Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Things I've Been Up To Lately

So it has been ages since I've posted anything substantial, and I've mentioned briefly that a lot has been going on here, and it has. Finally this morning a few minutes to myself to fill you in a little bit and vent about how ridiculous some of it has been. I want to tread carefully here though, because I am angry and don't want to say things I might later wish to take back. That said--I've never been good at holding my tongue.

B's Mom started chemo about three weeks ago and since the three of us together are the primary care-takers for his ninety six year old Grandma, (she has Alzheimer's.) that means that responsibilities and scheduling conflicts have been running high for a while now. Add to that the fact that his mother ( in my opinion) never really liked me and that she definitely hates sharing his attention with anyone else and things have been quite the nasty little mess here. We finally set down some guidelines making it so that he and I would stay the overnights with Grandma on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays (because this meshes well with my custody agreement.) and that we would come over every morning and night to help with getting out of and back into bed again. In exchange, we wanted a guarantee that on the other three nights of the week we wouldn't be asked to stay at all so that we can spend the time at home with the kids. His Mom doesn't like this idea-- and thinks we should rotate nights through the week like he did when he was single and that he should still be available for any nights that she doesn't feel like staying or hiring someone else to stay. On top of that, she has been really nasty. Mean. Rude to him in ways that just tie my stomach in knots. During the week of her chemo we spent every night here with Grandma and did all of the morning and evening routines AND ran over here more than once to do things she said she was too sick to do herself. We have tried to explain that he needs someone to help divide the responsibilities for while she is sick, maybe have friends help her out around the house when she doesn't feel well, but she insists that he should want to do it for her and that it has to be him. I 'm angry because he just can't be everything for everyone all the time and has finally made some choices about what HE wants to do with his life. ( we got married--yay!!!!!) For selfish reasons I want him at home sometimes. For unselfish reasons I want him to have time to relax and enjoy the kids and get used to being a part of a family. So I'm angry. Well, angry doesn't really cover it-- I'm pissed off, but I'm also in love with him and not wanting to make things harder by driving up the conflict with his mom. So except for right here-- I'm trying to keep my mouth shut. wish me luck.

In the middle of all of that disaster, my little one Z had a febrile seizure last week while he was at his Dad's house. It's the third one he's had, so we did know what it was, which made it a little less scary, but only a little, and his Dad had never seen one before so he panicked and we got to enjoy and ambulance trip to the ER as a result. All is well with Z now though, stomach bug gone, fever no more, business as usual.

Did I mention the best part? WE GOT MARRIED ON MONDAY!!!We took a break from the merry go round Monday and went to the district justice just the two of us and finally, after all these years, got married. I couldn't be any happier about it. Every time I hold his hand now I think of those few quick moments in front of the judge when we held each other's hands and promised each other that we would love each other for always. A great day in the middle of a bunch of borderline and not so great days.

Lastly, we got the stomach flu. It started with Grandma, got B and I, little Z and then back to B again for a second round. It has been hell and I will be glad when it is finally over. I am warily watching K and R to see who will get it next....stay tuned....

Monday, February 23, 2009

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Dear B (Just Because)

Dear B,

I am only writing to you here because this afternoon you alluded to the fact that you sometimes come here to read and look for clues about what is on my mind and maybe why. Of course I told you that I would never share more of myself with strangers(sorry everybody) than I do with you. That is true, or at least as true as it can possibly be. You're right to look for me here. There might be pieces of me that sneak out in this quiet place that don't show up anywhere else. You may never know how grateful I am that you suggested this blog to me. It is not something I would have come up with on my own, and it has given me a much needed outlet for the words that swim around in my head everyday, for the overflow of feelings that are just to much to foist on one person day after day. Although, you have been an absolute prince, my prince, when it comes to being there for me and comforting me and making me feel so very loved every day. It makes me feel good to be writing again; it had been almost twelve years since I wrote anything for myself let alone anyone else. It is like having a part of myself back again after a decade long hiatus. It feels good, and I have you to thank. I have you to thank for a lot of things. So always remember these things:

1. I will love you every single second of my life--as I have loved you near and far for the last twenty plus years.

2. Every day I love you more...even when my heart is so full that I don't believe it is possible.

3. Like you told me so many months ago, my love---Words fail.

I love you,

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Spin Cycle: What is Love?

This is my first week participating in The Spin Cycle created by Sprite's Keeper. Every week she gives out a new topic and lets everyone spin their own magic... This week's topic is love. After you read here, drop by her blog and give us your own spin on love.

It's no secret to you guys that read here regularly that I am in love, or that he is in love with me back. This last year, it seems like my life has just been overflowing with love. I seem to have finally figured it out. I think I may be starting to understand what love is, why it's so important, and how to keep it going. Since B and I reunited last June it seems like I haven't stopped falling in love for a minute. Every day I find myself falling all over again, for reasons different and the same as yesterday.

I am not an easy woman to live with by any stretch of the imagination. I make no secret of the fact that I like to get my own way (pretty much always if I can) and that I can be, well.......controlling. There. I said it. I like to run the show. I am calmest when I am in control of every little detail of the way things are supposed to go.  (THIS HAS NOT BEEN HELPFUL TO ME IN PAST RELATIONSHIPS. ) So, because this particular relationship is so very important to me, and because B is so wonderfully smart and capable, (yes, without my help) I know that I have to give up control. I need to let him do his own thing, and start making decisions a team effort. That said, this is not easy for me. And I am not necessarily good at it. yet. I am determined that I will master this though. I want to spend the rest of my life with this absolutely amazing man, and I don't want to screw it up by parenting him like one of the kids.

So back to the topic at hand--"What is Love?" To me, love is the fact that even though I have been controlling in the past, and even though I am not always successful in my attempts to curve that self destructive behavior now, B still loves me with all his heart and with only gentle reminders and a lot of hugs he is helping me to figure this equal partnership thing out. Wish me luck!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Not -Me Monday

Last week I missed out on participating in the Not Me Monday Blog Carnival started by MckMamma. This week I intend to do a little better. It has been another busy, busy week, and there are plenty of things I am really glad I didn't do. mmmm. Not ME!

1. I did not almost cause an accident in the car the other day by talking over the gps voice and screwing up the directions.

2. I did not avoid answering the phone call I knew was from the school nurse involving my son's third (fake) illness this month.

3. I did not buy my sweetie a 500 gb portable hard drive for Valentine's Day because that just might make us both dorks.

4. I did not forget to pay my cable bill until I was unable to log on to post Thursday mornings blog post. (but since it wasn't me they were kind enough to have it back on in about ten minutes after I made the payment by phone.)

5. I did not make my son retrieve, from the top of the newly changed garbage bag, a sandwich he had claimed to have eaten a few minutes before and make him finish it before running out to play.

6. I did not instruct my children at seven o'clock tonight that I didn't want them to speak or even look at each other again tonight because their bickering all day had driven me crazy.

Not me. No WAY. UH-UN.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Dear B, (A letter From The Kids Composed Piecemeal As We Get To Know You Better)

Dear B,

You have been living with us a little over a month now, and making our mother happy for much longer. It has been interesting for us to watch. For starters, as we just said, she is a lot happier. She still yells, but a lot less than she used to, and she smiles much MORE now too. (She also walks around with a slightly vacant, yet pleasant, love-sick look that is a little gross.) You should know that we watch you. Almost constantly, especially when you don't realize that we are watching. In fact, most of the time that we are watching, we aren't even looking at you, just taking in everything you do. We have paid especially close attention to how you treat our Mom. Us Boys have decided that when we get older, we are going to treat the girls in our lives the same way you treat Mom. (instead of the way Dad used to)It seems to us that we will have way better luck with girls if we do it your way—the way you always smile at her when you catch her looking at you, telling her all the time that she is beautiful and that you love her and don't know what you would do without her. You hug her and kiss her a lot too. (not to mention how much time you guys spend holding hands—gross.) Those are all good things, and every time you do them-- we learn something. (Oh, and it's not just the boys—I've learned that guys should be kind and gentle an complimentary to the women in their lives-- when I grow up, thanks to you, I'm going to expect that.--Love, C) We have also noticed that you never yell at Mom or call her names or try to make her feel dumb or less than good about herself. Those are important lessons too.

You've taught us some other things too. Everyday we watch you go over to your Mom's and your Grandma's to help out. Even though you are busy here with us, you always make time to take good care of the other people in your life who are important to you. When we watch you do that, morning and evening, day after day, we are learning about the importance of commitments, and being reliable. We are seeing someone besides our mother practice the idea that the elderly are not disposable, that family takes care of family and home is the best place for everyone. Thank you for making our home such a great place to be lately. It's nice to have the attention of two adults who so obviously care about what happens to us. We really appreciate the fact that you take time out to talk to each one of us; you listen to what we have to say, and your interest in us goes beyond the fact that you are interested in our mother. You make us feel like you would like us even if she weren't around. That's a nice feeling.

It's been good with you here these last few weeks. We are all kind of hoping that you and Mom will get married. (some of us might even be hoping for a new sibling sometime later....) But either way we will keep on watching, learning from you. You are for sure one of the good guys.

The Kids

You're Gonna Miss This...Moment

This Week's You're Gonna Miss This Moment, the blog carnival brought to us by Pam over at the blog by the same name...

If you have been reading along, you know that I have given a lot of thought to whether or not I want to have another baby someday. (and I mean a few years out, not necessarily someday soon) I remember being so sad then that my youngest would not get to know and enjoy my Dad the way my first three kids did, and vice versa. My Dad absolutely lived for his grandkids. They were best buddies. So now it is at the front of my mind that if we do decide to add another little one to the family, it will be a child that my father will never get hold. I ALREADY miss those moments. I remember when my daughter was small and we all lived with my parents, (yes, all of us...)my Dad used to rock K to sleep every night on the porch swing when the weather was nice and in his recliner when it wasn't. Then when R was small, a few years later, he and my Dad would eat breakfast sitting side by side in that same recliner every morning. Finally when Z was born, though my Dad was already on oxygen around the clock and sleeping most of the hours of the day, he would nestle Z in the crook of his arm and off the would drift together in dreamland. Z will never remember that, but I will never forget, and with this future baby (maybe), I'm definitely gonna miss those moments.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

For Real...

It must be the real thing if I get out of my warm bed at 9:30 after everyone else is settled and asleep for the night, and go out into the freezing cold night, ( leaving them under the watchful eye of my mother) to drive 10 minutes across town just to spend part of the night nestled in the crook of his arm on a couch. And it is some of the best rest I have ever gotten. And I wouldn't miss it for the world.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Questions (The End) OR A Love Story

"Once More"

This post will answer my last two questions from readers:

“I want to hear the story of how you were reunited with your high school sweetheart! I love happily-ever-after stories! I am a hopeFUL (not hopeLESS) romantic. :-) “


“I'm trying to figure out how you have 4 children of various (spread out) ages yet (I thought) you said you were only about 34? Is there a story there? did you have your first very young?
sorry if that's snooping, you don't have to answer. “

I saved this question for last, because it is my favorite. If you hadn't already guessed from reading back through my blog, it is my favorite thing to talk about. Our love story, my fairy tale.

B was my very first boyfriend. I was thirteen, and still reeling form my father's first heart attack when we first met. He was nine months older, but similarly intelligent and every bit as driven as I was back then, if not more so. Most of our time together was spent sharing academic pursuits, attending movies which his other was kind enough o drive us to, and later, making out on the bean bag chair in my bedroom. (we weren't allowed to sit anywhere near the bed...) We shared our first kiss, and provided each other with our first sexual experiences. (even though we didn't have sex.)For a teenage boy he was surprisingly gentle and kind. He was a terribly difficult act to follow, I think. We went our separate ways after two years, due simply to the pressures of growing up and parents who worried that we were too serious about each other, that it might interfere with plans for college and the future if we didn't see other people. Even our breaking up was quiet and free of drama. (Although I remember a great deal of crying on my part afterward, there was no animosity, no angry words or typical teenage acts of retribution.) We remained friendly, but drifted apart slowly, moving in very different direction for a long time. Throughout high school we made several attempts to recapture what we had before, but our efforts always missed in one way or another, leaving us both frustrated and longing for the easy closeness we had known in the past. It was something neither of us seemed able to find with anyone else, despite trying. I suppose it is fair to say that we both moved on, but never really got over each other. I never really stopped paying attention to what he was up to, (I think they call it stalking now...) and he sort of just forgot I existed for a while as he threw himself into school projects and getting ready for college.

Just before my sixteenth birthday I met a guy at the local skating rink and started dating him. The guy was alright, but it was his two year old son, J, that I really fell in love with. It was a volatile relationship to say the least. He was eight years older than me, with a quick temper and a big mouth, nothing at all like my gentle introduction to love a few years before, but the love for a child is a powerful thing and J had completely stolen my heart. (J is my step-son, who will turn twenty-one this coming June, and I count him as the first of my four children. Because of the age difference between my ex-husband and I, J was born when I was only 14.) Not important to this story, but I stayed in this poorly matched relationship for fifteen years. We married, had three more children of our own and finally divorced back in 2005. (incidentally, my daughter, age 14 was born when I was eighteen, my sons, ages 10 and 5, when I was 24 and 28.)

Now back to the real story. During the fifteen years I was with my ex-husband, B and I bumped into each other here and there. He helped me t pass a computer course in college back in 1996, and I called him a bit later just to talk in 1997. We kept having these near misses. Times when I was trying to make my marriage work or he was in another relationship. One of the most pivotal moments was back in 2003 when I lost my Dad a few days before Thanksgiving. After six years of absolutely no contact, B showed up at the funeral home the night before Thanksgiving at the end of the funeral service. I had spent the last 9 weeks caring for my father as his heart slowly gave out. I was under more stress than I thought it possible for one person to bear. November alone has seen my youngest with pneumonia and the chicken pox, my step-son barely making passing grades in school and the start of my middle son's wild mood swings and behavioral problems. I was working full-time, my marriage was already circling the drain and by the time I saw B there in the back of the room, I was coming completely unglued. I can't even begin to describe that moment, the way my face flushed and my heart started to race. I would like to say that our love story got its second chance right at that moment, that he was the antidote to my breaking heart. But. I could barely make my feet move to cross the room. I wanted, more than anything to fall right into his arms, bury my face in his neck and breath in that sweet, sweet smell that had always belonged to him alone. I was unable to do any of that. I know I smiled at him, that he smiled back nervously and stumbled through some of those things that are said at funerals. I know I told him I was glad to see him, glad to know that he was doing alright. I know he handed me a letter that I would later read, again and again. I know that when I leaned in to give him half of a hug I could smell the beer on his breath. I know that I spent months replaying those moments again and again in my mind, sleeping and awake and that, always, afterward my heart was left aching for him.

Fast forward four and a half years. Years filled with a dozen different kinds of losing and letting go for us both. Long years. I lost my brother-in-law, and my aunt. I started over again. I ended my marriage and tumbled through another disastrous relationship. (this time with a woman.) I lost touch with my step-son and all of my half-siblings from my father's first marriage. My older two kid's emotional problems had spiraled out of control several times over. They were diagnosed as bipolar and I mourned the loss of what I had dreamed would be an easier ride through their school and teenage years. I struggled with depression, my mother's deepening depression, her successful (so far) battle with breast cancer and the complicated world of child psychiatry. I know they were long years for B too, as he struggled with his problems with alcohol, helped his mother through her own heart attack, and dove headlong into the daily care of his grandmother as she continued the steady decline brought about her Alzheimer's disease. In the same town, maybe ten minutes apart most of the time, he and I struggled, and hurt separately, but in so many of the same ways.

Now, I am going to take a minute to shamelessly plug Facebook. I am aware of all of the evils and irritants of online social networking. But. Without Facebook, I might never have gotten my fairy tale. It was that search feature. I had been Googling B on and off for years with nothing new. But when I plugged his name into that facebook friend search---THERE HE WAS!!! SO in June of 2008 we finally got back in touch with each other, and this time our timing was perfect. I was divorced and he was living alone. I was long since ready to move on from the relationship that I had been dragging behind me for more than a year. We talked and emailed and walked together in the park, we chatted for long hours late into the nights getting to know each other again. Then, finally, after almost twenty years, we got to experience the comfort of sleeping a night nestled in each other's arms. It was, hands down, the best night of my life.

It's been seven full months now since we started dating again. It has not been an easy seven months by any stretch of the imagination. My kids have had their good and bad days. November alone was back-breaking. B stopped drinking. (for the most part) Both of his parents were diagnosed with cancer. (pancreatic and breast) My mother's friend, who has been like a member of our family for years is losing her battle with colon cancer. We have, in the last few months, tackled more big problems than most marriages survive. And we have done it well. So the way I see it, all we have to do now is to keep getting through the small, everyday moments. We just have to remember how important it is to fall in love with each other, over and over and over again.....I think we'll make it just fine.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

For Services Rendered: (To My Children)

For the nine months or so that I carried you inside of me, many times uncomfortable-nauseous morning, noon and night, eating what was good for you and finally suffering through labor and delivery to give birth to you--Approximately nine months (around 270 days) @$4.00 per day. A bargain by anyone's standards.


The cost of having you--pre and post natal-nursery -delivery room etc. Expenses above and beyond that of most budgets.


The infant care your father and I provided you with those first couple of years; changed diapers, formula, bathing, feeding, burping, rocking, through sickness and teething and shots, skinned knees and childhood illnesses, braces, bumped heads, cut fingers, etc...


For the worry and sleep lost over your little problems, with playmates, starting school, nights sleeping over with friends, strange stuff you ate or drank ( a couple of calls to poison control), all the dumb things you did while learning to grow up.


For teaching you not to play with knives, matches, guns, strangers or in the middle of the street, near water or wells, constructions site, abandoned houses or cars....


For the time and effort spent in sincere prayer that you would associate with the right kind of people, develop decent morals, be honest, trustworthy, truthful, dependable, tolerant, charitable, patient, ambitious, etc...(and all the good things we want for you to be)


For the Aggravation of teaching you to drive a car, hoping we weren't giving you the way to kill or maim or cripple yourself or anyone else-hoping you have the common sense to use moderation in your coming adulthood so that your life and ours, and others would not be ruined by thoughtless deeds.


Twelve years of education and all that goes with it--taxes, books, shots, transportation, time, clothing, spending money, trips, fads, records, entertainment, vacations, meetings, homework, projects, etc...


Eighteen years of medical attention given with all the love and care possible, sleepless nights, band aids, allergies, cavities, ear infections, antibiotics, broken bones, etc...


Eighteen years of feeding you 20,700 meals and snacks, add to this preparation time and clean-up afterward and $2.00 per meal is cheap.


For the goodwill created by us for you to be enjoyed or destroyed as you see fit.


Total: $123,480.00

This is a low estimate. Supplies not necessarily included, not counting holidays or extreme disasters. However, this invoice was not created for the purpose of receiving payment, but to put into terms you can understand that a lot of time and money, love and care was invested in raising you. Please don't waste it, but enjoy it, put it to good use for both yourself and others. That will render this account "PAID IN FULL."