Monday, July 28, 2008
First they couldn't find their library books, and then they found them and we were going to walk to the library, I told James he could ride his bike if we had the bike lock. We have a bike lock, but I don't have the key for it, I'm not risking having his bike stolen because he wants to ride it, so he absolutely melts down. So no library, which upsets Jayden because she really LIKES to go to the library.
James isn't going to program today because of his behavior. Getting to leave is like a reward to him. I told him I'm taking away ALL video games and he has been noes and toes to the wall for the past 40 minutes. Crying and carrying on the entire time. I just gave him a sandwich and he bitched that I didn't spread out the jam enough.
He's complaining how his feet hurt from standing. I used to stand in the corner for 8-10 hours, I highly doubt an hour or two will kill him. He wants to go upstairs and take a nap. While that would be great, I'm not giving in to what he wants. He does this kind of shit all the time. He throws fits and throws fits and throws fits until he gets sent to his room so he can sleep, which is how he makes up for the time he should have been sleeping because he came down stairs at 6 in the morning to play video games. I'm going to have Jason lock the video games away and not in the usual places.
James is behaving just like my 2 year old. I'm SO tired of this. He thinks this family should revolve around him and what he wants at all times. He's 9 1/2, he's old enough to understand that isn't how it works. Yes, he has a disorder or twelve. However he CAN control himself. Him behaving like this sets everyone else off too, with too much crying and carrying on.
I feel like I CONSTANTLY have to be a hard ass. I can't let up, at all, ever and it's so VERY VERY tiring. I just want him to go away, for a few days, no, that's not true, I want him to go away for a few months. I'm so tired of his bull shit and how it affects every other person in the house. How it puts us all on edge and it really affects my relationship with all the other members of the family.
Am I thinking twice about homeschooling? No, not really. Yes, he goes to school and I get a break, however then I have to deal with the ignorant ass "behavior team" and how they bitch to me about how he is. When I talk with them, it's like listening to a little kid complain about how their friend treated them. Buck up and do your fucking job already people, you don't become a member of the "behavior team" and expect the kids to be peaches and cream, for christ's sake.
I'm tired. I'm worn out. I want my son to be a "normal" 9 year old kid. This entire "world revolves around me and if it doesn't I'm going to behave like an inconcolable 2 year old bullshit" is just that, bull shit. It stinks like it. It gets stuck on your shoes like it. It gets in to your house and infuses itself in to all of your belongings like it.
I have to rant here because I can't rant at him. As much as I would love to, it would accomplish nothing. I would love to gag him and toss him in a closet. But I won't. Aside from the fact that that would be VERY illeagal, it's not how to handle the problem. It won't find a solution, it just elminates the source of the irritant for a bit.
How did my parents not lose their ever loving minds raising me and my brother? Having James is like having me and my brother rolled up in one person, and some extra shit thrown in for good measure.
I really hate Homer at times like this. He wouldn't be nearly this bad if Homer hadn't of neglected him for a year and half while he was there. I kick myself for ever allowing James to go live with Homer. I know I'm not the one that neglected him, I was trying to make sure he was taken care of, and Jayden. I couldn't care for newborn Jayden and 3 year old very immature James at the same time. I knew I didn't have it in me. And now I'm paying the price for that. And it's not fair. It's not fair to me, and it's not fair to James.
A couple of weeks ago, when James spent however long it was yelling at me, we called Homer. Homer said I could drive James out to him, however I'd just have to go get him again in a week. There was no way James would survive living with Homer. Homer told me he would go to jail for abuse or killing him. That there was no way he could handle caring for James on a daily basis and he was amazed that we could. What a fucking cop out. What a fucking asshole. How do I do it? I don't have any fucking clue, but if I didn't do it, who the hell would? It's not like I can just drop him off some place and say "I'm done with this bratty pain in the ass kid, it's your turn now". Jesus Fucking Christ.
That's cop out parenting. Where do I sign up for that? I mean, really. I want to be like all the other dead beats out there. They don't take care of their fucking kids, whether they live in the same damn house together or not. Leaving state. Not buying new clothes for the kids. Not paying their child support. Not giving their kid the time and attention they need. Not disciplining, and not praising. Let's ALL do that! Yeah! We can all be grown ups who focus only ourselves and what WE want to do! Leave the fucking kids to themselves. But we gotta keep having the kids so we can keep getting our state aid or child support or income tax deduction! Who the fuck cares if we are screwing up their generation? Didn't our parents do that to us, shouldn't we carry on the fucking tradition?
That's all BULL SHIT by the way. Heaping MOUNDS of BULL SHIT. Get off your asses and be FUCKING PARENTS! Discipline, praise, care, nurture, mold. Take care of the children. They didn't ask to be born. They didn't ask to be here, with you, as their mother, as their father. You could have prevented their birth. A simple piece of laytex and there you go. Laytex allergy? They have lamb's skin for you. Stand up, do your JOB as their PARENT. These kids don't need friends. They PARENTS.
THAT is how I do it every day. How I wake up and deal with the bull shit that my son dishes out. He is my son and I am his mother. I am here to take care of him, and that's all there is to it. There are days when I wonder what the HELL I am thinking? And then there are days I feel so very blessed. Often those days are the same day. I'm sure at some point today, I'll see my blessing. I always do.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Well, technically, the food garden is Jason's labors, but we are just going to go with it, k? For the past few days I have looked out my window and seen these gorgeous flowers. They are cantelope. And judging by the amount of blooms present, we are going to have a BUTT LOAD of cantelope. Good thing every one likes it!
The thing about the garden is this, I really wanted it. I'm trying to have our family as a whole eat healthier and for us to spend less on groceries. I'm sure that everyone out there can appreciate that.
These are, I believe, green peppers. I didn't have any other kind of pepper seed, so I'm pretty certain that is what they are. We'll see as they grow.
The plan is that we'll keep the seeds from the fruits and veggies we harvest and plant them again next year. We'll clean them, dry them, and store them in clearly labeled paper envelopes. Again, that's the PLAN. I'm also hoping to add more variety to the garden next year. I know a lot of stuff was planted, not all of it came up.
We also have strawberries in their first year, so the fruit from them won't be much at all. Tons of tomato plants that I need to tie up to the fence to keep them from toppling and to spread out a bit. A vine plant that is watermelon or zuchini or possibly pumpkin. It is just beginning to get it's flowers so we'll see how it goes. Tons of carrots. Quite a bit of lettuce, that I'm not sure when I should harvest. And I *think* a broccoli plant or two.
All of this planting and growing is teaching me that it is all trial and error. We buy things that don't grow. So we try again next year. Hopefully we'll get better at identifying the weeds before they get as well grown as they are this year. I still need to thin out and weed 1/2 of the flower bed up front. I recently ripped out all of my herbs and cut my bulbs to the quick.
With the herbs, only the cilantro grew. I bought some potted herbs, ones meant to be planted outdoors. I hope they grow well. And I'm wondering, how do I harvest those? Do I rip up the entire plant, just take the leaves off? What?
I love to see all of this stuff grow and know that I, and Jason, and even the kids to a point, have helped nurture it, to helped it thrive so that it can enrichen our lives.
The kids' current sceince projects are sunflower seeds. They are the small pretty variety, not the ones with the huge heads. They each have 15 seeds, though Jayden only has 14 now, she dropped one on the floor. They'll plant them out front, and watch and chart their growth. Lots of sketches and charts and paragraphs will be written about these flowers. I'm sure there will also be some competition about them. I'm just glad that I'll be able to share what I love, growing these plants, with the kids and have them learn too.
As the next few weeks go by and summer leads to fall, I'll be posting more pics of our fruits of labor. Maybe you can share your tips with me about harvesting and planting for next year.
Monday, July 21, 2008
I told the woman I was chatting with that I'm either not motivated, or I just don't care. Which in the same sense, boil down to the exact same thing. She told me that maybe I should find out why I'm not motivated. I said that maybe it's because I'm so damn tired all the time, or that I'm too busy from taking care of the kids and working and keeping the house from falling down around my head that I just don't care about being fat and lazy right now.
To which she brings up pregnancy. And my lack thereof. I have this theory that what is keeping me from becoming pregnant again is my weight. That simple. My life has stabilized out dramatically since I was younger. My hormones and all of that are just fine, they did the tests to prove it. Other than my living situation, which is greatly improved, the only thing that has changed since my younger days (aside from my age) is my weight. As my age has gone up, so have the numbers on the scale.
While this tidbit is personally depressing, because fat is not cool and I don't view it as sexy in the least, it's not a downer in the way I thought it would be.
While I would love any baby I was blessed to have, I realize, that right now, a baby would not be the best thing for my family as a whole. I need to adapt to the homeschooling. The kids need to adapt to it as well. We need to find our financial rock and glue our asses to it. Things like that.
I've never stopped to think about not having another baby. Before now it's always been "when we have another..." However, it has slowly become "We are done. What is next?"
There is some sadness there. And envy when I see other women who are pregnant, or announce they are pregnant. I think that will abate a bit once the time that our baby should have been due has past. Which, sadly enough, is in this next few weeks. I think it was some time between the 25th of July and the 11th of August.
I'm becoming more comfortable with the notion of selling all of our baby things. A small part of me keeps saying "Once all the baby stuff is gone, that's when you become pregnant" and has hope. A bigger part of me says "Oh fuck! That would totally suck and COMPLETELY piss me off!" And understandably so.
I am not ready for Jason to do anything permanent, at least not yet. Maybe next year I will be. Why do I want something permanent done to one of us eventually? Because when I'm 40 I don't want a surprise like Jason was. While I love my husband dearly, the only diapers I want to be changing when I'm 40 or more is those of my grandchildren.
Now think of this. My 40th birthday is 9 years away. And in all feasibility I COULD be changing the diapers of my grandchildren then. Katy would be almost 20. James would be 18. While I don't WANT my children to have children when they are that young, I'm a realist at heart. I just hope that at some point, they DO have children.
What does no more babies of my own mean? How will my life change?
Gone will be pregnancy, at least personally experienced. No waddling at 10 months pregnant. No extra swelling or needing larger clothes. Oh wait, I'm doing THAT without being pregnant! No throwing up needlessly. Or odd cravings. No giving birth of breast feeding or feeling that horrible guilt for quitting the breast feeding even though I hate it to begin with.
Once Izzy is potty trained, no more diapers until those grandbabies make their appearence. Or changing or holding or bathing babies. Yes, babies smell wonderful. However, grand babies smell even better, according to EVERY grandmother I've ever spoken to. Why? Because once they start smelling not so nice, or they start crying or doing any of that other "unpleasent" baby stuff, you can hand them back to their parents.
I'd say no more sleepless nights, but that's not true. Once these kids start dating and driving and growing up even more, there will be plenty of sleepless nights as I wait for them to get home safe and sound.
No more teaching and shaping and watching them grow. Well, again, that's not quite so. As they grow and develop and learn to become themselves, truly themselves, as adults, I will be watching and sharing and loving and teaching and learning with them. I've never been the parent to adults before, it'll be a new experience for all of us. I can only hope that they remember that I am here for them, with them, when they need me to learn from.
What I'm saying is this. While this is all "Something Completely Different" it really isn't. It's just bigger and more of the same thing, though in a slightly different form. So I shall stand up and look at my "Something Completley Different" with joy and tears and laughter and sorrow because that's how I look at it all right now. I know that I am doing my best to be the best for them and that one day, the whole world will see them as I do now. At least I hope so.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
As a 1930s husband, I am
Friday, July 18, 2008
As a 1930s wife, I am
Now, I'm not sure how to retake this test and actually pass it. It just doesn't seem possible to me. Admittedly, this test was designed for women some 70 years ago. Basically when Jason's parents were BORN. But it's no wonder that his mother feels I'm a craptacular housewife. According to the standards she was raised with, I AM! By the way, when I saw the results I laughed my ass off. Why? Cause it's seriously funny! Share with me what you got.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Let me start with the beginning of the day. I get up. Do a little computer work. Give Izzy his regular cereal bar. James and Jayden are off getting dressed, or so I thought. I yell up to James to have him bring me down clothes for Izzy when he comes down to put on his shoes. We had places to be.
James is in bed. UGH. So I get James out of bed. He brought me a t-shirt and heavy overalls for Izzy to wear. It's going to be 90 outside, so that won't work. I ask James to bring me some shorts. He is FINALLY dressed and brings me shorts for the Izz-Man. They don't match the shirt. James starts yelling at me how Izzy doesn't have any shorts that match that match any of his shirts or anything like that. I go up and find something that matches, imagine that. Get Izzy dressed and his shoes on. Get out the door.
We go to The Root Beer Stand. You drive up. Stay in your car. The girl comes, takes your order, and then brings it to you on one of those trays that sit on your window. MMMMM, hot dogs with chili cheese, mustard and onions. Jayden likes her with just ketchup. James is a cheese and ketchup guy. Izzy gets a bag of popcorn, being a non-meat eater and all. James and Jayden had root beer, Izzy and I had fruit punch. I need to remember to not get that again, it tasted funny, the lemonade is much better.
From there we go to therapy for James. We all go back to begin with, to the play therapy room. Leave the kids in the play area while R and I go behind the mirror to watch them and talk. Then R meets with James on his own. Jayden was particularly upset to be leaving the doll house. So sorry kiddo. Once James is done, we swing back by the house. I use the potty (this is pertinent later it's why I'm sharing), I grab James' glasses, which need to be fixed and the overdue library books. And off we go again.
Get to the optometrist and the place is PACKED. It's always that busy. They are one of the few places in town to accept Medicaid. The only state assistance we get is Medicaid for the kids. Thankfully on that part. They fix James' glasses for free. YAY! Off to Wal-Mart.
I pick up some soil for my flower beds, some more herbs for my herb garden. Some perennials for the perennial garden that really disappointed this year. That's also what the soil is mostly for. Plant food, gloves for James, under shirts for James, panties for Jayden, Mt. dew, Cheese, rolls, Pringles, cottage cheese. That was our entire list. I get to the check out, and reach for my wallet and realize "OH SHIT! I forgot it!" I have the cashier, a nice young lady named Robbie, ring it all up and then have Joanna suspend the transaction. Rush out of there to come home.
On the way home, I remember I had left the house WITH my wallet cause I had paid for lunch. The entire trip home I am hoping it didn't fall out somewhere. It falls out when I use the bathroom at work. I was wearing pants similar to the ones I wear at work. It MUST be at home, on the bathroom floor. We get home, Izzy is crashed out in the back, I unlock the door so James can go in and check, and YES! it's there, phew!
By this time, Jason is home, so I leave the tired and cranky Izzy with him. James, Jayden and I head back to Wal-Mart where we procure our beloved purchases. Then on the way home, I realize I didn't buy lunch meat. We were having a no cook dinner. Subs, cottage cheese, and chips. So I stopped at Hardings and hit up the Deli there. It was a nice dinner. The cool felt so good after the hot hot day.
Jason had started filling up the kiddie pool while were gone. Jayden and Izzy played in the water. James thought it was too cold so he opted to ride his bike. Jason stayed outside with them, while I went in to enjoy the cool a/c. We have 2 window units that cool the main floor of the house. One is in our bedroom, the other is in the living room. For the most part, all the rooms get cool, aside from the office because it's at a weird angle off of the other rooms.
The kids clear the dinner table and pick up food off of the floor. Izzy likes to throw food and our kittens like to eat it off of the floor. The stupid animals are having a hard time with litter training as well. UGH, they annoy me some times! I digress. While they were doing that, I informed them that because it was getting cooler out, we were going to go upstairs so they could pick up the play room. It was trashed. Part of why it was trashed was because of me. I had told the kids to take all the toys from the cubby area where the toy boxes were and put them all in the middle of the room in the play room. There were all kinds of things in that cubby that shouldn't have been there. On previous occasions, when told to clean the playroom, they had picked things up and just tossed them there instead of actually putting them away. I wanted to remedy this situation.
This starts the downslide which shall be known as The Hour James Lost His Ever Loving Mind. We all go upstairs, well James, Jayden and I. Jason has put Izzy to bed because he is being a cranky whiny screaming pain. He napped a grand total of 15 minutes today. From the time it took us to get from Wal-Mart to Home the first time. James starts SCREAMING at me because has to clean and he just doesn't want to. That ladies and gentlement is the ENTIRE reason for what took place for the following hour. THE ENTIRE REASON. I didn't hit him, yell at him, scream at him, nor threaten him in any way, shape, or form. He didn't want to clean.
James SCREAMED at me. Not scream. Not cry. Not yell. HE SCREAMED! All caps screamed. He had that high pitched voice the bad guys on cartoons get when they get really worked up and start monologuing like crazy. He was telling me how I didn't love him, how I didn't care about him. How I should be the one to clean up the mess. How I should just throw everything out. How I torture him by making things he doesn't want to do. How I never do anything for him. How he does everything for me. How I didn't deserve to be a parent. How he wanted to be adopted. How he wanted to go live with Homer. All because I wanted him to clean up the playroom.
Now, let me explain a little about the rules in my house. I don't expect much. I have a standing rule that you can be upset at what I ask you to do. You can vocalize your frustration, anger, and upset as much as you want. As long as what I have asked you to do gets done, you can be as pissed as you want. You can scream, yell, cry, throw things (as long as they are ONLY your things), whatever, as long as what I have asked you to do is getting done.
James was screaming at me. I was sitting on the couch up there taking it all. I kept reminding him to pick stuff up. So he'd pick up a toy or two and scream and scream and scream. I'd remind him again, and it would start all over. After 45 minutes of this, I called Homer. I figured I'd let him tell James about it all. So Homer talked to him. Tried to explain that James would have even more rules there because Homer's wife runs a daycare. None of it mattered to him. All James perceived it as, in that moment, as Homer hates me, and he won't let me have what I want either.
By recommendation of MF Jenn I had James get ready for bed. By the way MF means my friend. Katy's step mom Jenn will now be KSM Jenn. This had been carrying on for a good hour. I was worn out, emotionally drained. I couldn't do any more. As it was, I had Jason go upstairs to "relieve" me for a bit. After James had brushed his teeth and gotten his meds, as he was walking by the office I said "Good night James, I love you" as I do every night. That just started him off on another screaming fit about how I was just saying it to make him feel better and yada yada yada. UGH.
I went out MF Jenn to Bennigans. We had a drink a piece and shared an appetizer and a dessert. Neither of us needs either of those things on our own. It was a nice repreive. Here's hoping tomorrow is a calmer day.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
To answer your question, yes it would make a difference if you had a "name" associated with your comment. It wouldn't have to be your real name. Gods know Serial Mommy isn't mine, it's in fact Jamie. If there were a name I could say "George/Anthony/Michael/Bob this is for you" instead of directing it toward EVERY annonymous soul out there. I like a name. A name gives you a face. When I speak, I like to speak to a face, a person.
Jason doesn't like James much. Here's the big secret. Neither do I. I love that boy dearly, as I do all of my children, however, more often than not, unfortunately, I don't like him much. If I were a kid, or he were an adult, he is not the kind of person I would hang out with. He's not the kind of kid I would encourage other kids to hang out with. I am relieved that he has the social ineptitudes he does because I don't want to deal with other kids' parents when James hurts the kid in some way.
Does this mean James will go and physically hurt the kid? Honestly, maybe. While I'm around, that becomes a distinct improbability. James purposely does things to piss people off. He does things, says things to hurt people. He honestly does not care about anyone else. The way that the wires are crossed in James' brain makes him not form the bonds that you and I take for granted. James loves his cat, a statment he has professed himself time and again. However if Ringo were to accidently scratch him, James has no problem with kicking the cat across the room. He will have no remorse about the act. When asked why he did it, his answer, quite simply is "He scratched me. " It doesn't matter that the cat didn't do it with intent.
The frustrations of life and parenting build up. There are days where it just doesn't seem worth it. When Izzy is screaming at the top of his lungs because he wants something and doesn't have the ability to communicate it. When Jayden is crying at one little thing or another. When James has only snide and hurtful comments coming from his mouth and is more than willing to shove and push others around. When stress over money and making ends meet collide.
With the way Jason's and my schedules go for when we work, there are many days and nights where we are, essentially, a single parent. Admittedly, I spend a great deal more time with the kids on my own than Jason does. Jason allows me the weekends to sleep in. Every other day of the week, they are who wake me. Jason is up anyway because of habit from waking early for work the rest of the week. Sunday was a morning where I got to sleep in. I woke to Izzy screaming at Jason. When James yelled at Izzy, it became too much for Jason. It's that simple.
I suppose if I sat and dwelled on the idea that James is so fucking screwed up, I'd think it was sad too. There are many many days where it pisses me off. He got fucked. He looks like a "normal" kid. He doesn't have any obvious malformations, aside from his very small size. He's not in a wheelchair or walking with a limp or blind or deaf. He is not what is considered "disabled". Medicating him only works to an extent. Along with limiting his intake of sugar. Short of a lobatomy, there isn't anything other than medication that medically can be done for him. As of right now, he doesn't even qualify for Disability Assistance.
My son is a very good looking guy. He's smart, and funny. He's a talented artist and amazing at math. His brain is like the proverbial sponge. He remembers things amazingly, second to only myself in our family, and I'm sure some day he'll surpass me. However, all of those over adjectives that people like to see about others just don't apply. He isn't nice, thoughtful, considerate, or caring. That's not me being a mean old bitch. That's me stating the simple facts. I have to look at it as simple facts. It's how it is and no matter of crying and ranting and raving will change it.
My point is simply this, my life may be sad to you, my son may be "sad", someone to pity. But don't waste your time feeling that way. We don't, and we live the life every day.
Yesterday I received an annonymous comment. It's under the "The (Not So) Chosen One" post. So I responded to what she, I'm assuming it was a she, said. And then she left another comment. She's right, I don't know who she is, however I would like a name to associate with the comment.
When I read the first comment, I perceived it as she was bashing my husband. When my friend Jenn read it, she perceived as pity for James and his disability. When Jason read it, he said simply "I like James as much as I can like him. Some days that's more than others, however that goes the same for ALL the kids" Which is quite true.
I've never fully explained what James' "issues" are. So maybe it is mis-perception on the part of the commenter about the actual situation. She called it "sad".
See, I don't see my life as sad at all. Trying, frustraing, angering, yeah, those all fit. Joyous, happy, celebratory, yep those too. Hurtful. Enough to make you want to cry yourself to sleep some days. On other days, you just want to throw a party in celebration. Isn't that how EVERYONE'S life goes though?
Now about James. The commenter also mentioned his "developmental disorder". I can see how she could have that mis-conception. After all, I've never explained All About James. So let me do that now. I'll list off the disorders and then I'll explain the, k?
ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disoder), ADHD (Attention Defeceit and Hyperactivity Disorder), Severe Sleep Disorder, SID (Sensory Integration Disorder) Mod-Severe, Mood Disorder NOS (Not Otherwise Specified), Severe Short Stature, Borderline Asperger's Syndrome, RAD (Reactive Attachement Disorder) and he has poor body (all of his body) control.
OK, what does all of this mean. Well the disorders you can look up yourselves. WebMD has a good write up on the basics of both ODD and ADHD. For the RAD, go to http://www.radkid.org/. What you'll find is that with the combination of the ODD and RAD make for a very argumentative and defiant child. Hell, part of the name is defiant. As far as the Doctor and I have been able to figure, the RAD came about from an extended time that James spent with his father where he was fed, kind of, and taken care of, in the barest sense of the word. That's the stark reality of the situation folks, no hiding under the blanket on that one.
James doesn't sleep unless he is medicated. I have really bad insomnia myself, but this is a step further. It's common for kids on the Autism Spectrum to not sleep. Autism? I don't see no steenkin' Autism on that list. Well, no, you don't. You see things that are ON the SPECTRUM. Borderline Asperger's (and the only reason it isn't full Asperger's is because he behaves differently at school and the teachers never see ALL of James) and ADHD are both on the Spectrum. Which means they have aspects of Autism. Sleep disorders, obsessions, ticks (also known as Stimming), and social interaction problems are all there.
James can't be boiled down to a bunch of labels for you to understand him. By the way, the Mood Disorder is a nice way of saying he's suspected of being Bi-Polar. However, a child can't be diagnosed with Bi-Polar until they are a teenager, I'm not sure why this is, but thems the rules. I could sit here all day and write a very long and drawn out post about James and his disorders.
I want to make this clear however. There isn't anything "developmental" in the delay department, in the disorder department, that is going on with James. Academically, Physically (aside from his size), Mentally he's all "developed" where he should be.
There are some out there who would say "take him off the meds, let him be who he is fully". Well, here's the beauty of this, he's MY kid, not yours. We choose to medicate. We have also recently reduced his medications. I don't know if he'll ever be med free, that will be a choice he'll have to decide on when he becomes an adult.
We are homeschooling because of who he is. I understand, from my many years of interactions with the schools, that no matter what they come up with, he will ALWAYS have problems. There will be no "just getting by" for him. I causes him upset and frustration, and me too. Why put both of us through that?
I think that I've just made things clear as mud. Oh well. Just don't tell me my life is sad. Or the situation is sad. Or that James is sad. That's just not the case. Until you have lived a day in these shoes, your perception of our reality will always be, just that, a perception.
And in the immortal words of Forrest Gump "that's all I've got to say about that."
Saturday, July 12, 2008
I did a google search for them. I found it. It's Christian based. Okey dokey. That isn't such a big deal, I don't HAVE to teach the churchy stuff. I keep looking around. The site is well organized. Has lots of resources for non-members even. So I read the "how to join" link. I download the application. It's $20 to join. I don't know if that is one time or yearly. Even if its' one time, that's great. What a great $20 spent to get extra resources and other parents who can assist me and support groups and all of that.
I keep reading the application. the final line is this "I understand KAHSA is a Christian organization and, as a Christian, I acknowleged and support the following Statement of Faith:" Now, normally I would have no problems signing it and just going along. However, I READ the Statement of Faith.
It included such tidbits as "We believe that there is only one god who exists eternally as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit" which is something I wholeheartedly DON'T believe.
Also included was this "We believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God and is without error." Without error? Who the hell are they kidding???
And the one that REALLY gets my goat and makes me refuse to sign "We believe in the sanctity of marriage and that it is between one man and one woman". They can fucking bite me! I have the site bookmarked so I can use their free resources. Might as well use all the resources I can, however I will NEVER join that organization.
Thankfully, there is a fellow blogger out there (many I'm sure, but she is the one I read) that is a homeschooler, among other things. She is Doc and she offers many many resources to a beginner (and not so beginning others) like me. I wish there were a way to contact her directly, I'll just leave a comment I think, and ask her all the questions I have.
My biggest homeschool worry is the curriculum. I figured I would kind of make it up as I went. I know that when the kids get to high school level, it'll be like I'm in high school again. I know the requirements that I have to meet in order to keep homeschooling the kids. And I'll be working on that. Making sure that I do units in all those studies, along with music and drama. I'm even going to work on some basic phys ed stuff with them, like dribbling a ball and jumping a rope.
This whole thing is so overwhelming and intimidating. My other choice is to deal with the bullshit from the school again. I just can't do that. I know it's not what is best for the kids. So as the summer continues, I will work on a "curriculum" for the "school year". Right now, we use our workbooks (the ones I got from Wal-Mart that are grade equivilent) and do some crafts. I'll be finding the materials and putting together lessons and hopefully I'll be able to teach and they will be able to learn.
If you have any resources for me, please please share them. What curriculum do you use? Is it secular or faith based or unspecified? Please give a link, if you have one, or a phone number, or some kind of contact for the group or company or whatever it is. Thanks.
This morning, Jason smacked James. For what you may ask? He left his bowl of cereal on the table while he was going to take care of the milk, which he has been yelled at (by me) before for leaving out. Jason smacked James because he should have "known better" to not leave a bowl that would make a huge mess, like a bowl with cereal and milk in it, out where "Izzy can reach it". I smacked Jason in the back of the head. Then I yelled at HIM.
Izzy is the one who should have gotten smacked, if anyone really deserved it. Izzy is 2 now. He's no longer a baby. Jason said "James should know better". I said "Izzy needs to learn better, you don't get to smack James just because you don't care for him and then allow Izzy to do as he pleases. Discipline goes for everyone in this house, not just everyone except "The Chosen One.""
You don't get to pick and choose your children. It just doesn't work that way. There are many men out there who decided they don't want to be dads for whatever reason. However, when you make a commitment to be there, and you follow through and ARE there, then you need to accept ALL of the children for who they are.
Izzy is Jason's baby. He is Jason's only child, however he is also very much Jason's baby. Jason hates hates hates to see Izzy growing and changing. He laments Izzy not being small (not that Izzy was ever super small to begin with) and cuddly and not mischevious, naughty, nor demanding. He hates that Izzy is beginning to really explore his world and really test his boundries. He's 2 after all.
Jason really does not like James. I understand his sentiment. There are many times where James drives me bonkers, and many other times where I just don't like him much. However, for Jason, I am convinced that it is an all the time thing. Yes, James is the son of another man. Yes, James has serious issues that we, as his full time parents, must contend with on a daily basis. However, it was Jason's choice to be here, to remain involved with me and my children. He tells me he couldn't leave, but that also means he can't leave my children. He can't play favorites to "his" son over "mine". That is something that I will not allow.
Jason's doing laundry right now, and I'm here typing this out. He may not be happy that I shared this with all of the internet world, but at this current moment, I really don't care. I need to let the anger and frustration out in a way that makes sense, in a way that isn't just screaming.
I love Jason dearly. I'm sure there are many things about me that he wishes I wouldn't do, that I would change, or that he could change about me. This, what happened today, has always been something about Jason that I don't like. Most days it is fine. Then there are days like today.
I really want Jason to find some kind of outlet. Maybe I should sign us up for therapy? It's really aggravating to me. When he gets upset and frustrated, he takes it out on the kids. Yes, I know, everyone does that. Lately, it seems like it is a lot more frequent. I know it doesn't help that Izzy has taken to screeching in a high pitched make your nerves crawl way when he doesn't get what he wants or can't get us to understand what it is he does want. And I also understand that James is a rather annoying pain in the ass. And Jayden is a whiny drama queen. I get all of that.
They are not the cause of his frustration. I can pretty much guarentee that. If it's me, he should talk to me, hell yell at me if he needs to. He's frustrated about money. About how he doesn't make enough. I can't make the job market better. I can't magically have the "perfect job" instantly appear for him. Hell, I don't even know what the "perfect job" for him is. He's thought about going to get his teaching certificate. What he keeps being told by colleges is that he needs to get his Masters in education.
He never wanted to go back to school once he finished. He didn't go to get a degree he could use in the future, he went to please his parents. He didn't think about his long term financial stability, he also planned to NEVER have a family, have a wife and kids. Now he is being told, that in order to pursue something that he may very well enjoy, and would have a bit of financial security attached to it, he has to go back.
And in the mean time, he needs to find another job. His current job is great, he likes it well enough. At least he has a job, and that is awesome in today's financial market. However, he's making pretty much as much as he ever will. He'll keep getting a raise every year at his review, however it'll be 25 cents at most. I get more than that on my annual raises. On Sundays, I make more than Jason does because we get $1 premium for working Sunday. While Jason says that it doesn't bother him, he's lieing. The only full time cashier positions at Wal-Mart are over night. I have let it be known that if an overnight cashier position does open up, I'd like it. Jason has already stated that if I were to do that, he'd quit his job, and maybe get a part time job, or go back to school.
The problem with all of that is this, it's what if's. It's not what is happening right now. Right now, our income makes the ends meet on a good month. On a not so good month we are screwed 6 ways from Sunday. While we can try to change the situation, increase the income flow in some way, it's really not working. My EBay auctions just are not selling. I think once school is closer to starting, if I were list some of Katy's old things, they would sell. I also have a box of baby things that would sell well I think.
Everything happens for a reason. I've always believed that. You may not recognize the reason until 10 minutes or 10 months or 10 years later, but eventually it will be made clear to you. With the miscarriage that took place this past November/December, I now understand the reason. We literally can't afford another person to clothe and feed right now. While we would get it figured out, it's a relief (in a way) that we don't have to. There isn't the worry about me taking time off of work to have the baby, or if I would have even kept my job while I was pregnant.
I know that my posts tend to ramble from one thing to another. And they are long. But I get it all out and work it all out and I can go from there. Thanks for sticking with the post til the end.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
James had quite a few issues last year with school. Almost all of it was behavior related. He was suspended for a full 12 days. That isn't counting the number of times I had to go pick him up early from school. That happened about once every 2 weeks or so. Or the times I would get phone calls from the staff asking me to talk to James and MAKE him do as he needed to. Those happened, on average, at least twice a week. And if ONE phone call was made in the day, it was usually at least 3.
This next year, I don't want to deal with this. This utter stupidity of the school system and their absolute inability to handle James. I don't want the headaches, anger, and frustration from dealing with their close minded every kid fits the same form and if they don't they shouldn't be here crap. James had two teachers. His mainstream classroom teacher and his resource room teacher. Most often, he handled himself well in the mainstream classroom. There were times when I would get calls from his resource room teacher. Though not nearly as often as from the "behavior staff".
The "behavior staff" and I butted heads more times than I can count. On the Wed. before Thanksgiving, they wanted to suspend him for leaving class. He was leaving class because he was trying avert having a melt down because he was angry and frustrated. I told them No I'm not picking him up and No you are not suspending him. The man on the other end couldn't believe I had said no. And then he hung up on me. By the way, Don't EVER Hang Up On ME. Especially when I am discussing my child. So I called his teacher. THEN I called the principal. James wasn't suspended.
The woman on the "behavior staff" would call me to tell me to come get James. And should go on about what he did and how it was bad and how it made her angry and blah blah blah. Um, you are supposed to be trained as someone who handles children with behavior difficulties and you are bothered by a little 9 year old kid telling you off? Jeez lady, grow some balls. James has this phrase he uses for all adults, people in charge. "You People". Now this "professional" lady thought he was using a racial slur. She asked me if he knew what it meant. I laughed. I informed her it was anyone in charge. That, no, he doesn't care if you are black, white, or purple, if you are telling him what to do, and you are anyone but me or Jason, but mostly me, he won't do it most often. That's just James. That's his disorder. You can't medicate that out of him.
So in light of all these issues, I am going to homeschool James. Behavior Plans aren't working for him. The Resource Room isn't working for him. What works best for him is to have him as isolated as possible. To not have to interact with the other kids unless he wants to. Well Hell, I can do that here at home.
There also has been the concern over Jayden. Her teachers just can't get her to DO her work. To work in a way so she is learning. She is easily distracted by everything around her. Also, if she doesn't want to do it, much like her brother, she won't. She pulls a different card than him. It's not a behavior issue. It's simply "I can't". Apparently, the teachers take that as it is. I have been told the entire year this past year about everything Jayden just can't seem to do. Here's the kicker here folks. YES, SHE CAN. I've put her to the test. Everything they told me she can't do, yes she can. I look at her and say "I don't want to hear you can't. You have to do this. You don't have a choice." Screw explaining the why of it right now. She's 6, she doesn't even COMPREHEND the why of it really, she just sees that mom told her to do it, so she's doing it. So Jayden is going to be homeschooled as well.
Oh, have I mentioned I'm not an organized person at all? Thankfully, I have the Four or More Mommies. Many of them are homeschoolers and they are an amazing resource. They have all kinds of info for me to take and use as need be. One of the great things about homeschooling is I can work at the pace of the kids. We don't need to spend all day doing their work, unless that is how long it takes them to complete their assignment. I can do direct rewards if need be. They are also much more likely to do the work because it is ME telling them to do it and they have been trained since birth to do as Mom and Dad direct.
So in the next couple of months I will be working on organizing our homeschool "stuff". Figuring out lesson plans and gathering teaching aids and materials. I'll be using my printer and going through lots of ink. Picking up school supplies on the cheap when they go on sale. And hoping and praying I don't lose my mind. And that I can get through to them, that I CAN teach them and they WILL learn. That's the most intimdating part of all right now.
Homeschooling does open us up a little. We were staying here in Kalamazoo because of The Promise. However, homeschoolers don't qualify. The kids will go to a 2 year college, then transfer to a 4 year if that's what they want. So Jason will be able to expand his job search area. He wants to be making more money. About $10K more a year would really give us a cushion that we need. It's still a rather low income, but hey, we already live frugally. That small amount will allow us to make sure that we live within our means, and not be so reliant on outside factors, like child support. Will we be staying Kalamazoo? I don't know. As of right now, yes. However if Jason finds a job in Holland or Battle Creek or St. Joe or....well, you get the idea, we'll move. It's what is best for the family, so we'll do it.
It would be sad to leave this house. Leave my gardens. The hard work I put in to the girls' room. However, a long commute for Jason is not an option. We tried that once. After a year, it wore us out. Both him and I. We want to stay on this side of the state. Within about an hour of where we are now. That will keep us still close to his family south of us, and all of my family to the north of us. Jason wants to be able to start taking monthly, or even bi-weekly trips to see his folks. They are getting up there in age, at both of them being over 70 now. We can't afford that right now. We can barely afford our trips to pick up Katy Beth. So his job search continues. And I start homeschooling.
Life is always full of change. I think the kind of people we are is determined by how we handle that change.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
All of the kids have grown out of their clothes basically. So clearence shopping I will go. I want to go to the 2nd Hand Shops too, however I want to wait until a little closer to the school year. As it is, I don't think they will carry clothes that will fit Katy.
That child is like a little Amazon. She's 10 1/2, and is 5 foot 2 inches. Holy Toledo Batman! I'm 5'6" on a day when they are nice to me. She wears a girls 16 and a juniors size 1. There is a problem with your 10, almost 11 year old, wearing juniors sized clothing. Most of it is geared toward high school and college girls. And some of it is quite hoochy.
I don't understand the absolute need to show as much skin as possible? What are they offering to all those hormone rampaging boys? I understand that the girls in college are adults and can do "as they please". However, do they really need to look trampy while doing it?
Yesterday, while at work. I was working at the U-Scan. A young lady came through with a cart of stuff. She was college age. Her skirt was so short that when she bent over the cart to reach in, I swore I was going to see her ass. Literally. And she was wearing a thong. How can I tell? All women can tell. We look at panties, just not in the same context as guys do. Needless to say, I saw the VERY top of her thighs. Admittedly it was over 80 yesterday with a rather high humidity. However, does the skirt really have to be THAT short? And if it is, why couldn't it be a skort?
I found some cute stuff on the clearence racks a couple of days ago, however I didn't have money for clothes then. I had money for groceries, so that is what I bought. Groceries. Today I have a little money for clothes for the Children Who Won't Stop Growing. Izzy is now in a 3T/4T shirt and 2T pants. The boy is 2. However, he's another Amazon. Oh wait, I think the term "Amazon" is reserved for girls. I digress. He is 3 feet tall and weighs in at 30 pounds. Chunk of funk he is not. He's a skinny solid dude.
Speaking of Izzy, he is speaking more now. He's picking up signs. He's vocalizing and trying to imitate words and mannerisms. Jason taught Izzy hair and ear. I taught him nose. James taught him to give a raspberry like he was farting and say "What's That?" and to spank his own butt saying "Can't Catch Me". The What's That comes out sounding like "WhaTha?" and the Can't Catch Me is more like "CahMeh" but at least he's trying. We are really working on Please and Thank You, both word and sign. His speach is still so garbled that signs really help us figure out what he is saying.
James is James. Not much more to be said on that. He recently got glasses so I'm constantly reminding him to "Put On Your Glasses". Jayden is still as girly as ever. Katy is smart and charasmatic. She's going to a summer program where she will hang out with her friends and be at the middle school. It'll help her get a little used to the building and the teachers and stuff. Crap, I'm the parent of a middle schooler. I just hope that James makes it to middle school. If he has another year like last year, I'll be home schooling the boy. Cause it's either that or send him to a "special" school. I don't want him around other trouble causing kids all day. He'll learn even more bad habits. Maybe I can "threaten" him with home schooling to get him to behave?
Monday, July 7, 2008
Ugh. So I'm sitting here, playing a game of solitaire. My mind keeps wandering, as it does when I play games like that. It keeps wandering to the budget. Ugh again. I keep trying to figure out how I can cut our food costs.
Here's the thing. I only shop for food at Wal-Mart. Have done that since I started working there, which was shortly after we moved here to this house. It's a loyalty thing. It's also the fact that I KNOW I'm saving money over going to Meijer. I've done the price comparison. It's honestly cheaper, and I'm not just saying that to support "The Company".
So our grocery cost has reduced some because of that. No more Meijer. I don't shop at Save A Lot anymore however. I'm wondering if I need to start doing that again. In all honesty, what I would get at Save A Lot were the boxed/canned goods. Some frozen foods. A little refridgerated stuff. Otherwise, I went to Meijer. Since I've been shopping at Wal-Mart all the time, Save A Lot has been cut out. We use store brand items as much as possible. That cuts out quite a bit of cost right there. We buy in bulk, so we can save 20 cents a pound on meat and use the extra freezer to stock up, though that may no longer be an option, which I'll get to in just a second.
There is also the option of NO extras. No chips. No soda. No popscicles. No breakfast sandwiches. No snacks with lunches. No cheese sticks. No higher quality lunch meat. No higher quality cuts of meat at all. No frozen pizzas or pizza rolls. No yogurt. No cereal bars. No granola bars. No marinades.
Wow, that cuts out about 1/2 of what we eat regularly. And everything else would be the cheapest of the cheap. I really don't want to live like that however. I will fight that with tooth and nail, kicking and screaming the entire way. I lived like that with Homer, with Chris, I won't go back to it. It's a miserable existence.
Jason takes the bus back and forth to work. So that cuts down on gas usage. I will only be going out of the house for errands if I ABSOLUTELY have to. Otherwise, I'll do my shopping after work. As it is, I'm not sure how we are going to finagle the kids' school/fall/winter clothes. All four of them have grown. They will all need refurbishing to their wardrobes.
I'll be going through the boxes in the storage room, looking for things that used to be Katy's that Jayden can now wear. It was about this size that I started keeping everything. I should be able to find some stuff, hopefully. Listing stuff on EBay. The kids old clothes. I need to become much more Gung Ho about that. Treating it like a part time job. One that I do late at night, after everyone has gone off to bed. I can take the pics during the day in the sunlight and then edit and post the items at night. Go and do one to two bulk mailings a week.
Jason is still looking for a different job. Right now, I'm not sure if I should be or not. The job I have pays decently. It works according to the availability I have. I don't get asked a bunch of questions when I change it a little to better suit my home life.
The freezer. Ah yes, it seems that our 2nd stock up so we have it fridge/freezer is taking a dump on us. Well Crap A Doodle Bob. There is no way Garry will replace it. It's our 2nd fridge. He was going to take it out when we moved in a year ago. I looked on Craigslist. There is a listing for one for $50 about 20 minutes from here. Jenn says she can get it in her truck so we could go pick it up that way. However, if it's gone, I'm out of luck. Jason is going to have a fit about buying a new one as it is. He wants to get rid of the 2nd one. He feels that we'd save energy by not having. I'm sure we would, but I highly doubt that unplugging one fridge will save us much more than MAYBE $20 for an entire year. Our energy costs are elsewhere.
So I do this, I sit and I worry. It makes me feel like crap. It wears me out and I just feel like I'm dragging ass all day. Trying to walk through a swamp as I'm slowly sinking. I can't even see the shore that I'm working toward, but I keep getting reassured, by the voice through the over head speaker, that it IS there and it WILL be worth it. There are many days where I want to just say "Fuck it!" and stop walking. I keep going. Cause I have to. Ugh.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
First off, the custody thing with Katy. I needed to focus on that, and I just wasn't. While the March Mommies are great, I using them as a distraction. Only but a handful even knew I was doing the custody thing with Katy. On the other hand, the other board I post on regularly, Four or More Mommies, they all know about it and get regular updates. Ironically (or is that coincidentally?) one of the March Mommies also happens to be a Four or More Mommy. However, I digress.
Another reason, Pregnancy. With a capital P. With this last time that I became pregnant, there were some others on the March Mommy board who joined me in that wonderful journey. However, they remaind pregnant, where I did not. This has made me angry and resentful. Not really AT them, but at their fortune to remain pregnant, or my misfortune, or however you want to look at it.
Simply put, it's not fair and that pisses me off. Yes, I realize life isn't fair. I've lived that lesson time and time again. There have been so many things in my life that just wasn't fair. I've gone through them all, trekked right on through and carried on to the other side. That doesn't mean I wasn't angry and resentful and all that stuff.
Birth is meant to be a happy time. It's stressful and worrisome, sure, but it should happy and blessed too. My anger and resentment should not be a factor with those women who, as we speak, are partaking in the last month or two of pregnancy bliss and discomfort. For some it may be the last time they do it. For others, just a point in the timeline of making their family "complete". They do not need to worry nor suffer through my angry attitude.
There is one woman on the March Mommies who recently was told that her only child is a miracle, that she may never be able to experience pregnancy again. Not through anything of her own doing, but an unknown factor of her husband. I sympathize with her pain. To be given the blessing of a child whom you adore and desire so strongly another, only to not have desire come to be. Prayers and blessings to you my friend.
There is another woman where her March Baby saved her life, literally. She had been told she had "fibroids" and while she was pregnant with her March Bundle they grew and became very uncomfortable. She was told the hormones of her pregnancy were causing the "fibroids" to grow and once her baby was born they would gradually shrink back on their own and cause her no more pain. This was not the case. At the beginning of this year, the "fibroids" hadn't shrunk, in fact they had gotten bigger and were causing her more pain. Her doctor tested them. She had Uterine Cancer. They had to do a hystorectomy (is that spelled correctly?). Her March Baby would be her ONLY baby. From what I understand, that was the plan of her and her husband all along, to have just one. However, to have that option removed from her, when she was just about my age (just a little younger, maybe a little older, but within 5 years either way) is heart wrenching and soul searching. It's not fair at all. She has gone through chemo. They did surgery, and it appears as though all the cancer has been removed. It does make you wonder if the extreme surgery would have been needed if tests had been done originally. That doesn't matter now, for what is done is done. Prayers and blessings for her on her long and painful recovery. The emotional scars will take much longer to heal than the physical.
These women have reasons to be angry and resentful too, I guess that's my point. I know a few others who do as well. Who have suffered only miscarriages, with no babies to show for their pain. Who desire children with all their hearts and souls and have not been granted them.
Why am I making this post? I don't really know. It was in my head and now it's here. I'm supposed to be healing. Writing my thoughts out so that I can work through the feelings. Today I happened to be thinking about it being July. And how far along I would be in that pregnancy that didn't last. It would be about the finish line now. That hurts and makes me sad. Makes me wonder what that baby would have been like. A boy? A girl? Big like Izzy?
There is a song by The Beatles called "I Will". Every time I hear that song I think of those babies that were lost. Simply put, Paul is singing about how he will wait forever without knowing your name if he must, but he will always love you. Yep, I understand Paul. Probably not in the way he meant it when he was writing it, but it speaks to me. There are some days where just hearing that song will make me want to cry, and some where I do cry, and then most where I just sigh and think.
So today it's Prayers and Blessings to all of you women who can understand my hurt. And to all of you who are expecting babies. Cherish those babies, because, unfortunately, no matter how you plan, life has a direction all it's own.