Well, what have I been doing? Oh, not much of anything really. Working 4 days a week at Wal-Mart. Taking care of the kids. Worrying about an ex-mother-in-law who fell down and seriously broke her ankle. Trying to help Jason rediscover his "lost creativity".
Lets start with Wal-Mart. Working there makes me realize there is just way too much commercialism and "give-me-ism" centered around December and the associated holidays. Being Pagan, I don't celebrate Christmas with the sense of the birth of Jesus and what not. We do have a tree. It's a Solstice Tree. I even got for it this really awesome rather "pagan looking" (per Jason's description of it) star. I'll have to post a pic of the tree once it's put up in all it's glory. Anyway, back to commercialism. Why do the carols start the day after Halloween? Why can you purchase Christmas themed items sometimes as early as AUGUST? There are many out there who say "Oh, it's the retailers". Well, yes, it IS the retailers. However, they wouldn't do it if people didn't buy it. After all, they only make money on things that SELL. That means that out there, there are people who actually BUY this stuff that early! WHY????
Working at Wal-Mart has really made me feel the pressure to BUY NOW. I'm a late Holiday shopper. I prefer to do it that way. Wait til the last minute, get great deals. This year, I have purchased more for Holiday gifts before Thanksgiving than I EVER have before! What is wrong with me?
I've also come to realize that as I am awake until the very early hours of the morning anyway - if I make it to bed before 1 A.M. I am either sick or just so tired I can't stay awake any longer - that I might as well be working those hours. After all, the purpose of me working is so that we can find our feet financially, isn't it? How can I honestly be contributing if I'm only working maybe 20 hours a week when Jason busts his butt for the full 40? That's another thing about this season. It really reminds me of how much money I don't have. And it only seems to get worse, never really better.
In my search to find my financial feet, I've discovered that I suck at spending money. I buy lots of stuff we just don't need. I just can't help myself. The common sense thing to do would be to hand my debit card to Jason and let him figure out our debt and money. However, that option literally makes me angry just thinking of it. Why you may ask? In all honesty, just previous bad experience with someone else handling MY money. I feel like handling the money, no matter how badly, at least gives me a sense, no matter how misplaced and useless, of power. So how do I overcome this? By swallowing my ill-placed anger and handing the reins over to Jason as of the first of the year. I really really don't want to do it. I guess we are going to try to do it together, but maybe to begin with, I should just step away from the money. I don't even have to physcially hand him my paycheck, it's direct deposited. Hopefully, I will be able to keep from arguing and fighting with him as he figures out my mess of things. And he stays married to me too. I have a feeling that January (maybe February too) is going to be a long, lonely, and cold cold month for me.
On to raising the kids. They are becoming responsible. When did this happen? Are these really MY kids? Well Hell, I must be doing SOMETHING right after all! There have been a couple of mornings (all right, a few) where I have just kept smacking that HORRID alarm clock and overslept by QUITE A BIT. OOPS. James always comes down and tells me "Mom, we are leaving for school now." What? My James? Getting himself and his sister up and out the door for school? Knock me out and call me Suzy! They ride the bus now, because of James' "issues" he gets a bus ride, and Jayden goes to the same place, so she gets one too, however we are still close enough that they can walk. So on these mornings, they invariably do end up walking. It's not really far, but the fact that they don't just stay upstairs and watching movies instead of going to school still shocks me to no end. Apparently, for my kids, a great threat to get them to go to school and behave is to tell them that if they don't, they will be homeschooled by me. Who knew that school was a mini-daily vacation from me as it is for me from them? Learn something new every day!
Izzy can now say 4 words and one sign. His IEP is at the end of the month. He'll then have a speech therapist and an early education teacher coming to the house to work with him and I. Izzy "swallows" his sounds. It sounds like they are "stuck" in the back of his throat or mouth, that they aren't making it to the tip of his tongue and fully out. He says "eat" now, though it comes out sounding like eeeeeeeeeettttttt with a bit of an "n" sound to it - that whole stuck sound thing again. And he can say "eeeeezzzzzzzyyyyy", though once again it's with that "n" sound. He likes to draw the vowels sounds out, and he LOVES making that "z" sound. I'm glad we went with calling him Izzy, instead of Jason's suggestion of Ike.
Jason wanted to call him Ike after his great (possibly great great?) Uncles. He has two. One was Crazy Ike. I think the other was Lazy Ike. Or something like that. Jason felt that Izzy was too "cute" for a boy. I told him that little boys are only cute so long and I wanted my little boy to be Izzy.
On to the Ex-Mother-In-Law. Her name is Linda. She is Homer's mother. She and I get along "famously", in all honesty, much better than my own mother and I, let alone Jason's mother and I. I think with both of those aforementioned women, we just agree to disagree and try our hardest to be cordial. Linda is a wonder. At the age of 63, she went back to school to study Cosmetology. Why? Well, as she told Jason, it's so she doesn't have to bust butt washing dishes for the rest of her life. This is where I get a little angry. Why does she HAVE to wash dishes? Why aren't her children helping her? Because they are too involved in their own lives, that's why. Jason and I both get along very well with Linda, much to Homer's chagrin. She fell down about a month ago and broker her ankle so badly she needed surgery. She was at work when it happened. She just got her staples out last week. She is getting Workman's Comp to pay her bills, but it barely pays her rent. She was working 2 full time dishwashing jobs at the time she fell. And she was finishing up the last big of her schooling.
She's close to 65 now, if she isn't already there. This is where our worry over her comes in. She lives in Wisconsin, so she could be near her brothers and mother and assorted extended family. They have helped her out during this time not at all. They are always too busy to be able to do anything for her. Even to just drive her somewhere. So she is in a town where her family won't help her, and her children are too self absorbed to notice. I told Homer his mom fell and broke her ankle, after giving him her cell number - he didn't have it- over 3 weeks ago, he STILL has not called her. Jason and I have talked and we feel that she should come live with us. She would help us out a great deal just by being here. I could go in earlier to Wal-Mart. Not to mention, then we would KNOW she is ok and she wouldn't have to bust her butt working 2 jobs dishwashing to make ends meet. It's time for her to relax, enjoy her age and the time she has put in. Now comes the intersting thing, how do we convince her that we need her more than we feel she needs to be here?
And Jason's creativity. Jason is in a funk, it comes and it goes, but this should not be news to anyone really. He feels like he is wasting his life away at his job. Like he isn't "accomplishing" anything, or even really providing well for his family. He has no inspiration to draw or paint. He's in an artist's hell. I don't know how to end it. I don't know how to inspire him. I worry over him. I worry over them all, though I am mom, and that is part of the "mom" job description, it says it in the book we get when we become a mom.
And so I leave you on this note. Enjoy life to the fullest. After all, you could be living with your worst enemy.