Monday, September 21, 2009

Dear Monday 9/21,

I hope to find you rainy and dreary. Intermittent showers with bouts of hard pours would be nice. Some thunder and lightning perhaps? I'm sure you won't find it too hard.
Thanks,
Cranky Sarah
PS If it is at all possible that you could see to it that I wake to find a flooded basement, that would be super!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Too many blogs

I thought I'd share some thoughts that are in the works or have been expressed already on my other blogs that fit with my intent of this site.
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"So, still not knowing anything about blogging, I started Montessori From Scratch about 13 months ago. I intended, and still do, to make it a place to learn how to, well, do what the title says. I'd hoped to find the materials, time and voice to make it a worthwhile place to visit. But, I've lost my voice somewhere. The poetry that used to flow in my head all day vanished years ago, the witty remarks that I formed in an instant became more and more rare. I'd found exhaustion, brain fog, depression and antipathy. I was too overwhelmed with the 3 kids and all the attention each one needed to make a cohesive lesson plan, to make the materials, do the projects, teach the lessons. I know many people do those things just fine, or even excellently, but not me, at least not the me I had become. It wasn't just the kids, you can read some of my cranky side and marriage tribulations if you're interested. But the plan wasn't working and neither was the blogging. I "gave up" for a while and went back to my natural form of teaching which I'd describe as "casual unschooling." I learned more about my children's learning styles and watched as my eldest grew beyond some of the early Montessori work. I realized that I was firmly on the eclectic side of schooling, which really was no surprise, I'm eclectic in many ways."

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Notice how I said "other blogs"? Yeah, I'm beginning to come to the conclusion that I've got too many to handle properly, but I have a STRONG desire to compartmentalize. It is also sometimes debilitating. Not in any OCD type way, if that were the case, man would my house be organized. Debilitating in that I can take a stack of papers, of which there are many to choose from, and turn it into 14 different categories, or 37 as the real life case may be. Debilitating in that I can spend 2 hours sorting that one stack and look around at all the mess that was there plus the 37 new stacks and feel defeated. Paperwork has kicked my ass. Moving into my husband's house has kicked my ass. Falling into traps of going along with his way and the ensuing power struggles when I realized his way is a wreck, have kicked my ass. And since this has been going on for 11 years, it's kicked me in many other places too. Flylady says just spend 15 minutes, just spend an hour and I think people are supposed to get some sort of pride out of that. Maybe I've become a pessimist, but that just doesn't cut it for me. I dream of taking everything out of this house, finishing all the unfinished projects, fixing all the problems and moving back in 1 box at time. I really dream of living in a different house (although I've become attached to the location, which happens to come with some great neighbors), which may have to happen if the job situation calls for it, but I'd want to do the other thing first so we could actually sell this one. And this has ended up in a place I didn't know I was going, but that's what's on my mind during any free moment. If only I could compartmentalize my thoughts.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Oh, Daaaddyy

Since Hubs has been out of work for quite some time now, a year and 3 months, and freelance or contract work has been sporadic, he's been home a lot. I've really been trying to not let his "habits" get on my nerves, because honestly they can only take so much. But it's hard. For instance:
I like to keep the toilet lids closed but when he's done he lowers the seat only. Is it so much harder to close both at the same time? I'd understand it more if he left it up entirely.
I can tell you generally, often specifically, what he's snacked on by which cabinet doors are open and what texture the smears on the refrigerator handle are.
He doesn't wash the kids cups as a set. I never have the same amount of cups, lids and valves in the drawer which is OK, I guess, except when there's less than 3 of any one part.
If he's going to get cranky about what time the kids go to bed, then why doesn't he help get them there?
OK I won't indulge my thinly veiled whining any longer. My real problem was stated in the first sentence. However, my upbringing did prepare me for that. As the family of a contractor, it was always feast or famine in our house. So I've got an example of how a marriage and a family survive during those tight times, but instead of keeping on paring down our lives, we're spending more. And I'm simply frustrated by feeling guilty with every purchase. But we had to get a minivan, which has a payment and higher insurance, and I simply didn't do well homeschooling the eldest while the 2 youngers were at home so this year they're in preschool. And the eldest is also at the highest age for beginner ballet and I know her, if she started when she was older and everyone else knew more than she did and she was always behind or lost, her love would quickly die. And how hard is it to put one kid in and not the other? Too hard for me. Hubs field is so small - and usually the first on the chopping block - I don't know which is harder, not getting any response at all when resumes are sent in or there not even being any jobs to apply for.
OK, thanks for the ear. I'm done whining!
(Title phrase is what my 3 year old has started saying when she comes across the results of one of Hubs' bad habits)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I haven't been keeping up with this very well. It's not that I'm not thankful, it's that I'm worn thin. Even my movie night with the girls didn't perk me up beyond the actual time I spent with them. (BTW even though it's not as good as the book, the movie The Time Traveler's Wife is still good)
I realized that I need to make more of a point of pronouncing what I'm thankful for to help me get out of this... stupor. I'm not depressed or anything right now, but frustrated and tired.
Anyway...
I'm thankful for:
Family that sustains me
Friends that make me smile
A girl with her first loose teeth (who knows some thing have value beyond money)
A husband who can take care of the kids one evening and then proclaim "I don't know how you get a single thing done!"
Children who like to talk about and ask about God. Burgeoning spirituality is a beautiful and delicate thing.
and right now, I'm very thankful for nap time!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Plea for Common Sense

You know, I rarely enter into political or religious debates. There are a very few people who I will discuss things with and that is because with them it can actually be a discussion. Debates have winners and losers; discussions have sharers.
However, I will dip my toes into this one. Only because I can't stand when idiocy is lapped up and re-spouted as an original thought. And for the purposes of this I'm ignoring the things I feel are intentional misrepresentations at best and blatant lies at worst. This is an appeal for common sense.
First, a document can only have one point of origin. There may be several collaborating authors, of course, but one original document. I'm noticing over the years that the more outrageous the misinformation is the more people claim it is their original work. And I'm talking about word for word copies.
Second, when you quote something and then make a claim about what it says, can you, yourself, at least read the part you quoted? (also, do you remember what opposites are?)
Third, when you are going to make an argument against something you should be consistent. -If you're going to claim that some entity will have "NO CHOICE" can you at least leave out the next few lines in which you angrily point out things that clearly show that, yes, there is in fact a choice.
Fourth, just because you put part of your sentence in BIG BOLD LETTERS, it doesn't transform the rest of your sentence into a negative argument. I'm willing to bet you like it when you consult with a professional who has a firm grasp on the national language.
Lastly, just because an acronym was an easy target for vilification on one topic (and they possibly had members who warrant that) doesn't mean they have their hot little hands in this, too. And if they get involved, it's unlikely to be in the ways you are implying. Do you even know who you are talking about?

OK that's it. It irritates me to no end that when there are legitimate arguments to be made it is still the tripe that gets passed around. One after another taking an apparently sure bet that the masses are either idiots or just too lazy to read and think for themselves. Why don't you take some of your fervor and apply it to fact finding? Then you can focus your passion on the actual problems. Because focusing on real problems may lead to real answers. Imagine that.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Emotionally Well Adjusted Children

That's what we're supposed to want right? So why does it hurt a little when your daughter doesn't miss you when she's gone? "I love you so much that I don't have to miss you" Great but how about one little tear welling up in your eye?

Yet, you don't want the other end of the spectrum where your other daughter misses her sister so much that she cries out her name randomly during the day. And by cry I mean wail: tears, snot, wavering voice and red sweaty face. Of course, now that it's her turn for a solo stay at the grandparents' she's just fine.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Mommy is Awake

and posting in real time. Another bout of insomnia. I finally worked myself back into a reasonable sleep routine and was getting up at my goal time. Then insomnia one night, kids waking me (us) up the next and the next and the next plus weird dream night, so there were naps. ---Good grief! It's like he heard my thoughts! AK wakes up between 2&3 every morning and GR wakes up twice between 4&7. Although, Hubs usually takes care of AK, unless I'm already awake.
I just did not want to go up and lay in bed with my husband while he was still awake. It was just a really long day for our relationship and I didn't wish it to continue so I chose to avoid him and now I'm wide awake. But I really should at least go get ready for bed now. I have a long day ahead of me as it is Hubs' birthday so I'll have all the normal weekday type mommy stuff to do plus all the extra stuff for him.
I learned a trick for helping you sleep... we've all heard of counting yourself to sleep, right? Well, that no longer works for me as my busy brain has figured out how to run rampant while I'm still counting - yeah I know, I was surprised, too. So I usually work on puzzles (things related to crosswords type puzzles) but I'm out of those so I'll try this new trick tonight. Pick a way of counting that is unusual or medium difficult for you. I think the article suggested backwards by 3's I'm sorry, I do not remember where I saw that, but it was probably on the Yahoo! front page. OK, so I'm off to do that. {unwilling sigh} {and a yawn - yay!}

Friday, August 7, 2009

Dinner confessions

Not to brag or anything, but I'm a decent cook. And I think my dinner time rules are pretty fair too. But it hurts when I have to stare one in the eye real hard. I threw together a simple and easy pork chop dinner last night. I hadn't made it exactly this way before and I was going against all advice by not browning them before baking them (really, if you have to brown them, why not just fry them all the way?) So it was technically an experiment. But the kids have had versions of this before and had eaten it just fine.
So, when dinner was met with resistance, I invoked the "one bite as it is before you get ketchup" rule, which was followed. Then not a single bite after that was eaten! I set a timer and told them if they didn't finish before then, they'd have to go to bed. When about 1/2 the time was up, I reminded them of the "If you don't eat it tonight you're getting it tomorrow for lunch and or dinner" rule. I've only had to invoke that one once before (baked chicken I believe) and they happily ate it the next day for lunch. Not so this time. They chose to go to bed before the time was even up and refuse to eat it for lunch today too!
On the one hand I feel like a crummy mom but come on! Dinner was really good - Hubs even asked me to make it again and that doesn't happen every night! They understand the consequence of not eating is feeling hungry and cranky, but I feel terrible knowing they're hungry, but I feel terrible if I undermine my own (reasonable?) set of rules. It's just a no-win situation!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Laundry Confessions

Laundry is the worst and only because of all the folding and that's only because it kills my neck and shoulders - which kill me on a daily basis. So, it piles up and up. 10 different categories! Plus special loads, like the pee sheets AK's been waking up with every morning (why can't I find Diaper Doublers now that I need them on a daily[nightly] basis??) Am I a sorting nut?
I just had to get stuff done so I just threw in the "most popular" stuff all together in the washer. Hopefully it comes out looking like it did when it went in, sans stains of course!

Monday, August 3, 2009

How do dreams work for you?

While I do sometimes dream in color and can occasionally read in my dreams, I am not able to control them. However, I am frequently aware I am dreaming. Last night I was having a terrible dream. If I could remember well enough or if I had the writing talent, I could rival Stephen King (do you know what I'm talking about?) with the movie quality of my dreams as I'm dreaming them. But, I was really trying to distract myself from this dream and start a new one - without any luck. So finally I gave in, ran around until I was killed and as I lay there dying, I thought "Oh well, at least the dream's over."
What's strange is that it all seems to happen on different levels of consciousness. I'm having a dream on one level, aware of the dream on another and "listening" to myself be aware of dreaming on yet another. Man, is all that exhausting, I'm always super tired the day after stuff like that happens. What's it like when you dream?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

potty training problem

Yesterday while I was holding AK up to a sink at an inflatable play center, he gassed and I asked him if he pooped. "I didn't poo!" was his response. Not a big deal except that was his second phrase ever (his first being several months ago - "Mad at Daddy" - HAHA!)
Then last night he started grabbing at his rear, exclaiming poo..poo, getting the changing pad and laying down. He was clear and dry, but he kept on. I tried to get him on the potty, Hubs was finally successful with that but nothing happened. He came back down stairs and began his frantic insistence that I change his diaper for a few more minutes before he settled down on the couch with a blanket. I put him to bed and about 1:30 he woke up crying because he'd pooped.
This has only been one instance, but I'm trying to prepare before we start having withholding issues. Any suggestions for a kid who's too young to bribe?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Not as fancy as diamond earrings...

School is starting up again, and if you didn't know, I'm doing homeschool for my eldest. I've been looking at what I've got and what I need - and at what has survived long enough for AK to benefit from it too. He's been interested in sorting and stringing beads and wrapping cords around everything, but one of the things that have long since been lost/destroyed was our lacing shapes. Oddly enough my friend just let me know about a give away she's having this week - for lacing shapes.
Belle of the Blog is having a contest courtesy of All Children's Furniture, where you can find everything from bunk beds to toys. Stop by and enter to win a set of Melissa and Doug Lace 'n Trace Shapes.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Not a stellar moment, but it worked

Perhaps my morning routine is a little lacking, but I usually do not get up before the kids. I strive to, but with no real reason to it is hard. I usually get my best, sometimes only, sleep after 6am so I sleep as long as I can. I will fix breakfast for everyone, strap the baby into the highchair, turn on the TV and go take a shower. The other morning, while I was in the living room picking out shows, AK carried his plate of scrambled eggs into the dining room (and didn't spill them) and sat at the table. He didn't want to sit in his highchair so I let him stay put. I figured I'd shower at lunch or nap time. The morning went downhill from there. Arguing, fussing, aggressive behavior, selective hearing - you do realize I'm talking about the kids, right? - and total non-cooperation. I got very fed up, sent everyone to their beds for quiet time and took a shower. Something happened in that quiet time. They came out of it happy and cooperative. We cleaned and vacuumed the floor in the girls' room and the living room. We put away some of the loose toys and read a book. All before lunch. It worked, but I still felt like I could have challenged Jana for her title that morning: The Meanest Mom

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My Stomach Speaks to Me and a Ringing Endorsement

I was all excited to go out for drinks, dinner, dancing and drinks. Also, drinks. I don't drink often or drink much but sometimes it can be helpful. Like if you've been stressed out for a variety of reasons or if you have chronic muscle tension or if you're going dancing and you're not good at it. On the way there, my stomach began to feel funny, queasy in fact. I said to Hubs "Every time I have the opportunity to drink, my stomach starts to feel yuck so I don't drink" He said, "You're just thinking about it too much, have fun" So I did, a Caiprihana, Mojito and a vodka drink called a martini even though it's not, kind of fun. I found out that I'm so old and out of shape that dancing to 3 salsa songs was enough to put an ache in my right hip. But not so old that men didn't ask to dance with me. I also found out that I did indeed have the stomach bug AK had early in the week. Great timing. (And yes I know the difference between an alcohol induced sick and a virus, for one thing it's day 3 and I'm still having issues.) I don't know why I didn't listen to my body, stomach in particular, but it sure was nice to not feel the pain in my back, shoulders and neck if only for a few hours.
Bonus: My lipstick got an unexpected trial: I put it on before I ate, drank, and well... you know, plus the ensuing rinsing and teeth brushing and it was still there the next morning - Maybelline Superstay Lipcolor. If that's not a golden review I don't know what is HAHA!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

fashionist...er?

We're on outfit #3 for the day, not because AK keeps getting messy, but because he keeps changing his mind. UGH!

Friday, July 17, 2009

The things facebook can bring up for you

Does any place strike up such strong negative emotions that you'd just as soon have it fall off the face of the earth as have to ever visit it again?
There is a place like that for me and 4 people who make it that way. Just 4 people. 1 is the man who molested my sister and as the therapist helped her discover, my mother before her. 2. now deceased, is my grandmother who married that man when my mother was young. Both of whom told any and every body of his innocence despite the fact that he confessed in a plea bargain. Heaven forbid you should believe a statement made under oath when you have the man himself saying he only confessed to save his beloved granddaughter a second trial. (the first was a mistrial because 1 juror voted not-guilty)
The 3rd and 4th were girls my age, women now. The 3rd is that stereo-typical girl who says she's your best friend to your face and then goes around telling all kinds of lies about you behind your back. And not just yours, but those of many others, too. The 4th was someone I loved as a sister. At the time, probably more than my sister. I moved away (a whole other story) but we remained close. My grandparents brought her as a surprise to my HS graduation (this was before we found out what he'd done 6 years prior. The instruction to "not tell" can have a strong hold on an abused child; my sister and especially my mother can tell you that) We wrote, called and when we entered college, e-mailed. I thought I'd found a friend for life. I moved back to the state and went back into a similar social circle as I'd been in before. This group mostly comprised just those who were either still at home or were at a local community college - and her. She went to a big university. I was working 3 jobs at one point. Paying for rent, saving for that same big university, and waiting to get my residency status back so I could afford that school. At first, I was so busy that I didn't notice any change. "Girl 3" told me some wild tales about "Girl 4", lesbian crushes turned obsessions and threesomes were mentioned several times. I didn't believe her, since I knew her history with the truth. But then I began to notice that Girl4 was blowing off our plans with lies when it turned out she was spending time with her college roommate. Another one of her purported lesbian crushes - you know she had to settle for someone when Girl3 wouldn't consent to more than a 1 time experiment. So I began to wonder if there were the tiniest bit of truth, but saved any conclusion for the words out of Girl4's mouth. We moved in together, but kept growing apart. She'd make or agree to plans and not keep them. Items kept disappearing, though I 100% blame Girl3 for that, I felt like it was probably intentionally "unnoticed" by Girl4. Then one evening, I fixed dinner for Girl 4 and my now husband. As we were eating she started to "jokingly" question me about trysts I had with her ex. Things that never happened. I'm sure we can all figure out her source on that. Whether or not she believed the story, she chose to bring it up in front of my boyfriend to hurt me in some way. And that was pretty much the last conversation we ever had. I started spending more time with Hubs but was still paying 1/2 rent and utilities. I'd made an agreement and intended to stick to it. I also left all my furniture and other items since it would leave her without so much if I'd taken them. She called one day saying she'd found another roommate so I could move out officially. The last call I got from her was a furious message that I took her kool-aid. Which I did not, by the way, it was still in the kitchen drawer, but never mind all the stuff I did leave like cleaning supplies, shower curtain, bath mats, pots and pans, silverware, dishes and a whole dining room set. I never knew what really happened between us. In case you couldn't tell, it still kinda hurts. I think the not knowing is part of it. And the fact that I seem to be SLOW to learn lessons in the friend department.
And what has this all has to do with facebook? I got a friend request from a woman a year younger than me, who I have a vague recollection of as being a beautiful and upbeat person saying "You have NO IDEA how many times I've looked for you on here! How are you, where are you, what are you doing????" And even though I usually blame being a mommy for having a terrible memory, I think I simply have a terrible memory for the everyday parts of life. If there's not some huge emotion attached to it, I probably don't remember it. I "have NO IDEA" why she'd be looking for me on fb so much, I just don't remember much beyond the sparkle in her eye when she smiled (and to clear up any rumors that may be out there thanks to Girl3, no I've never had any lesbian crushes, she just had one of those smiles that you couldn't help smiling back at and I've found that to be a rare quality). Although I might other wise converse with her and maybe accept her friend request, I can't help but wince at her location and the larger fact that both Girl3 and Girl4 are on her friend list.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Christmas in July

When everyone is really tired and your 2 year old is sick it seems like a good idea to send your 3 & 5 year olds up to their room to play birdies. This usually involves lots of pillows and blankets to make nests and often lasts for an hour or so of relatively quiet, cooperative play. About 90 minutes into this bliss, I went upstairs to the bathroom. I heard the rush to the door and the plea "Don't come in, we're making a surprise". "OK, I won't" was my cheerful reply. My naive, if I'd had enough sleep I'd have seen through that, perhaps I was choosing to pretend, response. A while later it was time to clean up before dinner. I ascended the stairs, heard the usual scramble to hide (they like to hide and say "surprise" as often as possible) and open the door. "Surprise! It snowed in here!" They shredded a full box of tissue to play winter birds. 2 days later and we're still cleaning it up.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Whew I'm glad that's over - Cranky Kids edition

Well, my sister's wedding is finally over. There were plenty of cranky making days in the process not the least of which were the days when I needed to be working on making the flower girl dresses and I couldn't get real help from Hubs - help he agreed to when we discussed how expensive flower girl dresses are. Anyway, I ended up making them in time even though that involved many LATE nights because I'd have to wait until the kids were in bed to do things. And the poor kids. The last 2 weeks, there were plenty of things I could do while they were awake and around; which meant not much attention from me. There was lots of running around, one day I went to 5 stores, then the mall which involved 7 stores and then one more store outside the mall. They were excellent though. I was even able to keep out a large portion of my supplies and equipment with minimal meddling from the kids. It was wonderful in that regard!
Then came rehearsal day, we couldn't swim when we got to my parents', there was lots of standing around following orders. A 2 year old without a nap late dinner etc. GR was a champ - AK refused to hold the ring pillow and GR gladly changed her role from flower girl to ring bearer, then my sister decided she would rather have no ring bearer than only one flower girl and GR went along with that even though she was really excited by the idea of delivering the rings. Finally dinner came. Sis picked a Japanese steak house and we had 3 tables - she separated the kids from the adults. Uh, this doesn't usually go well for mine but they did fine. They were with kids they barely knew (except Sis's daughter) and after some seating rearranging they were fine. Hubs and my cousin went to their table when it was time for the "show" which involved fire. They only ate their rice of course but they did well. Then we ended up staying at my parents' until --- 1:15 AM doing last minute wedding stuff that Sis hadn't done. And the kids were awake. Then at the wedding, lots of standing around, staying out of the way, not messing up their clothes, not getting regular meals, no naps, walking down the aisle in a room full of strangers, sitting quietly, posing for photos. AK ended up happily taking the pillow up to his uncle the best man, though he walked down with holding my hand instead of behind me, he tried to stand next to me then tried to go down the steps, stumbled whereupon he saw the room full of people and his daddy standing beyond the door so he went running back up the aisle with the cry of "DADDDDDYYYY!" The girls did their petals beautifully, but AT immediately turned around and began picking them up again. Lots more waiting and being careful and quiet through another round of photos. They had just about had it though when we finally got the opportunity to have a family portrait shot - who knows how that will turn out HAHA! Then the party at the church, then the party at my parents' , where once again they weren't allowed to swim (even though other kids were & they didn't fuss about it!) and we stayed really late again. Then Sunday, we went back to my parents' to visit out of town family. We didn't swim, but I told them I'd take them out after dinner. We went to a Mexican restaurant, which they love at home but barely eat out. Thankfully there was pizza on the menu and again they behaved beautifully and played well with their second cousins. Finally, we got home, got everyone suited up and out to the pool. I was last in coming because I was last to have a chance to dress. As I hit the deck, everyone was on their way back in - lightning was spotted on the horizon. No tears, no arguing. My niece summed up both the situation and everyone's attitude very well "Well, we don't get to go swimming but at least we won't die."

Sunday, June 28, 2009

What is it?

I'm feeling cranky and out of sorts. Not like myself. I had a terrible dream last night and I can't stop thinking about it. I'm feeling disconnected from my friends. I feel a pent up energy from all the projects I want to do but since I can't it's not a good energy, it's turning sour. I'm feeling discouraged with Hubs job search: there are some jobs in far away states none here and none close. I don't know if he's applied to those or not: he'd told me he'd apply to anything that came up, but I don't know if he actually has. Having to move is better than going bankrupt. I totally understand why he didn't go for a BSME but it's hard knowing that all of the jobs he's interviewed for went to BSMEs even though they were advertised as ID. (Although, who knows who was hired by the cheapskates. The company relisted the job under its various division names at a much lower rate than they were initally offering). I'm still not sleeping. Hubs was home by himself all day and did nothing much. He unearthed some old stereo equipment, messed around with it and played computer games. Then after we got home - he took a nap. He didn't help with the kids and then stayed up late online.
I have no energy am in a lot of pain and have had a higher than usual level of headache for the past several weeks. I need a shower, if I'd had one maybe I'd be feeling differently right now - that and if I'd slept after 4am this morning.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

How can he not know?

Somehow Hubs manages to leave food smears and spills all over the house. Almost any door jamb he walks through will show evidence of his hands or what ever drink he's carrying. Don't even look at the base boards next to the kitchen door or the back door - yikes all that coffee! Some mornings you could play puddle jumper from the bedroom down the hall, stairs, and to the kitchen backtracking his steps from earlier. But really, how can he stand at the counter, pouring his coffee and not know he's spilling this much? Sorry for the low pix quality, photoshop is being buggy.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Kinship from an unlikely source

Hubs somehow found out about a publication and decided to try the free copy to see if it was something he'd like. Predictably, he hasn't cracked the cover while I've read it in its entirety (if it weren't for me, none of his alumni or IDSA magazines/newsletters would be read either HAHA!). I didn't know what to expect from something he's chosen, his interests are so varied and he likes to read things that are way outside his world in order to learn more about others. Anyway...
The magazine was The Sun, here's an interesting interview with it's publisher that gives some idea as to the content of the magazine.
You never can tell where you'll find kinship in this world, but that fact of the matter is that people are more alike than different (aside from those with serious psychosis of course). One of the regular features is from the publisher and this month had an entry that rang true with me. I've never really stopped to think what I might have in common with a 60 year old, journalist, Jewish, man. But now that the connection has been brought to my attention, perhaps I'll remember to look for the connections I might have with others with a broader stroke. If nothing else, he and I like to start sentences with "but"!
Here's the portion that made me stop and think about this
(I also really loved the article by John Malkin and learned something about MLK that I didn't know, thanks public school education)
From: The Sun, June 2009 Issue
Excerpted from "Sy Safransky's Notebook"
If I do nothing else today, let me remember to stop maligning myself. What an ingrained habit that is: the finger-wagging and finger-pointing, my own Republican attack machine finding fault with nearly everything I do. "Sy Safransky wants us to believe there are only twenty-four hours in a day. That's not change we can believe in." "Sy Safransky insists he's doing the best he can. But his best clearly isn't good enough." What do I say to the bullies in the room, to the disembodied scolding voices of the dead parents and dead teachers and dead rabbis? They're all gone now, and I'm a man in my sixties, a voice of authority myself. Why be pushed around by ghosts? Why try to curry favor with them by making jokes at my own expense? What a rich tradition of self-effacing mockery can I draw upon: the gallows humor of shtetl Jews who considered it a good day if they could make their tormentors laugh. But those tormentors are dead, too, just more ghosts jockeying for a place in line. So listen up, ghosts: After all these years of being criticized and diminished and demeaned, I say, Enough! A man's home can't be his castle if he's living in a haunted house. So, by the power invested in me by the consciousness that is my birthright, I shove my boot up your phantasmagoric asses and kick you our the door.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

He's hanging around a lot

I may have mentioned that my computer is dying a slow death, if not here than at my other site. I haven't been using it much, which wasn't really a big deal while Hubs was at work but proves a different challenge with him home so much. Now that the initial force of getting things done has had it's predictable wind down, he's on the computer a lot and when he does let me have some time, he's frequently sitting right next to me. Not to spy or anything, I think, but out of laziness and perhaps a little possessiveness.
We've been getting along OK except that when ever he asks for my opinion or to help solve some problem, he will most likely do the opposite of what I said - with bad results. It's very frustrating. Not only is it the frustration of "Why even ask me in the first place" it's also the fact that I have to deal with the consequences AND I'm usually the one who has to fix it.
Not that having him out of the house will solve that particular problem but this morning he was given a 4 week contract that will start the first full week of July,. I just hope he doesn't squander the remainder of his time at home as he's been doing for the last couple of weeks. It's with the company he was most recently with, so what I'm silently hoping is that this lift on contractors freeze will quickly lead to a lift on their hiring freeze.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Whistle while you work

because it is better than muttering under your breath.

For certain things, Hubs and I just do not work well together. And we seem to be undertaking many of those things since he has been home.

Are details necessary? Because I could give you details - details out the wazoo. I'll be happy when he gets another job for so many reasons other than the paycheck. Although, to tell the truth, when we are getting along, I do really like having him around all the time; most of the time; some of the time

Looking for the light

I let myself get somewhat discouraged with blogging here just because I couldn't get the photos I wanted to accompany my anniversary post. It's the fault of my scanner and not blogger or anything. Yet, sometimes I get so stuck in the perfectionist side of myself that I can't let it go. But there's been quite a few things happening here. Not the least of which was the passing of another anniversary, not a good one. We passed the 1 year mark of Hubs being without an official job. He's had some contract work to tide us over but this last one was not enough income to meet the bills so we've been slowly whittling away at the bank account. And now the job is over. It's hard to look at it and know we can only make it 2 more months - or less if something big comes up. It's also frustrating to know that there were several positions at this company that he was recommended for that had hiring freezes put on so they thought they'd move him to another project, as a contractor, after his non-compete agreement from his last full-time job ran out this month but the kibosh was put on contract workers, too. He was told he was the most qualified person for the contract job he interviewed for last week, but it went to someone cheaper. Gee thank you head-hunters for revealing to the company that he'd like to get more money BEFORE they offered a job. Just because his goal rate at a full-time job is $X doesn't mean he won't work for 75% of $X. (And then please, please don't call the next day about a job that pays less than half of that rate. If you feel the need to reveal to 1 potential employer that his goal is more than the job pays, why-oh-why would you even bother putting him in for a CAD drafting job? "Yes, we have the perfect person for the job, but he'd like to be paid 250% of your offer")
Sorry, job/money worries took over this post. I can't talk to Hubs about it, he gets discouraged, depressed and surly. Besides, it's not like he's not thinking about it, too. And if I tell my parents they just worry too much. And though my friends are aware of it, I don't really talk about it with them because it's a depressing topic and hard to make a segue from!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Wow

Hubs and I have been having a rough couple of weeks, I'm working on writing some of that out. But today as he clearly saw that not only was I having trouble with the kids doing as they were told - which was to get dressed, clean up their mess, specific tasks for accomplishing those things etc. I was also not really able to accomplish anything myself because 1. they would not help. 2. what they were doing was either getting in the way or making more mess and 3. they were squabbling amongst themselves so much that I was doing little other than intervening. He came and told a crying-out-of-frustration me that he would take the kids out somewhere to get a snack and play - him all by himself with 3 kids. He called a few minutes ago to get a recommendation on a shady park. He hates going to the park but he's doing it for me and the kids!!! I just had to take a break from sweeping/vacuuming/mopping to tell you!

PS If I didn't have kids I'd never hang out at the park either - duh!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Art class

If I do home school for a long period of time, I do intend to teach my children about various artists and great periods in art. Apparently my 2 year old is already preparing for those lessons by practicing her Michelangelo impersonations on the underside of our dining room table. It was the 3rd such incident (incidence?) this week. Why the sudden resurgence of drawing on the house nearly 2 years after she last did it? (It was her favorite activity once she realized that when Mommy was nursing the baby, I can't see what she's doing in another room)
I love kids' art, I hate it on the house / furniture!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful that we've had no major health issues for our kids so far. My friend's 2 yo great-niece just had, successful, surgery to remove tumors from her brain and other locations, she woke up after a time on ventilators. We haven't had further updates but this is not the first child in my greater personal world that has been terribly ill. It's just different when you know a family who is experiencing this (different from news reports).

And on a lighter note, I'm thankful for last year's gift of a well loved picnic table from the parents of Violin Mama when they moved to a retirement condo. We use it often and ate dinner there tonight. Perhaps we can have some more bring-over-your-dinner-and-eat-with-us-nights - that is if we ever get on the same schedule HAHA!

And I'm thankful that Violin Mama and her husband are going out tomorrow for their anniversary because this means I get to watch Val, whom I get way too little time with thanks to a Jealous AK! He'll just have to deal with it tomorrow! (Love Lovely too, but she'll be elsewhere :( I know GR and AT will be sad about that. "I'm gonna miss [Lovely] when she's on cay-shun!" was a sob I heard tonight. I didn't dare tell them where she is going to be on "cay-shun")

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My weekend - plus some

Hubs and I went to Charlotte, NC for our anniversary. There was talk of going to Raleigh / Durham to see Duke Gardens but we decided that was too long of a car trip. I do not do well in the car. We got along really well the whole time. I even "nagged" him about his driving (he's been caught speeding and rear-ended someone recently. Just a little bump, but he was following too closely) and he took it really well. I'm not sure what constitutes "nagging" but I said things like "Can you not drive so close to this guy, he's a terrible driver" "What's the speed limit and how fast are you going?" "Peoplearestoppinginfrontofus!" so yeah, I guess I nagged, but just a little bit!
The trip wasn't much overall. Hubs likes to drive around and explore places. So we did that, lots and lots of that. Did I mention I don't do well in the car? I was wretched by the time we returned home, but my parents were going to have the kids for the next day and a half so I had some time to recover. AT was the only one to ask us to get her anything and all she asked for was a postcard. Did she get one? No. We didn't really do much but drive in Charlotte and I just didn't remember. I did remember on the way home so we stopped to get some postcards - none, stop, none, stop, none. We stopped 6 times! Poor thing! I can go into our local Publix and get postcards, but apparently no Cracker Barrel, truck stop or fireworks stores on 85 have them. Well, we didn't go to every CB, there's one about every 10 miles! Oh well. We got them some sparklers instead. Although, she hasn't mentioned it.

On Monday, after I slept late, went to Joann's AND took a nap, I started some sewing projects. If you're interested I'll post those on Neoteric Traditional - at some point! Hubs bought lumber to build a toy cabinet - it's a $200 frankenstein monstrosity. It looks terrible and I don't even want to put it in the house. He can do great work - I don't know what happened with this. We've been planning it for MONTHS. It looks like crap. I only hope I can save it with painters caulk, trim and paint. We got the kids around 10 or 10:30 PM last night. They were a cranky mess! AK seemed to really be happy we came but when I asked him if he was ready to go home he shook his head, said "No go home" and pouted. GR was nonchalant about it all. AT cried and cried. "Granma!" was the first thing she said this morning. I told her that I missed her when she was gone. She matter-of-factly said she didn't miss me. I told her I was glad she wasn't sad while I was gone but it would be nice if she had missed me a little. She replied "Just because I don't miss you doesn't mean I don't love you". Can't argue with that!

So how's that for a rambling update! I didn't know where I was going with it when I started and I still don't know where I ended up. That's just the state of mind I'm in. I'm practically sleep walking through the day so why not blog? HAHA!

(I'm sorry)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I've had a really crabby day. Nights and nights without proper sleep do that to a person. I was going to sulk and not do this post today. I was going to wait until tomorrow when I've, hopefully, slept. I was on my way to turn out all the lights and check the door when I heard a scuffing sound from the carport. It was probably the wind, but if I hadn't been there those extra couple of seconds I wouldn't have seen a fat black spider creep in under the door. I wouldn't have stepped on it. And I wouldn't have known that the reason it was so fat was that it was covered in babies. And I stepped on them too, because baby spiders don't even figure into the home of MY babies.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

9th Wedding Anniversary

Well, I think the title pretty much says it. 9 years ago on this day I stepped into a white marble church in Charleston as one person and came out as, well, the same person, but with a different name. Only not really because I still had to go to the SSA office to change it.

In the past 9 years some things have changed, or not as the case may be, but I still love my husband. Even though he drives me crazy, which is something that hasn't changed. Hubs is a man I can be many things with. Silly and serious, doofus and intelligent, childlike and mature. He is those things right along with me. Our fundamental beliefs are in line with each other, if not exactly the same: spirituality, religion, parenting, fidelity, finances. There are a few bumps in those areas, but none like the bumps in the more "superficial" aspects of our relationship. Even though on the "superficial" side, I question our compatibility and our staying power, it is the fundamentals that keep us together.

Much to my parents' surprise/shock/dismay Hubs and I moved in together before we were married. In fact we moved in together, rather I moved into his house, soon after we realized the relationship was headed toward marriage. I'm not actually sure if my parents were shocked or dismayed, they never said that, but my mom did say she didn't think it was a good idea. I, on the other hand, felt that if we were indeed to be married that I ought to know what it was like living with him 24/7 beforehand. A lesson I took from my mother's own experiences with her first husband, so after explaining that, I got full support from my parents. So lest my complaining has made you think otherwise, I knew pretty much what I was getting in for. Only I was too naive at the time to realize the excuses weren't valid. And that's not even quite right. There ARE reasons, it seems like something is always interfering in "normal" life. But that's the thing - this idea we have of "normal" life doesn't exist. It never has and never will - THIS is "normal". Which is why the excuses aren't valid. That being said, if I had moved into his house only after we were married, I think it would have been a lot tougher to adjust. There is somewhat of a shock to the system after you get married and to have the shock of his lack of cleanliness skills on top of that... well, I think we would have joined the statistics of couple who divorce after a couple of years.

It has been a struggle and some days, weeks, or months continue to be a struggle, but there have been some very incredible moments as well. So help me, sometimes I have no idea why, but I love him very much - always have, always will.

Friday, May 15, 2009

I didn't wash my hair today

Well, that's not exactly true, but when I was in the shower it didn't feel anything like washing my hair.
I'm one of those people who wash their hair everyday. I just don't feel like myself if I don't and further, I don't look like myself since I have an oily complexion. I've had issues with oily skin since before I hit puberty, and when I did hit puberty, I couldn't make it through a whole day without looking greasy. I Hated it! Still do. Won't go camping because I know I won't have fun after the first day - feeling dirty. I can handle the sticky, sweaty, pee in the woods part, it's the dirty hair part I can't stomach.
Then I was pregnant with my first kid. We didn't find out the gender, but if any of the old wives' tales were true, I was having a boy. The tale I refer to is that baby girls steal your beauty. That you'll get terrible hair, skin and pallor. But I looked great. I had less acne than usual and less oily sheen. My hair was shiny, more wavy than ever, and I could actually skip a day shampooing! I went out in public with out a fresh shampoo and without make up for the first time since I started wearing pressed powder and lip gloss in 7th grade (acne started in 5th grade). (Incidentally, I looked worse with each of the following 2 pregnancies. Being pregnant with a boy - yikes, do you know what even a little testosterone does to a complexion?)
Anyway. I had heard that, for some people, their hair/skin isn't as oily as they think it is but that they are stripping too much oil away by using too strong a product thus making their body produce extra to compensate. I was interested but too scared to try. Silly, right? It made sense for my face though because after washing it, it felt tight and dry, even after moisturizer. So I took this 1st-pregnancy-complexion-miracle as a chance to try products for "normal" people. I don't know how much of a difference it made, but I'm no more oily now than I was before and I haven't had a split end in ages - although I probably attribute that more to not blow drying everyday.
Still, I've become more aware of the high chemical content of our everyday lives. I wear deodorant only on days when I probably won't be getting sweaty. I filter my kitchen tap (after wearing out 2 distillers). I buy what organics I can afford / find easily. I use vinegar and baking soda or Green Works to clean (when hubs recently cleaned the dining table with my old "digitized" cleaner, it gave me a huge headache I couldn't believe I used that stuff so much before!) Don't get me wrong, I'm still using chemicals in a lot of areas of my life that I could probably cut them out of easily, but I'm starting. But what really brought me around on the shampoo-less wash were the testimonies of healthy, shiny, full, clean-for-days hair.
I didn't move fast on this, though. After months of contemplation I decided I'd start with a vinegar rinse. I bought small bottles of vinegar, which have sat on the shelf for a couple of weeks. But last night I decided I'd take advantage of a streak of less oily days that I'd been having and try a shampoo-less wash.
It was odd. It didn't feel like my hair was getting clean. Although my hands and skin area around my hair felt silky, but like something was on it that needed to be washed off. Put 1 tablespoon of baking soda in a squeeze top water bottle with more than a cup of water. I tasted the baking soda so I knew I needed to be more careful with the vinegar rinse. I used a pretty dilute solution of vinegar - no measuring but maybe 1:3. My hair never felt silky like my skin did, I couldn't even run my fingers through it. I was dubious on the results, even knowing it would take a few weeks to get used to it. I'd read that people's hair was tangle free after this but I wasn't buying it, mine was a roughed up mess. And it still didn't feel clean to my hands. I rinsed out the vinegar. It didn't take much for the smell disappear, so that was good. I got out of the shower and contemplated letting my hair dry without combing it. But I don't like that, so with some trepidation I grabbed my brush. And it slid right through like when I use separate conditioner (as opposed to 2in1). It seems like it took longer for my hair to dry, but that could simply be because I was waiting on it to dry. But my scalp did itch a lot during that time. I don't know if that's related. The verdict. Day one is OK, my hair looks fine and feels clean. I'll keep trying it to see if I get any of the other perks. If I don't, I'm not sure I'll keep this up. It takes A LOT longer than usual and my shower time is precious little.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Things happen during the week and I think, "I ought to jot that down so I won't forget it" then I forget to write it down.

I'm thankful that my son's scary looking fall only led to a scrape on the noggin.

I'm thankful that I had a good Mother's Day

I'm thankful that I have a mom who loves me just the same as she did when I was little

I'm thankful that she doesn't treat me the same as she did when I was little (I just mean that she doesn't still "parent" every little thing like you have to do with little kids)

I'm thankful for ViolinMama, who really does have a rosy outlook, even if it takes a few moments to put those glasses on some days. (and I'm thankful for that too, I don't think we'd be as close if her rose colored glasses were permanently affixed HAHA!)

I'm thankful for those who are reading this list: feeling like you are being heard - I understand the appeal of blogging so much more now than when I started.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Mother's Day that was: part 2

When I heard the kids starting to get up on Mother's Day, I honestly didn't know what to expect. But Hubs got them going, made them potty first, changed the baby's diaper and even made the one kids who's in night time pull-ups put on panties. I felt really terrible so I gladly stayed in bed. Then a while later he brought me breakfast in bed. Pancakes, which is his specialty (second to spaghetti), and a few doughnut holes. He told me he'd need some time in which I wasn't downstairs and some time in which I could watch the kids so he could shower. I said, the kids are eating so why don't you shower now and I'll keep an ear out then I can do my stuff in here while you need me out of there. He wasn't happy with the suggestion, but he complied. So I had my time and you know I did all sorts of fancy stuff that I rarely get to do. Things like use BOTH shampoo and conditioner, shave my legs AND underarms, trim my nails, take more than 10 seconds picking out clothes, put on make up. I did actually get to use some 60 second pedicure gel on me feet which was new. Things I used to do on a nearly daily basis. If I didn't like to actually sleep, I'd spend an hour a day getting ready in the morning and an hour at night.
Afterwards I got the kids dressed and packed up the supplies to go to my parents'. Hubs was doing something mysterious, which I was happy about. So we went, I "reminded" him that it was his duty to fix the kids' plates. He got attention and sympathy for standing at the counter doing this while everyone else was eating. I joked that that's what I do every time and no one seems to notice. My sister said that's because Hubs is funny and keeps them entertained at the table so they don't notice my absence. Thanks sis! (My mom and sister do help me fix kids plates occasionally). Then I got my presents. I reached into the bag and pulled out 3 home-made cards! Hubs took a pic of each kid that morning and printed it out. He pasted it on the outside of some chip-board and inside he pasted pictures he had the kids draw while he was cooking breakfast. He had each draw a picture of me and he wrote a quote for why they love me and traced their hand (the hand thing is our card tradition). I was so taken aback by it and so happy that I had forgotten I had the external drive too.
It was a wonderful day!

The Mother's Day that was

On Mother's Day, May 11, 2003 I took a pregnancy test. I knew I was in a position to take the test and made a point of telling my husband I would be taking the test several times during the previous few days. We were in Indiana with my mother visiting her grandmother. TWO STRIPES!!! I WAS PREGNANT!! My husband's clear lack of enthusiasm was written off by me as being due to the fact that I had woken him up to tell him the news. Later when I fully realized he had not gotten me anything I told him I had been hoping he would mark the day by getting me a Mother's Day gift. In a huff, he pulled into a drugstore lot, went in and bought me... a 100 grand bar and an Arizona green tea.
Things didn't necessarily improve over the past few years either. I've told him all I want is to have the morning off from kid duty and to get something that he and the kids made together. I've never gotten the morning off. I've gotten them up, ready and fed every year. I've gotten things they made at school or with me. Year before last he got me 3 cheap potted plants - buying them while I was getting the kids up and going. And actually only 1 was for me the other 2 were for the girls. When I didn't run out and plant them immediately (a week later) he asked me when I was going to. I said I wasn't. That I wasn't happy with a gift that required not only yard work from me, but required me to arrange a time when I wasn't with the baby to take the other 2 out to get totally messy, which I would then have to clean up. A gift that he bought while I was taking care of the kids, which is actually all I asked for. (I knew better at that point than to expect him to do an art project with them)
Last year, I still had to take care of the kids that morning but he did make breakfast. I was angry about that so to "make up for it" I would get to go to my regularly scheduled monthly night out. (Which didn't happen because he basically wanted to punish me because out-of-state family suddenly showed up at my parents that afternoon and I wanted us all to go the whole 33 miles over there to visit them. Even though he got home on Monday an hour before my meet-up time, he was just too busy to watch the kids. What did that "busy" include? Eating dinner, taking an hour long nap, wandering around the house, and an hour and a half to trim his father's nails.) The gift that year was a 6 pack of Hershey's bars. Now, don't get me wrong, I like chocolate. But I don't believe I have ever bought a Hershey bar, aside from s'mores supplies, in the decade we had been together. PLUS every time he buys me candy, he then asks for a small bite and proceeds to eat more than half of it. We have had fights about that. Don't buy me a gift and then ask to have some - and then eat more of it than I do. Guess what he got for Father's Day last year? The same pack of Hershey's Bars. It took him a couple of days to eat them and a couple of weeks to realize what I had done.

So, you can see where my thoughts were this year. One day last week he asked me what I'd like to have. I told him an external drive so I can have all my photos in one place. He kept changing his mind about going to get it. On Friday he complained about all the "crap" that we were doing that was keeping him from what he really wanted to do. The crap included a family trek to a small botanical garden with a miniature train display (for National Train Day, which living "in" Atl (a city built because of the massive amount of rail going through it) and having a local train museum with a short rail ride, I thought there would be more going on but that was it within at least 30 miles of the city) and Mother's Day.
The botanical garden was nice, my parents came, lunch afterwards didn't work out like planned and although we were very close to the store he planned to purchase my gift from, he elected to not go. That evening, he groused again about how terrible this weekend was for him. Did he have to go tonight to get me the present or could he go in the morning? I told him it was more important to me to have the morning off than to have a present; that I didn't like it that he was complaining so much about Mother's Day; that if he didn't want to do anything for me to not do it -(it wasn't like I wasn't used to a crappy Mother's Day). He stormed off and about an hour later left the house leaving very upset children behind for me to deal with. When he returned he was in better spirits and apologized for being so cranky about the plans for the weekend.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Can't I eat in peace?

One thing I don't love about being a mommy is being expected to give away the food off my plate. Especially when they have the exact same thing on theirs. Or when they have 5 kinds of cereal in the cabinet but MUST have my one kind that just has one small serving left. But I give it to them anyway - right out of my bowl. I love them more than anything, even food.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful for the things my kids say
-My eldest says she rubs my kisses in so they will fall to her heart and fill it up with love.
- My eldest will be a ballerina and a horse trainer. My youngest (daughter) will "just be a horse that watches trains".

I'm thankful that my sister wasn't involved in any car accidents, though there were 2 close calls last week, one escaped by mere feet and one by a few seconds.

I'm thankful for MY MOM!!!

I'M THANKFUL I AM A MOM!!!!!!!!!!!

and I'm even thankful that Hubs refilled the soap dispenser for possibly the first time since I've been around!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Supersticious? Or just know my history?

I think that if I get rid of my baby stuff, I will surely get pregnant again. I'm seriously considering holding on to it until after Hubs as a vasectomy and it's been proven to have worked.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful when I can get to the computer to post things!
I'm thankful my sister has found a man who is good for her and for her daughter.
I'm thankful that she's having a wedding of some sort. Even though I would probably do mine differently if I could go back, I'm glad I had that special day.
I'm thankful my husband drove me to the craft store after dark. Even though I would have had more time there if we didn't all have to get ready to go, I prefer not driving so far in the dark.
I'm thankful for having friends who share the crafting bug (went to craft store to buy supplies so we can all do a project together)
I'm thankful that my children love Halloween so much that they looked at one of my stockpiled halloween magazines planning costumes and decorations for more than 30 minutes -nicely and "quietly"

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful for:
My children who bring me such joys and challenges as I'd never thought possible
My friends who like to spend the evening crafting
My friends who don't like to spend the evening crafting ;)
That I do have a husband, (rather than having been divorced or widowed)
That my daughters have enough undies to make it through 2 weeks (even though they might not have enough clothes to do so)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Is this really who I am?

I think that I'm probably lazy and self-involved. Great, just what I was aspiring to be.
I wasn't always. I've been beat down a bit and am in protective mode some so I see how I got here. Now, though, is the time to pull out of it. Now, though, is a time when my brain isn't working so well and my body is exhausted. I simply don't remember to be the friend that I want to be, or worse yet, courses of action don't even occur to me.
But, here's what I also am - scared. It is way less risky to be lazy and self-involved than it is to put myself out there. When phone calls go unreturned, invites go unanswered, or confessions go unsupported, I withdraw a little more. When I see a group of friends getting closer, and I'm not included, I withdraw a little more.
I've spent most of my years being the opposite of lazy and self-involved for my friends. I still never had the closeness I desired and always ended up being used and/or abused in some way.
But here I am now at 31 and I don't know what a healthy friendship is. Yes, I have friends and I don't think any of them are using or abusing me, but I don't know what it is I'm supposed to do. Those specific things I mentioned up there - those have happened to me with my current group of friends. I recently read and article that said not to take those types of things personally, that the other person probably is just busy. That may be the case sometimes, but I think there is something about me that puts out an "unimportant" vibe, or "uninteresting", "tiring", "not friend material" something. I've confessed to having a public persona and here I've just said I was lazy and self-involved so I can see how I can put off a negative vibe - I don't know how to make friends and I'm scared of rejection. I don't know what to do about it and I'm afraid my lack of "skills" is hurting someone.
My husband is home now so I'll post this and continue later.

I don't know where I was going

I'm not sure why those words came out of my mouth last time. About my niece, I mean. She is a wonderful girl. I'm just weary and spread thin and was not handling her need for constant interaction very well. She's an only child who has had reason to not feel very stable in her life (through circumstance only, the intentions of her/my family have always been the best at heart) so it makes sense for her to have this need. It is true that she is babied and requires a lot of work but that was not something I necessarily should have spoken about, as it is my problem in handling it not hers.
I'm sure at the heart of it is my jealousy. My sister lives closer to my mother than I do and has always relied on my parents to care for my niece. Sister and niece lived with my parents for several years. When she was a toddler, niece was with my parents constantly even traveling with them when they went out of town. Even now, she sees them almost every day and regularly spends the weekend with them. Keeping up with my niece has been an excuse on many occasions why my parents couldn't visit with my kids.
When my sister started talking about having another baby in the near future, I was upset. Partly because she expects my parents to raise this child too and they're hardly in condition to do it and partly - mostly - because of what it would mean for my kids. I already keenly feel their lower status in my parents' lives, but add a baby to the mix and well, I'm afraid we'll be reduced to holidays only. Which is how it is for some families, but we live only 40 minutes away. I confessed these feelings to my mother and in the nicest way possible she said Too bad, I'm going to choose your sister and any child she has every time.

Recently niece's dad (for future reference, I will probably never call him step-dad as she has no relationship with her bio-father) has been laid off so he has been getting her after school. I can't tell you how many times my mother has told me how much she misses my niece, at any rate, it feels like more than she has told me she misses my kids. When on the phone with my sister early last week, to discuss niece staying with me. I mentioned that I was surprised to find out that on my sister's rare day off work that my niece was staying with my mother. -Yeah [husband] and I wanted to spend some time together today. And mom calls me everyday to ask if she can have [niece] over. She always tells me how much she misses her, how her heart hurts to be away from her so much, so I decided to let her spend today with her since I wasn't letting her stay the whole week [of spring break]. - Really, I say, because when my kids are with them all they talk to me about is how soon I can come pick up the kids. Which is true, there's never been a visit where each phone conversation doesn't include this question. Never a visit where I don't get the distinct feeling they've overstayed their welcome. Which is typically 2 nights every 6 weeks or so. But I blurted that out without even realizing it. I think I said it pretty matter-of-factly. I didn't then and don't now think my sister told me what she did to hurt me, she was just telling me and her reply to me was a sort of shocked moment later, oh well, she's always telling me how much she misses your kids too... - you know the kind of add on statement someone makes when they realize they've stuck their foot in their mouth. Anyway, it wasn't something I meant to say, it probably wasn't something I should have said. I think though, that it was something that was repeated. This time my mom had offered to keep the kids while she had my niece on spring break, but it just wasn't working out so she said she'd keep them a couple of days starting Easter night. On a usual stay, this would mean I'd get them on Tuesday afternoon. But on Tuesday, my husband, seeing my emotional state, called my mom and asked if they could stay until Wednesday, after consulting my dad, she said yes. Then on Wednesday, I asked if we could pick up the kids that evening (when Hubs would be there to drive instead of me) - and she said Yes. Hubs and I both noted several times that we were not asked when we were coming to get the kids. On Wednesday it dawned on me that sister must have said something to mom, although nothing was said to me. I'm not sure how I feel about it.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A decent week

I had a pretty good week last week except for Saturday. It was spring break, but that doesn't mean much because my kids are not in pre-school this year. I did have my niece for a couple of nights though. She's an only child who has been mostly raised by my mother since my sister is a single mom. Or was a single mom. She is recently married to a younger (but not much) man who is really good for her. Yes, they have their issues, but she is a much better mom now that he's around and he's pretty natural with kids. Which isn't necessarily expected of men, especially men in their young to mid 20's. I digress. There was a point when I didn't like to keep my niece because she was SO much work. She was "babied" in so many ways (sometimes this is behaviour from the adults because they don't want to deal with the work or additional mess/time it takes to get a child to do things for themselves). It was harder to look after her than it was to look after my 2 girls. She doesn't necessarily adapt well to doing things differently in different households. This is especially true of eating. I don't let my kids snack all day and we rarely eat sweets. This is hard on my niece and she whines "all day" because of it. Especially for sweets. Which is exactly why I have a no more than 1 sweet a day rule. Once they have a treat they know to stop asking. If they do ask again, a reminder is usually all they need. There are of course special days, like Easter, where the rule is relaxed, but they still have to eat fruit and veggies.
Obviously this post is a little meandering. I just haven't posted in a while and felt I should. Now I feel I should stop! HAHA!

Friday, April 10, 2009

So I mentioned this last week

I said I was waiting to hear back from a blogger I like on whether or not she minded being quoted... then I realized that even though I "replied" to a message that displayed her e-mail, it actually went nowhere because of internet blog stuff that I don't understand. So, I tried again this time asking her in a comment on another post and she responded quickly, but I haven't been checking. So if this preface is long enough for you, I'd like to present Dancing Mermaid. She is a soulful lady who brings art to kids, magic to strangers, and a feeling of connection to kindred spirits throughout the internet.
This is her post that I wanted to share last week as my Thankful Thursday post, because I am thankful I found her, I am thankful for her words which are often reflections of my feelings but put more beautifully than I am able, words that help me feel not so alone and words that show me the light side when I am stuck in the dark.

"a bit on being happy….

happiness is not passive.
it does not gently take your hand and
lead you to a magic fountain where you live
happily ever after.

happiness requires action.
happiness takes balls.

it does not care if you need to lose 20 pounds.
it does not care how many designer shoes you have.
it does not care how many times you’ve made the same mistake.
it does not care that you are tired.
it does not care how much money you have.
it does not care how bad he hurt you.
it does not care how dirty your house is.
it does not care how broken you feel.
it does not care what color you are.
it does not care what you did yesterday.
it does not care about the reasons it won’t work.
it does not care that you want to give up.
it does not care that she has more than you.
it does not care how scared you are.
it does not care how many facebook friends you have.
it does not care about what is fair and equal.

and most of all,
it does care about waiting for the right time.

happiness responds to fighters.
the ones that have no reason to hope
but get up each day and love it anyway.

happiness favors those who decide
that instead of being a victim today,
they are going to be the hero
by finding gratitude and grace
even under the most painful of circumstances.

no, happiness is not passive.
it is a kick ass warrior goddess
who is not afraid to rock her own world."


Sometimes in my crankiness, I forget that it's not just about getting rid of the crankys. You do have to get rid of them, but that doesn't equal happiness. You also have to find happiness, and sometimes that can be just as hard.

ACK this time I really did forget

Oh so today is Friday, that means yesterday was THURSDAY!


The number one thing I'm thankful for is that no harm came to us from the woman who came up to our house asked my 5 year old(who was looking out the living room windows) to open our front door.

Friday, April 3, 2009

PS Thankful Thursday

I didn't forget Thankful Thursday, (until I did), I was hoping to hear back from a blogger if I could quote one of her posts. I'm going to wait a few more days before I share it with you. I'd like to quote her words here because she says things so much better than I could and because she speaks to my heart. If I don't hear back from her soon, I'll just do a post linking to her blog.
For now:
I'm thankful GR finally coordinated all of her, umm "bodily functions", at the same time so there are no more pull ups, day or night!
I'm thankful AT is the kind of person who always gives people compliments. It's VERY nice to hear "You look beautiful, Mommy" and "You're a good Mommy because you [hug and kiss us/read stories/make food for us/just because]"
I'm thankful AK said he loves me for the first time (he's 20 months old)
I'm thankful Hubs gave the kids a bath last night when I was just too fed up to do it.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Public Persona

A lot of people have a public persona, I think. Even ones who are usually happy and content in their lives have bad days but still have to interact with the world. There are some people who have such a carefully crafted public persona that no one would ever guess what was going on "at home" until something bad happens. But there are less extreme fakers too: they are all smiles and friendly while they steal from you, spread rumors, or plot lies to get out of spending time with you. There are the fakers who seem happy and well off when in fact they are on the brink of financial ruin just to keep up that facade - to impress people who are probably fakers themselves. And then there's your average, run-of-the-mill public persona. The person who can say "I'm doing OK" "Everything's fine" and smile and laugh but really they are sad and feeling isolated, for no good reason except they are depressed. At least I'd like to think of my public persona as being average. The part that can smile and laugh is a real part of me, the part I wish I was more often. And the other part is kinda "fake it to make it". When I'm with my friends, I just enjoy being around them and in a way I forget what's going on and "I'm OK" isn't really such a lie. I feel relaxed, comparatively, when I'm with them. Still, part of me is missing. Part of me has been eaten up by stress, pain, exhaustion and depression. And even though I can shield some of that when I'm with others, it's just that - a shield. It may "protect" them from my darker side but it also keeps some of the good stuff from projecting out too. But, for now, I'll keep it. I need it. It's not that it's not real, just that it allows me to forget some of this other junk.

Who are you?

I can't help it, I wonder who are the people who live near me that are reading this. I don't know, I think it is connected to what ever it is that likes to know where other bloggers live. Like knowing their physical location makes them seem more real and not some entity made up of HTML/CSS coding. Not all stalkery, but in a "this is my town and these are fun things to do here" type way. But those who live near me could be IRL friends who just haven't piped in, which doesn't seem like any of my IRL friends! But then again some of them have said that I seem to be "on top of things". And now I'm traveling down a whole other road whose residents are self-doubt, timidity, masks, endless analyzing, friendship envy (as in I envy those who are able to make friends easily), and one of the core reasons I started this style of blog. On the surface it may seem that I started it simply to complain about Hubs, but really, I started it to get that off my chest. I hope that doing that helps me to stop projecting those pent up feelings of angst. By telling people, "hey this is really where I am in life" I hope to shed the layers of public persona and just be me. And the real me isn't so cranky. I miss the real me and am trying to expel the cranky, depressed and just plain tired person who can barely hold a conversation much less be witty, who is having trouble connecting. OK so this went from "Who are you?" to "Who am I?" and even with some severe editing, this is still a little hard to follow. So, um, where was I? Oh yeah, I better go to bed!

Thankful Thursday

Or perhaps sarcastic Thursday. Perhaps you noticed way down at the bottom of this post, carelessly thrown in, I mentioned Hubs bad driving. He got another ticket and another citation for having an expired tag. Last time (on his car) I had paid the fee and sent in the paperwork but he didn't get an emissions test until the day it was due and never called it in. This time (in a car that's in my name but I practically refuse to drive) I was accused of not paying for the tag. I searched all over and didn't find any misplaced renewal notice. So I trudged on down to the tag office. (Well, to be fair to the office, they seem to move smoothly and there are usually less than 5 people in front of me, but since I'm whining I'm going with "trudged" - hey it is a 30 minute drive over about 10-12 miles (depending on the route)) Anyway - I trudge on down to the tax office hauling 4 kids with me (who were angels BTW) only to find out that the reason I couldn't find any errant renewal notices is because I filed it in the paid bills when I paid it in February. The reason it wasn't renewed is because, surprise, Hubs didn't get the emissions test done.
I'm thankful that it wasn't my fault the tag was expired.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Old purses

I have a thing for purses, not a major thing just a small one and I'm really good at not acting on my impulse to buy them. I'm also good at getting rid of old worn out purses - that is once I get around to actually cleaning them out. I have a canvas purse that I got to use in place of having both a purse and diaper bag. It's large and has lots of compartments. I got tired of its plain-ness and went back to the dual bag method for more than a year. But it's time to bring it back as I'm just not in a "looking cute" mood lately. Clean and functional are my goals. So I got the bag out of the closet to finally clean it out so I can launder it. I found lots of un-used kleenex, kids' hair accessories, crayons - 2 handfuls, receipts and a blue M&M. I ate the M&M. So far I'm still alive. That is how bad I needed a chocolate fix. I wouldn't worry about it too much unless I start to go through those purses specifically to find lost M&Ms. I also found what appears to have been a french fry. I didn't eat that, aren't you proud?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful I have children who for some reason think salad is a treat - no really. Once I bribed them to eat their greens by offering salad as a reward.
I'm thankful I have a husband who will go grocery shopping.
I'm thankful that I'm able to work on my criticism of when/how he goes grocery shopping.
I'm thankful that my parents will take my kids overnight every 6 weeks or so.
I'm thankful that I had enough file folders to make my 30something categories of papers that were on my kitchen counter.
And lastly, at this moment, I'm thankful for Malibu rum and Mango Mojito mix.
Thank you that's all.
except that, I realize how that last one may sound but I'm leaving it as is.

Cranky Thursday

Thankful Thursday will follow, right now I need to be cranky / confess my crankies

I had a hard day on Tuesday, I'm not exactly sure what made it extra hard, hormones most likely. We had a picnic lunch invite but it took us more than an hour and 2 time outs before we left the house - to walk next door. Then AT wanted to stay to have quiet time with Radiant (am I remembering the nickname right?) Which I thought would be great because then GR and I could have some quality time together while AK napped. Nope, she was only interested in computer time, nothing else enticed her. And I indulged her, she's new to the computer and can't get on without battling AK who wants to bang the keys and AT who wants to tell her how to do everything / talk her out of her turn. I got dinner going at a decent time and it was delish. The kids agreed, but you'd never know by how long it took them to eat it. Hours of arguing about eating later and it's time to clean up and go to bed. Hours of arguing later and it's time to get in bed and still get 1 story (I have a hard time cutting that out) The girls both kept climbing on their doll-baby bed boxes. Over and over. They have had these doll-baby beds since Christmas '07. For a while, the beds weren't put together because I didn't have the time. After a while, it was because I'd seen a pattern of behavior - standing on top of the boxes. Daily. Everyday for more than a year, I've caught them standing or sitting on these boxes. This is an issue because the beds are slightly delicate and I don't want them to stand or sit on them once assembled. They needed to learn to resist the temptation of doing this, that would earn them the assembly of the beds. Am I wrong? Is this too much to expect of a 5 and 3 year old? But after a hard evening of whining and arguing, both girls repeatedly sat or stood on the boxes, right in front of me. One pattern was AT came in from the bathroom, directly to the box and sat down. Get off the box. She gets off puts a nighttime pull-up on, stands to pull them up, but instead sits on the box. Get off the box. She pulls up the pull-up, steps on the box to go to her closet. Get off the box. She gets her night gown, and sits on the box. GET OFF THE BOX. She puts on her nightgown, gets socks and sits.on.the.box. This whole thing takes about as long as it took you to read it. Seriously, she's 5, I ought to be able to expect her to remember something she's been told daily for more than a year, something that she just heard repeatedly told to her sister, something that I've JUST told her several times. I lost it. THAT'S IT WE'RE GETTING RID OF THE BABY BEDS AND YOU CAN NEVER HAVE THEM. I'M SICK OF YOU TREATING EVERYTHING LIKE TRASH. I took the boxes downstairs then went back up and told them I was tired of the arguing and whining that they needed to get in bed right now, if they still didn't have everything they wanted in bed that was too bad and I didn't want to see or hear them again until I got them up in the morning. I seethed in the hallway for a few moments, unable to catch my breath. Angry at them, angry at myself. Then went down stairs and cried. I don't know what happened to the beds but they aren't in my sight now. This morning, I told my mom she had to take them back. Wednesday, we started working on answering with "Yes Ma'am, I'll [repeat instruction] right now."
GR started getting smacky {this means she started smacking her sister} so I made her take a nap while AK did. AT and I layed in my bed I dozed while she watched Arthur. I was woken up by a phone call. Hubs rear-ended someone. Hubs has had 5 accidents and numerous speeding tickets in our 10 years together. He insists that he is a good and safe driver. I squinch my eyes and clench my fists when I'm riding with him. We argue about his driving.
The insurance cards are not in the car. and BONUS - the tag is expired. I spent the weekend feeling defeated by paperwork I went through everything and ended up with 37 file folders / categories of paperwork that was on my kitchen counter - not a single one of those envelopes was a tag renewal notice. (none were mortgage statements either (which are autopay) - something is going wrong with the mail either before it gets to the box or while it is waiting for us to get it out). As if I don't feel bad enough over my recent scatterbrain-ness with the bills, as if I wasn't already mad at Hubs for racking up more than $400 in bank nsf fees, just a week after I asked him if he had enough $ in his account. As if he hasn't had a real job in the last 9 months and we're running out of savings. As if I didn't see a glint at the end of the tunnel.
That's what makes it hard for me. Not feeling knocked further down than I was. I was a terrible mom the day before. I'm terrible with physically keeping up with bills that I do get, so it's impossible for me to keep up with the ones I don't even get. Hubs has spent thousands on bank fees due to lack of checking his balance over the years, thousands on paying for the consequences of his bad driving. I really want to crawl in a hole and say what's the point. So after I make/eat/clean up dinner, get the kids to put away toys, bathed, in jammies, in bed and what ever else comes up, I'll do Thankful Thursday.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Yesterday was weird

I know that part of my issues are due to lack of sleep and another part is what I suspect to be a way crazy hormone cycle and certainly not least is post-partum depression. I don't know which is the biggest factor or if they simply feed off each other. I do know that yesterday was a crazy day. I haven't been on a roller coaster like that in a long while, if ever. It started out with a pretty fair night's sleep. Lots of short wakings and no long ones. Still, I slept longer than I would have liked, an hour past my alarm, but it was an adventure-full hour. I had a "movie" dream and when I woke up I felt compelled to write it. I haven't felt compelled to write in years, close to a decade and that was always poetry.
I spent 3 hours scribbling my dream, in between taking care of the kids of course. My hand was cramped and sore at the end. I felt happy. I felt productive. I felt inspired. INSPIRED! I cried tears in thanking God for that. I evened out, took a shower while the kids ate lunch played with them a bit got the baby down and the girls off to the neighbor's to play. I sat down with a basket of laundry and turned on Oprah. I really shouldn't have done that. You see, it was an episode of the Clutter Crew. An episode in Atlanta. I had applied for it (yesterday's show just showed college students in Atl, but they had asked for homeowners, too). An Oprah staffer gave me notice of when they would be filming, but they never showed up. I was heartbroken. And not because I want to be on TV, I actually do not want to be on TV, I just REALLY want help. January was a hard time for me emotionally. I was still feeling the lows of not finishing Christmas presents in a year when we couldn't afford much. My menstrual cycle was WAY off and as you may have guessed, Hubs and I were not doing so well. In a way that only those who suffer depression could understand - I felt unworthy of help. Watching the show brought a lot of that back for me. I finished the laundry and went to wade through the off season / off size clothes closet in the basement to see if I have anything for AK for spring. Realizing I had not had anything for lunch, I checked on the girls and then started dinner. I don't know why this is, I can either be constantly hungry or forget to eat. When I forget to eat I get sick feeling, anxious and shaky. And cranky. I ate dinner standing up in the kitchen because of this. I still felt shaky but a weird kind of shaky. Like I was too full of energy and had to do something. I took the 3.5 baskets of folded laundry and sorted them all out. The tension of the feelings intensified. I was worried. I was afraid it wouldn't stop, but also afraid it would. Afraid that I'd developed manic depression* as my grandmother had, but afraid of returning to the depression I've been battling since my first was born. I prayed that it was a weird blood sugar glitch. I stretched and clenched my hands and breathed deepy. I even wept a little. Time passed, I don't know how long but surely not more than 15 minutes. Life interceeded and I moved on. This is when I went back down to clean up after dinner, was yelled at by AK and then blogged. The rest of the evening passed in something of a blur but I think I was asleep by midnight. It was just weird: highs, lows, thrills, scares, really like a roller-coaster. I would love a repeat of the inspiration part, but I'm quite sure I could do without the rest.

*The new, I guess PC, term is bi-polar disorder. But having felt that weird shaky gotta-do-something feeling yesterday, manic describes it perfectly.

Thankful Thursday

It's Thursday and I remembered to do this post so I'm thankful for that!
I'm thankful for Hubs' help on Monday.
I'm thankful I tried a new cooking method and it worked out and tasted good.
I'm thankful for my friends and being able to go out with them once in a while.
I'm thankful to hear that there is a theory that there are 7 areas of home making, that we are only good at 2, ok at 3 and sucky at 2. I think that makes anyone feel better.
I'm thankful, so so thankful, that I felt inspired to be creative yesterday morning in a way I haven't felt it in YEARS.
I'm thankful for Violin Mama who invited the girls to play yesterday afternoon while AK napped.
I'm thankful to hear she was finally diagnosed for her nagging cough and that she should feel better soon - her house has been sick SO long!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Whew, it really does feel better.

I don't know what will become of this blog. I don't know how long I'll keep it up. I don't know if anyone other than my IRL friend will read it. I don't know if it's just that it gets it out of my head or if it's like I'm telling someone else. But it does make a difference that someone else knows and she cares and most importantly that she agrees with me HAHA!
I would like to find out if I'm in this boat alone or if there are other women who have bad marriages with good men. I used to believe in divorce only for extreme circumstances: any sort of abuse, including persistent substance abuse; pursuing criminal activity; adultery. The only one I even have to slightly worry about is adultery and that's more of a self-doubt inspired fear. But here I am, for me the option of divorce has been open for quite some time. I think about what kind of examples we are setting for our kids. I'd hate for my daughters to think husbands are not supposed to do much and are expected to treat their family with anger and resentment. I'd hate for my son to turn out to be that type of man. And me, I'm not such a good example either. My friend gives me too much credit, I think. I too am not behaving the way I want to in my heart. But I don't know how to. And I know how that sounds. I should just do it. Fruitless labor, though isn't any sort of motivator. When I get to a place where I can see "the point" through the fog of depression, I usually encounter so many challenges and set backs, that I quickly loose sight of the big picture and I give up. I "give in" to depression and I "give way" to living according to hub's model. It makes me feel "weak and small" and worthless. I'm not Catholic, but my friend is and she has been reposting Faith & Family's Lenten guides on her blog. For the most part, they have resonated with me, but today, I don't get it. I'm sure they must be meant in the context of personal relationships with God, but I'm having a hard time seeing them outside my little world of "at the moment"

"Fast: Don’t argue today. As much as possible give up, give in, give way.

Pray: Ask God to show you how weak and small you are. Open your heart to see it."

And now that I've wandered far off the course this post started out on, I think I'll take a break from thinking about the junk and focus on what I'll write for a post I meant to do yesterday.



Monday, March 9, 2009

Yes, I am

I need an outlet to be cranky and whiny. I keep it to myself too much, because I know no one really wants to hear it. And really, I don't want to pour it out to my friends because I have a hard enough time participating without being labeled negatively. I hope that blogging about it will help to get it out of my system and maybe I won't feel so cranky.

I've been married for almost 9 years, together very nearly 11. And it's falling apart.
We have 3 kids 2 girls, 5&3 and a boy 21 months.
My basic complaints consist of persistent daily headaches for the last 17 years, though I suspect more because of my 5 yo and memories of not being able to keep my head up in grade school and getting in trouble for it; insomnia/interruptions when ever I get a chance to sleep; and my husband. I'm sure he has plenty of complaints about me but this is my blog! Also, really, he is a good man. There's no abuse, no drugs, no alcohol (well, there's a normal amount of occasional alcohol), no cheating (that I know of). We just "live" differently and don't get along very well anymore.