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.

 

 


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.


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.

 


Bloggling Twenty-One

In no particular order, I give you the crap in my brain.

  • We have now Skyped with Mack (and her boyfriend, sorta) twice now.
  • This is a great way for Mea and Mack to talk to each other.
  • Mea can be her silly self, and show off for her sister, and for Mack and I to see each other’s faces.
  • We are taking Mea to the drive-in on Saturday.
  • We are keeping it a surprise, but my husband and I are both excited to take her to experience something we both did as kids,
  • My friend whose husband was recently diagnosed with stomach cancer, was given really bad news this week.  According to the doctor’s the cancer laughed at the chemo.
  • He went through twenty weeks of 24/7 chemo, had his stomach removed a few weeks ago,.
  • They gave him two months to a year.
  • So sad.
  • I just don’t understand this sometimes.
  • Why would the doctors put him through that horrible surgery if he was that bad?
  • I am filing this under things I will never understand.
  • For the record, cancer is a mother-fucker.
  • I submitted something I wrote to a writing contest online.
  • I am nervous about it, but I am also glad that I actually put myself up for the challenge.
  • Thanks to Polly, I overcame my fear and submitted something.
  • This may be a first step to doing something more with my writing.
  • Thank you Polly.
  • I had to work on Saturday.
  • We work once every 6 weeks.
  • There is no coffee to be found in our downtown prior to 7 am.
  • I did not know this.
  • A total coffee fail.
  • I got to work at 7, and had to wait until 9:30 to have some caffeine.
  • They didn’t turn the lights on in our office.
  • I think this was by our manager’s choice.
  • No coffee, being at work at 7, and no lights, made for a very sleepy morning.
  • As I was going through caffeine withdrawal, I thought about how Jen completely kicked her coffee habit.
  • I am too weak to give it up.
  • Thank goodness that only happens once every six weeks.
  • My husband told all the big girls that we would take all the grand-kids overnight sometime soon.
  • I seriously think he may have lost his mind.
  • Six kids ages 10 months to ten.
  • Please pray I live through this without killing any of them or him.
  • I may go hide in my bedroom with the baby all night, and let him deal with the big ones.
  • I have been giving serious thought to a tattoo, or rather, two tattoos.
  • Meaning of each of the girl’s names in their handwriting.
  • Mack wrote hers out for me, “Born of Fire.”
  • I still need Mea to do hers, “Mine.”
  • Then I will figure out where to put them, thinking the inside of each wrist, and where I am going to go to do this.
  • When I told my husband that I was thinking of doing this, he thought the big girls would be weird about not being part of it.
  • They are not weird about it at all.
  • I did actually think of doing all of their names.
  • E1 and E2 both have good name meanings.
  • E1 is “Ever Powerful”, and E2 is “Peace.”
  • C is the problem.
  • All the way around, as there are still all the issues, but her name is a problem.
  • C’s name means “Chalk Landing Place.”
  • So, the answer to that is no.
  • That is just not going to happen.
  • I know not everyone checks the meaning of their children’s names before naming them, but I think it is a pretty important part of the process.
  • Their names are part of them, as essential as their eye and hair color.
  • If I would decide later to do something for them, I may do the flowers for their birth months or something along those lines.
  • I also don’t plan on turning into a crazy tattooed lady either.
  • So there is that.

With that, I am done.


Last Straw

Things have been, in a few words, strained, difficult, awkward, hostile, between my middle step-daughter, and my husband and I, for a while now.  There have been more than a few things that have transpired that have caused distress in this relationship, but something that I found out yesterday may truly be the last straw for me.

Friday, was my oldest stepdaughter’s thirtieth birthday.  There was a big party, a party bus, much debauchery.  All in good fun.

I am working on setting up my oldest step-daughter with a guy that I work with.  This may come back to bite me in the ass at some point, and is probably a blog post of its own for another day, but needless to say, she and I were texting back and forth last night, about the possibility of this date, and about her birthday party.

She mentioned that they all had a good time, but that C was really drunk, really early, and made an ass out of herself and embarrassed the other two girls.  I asked if she drove to and from E’s house, and she said she didn’t know, but that she wouldn’t be surprised if she had, because she does it all the time.

Then she said that she does it all the time with her girls in the car.

C has a cousin that lives over by E, and C is frequently over at her cousin’s house drinking, while their kids play, and then she drives them home back to our side of town, as C and her children live near us.

The one time Mea spent the night with C and her girls, they went over to her cousin’s house.

I am so pissed I could just scream.

Not only that she is driving around with my grandchildren in her car after she’s been drinking, but if I find out that she drove drunk, or even buzzed, with Mea in the car, I would probably kill her.

She should know better.

Maybe I should have known better too.

The truth is even the last time wasn’t the first time.  Before she turned 21, and when our oldest granddaughter was still very small, she was pulled over for an OWI.  She went to jail for a night, and had to have a breathalizer thing put on her car for a year.

The youngest granddaughter’s father just got out of prison last week for running over a kid while drunk driving.

There is a pattern here.  In her own life, and in the lives of those around her, and the biggest problem I have with it all is the kids.  They don’t deserve any of this mess, and they certainly don’t deserve to be driven around in a car by a mother who has been drinking.

As for what I should do with this information I just honestly don’t really know.  There is a part of me that thinks I should confront her about it, and there is another part of me that thinks I should call DHS privately.

What I know is that she needs help.  In some way, shape or form, she really needs help.  She obviously hasn’t learned from her past mistakes, I just don’t really know what to do.

Friends, what do you think?  Put yourself in my shoes, what would you do?

I feel like the answer is staring me in the face, and I just can’t quite get to the answer on my own.