Monthly Archives: June 2011

Raising Boys #4

My boys amaze me every day…sometimes in a good way…sometimes not so much…

“Chu chu”  “Aaan”  “Tain”  “Buk”  I think that’s “choo choo,” “Aidan,” “train,” and “book.”  But I could be wrong.  Sean is talkative but it’s his own language at this point.  My favorite? “Con-neeeeeeeeeeee” – that would be Ms. Connie at daycare.

“These are BUTT cheeks, Mommy” – Aidan pointing to his butt.  “You have butt cheeks too!” – pointing to my butt.  Thanks honey.

“If you marry a boy, does that mean you’re gay?”  Wait, what?

This is not the conversation I want to have with a five year old during bath time…it just isn’t.  Once I realized the “you” in that statement wasn’t ME, but referred to him, then the statement made a little more sense.  Apparently, he hugged a little boy today and someone (presumably older) said that was “gay.”

So, first, we established that yes, if a grown man marries another man, we can assume he’s gay.  Then I went into the, “there’s nothing wrong with being gay” speech.  Yes, I know some people disagree.  But that’s how we roll at my house.  Then I let him know that it’s not okay to refer to someone as gay in a mean way (I didn’t feel like explaining what “insult” means).  Then, I finally got up the courage to ask him what he thought about marrying a boy.  And the response was, “DISGUSTING!” So you like girls?  “Yup!”  Oh, thank God! 

Can we go back to asking how Sean got in my stomach?  I think I can handle that question now.

I Might Be A Romantic…Or Maybe Not

I’ve never considered myself a romantic.  I think I’m a realist.  I’ve been called a cynic and a pessimist.

I think…a lot…about a lot of stuff.  I think about the past.  I think about the present.  And (being the planner that I am) I think about the future…a lot.  When I’m thinking about the future, it’s with the complete understanding that whatever I plan for is probably NOT what will occur.  But planning puts me at ease, even if I never use the plan, even if I have to come up with a new plan on the spot, even if the plan fails and I have to try again…regardless of all that, just knowing I have a plan makes me feel better.  Therefore, I spend a lot of time thinking about what’s on the horizon.

That, however, does NOT apply to why I think I’m a romantic. I have no interest in a relationship right now (hell, I am still married).  I know that the best thing for me is to figure me out and make sure to have a little fun along the way while enjoying my relative independence.   But when I’m lost in my head, and even when I’m not, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I will not spend the rest of my life alone…I will not be the cat lady.  Whoever it is that I’m supposed to be with into my golden years is out there…I feel silly for even admitting it because I’m so freaking practical most of the time.  And let me say again, I am NOT looking for that person right now…

That being said, I’m not sure how I’ll get to that point…I’m intimidated by attractive people (because I don’t consider myself attractive)…and I’m naturally shy.  Bad combination, if you ask me.  So, when I meet someone new, my defense mechanisms are front and forward – I’m a sarcastic smack-talker…it’s almost a test, I guess…if you choose to get past the shield or if you’re just naturally good at giving as good as you get, then I’m less intimidated and very intrigued…every once in a while, I meet someone I just connect with, and none of the above applies…

But, I also don’t go looking for that kind of thing…I believe things that are meant to be will happen when the time is right.  No need to force anything…and I prefer to have real friends over temporary romances…

Let me go back to something I just said, because I can hear my mom and friends now…I don’t think I’m pretty, beautiful, whatever.  Not because I have low self-esteem…I’m extremely confident in myself, but I don’t pin my confidence on my looks.  I know how to accentuate the good about myself and downplay the things I don’t like…I am not ugly (at least in my opinion)…but I am never going to win a beauty contest…and that’s ok.  I’m not sure why every woman laments her looks privately but can’t say it publicly without being accused of having low self esteem.

I think very highly of myself…I just place value on different things – I’m intelligent, hard-working, trustworthy, loyal, funny (most of the time), strong, stubborn, you name it.  Hell, I lost a ton of weight, became a runner, gained muscle, and am on track to do it all again – that’s not something the whole world can claim.  That being said, when I’m around someone who is “classically” good-looking, I become aware of my lack of beauty…so I tend to avoid those people…or, like I said before, become a sarcastic smack-talker…

So I guess, maybe I’m not a romantic and I’m too practical for my own good…but I still have hope and confidence in the future…and whatever it may bring…

Guilt Sucks

I have spent two days talking myself out of writing this blog and then convincing myself I should…that’s a lot of treadmill time, by the way. It’s not that what’s on my mind is so personal…it’s not word vomit…but rather, it’s the recurring worry of saying too much…worrying about what others might think…

I said before that I don’t want to be downer-girl…I don’t want to drag the room down…I also don’t want people to disapprove of me…that being said, the part of me that’s been hidden for so many years and is finally peeking her head out pretty much doesn’t give a shit what people think…it’s strange to have such warring thoughts in my head…

Ok, so for those people who, for whatever reason, don’t approve of what I say, but still click on my blog or stay long past the point that they realize they don’t like what I have to say, here’s something to distract you while I get this off my chest: here (think of me while watching it).

I already said yesterday that Almost Ex had a bad weekend when some poor choices caught up to him…and I still won’t go into it in this forum…and I mentioned that I was feeling really bad about it…well, I still am.

I know that asking for this divorce was the best decision for me and my boys.  Had I stayed, they would have been raised in a very unhappy house with a resentful mother and God only knows what kind of father…it was the most difficult decision of my life…not because there was much love left (on my side) but for two reasons: I was breaking my word – I had said in sickness and health (check), richer or poorer (never got to richer), til death do us part…nope, didn’t make it that far…but also because I knew my decision hurt Almost Ex…

I don’t know if this is a good thing about me or a pathetic thing about me, but it is very hard for me to knowingly hurt someone…even someone I don’t like very much…even someone I don’t respect…I have avoided many hard decisions in life (up until February 13) because I didn’t want to cause someone else pain, aggravation, or any other negative feeling…

Typical me, the first time I did, it was big…I don’t think this is what BFF meant when she said, “Go big or go home.” 

When I told Almost Ex I wanted a divorce, I set in motion a course of events that I could never have foreseen…I was the victim in most of those events, but I never said anything…out of guilt.  He kept telling me, “You did this” and I took that to heart.  So, while he and I have worked out some of our issues over the past several weeks (sort of), I felt horrible when I learned how things have been going for him…and I can’t help feeling responsible for it all…

Of course, the people who love me are very upset when I admit this…it is about the choices we make in life and I never forced him to make bad choices…but that’s cold comfort right now…

A lot of what has happened in the past few months makes me afraid to get close to anyone…and I don’t necessarily mean romantically…I am SO not ready for that…I just mean in general…in the past two years, two people I considered close friends betrayed the small amount of trust I had given them (I rarely trust anyone, even in a small way)…and Almost Ex lost his mind, completely eviscerating any trust I had in him…when I’m feeling like downer-girl, I can’t help but wonder if it’s better to not be close to anyone…

But then I think of Mom #2, my YY, and my mom…first of all, they would kick my ass for feeling this way…second, they would just tell me to keep on keepin’ on…there is light at the end of the tunnel…and one day, it won’t be another oncoming train…

Today, Today, Today…

I just need to take one deep breath…just one…then maybe my shoulders will stop hanging out around my ears…

I wasn’t tense when I got up this morning…at 6am on a Sunday…I had a hot date, you know…and typical of my life these days, 30 minutes in, Aidan woke up…really?!  Why was he awake SO freaking early????  I finished up on the treadmill while he whined that it was taking “toooooooo looooooooooooooooooooong, Mommeeeeeeeeeee”…I guess that should have been an indication of the day ahead…

The cool thing about working out early in the morning is all the energy I have for the rest of the day…I cooked breakfast, cleaned house, did laundry, ran errands, made dinner, changed out the old toilet seats (more on that later), folded more laundry, gave baths, was attacked by Aidan pretending to be a Pokemon character, talked to my mom, talked to Almost Ex, almost had a nervous breakdown (more on that, too), got the children to bed, dealt with little boys who didn’t want to sleep, got BACK on the treadmill (because I needed to clear my mind), put Aidan BACK to bed, and still haven’t stretched from this evening’s workout or gotten my SECOND shower of the day.  And if you felt breathless after that, imagine how I feel…

I woke up still feeling empowered from yesterday…so I decided to go to Lowe’s and tackle some small but overwhelming chores.  We desperately needed new toilet seats in both bathrooms…I changed ’em…with only one call to my mom’s house and five cuss words…I would have taken pictures but that seemed a little weird (even for me)…I don’t do plumbing…and yeah, toilet seats aren’t really plumbing, but it’s closer than I’ve ever been, so I think it counts…

I hadn’t heard from Almost Ex in four days…I thought I knew why and I was right…because it’s not my story to tell, I won’t tell it here…but he had a rough weekend…and while everyone who loves me says it’s his own fault and its because of his own bad choices, I still couldn’t help but feel guilty…if I had never asked for the divorce, he wouldn’t have made those stupid decisions…but I know that’s faulty thinking…but that threw me off for the rest of the evening…I’m not the type of person to wish harm on another person, especially someone I’ve cared about in the past…so while there are people who would very correctly say he got what he deserved, I still can’t be that objective…maybe one day…

Thank God for my treadmill…I have a feeling this is going to be a co-dependent relationship…and if I have to have one of those, let it be with a treadmill!

Almost Had A Hot Date…

I was supposed to start my love affair with the treadmill tonight…it didn’t happen, so we have an early morning date scheduled for tomorrow…

I had it in my mind that no matter how late I got in tonight, I was getting on the treadmill…but that’s what you think before an entire day travelling with and chasing two small children.  I had help from Eebee and BFF during the day, which helps more than most people can imagine.  Just knowing that an extra set of eyes (or two) is on them allows me to relax a little…

I had a good day, they had a good day, and both were SO ready for bed.  That’s the mark of a great day…two little boys who ask to go to bed.

I had a revelation tonight.  I am capable of things that I used to reserve for Almost Ex.  Whenever I came across something that I considered his domain, I would joke that this was why I was married…well, that’s not true anymore, is it?

First I had to get the treadmill loaded into the back of Bubba when we got back to Florida today…normally, I would just say I’m not good with stuff like that and let someone else handle it.  Not today…I saw exactly how it could fit…Eebee and I man-handled it in.  When I saw that it was too wobbly, I pulled out my bungee cords and figured out how to stabilize the thing so it didn’t fall on Sean…I figured driving down the interstate doing 30 mph wasn’t a real option…

Then I had to get the treadmill into the house…I backed Bubba into the driveway (which I never do because I think I suck at that)…then I got it out of Bubba (BY MYSELF, thank you very much!), and into the house…

I know that all sounds like small stuff, but tonight I was pumped…I walked around the house, all puffed up, practically strutting with satisfaction.  I killed a bug that flew into the house and was like, “Yeah, take THAT sucka!”  (Of course, I still won’t touch the damn thing…that’s what my Shop Vac is for…doesn’t everyone use their Shop Vac to pick up bugs?)

So, no hot date for me tonight…but it’s all good. I’ve got enough endorphins running through me to last a while.

Raising Boys #3 – with video!

I hate to admit this but I am not naturally a maternal person…When both boys were born, I tried to find the least “gooky” spot on them to touch right after they were delivered…I was relieved when they were cleaned up, diapered, swaddled, and THEN handed back to me…Maternity leave seemed like an eternity.  Sad but true…

That being said, I adore my boys.  When Almost Ex first left, I worried that I wouldn’t be able to handle the boys by myself…thankfully, I’ve actually grown closer to them both.  And I have discovered that I am a Mama Bear when it comes to my boys…do NOT mess with my children…you will regret it.

Sean: “Mom-MEEEEEEEEEEEE” (from the backseat of the car, over and over and over and over again)….

Aidan: “I love you, Mommy! Don’t go, stay with me!!” (at bedtime…every single night)….

They are silly, sweet little boys…and hopefully, I’m not screwing them up too much.

Good Grief?

Mom #2 said something interesting to me the other day when we were talking about my potential celebration…she said that everyone grieves in different ways, and that I may still have grieving left to do…and that when I do, it may come out in different ways…I consider her a resource on divorce…she’s been through it herself…so when she talks, I listen…

But…there’s always a but, right?…but, I don’t feel grief…I grieved over the way Almost Ex reacted to this…and, no, I didn’t expect anything positive from his reaction but I never expected what I received…I grieved the month leading up to asking for the divorce because I never imagined I would ever end my commitment to our marriage…

Lately, though, I’ve felt lighthearted…Eebee had me laughing so hard today, I nearly cried…of course, she had help from Monique and Mom #2…but I laughed my ass off…and it felt good…

Yeah, I’ve had my moments of word vomit: here and again here. But in the past week, I’ve felt good…I’ve been able to look positively on my future…I’ve been able to joke about possibly dating, sometime in the future…far, far into the future…

And yet (that’s just another version of “But…”by the way)…I’ve been eating my way through this divorce….I know what to do to keep my weight stable…and I want to lose a little more weight…hell, before Sean was born, I’d lost 88 lbs…yes, eighty-eight pounds…and I lost the baby weight after he was born…I know exactly what to do to…so is this my form of grieving?  Am I doing it through food and so therefore am able to laugh in other aspects in my life? I don’t know…but I know I’m getting very annoyed with myself…

So I’m going to start a new chapter in my life…I’m going to have a love affair…with a treadmill…had you going for a moment, didn’t I? My BFF has agreed to sell me her old treadmill for a low low price…and I will pick it up Saturday…Saturday night I have a date with my treadmill…I’m going to swap an old love (too much food and laziness) for a more recent love (working out, feeling strong, and being healthy)…if I’m grieving with food, I’m done…over it…ready to move on…life is too short and has WAY too much potential…

By the way, Big Brother mentioned something to me the other day that has me thinking…he said I should “date for fun.” Huh? 🙂

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends…

If this morning was any indication, today should have been a crappy, crappy day…it wasn’t, by the way. 

Sean’s daycare was late opening up today…an hour late…I dropped Aidan off first, Sean dumped the rest of his breakfast all over his lap, I cleaned everything up, and decided to get breakfast for myself and apple juice for Sean at Sonic.  The system was down and they could only take cash, which I almost never carry…I went to another Sonic (because I REALLY like Sonic first thing in the morning), got breakfast, and then spilled Sean’s apple juice all over me…dammit…dropped Sean off (finally) and made it to work 30 minutes late…I really, REALLY hate being late…that doesn’t sound so bad in retrospect, but if this had happened last week,  I would probably have been in tears from pure frustration…

The difference?  I’m rested, rejuvenated, refreshed, and ready to go.  It wasn’t a full weekend off, but it was something.  I knew I needed it, I’ve needed it for weeks now, but I didn’t know how much good a little rest could do for me…Work was a breeze…I checked things off my VERY necessary to-do list, felt like I accomplished something, and left work without feeling harried…every day should feel like that!

But the most important thing (and it’s something I need everyone’s help with) was a conversation I had with Big Brother and Mom #2…I was explaining to Big Brother that my divorce could be final by mid-August – 6 months from start to finish…and he asked me how I was going to celebrate…

I don’t know if I can “celebrate” my divorce because that doesn’t feel right to me…I don’t want to take joy in Almost Ex’s pain…so I’m trying to reframe it in my mind…I’ll celebrate a new beginning in my life (it sounds much better)…Big Brother was not impressed when I said I was planning on getting a new tattoo…I’m not getting it because I’m getting a divorce…I like tattoos, and even I can save $50 in the next 6-8 weeks…

Mom #2 and Big Brother presented an idea (that I rejected out-of-hand at first) that I should plan a trip after the divorce is final…that I should travel on my own somewhere…my first reaction was, “Hell no!” But that’s my typical reaction…I’m always nervous about trying new things…but then I started to think about it, and I started getting excited at the idea of taking a trip (even a small one)…

So here’s where I need the help of friends, acquaintances, random readers of this blog (all three of you)…I don’t want anyone to tell me where to go, but I definitely want to hear your ideas.  I’ve not been to a lot of places so I’m pretty open…would it be cool to know someone when I get there? Sure…is it necessary? Not really…and I’m willing to fly or drive…And I can already hear my mother’s concern, so let me say that no, I wouldn’t drive my crappy SUV (nicknamed Bubba), I would rent a car…and if I fly, it would probably be Vision Airlines because they’re cheap…and yes, Mama, I would get a CLEAN hotel in a safe part of town…

I don’t usually ask for this, but I want people who read this to comment with ideas…either here or on my Facebook page…the sooner I decide where to go, the sooner I can start figuring out how to make it work…Help me out, so I can celebrate my new beginning in an unforgettable way!

I Miss My Dad Everyday…Not Just Father’s Day

NOTE: I didn’t mean to, but this one is REALLY long.  I’m not offended if you just don’t have the time or patience to make it through the whole thing. 

I’ve been mentally writing this blog for days now.  I miss my dad on day’s like this and I always feel sorry for people who know me but never met him. I make a little more sense if you know my dad.

Daddy died in March 2002 – 6 weeks before I graduated college, 7 weeks before I married Almost Ex.  He had been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) 2 years before.  Most people know ALS as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.  I never liked that name because it implies that the disease belonged to Lou Gehrig. And I don’t say that he “passed away.” I never have said that…it sounds too nice, too genteel.  He died…he would have rolled his eyes at anything different.

Daddy had a huge impact on my life.  He was a stay-at-home dad before it was considered almost normal.  I spent a LARGE amount of time with him as a kid.  He taught me how to make his meatloaf, how to fold laundry…and how to play Blackjack. We played for pennies and one day, after many months of play, I finally won his whole stash. He also taught me a little common sense (because I definitely wasn’t born with any) – his favorite trick to play was 52 Card Pick Up.  I fell for it twice..yes, twice. He also taught me, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”

Since his death, I’ve been accused of idealizing my father.  Not quite.  I will admit (and now that I’m adult I’d say it to his face if he were alive) he could be a complete jackass sometimes.  He was the most strong-willed man I’ve ever come across in my life and even if you showed him proof that he was wrong, he still would never admit it.  In his mind, his word was law, and his opinion was always the right one. Always.

Because of my dad, I don’t deal well with bullshit, I know most of the words to just about any song from the 50s, 60s, and early 70s, and I don’t give up control of the remote control easily.  Because of him, I still love the University of Florida Gators, I know how to make a quick spaghetti sauce, and I know how to dribble a basketball (sort of) and play Horse.  Because of Daddy, I trust no one, I don’t ever repeat a mistake, and I’m harder on myself than anyone could ever be. I adore that man, even now.

I miss him on the big days (and the random days, too) – the birth of both boys, the purchase of our home, the end of my marriage, and anytime something really good or bad happens.  I can imagine what he would say or do in almost every instance.  He would have been a lenient Grandpa, allowing his grandkids to get away with crap he’d have kicked my ass for.  He would have helped me landscape my yard because he loved to watch things grow and create beauty.  He would have cracked a joke when my grandfather died so no one forgot to laugh a little even in the midst of sadness.  And he would most definitely have an opinion on my pending divorce.

I’m a Daddy’s Girl, but not in the princess sort of way.  Anytime I speak my mind, that’s him.  Anytime I crack a sarcastic joke, that’s my dad.   My dad didn’t believe in saying the words, “I love you.”  I only remember hearing it once in my life and it was a few days before he died.  He believed in showing love.  He took care of every need he could, he pushed the ones he loved to be the best they could be,  and he righteously defended my mom and me (even when we desperately just wanted him to stay out of it).  Thankfully for the world, I’m like my mom too.

He was an amazing man.  I know he would worry for me right now…I also know he would probably be in my home trying to help me run my life…he would remind me to crack a joke or two to lighten the mood…and he’d have a great time intimidating any man who ever looked at me twice…

He was hard to love.  You either loved him or hated him, there was no middle ground.  I loved him, feared him, respected him, and tried very hard to make him proud.  Letting him down never felt good…losing his trust was horrible…gaining it back was almost impossible.

I miss him so much.  But I know I wouldn’t be the person I am today without his influence during my childhood and his absence in my adulthood…

An Unexpected Treat

I sort of got the night off tonight…Almost Ex picked up the boys late this afternoon.  Because he doesn’t plan anything (I was always the planner in our relationship), he couldn’t tell me how long he would have them. It frustrated me to no end…and then I reminded myself that some break is better than no break. 

Three glorious QUIET hours later, he called…and gave me a great surprise.  He was keeping Aidan for the evening but I needed to come get Sean.  Now, that sounds really bad, right?  Nope.  Aidan is getting a special treat from his dad – his first trip to the movies.  I’m pretty excited for him (and a little envious).  Sean would never have made it through the movie, so he’s with me tonight.  And since I consider him the “easy” one between them, this is a piece of cake.

Almost Ex kept asking why I looked so happy when I picked up Sean.  In my head, I’m like well, DUH, why do you think I look happy?! I’m on light duty tonight!  Aidan has pushed every button I have for two days straight.  I’m ready to ship him off somewhere…anywhere.  A night with his dad is a good place.

So what have I done with this relative freedom?  Well, my house doesn’t smell like dog anymore…it’s VERY clean.  And I’m online (as usual) working, blogging, Facebooking – a major addiction of mine…and I’m learning that there is not a DAMN thing on TV…no wonder I don’t mind watching Nick Jr all the time.  Extreme Couponing?  That is crazy shit…who needs 480 yogurts?! 

I have no clue how to handle quiet…I have the TV on, but I’m not watching it.  It’s just background noise…And I’m obviously not good at relaxing…I’ve got three things going on at once…but I definitely know how to appreciate a “sort of” night off!

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