Bloggling Twenty-Three, MIA Version

I have been MIA, for this I am sorry.  I don’t know that I have any really good reason for being missing, but I just haven’t come here.  Or to any of your blogs either, which I am even more sorry.

It started out simply enough, in that I was trying to make sure to spend time off of my phone and my computer when I was home with my husband and Mea.  I did a great job of staying off my computer, I had to dust it off, and update a million things before I could even sign on to start this post, I still feel like I am on my phone too much, but it is a work in process.

I really discovered that the majority of my  blogging time was done when I was at work.  Whether it was reading blogs, or writing my blog posts, I did much of it while I was at work.  Which does not really make for a very productive employee.  Regardless, I do miss this place, I do miss your places, and I miss my friends in my computer.

So I am going to try to find a happy balance between everything so that I can get caught up, and still stay in touch with all of you.

 

On to the bloggling…

  • We drove to Ohio to visit Mack and her boyfriend.  It was a great visit, and could have only been made better, if I could have spent a few more days with them.  It was one hell of a car ride, thirteen hours in the car is too much to do in one day.
  • My Mom is doing very well.  Her doctors are very impressed with her health, and she continues to amaze everyone.  Last round of labs, and CT scan came back great, and the tumor on her chest wall may actually be getting smaller.  Her hip is healed, she is off the walker, and only uses a cane when she remembers to use it.
  • Mea has been doing great in school with one exception.  She has a new friend that is causing some issues in the class room.  I had already had some concerns, as we have had a few phone problems, where this girl has called our house well after Mea has gone to bed, or even once at 11:50 at night on the weekend.
  • On more than a few of these phone call interactions I have had with this girl, I have told her not to call our house after 7:30, and I tell her that she needs to get her homework done and get to bed on time too.
  • I have also heard from Mea that she has been absent from school because her parents didn’t want to get up, or they overslept, or the parents didn’t feel good.
  • After much discussion, my husband and I decided to switch her to the school that is our actual school for our neighborhood.
  • There are a couple of reasons, first the school she is attending is considered an “at-risk” school.  Which means that the school has not done well in standardized testing, and the students are not learning at the same rate as the other schools.  I have not been concerned with Mea’s education.  We work with he at home, she likes to learn, and has been at the top of her class for both reading and math.
  • She was only going to this school because it was the only school that our old sitter could take/pick up from, so now that she is no longer watching Mea, it seems stupid to have her go to this school that I really don’t like anyway.
  • She will be attending a grade school where all of the kids in the school will end up in the same middle school.  I worried with her going to the old school that she would have fewer friends going into middle school, and although I know she can make friends, it is easier if you know more people when you get there.
  • Does make me wonder if she will do even better in a new learning environment.
  • We were lucky enough to find a new daycare provider, and we are all extremely excited about it.  Mea is going to go to daycare with her baby nephew, at her sister’s best friend’s house.  She is my youngest stepdaughter’s best friend, and she is wonderful.  Mea can’t wait.  Quite frankly, neither can I.
  • I really don’t like my job.  I am over-qualified for it, my manager is a bit of a spoiled brat, and can’t manage her way out of anything.  I have been able to get her to set me up with some job shadows so I can have an idea as to where I want to transfer to when my year with them is up.  July 8, cannot come soon enough.

I think that is it for now, I am going to really try to get back here.  I have missed it, and I have missed all of you.

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Metro

The day that our social worker called us and told us that Mea would be coming home to us, I dropped by Mack’s old sitter Lois’ house to see if she would take Mea in her daycare once she was home. 

At that time, Lois had quit taking babies.  Two to three years old was the youngest she would take them. 

She said she couldn’t promise anything but she would try it.  She was concerned, she kind of didn’t think it would work with a “little” baby and the rest of her big kids.  She said that if it didn’t work out she would let me know, and give me time to find someone else to watch her.

After the first week, they were two peas in a pod.  Lois loved Mea, and Mea loved Lolo.  It was an instant bond.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have much time saved up to take when she came home, and my Aunt was sick, so I had lots of “being away for work” guilt, so Mea started with Lois the second week she was home.

Lolo and her husband have been like a second set of grandparents to both of my kids.  First Mack, and now Mea, they are forever bonded to this couple. 

On November 20, Lois pulled me aside and said that she needed the week of Thanksgiving off.  She told me that her husband had cancer, but they didn’t know where or how bad yet.  The week of Thanksgiving was when they were doing the majority of the testing.  The evening before Thanksgiving, I had a call from one of the other mother’s to tell me that Lois was done. Her husband was pretty bad, and she couldn’t do daycare anymore starting immediately.

I was a little hurt that she didn’t call me herself.  (This is a post for a different day.  We have visited and called since and it is yet another heartbreaking story to go down for 2013.)

In addition to her being Mea’s babysitter, she is my friend.  I have cried all over her and her husband so many times over the years it is ridiculous.  I gave them a little space, knowing just how much they were going through at that time, I just left them be for a few days.

Then the search was on.

No one can replace a Lolo, but I was determined to try.

Mea was adamant from the beginning that she did not want to go to Metrokids, the school’s before and after care program.  I didn’t know why at the time she didn’t want to go, but she was so upset whenever I even mentioned it, I was going to try hard to find somewhere else.

I called all the centers all around us, and none of them had an opening for Mea’s school.  It is a big school.  One of the largest elementary schools in our city.  Not one of them had room on their bus for before and after, or after school only.

I posted a few things on Facebook, looking for opinions or suggestions of friends.

I looked online.

We found a website for state approved daycare providers within our area, and called a few that were close.  I set up appointments to go over to these homes, and interview the babysitters.

At the first house, it was clean.  The girl seemed nice enough, a little young, but nice.  Then she told me that she forgot that her own child had early out from school that day.  She goes to a private Catholic school, that only does early outs every now and then instead of every week like Mea’s school. 

But, you guys, she FORGOT HER OWN CHILD!!!!

While we were there someone from her child’s school brought her daughter home and another daycare child!

WTF.

As I am talking to her she tells me that she picks up from another school that gets out at the same time as Mea, but what she will do is pick up from the other school first, and Mea could cross the street with the crossing guard and wait on a street opposite from the school until she gets there.  It should only take her ten minutes.

ONLY TEN MINUTES????!!!  My kid is not standing in the cold, on a street corner, away from her school while she waits for you to get there.

Next.

The next house.  This house was across the street from the school.  It looked okay from the street.

It looked less okay up close and personal.

It was awful.  Mea goes tearing off playing with the kids.  The babysitter asks me if I want to see the rest of the house, I agreed only because I don’t know if I knew what to say.  It was filthy.  If you knew someone was going to be coming to your house, wouldn’t you run the vacuum?  Wipe down the counters in your kitchen? 

But then again, from the looks of things, this probably was “clean” to them.  She asked me if I wanted to sit down in the living room and I declined because the couch was so filthy I was afraid to sit on it.  There were no legs on the couch or love seat.  There were visible stains on both couches, that were almost “crunchy” looking. 

Of course, Mea saw nothing wrong with this place.  At all.  She was so mad when I said that she was absolutely not going to go to either of these places.  After the last one, I quit calling any in-home daycare providers.

We basically had no choice.  It had been two weeks, I needed someplace for her to go.  I told her that she had to go to Metrokids at the school, and if she hated it, I would do my best to find somewhere else.

The night before the first day, we had read some of her latest chapter book and were snuggling in bed.  She says in her whining tiny little voice that she does not want to go to Metro.  I asked her what was bothering her so bad about it.

She said, “Metro is in the cafeteria, and during lunch we have to sit and be quiet and not talk, or they turn the lights out.  I don’t want to sit in the dark from after school until you get there Momma.”

Oh, my heart. 

“Mea, just because Metro is in the cafeteria doesn’t mean that it is just like when you are in the cafeteria for lunch.  At Metro they play games, they play with some toys and do crafts.  They play outside when it is nice enough outside, and it’s supposed to be fun.”

She was still terribly nervous.  I promised her we would go early and I would stay with her for a little while so that she could meet some friends.  The lady who met us at the door was a little gruff, but nice enough, the other ladies inside were sweet and talked to Mea about some things.  She saw a friend playing “restaurant” with some other little girls, so I took her over to say hello.  They immediately asked her if she wanted to be a “worker or a customer” and brought her into their game.  I stood back for a little while and watched. 

I walked over to her after a few minutes and asked if it was okay for me to leave. She nodded her head and kissed me goodbye.

When I picked her up after I got off from work, she asked me why I came to get her so early.


Done.

I am turning into not a very nice person.  The last year, has had an unfortunate effect of making me a bitter, crabby, bitchy person.  This is probably not really all that true, but I just don’t know how much more I can take.

Mea has said to me, too many times to count, that I am always making a frowny face.  Which is not good for my overall mood, not to mention that I am going to end up with permanent frown lines, and need Botox or something.

Let’s do a recap of 2013 so far…

My Mom diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.

Fired from job of 10 years.

Unemployment for four and a half months.

More than one friend or friend’s spouse diagnosed with cancer.

One job offer, at a significant cut in pay.

Big daughter moves to Ohio.

House is broken into.

Small daughter’s babysitter quits with no notice right before Thanksgiving.

Big daughter calls crying as her work will not let her have any time off for Christmas, and she cannot come home.

This last one is just the icing on the cake.

Mack can’t afford to just quit her job, it took her 2 months to even find this crappy job she doesn’t really like, she had talked about just quitting and coming home, but this just isn’t really a reasonable thing to do.  My Mom is just devastated.  My heart hurts, I cried at work this morning.  Blubbered all over one of my co-workers. 

I cannot even begin to tell you what this is going to do to Mea.  She is going to be crushed.  She has said multiple times that she only wants Mack home for Christmas.  Now, she’s not fooling me completely, she still wants a guitar (she’s getting that) a computer (not so much) a I-Pod Touch (nope) and a Nerf bow and arrow (yes!), but I cannot provide the one thing that she has asked for over and over again.  It is at the top of each Christmas list.  I have even heard her whispering it to Sparkle Heart….

“I want my MackamooSissy home for Christmas….”

This breaks my heart, not just for Mea, but for me too.  I miss Mack like crazy.  I have been good, I haven’t complained about her not being here, I was sad when she wasn’t here for Thanksgiving, and I had to suck it up a few times.  I can only begin to imagine what Christmas without her is going to be like. 

Every year, for as long as she has been alive, and old enough to actually “help” Nana decorate their house for Christmas, she has been the main “elf” doing all of the decorating.  She told my Mom before she left for Ohio, that she understood that decorating couldn’t wait, but to please save the nativity for her to put out. 

My Mom made the nativity scene with her ceramics ladies.  Sanded, painted, and fired each piece herself.  The nativity has always been Mack’s last duty in the decorating.  Mom was saving it for her.

My Mom sent me a text that she can’t put it out.  She had my Dad put the box back in storage.

 We are going to pull everything together, get it wrapped so that I can get it shipped out in time for Mack and her boyfriend to have gifts to open.  Some of her stuff isn’t here yet, so I guess she may end up getting some of her presents in installments.  She has been making many of her gifts for the kids and grown-ups, so they are not all finished either.  I told her I would help her with the shipping when she was ready and able.

We have been planning on going out to visit over Spring Break, and to be honest, March 14th cannot come soon enough for me.  I need to see my girl.  I need to be able to touch her and give her a hug.  Skype is wonderful, but it’s not exactly the same thing as giving your big girl a snuggle.

I am over this year. 

It has been awful, and I just don’t know how much more I can take.

I’m tired of whining.

I’m tired of not being my normal snarky, somewhat happy self.

 

 


Bad Movie

I feel like I am a character in a bad Lifetime movie.

It seems that each time things are starting to move in the right direction in one part of my life, or the lives of my loved ones, something else falls apart in another area of my life or another loved one.

I am getting really sick of it.

I mean really fucking sick of it.

This morning, Mea’s babysitter pulled me aside and told me that her husband has cancer.  They do not know what kind yet, (they have ruled out prostate, but have said very little else to them) they just have a location, something in his lower area, most likely back/hip/pelvis area.  PET test to come sometime next week, so they will know what they are dealing with.

She told me and I burst into tears.  They are the closest thing to a second set of grandparents that Mea has, Mack too for that matter.

These people are more than just Mea’s babysitter.  I have known them since I was a child.  Mack was Jimbo’s girl.  Every time I see him he asks me about Mack.  Which is almost daily.  Mea is his little cuddle bug too.

I am just sick.

I am worried about them. 

I sent them flowers and candy this afternoon.

And although it is somewhat selfish, I have been worried about what it will mean for our daycare situation.  I hate the thought of Mea going anywhere but there.  I also don’t know how they will be able to keep up with daycare, and take care of Jim’s needs once they come up with a treatment plan. 

I know firsthand how crazy those first several months were with my Mom, and I also know that if she had a bunch of kids around her all day long every single day that she would have gone nuts.  Not to mention that it can be a little scary for the little kids to see someone they love sick.  I am terrified that this is starting to be a “normal” thing that Mea has to see and live with.

I just need a break from all this stupid cancer business. 

I am sure all the people who are actually dealing with it want the same thing.

It just pisses me off. 

I am just so done.

 


Gotcha Party

Like most parents, I try to limit the amount of TV that Mea watches.  I also try to make sure that she is watching TV shows or movies that are, for the most part, age appropriate.

In our perpetual search for appropriate TV that everyone can stand to watch, we often end up watching Nick or Disney.  We were huge iCarly fans, so when the show ended last year we were all a little sad, and had to try to find a new show that we would all like to watch again.

We have been enjoying Good Luck Charlie, and lately Jessie, on the Disney channel.

Jessie has opened up many conversations about adoption with Mea.  Jessie is a show about a nanny from Texas, a wealthy couple in a New York penthouse, and their four children.  One biological child, and three adopted children, one domestic, and two international.  A little too Pitt/Jolie for my taste, but it is still good to see adoption portrayed in a positive way on TV.

On a recent episode that we watched the youngest daughter wanted to plan a huge Gotcha Day celebration.

We always do something special to celebrate the day Mea came home.  (I really don’t care for the “gotcha day” phrase, just seems weird and wrong in my mind, so we have always just said it was the day she came home or her home anniversary, something along those lines.)

Last night I was laying down with her watching a different episode of Jessie, and she asked if we could have a party to celebrate the day she came home.  She wanted to invite all of our family, and have a BBQ, with cake.

She asked about the day she came home again, and I told her the story again about how her foster mother June brought her to us, that when she arrived it was just Mack and I home, and that Daddy joined us later after baseball.  How she cried a little, and then ate lunch, her favorite, spaghetti.  We went outside and played for a bit, and then she took a nap snuggling in my arms.

We usually talk about that first week.  How she met her Nana and Papa (in the hospital) when I took her to meet her babysitter, that we had her pictures taken, we celebrated Mack’s fifteenth birthday, all the things that I can remember from those first days home.

There have been times when we have seen adoption portrayed on TV or a movie and it has not been something Mea could relate to.  Now we are not rich, we do not live in a penthouse in New York, but the youngest character in the show is about Mea’s age, and black.  She seems to see some similarities between herself and Zuri.

I think this is all a good thing.  It keeps us talking.  It keeps the adoption conversation going.  It actually is a cute show.

In the mean time, I am going to try to pull together a family BBQ on the 22nd.


Daddy Issues

In my last post I mentioned some issues with my middle step-daughter, C.  Since I wrote it, there have been more issues, and I need to write it out.  

So here we go…

First, let me give you the back story.  I haven’t talked about this before, because I didn’t think it was relevant, but I have come to the conclusion that it is indeed relevant.

My husband was married to the evil one.  They had our oldest step-daughter E1.  When E1 was five months old, the separated for six months or so.  During that six month time frame, C was conceived.  Her mother is not the evil one.

The evil one, and my husband reconciled, she got pregnant with E2.  By the time E2 was three years old they were divorced.

Needless to say, when people discover that my middle step-daughter has a different mom, it is a weird story.  

C’s mom did not tell my husband about C, until she was three or four years old.  She had/has some issues, but she is not a bitch.  I really have no idea why she waited to tell him, but she did.  

I think that C has some unresolved daddy issues.  I have talked to E1 and E2 about this, and they both agree.  So in addition to the jealousy issues we already know about, I think there is some other stuff brewing around in that head of hers.

I had gotten a text from C on Memorial Day basically telling me that her feelings are hurt that we hadn’t watched the girls in a while (she has oldest and youngest granddaughters, 3 and 10) and that she felt that we had E1 and E2’s kids more often than hers.  It may be the case, I don’t really know.  It’s not like we have a set schedule for having the grandkids.  Sometimes the girls ask us to watch them, sometimes we ask for them.  I don’t keep score.

C tends to wait until the last-minute to ask us to babysit.  Usually an hour or less before she needs someone to sit.  At the longest it is a day or two notice.  If she has to work, or if she has school, we usually say yes even if we had other plans or whatnot.  She has complained in the past because we “only watch the girls if she is working.”  We can’t win.  

Her kids are not very nice to Mea.  They are better if we have one at a time, but if we have them together, they can actually gang up on her, and can be mean.  In her own house.  With her toys.  It’s not really fair.  I have talked to the kids about it several times, tried to talk to her but she doesn’t want to talk about it.

It turns out that last week, she had decided on Friday that she and her girls were not coming to Mea’s birthday party.  So basically, the excuse that she gave me on Saturday morning, the one that I thought was pretty weak anyway, was a total lie.

She had said that she would stop by sometime this week and bring Mea a present, and to say Happy Birthday.  (Please note:  I do not care about a present.  I don’t believe that Mea cares about a present.  She wants to see her sisters and her nieces and nephews at things like this.)  We did not hear from or see her until last night.

Around five o’clock, she posted something on Facebook about how she should have gotten a sitter for the night because her kids were driving her nuts.  I knew that the text was coming, as soon as I saw the FB post.

Sure enough, maybe five minutes later my phone went off.

My husband was off work yesterday.  Originally, he was going to take Mea to the pool, but we had thunderstorms on and off all day.  In the morning, E1 called and asked if we could watch her youngest.  He had thrown up at daycare the day before, and although he was fine, he couldn’t go back to daycare.  So since we knew the pool was out, we thought it would be fun for Mea and help E1 not miss another day of work.  It was his dad’s weekend to have him, so his dad picked him up last night around 6.

We had already planned to have the baby grandson overnight last night.  I had asked E2 if we could have him on Monday.  We haven’t had him overnight for three weeks.

The first text from C said that she was having a bad day, and at her breaking point with the kids.  

I didn’t answer.

The second text said,”I’m willing to bargain at this point…I would keep Mea for you guys any night you wanted.  Tomorrow, Sunday, Monday, I’m off all those days.”

Mea is not some thing to be bargained with.  She is a person.  She is her sister.  She should sometimes just want to spend time with her.  This is not how it works at all.

Honestly, that last text just sort of sent me over the edge.  It probably shouldn’t have, but it did.  

I had sent E2 a picture of the baby doing something silly, and she sent me a text replying that C was on the war path.  She had called E2, to see if we had E1’s kids in addition to the baby.  

There is no possible way that we can have all five grandkids here at one time.  Five grandkids, plus Mea is six children under the age of ten.  Our house is not big enough.  We quite honestly do not have the space for them all to be here at one time for an overnight.  We also cannot have grandkids here every single night of every single weekend.  It’s not fair to Mea or to us for that matter.

She went on to vent to E2 about how shitty we are, how we aren’t fair to her and her girls, and so on.

I wanted to respond to her.  I still want to.  My husband doesn’t want anything to do with it.  We also found out yesterday that C’s youngest daughter had a recital this week.  We didn’t even know that she was in dance.

I know that I have attempted to be the best step-mom I can be to her.  She only calls when she wants something or needs someone to watch her kids.  We don’t have a relationship past that.  These are the only times that she calls.  

The other girls will call or text me just to talk.  We have a relationship.  It goes both ways.

I just don’t know what to do.

 

 


Bloggling Sixteen

In no particular order, crap in my brain.

  • I had two interviews yesterday, an actual interview and a phone pre-interview that has led to an in person interview on Thursday.
  • Both jobs are making decisions next week.
  • Both have good points, and bad.
  • We shall see what next week brings.
  • Mack and her boyfriend are traveling to visit the grad school this weekend. He will see what the school and program are about.  Hopefully, they will find a place to live, and she can try to look for places to start applying to work.
  • We still haven’t told Mea about the move yet.
  • I want to, almost did the other day, but my husband hushed me the other day when I started to tell her.
  • It sort of made me want to punch him.
  • She needs to know.
  • I may tell her today.
  • I have asked Mack to come clean out her old bedroom.  Box stuff up she wants to keep, and throw the rest of it away.  I am happy to store it for her, but it would be nice to have that room to use.
  • It’s been three years.
  • It can’t sit in limbo for three more years while they are off in Ohio.
  • I thought she’d be upset, but she was fine with it.
  • I told her that I was going to move some of Mea’s toys down there, and now she want to paint a mural in there for her.
  • Mea will love this so much!
  • I am still at odds with my sister.
  • Last week, I asked her if she could take Mea for a night.
  • She couldn’t, the girls were staying the night with friends, and they were going out with friends.
  • I understood, to a point.
  • I am slightly annoyed that she never asks for her niece, or if she does it is for an overnight on a Wednesday or a Thursday, which really is of no use to us.
  • She told me to ask my Mom to take her.
  • My parents had my nieces the next night, they had been out-of-town for the previous few days, and I felt it would be too much to ask.
  • Mom tires easily.
  • The kids are exhausting.
  • Two nights in a row would be too much.
  • My sister told our Mom (after the fact) that I had needed a sitter and wouldn’t ask her.
  • My Mom then “yelled” at me for not asking her to take Mea.
  • My sister is a big blabber mouth.
  • But I guess we already knew that, right?
  • My Mom had a CT scan yesterday.
  • Results back tomorrow.
  • Dr. Chemo told her the other day, that another patient he has currently in the same trial as my Mom is going into his fourth year on the program.
  • This is really encouraging.
  • Next week, Mea is being moved up to the advanced class in gymnastics.
  • She is soooooo excited.
  • We bought her a practice mat for her birthday.
  • My parents bought her a practice beam.
  • At least now when she is flipping around the house she won’t be landing only on our hardwood floors.
  • Cushion is good.

This is it.  Don’t forget about the Joseph Nogucci giveaway!