Monday, December 14, 2009

I just can't stop laughing!

The following was a conversation that still has me laughing. I just had to share.

Josie: "Dad! Brandon said Bah-bah-goo-bah!"
Dad: "Well, tell him Flibbidygoush."
Josie (to Brandon): "Flibbidygoush!"
Brandon: "Ooooo, that's a baaad wooord!"

*Seriously those were the words they used!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Blooming where I've been planted

When we made the decision to move to Roswell, I'll admit I was scared. I believe I even blogged about my fear. Today I rejoice in the fact that it was a great decision. I have grown as a mother, wife, and most recently as myself in the year and a half that we have been here.

I'm more confident in mothering because I'm not constantly worried about if my mom would've done something different knowing she'll hear about it when the kids arrive at her house after school. Not that I don't still have my mom's voice in the back of my mind giving advice, but I've been forced to make the decisions without her being only five minutes away to ask her advice. I've even managed to buy a few clothes without her opinion, something I hadn't really done since my internship in Florida back in '96! I've even cut my hair twice, dyed it once, and made my first purse purchase without asking my mom to go with me and give her opinion. Believe me folks when I say that's a BIG deal.

My new role as wife isn't too much different now than what it was before I made Daddy an honest man. "Discussions" are fewer but tend to be more intense as we continue to learn each other. I'm trying to make sure my husband knows I love him and how proud of him I am for his accomplishments. It isn't easy as he tends to be terribly hard on himself and takes any downfall personally. His moods, depression, anger at himself and misdirection of frustration can be very trying. Being the shield between him and the children at those times really takes a toll on me, both in heart and energy. He also gets very frustrated waiting for answers about my health from my doctors, but we've found one who shares his frustration because HIS wife is going through a similar lack of diagnosis. Daddy seems to be more patient, though I do have to remind him not to take out his frustrations on the children. He really is a better parent than when we first began this journey.

I have made my return to the theatre! Woo Hoo! It has been nine years since the last production I've been in. That is unless you count my continuous role of "mom" in the production called "Parenting, or How Nurturing a Parasitic Organism for 9 Months can lead to Insanity." The Roswell Community Little Theatre is producing "The Money in Uncle George's Suitcase" and I play one of his nieces who is a bit of a snob (so unlike me) who, with her con-artist husband and most of the other family members, turns into a money hungry monster. I'm having a blast in rehearsals. Last week we rehearsed the scene where I've fallen into a tub of earthworms and come running on stage screaming! Last night was the scene where I'm swallowed by the couch! Once I have my lines memorized, I'll be able to work on the dramatics more. The rest of the cast is wonderful, so many different, fun, friendly people. Our director and another lady are in The Enchanters ladies choir and asked me to join.

The Enchanters sing a'capella harmony and I have been welcomed with open arms. Excepting, perhaps, the director's daughter, I'm the youngest person there... and I'm 35! The Enchanters have been around for 30 years and several of the ladies have been there for the entire history. I love to be there watching and listening to the group harass and chide each other like old friends do. They are all of an age where they just tell it like it is but no one's feelings get hurt. My sides still hurt from laughing so much Monday night!

From on the heels of the invite from The Enchanters.... I was asked this past Sunday to join the choir at our church. When I was 18, my confirmation teacher told me that my talents were a gift from God and that it is only right to give back to God and his church. So how do you tell the church that you can't because you're too busy with other things? YOU DON'T! While I really can't take another evening rehearsal because that would be very unfair to Daddy, they did let me know that I could come to rehearse the hour before church. Since I'm already going to be there for church, being there an hour earlier is not a problem. Even better? I can bring the girls with me since they are all fledgling vocalists themselves! So that only leaves Daddy with our son to wrangle in the pew on Sundays.
Roswell, New Mexico..... I think I've found my place in the world.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Getting Ready or Things I'd Rather Do Than Have the Flu!

Fast approaching is my favorite time of the year, the annual trinity of companionship and fun. Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. And there is nothing in this world that prepares me better for this season than a drive through wooded mountains through the falling reds and golds of autumn leaves. This past Sunday I got to do just that. I almost felt like I was in a commercial for some new sports car - granted it took alot of imagination since I drive a mini van. But it is red, so at least I didn't have to imagine the color.
My drive Sunday led me to my parents' house to visit with my brother, his beautiful wife, and my precious little neice. She had her first birthday party on Saturday which we, very unfortunately, had to miss because of monetary reasons due to my having been sick the previous two weeks. More on that later. It was a grand affair including clowns (my brother and his wife), costumed children, a pinata bigger than my youngest two children together, jumping balloons, and cotton candy! I would've loved to go and my brother and his wife were sorely disappointed that we could not attend, though they did understand why. So, in true loving brother manner (even if he won't admit it), my brother offered to meet at our parents' place with cotton candy machine in tow and even assist with our gas costs to get there. With my parents' home only 2.5 hours drive (5 hrs total) instead of the 4 hour drive (8 hrs total) to my brother's place, we were able to meet them after a little shuffling around of the financial picture and catching two errors in Daddy's balancing of the checkbook. We were up to our eyeballs in sugary goodness - cotton candy, cake, popcorn balls (my favorite!!! You did hear that Crystal, right?), cookies, and rice crispy treats! Yum! I think I managed to gain back all that weight I lost when I was sick! Best of all, baby Kate loved her present!
This weekend is our annual Halloween Costume Party! I've got more decorations this year, a better idea of the menu, and some party games to play with prizes for the winners and costume contest. It's pretty exciting getting the house ready for the encore party to last year's that people are still talking about.
Thanksgiving this year will be at my home for the first time. This isn't to say I haven't made Thanksgiving dinner before. This is just the first time when my parents are coming to MY house. My mom is having surgery on her wrist and won't even be able to lift a pan, forget about a turkey. My dad is having a procedure done on his spine (ouch) and will be a little out of commission as well. So we'll bring them here to Alientown for a three legged turkey and green mashed potatoes! Just kidding! Traditional flair here with a couple of dishes made special for my mom who is watching her diet because of diabetes. In my book, there is no reason why she shouldn't enjoy the feast and still not worry about going over her limits.
Christmas will be with Nana Alice and the Greats in Phoenix! I'm so excited about visiting with them. I can't wait to play Perfect with the Greats until the wee hours of the morning! I want to gift them something special, but I'm unsure of what. Any ideas from the blog-o-sphere would be appreciated on gifts for a lovely retired couple.
The Dreaded Flu---
Luckily, I did not get the H1N1 or N1H1, whatever - swine flu. But this season's normal flu kicked my ass (sorry for those with tender ears/eyes but it really did)! I went to bed very early on the 12th and woke up at 4:30am with a fever and in pain all over! I called in to work and crawled back into bed after begging Daddy to just try to get me an appointment with ANYONE! Sleep was my body's friend. I was seen by a doctor by 9am. I had the flu which weaken my body so much I also got a bladder infection and strep throat - a triple whammy ala "mommy isn't home right now, please leave a message and if she's still living she hug you later, just keep away because she doesn't want to get you sick." I had so many antibiotics and medications that I couldn't stomach anything other than soup, noodles and ginger ale. I only made my return to beef a couple of days ago, the thought of hamburgers turns my stomach. This was, however, a prayer answered by God. The weekend before, BB had been very sick with a fever, headache, and her asthma was really bad - all the signs of swine flu which has killed several children in our town. As I held her in my bed to try to cool her body, I prayed to God to not have any of my babies be sick. I prayed that if anyone should be sick, let it be me because I didn't want to risk losing my babies. The next day, BB was better (her asthma still gave her fits all week) and I was sick. Thank you God! I tried to go back to work after two days and lasted just the day, going home to sleep the rest of the night and most of the next day. I went to Oktoberfest in Ruidoso and it wore me out again. I went again to work on Monday, only to be told to turn my hacking little self around and go home and sleep until I visited my doctor and got the okay to come back. I wasn't trying to get anyone sick (and no one did) but my doc had only given me two days off on the note to my boss. My boss said she didn't care what the doctor says, she would rather have me all the way rested and better than delay my recovery coming back to work not fully recovered. Have I mentioned I really love where I work! The toll on the checkbook was not pretty, nearly $200 worth of co-pays for medications and the two doctor visits (dr visits are only $10 so you can imagine the costs of the medications, glad I have insurance). This led to being unable to travel for my niece's first birthday party, but I am glad to have my health back. Now I'm just working on the stamina.
So if you haven't or don't usually get you flu shot, I highly recommend getting it/making an exception. If not for you, do it for your kids, it's no laughing matter. Besides, you want to be able to eat that "parental tax" from your kids goodie bag this Saturday. Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Works For Me Wednesday

This is my first "Works For Me Wednesday" post. Hopefully, it won't be my last.

In my chosen profession, or rather the one I've fallen into but love it like I chose it, I have the opportunity to meet families of all sizes. Unfortunately, I also meet alot of harried moms and/or dads. Their common thread? They are trying to balance work and/or school and having multiple young children in the home. Many feel guilty about not spending as much time with their children as they think they need to. With each of them, I share what has worked for me with my four little ones (with a try at #5 next year).

Every workday morning, Daddy wakes me up at 5:30. That may be too early for some, but just try waking 30 minutes earlier than you would normally need to. I put on my robe and walk to the couch where I have a few sips from my coffee. I snuggle with Daddy for five to ten minutes. Then I wake the children. I then take turns snuggling each child for about five minutes. I ask them if the slept well, what dreams did they have, what are they looking forward to today? Then I send them off to get dressed and ready for school or camp. Each child gets individual time with me and starts everyday with a long hug and knowing that we love them. This works for my 12 year old all the way to my 3 year old, they know I love them even though I can't spend as much time as I want to with them. We're going for quality here because quantity is something we really don't have much control over.
Hope this works for others like it has here with me and some of my families. Good Luck.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Ups, Downs, and All Arounds...

Definitions - Ups: that which I am happy or otherwise feeling well about; Downs: that which I am upset or angry or just plain frustrated about; All Arounds: as in where I have been this past weekend!
UPS: I am infinitely overjoyed at having all four of my children together again. While it was great having a honeymoon sans ninos, my house and my heart have been missing the chaos. My heart actually leaped at the mild banter between Lena and BB as they reasserted their place in the family ranks. My sweet BB has changed so much in the last two months. She has begun to "blossom" requiring the purchase of a few bras for her, heels and chocolate for me (this nine-year-old is taller than my eyebrows now). I believe that Brandon, especially, is grateful to have his sister back. I think he missed her most of all. I wish I had a great big beanbag to flop on with all my children on it to cuddle.
DOWNS: In retrieving BB from Texas, I was required to meet with my ex-husband, Jason and his wife Celeste. While I have lived a wonderful life without his presence, he feels the need as of late to try to cram himself into mine. Mostly I think his need to visit with BB only came about when I got engaged to Daddy and he realized that there was a far better man than him being the daddy for our little girl. Many people ask me if I wish he were dead for what he put me and BB through and I surprise them and say no. I agree that there were several incidents where one might wish he were dead, a few where if I had fought back it would have been self-defense, but as many who work with abused women know - I was fearful that any fighting would just be "kicking the beehive" for worse punishment. So there I was sitting in a Denny's on Fort Hood Road sipping on a root bear at 8am with my husband on one side and my ex-husband on the other listening to him and his wife argue in Spanish while his son played video games and BB got reacquainted with her sister, Lena. He promised BB that he would take her to Six Flags and Sea World, broken - they didn't go, which is why we were getting her Saturday morning instead of Sunday so that once again we could keep a promise made by the absent (-minded) parent. He promised that he would get her military ID renewed as it had expired a few months ago, broken - which will now require that I take an entire day off from work to travel 2.5 hours to the nearest military instillation, sit in line, explain for the up-teenth time that I have sole custody, show my wrinkled and dusty divorce papers, wait to be called up, get her picture taken, wait for it to be processed and then drive 2.5 hours back home. Oh! And that's after I wait for him to mail back the expired ID. She was wearing clothes that Jason bought for her which were too tight for my innocent baby to wear, but after seeing his wife I know why. Don't get me wrong, I don't really know the young lady and honestly she seemed nice enough. But her clothes looked like they were painted on because every roll showed and her pants left little to the imagination. If she'd been I guy, you would've been able to tell if he was circumcised or not! I'll admit I'm definitely no skinnie-minnie, but I do know what not to wear. If we were friends, I get an intervention from Stacy and Clinton on TLC for her. While I'm sure that no permanent damage has been done, it won't be easy to get BB to give up what little her father has given her. He was also very rude about why he bought clothes and tennis shoes for her, saying the items she came with (bought by my mom) were inappropriate to such an active girl. Really he could've just not said anything. There were other thing she did at which I am miffed, but I shall save them for an ex rant post. In any event, her visit is over and I don't foresee another one on the horizon after various misgivings on this visit.
AND ALL AROUND: I, and I'm sure Daddy, would love it if we could avoid spending anymore time in the car! We spent Thursday leaving from work to Grandma/Grandpa's to drop off B-Boy and Josie and then driving back. Return time - 11:30pm. Friday we left for Ft. Hood, Texas at 6:30pm right after work. A bad storm had us pulled over in a picnic area for an hour. We arrived in the Denny's parking lot at 5am Saturday morning. We discovered that having a van is a blessing on long trips by saving us from spending money on a hotel room which was only going to be used for two hours. We just pulled down the backseat into the floor storage, dropped down a thick comforter, placed two pillows and pulled a blanket over us - Instant Bed! After sleeping for an hour and a half, we woke, got dressed and went into Denny's for some breakfast. After byes, we drove to San Antonio for a day of fun (and rain) at Six Flags Fiesta Texas. Then we spent a pleasant night in our hotel room and left after breakfast to pick up Josie and B-Boy in Alamogordo. Finally we made it to our home in Roswell, NM just before midnight on Sunday.
A bit of a whirlwind excursion, but well worth it to have all my babies back home!

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Start of Something Big?

Here it is. No, this is not my wedding cake. I promise to blog about my wedding soon now that I have found a way to upload my pictures. This is the wedding cake I made for a dear friend of mine as her gift from me. This wedding cake was quoted to her by a bakery in our town at $700! So you could say I gave her a $700 gift (snicker with glee). I won't say this cake wasn't alot of work. It was. But it was also a joy which made it not seem like any work at all. It was also practice for a possible BIG venture. When I made my wedding cake, a beautiful but small one for my small wedding, I was immediately asked to make one for the young lady who caught my bouquet (her wedding was this morning and I'm delivering her cake this evening, pics to come). Upon my return from my honeymoon, another friend told me how beautiful my cake was and how did it taste. My reply was to bring her a sample of the cake. She loved it! So I was asked if I could make her cake and how much/what did she need to buy, she already had the stand you see here. I didn't ask her for anything, as my gift to her, I would purchase the necessary items. My payment came this past Saturday night at her reception.

My friend "S" didn't cry during her wedding. She didn't cry during the vows. She didn't cry during the kiss. She didn't even cry during the father-daughter dance. My friend "S" only cried when she took a look at her cake, gave me a big huge hug and told me "Thank you! It's so beautiful! I don't want to cut it!" Which, being the sentimental fool lately, turned on the taps to my own waterworks and we both had to grab napkins to avoid the raccoon-look that runny mascara would bring. That was my payment, the joy on my bride's face, and I will hold that in my heart forever.

Now the decision is on me to develop my own side endeavour of creating affordable wedding cakes. So far, I haven't done anything fancy. But they are beautiful and I am happy to do them. I have met a few people in the weeks since my wedding who are willing to help me advertise my own business of wedding cakes, I have only to create business cards and a web page of my work. It is something I can do on my own time, keeping the day-job I love, and I can schedule only as many cakes as I can do without overwhelming myself. With four kids, that's important. But most of all, it is something I can create and learn from, keeping my mind young and my fingers nimble.

Okay, I can't resist. Here are pics of my wedding cake (these are from my camera).

I loved the Cinderella carriage.

Monday, July 6, 2009

My ex-husband is a TURKEY!!!!!

My ex-husband has set a new definition for cruelty and pig-headed-ness. This afternoon I missed a phone call from my ex-husband's phone and then received the voice-mail. The timid voice on the line stated she was BB and she'd had an accident but it was taken care of, bye mom, I love you.
Naturally, my heart began pounding and the various mommy-versions of "accident" raced through my mind as I dialed my phone frantically to return the call.
My ex answered the phone:
Ex: "You didn't tell me about BB on long trips and needing to go to the bathroom!"
Me: "Um, that's every kid." (Especially knowing this was a 12 hour trip)
Ex: "Well, MY kid isn't like that!" (Hasn't he been pointing out BB is his kid?)
Me: "Okay, well let me talk to her."
Ex: "I already took care of it, twice!"
Me: "Just let me talk to her."
BB: "Hi, Mom." (Ex in the background telling her to tell me "what she did"
Me: "Hi baby, heard you had a potty accident."
BB: "Yes, twice. But we changed my clothes and I'm okay now."
Me: "Well remember, sweetie. This isn't Mommy and Daddy you're with. This "daddy" doesn't know you like we do. So if you have a drink, the next town you see, ask to empty out just in case because he's not going to remember to ask you if you have to go."
BB: "Okay mommy."
Me: "Okay BB, be safe, I love you."
BB: "I love you too mom!"
So here I sit fuming and contemplating running to Ft. Hood, Texas to get my little girl back from an asshole! Seriously! This crap coming from a man who has spent much less than the six years his son (not to mention the ten years his daughter) has been alive actually practicing parenthood! Your normal child will need the restroom eight to ten time in a 24 hour period if they are properly hydrated - less if they are sweating. In a 12 hour drive, this means at least 4 times. And what about the emotional damage for her? She's already feeling pretty embarrassed and upset about having the accident twice, then he's comparing her to his accident-free (and possibly dehydrated) six year old AND making her call her mother to admit her mistake so that he can somehow turn it into the mother's fault!?! Ugh! In my fuming, I completely forgot to ask BB what she had for breakfast. Because if he gave her regular milk with her cereal, that would be the reason for the bladder accidents, which is clearly typed out on the Medical Procedure handout I gave him with the power of attorney. I'll ask her tonight, because if that's the case, then he owes both of us a HUGE apology. I'm seriously doubting a second visit.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

At last!

We are married! Photo and more to come! Including some honesty

Friday, June 12, 2009

47 Hours Left!

In less than two days, I will be a married woman! And still there is so much to do.
Every few minutes, I'm getting a text or phone call from someone asking if I have this or that. Honestly, I was really just going to the "simple" wedding, but I've come to realize there is no such thing. I completely forgot the following: toasting glasses, garter, and how did we want to be introduced after the ceremony. I finished baking and frosting the cakes last night, today I will roll, press and place the purple fondant and box them. I must also complete the fairy wings (but I'm honestly wishing I could just go buy some) and alter two of the girls dresses. Then I just need to pack, load up the van tomorrow, pick up the flowers and my dress and be on my way! Tomorrow afternoon, I can take just for myself. I'm just hoping I can sleep!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Wedding and Twitter

For some reason it came to my mind today: what would I write if I tweeted my wedding? Not that I would actually do that. Could you imagine someone tweeting during their own wedding? So I figured I'd write what I would say if I actually did tweet my wedding.

OMG! Didn't think I'd actually eat today but waffles are good!
Hotel showers = endless hot water
Just my luck, cut my leg shaving. Ouch!
Getting the kids hair curled, loverly.
Loverly just got that "I'm getting married in the morning" song stuck in my head.
Stupid fake nails are making things hard.
Off to Mountain Annie's to set up candy buffet
Quick dash for some lunch then to the beauty salon
Why can't my hair look this good everyday!?!
Back to Mtn Annie's to get dressed
My little ones look georgeous and my best friends too.
First time seeing all my guest in their costumes!
Did I forget to mention its a Masquerade Ball?
Mom on the left, Dad on the right, here we go down the aisle.
Daddy looks so handsome. Crap! I'm gonna cry!
I think my sixpence just fell out of my shoe.
The officiate is my brother but I can't hear anything, brain is buzzing.
Here's my cue.........I do! (Hell yes, I do!!!!)
Yea! He said I do too! No turning back now.
My ring fits perfectly. Thank you yoga instructor, Michelle!!
Turn and see all those smiling faces, I think my dad is crying.
This is so different from the last time I got married, this time is right.
To the reception!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I'm getting married in the morning...

Ding, Dong the bells are gonna chime
Boys come and kiss me
Show how ya'll miss me
But get me to the church on time!

Eleven days from right this very moment I'll be getting married. As I told someone just a few days ago who asked if I was sure: YES, I'm sure! The first marriage was just my practice husband so I could learn what NOT to do! She though that was the perfect way to describe her first marriage too, practice.
I'm still trying to figure out how I'm going to do my name. Should I hyphenate it, take his, keep both without a hyphen? It makes for a long name: Bobowski-Powell, but it has a certain ring to it. I have made some career and personal gains under the name Bobowski and I don't want to lose any credibility I've gained. But I'm not sure if I could legally keep the name Bobowski-Powell but only sign Powell? ANY help from anyone out there would be appreciated. Just leave it in the comments, please.
Unfortunately, we did not find the wedding rings. It would appear that our previous land-lady (or her son) did not give us all our boxes out of storage because we could tell other things were missing. So we've opted to purchase inexpensive rings, under $50 each, and promised ourselves that next year for our anniversary we'll get rings we really want.
More to come later.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

17 and counting!

Only 17 days left until the wedding! I'm getting my final checklist done but it's the little thing that are starting to bug me. I've found a photographer and our music is getting put on CD, but the little things like buying underwear, getting back response cards, buying more jars and candy are starting to bother me. Perhaps some yoga tonight will do this body some good.
Also annoying is that we still haven't found our wedding bands. I looked in every single box in the garage and Daddy looked in the storage unit. But, when I asked Daddy about looking in the storage unit he said he looked for the box he thought they were in, not in every box! Ugh! Men sometimes!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mommy Day for Me!

This post is a little late in developing due some some computer problems. Hopefully, all is well now.
Saturday was spent with my Mom lazing about playing cards and eating well while the kiddos splashed and laughed and screamed in the little pool outside until trembly voiced faces peered in through the screen saying, "M-m-may I h-h-h-have a to-o-o-wel-l-l, I'm fweeeeeezing." My Dad's BBQ chicken is the best! Our gift to Mom was one of those digital picture frame keychains. I figured it was the best gift for a Grandma with five grandchildren she wants to show off. Mom even got me a gift of bathtime indulgence. Now the only thing I need is a coupon for time free from child interruption while I take a bath.
Mother's Day brought me a breakfast not made by me to my favorite spot on the couch with complete control of the remote - chick flicks at my beck-and-call! Then Daddy and I spent some time going through the shed trying to find those wedding rings we bought four years ago before the wedding was post-phoned so many times. Did we find them? Not yet. Knowing our luck, they're in the garage. But we did find so many other things we'd forgotten including the card I got last Mother's Day from the kids... it still makes me laugh.
In the evening, we went to the bridge crossing ceremony for Miss M-bug, my best friend's daughter (who is Josie's best friend). This little Daisy scout is now a Brownie and still just as sweet.
Then it was time for dinner made by Daddy: Grilled shrimp over pasta! Yummy!
A great Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Licensed on Odd Day!

I am soooooo excited!!!!!! Can you tell?
We just got our marriage license on Odd Day. Didn't even know it till after we picked it up. Turns out Odd Day only happens six time in a century! I'll definitely have to remember this.
Good times with the wedding dress. Took the dress to my seamstress today because the dress fits everywhere except the bust. Peter loves this but it makes finding dresses impossible for me. They usually fit everywhere but the bust or I find one to fit the bust and they hang everywhere else. So the seamstress looks at the dress and asks how it fit when I tried it on. I tell her it was about 2 1/2 inches from zipping all the way up but I've lost about an inch or so since because I starting going back to yoga class. She wants to wait three weeks and see where I'm at before she even touches my dress because I may not need it!!! Woo Hoo!
38 days and counting!

Monday, April 20, 2009

I've finally made my mother proud!

Today I ordered some wedding supplies. I don't need much because Annie at Mountain Annie's is taking care of nearly everything for our special day, I'll devote an entire post to her soon. I ordered the freeze-dried purple rose petals for my flower girls to drop down the aisle, 30 silicone dried purple orchids for my wedding cake, and 100 white Chinese take-out boxes for our guests to fill with their candy buffet wedding favors. All for under $50.00! I texted this fact to my mom. Her response:
"SHIT! That's F*ing good, now ur my girl, love u :-) Mom!"
Yep, she's proud!

And they're off.......

The wedding invitations are starting their journeys to their various destinations! Surprisingly, most of my mailed invitations are going to Arizona. A few of my friends have moved that way and plenty of Daddy's family members are living there as well. My fiance' has chosen beautiful stamps to put on the response cards, I'm so proud of him. I'm a little worried about his wedding attire because he texted me asking if I trusted him to choose his own clothing and I told him yes, which earned me a text back of "Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet!!!!" Now, I'm worried because he's very excited about it and I know his Goth taste and while I'm sure he won't come to the wedding sporting the number 13 on his forehead, I'm not sure I like how "Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeet" his choice in clothing is. However, I will trust him because now I have no choice. Besides, this man helped me send the invitations by double checking that I had return addresses and licked each envelope (a task I despise ever since senior year, yet another story). I'm getting really stoked about this!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter Ow!

This has been a very fun month. April Fool's for the boss went over great she just doesn't do balloons. Her husband even came out to take pictures of her car on his cell phone! I tried on my wedding dress this weekend and it fits everywhere except for my boobs. Figures. It's hard to find anything to fit over these things AND the rest of my body. With normal boobs, I'd probably fit in a size 8 or 10. My breasts are a size 34DDD, that's right, three D's. Depending on the bra style, sometimes a 36DDD. And yes, they're real. So my wedding dress needs to be altered about 2 1/2 inches for my boobs. Either we'll add a "V" shaped panel on each side under the arms or add loops and ribbon for a corset look to the back. I've also joined a gym in the hopes of maybe reducing the ol' gals, though the last time I just lost weight everywhere else but the ladies. Daddy is not looking forward to a possible reduction of fluff in the "love pillows."
Easter was great and as soon as I can, I'll post pictures. The Ow? My mom saved some cascarones from when we made our own last fiesta. Cascarones are eggs shells that have been carefully cracked open (eggs used for breakfast or whatever), cleaned out, filled with confetti, and sealed with tissue paper. It's loads of fun trying to sneak up on someone to crack it over their head and rub the confetti into their head. The usual way of cracking the egg is to squeeze it till it pops but some people will just smash the egg on your head. Josie, however, being small and just learning these traditions, came up with her own way when trying to surprise Daddy. Daddy was in Grandma's refrigerator squatting to look for something on the bottom shelf and Grandma took the opportunity to help Josie sneak up on him with a cascarone. Daddy was within reach for her. Josie stuck her head around the corner and said, "Daddy" and when Daddy looked up, Josie threw it at his head like she was pitching for the Yankees! The egg hit Daddy on the forehead, cracked, bounced over his head spilling confetti on him and the kitchen floor before landing about two feet behind him. Daddy had a small bruise on his head and said hit hurt. Grandma and I were dying with laughter. After she recovered, Grandma suggested to Josie that perhaps Daddy needed a kiss on his boo-boo. So Josie went up to Daddy to kiss it better but stopped said, "Eeww, Daddy you have confetti on your head" and refused to kiss him cause he was "gross!" This, of course, sent us all into a laughing tizzy and Grandma just about peed her pants! Perhaps we are on our way to creating our own baseball team, Josie can pitch!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Easter Preparations

Following an order from my mother - we are going to our home town for the Easter holiday. According to my mother, we are not officially on our own for the holidays until we have been moved away for a year. Our year is not up until May 30th. Knowing my mom, it never will be. Holy Thursday will be in our new town of Roswell at our new church. Good Friday and Easter Vigil will be in our old church back home, so it's kind of nice to get a little Easter from each church.
Family tradition dictates that the Easter egg hunt is at my mom's house. The last two years this has included me getting up and over to my mom's house at four in the morning, hiding eggs with the Easter bunny, having a cup of coffee and a homemade scone and making it back to my house before the children wake up. It has also including a lot of cooking. This year our Easter dinner will be simpler because I no longer live five minutes away from mom and dad and there won't be much room to cook/re-heat things because mom's microwave died last weekend. I also don't have to drive at four in the morning. I'm sure I'll still be up at four in the morning, just not driving because we'll be staying at mom's. The best part about this year is that it is "Baby Kate's" first Easter, she is my brother and his wife's baby girl. My personal tradition is that every child gets a chocolate bunny for Easter, even Baby Kate. Yes, I know that at five months old she can't eat it, but she'll still get one. Why? Because I always wanted a solid chocolate bunny for Easter as a kid and times being what they were, we didn't always get even a hollow one. Times being what they are now, we don't/can't get everything our children want. But at least they'll have a chocolate bunny.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April Fool's

On my office door this morning was a note saying, "Happy April Fools Day." Then I opened my door. Strewn all over the floor, desk, chairs and computer were bright colored shredded paper strips. The button on my computer was taped, the phone was taped down and so was the mouse. As I worked through my morning I discovered that my top drawer of my desk was taped shut and my calculator tape was also taped in such a way as to keep everything printing on the same line. Then I was printing documents for a client---on multi-colored paper (pink, yellow, and orange)! I'm pretty sure that was everything, but I'll likely find more as the day goes on. This same scene played out in two other co-worker's offices as well probably because we were all out yesterday afternoon either for a meeting or illness. The culprit? Our wonderful boss!!!
In retaliation, we have taken all the shredded paper from our three offices and strewn it all over her office, including her plants. We bought 30 pink and green balloons which are all over her ceiling. We Saran Wrapped her car and hid Vaseline under the driver door handle.
I can't wait to see her reaction!
....keep you posted!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Bet you didn't know.....

Courtesy of Audrey at Barking Mad,, I present to you my post "Bet you didn't know" for her Twilight giveaway!!!! Thank you Audrey!

Bet you didn't know........
1. I lie about my height, I say I'm 5'2" but I'm probably only 5'.
2. Even though I work in a job that requires alot of human contact and everyone thinks I'm very outgoing, I'm secretly extremely shy.
3. I love to sing but I cannot sing in front of people without getting tremble-y all over and sounding horrible. This is not the case if I'm singing for my children or if I am playing a character in a musical - for some reason, I'm fine singing in front of an audience if I am in character, because, after all, it's not really me.
4. I'm a closet Trekkie! On a trip to Las Vegas my brothers - Jimmy and Chris, and Jimmy's fiance' and I went to the Hilton for the Star Trek Experience. My brothers and I were totally going ga-ga over Dr. McCoy's medical kit when Jimmy's fiance' said, "Man, you all are geeks!"
5. I once played 9-ball with Dr. Cue and almost won.
6. I have a Mickey Mouse diploma, seriously. I have a Mouster's Degree in Business Applications majoring in Theme Park Management from Disney University. I also have a monorail co-pilot's license. I have also ridden the Tower of Terror 36 times!
7. I have hiked to the top of the highest peak in Texas, took a $99 cruise to the Bahamas with only $30 in my pocket, performed well enough to be asked to go to New York to train as an actress, went swimming with sharks, been an extra in a movie, and I love to scare my mother by walking or shopping alone at night.
8. I do not correct anyone who says I look great for having four children. (Not all these children are from this body. But I do enjoy the ego boost)
9. Contrary to what she may believe, I do not hate The Big B, I pity her. I do not condone what she has done to me, Daddy or the children.
10. I do, however, find great comfort in knowing she hates me because I am living a great life. Which I'm sure is prideful, but which I am not doing to spite her, only to improve the lives of Daddy and his children. This is the lesson I teach my children - living well is the only revenge you need and the only proof that rumors are not true

My kids love me.....Really.

B-boy woke this morning at exactly midnight to throw-up all over my bedsheets. Daddy jumped up quickly, turned on the light, grabbed B-boy and cleaned him up. I started to gather up the sheets to be washed. B-boy came back in the room, took one look at the bed and said, "G'night mama, I'm going to my bed."

Friday, March 13, 2009


Maybe it's because of my job, my office helps parents who are working or going to school with daycare costs. I'm seeing a lot more clients and several who are losing their jobs. For some reason I suddenly started panicking and decided that now was the time to put away some cash. I have a savings account, but I really just had this urgent need to start stuffing a coffee tin just like a lot of our grandmas did back in the day. Daddy and I have been paying off all our small debts with our tax return leaving us with less payments and we're using that money to pay off the bigger things. So far we've cut over $400 per month in payments. One of the places I paid off was practically begging me not to pay off my account and just use the money to earn interest in my savings account. I explained to that person that I was a banker for 12 years and I already know that right now I would actually save more money NOT paying interest than I would earn by putting the money in a savings account. I paid off another loan two days later. The second place called me not even 24 hours later to tell me that I would qualify for 4 times the amount I borrowed the first time if I came back in to re-open my account. I declined nicely. That afternoon, the first place called me to double my original loan (which was already 4 times my loan at the second place, so you can see this was a significant amount). Again I declined and I let them know that it was very nice of them to offer and I was glad to know that should I need to, I could again return to borrow from their company.
The other night I had a horrible dream: the top of the alter at the wedding was tipping over so they stopped everything till the fixed it, I'd forgotten to find the rings as had to go to Wal-Mart to buy replacements, the customer service was horrible, a gallon of milk was $12!!!! That last thought actually woke me up in terror! At least my priorities are straight, food first wedding last. I can only say that while I hope this economic crisis doesn't get worse, I'm a realist and I'm not taking chances. Whatever I can spare is going in that coffee tin.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Junk in her trunk?

My sweet BB, who never gets in any trouble at school, has gotten into trouble twice in two weeks. Usually if the school calls about Lena or Josie my immediate response to the caller is, "What did she do now?" If they call about BB it's, "Is she ok?" because I only get called for her if she is sick or hurt. Apparently those days of mommy innocence are over. I got a call from her teacher last week because she was losing lunch recess for three days. Apparently, there was a boy she was playing tag with who said to her as she ran by, "You've got alot of junk in your trunk!" Um, excuse me, but that's my (nine-year-old skinny as a toothpick) baby you're talking about. BB's response was to try to get this boy to shut up by shoving a stick into his mouth but first she pinned him to the ground. You have no idea how hard it was not to bust up laughing when she told me this. Or perhaps you do as everyone including Daddy, Brandi and Grandpa laughed their asses off! It seems only the teacher and Grandma find this to be a very serious matter. Grandpa even stated, "My baby girl doesn't take sh*t from anyone!" The second time she was under her desk during a lesson drawing on the floor with a red crayon. The teacher made her stay in for recess to clean it up and sent a letter home to be signed by a parent. I had no idea about it until the teacher called me at work to inform me that BB had forged my signature. I told the teacher (and I really did say this), "If I tell her Grandma this she'll laugh at me and tell me I got a child just like me." Yes, I will admit it! In fifth grade I forged my mother's name on a letter home about not doing my homework - in fact, I did it several times but only got caught when I tried too late in the middle of the night to sign it and it didn't come out as well at the others. At least I was very close to my mother's signature and spelled her name correctly. BB signed my name in just barely learned it cursive and spelled Cristnie. So we had a parent-teacher-student conference the next morning and determined that she was being teased by another girl relentlessly and harshly and BB was trying to find anyway to escape which led to her being under her desk drawing and forging my name to avoid losing recess to be with other children. The solution: BB will immediately tell a teacher whenever this girl teases her and start visiting the school counselor, her teacher will have her tested for the gifted program because she is very intelligent, the counselor will have a talk with the other girl and her parents, I will continue to be the supportive mom. Conclusion: pin down a boy + commit forgery = gifted program.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Aaaaacccckkkk!!! I'm getting MARRIED!!!

I need some serious help here! I'm getting married. As in SOON! AS SOON AS JUNE 13TH! Why the sudden need to get married? Because I have to. And no, I'm not pregnant (at least I don't think so), besides I've already got one kiddo from this man and gained two more in the process so pregnancy is not the pushing (pun) point here. I need to get married in a hurry because I need my Dad to be there. My dad's health is not the greatest anymore. My superman who used to hang 75% out of a high speed helicopter with a giant gun in his hands is in so much pain that he is using a cane to walk. My hero who tried his darndest to save lives while he was in the Air Force is getting older. But to me 54 isn't old. Not nearly old enough. There is a chance that he might need surgery on his spine for what they think is a tumor (at least that's what they think they saw on the MRI), there is a chance he won't survive. So, Daddy and I are pushing up the wedding to June 13th come hell or high water because I want my Dad to be there. There is no point in waiting until Halloween if my Dad won't be there. So we are making June 13th our own personal Halloween.
***OK, so maybe the fates have it that I won't be married on this day because everywhere I've looked is either booked or not to my liking (yes, I'm still picky). But I think I've found the perfect place and depending on how things work out with them, I may give them some kuddos her on my blog, stay tuned. More info to come.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Can I inspire you?

I happened upon a link to a new site called "Violence UnSilenced". I am hoping that I can inspire however few readers I have to click on one of the links on my blog and visit this site. I am in complete awe at how this tragedy has been pulled out of the closet to get the awareness it needs. Too many of our mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, friends and lovers have been victims of domestic violence. Domestic violence knows no boundaries: male/female, gay/straight, rich/poor/, old/young, religious/agnostic/atheist. It's victims are often bombarded with shame and guilt and anxiety. I encourage you to visit the site and learn what you can to recognize the signs that one of your friends might be a victim, because I know personally how hard a victim tries to hide the truth. Most of my readers (if I do have any) do not know my past and those that do, do not know the details. "Violence UnSilenced" has inspired me to open my closet and release my past, because truly, it's part of who I am. I am a better mother because of it, but nobody should ever have to live as my daughter, BB and I did.

A cracked rib. Skinned knees. A broken couch. A scar from where a hanger went through the back of my thigh. A wrist that still sometime hurts from a torn tendon. The memory of a miscarriage from the second rape. Memories that still surface from time to time. I try to keep the same doctors but this year I moved and I have to explain the medical history all over again. My brain is now 34 and, unfortunately, can only remember the list of injuries by remembering how they happened only to have that still lingering question of WHY? It doesn't help that our daughter BB is that man's child and he actually made the effort to see her the Christmas before last and she was receptive to the idea. He's been remarried almost since I divorced him because he got a Honduras teenager pregnant while we were still married and the Army he works for were planning to ream his ass if he didn't do something. That was six years ago, his mother says he's a great dad to that kid, sad he couldn't do it for us.

A cracked rib - week after Thanksgiving 2000. I was sitting on his lap on our couch in the living room of our apartment kissing him under his chin. My affection earned me a shove off his lap and a swift kick in the ribs, no words. This was late in my relationship with him and the only time I ever hit back. He left me there and went to bed. When I could breathe again, I got up and went to our bedroom, climbed onto the bed standing over him with one leg on either side of his body. With all the strength I could muster, I balled up my fist and punched him in the back of the ribs as hard as I could. Before I could blink, I was under him on the bed with my chin pressed into my throat, unable to breathe. He said, "Now we're even," and went to sleep. I could only think, "you have no idea how uneven we are."

Skinned knees - April 1999. We were driving back from his mother's house, I think it was Spring break from college, heading back to my parent's house. There was an argument about something and I asked him to let me out of the car at the mall. Instead, he undid my seat belt, pulled over, opened the door and pushed me out with the car still moving. I was three months pregnant with BB. I still married him in June.

Broken couch - sometime in 2000. Living in Ft. Polk, Louisiana, he had developed an addiction to video games. He would sit at the computer all day, I had to serve him lunch at the desk, never a word to me, never played with BB. I timed him once, 16 hours! The only way to get him off the computer was to sneak through the other side of the kitchen and unplug the phone cable, run quietly back to where I had been while he cussed that the server disconnected. After two or three times, he'd get off the computer and talk to me or play with BB. One time, I got caught. My punishment was several punches to the top of my head (because my hair would cover the bruises) while he had me pinned to the couch. When I tried to get up from the couch, he threw me down on it so hard that I went through it. One of the boards had broken as had one of the long steel springs.

The Hanger - my ex was very possessive. I was timed whenever I went to the store or to do laundry at the laundromat and I was never allowed to take the baby with me because then he knew I would always come back. If I was ever late, I was grilled with questions about who I saw, what did I say? He would pick out my clothes for going to the store: a drab green dress that went to my ankles. It had at one time been pretty but age and washing had made it a "house dress" only. If I was wearing make-up when he came home, he insisted on knowing why. I would tell him I was trying to look pretty for him but he would grab one of his swords and poke into each and every closet in the house looking for whomever I was hiding. One time I told him how silly he was being which got me pushed into my closet. There was a hanger on the floor between the shoes. I fell on it and the hanger became embedded in the back of my thigh about 1 1/2 inches. To this day, I hate seeing hangers on the floor.
To be continued....

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What's My Age Again?

You've heard that song "What's My Age Again?" I seem to have it running through my head because I'm getting confused. Perhaps it's old age or perhaps it's cause I'm so young. Nobody, it seems, can agree. Within this past month, I have heard the following comments:

Four kids!?! You don't look old enough to have four kids! (asked by a fireman at least ten years younger than me with two kids of his own)

I'll need to see your ID (to purchase wine).

Oh, but you're just a kid (this person is only 8 years older than me).

You know who Bruce Springsteen is? He was hot when we were in high school, how could you know who he is? (This person is only three years older than me, so I was in Junior High)

Mom, where were you when Abraham Lincoln was killed? Were you there when Abraham Lincoln was killed? (Asked by my 11 year old)

Ouch! How that last one hurt. I've been lucky to inherit my mother's youthful genes but I do have a few silver hairs courtesy of my dad's. I have been carded at 23 for being with a friend who was buying a lighter, let me repeat: A LIGHTER! He wasn't even buying cigarettes, just a lighter. I was carded at 26 when my (then 20 year old now ex-)husband took me to a rated R movie for our 1st anniversary. And even last fall, when I took said 11 year old to her first middle school dance, the chaperon lady asked the both of us if our mother knew she had to pick us up by 10 o'clock. She was quite surprised when I told her, "I'm the mom and yes, I'll be here to pick her up." She apologized (I actually thanked her for the error) and said I looked like a student. Even Daddy's ex-wife has mistaken my age. She was going around town telling people he left her for a younger woman because I was pregnant! Daddy's ex-wife is three years younger than me.
And no, he didn't leave her for me, he left her because she was always passed-out and the last straw was finding Josie covered in her own feces while The Big B was passed-out with earplugs in and the phone off, she couldn't even hear Josie crying. Daddy and I didn't start dating until after the divorce was signed but you can bet I was loving on him as it had been quite a long time for this here mommy and BOB wasn't cutting it anymore. Hence, the B-Boy's rapid conception.
So how old am I? I guess it's a matter of perspective. To my children I am old, our youngest daughter thinks I'm twelve, which to her I'm sure is old. It is twice her age after all. To other adults, I'm still a (pick one) girl, kid, youngster. In actuality, I am turning 35 this year. So how about we take 12 and 35 and average them: I'll be 23 1/2 again! Let's go buy a lighter!!!

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Coupon

I will admit to everyone that I have the best mom ever. She is the strongest woman I know and I admire her more than she will ever know or believe. She has impeccable style even if all she's doing is running outside to pull some weeds. But most of all, she gives the best mom advice.
Last night, my family was out at Target to buy some shoes for our eldest daughter who was going to her first Valentine's dance to meet up with a boy. On one of the end caps, were neat rows of Lighting McQueen galoshes. B-Boy fell instantly in love! B-Boy wants everything that could be Cars themed. He has the toddler bed, table and chairs, toy shelves, pinata, wall stickers, PJ's, underwear, socks, pants, shirts, toothbrush and toothpaste, beanie, and toys. Naturally, he WANTED those "wain boots." Payday wasn't until today and our budget last night only covered Lena's shoes and what money she needed to get into the dance and snacks. But B-Boy doesn't understand the concept of "waiting until payday," so his happiness at finding Lighting McQueen galoshes turned into a full-scale on the floor crying temper tantrum and even becoming the weepy-eyed little angel pleading "but I've been good." Luckily, and as if by telepathy, my mom called. Naturally she heard her little grandson crying and I explained what was happening. Without skipping a beat, my mom said "Write him a coupon to get his shoes tomorrow." Just like that, as if it were the natural way to do things. Of course, to my mom, it was the natural thing to do, "That's what I used to do with you," she said. I relayed the information to Daddy who promptly took out a business card and wrote out the following:
To B-Boy, Good for one pair of Cars boots from Target
He handed it to B-Boy and told him what it was and what it meant. Instantly, the tears and wailing ended and were replaced by a cheerful smiling little boy who took such pride in his "coupon" that he even showed the cashier on the way out who reminded him to hang on to his coupon and she'd see him tomorrow. Daddy and I just had to call Grandma back once we got home to thank her, thank her, and thank her some more.
Isn't my mom just AWESOME.

Friday, February 6, 2009

A complement!

I'm feeling pretty good right now. I'm feeling pretty good about what I'm doing. Yesterday, I got a phone call from a client who was just laid off from her job. She said she was telling her mom she was so glad she has me as a caseworker because I would help her out, make her feel better about herself, and she saw me as inspiration to go back to school.
Apparently, sharing a bit of my single-mom-doing-the-best-she-can-going-back-to-school-and-succeeding self was inspiring enough that when she was laid off from work last weekend, her first thought was if Christine can do it, so can I. It had been my dream my whole life to help people. I thought I wanted to be a teacher and that's what I was going to college for, but in the past few years, I've slipped into this role of helping those seriously less fortunate than myself. It has really changed the way I look at my contribution to the human race. Yes, we all need teachers and I'm sure I would've made a good one. But perhaps my place is to help people make better lives for their families. After we all leave school, either through graduation or other means, who do we have helping us to give our lives direction? If we're lucky, we have parents like my own who poked, prodded, nudged and yes, even screamed us in the right direction. But what about everyone else? The world is full of those who are too scared to ask for help and those too scared to offer help that may not be wanted. I decided long ago to stop being scared and to at least show people by example what is possible and offer assistance along the way. A friend/co-worker of mine who retired last year was wonderful at what she did to help people. If a young man on public assistance came in to our office because he just lost his job and his wife was expecting their fifth child, she was not afraid to (very grandmotherly) ask him if he didn't understand where babies came from! She would tell a client to their face that she knew they were lying about why they didn't look for a job because their mother had already "died" three time this year! And she did these things in such a way that people never got mad or upset, they just sheepishly smiled at her knowing they were pinched and either went out and did better or didn't but at least didn't lie about it anymore. She didn't sugar-coat reality because she believed that people wouldn't take responsibility for themselves if all we ever did was coddle them because we didn't want to get in trouble with the higher-ups, and how were we supposed to help them become self-sufficient if they didn't start taking responsibility for their own lives and families. While I'm not quite brave enough to tell people I know they are lying, I apparently am helping people turn their lives around in my own way by not being afraid to let them know me. I truly do feel like I'm on the right track.

Friday, January 30, 2009


I have been charged with Aiding and Abetting MDA with the intent of helping area residents with Muscular Dystrophy.
I will be locked-up on February 12th, 2009 at 12:00 pm at the International UFO Museum, and yes, you may feel free to come take my mug-shot.
Bail has been set at $1600.00 and I desperately need every- and any- ones help. This is my first year of participation in the lock-up and I want to do my very best for Jerry's Kids, but I can't do it alone. Every dollar counts and no amount is too large or too small. Contributions can be made by check, cash, or credit card and also on my personal homepage with the secure MDA website:
Our contribution to this great cause is also tax deductible and I can send you a receipt.
Thank you for your consideration.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Of Mice and Irony

We were visiting Daddy's sister and her family in Aztec, NM for the weekend. Being the three day weekend coinciding with Daddy's birthday, that was my gift to him- to get him to his sister's house come hell or high water. Luckily we ran into neither hell nor high water. Instead we ran into our old friend Irony.

We have a 26 year old niece who owns a snake named Vlad. Vlad, is seems, was in need of food. Food in the form of a live mouse. Which reminded me of a story:

When I was in my twenties, I had my own pet snake named Sning. She was named that because she loved to curl around my fingers just like a character in a novel by my favorite writer, Piers Anthony. The name was short for SNake rING. Eventually, she too became big enough for a live mouse as food. During one excursion for mice, I made a trip with my parents to Las Cruces as all the pet stores in my hometown were either closed or didn't have any mice of the right size. I went to the pet store where I got my mice during the school semesters and picked out three "hoppers" - mice around a week old. On the trip back home, I felt something furry crawling across my lap and SCREAMED! All three mice had gotten out of the box and were somewhere in my mother's car. In the end, we only found two. One died somewhere in the upholstery and smelled up the car for months and then every time it got really New Mexico hot.

I told this story to Daddy's sister and her daughter because it was funny. Little did I know history was about to repeat itself. I took my niece for a day out, just us girls. Our first stop was to pick up a mouse for Vlad. We'd discussed stopping by her apartment to feed him before heading back out to town since I had left my purse and we had to go back to her mom's house anyways. Well, we picked up the purse....and went to the mall, completely forgetting the mouse. Ate some lunch, which we needed to get our brains working (we should've done first), did a little shopping and headed out of the mall. First thing my niece says as we bask in the warm New Mexico winter weather is: "We still have the mouse in the car!!!" Both of us hurried to the car and she looked at the box. Her heart did a little leap as she saw the box was still in one piece until she lifted it up and it was a little too light. Turning to the other side of the box, she discover a small hole and no mouse. We searched the car, while I laughed the entire time and commented that at least the mouse wouldn't starve because of all the pretzels, Goldfish, etc. my kids have all over the floor. No luck. I sheepishly called Daddy and asked him if he remembered the mouse/car story - yes, he did. "Well, honey. I did it again" I could totally hear his sister laughing in the background while he told me to come home and we would find it. We had to go back to the pet store for another mouse in case we didn't find the one in the car and Vlad couldn't go hungry. We even discussed how we would explain to the clerk why we were back for another mouse. ("We got home and started the sacrifice but it didn't work. Come to find out that mouse wasn't even a virgin." We laughed at that but then decided to go with the truth because we didn't want to scare folks) We got another mouse, they offered to sell us a very small carrying case at $14.00 but I told the clerk I'd just have my niece recycle a spaghetti sauce jar. Then we girls decided we needed to catch the mouse so we headed to Wal-Mart and got a couple of humane traps because I wasn't going to have that thing die in my car. Got to the house and set the traps with peanut butter, might as well give the thing salmonella, too. The next morning, success! One slightly frozen but still alive mouse was in one of the traps ready to thaw out and be fed to Vlad.
One of Daddy's co-worker laughed that we'd gotten humane traps to keep the mouse alive just so we could escort it to it's death at the jaws of Vlad. Mice and Irony, yep, that just how we roll!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The nice way of saying, "You're an idiot!"

Part of my mild insanity (work with me people, m-i-l-d, and don't tell me any different), is dealing with my soon-to-be-hubby's ex wife, The Big B. This the the woman who is the biological mother of two of my little girls, Lena and Josie. Josie is the one who's genes come from The Big B and Daddy, Lena has genes from The Big B and ?. But their hearts are beating happily in my home and that's really all I care about, they are happy and safe with us in my home. The only thing is that I'm a very nice person by nature, my nickname when I worked at Walt DisneyWorld was "smiley", and because of that "niceness" I try my best to get their mother to be a part of their lives. As a mom, I just can't understand how she can give her kids away at the drop of a hat to whomever will take them as she has done several times. Perhaps understand is the wrong word, I am intelligent enough to understand that she does it, I guess I can't comprehend why a mother who claims she loves her children and wants them back would do so little to make that a reality. Between early February and November 12th of last year she didn't even bother to see the children even when she knew we were moving out of town. OK, so on to the point. I understand that she is not going to win any mother of the year awards, and I can give her credit for trying, but I'm practically tearing out my hair trying to comprehend. The Big B gave Lena a book and let her buy another one during their visit on the 10th. The one Lena bought is called something like "Circling Three Time and Laying Down". I didn't think much of it at first because it has a picture of a dog on it and I figured it was about a dog. Reading to me is a wonderful way to pass the time and I love it. So I sat on the couch two days ago and Lena's book was on the table so I picked it up and read the cover. It's about a twice divorced woman's dog's views on life, love, and sex. I'm not one to approve of censorship, but I do know about what's considered age-appropriate, and this was not age-appropriate for my 11 year old. Or at least, not without mommy reading it first to see just how much sex was in the book (I'll give everyone an update later). I very nicely explained to Lena why I was temporarily taking the book away until I could absorb it's content and determine if it was age-appropriate. She said she'd just "skip the sex parts". I trust my daughter, but I must remember she's on the verge of teenage-hood and "skipping the sex parts" just sounds like too much temptation mixed with too much curiosity. So she tells me, "My mother also gave me another book that I can read instead." I asked her what book was it? "Something about a Geisha." I WANTED TO SCREAM!!! But I calmly said, "Memoirs of a Geisha?" She went to her room to get the book, and upon her bouncy return down the hall, I immediately recognized the cover of the latest printing (the movie poster) of Memoirs of a Geisha. Again, I WANTED TO SCREAM, but knowing I can't because it is not this child fault. I wanted to scream to her mother, The Big B, that she's an idiot. I gently explained to this 11 year old young lady that while we have discussed the birds and the bees, this book was alot more explicit and not appropriate for her age. I LOVE THIS CHILD, she completely understood and proceeded to begin reading Inkheart, bearing me no grudge or a moody attitude. Rarely do I speak to her b-mom, it use to give me heartburn and make me lose my appetite, and I do not actively try to call her as it is not my job to make her be a "mom" to her kids (that's what I told her lawyer when he asked why I didn't call her to make her visit her children). Last night, she called, and as Lena was out with Daddy picking up some dinner, I answered the phone. Having had a couple of days to ruminate over the situation, I very nicely told her I wanted to discuss the book choices. I asked if she had read Memoirs of a Geisha and she hesitantly said yes (I doubt this because it is a paperback without reading creases in the spine or any give to the pages, you paperback readers know what I'm talking about). I explained to her that while I had discussed the "birds and the bees" to Lena I didn't think she was old enough yet for books talking about selling virginity to the highest bidder or selling sex in general. I recommended that she read the covers of the books she was either buying for or letting Lena buy for their appropriateness for an 11-year old. Try the tween section or give me a call. (I did not call her an idiot and though I'm sure she didn't pick up that I thought she was an idiot, I at least felt better that I had "called" her an idiot in my own way) She said she would and the rest of the call went nicely and I handed the phone over to Josie. When Lena came home she was able to talk to her mother who proceeded to tell her that she couldn't have read the books anyways because it was too complicated. Lena nearly reads at an 11th grade level, reads books that I read in High School Literature, and I've even given her some of my college literature books to read as well (content approved). Lena's feelings were hurt that her mother thought she was unable to read the books because of intellect. I smoothed the ruffled feathers of my little bird and explained that her mother couldn't realize that this little bird could already fly because she'd tucked her head under her wing to avoid dealing with her baby birds. The metaphor amused her and she happily read away at Inkheart.

Friday, January 2, 2009

IT'S A GIRL!!!!!

After 3 1/2 years of labor, we are finally proud to announce that we officially have a new "baby" girl! As of 12:03, Wednesday, December 31st, weighing 105lbs and aged 11 1/2 years, Arlaena (Lena) is now considered to be our daughter. As his last case before retiring, our judge made it a point to get it finished so that our daughter could finally have some stability in her life.
Finishing this case has made me realize something deeply profound. I never needed the court to give me vindication. Sure, hearing that Daddy had been awarded Kinship Guardianship and the court saw me a a fully operating step-mother (even without a marriage license), was great, but it didn't really change anything I already knew in my heart. I'm this little girl's mommy, she calls me her mommy, I act like her mommy and we never use "step". But I've been thinking, even if we hadn't "won", I'd still be this little girl's mommy regardless and she'd be my daughter. Becoming a mommy to her began nearly four years ago and truely touched my heart the first time she looked up as me, the raccoon costume I'd hand-sewed for her in her arms, and told me, "I love you mommy." My heart grew that day and I was her mommy.
I thought having a court would change everything, but all it did was make me realize that I didn't need anyone to tell me I was this little girls mommy. My world was already changed.