Begin Again

I don’t even know how I’m going to get y’all caught up on the awesomeness that has been my last week, but I will try my best.

FIRST…yes, I remembered to wear a sweatshirt to blog today no thanks to any reminders from my friends who read this blog…LOL

Life is about to make some HUGE changes for me. The hearing we had in July was FINALLY ruled on. The judge has changed the custody arrangement to give me 50% parenting time!! WOO HOO. I have to admit, it’s not ALL good though. My boys go to school in a town 22 miles from where I was able to find housing when I was forced to move out in April. I am responsible for transportation on the weeks they are in my care (one week at mom’s, one week and dad’s is the new arrangement).

So for those days I will have to drive 22 miles to take them to school, 22 miles back to town to go to work and then make that trip again at the end of the day to pick them up. This is not going to be easy on me or our budget. Right now I drive a mini-van. I am looking at selling it and getting a more economical vehicle just for the increased mileage. It’s just the boys and I for now, we don’t need a mini-van.

Their father is, shall I say, less than enthused about this new arrangement. No…he is PISSED. Not only does he lose the power over me of deciding when and where I see my children, he knows that Bubba will become much more defiant while he is at dad’s because I encourage him to speak up for himself and for what he believes is right. It’s easy to ‘beat’ that out of a child when they only get reinforcements for 2 days out of 14. When it’s 50/50 there could be trouble.

Bum already says he just wants to go to school in my town (unfortunately he has no say and for ‘right now’ I am not pushing the issue until a few more kinks are finalized).

The ex also has to pay me $1500 in alimony (for the first three months I was out of the house). He is not impressed with this either. I have no idea when this money will show up but I DO know that it will be a great big help with the increased expenses of having the boys for 7 days instead of 2.

The kids are excited to be able to attend church one more night each week (the Monday evening service). They are also excited that they now have access to things such as Boy Scouts, 4-h, AWANA, tae-kwon-do, and many other activities not available in their dad’s town.

I imagine that Bum will be wanting to  spend more and more time at my house and eventually free enough to request to not to return to his dad’s for the week days. I also believe that Dad, having no more control over the situation, will allow this to happen and eventually walk out on his boys. He did the same thing when his first ex-wife moved out of town with the children from his first marriage. He used the distance (22 miles) as an excuse to not be involved in their daily lives.

He has voiced his concern a number of times since the order came to light on Friday about how awful this is going to be for the boys…how tough it was going to be on me. Ya, like that’s EVER been his concern. My willingness to put these children ahead of everything else in my life only reflects back to him his own shortcomings as far as parenting them.

I’m not a super mom…just a mom who will move heaven and earth (and super sleepy boys at 0715) to be able to spend even a few extra evening hours with them. I am willing to cut out all my extra spending (even considering reducing my bowling commitment, maybe only bowling every other week or less) just to get ahead of the budget once I get back to work.

The change also comes at a time when both boys have birthday’s coming up (Bum in November, Bubba in December) plus Christmas so the budget is gonna be a challenge to say the least. Bubba is looking forward to being an integral part of financial planning. He loves that kind of thing. He loves setting goals and meeting them ahead of schedule. He has already learned the rewards of budgeting and planning. I love that kid’s brain!!

As far as the bunk beds donated to the boys…THEY CAME WITH MATTRESSES!!! I almost cried when the man dropped them off to our home. Super happy little men to sleep in actual beds for the first time at mom’s house. For their birthday’s I will be buying them each new bedding for their beds and donating our gently used items to the local woman’s shelter.

So much more going on, the job, the kids, the church, my friends…and it’s all good.

The boyfriend is safe and busier than you (or I) can imagine. Communication blackouts are more frequent lately for whatever reason and there are days that is hard on me. He is not surprised at the order and sees it as a stepping stone to the boys being with me full time by the time this divorce is final. I believe this as well…but my heart is a little more guarded about saying that out loud.

My laptop part may no longer be available so I am without a computer at home until further notice. Far from the top of my list of priorities…but it will be on the wish list the boys and I work on when we start our new budget!! I have not seen The Boyfriend for a month now and I won’t lie, it’s TOUGH. I send him pictures of the boys and I and the things we do…a taste of home I guess I see it as. We’ll be fine, we didn’t come this far for nothing. He still has more than six months on this deployment and although time has been going pretty fast, there are still days that take weeks to get through.

My heart is full, and happy. Change is tough, it’s hard, it’s challenging, and it’s exciting.

Advertisements

Muddled

Well, last week didn’t turn out quite like I had planned. I had arranged with the ex to take Bum (the youngest who needs his ‘Mama time’ more than Bubba who is already starting to get a social life and is okay with daily phone calls and playing Minecraft via internet with me). I was supposed to get Bum for Thursday Friday as they had no school and the plan was to send him back to Dad’s on Friday evening as it was Dad’s weekend…

I call to arrange the Wednesday pickup and am faced with, “Well, I was wondering if you would take both boys and keep them for the whole weekend.” My mom heart JUMPED at the opportunity…HELL YA!! More time with my kids…every time.

We had a great weekend…their dad dropped them off to me at the bowling alley on Wednesday (we were almost finished the second of three games when they got there to cheer us on). I am always humbled when people take the time and effort to tell me how amazing my boys are. They are. They are little gentlemen…and very much ‘little boys’ when they want to be. I am so thankful to be able to be proud of them one second, and giving them the death stare the next. I really do have the greatest kids around.

Note to self: The death stare rarely works while giggling, it also is useless when the retired Army Captain standing behind me is giving me bunny ears. She is on my team, I couldn’t kill her!!

Thursday we bought a cake to celebrate The Boyfriend’s birthday. While we were at the store, Bubba was on the phone with his dad. Ya, we are buying a birthday cake for The Boyfriend (they call him by his first name) when dad questioned who The Boyfriend was, Bubba said, “He’s my friend, and Mom’s” LMFAO When we got home we took pictures of the cake to send to him and in one shot Bubba is licking the side of the cake “Ha mom, he’ll love this”

Friday morning I had to take Bum to the doctor. He has SIX…yes, SIX warts on his feet. I had one treated a while back and instructed dad that he would need at least one more treatment on it in the next couple of weeks. Well, he never did and now he has six warts to be treated instead of one. They froze them all and off to Walmart to buy band-aids keep them covered and then home we went.

It bothers me that it is beyond him to make even routine doctor appointments but can’t even manage to take them in when they have needs. Almost a year Bubba has been waiting to see a specialist for a congenital hip condition. I can’t make the appointment because it is with a specialist and I have to go by dad’s schedule.

I told dad that at least of one of the warts (the original one) has to be treated at least one more time in 10 -14 days…any bets on who will end up doing that one? Ya…I didn’t think so.

~~

Friday night at 2230h Bum asked me, “Mom, how many more days until The Boyfriend comes home?” I told him is was about xx days and he thought about it for a minute, gave me a kiss, and told me “That’s for The Boyfriend.” He then curled right back up and went to sleep.

While he was sleeping I found a countdown app for my iPod and downloaded it with an approximate return date (and added a few weeks to the date I think it may be just in case). The next morning I showed it to him and he pursed his lips and said, “That’s a long time.” Yep kiddo, it sure is, but he’ll be home as soon as him and his friends are finished what they are doing.

~~

Saturday morning at youth bowling Bum threw his first official league strike…I couldn’t be more happy for him. The little boy on his team and he are both first year bowlers and had a blast.

Saturday Bum spiked a fever out of nowhere accompanied by a headache. My poor baby had already spent 90% of his visit planted firmly on my lap, and now here he was, sick. (There are times when he just cannot get close enough to his mom…like he literally needs to attach himself to me in order to trust that I really am right there and not going anywhere). I prefer to allow fevers to work themselves out knowing they are working on whatever is attacking his tiny system. When he changed positions and grabbed his head I immediately pulled out the Tylenol.

So he had a four hour afternoon nap and then when he woke up I asked if he wanted to head to the store with me, I didn’t have a thermometer at my house and offered to make ‘mom’s special recipe hot chocolate’ for a bedtime snack. Off we went…new thermometer, hot chocolate, whipped cream, and mini marshmallows…WINNER…every time.

He laid on me all night in the recliner. Each time he changed positions I nearly froze to death! I guess he was warmer than I realized!

Sunday morning both boys wanted to go to church so off we went to the 0930h service. I guess he was feeling better. His fever was gone for the time being and he even ate breakfast. When he curled up on my lap during the church service I could feel he was again a little warm and did a quick scan of the crowd seeing who was going to be the one to help me clean up Marshmallow Matey’s vomit…I’m sure I would have been covered, but thankfully did not have to find out!! Neither boy wanted to attend Creation Station as I was not teaching. It was a great sermon for them to be a part of though, so I was actually glad they stayed. You can view the service here once it is posted. Thankfully our church streams the service each week for those who can’t make it for whatever reason. Just before the sermon the youth pastor and another member of the congregation did a short skit that had my boys rolling in the isles (literally).

After church we went back to hang out at home, Bum was still a little worn out, so not much doing except movies and Minecraft (DAMN YOU MINECRAFT). The Lunch Lady stopped over to drop of some clothes that will fit the boys. I have a heck of a time getting their father to provide clothing that is decent and fits for my visitation and am not currently in a position to buy a whole bunch on my own. She also showed up with a thank you gift that is better than any thank you gift I have ever received…a HUGE jar of Nutella!! See, she really DOES get me!

I took the boys to our arranged meeting place at the arranged time to meet dad and things were okay until we got out of the vehicle. Immediately I was overcome with a sense of anger and sadness. I gave both boys a million hugs and kisses (the only time I get kisses from Bubba besides bedtime is at drop off) and headed home.

I was crushed, I was frozen in despair, I was so upset. I rattled off an email to The Boyfriend and whined that I was in a bad mood and just as soon as I typed that it hit me. I had the boys for a four-day visit instead of the usual two…of course it was harder to let them go after four days than two. I need to learn to give myself credit for how hard it is to send them back to dad’s. Every other weekend (actually three weekends in a row right now because I still get my regular weekend this weekend) my heart breaks all over again when I send my boys to their dad’s house. Not just hurts…it breaks. My body is heavier, my brain is scrambled, my life is changed again.

About an hour later I sent The Boyfriend another email and it started like this:

Yep, I feel like my heart is dying right now…laying a hot bubble bath, listening to sappy-ass songs, bawling my eyes out, missing the loves of my life…praying with everything I have for God to give me strength to get through this in one piece, because I sure don’t feel like I’m going to make it right now.

Even just copy/pasting that I am fighting back the tears…feeling them burn my cheeks…I’m at the library, good thing I can type without seeing the keys, because they are VERY blurry right now…

Ok, a few rounds of Candy Crush later as well as a roam through Facebook world and I’m back. Now where was I?

Oh ya, took the boys back, went home and proceeded to feel sorry for myself. The ex sent me a text, “You looked pissed when we met, you alright?” Oh how I wish I could just tell him…he’s a horse shit parent and his only concern is hurting me, and he doesn’t give a shit about what this is doing to our children…but I can’t. I have to ‘play nice’ until court is finished. Just told him I was fine and he let it go.

My Facebook status was “There are just some things even my heart can’t take…and we all know it can (and has) taken a damn good beating.” I’m not usually one to air my pity party on Facebook, but dammit, I was so broken. I have been through Hell…and I have been tempted to dance with the devil…I’m allowed to break down once in a while, aren’t I?

Took a sleeping pill as I knew sleep and me would not be meeting otherwise last night and cried my sorry ass to sleep. This morning I woke up and still was not ‘back from the brink’ so to speak. I watched CMT, ate Little Debbie snacks (thanks Bum…great choice the other day). At 1100h a movie comes on CMT…I am too lazy to change the channel and not motivated enough to get up and shower yet so I watch it…We Are Marshall…I’ve never seen it before. Poor timing CMT, well-played God…just what I needed. I needed to be able to cry., and cry I did. Deep, raw, agonizing, hot tears. I was going to put on my FB “Note to self, watching We Are Marshall when already feeling down is not a good idea”…but really it was. It was the catalyst I needed to get my tears out. To allow my tears to fall, to be NOT strong for just a few minutes. Instead I put “Note to self: watching We Are Marshall when already feeling down has its pros and cons!”

Another friend of mine who was also having a rough day at her house posted “So I read this and at first read that you watched We Are marshmallow and got really confused. Can you tell I have junk food on my mind? Hope that makes you smile as much as it did me :)”

So here I am…bawling my eyes out and suddenly I am giggling so loud that I am surprised my neighbors weren’t knocking on the walls…again, just what I needed.

The Boyfriend came online and after reading my emails was concerned about me. I told him I was fine (which I will be) and he told me my emails had him worried. I told him it was just a rough stretch and that I would be fine…he said I didn’t sound fine. I promised him it was just a momentary situation and that I would be okay which he acknowledged. He seems to think I am some sort of super woman who can do anything…I’m not, I’m just a mom who misses her boys more than anybody could ever imagine.

By 0100 his time we had caught up (we had been a couple of days with no communication) and he was confident that I was back on the right track…or at least headed there. He’s more support than he realizes. I told him I knew he was never more than an email away. He really is my hero.

My laptop is not yet back in service so please excuse the muddled mess of this post…and thank you.

Sense of Humor

I have given birth to a certain eight year old boy that I love dearly. Lately, me and said boy get in to discussions that are like reading ‘If you Give a Mouse a Cookie’ written by Laura Numeroff.  If you have not read these series of books I HIGHLY recommend them.  If you give him a cookie, he’ll want milk, if you give him milk he’ll want a mirror to check for a milk mustache, if you give him a mirror he’ll want scissors to trim his hair…you can see how this goes. Bubba asks why for every answer I give him to see how creative I can get. Here’s a recent conversation:

Can I have a Pepsi?

No

Why?

We don’t drink pop for breakfast.

Why?

Because it’s unhealthy.

Why?

Because there is too much sugar.

Why?

That’s how it gets flavor.

Why?

So it tastes good.

Why?

So kids want to drink it for breakfast.

Why?

So they can argue with their mother

Why?

Because they like to have their x-box taken away

Why?

Because they enjoy standing in a corner

Why?

For exercise

Why?

Because exercise is good

Why?

Because it burns energy

Why?

because there’s some cycle that includes ATP that I don’t remember

Why?

Because I’m old

Why?

Because my kids ask too many questions

Why?

Because they think duct tape is a hot fashion accessory across their mouths

Why?

Because I haven’t figured out how to lock the closet

Why?

Because I am too busy answering questions

Why?

Because I’m an awesome mom

Why?

Because my mom is awesome

Why?

Because she had me

Why?

Why not?

I’ll ask the questions here, lady.

Why?

Because I’m the kid

Why?

Because you had me

Why?

Because I am your birthday present

Why?

Because you found out you were pregnant with me on your birthday

Why?

Ummmm, Mom….

HA…GOTCHA…you little shit!

Of course by now he still has not forgotten that he wants a Pepsi for breakfast, but we are all giggling and have just wasted a good five or ten minutes.

The pastor from my old church used to tell me that if I ever doubted God had a sense of humor to make a plan…lately God’s sense of humor is shining through in my life in SOOOOOO many ways. I still try to laugh…but lately He seems to have taken things a bit far.

I took the leap and quit my job. Tomorrow is my last day. I have my finances figured out, I have several job prospects, I have a plan in place. Looks good right? Last night I get home and go to plug in my laptop which is dead from a call with the boyfriend after work…and the pin to plug the charger in is busted. The milk man is going to look at it for me, but I think it’s toast.

I don’t have the money to replace my laptop right now…it wasn’t in the plan…and I am having trouble finding the humor in this one. I know I don’t NEED a laptop…but it sure is nice having a computer at home. I have the x-box, but I don’t have a keyboard for it…and I’m WAY too cheap to go buy one…and if I buy a keyboard I have to buy a camera/mic set up so I can use Skype…well, now I might as well just buy a new computer…but it’s not in the plan.

The library has computers for public access, the workforce center has computers for public use…but neither one of those places is going to let me sleep there in case The Boyfriend calls in the middle of the night. Neither one of them has Skype or Yahoo Messenger capabilities. So, I do what I do best. I pout, then I pick my head up and move forward. My birthday is coming up in April…I can save up after I go back to work and then spoil myself.

But this means that for the foreseeable future I may not be blogging regularly, I have to rely on snail mail with The Boyfriend which at the moment is not an option due to his current status/location…not funny God.

So, just another challenge to face, another hurdle to jump. We grow through adversity. In the last 6 months I have:

  • Been homeless
  • Lived with no furniture when I did get a home
  • Started dating
  • Quit my job
  • Learned how to be a Wildland Fire Fighter
  • Found a new church
  • Began teaching Sunday School again
  • Taught my boys how to fish
  • Got my butt kicked at mini-golf more times than I’d like to count
  • Taken my kids bowling
  • Loved intentionally
  • Lived intentionally
  • Moved on.

This little blip is nothing compared to some of those things. I’m a warrior, I got this. Just like rules are made to be broken, plans are made to be changed. I believe that everything is exactly as it is supposed to be at this moment.

More Change

This last couple of weeks have been extremely taxing. My divorce trial was postponed (for the second time), I quit my job (which I used to absolutely love), I attended Wildland Fire Fighter training (and although as fun as anything I’ve ever done it was physically tough work).

Just as things settled down The Boyfriend gives me the news he’s been holding on to for a week or so. His deployment has been extended by two months. At first I thought I was going to absolutely break down, then I just wanted to puke. A few conversations and a good night of sleep and I’m better.

He told me that he did not expect me to wait for him. Our relationship is new and he understands how hard this is. Immediately I told him things would be fine, I knew this was a possibility and that it changes nothing. The more I thought about his ‘offer’ it hurt my feelings. Does he think I am so shallow that an extension would send me running? I’m guessing he was only trying to save himself from being hurt by suggesting I don’t have to wait. I wonder if he’s just never had somebody tell him he’s worth the wait. I made sure I did.

The truth is, I enjoy waiting for him. I have comfort knowing I can bring him comfort during his deployment. It gives me a sense of value knowing after a long day of work I can make him smile. I can take his mind off the fact that he is 8000 miles from home.

The Lunch Lady and I have talked several times about how long the wait is and there are still so many variables. She and I joked that maybe now the divorce will be final before he comes home (although neither one of us are going to hold our breath). He could come home sooner, he could be extended again. It is what it is.

I told The Boyfriend that the length of his deployment didn’t change anything except our trip to Mexico…and gives me more time to save for it so we can go as soon as he gets home. It’s not all bad…sure it still has days where it’s not easy, but he’s worth it. As long as he wants me to, I’ll wait.

For now, I will focus on each day as it comes, and say a prayer for the safe return of him and all the men and women who are deployed. I will no longer try to count down the days because then I am focusing too far in the future. I need to focus on here and now while I look forward to the possibilities. He’ll be home before we know it and this will become a memory.

Take care Hun, we got this…