July 20, 2010

Update and a change....

Well, no update actually. I've moved this blog so that it will be under the email address I actually use, so I don't have to keep signing in and out all the time. So...to continue reading my blog, just go to



http://ilovemyinsanelife.blogspot.com

and you'll see everything there that was here...along with any new posts I make.

Thanks for reading!

July 14, 2010

Yet another update...

So, things are better and worse, depending on the particular thing.

We got the boys off the meds and totally on the herbal stuff. They seem to be doing pretty well on the herbal...about the same as on the meds. I think the true test will be once they go back to school next month, although I must admit to some trepidation about that.

As for D and I...we're doing a lot better in our relationship. Other things, not so well. He lost his job last month, and only just found a new one this week. None of it was his fault, but it made things very tough and tense for a while. They're better now, though. And, we still have another potential job in the works, one that actually provides a job for both of us. It's an apartment complex management deal, looking for a couple. Provides an apartment, paid utlities, 3 weeks vacation, and a salary. Ideal solution to all our problems, so we're really hoping. Keeps him home, too (as does the job he just found), which is a plus in my book. I love seeing him every day, although if he did have to go back on the road, I'd deal as I did before. But, as horrible as the whole situation has been, one good thing that seems to have come from it is that it really helped our relationship. Having this time together, being able to see each other and talk and just be close has really helped bring us closer. We're doing so much better than we have been.

Tomorrow, I'm visiting a couple of assisted living places nearby. D's father is older, and thinking it might be time. I told D, because he has to be to work at 4:30 in the morning, that I would check a couple of places out and get some info for him. We're not making any quick decisions on that, because if we get the apartment deal, we'll be relocating about an hour away from where we are now. His dad would like to be closer, so we want to wait and be fairly certain of where we're going to be before we move him and try to get him settled somewhere.

My family isn't doing so well, either, at the moment. One of my uncles (well, my dad's uncle actually), has cancer. He's had it for a couple of years now. He keeps going into remission and then it returns. Now he's to the point where he has to have frequent chemo, and he's been told that if he doesn't get it, he will die. This is the only brother my grandmother has left, and she's 80 years old, so this is particularly heartwrenching. I'm very afraid of what may happen to her if he dies. I fear she may fall into a major depression, which at her age and with her health, will be very bad for her. As if that weren't enough, my grandfather's brother had to have open heart surgery...I believe it was last week, maybe the week before. They wanted to inject a dye into his veins and arteries to check for blockage, and couldn't even do that. They immediately scheduled the surgery. He came through it fine, but he needs to lose about 75 lbs and change his diet, and that's just so they can do another surgery to finish trying to fix what's wrong with him.

Writing all this has made me realize...I'm old. lol Sounds silly, I know. But honestly, this made me realize it. I'm sitting her writing about all the people in my family who might die and how I'm looking at assisted living facilities for my (I hope) future father-in-law. This is not the kind of thing young people do. This is what grown ups - old grown ups - do.

Oh, one last little update: Hell has officially frozen over. Yes, it's true: my ex has made his first child support payment in 4 years! It's not the full amount, but it's a start. Do I think he's changed? No, not really. But if he's willing to make an effort, I'm willing to be open minded and see where it leads. I did get a letter a few weeks ago that he was requesting a modification of child support. And I was pissed, trust me. I had every intention of hauling his ass back into court and having him held in contempt and pushing hard for an increase. But now that he's done this...while I doubt he's changed, and I doubt it will last, I'm still going to keep an open mind and see what happens. Maybe, just maybe, he's finally grown up and will step up to the plate.

So, that's about it for now. I'm going to try to post more often now that things seem to be starting to smooth out around here.

June 22, 2010

Remind me NOT to be my parents when I grow up!

I love my mom and dad to death, I really do. But living with them makes them...annoying. All in one evening, my mom managed to make me feel like a crappy cook, and my dad managed to make me feel like a crappy mom. Neither of them deliberately intended to do that, I think, but they succeeded fabulously anyway. Part of that could also have been because D was leaving last night, and so I was kind of in a miserable mood anyway.

Yes, D was home again. Got home Thursday, left last night. We are...better. Still not good, exactly, but better than we were, and we keep getting better. We're talking more, about us and what's wrong with us and how we can fix it. I'm not getting into any details on here, it's all very personal. But we both realize that we have our own complications that are contributing to the mess that is our relationship right now, and that we both have to work on changing/fixing our complications. Some are easier than others to handle, and some take longer than others, but I think, as long as we both continue to try and as long as we still love each other (which we do!), we'll be all right eventually.

The kids are out of school for the summer, and have been for about 2 weeks now. I don't know about anyone else, but I'm about ready for them to go back. Ok, not really, but there are moments when I would give anything for a little break. D and I took them to Orlando for the afternoon on Friday. There's this really interesting store down there that carries...well, everything. Literally. They have this huge variety of different things, just kind of thrown in there randomly. It's actually quite cool. D could spend days there, I think and never get bored. And now, so could the boys. We stopped and had lunch on the way down. That part was...well, not so much fun. The guy taking our order kept asking the same questions over and over, clearly not listening to us. Then we all went to the bathroom, and discovered no soap in either of them. Think about this for a minute. The same bathroom the employees use...and no soap. All together now: EWWW!!!!

We're spending lots of time in the pool. The kids brought home a little card from school that gets them 2 free games of bowling every weekday during the summer. I paid for a family pass so that I can bowl with them. All we have to pay for is shoe rental, so that's a nice little thing we can do every now and then. And we're hopefully going to get together with a few different friends and their kids at local parks or whatever. We did have tentative plans to get together with a couple of my friends at a lake house belonging to one of the friend's friends. But...the lake is now teeming with bacteria, so no swimming. And if I can't swim in it, I don't see much point to going to the lake.

So...aside from last night, life is getting better. D and I are doing ok, the kids are doing pretty good. I'm trying them on some herbal stuff to see if I can get them off the meds for the ADHD. I am not happy with the meds, I feel it's too intrusive in their systems, and there's just too much that's unknown about what it might be doing to their bodies. I could try switching them to something else, but that's not any better. So, D and I discussed some various herbal remedies and we got them and are now trying them out. In the next day or two, I'm going to stop the meds and just go with the herbal and see what happens. Wish me luck.

Oh, and C got his FCAT scores in the mail last week. He scored above grade level all the way! Even in math!! That made me so proud of him. Knowing that even though he struggles with math, he's still above grade level eases my mind. I think he put too much pressure on himself and then I put even more pressure on him and it just made things worse. Having seen these results, I'm hoping that we'll both ease up next year and he'll do better.

Well, that's about all that's going on right now. I'll try to keep updating, but I have little time to do much of anything these days, with two little boys constantly asking can we go outside, can we go outside, can we go outside? You know how if you say a word too many times, it starts to lose its meaning and not even sound like word anymore? Yeah, the words "can we go outside" have reached that point.

June 8, 2010

Quick update

Well...things are far from perfect, but they are improving. D and I are talking more. We're definitely not where we used to be, but I don't think we're quite as close to falling apart as we were. I think we've managed to move back from that cliff. I'm feeling closer to him than I was before, and that's making a huge difference for me. I think he's really trying on his end, too, and that also makes a huge difference for me. When I believe he's trying, it makes me want to try harder.

The kids...we're getting there. School's about to be out for the summer, so I guess we'll see how things go. D and I had been discussing trying the boys on some various herbs for their ADHD, which I have ordered. I am now waiting for them to arrive so I can try the boys on them and see how they do. We agreed they have to come off the meds slowly, and that if the herbs don't work, we'll put them back on the meds. But I'm really hopeful the herbs will work, and D is confident they will.

We found a few different houses (well, I found them, since he's on the road) that we think will work. Yes, we are still planning to move in together. Another sign that we're getting better, I hope/think. One house is absolutely ideal, because it is 2 houses down from my parents. So the kids would be in the same school, same neighborhood, and still be able to see their grandparents on a very regular basis. Doesn't get any better than that. Let's hope D and I can get it. It also would be great because even though D wouldn't be able to park the truck at home, he would at least be able to continue parking it where he does now. No need to find a new place to park.

School's out tomorrow. One last half day and they're free. Which means Mommy is imprisoned. Ok, not really. Actually, I have various plans in the works with several different friends. Hopefully that'll keep us pretty busy and get us out of the house frequently. Between that, and when D gets home, hopefully we should find plenty to do so I won't have to hear a lot of "Mom, I'm bored!" over the next two and a half months.

So...that's what's up right now. I'll come back when I can and keep you posted. For now, things are ok and getting better, so just keep hoping for us on all fronts.

Oh, and just for laughs:

J: Mom, how old are you?

Me: I'm 31.

J: Wow! I'm never gonna be that old!

Thanks, son. I'll remember that the next time you want me to get you a cookie or something:

Me(quavering old woman voice): I'm sorry, J. I'm too old to get you a cookie.

May 31, 2010

Hit with a 2x4...well, not really, but it feels like it

Ok, so I haven't posted in quite some time. And this may be my last post again for quite some time. Things are...not good for me right now.

Well...no, that's not really true. Well, it is and it isn't. Yes, I know, I'm being confusing as hell. Welcome to my world.

I'm working on...well, everything. My life ha pretty much gone to sh*t lately. The kids have been out of control (this is not a new thing, but it's something I've got to get under control and quickly), I still can't find a job, and I was just informed that my relationship is pretty much in the toilet. Not that I hadn't suspected that for some time, but to have it confirmed really hurt.

We're not giving up...not yet. I refuse to give up. I'm willing to do everything and anything I can to save this. I love him, I want to be with him. I want to spend the rest of my life with him, and I think I've made that clear to him. He...well, he still loves me. Right at this moment, I think that's about all that's going for us on his end. This is all stuff that I am pretty certain we can work out, if he wants it to work out. He says he does, and I'm hoping he's not lying.

Of course, these problems are not his alone. They are mine as well, and quite honestly, they are probably mostly mine. I have major issues from my past. I can never open up and let anyone in when it really counts. I back off and try to hide myself away, so that when the hurt comes, it's hopefully less intense, and with the hope that they will never know just how much they've hurt me. The problem with this is that I don't just become an emotionless robot, I completely shut down. All I can think about is what I think is about to happen, but since I don't want to let that show, I just totally shut down. I don't talk about anything, I don't do anything, I can't focus, I can't think about anything other than the pain I think is about to happen.

In case you never knew, this does not work in a relationship. Especially when the other person gets frustrated with you, and backs off, thereby unintentionally confirming your fears, which makes you shut down more, which makes them back off more, and so on and so on. You see why my life is such a disaster now? Yeah.

We've talked about a lot of this. I don't know if he really understands where I'm coming from when I try to explain this. But I'm not sure that he really NEEDS to understand. Because I've come to the very clear realization that I just can't do that anymore. I have to open up, I have to let him in, no matter how much hurt I might be risking. I have to believe in him, in US, or we will be nothing but one more failed relationship in each of our pasts. I don't want to be just another ex-girlfriend that he tells a future girlfriend or wife about. I want to be his girlfriend...someday I want to be his wife. I don't know for sure if he knows I want that, and if he doesn't, I'm not sure right now would be the time to tell him. The point here is that I know what I want from him, from us, and I also realize that if I don't change the way I react to things, the way I interact with him, not only will I never have what I want, I won't have him.

I've realized now why pretty much all of my relationships have been such miserable failures. With only one notable exception, I've never let anyone in, and when they got frustrated with not being able to get me, to get TO me, they've given up and either broken up with me, or behaved in such a way that they knew I would break up with them. The only exception to this being my former husband. He was the one person that I DID try to let in, which probably reinforced my reluctance to do so, since I got so badly burned by that.

I trust D. I trust him not to cheat, I trust him not to lie. I think he has told me a few little lies lately, in an effort to protect my feelings, or maybe just to avoid an argument, I'm not really sure. But I can't really say that I can hold those against him, since in truth, my resistance to talking to him about this problem, could probably be construed as a lie itself, so I suppose I have no room to be upset. And I can understand why he would do that.

I'm coming to realize that if I trust him, if I love him, if I want to be with him, then I have to BE WITH HIM. I have to stop hiding, stop trying to protect myself, stop waiting for that inevitable shoe to drop and crush me beneath its heel. I have to risk that pain, risk that crushing blow, otherwise we'll never have anything together. If I get hurt in the end, so be it. That whole "better to have loved and lost" and all that. He's the first man to make me believe that's true.

He's also the first man I've ever truly loved. I've thought I've loved before. I had feelings that came very close to love, I think. I've had relationships that ended painfully, that left me crying and heartbroken. I've had a marriage that left me broken, period. I thought I'd fixed myself, thought I'd figured out how to live my life after that. I realized last night that that is so far from the truth it's not even a joke. When D told me that he thought us breaking up was inevitable, my heart literally stopped beating in my chest for a moment. The thought of being without him...I seriously thought it would kill me. I love my children, I would give up my life for them, I'd do anything for them. And I suddenly realized, when we had that conversation, that I've said the same about D, and that I really do mean that. And if I really do mean that...then I have to do it. I have to be willing to do anything to make this work.

The biggest problem he seems to have with me is that he thinks I don't talk enough. I tried to explain to him that it's that whole "shut down" thing, and again, I'm not entirely sure he understands. I'm going to change that. He's giving me an idea of what he would want to talk about, so I'm going to start doing some research and find things that fit those topics to talk about. He's agreed to start bringing topics up, and I will ask questions and we will discuss those things. He says he'll try to stop backing off. Whether he does or not, I will force myself not to shut down. I will force myself to stay open, and to keep talking, and hope that that will make him stop backing off.

Well, actually there's one other thing that really bugged him. A website I belonged to that he felt was really stupid and annoyed him to no end, it seems. I gave it up for him. It's a site I've belonged to for years, but I gave it up to show him how serious I am about making this work.

I will make sure that he gets more of me than anyone else ever has, with the exception of my children. In some ways, I think I've already done that. I know he's had more of me than my former husband, the man I share two children with. But I'll give him more. I'll make sure he gets all of me, even the things that I'm scared to share or that I've never shared with anyone else. I'll expand my interests to include things he's interested in, and talk to him about those things.

I'm going to risk getting hurt. I'm going to risk having my heart broken again, this time by someone I truly do love, in the hopes that it will save our relationship and I WON'T get hurt. He says he loves me, and I'm just going to have to trust that and believe in that and hope that that is enough until we get the rest back. And I have to believe that we WILL get the rest back. There is no other option here. I guess the rest is up to him.

As for the kids...with the ADHD, they've always been more rambunctious and wild than typical kids, but for years we had it under control. Things got a little crazy for a while, and then their doctor introduced me to a discipline system that she thought worked really well for kids with ADHD. And it did. It worked wonderfully.

And then I broke my ankle and for whatever reason, let the discipline go out the window. And I haven't gotten it back yet. That's going to change. I'm restarting the discipline program, and going to get them under control. I don't know how long it will take, it would certainly go faster if we didn't have to live with my parents who unintentionally (at least I hope it's not intentional) undermine me and try to impose their own discipline which just doesn't work.

So, as to why this may be my last post for a while...well, I'm going to be busy searching for things to talk about, trying to salvage my relationship, and get my kids under control, and I just don't know that I'll have a lot of time for this. I'll try to update every now and then and let you know how it's going, but we'll just have to see. Keep checking in, though, since I don't know when I'll be posting.

April 19, 2010

Just....blah

I've been feeling very....blah lately. I don't know that depressed is quite the right word for it, but I suppose it might be close. I have no real idea why I'm feeling like this. I know of a couple of things that have happened that could contribute to me feeling down, but I'm not sure to this extent.

I've kind of started to feel...disconnected from everything, from everyone. It's kind of hard to explain. It's not a completely disconnected feeling, more like...like I'm out of sync with everything. Almost like I'm a step behind, or maybe I'm a step ahead. I can't really tell.

The kids had Spring Break. We didn't go anywhere, just hung out at home. But they got to spend pretty much all day, every day outside. That thrilled them to no end. The weather was absolutely gorgeous. The weather is still beautiful; and now that it gets dark later, they are getting to spend a lot of time outside. They love it. Honestly, so do I, but if we could get rid of the mosquitoes, I'd love it even more.

I really have nothing to blog about right now. I felt like I needed to post something, since it's been a while, but there's really nothing to say right now. I feel like my life is falling apart, and I'm just not able to think of anything to do here. I know my feelings are ridiculous and not true, nothing is wrong in my life. I'm just in some stupid funk right now, and I wish it would go away.

April 5, 2010

No need for the "If all your friends jumped off a bridge" speech...

So, D was home last week. It was a nice time...until an hour or so after we got home. J said he was going in the house to go to the bathroom. After he'd been in there long enough for me to suspect that he might, in fact, be getting into something, I go to check on him. The phone rings, and since there's an extension in the garage, where we were, I asked D to go check on J while I grab the garage extension. When I answer, this is what happens:

Me: Hello?

Woman: Yes, ma'am, this is the ******* county Sheriff's Department. We received a 911 call.

Me: Silence.

Woman: From this number.

Me: Uh...that's impossible. My entire family is out..."

I run up to the porch where J is in the chair and D is standing there looking at me as I come running.

Me: J, did you just call 911?

J nods.

Me: Oh my god, ma'am. I'm so sorry. My 6 yr old son got hold of the phone and dialed it. Nothing is wrong.

Woman: That's ok, ma'am. A deputy will be out to do a well-being check.

I flipped out. D kept telling me to relax, but all I could do was flip out. The deputy came, and he was very nice about it, kept telling me to stop apologizing, but I just couldn't believe J would do that.

So, when I finally calmed down enough, I asked J why he did it. His response: because my friend told me to call 911. So....we don't need to have the "If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?" speech later. Instead, we'll just have the "Do you remember when you called 911 because your friend told you to?" speech. I think it'll be much more effective.

On an unrelated note, I got into a debate in my mommy groups tonight. It started out as a discussion and ended up as a debate. It was a rather simple topic, and I still don't see why it turned into such a debate. Basically it was about being a stay at home mom when you are with a man who is not the biological father of your children. My opinion was that yes, I would love nothing more in life than to be a stay at home mom with my children, but that I feel very odd about the idea of allowing my boyfriend to support me and my children. I feel a sense of responsibility that makes it hard to think that's ok. It's not a new sense of responsibility, just different, than when I was with their father. When I was with SD, it was a simple matter of they were his kids, too, and it was his job to take care of them. With D, it's not like that. They're not his kids, so they're not his responsibility. If he wanted to take on that responsibility (which, I will grant, in some ways, he does), fine, but it still would feel odd to me. The best way I can think of to describe it is that it feels to me like being lazy. By allowing him to work and support me and my children, even if I am taking care of the house and all, would feel to me like I am being lazy.

The debate began, and I suppose I should mention that I use the word debate loosely, because a woman who is considerably older than I and the other mother that shared my opinion, told us we were crazy. She is 68 yrs old, and of the opinion that a man should take care of women and children, whether they are biologically his or not. Of course, the majority of her argument consists of telling us we are crazy. Another mother got into the debate by telling us we should "get over it". I just find it intriguing that these women have no issue with letting a man take care of them. As I said, I would love to be a stay at home mom, but for me, the way I was raised, I find it hard to embrace the idea of seemingly sitting back and just letting my boyfriend bust his butt to take care of us when we are not his responsibility. I don't know, maybe I do need to just get over it, but it's just how I feel.

And on that note, I'm off to bed.

March 29, 2010

Oh...where to begin...

So the last couple of weeks have been...interesting, shall we say? We went to an outdoor birthday party last Sunday...and it stormed. Oh, that was fun. Kids banging away on a piƱata (one that strangely enough made a metallic clanging sound if they hit it right), while all around us thunder boomed, lightning flashed, and the rain blew sideways under the pavilion roof at us. Yay!

Wednesday was a half day at school, and it was another fun day. I had a doctor's appointment in the morning, only an hour and a half before the end of school. I was lucky enough to get there early, and they were able to get me in early. But then...the boys had appointments for eye exams that afternoon. And all that time I saved in the morning...was lost. And then some. Three hours for eye exams. The only plus to that was that their eyes haven't really changed. Which is good, but also makes it all the more frustrating that we were three for THREE hours!

But, the really exciting news is: J is done with speech therapy! They scheduled a meeting for last Thursday at the school, and when I went in, they told me he'd met all his goals, and was graduating from speech therapy. That absolutely made my week. I am so proud of him. He worked so hard and tried so much to overcome the impairment and he did it. He still can be hard to understand when he gets very excited or if he is very upset, but if you tell him to calm down and tell you again, he will. He also will stop and think while he's talking to make sure he uses the right word and says it clearly. It's a technique they taught him to cope with the speech impairment, but he's really taken it to heart and it makes a huge difference to how he speaks.

They are having the World's Fair at school next month. This is something they do every year. Each classroom does a different country, and they do all kinds of little projects to display, and they learn tons of little facts about the country their class is working on, and on the night of the fair, they always learn a fact or two about all the other countries, in order to get a stamp on their "passport". It's a wonderful learning experience, both for the kids and the parents. J's class is doing the United States. His teacher always tries to get a picture postcard from each state. They almost had all of them last year. This year...well, she's going to have quite a few. With D being a truck driver, I've enlisted him to help with this little project. I figure he's the ideal person to help us get a lot of postcards. J's teacher is quite excited at the prospect. I figure J will be excited when he begins receiving the postcards.

Some of my friends at the school and I have been contemplating how to get rid of the principal. The school has gone downhill in a serious way since he took over this year. He's alienating the parents, and doing nothing for the kids. There is a substitute teacher that is terrorizing the kids, the daughter of one of my friends in particular, and the principal is doing nothing to stop it. D has offered to create a website on which we could start a petition to try to get rid of the principal. If things continue, though, I think it may come down to a bunch of parents getting together and just going directly to the school board to demand he be fired.

Well, there's other stuff going on, but I'm tired and my brain just isn't functioning right now. Oh, wait, there is this:

We were at the eye doctor, waiting for them to be called back for their exams. C had found this plant and plucked a piece off of it. While he played with it, it broke apart into several smaller pieces. C held some in the palm of his hand, came over to me, hand outstretched, and said, "Here, Mom, have some weed."

I couldn't even speak, could barely breathe, I was laughing so hard. Then, once I was under control, all I could think was that I hoped no one had heard, because how could I explain that he had no idea what he was saying, and how would I convince someone that he hadn't heard that at home? Thankfully, no one heard. But I will never forget the day my son unwittingly tried to make his first sale...by offering a sample.

March 11, 2010

I wonder if I can do it...

Well, C & J's friend is back at school this week, after his surgery. I was very happy to see him, and his mom. Her and I have had a couple of wonderful conversations this week. One of which, in combination with other things, have led D & I to thinking about making some very major changes with the boys.

As I believe I've mentioned before, Caroline and I have real issues with the principal at the school. We are not the only ones. It seems there are a lot of parents that don't like him, and even a couple of teachers don't like him. Since he took control, the school has changed drastically, and not for the better. When D & I first began discussing the idea of moving in together, I was adamant that I wanted us to live in this school zone, so that the boys could continue attending this school. Now, I'm not so sure.

The people in the offices have gone from being friendly, happy, kind and always helpful to cold, distant, and acting as though you are interfering with their day by coming into the school. As a parent, I do occasionally have cause to go to the school: a meeting regarding J's speech therapy (more on this later!), the book fair, a question for the teacher regarding homework, a conference to assess how the kids are doing. All valid reasons, in any reasonable person's opinion. But if you come in to this school, they would look at you like you came in and asked what color the sky is.

The kids can't talk in class. Understandable. They are there to learn, to do classwork, and they can't do that if they are chatting away. But now, the dean of discipline has decided they can no longer talk during lunch. Now, parents who homeschool are always told they should send their kids to school so they can socialize. Well...if they can't talk during class, and they can't talk during lunch, when exactly are they going to socialize? On the 5 minute walk to the car?

Caroline and I joked about starting a petition to get the principal removed. It started as a joke anyway. We agreed that with our luck, he'd find out we did it and our kids would be treated even worse. But, when I mentioned it to D, he actually had some really good suggestions for how we can do it and not have the fallout be on our kids. Caroline and I are still discussing and trying to determine if we really want to do this.

Regardless of what we do with that, though, D & I are seriously considering homeschooling the boys starting next year. With as bad as this school has gotten, and being uncertain that any other school would really be any better, homeschooling is sounding more and more like a good option. We can teach the boys on their own schedule, moving them forward or sticking on a topic as needed for them, instead of as needed for the slowest kid in the class, which may or may not be C & J.

Another thought behind this is that I think a large part of C's problem is that he is bored. He is very smart, and I think he just gets bored and doesn't put forth the same effort that he would if he wasn't bored. It's something I used to do. My dad did it as well. So did D. Homeschooling would eliminate this boredom, again because we'd be teaching them at their own individual level.

They would, quite possibly, spend less time in "school" than they do now. All the research I've done so far indicates that most homeschooled kids spend 3-5 hours a day on school related things, as compared to the more than 6 hours that the boys are currently doing, and then still come home and do homework. We would be able to do fun activities that would count as school activities, such as going to the zoo, or a museum, things like that. And we could go on days when everyone else is in school, therefore finding it less busy and more fun for us.

The only real drawback we've found so far is that all indications are that I can't homeschool and work fulltime. D apparently had already realized this, but I had not. I expressed concern that we might not be able to make it on just his income indefinitely, but he says that although it would be tight, we could make it work. I trust him, and I trust his judgment, so I'm going to hope he's right.

So, now, my last hesitation is wondering if I can really do this. Not just if I can teach them the things they need to learn (which I am fairly certain I can; and what I can't cover, D can), but if I can handle basically never having a break from them. Not that I don't love them and love spending time with them. But when they are in school, I get the house clean, laundry done, and some me time. Some time during which I can watch a little TV, read a book, do a word search, play around online, and just relax a bit. That will disappear if I am homeschooling. Granted, they are old enough to help with household chores, and in all honesty, they are probably old enough to do their own laundry (or C is, at any rate). Being a stay at home mom was always my dream, and when I stayed home when C was younger, I loved it. But C was younger. He was cool to just sit on the floor or in his playpen and play with toys while I cleaned up a bit. He took naps, so I had that time to read or watch TV. No more naps, and with two of them, there's always a fight over toys and such.

Fortunately, we still have several months to do more research and discuss it before we make a final decision. I want to make sure we do the right thing. I want the boys to have the best possible education, whether that is from a public school, private school or homeschool. And I don't think that going back and forth between homeschooling and regular school is really going to provide them with the best possible education. We have to decide on one and stick with it for the long haul.

The good news, though, is that yesterday I got a Meeting Participation Form from the school. This is what I usually get at the beginning of the year when we meet to evaluate where J is and what we expect to accomplish this year with his speech therapy. The reason given on this one is change in placement. I'm very hopeful that this means they will tell me he's met all his goals and no longer needs speech therapy. He has made amazing strides over the last year and a half. He still gets overly excited and becomes hard to understand. Or if he cries, you can't really understand him. But in an average conversation, he speaks clearly now.

Things are looking up, all the way around.

March 7, 2010

Singing in the rain...er, shower

So, C has developed a new...talent? hobby? interest? Something like that, anyway.

When he's in the shower, he likes to sing. I don't mean Madonna "Papa Don't Preach" type singing. I mean, making up his own songs singing. It's quite entertaining for those of us on the outside. Today's concert started out with a quiet version of "help me, help me, help me", peaked with "I'm a crocodile" and had an encore of gibberish. The last part I went and stood outside the bathroom, on the phone with D, and even D was cracking up. I was laughing so hard I couldn't even tell C he needed to get done and get out of the shower. I told D that next time, I'm going to get out the video camera and tape it. I can see it now...

C: Mom, I want to bring my girlfriend home to meet you and D. You, uh...you don't have any naked pictures of me on a bearskin rug or anything do you?

Me: No, sweetheart, no bear skin rug pictures.

Two days later...

Me: So, girlfriend, I have a video from when C was younger. Why don't we watch it?

I'm such an evil mommy. :)

So this week, C takes his first FCAT test. I'm worried, but not. I'm worried, because this is really pretty much a make or break test. I'm not because C has always done well on these types of things in the past. But I can't help but be afraid that he might freak out and not do well, and end up repeating 3rd grade over something this silly. J is taking great pleasure in reminding C that he doesn't have to take this test. Brothers...they live to torment each other.

I found myself making some rather...unusual mistakes today. Well, I don't know that I would call them mistakes, exactly, considering the direction D and I's relationship has been heading. We are moving in together, quite possibly within the next few months. But what I found myself doing today shocked even me.

I was in my mommy group (which I know I was going to leave, but it's like a soap opera...you get hooked and can't stop) and there were 3 questions that I answered this afternoon. I felt they were good questions, one that deserved honest answers. The type of question required me to speak about my relationship with D as well as my children, and I found myself referring to the boys as "our" kids. Usually, I call them "my" kids, or "my" boys, or whatever. It's always been "my", though, because SD doesn't deserve any credit for them, and I've been raising them alone. And I've answered other questions since meeting D that required me to talk about both my relationship with him and my kids, and used "my". But today, I found myself using "our". Initially, I was surprised, and even kind of thought, "what the heck did I do that for?" I even said it out loud, at which point I ended up explaining to D what I'd done. He laughed and said he'd found himself calling C "son" so he didn't think it was a big deal. Later, after I did it the 3rd time, he even said he didn't mind.

So, the first time I did it, I surprised myself. The second time I did it, it was more like, "oh, for Pete's sake, I did that again." The third time, I decided it was hopeless and I just need to accept that apparently this is what I'll be doing from now on. I'm not sure why I did it. I'm not sure what it was that made me suddenly think of them as "ours" instead of mine. I do know one thing, though. When I was with SD, even though he helped conceive them, I never ever thought of them as "ours". Even then, the boys were always "my". So...the fact that I am thinking this way about D says a lot about how I feel about him and our relationship.

It also just proves that DNA is not what makes a family, or a father. In the short time that D has been a part of our lives, he's already acted more like a father to them, without even trying, than SD has in their entire lives. They seem to have readily accepted him as a part of our lives and our family. I know there will probably be a day when they will rebel and pull the "you're not my dad" bit on him. I know there will come a day when they will probably resent him, hate him, or at the very least, make his life difficult, which means mine will be difficult. But I figure that's normal and bearable. And we'll deal with that if and when that day arrives.

It's very strange. I used to swear that no man would ever meet my kids before we'd been dating at least 6 months, and even then, only if the relationship was serious. I stuck to that rule for many years. No man I ever dated met my kids. And then D came along. And we haven't been together 6 months, but he's already met the kids, and I already can see him as their dad. We're already moving in together. The kids have accepted him and have no problems with him and I being together. And none of this feels rushed, or like a mistake, and I don't feel like I should feel guilty that we didn't wait longer for this stuff. I guess whoever said that when it's right, you'll know it, knew what he or she was talking about.

March 3, 2010

Student of the Month!!

So, I go to pick the kids up today. And the teacher that runs the car rider line was running a bit behind today, so by the time we got pulled up, the kids were already waiting. The boys climb in the car, and I notice C has this red ribbon on his shirt. So I ask what it is as I lift it, and read "Student of the Month" on it. I immediately have to start driving, as the line is moving, but C starts telling me how he's student of the month, and handing me a bumper sticker, a certificate, and his coupon that entitles him to a free sundae at Sonic. Yay...an excuse for me to go buy ice cream. :)

I am so proud of him. He's come such a long way since Kindergarten and 1st grade. If you go back to some of my much older postings, you'll read about the trouble he had and the diagnosis I didn't want to get (Most of this will be found around April 2007, just to help you out a little). He had such a hard time not only with grades, but also behavior. He couldn't stop talking, couldn't sit still, couldn't focus. ADHD was truly making his life miserable. I strongly regret not getting him diagnosed sooner. I was so determined to think that my son didn't have that problem, or that I could get him past it naturally, without medication, and all I did was force my son to struggle when it wasn't necessary.

And when I look at where he is now, I am glad that I did finally give in and get him officially diagnosed and started on meds. His grades have improved, his behavior is so much better, and he is a much happier child (although he already has a teenage attitude!). He would be in a completely different place right now had I continued to try to convince myself that disagnosis and medication weren't necessary.

J, however, is very upset that is not, and has yet to be, Student of the Month. I tried to tell him to just be patient, and to remember that it took his brother until 3rd grade to get it, but J does not want to hear this. He wants to just pout and feel like he's getting ripped off somehow. Forget the fact that his grades are always through the roof, and that he's never had the behavior issues that his brother had. He doesn't want to hear any of that, because it doesn't suit his agenda of pouting and being miserable.

Sometimes I wonder about children.

D is well entrenched in his new job. He is quite the happy camper. He's getting lots of miles, he loves his new dispatcher, and sounds so much happier than I've heard him in a long time. This makes me happy, of course. I still miss him, and I still can't wait until he comes home so I can see him and hold him and touch him, but at least now I know he's not absolutely miserable and stressed beyond belief when we're apart.

Of course, he still likes to tease and torment me, so now...I'm off to plot my revenge. :)

February 27, 2010

Why my kids don't have birthday parties...and other thoughts

So today is C's 9th birthday...wow, where have the years gone? I'm seriously having major issues with accepting that my firstborn, my baby, is no longer my baby, but now dwells in the realm of a land called "tweendom". My son is a tween. That's just...not right.

I had a friend ask me the other day (after she invited us to her daughter's 10th birthday party tomorrow - her daughter is 364 days older than C), why my kids don't have birthday parties. Well, it's pretty simple. One reason is that we live way out in the boonies and our current neighborhood does not contain a lot of kids around C & J's ages. Most of the kids are teens, or really, really little. Depending on where D & I eventually find a place, that may change, but that's what it is right now.

The other reason is the school policy. School policy says that you cannot invite selected, specific children to the party. It is all or none: either you invite all of the kids in the class, or none of them. And naturally, there is no real way around this.

Now, I kind of get why they do this: it sucks to be the only kid in the class NOT invited to a party. And yes, I can understand they would want to avoid the hurt feelings as much as possible, especially in this world where kids bring guns to school or commit suicide for no apparent reason. BUT...

I have more than one issue with this. One being that it's not fair. It SEEMS fair at first glance. All the kids get invited, so it makes it fair. But, it's really not fair. I mean, seriously, people that I don't know, or that I do know but don't like or they don't like me, don't invite me to their parties. And I wouldn't expect them to. I grew up getting invited only to those parties that I knew and generally was pretty good friends with the person having the party. So as an adult, I get the concept that if I don't know you, or we don't like each other, I'm not getting invited to your party, and you won't be invited to mine. I think this whole "invite all or none" policy is going to kind of screw with that. We'll have adults running around expecting to get invited to a party that the cashier at Walmart is throwing, even though they don't know said cashier.

Another issue is this: C is in the same classroom as a little boy we will call S. In Kindergarten, C & S were in the same class, and in the after-care program together. S's mother runs the after-care program. C & S were constantly, and I mean constantly, in trouble together. Every day in class, in after-care, these two were up to something. The teacher made specific notes that they were not to be put in the same class together in future. That worked...until this year. They are in the same class. And S has gone from annoying little troublemaker to full-on bully. He's been suspended for fighting. He picks on other kids, he pushes, hits, trips, kicks, slaps, smacks, punches, teases, threatens, you name it, he's done it. C realizes this kid is trouble, and wants nothing to do with him. Now...knowing that this kid is likely to try to start a fight with one or both of my boys, and has probably in some form or another abused at least one other kid in the class, who would likely be at the party, WHY on earth would I want to invite this child to my home? I mean, seriously, that just makes no sense to me. There is a person who has never met me, but doesn't like me. She's made threats. You don't see me inviting her to my home. So why would I want to invite this kid to my home?

Those are the reasons my kids don't have birthday parties. And just to clarify, it's not that they don't have parties. They do. We have a birthday dinner, where the birthday boy (or person; the adults get it too) gets to pick what they want for dinner. We have the cake of their choosing (C chose German Chocolate this year...yummy, but very very rich), ice cream (or in some cases, ice cream cake...very convenient), and presents. It's just a family thing. The kids, me, grandparents, and D when he's home for it. We keep it as a family event, mainly for the reasons listed above, but also because it's just nice to have it as a family event instead of turning it into some big, materialistic, can we spend more money then they did monster. We even have a $20 limit on the gifts. I am trying very hard to make sure that my kids don't turn into materialistic little snobs, and I think keeping their birthdays as a family event is one way to do that.

I'm not saying that my friend's daughter will be a materialist snob, my friend and her husband are much more levelheaded than that. And I know not all kids turn out that way. But so many people today seem to think that birthdays and Christmas are all about what you get and it becomes a competition to see who gets the best stuff. I want my kids to realize that these events, and all holidays like that are supposed to be about family, and friends, and celebrating an event, not spending money and getting stuff.

I am still very much in shock over this particular birthday. I'm not sure why exactly. Nine is not a milestone birthday, at least as far as I know. Next year, when he turns 10 (I really don't want to think about that!), that's a milestone. When he turns 13, or 16, or 18, those are milestones. Then of course, there's 21. Really, even 25 kind of counts. But this year, turning 9, there's nothing super special about that. And yet, more than any other birthday so far, I'm having trouble accepting it. When he turned a year, I was shocked, but I was also super excited, because it was his first birthday, so I guess the shock was kind of blunted by the excitement. I just can't believe he's 9 now.

I've reached that point where my birthday is really kind of just another day for me. The only reason I got excited this year (when I turned 31...which I would like to forget) is that D was home for my birthday. That made it special. Going out to dinner with him and spending time alone with him made it special. Otherwise I wouldn't have really cared. I'd have had my birthday dinner (stuffed shells) and cake (ice cream cake) and my babies gave me my gifts (little bath soap sets), but it wouldn't have been a big deal to me.

C was excited for his birthday. In fact, he got mad when he realized (on Thursday) that it wasn't yesterday, but in fact, today. He was ready for it.

J broke the nosepads off his glasses Thursday night. So after school yesterday, we had to go get them repaired. As I was driving home from this, with the boys fighting in the backseat, the song "Then They Do" by Trace Adkins came on the radio. I was listening to the song, and I kind of got teary, what with C's birthday today and all, and it occurred to me that their Sperm Donor not only probably doesn't remember that C's birthday was today, but probably couldn't tell you how old he turned either.

I used to feel bad that my boys had a "father" that didn't give a crap about them. I felt bad for my boys, felt that they were missing out on something. This year, I don't feel that way. Part of it is D. He's stepped in and wholeheartedly embrace the fact that my kids and I are a package deal, a ready made family. He has no issue with stepping up to put the boys in their place if they do something wrong, or doing family things with us, helping with homework, or thinking of us as a family instead of just a couple.

I've always believed in the statement that any male can be a father, but that it takes a real man to be a dad. But given that for the last 6 yrs, the only male figure in their lives was my father, I felt bad that their "father" didn't do more. My dad is great, don't get me wrong, but he's Grandpa. He does a lot for them and with them, but he shouldn't have to act as their father. So when D met my kids and easily found a relationship with them in which he steps into a somewhat parental role, and they so easily accepted him in that role, it made me fall all the more in love with him.

I've always tried to teach the boys that family isn't just about blood. I have uncles who are absolutely no relation to me at all. They are just incredibly close friends of my parents, but to me, they are uncles because I have always been able to count on them. One of those uncles was my ex's best man at our wedding; he informed my ex that if he ever hurt me, my uncle would hunt him down and kill him. He's not followed through on that threat, but that's only because we won't tell him where to find my ex, and he knows I don't want him in jail over my ex.

I have friends that I've known for years, and even when we've lost touch, I still consider them to be like sisters to me. We're just that close.

These are things I've tried to teach my sons. And to meet a man who also understands that is such a wonderful thing. It's...comforting to be with a man who understands that family is not about being able to trace a bloodline, but about love, and commitment and loyalty. And yes, I do consider D to be a part of my family now. He has become a very important part of my life, and I would do for him what I would do for any member of my family: anything. He comes second only to my kids.

Back to my original point though (if I can find my way back to it), SD made no effort to contact C for his birthday, as usual. He, I'm sure, doesn't even realize it's his birthday. And that's fine. I've finally realized that my kids don't need him, in any way, and they will not suffer in any way because he's not around. Between me, D, and my parents, they will have enough love, enough male influences, and everything they will ever need. There is nothing that he can provide for them, nothing that he can do for them, that I, D, or my parents can't provide or do. And the boys will never miss what they don't know.

One day, SD will realize what he's lost. He'll realize he missed out on the chance to be a father, to make a mark and be an influence in someone's life. He'll realize he had that chance, and that he chose to step back, and instead someone else stepped in and gladly took on that role. He'll know that another man was happy to be a dad to my sons, and loved my sons even though they weren't his blood. And SD will have to live with that. One day, he'll be a bitter, lonely old man with no one to care about him or visit him or talk to him, because he'll have chased everyone away. And he'll have nothing else to do but reflect on the fact that things could have been different, if HE'D been different.

Maybe that's why I'm having such trouble with the idea that C is 9...maybe it's that realization that C, and J as well, are growing up so fast, and that someday they will be adults and have their own lives. And all I will have left of their childhoods is memories. Maybe I actually feel a little sad that SD won't even have those memories. I don't know that I'd say I feel bad for him, but maybe...maybe it's that I know that the opportunities to make those memories are fading fast, and I want to grab hold of as many of them as I can, and as tightly as I can. And I feel...sad that he doesn't have that same urge, and won't until it's much too late.

Ok, enough depressing thoughts for one night. Off to bed.

Happy Birthday, C!

February 24, 2010

Ugh...I'm having one of those weeks, I think

So my friend Caroline's son, who happens to be friends with C & J, is having surgery tomorrow. On his eyes of all things. I don't know all the details, but the basic story is that he was a preemie, something is up with his eyes, and they have to snip the muscle between the eyes. She is freaking out, and broke down in front of him the other night, which of course made him freak out. She's a very strong woman, so I know she will be ok, but I'm still worried about her.

We stood around talking for a bit this morning. Somehow, in talking about surgery, school, teachers, and bullies, the conversation came around to the fact that D & I are planning on moving in together. In the course of this conversation, I mentioned that D is a truck driver and has just changed companies. Someone else joined our conversation, but at the worst possible time. She joined just in time to hear me mention how much money D hopes to make (thankfully I gave a lowball figure, lower than he actually gave me, or I'd be in even bigger trouble right now), but not in time to hear all the whys of changing companies.

You see, he changed companies partly because they were just screwing him over in general...or I guess maybe that's the most basic explanation of everything. He was getting crappy loads, not making any money, and frequently owing them money for the "pleasure" of hauling their loads. He was buying his truck, which meant he had a truck payment to make, and was responsible for any repairs and problems the truck had. Basically, he was broke, working pretty much for free and miserable. There was no way we'd be able to get a place together, even if I found a great job.

So, he found another company. One that he could be a company driver, which means no truck payment, and no responsibility for the repairs and problems. He'll make more money, because driving their truck means they will make sure he gets a load.

But...the person who joined our conversation simply heard what D hopes to make and saw dollar signs. Now, in my defense, I DID try to tell her why she shouldn't get so excited. She was determined to go home and tell her unemployed husband to go to trucking school. I tried to tell her that D has several years of experience, and therefore gets a higher pay rate, but she didn't want to hear that. I tried to tell her that as a new driver, he's probably going to get stuck working for a crappy company (like the one D worked for), and he'll make no money, be miserable, and gone a lot. Didn't want to hear it. I told her how he'll be gone for weeks at a time, and only home a few days, and that if she thinks he doesn't help with the kids now (she complains he's lazy), just wait til he's gone 3 weeks, and home for 3 days, 3 days during which he wants to sleep, and has to clean out the truck, take care of things that he can't take care of on the road, and is not really in the mood to go do anything. Her response was to tell me that I deal with that.

Which was when I tried to explain that D is not my kids dad, and therefore is not responsible for helping me take care of them. Yes, he does help me when he is here, but that is his choice, not something I asked him to do. I am glad he does it, I appreciate it, I'm glad he wants to take on a role in my kids lives, but it is not something I forced him to do. And I don't push him to do anything when he's home, except to spend some time with me, and naturally, the kids, since locking them in the closet is illegal. :) In seriousness, though, I also tried to tell her that yes, I deal with it, but not as well as she seems to think. I told her if she asked D, he'd probably tell her that I drive him nuts with all the "I miss you" and "I wish you were home". And I go in and wake him up a million times and get frustrated when he doesn't want to get up. I understand he's tired, but that doesn't mean it's not a little frustrating.

I also pointed out that I did a considerable amount of laundry for him, much more than you would do on an ordinary basis if he were home everyday. Now, don't get me wrong: I offered. He tried to refuse ("You're my girlfriend, not my slave." I know that, silly, now hand over the stinky socks). I did it because I love him, but it's still a lot to do, especially when he's only home for X long, and you have to hurry up and get it done otherwise he's screwed and leaving with stinky socks and dirty underwear. I'd rather not think of my boyfriend wearing yucky undies, thank you.

Again, she says I'm dealing with it, so she can too. Gritting my teeth, I at this point try to remind her that this is how my relationship with D has been from the very beginning: I knew even before we started dating that he would be gone much more than he was here. I made the choice to move forward anyway, because I love him and I want to be with him, even if that is only a couple of days a month. I can live with that, because I've never known it to be different. Do I wish it were different? Of course. But D wishes he could win the lottery. We both have wishes that will probably never come true. That's life.

She's lived with her husband the entire 10 years they've been married. According to her, they've never spent a night apart. And...she thinks that her hubby can be home every night. Uhhh...did you miss the part where I mentioned how this last time D was gone for 5 weeks? While admittedly, that was longer than usual, it wasn't longer by much. But no, she thinks her hubby will be different. I tell her that if he wants any shot at all of making the kind of money D hopes to make, he has to be over the road, and that means being gone at a minimum of 2-3 weeks, but she doesn't want to hear that. Whatever.

She somehow came to the conclusion that the reason I don't work is that D takes care of me. Ummm....nope. I don't work cause I can't find a damn job. D and I have discussed the possibility that if he makes enough, I might not have to work. But it is not something I am counting on. Frankly, I feel weird even considering letting my boyfriend support my kids and I like that. Tried to tell her all that. Didn't do any good. She thinks she can get her hubby on the road and be able to quit her job.

I give up. I tried my best to get her to see reason. She only wants to see $$$$. So, ok, send your hubby off to trucking school, let him hire on with a really crappy trucking company that doesn't pay for crap, treats him like a slave and leaves him sitting at truck stops for hours, or even days on end. And when you come to me, months from now, to say I didn't warn you, I'm grabbing Caroline, and we're both going to stand there and say that yes, I did tell you so.

I did have one good thing happen this morning though. Well, good for my family, not so good for someone else. There was a little boy that C was friends with back in Kindergarten. A little boy that C often got into trouble with. Fortunately, it didn't take long into first grade for C to realize that this child was trouble. And the school assisted me in separating them.

I just found out this morning that this little boy has become quite the bully. Pushing kids, hitting, smacking, tripping, yelling, making fun, teasing, anything and everything. You name it, this kid is doing it. He's been suspended a couple times.

I'm so grateful that C has realized that this kid is not the kind of kid he wants to be friends with. When I think of what kind of trouble C would be in right now if they'd stayed friends...well, I'd rather not think about that.

I think I'm off to bed now. Hoping to hear from Caroline tomorrow afternoon that her son came through his surgery without a hitch.

February 21, 2010

Laundry...pretty sure I hate it

Doing dishes was always the bane of my existence. I despised them. Laundry ranked right up there after dishes. Then I got a dishwasher. I no longer despised dishes. Heck, I loved dishes. Now, laundry has moved up the ranks to the top of the list.

I don't mind the whole loading the washer, switching to the dryer part. That's the easy part. It's the whole fold and put away part that makes me crazy. It's so...tedious and boring. I mean, not that my life is just teeming with excitement or anything. But I'd just rather be reading, or taking pictures, or playing with the kids, or hanging with D when he's home. Not doing laundry.

And then this last week...I did so much laundry that I think the washing machine thinks we're getting married. I did my laundry, the boys laundry, D's laundry, and then mine and the boys again. D has so many socks that I think he could open his own sock store...well, if there is such a thing as a sock store. Is there? Maybe I should check into that. See...this is what I'm talking about: the excitement in my life is thinking I should research the potential existence of sock stores...and laundry is boring.

Seriously, though, if socks could procreate, D's would be bunnies. In fact, I'm not entirely sure his don't. They might very well be in the back of the truck doing all kinds of dirty little things to each other. I'm picturing D driving down the road, a little Marvin Gaye "Let's Get It On" on the radio (although why D would listen to that when I'M not there is questionable, but I digress) and the socks are hooking up:

Sock #1: hey, cutie! Wanna mate?
Sock #2: Are you gonna call me after?
Sock #1: Sure. After we get washed and dried, sure.
Sock#2: Uh-huh. I've heard that before. You're going to go thru that hole in the back of the dryer and disappear.
Sock #1: No, baby. I wouldn't do that to you. I love you.
Sock #2: Ok. But what if little socks come from this?
Sock #1: Oh, that can't happen. I can't have little socks.


And that's as far as I got with that conversation. That was when I finally fell asleep. See...I don't sleep well when he's not here. I sleep, but I wake up constantly. I fell asleep around midnight, then was up at 1 til 1:30, then up at 3 til 3:15ish, then up at 5 til 5:45. Then I got up at 7 for the day. So, yeah, sock conversations are still running through my head. Sorry about that. I definitely need to sleep.

On a completely unrelated note (or kind of related, I suppose, in an odd way)...have you ever noticed how sexy it is to watch a grown man interact with a child? As I mentioned yesterday, D took the boys for a ride in the truck. We met up at a truck stop for this. The boys must hold my hand when in a parking lot, or at least the hand of an adult in our group. So, first J wanted to hold D's hand, and then later, C wanted to hold D's hand. I don't know if the fact that he's not their father makes it more so, but it was just so sexy and sweet to watch him holding their hands. If I'd had my camera (which I intended to take, and then completely forgot), I would have taken pictures. I didn't think I could fall more in love with him, but I did. There is something about watching him interact with my kids that just gets to me. I don't know...maybe part of it is the complete lack of involvement and interest from their sperm donor. Knowing that D actually takes an interest in my sons and wants to interact with them and take on a role in their lives means a lot.

But...to get back to my original point. Laundry. Specifically, D's socks. Seriously, when I was matching and folding his socks, I could have used them to create a fake him in the bed. I get why he needs so many, but wow, it's a lot. He made the comment that you can never have too many socks. I informed him that when I'm the one folding them, yes, you can.

It's kind of odd. I hate laundry. I try to get it all done in one day so that I don't have to think about it all the time. But when I was doing D's, I didn't really mind it so much. I mean, it was just as boring and tedious as ever, but for some reason, I almost enjoyed it. I wouldn't call it fun, exactly, but it was...nice.

I still hate laundry, though. Don't think that has changed, because it hasn't. I still say someone needs to invent something that will fold and put the clothes away for me. Once that's done, then cleaning the bathroom can move to the top of the list and well...I'll just make the kids clean that, and my life will be perfect. Well, nearly perfect anyway.

Ok, I think I should go sleep now. Clearly I need it, since I think not having to clean the bathroom would make my life perfect. Good night.

February 20, 2010

Here and there...little notes of the past week or so

So D got home super late Monday night. He's been looking for another job (I think I may have mentioned this previously). He'd finally begun making some very hopeful progress with a company, so he was kind of hanging around, getting things done, but hanging around in hopes of being able to turn in his truck with the current company and start with the new one. Turned out to be the way to go. When he left today, it was to turn in his truck and head to start with the new company.

So, after a much longer separation than I like, I had more time with him than usual. Although it did make it much harder to let him go today, it was wonderful to have that extra time. He thinks I will sleep better without his snoring...he doesn't know (well, I suppose he might when/if he reads this) that I sleep for crap when he's not here. It's really rather ridiculous, but his snoring actually is almost like a fan running for me. His snores are white noise. Or maybe it's his arms around me that help me sleep. Or his warmth. Or just knowing he's there. Who knows? Ok, enough oversharing.

So, while he was home, I didn't really get online much. I paid a bill that came due and that was about my limit. I like to spend as much time with him as I can. Computer goes way down the priority list when he is home. In fact, everything but the kids goes way down the priority list when he's home.

We did have some interesting happenings this week, though. One of which...I am still trying to wrap my brain around. C & J had tipped C's bike up on it's handlebars, so the wheels were up in the air. They were spinning the back tire and skinning clumps of dirt on it, when one of them got a "brilliant" idea. One of them decided that J's...manly parts, shall we say, should be put on the tire. I'm still trying to figure out how this came about.

J: Hey, let's put my peepee on the tire and see what happens!
C: Cool! Let's do it!

C: Hey, I have an idea! Why don't you put your peepee on the tire. I bet that'll be really cool.
J: OK.

Either way, I know the end result: J comes crying, clutching his goodies like he just got kicked a good one, and sits in my lap for the next half hour, continuing to clutch the boys like they're going to fall off if he doesn't. He ended up with some nasty looking bruises, but luckily, it's not broken. Not that I'd know if it was, cause...well, I don't have one and wouldn't have the first clue how to know if it was broken or not. In fact, I sat there holding him, wishing D or my dad or even the Fedex guy would show up to assure me he'd be fine.

I just wish I could understand what on earth made them think that was a good idea.

And then there was yesterday, when C proved himself to be utterly, completely MALE. He wore dress pants to school, with a nice button down shirt. He had a belt on, because as always, his pants were a bit too loose. Apparently, while at school, the belt broke. So, how did he keep his pants up? A zip tie! Yes, really. He used a zip tie to keep his pants from falling down around his ankles. With dress pants, no less. D joked that he wanted a paternity test because it sounded like something he would do, and my parents both almost fell out of their chairs laughing when I told them.

Before D left today, he took the boys for a ride in his truck. Quite a long ride, too. Thrilled them to no end. J kept complaining of boredom, but when we got home, all he could tell his grandparents about was the ride. They were both fascinated by all the trucks at the different truck stops we stopped at, so they could switch seats and each have a turn up front. They were amazed at all the things on the dashboard, and thought the oddly placed (to them, anyway) window in the door of the truck was really cool. He honked the horn at one point at a car, and they both thought that was really awesome, too, although they tried to play it cool in the truck. It wasn't until we were in the car on the way home that they gushed about that. How loud it was, how cool it was, how they didn't know what that car did but they were sure it deserved to be honked at. I'm sure D will be pleased to know they are firmly on his side in that situation, even when they're clueless.

So, now, here I am. Saturday night, with two or possibly three weeks ahead of me. The first few days after he leaves are the hardest. It gets better the longer he's gone, but I strongly suspect that is more a matter of I begin getting excited that it's closer to him being home again than anything else.

It's really kind of funny. When I was married to my ex, if he'd been a truck driver, we'd probably still be married. I couldn't stand being around him, so him being gone 2-3 weeks at a time, or more, would have been ideal. Now, with D, it drives me nuts. I want time with him, I almost crave it. He was home nearly a week, and it still doesn't feel like enough time. We've only been together just over three months, but in that three months, he's become my best friend, and I love him more than I've ever loved anyone else in my life, with the exception of my children. But that's a totally different kind of love, so there's really no comparison there.

And now I'm on the phone with D, so I'm off now.

February 16, 2010

*sigh*...killing time...

So, here it is, a quarter after midnight. I'm up. Why? Because I'm waiting for D to get home. He's finally getting home again after, umm...5 & 1/2 weeks? Roughly that, anyway. I don't know exactly, I just know he's been gone and I've been missing the hell out of him and he's almost here. He's so close I can almost taste him (hmmm...that didn't quite come out the way I intended, so please clean up your mind so that you'll see how innocently I meant that!).

The boys are in bed, sound asleep. Well...one's in bed sound asleep, one's on the floor sound asleep. Don't ask me. They both started the night in the bed. Somehow, they migrated. In their sleep, no less. Didn't even wake up. Just somehow...slithered to the floor. They were both on the floor at one point, but then one had to potty and got back in the bed. And...you really didn't want to know about their potty habits, did you? Sorry, it's late, and I'm tired, and missing D and excited and well...I tend to overshare a bit when you combine all those things.

I talked to my grandmother today. My will-be-80-next-month grandma. I love her to death. She and my grandpa have been married for 61 years. Talk about inspiration. We talked about a bunch of different things, but one thing was said that scared me. And it's not so much what she said but how she sounded when she said it. Her brother has cancer. It's been determined to be Agent Orange related, meaning the VA is covering it. It started out in his lungs, he had surgery and chemo and went into remission. Now it's back. And it's spreading. Now, about 5 years ago or so, her other brother died of colon cancer.

I was working as a phlebotomist in the hospital he was in. My grandma asked me to go see him on my lunch break, and I naturally agreed. When I got to work the next morning, I saw his paperwork on the board. The night shift had had difficulty drawing him, so though I was new and rather inexperienced, I decided to go give it a shot, and see him. I still intended to go see him at lunch, but figured I'd go above and beyond.

There are a lot of things I've done in my life that I was later glad I did. But this, by far, is the one thing I am most glad that I did. He was dying when I went in. He had no idea who I was, who my dad was, or even my grandma, his sister. Less than an hour after I left his room, he was gone.

I was the last member of our family to see him alive. I was the one who had to inform my parents of his passing, which was the hardest thing I've ever done.

So, in talking about Uncle David (the brother who currently has cancer), thoughts of Uncle Dick (the one who already died) often come into everyone's minds. When she mentioned David today, she said "Things aren't looking good."

Now, this news was not a shock to me. She'd called yesterday and talked to my dad, and he'd told us the cancer was spreading and things don't look too hopeful for him at this point (although we are all still hoping for the best). But it was her voice when she said it. Her voice shook. Not old-lady shook. Shook like absolute fear shook.

My grandma is afraid. What scares me is not knowing what she's afraid of. Is she afraid David will die, leaving her as the only member of her original family? Is she afraid of her own future death? My great-grandmother, her mother, was 79 when she died. 52 days before her 80th birthday, according to my grandma today, a fact which my Uncle Mark shared with her. In his quest to make her feel better, he pointed out that she'd already passed that 52 day mark. This did not seem to make her feel better. Thanks, Uncle Mark. I love you, but right now I could shake you.

I hate thinking that my grandparents will be gone one day. I was fortunate enough to have my great-grandmother (my grandpa's mom) until she was 98 years old, although she did have alzhiemers and was pretty much blind AND deaf toward the end, so she really wasn't herself anymore. My grandparents are both pushing 80. I'm in my 30s, and the majority of my friends lost their grandparents not much later than high school.

I'm veyr much aware of how lucky I am to have had my grandparents this long, and that I am very lucky to get whatever time they have left. But that doesn't mean I don't wish that it could be put off indefinitely.

And wow...this was so totally not the direction I intended this to go tonight. Again, that whole tired, excited, missing, blah blah overshare thing. Sorry about that.

Ok, only another half hour or so till D calls and tells me he's on his way here. How to kill another half hour? I'll find something. Even if it is sitting here and bouncing until the phone rings.

February 13, 2010

Facebook and MySpace...I don't know why I use them

I have both a Facebook profile and a MySpace profile. The main reason I have them is to keep in touch with family and some friends that are not nearby (and a couple of friends that are nearby).

I've had ex-boyfriends from high school find me on these sites, and want to add me as a friend. It is beyond me why they would want to be friends, since generally we weren't friends before the relationship and we didn't stay friends afterwards. Depending on the ex, I sometimes add them and sometimes don't. And sometimes I add them, and then delete them. Not sure why I do that. I also get friend requests from people I used to be friends with and then stopped being friends with for one reason or another. My favorite is the friend who allowed (still allows? I don't know) her new husband to molest her daughters from a previous marriage. I don't know the entire story, most of it is rumor in fact, but there is enough truth in what I heard that I know I don't want to be friends with her.

But anyway...I got curious today. I used to work for this really great company, and had a group of about 3 really great friends among a group of about 10 of us that used to go out on Fridays and hit the bar at Chilis (I was underage, my friends would occasionally buy me drinks anyway, but that was not the sole reason we were friends). I lost touch with them years ago, around the time I got married.

I decided today to look up the one friend whose full name I could remember. I can't find her. She was older than me by about a decade, I'll admit, but still...my parents (well, Mom anyway) have a Facebook. So she should (ok, yes, I know, not everyone has one. But this is my fantasy world, and in it, I dictate that everyone I might wish to look up should have one). Nor does she have a MySpace apparently.

I've considered the possibility that she got married and therefore changed her last name. This is a very real possibility, as the last time I talked to her she was living with a boyfriend, and they were throwing around the idea of getting married. Problem with this is that I can only remember Boyfriend's first name. And it's a very common name, so I can't really look him up in hopes of finding her.

So here's my question...why is it that people I don't really want to talk to, and in some cases, kind of hoped had fallen off the face of the earth, can find me, but I can't find someone I DO want to talk to? How is this fair? Everyone I hate can find me, but I can't find someone I like? Seems like a real rip off to me.

Sometimes I think I'd be better off if I just deleted them both. But then I wouldn't be able to keep in touch with my family and I'd be less inclined to keep in touch with some of my friends. So, I guess I'll just be grateful that no ex-boyfriends or other non-friends have tried to find me recently.

February 12, 2010

Big Oops (also known as open mouth and insert foot)

So, D gets upset with me when he thinks I'm not talking to him. I think, after last night, though, that he might be finally getting that it's not that I don't want to talk to him about stuff, it's just that I really suck at it. I tend to say things that are either really stupid, or that come out in a completely unintended, and usually screwed up, way. To fully understand the oops I made last night, I have to go back a bit and explain how D & I actually met and what happened before that.

So, we all already know that SD was a total loser who treated me like absolute crap and really messed up my self-esteem and left me with massive trust issues (which I am working very hard on eliminating, by the way). Well, there's one other ex you need to know about to really understand just where I was when I found D (yes, I found him...not the other way around).

When I was 17, I worked in a grocery store where I met this really cute, quite a bit older guy. He crushed on me just as hard as I crushed on him (granted, being 17, it was mostly, well...lust, but hey, I was 17!). Over a 4 year period, we had a very rocky, very confusing, on and off (but mostly off) relationship before I met and married SD. About a year ago, I got the really brilliant idea to look up this particular old boyfriend, since I'd always remembered him as being really great. He'd always kind of been like the fantasy guy that everyone else had to live up to. Which was really the problem.

I found him in May of last year. We got back together...again. Only this time, at the advanced age of 30, I finally saw him for what he really was: an alcoholic with some serious mental instability going on. He's a really sweet guy, but he drinks too much and gets violent (never with me, but I think that is only because I was never physically there when it happened), and well...he thinks aliens are his best friends. He pushed too hard, too fast, for way more than I could or would give. He wanted to live together...then he wanted to get married...he wanted to meet my kids...he wanted to be their dad. All things that I really want, with the right guy, but just absolutely scared the sh*t out of me when he talked about them. I mean, seriously, he would bring up marriage and I'd ask him if he'd seen the weather report yet today.

The final straw was when he called me one Saturday night early in September to tell me he'd been in the hospital for the last week with pneumonia (that explained the total absence of contact). Naturally, I was concerned. Until I realized that he was seriously doped up on pain pills and drinking. When he started talking about how thoughts of me and my kids were the only thing that kept him from dying, I began to squirm in my chair. I was so uncomfortable with this conversation it was all I could do not to drop the phone, grab the kids, and run away to some deserted island or mountaintop somewhere where no one could find us. Then, he tells me that there are aliens on his front porch looking in the window at him. This was when I said, "I think we should see other people" and then promptly hung up on him. He's called a time or two since then, but I've avoided his calls and now that my number has changed, I no longer hear from him. Definitely cured me of my idealized fantasy of how great he was. I got over him pretty quickly...like as soon as I hung up.

So, given that little history lesson, you can see why I might be a bit leery of men. But yet...I still wanted to date. I wanted to find someone, someone I could eventually have that future with...the one that included marriage and being there for me and my kids. So, I decided to sign up on a couple of dating sites and just take things nice and slow and see what happened.

I signed up on one site in the beginning of October or the end of September. There wasn't really anyone on that site. So around the middle to end of October, I signed up on okcupid.com.

I got a lot of responses to my profile, but no one that really interested me. A couple of guys who were outright liars, which holds absolutely no appeal for me at all. One guy was so desperate he practically had the word "desperate" tattooed on his forehead with a flashing neon sign pointing to it.

I got bored one day and started searching the profiles. D's was the last one in the search list that day. I can't remember why (it was either because he was selective in who he responded to or he hadn't been contacted in over a week and okcupid wanted to suggest I send him an e-mail). In the search list, it shows you their picture, their age and location, marital status, and a little peek at what they've said. I read D's little bit, but didn't open his profile yet.

The next time I searched, his came up first. Different little peek, and I read it again, but still didn't open it. The thought that I had that time was that I was intrigued...which meant he must be crazy. I mean, look at my track record: a cheating loser and a crazy loser. Can you blame me?

The third day, I got him again. I saw a different little piece again, and this time it mentioned about being a truck driver. Well...he's not home much, so it wouldn't take too much time from the kids, and if he IS crazy, at least he's not here to be crazy, right? So, I moved the mouse to click, and left it hovering a moment. I hesitated to open his profile, thinking that although I couldn't have any idea what was going to happen, that somehow I knew this mouse click was going to change my life.

Then I clicked. I read his entire profile (D is quite the talker, both with his voice and with his fingers), and I laughed through all of it. I never got the creepy feeling I got from other profiles, didn't get annoyed, and somehow...didn't sense any craziness.

I moved the mouse to the send message button, and again I hesitated. Why did I keep hesitating? I don't really know. Mostly fear, I guess. Fear of rejection, fear that my incredibly poor judgement was about to make its presence known again, or maybe even more than the rest, fear that this time I might actually be making a good choice and that this might actually be it.

Finally, I clicked and sent him the first message. I tried to be kind of funny and light, and I'm not sure I did such a good job. But either I did, or he just didn't notice or didn't care, because the next morning I had a response from him, a positive response. I nearly bounced in my chair with excitement. My fears weren't completely gone, but at least the fear of rejection was somewhat lessened.

Over the next couple of weeks, we e-mailed and chatted through instant messengers, both on the site and off. We talked about a lot of different things. One night, he finally got up the nerve to give me his phone number and tell me I could call him if I wanted. I had been trying to get up the nerve to give him mine, and hadn't quite gotten there yet.

The next day I called him. His voice was amazing. He's got a very sexy voice. He probably doesn't know it, or wouldn't admit it, but he does. As we got to know each other over the phone, his intelligence became quite clear, which was yet another thing that got to me.

We finally met around mid-November, about three weeks or so after that initial e-mail. The first time I saw him I knew I would end up dating him. I didn't know how long it would last or how serious it would be, but I just knew we would be together. Our second date was the very next day. When trying to plan it, he commented, "I know I want more time with you than we had today." I think I started to fall in love with him when he said that.

Our second date was breakfast and going to the local museum. That was when I knew I was in love with him. He would hold my hand, he would stand close to me, he would kiss my forehead, touch my back, smile at me. So many little things that I don't think he really thought anything of, but really melted me.

So....all of that to tell you about how I really put my foot in my mouth last night. I don't recall how, but somehow we got on the subject of how we met. I mentioned how I had hesitated to look at his profile, and he made a comment about how it was nice to know he was my last choice. I think he might have been joking, but I'm not entirely sure.

I do know that I feel really bad, because I didn't mean it that way. What I meant by it was...well, I'm still not entirely sure how to explain it. It's almost like I knew that he was going to be more than just some guy I talked to online, or some guy that I dated briefly. And even though I've been looking for this kind of relationship, I was still scared of it. So, I hesitated.

Our relationship is, by far, the best relationship I've ever had. I don't get scared when I think about the future. If he brings up anything that even remotely hints at marriage or years down the road, it doesn't terrify me. In fact, it actually makes me happy that he thinks about things like that. I no longer feel the need to ask about the weather report. :)

I regret that hesitation now. I'm glad that I e-mailed him. I'm glad that I met him. He's made my life so much better, and I cannot imagine my life without him in it now. And he was NEVER my last choice. In fact, if I could change anything in my life at all, it would be to go back about 10 years, and find some way to meet D, instead of SD.

And yes, I know...this is all mushy. What can I say? He'll be home soon. I miss him. I can't wait to be in his arms and kiss him again. I'm allowed to be mushy. Right?

February 11, 2010

I'd forgotten about this...

So, I had to go to Walmart this morning. Second time in two days. Went yesterday to get new pillows and snacks for the boys Valentine's parties at school. Got the pillows; forgot the snacks. So I headed back over there this morning and got them.

Years ago, I worked in a grocery store. As shy as I am, I always made it a point to smile and be friendly to my customers. Apparently, my cashier this morning missed that lesson. She was not outright rude, but she never once smiled, never said please or thank you. In fact, the only words she spoke to me at all were "You can go ahead and swipe your card now" after she rang up the first item. I didn't say anything to her, but I wanted to tell her that she needed to be a little nicer. But, whatever.

As I was driving home, thinking about this experience, the local radio station I was listening to was having listeners call in and tell what the nicest thing a stranger had ever done for them was. I had to think really hard, because it's not very often anymore that a stranger does anything nice for anyone. And then I remembered.

When C was a baby, he'd gotten some kind of eye problem. I don't even remember what it was, just that it caused his eyes to be really goopy and yucky. SD and I were still together, we had two cars at that point. SD left me the cell phone we'd recently gotten and I was taking C to the dr. On the way, my car got a flat. I didn't have AAA or anything like that. I couldn't call SD because...well, I had the cell phone. I called my dad, but he was working about 3 hours away. I couldn't change the flat myself because I didn't want to put C in his carseat on the side of the road and I didn't want to leave him in the car while it was up on the jack. Oh, yeah, and there was also the fact that I didn't actually know HOW to change a flat. But that's just a minor detail; I'm sure I could have figured it out.

Anyway, as I'm standing here on the side of the road, freaking out, with C in my arms, this lady in a very nice car pulls over behind me. She gets out and asks me what's wrong. I explain that I have a flat and I'm waiting on my dad to come change it. She says she'll wait with me. I tell her that I appreciate that, but it's not necessary. She insists. I relent, because I don't want to be rude to this lady who's trying to be nice. She asks how long it will be until my dad gets there. When I tell her 3 hours, she says I can't wait that long with a baby. She grabs her cell phone and her AAA card, and calls it in, telling them that she's on the side of the road with a friend and her baby and we really need someone to get there ASAP.

As we're waiting, she asks me where C and I are going. I explain the goopy eye thing and how we're going to the dr. She tells me that she is a dr. She stood there on the side of the road and examined C, diagnosed him, and gave me a prescription for some meds that cleared it right up, saving me the expense of the dr visit. An expense we couldn't afford. She did all of this for me and C, and the only thing she asked in return was that I call her and let her know how we were in a couple of days. Which I did.

Almost 9 years later, I can't recall her name. I only vaguely remember what she looked like. What I do remember is that she went well above and beyond what any stranger would do for another person. I remember that without her, SD and I would have ended up a couple of hundred dollars in debt for a dr visit we couldn't afford, my dad would have lost time at work, and I would have been siting on the side of the road with a cranky, sick baby for hours.

When that tire first went flat, I thought it was the worst thing that could happen to me. It turned out to be the best thing that happened that day.

February 10, 2010

Follow Me

There have been a couple of different people and situations recently that have had me thinking of my ex. Not missing him or anything like that. But I have one friend who is in the midst of figuring out her marriage and whether it's worth staying (personally, I think no, but it's not me or my life, so...), and D is making changes to his life, and doing something he's been told he could never do for a very ridiculous reason(the reason he was given was ridiculous, not the fact that he's doing it. In fact, I'm very proud and excited that he's doing it).

I have always maintained that I would never badmouth my ex to C & J. Regardless of how I feel about him, unless and until D (or someone else...but I think I'm pretty much done. I think D's it for me) adopts them, SD is still their father. He may have treated me like absolute crap, and he may completely ignore their existence on this earth, but he is still their father. And I am always very careful to watch what I say about him when they are around. As they get older, there are certain facts about him that they will be told, facts that are very unpleasant but nonetheless true and they need to know. Those facts are not badmouthing him, they are a simple statement of fact. I don't play him up as a good guy, either, because that's not really true either. IF the kids ask, and that's a big IF, I simply answer their questions with facts whenever possible, and if I can't answer with fact, then I am careful to answer as neutrally as possible, so as to not make him sound better than he is or to badmouth him and press my feelings toward him on them.

But, my friend asked me the other day if I've ever regretted leaving him. The answer to that question is a resounding no. I NEVER once regretted that decision, I never once looked back and questioned it in any way. By the time I ended things, our relationship had deteriorated to the point that there was no relationship left to regret or even to try to salvage. We were two people who just happened to share a house and a bed and combined DNA in the form of one child and another on the way. There was nothing left to regret.

I'm not going to get into D's situation, simply because it's very personal, and I don't feel I have the right to tell the world. But between listening to him about his situation and my friend's next question, which was if I have any good memories at all of SD, I began thinking about SD and this memory is what comes to mind. In fact, I think of this every time I hear this song.

I don't remember exactly when this happened. I think it was before we got married, but it may have been after. It's very vague, probably because for the most part, I've gone out of my way to block a lot of the memories of my marriage. I can't recall if I was pregnant with C or if he was in the car with us.

But anyway...SD and I were in the car (the only car we had at the time, and one that only ran sporadically, leaving me at least terrified that we were going to be stuck on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere, and we couldn't even afford a cell phone. We were going to visit his parents, two people who quite possibly hated me more than I grew to hate their son.

Uncle Kracker was one of SD's favorite artists at the time. The song "Follow Me" was getting quite a bit of airplay at this time and it was a particular favorite of SD's. It came on while we were stopped at a long red light. He started singing to me, waving his hand in front of me when it got to the part about "swimming through your veins like a fish in the sea". When he was done (he only sang part of it), he kissed me, a very sweet kiss. Part of what makes that such a good memory is the fact that it was such an ordinary thing - couples all over do this. My dad does this to my mom on occasion, I have watched some of my friends husbands do this, too. It was so ordinary, so normal and natural, not forced. Part of it, too, is that in that moment, it really felt like we were together. His parents couldn't stand me, but he (I thought) loved me and was on my side.

Now, yes, I am well aware that the lyrics of that song really could be interpreted as being about cheating. I am also well aware that at the time this happened, in all likelihood, he was cheating on me, had cheated on me, or was planning to cheat on me, or quite possibly all three.

But, I still choose to ignore all of that and keep that as one good memory. There are others, of course, because we did occasionally actually get along rather well. Unfortunately, the majority of them are tainted, by the lying, cheating, fighting, ignoring, or any of the other countless things he did. For example, the roses.

Again, I don't remember exactly when this was, I just know it was sometime between when C was born and I got pregnant with J. He was working full time, possibly even two jobs (it was rare, but he did occasionally), so that I could stay at home with C. One day, he came home from work with two dozen of the most beautiful purple roses. I have a tattoo which has a purple rose in it, so he knew I liked them. I was totally blown away by the generosity, the thought that I thought he'd put into it, and I even took pictures of the roses, so that even after they died, I'd still have them. Shortly afterward, it came out that he'd been cheating on me (again) and that he'd bought the roses out of guilt. Which is why I now associate roses with doing something wrong. If D brought me roses, my response would not be "Oh, babe, they're beautiful!" but instead "What the hell did you do and am I going to kill you or is my dad?" So, D, if you read this, remember...no roses. Any other flower is fine, but not roses. :)

So why do I choose to remember him singing to me as a good memory even though I could think of reasons not to? Well, it's really pretty simple. Some day, C & J may come to me and ask me if there were ever any good times between SD and I. By not tarnishing this memory with all the reasons why it shouldn't be a good one, I can honestly tell them yes, and have one memory to share with them. One that I won't feel the urge to add, "But he was (cheating, lying, whatever) so it really wasn't all the great" when I tell them about it.

So, that's my one really good memory of my ex. And the fact that it's really the only one should show exactly why I chose to end things. In the short time that D and I have been together, I have already gathered countless good memories of him: the first time we talked by e-mail, the first talk on instant messenger, first time on the phone, first time I saw him, our first kiss (and second, and third, and the fiftieth...yeah, I really like kissing him). The first time he told me he loved me is a very special memory. The first time he met my kids. Several of our phone conversations are favorite memories because of something discussed during them. If D & I broke up, and my friend asked me the same question about our relationship, my answer would have to be yes, I would very much regret it. Whether it was his decision or mine, I would be devastated and I would definitely regret it. I'm sure eventually I would move on, but it would not be the way I did when SD and I ended.

Ok, so that's all I have to say right now. Now, I'm off to support those I care about in figuring out their lives. And to tell my kids that I love them and they can do anything they want in life.