Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I'm glad I didn't write it off after the first week...

Still strange...but at least our leader dude didn't display his bits the same way this week! And by not in "the same way" I do not mean the other leg...I mean it was not displayed. Yeah!

I really needed a place to vent last night. There was a short list of 3 rules when I agreed that the kids could be picked up by the dad for the DV's. It took a whole two weeks for him to decide to break two in one day. I'm not trying to control the world, I just wanted the kids to have some time to adjust. It all seemed pretty logical to me, but then I am reminded that you can't fight the illogical with logic! Then there is the whole "undermining mommy's authority" project going on...it's insane to me that the other "parent" would tell the kids to "bug" mommy so he can get his way on something. Plus there's the display of cigarettes in his car - couldn't they be put in the glove box so the kids don't freak out? Sure you have a right to have them but do you really need the kids to see them? UGH. Can't he hide his stupidity for the kids sake? It's only 6 hours a week!

Anyway so it was good to have a place where there is at least one other person navigating idiot co parent issues! The best part wasn't even the actual support group but the hour long chat in the parking lot afterwards! I think I have a couple of new friends and maybe a few people I could go to coffee or a movie with who are going through similar issues. That was really my hope so if I have to sit through some interesting (and not in a good way) moments to get to the parking lot, it's worth it.

I am going to let the kids dive in to the potentially cold pool of daddy's house. Easing them in isn't working for him and I can't keep fighting about it. Eventually they're going to go there so If I have to figure out how to dry them off and warm them up afterwards then that will be my job.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

A little too much party...

I took Ella to her Caylin's birthday party at Color me mine on Friday afternoon. Then she went to sleep at Caylin's house, aka "momma Christie's house." Momma Christie is Ella's godmother and I'm pretty sure Ella could give me up for her if she had to...which I'm actually ok with since I know how much momma Christie love Ella too! My parents had the other three because after that party I had a girls night scrapbooking get together thingy with some girlfriends in Riverside. I have never scrapbooked before - is that even a word? I don't know but anyway - I decided to give it a go just for an excuse to get out of the house without kids! The evening started at 8...well actually I didn't get there till 8:15, I was late and I hate being late... We had dinner and drinks. Then we got out our scrapbooking stuff and had some more drinks, then I realized how totally useless I am at the scrapbooking thing and had a little more to drink. I figured driving would be a bad idea. So I waited like 3 hours and by then all the girls had quit scrapbooking (and most of them had quit drinking too)! By then I could probably have driven home legally but I was so tired I didn't think I'd make it there in one piece so I crashed at one of the girl's houses.
I wake up this morning and have a killer omelette, thanks Nadine!!! Then it was off to pick up Ella from her other mommy. I was already running way behind schedule! I get home load up the kids and take them for the DV (daddy visit - I'll abbreviate from now on when I remember to). I go home, help my mom finish decorating the Barbie cake for my aunt Barbie's birthday party in Torrance today. Uncle Ken threw Aunt Barbie a big bash for her 50th and yes those are their real names. I jump in the shower, but give up on trying to make my hair look cute...rain sucks! We load up the cake in the car with Barbie (the doll) perched atop...We pick up the kids and head out for what should be about a one hour trip. A little over 2 hours later we arrive. My hair sucked and so did the traffic. Now somewhere along the way Barbie was wobbling off the cake so my mom picked her up and held her the rest of the trip. Can I tell you how funny it is to see a Barbie with her butt covered in frosting? I can honestly say I've never wanted to lick a Barbie's butt...until today. I was hungry and it was a long trip so shut up!
The kids played until they were falling over from exhaustion. I ate until I felt sick. On the way home my sister in law called in a panic, she has a family of rodents taking over her home and she is so freaked out she actually said (out loud) that she wished the flying roaches would come back if they would make the rats go away...um, can we go for total eradication of the rodent and pest population here, because in my estimation neither of those are good options! Oh, and when we got home I was tucking the kids into bed and Isaiah asked "are you having another baby mom 'cuz your belly is sticking out" I said no I just ate too much at Barbie's party. He said "oh, well if you burp a lot it will go away by morning." Gotta love the wisdom of an 8 year old boy!!!
Just in case that wasn't enough, we have another party tomorrow after church...I don't think I'm gonna be eating though!

Monday, September 17, 2007

I went

To the divorce recovery group tonight. I'm not really sure what to think. The guy who led it had really bad hair, spoke unnaturally slow and wore his...uhm...member prominently down his left leg. Can someone help me out here? Why didn't he look in a mirror and realize how utterly disturbing that might be to people! I felt like I was in the twilight zone. Then there's the fact that I was by far the youngest person in the room. There were a few women my mom's age, a couple a little younger than that, two men, the leader and me. One person had been divorced 5 years...and is in divorce recovery. If I'm not fully recovered in 5 years will someone who loves me please set me straight!!! When it came right down to the meat and potatoes it seems that we will be learning what we did to cause our marriages to fail and how we can prevent making the same mistakes again...I figured that stuff out three weeks into this whole mess are you kidding me?!?!? Actually I think I figured a lot of it out while I was still in the mess, I mean marriage, but whatever. I don't think I can handle going to divorce recovery! I might give it one more week, but I swear if I can see which side the leader is wearing "it" on I'm leaving!!!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

That didn't last long...

My new "roommate" moved out (kind of)... She was tired of the drive from Egypt to Glendora and points beyond (LA, Hollywood etc) for her kids school/soccer etc and her own work commitments so she decided to move most of her stuff to her sister in law's extra room. Her sister in law is a newly single mom to an autistic 3 year old because my friend's brother just left her and moved to Texas. Do you see where I'm going with this? Oh, and the s-i-l lives two minutes away from daddy dearest who was peering through the windows of my friend's room with a video camera barely a week ago. I'll probably have my parents back around most of the time again which will be good for me. My friend will most likely come here on the weekends. It's all good except that we've been through this before. If history is any indication, and it usually is, my friend will end up living back at her parents house with her crazy dad and we'll do this all again in a year or so! She is so used to her family drama that it seems normal to her. It blows my mind but I guess you can't save 'em all!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Thursday, September 13, 2007

today I was NOT a snail...

or a turtle, or any of those other notoriously slow animals...oh, and I have opposing thumbs too. My point is, drum roll please, I passed the typing test! Now it wasn't the 55 wpm that I did for the sheriff's department but it was a respectable 49 wpm. So I went on to the Criticall portion of the test. Can I mention that the City of Riverside testing functions like my high school standardized testing...scantron and all. With the county the test was all computerized. This test was so antiquated I felt like I was in some sort of time warp. An old, bored (but sweet) retired guy telling really bad jokes and stopping us for little "breaks" to tell us how there was of course Murphy's law but had we heard of Riley's law??? Have you? Well apparently Riley's law says that Murphy's law is optimistic...ba-du-dum...or dumb, whatever. We were stuck with Mr. Wealth of wisdom and a cd to proctor our test. Oh, and don't forget that fancy scantron! In any event I finished the test and find that there is one more way that the city runs behind the county. We don't get our results the same day as the test. It seems we will get them in 2-3 weeks. Thanks guys, I needed more patience.

trying not to be rusty this morning...

Because I'm about to go retake that typing test...you know, the one I failed. I was way too tired and not very awake the last time I took it. I figured getting a blog in before I left might help me shake off the rust and type closer to the speed I know I am capable of. I'd love to hit close to the 55 wpm I typed on the other test - but I'll go for at least the required 35 wpm!
Anyway I woke up in time to actually dry my hair and eat breakfast so that's gotta be to my benefit right?!?! Well I'm about to head out so here's hoping I don't suck today - ha, ha!

Monday, September 10, 2007

I have a new roommate...

Well sort of. You see, since I became a single mom my parents have spent most nights at my house. The point was to provide some stability for the kids during the transition time. We had just had this whole conversation on Saturday night on the way to Pala to hear Steve Probst play with Hotel California. The kids are doing really well...for the most part. There isn't a daily level of stress and chaos like there was in the beginning. The kids are adjusting and life is good, even great some days for them (and most days for me).
Lest we sit back and rest on our laurels for a minute...I have a friend who is also a single mom. Way back when her marriage ended she stayed with us off and on for probably about a year. Since then she has been living with her parents and her two kids. Now her dad has been known (at least to me) to be unreasonably controlling and frankly a bit scary but family is family ya know... or at least until you find your dad peering through your window at night with a video camera!!! I kid you not, she caught him. Needless to say she and her kids need a place to stay. Her kids stay with their dad on the weekends a lot of times anyway so for now she will stay here and they will stay with their dad a little more than usual. To make matters worse, she just started her new job today. She's been out of work for 2 of the last 3 months so she is financially strapped to boot. Two single moms, six kids between us, and not a penny to spare...
I guess the way I see it is, my parents have a home. They were just staying here for the benefit of me and the kids. My friend needs a home so we'll just rearrange things for a while. I can't help anyone financially but I have a spare room, and I feel like that's where I can be His hands to someone else.
Oh, and by the way Hotel California was fun...The Eagles are the soundtrack to a train ride I took to Oregon when I was 18...so it was a bit of nostalgia. The funniest thing was my mom saying "do you know any of their music? How do you know this music?" She can't remember anything relating to pop culture so I'm pretty sure she thinks Steve and the guys wrote the stuff they played...or maybe I exaggerate, but only a little!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

I'm feeling a little on edge

I was already feeling a little frail I think partly because I have been waiting for the judge to sign off on the divorce settlement agreement. That, and the fact that I recently decided I needed to let the dad pick up the kids for their visits. Well I got a load of paperwork in the mail today from the court and well...it wasn't what I hoped for. Somehow (in spite of the insane amounts of money they make to KNOW these things) my attorney didn't file the right paperwork in the right order. So, in spite of the fact that we agreed to all terms including it being a divorce rather than a legal separation, I'm going to have to file more paperwork. I guess I need to file some form to amend my original separation filing to a divorce filing. Then I will need to serve him that paperwork...wait 31 days...then re-file the settlement agreement. I suspect this means that the divorce won't be final until sometime in March now...ugh! I don't know why that detail irritates me so much but it does. I want it done, free and clear! Ok well at least as done as it will ever be with four kids to raise.
As for the visits thing, I have been told it is not good for the kids to see us together too much. It makes them more uncertain than they already are about what is happening. Plus, truth be told, I don't want to hang out with him - can you blame me really? I feel like at least for the moment he is seeming pretty stable. So for now I have to just trust that God will take care of the kids no matter who they are with. Now I get to learn how to deal with all their questions when they come home. Now to set the scene you might need to know that daddy lives with the bus driver and her five kids in a three bedroom house. That works out to more that 2 people per room already yet he asks why he can't take the kids there. Never mind that the kids don't need to see him (or me either for that matter - I don't discriminate here) with anybody new so soon, where the heck does he plan to put them? On the floor? They have beds here! Sunday night (after their first pick up visit) Isaiah asked why they couldn't go to daddy's house. He said daddy told him he has his own house now. I said daddy lives with other people he doesn't have a whole house to himself. So Isaiah says that Ella has told him that daddy lives with holly and her mom (never mind the other four kids who live there too). He asked if that was true. I told him it is. He said again how he feels like daddy betrayed us and traded us in for another family. I said I was sorry...Isaiah said "it's not your fault mom" so I said "I know, I'm just sad that you're sad" And I am.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

I must say...

This homeschool thing rocks!

First of all I was up sick last night so I've never been happier to not have to wake up early in the morning. I rolled out of bed at about 9 a.m. I got some food and the kids ate cereal. Then a little after 10 I broke out the curriculum. I had already gotten their work set up in folders for each day of the week. I gave Abby some pre-k stuff to do and gave Sophia a coloring page to keep her occupied. I got Isaiah started and sat down with Ella to get to work. Ella was done by 11:20 a.m. and Isaiah was about halfway done. I figure we'll take a break for lunch then the girls will go down for a nap. Then Isaiah can finish his work in silence!!! Honestly though in kindergarten Ella had about 20-30 minutes of homework a night so in 40 extra minutes or so I can give her a whole day of first grade...pretty awesome! Isaiah had about an hour of homework a night for third grade and he'll have his whole fourth grade day done in about 2 1/2 hours at home.

I'm so glad I don't have to get them to school by 7:15 a.m. anymore!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

I found this article today...

About PCOS.... I have it and am just now going back on my meds after a long hiatus. I had taken such a long break because between having babies, surgeries, and well just life I couldn't bring myself to undergo the horrors caused by getting back on them. The meds (metformin aka glucophage) causes some pretty miserable side effects in the first few weeks. The upside is that I have always lost a good chunk of weight when I have gone back on it.
For those who don't know what PCOS is stands for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome which is caused by insulin resistance. The symptoms are weight gain, irregular periods, infertility (I know I have four kids - thanks in large part to the meds), excess hair, or thinning hair, acne or other skin problems and depression/anxiety. Part of the problem is that PCOS causes an over abundance of male hormones. This is the part I found really interesting...the article I was reading said that a study had found that the "prevalence of polycystic ovaries was no less than 80% in gay women, while 32% of heterosexual women had the disorder" Can I just tell you that it made me think. First of all if that many women are suffering from this how many are suffering and don't know it? Second was more of a realization than anything else - that no less than 80% of gay women have this is mindblowing! Anybody else see a connection?

Saturday, September 1, 2007

I've been thinking...

a lot lately about how we demonstrate our love for Christ in our interactions with others, and what exactly is our role as followers of Christ. I was raised in a Nazarene church and they are very focused on "holiness." I don't think it served me well and I have worked hard over the last years to come to grips with what it means to be saved by grace. I think I have begun to get a handle on a healthier perspective and have begun to see my salvation as an act that was completed at the cross and not something I can gain or lose by my perfection (or obvious lack thereof).
I am now really sifting through what I perceive to be a divide in the focus of people of faith. There seems to me to be a hard line on one side that says "if you are saved you will act this way" and another side that says "as long as you believe then the pace at which God convicts you to change your ways is not my concern." Now I will say that I was raised with a clear bent toward that first theology. I do not think it is the best way to view things. However, I can't come to grips with the second one either. Where is the balance? I feel like God obviously calls us to love our neighbor, the oppressed and all of His creation. How does that translate into action?
I think people see the church as being so full of hypocrisy because we have a list of "sins" that seem to rank higher than others. We ostracize some for their sins and overlook the "lesser" sins of our own. How do we effectively minister so those who are ostracized for their sins when you know that the eventuality is that they need to turn from them? We let the "average" sinners - you know the regular people who make regular mistakes - work in church ministries but would we let the "big" sinners? Why not? Isn't all sin the same to God?
The other big divide I see is a political one. I've actually heard some family members (only part joking) say that they didn't think democrats could be Christians. I know other people think that republicans are so uncaring that they can't possibly understand the teachings of Christ.
This isn't a quandary I'm gonna solve by blogging about it but I really want to start a dialogue between people who are on different sides of the issues and figure out where I land in the mix. I'm kind of tired of cookie cutter faith. I want to figure out how to live a life that is radically different because of who Christ is and what He has done. What does that look like and where do I start?