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!