Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy 2012!

Nae:  If I fall asleep, wake me up at midnight.

Cory:  Why?

Nae:  If the world ends, I want to be awake for it.

Cory:  The Mayan calendar doesn't end until November of 2012, so if it does end it isn't going to be right away.

Nae (thinking back to working all day yesterday on my credit report and disputing various items):  Well, at least if the world ends I'll have a good credit score when it does.

Cory:  *chokes on his drink and almost sprays the room in diet coke*

--

Happy New Year everyone!  Hope this year brings you everything you deserve!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Birthday Adventures

It's a well-known fact that I have an amazing ability for ruining special days.  Birthdays, Christmas, Fathers' Day...  it doesn't matter what the occasion is, I can find some way to do something to make it.. not special.  I don't do it on purpose, it just seems to be a gift that I have.  Cory's birthday this year was no exception. 

Every year Cory has taken the week between Christmas and New Years off work. This year, because of circumstances that were only partially my fault, we weren't able to do that.  After some deliberation, we decided to just take off his birthday and have two four day weekends in a row.  I knew he didn't want much for his birthday.  Mae Mae gave us an iPad for Christmas, he got a new computer in the summer that was part of his birthday, and he found some really good deals on some games that he wanted in the few weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  All he really wanted was some time to relax before we both have to face some really crazy stressful stuff next week at work.  Somehow, even with his expectations being so low anyway, I found a way to ruin the day.  What can I say, I'm just THAT talented.

It all started with the stuff that is going on with our respective exes.  Cory got a call from his lawyer's receptionist of the week saying that he had received some paperwork from Lovely Ex's lawyer that we had to meet about and respond to, and he wanted to set up a meeting.  So, since we had the day off anyway, Cory made an appointment for his birthday.  That triggered my memory that I still have a few outstanding responsibilities I need to take care of in regards to my case with Delinquent Ex's debt they are trying to make me pay for.  I needed some documentation from the bank that my dad had to get, and I figured since we were going to the lawyer's office anyway we could get the stuff that morning and we could give it to him then.  So, my dad and I made plans to meet at the bank as soon as it opened to get the documents I needed.  So, scratch sleeping in late since we don't have the kids off his birthday wish list.

Then, since we were already at the bank, I figured I would open a bank account for Lexie.  She had WAY more money than I am comfortable with an eight year old having in a box in her room.  I had been wanting to open one for awhile, but since we normally work the hours the bank is open it is something I hadn't gotten around to.  Also, we wanted to talk to the bank about a couple of other things that had come up that we wanted to make sure we were making the best decisions on.  In the end, we ended up spending two hours at the bank working with three different people to get everything situated.  After that, we had to go to my parents' house to print out some documents.  Scratch relaxing around the house and not having to do anything off the list. 

At this point, we were both starving.  Cory had been up late the night before, and I'm not really a morning person anyway, so we hadn't gotten up early enough to eat breakfast before heading to the bank.  We weren't planning on it taking too long, so we were just going to grab something after we were done, but "after we were done" had turned in to lunch time.  Since we were at my parents' house anyway, we invited them to come to lunch with us.  We had a really nice time visiting with them.  I love my parents SO much, and I love that they love my husband.  Getting to spend time with them other then dropping off/picking up the kids is so nice.  We had a nice meal, and then came home to work on the "to-do" list we had gotten at the bank. 

A few weeks ago we talked to the bank about the possibility of us getting a home loan so we could buy a house.  I was very NOT happy to find out that quite a few of the debts that Delinquent Ex and I had when we were married were still negatively affecting my credit.  They have been paid off for years, but quite a few of them had not updated.  While we were at the bank they counseled us to get on the credit bureau's websites and run my credit and dispute each item individually.  It was actually surprisingly easy to do, but I am NOT the smartest person when it comes to computers so it made me quite frustrated.  When I am frustrated, I tend to get rather.. snippy.  I snapped at Cory a few times while he was trying to help me.  Do I know how to show my gratitude or what?  Scratch making him feel special and loved off his birthday wish list.

By this point, Cory had quite a headache.  Apparently being up late, waking up early, not eating for half the day, and being snapped at by your wife can give you a headache.  Who knew?  We decided to take a nap to make the headache go away.  In the midst of all the fun of playing around on the internet with my credit report, Mae Mae brought over some gift certificates for dinner for a restaurant that my parents really like.  It was more then we would spend on one meal, and I hate having gift cards with just a bit left on them, so I called them and invited them to dinner with us.  Luckily, they hadn't had enough of us yet and agreed to meet us for dinner.  Unfortunately, I had to wake Cory up from his nap for us to go to dinner.  We all enjoyed some good steaks and amazing company, and once again we enjoyed eating with my parents and catching up with them.  I'm very grateful they were able to provide Cory with some bright spots in the nightmare of the day I created for him.

I'm so lucky that I have a husband who, in spite of all my craziness and uncanny ability to destroy good situations, still seems to love me.  We have so much fun together, and I honestly can't imagine a better match for me.  It amazes me all the time all the things we have in common and how unbelievably lucky I am not only that we found each other, but that we love each other so much.  He is everything I ever dared to hope for, and he is things I couldn't have ever imagined I would be lucky enough to have.  He is my soul, and he is the greatest gift I could ever want.  Maybe someday I will figure out how to give him a day that is as special as he deserves for being as great as he is.  But, at least at this point, I'm lucky he loves me anyway.  Happy birthday baby, I love you SO much. 

Monday, December 26, 2011

Our First Christmas: Take 2

I have a hard time with last Christmas being our first Christmas as a married couple/new family.  It was a really rough Christmas for many reasons.  Cory and I came home at nine o'clock Christmas Eve night after spending a full 24 hours in the car driving to California and back to pick up his kids.  Lexie got home half an hour before we did from spending two weeks in Michigan with Mae Mae, and she was not used to having to share attention or behave like a decent child, not to mention the two additional siblings in the household that she wasn't used to having around.  Michael and Katelyn weren't used to any of us after not spending any real time with us in almost a year.  Finally, Cory's parents were in town and our normally quiet house was stuffed to capacity.  I was an emotional, overstimulated wreck, and Christmas ended with me locking myself in my room after a massive unprovoked temper tantrum and Cory sleeping on the couch too afraid to come talk to me.  It was not pleasant. 

So, I made a decision.  Last Christmas, we were all in survival mode.  We did the bare minimum that was required for a Christmas celebration, and it wasn't what I wanted to remember as our first Christmas.  So this year we had a take two, our first chance for a quiet Christmas with just our family and a chance to really develop some traditions and experience Christmas in our own way.  It was still far from perfect.  We are learning how to combine families and traditions while avoiding the crazy meltdowns that come with the holidays. 

We had Mae Mae over for opening the presents and dinner.  I figured since she had provided the kids with most of the presents they would be most excited about, it was only fair that she should get to see them open them.  Phillip got quite a few chunky motorized vehicles that make noises or spin tires and things like that.  He refers to them as "trucks" and is very happy sitting in the middle of the floor making them all drive.  It's the first time I've seen him appropriately play with toys instead of just picking them up and banging them on things, and I've also caught him a few times saying "car... vroom, vroom" or "trucks... go!"  He is loving having more advanced toys to play with, and while I'm sure they won't survive too many "phil-i-canes" they seem to be holding up pretty well for the most part.

Lexie had her first real "tween" Christmas, getting only one toy - a hideous doll that drinks and eats and then messes her diaper which will end up in the garbage at the earliest opportunity - and all of her other gifts were things I would not have bought if I was doing the shopping for her.  She did get quite a few books and DS games, which she loves, but her two BIG presents she got were a baby pink full-sized real guitar (complete with a Taylor Swift music book so she can play her songs once she learns to play) and a VERY nice cherry wood vanity with a fabric covered stool and a tri-fold mirror.  After dropping the guitar on our hardwood floor seconds after opening it, we had quite the discussion about how these were very grown up gifts and she needed to show us that she could be responsible for them or we would take them away. 

Lexie's room has been a sore spot in our house for quite some time.  She has STUFF all over the floor constantly, and quite a few things in her room have been broken (including her last DS) because she doesn't take care of them.  I have known for a few weeks that in order for her to keep it clean we had to do a massive de-junk and get rid of most of the stuff in her room.  Since she had stuff she got for Christmas that she wanted to put in there, I figured that would be as good of a time as any to get her room good and clean.  What I had imagined as a two hour job turned in to almost six hours, two full bags of garbage, and four stuffed bags of things she has outgrown that are going to D.I.  We also boxed up a lot of stuff we are hanging on to for Katelyn when she comes to visit, but it will  no longer be stored in Lexie's room.  Unfortunately, while this was all happening, I left Cory alone to entertain Mae Mae and cook dinner by himself.  Luckily, I have an awesome husband who loves me anyway even though I have this amazing knack for ruining days that should be special (see this post to refresh your memory on how I gave him such an amazing Fathers' Day).

We did manage to get the room clean, and found good homes in her room for the guitar and the vanity.  She has actually kept the room clean, even with playing in it for the rest of the day.  Everything has a home now, and there are very few things in there that have the ability to make a mess.  Hopefully she can keep it that way.  I know she will be a lot happier not having to live in a mess all the time. 

All in all, it was a much calmer, quieter Christmas this year.  We were able to spend some good time together as a family, we cooked some amazing food, and we are all enjoying having some good time off of work and school where we can all relax and just enjoy being together.  Who knows, maybe next year we'll finally get it right.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Visitation: It Sucks

I have been fighting with Delinquent Ex for a few months now on his visitation rights when it comes to the kids..  It hasn't been going well.  I have been going through multiple bouts of depression and anger in trying to deal with it.  It's something I haven't been able to or wanted to talk about, but I felt the need to get it out so that I can begin to deal with everything that's going on.  Cory's lawyer in his case with Lovely Ex led me to believe that I had a very solid case and that Delinquent Ex had screwed up so bad that no judge would have any problem seeing that he wasn't fit to be a good father and didn't deserve to see his kids.  As a result, I went in to court feeling confident that this would be over soon and I didn't have to worry about it.  Wrong...

I was held in contempt for denying him his rights to see his kids, and lectured by the judge on my actions in "prolonging the reintroduction that he was entitled to."  The judge stayed my contempt and gave me a chance to redeem myself by allowing Delinquent Ex to see Lexie three times in a month and a half and then having a review hearing to see if I had been compliant with her orders.  We were able to get them supervised by a therapist, but the judge allowed Delinquent Ex to choose the therapist.  The six weeks that followed that initial court hearing were some of the hardest weeks I have had to face.  Delinquent Ex and I fought over EVERYTHING.  The orders were at least the way I understood them that Delinquent Ex was to pick three therapists from our list of preferred providers and I got to pick the final one out of those three.  He interpreted it as he got to pick any three therapists and I had to pick one of them.  He picked three drug court therapists who also happened to deal with children.  Therapists who would be on his side, and that worked frequently with the therapists he was dealing with at his rehab center.  One therapist was a block and a half from his apartment, was very friendly with his therapist, and was willing to give him a discount because of his "special circumstances".  The other two therapists were at least 45 minutes away from our house.  Also, not one of them was covered under our insurance. 

I fought him on what I believed he had agreed to in court, trying to get him to pick a therapist that was covered under our insurance, or trying to get him to pick an actual child psychologist instead of a drug court therapist.  We went back and forth and round and round.  Finally, out of fear of me getting in trouble with the judge again, I agreed to take Lexie to see the one therapist out of the three that was actually a valid option.  I made this decision a week before court.  As a result, Lexie has all three of her visits with her dad in three days.  That first visit was hard on everybody.  Lexie started crying before we even walked in to the therapist's office.  I had attempted to prepare her, but all I had to say was "he's already in there" and she completely broke down.  It was at that point that I realized how hard this has really been on her.  All three of us spent a good fifteen minutes in the waiting room crying before we were able to meet with the therapist. 

We made a plan to have alternating visits, one week with the therapist and the next week just Delinquent Ex and Lexie by themselves.  Tonight is their first visitation together without the therapist.  I have been nervous about it all week, playing in my head all the different things that could go wrong.  They took the train downtown to watch a movie, and watching her get on that train with her dad knowing that I couldn't protect her and she doesn't really know him very well was rough.  It took everything in me to not break down right there on the platform as I watched the train pull away.  It was a good few minutes in the car before I was able to leave, and I really think if I could have followed the train, I would have.

I got a text about an hour ago that Mae Mae picked her up, and she was tired but she said she had a good time.  She is spending the night with her tonight, and I'll see her tomorrow.  I'm relieved to know that it went well, but I think it's still going to be a long while if ever before I am completely comfortable with her seeing him.  I would love nothing more than to build a protective bubble around her and keep her safe from everything evil in the world.  I know I have to let her experience life on her own, but couldn't it have at least waited a few more years?  I'm not ready for this.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Who Knew Nerves Were So Tricky?

I have really crappy teeth.  I'm not sure if it's genetics, or because I don't get enough calcium, or what it is, but I get cavities very easily.  As a result, I have always hated going to the dentist.  I have a dentist right now that is probably the best dentist I've ever had.  He is nice, his technicians are gentle, everyone there is really friendly, and he does AMAZING work.  He has filled quite a few of my cavities now, and all of them have been fairly easy to handle.  I was beginning to think I was crazy for hating the dentist for as long as I did.  Yesterday I had a very massive wake up call as to where my hatred came from.  It had nothing to do with the dentist, it's my stupid mouth. 

It's been about a year and half since I had a cavity, so I've only had to go to the dentist for cleanings and upkeep.  About two months ago, however, I started noticing a sensitive spot on one of my back teeth on my left side.  It hurt to eat anything with sugar or salt on it, and it would send shooting pain down my jaw when I hit it a certain way with my toothbrush.  I knew it was a cavity.  It came as no surprise when my dentist confirmed it at my last cleaning.  We scheduled the appointment, and he told me we had caught it early and it was very small so it should be that big of a deal to fill.  Oh, silly dentist.  Little did you know...

We got to the dentist about three.  He had scheduled us for a half an hour appointment, and I was looking forward to getting home early and having time to relax instead of the normal hustle and bustle of typical work days.  They got me right in, and the dentist came in with his torture device numbing shots.  This has always been the worst part for me.  I HATE needles.  He warned me before he stuck me, like he always does, and worked the numbing stuff in there for a good twenty seconds making sure he had gotten it in really well.  He left for about fifteen minutes while it did it's magic, and then came back and got ready to work.  His assistant stuck the little air wand in my mouth, and oh my word it hurt!  The air across my cavity felt like someone was jabbing me with a stick.  I jumped, and put my hand up to stop them.  I wasn't numb at all, at least not where my cavity was.  The entire front of my face and my tongue felt like they had swollen to three times their normal size.  So, back came the needle again.  Once again, I felt it go in and felt him moving it around in my jaw to work it in there.

The technician and I began talking about random stuff the way they do.  Personally I think they just like to watch people try to talk with a numb mouth.  I started playing around with my gums around my tooth and realized they still weren't numb.  I told her I didn't think it had worked.  She said "not that I don't believe you, but let me try something."  She took her sharp metal tool, and  poked me in the gums.  Sure enough, still not numb.  She called the dentist in again, and he came at me again with that dang needle.  I felt it go in again, and this time he was in there for a good 45 seconds making sure that it was going where it was supposed to go.  He left, and the technician and I started talking again.  He came back fifteen minutes later, and for one brief second I considered lying and telling him that I was numb.  But, I'm a sucker when it comes to pain, and I knew I'd end up punching him in the side of the face or something as soon as he came at me with his drill.

I honestly believe at this point the dentist was ready to pull out a big hammer like they do in cartoons and just knock me unconscious.  I couldn't understand what was up with my stupid mouth, not to mention I was shaking like crazy.  I had some sort of reaction to the anesthetic, and my jaw, my arms, and my legs were all shaking like I was possessed.  I could not get them to hold still.  He came in and told me they were bringing in the "big guns" and if this didn't work they were going to have to send me home because there is a limit in how much they are able to give me.  This new one was a shot he gave me in the gums right below my tooth and it would penetrate through bone and make me numb.  Sure, Doc, let's give that a try.  He gave me the shot, and when he came back I told him I still wasn't numb.  I still had feeling in my cheek, my jaw, and the gums down below my tooth.  He said he wanted to check, and poked me again with his sharp little metal thing.  I didn't feel a thing.  Apparently it worked right where it was supposed to.  The stupid cavity took seven minutes to fill.

By the time we got home I was numb from my eye socket to my throat and my ear to the tip of my nose.  I couldn't talk, I couldn't eat, and I couldn't open my mouth.  My jaw was so sore from having all those needles injected in it and having to hold it open that I still wasn't able to open it all the way today.  Lexie had to sing herself her goodnight song last night, and she was very relieved I was at least able to talk today.  So, now I know.  If I ever have a cavity on that side of my mouth again I'm just going to have them knock me out.  It's easier for everyone that way.   


Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Girlfriend

The visitation battle continues.  More details to come at a later date.  I just wanted to take a minute and get out some feelings that I have right now. 

One of the major showstoppers for me in regards to Delinquent Ex seeing the kids is the girlfriend.  They have been friends for years.  They used together when they were younger, before me and before the kids.  They began dating about a year after Delinquent Ex and I separated.  I really tried to keep an open mind about her.  I attempted to be nice to her.  I quieted the uneasy feeling I had whenever she was around the kids.  But, I couldn't help it.  I didn't know why, but I didn't like her.  It didn't become apparent why for about a year. 

Delinquent Ex started using again about a year and a half after we separated, six months after they started seeing each other.  He went to rehab and got clean, and his mom allowed him to move back in with her when he was done.  But, he continued to see the girlfriend.  I knew it was only a matter of time.  Sure enough, two months after completing rehab, he moved in with her.  It was only about a month after that when the two of them went on a massive drug-fueled crime spree that ended with him in jail and her in court ordered rehab. 

As we've gone through the reintroduction process, the girlfriend has continued to come up.   He wants her to be reintroduced to the kids as soon as possible.  They have been together four years and have a very committed relationship.  She's going to be in his life for quite a while and it's important that she gets to know the kids too.  It was addressed in court, and I almost threw up when the judge said she agreed.  I looked to my lawyer for help, and all she could say was it was probably for the best.  At least now while Lexie was still seeing the therapist we had a better chance of catching if there was a problem then later down the road when the therapist wasn't involved.  I could see the reasoning behind it, but I could not calm down the feeling in my stomach.  This was not right, I couldn't let my kids be around this thing with the pink hair that he was dating.  She was dirty.  She was evil.  I could tell.  But, we made arrangements for her to be at the next therapy appointment.  It was only three days away. 

For the next two days a good majority of my thoughts were focused on how to protect Lexie from the girlfriend.  I couldn't sleep.  I could barely eat.  I was a wreck.  It was more then I could handle.  I needed something to happen.  Then I got the phone call.  Delinquent Ex and the girlfriend had been fighting a lot lately, and she was really having a hard time with him becoming involved in his kids lives again.  She wasn't ready.  He gave her an ultimatum.  She either needed to step up and be responsible or she needed to leave.  He left, and when he came back she and all her stuff were gone.  I'm a teensy tiny bit horrified to say that I was ecstatic to hear the news.  I am so grateful that there is someone more powerful than me looking out for my little girl.  When I failed to be able to protect her, He stepped in and took care of it for me. 

We continue to work through the rest of the issues, but at least now the girlfriend is out of the picture.  Hopefully this will mean good things as Delinquent Ex continues to fight to stay clean.  I think it'll be a lot easier with her out of the picture.  I don't even want to think about what it's going to do to Lexie if he disappears again.  I don't think either one of us has the strength to go through this again. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Singing Is The New Talking

Phillip has always loved music.  Since he was a very little boy, music has always been the quickest way to calm him down.  No matter what he was doing, if he heard music start to play he would stop what he was doing and sit quietly for at least a few seconds and listen to the music.  It should have come as no surprise that his first form of communication was singing.  It started a few months ago.  We would hear him down in the playroom or running around the living room singing a song.  He would have no idea what he was saying, but he knew the words and the tune.  At first, it was the simple nursery rhyme songs they would sing in school.  He would run around in circles singing "The Wheels On The Bus" for hours.  He would pound on anything he could find while singing "Jingle Bells".  He would grunt out "Happy Birthday To You" always singing it "dear Phi-llip".  Then, about a month ago, we had a breakthrough.

I was singing him his night time song, a song that my parents used to sing to us when we were little kids, and I got something stuck in my throat in the middle of a line.  I stopped to clear my throat, and he picked up right where I left off, like he had been singing it his whole life.  I sang it to him about five times that night just to see if it would keep happening.  Then, we started trying other songs.  He's picky about when and where he'll do it, but it's one of the few things we can consistently connect with him on.  I had to attempt to get it on video.  Unfortunately, Phillip is very wary of the camera.  As soon as it comes out, he'll just look at it with this dazed expression on his face.  He won't smile, he won't laugh, and he certainly won't sing.  So, I was finally able to get this video.  It's really dark.  It was taken in his room at bedtime, the one time he'll consistently sing with me, and parts of it are kind of quiet, but my baby boy is singing his good night song.  He is getting so good, and I can't wait to see what's next.





Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Curly Sue, All Grown Up

It's amazing how fast time goes.  It seems like only yesterday we were here.  It's been almost a year.  Little Lexie has been curly for as long as I can remember.  Her hair is naturally curly to begin with, and she's had a few perms to make it even curlier.  With me having curly hair too, it's something I knew how to deal with.  Wet it down, throw in some mousse, and pull it up in a ponytail or a messy bun.  It wasn't the caliber of hairstyles my incredibly talented cosmetologist sisters have created on their little girls, but at least it was out of her face and somewhat decent.  It was familiar, and I liked it.

Lexie, on the other hand, wanted hair like all of her friends had.  She wanted to be able to wear her hair down.  She wanted bangs.  She wanted straight hair.  I told her next time her Aunt Kell came down we would talk to her and see if she had any ideas on what we could do with her hair.  Well, she came and stayed with us last week, and she brought her hair stuff.  We had a little brainstorming session as she played with Lexie's hair.  I told her Lexie wanted bangs, and she advised against it.  She said I would hate it.  I knew she was right.  Lexie's curly sue hairdo would not allow for bangs.  She recommended we try some short layers since her hair needed to be cut anyway, and see how that went.  So, in to the kitchen we went.  Kell knew exactly what she was doing.  She took a LOT of hair off, and Lexie's curls bounced up so cute now that they didn't have all that weight on them. 

Then, she got to the stubborn sides.  They just wouldn't go right.  If they were in the back it wouldn't have mattered, but they were right on the sides of her head.  She told me again what we had discussed before, that chemical treatments were the best way to get that hair under control.  But perms take FOREVER and none of us like having to spend that much time on it.  Then she got a brilliant idea.  Chemical straightener.  Lexie wanted straight hair anyway, and the chemicals would smooth out the sides of her hair.  Also, with straight hair, Lexie would be able to have the bangs and straight down hair she wanted. 

Three trips to the beauty supply store, a few discussions with the experts, and a quick forty minute treatment later, and Lexie's hair was STRAIGHT.  It is better then I ever could have imagined.  I figured if anything it would smooth out the sides and take her perm out, but there isn't even any natural curl left.  Plus, with all the dead ends and weight off, it was so much healthier and softer.  We let it air dry Saturday night, and Sunday morning I tucked the ends under with a curling iron.  My little girl has suddenly grown up.  The little curly haired girl that has been my sidekick for the last eight years has all of a sudden changed in to this little pre-teen.  She loves her hair, and can't leave it alone.  Every reflective surface becomes a mirror, and her hands are constantly in her hair. 

I'm still learning the challenges of doing straight hair compared to curly.  It's a little different in the mornings now.  But this is a good sign of things to come.  Straight hair will be easier for her to take care of.  We can do chemical treatments quicker and more frequently now, and it won't be too long before Lexie will be able to do her hair herself.  I'm having a hard time letting go of my little girl, but I guess this day had to come sooner or later. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Fine Line

It seems like life is a fine line lately.  There is balance in all things, and trying to find that balance is rough.  Cory and I have been communicating with both Lovely Ex and Delinquent Ex way more then we ever have in the past, and it's difficult.  Every email goes through multiple revisions, multiple edits, and multiple "scrap it and start it over" moments.  Every thing that we say has to be looked at from every angle and seen if it can be twisted and used against us in any way.  Simple sentences sound like they've been barfed out of a legal dictionary.  What starts out as "piss off and go to hell" turns in to "although I can see you have learned the error of your ways I still lack confidence in your ability to be a competent caregiver to our children".  Things that should be commonly understood in any decent divorce and shouldn't require more than a request turn in to pleadings to whatever minuscule amount of decency might be in a person.  "I haven't seen my kids in a year and this is supposed to be my holiday, you heartless wench" turns in to honey-sweet pleadings to appeal to vain narcissism in an attempt to reach some sort of agreement.  It's exhausting.

On the plus side, all of this communicating has had an amazing affect on our marriage.  Talking to Cory is my escape from everything else in life.  When I have to struggle so hard in court, in emails, and at work to keep things decent, clear, and concise it's nice to come home to Cory and be able to talk about whatever we want and get to say anything that pops in to our heads without having to edit it, rewrite it, and reword it multiple times.  Being accepted for exactly what you are has never been so refreshing, and I hope I never take it for granted. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Good Ending to a Bad Day

Today pretty much sucked.  I woke up ornery and grumpy.  I hate mornings when I have to get up and everybody else gets to sleep in.  Cory worked from home today and the kids didn't have school, so they were all still in bed when I left for work. 

I have an issue with my eyes that makes it very difficult for me to see when it is dark outside.  Normally I can just see lights, not the lines or the barricades or anything else.  It's especially bad when it rains.  My eye doctor says that I have an imperfection in my right eyeball, and there is nothing they can do about it.  Normally, this isn't too bad of a problem.  I've learned that if I leave early enough there isn't much traffic, and if I can get on the freeway and all the way over to the left I can stay out of the way of all the cars trying to make the connection to the main freeway.  Today didn't go according to plan.  I got on the freeway and got over to the left, and was getting in the groove of things when I glanced in my rearview mirror.  I saw the hood of a car.  No bumper, no headlights, just the hood.  I swear, the car had it's nose practically shoved up my tailpipe.  There was not a car there 30 seconds earlier, so I'm sure it had to be going pretty fast, and it was PISSED that I was in it's way.  I turned on my blinker and turned to check my blind spot, and saw multiple other sets of headlights.  I couldn't tell what lane they were in, but I figured it probably wasn't safe for me to switch lanes right then.  So, I turned off my blinker and sped up.  The car lodged up my tailpipe did not like this decision.  He started backing off and then coming closer while flashing his lights, and swerving to the left like he was going to go around me on the shoulder.  My heart started racing and my head got hot.  I am not a great driver anyway, and I do my best to stay out of people's way.  After what seemed like an eternity, but in real time was maybe only a minute or two, traffic cleared enough that he was able to get around me on my right.  He went whipping past with his arm out the window, yelling at me and flipping me off.  The rest of the ride was pretty uneventful, but I arrived at work flustered and frustrated.

I went in to the building, logged in to my computer, and began running my reports as usual.  What was not usual was the fact that computer support had done an update last night and so all of my numbers for the month had changed.  This was a good thing, or so I thought, because there had been an error in the reports that was causing problems in my numbers.  I didn't mind having to go back and update everything because it meant they had fixed my problem.  But no... they had fixed one problem, but in the process had created another.  So I spent most of the morning working on figuring out what the new problem was so they could pinpoint it and get this one fixed.  I didn't mind too much at this point though.  This is what my supervisor had hired me for, my knowledge of the systems.  It has been a rough couple of months as we are working through the bugs that happened with a major release that went out, but I knew I was appreciated and didn't mind helping.

Then, my day took a drastic turn for the worst.  I had my employee review.  I know this is a fairly new job, but I have worked my butt off getting up to speed and making it so I am a contributing member of the team.  My work is always done on time, and I spend a good majority of my time at month end cleaning things up for the other members on my team so that we can meet our month end goal.  Plus, there's that whole working with the programmers thing that is above and beyond what my regular scope of my job is.  Our job performance is ranked on a scale of basically one to five.  One is a not met, two is a low met, three is a met, four is a high met, and five is an exceptional met.  I knew I probably wouldn't get an exceptional, but I figured with how hard I had been working and how much extra stuff I had been doing I should be at least a high met.  My supervisor did not agree.  The result was the lowest evaluation I have had in the five years I have worked for this company, and half an hour spent crying in the bathroom after struggling not to cry in front of my supervisor. 

I know I should be happy that I have a job at all, and I am, but it makes me feel like a complete failure when stuff like this happens.  I feel like I have failed my boss, myself, my team, and even my family.  I don't feel like a contributing member of anything at home or at work, and it makes me question how good I really am at anything I do.  I have already been feeling completely useless at home anyway because I'm so exhausted and stressed about everything going on, but now I feel like my performance at work is sub-par too.  I feel like why should I even try when nothing I do is good enough.  I wanted nothing more than just to come home and go to bed.

When the day was done I did come home, but I did not go to bed.  Lexie is off for a girls night with Mae Mae, and Cory is having a guys night out with a friend, so Phillip and I had peanut butter, applesauce, and popcorn for dinner while sitting in front of the tv watching Elmo's World.  It ended up being exactly what I needed.  His cute little laugh and his cuddles were everything I needed to remind me about what is important in the world.  I may suck at everything else, but tonight he knew that my world revolved around him, even if it was only for an hour.  Priorities are back in order, and tomorrow is a new day.  Hopefully by Monday I'll be ready to try my hand at being a good employee again.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Dinner Plans

Life has taken some interesting twists and turns lately, and there are things I'm not really ready to talk publicly about.  I am still sorting out feelings and working my way in to coherent thoughts, which is why the blog posts have been MIA.  There are so many things I would like to get down, just so I have a record of them, but my heart isn't quite ready yet.  So, for today, we are putting those aside.  I will get them out eventually for those who wish to know.

--

Cory and I got back today from a weekend getaway without the kids to Boise to visit family.  I very rarely feel like cooking when we get back in to town, even more so than usual..  I know, hard to believe it gets WORSE than that so I had planned on having leftovers from a dinner we made last week.  It's an old family recipe, one that I grew up on, that just happens to be completely celiac.  It's basically hamburger, rice, tomato sauce, and a bunch of spices that you top with melted cheese and scoop up and eat with fritos.  I had made a large enough batch that there was just enough left for the three of us to have for dinner tonight. 

Phillip LOVES shredded cheese.  It's one of his staples that he has when he is staying with Mae Mae, and as soon as I got it out he grabbed the bag and tried to open it.  I had made him a hot dog, so I took it away from him so he would eat his dinner instead.  We sat down to dinner, and as soon as I put the shredded cheese on my haystacks Phillip scooted his chair closer to try to grab my cheese.  I moved the bowl away, and then figured I'd see if I could use the cheese to entice him to try the haystacks.  I've tried a few other times, but he's normally VERY wary of new foods.  I scooped some up with a frito, and aimed it towards his mouth.  He let me put it in, sat there and tasted it for a second, and then chewed it up and swallowed it.  I decided to try another bite, and he willingly ate it.  It took a few bites for him to get the idea that he was supposed to eat the chip WITH the haystacks instead of just scraping it off with his teeth, but he got it, and he loved it.  He ended up eating almost my whole bowl.  He seems to be getting so much more adventurous with foods lately, and I love it.  Now I'm trying to come up with new ideas of what I can feed him. 

I ended up having ranch wheat thins for dinner.  It was either that or cook something else for me.  Did I mention I don't like to cook?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Imagine: 10 years

Imagine no possessions.  I wonder if you can. 
No need for greed or hunger, a brotherhood of man. 
Imagine all the people sharing all the world...

You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. 
 I hope someday you'll join us and the world will live as one. 

I can't believe it has been ten years.  I think back to that day, and I still feel it as fresh as if it just happened.  I remember sitting on the couch with my mom, watching the news, with my little boy playing in the bathtub a few feet away, oblivious to the world and what was going on.  I finished getting ready, finished getting him ready, and took him to daycare then headed off to school and work.  It seemed odd to be doing such common place things on a day when there was so much pain and sadness so close to home.  I went to one class, and then school was cancelled for the rest of the day.  I went to work for my shift, and spent most of it gathered around the tv with the rest of the staff watching the news as they replayed the images over and over.  The death count just kept climbing and climbing.  Most vividly, I remember picking up my little boy from daycare, barely two years old, and, after hearing countless apologies from the daycare owners about how they thought he was too little and wouldn't understand, having to explain to him over and over about the bad men in the airplanes who had hurt all the people. 

It seems like it has been a lifetime since then.  I can still remember it as if it was yesterday, but it seems like our nation has been at war forever.  So many lives have been lost since that day, and it seems that there is no end in sight.  My heart is sad for all the people who have lost loved ones, both on that horrible day and every day since then.  I admire the soldiers who have been willing to lay down their lives for our country and the families who support them in their desire to help fight this war.  Today my thoughts are on all the parents who have had to say good bye to their children, all the spouses who have to go on alone whether it is for a shorter time during deployment or for the rest of their lives, and all the children who are missing their parents.  I am so grateful for all of them.  I love our country, and I am grateful for all I have.  I love my family, and I can't imagine my life without them.  I am so blessed.    


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Mr. Cranky-Pants

Out of all of the things my lawyer could have said about Delinquent Ex, I was not expecting "cranky".  That word is normally reserved for toddlers who have missed their naps, but I guess in this case it is just about right.

Today was the hearing before the commissioner to see if our case has enough support to be heard before the judge in my order to show cause with Delinquent Ex.  It has been quite a hectic week and a half since I was served with the papers.  The Monday after I called Cory's lawyer and told him that I had been served and had a court date scheduled for today.  I was beyond amazed when he actually answered the phone, and then I realized I had called him from my work phone which was a number he didn't recognize.  He told me that he didn't have his calendar right in front of him and he'd call me right back.  Four days, eight calls, and five voice messages later, I finally got the hint.  I felt like the bad first date that takes forever to get the message that the guy just isn't interested.  I made a last minute decision and mid-panic attack called the lawyer who had done my divorce papers to see if she had room to squeeze me in.  She set an appointment for the next day. 

We went back and forth on whether or not we wanted to push for a continuance since Delinquent Ex had not given me the time required by law to prepare.  After deciding to file for one, I received a call yesterday from my lawyer who told me that they wouldn't decide on the continuance until today at court, which meant we had to be there for it.  We showed up, and there was Delinquent Ex with his girlfriend of two years, his partner in crime.  We avoided them until they went upstairs, and then we headed up to the courtroom.  Ten minutes after court was supposed to start, the bailiff asked us if we knew if they were present.  I told him we had seen them downstairs, but had no idea where they went.  I recommended they look over by the drug court since that was their second home, and the bailiff chuckled.  He asked what to look for, and I said a shaved head and a leather jacket for him, and a black miniskirt and pink hair for her.  At that point, my lawyer started laughing.  I think she thought I was kidding.  Sadly, no..

The bailiff tracked them down, and the commissioner called the three of us to come up.  Delinquent Ex has decided he has such a strong case he doesn't need legal representation.  She asked if we still wanted the continuance, and my lawyer said that she had a settlement arrangement ready if he was willing to agree to it.  I feel it was a pretty fair arrangement, and a smart person would have taken it.  I guess I should have known with that logic that he wouldn't.  So, we got the continuance, and now we have to go back in another month.  My lawyer pulled us aside at the end and gave us a run-down of their settlement negotiations.  She said he is "mighty cranky" and thinks that he'll be able to get everything he wants without having to sacrifice anything..  This is obviously his first divorce.  I'm anxious to see how it goes. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

At What Point Do You Fire Your Lawyer?

You know that little judgement thing that we've been waiting for in Cory's case with Lovely Ex?  That decision that basically every choice we are thinking about making right now is waiting for?  Well, hold on to your hats..  It's been finalized and signed for over a month now.  Unfortunately, no one bothered to tell us.  It's a dang good thing that Cory and I decided to go to the courthouse today to get a copy of the order to show cause in my case I have a REALLY bad habit of losing important papers.  While we were there, Cory decided to check on his case to see if they could tell us what was happening.  The clerk gave us a copy of the signed judgement, and we were shocked to see that it was signed and filed on July 27th, and a copy was mailed to our lawyer.  The same lawyer who has been avoiding our calls and failing to answer our voicemails for the last three weeks.  I'm trying to decide if he got the copy of the judgement and was afraid of us ripping him a new one over the stuff we lost, or if he was trying to come up with a good spin to put on it so we wouldn't. 

Overall, the judgement wasn't really that bad.  The only major thing we lost was the fact that the judge doesn't consider the alimony "alimony" so it doesn't terminate.  We have to continue paying for another three years because he sees it as a property settlement.  We also have to pay half of all medical including the premium on the additional coverage she has on the kids now that she's moved, but we kind of expected that.  We had some good wins for our side too, however.  The judge said that there is no way she can expect Cory to pay for any extracurricular activities seeing as how he is already paying her so much.  This means he is not responsible for over two thousand dollars worth of swimming lessons, gymnastics, and preschool.  He determined that the property that we have in our possession is truly ours.  She has been going after us for over two years now for property that Cory took that belonged to him, but she wanted him to either give it back or pay her for it.  Finally, he determined that the money he gave her right after they divorced did in fact count towards the settlement she was supposed to get, and it wasn't a "gift" as she tried to claim in court. 

Best news of the whole thing, the judgement gave us a splitting point.  It handled all matters that occurred before June 2011.  It's nice knowing that we don't have years of debts that seem to grow every time they are addressed.  We now know exactly what we are responsible for and we can begin to make plans on how to pay for it.  It was hard to hear because we had made some plans hoping the alimony would go away.  It'll be a few more years before we can even consider owning a house or getting a second car that works.  We're taking another look at getting Cory's monster of a car fixed, just in case we need a second, but for the most part we're lucky we've been blessed in the ways we have.  We have some awesome landlords who are letting us live in this great house.  We work at the same place so carpooling is working for now.  My mom is great and watches the kids so we don't have to try to figure out how to pay daycare on top of everything else.  We have amazing neighbors.  I know that we are blessed in so many ways, way too many to name, and for this I am very grateful.  This isn't going to have that big of an impact on us, we'll just keep fighting for the important things.  Love, family, and friends.  Those are the only things that matter. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

If I Never See The Darned Constable Again...

Waking up this morning to the constable banging on my front door was not exactly the wake up call that I wanted.  Delinquent Ex has decided that he is not happy with the way things are being handled which ironically enough is exactly the way we discussed in mediation so he has served me with a summons to hold me in contempt of court for denying him his parent time with the kids.  I am fairly confident we have a strong case in this one, but it just sucks that now we have to pay ANOTHER lawyer's fee, take ANOTHER day off work, make ANOTHER trip to court, and start this whole danged process ALL OVER AGAIN.  Grr...

So, back to court we go.  This time our court date is just a little over a week away.  There isn't much time to prepare, but at least hopefully this one won't get dragged out like our case with Lovely Ex has been. 


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Things We Think and Do Not Say

Impulse control is one of the areas I very strongly lack in.  Cory mentioned a few times when we first met, eons of time before we even started dating, that he was amazed that I could just say what I was thinking without any thought to what situation I was in or what was going on.  He asked me if I was ever worried about it affecting my job, seeing as how that was the only environment he saw me in and most of the meetings that we had together were... far from professional behavior-wise.  I would say things in meetings with multiple other people that make me cringe looking back at it.  He inspired me to do better, to be more professional, and to actually think before I talked.

Once I got the work behavior down, I thought my job was done.  It was only recently that I learned my next important lesson.  Family and friends are even more important then work, and words can not be unsaid.  I have lost members of my family over the fact that I thought the words that I was thinking were things that they NEEDED to hear regardless of the outcome or what their reaction would be when they heard it.  The thing that hurt the worst was what it did to my mom to have us fight.  It is out of respect for her that I attempt to be civil. 

I am still learning.  I know there are things that I have said that I shouldn't have to multiple people, and all I can say is at least I'm aware and I'm working on it.  I can't guarantee perfection, but I'm trying.  Honestly, though, if you could all hear the first reactions that I have in my head to things people say or things that they post on facebook for the love..  I'm so ready to be done with Facebook you would be very proud of me for the things that I don't say.  Some still escape, but it's normally the very edited version of what is going on inside my head.  Cory is the only one now who gets to hear what my true and honest thoughts are.  What can I say, he knew what he was getting in to.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

My Broken Down Life

It started with the car.  I haven't had any major problems with it before, but the last week or so it seems like it's falling apart.  On the way to our weekend getaway last weekend the ABS light came on and won't go away.  The cruise control won't work.  The passenger side air vent sounds like a cricket is stuck in it.  The tire light stays on even though none of the tires are flat.  Now, it's a struggle to get it out of park.  The car won't recognize that you are pressing on the brake, and it locks from shifting it in to gear. 

Next it was Lexie's DS.  Mae Mae bought it for her two years ago.  She has been pretty careful with it, and we don't let her play it very often.  On Friday when we picked her up from Grandma's house after work she was crying.  She said she was trying to play a game and her DS keeps saying that there is no game inserted.  She tried it with multiple games and got the same results.  After consulting the Nintendo website, it sounds like it is a lost cause. 

Then it was the iPod.  It says it is fully charged when we attach it to the charger, but when we take it off of the charger it won't turn on.  It's Lexie's iPod, and she loves music.  One of her favorite things to do is go in her room and turn on her music.  She loves to sing along with all the songs while she's playing, and I love being able to control what she is listening to. 

After that came the camera.  It has had an error on it for quite a while whenever we turn it on.  A certain husband who will remain nameless was being chased around the house by a certain brother of his who will also remain nameless and he had the camera in his pocket.  It apparently turned on during the scuffle, and the lens got bent and now it won't work right.  The incident did result in some classic mid action chase shots though.  I googled the error that was coming up on the camera, and all of the forums I read said to whack the camera a couple of times on a hard surface and turn it off and back on.  I tried it a few times to no avail, and then a final one that I read said that he had to whack it quite hard to get whatever was wrong inside of it to work correctly.  I am not comfortable admitting to what happened beyond that point.  Let's just say there are a few more things to add to the list of things that are now broken.

And finally, the last straw, our stupid garbage can broke.  I know, in the big picture of things, none of these are very major (except the car, which luckily is still under warranty) but it seems like everything around me is falling apart.  I seem to have aquired some skill for breaking everything I touch.  Please, for the love of all things holy, no one ask me to hold any children or handle any priceless family heirlooms until I can figure out how to get rid of this. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Light Switch Flipped

I FINALLY feel like I am getting the hang of my new job.  Up until this week, I have felt like my head was swimming trying to keep everything straight.  I know where the numbers go, and I know what the end result is supposed to be, but up until now when the end result didn't match what it was supposed to I had no idea where to go to try to find out what went wrong and why.  Something finally clicked this week and it felt like I knew what I was looking at.  I was able to resolve a few variances without having to ask for help, and when the numbers didn't match I knew what reports to go run and where to double check to see what the problem was.  I am no where near being an expert, but at least I feel like I am contributing something now instead of holding everyone back.  I have actually had two days of completely independent work.

The jury is still out on whether or not I'm going to end up LOVING this job like I did my last one.  This one is significantly easier.  It frustrates me that I was so good at my last job, and I loved it, but I had to leave it because I needed the room to advance.  I really felt like I made a difference in my last job, and I'm really hoping I get to that point in this job.  It's not a job I'm ever going to hate, I know that much.  I get to make sense of numbers.  I get my own hospitals that I am responsible for, start to finish.  I get to make their numbers clean and pretty.  I know I will like that part.  I can see myself doing this for quite a while.  I'm hoping that I can gain the understanding of this job like I had for my last one.  I like to know all the ins and outs of what I am doing and why.  It seems to be coming, here's hoping my brain can keep up with all there is to learn. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

A Little Birthday Getaway

For my birthday this year, Cory and I decided to take a little trip.  It all started out innocently enough.  We were driving home from work and saw a billboard that was advertising my all-time favorite comedian would be doing a live show about two hours away.  I mentioned to Cory that I would like to go see that, but figured it probably wouldn't happen.  It would involve a night away from the kids, money for tickets and a hotel room, driving there and back.  Well, my sweet husband decided that it was something we would try and do, and all the pieces fell in to place.  We were able to get a package deal with a hotel room and tickets to the show for a fairly reasonable price, Mae Mae agreed to take the kids.  My new boss agreed to let me off a little bit early so we could make it there for the show. I was SO excited. 

Then, a few weeks later, we passed by the exact same billboard.  This time it was advertising another concert in the same concert hall for the night after.  It was a musician that Cory loves, and he really wanted to see him.  We got online to check ticket prices, and it was actually a fairly cheap show.  Tickets were still available, but then we got in to the problem of needing a hotel room for another night.  This was a problem.  There was a rather large racing event going on for the same weekend as both concerts, and virtually every hotel room in town was booked.  We called multiple hotels and found out the only thing they had available was a mini suite at WAY more than we wanted to pay for a hotel room.  We decided to get tickets for the concert anyway, and we could either sleep in the car or drive the two hours back home after the concert. 

We were talking to Mae Mae about the weekend, finalizing plans with the kids, and we told her that we would be back early Sunday morning because we couldn't afford to get a hotel room for Saturday night.  She gave us the money, and told us that it isn't very often that we get to have a weekend away without family being involved, and she wanted us to go have a good time.  We didn't need much convincing.  We called the hotel, booked the mini suite, and headed out.  We got to the hotel in plenty of time for the show.  The comedian was HILARIOUS, doing mostly his rehearsed routine, but did some improv stuff that almost had me falling out of my chair. 

After the show was over, we went back to the hotel, spent some time in the casino, and then headed upstairs for some relaxation.  We both slept great that night, and woke up the next morning with a whole day ahead of us and no plans until the concert that night.  We decided to drive the ten miles out of town and check out the racing events.  It was fun.  Cory enjoyed seeing all of the modified cars, and we got to see a few speed down the salt.  One of the staff at the event told us that some would get going over 400 miles an hour.  I can't believe people actually go that fast.

After spending a few hours out on the salt, we came back and had a nice dinner and then headed out to the concert hall for the next concert.  I have to admit I wasn't really looking forward to this one.  It was a musician I had heard of but I wasn't familiar with any of his music.  I was going for Cory.  But as I sat there in the dark listening to him play the songs that he had written with nothing more than a guitar and a friend playing backup I fell in love with his songs.  More than that, I fell even more in love with my husband watching the way he reacted to the songs.  He is so passionate about so much in life, and I see things in a whole new light watching them through his eyes. 

After the concert, we headed back to the hotel for one more night, and then headed home Sunday morning completely relaxed and refreshed.  It was a great weekend.  I missed my kids, but it was great getting to spend some quality alone time with my husband.  I couldn't have asked for anything more. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Disappointment in a New Form

Cory and I had another meeting with our lawyer yesterday.  I am so beyond ready to be done with court crap.  It was a very disheartening meeting.  We found out that neither lawyer had submitted for a decision in Cory and Lovely Ex's respective orders to show cause.  We had submitted our Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law on July 15th.  I'm not sure why no one had taken the next step, but I figured that with how anxious Lovely Ex was to get things taken care of and get the money she feels she's entitled to that she would have been pushing her lawyer to submit.  I'm hoping wondering if she finally realized that she doesn't have a very strong case and so she isn't so anxious to get things going on it.  It looks like it'll be at least a few more weeks before we hear anything back on that.

In other bad news, it turns out the garnishment that was coming out of my paycheck on Delinquent Ex's debt isn't quite taken care of.  We won when we went to court, but as the lawyer explained yesterday that doesn't mean it is over.  All that did was reset the case.  The other lawyer had won because I failed to file an answer to his original paperwork, and all that happened when we went to court was the judge overturned the win and made it so I get another chance to fight them on it.  I had really hoped everything was done with that.  But no, there will be more court dates, more lawyer fees, and more crap that we have to deal with. 

I think my thick skin is developing.  Things don't seem to get to me as bad as they did when we first started all of this.  I have gotten to the point where I am no longer having imaginary conversations with Lovely Ex in my head, telling her everything I will probably never get a chance to tell her.  Up until recently I have felt like the good moments weren't truly good because we always had stuff hanging over us that we were trying to deal with.  I feel like things are starting to shape up.  I can't wait for all of this to be over.  At the very least, I know that the most we will have to deal with this is only for the next 15 years.  It's nice at least having an end point.. 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Baby Boy

I can't believe he is seven years old.  SEVEN.  My mind reels at the fact that this little boy that I get to be mommy to, who is still so much a baby, has been in my life for seven years.  While most moms of boys turning seven are thinking about sports, second grade, and homework, I am thinking about first words, potty training, and eye contact.  I wouldn't change it for anything.  He is so easy to love.  Every little bit of interaction that we get from his is golden.  He has the most honest belly laugh I have ever heard, and he isn't afraid to share it with the world.  He loves life.

He has been getting closer and closer to talking lately.  He will mimic all of the time, repeating words right after we say them.  When we can catch what word he is mimicking, we will repeat it right back to him.  He'll say it again, and give you this smile and laugh that let you know that for just a second you have connected with him.  We will usually drag this out for as long as possible, repeating the words back to him for as long as he's willing to play.  I'm sure the world would think we're crazy if they could see inside our lives at these moments, all of us sitting around repeating the same word over and over, followed each time by all of us laughing.  His laugh is too contagious for us to not laugh right along with him. 
 
He is my angel.  He makes me slow down and enjoy being a mom.  I think in life it's so easy to put things off when you should be paying attention.  Phillip is my reminder that these moments are fleeting.  He puts things in perspective, and helps me see the world for what is really important.  I am so blessed that he is part of our family, and I love him so much. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

When Is It Appropriate To Wear Hooker Heels?

I have been doing a whole lot of analyzing lately of Lovely Ex.  Trying to make myself see things from her point of view, trying to put myself in her shoes.  I figured if I can see her as a person and try to see things how she does then maybe I won't hate her so much.  If I can see the reasons behind why she does the things that she does maybe I'll be able to understand a bit better when she does things that seemingly make no sense.  There is one little problem with this..  she's crazy.

Example # 1:  We are currently in the middle of a huge court battle where she is trying to make Cory pay for some unpaid medical bills and extra-curricular activities that he has been unable to pay.  I did the math before court when I was preparing all the documents for our case.  In total, she is wanting him to pay back a little less than three thousand dollars.  In her attempts to get this three thousand dollars, she has paid close to ten thousand dollars in lawyer fees, paid for three separate flights here to appear in court, and countless other expenses like renting cars, food for while she's here, etc.  In response to her papers taking us to court, we filed papers of our own asking that she pay back all the alimony she's been paid in the time since she got married.  It is currently close to seven thousand dollars.  So, in her attempts to get what she feels she's entitled to, she will most likely end up paying about five times that. 

Example # 2:  She has sent both Cory and I countless emails and texts harassing us about everything under the sun.  She has called us both every name she could come up with not a huge variety, her English isn't the greatest and has tried everything she can think of to make us feel like crap.  When that doesn't work and she doesn't get a reaction from us, she creates her own "harasser" and then yells at us for not leaving her alone.  This has happened at least twice. 
  1. When Cory and I first met, she told Cory that someone was harassing her on facebook and calling and harassing her over the phone.  She was never able to provide any proof of this.  I, however, was receiving daily messages on facebook that I was responding to, assuming it was Lovely Ex.  She swore up and down that it wasn't her, and that she was receiving the same messages from someone else.  Eventually the messages stopped, but three months later when she got really pissed off at Cory, she quoted one of the messages I had sent to this "other person".
  2. She recently sent a huge email to Cory's entire family stating that someone on facebook was harrassing her and her family using a fake name, and we all needed to grow up and leave her alone.  She went on and on about how sad we were and how we all needed to get a life and she was so glad she had "moved on and was away from horrible people like us."  Once again, after court when she got mad, she sent Cory an email from an email account under the same name that had been harrassing her on facebook.  It's my belief that she created this fictional person on facebook so she could generate some drama and have a reason to yell at Cory again.
Example # 3:  She has made it very obvious that she does not want Cory to be in their kids lives.  She refuses to let him see them, limits their phone calls with him, states that her web cam is "broken" when he wants to do a video chat with them, and sends him messages and videos of their kids calling her new husband "daddy."  She has done everything she can to hurt him and try to sever the ties between them.  However, whenever the kids do something bad (which is a lot), she texts or emails Cory and tells him that it's his fault they are misbehaving and it's his influence that is making them act this way. 

I give up.  I am done trying to figure her out.  She is a walking contradiction, and it hurts my head.  She is a hypocrite, a liar, and just an overall horrible person.  I figure I have done everything I can do to see things from her point of view.  If it takes this much work to get inside a person's head, maybe inside their head is not the place I want to be. 
 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

M.I.A.

Yes, I know, I've been MIA lately.  I have a good reason.  Oh...  You want to know what it is.  Well, you see first there was this big tree....  and it had a monkey on it..  and...  shoot.  Ok, I really don't have an excuse, other then the fact that I started my new job.  I've been attempting to train on a bunch of things that really don't make a whole bunch of sense to me.  I have a trainer who is attempting to stay on top of all that she is responsible for while she is training me, and it's not really working out very well.  I've been doing a lot of entertaining myself which is never a good thing at work, I tend to get in trouble a lot and not having anything to do for 8 hours a day REALLY makes the day drag.  By the time I get home I feel like I have spent about 15 hours sitting in front of the computer and the last thing I want to do is get back on the computer and update my blog.  So, today we are multi-tasking, ie updating my blog while attempting to entertain myself at work.  Shh, don't tell.

There isn't really much to update on.  We are playing the waiting game again in the court department.  We have an appointment on Friday with our lawyer to finalize things with my garnishment and submit for a decision in Cory's case.  Then, we get to wait again for the judge to make a decision.  I'm SO ready for this to all be over. 

My parents are out of town for two weeks, so Phillip's teacher from school has been nice enough to babysit the kids.  The first morning was a little rough.  Phillip isn't used to seeing her in our house, so it was a little out of his routine, but he seemed to adjust well and they had a good day.  Yesterday, he had a couple meltdowns.  Laura keeps them busy and they have a lot of fun, but I think he was just DONE by the end of the day.  She brought him home and gave him some alone time in the playroom, and he seemed to calm down.  Last night when I was getting him ready for bed after his shower about an hour and a half before his normal bedtime I finished putting his diaper and pajamas on and he climbed in to my lap and started singing me his bedtime song.  I think he was ready for bed.  I still kept him up another hour so he wouldn't be up at four, and he went straight to sleep when I finally put him down.  Both he and Lexie slept all the way through the night, and I actually had to wake Phillip up this morning, which almost never happens.

I think all of the useless feelings at work have carried over in to my home life, and I've kind of been a bear lately.  I've tried to keep it under control, but I can feel myself being a lot more snappy and less "nice", and I'm ready for it to be over.  Normally I can put up with almost anything, but the simplest little things are really pissing me off lately.  Hopefully once I get back in the swing of things and start feeling productive at work things will improve in other areas too.  If not, I may need to start being medicated again.  Hmm, that might be fun... 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Pet Peeves Of Mine

This is a small and incomplete list, but for some odd reason, they are things that are on my mind right now:
  1. Not finding the big creepy black thing in the bathroom until after Cory had left.
  2. Realizing seconds after seeing it crawl less than an inch from my toe that I am not wearing shoes.
  3. That feeling when I realize I have to go find shoes.
  4. Not being able to find the creepy black thing once I return with the shoes.
  5. Having to move things around to find it (I'm always sure it's going to crawl on me).
  6. Stepping on anything that crunches.
  7. Being scared by everything that I see out of the corner of my eye, sure that it's another creepy black thing.
  8. Feeling things crawling all over me for the rest of the night.
So, how was your night?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Living my Life

Perhaps our eyes need to be washed by our tears once in a while,
So we can see life with a clearer view again.

It always amazes me how good life feels every time we finish with a step of whatever obstacle we are going through.  Even if we thought it wasn't that big of a deal, or it didn't have that much of an impact, just knowing that it is done takes a major weight off of our shoulders and lets us live, even if it is only for a couple of days.  It seems like for the first time in quite a while, we don't really have anything major hanging over our heads.  There are little things, little obligations or events that are coming up in the next month that as little as two months ago would have thrown me for a major loop.  Now, they don't seem like that big of a deal.

I think a lot of my ability to cope with things has to do with Cory.  He is such a major support to me, and he keeps me calm and level.  He holds me in his arms and the whole world disappears.  No matter how bad of a day it has been, or what I am stressed about, he knows exactly what to do or say to get me laughing and relaxed again.  I would be a wreck without him.  I love so much about him. 

Ok, enough gushy.  This week is going to be a little rough, finishing up all my tasks with my current job.  I'll be very grateful when it is all done and I can just transition in to my new job and begin learning my responsibilities.  Life is going in a good direction, for right now it's just tying up all the loose ends and getting ready for the next chapter.  Baby steps, right?


Friday, July 15, 2011

Guys Night Out

I felt guilty a teeny tiny bit for leaving Cory home alone with Phillip last night.  He is so great to watch him so I can go out and have fun with my friends.  He fed him dinner, played with him, and made sure he got to bed.  When I came home it was so nice to be able to just go straight to bed without having to do mommy stuff first.  I decided to make it up to him by sending him out tonight for a guys night out with one of his friends whose wife happens to be one of the girls I went out with last night.  I mentioned to her that Cory wanted to see the new Transformers movie, and she said her husband did too, so we arranged a nice little evening for them. 

We don't do stuff apart very often.  Just about the only time we aren't physically together is at work, and even then he is just an IM away.  I can share any thought I have with him as soon as I have it instead of having to remember it so I can tell him later.  I miss him when he's not here. 

The plus side of having a night without my husband is I can take as long as I want when I am redesigning my blog.  I like to make sure things are evenly spaced and I always feel like I should be spending time with Cory instead of obsessing over how tilted a picture is.  The negative side is the neighbor's sprinklers scaring me half to death when they turned on a couple of minutes ago.  I guess if he can survive a night without me, I can survive a night without him.  At least this way, I get to miss him and it makes it that much better when he gets home.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

And... we're back!

I am one of the luckiest people in the world.  Tonight was such an awesome night, and it was exactly what I needed to give me a boost.  Fantastic friends, amazing food, a little legalized gambling, and laughing until my sides hurt.  I get to say that I belong to the greatest group of people.  There is nothing better than a night of just us girls being girls, knowing that no matter what we say or what stupid things we do we are surrounded by people who love us and accept us as we really are.  I came home totally re-energized and feeling better than I have felt in quite a few weeks.

I just have to say that the girls that I get to hang out with once a month have become probably the best friends I have ever had.  I laugh with them, cry with them, pray for them, and love them as much as I love my own family.  I know that I can share anything with them and they care about what is going on in my life, and I hope they all feel that I care about them too.  I do, more than I think I ever realized.  Tonight as we were all sitting around talking I looked at each one of them and realized that they are such a major part of my life and they make me so happy.  Just getting to be around them makes me feel like I am among the greatest people I could imagine being a part of.

Tonight I am grateful for an amazing friend who did not take my initial "no" as an answer three years ago when she was organizing this little group.  I can't even imagine where my life would be without having them as a part of my life.  Through them, I have found true friends, acceptance, support, laughter, and even a place to live.  I am grateful for inspiration, both on her part and mine, that made it possible for me to be a part of this.  Life is good, and friends make it even better.  I love you ladies!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Powering Down

The last couple of weeks have been slightly stressful. Preparing to switch jobs, working on documents for court, two trips in a row up to Idaho, countless nightmares, and many days without even having the energy to cook a meal.  By the time we get home it's all I can do to just last until it's time to get Phillip to bed before I crash.  It's a dang good thing Lexie is with Mae Mae in Michigan, because I KNOW I'm not winning any awards in parenting lately, and that's just with one kid.  I won't even get in to all the wifely awards I won't be winning.

Cory and I finally had an appointment with our lawyer today to prepare our final documents nothing like waiting until the last minute.  They're due on Friday.  It was not the greatest appointment ever.  He was probably the most dedicated I've ever seen him, but he had us get off work three hours early and drive to his office to watch him type.  Every once in a while he's pop in with "what does this say?" or "what was the date of that email?"  He really put everything he had in to those papers.  They're about ten pages long.  I feel good about the stuff he came up with.  I just wish I didn't have to sit there and watch him do it. 

In other news, I have about a week and a half left before I switch jobs, and I'm starting to feel that burn out that I always feel right before.  I don't want to do my current job any more.  I'm ready to start learning and doing my new job.  My boss has already started taking away my responsibilities, and all I have left is the really crappy stuff that makes me lose focus really fast.  I can only work on it for about three hours at a time before I need a break, and this is not good when I have to work at least nine hours a day. 

I'm extremely grateful there are only two more days left until the weekend.  I feel like I've been missing my weekends lately, with traveling to Idaho for the last two, and I'm VERY looking forward to just relaxing and enjoying this one.  Lots of time with the family, and lots of time doing absolutely nothing.  Hopefully it will be just the boost I need to make it through my last week of work.  I can't wait. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Things I Wish I Could Say

Apparently, we struck a nerve with Lovely Ex.  She has been sending rude, harassing, and downright mean emails to Cory ever since the day after court.  I won't go in to detail, they aren't worth mentioning, but reading them is enough to make your blood boil, which is exactly what her intent was.  There is one particular one where she references multiple parts of my divorce decree.  She quotes parts of it word for word, makes references to my ex and his choice of lifestyle that had to be included, and makes fun of my "pitiful" child support amount.  Then, the part that hurt the worst, she tells Cory that just because he got stuck providing for me and my children "including the retard" doesn't mean he is exempt from providing for his children.  I cried when I read that.  She can say whatever she wants about me and trust me she has but I HATE that she talks that way about my child. 

As I was reading the email, there were so many things that I wanted to say to her.  It took every ounce of willpower in my body to stop myself from hitting reply and telling her that not only does that show how narrow-minded and dense of a person she is, it shows how calloused and un-caring she is about anyone but herself.  I wanted to rip her apart.  The urge subsided.  I will not stoop to her level. 

Cory and I had quite the discussion after I read his email.  He has always been very open and honest with me and has never restricted my access to anything of his.  He normally tells me when he gets emails from her so we can document them and discuss if they need to be sent to our lawyer, but this one he decided not to tell me about, for obvious reasons.  He actually didn't tell me about any of the emails she's sent him since court.  He cried as we talked about it.  He apologized over and over again for her saying the things that she said.  I love him so much.  He does everything he can to protect me, even if it means him hurting in silence over everything that she said in an effort to keep me from being hurt.  He asked me if any of this makes me regret being with him, and I can honestly say if anything it just makes me more grateful.  I am so thankful, especially at times like this, that we make each other so happy.  He deserves to be happy after all that she has put him through and continues to put him through.

I would love nothing more than to expose the type of person that she is to all of the people in her new life.  I am sure that she has them all so fooled, just as she had Cory and his whole family fooled in to thinking that she is a decent person.  She might even have them actually thinking she is nice.  I would love to show them all the little demon that she is and warn them not to get too close.  I know Cory has mentioned quite a few times that he never would have believed the person he was married to, had kids with, and built a life with was capable of the things she has done since the divorce. 

She sent Cory and I an email after she found out we were trying to find out if she was married or not saying that she must be pretty important to us if we are taking all this effort to try and find things out about her life.  I guess that must mean I'm pretty important to her if she has gone to the effort of possibly committing a crime to get a copy of my divorce papers trust me, that WILL be investigated and all the other things she has attempted to do to find out things about us.  I honestly don't know a word bad enough to describe her.  I wish I could tell her everything I think about her, but unfortunately, I graduated the eighth grade and now feel a little uncomfortable behaving on that level.  Darn it. 


Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thursday: Surprise!

Today was a day FULL of surprises.  It started out innocently enough.. woke up 20 minutes late, scrambled to get the kids ready, got to work, and began working on stuff for month end.  About 10:30, Cory messaged me and told me his friend Will was in town and he wanted him to come over for dinner.  This is all well and good, I love having his friends over, but today was supposed to be my day for getting the house cleaned.  That meant my house was NOT clean.  There were a few times this week where I would look at something and say "I should really clean that", but then I'd put it off because I knew I would be cleaning tonight.  Cory told me it wasn't a big deal if it wasn't clean, but I insisted we head out a little early so I could at least get the really gross stuff cleaned up before he came over.  Cory and Lexie pitched in, and by the time Will showed up my house was actually looking pretty good.  It was nice getting to visit with him.  He's a friend of Cory's from WAY back, and it was fun hearing them talk about their pasts and getting caught up on each other's lives.

I also received two surprises in the mail today.  My work finally sent the check to repay for the majority of the money that was garnished out of my paychecks.  The amount of the check is actually more than my paycheck normally is.  That was a great surprise, and just in time for us to head out on vacation this weekend.  I also received a taser.. that one scares me a little bit.  Apparently there are quite a few people in this world who are worried about my safety.  In the last few weeks I have received pepper spray, a metal stabby thing for my keychain, and now a taser.  Fair warning, don't mess with me.  We'll probably both end up getting hurt.

Finally, I got a phone call from my HR department today.  I got the job.  Big YAY!  I will be starting on July 25th, which ironically enough is the five year anniversary of my first day with this company.  I love the way things work out.  Things are going to be a little complicated over the next couple of weeks as I try to make my transition in to my new position.  My boss is out of town, which makes giving my two weeks notice a little difficult.  I spoke with her boss (the one who talked me in to applying for the job) and he is trying to get a hold of her while she is gone so he can get the job listed to replace me.  I hope she takes it well.  I hadn't told her that I was even applying for multiple reasons. 

I'm very excited with how things are going.  This week has been a little stressful, and today was exactly the little break and boost I needed to push me forward.  Life is good, and I'm so blessed in every way. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wednesday: The Big 'Un

Today was THE. BIG. DAY.  The big day in court with Lovely Ex.  It was..  lots of things.  Lots of different emotions running around inside me today.  jlskdjfpasdf. That would be me starting this sentence four times, because I can't figure out exactly how to say what is in my head.  This is not a normal problem for me.  I have this overwhelming urge to just pick her apart.  As fun as that might be, I've learned it's not very productive and it just kinda pisses me off.  I'll just sum it all up by saying not much has changed between last time in court and this time, except for her choice of escort.  This time, she chose to bring the new husband.  I guess it was good to know he actually does exist.  I think this is the first time I've seen him.  I'm still debating on a "blog name" for him.  I have it narrowed down to a few, and I think I'm leaning towards "Shades" for reasons I will keep to myself.  I've also considered "Codfish", "Spineless Sam", and "Trophy Husband".  Votes?

I mentioned to Cory when Lovely Ex walked in that I hope Shades realizes what he is married to.  If not, this was going to be a rude awakening.  I'm guessing from the shocked looks she kept throwing his way (kinda like "I have no idea what they are talking about") and the scoffs she kept letting out during Cory's whole testimony that she has him very well convinced she's a normal, functioning member of society.  Or he's as crazy as she is.  I haven't determined which. 

Cory did an EXCELLENT job on the stand.  He had gone over his testimony multiple times with our attorney, and knew exactly what to say.  Lovely Ex's lawyer tried very hard to poke holes in Cory's story.  When that did not succeed he switched to attempting to portray Cory as a person of low moralities who was just trying to shirk his responsibilities.  Towards the end, he was grasping at straws and looking for anything to discredit Cory's image.  He went back to the supposed "break in" where Cory went back to his apartment to get his stuff.  He asked Cory "has my client ever attempted to enter your apartment when you weren't there?" trying to prove that Lovely Ex was a better person because she would never attempt that.  Our lawyer told us afterwards that the first thing they teach you as a lawyer is never ask a question you don't already know the answer to.  Apparently Lovely Ex's lawyer didn't pay attention to that portion of school.  I wish I could have had a camera on me when Cory said "yes, as a matter of fact, she has" and proceeded to tell about Lovely Ex coming to his landlord and trying to convince her to give up the keys to Cory's apartment.  The looks on the lawyer's face and Lovely Ex's face were more than I could begin to describe.  Beyond that point, Lovely Ex's lawyer went dramatically downhill.  He tried to bring up a few more points that our lawyer immediately objected to because of relevance, and the court appointment ended with him sulking back to his table, mumbling under his breath "I have no further questions" and then pouting like a four year old.  It was fun to watch. 

Our lawyer was extremely pleased with how things went.  We were able to present all of the points he wanted to make, and were able to begin and end both court appearances with proof of Lovely Ex perjuring herself.  We have submitted numerous examples that Cory was living well beyond his means, and that there just isn't the money there to pay for five doctor visits a month (true story, on more than one occasion) and gymnastics, swim, dance, and preschool for both kids.  We made a very strong case on alimony, and I think he's very confident we shouldn't have to pay that anymore.  Cory remembered everything he was supposed to say, and said it with a confidence and clarity that I know I wouldn't have been capable of.  He is such a great guy, and I'm amazed over and over again by the skills that he has in these areas that I lack. 

I wish I had better news for the ending of court, but things still aren't done.  I think we are at least done with the court appearances, but now both lawyers have to file their final papers and then submit for a judgement.  The judge will then review both sides and all the evidence that has been submitted and make his decision.  We were really hoping he could make a decision today, but I guess he is entitled to do his research.  It's only fair.  It sounds like we should have a decision by the end of July.  I am so done waiting. 

As a final thought, our lawyer made a very interesting comment after court about Shades' supposed profession and it's affect on Lovely Ex and his marriage.  It caught me completely off guard, and I laughed harder than I have laughed in a long time.  It isn't appropriate to share in this venue (because my mom reads this) but it hit me how much he really dislikes Lovely Ex.  In a way, it was comforting.  I know we aren't just another case to him.  He seems to be really invested in us, and I know he will work as hard as he can to make sure things come out as much as possible in our favor.  We get to meet with him again over the next few weeks to prepare our final documents, and then hopefully we'll have a break for a little while.  At least a couple weeks...