Saturday, April 30, 2011

With My Head In My Hands...

OK.  The 100th time is the charm.  I QUIT!!  He talked to me like he talks to his women.  He lost his @!$* mind.  I got in my last dig and moved on.  I actually decided that I won't talk to him again (unless he insults me in which case I might have to postpone this scheduled growth).

The thing that bothers me is that I got a, "WTF do you want from me?" as I expressed my anguish over not having adequate food for the children or money to buy clothing for the changing weather.  He can't even be bothered with the knowledge because...??

I am done.  I was thinking...  Hope was the last thing that I had left so even though he only ever seemed to intend to help as much as he had to, I needed to believe that one day he would contribute to their well being.  Talking to him took away my terror of being completely alone and responsible for all of the happiness and sadness of 5 children, for all of their sickness and health, physical and emotional.  The job is an awesome one and I am one person.  I listened to him and imagined that he cared.  I forced myself to believe his ill conceived lies just as I always had.  We had an unspoken agreement.  He would say kind (ish) things and I would buy them.  He could start to believe that he had done something for his children and in a way he had.  He had soothed the aching heart of their mother and I in order to make this possible would willfully suspend my disbelief.  Yesterday that was shattered.  The truth stands starkly before me.

Monday, April 25, 2011

...And Spring Break Ends

I chastise myself constantly for not doing what I think it is I should have accomplished and yet I have been doing those everyday things so needed to get done....mopping floors, throwing out broken toys, laundry - oh, so much laundry, cooking, dishes...

Today I will take a moment to try to create a schedule in order to develop some good habits like daily exercise and a moment to think and reflect.  Too often my day is weighed down by what must be done and there is little feeling of accomplishment because the list is one for two not one.

Today I will complete some part of my portfolio.  I was waiting to upload documents because I was waiting for someone to proofread but all of the people I know are busy so I am simply going to have to trust myself.  It seems too frequently to happen that knowing what I wanted to say I overlook what is actually said.

Today I will put up signs for the children so that they have a constant reminder of what my expectations are.  We will have one that says, "House Rules" and others that are reminders.

Today I will write a professional outline of my next 10 weeks as well as a personal one though the time frame will be different.

Two days ago my five year-old son asked my age.  I looked at him for a moment and unable to resist.  I said, "six".  His eyes widened and he said in an ever increasing pitch, "I am going to be an old lady when it's my birthday?" 'ay, ay, ay

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Children

Today the baby of the bunch turned two.  The older children had been having a countdown and finally I asked them not to mention his birthday because it made me feel bad to think that we wouldn't be able to properly mark the day.  Unable to sleep last night due to an terrible headache I spent much of the night in thought.  I kissed him and wished him a happy birthday while he slept.  As each of his siblings awakened they ran to wish him a happy birthday.  They ran to clean up their rooms to prepare for the fiesta they had planned.  The 5 year-old twins were to put on a concert.  They had prepared a stage.  They were going to have music and dancing.  My 10 year-old daughter came running to me and said, "Since we don't have a cake, can we make a muffin or a biscuit?"  I had to explain that we had used the last of the Bisquick....I might have some flour around here to surprise them...Remembering that we had made waffles she said, "There is still some batter in the fridge, can we make him a waffle?"  They are as excited as they would have been if we had rented out a ballroom for the event.

Earlier my 5 year-old son came and stretched out on the bed next to me.  I took his arm and wrote his name on it with a red pen.  We went over each letter and talked about his name.  I went to the living room and when he met me in the living room a moment later his arms were covered with "tap-toos,"- all my fault.

Happy Birthday

Happy happy birthday my tiny bear. Today you and your brothers built guns out of your building toys. Just after your bath and wearing your new undies you ran through the house shooting everyone. You get the giggles so badly when they fall. You then decided to store your "gun" in the waistband of your undies but it fell apart and you had to fish out the pieces. How you make me laugh. I love you so much and am so grateful to have you in my world.
Mom
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Friday, April 22, 2011

Beauty

I am sitting at my computer looking out beyond my patio at the pool. The grass is freshly cut and the outdoors just invites me. (This is a test. I am trying to post by phone.) Shall I go play?
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Not "ha ha" Funny

For me, struggles are a blessing because they force me to dig deeper. When ends meet I sigh and face the next day, even if they just meet. To be honest, I have redefined "meet" in my life so that I can hold my head up sometimes.

These last few weeks I have looked more closely at life and made some tough decisions.  For many years I worked two jobs and so even when I was broke I could count on a few dollars coming in.  Now, however, I am broke and I will be until I make drastic changes.  My check is what it is.

Our basic necessities are competing.  Clothing is off the table.  Shelter tops the list and food is a close second.  The food budget, however, has taken the biggest cuts.  This morning I was telling my 5 year old how healthy water is because the milk needs to be saved for the baby.  I have wonderful children.  He was so excited about water when I was finished.

After my first ticket from the traffic camera I have been so careful about my speed.  I am not a fast driver.  I have somehow gotten 2 more and I haven't paid even the first one because it is always down to food or those tickets.  I can't wait to get a second job to catch up.
 
Yesterday we started potty training by necessity.  I am just thankful that he has been showing signs of readiness. I will not leave the house for the next few days because the price of gas is just too high and I need to be able to get to work when the holiday ends. I am going to stop writing because I can't stand to put this all in writing.  We'll be fine. I am motivated.  I have a plan.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

How Will I Move Forward Today?

It is 7:10 am and the kids are asleep.  I imagined that I would sleep in today but as I am used to getting up between 4 and 5 I guess this IS sleeping in to my body.  I have so much work to do today.  I have a laundry list of things for maintenance to fix so I need to straighten up but I also need to think as although I am trying to train the children to put things away and clean up behind themselves it still falls to me to do these things.  I am amazed by the little things that one acquires.  I need a place to put little things.  I am trying to prepare the children for a big change in their little lives.  I know that getting to know another country will be good for them.  They will come back different people.  Knowing the world is so important.  They will be embraced by the family and I will be able to get another job or two to make it but I can't help but feel a little afraid.  Life is full of unavoidable sadness it doesn't have to be something big to be something big to you and I don't like that I won't be able to hold them if their feelings are hurt, when their feelings are hurt.  I think this will improve their chances in life exponentially.

I wonder what jobs I will find.  'sigh'

Monday, April 11, 2011

This Is Progress?

Life is a struggle.  I haven't gotten my local license because of the cost.  My car needs to be inspected but it costs.  The fees add up.  I thought I had $100 but my insurance came out of my account and it was $97.  I have just under 1/2 of a tank of gas.  I will pay bills over buying food for the next two weeks.  Oh, I'll buy eggs and milk and some beans.  They need lunch money.  They will complain.  I hate their complaints.  I think that they should be happy to have healthy food.  They won't complain much; they're good children.  We've been here before.  What bothers me about this time is that my check is what it is and I am only working one job.  I can't handle another one right now.  I have been thinking more and more about searching for a second job but then there is the issue of childcare.

It is too expensive to live here.

So I have to put a positive spin on things.  I have to change directions and I am thinking about sending the kids to live with their grandparents for a bit.  I would really have to focus on work in their absence but they would be safe and loved and learning and as they would be exposed to a new culture they would return different, rounder intellectually and physically I'm sure.  Except for the sadness that I feel at the very thought, all aspects of it seem to be positive.  Sending one's children to visit another country, however, is not something that can be done with my three remaining dollars.  I would have to get another job to make it happen at all.   THIS, however, is not OK.  THIS is not progress.

I have a commitment to fulfill in my current job and unless I am able to make a miracle, I am going to have to find a place to live that offers my family more for what I make.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

One MORE Day At A Time

I have been in a bit of turmoil.   I decided to help my husband (until the divorce) and father of my children with his immigration papers.  He makes it so difficult.   I have decided to help him for two reasons.  I am raising 5 children alone on a teacher's salary AND I want my children to know that the decision NOT to be a father was always his.  I want them to know that every time he didn't walk through that door to see them, it was because he chose not to.  So right or wrong, I have shared with my children every step of this process.

He is supposed to send me papers to sign. He told me that he wrote a letter explaining to immigration what happened between us and I am to read it and write a similar letter.  First, HE doesn't write.  Second, I already wrote my letters.  So, he is sending to my house a letter written by another woman that he wants me to accept as his words and opinion.  He doesn't live in the reality that he created for his children and me.  My statement or letter will be simple.  I will say that when someone has 6 known children in the United States it should be obligatory that they remain to take care of them or since he clearly wants to stay, it should be contingent upon his positive contribution to their lives.  Further, I will state that I already said what I have to say and that they should check the file.  I allow him to feel that he is using me one last time.   I do it for my children and I am finished.  To have the gall to send me a letter that SHE writes.

I don't ask that he bow to me.  I only demand that he show respect, the same respect that I show him.    He doesn't see it this way.  He likes to offer smoke, ideas, good ideas, and then as he explains what HE wants those images dissipate and are not heard of again.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Only Way

As I run through my day I think often of how to break the cycle.  How to aim my children in a forward direction.  How to give in a way that fulfills me.  I always return to the thought that we will have to leave the beaten path.  They will not simply put one foot in front of the other in someone else's steps.  We will step slowly cautiously into the unknown and hope for the best.

What Are The Rules?

I fear sameness.  I fear routine.  I fear that I will cease to notice and that life with simply escape me.  I fear that I will drown in the mundane.

I was thinking of the man that I married.  I was thinking about how different we are.  I was thinking about how much I would like to put on some sandals and wander the world.  I would like to spend some time abroad working on my Spanish and learning French.  I would like to teach my children in this way.  I crave freedom, freedom from the struggle.

He craves THINGS, his own things bought with his own money and he wants to work and make his own money.  I suppose that I too need money but I have lost so much time chasing that elusive tempt(er?) that I think more of the freedom it might bring me.  I am torn in all directions.