Monday, August 30, 2010

Finally - a good weekend

So, we've been in our new arrangement for more than a month. We've had 6 weekends now and this was the first one that wasn't a disaster. There are plenty of things to complain about still, like how he didn't do any household chores, but he did feed the kids dinner on Friday and breakfast on Saturday while I was down for the count with shoulder/neck pain. Most of all, we didn't argue. There were a couple of very brief spats due to differences in "communication methods", but that's it. Of course this may have had something to do with the fact that he was busy much of Saturday taking care of his elderly father, but I'm going to mark this in the win column and leave it at that.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

2nd 1st day of school, crazy week & maddening weekend

Yes, second first day of school. As in my first child had a second first day of school one week after her first first day of school. Confused? Well, some of you know that I'd been homeschooling and that I do Montessori Method. If I had chosen to do homeschool with no other agenda, I would have been simply eclectic, however, my public school system has a Montessori program in 3 of it's schools. The thing is that the rules of the county make it very difficult to get in unless you live in the neighborhood. But, there is a slim chance which widens ever so slightly as the kids get older IF they've had previous Montessori experience - hence our Montessori homeschool. So, this past year I had an odyssey traversing the administrative offices' policies, personnel, red tape, and their physical office move. It culminated in a frustrating phone conversation where the woman ultimately told me, I can't give you the actual information you're trying to find over the phone, but I can tell you it is very unlikely you'll get in this year. Which of course meant at the end of the business day on the second day of school, I get a call from the department that handles this stuff. Only, she called my cell so I didn't get the message until the next day and she never answered her phone or returned calls so I finally went up there (thanks Violin Mama for watching the kiddos while I did it!) and found out that we did indeed get into the Montessori program!! So, I had to scramble around to get all the paperwork, fill in forms, meet unknown deadlines, find new school supplies and prepare my child for a big change. Not to mention, we now had to be leaving the house at the same time as we normally sit down for breakfast. As you may have noticed in the photo, she's got a big 'ole bagel in her hand as we head out. Also, she's not wearing her bird shoes because only one of them was where it was supposed to be and 10 minutes of searching didn't yield it up. ugh.
So, a great portion of my week was spent trying to figure out the least time consuming way of making our new commute - 1.5 hours total drive time plus time in the carpool line, which has been just a couple of minutes in the morning but about 35 in the afternoons. BUT SHE'S IN!! (and now that it's been a week she seems settled)

Then there's the part which I didn't speak about in my last school post... my marriage.
I believe I may have mentioned here that I would be happy if Joe got a job out of town for a while to give us a break. Well, my wish was answered and he now works out of town during the week. And you know what? It really is easier here without him. No, I don't get a break, but I also don't have all the extra work that having him around means. Cleaning up his messes, doing his laundry, dishes and well, him. But the last 3 weekends have been really hard. I just spent some time typing out the "highlights" of his bad behavior, but it was getting tedious even to me and I'm the one who needs to vent, so I erased it. It was as it always is, his words are one thing and his actions are another plus he is in general a slob. At this point, I guess I honestly do have to look at this as my problem and figure out what to REALLY do because clearly his words and actions are never going to match up. I'm not married to the man that exists only on thin air, I am married to the man that does the actions that I find unacceptable. Divorce is so tempting, but it is not just me here. I know, "they" say don't just stay together for the kids, but really, what else is there to do? My fears of the unknown and hopes for the future kept me from returning to school (we chose for him to return instead and he's barely had a job since then - a decade ago), so there's the low income potential for me and I just don't believe I can rely on him to pay child support - one of those words vs. actions things. And frankly even if money weren't an issue I don't feel I can subject the kids to his solo parenting. Aside from all the problems that would cause them, I'd have to be the one to try and straighten it out every week so we'd be back on the school schedule. I'd always be the "bad cop." It's bad enough that I'm the only one who's always a parent, but at least here I can keep us more consistent so I don't always have to be the "mean" one. Although, I wouldn't be the mean one since he can usually only spend about 15 minutes with the kids before losing his temper. I've timed it. He lasted a whole 30 minutes on Friday before he laid down on the couch and yelled at the kids to be quiet and leave him alone so he could "finally relax" & watch baseball. He's so lonely, so bored and misses us so badly during the week, but I guess 30 minutes is all he really needs to fill the void. Blah, blah blah right? You're tired of hearing me say this crap? Me, too.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Crazy Weekend + 1st day of school

Well, not crazy but so busy I thought I might go crazy. For one thing TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!!! So of course I had a ton of last minute things to do. And with Joe's new schedule the weekends are already jam packed.

I wouldn't normally show these here but I'm just amazed at a few things about these shoes.
1. That AT specifically requested robins and rejected the idea of a cartoony or falsely colored bird
2. That I've never painted birds before, not even to practice for these shoes, but think that came out pretty good
3. I painted something that I didn't want to immediately toss out

A few weeks ago I was dreaming wistfully of the day I could go to BlogHer, but I never really paid attention to when it happened so I didn't realize until yesterday that even if I could go, I still couldn't because it falls on the weekend before the start of school for us. That being the case I didn't even have time to log on for BlogHer@Home. I will visit all of you sweet ladies who paid me a visit though.

I tell you what, getting up before 6AM is kicking my butt! I'm trying to help myself out by putting cooked breakfast and dinners in the new freezer, getting the kids an alarm clock and setting one downstairs to give us a 5 minute warning. Another thing that I'm sure all of the parents - and teachers - would have found helpful is if the school had told us that the start time this year is 10 minutes earlier than previous years. Yeah, that's right. Even the teachers didn't know about it until this morning. I'm trying to pass that off as a side effect of chaos caused by furlough days leaving the teachers and staff only 2 pre-planning days to get everything together and not take it as a foreboding sign for the rest of the year.

AT is in 1st grade but this is her first time at "real" school. We did a combo of homeschool and short day school last year. Poor thing worries about so much. Among other fears, I had to help her talk through what to do if there is a tornado or if the power goes out. In the end I got a little smile and wave as she walked down to her class with neighbor E. Not a tear was shed, by either of us, though we both got close.

The rest of the crazy part of the weekend had to do with Joe, which should be no surprise. But I'll save that for another post instead of adding it onto this one.