Thursday, February 28, 2013

Losing my religion

I was about 12, maybe 13, when I started to question the validity of the religion I had been taught. I couldn't fathom some huge figure in the sky controlling the way the world moves, damning me to hell for lying to my parents or "borrowing without the intent to return" my sister's clothes, unless I go into a box and tell my sins to a priest. God would forgive me right? I know, I know, that's not how it works.

I began to research different religions and different theories on creationism, to find what did fit my beliefs. I tried my hand in Wicca and Paganism, found it to be all a bit nonsensical, but took from it some beliefs that were similar to my catholic background. I researched into Taoism, Hinduism, and Buddism. While I felt more connected to Taoism, I still couldn't commit myself to the religious practices them self. I concluded that organized religion is just not for me.

Religion stemmed from the questioning of how we got here and where do we go when we die. People needed to find comfort that their loved ones weren't gone forever, but just continuing to be in a different form, or a different place. People needed answers, stories were told, and those people chose to believe them, much like children believe in the tooth fairy or Santa Claus.

Do I believe in Santa Claus? No - I am "Santa Claus" I know how it all works. Yet, Do I still feel excited on Christmas Eve and Christmas Morning? Do I still fill up with the spirit of the season Beginning November 1st? Yes. Because Santa isn't a person, it's a concept. It is love. Giving to others, treating others kindly, helping the needy.

As is the same with those who say they feel Jesus alive in their hearts. They are filled with love, they feel blessed, they are thankful for the day, and they need to spread the word. I have felt that, I have felt connected to some "energy source" with in my own body, but I still can not say "yes, I do believe" and I don't know why.

My biggest hang up is that if I say that this "energy source" has a name, like The Goddess, God, or Jesus, I am committing myself to the religion of that name. That religion which has rules and rituals that I am not comfortable with. That religion which uses it's beliefs and teachings to put shame on to people who are different than them. Religion to me, is a clique, the popular club to belong to. Religion should be embracing everyone, connecting together to bring positive forces in the world, not the negative ones the religions of today's world are spewing out to eachother! I can not stand for a religion which teaches of an all loving God, yet allows hatred of a certain race, ethnic background, sexual preference, or anything  of that nature in His name.

The hardest thing I have to do as a parent is teach my children a religion which I don't agree with. Love has asked me numerous times about God and Heaven. I don't want to fill her head with all these beliefs, but I also don't want my lack of faith to stop her from finding her own way. So we have enrolled her in religious ed classes for next year. Here is hoping she finds her own path.

What are your beliefs? Do you have a mixed religion family and find it hard to teach your children one over the other?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Oh the people you'll meet!

I started this blogging bit to share my life with all of you, to get my story out there, with the intent to hopefully save someone from taking their own life. I don't know if I've quite done that yet, but I know that I've at least have helped someone to get help for PPD (postpartum depression), and that makes it all worth it.
However, when I started, I thought is was all about writing and hitting publish and that was it, end of day. Maybe tell a few friends via Facebook and the word would eventually travel that I am here writing this bloggy thing. I didn't realize that I'd have to network, create a bunch of button thinga-ma-jiggies on the side over there, link up my blog to this site, to this blog, to this page, and so on and so forth. Luckily, I stumbled on to a gold mine of a group and have found some amazing mom bloggers all over the world, ones that I'd like to consider friends. They helped me answer a huge list of questions, have given me tips and tricks on how to promote my blog, and introduced me to new sites and new networks. Without them I'd still be writing to an invisible audience. To show my appreciation for them and all that they do, I am dedicating today's blog to them, spreading their words to you.  I hope you check them out!

I've spent the last few days sick, snuggling with my sick family and procrastinating writing another blog because I have hit a blogging wall! So, what do you do when you are procrastinating doing something? Do everything else but that thing! Lol. I helped a friend, Vinma, design her image for her blog, A Momless Mom. An amazing blog about an amazing woman and her story of growing up Momless, her journey into motherhood and her love of her two adorable children. She also has a section for book reviews which I found to be very insightful. Go check her out!

The one who has helped me the absolute most is Eileen, over at, a resale marketplace for children's clothing and toys. A great place to sell your unwanted items, and pick up a few new things too. Also, while you are over there, check out her blog page. She does a lot of great reviews and giveaways! She is also a survivor of suicide, her brother took his own life when he was 19. She has a blog about it here, please read it and send her some comment love. :)

I especially need to thank Heather, who created the Facebook group, Blogging Addicts, where I have met all these wonderful women. Heather is part of the Empower Network, a blogging platform which allows you to blog for bucks. If you are interested in learning how to turn your talent for blogging into your weekly grocery money, then please go visit her blog here.

Another Blogging Addicts group member who I feel a connection with is Jennifer, from Momma Trauma, a blog dedicated to giving a voicing platform to those unheard and ashamed voices of Birth Trauma. She speaks of PTSD, PDD, Perinatal Violence, and other subjects surrounding Birth Trauma. I haven't told my birth stories yet, one which left me broken heart and longing to have it done right the next time. I'm not sure if I'll post that story here or maybe as a guest blogger on Momma Trauma, either way it will be told. :)

Some of my favorite blogs to read came from this group too. Go over and check out Lana at Monday's Nugget, she has an adorable blog with recipes, funny moments in motherhood, a few giveaways, and some style blogs too. She is typically good for a laugh or two.

If you are into style, photography, and/or cute homemade hair clips and other adorable things, head over to Carolyn at her websites; CC McAfee Perspective, CC McAfee Photography, and CCMakesStuff. I am envious of her abilities, so I promise to be her main etsy store customer!

There is Debra, The Harried Mom, now a #shaklee180 blogger. I look forward to following her on her weight loss journey and hope you will too!

Tasha, has an adorable blog called New English Mum in America. She is from England but moved to the US when she got married, and now writes her little blog about her days as a Stay at home Mom to an adorable little boy.

Wow! I didn't realize quite how many mom bloggers I love! I really didn't think I'd still be typing now, but I don't want to forget anyone in this great group, so here is some more great blogs below, they blog about life, about style, giveaways, health, green living. They all have amazing content and some will have you peeing with laughter, so be sure to put on some depends before reading.

Katie - My life as a Navy Wife

Tracy - Crazy as Normal

Jessica - Your Healthy Happy Life
  Jennifer - Simply at Home Mom

Queen Mommy - Mommy Trying 2 Survive Monday

Penny -Green Moms and Kids

Vicky - The Pursuit of Normal

Gabrielle - The Leading London Personal Stylist

Ellen - Bad Word Mama

Anita -

Well, what the hell are you still reading for? Go get clicking and enjoy!

I'll be adding these blogs to my blog roll, once I figure out how to create it..."OH, Eileeeeeeen!"

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Cookies and Apologies

***Sorry I meant to post this blog yesterday, but I got so caught up in comments and helping out another blogger friend, I never finished writing it. So the below story happened Monday (Presidents' Day).***,19092.html

Phew! The standoff is OVER!! Everything is happy and back to normal. We fell asleep last night holding each other's hands as has been our thing since I moved back in. The huge weight that has been on our chests for the last few days has been lifted! How did we do it?
I was out shopping, which is another pet peeve of his, so I did it just to get under his skin. However, I just couldn't do it. Everything I wanted to splurge on, I heard his voice, him hurt over me spending the money that is supposed to go towards fixing up the backyard. I realized how childish this whole thing was and that someone needed to go first, since I knew it wouldn't be him, I figured it should be me.

I saw these Mega Stuf Oreos. The only two sweet things he loves are brownies and Oreos (and me, but I digress.) So I picked up this package (and BTW, there is too much stuf - crazy I know, but really there is, double stuf is truly the perfect amount). I intended to give it to him as a peace offering of sorts. Then I saw the greeting cards and thought that I should get a card regarding my love for him/sorry I got angry kind of card. I searched for the perfect card for almost an hour, finally found one that had a porcupine on the front and said "why do I love you so much?" on the inside it said " because you love me even when I'm a little prickly." It was cute, not too mushy, which is not our style, and got the point across that I know I was irritable and got overly angry. Decided not to mention his part in the fight because pointing fingers doesn't work.
I got home gave him the card, put the ores on the counter, and gave him time to read my note. We then talked a little and worked things out and it was like the last few days had never happened. I finally let go of the anger and resentment I had in my heart and was able to enjoy my family again.
My lesson from this is that I need to choose to let go of the anger and resentment, choose compassion and understanding instead. For instance, if he is irritable, I shouldn't let it affect me so much, he may be going through something on the inside and might just need to talk it out.

Look I created a life lesson photo! I'm so proud of myself! I think I'll save these and make a little book for each of my children to use as well. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Removing The Thorns From My Heart

It's been a really bad weekend, to say the very least. A big fight with Hun had me wounded, but I'm healing. I don't want to delve into the he said/she said, but I was doing something he hates, one of his biggest pet peeves, he got pissed, I got pissed, we yelled at each other in front of babe, I asked him to pull over and I walked home (but first stopped to see a movie for some cool off time.) Pretty much a few months of resentment towards one another has erupted into not being able to stay in the same room as the other, not talking, and a full blown standoff. We have at least kept a neutral front for the kids, but they can see that something is off. I knew if we talked about it, it would be me apologizing and saying I would be a better person and work on making him happy, but that would be a lie and I don't lie anymore.
So, I searched for some advice in the form of a book (I'm an avid self help book kind of person.) I found a very helpful book, You Don't Have to Take it Anymore by Steven Stonsy, PhD. So far it's helped a lot, and I like how the author doesn't try to put down the relationship and say it's never going to work, instead teaches you how to heal from your wounds and work for a better relationship. It's focused on relationships with verbally or emotionally abusive husbands, but I think it works well for anyone who feels like their relationship has hit a wall. He talks a lot about anger and resentment and the pattern in which this anger and resentment turns to depression. He mentions that the anger and resentment is a high where you get amphetamine and analgesic effects, which boost up your energy and numb your pain, giving you a feeling of power. However, then you crash into a depression, and you subconsciously begin to look for things to be angry and resentful about just to get that boost of energy again. Each time you crash lower and lower until you have to be resentful all the time just to avoid the depression. He wrote the following few sentences, which seemed to hit my heart the most: "If this roller-coaster syndrome has happened to you, your life has become a joyless drive to get things done. You feel tense and irritable most of the time, and are not as sweet to your kids as you would normally be. It is impossible to feel lovable while you feel resentful and it's very hard to treat others lovingly."
I had posted up a status on my Facebook page last night regarding that fear. I don't want to take my anger and resentment out on the kids. I haven't yelled at them or anything, but I've not been very actively a part of their lives this weekend. My daughter comes up and asks me to make a craft and I say something along the lines of maybe later, I'm not feeling well right now. I don't feel like it. Luckily, I haven't gone too far with them, but other people haven't been so lucky.
 While out to Cracker Barrel for breakfast this morning, a little boy, about 5 or 6 years old, took the toy my children were playing with right out of their hands, then came over and pushed right past me where I was standing to look at some other toys. His mom didn't see it so I said to him loud enough for his mom to hear "Excuse me, Do you know you just took that toy out of my childrens' hands, and then pushed me out of your way? Do you realize that was wrong?" She stepped in apologized for his behavior then added, "but your an adult you don't talk to kids like that." I flipped. I told her "I may be a bitch, but I also teach my children right from wrong and watch them while we are out to ensure they don't do something mischievous. They know better than to take a toy right out from someone else's hands, or to push anyone out of their way. Sorry you've failed as a mother in that aspect." I knew as soon as I said it that I had gone too far. I went from correcting a child for being wrong, to bullying an unsuspecting mom who maybe had too much on her plate. I apologized for saying it, but it was too late at that point. Now, I have guilt. All this because I'm in a fight with Hun.
So I am now reading the next chapter Removing The Thorns From Your Heart. Taking the afternoon to reclaim my inner peace and maybe then I can talk to Hun and we can bury this hatchet before I end up arrested for fighting a stranger. I know that I love him, without my love for hiim, I wouldn't be so hurt right now. I know he loves me for that same reason. We haven't quit, we just hit a wall and hopefully we can climb over it together and continue on our road hand in hand.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Parents everywhere unite!

If you child's bed looks anything like my children's beds, you'll completely relate to this blog. They have a ton of Pillow Pets, Happy Nappers, Twilight Turtles, Stuffies, Stompies, Dream Lites, Bright Lites Glow Pillows and most recently, they've asked for the Bright Lights Glow Blanket. Enough already!
Well, what the hell did I just see, but a new generation of the Pillow Pet!!! This one is a glow pillow mixed with a pillow pet. It's called Glow Pet. Come on now! Do we as parents need to tolerate it! I don't personally buy all this crap for my kids (although I was the one who bought the Twilight Turtle, but that was before dream lites, before the glow pillow, before all the other crap). The kids manipulate Ba-Noi's addiction to as seen on TV products, and her love of giving them EVERYTHING, so we end up with a bed full of animals and pillows that light up and do nothing worth the price tag. These things are also things that they "needed" to bring with us on vacation too! We had an extra large trash bag (you know those black contractor bags you get at home depot) for all their bed stuff we packed for Great Wolf Lodge last weekend. For one weekend, and I put my foot down on most of the stuff! Ugh!!! Grandparents are great aren't they?
It might be alright if these things didn't eat batteries and worked like they advertise. They all have some sort of timer, but within two weeks, we are putting new batteries in. The Twilight Turtle was the best on battery life and you can also use a 9V AC adapter, because I don't buy crap that I don't research first.
The Bright Lights glow pillows are reactive to touch, so if the kids turn over or slightly twitch at night, they turn on again for 20 more minutes, and when they batteries grow weak, it only lights up red and green. Do you know what happens with Love when things don't work the way they are supposed to? She won't sleep until it works, she will cry-hum all night until it's fixed. That's part of her quirks with her PDD-NOS diagnosis. These things take 4 batteries each ( we have 2 glow pillows) and we've replaced them every Friday since Christmas Day. Although this week we put a stop to it because we are done buying batteries, forever. We are going to have to battle with Love, but we'll deal with that battle when it hits.
The pillow pets were great, we just have every single one, plus a few knockoff ones, like Thomas the train and Spongebob ( although I'm anti-Spongebob, so that's at Grandmom's house). I'm putting my foot down. Enough is enough! I can't take it anymore! My kids need an intervention!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Tomorrow just might be the best day off your life

Suicide is among the top five leading causes of death of teenagers between the ages of 12 through 19. During these years our minds are so vulnerable to feelings of never fitting in, of never being accepted, never being good enough, and never being loved unconditionally. I should know, I almost became that statistic, for those exact reasons, as well as having loved ones who are those statistics.
I lost my Uncle (and Godfather) to suicide when I was only 12. He was in his late 20s. It was the first time I can recall the idea of taking your own life came into my mind. It also showed me the destruction of the people left in the wake of the action of committing suicide. I saw my dad hugging my mom outside our front door, trying to hold her up from her need to collapse to the ground in tears. I saw the months pass by as she struggled to come to terms with the loss, never really able to grasp it fully.
They never had a great relationship, but they shared a bond of being adopted, of growing up under the same roof, and having the same parents, the same upbringing. My mom thrived under my grandparents rules, ones that were representative of their catholic beliefs. However, my uncle often felt alone, abandoned and different. From the stories I hear of him growing up, he took being adopted as not being wanted by his real parents, and was so blinded by his grief, he couldn't see that he had been chosen by a family that wanted him, at least until he grew up.
He was gay, something that hurt my very catholic grandparents deeply. They made a choice to not accept it, they were taught it was wrong, it was a sin, so in their eyes, just as they had chosen him, they could chose to abandon him. He turned to my mom but she couldn't accept him either, she had to protect her parents feelings first. This was the early 80's when he first came out. Being gay typically brought about this reaction. After this event, I never really got to know him because he was shunned from the family, or he didn't want to come around, or something like that. My mom doesn't talk much about it.
I wish he could have held on though. My grandmother learned that her upbringing taught her the wrong thing, my mom would have turned around too, and look at the world we live in now! It's been 20 years since his death and gay marriage has been legalized in how many states? There have been so many leaps in Gay rights and more and more people are learning that being Gay isn't a sin and it's wrong to treat people like that. The most important thing that he would have known, would be that the little 2 year old niece he held so close to his cheek, that he gave her stubble burn, would have accepted him no matter what, and would have loved him unconditionally.

Happy Balance Times Day!

Having had a really bad day yesterday with struggles of trying to maintain patience with an over tired 6 year old trying to write out 34 valentines, I was not in the mood to wake up all happy and lovey dovey. Valentine's day was already over in my book. I had a large number of crafts planned with love for her to give to her kindergarten class, but instead ran out at the last minute for store bought valentines and store bought cookies. My perfectionism crept it's way out and I got upset with myself for not giving her "the best Valentine's Day ever."
We had practiced making pipe cleaner roses, hard candies, heart chains, and hearts made of melted crayons, but never got around to making enough of these for each kid in her class. I hadn't even gotten around to going out and getting anyone, including Hun, a Valentine's gift.
Yet, as I rolled out of bed to the beckoning of my 4 year old babe, I snapped out of the funk. Babe had put his little arms around my neck, kissed my cheek, and said "happy balance times day mommy! I love you, I love you, I love you!" How, could I continue being a grump when he is just so cute?!?!
So what if my Love didn't get to bring in handmade crafts for Valentines Day? She was really happy with or without them, and she still got to make those crafts at least for ourselves and for decorations around the house.
We have had a really good day so far and it's not even noon yet. Our plans for the night got cancelled because we are all sick over here, but I get to snuggle all day with Babe, watching Shrek and whatever other movies he picks for the day. Who knows, maybe there will be a few surprises from the day. Whatever happens, I'm going to have a much better day than yesterday.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Never good enough - part 5

Hun and I slowly worked on being friends for the sake of the kids. Our family days were tense in the beginning, but soon enough they got easier and easier. We became good friends again, but never on the level of a relationship. Over the next two years, I lived on my own with the kids, but I held out hope that we would fall in love again and be a family under the same roof. I didn't date because I was still with him in my opinion, plus I wasn't ready.
We would have moments of happiness in which all was forgotten and we focused only on each other. We joked about getting married whenever the kids would ask and it gave me joy to even think about the possibility. Then he would get pissed off about something small and be miserable during our whole family day. He wouldn't talk to us all week and I'd lose hope that we could be happy together. There is only so much of the silent treatment that one person can tolerate, especially when it's about something really small. So after two years of building up hope and then being let down repeatedly, I decided to forget the option of being a real family again. It was time to move on.
I created a account, met a guy, had a first date, and really hit it off. I told Hun that I wanted to stop our family days because I met someone and it wouldn't be fair to the new guy for me to be hanging out with the old boyfriend. It hit him pretty hard, because he somehow thought we were in a really good relationship, I thought we were more friends with benefits, and honestly, that I was more of the doormat. We had an hour long phone conversation in which he tried to get me to change my mind. I told him how we weren't a real family, we hadn't been truly happy in almost 4 years. I told him how I lost hope of a happily ever after, I didn't want to be a family under two roofs for the rest of our lives, his OCD was too much stress on me and the kids, and I would never be good enough for him. We were too different to be good together. He needed to find someone who could handle his mood swings and silent treatments. We hung up, and didn't speak for 3 months.
I spent those 3 months in new relationship bliss, but I wasn't truly happy. The new guy was too young, partied too much, wasn't a kid person, and had too much family drama going on. We didn't even formally break up. We just stopped texting and calling each other after I kicked him out of my house one night for getting too drunk.
It was almost Easter, I was planning the 2nd annual Easter egg hunt at my house. I invited Love's dad's family and Hun over to see the kids search for their treasures. Hun asked if the new guy would be there. I told him no and let him know he wasn't in the picture anymore. A week later, we had another long talk about our disappointments in each other during the last few years and about reasonable expectations if we were to start a new relationship. It was the first time we ever had a serious talk about what we wanted in the relationship. Up until that point, it was either shut down or walk out, never talk it out. He knew he needed to work on his OCD and agreed that silent treatments weren't solving the problem. We also decided that we needed to be together under one roof. A family lives together, works through problems together, and stays together through thick and thin. After 3 months of this starting over we were still going strong, so I moved back to the money pit (which is not so much of a money pit anymore, although we still have a huge amount of work to do on it). We were actually sticking to our promises. He worked on his OCD, didn't shut down and instead spoke up. I let him control all the finances, giving every penny over to him, and he pays for anything we need/want. It hasn't been perfect, we struggle and sometimes shut each other out, but talk more, and have more fun too. We've been saving what we can to fix up the house, and thanks to our tax return we are completely debt free. No more credit will be used, there is no emergency big enough to make us go that route again.
While we have been happy, I've noticed he lets the small things bug him more when the bills are tighter. I am working on getting back into the work force, for my health, but also to strengthen our relationship. He hasn't formally proposed but we've searched for an engagement ring, and we are planning on getting married by the end of the year. We've discussed adding another little one to the picture but probably not until next year. So, our relationship has dramatically improved and is no where near faltering. I know we will hit rough patches, and pray for the strength to work together during those times. I know we can now, as long as we stay away from the perfectionism virus.
I still struggle to be good enough, as a mom, as a daughter, as a woman, as a "wife", as a business owner, as a blogger, as a non-artsy mom in a Pinterest/Etsy world, as a friend, and as a human. It's hard to come to terms with the fact I'm not perfect. I mean come on, look at how far I've come! I'll settle for worlds best mommy, or maybe just an award for putting up with the most idiots and not going completely bat shit crazy.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Everyday choices

This last few weeks have been full of reflection. In bringing my struggles to words and remembering the pain, I thought more of how I could change the way my children see their struggles as well. Love has been struggling with bullying, particularly by one girl in her class, but occasionally the hateful comments come from someone she has thought of as a friend. When she came home last Wednesday and told me that her best friend said she doesn't want Love to play with her anymore, I tried to explain, "Maybe (friend) is just having a bad day. Sometimes (Babe) doesn't want to play with you because he is too grumpy, but he still loves you and plays with you later." She responded that this friend had told her that she is annoying and she doesn't like her anymore. I'm kind of at a loss.
Love is autistic, very mildly, but she lacks the ability to read social cues, and she is your typical 6 year old girl, so she tends to be hyper and a non-stop talker, even if you walk away from her, she'll follow you until you tell her she needs to stop, and even then she doesn't always listen. Most of her conversations are inappropriate or don't make much sense. She also has a quirk in which she tends to hum constantly, or make other annoying noises. Babe gets frustrated with her so I can imagine her peers getting frustrated as well. So, I want to teach her that people won't always like her because of her quirks and sometimes they will be mean about it, but I also want to teach her about reading social cues, teach her about appropriate vs inappropriate conversations, and teach her to control her quirks.
Additionally, our vacation was a tad bit spoiled by the behavior of a stubborn 4 year old Babe. He had cheese pizza the night we got there, and wanted it again for breakfast the next day. I told him they don't have pizza in the morning, it's breakfast time, they have eggs, pancakes, waffles, cereal, and so on. He threw a fit, I took him out of the restaurant area into the lobby of the lodge and sat him down and discussed that he had a choice. He could choose to behave and have a good vacation, or he could continue to be spoiled and have a bad vacation. My jaw secretly dropped when he got it and went in and ate some eggs and cereal. However, we had the same battle and the same conversation about 5 more times over the weekend, because he is 4 and stubborn like both his parents (mainly from daddy *wink*)
By Sunday, I had enough, and thankfully we were heading home. I decided to have a talk with both of them about my choices speech. Every day is a choice. You choose to have a good day or you choose to have a bad day. No one else can make that choice for you. I turned to Love and said "if someone is being mean to you, you can choose to let it hurt you, or you can choose to ignore it and stay closer to your friends who don't act mean to you. You can choose to listen to your friends when they ask you to stop and they will still be your friends, or you can choose to continue doing things they ask you to stop and then they will no longer be your friends." I turned to Babe and said " you already know about choices, but did you know you can also choose to be angry or happy? You can choose to go with the flow of the day, or choose to be mad when you don't get your way. Every thing you do is a choice. You are in control of your own life. You might not always get the choices that you want, but you get the choices you need the most." They both seemed to get the point and so far today all I had to say to Babe was "make sure you make the right choice" when he started to act up slightly, and suddenly he was behaved again. Keep your fingers crossed that they have learned the lesson. I know I have.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Never Good Enough-Part 4/The Money Pit

As I stated in part 3, the relationship between Hun and I grew very distant starting with our first big fight before we found out about Babe. He worked 2, sometimes 3 jobs to try to support our family after babe was born, and even though I was working full-time too for a pretty good salary, we still were in deep debt. Our combined income was well over $100k but we weren't seeing much of it. Why? Because of the house we were attempting to live in. The house was purchased as an easy flip, but there is no such thing as easy in this world. So back story - The Money Pit (great movie).
     September 2006, Hun closed on the house and immediately threw every bit of himself and his credit into it. We were nothing more than work friends at this point, but he turned to me on design advice for light fixtures and cabinet colors and other random things. By September 2007, a few months into our relationship, he had hit a wall. An estimated 3 month project was still long away from completion, a whole year after he started it. Walls were knocked down, floors were ripped up, the backyard torn to pieces, the heat wasn't working, there was no running water, and then the contractor walked away, and he was left with a house that was no where near ready to live in. When Love began staying overnights with her dad, Hun and I both worked together in hopes of getting it done piece by piece as quick as possible. I actually did hard labor and loved it! The goal was to sell it and buy a home together, so I was determined to get it done! I had no idea the total amount of debt that he had accrued from this project and he wasn't about to disclose it to me.
   When winter really hit, we couldn't work on the house due to the heater not working. Pipes froze and burst, Animals had found their way into the house and had died, so more work, more debt, more stress. Add almost losing our jobs because of the forbidden romance and then a pregnancy - it was a recipe for failure.
      We got the heat working, water running, and at least one useable bathroom. He disclosed his debt to me, and it was decided that I needed to stop paying rent to an apartment and we needed to move in and get the debt controlled. However, I had conditions before I would let my daughter live in such a mess of a house. First, we needed flooring. There were nails sticking up all over and rotted wood in some rooms. The floors were the first priority. Second, I wanted a working kitchen. At the time, there were cabinets and that was it. No Sink, no counter tops, no appliances. Nothing! Third, the bathroom had to be fully functional, the shower wasn't working and I'm not much of a bath kind of person.
      We got the floors on my credit, we bought appliances on my credit, and we paid for a plumber and a heater guy to do the hot water and run a few gas lines with my tax return money all the week before my lease expired and while I was supposed to be on bed rest.
     By June 2008, the debt was still swallowing us. He was paying his bills, I was paying off all the new debt I had, but his interest payments and late fees were about all he could afford, so the principal balance on his total debt wasn't moving. He worked with his mortgage company and caught a break, but only a little one. Bankruptcy was his only option, and it hit his pride big time. The house was still far from complete and we still had to pay the debt from the floors and the appliances. We mainly lived upstairs for the first few months and soon we would be bringing a newborn home to the mess. We barely looked at each other anymore. In fact, after Babe was born, I slept on the couch, if I slept at all. We began to absolutely despise each other. The work on the house was at a standstill and it wasn't going to be started back up anytime soon. He was working 3 jobs, he left at 6 in the morning and didn't come home until after midnight. I was given a great opportunity to work from home with the mortgage company we worked at, which helped alot. To save on Daycare costs, I kept the kids with me with the intent to hire a mother's helper. Intentions and reality conflicted and I was stuck with caring for an 8 week old and an almost 2 yr old while trying to make conference calls and deadlines, on no sleep, while battling a bad case of postpartum depression. The house was never clean, and Hun is the kind who expects to come home to well behaved children, a clean house, and a supermodel mom all dolled up and ready to reward him for all his hard work, and we were all the complete opposite of that. Shit had hit the fan and was covering us from head to toe.
 Babe was 6 months old, I decided I needed to get out of the house, working from home was not working out. I got a new job, which promised even better pay and got me away from the hell of home for 10 hours a day. I felt happier, I tried to make him happier, I tried to make everyone happier. When that failed, I decided that we were just going to be miserable for the next 18 years because I wasn't going to fail this time. I didn't want to split custody again, I didn't want my son to have to go through it, but even more, Love idolized Hun, and he loved her so much, the thought that I would be taking her away from him, tore me to bits. No matter what we worked out, she would lose a best friend.
Babe turned a year old, I kept the smile on my face during the day, and tears in my eyes at night. I hadn't slept in a bed in a year, and all I did was stress about how to fix the gap between us. I was still seeing a counselor for PPD and discussed all this with her. She tried hard one session to explain that I couldn't make him happy and me happy at the same time, but I was willing to sacrifice my happiness for him. The following session, her previous appointment was running very over, so I was left in the waiting room for a good 30 minutes. Strategically, she had left a book on the top of the coffee table titled Never Good Enough: Freeing Yourself from the Chains of Perfectionism by Monica Ramirez Basco. I was able to read the first few pages or so when she called me in. She asked if I had seen the book and we talked in more detail what she was trying to get at. I was trying too hard to fit myself into the wrong puzzle. I got home that night and decided to download the book on my Sony E-Reader, unfortunately it wasn't available in e-book format so I searched for another book based on the same concept and found I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn't): Making the Journey from "What Will People Think?" to "I Am Enough" by Brene Brown. These two books made me take a step back and look at everything in my life and realize I needed to stop worrying so much about what people would think and just do what was right for me and the kids. Enough friends had told me that the relationship wasn't what I wanted to model for my children, I didn't want them to grow up thinking this was love.
    I started to look for apartments, told Hun I was looking and let him know I would be taking the kids with me. He barely blinked an eye. I signed my lease December 2009 at the worst apartment in town, but it was what I could afford. I decided to give the kids one last Christmas together before turning their life upside down. January 2nd, 2010 we moved in, and I danced a happy dance. 
    Hun decided he was sick of working and not getting anywhere, so he just quit his job of 8 years and decided to live off of his 401k money. He was suffering from a deep depression and nothing could pull him out of it. He refused to get help and denied there was a problem. He barely saw Babe, we hadn't talked since I had moved out. It was hard on all of us, but especially Babe. He would go to the front door of my apartment and say "dada" over and over. This lasted about a month. Hun came by and started to take Babe more often, and we eventually worked out a custody schedule without having to go through the courts. We even decided to have "Family Days" every weekend, so that Love could still be involved in his life.
   It wasn't perfect, it wasn't what we really wanted, but we were all happier, and that was what mattered. Lesson learned thanks to my therapist and a few books. I vowed not to even think about new relationships for a few years and instead worked on being friends with Hun again and a better mom to my little tornadoes.

Monday, February 4, 2013

I feel older than I look

Actually, I probably look just as old, hobbling around with all these aches in my old joints. I'm 21, plus a few years, but today I couldn't get out of bed. My joints are hot pink and swollen. When I walk on the hardwood floors, I feel like I'm walking on a bed of stones. I can't even wrap my arms around my children without grimacing from the pain. My 6 year old love had to tie my shoes this morning because I couldn't get my fingers to bend. In other words, this winter is causing the RA (rheumatoid arthritis) to kick my ass pretty good. If you suffer from arthritis, you know that it gets better the more you move. Yet, it's kinda a catch 22 as well. The more I move in a day, the more pain I'll be in that night and the next morning.
Although last week I had a few days of determined, kick ass, super SAHM, spring cleaning days, I can not get motivated this week. Today I got up, took love to school, came home and plopped on the couch with babe, thought about playing candy crush saga but couldn't even find the motivation for that. Then Hun came down from his office and asked if I was going to do anything today. My response of no got the usual returned, "then you need to look for a new job." Indicating that I have not fulfilled the proper stay at home mom/house wife job duties. *Deep sigh, don't let him bug me, he doesn't know what this feels like...*
In part he is right though. No, not that I haven't fulfilled my SAHM duties, because my kids are happy, that is my job - fuck the house cleaning bit (didn't I do enough of that shit last week). However, I don't have insurance, he has no intention of getting married anytime soon, I can't afford my own insurance and my stubborn pride is keeping me from applying for state assistance. So a job hunt is only logical.
I'll be giving up the ability to be here with the kids and also giving up my business, but I'll be healthier and maybe better able to care for them in the long run. AND, Who knows maybe I'll find a job that can allow me to work from home too.
Wish me luck.

Friday, February 1, 2013

People in the mirror are different than they seem

In keeping with the "never good enough"/ it gets better theme, I thought back nearly 15 years ago to my high school years.
With the availability of social media, everyday has become a high school reunion. This can be both a good thing and a bad thing. Good because you can see that now it doesn't matter if you were the cheerleader or the A/V clubber, we are all just men and women now. Past disputes have been buried and taken over by congrats on engagements and new babies. Bad because most of us, especially the moms, find ourselves comparing our parenting abilities to all the other moms out there.
In a recent conversation with a friend of mine, one of these moms was brought up, she was the trouble maker in school, and continued to find trouble wherever she went. I'm sure that many of us thought she'd be dead from drug use. However, sometimes people change, I for one should know that well. This mom is now the mom of the year, the Pinterest mom, the organic, super clean, overachieving soccer mom. I surely hope this is a permanent change in her life and not just another phase, because it fits her well.
This mom got me to thinking of the other stereotypes that I graduated with, the teen heartthrob who turned out to be gay, the guy who constantly fought with whoever looked at him is now a top hairstylist at a hot well known salon, the shy reserved girl who sat in the back is now an executive for her company and is married to a Wall Street hot shot. I know I have changed, and I'm happier because of it. We all grew up and realized you don't always have to be the geek or part of the popular crowd. Those high school statuses are just 4 short years of your life, don't put so much stress on them.