A few weekends ago, my husband and I went away for the weekend.  It was the first time we have left Mea.  It is also the first time that we had gone anywhere just the two of us, since our honeymoon.

We really needed that trip.  It was good for us.  Mea lived, and although she was super pissed that we left her, she had lots of fun with her big sister, E1, her niece and her nephew, and the following night with her Aunt and cousins.

We didn’t really do anything that we couldn’t have done here, but going out-of-town made us spend time together. It was all good.  We ate junk food and drank in the middle of the day, we went to a movie that was rated R, and last longer than an hour and a half.

We had fun.

When we got home, we picked Mea up, and went home and started our normal Sunday routine.  I got laundry started, went to the grocery store, fed my family lunch and dinner.

I did notice that the majority of the clothes that I had sent for Mea to wear while we were gone was still clean, folded, and hadn’t been worn.  When she was at her sister’s house, she claimed she didn’t have any shirts (she had two in that bag) and when she was at her Aunt’s house she swore that I hadn’t packed her any pants, to which my sister just told her to wear the pants she had worn the day before.

I am a little surprised that the grown-ups didn’t question this a little more, but whatever.  She had at least two full outfits in each bag.  We left Friday night, and came home Sunday morning. I totally over packed her, and it was for no reason.

After dinner, I went to help Mea get ready for her bath.  She was being silly, super squirrelly, and was forcing me to help her get undressed.  I get her pants off, and look at her feet.

She was wearing the same socks that I had helped her put on Friday morning.

They were once white.

They were about ten shades of brown when I peeled them off of her feet.

I posted something on Facebook about it, just being my normal smart ass self, giving my sister and E1 a hard time for not doing a very good job of Mea sitting.

The next morning, my Mom told me that she got the biggest laugh out of Mea not changing her socks.

She said that once she had a seven-year-old daughter, (duh, it was me) who she dropped off for a weekend camping trip for Brownies.  Apparently, this daughter wore the same socks, underwear, and undershirt the entire weekend.  They had gone hiking in the woods, and it had been muddy.  They did stuff around the camp fire.  Apparently, she even walked in only socked feet back and forth to the latrine a few times as well.

As we were talking I could hear the smile in my Mom’s voice, remembering this silly story of her seven-year old daughter being a dirty little piglet during her first camping trip.

I, of course, do not recall doing this.  I do remember camping with Girl Scouts plenty of times, but I don’t remember my filthy socks.

It’s the little stories like this that I soak up and savor so much these days.  I have a hard time thinking about all of the stories that I don’t know, or no longer remember, and how they could someday just be gone because I was too young to remember or notice, and my Mom may not be there to tell the story to me.  How one of my children doing something silly like not changing her socks will remind my Mom of something similar that either I did, or that my sister did at the same exact age. 

I hope to hear more of these.

Actually, I hope to hear all of these.

 

 

PS.  Guys!  I am writing again.  Words come out when I come here!  Thank you for sticking with me.

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Lefty

Mea is a lefty. I don’t know if I have mentioned this before or not.

I grew up being right handed in a primarily lefty world. My Momma is a lefty, too. For the most part, I am right handed, but there are quirky things I have always done left handed. Such as….I always batted left handed when I played softball,, but I still threw right handed, I wear my watch on my right wrist, primarily I use my left hand for stirring, and other cooking things, and other weird random things that I just learned to do left handed and haven’t stopped.

My oldest niece P is left handed, and when it became obvious that she was going to be a lefty, my Mom was over the moon to have another lefty in the family. Same thing with Mea, when she became left dominant my Mom was so excited.

I did not learn to tie my shoes until I was in third grade. My Mom tried and tried to teach me and I just could not get it. Finally, as a last ditch effort, my Dad showed me, and I have been tying my shoes ever since. I just couldn’t turn what my Mom was teaching me around in my head.

When we have had lefty brain, righty dominant issues with Mea we have my Mom or P show her how. Lesson learned.

There are times when I think Mea almost forgets that she is left handed. I have had to remind softball coaches, and gymnastics coaches many times over the years that my girl needs to do it the other way.

She took quite a while to figure out her cartwheel, and stupid me, I forgot for quite a while to mention her left handedness. After they showed her the right way for her, it was on.

Mea started Second Grade on Thursday. In normal after school fashion, I asked her about her day. She really likes her teacher, she is nice. She has made new friends already.

I also really like her teacher so far. She did really cute smart cookie presents on all of their desks. So cute. She seems really engaged and excited, and I love that.

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As Mea and I were talking today, she said that her teacher asked all the students who in the class was left handed. She set all of the left handed kids on the end of rows so they wouldn’t be bumping elbows with their right handed class mates.

This is kind of genius. It also makes me wonder if she is a lefty herself.

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It would take a left handed person to think of such a thing, seriously.


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.

 

 


To The Moon and Back

Yesterday, we finally celebrated Easter with the family.  My sister was out-of-town last weekend, so we had put off our Easter Egg hunt, and lunch.  It was really nice.

My brother-in-law presented me with a very spoofty resume, and I finally gave my sister her birthday card.

My Mom was like a kid on Christmas.  We had picked out special necklaces for all the granddaughters for their birthdays, but when they arrived early, and she fell in love with them she decided they were Easter gifts instead.

Something special from Nana, to all the girls.

I love you to the moon, and back.

I love you to the moon, and back.

When Mack opened hers, I saw the tears well up in her eyes.  My oldest niece also gave my Mom a pretty instant serious hug.  The little girls definitely thought the necklaces were pretty, but it was a little lost on them what the meaning was.  It wasn’t lost on me.

Guess How Much I Love You came out when Mack was three.  My Mom and I must have read this book at least a thousand times over the years.  First to Mack, then P, then S and finally to a baby Mea.  It is a book that I have bought for every new mom I know, for as long as I can remember.  My Mom signs off texts to Mack with this all the time, and now she does with P, too.

Mack has asked me several times now to get the little nut-brown hair tattooed on me somewhere, so that she can get the big nut-brown hair tattooed on her.  I have thought about it.  Still thinking.

My Mom typically doesn’t go this crazy for Easter.  She usually makes baskets for the girls, but of the normal Easter variety.  She nearly always buys my sister and I a plant of  some sort, that I promptly murder by either forgetting about it, or over-watering.  Black thumb all the way.  This year, she bought us rose charms for our Pandora bracelets.

A flower that I cannot kill.

A flower for every Easter to come.

All in all it was a really good Easter.  Even if it wasn’t actually on Easter Sunday.  Cancer didn’t get this holiday.


Easter Magic

My sister was out-of-town on Easter Sunday.  Due to this, we decided to post-pone our Easter brunch until this coming Sunday.

Easter is normally “our” holiday, so we were at a bit of a loss as to what to do.  Our oldest daughter called and was planning her own brunch, and an Easter Egg hunt for the kids.  Mea had a blast playing with her nieces and nephews, my husband’s ex-wife behaved herself, most likely because he was there.  It seems that she is only an asshole to me if I am at an event with the girls alone.  Brunch was tasty, and it was fun to do something different.

Yesterday I had an idea for something fun for the little girls to do, and to help explain the absence of the Easter Egg hunt.

Letter from the Easter Bunny.

Letter from the Easter Bunny.

I typed up a letter and left it for Mea, along with three small flower pots, and 3 bags of jelly beans.  I emailed the letter to my sister so she could share it with the girls.

So overnight, after they have planted their magic jelly beans, the jelly beans will “grow” into lollipops.  I am thinking about maybe adding a small flower to the pots as well, so that they actually have a purpose after the magic jelly beans grow.

I really can’t wait to see the expression on their faces when they see what the magic does.


Bloggling Eleven, Regaining My Sanity Edition

Let’s just get to it, shall we?

  • I was thinking today that I may have lost my funny.
  • Then I laughed at myself for thinking such stupid thoughts.
  • My sense of humor is in here somewhere. 
  • It’s just had a heaping pile of bullshit covering it up.
  • I am over it.
  • This weekend we took Mea and my youngest niece to the Science Center. 
  • We had a Groupon.
  • So did the other eleventy billion people who were there.
  • I didn’t tell my sister, but I sort of lost my niece.
  • Only for a few minutes, so it totally doesn’t count.
  • It easily could have been Mea.
  • Except, I could spy Mea anywhere based on the size of her poofs alone, in any crowd.
  • S does not have poofs.  She has the super-duper stick straight hairs just like her favorite Aunt Kelly.
  • Poor little S.  She is doomed to be forever searching for volumizing hair products that don’t do jack.
  • We saw Sue the T-Rex.
  • Pretty cool to see if you get a chance.
  • We also saw an I-Max movie about dolphins.
  • I nearly hurled.
  • Every single time we have ever been to the Science Center, the turtles are doing it.
  • “Momma, why are the turtles laying on each other like that?”
  • “Um, they are cuddling to stay warm.”
  • We went to dinner with my BIL and his fiancée
  • We had a good time.
  • So glad that he has his life on track.
  • Our oldest daughter did not have a great time.
  • She was there, at the same restaurant with her kids, younger sister and some friends, not with us, total coincidence.
  • Right when they were finally getting taken back to their seats, my older grandson (3) threw up everywhere.
  • Needless to say, they went home.
  • Yesterday, Mea spent much of the morning pretending to be me.
  • She had her pink phone, pink cash register, a notebook, and some fake money.

 

Mea being me.

Mea being me.

  • She even has keys, and is wearing one of my nametags.  (With her name on it.  Label maker, you are Mea’s friend.)
  • Yesterday, she told me that if she had a baby girl that she is going to name it Bethany Rapunzel.  Bethany for Bethany Hamilton the surfer, and Rapunzel because it’s a cool name.
  • This girl makes me smile.
  • Every. Single. Day.
  • Even when she is screaming at me when I am doing her hair.
  • Which is getting cut on Saturday.
  • And braided.
  • I am tired of the daily hair battle.
  • I have been trying to make dinner for my family of three, plus make enough extra to feed my parents.  They are only a few miles away, yesterday it was still hot when I got to their house. 
  • So far, I am not struggling with this.  My Dad even had seconds of the beef stroganoff that I brought them yesterday. 
  • So I didn’t poison them either.
  • Today its pot roast.
  • Tomorrow, they may be on their own.  Frozen pizza doesn’t travel, or double well.
  • My Mom started chemo on Wednesday.
  • She was very sore all weekend.  Body aches like nothing she has ever felt before.
  • She did not throw up.  Which in my book, is a WIN.
  • Vomiting is one of the worst things ever.
  • Speaking of hair, she is getting her hair buzzed off on Thursday.
  • Of anything we have dealt with so far, this is the one thing that is going to make it all seem real.
  • There isn’t anything funny about that.
  • We have bought hats, in all different styles, weights, and shapes to cover her head.
  • I love hats.
  • I wish that I had even half of the hats that I had when I was a teenager/younger version of me.
  • So many awesome hats.
  • Now, not so much.
  • I am reading the new Jodi Picoult.  I can always get sucked into her books.  This one is good.
  • I miss my Mack.
  • She is coming down to spend the weekend with us in a couple of weeks.
  • She is having her “wise teeth” removed.  Her words.
  • So she needs me.
  • I will be at her beck and call.
  • It’s been a while since I have been.
  • I am looking forward to it.
  • And I am looking forward to seeing her looped out on drugs.
  • I may make a video.
  • Hopefully she does something really hilarious.
  • Then I could win money on AFV.
  • A Momma can dream can’t she?

This is all for Bloggling Eleven.


Bbbbrrrriiiinnnnggggg…

A few months back, my husband and I were discussing getting rid of our house phone.  We seldom, if ever, use it anymore, but in the end I elected to keep it.

For my sanity.

I am ever so glad that I did. 

The only night we have been home as a family this week was on Thursday evening.  Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were all filled with various family dinners since my cousins were in town.  We have not been home much at all.  The only night Mea went to bed on time was Thursday.

Tuesday evening one of Mea’s friends called our house at 9:15.  I told her not to call after 8 ever again.

Each morning, there has been at least one message from this same little girl who is friends with Mea.

On Wednesday evening, after we got home from our oldest granddaughter’s birthday dinner, there were nine messages on the answering machine. 

NINE.  All calls were between 6 and 8. 

All of them were from this same girl.

Why on earth her parents allowed her to keep calling our house over and over again, I have no idea.  Maybe they didn’t know. 

When Mea calls a friend, we monitor when she calls, who she calls, how long she talks, and if she uses manners or not when calling.  If someone is not home, she can leave a message, but she cannot call back.  Period.  If she breaks a rule by not using manners, or abuses her phone privilege in some way, she can’t use the phone for a while.

Mea stayed the night with my sister last night, and she is staying the night tonight with her second to oldest sister, for her oldest niece’s birthday sleepover.  Two nights free?  Holy cow.  We seriously don’t even know how to act. 

I took Mea to my sister’s, stopped and picked up a movie, and dinner for the husband and I. 

I turned the ringer off on all the phones.  I didn’t want to hear it.  I figured if my sister had an emergency with Mea, she would call or text my cell phone, and I would notice it.

At some point last night, Mea’s friend called.  She may have called more than once, but there was one message on the answering machine. 

“Mea, you told me to call you, but you never answer the phone.  We are not friends anymore.  Goodbye.”

Seriously?

At six years old?

Catty, catty, catty.

 

In other first world phone problems, this morning I received an email from our cellular provider.  The email stated that my sister’s line was being charged for quite a bit of internet usage charges.  In November, my sister and her husband got their own cell phones.  Since my niece is in Junior High now, my sister decided to keep the line that was on my plan for the last eight years, and give it to P.  It was supposed to be for texting and calling only, a new “old school phone” that is not “smart.” 

I forwarded the email to my sister.  Then actually looked at last months bill.  It was $15 more than usual.  We are not too far into the billing cycle, and this email alert showed her $25 in usage charges.

Apparently, my niece has been watching YouTube videos at school.

I don’t know which part she is in trouble for more, causing her parents to owe me more money, or watching God knows what on YouTube at school.

Girls.