Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Not Horrid, The Good, The Amazing

First off, This is my 100 post.Woo Hoo! Go me!

And on to the rest of it ....

I feel like I have been apologizing so much for my lack of posting. Although I promise I have at least lurked. For those of you that are my friends on Facebook, you know that I’ve been moving. For those of you that aren’t my friends on Facebook, I’ve been moving.

Have I ever told you how much I dislike moving? I hate packing. I hate unpacking even more. In my 28 years of life I have now moved 20 times. And that is no exaggeration; I literally just sat down here and counted it out. And we’re not yet done.

We still have a bunch of junk left at the old place. We still need to unpack a bunch of junk at the new place. And there are all these little things in between that are just not fun.

Anyway, I’ll share three things with you here. There’s the Not Horrid, The Good, and The Amazing.

The Not Horrid - Jane Cancelled
Today was supposed to be the first of her days that Jane is supposed to drive and meet us halfway at Jolie’s. Well, she called in sick. Is she really sick? She had damn better be sick because I had plans to try my best to finish packing up and cleaning out the old apartment that we had to put on hold because we have the kids. But still, it is not the worst thing that could have happened. We got to have a tasty dinner of carne asadas, garlic fries and green beans instead of the Kent*ky Grilled Chicken we were planning on having. And we didn't have to disappoint the boys because they weren't aware that they were going to see her. It's still a pain in the butt, but not telling them when they're supposed to be seeing her has been so great for the times she's had to cancel. Is that going to kick us in the butt at some point, I have no idea. But we have the signed calendars for each visiting period, I make notes when she cancels and why, and we seriously do try our best to accomodate and plan around her sketchy schedule.

The Good - I can see!
I went to my last eye appointment and my vision is pretty good. Not quite cleared totally, but with the continued lubrication of my eyes daily it should get there sooner than later. So I don’t need to make another follow up appointment in two to three weeks. I’m seriously ecstatic. That’s $20 I don’t have to make sure is in my bank account.

The Amazing - A Spot for "Stepmother"
Older Boy and Middle Boy start school this upcoming Monday. That’s not the amazing part though. My fiancé brought home the paperwork to get them registered and on that paper work it asked:

Who does the child live with:

Name (Father/Stepfather/Guardian)

Name (Mother/Stepmother/Guardian)

Did I ever mention to you all the hassle we had to deal with in trying to get my name on the forms at the old school? How many times something happened at school and FH and I didn’t hear about it until the next day because the school called Jolie instead of me? The game of phone tag where the school called Jolie, Jolie called FH and then FH called me? Oh yeah, it was spectacular.

I’m so excited that I get to be included in this … much less of how directly I can be contacted now if something happens at school. Who am I kidding? I was so darn excited that there was a spot on that form for a Stepmother.

And just to end it here is a kid funny:

YB: I get to go to preschool!
OB: Middle Boy, what did you learn in preschool?
MB: I don’t know. Not to throw sand in the air at the other kid.

Awwww! Bless them for providing me with such entertainment. Holding in the giggles was rather painful with my sore muscles from moving, but oh it was oh so funny!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Honest Scrap Award

So about a week or so ago I received a blog award from the awesome dragonflymama at stepmama metamorphoses. Considering I know I suck at updating when I have chaos among chaos going on I thought I’d give you something to really divulge in. This one would be a bit more introspective though since for this award I’m supposed to reveal 10 things about me that perhaps you do not know.

1. My Myers-Briggs Personality Type puts me as a hard core ENTJ. Most of my friends and family aren’t surprised. I’m an overachiever when it comes to my career and anything involved with it. I create my own systems and if the baton is ever tossed in the air I’m not afraid to catch it and take the lead.

2. When I was 10-years-old my parents sent me off to live with my uncle and his family at the Vandenberg AFB in So Cal. They thought it would be a great idea to send me off to stay with my cousin who is about two weeks younger than me. I hated it. My cousin annoyed me (and she still does today). Plus my uncle traumatized me. He asked us to clean the room and when we were done he came in with a white glove and ran it along the edges of the room and when he found dust he made us clean it again. Was he serious or was he just joking with us? Who knows, but when it comes to making sure that I’ve cleaned up after myself at other people’s homes you could eat off the floor.

3. I’m a survivor. I’m a survivor of so many things. From past posts you know that I lived as a victim for a couple of years. I hit rock bottom so many times I lost count. Then one day I turned my perspective around. I’m no longer a victim of any of the horrors that have been thrown my way. The thing that made me open my eyes to this was the book “Illusions” by Richard Bach. I still turn to it when I don’t know where else to go or what else to do. I wouldn’t say that it saved me, because I saved myself. But it did help make a path through the fog that I had chosen to stay in.

4. I am totally a cat person. Even though they’re a bunch of punk fuzz butts … I couldn’t imagine life without a cat. I’ve had a cat since 4th grade. I was without a cat while I was at college, and sometimes going to a friend’s house that had a cat made all the difference. Their affection might be on their terms, but when I’m really upset having a cat around sure helps a lot.

5. I love nature. Whenever I’m really run down a good walk up a trail, sitting among the redwoods or lounging by the ocean can really recharge my energy. I cannot wait to get a house with a backyard so that I can start a garden up. Digging in the dirt, watching things grow and breathing in the smell of rain and plants are amazing. I couldn’t even begin to describe the serenity and calmness of it.

6. Orchids are my flower. They’re mysterious and beautiful. They’re also my family flower from sorority. An orchid always makes me feel pretty, and refreshed, and energetic – no matter what kind of day I’m having.

7. I have four tattoos. I could probably do without them, but at the time in my life that I got them I really felt I needed them. I have a purple butterfly to remind me to never be afraid to spread my wings and venture into the unknown. I have a purple rose to remind myself of the beauty that I have hidden within. And that no matter how disgusting I may feel, I’m not. I have a shooting star to remind me to never give up on myself, and to never give up on life. And I have snowflakes on my back to remind me that my friends have faith in me, even when I may not. They’ve served as reminders of the hard times I’ve been through, and that I got through them.

8. I discovered that life was worth living my sophomore year of college. A friend of mine killed himself. And I was lost for about three days. That was when I realized that only I could change my life around from the downward slope I was sliding down. That was when I realized that no matter how horrible life seemed, I could never stand the thought of hurting my friends and family the way that I was hurting. It is unfortunate that he died. But his death inspired me to live mine.

9. Not only am I the oldest child but I’m also the first granddaughter of my mom’s side of the family. I’m also the oldest of all my friends and for some reason have always been the golden child amongst all of them. I was put into many play dates with other children who weren’t quite as golden in hopes that my “goodness” would rub off on them. I felt that pressure to not fail and to not disappoint the adults around me. I felt the need to be the perfect child, to always be the perfect child. Perhaps that is why I’m always hard on myself when it comes to the things I do in life. But I’ve slowly been learning that perfection isn’t attainable, and that accepting life and yourself for what it is will bring me toward true happiness.

10. My philosophy is that you can learn something from everyone that comes into your life. Whether it is someone you’ve known for years, months, weeks, days, hours or minutes. If you take the time to look at the people that come into your life you can learn something about yourself, something you’d like to strive toward, or something that you’d not like to be. I take in lessons like a sponge takes in water. I’ve also learned that sometimes you can learn multiple lessons from one person. And I believe that you can always learn something new.

So now I’m to pass this award along to some other bloggers. I can’t remember how many so I’ll pick a few that I think might enjoy this.

Rachael – One Unbelievable Adventure

Heather – Comparative Childhood

Jenn – The Not-So-Divine Secrets of Motherhood

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Learning Not To Take It Too Personally

This is something that has been on my mind about sharing from our vacation. Part of our trip we spent up in Oregon at my fiancé’s parent’s house. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love my almost mother-in-law. From the experience of having my dad’s mom live with us for a couple of months, and my friend’s crazy mother-in-law stories I am, In fact, ever so thankful that she is my almost mother-in-law. However, just as any mother does, she says things that really get under my skin at times.

I’m proud to say that I held my tongue on the “going all crazy on her” part and made a respectable “reason and logic” response to her in my reactions. My editorial director has a post-it note on her desk that said “Actions cause Reactions” and I have always kept that in my mind.

Incident One – You’re Too Hard On Them.
I believe we had just arrived after the long drive up to the middle of no where Oregon. Older Boy, who had gone up with FH’s sister, and their cousins were already in the pool. Middle Boy and Younger Boy of course wanted to join them. I asked FH to go get their swimming trunks. FH’s mother and sister were encouraging the boys to jump into the pool with their underwear on. Although a washer and dryer were available, I’ve been trying to teach the boys patience and insisted they wait until FH brought the swimming trunks out. I also very much wanted them to put sun block on before they got wet. Specifically Middle Boy who is about as fair as a piece of notebook paper.

“Just let them get in. You’re too hard on them,” FH’s mother said to me.

At this point I was really tired, and exhausted and a bit cranky. And frankly was in no mood to be undermined in front of the boys. However, I’m rather used to being told that I need to lighten up and I kept a stretched and tired smile on my face as I responded with, “Maybe so, but they need to learn to be patient. If I’m not consistent in what I expect of them then they’re not going to learn.”

With that said, Middle Boy and Younger Boy waited to put on their swimming trunks and sunscreen before they got in the pool. It’s frustrating to me when I ask them to do one thing and then an extended family member tells them “No it’s ok, do it like this.” They more of less look confused and don’t act until they’ve interpreted my reaction or permission.

Incident Two – You’ve Almost Taken Off A Few Times Already
I really couldn’t tell you what the conversation was about that this lovely statement occurred. I just remember the statement because it took every ounce of strength in me not to stand up and leave the room. The tone she used too was what really did it for me. I believe that the conversation was along the lines of FH’s mom telling me how happy she was that we’re a family, and that she hoped that I knew how important my presence was or something. All I really heard next was “Because you’ve almost taken off a few times already.”

The statement felt more like a red hot poker, and my temper flared. I felt the heat rising to my face. What I wanted to say was “What the hell is that supposed to mean?” I instead said nothing and just looked at her and raised an eyebrow.

I know that in the very beginning last year I told FH that if he didn’t start standing up to Jane then I was going to move out because I would be damned if I bent over backward to serve her every need and want.

I also know that there has been a moment or two when I was so incredibly angry that I walked out of the house, jumped in my car and took a drive. Mainly because if I didn’t walk away I would have said something I would regret saying, and I needed time to calm down and figure out just what I was so angry about.

But both those times, I never said that I was leaving the relationship or the family. I never said that I was quitting. I never said that I was out of here. I’ve thought “What the hell am I doing?” but I’ve never thought “OMG, I can’t take this anymore. I’m out of here.”

With my experience in customer service, I swallowed it down. After the initial shock of it passed and it rolled down my shoulder I changed to subject of the conversation. Heck, I really don’t remember what to. I obviously didn’t completely let it go. I’ve harbored it in (until my vent now) but it was one of those things that really just got under my skin.

So learning not to take it personally, whether it is intended to be a personal or not personal statement, is my next feat that I have decided I ought to be working on. I’ve had quite a bit of experience with it from Jane and the boys. Heck, even my own mother has given me a run for my money. But it is by far, not the easiest thing. I worked at it pretty good in the office. In the office letting it roll over my shoulder and not taking it personally was cake. Now if only I could transfer that to my home life.

Monday, August 10, 2009

May I Please Have A Break?

I don’t even know where to start in the explanation of what happened in the last week and a half. I guess I shall start with the good news.

New Digs
We found an apartment. It’s across the bridge in the Bay Area, but it’s in a safer neighborhood, in a better school district, in a much better city. It’s also more affordable so that we can save money for the wedding and after the wedding for a down payment on a house. The two rooms are a bit smaller than we’d like, but the large front room and fenced in blacktop yard for the kids to play in more than enough evens it out. (In our opinion at least.)

And, Jane has decided (agreed) that meeting in the middle at Jolie’s house would be the best option. And Jolie will also get to see the boys more often. We try to make sure that she gets a chance to see them too, but this seems to be a win-win situation for everyone. Jane will have to drive part way, we won’t have to worry about wasting gas to drive to Jane’s and Jolie gets to see the kids. Please keep your fingers crossed for us that this actually works.

Dirty Eyes
At my last eye appointment my eyes have made a dramatic change for the better in their recovery. In fact, I don’t need to lubricate my eyes every hour anymore. Just through out the day or as needed. I also have been given the OK to start wearing contacts again (at a slow introductory pace of course).

So those are actually three great new updates from the last entry I was able to post before the week became the “Weeks of Stupid.”

Thursday, July 30th
We drove the boys out to Jane’s. We had plans with some friends and I was busy looking for a dress to wear to my cousin’s wedding when my fiancé called me with some fantabulous news. (Fantabulous is dripping with sarcasm in this usage.)

Jane was working that day. When FH had last talked with Jane she told him that her work schedule was messed up and she was working, however she didn’t say “Don’t bring the kids by.” In face, she gave no indication whatsoever about NOT bringing the kids by, nor about trying to reschedule.

I was livid! Apparently, W*l M*rt changes the staffing manager every six months. Allegedly Jane had informed this new staffing manager that she needs a set schedule. Obviously this staffing manager doesn’t give a hoot. In giving benefit of the doubt I will pretend that Jane gave him/her the details that she has a schedule on when she sees her children and could we please put a little effort into keeping her schedule non-messy. From my experience serving my staffing managers were really good about making sure I didn’t work during the times I told them that I couldn’t work because I have class. I also know that they didn’t really give a hoot for the convenience of other servers when it came to other servers who just weren’t very good employees.

So in the meantime, Jane will be calling us every three weeks to inform us of her days off. And based on our calendar and Jolie’s calendar we will accommodate what we can. If I could I’d write a lovely letter of business and complaint to the staffing people over at W*l M*rt. But considering that could be viewed as interfering with her place of employment I shall refrain.

Monday, August 3rd
I don’t know what or how I did it. But I managed to pop my jaw out of alignment. And when I tried to slip it back in, it just didn’t want to do it. Talking, chewing and anything that required the slight movement of my jaw hurt. The next day I went to the hospital early in the morning. The hospital took my co-pay and then the doctor told me to go home, take some Advil and to call back in three days if the swelling hadn’t gone down.

I again was livid. At my mothers insistence I went to see her chiropractor later that evening. That wonderful man helped align my jaw and neck and gave me a sweet pamphlet on TMJ. Apparently, there’s a bit of TMJ that is causing my jaw to pop out (this wasn’t the first time it’s happened, but it was the first time that I couldn’t get it back in correctly). I went back to see him Thursday and he helped align again. It’s been helping a lot, but my jaw is still rather swollen and sore and I cannot partake in the simple pleasure of eating delicious solid foods (like steak) nor can I open my mouth too wide.

The Rest
On top of all this loveliness I had to take Nasty Cat to the vet on Tuesday for his sneezing issues. He came back with a tube of gel medicine for both him and Fat Cat. Apparently Nasty Cat has this sort of virus that can be passed back and forth between cats. Trying to squirty that gel into their mouths has been a joy. I was putting it on some wet food, but then Fat Cat decided the wet food was just too much and started puking it up on my carpet.

Also work blows. I’ve dealt with so many rude, angry pet owners in the last two weeks I’ve just been pushed to my limit. Had I not been able to have a girls' spa day in on Saturday I think I would have completely blown my lid.

I have more insightful things to share but I think I shall save that for another entry. But all in all, I would love a break from medical maladies. And, I cannot wait for summer vacation to be over at the end of this month. Absolutely cannot wait.