Monthly Archives: November 2011

The Amazing Power of New Sheets

For the first time in months, I looked forward to going to bed last night…and I look forward to doing it again tonight…and NOT for the reason some might think…there’s no one waiting to warm it for me…

I bought myself new bedding last week…my first Christmas present to myself in 10 or more years…and the first sheets, comforter, pillows, you name it that I didn’t have to ask someone else’s opinion on…and it is quintessentially me…pretty pillows, embroidered flowers, a pretty blue-green color…I didn’t even know it was a “me” thing until I saw it on the bed and until I crawled into bed last night…

Pure bliss…soft sheets that I have never shared with The Ex…I chose it, I paid for it, it is mine…it is me…

And yet…I’m fighting a bout of insomnia…I can’t shut my mind off at night…when I do fall asleep, I wake up throughout the night and stay awake…

My sheets are pretty amazing but not THAT amazing, I guess…

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Transforming Into…?

Ok, so I’ve been out of pocket for a few days…Thanksgiving was just ok…the days following were not my best…3 or 4 days with just the boys takes a toll…by Sunday, I was feeling like the worst mom ever…no patience, no tolerance, and screaming children…

And then the best thing happened…BBFF came to visit…I haven’t laid eyes on him since high school…he always has a calming effect on me when we talk on the phone or email…I didn’t expect the same effect when he was actually here, though…I should have…he had the same effect on the boys, too…well, or it was my 3 or 4 reminders to Aidan to be on his best behavior…

Pizza, ice cream, giggles from Sean, good behavior from Aidan…yeah, that’s the best thing ever…

And I turned into some shy girl who blushed…really?! What the hell was that about that??

My head has been pretty clear lately…not a lot of “issues” to deal with…well, none that I’m ready to address here…Not to jinx myself, but I think I might be finally getting to a steady, stable place in my head…

Yeah, The Ex still makes me crazy (was he really this dumb when we were married? did I really make all the decisions for him?)…I’m still not sure if I’m ready for any type of romantic commitment…I have plenty of moments where I feel like the worst mom ever…all typical stuff…

Am I finally getting the hang of this? Am I just adjusting to life? Was the move from the old house really that necessary? Where would I be (mentally) if I hadn’t moved?

I feel like I’m undergoing some sort of transformation…I just don’t know what the end result will be…

A Slightly Different Thanksgiving

Ever since I can remember, I’ve spent Thanksgiving with my mom…when my dad was still alive, I would come home from college for the holidays…after I graduated college, The Ex and I were with my mom while she and I tried to create new traditions…after she remarried, The Ex and I joined The Step’s family and tried to blend in with their family traditions, which thankfully amounted to eating – a LOT…

I don’t dwell on this a lot, but I’m going through a year of firsts…the first Thanksgiving as a single mom shouldn’t have been much different than in year’s past…I should have gone to my mom’s…because of a lack of reliable transportation, the 2+ hour trip to MS didn’t happen this year – and since my mom works retail, she’ll be getting up VERY early tomorrow, so coming to me was out…

I had plenty of invitations to spend Thanksgiving with friends…and for whatever reason, I couldn’t make myself commit to any of them…I had some sort of mental block about being with anyone other than family…I kept making the joke that I might just take the boys out for Chinese…well, that’s just about what happened…except I invited The Ex to join us…

I didn’t like the idea of him not seeing the kids on Thanksgiving if he had the opportunity…and neither of us was cooking some big dinner…so we did what apparently a lot of people do – we went out to Golden Corral…so did half the city…

It was good, it wasn’t too expensive…it was awkward…it was harder than I thought…I missed my mom…I missed the food…I even missed the awkwardness that always came with being around The Step’s family…not that they aren’t wonderful – they are…I just haven’t been around them enough to feel completely comfortable…I wondered if my awkwardness with The Step’s family was because The Ex didn’t like being there…he always thought they were judging him (I don’t think they were)…I wonder what it will be like the next time I’m with them…

I wonder if I will ever have the initiative or energy to create new traditions…I wonder if I will ever be the one to cook the big meal…I wonder how I’m going to get through Christmas…

Winning the Battle…What About the War?

Is there something in the air…or the water? My children seem to have lost their freaking minds…and nearly everyone I’ve talked to with children is saying the same thing…

One moment Aidan is the sweetest little boy ever…asking me to paint my nails red because that’s his favorite color (I did)…teaching his brother a song about choices – a song he learned in school today…and the next moment, he seems to be possessed by a demon child who only wants to throw things and kick me…

I can’t tolerate that behavior, because he can’t grow up thinking it’s okay to act that way…but I don’t have that big scary voice that stops kids in their tracks…I don’t have “The Look” like my dad did…Aidan has no healthy respectful fear of me…so I have to be very specific and never waver…

I swear it’s like going into battle…when Aidan says, “No, I’m not [fill in the blank],” I have no choice but to make him. He’s squirmy, he’s strong, and he’s as determined as I am. Tonight, I had to carry him upstairs (stairs I’ve fallen down twice now – sad but true) while he screamed and flailed…I had to force his clothes off of him…and finally, he decided to give up the fight and get into the bathtub…by the end of the bath, he was back to his normal self, albeit disappointed at going to bed early…

What do I do when he gets too big to make him do what I want? We talk about choices a lot…We talk about consequences…yeah, I know he’s 6, but if I don’t do it now, what will he become? I’m winning the battles (barely) but how the hell do I win the war?

And what about poor Sean? He wants to be just like Big Brudder…that’s fine when he’s mimicking the well-behaved version of Aidan…it’s pretty crappy when he’s telling me “No” for no reason except thats what Brudder does…

The past few days have been frustrating…hopefully tomorrow will be better…maybe they’ll let me rest a bit before we have to meet for battle again…I need to get the dents out of my armor first…

Happy or Less Stressed?

My mom mentioned today that I seem much happier than a year ago…and asked me if I’m happier overall…I don’t really know…I know I’m adjusting to my new life…I know that I’m a less stressed…not because the stress has gone away…I think I’m just handling it better…

I noticed today that I’m a little less intense about things, especially relationships…normally, I’m the type of girl who thinks if you like me, you should be in constant contact with me…I came across this quote in a blog that I adore reading (you know who you are!):

“If he’s not calling you, it’s because you are not on his mind. If he creates expectations for you, and then doesn’t follow through on little things, he will do same for big things. Be aware of this and realize that he’s okay with disappointing you. Don’t be with someone who doesn’t do what they say they’re going to do.  If he’s choosing not to make a simple effort that would put you at ease and bring harmony to a recurring fight, then he doesn’t respect your feelings and needs. “Busy” is another word for “asshole.” “Asshole” is another word for the guy you’re dating. You deserve a fucking phone call.”    ―      Greg Behrendt

And I agree with about 90% of it…the part that I don’t think I agree with anymore is the very first line…there’s someone on my mind a lot…but I can’t always call him…I’ve got a busy life, he’s got a busy life…not calling isn’t a sign that I don’t care or that he doesn’t care…

But feeling this way is new for me…Music Man didn’t call me for 2 weeks, and I was fine…BBFF calls when he can, I call when I can…it’s ok…a couple of weeks ago, I didn’t feel that way…a couple of weeks ago, a serious lack of contact sent me into turmoil…I wonder what’s changed?

Which brings me back to my mother’s observation today…I don’t necessarily feel happy…I still feel like there are too many obstacles in my path…too many things that I want to be doing that I can’t yet…but I’m not unhappy either…

And that leads me to something else…do I seem different?  Different than the beginning of this blog (for those brave souls who have stuck with me since the beginning)? Different over the past year?  Past several years? Have I changed at all?  It’s hard to see change in yourself sometimes, but outsiders looking in often see something we never see in ourselves…so I guess I’m just curious…what changes does anyone see in me?  Do I seem to be happy, less stressed, or just the same as always?

The Continuing Adventures of the Benjamin Boys

Aidan: “Aw dang it.  I swallowed my tooth.”

He said it so matter-of-factly, as if he was telling me the sky was blue or the sun was yellow.  And then he turned and a dawning look of horror came into his eyes.

“The Tooth Fairy!?!?” His eyes welled up, and the familiar whine that is Aidan’s cry started.  Aw crap.  We have to get ready to go.  I still have to get Sean ready.  There is NO crying today!

“Aidan, I promise. I swear.  Cross my heart and hope to die.  The Tooth Fairy WILL come tonight.”

“How do you know?”

“I will call the Tooth Fairy and let her know about your tooth. I might have to leave a voicemail, but I will let her know.”

I needed him to get dressed, eat breakfast, and get to the car.  I was willing to say ANYTHING to convince him that the Tooth Fairy would come tonight.  Why did I go into so much detail with him?  It’s the downside of having a really smart kid.

*****

Aidan: “So you’re coming to Muffins with Mom today, right?”

Me: “I’m going to try.”

A couple of hours later, I arrive.  It took a few minutes before Aidan met up with me in the cafeteria, but he was a happy, snaggle-toothed little boy.

“Mommy, mommy, let’s get our muffin and juice!” Mommy?  He hasn’t called me that in ages.

When we were done, I walked him to his class.  He looked at me, and we knew what the other was thinking – the goodbye hug.  He looked at me.  He looked at his friends.  He looked at me.  He looked at his friends.  He walked to his friends.  Yep, it’s happened.  Too cool to hug mom in front of his friends…I knew this day would come.  Dammit.

*****

Sean: “Mom! We watch Thomath?”

Me: “Yes, Sean-Sean, we can watch Thomath, I mean Thomas.”

Sean: “Awesome!”

Why is the baby calling me Mom?  He’s only 2!  And where did he learn the word “awesome?”

*****

Sean: “I see you! I seeeeeee you!”

He’s under the dinner table, bored with his nuggets, wanting to play.  Every time I look at him, he giggles.  Every time I ignore him for more than 30 seconds, he whines.

Sean: “Kiss me! Kiss my head! Kiss my nosth! Kiss my teeth!”

Ok, dude, even I have my limits.  I am NOT kissing your teeth.  Even if you weren’t drooling all over the place I wouldn’t do it.

*****

Six days away from them, and I think they grew in that time.  They look a little different.  They seem a little smarter.  Sean has an exploding vocabulary which is much different than Aidan at that age.  Aidan is reading almost anything he sees – even words that I don’t think he should be able to read yet.  They are my amazing Benjamin boys…

Life Is Life

Here’s something I know about myself…I take things (and people) very seriously…sometimes too seriously.  One rough day in life, at work, at home, you name it and any feelings of hope or optimism that I felt the day before vanish…today was that day…

As tired as I was yesterday, I still managed to clean, to accomplish things, to make plans, to feel hope about the future – on different levels…today…one rough day later, and I couldn’t even manage a decent conversation with BBFF…I was grumpy, I was anxious, I was mopey…I felt unappreciated…I felt unloved…I felt unimportant…nothing was good enough, nothing was right…life sucked…

Except it really doesn’t, and I know it doesn’t.  Life is life…good, bad, and ugly…when I stepped outside of myself and looked in, I saw how ridiculous I was being…it’s a day…one day…tomorrow will be better…or at least the same…even if it’s bad, it’s still ok…

I have things to look forward to…I have things to make happen…I have plans…I have dreams…I have a life to live.

Cleanliness Is Next To…Craziness?

I know it’s been FOREVER since I’ve posted anything…travelling for work does that to me…I focus so much on the work and the people that I don’t have room in my head for other “stuff”…which is refreshing…it makes me want to keep myself busy, busy, busy…

The Ex watched the boys (as a father should do) while I was in Anaheim…yes, Anaheim, California…my first trip to California without The Ex…we went twice while we were married…back to my point…he watched the boys while I was gone…because of craziness in his life, I let him stay in my house…can we say weird?

This is my space…yes, it holds a lot of stuff from our marriage, but the space is mine.  And I let him in it…it was weird for both of us…he respected it, which I appreciated…and it made my absence easier on the boys, which isn’t a bad thing…

I’ve still got a little jet lag…I barely slept the entire time I was gone and last night…I need to be in bed sleeping…but instead I’ve spent the past hour cleaning my house from top to bottom…frantically cleaning…cleaning with a vengeance like I’m really angry at the dirt…

I couldn’t figure out why I would randomly clean my house from top to bottom (well, not completely since I won’t vacuum while the boys are asleep) until it dawned on me…I could still feel The Ex in my home…he didn’t smoke in it – I would have smelled that a mile away…he wasn’t dirty – he didn’t clean up much, though…but I needed the space to be mine again…and somehow cleaning helped me scrub away the vibe…

I still need to finish up the load of laundry from my trip and finish putting away my suitcases…but I’m relaxed again…for the first time since Tuesday night when The Ex arrived…

I know some say cleanliness is next to godliness…not tonight…tonight, it was a trip to crazy town…

This Should Be Simple

Girl meets boy, girl likes boy, boy is not dumb, and they live happily ever after. That’s how its supposed to work, right?

That would be way too simple for me…

Let’s try this instead: Girl meets boy, marries boy, has boy’s children, and divorces boy. Five minutes later, girl meets man, likes man, and is immediately confused as hell. Yep, that sums it up.

I don’t know what the rules are for this new world I’m in…and most likely the answer is that there are no rules…but at what point do I listen to my heart and at what point do I listen to my head? And which one gets the deciding vote?

I’ve heard that second marriages have some ungodly divorce rate…and whenever the day comes that I decide to marry again, I am NOT going through another divorce…oh hell no. But what timeline am I supposed to be on? And am I even qualified to know if what I’m feeling is real or if it’s wishful thinking or loneliness?

My gut says that its real, but 12 years ago, my gut thought I would be with The Ex forever, too…

Shouldn’t this be simple?

What’s In My Head, Desperate To Get Out?

Hell if I know…last night, as I was drifting off to sleep (after walking Aidan back to his bed for the SECOND time because I was sooooo serious that he needed to sleep in his own bed), I started mentally writing – something brilliant, I’m sure, but I don’t remember now…I’ve thought that my writing has been flat for the past several days…which is a big reason why I haven’t had much to say…

And I think I know why…because I’m not writing what’s in my head…I’m writing fluff…I’m not really about fluff…every once in a while, sure, but in this space, it’s not supposed to be about fluff…it’s supposed to be me figuring out life, figuring out myself…

So what’s in my head right now?

I’m worried about love and sex and romance (but not necessarily in that order)…and I don’t think I’m supposed to be worried about that yet because I’ve only been divorced three months…I think I’m supposed to be trying to go out and have fun and attempt to live the single life when I have appropriate childcare (it’s still illegal to leave your child on a shelf while you go out, I checked)…but that’s not me…it is if I’m with people I trust…it is if I’m comfortable with the group I’m with…but you’re not going to find me clubbing or bar-hopping for the most part…

And I refuse to do the online dating thing…I’ve heard horror stories…I have a blogging friend who’s got horror stories…for me to meet someone it has to be through work (which has happened and it’s fun when time allows) or through friends (which makes me nervous because the majority of my friends are my mother’s age…no one wants the person their mother prefers) or…

Or…BBFF…

I’m not sure if I believe in soul mates…The Ex billed himself as my soul mate, and I don’t think I ever completely bought that (and clearly we weren’t if how our relationship ended is any indication)…I’m not sure what I believe in when it comes to romance and love…and that in itself proves to be a problem…because BBFF and I have a strange connection that I don’t understand…we have an understanding about each other that I don’t understand…and that scares the hell out of me…

Am I being smart by saying that I need to live the life of a single woman for a while (even though I have no clue what that even means)? Am I being stupid by slowing down something that feels good and right? Am I over-thinking the whole thing and should just let it all play out, enjoying the moments as they come, and not worry about the future?

I don’t know…guess I need to figure that out…

Oh, and since I don’t have permission from BBFF to blog about BBFF, I’m not going into details…I might not respect my own privacy, but I will respect his and everyone else’s…so you just have to deal with the thoughts that roll around in my head…

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