Saturday, September 29, 2012

And the Academy Award goes to...

I cannot begin to count how many times in a week I hear the phrase "I don't know how you do it!". Occasionally, I hear "you make it look so easy". The last one usually comes on days that I have on makeup to cover the dark circles under my eyes. I suspect it is also related to the fact that I don't seem to get too worked up about most things. Make no mistake, though, this is more a result of my utter & complete exhaustion than it is indicative of a calm, even temperament.

The truth is though, it's all an act. I don't have it together. I'm not calm. Truth is, I don't even know what the hell I'm doing most days.

Some days I feel like I'm losing my mind. If it's not one damn thing, it's another. Income isn't steady, or nearly enough. As soon as we get ahead, then it all comes to a halt. I'm ready to scream. I got offered a job last week, which I then had to turn down when I found out that, after child care, I would net a total of $7/ week. That wouldn't even cover my fuel costs. I had an offer for an opportunity where I could earn some commission, but they keep putting me off so I guess that isn't going anywhere. I'm selling everything I can online, but that only amounts to so much...plus they hold it for a certain period of time to make sure you aren't scamming people. So, rent is definitely not going to be paid by Monday. I feel like I'm failing my kids.

I'm just so frustrated. And angry. It's starting to interfere with my school. I have a paper that was due last night. I haven't even started on it & I can't find the energy to. I'm feel so helplessly overwhelmed.

Perhaps the exhaustion is good in some ways, though. It keeps me from committing to the rage. It's there, like the magma under a dormant volcano. I simply don't have the emotional energy at this point to sustain an eruption.

Why am I angry? I'm angry because I remember what it's like to feel relatively secure & I want that again. I want to not worry about having to send my children to live with other people to keep them from being homeless. I'm angry because the divorce has shattered my ability to believe in forever. I found a soul-mate, whom I planned to be with forever, only for him to buckle under the responsibility of being an adult and decide that what he wants is not the same as the goals we had been working towards for years. I'm angry at myself because, even though I know it's irrational, I will always wonder if there is some way that I could have just settled & kept our family together. I'm angry because I can't understand how I could spend so many years with someone for them now to be a complete stranger.

I feel like he can't even be bothered to try to support his children. Of course, he has a very different perspective on all that. I look at the fact that he passed on three jobs last month. He looks at the fact that he "wouldn't make enough" since he'd have to pay the parking fees while at two of the jobs. This, according to him, comes out to $600 for a week or so...which he makes in a couple days on these jobs. So, no, he wouldn't come out rich...but what he made could help his children. He says I'm unreasonable to keep asking him. I say he doesn't seem to get the point that, if he thinks it's hard to get by on very little as a single man, he should try it with children to take care of. I don't have the luxury of letting my obligation to my children go, simply because I can't afford it. I have to make it happen. That's why I am spending today, that I should be using to write a paper, diligently printing shipping labels & shipping packages containing stuff that I literally am pulling from my closet & selling to make every penny I can to take care of these kids.

I know it's not forever...that someday things will be better, easier...but it's hard to really believe that sometimes...but I try...& I pretend to have it all covered...

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Honor your elders...

Today I had the amazing honor of meeting Kiowa elder, Dorothy Whitehorse DeLaune. It was incredible to learn by listening to her stories & to hear her sing Ghost Dance songs. She is an amazing, inspirational woman. I only hope to be half as wonderful and wise as she when I am 80.


She spoke about kinship, naming, & other tradition, as well as how the generation gap can sometimes cause conflict in the community. A topic that was particularly important to her was continuing tradition. She told us about the traditional structure of the Kiowa and about Kiowa medicine. I wish I had photos of today, but I didn't have the presence of mind to take any. However, I will share a photo with you that was posted by The Jacobson House (all rights to the photo belong to them), when she was there to tell Kiowa stories. Ms. DeLaune also teaches Kiowa language courses and some of her songs have been recorded.

In Under the Green Corn Moon, she sings a Kiowa lullaby (which can be heard here). She also sings a Christian hymn on Beyond Beautiful: Christian Songs in Native Languages, Presented by the National Museum of the American Indian

Dorothy is Roman Catholic and participates in the Native American Church. She says that there is only one God and the paths of the two religions lead in the same direction. Listening to her speak was incredible and I only wish we had been able to have more time with her than just one class period. She has a wonderful sense of humor and her wisdom & knowledge is immense.

***Be sure to look through the links. There is even more available if you google her.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

And the prize for the 'Stupidest Thing I Heard All Day' goes to...

I should start by acknowledging that I am in a particularly bad mood today. I'm exhausted to the point of illness and, quite frankly, simply have no energy left to politely deal with ignorant people. So, if I sound particularly bitchy today...I am.

Oh the joys of the internet! We get to have enlightening conversations. I learn new things everyday.

Today, for example, I learned that "If you  'HATE CHILD SUPPORT [enforcement]' why are you depending on it , SUPPORT YOUR OWN CHILDREN!!!!"

To give context, this was during a conversation about how the child support enforcement agency doesn't always enforce.

That's right, folks, the answer to the fact that my children's father is thousands of dollars behind in supporting our children is to just support my own damn kids. He clearly doesn't have an obligation to help support his children. After all, if he wanted to support them, he would. Clearly, if I wanted his help, I should have stayed married to him. Who says traditional marriage is dead? You can't have your cake & eat it too, people! Things are so much clearer now! You heard it here first! Spread the news!


Monday, September 24, 2012

Virtual globe-trotting

Today my friend, Marsha, introduced me to a program called Little Passports, that gives kids fun ways to learn about other countries. Sort of a virtual world tour, over a series of months.

I LOVE the idea. It reminds me of some of the projects that I used to do when I homeschooled my children. Unfortunately, though, at this point I am not able to fit this particular program into the budget. However, I am going to attempt to pull together something that has a similar effect.

So, today we are starting our new experiment. We signed up with Postcrossing. This site allows you to send and receive postcards from all over the world. I chose this because my kids have developed a fascination with postcards, thanks to my world traveling sister, who sends them postcards from every country she visits.

We got our first address to send to today. The game-plan is to spend time learning as much as we can about each country or city that we send to or receive from. We have requested that postcards sent to us reflect something that the sender wants us to know about their part of the world, or the people that live there. It is still to be determined how further investigation will happen, whether mostly online or in the library. I suspect that it will vary depending on the place and the availability of the information. Obviously, as we repeat places (which would seem inevitable) we will learn even more in depth information about them.

In any event, it seems like a fun project that we can share that will expose them to so much more of the world than I am able to take them to witness first-hand at this point. Hopefully, at some point, though, we can actually go visit some of the places as well.

I'll try to keep you updated on our virtual globe-trotting.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Bittersweet Moments

This weekend marked five years since my sweet little girl came to be part of our family. I realize that a lot of people think "oh, isn't that wonderful! How lucky she is to have such a wonderful family who were willing to take her in..." blah, blah, etc., etc. And that's why I talk about the reality...

Adoption isn't all wonderful warm & fuzzies. It is pain. It is loss.

I am so happy that, through adoption, I gained a daughter. However, that does not & can NEVER change the fact that another mother lost her child. In our case, it was because of her own choices, and many people make the mistake of thinking that I should not feel for her because of this. The truth is, my daughter's mother was a product of her dysfunctional upbringing. She was failed by the system. No, of course her children should not and could not be left in her care. However, that does not mean that she doesn't love them as much as she possibly can. It also doesn't mean that the loss doesn't hurt her. Personally, I take the fact that she carried our daughter's (yes, ours...for better or worse, she will always have more than one mother) pictures with her as evidence of that love & loss. I also think that her dramatic spiral into addiction as evidence that she was not properly equipped to deal with such realities. It is truly tragic. Hopefully, someday she will be well enough to have a relationship with our daughter. There is simply no way to tell at this point. So, while I am so happy to have this wonderful little girl in my heart & home for the past five years (and many more to come), my heart hurts for her mother.

It also hurts for my sweet baby girl. When I told her that she had now lived with us for five years, she told me that made her sad. When I asked why she said, "I don't want to have moved to live with strangers. I want to have been born in this family." My heart broke. Not because I wish she had been born to me, but because I know that this is only the beginning of her conflicted feelings about this complex thing we call adoption. I would love so much to make it all better and to fix all these things for her, but I simply can't. So, I just try to validate her feelings and reassure her that we love her

While some people seem to feel that adoptees should be grateful and not wonder about their bio families, I am a realist. It is only natural for her to wonder about how she came to be, and about who came before her. I will answer those questions that best I can, and honestly tell her when I don't know, but I know that she is only beginning on this journey. There will be many distressing revelations along the way...and, I hope, some that give her comfort...or at least answers. Come what may, I will be there to do what I can.

I am NOT a saint for what I do. I am not some special kind of person because I took "someone else's child" into my home. I am also not, despite what her mother has said at times, a child stealer. I am simply a mom that loves a little girl and everything that goes with her (foster & bio families included).

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Five Years.

Tomorrow will mark five years ago since my beautiful little girl moved in with us. She was only 21 months old, but she had been through so much already, and there she was was making yet another move in which she would live with strangers.

We had met her once before. That day, we were supposed to just meet her, then we could make a decision and plan a transition. The caseworker was concerned that we might not want to accept the placement. “She's part black,” I was told, as if that would matter to us. It had mattered to others, apparently. Her caseworker was concerned that we might change our minds once we met her because “she's pretty dark”.

I had concerns that were more important than her racial makeup or her complexion, however. Though so young, she had spent most of her life in foster care. Part of that time she had been in a home with her mother, then not. There was a trail reunification, which lasted only 2 months. There had been so much instability in her short 21 months and it had clearly affected her. She had just learned how to walk and did not speak. Her foster mother had taught her to use baby sign language in order to communicate with her. Even more concerning, her caseworker told me that she showed no signs of having attached to anyone. Not her mother, neither of the foster mothers that she had lived with, no one. They were concerned that she may not be able to properly attach to anyone. If we accept the placement, we could be signing up for an attachment disorder. Even so, I wanted to meet her and, if we decided to accept the placement, we wanted a slow transition to make things easier on her.

Our meeting was going so well that the caseworker asked us to take her somewhere. We took her to the park for a few hours. She must have felt like she had been dropped on another planet. Here she was with people she didn't know, who are trying to show her how to play on strange equipment that she was clearly not familiar with. We know, though, we would be accepting the placement.

The case worked wanted to move her immediately, but I insisted on a transition for her sake. We were given 9 days. So, I left a laminated collage of photos of our family with her and called her every night. Her foster mother and I were doing everything we could to try to familiarize her with her new family as much as possible in the sliver of time we were given.

Even though we were more than willing to make the 2 ½ hour drive to pick her up, the caseworker insisted we meet halfway. We were to pick up our little girl at McDonald's. It was a combination of anger and sadness when she arrived and I realize that, not only was this poor baby being sent home with strangers, but she was being dropped off by an office aid that she didn't know and who didn't seem to know the first thing about taking care of a little one.

You can't unring a bell, so we made the best of it. So, I brought home this beautiful, terrified child. She was calm most of the time but seemed to be detached, almost in a daze, for the first couple weeks. Over the protests of friends and family, we kept her world very small for a while. It was important to work on making her feel safe and encourage attachment.

Bedtime was when she was the most distressed. Because she was still in foster care, putting her in our bed was not an option. But she was so scared when she would go to bed in this strange house, alone in a room for the first time ever. We started a routine of bath, reading a story, and then I would hold her and she would wrap her little fingers around my thumb and I would wrap mine around her whole hand. This somehow made her feel secure and she would fall asleep, as long as I held her hand that way.

The transition wasn't always easy but, after 5 years, I can see how far she has come. She was able to form healthy attachments with each member of our family. Unable to get her into speech therapy, I did my best to research methods for helping her catch up. Today, she is on target with her speech. She is a bit behind on her reading, though, because the delay means she still has a bit of difficulty differentiating between letter that sound similar. So, we are working to deal with that so that she can pass the 1st grade test at the end of this year, so that she will not be held back. I feel that being held back will harm her, instead of helping, but I didn't write the law.

Because she had just started walking when she moved in, her muscle development was behind where it should have been. So, we did everything we could think of to give her fun ways to develop those muscles. First thing, her new brothers played with her on the trampoline. I had never given much thought to how much exercise a trampoline can be but she went from wobbling when she walked to running like an Olympic sprinter within a couple weeks. A year after moving in, I put her in dance classes to help her learn more muscle control. Her angel of a teacher didn't normally take kids her age but, after I explained the situation, agreed to take her on a trial basis. My baby has been a dancer ever since.

Today, I look at her and wonder how it could have possibly have been 5 years already. Our lives have changed so much in those 5 years. When she moved in, it was anticipated that she would be adopted in a matter of months. Instead it took 3 ½years. We were strangers to one another when she moved in but now I can't imagine life without her. She has enriched our family so much and, without her, there would be a void that could not be filled. She is an amazing, loving, beautiful, intelligent young girl who is growing up far to fast for her Mommy.

She has come so far...and will go so much farther...








Monday, September 17, 2012

The impossible questions

When I started the journey to adoption, I was prepared to answer the questions that would inevitably arise. "Where are my mother and father?" "How did I end up in foster care?" Many, many questions that adoptees understandably face. I answer these questions honestly, in as age appropriate manner as possible.

What I wasn't prepared for were the questions that I simply cannot answer. "Will my mother want to see me when she gets out of jail?" "Where is my sister?" "Is she safe?" And, the one that keeps coming back, especially since the baby was born: "Why don't I have any baby pictures?"

My friend, Jen, said it so well:
"I don't think about it much. Those hours and days before.

I try not to think of the cries that went unanswered or the meals that went unfed. I try not to think of the cuddles that weren't given or the multiple strangers who stood in my place. I can't fathom the scary times or sad times or even the possibility of happy times. It is just too much.

I parent in a way in which I hopes help to heal the pain of what wasn't done then and what was lost when she became my daughter. I take countless pictures of every special moment of her life. Literally thousands and thousands of pictures taken in the last two and a half years.

There are 12 months of my daughter's life of which there was no photo record. I have asked. And asked. And begged. And asked. This isn't uncommon for many children adopted at an older age but that doesn't make it any easier. I have been this route before. We have one photo of our oldest son as an infant and it is a priceless treasure.

But she has nothing."

The oldest photo that my daughter has, she was 14 months old. This came from her last foster mother. When she moved in with us, we were given copies of several pictures from her 7 months there. However, I have been unable to get any photos from prior to that. Despite spending virtually all her life before us in foster care, not a single photo existed in her CPS file. I wrote letters and left voicemails to her first foster mother, with whom she lived for almost her entire first year of life. All went unanswered.

I know baby pictures of her exist. I have seen them. Her mother carried them with her to the court hearings that she showed up to. I asked, and begged, for copies. I tried to explain how important it might someday be to her. I even offered to bring my own scanner to the courthouse at the next hearing so that I could copy them without them ever leaving her sight. Alas, by the next hearing, she had been jailed so no longer had the ability to bring them with her. I requested the same from the grandmother who, although thrilled when I gave her updated photos, attempted to pretend that she didn't know of any baby pictures. This despite my having had a discussion about the pictures (where she showed them to me) with her a few weeks prior.

My daughter is 6 now and she notices. She realizes that, even though I have taken literally thousands of pictures of her since she moved in, there are none of her as a baby. This seems to be on her mind more lately as she watches her baby brother grow oh so quickly, and sees me recording it photographically. She asks me why she can't see her as a baby. She loves her life book and the story it tells, but there is the ever present void of any record of her as an infant.

I have no answers for this one. I hope that maybe, someday, she will either be able to get these pictures...or be able to accept "I don't know..."

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Organizing chaos...

Lately I've felt like I was juggling too many balls & dropping them all over the place.

So, today, even though I have deadlines looming and I feel so far behind, I took the day off from school related work and made it a day to reorganize. Aside from the usual cleaning, I made a point to evaluate where most of my time goes and devise some time savers and attempt to organize my household a bit more.

As it turns out, I spend a great deal of time reminding my children of what they need to to do. It's the same half dozen chores EVERY DAY, so I'm not sure why it's so difficult. If I hear "I forgot" one more time, my head may very well explode. Of course, that will just make a mess for me to clean up. So, now we have a handy chore chart with a magnet to move from one spot to another after the job is finished. The after school routine is snack, then homework. Now we will add to it completing the chores on the chart. After that is done, they will have their free time. This way, the amount of free time is determined by them. If they take until bedtime to do their chores, that is their choice. If they don't like the results of that choice, they should choose differently next time. If they do not finish their chores before bedtime, there will be consequences. I'm open to creative suggestions on what they should be.

I also seem to spend a large amount of time either moving their stuff that has been left out, or reminding them to put it away. So, I will no longer be giving reminders. All three of the Bigs are old enough to put their things away consistently. From now on, after they go to bed & while they are at school, I will confiscate belongings that are left out. To get them back, they will choose a slip of paper from our chore can. The chores in the can are jobs that I normally do, but that the kids are more than able to do.  So, either they put their stuff away, or I get extra work out of them. Either way, it's a win for me.

Today, I also started a test run of my new reminder system. Things that I canNOT forget get written on my mirror in dry erase maker (so, pretty much my entire schedule). Appointments/classes are in one color, deadlines in another. I have reminders for the kids written on their bathroom mirror as well. The kids are thrilled with this idea and I'm hopeful that it will really help us keep everything moving along without forgetting things. I particularly like that, as I complete tasks & erase them, I get a visual reminder that I am accomplishing things.

Since my current financial situation is a bit strained, I've been doing everything I can think of to earn money, cut costs, and to make every penny stretch. So, I've been repurposing things as much as possible. It's amazing what you can make yourself or do with things that most people throw away. We want to grill, but only have one of those tabletop things made for 2 people...so we dug a fire pit & lined it with rocks. Instead of buying grass seed, I transplanted grass from my flowerbeds into the bare spots in the yard. There are a million uses for the steel cans that used to hold those canned veggies. An old formula can has been made into our new chore can. Wine glasses that don't belong to a set were turned into beautiful candle holders. An old plastic tote (with lid) has been repurposed as a compost bin in preparation for next spring. My challenge to you is to spend the next week looking for ways to repurpose things at your house & come back to share your innovations.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Life happens in the gray areas...

There are very few absolutes in life.


Not everything is as black and white as we'd like to think. Individual circumstances affect the decisions that we make everyday. On occasion, there may be a "right" or best decision staring us in the face. Those are the easy choices. Being generous or "doing the right thing" when it's easy, or without negative consequences to ourselves, really don't mean that much.

Most of the time, though, we must weigh various factors and potential consequences in order to navigate life the best we can. It's our choices in those gray areas, where nothing is clear cut, that truly shows and shapes our character.

You may notice a few small changes to the blog...

Times are tough, and every little bit not only helps, but it absolutely vital right now. So, you may notice ads and periodic sponsored posts. I've also added a PayPal button to make it easier for people. I have a few wonderful friends who occasionally contribute to me or the kids, so this should simplify things. Also, it allows people who order custom jewelry from me a quicker, easier way to pay for it. 
I sincerely hope that my readers will understand.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

9/11

My thoughts today can best & most simply be summed up by my friend, Victoria:

"I wish on the anniversary of 9-11 that all of us could remember that these types of tragedies generally occur because there is too much fear, too little understanding, and too little love of others. Hate-filled rhetoric is pervasive in our politics, media, entertainment, and daily interactions. Until we find a way to love others, not just others like us but all others, we will be less like the selfless people who gave their lives for others and more like the ones who perpetrated the crime."

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Maybe there really IS hope for the human race...

Today we all got up & were ready on time. "We're getting a good start," I thought. "Today's gonna be a good day," I said. All ready for our school days, the kids & I climbed in the van...and...it. would. not. start.

How can the battery be dead?!? I drove it yesterday! It was just fine when I parked it last night!

So, I try to jump start it with one of those rechargeable battery jumping unit thingies (yes, that's a technical term). No dice.

Everyone out of the van. Give the elementary school kids pop-tarts because they are clearly going to miss breakfast. Mentally calculating how many miles it would be to walk everyone to school and then get to my classes, I decide to try one more thing before giving up.

I had never met my neighbor before today, but I went and knocked on her door. She had a truck sitting in the driveway that I knew would have enough power to jump the van, so I figured it couldn't hurt to ask.

She happily came over to help. Unfortunately, though, we were having trouble starting it and her daughter was going to be late for school if I didn't let her go. So, I told her "thank you" and assured her that I would be ok & I would find a way to get to school and finish working on the van this evening.

That's when something happened that I never expected...

She insisted that she take me & all my children to our schools/day care, even though it would add several extra miles & four additional stops to her morning. Then, when she realized how far it was, she wouldn't let me walk to get everyone and go home. When I finished my day of classes, she was waiting out front to pick me up. Then, we trekked through town, picking up all my babies, before coming home and spending an hour working together to get the van started.

I have the most amazing neighbor ever!

Once the van was started, I went to the auto parts store to test the battery. As expected, it tested to have a bad cell. So, I was about to buy the battery, but the guy says "I'll sell you one, but I won't put it on for you." This surprised me, because they routinely do these simple things for customers. When I asked his reasoning he replied "because it might take a little while & I don't want to start a job that will take more than a few minutes..." Well, then, I won't be buying my battery from you.

I went down the street to Auto Zone. The guy there not only gave me a discount on the merchandise, but installed it with a smile...even though it meant he was out on the sidewalk with the hot sun beating down on him.

So...even though today was extremely long & exhausting, I had the amazing fortune of being on the receiving end of the generosity of some wonderful people. Without their help, I don't know how I would have been able to get my kids where they need to go. For that I am eternally grateful.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Can't make people do the right thing...unfortunately.

As a general rule, I try to keep my private my personal business...well...personal. I don't like to talk openly about my private life. This is especially true when it comes to my divorce. I don't like divulging information about it for several reasons. One of these, of course, is that it hurts. I imagine it probably always will. He was my soul mate and I never expected it to end, especially after so many years. Mostly, though, I don't like saying anything, no matter how true, that casts a negative light on him. It's not that I feel protective of him so much as I want to protect my children. I don't want them to hurt. More and more, though, I am realizing that they hurt from all of this anyway. My attempts to protect them have, in many ways, allowed them to remain confused and conflicted at times. So, lately, I have begun being more open and honest (in an age appropriate manner, of course) with the children about our divorce.

As an unintended result, I find that I am able to be more open with others about it as well. Now, I still don't bash him, nor do I ever intend to...even though the hurtful things he says find their way back to me. But, I find that I am now able to speak matter-of-factly about the realities of the situation when I choose to. There are some details, though, that I still try to keep mostly to myself. However, as I sit here, drafting court papers, I realize that this whole mess is about to become an ugly legal situation...and a matter of public record. We wanted to avoid all that, for the best interest of the children, so we came to an agreement and filed for an uncontested divorce. However, a year later, nothing that was agreed to and ordered has been done.

So, I'm a bit overwhelmed with emotions, as I sort through legal forms and draft subpoenas in preparation for litigating my own case. It's the middle of the night, so I don't want to burden my friends with all this. However, it I don't get it out, I might explode. So...I pray my readers will bear with me on this... At least you guys have the option to stop reading...rather than trying to figure out how to awkwardly end a phone conversation with an emotional nutcase.

I would like to point out, though, that I would not be revealing such details if it were not about to become a matter of public record, when I file these documents with the court.

He was ordered to pay child support and alimony. He agreed to this because the child support was based on the last job that he had while we were still together, which paid about $10/hour less than the work he has been doing since. The alimony ends after I pass the Bar Exam, and was agreed to by us because we both believed that it is in the best interest of our children for me to finish law school. The alimony brought the amount up to around what he would be paying if his child support was based off his actual pay, so I agreed. I figured that, once I passed that Bar, I'd be making more money so I could more than make up for the amount we'd be losing. Our agreement was that neither of us would seek to modify the agreement, so long as the other upheld their end of their bargain.

Now, here we are, a year later. He is currently behind $13,643.44 in combined support, interest included. There hasn't been a full payment made since November of last year. He has not attempted even a partial payment since this past May. Supposedly, he tells other people that he has been paying. When I ask, he says he can't afford it. I guess he's forgotten that I know that he gets paid $30-35/hour on the construction jobs he works. Yet, he refuses to pay the mortgage, knowing that he still has me listed on it and is wrecking my credit, too. So, even with very few bills that he's actually paying, he can't afford to help support his children...even though he makes more money now than he was when I was stretching it to support 5 of us.

Does it make me angry? Sometimes...when I'm looking at a stack of bills that I know I would be able to pay if he'd just make one lousy payment...but especially when my children have to do without because I can't afford something. I will never forget how it broke my heart last year, when I had to tell my little girl that she would have to drop out of dance classes (she's been in dance since she was 2) because I couldn't afford the gas to take her, much less the cost of the tuition. Mostly, though, it makes me sad...

When I'm up at this time every night...doing homework...putting away the toys that the children inevitably forgot...preparing things for the next day... I look at them, sleeping soundly and am overcome by bewilderment and sadness. I don't understand why their father does not want to be any more a part of their lives than he does. It is by his choice that he only talks to them by phone once or twice a week (if they are lucky). It is by his choice that he doesn't see them but once every few months. Quite simply, I do not understand this. How can this man, who was so excited to add each child to our family, now not seem to care to be an active part of their existence?

I see his refusal to pay child support as just another symptom of this. I don't know why he is behaving this way. Perhaps it's a phase. Maybe he's trying to punish me because he's angry at me, especially since I had a baby with another man. I really don't know. But, damn it, my children shouldn't have to pay for it! I do my best to make up for it. I listen. I try to help them process their feelings. In the end, though, I can't make him do the right thing. And, honestly, that just sucks!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Every cloud has a silver lining...unfortunately, sometimes that lining is on a mushroom cloud...

I am aware that, very often, my posts seem to be a bit...ummmm...negative. For that I am sorry. However, it's my life & I'll bitch if I want to... ;-)

Seriously, though, I am in need of some serious time management help. I am overwhelmed with everything I have to do and it is starting to show. In the last few weeks, I have managed to bungle 4 appointments. One of them I had written in my planning incorrectly, probably because I was doing three other things while making setting up the meeting. The others were written in the trusty old planner correctly. I just forgot.

It's terribly frustrating. My brain is foggy from lack of sleep and my memory isn't working. Gyah!

I use routines and time savers, as much as possible, to make things go more smoothly and fit more things into my day. However, if anyone has any tips that might could help me more successfully juggle all this craziness, I'd be ever so appreciative.