Monthly Archives: August 2011

The Bus

So, for those of you who know my daughter, you know the first time on the bus was going to probably be a BIG DEAL.  My oldest daughter probably had the hardest time with our divorce last year, but it was a slow developed reaction. Granted, some of the behaviors that came from this life altering change in her life were there before. For example, her fear of places closing and her getting locked in.  This one was HUGE!!! For the entire summer there were very few places we could go, and if we did by some odd miracle get her somewhere, we would have to leave early because she melted down. We couldn’t even go to a park, especially if it had gates, because she was sure it would lock and we wouldn’t be able to get out.

The bus coming down the hill!

Last year school was a rough transition for her with lots of meltdowns, low self-esteem, and a lot of struggling academically.  So this year when I finally made the decision to send her to the same public school that I had gone to so many years ago, I was a nervous wreck. Seriously, I was at my brother’s when the deal was sealed, and you would have thought I was going to knowingly kill her best friend.

Needless to say, despite all of the heart wrenching transitions we have had to make with her, this decision she took in stride and with a zeal that I have never before seen in her.  After telling her and seeing her experience Meet your Teacher and the first days of school, I can honestly say that I will never again doubt her ability to rise to the occasion.  I also learned a lot about my behavior and how it affects her and will work my hardest to never again let her see my own fear and anxieties.

This is Lainey doing her "fishing" dance to "catch" the bus!!!

The bus was the one exception. We knew it was going to be BIG. Her and I discussed it at length and had come to the agreement that I would take her the first week, but after that she would begin riding the bus.  Because of visitation, her dad had them on Monday and Tuesday morning, and not wanting to make it confusing for the bus driver I decided to wait until Wednesday to give her the full effect of riding the bus in the morning and afternoon.  It was a good thing too. It just so happened that I got the opportunity to talk to the bus driver on Tuesday when I went to school to pick her up.  I’m pretty sure it was his first year as a bus driver, especially on this route, because when I asked him about the street we lived on he acted as if he had no idea what I was talking about.  After about three minutes of a confusing discussion which got us no where, another of the bus drivers came up and explained where I was talking about.  He made some comment like “Oh! That’s the road I kept missing!” Crap. I assured him we would be out in front when he went up the hill, that way he would have an idea of where to stop.

This morning the first words out of my daughters mouth when she woke up were, “I don’t want to ride the bus, I DON’T WANT TO RIDE THE BUS!!!” After some prodding and insisting that it was no big deal, and that she was going to try it today no matter what I got her going. Then at breakfast we made jokes about how she was going to “catch” the bus and danced the fishing dance.  We went out, the bus driver went up the hill (pretty sure without even seeing us) and came down and stopped at our house.

There she goes!!!

When he saw me he said, “Hey! I met you yesterday!” Yep, Francis, glad you remembered. I was most worried about her coming back home, but 2:30pm like clock work he dropped her off again.  We do highs and lows at dinnertime, and you guessed it, her high was riding the bus. Said she was going to ride the bus from now on. My favorite of this entire story is the picture I got when she got off the bus this afternoon.  Pay attention to the bus driver in the background. Priceless.

She made it!! But my favorite is the bus driver, check it out!

 

Why won’t you dance monkey, dance!!!!!

My children, 4 in two days and 7, have discovered the world of Moshi Monsters.  It is quite similar to Webkinz, but a bit darker and twisted as you create “monsters” instead of having an animal to care for and play with.  We may or may not have already taken it as far as we possible can. For the past two weeks my children have spoken of nothing else. Can I play Moshi Monsters? Can I play Moshi Monsters? When can I play Moshi Monsters? Are you playing Moshi Monsters? Yes, yes, that is what I do if I get one second of my own time on the computer. Moshi Monsters.

I find it ironic that a couple of weeks ago I was getting the business from my 7-year-old about spending too much time on the computer, and now my days are filled with endless, mindless Moshi Monster activity. Let me tell you, even if they get it there is everlasting requests or whining. Can you help me? I can’t do this. HELP!!!!! Not to mention: Stop bothering me! Aaaaa! Get away!!!  I can’t take another break down because the Moshi garden they planted didn’t attract a Moshling yet.

I’m not sure if this is what is really bothering me, or if it is the incessant whining from my children requiring me to entertain them like a monkey. Dance Monkey Dance! The screaming and crying, the end of the world!!! It’s coming in an apocalyptic explosion because I can’t play Moshi Monsters or you won’t watch me swim or play a game with me or dress up like a princess with pink make up worthy of a 2-cent whore! Jesus! You are single-handedly the absolutely worst parent in the world!!!! Who gave you your parent card, REVOKED! Turn it in, and now I want to go live with my dad! (that hasn’t come up yet, but it’s a breath away…)

Or maybe it’s the never ending screaming and crying about how my sister is ruining my life! She won’t leave me alone! She just _____(insert favorite) hit, pushed, punched, bit, or looked at me the wrong way!!!!!!

This coupled with the fact that I am now under the stress of making sure the house is cleaned up, with no real parameters or rules for what, when, where or how to clean up, and in charge of making dinner, I am near volatile. Some days I clean up and its fine, other days I do the exact same thing and I get, “didn’t get anything done today?” or “what did you do today?” OMG! Seriously, a person can only do so much! Maybe I should dance like a monkey with a broom up my ass so I can entertain and clean at the same time! Geesh, give a girl a break!

Sorry for the rant, but I needed that… Thanks, I feel better…

Funny what happens when you start a blog…

Nothing funny or interesting has happened really in the past week.  All of these awesome stories were going through my head last week when I decided to start this blog and now either I can’t remember them all that well, they sound stupid when I write them down, or there is just nothing going on.

I talked to one of my friends from my “didn’t end well” job last night and she asked what was going on.  I was taken aback for a moment because as I sat there thinking of one thing that was going on I realized NOTHING was going on.  No job leads, no idea where (or when) I’m going to send my youngest child to pre-school, no drama for your llama, nothing.  Don’t get me wrong, in my world if nothing is going on, that can totally be a good thing because there are so many things that COULD be going on.  People who knew me three months ago would find this a minor national holiday, unheard of, unprecedented, kind of like a mini vacation away from all of the havoc and chaos that has plagued my life since more than a year ago.

It could be so much more. My oldest is riding the bus for the first time tomorrow.  After talking with the bus drive (who is VERY nice but clueless) I realized he must be new because he had no idea what street I was even talking about when I asked about the bus stop.  There could be a story here tomorrow, or in the newspaper the following day. Girl left on school bus because driver didn’t know where to stop… But if that is the worst that happens, I’ve decided I’m good with that.

In a matter of weeks (or days) my children will be welcoming a new sibling into their lives.  That’s big. To think a year ago they were just at the beginning of a life changing event: their father leaving his old family for a soon to be new family. How far they’ve come…

Anyway, I guess this is an apology of sorts for the mundanous of my life right now.  I had such high hopes.  I’m sure there will be more just around the bend, but until then, let’s just bask in the quietness of life, shall we?

 

Poop, it’s your standard dinnertime topic of conversation…

You know, I wrote this yesterday but saved it as a draft because, honestly, I just thought it was going too far… however, fate, God, whatever was telling me something because IT JUST KEPT COMING UP TODAY! So in an effort to get it out on the table and out of the way…here…

I giggle as I write this, but this weekend I was with my friend and her family and had the fortunate opportunity to dine with them. This included her husband and sons, ages 5  and 1.  Effortlessly, throughout two meals, poop came up as the topic of conversation.  She was agast that her husband and son kept bringing the topic up at the table.  I thought this was all fun and games until tonight at dinner with my parents, a commercial came on about constipation.  I immediately thought of her and mentioned that poop had come up often at several of my meals this week. After dinner my mom and dad were cleaning up and they were arguing about the cleanliness of a knife that was in the sink. I was outside on the deck when I heard my dad say, “It’s greasier that shit!”. I burst out laughing at this point and yelled, “I didn’t know shit could be greasy!”. Needless to say, the neighbors were intrigued. So there, poop can be a topic of conversation at the dinner table…

25 Facts About Me

This is totally stolen from a facebook note I wrote a couple of years ago, but it was funny to look back at it and make comments inside my head about the validity of each of them. [See those comments in red ;-)]

1. I am secretly addiction to Barbie movies True

2. I am afraid of heights so much so that I don’t even go near the edge at the mall in the upper level because I’m afraid someone will push me over. True

3. Despite #2, I once went on this thing at Six Flags where they pull you up on a wire and you pull a cord then you go flying and swinging in an arc. I think it was called Dragonwings or something midevil like that. True

4. I wish I was closer to my brother, but find it hard to talk to him anymore. Hmm, not so much anymore, after my divorce things picked up again…

5. I am a Democrat – hard core. Eh, I don’t get politics anymore and I’m pretty sure the country’s going to hell in a handbasket anyway…

6. I had to call the ambulance when I was pregnant with Lainey because I had the “urge” to push and my husband was taking a shower and getting ready for work. When we were in the delivery room, he was all comfy on the couch and when the nurse was on the phone with the doctor and told him he needed to get there NOW, because I was going to have the baby, my husband jumped off the couch and yelled, “we’re going to have the baby today?” BWaaaaHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Turns out the jerk was cheating on me the whole time! Well, that explains alot!!!!

7. My best friend was in the delivery room for my second child. My mom was wicked pissed. This is true on both counts, but I think my mom is over it now.  Side note: My friend was wicked pissed because I didn’t “struggle” enough…

8. My grandma and her twin once took me, my brother, and our cousins on a hanson carriage ride down Michigan Avenue in 20 degree weather after we had been swimming at the hotel pool and while they were three sheets to the wind. True – I should blog about this sometime… is their a category for growing up around elderly alcoholics?

9. Continuing #8, they use to make us go to dinner and then sit at the piano bar while they sang and drank themselves into oblivion. Surprisingly enough, I”m not an alcoholic. Hmmm, I’m not an alcoholic, but I am somewhat of a binge drinker now-a-days…

10. I smoke, but am petrified I will get mouth cancer. Mmmm, not so much anymore…

11. I am a hypochondriac about everything really, cancer, tumors, stroke…you name it. I even talked my doctor into doing a EKG once when I thought I was having a heart attack. True, but I’ve been on the wagon for a few months now…

12. I was once diagnosed as a chronic recurrant depressive. I forget to take my meds everyday. My husband left me for another woman he was seeing for 2+ years and I lost my job because of it just months later, ’nuff said? Yeah, yeah, I’m in therapy… (and I don’t forget my meds quite as often anymore, but watch out if I do!)

13. I majored in Chemistry when I first tried college, but dropped out of all of my chemistry classes by the middle of the first semster. Yep

14. My second try at college, I got a minor in Geology. Also yep

15. See above, I love rocks and earth science and secretly want to be a geologist. I don’t live around many rocks. True

16. I wish I had more money to travel, but when I do have the opportunity to visit somewhere I will back out at the last minute because I hate leaving home. Hmm, I’d like to work more on this one…

17. I love my girls, but become giddy like a school girl when I get to go somewhere without them. Mmm, not so much anymore, when you get every other weekend without them you start to miss them. Also, I live with my parents so I don’t have to do everything on my own. (Note that when I first wrote this, I still had a hsuband, yeah, not around much…wonder why?)

18. I met my husband working as his boss at Ancient Oaks Day Camp at Sommer Park. I should have left him at AODC

19. We were engaged after only three months. Shoulda been my first clue…

20. I am becoming a Catholic and am afraid I will be ex-communicated after my first reconciliation. Um yeah, I wasn’t ex-communicated after that per say, but let’s just say I no longer welcome in Catholic schools.

21. I am addicted to Cafe Mochas and have to have one every morning. Not anymore, had one the other day and about hit the roof, then crashed for a day and a half.

22. I wish I had more quality time with my best friends. Every other weekend!  But I miss a lot of my other friends, because they have like, jobs or something.

23. I use to bowl in a bowling league on Thrusday nights. True

24. Once, when I was pregnant with Lainey and on bed rest I rearranged the entire living room, including the couch and giant old school 32
inch TV. Totally true, and let’s just say my husband was “in-disposed” at that time, so I did a lot of shit I really shouldn’t have been doing while on bed rest.

25. I love baseball and wish I understood it more, I would love to be an expert in it. True

When your playing football, don’t make the fat kid be the quarterback…

So today I went to my best friend’s son’s first JFL football game.  It was awesome.  I do love a good football game, and I was amazed, after my brief encounter with my oldest daughter’s stint in soccer, how well the kids actually paid attention and did what was supposed to be done in an organized sport.

Anyway, we were sitting there watching the game and discussing which kids should play which positions.  Now, mind you, neither one of us are fit and trim, nor do we have any background in football, but we both agreed the heavier kids should definitely be playing defense and NOT quarterback.  I’m pretty sure in some countries that’s considered child abuse.

The poor child that was quarter back for the team was definitely a candidate for defense.  The first hike he tried to run, but petered out about ten steps into it.  The next hike he threw a nice pass, but the other kid dropped it.  I could hear his inner monologue the entire time:

“Damn coaches making me be quarterback. God, I’m so out of breath.  Why won’t they put me back on the sidelines?  I ain’t running down that field again….hell, I’ll just pass it this time.”

What I don’t get is why the coaches couldn’t see what two, football illiterate, mothers could.  Really, are you just cruel?  I’m going to research which countries would require I call DCFS…

Best Friend's son at his first JFL flag football game. Quite the football player!

Fake roller coasters are just as freaky as the real thing…. apparently.

Lake County Historical Museum

A wolly mamoth outside the front of the museum on our vaca...

So nothing interesting really happened today, yesterday however, while I was driving home from taking my youngest to her babysitters, I broke into a fit of hysterics thinking back to our vacation a few weeks ago.  It was nothing big really, we went to visit my brother and sister-in-law and their girls near Chicago. However, there were several amusing events that occured while there.

One day while there, my sister-in-law and I thought it would be neat to take the girls to the local museum.  There was an exhibit about the history of Lake County which was in a mini theatre type room. There were roller coaster seats set up in front of three 32 inch panoramic TVs.  We sit down to “enjoy” the movie, when the lights go out and the movie starts with a view from the front of a roller coaster.  My fear ridden children promptly began to freak out, all the while my two nieces are looking on with a look of horror and confusion.  The movie begins “taking us back” to prehistoric times and my youngest starts screaming, “I want to go back to our time!” while my oldest is saying, “I want outta here!”. My SIN and I are laughing our asses off, (parent of the year, I know).  Then she pushes up the roller coaster bar and starts to get out of her seat and one of my nieces yells, “No! You can’t get out! Sit down!” which causes us to laugh even harder. Because, really, what’s going to happen? She’ll fall off the roller coaster? WE AREN’T EVEN ON A ROLLER COSTER!!!!

Needless to say, they booked out of there faster that a virgin on prom night.  There was also a postcard exhibit, decorated oddly enough with a gigantic Paul Bunyon and Blue, which my youngest apparently is deathly afraid of.  She would, under no cirumstances, allow us to go into that exhibit.

Hmmm, well I guess Six Flags is out of the question…

To gain the full effect… read this.

In order to try and protect the innocent (and not so innocent) I will refrain from using names or real names in my blog as much as possible.  I know my friends are rolling their eyes at the idea that I’m doing this, and maybe I am stupid, but there are several things that have instigated my want to write a blog. They are as follows:

1. The BloggessTheBloggess.com  – the single-most hilarious writer of everyday life that I have found so far (and I have been looking)!

Beyonce the Chicken. Knock, knock….

2. Beyonce the Chicken (check out above)

3. My mom and her friend’s idea to write my story to Ellen because it’s so unbelievable that she would just have to fly me out to her studio to hear it in person and give me money and a new car (I’m still giggling over this).

4. The fact that the past year of my life has been so outlandishly insane, that if I don’t write this all down, I myself may never believe it happened.

So here is the lowdown…If you don’t read this post, you will not understand much that follows, so begin here. About a year ago, on the first day of school (I was a 5th grade teacher at a Catholic school at the time) my then husband of seven years came home and informed me that he had been having an affair for the past 2-2 1/2 years.  Not only that, but he had previously cheated on me six years prior when I was pregnant and on bed rest with our first child.

After a completely normal evening of our mundane school night activities I put the girls to bed and then decided to go to bed myself.  My then husband came up to bed, which I thought was odd, but then he dropped the bomb.  He had been cheating on me for 2+ years with a co-worker, and it wasn’t the first time.  No, the first time was when I was pregnant with our first child and on bed rest. That explained a lot…  why the house was always a mess and I still had to do everything myself…why I felt ignored and alone.

A beautiful picture of my youngest, Ella, just hours before our lives would change forever…

Now this is not extremely unbelievably, I know, it happens everyday.  The back story is that he was telling A LOT of people that he had a receive a recent promotion at work and was crazy busy all of the time.  He was to receive a substantial raise and we had made all kinds of plans to pay bills off, etc. He kept being wishy-washy about when the new raise would kick in. First August, then September. It was making me insanely crazy as the sole person in charge of finances for our family. He had to go on “sudden” out-of-town conferences for the new CEO. Really? He worked in mental health, how many out-of-town conferences could one have???? I was left with the kids, but supportive.  All I asked was that he remind his employer that he does have a family and planning is key. Additionally, he was working on his master’s degree and I was staying home with our girls all day during the summer (sidebar: I have no idea how stay at home moms do it and I totally believe you have the hardest job in the world).  His work schedule was insane and he was working “extra hours” a lot of the time and doing “school stuff” also.  (His fellow cheater was a co-worker and co-student who would go to all classes together and work together too.) It was all a huge shock to everyone who knew us as we seemed happy and content with our lives together (me included!!!).

Looking back now, I totally should have busted him out, I mean really, just writing these facts down causes me to realize how dense I

Lainey on her first day of school, the morning of the “incident”

actually was. Honestly, I questioned him several times over the course of the previous year if he were having an affair with this person.  When I was busy and he had the girls he would often take them to her home or she would go out with them to McDonald’s or whatever.  I know I should have been more suspicious, but I honestly believed him, who wouldn’t believe their husband? (Besides, to know him is to love him but to also realize that he isn’t an epic catch… I mean I loved him and loved our life together, but there was definite room for improvement,  he was no Don Juan, ya know? Note: I do not think I am perfect in any way shape or form, and will be the first to tell you all of my shortcomings, hindrances, and idiosyncrasies.)

What followed was me making the first rational decision of my life (where any stupid boy is concerned) and asking him to tell the girls he was leaving the next day and moving in with his parents. I believe he was intending to stay until his “girlfriend” decided whether to take him back or not, but he stated under no uncertain terms that he was done with the marriage.  No counseling, working it out, talking about it. No real outward sign for 7 years, aside from the rough patch and short spurt of counseling following the birth of our first child, but wait, YOU WERE F***ING CHEATING ON ME THEN TOO!!!!! Really, you couldn’t have said something then? Nope, let’s hide our heads in the sand and go along like everything is sunshine and roses and kitten farts.  Ok. Cool. Let’s do that.

So this timeline follows: December = divorced, and the girl’s visitation is with them both in their new apartment, January = they’re pregnant and engaged, February = married.

At this point I don’t know if I’m afoot or horseback (and I’m pretty sure my kids didn’t know if they were either). Since the birth of our first daughter, we had been living in his grandparent’s old farmhouse.  We all loved that house. I would have sworn to you I was going to grow old and die in that house, then my children would grow old and die in that house (at least one of them).  The house actually was owned by his father, who was gracious enough to let us live there.  The girls and I had stayed there throughout this whole fiasco, but I knew, and his parents knew, we couldn’t stay forever.

Timeline continued: end of March = the girls and I  move out, and in with my parents.  Oh yeah, my parents, ’nuff said.

Ella’s 3rd birthday, just two weeks after.

Now the move was completed over spring break.  My daughter went to the same school that I taught at.  The administration had been warning of possible budget cuts that would cause them to have to eliminate a position.  You can already guess… I was the elimination.  For what reason I was chosen, I will probably never know.  I was given no reason. Many times the last hired is the first fired, but in this case the last hired was kept and I, a teacher of the school for 4+ years was let go.

The ensuing stress and emotional turmoil I was under through the school year was raw and ugly, and I admit, not the best thing to be going through while teaching 5th graders. I was paranoid, stressed out, and quick to snap, which did not make for a good combination while teaching in a small school of about 10 strong-willed women (one male teacher, and a male principal), those of whom were all very close and which too many personal issues had been shared among them.  I had no filter during this time, I am ashamed to admit, but when one goes through a trial like this in their life, there is a level of insanity that goes along with it.  You feel crazy, your world is literally upside down, and VERY FEW people can understand what you are experiencing.

In June of this year, he and his new wife moved into the old farm house the girls and I loved so much.  It was the only house they had

Painting pumpkins at Halloween – old house…

every known, and it was confusing for them and a bit uncomfortable to be back in that house in this new situation.  It was heartbreaking for me because I would have stayed in that house FOREVER. We had renovated some of it and we had plans to complete the kitchen, but never did.  Well, he did before they moved in. That was always the room I wanted to have re-done, but it never did, until now. I can’t tell you how much that burned my butt, but hey, ya learn to let things go pretty quick, ya know?

The “last hired” at the Catholic school accepted another job at a different school and the administrator hired a new teacher.  Apparently, it was not just due to low enrollment and budget cuts that I was let go.  I even asked for a letter of recommendation after finally deciding that I did want to continue to teach, but was refused.

Halloween 2010

So here I am months later, I am sure there are tons of side stories that could also be told, but this post is long enough.  I am unemployed, no letters of recommendation, no job in sight in this downsized market.  My girls and I are still living with my parents, and there are a lot of bad days, but equally good one’s as well.  I am looking for balance in a crazy topsy-turvy world, and am not only stronger, but smarter to the ways of the world and the people in it.  Will I ever get married again? I doubt it, but that’s ok because the one thing I have learned from this is that I’m ok on my own.  I have a few really GREAT friends that are always completely blunt and honest with me, but have my back also.  I don’t know if this story will be as effective written down, or if you had to experience it first hand, but I hope it allows at least one person to not feel quite so alone.  So, onward we go…

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