Saturday, May 31, 2008

Confessions Of An Ex-Wife-In The Beginning

As a divorced woman, I never feel qualified to give anyone advice on how to make their marriage work. Yet as a divorced woman, I can probably tell you what NOT to do. We'll even start before getting married. Let's go back to the dating process. I want to first of all, give a disclaimer. At the time the events that I am going to share occurred, I was a VERY emotionally unhealthy woman. That being said, let's travel back in time.

August 1997. I was living in my first apartment. I had been living with my NC dad and finally was able to move Melissa and I into our own place. It was so exciting for me. It was not a really nice apartment, but it was clean and Melissa had her own room for the first time in her life.

Anyway, I had a boyfriend whom I had decided was not right for me, and I was going to dump him. My best friend lived in the apartment building next door. She convinced me to break off my date with my boyfriend and go out with her and one of her guy friends. Heck, I didn't want to go out with said boyfriend anyway. I reluctantly agreed to go with them. I told my friend that I was not dressing up, that I was getting tired of constantly dressing up to go out. We had been going out most weekends for months.

Our destination was a comedy club. My friend's guy friend was meeting some of his friends there. Little did we realize that this was supposed to be a "guys night out" and we were crashing it. We arrived and had a few drinks. I confess to having a good buzz. I remember sitting there and noticing this good looking guy, but he was SO LOUD. I remember wishing that he would be quiet. He was getting on my nerves. As a matter of fact, he almost got us kicked out of that place. He was so obnoxious! We left the comedy club and went to another club.

Lesson #1: Never underestimate the power of first impressions, even if you do have a buzz.

At the next club, my friends decided to do a little match making. It was the oldest trick in the book, but my young, naive self fell for it. My friend sits down and points to the loud, obnoxious guy from before. I look at him and notice that he is pretty hot. My friend tells me he is interested. The next thing I know he is at my table and him and I are talking. I don't even remember what we talked about. Soon afterwards, we all decided to leave and head back to my place. There were four of us, so I felt comfortable with this. We get back to my place and the hot guy goes into my bedroom and falls asleep in my bed! My two other friends were sleeping in Melissa's room that night, so I had NO PLACE to sleep. (It was a really small apartment). I didn't even have a full length sofa, all I had was a love seat and I WAS not about to sleep on that thing in my own house. The hot guy was snoring really loudly so I didn't feel in any danger. I decided to sleep in my bed.

I got in bed and pressed my body up against the wall as far away from him as I could get. After all, he might be hot but I didn't even know him. I did have some morals.

The next morning he asked me out. I could not believe that this really hot guy wanted to date me.

Lesson #2 If you have self esteem issues, don't date! Really, do what you need to do to feel good about yourself. If you have poor self esteem, this can open a door for you to be mistreated by someone you are dating. You will likely tolerate being mistreated because of your poor self esteem. The "I don't deserve any better" or the "I wont find any better" mentality comes into play here.

We made plans for our date. The night of the date I anxiously got ready and waited for him to pick me up. I waited, and waited, and waited. He never showed up. He didn't call either. I was disappointed, but not really surprised. After all, what would someone like him want with someone like me anyway. The next day, he sent me roses at work. He apologized for standing me up and we made plans for another date. I don't even remember what his excuse was, but I can tell you that it was bull whatever it was.

Lesson # 3 Really pay attention to behavior patterns early on in dating. Things like being stood up can really give you insight to a person's character. What I should have taken from this was that he might not be a reliable or honest person.

I was willing to look the other way about our broken date and we began dating. Melissa took an immediate liking to him. We spent time together most every day. I immediately spilled my guts about my childhood and all that I had been through. He had been through some things as a child also. This should have been a HUGE red flag for me just as it should have been a huge red flag for him.

Lesson # 4 Pay attention to the kind of relationship a person has with their family. This will also tell you a lot about a person. This lesson is null and void if the family is a bunch of nuts and/or freaks. After all, you can't expect someone to have a close relationships with family members who are nutty or freaky. That's just not fair.

Let's take me for example. Yes I had a rough childhood, but as an adult I maintain close connections to my family and I have healed from everything that happened. If you can tell a person still has many unresolved issues, you might want to think twice about dating them. I will very honestly point out that at the time I started dating my ex-husband, I did not have close connections to my family, and I was in no way, shape or form "healed" from my childhood. In fact, I was still pretty bitter about everything. OK, OK, it was worse than that, I was a walking, talking time bomb ready to explode at any given time and was prepared to take down any who stood in my way.

We had been dating for a few weeks when I witnessed him having a very strong disagreement with his brother in law. When I met him, he was living with his sister and her husband. He had recently moved to NC and didn't have his own place yet. After seeing this altercation, me being the incredibly stupid young fool that I was, told him he could come stay with me. Yes, I did apparently fall out of the stupid tree and hit every branch on the way down. Every. Single.One.

In my next post, I will be revealing what happens when you fall out of the stupid tree and let a guy move in with you who you have only known for several weeks. I think you have probably heard all you can handle for one posting.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Birthday/Memorial Day

We had a cookout at the lake today. My sister Marlette's birthday is today and we were celebrating Logan's birthday(my sister Dejah's son). The first picture is my daughter going into the water AFTER a snake had been spotted. I saw it with my own eyes. The nasty viper slithered in the water next to the rock I was standing on. As everyone knows, I am not one to panic. What should you do when you see a poisonous water mocassin slithering around in the water? Did I mention it was right next to where I was standing? You must remain calm. DO NOT panic. Remember that the snake is more scared of you, than you are of it. Stand very still and then SCREAM like a girl. Just stand there and scream and do nothing. If you are lucky, as I was, your eight year old nephew will bash it in the head with his fishing pole. (Thank God for eight year old nephews I might add.)

This is Alicia's son eating the water melon.

This is Marlette with Logan.

This is my brother Warren's daughter, Breigha.

This is Marlette with Dejah's baby Taylor. I have dubbed him "Piglet".



Alicia with her baby.

This is my mom with Piglet.

This is Nicholas Dejah's oldest son.

Logan again


Dejah and Piglet.

Me looking very adorable in Marlette's hat. Which fell into the lake. She was not a happy camper.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Confessions Of An Ex-Wife

My beloved new car has bug guts all over it. Why? Because I drove Keri to Kentucky yesterday to meet her former stepmother. My ex-husband's ex-wife. Why? Because Keri is going to spend a few weeks with her and her family. This sounds strange I know. Why would I let my daughter go spend part of her summer with an ex-stepmother. Very simple. Well, sort of. Her dad met her stepmother right about the time Keri was turning two. This woman has been a part of Keri's life as long as she can remember.

They are divorced now for reasons that it is not my place to reveal. You probably wouldn't believe me anyway. It was very, very, difficult for me to allow another woman into my daughter's life. I didn't like it, but I realized that I was either going to have to not allow Keri to see her dad at all, or suck it up and try to make the best of it. I opted to suck it up. After all, it's not very reasonable to keep Keri away from her dad because he had moved on with his life.

I was very jealous for a long time for several reasons. It's very difficult to share your child with another woman. It's very difficult to share your child with another woman who is married to your ex-husband who you feel was the love of your life. It's also torture to watch your child grow to love another woman almost the same way she loves you. After my divorce, I felt like my children were all I had left in the world. I was not too keen on sharing my precious baby.

I felt like my ex-husband was trying to put together this happy little family with the three of them that did not include me. When he started dating "K", he took every opportunity to rub the relationship in my face. That's just the kind of person he is. Needless to say, it took a very long time for me to get right with the situation. Over time, Keri bonded with "K" and they became very close. "K" took very good care of my daughter when she would go to visit. So did her family. "K" even made my ex-husband's child support payments for a while.

Her family has accepted Keri as if she were a flesh and blood member of the family. As far as they are concerned, she still is. They were more than happy to meet me half way so that Keri could spend some time with them this summer.

As I have gotten older and matured a little bit, I realize that I am Keri's mother and no one can take my place. Ever. That doesn't mean that I am the only person that she will ever love. That's just not practical. I came to the conclusion that it would be more traumatic for Keri if the ties between her and her stepmother were severed. Not only that, she has a little brother as a result of the marriage between her dad and "K".

As her stepmother and I made plans for Keri to visit, I could see her excitement. The last couple of days before the trip took place were agonizing for Keri. She was so excited. Of course she pulled the typical kid routine yesterday asking me every so often if we were almost there. When we arrived at the meeting spot and Keri saw K she was completely beside herself with joy.

The happiness I saw on my daughter's face let's me know I made the right decision. I made many mistakes with this woman over the years. My negative feelings about her relationship with my ex were very difficult to overcome. To be truthful, I didn't completely get past it until after they separated. Her and I are both single moms now. Their divorce was only finalized recently. I know the road of healing she has ahead of her. I don't know that she would ever talk to me about it. I know the anger and resentment that comes with being in a position where you must raise a child on your own. I know the feelings of "Why me?". I know the feelings of failure you feel when your marriage is over. I know the sadness that comes when you send your baby off to school for the first time and the father is not there to share in your sadness. I know the feelings that you push to the back of your mind every year when you plan the birthday parties by yourself. My favorite though, is when people ask you how you do it. Uumm, let's see. I just get up and do it. Because I have no choice and to be honest, I really don't want any other choices.

I even the know the feeling that overcomes you when you realize your ex has moved on with someone else. All these emotions are coming for her if she hasn't already felt some of them. Now we are kindred spirits. Both of us tried being married to this man, and failed. Both of us had a child with this man who thinks child support is some form of punishment that women inflict upon men, or vice versa as the case may be.

How ironic that we have bonded and grown closer. How ironic that Keri is with her(ex) stepmother this summer and not her dad.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Mine Hurts Worse Than Yours

Let’s talk about pain, shall we? My wimpy hypochondriac daughter regales me with tales of any injury, real or perceived. She recounts exactly what happened to her and she also explains her pain level. Most injuries qualify for a “hurts really bad” rating. The only thing worse than “hurts really bad” I imagine would be broken bones or worse. Nothing is ever only mildly painful to her. I never hear that something only “hurts just a little bit”.

Keri being the incredible wimp that she is, would be in serious trouble if she ever got really hurt. Actually, now that I think about it, I would be the one in trouble. I am the one that would have to listen to her screams of agony.

Let’s talk about REAL pain, which I am sure my princess of a daughter has never experienced. Did she ever fall out of a tree and hit every branch on the way down? No, I think not. I did however, and let me tell you that it hurts. Did she ever fall off a bike and walk home with blood running down her legs from scabbed up knees? I think not. Or better yet, did she ever attempt a back flip and mess up and chip a tooth? No, I think not. (My brother gets that one)

Did she ever ride her bike down a hill and jump off at the bottom into a pile of trash? Ha! No way.

Did she ever jump down a flight of stairs and sprain her ankle and then have her ankle be puffed up for two weeks? No, I think not. Did she ever get a splinter lodged so far in her big toe that a doctor had to pry it out? WITH A NEEDLE! (My older brother was pulling me across a hardwood floor in my socks… BIG mistake) Speaking of big brothers-Did she ever get ran over by her older brother on his bike? Well I did, and that hurts. I would even go so far as to say that it “hurts really bad”. Apparently I decided that it would be fun to stand in his way and refuse to move. He refused to stop. Let me tell you, bike tires across your face……. not good.

Let’s see what else I have. Oh yes, I know. Did she ever have appendicitis and have to have HER appendix removed? Or have her eye blacked, or whack her head on the door frame of the car because she didn’t duck down low enough to get in? No, no, and no!

Where did this come from? Her father is not a wimp. I can't imagine that she gets it from me, that's impossible. While I freely admit to having a low threshold for pain, I have suffered REAL pain. Maybe, just maybe, I MAY have a time or two gone into lengthy detail over an injury, but come on! At least I have some real ones to complain talk about.

I think the kid needs to toughen up, after all, it's not like she has given birth.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Random Thoughts

A few things I forgot to mention:

1. Since I posted about Keri's constant ailments, they seem to have decreased. She has only had one "injury" this week that "hurt really bad".

2. The vomiting episode turned out to be little more than a few spots on her shirt. This after I pictured her sitting in the office with vomit covering her entire shirt.

3. Since we have been packing our lunches, I have been eating PB & J's for lunch every day. You would not believe how long my nails have gotten. These are my real nails, not acrylic:

It must be the protein in the peanut butter.

4. Melissa who refuses to believe that popping pimples is bad for you, now has an infected pimple. It's all green and repulsive looking.

5. I love my new cell phone! Love, love, love it. It has the full keyboard on the inside for text messaging, I'm sooo excited.

(Sorry they are so fuzzy, I'm a horrible photographer)

6. I bought Keri a shirt not realizing that she already had the same shirt at home. We exchanged it today, for a shirt that ended up not fitting. Keri wanted to try it on in the store. I said that surely we could tell if a shirt fit without trying it on. Wrong!Wrong!Wrong! Now we have to go back to the mall for the FOURTH time. All over a stupid shirt. I should really consider shopping online. Then if items don't fit I can simply mail them back.

7. Since typing number 1 we have a new injury. Keri went swimming and when I picked her up she said that she got chlorine in her mouth and now her throat "burns really bad".

Monday, May 19, 2008

Being Prepared

I hear tell of this thing called "stock piling". You know, where you keep like three gallons of peanut butter on hand, or 60 rolls of toilet paper. It may not even be quantities as large as that. It may be just keeping a tube of extra toothpaste on hand.

I don't do this. For one, it never really occured to me. Secondly, why buy two of something when I only need one? This my friends, is the kind of thinking that 1.) Leaves you in a position to run out of something you HAVE to have, and 2.) Leaves you in a position to have to run out to the grocery store at 9 pm on a Sunday night.

By the end of the week at my house, the pickings are getting a little slim. We are low on milk and just about everything else. I usually grocery shop on Sunday 'cuz I like to clip coupons before I go shopping. Digressing, digressing...sorry. So I get up Sunday morning and stomp into the kitchen when the most horrible catastrophy occured. Devastation was imminent. Lives were about to be in danger. I was out of coffee. Completely out. Not one little ground of coffee to be had. After I regained consicousness, I tried to decide what to do. Keri and Melissa were both still asleep and I hadn't had a shower yet. Leaving the house in that condition was not optional.

I used my newly acquired college education to formulate a plan. So I made hot tea instead. Is has caffeine in it, right? Maybe so, but it definitely does not give the same results as my coffee does. (Nor does it taste as good in my opinion) Of course a caffeine headache soon reared it's ugly head to plague me throughout the day.

Example number two of my refusal to keep extras on hand: Friday we were almost out of jelly. Everyone got a really skimpy serving of jelly on their PB & J.

My sister's birthday was yesterday. She got some money for her B-day and wanted to know if I wanted to go shopping with her. Like I am going to turn down a shopping trip. By the time we got home it was about 7pm. After I made dinner and we ate, it was getting even later. I realized that I STILL had not been to Wal-Mart and we had no bread, milk, jelly, muffins, almost out of sugar, no snacks for lunches, coffee or anything really.

I didn't want to go ALL the way to Wal-Mart so I opted to run into the local grocery store for a few things just to get us through. It was all I could do to bring myself to shop in that store. I almost ran out of there screaming in terror. The prices were OUTRAGEOUS! I don't support Wal-Mart coming into small towns and running all the small businesses out. Truly I don't. BUT....What's a girl supposed to do? I NEED to shop at Wal-Mart. I can't bring myself to pay 4 bucks for a box of cereal that I can get at Wal-Mart for 2.50. I can't bring myself to pay 80 cents for a can of soup that I can get for 60 cents at Wal-Mart. I only bought what I HAD to have to get through the day.

Having said all that, if I had a few extras on hand of some of the basic items, I would not have been forced to spend my hard earned money at that money sucking establishment disguised as a grocery store. Who is to blame here? Me. Me, me, me. I think I have decided that I am going to buy at LEAST one extra of anything won't go bad. A woman with no coffee on Sunday morning is a dangerous thing. It should never be attempted. Really.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Money In The Ba-Ya- Yank....Or Not

Another milestone for my little family. Melissa has been working for a couple of months now. One of the issues we have faced is cashing her check. The local grocery store will cash it, but every time she goes in there, the computer messes up. This leaves me to cash it for her on my lunch hour. The nearest branch is a few miles away from my work and it's just a big hassle.

The last time I went in to cash her check, I asked about student accounts. I didn't know a 16 year old could have a checking account. I knew she could have a savings account. I brought home the brochure, and her and I looked at it together. She can get a checking account for a deposit of 25 dollars. No minimum balance, a free check card, her first box of checks free, and free internet bill pay. Lastly, I won't have to traipse off to the bank for her EVERY. SINGLE. WEEK.

We talked about it, and this morning we got up early and went to the bank and opened her first checking account. I am so excited for her. I am excited that I get to teach her how to balance her checkbook, how to write a check, how to fill out a deposit slip. Hopefully, I will also be able to teach her some money management skills. As I apparently lack in that area. Don't get me wrong, I'm not running around charging up my credit cards, or spending bill money on frivolous items, or really living above my means. That's not what I mean.

Yesterday for example, after work I went shopping trying to find my sister something for her birthday tomorrow. I spent over an hour in the store. I didn't see anything that I was confident that she would really like. However, I found several things for myself. I didn't go in the store to buy something for myself. I went in the store to buy something for HER. As it is HER birthday, not mine.

Saving money somehow eludes me. Part of the dilemma is that I am raising two children on my own, with no child support. One of the fathers is disabled, and to my knowledge, doesn't work. The other one would rather saw off one of his arms than pay me any child support. I sued for child support several years ago. After almost A FLIPPIN YEAR, I finally got a court order. That's how long it took. Almost a year just to get the order in place. He paid for a few months, then lost his job. I have not received a dime since. That was about three years ago.

I am proud to say that I don't HAVE to have the money. However, I am aware of the burden it would relieve if I could even just get a little help. I have learned through the years that anger and bitterness only make ME feel bad. Recently, I have begun thinking about this child support thing again. I just don't understand how you can father a child, and not care about their financial well being. I don't know what makes other men not want to pay, but I THINK I know a couple of the reasons the father I am referring to doesn't want to pay.

1. He doesn't want to do anything to put ME in a better financial position.
2. Maybe he thinks I will spend the money on drugs or partying, or maybe I will use it to support a sugar daddy.(Because I have SO MUCH time to devote to a man) Or get my nails done. Or buy clothes for myself. Or take myself out to dinner. Or some other hideous activity.
3. Last but certainly not least, he is the most selfish human being I have ever met in my life. (I know, I can't believe I was married to him)

One of the excuses I recently heard about why he has no money to give me, is that he had a really large vet bill he had to pay. I am so relieved to know that his dog is taken care of. Let me tell you, it takes a load off my mind to know that he takes really good care OF HIS DOG. So basically what we have here is a man whose dog is more important than his daughter. Do you see why it's so hard NOT to be bitter and angry?

Oh, I forgot the best part. The state where the child support ordered was issued, CLOSED MY CASE. I had no say-so over it what-so-ever. They mailed me a letter and said that my case would be dropped because it was considered not "enforceable". Now keep in mind that it took me almost A FULL YEAR to get the order in the first place.

Now, I can try to open a new case here in Tennessee. He lives in another state. The question is whether or not the state of Tennessee would try to enforce the order. Will they be able to issue any court dates if he doesn't pay? The other problem is that he works for his family. Maybe even under the table, I'm not sure. If that's the case, it will make it that much harder for me to collect any money. Not only that, but he is the type of person that wouldn't think twice about quitting his job to get out of paying.

I have to decide whether or not it's worth the time and effort to fight this. I always want to fight for my children. Yet at the same time, I really don't care to spin my wheels in a fruitless attempt to make someone do what they should do ON THEIR OWN anyway. A father should not be forced to support his child. He should do it willingly. With a smile even.

Obviously, I made some bad choices in the past regarding my selection of men to date and marry. Hopefully, I learned the hard way, and history will not repeat itself. I would rather bang my head on a brick wall AND pour lemon juice into my own eyes EVERY DAY, rather than go through anything like this again.

Monday, May 12, 2008

A Day At The Mall

A few days ago I wrote a heartfelt letter to my children encouraging them to handle life's difficulties with dignity and grace blah, blah, blah-de-dah. I have decided that as soon as I compose something heartfelt such as this, I will in some way suffer disappointment at their young hands.

Here's the deal. When I was still in college, we really had teamwork going on in this house. Now we have what I call Momwork. Which means that mom does all the work. I am not happy with this new phase in our family. Melissa is working into the evenings so she is basically not here. I am responsible for ALL the housework around here. At the mere mention of helping out, Keri will launch into some long tale about why she can't help. What if I decided to just not do anything? What if I decided that I no longer have the inclination to prepare the lunches, or do the laundry, or scrub the toilets. How long would take to reduce these children to the slobs they so want to become?

I really think if it didn't go against every fiber of my being, I would do just that. Honestly, Melissa is not the problem. Her wayward younger sister is. She leaves crap stuff everywhere. All the time. Every day. I am so tired of talking. I am so tired of asking her to pick up her bookbag, purse, jacket, lunchbox, shoes, notebooks, cups, clothes, towels and everything else she leaves lying around that I could pour lemon juice into my own eyes. If I tell her to clean her room, she will half heartedly clear a path in the floor. She thinks that is cleaning. Really, she does.

In happier news, Saturday my sister and I headed to the mall to do our part to stimulate the economy. You know, us being patriotic Americans and all. Bath and Body Works had hand soap on sale FIVE FOR TEN DOLLARS. While I didn't have much money to spend, I could NOT resist that deal. We went into another store so I could replace the shirt that I dropped in bleach. I couldn't find the exact shirt that I had ruined. I found another one and we were off to Dillard's so my sister could give her first born in exchange for some Clinique makeup.

After that we decided to treat ourselves to a nice pre-Mother's Day lunch. She had Taylor, who is eight weeks old now. We could do it. After all, it would be MUCH easier to take the baby since there were two grown women to take care of him. There was about a fifteen minute wait. We decided to take the baby in the ladies' room and change his diaper. We get in there and there are two little girls in the stall with the baby changer. We waited, and waited, and waited some more. My sister finally decides that we will just change his diaper in the stroller. She had no more than taken his diaper off, when I saw the most perfectly arched stream of pee that I have ever seen. We start cleaning up the mess and get his clothes off when the little round disk is beeping that our table is ready. I go flying out of there as fast as I can. If you don't claim your table quickly they will give it to someone else. And we were starving, having only consumed a small muffin for breakfast. As I was flying through the restaurant, I narrowly missed plowing down one of the waiters. He looked at me like I was completely insane, then went about his business. Meanwhile, my sister is cleaning up the baby and changing his clothes.

It doesn't get worse from here, thank goodness. We enjoyed a very lovely lunch and took turns passing the baby back and forth. But one should never become to cocky in dealing with babies.

In all my infinite wisdom, I had started dinner in the crock pot so I would not have to go home from a hard day of shopping and cook dinner. Melissa was working and Keri was with one of her friends, so I enjoyed a quiet evening at home, all alone and enjoyed a savory yet nutritious beef stew for dinner.

I later found out that the shirt I bought for Keri was one she already had. So I must go back to the mall for the THIRD time to try to get her a new shirt. If not, her outfits would be out of balance, and that would simply be tragic, and drive me up a wall. By the way, am I the only parent who buys outfits together? I would never buy Keri a new pair of shorts without a shirt to go with it. Is that obsessive? Or compulsive? Or obsessive/compulsive? mmmmm....if you take into account my five bottles of handsoap I have stashed in the closet, my innate desire for my house to be spotless, and my outfit matching, I don't think it's looking to bright for me.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Dear Children,

If it is not bad enough that you must suffer through having me as a mother, your lives seem to be wrought with drama on an almost daily basis. Melissa, let's start with you. You are now driving and going to school, and working part time. And you are only a freshman. Because of your "advanced" age, you are surrounded by kids who are not nearly as mature as you are. More specifically, you are surrounded by boys who are not as mature as you are. Recently, one of these boys, who you like only as a friend, seems to have fallen quite hard for you, if the poem he wrote in your honor is any indication. His line indicating that he cries at night in misery and almost goes insane would lead one to believe that he is pining for you. He also says that if he could choose between love and death, he thinks he would rather die. I can't imagine the pressure you must be feeling. Now you must be forced to let this boy down gently, after all he did write a poem for you. I would imagine that it is no small feat for a fourteen year old boy. Good luck with that.

You are also dealing with "end of grade" testing, and your busiest time of the year at work. You come home so tired and exhausted that your eyes are bloodshot red. If all these injustices were not enough, you hit my NEW CAR yesterday and creamed a bag of trash that was in the driveway. Thankfully, you didn't hit my car hard enough to do any damage. Otherwise, you would not be here for me to write this letter to you. Your mysterious disappearance would be quite baffling to everyone.

Keri, while you are quite a bit younger than your big sister, you have drama of your own to deal with. First, I dropped one of your new shirts in bleach. You had only worn the shirt once. In my guilt over this travesty, I told you I would take you this weekend to replace the damaged shirt. Yesterday you forgot your breakfast and had to go to school hungry. Before school even started yesterday, some sick child barfed all over you and seven other students. While I am not the brightest apple in the bunch, I have to believe that in order for a total eight students to be hit by this barf, it must have been projectile vomit. I had JUST arrived at work when this mishap took place. Not wanting to have to drive thirty minutes back to your school and then another thirty minutes back to work, I sent your aunt to bring you a new shirt. She was not even dressed when I called her, so you had to wait for her to finish getting ready, while sitting around in a barf soaked shirt. Your aunt went to our house, where she discovered the door was locked, even though I remember leaving it unlocked. After checking all the windows she decided to drive to your school and pick you up. The day ended pretty well for you, but I think you would have liked a "redo" for the first part of the day.

Girls, I know that life is hard sometimes, especially for the children born into our family. However, I believe we must all persevere in this journey we call life. While life is not full of good times, you must learn to overcome these obstacles with dignity and grace. Remember also dear children, that if these things did not happen to you, then I would have nothing to blog about, and we all know how important THAT is.

Your Mother

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Sometimes You Need A Paper Bag(To Hide Your Head In)

Lately, my life has become one embarrassing moment after another. First there was the dried spaghetti episode. Now my allergies are embarrassing me. I had to attend a meeting today. There were only 11 people in this meeting. Because of the layout of the seating, I was pretty close to the person sitting next to me. And I kept coughing. And my nose kept running. A lot. Which means I was sniffling, a lot. Of course it didn't occur to me to bring any tissue with me, not that I would have sat there and blown my nose in the middle of the meeting, mind you.

I thought it was gross to blow your nose at your desk. Especially if you have people that work around you, which I do. I have heard people blow their nose and it just sounds gross. That was before my allergies went haywire. I can't for all practical purposes run to the bathroom every time I need to blow my nose. Grudgingly, I began blowing my nose at my desk yesterday. I became one of the hated. I became one of the "gross" people that does that. I would like to point that I also use hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes on a daily basis. I know, it's still gross.

Anyway, back to the meeting. This was an hour long meeting. I didn't want to get up and leave because I didn't want to miss anything important. What to do, what to do. I had two options. One I could just sit there and sniffle and drive the poor woman next to me crazy, or I could tilt my head back to keep my nose from running so much. I chose option two. That's right. I sat through an hour long meeting tilting my head back. I can't even begin to imagine what the others in the meeting were thinking. They probably thought I had my nose in the out of snootiness, not to be confused with snottiness.

I don't know if I have mentioned that I started getting up earlier in the morning. This is so I can feel more human before I start my day. I get and sit in front of the TV and have some coffee. Just me. All by my lonesome self, and I love it. This morning as I was sitting and enjoying my coffee, my house phone began ringing, and it sounded extra loud to my just-got-out-of-bed ears. Annoyed I went over to check the caller ID and see who it was. It was my TN dad. Me to myself "It's too early for me to be on the phone. There is NO way I am talking to ANYONE this early in the morning, not even my dad. Doesn't he realize that it is too early for humans to be communicating with each other?"

He called again as I was on my way to work. He wanted to know why I didn't answer the phone earlier when he called. I told him I didn't get up that early. He said that MY SISTER had told him that I had started getting up earlier. BUSTED! (And embarrassed) Busted at 32 years old. That's what I get for trying to pull the wool over his eyes. I mean, I didn't want to tell him that I had purposely avoided talking to him. It's not personal. I'm just not a morning person, and I was protecting him. From my early morning pissiness. Really. Now. On the other hand, I don't want ANYONE invading my precious 30 minutes in the morning. It's all I have. After I got off the phone with him, I called my sister and gave her the what-for because she TOLD him that I am getting up early.

I fessed up to him this afternoon the real reason and he laughed. My candor about the early morning phone call and how it annoyed me, AMUSED him. I am glad that I can bring joy to so many people. It's what I live for.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

A Couple of Remaining Lessons

I thought I was probably finished with the "Lessons" segment, apparently I forgot a couple.

8. Don't be fooled. Don't be fooled when you see your 7 week old nephew barf all down his mother's shirt. He has plenty left for you too. I was slightly amused when my new nephew Taylor, barfed all over my sister today. I took him for her a little while later, being careful to drape the burp cloth over my shoulder. My nephew promptly turned his head the other way and barfed down my shirt. Right between the boobs.

9. When your nine year old daughter has a feud with her best friend, your better off to not get too concerned and let them work it out themselves. After about a four week feud, Keri's friend called her yesterday and Keri told her that she didn't want to fight anymore and that she wanted to be friends again. Voila! The feud is over. Keri has been over there ever since. She even spent the night last night.

I think that about covers it for today.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Lessons In Life

Today is a lesson on some things I have learned recently:

1. If all of your glasses and cups mysteriously disappear, don't spend too much time wondering what is up with that. Simply open your teenage daughter's room and...voila! All the missing dishes will be there.

2. One of the allergy medicines I have been taking off and on is the generic of Zyrtec. Apparently it requires that you take it REGULARLY in order for it to be effective. No wonder I have felt so bad even after I took one of those. For immediate relief, Claritin or Tylenol Severe Allergy works best.

3. If you take your youngest daughter to eat baked spaghetti on a Saturday afternoon, you should check your face before you go traipsing all over the mall. If you don't, the next time you bother to check a mirror, you will have dried spaghetti sauce all over your chin. The irony is that I wore makeup, earrings, and a necklace. I thought I was stylin'. I don't think I can show my face at that mall again.

4. You should not go traipsing all over the mall with your child unless you are prepared to spend money. Said child will con you out of something EVERY time. Today's sensible purchases include a cell phone jacket(which is exactly that, a very small jacket designed to put your cell phone in) a ridiculous key chain in the shape of something I can't remember now, and stick on bling for the child's cell phone. In my defense the total cost of all three items was only 10 bucks.

5. If you figure out something that you are really proud of, that saved someone else an ENORMOUS amount of time, don't expect any praise for it. You will probably get a response like the following: "I knew there was a way, but I didn't have time to figure it out". Which translates to, "Hey, don't go thinking your smart or anything, I COULD have figured it out myself if I had really wanted to".

6. It is very awkward when you change hair stylists within the same salon. The lady that does my hair now filled in once for the other lady that used to cut my hair. She did such a great job that I started asking for her when I go in there. Now I feel all weird when I go in there and see the old stylist. It's nothing personal, I just like the new stylist better. I imagine the old stylist shooting me dirty looks when I am not looking.(Who can blame her, I'm a good tipper)

7. Brace yourself for this one, it might be controversial: Society should not hold a fifteen year old girl responsible for inappropriate pictures that are taken. It is OUR responsibility as parents to shelter and guide our children. Said child should NOT have to apologize to her fans. Her parents should be apologizing for THEIR lapse in judgment. Did any of you make all the right choices as teenagers? A teenager IS NOT an adult. This is why we are legally responsible for them until they reach a certain age. This is the kind of thing that happens when we start sexualizing our young girls. I once her a woman tell a six year old girl that she looked sexy. Frankly, it turned my stomach. I don't want my little girl to look sexy. Cute and adorable are preferable. (Just in case anyone is in the dark, this refers to the big "to-do" over some inappropriate pictures of Miley Cyrus that are being released in Vanity Fair magazine. She plays on the show Hannah Montana. My daughter loves it.)

If any of you have some things you have learned, I would love to hear all about it.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Someone Help Me.........Please!

I have struggled with allergies since I was about 25. They got worse when I moved to TN as TN is the second worst state in the country for allergy problems. This is because of the geography. We live in a "valley". This section of the state is surrounded by mountains. Which means that our air sort of stagnates. Yuck.

I pop various allergy medicines like they are candy. I have medicine for daytime and nighttime medicine. I have medicine for sinus relief and medicine for itchy, watery eyes. Last night I started sneezing and then my nose got a little stuffy. When I went to bed, my throat felt kind of scratchy. Not a sore throat, but I had this feeling of needing to clear my throat. WHICH WOULD NOT GO AWAY. I laid down a few minutes after 10. At 11 I got up and got some water. Nope. That did not help. At 11:30 I finally got up and took a pill. They last time I looked at the clock it was around midnight. I finally went to sleep, but at 4 am I had to get up and use the bathroom from all the water I drank. I stumbled into the bathroom muttering to myself about how much it sucks to have to get up and pee in the middle of the night. What sucks even worse than that, is when it takes a friggin hour to pee because you drank so much water. You know what I am talking about, the pee that never ends. You think you are done, but more pee just keeps trickling out. Not that I am one to complain mind you.

I stumbled back to bed and fell asleep immediately. I don't think the pill helped my symptoms any, I am pretty sure it just knocked me out. Hence that would be why I awoke with the same scratchy throat from the night before. Not that I am one to complain, but that's a crappy way to start the day. Oh and my ears are stopped up. Is there anything I can do for stopped up ears?

Daily Drama
I am thinking about incorporating a daily drama segment to record the drama that goes on around here almost daily. A couple of days ago Melissa called me from school crying. She asked me if she could leave school early. I asked her what happened, and between sobs, she told me she didn't want to talk about it. I told her to go ahead and sign out. This is because I KNOW that my very responsible teenager would not want to leave school unless something serious was going on. I fretted all afternoon. It went something like this:

What could be wrong? Was someone mean to my precious baby? Did someone tease or embarrass her? Did someone hit her? They better not have put their hands on my precious child. Maybe she took her money to school and someone stole it and she is distraught.

When she got home from work that night and told me what happened, I was disappointed. She had a disagreement with her art teacher. Because she fell asleep. In class. Then she became upset and slammed the classroom door on her way out. I was appalled! That is not normal behavior for my wonderful daughter. I can't believe she lost her temper like that. I told her that what she did was wrong and she should apologize to her teacher for acting that way. I was even more appalled because I was sure she had endured some major injustice at school and that was why she needed to leave early.

I was not expecting her to tell me that she left early because of a problem with a teacher. That is not a good reason to leave school early. Disappointment at every turn I tell you. (Although she did tell me today that her and her teacher apologized to each other)

Keri's injuries for the last two days include a burning on her hand from the hand sanitizer she used, and a hurt ankle. She came hobbling into the living room today and told me about how she hit her ankle that was already sore and of course it, "hurt really bad". So to recap since I began recording we have:
A hurt side
A pimple that "really hurts"
A stinging hand (from hand sanitizer)
and last but not least....a hurt ankle

In other news....

I am recanting my request from a previous blog about comments. I want everyone to feel free to say whatever they think.(Unless you directly attack me or one of my blog buddies) I don't think I should be censoring a friggin blog after all. However, I would like it noted that we should all remember that we all have different ideas, opinions, and suggestions.

I have had a couple of people ask so I want Farrell and Karen Deborah both to know that it was not you. Not to worry. Since I am now up to three regular readers, I don't want to run you guys off.

I am off to prepare for another miserable night of the scratchy throat and stuffed up nose saga. I need strength........and better drugs.