates he would kill her. Needless to say, she wrote me a note regarding the situation. I wrote her back and told her how sorry I was that he would say something like that, assured her I had talked to him, and told her that even though he said he had apologized, that he was to do so again. I mentioned this to new guy (let's call him D, shall we?), and mentioned all this to D. Today, he asked me if J had apologized to his teacher, and when I said that J told me he had, asked me if I was sure. This prompted me to e-mail the teacher to confirm.

He also remembers things that I don't even remember mentioning. I mentioned having gone to school for phlebotomy and he remembered that and brought it up in another conversation. I had to go back and read thru our conversations because I didn't even remember mentioning it. It's little things like that that just melt me, and he doesn't even know it.

I don't know what it is about him, but there is something that just makes me excited to talk to him, disappointed to have to end our phone calls, and incredibly glad that I signed up for a dating site out of boredom and then contacted him. When I read his profile, I was instantly drawn. But, I hesitated a moment before actually hitting the "Send Message" button. After the fiasco with my ex-boyfriend, and the disaster that was my marriage, I've still been hesitant about starting something new. But, I just couldn't resist and I figured that it wouldn't go very far. Thinking that we'd end up as nothing more than friends, or that one or both of us would quickly lose interest, I sent that first message.

And now here I am, deeply interested in a guy I've yet to meet, but desperately want to meet. I'm so comfortable when I talk to him, I find myself telling him things that I've never told anyone else. I say things without thinking. I usually think about how stupid something will make me sound, or worry about looking like a goofball or something. But with just comes out. I don't worry that he'll laugh at me, and even if he does laugh at me, I'm usually laughing too.

I don't know where this is going, but I have high hopes and I really think it's going to be a good thing, if not a great thing.

November 6, 2009


The kids brought home their report cards yesterday. C still has a D in math, which he knows I'm not happy about, but the rest of his grades are C's & B's, which although they could be better, I'll accept. Conduct is still S in all, so I'm proud of him for that. He's come quite a long way with his ADHD. J came home with all E's & S's, and S's in conduct. He's doing really great.

I had to get a new printer today. I discovered the other morning that my old one was not compatible with Vista. I checked, before I got my new computer, to make sure that all my different software would be compatible, never even thought about the stupid printer until I tried to print something out for the kids' teachers and it wouldn't print.

J had his field trip today, and he came home thrilled to death. The most exciting part of his day: a tie between milking the goat and petting the pig...on the butt. Kids are strange.

I no longer have cause to complain about jerks, liars and losers...well, for now, anyway. I've been talking to this man lately, and I'm very interested in him. Maybe more than I should be, I don't know. I really like him a lot. He makes me laugh, and if he's not making me laugh, he's at least making me smile. He's a really nice guy, and every time I talk to him, I find myself liking him even more. I haven't met him yet, although I really want to. I'm just not sure if he likes me as much as I like him. I'd like to think he does,'s been a while since I got to this point with a new guy. When Crazy Ex-Boyfriend and I got together, we had known each other before, so there really wasn't that whole getting to know each other and figuring out where we stand phase. We just kind of jumped right in, since we already knew each other...and he'd made it pretty clear how he felt about me.

Most of the guys I've talked to lately, after two or three conversations, I find myself losing interest. I don't even know why. But every time I talk to him, I enjoy it and I hate it when we have to hang up or stop instant messaging. And if I don't lose interest in them (which is usually the case), they decide they don't want to deal with the fact that I have kids, which is especially annoying when they already knew I have them before the first conversation even started. Not only does he not mind that I have kids, but he actually listens to me blab on and on about them or to them (or at least, he pretends to listen). I've even found myself telling him things I've never told anyone else. I'm not sure if that should make me happy or scare me.

I don't know what's going to happen with him, but I know what I hope will happen.

E and I are still friends, but neither one of us wants more than that. We don't really have enough in common for more than that, and he seems to want someone that can pick up at a moment's notice to go to dinner or whatever. He didn't mind the kids, but he just needs someone who can be more spontaneous. No big deal, no drama there. :)

By the way, speaking of men, is anyone looking for a slightly clingy, unintentionally annoying, more than ready for a commitment kind of guy? Because I know one that I would just love to see him happy...with someone else.

November 1, 2009

Halloween Night and Creepy Guys

Halloween really wasn't that great this year. The local church was supposedly having "Trunk or Treat", but they didn't bother to list the time. So the kids missed that. The Haunted House toned down the scariness so much that the kids weren't the least bit impressed, and actually, I think they were quite bored with it. The Haunted Woods didn't start until too late, so they missed that. And there were 5 houses in our entire neighborhood that actually handed out candy, and one of those was my parents. The kids did get some candy, and had a little fun, but not as much as usual, and they were really disappointed that they didn't get to do as much as they usually do. This year was really a letdown.

As I've mentioned before, I keep getting a lot of liars responding to my profile online. Namely one who keeps lying about his age. Well, now he's gone from "liar" to "creepy desperate loser". I sent him a message pretty much calling him a liar, and he sends me a poem about how much he loves me and hates being so far away (a poem which a friend pointed out that he probably cut and pasted from somewhere, and he is probably right). That was really creepy. If someone called me a liar, my response would not be to profess my love for them. Especially if they were a stranger to me. So, I told the creepy desperate loser to leave me alone, and I've not heard from him since, so I'm hoping this was the last of him.

Well, it's late and I think I'm off to bed.

October 30, 2009

How Things Change

Before I had kids, dating was easy. I was free whenever I wanted to go out, and I could date guys who were of slightly iffy character, because I didn't have to worry about anyone but me. And I (stupidly in retrospect) thought that I could take care of myself just fine and had nothing to worry about.

My ex-husband changed all of that. Not just because he gave me the two kids that I now have to worry about, but because he was such a major *insert REALLY dirty word here* that my standards have gotten drastically higher.

While they are higher, I don't think my standards are really that much to ask. I want a man that is mentally stable (by mentally stable I mean don't tell me aliens are your best friend or that you're in love with me 5 seconds after we met). I want someone who actually wants to be with me, and is willing to give up other women to do so. Someone who can make me laugh, and who, although he might have the power to break my heart, won't actually do it just because he can. And is it really so much to ask that he be honest? And I don't just mean on the big things. If you're 28, tell me that. Don't lie and say you're 39. I mean, really. I can tell just by looking at you that you're not. And oh, if you're married, pass me by. I know what it's like to be the wife sitting at home thinking my husband is out with his "buddy" while in reality he's banging the bartender at his favorite bar. Now, I'm not a bartender, but I refuse to play her role in your version.

My friends keep telling me that I can find guys who meet these standards. I hope they're right. E is certainly nice enough, so they're probably right. But E and I are only going to be friends, I think. I did just start talking to someone else, and so far, he seems really nice. We've only had a couple of conversations so far, though, so we'll see.

And on another note, if you want a really good laugh, find a 6 yr old boy and teach him to sing "Superfreak". J heard this on the Visa commercial the other day, and for the last week has run around the house singing, "She's a superfreak, superfreak, she's superfreaky". It might not be entirely appropriate, but it is completely hilarious.

October 20, 2009


My sons have decided that this year, they want to be lizards for Halloween. Not only that, but they want me to MAKE the costumes. Do you know the enormity of this task? The easiest I can find is using a pillowcase and even that one does not sound as simple as I would like. Why can't children pick easy things to be, like a hobo (I can throw old clothes on them, let them roll around in the dirt and there we are), or a vampire or something?

This weekend, we are going to the local farm for their Fall Fun Nights. They have a hay maze, a reptile exhibit in the barn, a moonlight hayride, and some other really interesting things. The boys are excited beyond belief at the thought of going to the farm after dark, wandering a maze and riding through a cow pasture, smelling manure and looking at the moon. My mom is going to go with us, since my ankle is not yet 100%. I need a little back up in case something happens.

Then, on Halloween, or rather the day before, we are going to go to a haunted house that is being held here in town. This I am a bit nervous about, I will admit. Wandering in the dark, thru a maze, with someone who doesn't know I've been injured intentionally trying to scare me. Yeah, that sounds like a recipe for disaster. Yet, I will do it, for my children. It is amazing the lengths we go to to make our children happy and keep them entertained.

There's also a haunted woods being hosted by a local cub scout troop, but I am very hesitant about that one. Wandering in the woods with someone intentionally trying to scare me sounds even more disasterous than the maze. Maybe next year.

Thursday night, we have a school function to go to. They serve dinner, and then they are going to talk to us about helping our kids read and give us tips on helping them get excited and wanting to read. This will be the 4th time I've gone, and frankly, I'm a little tired of it. It's the same stuff every year. But, the boys get very excited about eating dinner at school, and since it's a meal that I don't have to cook, we go. One year, they had a little fair outside, with a bouncy house, an inflatable slide, fire truck, and the county sheriff's helicopter. That was much more fun than the typical. Unfortunately, we're back to the typical.

They have a new principal at the school this year. Mr. Z retired at the end of the last school year. I only met him once, or maybe twice, but he certainly seemed involved and to care about the students. This new principal, Mr. C claims to care about the school, and the students, and to listen to your concerns. I personally doubt his sincerity. It's difficult to put into words, but when I had to meet with him a couple of weeks ago about my concerns with my son's homework and his substitute teacher, I felt very strongly that although his words indicated concern and that he would try to eliminate my concerns, that his intention was to simply get me out of his office. As I told a friend of mine later that afternoon, one who also has a student there and who doesn't like Mr. C, I'll let it go for now, but the moment I think my son's education is being impacted by this man and his seeming lack of concern, I will be back in that school, and I will make sure something is done, even if it ends up being that I remove my children from that school and send them somewhere else or homeschool them. I don't want to resort to that, I love this school and so far, I have always felt my children were getting an above average education there, considering FCAT and all the other things that inhibit teachers from giving a real education, but I will not have my children suffer under the rule of a principal that doesn't truly care about his students and is only in it for the politics.

I've gotten a few responses to my online dating profile. And I've responded to a few profiles on my own. We'll see where things go. It helps if they're honest with me about facts, like you know...age, marital status, having kids. I mean, do you really think when you're 28 and you tell me that you're 39 that I won't eventually find out? And while I'm flattered that you are so interested in me, you're willing to lie and make yourself older in order to get my attention, I'm not THAT flattered.

October 18, 2009

Dating is hard when you have kids...

So, as I mentioned in my previous post, I've begun dating again. Well...sort of. I am talking to someone, call him E, but we've yet to have an actual "date". I don't think it's for lack of trying though. He tries to ask me out, but he does it at the last minute, which is not a good thing when you have kids. I can't just pick up and go, although pre-kids, I would have.

Anyway, last night is a good example. We were chatting online and then decided to chat on the phone instead. It was about 8pm. We were chatting, and then he asked me if I'd had dinner yet. I said yes, because the kids and I had eaten early. He then said he was getting ready to make some pasta with shrimp. He was trying to ask me to dinner, but since it was last minute, I'd already eaten and getting a sitter would have proven...well, impossible.

He's very nice, and he expresses a real interest in me. I hate it when men try to "play it cool" and pretend they aren't interested. That just drives me nuts. He has a stutter, which although mildly distracting, I also find rather sweet and attractive. But we do seem to have that stumbling block of him not really getting it that I have kids and can't just pick up and go at the drop of a hat. So, we'll see.

And on another note, I found out today that my ex-husband is engaged. This is not distressing news to me, although he and his ego probably think it is or should be. I actually find it rather amusing. I almost (key word here being "almost") feel sorry for her. She has no idea what she is getting herself into. This actually could be a very good thing for me, and my children, because if he marries her and focuses on having children with her, he will not bother to come around and try to influence my children. Some people would say that I am wrong for feeling this way, but when you look at his past history, and the kind of person he is, I have very strong, valid reasons for not wanting him to be an influence on my sons. And anything that gets him going the opposite direction from us is something that I welcome.

The weather has cooled off considerably this weekend, and although it will not last, I welcome it. It is beautiful, and I love being able to sit outside while the kids play without feeling like I could be served with potatoes and carrots for dinner. In fact, right now it is 12:10pm and only 58 degrees outside. Lovely!

And on that note, I think I will take the kids outside.

October 17, 2009

Life (and my computer) has moved on...

Well, since my last post many things have happened. The most recent of which being that I had to replace my computer. I was having tons and tons of trouble, not the least of which being that I had no sound at all (which, after getting the new computer, I discovered was actually the monitor and NOT the computer). So, I got a new computer, which is actually pretty cool anyway. It has Vista, which I am so far finding to be much easier than XP. We'll see, though.

On another note, I've also managed to have start, have, and end a fairly serious relationship. I actually got back together with an old boyfriend, only to discover that he is....well, the nicest way to put this is to say he is unstable. He holds some...ideas that are not only hard to swallow, but difficult not to find terrifying. On top of which, he also has a drinking problem, one which he not only will not acknowledge, but not get help for either. More problems than I can deal with.

So, our shortlived relationship lasted 5 months. When he told me aliens were standing at his front door looking in at him, the words "I think we need to see other people" tumbled out of my mouth before I even realized I wanted to say them. That was about a month ago, I guess.

I've moved on. I have actually posted a profile on a couple of dating sites, and so far have met one or two nice guys. Well, "met" might not quite be the right word. We talk online, and have spoken on the phone a time or two. I've also managed to find a crazy or two. That seems to be my life. I find a nice guy, and two crazy men tag along behind him. I have been talking to one though that although we have not talked much, I think he's very nice. He is very, very cute, and he seems incredibly sweet. We'll see where it goes, and if nothing else, I think he'll make a great friend.

The kids are back in school. C has a sub right now, for the next 5 weeks or so, which his regular teacher is out on maternity leave. This has been a struggle. C and the sub do not get along well at all. And I myself have had a run in with her, although I will admit that part of mine may have been impacted by the fact that at first sight, she strongly reminded me of my dead grandmother, whom I did not get along with at all. J is in Kindergarten this year, and he is doing splendidly so far. He's had few behavior issues, and his academics are outstanding. I'm hoping it will stay this way.

They both have field trips coming up in the next couple of weeks, one to the local petting farm, the other to a local museum. They should both have loads of fun. We, as a family, are going to go to the farm next weekend for their Fall Fun Nights, where they have a hay maze, a reptile exhibit, a nighttime hay ride, and many other things. Halloween night, or somewhere right around then, we are going to a haunted house. Trick or treating is an iffy proposition this year, as one of the other recent developments was breaking my ankle.

Back in July, I broke my ankle when I stepped in a hole the dog dug. I broke it in two places, and had to have surgery. Two screws were put in the joint of my ankle. I have only recently (as in Tuesday) begun walking with absolutely no assistance. I got off the crutches mid-September, but still had to wear a walking boot. Now, I'm boot free! It still hurts, but not as bad. The progress is very very slow, but very very sure.

Well, that's all the updates for now.

April 15, 2009

Full Moon Delay

The full moon was last Thursday, but I believe there's been a delay to it's effects this month. My kids have been nuts the last couple of days. Just totally spazzing, not listening, it's like they're a couple of animals. I was fully prepared for this kind of behavior...last Thursday. And really, even Friday, because my kids aren't big on following rules of logic, although logic and the full moon don't really go together, do they? Well, anyway, I was prepared for this last week. When it didn't happen, I breathed a huge sigh of relief and did a little happy dance out of sight in my bedroom, joyful that this behavior stayed away this month. Then...this week. It starts. And I wasn't prepared. So I've been going crazy Monday and yesterday.

And before you know what I hate about owning my own home? There's no landlord to call when things go wrong. For the last few weeks, we had some really gorgeous weather. Beautiful sunny days, comfortable temperatures. We were able to open the windows every day, let the fresh air in, and be very comfortable. This is something that only happens twice a year in this part of the country, and usually we're lucky if it lasts a week. But, then after the little cold snap last week, I knew the heat was on it's way, so I decided to turn on the air conditioning. This did not go well.

My parents were mowing the yard, so we were outside. I flipped on the a/c and went back outside. I come in an hour or so later, to find that my house is now warmer than outside. I discover that my a/c is blowing heat, because the reverse valve (the thingie that makes it go back and forth between heat and a/c) isn't...well, reversing. This is not an easy thing to fix, did you know that? I know that. Now.

It took us all weekend to get this figured out and fixed. And the sad part? It was my mother who fixed it! My mom rocks! I told her she's my new hero. It was a very hot, harsh weekend for us. But by late Sunday afternoon, we had a/c, and it was blissful, wonderful relief to feel it.

Even with the heat, my kids had so much fun. They were so ready to color eggs, they wanted to start before I even boiled the eggs. It was really pretty funny.

Speaking of the eggs, the dog and I have to have a talk. The dog tried to give me up! My kids tend to get up very early, even on the weekends (a horrendous habit I am trying mightily to break them of), so I got up at about 4am to put the eggs out, because my wonderfully innocent babies still believe in the Easter Bunny, and I don't want them to know otherwise just yet. So, here I am with a carton full of eggs and a flashlight, stepping gingerly on tiptoes and holding my breath to hide eggs, and what does the damn dog do? Starts growling and barking at the flashlight beam, which he can just barely see through the blinds. And of course, I can't just yell at him to shut up! I did manage to successfully hide the eggs, get back to bed, and get some more sleep, with the kids being blissfully unaware. They were amazed at where the Easter Bunny hid the eggs this year, and thrilled at what he put in their baskets.

And while we're on the subject of Easter, did you know that apparently, when you go to your child's class at school, you are there, not for your child, but to socialize with other adults? This was news to me. I went on Friday to J's class, to color eggs, and watch Wizard of Oz with him. I spent my time there with him. I sat with him, talked to him, laughed with him, and helped him color his eggs. As I did this, I watched 3 other mothers come in, talk to other mothers and the teacher and completely ignore thier children's presence in the room. One even told her daughter to go away, that she'd talk to her later! What is the point of going to your child's class if you are just going to ignore him or her? I mean, really. I went to spend time with my son, to give him a special memory of some one on one time he got to spend with mommy, without having to share me with his brother. I didn't go to stand around and talk to other adults, something I can do anytime, anywhere, and not have to ignore my kid to do so.

I've bought a new camera. It should be here tomorrow, so I will be posting tons of new pictures in the coming weeks, as I put my new camera through it's paces. Keep checking.

April 11, 2009

Easter Eggs, Report Cards and why I'm a single mom

We colored our Easter eggs today. Every year, I obssessively inspect twelve eggs as they go in the pan. There are never any cracks, crevices, or weak spots crying "Don't boil me!" that I can see. I add water, heat, and about 10 minutes later, I have nine very nice eggs, and three that sport any of a variety of cracks: spiderweb, equator style, and Humpty Dumpty style. This year I had all three styles of cracks. How does this happen. What happens during that brief window of time when water and heat are present to cause these perfect eggs to become a mess? And why do I then eat multi-colored egg salad the week following Easter? The boys think the colored egg white is really cool when they do it, but ask them to eat it? Oh, goodness no! That's like asking them to eat rat poison, which I suspect they might be more willing to eat.

C brought home his report card on Thursday. This child has made me so proud. He's in 2nd grade, so they don't yet do the A/B/C/D/F grades, they do E/S/N/U, for Excellent, Satisfactory, Needs Improvement, and Unsatisfactory, same as the conduct/behavior grades. He came home with all S's for his academics, and all E's and S's for his behavior. This child struggled with reading and math all year, and had tons of trouble last year and in Kindergarten due to his ADHD. To have improved this much is such a wonderful thing, and I am so proud of him.

On that same day, he also scared the crap out of me. He and J are real big on finding....well, any living creature they can: lizards, frogs, toads, grasshoppers, beetles, whatever. That afternoon, they were digging by a pile of rocks, and I heard the word "worm" on the breeze a couple of times, so I wasn't overly concerned about what they were doing. Until a few minutes later when C shouts to me, "We found a snake!" I, of course, as mothers do, flip out. "What are you doing? Put the snake down!"

"It's just a little one!"

"I don't care! Put it down!"

"But it's tiny. It can't hurt us!"

I get a jar and demand that my child immediately deposit this tiny, little can't-hurt-us snake into the jar. He does, but very reluctantly and giving me the evil glare that says I'm the wicked witch of the west carrying Dorothy off to my castle.

I come inside to look the snake up on the internet, with stern warnings and threats of bodily harm to my sons of what will happen if they dare to touch another snake. Fortunately, they were right, it wasn't venomous. It was a Florida Crowned Snake, completely harmless to humans, and apparently fully grown at it's incredibly tiny size. I have some pictures that, once I calmed down, I took and will post later. I let them keep the snake for a couple of days, and this morning, we set him (her? it?) free in the front yard, so it could go on it's merry way. Then, we had another talk about leaving snakes alone and how it's not nice to give Mom a heart attack by catching one and then insisting that it's not going to hurt you.

I belong to a website for moms. It's a website where you can join groups that revolve around a variety of topics, and ask questions in various forums on numerous parenting issues, including relationships, cooking, and the different stages of your child's life. Recently, there was an article in a popular entertainment magazine about Jamie Lynn Spears and how she isn't going to get married right now. There was also a recent announcement that Sarah Palin's daughter and her boyfriend/father of her child broke up. And then, of course, there's Octomom.

Now, on the website I belong to, there are some very...young moms that have taken the stance that these girls/women are right, in not marrying. They are of the opinion that "you don't need a man to have a baby". Now, I am only 30, so I am not from that generation where unwed mothers got sent off to live in a convent or the desert until the child was born and then returned claiming they just had a nasty case of pnuemonia. But, the women making these comments are one of two things: they don't have kids yet (usually, they are pregnant), or they are happily married to the love of their life. Now, my question to them is: Do they really think that we CHOSE this life?

Let me be clear: I did not CHOOSE to be a single mother. I didn't get pregnant with the intention of raising my children alone. Yes, I was not yet married when I got pregnant with my oldest child. And yes, I did tell his father that I was not going to marry him simply because he got me pregnant, and yes I did mean it. But still, it was not my choice. It happened, and I was going to do what I needed to in order to care for and raise my child, even if that meant going it alone. But it was not my choice: it was not what I used to dream about when I would be waiting to fall asleep at night, it was not my goal in life, to get a good job and then have a couple of kids and raise them alone. I intended to raise them in a partnership, with their father. That did not work out. Their father was not capable of being a good father and husband, and I reached my breaking point, the point at which being a single mom sounded better than being his wife.

But, still I would never, ever tell anyone that being a single parent, mom or dad, is a good idea. It's hard. There is no one to share the load, no one to help discipline or share disappointments, no one to celebrate with. No one to take over when I get sick, no one to cook when I am too tired. No one to ground them, to order them to take a bath, feed the dog, or go to bed, just me.

I love my children, and I would not trade them for anything, and if I had to go back, knowing how it would all turn out, I still would do it all over again. But, with that said, I got the impression from what I read about Bristol Palin that she is promoting abstinence. That's all well and good, but I have to say, I don't think I want my kids looking to her for suggestions on how to handle their sex lives. Whether she intends to or not, she looks like a hypocrit, and sets a bad example for teenage girls. To stand there, while holding your baby in your arms and say "don't have sex", makes you look like a hypocrit. And naturally, she looks great. Her family has money, more than most single moms, and so she has people to take the baby while she does her hair and make up before going in front of the cameras. It sets the wrong image in a teenage girl's mind of what motherhood is like.

I just had to get that off my chest.

April 6, 2009

One of those days...and beyond

Today was the first day back to school after Spring Break. Yay, right? Ha.

C and I have this thing, every morning, where we drop J off at his classroom, and then C goes from J's classroom to his own. J's is a portable, so I drive away. As I drive away, C walks along the sidewalk and waves to me. It's our own little thing, just a little special something we share. And he forgot this morning! It was rather disappointing.

But that wasn't the worst part of my day. No, that was something else entirely, something that actually had no effect on my family at all, but still just blew me away. In our area, there was something that happened that led to a high speed chase between the cops and a suspect or suspects, during which the suspect(s) fired on the officers. From what I understand, no one was hurt by any of this, which is a huge relief. BUT, apparently, a school bus for our school system got shot. No kids were on the bus, and the driver was not hurt, it just broke a window and dented the bus body. As good as that is to hear, here's the problem: The school system calls to let you know when things happen, to reassure and comfort. Nice, right? Nope. The call is a recording and it starts like this: "As you have probably heard by now, one of our buses was shot today." Uh.....NO, I HADN'T HEARD THAT YET! I mean, really? This is how we reassure parents, by announcing blythly news they probably HAVEN'T heard yet? Honestly, I was home all day, except for a couple of errands, and had been to our local news websites, and had no knowledge of this bus. So, I imagine the parents who were working or out running around all day had even less knowledge of what happened this morning than I did. So, perhaps that was not the best way to start that "reassuring" phone call. It seems to me that someone needs to remind our school superintendent about the old cat on a roof.

Could the superintendent really not come up with something better than what he did? I mean, how about "We want to reassure you about our commitment to your child's safety. With that in mind, we would like to inform you about an incident that took place today. Firs,t let me reassure you that no one was injured, and no one was in any danger of being injured..." and the move on to the bus being in a shootout. Hey, maybe I can apply for the superintendent's job?

Oh, and the last not so great part of today? The kids are grounded. No outside for a week. What fun. Hours of afternoon and brightly lit evening listening to "Please, can we go outside?" I hate when I have to do this to them. Not just because they hate it, and they whine, but because I really like them being outside. So many kids these days sit around watching the boob tube or playing video games, instead of being outside, getting fresh air and exercise. Don't get me wrong, my kids watch plenty of TV and play their fair share of video games, but they spend most of their free time playing outside. And, also, in the interest of honesty, the video games aren't that bad. They're the V-Smile educational games, no violence, and very helpful with their education. They get to play some games on the computer, as well, but again: educational only. After seeing how their father got addicted to video games, I'm going to make sure if they develop an addiction, at least it will be a helpful one.

I must go prepare for what will hopefully be the last cold snap of the season. I'm thinking of starting a petition that, if you are outside in shorts for Spring Break, wishing you could swim, that there cannot be any more cold snaps after that. Do you think it'll work?

I didn't think so either.

But a girl has to have some dreams, right?

March 16, 2009

Can't Win

Back in September, we got a dog. He's a beautiful pit, such a sweet and gentle dog, but loyal and protective right down to the bone. And I think we shall rename him Peter Pan, because on Friday I ensured he would remain forever a boy, never to grow up and be a man.

I took the dog to the local animal center, to the Neuter Commuter to get him fixed. This was kind of a rough decision for me. He's a purebred, so I was pretty hesitant. I was thinking that maybe someday there would be the possibility of breeding him with a female, because he is such a gorgeous dog. But after the first time my son told me to look and wasn't it sweet how the dog was hugging him, and I realized that the dog WASN'T hugging him, I decided that it would be best. Of course, the decision was made after my very hasty shout, "Oh, yeah, that's real make him get down!".

It wasn't just because the dog tried to make a man out of my boy that I decided this though. It was other things, too. Like the way the dog tries to take a chunk out of everyone save 6 people: me, my 2 boys, my 2 parents, and his original owner. I've read and talked to people and learned that frequently, neutering can curb some of that. And the fact that his un-neutered tags would be $35, and his neutered tags will only be $3 also had a not insignificant role in the decision making process.

But what really got to me about this whole process is the idiocy that goes along with it. I had to call and set up an appointment. When they set up the appointment, they make a point of telling you not to give the dog food after 6pm the day before, and no water after midnight. All this because it might interfere with the surgery. Great, no problem.

Until I get there. Because Peter Pan (hehe) doesn't like strangers too much, I decided that given the strange surroundings, stressful circumstances, and the fact that I don't know what he'll do when out and about like that, that I would muzzle him as a safety precaution. I don't really think he would bite anyone, but why take that chance?

Apparently, I should have taken that chance. They told me they might not do the surgery because I muzzled him. When I politely tell the woman that that is something they should mention on the phone when setting up the appointment, her response is that they ASSUME that all the dogs coming in are "socialized". My response? "Well, I ASSUMED that you would tell me that he couldn't be muzzled." And since THEY are the ones who deal with this everyday, THEY should know to mention something like this. He did get his surgery, and he is a...well, let's not call him happy just yet, ok?

But, that brings me to my problems. If I hadn't muzzled him, and he'd bitten a person or another animal, then I'd have been yelled at for not taking precautions and muzzling him. But when I do muzzle him, I'm told that I shouldn't do that. I just can't win.

And while we're on the subject, let's discuss this "socialization". I have to say, I'm quite sick of hearing about this. Everyone wants me to take my dog around and basically introduce him to all the people and animals in the neighborhood, and I'm sorry, but I won't do it. Pretty much the reason I agreed to get Peter Pan was because I thought he would be good protection for my family and my home. I am not going to defeat that purpose by making him friendly to the world. I want him to protect us, not lick the burglar while he steals all my stuff or ties me and my kids up. None of these people, who want to demand I take my dog around and "socialize" him, have ever asked about his temperment or his behavior. If they had, they would know that this dog is as gentle as a newborn lamb with my sons. My youngest son tries to ride him like a horse, has thrown rocks and sticks at him, hit him, pulled his tail, kicked him, and pretty much anything else you can think of, and Peter Pan has never once tried to hurt him. Peter Pan wouldn't let me go outside one night after dark, and I discovered later it was because there was a snake out there. Stray dogs come up to the fence and Peter Pan just looks at them, only barking or growling if he thinks they're going to try to come thru the fence. People go by on the street, and he may bark or quietly growl, but he only becomes aggressive if he thinks they will try to come onto our property, and even then, only if my boys and/or myself are out there. He even will use his teeth to grab my sons' clothing and pull them down if they try to climb on the fence.

So, tell me, why do I need to introduce my dog to everyone on earth? I don't see the need. The woman at the animal center said so that if he gets out, he will know how to act. Ok, let's think about this for a minute. First of all, if he got out, I wouldn't be a very good dog owner, would I? I check my fence daily to ensure he can't get out. And second, let's be realistic here, how the hell does introducing him to the entire neighborhood teach him how to act if he does get out? That's like saying I should introduce my kids to everyone in the neighborhood so they will know what to do if they get kidnapped. There is no connection. Knowing everyone will not stop him from doing whatever he wants, and knowing Peter Pan, what he would want would be to get right back into his own little yard. And of course, those people will insist I'm wrong, no matter what.

I just can't win.

February 19, 2009

The Farmer What?!

So, J started Pre-K back in August. He has learned so much, and is doing amazing things. One thing that happened, though, that was a little shocking, was when the school contacted me and wanted to evaluate him for speech. It turned out he has a moderate speech impairment. I was sort of aware of it, but as his mother, I tend to automatically translate what he says and understand him, so I hadn't realized what a problem it really was.

So he's been in speech therapy at school since October. He has made an amazing amount of progress. Which is why I was quite shocked to hear him singing "Farmer in the Dell" the other night.

"The farmer takes a life, the farmer takes a life!"

Huh? Run that by me again?

"The farmer takes a life, the farmer takes a life!"

Nope, I wasn't hearing things. I almost died laughing. This was not his speech impairment at work. This was a case of chronic lyricosis. His class had been singing the little song at school, and he somehow misinterpreted "wife" as being "life". All I could think was "Is this how serial killers start?"

I tried to explain to him that it should be "wife". I'm not sure if he gets it, since he's decided not to sing that song anymore. He's moved on to trying to figure out what termites eat. It's very...odd the way a child's mind works.

I think I may have mentioned this in the past, but C has a really awesome teacher this year. I'm not sure how long she's been teaching, but I know she's taught pretty much every grade level, and she just has this way with kids that is just wonderful. She really understands them, and is totally on their side. She's also got a great sense of humor, and is very understanding, which can come in extremely handy. For example, Tuesday's homework.

They send home this math worksheet on which they want my son to take an empty paper milk carton (you remember, in school, the milk we drank?), and use it to fill up a 2 liter soda bottle, a bucket, an empty gallon milk jug, and a bowl or trash can (can't really figure it out) with water to find out how many cartons it takes to fill up each container. I could not believe that they actually expected us to do this! Aside from the mess that would be created (b/c you know no 5 yr old can watch his big brother do that without wanting to get in on it, thus spilling water everywhere), imagine how time consuming it would be. Plus, you know it's going to take at least twice as long b/c they'll keep losing track and having to start over again. I told C he didn't have to do it, and I would be ok with the no credit grade for it. Then, I e-mailed the teacher. Turned out she wanted them to just estimate how many cartons they thought it would take, but she'd been called into a meeting and so wasn't able to explain that to the kids before time to go home.

Which brings me back to my vent the other day. Why is my son's teacher being taken out of her classroom during class time for a meeting? Between budget cuts, FCAT, and other crap, my son is already being cheated on his education, and now you're going to make it worse by taking his teacher out of the classroom when she should be teaching him and helping him and leave him with an assistant who doesn't have any teaching experience whatsoever and expect her to teach him?

As if this isn't bad enough, I have recently come to the realization that my son has learned more from watching TV than he has at school. I'm very lucky that my kids are not huge on cartoons. Don't get me wrong; they do love to watch them. But with only a few exceptions, give them a choice, and they will pick something else over cartoons. They love to watch Discovery, Discovery Kids, Animal Planet, History, and the Science Channel. My kids have learned some very interesting, and amazing, things from those channels, more than they do from school. C's teacher has told me, more than once, that she is amazed at his wealth of knowledge. And they say watching TV is bad. And for the record, my kids play outside plenty, too.

It seems now to be only a matter of time before we will be moving back in with my parents. The thought still makes me nauseous. I am trying to make the best of it. I tell myself this will allow me to buy the new camera I've been wanting, and I can get my kids their own computer (so they can quit screwing up mine), and my babysitters will be much closer when a kid gets sick and I need to run to the store. But none of that makes me feel better about losing the home that I dreamed about for so long. None of it makes it easier to give up my kitchen with tons of counter space that I love so dearly, that makes baking and cooking so much easier and more fun. My master bathroom with the deep bathtub from which I can see the TV in my bedroom, therefore allowing me to watch movies and TV while enjoying a nice, hot bubble bath. The huge backyard that allows the dog and the kids more than enough room to run and play and have fun. Of course, it's filled with rain today. One less day that they get to enjoy it.

I haven't even told them yet. I'm not sure what I'm more afraid of: that they'll be horribly upset and very disappointed, or that they'll be thrilled beyond words. They love their grandparents and always want to go see them, so I think they'll be fine with the idea of moving back in with them, where they will see them every day. And being kids, they don't understand all the grown up emotions that go along with a situation like this, and they don't realize that their joy only makes things worse. And you can't explain it to them, b/c there is no way to explain it where they don't think that you're telling them they're doing something wrong.

Enough depressing thoughts. I'll be posting some new recipes and hopefully some new pictures in the next few days. Watch for them.

February 17, 2009


It's been a very, very long time since I last posted. I've been slacking, and I really don't have much of an excuse. I do have plenty to say, however.

Has anyone else noticed that in these tough times, we are scrimping on the things that matter most, the things that we shouldn't be scrimping on? My children's school system has to cut between $23-$33 MILLION dollars from its budget for the 2009-2010 school yr. Now, maybe I'm wrong here, but it seems to me that leaving the next generation sorely undereducated or even UNeducated is NOT the way to solve this economic crisis. How are my children ever to have a chance to do better than me if their education isn't as good as mine? I am seriously considering homeschooling, depending on the cuts they decide to make, in order to be sure my children get a halfway decent education.

Our school district has cut 522 teachers. 522 teachers that are now jobless. Only 4 of them at my children's school, but one of them is J's Pre-K teacher. Granted, he'll have her thru the end of the yr, but still. She'll be out of a job, and just like me and everyone else out there, she has a home, a child, and bills to take care of. There will now be classrooms with more kids in them, leading to a less than stellar education. They keep insisting that "we will still be within regulations regarding class size." Well, whoop-de-doo. You can drive 55 and still be within the legal speed limit, but does that mean it's always best to drive 55? Of course not.

C struggles with math. He's apparently inherited my sorry math skills. I am very concerned that he will suffer greatly from these cuts, since the loss of teachers is not the only change that will be made. We don't know what else they are going to do yet. It's a waiting game right now, as is everything else.

Right now, C gets extra help in the classroom for his math issues. But that's because there's an assistant in the classroom. Will there be one next yr? Or will my son just be expected to either figure it out on his own or fail?

Yet, in all this discussion of "what can we cut?", no one is suggesting FCAT. All this No Child Left Behind crap, and what is it really doing? Well, I'll tell you this: it's not doing what they claim it does, or should. I see my son being taught stuff that has absolutely no real bearing on life, but it must be learned because it's on some stupid test that even the people who administrate it can't pass. They won't admit that, but seriously, if they took the test, I'm sure that probably 90% of the school board members, government and everyone else involved in the creation of this ridiculous "program" couldn't pass it.

Cutting education budgets is a mistake. I've always tried to be an optimistic person, not all gloom and doom. But I don't see any possible way that these cuts will NOT lead to bad things. Crime and drug use will rise as these kids get older. My kids will miss out on things that I had when I was a child, and while I will admit that I was slightly spoiled, it's just not right. There is supposed to be that...expectation that the next generation will do better than the one before it. Better money, better home, education, job, on and on down the line. Well, so far, what little I had that was better than my parents has been taken away from me. And my own children, at least the way it looks right now, will never have anything better than me. They'll be lucky to have things as good as I did.

I was laid off last May, and I still have no job. There are no jobs around here. What few there are, have their pick of candidates. I'm stuck in a limbo where people who are better educated than me are taking my jobs, but I can't get a job in a lesser position because I'm "overqualified, and we're not going to train you just to have you leave when something better comes along." I've got a family to support, I don't want to work at Target or Walgreens, but if they'd give me a damn job, I'd be grateful and I damn sure wouldn't be going anywhere any time soon.

My kids love the extra time with me, we have more time to work on homework, to play games, watch movies, play outside and just be together. And I won't deny I enjoy it, too. But at the same time, it's a major problem too. It would appear that I may end up having to give up my house. Things have just reached the point where it's not feasible to keep it anymore. This breaks my heart in so many ways. This house is my dream, it was my goal for so long, and I swore once I had it, I would never leave. It's the first home that both my kids could call theirs. I feel as though I am letting them down, that I have failed them. I haven't told them yet. And frankly, I don't know that they'll really care. We'll have to move back in with my parents, if we have to give the house up, which my kids would actually like, so they've told me. But that doesn't eliminate my feelings of guilt and failure.

My mother told me that she thought I was not a very materialistic person, and I'm not. But a's not just a possession. It's security, it's comfort, familiarity, it's the one thing that should be constant, that you know no matter what else is happening or changing, home is always there. Losing a house is not just losing a material possession. It's like losing all that security, comfort, the consistency.

I know there are countless others out there that are going thru the same situation. We are not the only ones. But that knowledge does not make the situation any easier.

Everything is so screwed up. Let's hope it gets better soon.