Monday, July 30, 2007

Burden? What burden?

The RK just got to bed. After 11:00. But for a pretty good reason, I think. The Diary of Anne Frank came on Turner Classic Movies, and I was suprised when he actually showed interest in watching it with me.

My first year experiencing public school, the seventh grade, we were assigned to read Anne Frank's diary. And I remember watching the movie over a period of days in English class, as well. And it affected me down the core of my soul. I just couldn't fathom going through what this young girl, not much older than I was, got through that time she wrote her diary.

To live in America is to be blessed. No one alive today has borne witness to war fought on our homeland. We are indeed quite priveledged. To live anywhere in Europe during World War II meant to live life day to day in fear. Terror. And today, the fear is torturing hearts of those in the Middle East.

But never here. We are so blessed.

Why? Why are we so lucky? What did we do to deserve living our lives in such peace and calm? And how has it become so easy to take for granted?

I was born during a war fought thousands of miles away. I graduated high school during a war being fought thousands of miles away. And as I type this, part II of this previous war I just mentioned is being fought.

And the only direct affect it has on my day to day life is when I watch the news or read about the latest car bombs, or suicide bombers, or the updated tally of American servicemen killed. But the end credits roll, I fold up the newspaper, I close my laptop, and my mind effortlessly moves on to other things...what, out of the relative multitude of choices I have sitting in my pantry or my freezer (which consistently has power, by the way) shall I fix for dinner? Why won't my grass turn green? Uh oh...the IB's into the cat food again. Oh no, the gas prices are pushing $3/gallon again.


Why am I so lucky to live such a life, and millions of my fellow members of the human race aren't? Is it really just luck of the draw? I came into existence in the USA, while some other 34-year-old woman who is mourning the loss of her innocent children, or her husband, or is now learning to do life with a missing doing so just because she happened to come into existence in Iraq? Or Afghanistan? Or Darfur?

And how is it that we have become so complacent?

None of us deserve the charmed lives we lead. It all comes down to luck of location.

I have a bit of a weird confession to make. Bear with me....

I'm so glad I experienced 9/11. I'm not glad it happened, but I'm glad to have witnessed it. My generation was the epitome of complacency and entitlement before that day. We had lived in relative luxury compared to the majority of the rest of the world. And that day was our wake-up call. It woke us all up, but only briefly, I think. Just a mere six years after the fact, we've already fallen right back into the sleep of entitlement again. Oh, how this country is divided over the war in Iraq. And sadly, the division is way far from being down the the wrong direction.

And really...why was it so shocking and horrifying to us? I mean, yeah, it's horrible that we lost almost 3000 people that day, but in so many other locations on this earth, that's everyday. How is that we don't give these fellow humans a few moments of our attention, but when it happens to us, we get mad? Why aren't we getting mad for them? When it comes down to it, we're no better than they are. We have two arms and two legs just like they do. We have hearts...that break. So do they. We laugh, we cry. They do as well. Who's getting mad for their horrific and senseless deaths?

Here's what I think: Politics aside, if there's anything we can do in our power, or anything we can share with our brothers and sisters in countries that don't have the rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness, it's our duty to do whatever we can to help them acquire such lives of their own. How in the world can these noisy people get away with trying to convince anyone who will listen that it's OK to stand by and let fellow humans suffer through such horrific and unimaginable persecution? Our sons and daughters are dying for a lost cause...well, so are Iraqi sons and daughters...civilians. They're just innocent victims of that location curse. And we should just let it happen? God bless those servicemen who are risking their lives, and sadly, giving their lives as well, to try to create a way of life in Iraq that they have already been blessed with. They have willingly decided to give up that way of life here in the United States to go fight for this. They are indeed heroes.

I want to be a hero as well. Not one that is cheered and applauded...but one who quietly makes a difference. I've done nothing to deserve this life of luxury I lead. And all those in this world who are living in abject poverty and political persecution have done nothing to deserve their way of life, either. I feel overwhelmed thinking about how I could contribute, but I know that God will lead me. And I hope I feel led into more than just donating money. While necessary, and a huge sacrifice in its own right, giving money is still so detached and....well, easy. I mean really...what am I really gaining from sitting on my comfy couch with a nice cold drink by my side as I sign a check? What am I really giving of myself when I make the stroll down to the mailbox and raise the little flag? I want to bear first-hand witness to change that I helped create. And for me, giving money just won't cut it.

It is such a shame that Anne Frank couldn't live to see the impact that her little red-checked diary made on the entire world. But then again, would it have been such an impact if she had survived the concentration camp? Whatever the case, it's comforting to know that what appear to be such senseless deaths can inspire and create movements of good in their wake. As long as those of us left behind to witness it don't harden ourselves to it.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Behold, the perfect strategy, the textbook form

Take notes, you ultimate procrastinator wannabes...I wrote the book. I am the Queen. The Champion. The unanimous GPP...Grand Poobah of Procrastination.

Jimmy's Blogathon efforts has made the perfect excuse today. I've been popping in on him all day today, and thankfully now, the sun has quit torturing his live webcam shot. He's a crazy, yet wonderful guy to put himself through so much stress and turmoil to raise a big ol' chunk of change for Midland Fair Havens. I have to admit, though, it looks like fun. At least at this point it does. I don't know how I'd be feeling at 3:00 in the morning with still 5 more hours to go. 30 feet in the air. Yikes. Have pity on him...pop in on him and throw some money his way. With what he's going through, it's the least we can do!

I have done some productive things today. For the first time in about six weeks, I got the grass cut. My neighbors and I have been have a hell of a time getting it to grow, given that it's only year-old sod, and we haven't been getting very much rain. The sun has beat down on it mercilessly, and even the best looking lawns around the neighborhood are patchy green at the very best. My front yard looks pretty good, I was surprised to notice. I just knew that once I cut the grass out there, that all the brown patches would show through a lot more, but not so! It actually borders on lush! The back and the south side of the house is another story, though.

So after mowing around noon today, I managed to waste away the afternoon following Jimmy some more, snoozing in front of the Tigers game, messing around with the garden hose outside (not necessarily in that order). I finally jumped in the shower around 5:00-ish, which was much needed after mowing. Now I've been slowly but surely getting the downstairs cleaned up. Kitchen is done. Sweeping is done. All the dining area furniture has been lugged into the living room so I can mop.

And here I sit.

See? I'm so good at proctrastinating, it's disgusting.

After mopping I still would like to run the vacuum as well.

There's a meet & greet at the neighbor's tonight, and I really don't feel all that much like going. I didn't RSVP, for one thing, so I don't want to be rude by showing up unexpectedly. Side dishes or desserts were also requested, and I don't have anything to bring.

Being the social butterfly I am, it's really odd that I don't have a huge interest in going. That I'm staying at home to clean of all things, when there's a party going on! WTF? I guess it's just more evidence of how going through this divorce has affected me.

I dunno...maybe after a while I'll throw on some makeup and mozy down there. One thing I could offer is the better part of a case of beer. That might facilitate my welcome.

Let's see...what else can I talk about to drag out my mopping the floor....

Eh...I got nothin'. Guess I better go put on my washerwoman hat.


Friday, July 27, 2007


My babies are gone again. And again, I just don't know what to do with myself.

I just finished my latest Netflix movie, Premonition with Sandra Bullock. It was riveting all the way through. And quite sad. It has left me with all kinds of thoughts going through my head. It touched a nerve. I don't feel like getting into the plot right'll just have to see it for yourself.

The movie touched on the potential for infidelity within marriage, but the potential is not realized. And timing and reason for the way things happen the way they do is the whole underlying theme of this story, and like I do with anything I watch or read, I relate it to my own life.

I think now is a good time to tell a little more of my own story.

The existence of the IB is that quandary I have of why things happen when they do, and why. His creation is one of those great mysteries of life I have yet solve. And probably won't for quite a long time. You see, he was conceived after my husband had fallen into adultery, but before I knew about it.

And I know the exact date. I remember all the circumstances vividly. I was desperately trying to connect with my husband, to try and portray to him yet again just how much I loved him. But looking back on it now, and really on our whole marriage, he just didn't have a deep end. I was never, ever able to reach into his soul like I craved. And he had absolutely no desire to reach into mine.

My husband told me of his affair with the very best friend I had on Christmas Eve 2005. There were some pretty substantial events beforehand that precipitated him telling me when he did, so while that wasn't exactly the best choice of dates on the calendar to choose, it happened when it happened for a good reason. We spent the better part of Christmas Day in our bedroom, with the door shut, talking ourselves blue in the face. And thank God for the RK's Christmas presents...he was occupied with those to let us hash this out.

I didn't get angry, or go fact, one of the first things I said was, "I believe this is just what our marriage needed to get us on track." Oh, how I loved him so. For these few days around Christmas, the IH was convinced that he needed to stick by his family and work things out. But then on Dec. 27, he, with my blessing, meets with her to tell her it's over. And when he comes home, he's a mess. He lets me know that she's like a drug he's addicted to. We go to bed, and while he's capable of sleeping through anything, things in my head are swirling around at a million miles an hour. And he lays there, snoring. Finally around 2:00, I feel like I'm about to go absolutely crazy with it all, I wake him up and tell him that I'm going to drive myself to the hospital for some it medical or psychological. And that's just what I do.

It was so hard for me to tell the triage nurse exactly why I was there, but somehow I manage to get through it, and they escort me back to a bed after taking my vitals. They ask me if I could be pregnant, because they don't want to give me any medication that could potentially harm a fetus. I tell them I guess it's possible, but in the back of my mind, I felt like the chances were zero. I laid on that bed trying to get some sleep while I waited and waited, and finally the doctor came back, saying that there wasn't anyone who could come talk to me on site, but that he had a list of clinics and doctors that if I went to one right now, they'd see me immediately without an appointment. At this point, I stop him and say, "So my pregnancy test was negative..."

"No, it was positive. Who told you it was negative?"

And just like that was how I found out. Four days after I learned my husband was having an affair.

And two full years after I had gone off birth control.

We hadn't even really been trying for another baby. I thought the birth control pills were adversely affecting my hormones, and I was tired of never feeling like I wanted to be with my husband. And now that I think back on it, he never really wholeheartedly agreed to this...he just went along with it. And that's the story of our entire relationship together right there. He just went along with whatever it was, never flat-out disagreeing with me, or agreeing with me.

My philosophy on going off the pill was that if God wanted us to have another baby, there was really nothing we could do about it, and He would take care of everything we needed. He created the baby, after all, and I was putting my faith in Him to meet all of its, and our needs. And the IH was basically, "Yeah, OK...whatever."

I so desperately wanted to have a fulfilling, mutually satisfying marriage. And I thought that perhaps if I went off the pill, my sex drive would come back and we'd be on our way. But now I know that perhaps it wasn't the pill screwing up my hormones...the issues went much, much deeper.

Anyway, I just remember feeling super-sensitive to my surroundings after receiving this news. Signing out, walking out to my car, driving home, wondering how in the hell I was going give up smoking at a time like this, waking him up to tell him and wondering if he was really even awake when I did. It's like I can remember every single second of that time, yet on another level I can't remember any of it.

I love being pregnant. I think it's one of the most amazing things a woman can experience, and I am so thankful to God to have been blessed with the experience. But I have to admit, the time I was carrying the IB was anything but joyful. I was the carrying the child of a man who really wanted nothing to do with me, instead of a man who thought I was so beautiful with our own unique creation inside me. I was with someone who thought there was nothing wrong with asking me to mop the floor when I was seven months along, instead of a man who wanted to spoil me and coddle me and drive me crazy trying take care of me. So much joy was robbed from this pregnancy, and I'm so angry about that.

And the IB's entrance into the world didn't go very smoothly. Labor went fine, but when he finally came out, he didn't breathe. For those of you who know the Apgar scale, his scores were 2/5/7. He spent five days in the NICU under observation. He was definitely one of the healthiest babies in there, and once he met all the criteria he needed to meet, they sent him home.

And yes, I take full responsibility for his difficulties. I smoked all through the pregnancy, right up to the end. I just wasn't strong enough to give it up with everything else I was having to deal with. And yes, I feel absolutely horrible about it. I'll take that with me to my grave. So nasty comments about how selfish I was, or how could I do that...I'm already in hell over it.

The first night the IB spent in our home, the IH spent in the hotel. With her. The whole first week, in fact.

I just don't understand how a father could be capable of doing something like that to his newborn son...or how a husband could do that to his wife who just bore that son. The lack of an answer to this just eats at me...tears me up. I just don't get it.

And true to the name of my blog...the silver lining:

The IB! Words just can't describe what he is. Precious doesn't cover it. Angel doesn't cover it. Delight...nope. Amazing... Perfect... Beautiful... Miracle...

...that's a good place to stop. He is healthy, he is happy. His little 11-month-old personality is utterly addictive. He has the most beautiful smile which is always readily available. His hair is golden, his eyes the color of the sky. His hands...oh, those sweet little hands! Fat little fingers with dimples in the knuckles, soft little peach fuzz on them as well (I just noticed that today!), his little fingernails that grow so fast, and that big callous on his right thumb from him sucking it. His little toes go straight across, just like my mom says mine did when I was a baby. His tummy that I love to tickle and poke...and then he laughs. Scrunches up his nose, closes his eyes, and chortles.

I could go on and on...and my concluding thought is this...

Oh dear Lord, what in the world do you have in store for that precious little boy?! That you brought him into this world when you did, I don't understand. But I know I will someday. I know you have big things set up for his future, and I just pray that you guide me to help him fulfill it all.

Monday, July 23, 2007


Friend is over here right now. Since the post I first introduced y'all to him, he has spent the night again...probably a weekend or so ago. And things went much better. It looks like what I've always heard about teaching kids who's boss is true. Lay down the line, stick to it. And things are going great in general with him and the RK. He's let me know he thinks I'm a 'nice' and 'cool' mom, and that the RK is one of his best friends.

You have no idea how relieved I am that their friendship is working out for me. Friend is the only other kid around the RK's age that actually stays at home during the day over the summer. His mom stays at home like I do right now. He doesn't have to spend his summer days in a daycare. So this absolutely thrills me that they can spend their summer days hanging out together. The RK has stated to me, though, that Friend is either #2 or #3 on his list of best friends...I can't remember which. It changes from time to time, too. I'm still keeping a close eye on him, though. I still see that little glint of 'up-to-no-good' capability in his eyes.

Oh, I'm still floating after the Rascal Flatts concert Friday night! I have gotten to the point where their music is very soothing and comforting to me. Country music as a whole does that to me, but moreso for RF. I realized I've purchased their last three albums, and I have a feeling I'll be downloading their new one when it drops in September. I just adore their unique vocals and harmonies. They sound so good through my iPod earbuds!

Huh. I can't really think of anything else to talk about at the moment. I just haven't been feeling much of anything lately. Just kinda blah. The boys and I just sorta putter around the house, not doing much of anything. We're definitely in lazy days of summer mode. I hope they're not too bored or unstimulated. 'Cuz I sure am.

I did get an email yesterday from my local library letting me know The Kite Runner is ready for me to pick up. I'll finish the Luanne Rice book I'm reading right now then start that one. I love reading in the summer. Heck, there's nothing else to do...there's certainly not anything on TV.

...well, except Big Brother 8. And boy, is it good this year! I've actually been watching Big Brother since season 2. My mom started watching it the very first year, so when the second season rolled around, she and I watched it together across the miles. This is back before she got back together with her long-lost love and moved to New Hampshire. For the last couple of years, she hasn't watched it, but this year she and I are again attempting to keep up with it together.

So anyway, the cast they have living in the Big Brother house is the best in quite a few seasons. I haven't been this excited about it in a long time! I don't care to get into details at this point in time, but if you too watch this silly, crazy reality show, let me know and we can share our thoughts on it with each other!

Ok I've gotta run. The IB is ready to get out of his high chair, full up to his eyeballs in Cheerios!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

We're gonna rock this thang...cock this thang...

I'm sitting here at the dining table with the IB right next to me in his high chair having some sweet corn puffs. He's got his sweet little smile readily available at just the slightest hint of attention from me as he uses his perfect textbook pincer grasp to stuff his face with. He passed the 11-month mark on Friday. Less than a month to go 'til he's one!

I also have the British Open on, although at this point I'm not really watching it all that closely. There's just nothing else on the tube that I'd care to turn on. And heaven forbid I might actually turn the silly off for a while!

The RK & I went on quite an adventure Friday night. It was a bit of a last-minute thing, not being formulated in my head until the day before. SH babysat the IB for us while we...

...are you ready for this?

...we went to....

...are you sitting down?

...oh my gosh this was so great...


They're only my favorite country group EVER! Well, they're up there with Brooks & Dunn. And this is the first concert I've been to since Pink Floyd at the Alamodome somewhere around 1993 or '94.

I've never been one to enjoy spending a lot of money on entertainment events like concerts. I got the Pink Floyd ticket for free. And even adding on the RF concert to my list of concerts attended, I can still count them on one hand.

Thank goodness they still had some of the 'cheap' ($29.75) tickets left. So yes, we were in the nosebleed section. I bought the tickets over the phone (for a $5/ticket convenience charge...better than Ticketmaster's $9.20/ticket convenience charge) Friday morning, and around 4:30 we dropped off the IB across the street and headed off on the 50+ mile trek to the Palace of Auburn Hills (home of the Detroit Pistons! DEEE-TROIT BASKETBALL!). Jason Aldean was the opener, and he was alright...he's definitely got big things in store for him down the road. But the main act was AWESOME! They opened with "Me and My Gang," which definitely got the crowd going. I think my favorite moment of the night was at the end of "Bless the Broken Road" when Gary LeVox did his little acapella riff "...and God blessed the broken road...." pause... right at this point the crowd erupted into an amazing round of applause that just went on and on and got to the point where the musicians were ready to move on, and we all just wouldn't shut up! Eventually Gary came back to the mike and started singing again despite the still-thunderous roar... "...that led me you." It was pretty cool.

The RK wasn't all that impressed with the whole concert thing. He was ready to go before it was over, so I dragged myself outta there to take him home. We came out the wrong door and had to walk all the way around the arena, and as we were walking around, everyone else started coming out too, so I was glad to know I didn't miss that much by leaving early. And we still got out of the parking lot rather quickly, too.

The RK just isn't that impressed with any kind of popular music. He doesn't have any favorite songs that he gets all excited about when they come on the radio, and he's especially not thrilled with country. He seems to be in the mode that he's not gonna like anything his mom likes, but after Friday night, I'm starting to think he just genuinely doesn't care for country. He said something about not wanting to listen to any more country for a long time after the concert. I hope he starts getting into music, though. It communicates in a fantastic way the spoken word just can't. I'm so interested to see what genre he'll attach to. He seems like he'll be into the alternative Green Day, or All American Rejects. We just have to wait and see...

OK...I'm gonna cut it off here. Just had to tell y'all about our fun Friday night! I think I'm gonna go put the IB down for a nap, and then maybe put myself down for a nap, too. Later!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Still alive and kickin'

After 45 posts, I guess my motivation and interest in this new blog of mine has finally started to wane somewhat. I just don't feel like sitting down and trying to get my thoughts all organized and put into print. I do want to keep this blog current, however, so forgive me if my posts aren't as thrilling or exciting as they have been. Then again, I guess they haven't been all that great thus far. Just bear with me...

My night out on the town this past Saturday was lots of fun! My neighbor and I started the night at a brand new place in downtown Ann had been open less than a week. It's one of those $8 a drink martini bars, so we only stayed for two drinks. But I must say, the dirty martini I had, listed on the menu as the "Dirty CEO" was the best I've ever had. I thought I was quite witty...she brought our drinks, and I said, "OK, so where's my dirty CEO? Where is he?" Heh. For my second drink, I decided to see what this craze about Mojitos was all about. It was interesting...don't think I'll be ordering it again, though. I kept sucking up little pieces of fresh mint in my straw. That stole a lot of the appeal. Overall, though, the flavor was quite nice and refreshing.

After that, I had an itch to go to what has to be about the only country bar around, and my friend obliged. It was alright. I really wanted to take a two-steppin' spin around the dance floor, but my dance card remained empty. It was quite funny watching the others get out there and try to do it...they just don't get it this far north. And this place is big in line dancing. They'll line dance to Justin Timberlake. Now, I'm not knocking JT, his song "What Goes Around" has been a saving grace for me these last few months, but I don't want to hear him in a place like this. Please...let's stick to King George, Clint, maybe even a little Gretchen.

Nothing much to report for my week thus far. Today the IB had an occupational therapy appointment, and after that, the three of us went for some lunch at Panera Bread, and then on to the grocery store for us. I felt a little guilty because I hadn't taken the time to get my coupons in order, so I paid full price for most things. I did score some good sale items, though.

So exciting....I know.

My boys came home from their weekend with their dad, and the IB learned a new trick! He's now pulling himself up to standing! Whenever he's in his 'cage,' (aka the playpen), he'll get himself pulled up to standing, and he'll peer over of the top of the rail...all I can see are his eyes. Sometimes he'll lean his head back, scrunch up his nose and smile at me. SO PRECIOUS. I can't believe we're just a little more than a month away from him being an entire year old. Just can't believe it.

My new bloggerbuddy, Jimmy Patterson, who's also the online editor at my hometown's newspaper, is once again participating in this year's Blogathon. This is such a great thing. Bloggers from all over the world unite and commit to blogging for 24 hours straight. And it's all for charity. Jimmy, like last year, will be blogging for a wonderful organization in Midland called Midland Fair Havens. When I checked out their website to see what they were all about, I felt compelled to make a pledge. Although I'm not in such dire straits as the women and children the organization helps, I still feel a close connection to them as I too am going through such a difficult and life-altering time. I haven't given charitably in way too long, longer than I'd care to admit, but for this cause, I decided to participate. No, I won't be blogging for an entire 24-hours, but I did make a pledge for Jimmy's efforts...

...and talk about effort! He will be blogging from a cherry picker parked in the local HEB's parking lot. And he has mentioned a slight fear of heights. He has also mentioned searchlights will be in place. I would love to be able to come out and support him in person at 4:16 AM when his eyelids are drooping and head bobbing, but since I can't, I will do my best to follow his progress over this neat little contraption that connects me to the whole world.

May I suggest that anyone reading this click on the Blogathon link and peruse the bloggers and their charities that they will be blogging for. If you find someone who is supporting a cause close to your heart, please make a pledge. And if you don't find your favorite charity listed among those who have signed up, perhaps consider signing up yourself! I think it's such a neat way to raise money for worthy causes, and I'm looking forward to being a small, yet active part of it!

I picked up a new Luanne Rice paperback at the grocery store today, so I think I'll go knock out a few pages before I turn in. Nighty-night, everyone!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The woes of a divorced mom

I swear I'm the best procrastinator in the world. I should be cleaning. But here I am. Sheesh...I deserve an award or something. Perhaps "Procrastinator Extraordinaire." That's me!

So it looks like I might actually get to go out tonight. That other single mom that I've mentioned and I have plans to go out tonight. Yeehaw! I get to go out and feel like a grownup. I even bought some new makeup!

I'm missing my babies something fierce. But in a good way, I guess. I need this time. It feels pretty good to not be responsible for them for a while. It's just me. I can do whatever I want, without having to take anyone else into consideration. But I'm eagerly looking forward to their return tomorrow evening, as well.

I've been feeling like the biggest disappointment to the RK lately. He and I just don't seem to have a lot in common, and we spend most of our time at home in separate rooms doing our own thing. We've been doing pretty good getting these summer workbooks in reading and math done. It's a neat program. You bubble in your answers to each lesson on an answer sheet ("Like standardized tests!" the RK says) and then mail them in to be graded. He's doing quite well on them, score-wise, because after he's done the lesson, I check over it and help him correct ones he got wrong before he fills in the bubbles. But sometimes getting him to do these lessons isn't all that easy. He balks at it. But after some encouragement and help, he eventually gets into it.

I desperately want him to find the love of reading. But he has struggled learning how, and he's not really reading at grade level. He's close, though. And we haven't even made it to the library this summer. I had these grand plans of him signing up for the summer reading program with a high number of books to read for his goal. Nope. Didn't happen.

I'm wracking my brain trying to think of stuff we can do together, and both enjoy. I think what I'm gonna have to do is just ask him when I have the time, and whatever he says, we'll do it. No matter how much I don't like it. I'm so tired of feeling like I'm disappointing him.

I'm so afraid he's going to start liking it better with his dad, too. Last weekend, they went out to eat at Red Lobster. The RK has been begging me to go out to eat there, and I always say no because it's so expensive. They go to the pool at the fancy-shmancy health club they belong to. And Lord knows what else. Their father has no concept of how not to spend money, while things around here are pretty tight.

I just always feel like the bad guy. Telling him to clean up, to do his summer lessons, to take a shower, all these things he hates doing. And so often during my marriage, the IH would be doing something with the RK, say, right before bedtime. I'd come in and give them a few minute warning, and after letting whatever number of minutes go by, and then some, I'd come back in to pull the plug on their activity. The IH would say very dejectedly, "OK...Mommy said it's time to go to bed." Rather than something like, "Yep, it's bedtime! Thanks for the reminder, Mommy." I hope now that the IH and I are living under two different households that this doesn't start getting worse. I already know that he's going to be the big spender with the kids, that goes without saying. But I hope he also takes a stand and also makes the RK take care of certain less desirable yet necessary things, like those I mentioned above.

I guess only time will tell. For the time being, though, I need to somehow manage to squash all this guilt I've been feeling; to stop letting it come in between my relationship with my kids. There's still a lot of summer left, and tons of opportunities to make it special. I need to dig up some of my deeply buried creativity!

OK...I'm gonna go clean now.

Heeeeerrrreee I go.




OK, now.




Bloody marys & beignets, anyone? I am back at the oh-so-delightful Coney Island. My veggie omelet has been inhaled. My coffee cup is bottomless, and it's just me and my great little laptop.

Last night, after my kiddoes were off with their father, I was trying to decide what to do with myself. And all of a sudden, the urge to watch Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood hit me like a ton of bricks. Only I don't own this movie. If you've ever perused my Netflix queue from my link in the sidebar, you'll note that it's on there, somewhere around #10. A lot of good that did me right that very minute.

At that point last night, it's about 9:00, and since I'm free as a bird, I decide to run out and try to find the movie on a store shelf. As well as pick me up some supper. Target didn't have it, which surprised me. At least I couldn't find it. It was getting close to closing time, so I didn't pursue the cause with my normal determination and vigor. Across the street is a Meijer, so I run over there. Bingo! And I only had to part with $9.99+tax.

This movie touches me on so many levels. The first and most prominent thing that hits me is James Garner's character, Shep. His role in the life of his wife Vivianne is clearly, yet still quite subtly defined in the early moments of the movie when Vivianne throws a teacup or something similar in anger at the door. Just as Shep appears in the doorway, the cup shatters on the doorjamb right in front of his face. And he doesn't even flinch. In that few seconds, we bear witness to so much, of which the details and nuances of this character are revealed and defined throughout the course of the movie.

The NIV version of 1 Corinthians 13:4 says "Love is patient..." But what jumps out at me is the King James verbiage. "Charity suffereth long..." And Shep is the epitome of 'long suffering.' I think one of my favorite lines from this movie is when he says to his wife, "I knew when I said 'for better or worse,' it was going to be a coin toss." He never wavered in his commitment to her, despite bearing the brunt of so much misdirected blame over so many years. That scene right there sums up this character down to the core. This is absolutely the definition of love, and throughout the course of the story, he and his extremely neurotic wife find each other's hearts and finally, after decades of marriage, start to build the type of relationship two spouses are intended to have.

Another great line: Siddalee (played by Sandra Bullock), Shep & Vivanne's daughter, asks her father, "Daddy, have you been loved enough?" To which he replies, "What is enough?" Brilliant.

I so want to move to Cajun country. I just love all the quirky and flamboyant personalities that the South embraces. I feel like I could just be me without beating myself up for my differences or shortcomings. And the attitude that we're going to have a good time no matter what. Teensy's line, "I hope this isn't a real emergency...I only brought one bottle of vodka" just cracks me up. And yes, this movie got me craving bloody marys. I can't remember the last time I had one. And the food...oh my gosh, the food! Crawdads, gumbo, catfish, shrimp, shrimp and more shrimp. The spicier the better. Coffee with chicory in it. Sigh...

That's all for now. The restaurant's filling up, so I'll give up my table for some other hungry patrons. So much more to blog about, but it must be at a later time.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The long hot summer

I hate it when this much time gets away from me between posts. I've been coming up with all kinds of things to talk about on here for the last three days, and now I feel like I'd be up all night long typing it all in here. What I can remember of it, anyway. Argh.

One thing I wanted to mention on Sunday afternoon was that amazing, amazing men's final at Wimbledon. Classic! Legendary! I've already mentioned how tennis fans all over the world right now are so blessed to have such a great rivalry for this particular era. And y'all know who I'm talking about: Roger Federer & Rafael Nadal. For the first time, Federer didn't wipe the court with Nadal in a steady, textbook, boring three sets. Nope, it took five. And two of those went into tiebreaks.

I found myself rooting for Federer. And afterwards, in reflection, I realized why. I'm not ready for Nadal to reach that goal yet. This rivalry is still a bit new, and I want the excitement and anticipation to build a little bit more. Let's keep Nadal winning on clay, and Federer winning on grass. It just seems that once one of them gets the upset, the denouement begins, and it just won't be as exciting as before.

This seems to be one of those healthy, friendly, rewarding rivalries. They're each other's toughest competition, always motivating and driving each other to improve their game. Thus, improving the entertainment value for us, the fans. It's so rare that these rivalries are born, and us sorry shmucks who get their jollies from watching the pros play rather than playing ourselves, benefit exorbitantly.

And as for the players themselves, twenty or thirty years from now, they're going to appreciate having had each other to keep driving and pushing the other ever closer to perfection. And they're going to look back on their extraordinary careers, and be thankful. And content.

OK...that's the end of my tennis soapbox soliloquy.


We've been suffering in 90+ degree weather for the last couple of days, and my poor A/C has been coming on starting before noon. My poor flowers and burning bushes are in sad shape. I gave them a good dose of water and plant food tonight, so hopefully they'll perk back up. And I have no idea where they're coming from, but my house is overrun with flies. They are so nasty. As for me, I'm actually enjoying this heat. It reminds me of home. This would be considered a cold spell this time of year.

We haven't been going to the pool any, though, because the poor RK came home from his weekend with his dad with a horrible sunburn on his back. So he's not exactly in pool mood while his skin is in such pain. Thank God the IB obviously got slathered up with sunscreen. But I'm really quite miffed that the IH wasn't more on top of it with his elder child. And not only that, the IH broke one of the wheels on the IB's stroller. He called me yesterday to let me know that he's ordered a new wheel, and it'll get here in 7-10 days. Thankfully, I knew that SH recently got her two-year-old a new stroller, so she's letting me borrow the old one until the new wheel comes in.

The IH is taking the kids again this weekend, and then we're going to start our alternate weekends routine. I requested this from him because this will coordinate my weekend parenting schedule with that of another neighbor of mine, who has also recently gone through divorce. Her older son has the same name as the RK, and they've become quite good buddies. So this way, they'll be with their moms on the same weekends, and then their moms will both be free on the same weekends to accompany each other to various nightlife establishments. Which I'm so looking forward to. I love to see and be seen, and this past weekend just sitting at home really sucked. I almost decided to go out for a bit by myself, but decided I wasn't exactly in the mood to look quite that vulnerable.

All right, it's approaching 12:30, and I'm gonna cut this off here and go to bed. Nighty-night!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

The seventh day of the seventh month of the seventh year of the century

So do you y'all like my new look? I love blue. All shades of blue. It soothes and relaxes me.

I'm sitting here at my local coney island restaurant. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the concept, let me explain. Coney island-style restaurants are usually owned by people of Middle Eastern descent (and around here, there's plenty of 'em), but there are also a couple of very successful chains. They have very, very large menus, with just about anything you could possibly want on them. And there's also a bit of a Middle-Eastern flair on there, as well. Like gyros & Greek salads (which I've fallen in love with since moving to Michigan). And breakfast that you can order all day. It's a bit of a diner feel.

I love this particular coney island. I guess you could say it's a chain, because there is another one listed on the menu in another little town not too far from here. They offer free wi-fi. And the best veggie omelette I think I've ever had (extra onions, please). And I just noticed they now serve 'Ice Cold BEER' as well...bonus! When I'm not in the mood for breakfast, I usually get their gyro/Greek salad combo. Or if I'm really feeling nasty, a coney dog with cheese & onions. I love this place.

So I'm sitting here tippy-tapping away on my sweet little laptop to you fine people! Sipping a cup of coffee, ruminating a bit from that omelette I left no trace of on my plate. This actually feels quite good. I wonder how my babies are doing, though.

There's actually a quite attractive guy sitting by himself in the booth right next to me.

I think after this I'm gonna head home and load the back of my car with all the cans and bottles I've collected for the past couple of months to go recycle them. You see, in Michigan, whenever you buy Cokes or beer in cans, bottles, or 2-liters ( beer in those), you pay a 10¢ deposit for every single one. So if you buy a six-pack, there's an extra 60¢. A twelve-pack, $1.20. You get the idea. So I have a big ol' garbage can out in my garage where I toss all my cans and bottles. When it gets full (it's overflowing right now), I haul them up to the grocery store where they have these machines that I feed each and every can & bottle into, one at a time. It counts them, and when I'm done, I press the little green button and it spits out a receipt. When I make it to the cashier, I hand these receipts to him/her and s/he scans them, and I either get the total taken off my grocery bill, or I walk out with a little extra cash in my wallet. A pain in the ass, but I feel good making sure I get that bit of recycling done. The RK loves helping me with it. Although he's getting big enough now that it's not such a big deal anymore.

I hope to find the motivation to clean some today, too. This would be such a good chance to get caught up on the laundry. The forecast today is...hang on, let me check the WeatherBug...92°. Tomorrow 97°. I think I might have to get some serious pool time in there as well.

Child-free. At the pool? I can't even imagine it.

Let's see...oh yes! Wimbledon! I'm so psyched for tomorrow's men's final. Yet another thrilling meeting between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. This has become such a great rivalry. They dominate each other on different surfaces. Nadal on the red clay of Roland Garros, Federer on the grass of Wimbledon. And the thrill of this match-up is to see if finally one of them can beat the other on that player's 'foreign' surface. Oh, their skill, oh their power, oh, the excitement! Given the five-hour time delay from London to here, I'll definitely have to set my alarm to wake up in time to watch it. And after that match is over, I'll start waiting for the end of August to roll around when the U.S. Open starts. Tennis under the lights...

The waitress just stopped by my table and filled my cup of coffee for what seems like the 10th time. I think it's time for me to go! This has been so cool, though. I think I'll have to start doing this on a regular basis. Quite enjoyable.

I hope y'all are having a wonderful weekend and a 7-7-07! May good luck grace you all!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Trudging on

I feel like my summer is wasting away. It just hit me that it is now July. The excited anticipation that comes with June is done and gone.

We haven't even been to the local Dairy Queen yet. That must be remedied soon.

A while back, my neighbor two doors down had a gorgeous deck built and no longer had need for the little wooden steps that had previously been underneath his back door. So he came and knocked on my door and asked me if I wanted them. Of course!

So now we are able to use our back door to get out to the relative expanse of our back yard. With absolutely nothing in it. And I don't have any clue what to put back there to make it useable. I want a deck or patio so bad I can taste it, but definitely don't have the funds to make that happen.

The RK doesn't have much excitement for playing sports. At least with just his parents. I'd love to go throw the baseball with him and his years-old-but-still-brand-new hardly-used mitt, but he poopoos the idea. And the soccer ball. And the football (and yes, his mama could show him how to throw a pretty decent spiral).

We've spent the entire day indoors today. And it was an absolutely perfect day. The evening was gorgeous. I noticed those incredible thunderclouds building to the east, where they're dark and ominous on the bottom, and bright, white-pink and puffyfluffy all the way up to the top. I only stayed briefly to marvel, and did not even summon my children to come and enjoy it with me. That's what I mean when I say the summer is wasting away. I desperately hope and pray that wasn't my last opportunity for the season.

I'm not really in the mood to see and be seen. I had fun at the neighbor's last night, and I'm glad I went, but today, I just want to mope. So maybe that's why I'm sun-deprived today.


I survived the 29 or so hours my kids were gone. It's so amazing to me how such small little bodies can fill up a house. It felt strange to only carry my cell phone up to bed with me and no baby monitor. But I have to admit, it felt amazing to sleep in past 10:00 the next morning!

I found out some very interesting information concerning the text exchange I relayed to y'all in my last post. And just like my inital reaction to the texts themselves, I don't really quite know what to make of this.

It was very out of character for the IH to utter such words of encouragement. I mean, throughout this whole ordeal, he has been totally incapable of saying anything...and I mean ANYTHING...nice, uplifting, or encouraging to me. He has expressed on numerous occasions, ever since this affair started, that he would be so happy if I decided to just go away and leave the kids with him. Seriously. I'm not exaggerating, I'm not embellishing, I'm not misconstruing.

I have never felt so worthless in all my life.

Hence my text to him about having someone else write those texts to me.

So Tuesday night, he comes and picks up the kids, and here I am, left all alone in this big empty house, not knowing what the hell to do with myself.

Soon after the IH drives off (in his less-than-24-hours hold brand new Nissan SUV), SH texts me to see if she can come hang out with me for a bit, and I say sure. We start talking about all this, and she says, "Trish, I have to level with you. I called [the IH] at work today."

After my meltdown the day before, she was pretty freaked, and bless her heart, she felt compelled to intervene on my behalf.

She said she thinks of me as family.

It's two days later, and even thinking about it now dampens my eyes.

The fact that she felt compelled to take this on herself and get involved to such an extent means the absolute world to me. Because I have no one else. No family. All of my neighbors are new friends of mine, and getting to that level of familiarity, intimacy, and willingness to involve oneself is a long, drawn-out, no-guarantees process.

I remember right after we brought the IB home from the NICU, SH came over to meet him. I told her how my mom was planning on cutting her trip short because my step-dad was making it sound like he was about to die with her gone. And I remember crying, saying, "Who do I have to go to the mat for me?" And that was one of the few times I've seen her cry. It's nice to know I have such a dear friend that will go to the mat for me. And I just hope that I'm able to fully express my appreciation and compensate her over the coming days, weeks, years.

Not reciprocate. Just compensate.

OK...that's enough. I've got to stop thinking about it. I don't want to get dragged down again. At least not like Monday. I'm doing much better right now, but still not too motivated. Just don't want to make it any worse. This fragility is driving me crazy. I hate this. Again...what a waste of these days of my life.

So the boys seemed to do just fine at the love shack. I'm glad to get that initial send-off behind me. The IH is taking the kids again for the weekend. Oh Lord...two whole nights without my babies! What a hodgepodge of emotions...excitement for getting to hang up my responsibility for a while, yet the hole that comes with their absence. Not to mention the worry about the atmosphere around there that they're entering into.

Oh, how I loved seeing that precious little toothy grin last night when the IB leaned into my arms!

To end this post on a happy note-
Last night while we were all gathered to watch the fireworks show behind the neighbors' houses across the street, I got to chatting with my next-door neighbor. Here's what he said to me: "You know J's cousin? The one who helped him bring those steps over to your back door? He's got such a crush on you."

I don't really even remember what he looks like, even though I think I might've been introduced to him while walking by one day a few weeks ago. How cool, though. Does my self-image a world of good.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

So here we go...

I never did respond to the IH's text from Saturday. So here's a transcript of sorts of our texts today:

IH (10:09 AM): would like to pick up the boys after work so we can have the day together for tomorrow
(11:39 AM): i know this is difficult. Everything well [sic] work out and the kids will be fine. you are the best mom to those kids. They will look forward to being back with
(11:44 AM): you. i know your [sic] a strong person when you have to be. you are doing such a great job with them. It will be ok.
( 11:56 AM): please reply. Need to know if you're ok.

Me (11:59 AM): who did you get to write that for you? i will not be packing [the IB]'s food. you can provide that when you have him. what time?
(12:00 PM): no, i'm not catatonic yet. sorry to disappoint you.

IH (12:05 PM): thank you for responding. i know it's hard to believe but I do care about how your [sic] doing. Not completely heartless. Around six is when i can be there.

Curiouser and curiouser...

I just don't know what to make of this. Maybe what happened Thursday has finally started to chip away at the ten-foot thick titanium walls around his pathetic little shriveled up heart.

I won't be holding my breath, though.

Now I'm gonna try to get this house cleaned up and get some laundry done before he gets here.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Seeking relief

Oh, I've found myself this afternoon just all tied up in knots. I am such an emotional wreck. I just want to go crawl into bed and pull the covers up over my head and be alone. The IB's taking a nap right now, and I know that won't last as long as I would like. He'll be needing his mommy all too soon, and I just don't feel up to trying to force myself to be the loving, attentive, happy mommy he needs and deserves. But I'll do it, because I have to. And because I love that sweet little thing so much. And because I know that while it's hard to imagine being able to summon the strength I need for him, it always ends up being easier than I thought once I see that beautiful little smile.

The house is still a mess. I just can't seem to summon the determination I need to tackle it. And it's hanging around my neck like that good ol' literary albatross.

The IH wants to take the kids for July 4th. To the homewrecker's sister's house (she and her two kids became very close friends of mine as well, and I haven't seen them since Christmas 2005) for a BBQ and fireworks. He told me his plans via a text message sent on Saturday, and I haven't responded yet. I know I need to give my approval, but I'm having such a hard time uttering the words.

I hope it's an awkward day, at best. Well, only for the grown-ups. I want my absence to hang over them like the blackest, thickest, most suffocating cloud of WRONG ever felt.

And for the RK, well, I just don't know. I'm happy that he's excited to see his old friend again. And for his sake, I am a tiny bit relieved that I have given in. I hated being such a huge source of discontent with him. Even though he won't be able to understand why I had this position until he's much, much older.

But not knowing how this will play out has me messed up. And not knowing if he'll ultimately have to go through this all again, giving up this friendship for the pathetic reason of the adults not being able to act like adults. Again.

Does this mean I have to start letting this little boy come over for playdates, or will I yet again be a source of unfair discontent when I inform the RK that he will only be able to see this friend while he's with his dad? It's not fair for him to have a friend only when he's with his dad. But right now I just can't stand the idea of having any part of that section of my past anywhere around my present. And I can't stand the thought that it might hurt the RK in any way.

Oh, I just want that part of his life to be done and over with. In the past. Let's please move on. Why must I continue to be tortured by this evil, selfish woman and what she did to me? And to the RK?

Why must I be the one to summon the superhuman strength to make up for the disgraceful weaknesses of my Idiot Husband and the Homewrecking Whore? It just seems impossible to continually be 'the bigger person' and remain objective; always, without fail, doing what's best for the sakes of my babies. And what makes this even harder is that I'm not exactly sure this is the right thing.

This haunts me. Teases me. Tortures me. Paralyzes me. I desperately want this pit in my stomach to go away. I am so tired of it.

I desperately want something to be happy about. To rejoice in. To celebrate. I am so tired of being sad. Angry. Hurt. Destroyed. I'm wasting valuable time feeling like this, and there's not a damn thing I can do about it. I have no control over it. It has taken control of me. And I HATE that.

I'm trying to focus on the opportunity I'll have to not be responsible for my kids for a little while. I desperately need a break from them. Just some time to myself without a birthday party looming over me. Just nothing. No kids. Nothing. Being able to do whatever I want.

OK...that's all. I need to pull myself together. Hopefully spilling some of this out will help.

Thanks for listening, guys.

Breathe in, breathe out

I just got the RK tucked into bed, after turning down his request to sleep in my bed tonight. He says he doesn't like being alone. I promised him he could sleep in my bed tomorrow night.

He had been watching Nick, so when I got back downstairs, I decided to turn on the Sirius country radio station on my Dish. And the song playing is "Bring It On Home" by Little Big Town.

You've got someone here
Wants to make it all right
Someone that loves you more
Than life right here
You've got willing arms that'll hold you tight
A hand to lead you on through the night right here
I know your heart can get
All tangled up inside
But don't you keep it to yourself

When your long day is over
And you can barely drag your feet
The weight of the world
Is on your shoulders
I know what you need
Bring it on home to me

You know I know you
Like the back of my hand
You know I'm gonna do
All that I can right here
Gonna lie with you
Till you fall asleep
When the morning comes
I'm still gonna be right here
Yes, I am
So take your worries and
Just drop them at the door
Baby, leave it all behind

When your long day is over
And you can barely drag your feet
The weight of the world
Is on your shoulders
I know what you need
Bring it on home to me

Baby, let me be your safe harbor
Don't let the water come
And carry you away

When your long day is over
And you can barely drag your feet
The weight of the world
Is on your shoulders
I know what you need
Bring it on home to me

Oh, bring it on home
Yeah, bring it on home to me
Home to me
Oh, bring it on, bring it on home
to me

You've got someone here wants
To make it all right
Someone that loves you more
Than life right here

This song was on the charts last summer. I remember it's one of the very first songs I bought on iTunes for my brand new iPod.

Last summer was unforgettable. I was living in my very first home. Brand new. My husband was so very distant, always emotionally, and sometimes physically. He was here, then at the hotel. Then here again. Sleeping on the couch, sleeping next to me while I was tortured by his constant infliction of pain, sleeping in a bed miles and miles away.

All while we were expecting the arrival of our second child. I had been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, so my life was also consumed with finger pokes, insulin injections, and craving the forbidden joy of french fries and Dairy Queen. And always feeling like complete shit that I just wasn't strong enough to give up smoking even though I was harboring a brand new precious little soul in my belly.

I desperately needed a rock. A shoulder. I desperately wanted to be his rock. And this song absolutely reached deep down inside me and touched a nerve that was so fragile and raw, I could hardly listen to it without giving in to the tears that were always at the point of spilling at a second's notice.

I tried to play this song for him and convey to him that that was exactly how I felt about him, but he had no capacity for allowing music to touch his soul. Especially if it touched mine.

And hearing it just now sent me right back to last summer. And reflecting on what all has happened since then.


I'm so sorry I haven't been back to let y'all know how things went on Thursday. I'm ending one of the most stressful and exhausting weeks of my entire life, and I just didn't have the strength or the energy to try to put it all in print until now. And even now I'm still emotionally exhausted and utterly drained.

I made it to the courthouse on Thursday about 10 minutes 'til 2, and as I reached the top of the stairs, I immediately saw the IH waiting for his attorney to show up. He was wearing a nice polo shirt and khaki slacks, and I thought he looked so handsome. And that damn goatee...

...back when we first started dating, he decided at one point to grow a goatee. And he looked gorgeous. But soon after he got a promotion at work, and he decided to shave it.

And he didn't decide to grow another one until after we'd moved into the house last year. I told him how hot I always thought he looks with it, and he once again decided to shave it off. Now he's had it again for months. And it pisses me off that I have to see him looking so handsome for another woman. I just don't understand...he'll keep it for her, but not for me.

Back to Thursday... I couldn't even look directly at him. I didn't even acknowledge his presence. I just couldn't. And he made no approach to me. We still had some issues to muddle through and come to an agreement over, so I waited for my attorney, and he waited for his. And they did all the talking. We finally settled on the last sticking points (I'm not getting nearly what I wanted for child/spousal support, but it's still enough to put a big hole in his wallet every month.), and then we had to go into the courtroom and state it all into the record. I'm still not acknowledging his presence at this point.

The court reporter swears the IH and me in to tell the whole truth and nothing but, and then my attorney starts asking me all about the terms we've agreed upon. I answer "Yes" or "Correct" to each one as she rattles them off. Except there at the beginning when she gets to the one about no chance of reconciliation being present, I answered, "Apparently not." When she got to the part about his parenting time, it took me a minute to get out the 'yes,' and my voice cracked as I said it.

I had never been in a courtroom before. It was sheer hell. I was so glad to get out of there and away from him. I was so exhausted at this point. But anyway, all that has to happen for this to be done and over with is new papers with the final draft of our agreement drawn up and signed by him, me, and the judge. And the judge said he'd have them signed by July 30.

And then I won't be married anymore.


I wanted to try to get the goody bags for the RK's party stuffed that night, but I was done for the day. Couldn't do anything else productive. I was basically in a zombie state for the rest of the day, capitulating to the idea of McDonald's for dinner because I couldn't stand the thought of going into that kitchen to cook something. I put the IB to bed way early, because he didn't have a nap at the neighbor's, and he was exhausted, too. And I certainly wasn't in any state of mind to be a good mommy to such a tiny, precious, needy little soul.

One thing we did, though, was go check out the subdivision's clubhouse where the RK's party was going to be the next night. And there's a pool table in there, so we took off the cover and I taught the RK how to play 9-ball. That was kind of neat. I wish there was some sort of open access to the clubhouse from time to time so that pool table could be enjoyed a little more.

So the next day, I had to watch the girls of the neighbor that watched my boys for me the day before. We have a nice agreement like that, but on this particular day, I really wish I could've found a way out of it, given that I had a party to get ready for all by myself.

And the IH took the day off to spend time with the RK on his birthday. A few days before, I had asked if he could take the IB too, so that way I wouldn't have him to worry about while I got ready for the party, and he said sure. But Friday, he had somehow managed to forget that part. That pissed me off to no end. He took the IB without an argument, though. So then my day went like this:
  • Call the pizza place to order pizzas for that night
  • Drive to Sam's to pick up cake and ice cream, a veggie tray, industrial-sized bag of salad, and candy for goody bags
  • Drive to grocery store for 2-litres of Coke and veggies for aforementioned industrial-sized salad
  • Drive to party supply store to pick up balloon bouquets and struggle to get all those damn balloons into the car at the same time without getting them all tangled up together (keep in mind that ice cream is still in the back seat melting away)
  • Head straight to clubhouse to get cold stuff in fridge/freezer (I turned the fridge to the coldest setting hoping to get the beer cold faster, but it was still warm by the time the party started. So I stuck it in the freezer. And no, none exploded.)
  • I sat down at the kitchen bar and made a list of everything I wanted to bring from the house. Some of the highlights were the ladder (to decorate), knife/cutting board for the salad, the IB's chow chair, boombox, broom/dustpan. And lots of other little things. I had the back of my car totally full by the time I got all this stuff in there.
  • So now it's around 4:00. I get to hanging streamers, and banners, and placing the balloon bouquets in different locations (after getting them untangled) to see what looks the best and most festive. I'm pretty on-track. I'm quite proud of myself at this point.
  • I really wanted to head back to the house to put on some makeup, but didn't get done until it was about 20 'til 6. Oh well.

And all this time, I'm periodically getting text messages from the IH saying they're stuck in traffic. They had gone to the zoo (the Detroit Zoo, which is closer to where we used to live, rather than the the Toledo Zoo, which is much closer to where we live now. Dumbass.), and were stuck in traffic on the freeway that always gets horribly backed up at quittin' time. Not to mention it's Friday of a holiday weekend. And then they go through a very well-publicized batch of construction on another freeway. So the RK didn't show up to his own party until about 30 minutes after it started.

The IH informed me I had only left one diaper for the IB in his bag, so I asked him if he could run back to the house for me to grab a few. He gets down to the house, and he can't get in (I changed the garage door code and confiscated his remote and housekeys the day he left). So I drive down there and get the diapers myself. He takes this opportunity to ask me if he's supposed to stay for the party or not. I say, "Pssht! No!" I can't believe he'd want to stay, given that everyone in that room thinks he's a lying, cheating, sonofabitch scumbag. Oh, let me add stupid to that list.

The party went great, though. The pizza was on time. The kids had fun playing with the pool table, and swimming. And running around like little banshees. The grown-ups had fun. The RK had fun and got great presents (including 3 Nerf guns, all different. PERFECTION.) I had amazing help with the IB from my wonderful neighbors who wanted to come help my firstborn celebrate his tenth birthday. They basically traded off with him over the course of the night. I even found a strange diaper on him when I got him home that night. I actually kind of missed him by the end of the night...I hadn't hardly seen him at all that whole day!

Two moms ended up staying late into the night while all our kids played, and we drank some more of the beer and chatted. It was great.

The IB was sleeping in his stroller, which was pushed into a dark little corner. He woke up screaming around 11:30, so that's when we all decided to call it a night. I decided to go get my kiddoes in bed and go back up the clubhouse to try to finish cleaning up. The IB was so completely frazzled and exhausted from his schedule being completely thrown out of whack the last two days, he got quite a screaming jag going that a bottle of formula couldn't even soothe. I finally decided to just put him into his bed and let him cry it out. Nothing else was going to work at this point. And by the time I brought the first carload of stuff back to the house, all was quiet. Bless his precious little heart.

I got everything done and all cleaned up at the clubhouse by about 2:00 AM. I had so much pizza leftover. I had tons of that industrial-sized salad leftover. I wondered how many of the 30+ people that showed up actually ate. So now the RK and I are going on a pizza diet.

I still don't have all the crap from the party put away. I left that salad sitting out on my rangetop until this morning, and it looked pretty sad. I'm slowly recovering from the past week of heaven and hell I went through. My house has paid the price as well, and I'm getting to the point I hate it. I desperately want to clean it, but just don't have the physical energy or the motivation to actually get to work on it. And that is the most torturous feeling I think I've ever felt.

So my life has been blessed by the presence of my firstborn for an entire decade now. I've been called "Mommy" for ten whole years. Oh, my life is so rich. So blessed. So amazing.