It's not for the faint of heart.

Welcome to my slightly silly, often odd, and mostly messy life.

Monday, December 27, 2010

It was easier and harder than I thought it would be, the 13 hour drive, and other fun stuff.

I dropped the kids off at my in-laws house on Christmas day.  It was harder than I thought it would be. My cousins didn't even come out to say hello.  My in laws didn't help unload the car - they made it very apparent that I wasn't wanted there.  Every single person I would call "family" for the past 15 years, excluding my parents and BLT, were in that house opening gifts, having the traditional stockings and nerf "war" I had always participated in...  and I wasn't welcome.  My own brother was there and he didn't even call me or talk to me on Christmas day.  I cried all the way home.  I was depressed and stayed in bed for most of the day.  BLT napped and in general tried to leave me alone in my misery. I assumed this whole thing would only last 3-4 hours....  7 hours later I still didn't have my kids back home.  So I've already decided we're not doing that again next year.  I'm sorry, but I was miserable, and it's not okay with me that they expect to have the kids for the entire day - I missed out on the whole Christmas day with them, so next year I'll avoid all this stress and drama and make other arrangements!  On the plus side my former Mother In Law - Drama Momma didn't pull any inappropriate stunts and kids had a good time.

Finally I was able to go get them around seven at night and things started to improve.  We packed the car up and headed south to stay with BLT's family for a week.

We got up at 3 am, loaded up the kids and the car and headed south.  13 hours later we had driven through every possible weather condition known to man including winds that felt like a damn hurricane blowing the car all over the road, blinding snow, hail, bright sunshine, and a patch of fog as thick as potato soup.  BUT...we arrived!  Now we get to relax for the next four days with his family before heading home for the New Year. 

Blue puppy was a raging success!  Monkey Pants looked at me and said, "I TOLD you Santa was magic!!"  All the extra effort was definitely worth every minute!

I decided to give BLT his ring in private after the kids opened all their gifts and we were able to get a few minutes alone. I explained my worries and he was very sweet about the whole thing.  He loves the ring.  He showed it off to his family and he's been wearing it ever since.  I'm really happy he likes it - and he completely understands the spirit in which it was intended - so all my anxiety was for usual!

Happy Holidays dear friends and readers.  I hope the next week is fun, relaxing, and enjoyable for all! No more posts from me until I get back home.  I'm spending time with my man, my kids, and new friends and family.

Friday, December 24, 2010

New Traditions

Things change.  Change isn't always bad, but it can be hard.  This will be the first year in my children's entire lives that they haven't spent Christmas Eve with their Great Grandparents... my X's family... for Christmas Eve. 

I know it's always been their tradition, but I allowed them to go last year and I was miserable.  I can't stand being away from my kids on the Holidays, and well... I'm being selfish this year.  I'm having my parents over for holiday meal tonight - the first time I've spent the actual holiday with them in over 15 years,  and I'm keeping the kids here to spend the evening with us.

We'll eat, open gifts with the Grandparents, and then set out cookies for Santa and shuffle everyone off to bed after we watch a holiday movie.

Once the kids are all asleep BLT and I will fill stockings and set out Santa Gifts.  We'll nibble the cookies and drink the milk, and try to get a few hours of sleep before the kids get up at the crack of dawn, as kids tend to do on Christmas morning.

It might not be what we're used to doing... but I'm excited to spend Christmas Eve with my girls in our own house, together with BLT.  Sometimes change is good. 

Merry Christmas to everyone who stops by to read my simple words. I appreciate each and every comment, and if anything I've ever written has either helped someone else, or made someone feel less alone; shoot even if something here made you see things in a new light then I feel very blessed.  Have a safe and happy holiday season - I hope you're all surrounded by love and warmth and family.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

What is a "good father"?

I've been thinking about this a lot.  One of the things that keeps coming up over and over in the book I discussed in my previous post is that women will often stay with a man who is unkind, and even down right abusive, if he is also a "good father" to their children.  Basically - treating me like crap is fine, as long as you don't beat the kids.

But the weird thing is that if you think about it a man can't be both.  He can't be an abuser and a good father.  How we live, how we treat those around us teaches our children more than the words we say.  How can you tell if a man is going to be a good father? Had I known the answer to this question 15 Years ago I could have saved the five of us so much pain and suffering.

On the outside my X probubly did look like a good father. He was a good provider, bringing home a nice big pay check which allowed me to stay home with the kids. We were fed, well dressed, the kids were involved in tons of activities (none of which he bothered to attend) and were generally in good spirits.  The thing is - behind closed doors he was rude, abrasive, demanding, demeaning, and generally uninvolved. He did not make requests - he made demands.

Had I known what kind of father he would be I would have made different choices - at least I would like to think that I would have... the truth is I had four children with a man who was uninvolved from day one.  That's a choice I'll have to live with.

If I could make a laundry list of "good dad" traits I would have to start with:

An interest in knowing who my children are as people
A good sense of humor

Is that asking too much? Is that unrealistic?

I know there are men out there like that.  My father is one of them.  He doesn't say much, but he tells me he loves me.  He shows me in a million different ways.  He can be hard-headed, but he's fair.  He's hardworking and he's honest. 

I'm hoping that one day my children can say that they've had that kind of father figure in their life as well.  Things with BLT are still new - and while he has all of those qualities, I'm not foolish enough to assume that we'll be together forever. I'm not sure "forever" exists, I want to believe it can - I just don't know for sure.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men.

I'm reading this book as a part of my therapy.   In all honesty I started out doubting that this book really applied to me.  You see I knew my X was mean to me. I recognized that he treated me very disrespectfully- but he didn't hit me.  I didn't identify myself as a "victim" or an "abused woman".

Part of what I'm struggling with, emotionally, is that I feel this need to prove myself right or correct.  I give detailed accounts and suffer a great deal of anxiety when I feel like people don't believe me - or if my version of events is questioned.  I can't figure out why its so important for me, why I have a desperate need to be approved of and believed.... my Dr. believes it's a long standing issue developed from having to constantly stand my ground with my X and argue my worth in an effort to gain respect - which I never managed to achieve. 

It's becoming clearer to me that manipulation and mental abuse is just as dangerous to a person's well being as physical abuse.  If you suffer a bruise or a broken bone there are people all over the place who will encourage you to leave him - to offer support and assistance. When your abuser uses words, intimidation, financial pressures, and disrespect it's easily hidden and many will tell you to "work it out for the sake of the kids" or if he's truly manipulative he'll seem friendly and generous of spirit to those outside of his marriage and they simply won't believe he's capable of being abusive.

How many women hear "He's such a good father, you're so lucky" as though that's an excuse to bully, disrespect, and hurt you behind doors.  One of the chapters in this book deals with the "good father" who is abusive to his wife - and how many of us will overlook our own hardships for the sake of our kids.... but it's all a big lie.  Because a good father treats his wife with respect at all times. A good father is a partner and a supporter to showcase to his children how they should expect to be treated in their adult relationships.  Plus, kids see and know more than we give them credit for. They wake up hearing angry voices at night, or catch glimpses of tears when we don't know they're looking.  My X left my girls with a horrible example of how a man treats his children and his wife.  All I can hope is that I do better by them in the future and I find a masculine roll model that shows them love, respect, patience, and strength at ALL times, not just when life is easy and there isn't any kind of stress or conflict.

I think BLT is that kind of man.  All of the warning signs identified in this book are exact opposites of his daily behavior and choices.  He's kind above all - even when other's aren't looking.  He's mature, respectful, patient, generous with time and open to laugh - even at himself.   He accepts responsibility for his actions and apologizes if he's in the wrong.

My goal is to identify how my behavior changed over the years in response to mental and emotional abuse, and then figure out WHY I do the things I do so that I don't repeat the mistakes I've made in the past.  I think a large part of it is simply accepting that I was in fact mistreated, and then accepting my own value so that I don't allow myself to treated this way again.

Now if it were just that simple... but I'm trying. I'm growing.  I'm learning.

Blue Puppy Success

I'll have to post a picture when I can get a good one.  The puppy turned out perfectly!

Two adults, one bottle of blue dye, a hair dryer, and 45 minutes later... voila....  a perfectly baby blue Go Go Puppy for my Monkey Pants.

She will be the MOST excited little girl on Christmas morning!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Rethinking his Christmas Gift

I'm seriously rethinking one of the gifts I got for BLT.  I bought him a ring.  When I saw it my only thought was that it looks very much like the watch he picked out for himself.  It's made of Tungsten, which is supposed to be harder and more scratch resistant than Silver or Titanium even, so he can wear it at work. It has a center ring of black carbon that looks so cool.  It's very masculine and fashionable.

I just thought it was a really attractive piece of men's jewelry that he could wear on his off hand and it would look great with his watch....   but I don't want him thinking it means something other than that, or that it's some kind of passive aggressive non-verbal expectation for him to buy me a similar type of gift.

Honestly, I have gift "issues" related to my disastrous previous holidays and birthdays with my ex husband.  I have all this anxiety about whether or not he'll like it, or if there are expectations about how much we should have or shouldn't have spent?  What if I spent way more than he did, or vice-versa, and the other person feels awkward afterwards?

In my past, gifts were tools of manipulation. Used to "buy" desired behaviors or withheld to punish.  There were expectations and strings attached to EVERYTHING.  He would give me a trip to Vegas with my best friend but then for months afterward would tell me I was a selfish person and a horrible mother for going.  He would give me a gift certificate to a salon and then complain about having to watch the children so that I could use it, so it would sit useless until it expired. Then there was the banner year that he gave me a bathroom scale for Christmas... I had just had a baby in November...

Mostly we just didn't exchange gifts.  We had gotten to the point in our marriage that we bought things for the children and then just bought something for the house that everyone could use - like a TV or a Wii or something like that.  It was just easier that way and less stressful.

But now, BLT and I are starting our own traditions, and we're celebrating holidays doing things our own way.  This means I don't know what to expect. I don't know what his expectations are...  I don't want to either disappoint him or make him uncomfortable either.  UGH... I hate this... 

So I've pulled the ring out from under the tree... I'm not sure if I'll give it to him or not.  I just don't know what to do.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

He RAN to the store

BLT went to the store for lunch, and before he went he asked me if there was anything I wanted.  My reply was the standard, "just a Diet Coke please".

BLT took his car and went to the market and got his lunch. When he got home he said it was pouring outside and the roads were very slick and dangerous.

After about half an hour I asked about my soda.  He looks horrified. He had forgotten.

I told him it wasn't a big deal.  I put it out of my mind.

10 minutes later he comes over to my work station SOAKING wet, teeth chattering.  He had run, physically run, the 3 blocks and back in the pouring rain to get me a Diet Coke from the little market down the road from our office.

It was dangerous to drive, so he ran to the store for me.  When I asked him why he would do such a thing all he said was, "you ask very little from anyone but you go out of your way for everyone."

That may be the sweetest thing anyone has ever said to me.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The things we'll do for our children...

I prepped the kids for at least two weeks before we went to see Santa on Friday night.  I thought I knew what they would ask the big guy to bring them.  See - I made the mistake of setting it up so that each year the kids asked Santa for the one thing they wanted most, and I made sure they got it.  In the past it's always been easy to obtain items for the most part.

This year the Chef asked for art supplies.  Lady Bug wants an electric guitar.  TNT took my suggestion and asked Santa for a surprise ( because "Santa" found a screaming deal on a huge, soft Teddy Bear so this works perfectly).  Last but not least was Monkey Pants who was saying for weeks, and being encouraged by mommy, to ask for a Silvermist Doll - said Silvermist doll being already purchased and well hidden. 

The kids hop up on Santa's lap and sure enough - "art supplies please", "an electric guitar would rock!", "I love you Santa, bring me a surprise!" and then it's Monkey Pants' turn.  What does the kid ask for?  "Santa, I was really good so I want a Go Go Walking Puppy, a blue one!"

WHAT?  That wasn't the plan!  I've spent my allotted holiday budget and I certainly did not purchase a Go Go Walking Puppy! What's a mom to do?  Of course I go online and look for the Go Go puppy.  Target, Walmart, and Toys R Us all sold out.  Perseverance pays off however and I find one at a local Walmart store.

Well last night Monkey Pants informs me, very seriously, that she asked for a BLUE go go puppy, and that Santa is magic and can do anything.  GREAT... okay...  So here's my plan;  said Go Go puppy is going to be smuggled to work with mom on Friday after I drop the kids off at Daycare.  Grandma and I are going to get a misting bottle and some pretty blue Rit Dye.  We'll mist down the doggy and fluff with an ionic hair dryer on a cool setting.  Then a big blue satin ribbon tied around it's little electronic neck and Voila... Blue Go Go Walking Puppy.

Whew... the things we'll go through for our kids.  I'm bringing a teddy bear from the house this week to practice my misting technique on before I try my hand at coloring her Santa gift.  Wish me luck!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I thought we already dealt with this issue...

The past three days my TNT has had a REALLY hard time at the day care center. Her teacher said she was weepy, and anti-social. TNT is normally very social, but the past few days she has refused to participate and spent the whole time (two days in a row) crying and hiding. Then Monkey Pants, being protective of her sister, got into the act too.

I sat TNT down tonight for a long talk to get to the bottom of this behavior. It turns out that TNT and Monkey Pants decided that BLT left and would never come back. She said, "BLT left and HE'S NEVER COMING BACK!" Monkey pants said, "I miss his hugs, I'm sad."

You see, when my X lost his mind and brought that gun to my house he first tucked the kids into bed at his house, and then he never came back. He was arrested after a six hour stand off with the police, and they haven't heard from or seen him since - as he is now a guest of the state.

In their world, when someone leaves while you're asleep they just don't come back. BLT had to leave for the airport at 4:00 am, so they woke up to his absence. Instead of talking to me about it TNT got sad and then defiant. I didn't put the two together instantly because we spent months working on their separation issues. It took a long time to convince them that I would ALWAYS come back, no matter what. I thought we had worked through those fears, but apparently there are still some lingering doubts in their mind, or some fear of being abandoned.

BLT called tonight, and after I described her behavior, and what she said to me he asked to talk to both of them - he assured them that he was coming home. He told them that he missed them. It was like all the sadness just disappeared in an instant. Tonight they are painting pictures and so much more settled and content.

Apparently I'm not the only one missing him.

I miss him

BLT has been gone two days now on a business trip. He will not be returning until Sunday. As silly as it sounds, I miss him terribly. I feel like a little part of myself is missing.

For the entire length of my marriage I carried the burden of the house, the kids, the bills, the auto maintenance, the pets, the yard work, and the misc. familial obligations like birthday parties and sending holiday cards. Eventually I couldn't carry that burden any longer. I vowed I wouldn't put myself in that position ever again.

It's been seven months since BLT moved in with the kids and I. Since that very first moment life has been better. Days don't feel as long, and troubles don't weigh as heavy on my mind. He helps me with kids, he cleans up the house without any nagging on my part - simply because he notices that something needs to be done. He is considerate, he is pro-active, shoot he's an actual, self sufficient grown up!

I know I'm strong enough to do this whole parenting thing on my own - but I've come to realize that I just don't want to. Especially not since I've gotten a taste of how good life can be when you have a partner beside you who supports you in all the right ways.

Hurry home baby!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I Need a Silent Night Amy Grant

My current favorite Christmas Song. I feel all this pressure to give the kids a good holiday, and I have no time, no money, no inspiration. I need a little peace.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Two sides to every story...

One of the things I'm working on in therapy is remembering that there are two sides to every story. There are multiple viewpoints. There are past experiences and relationships that influence people's decisions.

It's not easy, because everything from "them" feels like an attack. Everything feel like there are ulterior motives. It's hard to be open minded.

I'm trying... for my kids sake. Not in regards to the X - he's dog meat as far as I'm concerned and crazy dog meat at that. I'm talking about the family - cousins, sister in law, friends etc. I'm trying to be open to hearing their side of things - but it's hard.

Just having these conversations makes me extreamly anxious.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Letters, Ground Rules, Good Friends, and the Holidays

Letters: Drama Momma (former mother in law) sent the kids cards. I assumed they were Christmas cards and let the kids open them without looking at them first. A mistake on my part. They were "wish you were here" and "miss you so much" kinds of things that just made the kids feel bad. I'm sure she meant well - but she just never thinks about how her actions effect the kids. What a dolt...

Ground Rules: The kids will be going to Drama Momma's house on Christmas day for a few hours to visit with family that is in town and to exchange gifts. Their therapist thinks that it's a good idea to keep one or two of the kids most beloved traditions, so I'm going to allow this. I'm going to have to have a firm talk (again) with the in-laws and go over the ground rules - not that I have any faith she'll follow my requests. Ugh, I hate this.

Good Friends: I spent Sunday with a good friend. We shall call her Goldilocks. We took a long walk, we baked cookies, we talked. Goldie is great because she's very no nonsense. She'll tell you exactly what she thinks. She is also the kind of mom that makes sure her kids help clean up before she leaves. She'll wash her own dishes or bring over a nice treat...she's just considerate. I used her impending visit as a motivator for my youngest two kiddo's to get their room all organized and cleaned before the holidays. It looks SO nice and when Goldie and her kids left it was still all organized - WIN!

Holidays: I'm lacking the holiday spirit big time this year, but I'm going with the theory - Fake it until you make it. I'm hosting a cookie and gift exchange. I've decorated the house and wrapped all my holiday gifts. I'm playing the Christmas tunes... I figure the spirit has to come over me at some point right?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Just not feelin' it...

In the past I've been one to rush towards the holiday season with open arms. I was that annoyingly chipper woman with her tree up and her entire house decorated within a few days of Thanksgiving. I attended every craft bazaar I could find. I baked cookies and sang carols with the best of them.

This year I'm just not feelin' it. I've finished up my holiday shopping, but I just left the gifts in their bags and hid them up in the attic. I just can't get up any ambition. I have no desire to wrap gifts or put up a tree. I'm not in the mood for any of it.

It's not that I'm necessarily depressed, I just don't have any holiday spirit. I feel a little sad, but mostly frustrated. I'm upset with the In-Laws still and all our holiday traditions are in the toilet. Nothing is the same as it used to be... and I'm not sure what to do with ourselves.

Last year it had only been about 12 weeks since the incident happened and Christmas passed in a total blur. I don't even remember Christmas morning. I just got out of bed and tried it make it through the day. This year I'm present and I want to enjoy the holiday, I just need to figure out how to get myself into gear.

I guess the month is young...there's still time for the spirit of the season to inspire me.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

That Inbreeding Will Get'cha Every Time...

Part of the whole dysfunction that is my extended family is the result of some interesting marrying in between my X's family and my own. Not necessarily in a Hillbilly Shotgun wedding sort of way... but I'll totally admit that my Great Grandparents were second cousins. Seriously... weird I know.

Well it works like this. Mr In-Law started out as my Uncle. He was married to my father's sister and divorced for about 15 years. My senior year in high school he met my X's mother - we'll call her Drama Momma. Well Mr. In-Law and Drama Momma hit it off and several years later they were married. So my Uncle became my Father in Law, and my Cousin became my Sister in Law.
What I can't wrap my mind around is how the X commits the horrible crime that he does against me, he says and does all the terrible and irresponsible things to the children... and in the end I'm the one who's loosing her friends and family. I'm the one who gets letters in the mail asking me to beg God for forgiveness for my sins so that he'll repair my marriage because my X "is a good man who lost his way". I'm the one who's Uncle, who knew her for her entire life, chose the X's family over her. I'm the one who's cousin is barely speaking to her because, even though she doesn't like the X, she feels the need to protect Mr. In Law, her father.

All my cousins and extended family from that side are blaming me for all of this. I was told that I wasn't welcome in their home during Christmas. They said I should plan on dropping off the kids and leaving. Even though I haven't seen my cousins in three years, and they'll be up for the holidays, I'm not welcome. I can't come by and spend time with them.... I'm not wanted and it hurts.

I know that when the X and I got divorced I was also, in a way, divorcing his family. I just didn't realize I would be divorcing my own as well. Like a fool I assumed that our long standing relationship would withstand this, that I would always have their love and support. I should be strong enough and self sufficient enough to say, "to hell with you then" - but I'm not.

It hurts.

It's confusing and frustrating.

I don't think there's a damn thing I can do about it but hope it stops breaking my heart some day soon because sometimes I feel like I've lost so much I can't take loosing anything else.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I don't need your stinkin' money...

The in-laws informed me today that after December they will no longer be able to pay for Monkey Pants full time Kindergarten tuition. I know this is in response to me limiting their access to the kids.

I only signed up for the full time program because the Not-So-Grand parents offered to pay the tuition. Now I'm going to be left trying to find room in my scary tight budget for tuition, or I'll have to pull Monkey Pants from the program and find a free class that has room. The problem is that I live in a very tiny town. The other two part time / free classes are full. To remove her from the tuition based class means she'll likely have to change schools... that's not an option with my daycare situation. Also that would be so disruptive to her I can't imagine putting her through this kind of change.

I'm so tired of broken promises. They convinced me to get the two older kids cell phones for safety reasons, saying they would pay for them... I put the contract in my name, and never once saw any money for those bills. They promised to put money towards the ridiculously high car payment I was stuck with when the X went to jail... never saw a penny of that money either. Now they're going back on their promise to pay the tuition. I'm done being manipulated by them. I'm done letting them use money to control my choices or my behavior.

I guess it's just more proof that they don't really care what's in the best interest of the kids... it's all about them, their feelings, their pride, their perception of control and irrational need for it.

Well you know what? They can take their money and shove it. I'll figure it out on my own.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Bigger Isn't Always Better

The joy of simplicity is a new lesson for me. In the past, I admit that I was a gluttonous consumer. I bought into the suburban ideal of bigger, better, fancier, and more expensive as the road to happiness.

I pushed my ex husband to buy bigger houses each time we had another child on the way. I was convinced we needed bigger cars, or better cars with more features. Somehow I thought if I lived in a "better" neighborhood, in a bigger house I would be happy. If I could have those cherry hardwood floors and granite counter tops I could feel satisfied. If I hosted Thanksgiving for 20 and bankrupted myself buying the perfect table ware and decorations then I would prove what a good wife and mother I was. I would be worthy... I would be lovable if I could be a cross between Martha Steward and Mary Poppins. I made napkin rings and place cards for goodness sake.

And you know what? I didn't feel more loved. I wasn't satisfied with my ginormous house that took forever to clean. I felt put out and exhausted, and mostly unappreciated.

This year I hosted a smaller dinner for my parents, Ethel's family, BLT, the kids and I. I used a table cloth and dishes I already had. I asked for help. I nixed the heels and fancy dress and chose instead to wear jeans and pulled my hair back in a pony tail. I laughed, I cried a little, I said a genuine prayer of gratitude for the people I love and for the blessings in my life. For the first time in longer than I can remember I felt HAPPY as I sat down to eat my Thanksgiving meal. I felt appreciated and loved.... and I didn't have to have a fancy house or new dishes, or handmade napkin rings to get it.

This lesson of simplicity and appreciation is a long time coming. I'm enjoying this new way of life.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Home with my Turkeys

We are hosting Thanksgiving dinner today at my house. I have all my most beloved with me; My kids, My Parents, BLT and Ethel.

I need nothing more than this.

I barely remember the holidays last year. Several months after the incident are just a blur. All I could do was get up, go to work, come home, eat, and pass out. I hid in sleep. I blocked out everything I just couldn't deal with. I was in and out of court, injured, unsure where we were going to live or how I was going to take care of four kids all alone. All I could do was survive and try to avoid making any major decisions.

This year I'm HERE, I'm present. I'm thankful and aware of my blessings.

I hope all of my loved ones, and friends - old and new - have a blessed holiday. I hope you're surrounded by those you love in the comfort of a warm home. And most of all I wish you all PIE... yummy, warm, ooey-gooey pie that makes your eyes roll back in your head it's so tasty!

Happy Thanksgiving my friends!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Blizzards, Birthdays, Bonuses and Bitches

It's been a busy, CRAZY busy week. We got 20+ inches of snow, and are expecting a bit more to come tomorrow. I spent well over an hour with a snow shovel, as BLT doesn't own boots and it's in the teens here temp. wise. I dug us out - the snow was as high as my knees! Today we only had to work a half day, so we went and bought that man some winter gear!

Today is Monkey Pants' 6th birthday. We celebrated with her favorite dinner - mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese. LOL, weird combo I know, but hey...that's what you get when you offer to make a six year old anything they want to eat! Grandma got her a Pillow Pet and embroidered her name on it for her. BLT picked up a stuffed monkey and a Rapunzel doll - both were quite the hit. She woke us up at the ass-crack of dawn to say, "isn't there something you want to say to me?" Heh, yes she's precocious!

The boss man at work called BLT and I into the office and told us that being such a tiny company they can't afford to give us any kind of holiday bonus in cash, but we did each get a 50.00 gift certificate to our local butcher shop (mmm, and out here that means it's FRESH and usually Organic, like "get that cow out of the field because LoM wants steak tonight!) and we'll be closed from December 23 - January 3rd, but we'll get paid for all the days we are closed! NICE!! We are both very excited... we were just happy to have the time off to spend together, and for BLT to drive home to see his family for a couple days. Getting paid for it wasn't expected at all!

And now to the "bitch" section of this post. Neither of my psychotic X's parents sent Monkey Pants a gift for her birthday. Both asked when they could see her. I told both of them the same thing, that their therapist and I both agree that it's not in their best interest to have anything more than limited contact with family or friends who are actively supporting and/or excusing the X. I gave both parties my mailing address and asked them to mail any gifts or cards to her and I would make sure she got them on her birthday. In true narcissistic fashion they're more worried about their hurt feelings than my poor child, and neither of them ended up mailing her anything. And I made the damn fool mistake of telling Monkey Pants a gift was in the mail from Grandma because we couldn't get together with them right now, so she's been waiting and she was disappointed today. I feel like an ass for assuming they wouldn't punish the child because they are upset with me. What a couple of twat waffles...

So I went to the store and bought an extra gift today. If on Monday there isn't anything in the mail I'll wrap it up and pretend it's from Grandma. At least it will make her feel better, and I'll know not to make promises I'm not sure they'll keep. It's not her fault her grandparents are useless, spineless, self obsessed a-holes. I feel guilty. I feel like if I just sucked it up, and dealt with the anxiety and bit my tongue, or just let them keep abusing me then they wouldn't be punishing the kids. I just can't believe anyone would punish a small child like's their own grandchild for craps sake! Who does that? Either way I guess they've shown their true colors. Now I have to figure out how to explain it to the little ones when they ask why.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Controling the Anxiety, Standing Up For Myself, and Not Making Plans

I've had several pretty massive panic attacks lately. I've also had several smaller, more easily controlled bouts of anxiety as well. I'm working on removing the things from my life that cause those anxious feelings, and dealing with the ones that I can't remove. What causes me the most stress is finding myself in situations where I don't have control, especially in regards to my former husband's family. I don't know what information they are funnelling to him and/or his bulldog lawyers. I can't handle having them minimize my feelings or what the kids are going through. Dealing with them at all is a huge trigger for me.

To this end I sent my former father in a law an email that told him, in no uncertain terms, that his contact with my children is limited to written communication or cards/gifts sent by mail. Their therapist and I both agree that the children should only have limited contact with any of my X's family members that are actively excusing his behavior and who are not expecting him to take responsibility for the damage he's done. The former FIL has only seen the kids 2 times in the past year and a half, and never once called me to find out if they were okay. Even when we were only 1 step up from being homeless. If it weren't for Ethel and my parents we would have had to live in my car - but that man lives in a 5000 square foot house with at least 4 bedrooms. Were it my grand-kids I wouldn't care how much I disliked my former daughter/son in law and I would suck it up and offer them a place to live.

As for standing up for myself, well my former mother in law called work and left a message for me. She wants to know if she gets to see Monkey Pants this week for her birthday. She also wanted to know what the plan was for Christmas. I stood my ground. I called her home and left a message on her machine. I told her that I wasn't ready to see her, and that if she wished to she may mail her gift to Monkey Pants and I would ensure that she gets it on her birthday. I told her that I was not ready to decide about Christmas yet, and that I would let her know. I did inform her that the children would not be attending the traditional Christmas Eve dinner and gift orgy at the Great-Grandparents house. (I heard the horrible and hateful things they said about my former father in law when he divorced the X's mother years ago... and right in front of my X and I. I won't have my girls subjected to that kind of poison) I also informed her that if I do agree to meet with them it will be at a restaurant or neutral location. I do not wish to be in their home.

I didn't tell them why, they don't need to know that it makes me feel very vulnerable. I have no control in their environment. I don't want them to know where I live, so they obviously can't come here to my home. So for now, I'm going to refuse to make plans. I'm going to play things by ear and see how I'm feeling closer to Christmas.

Whenever I start to feel anxious, I just keep hearing Ethel's voice in my head, "what can you control right now? Breath deeply and slowly and focus on the things within your control. You've got this, you're not alone."

Whewww... I've got this. I'm not alone.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Wreckers - Leave The Pieces (OFFICIAL VIDEO) HQ

This one is for you Ethel... listen with an open heart. I love me some you...

Friday, November 19, 2010

What do you love about me?

It's a question I've wanted to ask BLT for awhile now. What do you love about me, exactly?

He tells me that I treat him better than anyone else he's ever dated. Is that love? Or are you just appreciative because all your former girl friends have been less than stellar? I mean it has to be more than that if it's going to last.

He tells me all the time how hot I am. And not just in the heat of the moment, BLT excels at showing me how beautiful he finds me. Which of course I love to hear....I am a woman after all. But beauty fades, we all know that.

So other than being hot and kind what is it? What has convinced him that we can make it for the long haul? I mean, I know exactly why I love him. His sense of humor, his appreciation of the little things in life, the fact that he's one of the most considerate people I've ever met. He's a good friend, and he's kind to his siblings and parents. He is patient with my girls, and he knows how to mix having fun with being a good role model for them. He makes me feel sexy. He says he's sorry if he makes mistakes, and he's an amazing listener.

I feel like an ass if I come right out and ask him. I don't want him to think I'm fishing for compliments - because that's not what it's about. I just want to know what he's feeling, what he's thinking. I need to know that it's real.

Does that make me needy? Ugh, I HATE needy people and I don't want to be that person.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Trying to make a big decision

My OBGYN doesn't want me to continue to use the depo shot as birth control. Actually they want me to stop all forms of birth control that use hormones. You see my mother and one of her sisters both had serious blood clots due to hormones when they were in their mid 30's.

Now that I've past the "mid" part of this decade they worry about the side effects. The 20 lbs I gained in the past year and a half being on the shot isn't making me happy either. It doesn't seem to matter how much I jog and walk I can't seem to get this weight off - an obnoxious side effect of the depo I'm told.

SOOOO... my doc wants me to consider two options. Either a long term IUD or getting my tubes tied. The IUD will likely cause heavy bleeding during my cycle - uhhh, no thanks, YUCK. The tubal is, of course permanent. The IUD can be done at my local planned parenthood and won't cost too much. The tubal isn't covered by my insurance and will cost a lot.

What's crazy is that I know BLT doesn't want any more kids. I know I can barely afford to raise the four I have. I know that I loved being pregnant, and the idea of a little one with BLT kind of makes me all mushy and girly inside. I know that I'm getting too old to have a safe pregnancy. I know I don't want to be in my 50's before my youngest child is out of house. I know all of this...but it still feels so FINAL, know what I mean?

So I'm trying to decide what to do. I have this irrational fear that I'll do something permanent and then BLT and I won't make it. What if sometime in the future I'm in a position where the man in my life really wants to have a baby? I mean, it doesn't change my age, or the fact that I have four kids already... and I rationally know this. So what's my problem? Maybe I'm just crazy?

Why is this such a hard decision to make?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Happy Birthday to Moi

Today is my birthday. I spent it getting my depo shot (a good thing), getting the day off work (no power, so a good and a bad thing), getting my shoulder looked at (painful, but good), and getting my tetanus and flu shots (bad, but for a good cause)

When I came home my children had cleaned the house.. LOVE IT. BLT had made...what else, BLT sandwiches for dinner. Chef made my favorite dark chocolate cup cakes with cream cheese frosting.

BLT also had a picture to show me. It's my gift - which won't arrive for another few days due to bad weather in my area. It's an adorable Pink and White vintage style Schwinn bicycle. He is also going to let me pick out my favorite helmet and a basket for the front of my bike. I'll be able to ride the couple of blocks to the market each day, and all around my sweet little town on sunny days :) BLT said he planned on getting the same bike, but in black and red once it's available this spring. Then we can ride around town together - I think that's sweet.

I admit I was surprised by the gift, it's sweet and wonderful and something I've wanted for several years. However I'll be honest, it wasn't what I thought he was going to give me.

He's made a big deal lately about wanting us to get married. He said I would never guess what he planned on giving me, and he made it a point to bring my daughter to help pick it out.... so I thought there might be something round and gold coming my way.

I know it was ridiculous. I know that he loves me. I know that we've only been together for a little over a year and living together for 6 months. And I know that deep down I'm a little disappointed.

It's silly... I'm in no hurry to get remarried. I'm happy with life as it is. But I also know that I love the idea of "forever" with him... someday. So I'm being an idiot, and I can't let on that I'm disappointed. The birthday gift he picked out is very "me" and I love it.

Thank you to all my face book friends for the birthday wishes. It was very sweet and much appreciated!

Saturday, November 13, 2010


In no particular order, I'm thankful for:

Cashmere Sweaters
Full Time Employment
Good Kisses
Clear Skin
Sexy Undies
Hot Coffee
My Running Shoes
Nice Fingernails
Ben & Jerry's
Healthy Kids
A Dependable Car
My Parents
Sleeping In
A Fantastic Sex Life
My Blue Cottage
Waterproof Mascara
Restraining Orders
Thrift Store Bargains
Quality Teachers
Warm Pajamas
Birth Control
Kindle Books On My Blackberry
Vintage Table Cloths
Diet Coke
Blogging, and Blogger Comments
My Crock Pot
A Man Who Cooks
Health Insurance
A Hot Shower
Long, Sexy Hair
My Therapist
My Lawyer
My King Size Bed
Second Chances

Friday, November 12, 2010

Sex is like Jelly Bellys...

I made BLT laugh last night when I shared my Jelly Belly sex theory with him.

You see, to me - being a fairly open and adventurous girl - I think of sex the way I think of those tasty little jelly beans. At any given point there are hundreds of flavors of Jelly Belly's, and that doesn't even count the combinations you can make if you COMBINE multiple flavors together.

So why in the world would I eat only one kind of Jelly Belly? There are so many ways to enjoy them, and heck - should I mix cherry with vanilla ice cream and not like it - well I never have to eat it again do I?...but at least I tried it once and I know I don't like it.

I look at sex the same way. Why would I only want to have one variety of sexual experience when there are so many different ways for us to pleasure each other?

Which led to the following convo:

BLT "So you're saying you want other Jelly Beans then?"

LoM "No love, you're beans are the only ones I'm interested in. I just want to pour chocolate sauce on them, or eat them in the shower now and then."

BLT "God I love you..."

LOL... ya - we're crazy - but it's the good kind of crazy that's harmless and entertaining to those around us. Now excuse me - I'm horny and I have a suger craving for some odd reason.... ;)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Divorce Shouldn't Make You Depressed...

I saw this post today over at The Huffington Post.

"Divorce shouldn't make you depressed; it's being unhappily married that does that." Sascha Rothchild.

True enough. I know I spend a lot of time here lamenting all the bull shit my X puts me through, and sharing my fears and my struggles. But I realize that these are things I have to deal with now - they aren't going to be my whole life. They aren't what defines me. I don't want anyone to think I regret my divorce, and I don't want anyone to think I'm not a happy person.

Honestly - I wouldn't change my decision to divorce him. Even with all the crap going on I'm still happier, healthier, and in general a truer, better version of myself now that I'm not married to him.

I'm stronger, and a lot wiser. I learned a lot during my marriage and divorce. I've learned what I want in a partner and what I'm not willing to compromise on. I'm better at communicating my needs and standing up for myself. I think, most importantly, I'm a better role model for my four children.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Needing to feel safe.

Feeling safe is something you take for granted until that sense of security is taken away. The main reason I keep my name, home town, and my children's names anonymous is to have a sense of security. I don't share photos of what we look like or our home because, God forbid my X ever finds this blog I don't want to give too many clues as to our location.

That being said, I realize that at any point he can find me if he really wants to. Between the Internet and private detectives (which he had following me on at least one occasion I have proof of, and one more I'm sure of but have no evidence to substantiate my suspicions) Well I know there's no way that I'll ever be totally safe.

I've taken the steps to keep myself and the girls safe. My rental is set up for an Alarm system, I just have to call and have it set it. I've received my concealed carry permit, taken my shooting lessons faithfully and I feel confident that if I HAD to I could defend us. Very soon I'll be changing all my phone numbers - home, cell, kid's cell numbers. The police and schools have our new restraining orders. And lastly I've broken off contact with my former in-laws for now.

I'm not proud of the explosive way I blew up on the phone, but it's like all the anger, fear, pain, resentment, and maternal outrage just burst out of me all at once. Once I started I couldn't hold back, and everything I've wanted to say for over a year came out in a loud, ugly tirade. While I might not be proud of my behavior I do recognize that it's an important break for all of us. I can't handle the anxiety of dealing with my in-laws, AND with the X's upcoming release from Prison.

One of the things I love, love, love about my BLT is that I feel so safe when we're together. When he holds me and plays with my hair I feel like nothing could hurt the girls or I. When he says that he would move heaven and earth to keep us safe I believe him. I just hope it never comes to that.

The best gift in the world would be my X deciding he never wanted anything to do with me again. Since it's been over a year and per his last letter my kids he is still thinking about me every hour of every day - well I don't have a lot of faith in his self control or common sense.

I know that my anxiety will increase until the X is released from prison. I know that no matter what I do I'm going to have to keep working on controlling my stress responses, to keep talking and working through my fear. I owe it to myself, to my kids, and to BLT as well. I don't want to let my fears push him away when I need him the most.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Art of Doing Nothing

Saturday and Sunday were do nothing days. I'm emotionally exhausted, physically exhausted, broke, and in near constant pain with my shoulder and foot problems from the injuries obtained that night.

So I was lazy. I slept in (REALLY slept in, like past 10 am both days) I laid in bed. I worked on a stitching project for Christmas. I watched movies, napped, and didn't cook a single meal.

I went for one walk with BLT. I cleaned my house and checked my email. I let my kids eat sandwiches for lunches and heat up left overs for dinners...they survived just fine. I didn't accomplish much, but I feel pretty good about my decision to just "be" for a whole weekend. I really needed to get myself together after the past week and the emotionally charged call to the in-laws yesterday.

Ahhh... now I get to kick my butt into gear for the rest of the week!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Standing up for myself

I can be pretty forceful when I need to be. I don't like it though- I have the classic oldest daughter syndrome that makes me want to please everyone, to smooth the waters, to make people happy with me.

I've just been pushed too far by the former in-laws however. I couldn't take it any more. His mother has spent the past year and a half excusing his behavior. Hell - she spent his entire life doing that. She has supported him financially, excused his poor behavior, his crazy choices, and his down right dangerous denial of his responsibility. She butted into my divorce when I asked her not to. She discussed the X with my children when I expressly forbid her to do so.

Having her show up in court and write a "poor him" letter to the court talking about how important it was for him to regain a father-daughter relationship with his kids, even when it's not in their best interest of my kids, was absolutely the LAST straw. I'm done.

She enabled him, once again, to perjure himself to the court. In effect she stood by while he called his children liars. I will not have a woman like that around my children. She chose to stand by her sweet baby psycho at the cost of my kids so now she'll just have to live with having a very minimal influence in their lives.

Today a difficult call was made. I told her that I'm changing all our personal cell phone numbers. She can reach me at work Monday through Friday. I told her that we no longer have a relationship. We no longer have any reason to speak with each other. She can see the kids but it will be on my terms, and in a limited capacity.

Both my therapist and the kids' have expressed the opinion that it's not in any of our best interest to continue this relationship in it's current state. So I'm changing the rules.

I am so angry and frustrated. I didn't want it to come to this. I went out of my way to try and keep things friendly. I overlooked and forgave them time and time again. But I've seen the grief on my children's faces when they've told me stories about what the X said and did in those days leading up to the crime. I can not forgive her for enabling him to call my children liars.

I'm hoping I did the right thing. There will be some serious repercussions I'm sure. The grandparents were paying for Lady Bug's full time, tuition based Kindergarten. I have no idea how I'll pay for that. She may have to change to a part time - free class if there is room. Out of anger they very well could give their bull dog lawyers free reign to make my life hell.

I did what I think is best... yes, partially out of anger and resentment, but I'm sure that we all will benefit in the end. The in-laws need to face the consequences of their choices. The kids and I need to be surrounded by people who truly support us. It doesn't seem like those two can take place at the same time.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Even when you win you lose

At least that's how it felt today. It's still a little too raw to go into all the details, but I'll hit on the high and low lights of the day.

1. I found out his mother and the X both wrote declarations to the court. In the X's he called the kids liars. Nicely legally worded of course, but the gist of it is that the man called his children liars. He claimed that he never said anything inappropriate to the children and never discussed suicide with them.

I questioned both of them again and they both gave me the same basic details, but in their own words. My 11 year old cries every time we discuss it, she can't fake this level of grief and fear. I'm their mother, I know their heart, I know when they lie.... they are telling the truth and that rat bastard perjured himself to make himself look better.

2. In an attempt to ambush me and make me feel weak his Mother, Father (who up until this moment has been totally uninvolved so why show up now?) and his Step Father all showed up en masse in court to object on his behalf. They have ZERO legal say in this and were told flat out that they don't have to like it, it's going to happen anyway.

My mother and Bestie, Ethel , ran into his Mommy Dearest in the ladies room and gave me advanced warning so I wasn't taken by surprise. No words were shared between us and I kept my back to them the entire time. There is no chance for any kind of decent relationship between us now... I've tried too many times to keep the peace and have had them shit all over me time and time again. I'm not putting myself or the kids through that anymore. They picked a side. They want to excuse the X's psychotic behavior, want to call myself and my children liars, and want to support his delusions and finance his crazy attempts to have access to the kids he's damaged so much.

3. So I "won" in that the restraining order was granted and all letters will go to the kids therapist who will decide when/and if it's ever in their best interest to have them. But I had to question my kids honesty to be sure (I hate that I had to do that, I had no doubts but I wanted to cover all bases)

The judge said, "it only makes sense that the restraining order stays in effect until he can get out of jail and all the appropriate steps are taken to follow the parenting plan."

But you know what? I still feel like a loser. I feel like the kids have lost out more than anyone else. A crazy father, grandparents who call you a liar and don't care about your safety, a truck load of emotional and trust issues, and their sense of security.

Queen - 'Fat Bottomed Girls'

Hey Ethel... this could be our song. Smootches from one "fat bottom" girl to another :) Rock on Girlfriend, Rock on!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Back to Court

Thursday (tomorrow) I'll be back in court asking the judge to remove the X's rights to send the kids further letters, and to extend their order of protection for another year.

The children have discussed the letters with their therapist, and all on their own decided that they don't wish to receive any further correspondence from him. I did not make any attempt to influence their decision in any way and I excused myself from the room while they discussed it with the Dr. so that they could be totally honest and not worried about my feelings or opinions.

The two older kids came home and wrote letters for the judge- reading their words broke my heart in a way I didn't think was possible. I thought I had cried all my tears and raged all that I could. I was quite wrong.

I'm so very angry, and sad, and confused. How can anyone do this to someone they love - much less their own children? How is it possible to be so selfish? In my oldest child's letter I learn something new. Apparently their father told them that everyone had to choose sides. That Ethel and Fred chose my side - and all daddy's friends and co-workers chose his side, and that they too had to choose sides. Who does that to a child? How do you rationalize to yourself that it's okay to make a child choose between their parents?

It's one more episode of him having no appropriate boundaries, no common sense, and no sense of decency where they are concerned. The momma bear in me wants to gather them up and protect them at all costs - but there are laws and procedures that have to be followed, and some things are not within my control. That kills me inside a little.

So, if you're inclined to prayer, positive thoughts, or good mojo then please keep us in mind. There's no way I'll sleep tonight. I'm just trying not to become overcome with panic, anger and grief right now.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Getting What I Deserve

“The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for.” ~Maureen Dowd

Did you see that Ethel? This applies to both of us Love.

Doctor Feelgood - a.k.a. my therapist says that I have a case of self loathing going on. Its all wrapped up in my guilt over the way X found out about BLT, about the kids pain and all the drama and trauma they've gone through, and my own type A need for perfection.

Whew, that's a lot to deal with - drama, guilt, pain, and the need for perfection.... I'll be in therapy for years at this rate. I have a long history of accepting less than what I deserve, because I struggle with the idea that I actually DO deserve good things. I've never felt smart enough, or pretty enough, or talented enough. I settled for a marriage to someone I didn't really love because a part of me thought it was better to have someone, than to be alone... that it was the best I could ask for because I didn't deserve better.

I let him disrespect me. I let him call me bitch in front of my children. I let him get out of being a full time father so that I didn't make waves. I didn't leave when I knew I was never going to be happy with him - because a part of me didn't think I was able, or worthy of better.

So, I'm writing it down so that it's out there. I deserve happiness. I deserve love. I deserve to be trusted and to have someone I can put my trust in. I deserve better this time around, and I won't settle for less.

At some point I have to start letting go of the guilt especially. It's the one thing that holds me back the most, the one thing that makes me doubt myself. I made mistakes, but those mistakes do not have to define me. I don't have to punish myself, or expect less for myself because of them. What I struggle with the most is that I fell in love with another man at the end of difficult and self destructive marriage and I had an affair. It was not the reason for my divorce, but it was a symptom of the cancer in our marriage. And while I don't regret being with BLT, it is not a choice I would ever make again. At heart I'm a one man woman.

I'm honest about the affair. Once it was out in the open I didn't make excuses because I believe in taking responsibility for your choices. I've been drug through the mud, humiliated, belittled, gossipped about, and questioned more times than I can say. I lost respect, and I lost friendships. My X made it a point to tell his version of the facts to every friend, family member, neighbor, co-worker, and random stranger who would listen. He exaggerated, embellished, and manipulated. It was humiliating to have all my personal business out there for everyone's entertainment. For the love of God he even told our Schwan's delivery guy, the real estate agent who sold us our house, and people he met online.... and all of those are the consequences for my choices. I can live with that.

But I'm not going to keep letting him punish me forever, and I'm not going to keep punishing myself. If former friends no longer want to be in my life, then so be it. I personally do not judge my friends by their mistakes - but by how they respond and deal with them after the fact.

I'm going to keep working on accepting myself and letting go of the guilt. I'm going to start asking for what I want, and expecting good things to come into my life, and I'm going to work on believing that I deserve to be happy.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Therapy, Kids, and Court

Therapy for the kids and I is going well. It's hard for me to hear their pain described in their own words - but it's so beneficial for all of us.

Chef has discussed her self inflicted vomiting and the use of continued self harm to manipulate people with her therapist, and I've seen a big improvement with her attitude and a reduction in the number of angry silent bouts of depression.

Lady Bug is working with the therapist to try and decide if she even wants to see or have contact with the X when he's released. Not that she'll have much of a say - but for her own piece of mind and mental health she should come to a decision to alleviate all this anxiety. She feels better knowing that it's okay and normal to feel conflicted. It's okay for her to still love her dad, but to be afraid of him and disappointed in him. It doesn't make her a bad kid. She really struggles with that.

My own therapy is more exhausting than anything else. I'm working on retraining my body and mind to not have a huge adrenaline rush every time something startling happens. It's like my body goes to instant "fight or flight" at the slightest provocation. I've been told it's a pretty typical PTSD symptom, but that I can re-train my body to react differently.

I head back to court the first week in November. I mentioned in an earlier post that I'm trying to remove his rights to send letters to the kids, and to extend the Order of Protection for another year. This will allow him to get out of jail, and then have 7 months to get his life together, and to get some counseling of his own before he has access to the kids. I don't think it's unreasonable to expect him to get mental health treatment - I mean the kids and I are all getting help, why shouldn't the person who caused all this be required to do the same? I'm hoping the court sees the wisdom in this request.

Part of me is very worried because his uber pricey law team requested a continuance in order to "formulate their rebuttal". What in the word could they possibly rebut? I have the threatening letter he sent, there is proof that he's refused all mental health counseling while in prison. He made threats to take the children and disappear on several occasions. I can't imagine what they possibly have up their sleeves, and that not knowing makes me nuts.

I guess all I can do is show up and plead my case to the best of my ability and pray for the best.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Someone to celebrate with.

In a few short hours it will be Halloween. I'm sitting here with BLT talking about the plans for our party. We get approximately 400 trick or treaters here, Halloween is a big deal in my little town. Houses are decorated, businesses stay open late to pass out candy, and the schools have big Harvest Carnivals to celebrate.

Our family and friends will be arriving tomorrow evening. We've carved jack o' lanterns, decorated the front yard and porch. We made appetizers and sweet treats, and we've cleaned and decorated the inside of the house. I think we're all ready to go!

I can't really put into words how cool it is to have someone to share my favorite holiday with. It makes everything more special. Life in general is just more fun with BLT around to share it with. He never makes me feel foolish when I get excited about fake tombstones in the front yard, or the Fourth of July parade. He's just as excited as I am, and such a good sport.

My X was pretty much an anti-social tight ass. He refused to dress up, didn't like to participate in anything he deemed "immature" and he had alienated my family and friends to the point that he didn't often come down from our bedroom or out of his office when we did have parties or celebrations.

BLT is exactly the opposite in this respect. He's excited to get dressed up (we already went out last night to sing Karaoke at our favorite night spot here in town all dressed up in our costumes) he and my parents have a mutual affection and enjoy each other's company, and he loves getting in touch with his inner kid and having fun doing silly or "immature" things with the girls and I.

It sounds simple - but to me it's a very big deal that we can have fun like this together as a family. We can celebrate and enjoy ourselves with the people in our lives we enjoy. It makes me happy. It's just one more way that we're very well suited for each other. I finally found someone else who loves Halloween as much as I do. Now cue the spooky music and bring on the treats - we're ready to party!

Friday, October 29, 2010

It Wasn't All Bad

I am not afraid to admit that I'm firmly in the ex-husband bashing mode. Not enough time has elapsed for me to forgive and forget everything he put me through, and with his release from prison coming up soon I'm focusing on working on my PTSD symptoms and getting myself emotionally healthy so that I can deal with the reality of his release.

It's the truth, but I'm not overly proud of it. I would like to be the kind of magnanamous person who can have inner peace, and see things from his point of view, or have compassion for him in some way - but I'm not.

I will however acknowlege (as a part of my healing process) that the whole 15 years of our marriage were not a total misery, or a total disaster. Obviously I have four amazing kids that I wouldn't trade for the world, but beyond that I have good memories. I had the opportunity to quit my job at the age of 22 and not return back to the workforce until my oldest child was 12 years old. That alone is an absolute blessing.

We traveled. We celebrated. We shared moments of grief. We laughed. At one time there was affection and shared goals. I can't say that I ever loved him - because I think I was too young to fully understand and appreciate what that means. As an adult woman who has found herself truly and deeply in love for the first time I can see that I had no business getting married at the age of 19 without having any deep feelings for the man I would spend the next 15 years with.

The beginning was hopfull, the middle was challenging, the end was ugly. That's the reality of it, but I have to be honest with myself and admit that there were good times in there, and that all it - good and bad - have made me the woman I am today, and I like that woman.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I'm leavin' on a jet plane...

Well actually the kids and I are leaving on a jet plane. After talking with the kids' therapist it was decided that it would be good for the kids to have something to look forward to in March, rather than just focusing on the X's release. My goal is to replace an anxiety inducing event with one that brings about feelings of excitement and happiness.

Well there is no happier place on earth than Disneyland! So I emptied out my bank account and booked five airline tickets and a modest hotel that's close enough to the park entrance to walk.

The last thing I have to figure out is tickets to the park itself. My X's family always spends too much money on lavish gifts during the holidays. Toys we don't have room for, designer clothes I feel bad when the kids stain or tear. This year I'm going to ask for Disneyland tickets, gift certificates to the park, or cash in lieu of expensive gifts we don't have the room for.

I'm hoping they aren't offended, and they'll understand my reasoning and be willing to help out. If I can get help with the tickets that just leaves me four days worth of meals. Our hotel room has a small fridge - and breakfast is free. We'll bring water bottles and snacks into the park to keep costs down and just have lunch and dinner each day to worry about.

Cross your fingers for me that we figure this out. I think a mother / kid trip is exactly what my kids need. BLT is going to have to work - we can't both take time off so it's just me and kids. My undivided attention for four whole days of sun and fun in the Magic Kingdom is definitely something to get excited about.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Do you believe in Happily Ever After?

Do you believe two people can love, respect, and honor each other for their whole lives?

Do you think that it's possible to have passionate monogamous sex with one person forever?

Is there really a Happily Ever After, or is it just a fairy tale we're sold as children... and unrealistic expectation to even strive for?

I want to believe...I really do.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I'm Being Punished

My 13 year old is punishing me. We are not talking. Chef decided to stay in her room and refused to come out and eat dinner with us.

Chef has started making herself throw up. Not only is there an unhealthy obsession with her weight... which is not a problem by the way, but she has, shall we say, developed earlier than most of her peers. She's curvy.

She is also doing this as a stress reliever. With everything we've been through (separation, divorce, her father trying to shoot me and going to jail, being nearly homeless, changing schools three times in one year, and moving four times, loosing her friends and support system) well... I see why she's feeling stressed. That still doesn't make it okay. She's starting to see a counselor this Wednesday and we will be discussing this.

I'm not forcing her to eat - but I'm closely monitoring her behavior. Her friends and siblings are also aware of what happened and we are all keeping an eye on her. She says she is no longer doing that and she understands how unhealthy it is - but I'm still hauling her ass into the therapist's office this week.

Well today Chef used the threat of making herself throw up to manipulate her sibling into doing something. I was called at work and told about it. We had very stern words. I told her in no uncertain terms that she is not allowed to use threat of self harm to manipulate people... that was exactly what her father did to all of us for over a month before be brought that gun to my house - and that it's pure evil. I told her that if she ever did that again she would be grounded until the end of the school year, and by grounded I mean no cell phone, no laptop, no after school dances, no football games, no parties.

Home, School, and Therapy will be her whole life for the next 8 months if she continues this behavior. That seemed to put the fear of God into her. I think she understands when I told her that I've never been more angry or more disappointed in her. When I got home I made her do some household chores and we had further words because of her attitude. After that she decided to hide in her room. When I checked on her she had fallen asleep.

For tonight I think it's best that we are not talking to each other. In the morning light I'll tell her that I love her. I'll tell her that I expect better from her, and that I don't want to fight with her...but I will fight FOR her. I will fight for her benefit because I love her enough to do what's right - even if if doesn't make me popular.

Monday, October 25, 2010

23 Years and Counting

Ethel has been my "better half" in regards to friendship for over 23 years now. She knows what I'm saying when I can barely eek out a coherent sentence. She knows what will make me happy. She knows when I'm stressed and when I need to talk.

My dear best friend gives without expecting anything in return. She loves my kids like they are her own. She is honest when I need it - but always tempered with kindness and love. She was their for every major event in my life. Births, deaths, cross country re-locations, job loss, divorce, graduations, birthdays, and several (I mean a LOT) of moves to various cities.

She was the first person I told about the loss of my virginity, each time I got pregnant, my new job, the death of my grandmother, and falling in love with BLT. Ethel was the only person I told of my unhappiness in my marriage.

Sweet Ethel is one of the most forgiving and understanding people I know and is the first person who comes to mind when I hear the term gentle soul. I love you Ethel. You're my best friend, my sister, my confidant, and the Auntie of my children. I would jump in front of a bullet for you dear heart.

Please remember your worth. Please revel in your beauty - both inside and out. Please know, in your heart that you are worthy of adoration and respect. Please be kind to yourself and expect better than you've received from someone who promised to love and cherish you.

Friday, October 22, 2010

I have a secret

It might just come back to bite me on the ass too. Before I get to the secret let me preface this by sharing that several years ago I looked at myself in a photograph and didn't even recognize who it was. I was fat. There is no kind way to say it... you can call it pudge, or "baby weight" even though my youngest child was two. But the honest truth was I had stopped caring. I stopped trying. I gave up on myself.

I was horrified. The very next day I went to the local weight loss center and joined. I went to the local Target and bought a Leslie Sansone walk away the pounds video. I threw out all the cookies and Snickers bars while crying big fat girl tears. Over the next five months I lost just under 60 lbs.

I felt sexy. I felt powerful and healthy and in control of my life for the first time in ages. I was proud of my body and my effort. I got next to no support or acknowledgement from the X. He refused to participate. He refused to work out with me. He refused to help me eat healthy... in fact he cooked whatever he wanted and ate it in front of me while I noshed on a low calorie lean cuisine for dinner each night.

Now here is where the secret comes in. In an effort to embrace my new body I took nude, semi nude, and down right dirty photos of myself. I masturbated to those photos, reveling in my long legs and flat stomach. They were for me. I loaded them into my photo editing software and created the perfect lighting. I airbrushed out the stray imperfections. They were beautiful to me.

Then during our divorce my X found the photos. He got onto my private computer and downloaded them onto a portable zip drive. He gave them to friends. He showed them to my children and tried to show them to my friends and in-laws.

He took what was private and empowering and he made it dirty and hurtful. I deleted each and every photo. But he has copies. His friends have copies.

I'm sure they're going to surface some time in the future to further humiliate me and be used against me to try and show that I'm a bad mother or immoral somehow.

It's one more thing he ruined for me.

His parents met my parents

BLT's family came into town recently. They came out to our business on a Friday and met my family.

The following Saturday we had a late lunch and birthday party for TNT at our place. The dad's fired up the BBQ and discussed politics and meat.

The mom's chatted politely about the grand kids, pets, and compared scars from knee surgeries.

All in all it went well and my parents asked when they would see each other again. They seem to like BLT's family (and it's hard not to, to be honest. They are really warm people) so that's a great sign.

My father told my mother "you know what that was? That was "meet the in-laws" right there." LOL, my mother told him to cool his jets and not read too much into it. She's a smart one my mom.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Watching things crumble

You know what it's like when you drive past a car accident and you just HAVE to look? How you know it will upset you, but you can't pull your eyes away?

That's kind of what it feels like watching Fred and Ethel struggle through their marital issues and now a trial separation. Since Ethel is my bestest of best friends, my soul sister no less, I am participating on a peripheral level. I love them both like family and it hurts to see them hurting each other.

Well... let's be honest people. Fred is the major issue here, he says he wants his wife - but he can't stop participating in inappropriate behaviors with other women. There have been lies, and half truths for years, as well as a total refusal to get to therapy and do the work it takes to rebuild the lost trust.

I wish I had the words to ease their pain. I wish I was smarter, or more relationship savvy - but the truth is I failed at making my own marriage work. I have no business giving anyone else advice, except to say that you can find happiness after divorce. That I do know.

Speaking of things crumbling - on a personal note, I get to be hauled back into court by the X. At the last minute my lawyer received an email from the most expensive divorce lawyer in town. He's now representing the X (AGAIN) and they filed for an extension until November for the judge to hear my request to continue the restraining order against the X for my children. They apparently are preparing their "rebuttal arguments" and need more time.

So once again my character will be drug through the mud and I need to prove that I'm a good mother, and that he is a dangerous and obsessed man who has refused all form of counseling while in prison for trying to shoot me.

When and how did this become my life? Please someone tell me that there are good marriages still out there.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

I get so angry on your behalf...

I know you're sad.

I know you're hurting and you want to try and save your marriage.

I know that you're self esteem has been beaten and battered down so hard that you can't see your own beauty and worth.

I know you want to trust him, even though he has done nothing over the past decade to deserve that trust.

But what I know more than anything else is that you deserve better. I get so pissed off when he hurts you. I get so angry that he makes you feel like you're crazy. I don't believe his stories, I don't believe he treats you the way you deserve to be treated. I don't believe this is healthy for any of you. I worry about your children and the example they see of how people in a relationship treat each other.

I worry that you still sleep with him, knowing he may not be faithful to you. Even if it's just emotional affairs (which I don't believe, it's more than that). He hurts you, and you still give that part of yourself to him. I can't even fathom that this is healthy for you.

I love you.

I support you.

I'm here for you in every way. Be strong. Believe in yourself. Lean on me.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

8 years go by quickly

Today TNT turns 8 years old. I can't believe it's already that time of year again. BLT's family is in town, so we're having a BBQ here this afternoon to celebrate her birthday.

My parents will get to meet his parents. I hope everything goes well!

Friday, October 15, 2010

We Are Family

The issue of exactly what is a family has been raised by my children. Last week Monkey Pants asked BLT if he was a part of our family. He asked if the kids wanted him to be a part of our family and they all gave a resounding "yes" so he said, "then it's settled...we're a family" and that seemed to make them happy.

Several times over the past few months Lady Bug asked if we would get married. I told her that mommy has no plans to get married any time soon. She seems okay with this, but excited about the possibility of a future wedding for her to take part in. I think it's her dreams of wearing a fancy bridesmaid dress more than a need for the adults in her life to be legally wed that brings on these questions.

This week BLT's parents and his two year old, Fraggle, came to visit. BLT has a complicated shared custody arrangement with Fraggles maternal grandparents. Fraggles mother isn't in the picture for the most part. This is something that worked out really well while he lived in the same state, but is going to have to change soon - we are going to wait until the X gets out of jail and see if life settles down a bit before we bring a toddler into the mix and we start doing the legal work to get her up here with us.

Having the Fraggle here has felt like it was meant to be. The kids all adore each other. Chef babysat this evening so that the adults could have a grown up dinner together. Fraggle has been sleeping in our bed between us - and it's just like when my own babies were toddlers. It just feels right.

When Fraggle looked at me today and said, "I love you" it melted my heart.

No matter how unconventional, and no matter what anyone else might think we ARE a family. And I'm madly in love with the loud, busy, slightly odd family we are becoming.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The way he touches me

A warm hand moves slowly over the curve of my hip.

I'm in that sleepy place between dreaming and being awake.

He leans close and nuzzles the back of my neck, breathing in the scent of my hair, pulling me close to his body. The heat of his chest pressed against my cool back.

Arching, sighing, legs entwined.

I can't think of a more beautiful way to wake up.

Gettin' My Pretty On

I bought new sexy lingerie yesterday when I was out with Ethel. It's been awhile since I wore something sexy and lacy just for BLT's enjoyment.

My efforts were well appreciated. I'm an extremely satisfied woman this morning.

BLT had gotten used to receiving this sort of special attention when we were doing the long distance relationship thing. Every time I flew down to see him I made sure I had something sexy for him. I became the queen of the quick change artists in the airport bathroom. There happened to be a woman's rest room right outside of the gate I flew into.

Once he picked me up and I was in my red trench coat with a very naughty black number and thigh high stockings underneath and nothing else.

The last time I flew down I wore my black leather pants and stiletto heels. I changed into a dark purple and black silk bustier top laced up the back so tight I could hardly breath... but damn that hour-glass was turning heads. His eye nearly popped out of his head when he pulled up in his truck to get me. *giggle* I still hear about that one, he was VERY impressed and we ended up stopping at a deserted orchard on the side of the road because we couldn't wait to get home.

So - a precedent has been set. He was used to me making a special effort of look sexy for him. Since he lives with me now he's had a little dose of reality and he's more likely to come home to me in one of his shirts than a lacy, racy bit of sexy he was due for a little treat.

YUMMY... I just love the gift that keeps on giving!

Mindy Mom...are you out there?

Hello Mindy,

I noticed your blog went private, which I totally respect. I've been reading now for nearly a year, but I didn't know how to contact you to try and get an invite to keep reading.

I enjoy your blog very much, as I'm also a mother of four.

If you happen to read this...shoot me an invite if you're so inclined.

Thank you,
Little Ol' Me

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Simple Pleasures

A hot shower, home made Sheppard's pie for dinner, a soft kiss on my neck from the man I love, a good book, warm flannel pajamas, and tired muscles from a good workout.

Simple pleasures.

The past couple of weeks have been really emotional. Really hard. I get caught up sometimes in this big ocean of anger, guilt, and stress that I'm swimming in and I lose focus on the small things that give me such pleasure.

I don't want anyone, especially my kids and BLT, to think that I don't recognize or appreciate my blessings. I do, I honestly and truly do. If there is anything the past year has taught me it's that "things' are transitory and unimportant. I had a 400K dollar home. I had new cars, fancy vacations, expensive jewelry - even a housekeeper for awhile. None of it made me happy.

Now I have my little blue cottage, my kids, the love of a good man, and a job I'm proud of. I have the support and love of family and friends and I'm surrounded only by the things that are near and dear to my heart.

Vintage table clothes, a comfy garage sale chair, jeans that fit just right, Chef's chocolate chip cookies. Simple pleasures and someone to share them with. That's all I really need.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Watching your children suffer

Friday's counseling session with Lady Bug was much worse than my own the previous day. Watching your child genuinely grieve is the hardest thing I've ever done. She is so busy carrying around her own hurt, and then to top it off she's shouldering the burden of HIS imaginary, over inflated, ego-ridden pain.

She told the therapist about her dad telling her how to commit suicide. The therapist then let me know that she's required by law to contact Child Protective Services and have a file opened. Once again the X makes a huge god damned mess and I'm the one who gets to clean it up. I'm not worried that CPS will find me lacking in any way. My kids are well cared for, we live in a nice town, they have good schools and get good grades. They're not being abused in my home in any way. However, it's another pain in the ass hoop for me to jump through.

Both counselors asked me if my X had lost his parental rights. When I informed them that no, he had not, they were very surprised. Both told me that I have avenues available to me if I want to pursue that route. I'm honestly not sure. Lady Bug is in so much pain, and either way she ends up on the loosing end. Either I do what I have to, and I prove him unfit. She is emotionally and physically safe - but she looses her father, possibly forever. She may never forgive me for that. If I do nothing I KNOW... KNOW with every fiber of my being that he's going to let her down and break her heart at the very least. At the worst he attempts to hurt us again, or uses the kids to hurt me. Either way she suffers. I just have to decide what is the lesser of two evils.

I hate being put into this position. It's one more reason for me to hate him. I can't stand watching her suffer. It's much worse than suffering myself.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I have my first counseling appt. tomorrow

I wont go so far as to say that I'm dreading my appointment tomorrow, but in no way could I say that I'm looking forward to it. I'm not really good at expressing my feelings, especially in the company of strangers... at least not when I have to look at them. Talking about my fears, and revealing my insecurities to someone else makes me distinctly uncomfortable. I guess that's why I like blogging so much. It's fairly anonymous, and I don't have to look anyone in the eye or deal with uncomfortable stretches of silence.

On some level I feel silly that I can't deal with this on my own. It's not like I was beaten up on a daily basis, or chained to a wall and starved of human companionship. My counselor specializes in PTSD related to domestic violence - and I'm sure she is used to dealing with cases of women who have been truly, horrifically abused by their spouses. What I had was a single episode, and as traumatic as it was it was a single day... a moment in time. I feel weak for not being able to get over it and move on with my life.

What's odd is that I would never judge anyone else for getting counseling if they felt they needed it - and yet I'm embarrassed to be going myself. I don't want to tell anyone outside of my immediate family. I feel as though I'll be judged and found lacking, or that somehow I'll disappoint someone.

I'll let you all know how it goes tomorrow night.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It's better to be over cautious...

After being up all night thinking, and consulting my lawyer, my family, and my most trusted friend Ethel I decided to petition the court to remove the X's right to send the children letters. I don't want him to have any further access to the children until he has proven to the courts that he's no longer a danger to my kids, or to myself.

I think Bikinfool is very correct when he says that it's better to be over careful at this point. And Ethel has said many times that he no longer deserves the benefit of the doubt. Quite honestly I just can't take the added stress. Getting letters like that with thinly veiled threats raises my stress level to nearly unmanageable heights. I didn't sleep last night. I don't need anything else keeping me awake, giving me nightmares, or causing me anxiety.

This will likely cause WW III with the former in-laws. I would love to say I don't care, but God help me I'm a pacifier. I don't want people to be upset. I don't want people to be disappointed in me. It's sick, I know... but I can't help worrying that I'm going to make it worse by trying to protect my children. Seriously though, I think that his mother should be more concerned with the fact that the only people who've read those words and haven't found them threatening were the man in jail for trying to shoot me, and herself. I think this is a clear implication that she needs to get some counseling herself and get some perspective.

I haven't talked to BLT about this. Actually I haven't talked to him at all today, and I don't like to burden him while he's out of town on business anyway. This decision is mine alone, and I'm sure that there will be negative fall out, but I have to do whatever is within my power to protect my children.

I don't know if the court will approve my request. All I can do is petition the court and wait for my chance to speak on my children's behalf. As of yet I am still waiting to hear about the possible extension on the Restraining Order that expires this next week. I'm hoping there is some resolution one way or another. All this waiting makes me anxious.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Letter from the Convict...

My oldest child received a letter today from the X. While he is in prison he is only allowed to communicate with them via letter, and there are rules he's supposed to follow. First I want to say that perhaps there is nothing at all wrong with this letter... I understand that I'm not a good judge in this situation. EVERYTHING related to my X feels like a threat. I see danger in every word, and every action.

That being said, I feel there is a blatant threat being made, directed at me. He knows that every letter he writes to the children is first read by me and edited in case I object to the content. There is no way the words he wrote weren't meant for my eyes.

And so here it is... Let me know if you think I'm crazy. For privacy I'm removing any names.

Dear Chef,
I can't even tell you how much I wish I could be there for your birthday. I wish I could call you and tell you how much I love you and your sisters and how I think about you all every day. Even your mom is still on my mind every hour of every day. I haven't given up Chef, I promise you that. One day soon I'll be able to hug you again and everything else that was taken away from me.

The letter goes on to describe what he asked for on his 13th birthday and goes on to promise that whatever Chef doesn't get for Christmas or Birthday he will "find a way to get them for you when I get out". So damn typical, him trying to buy affection with expensive gifts, but I digress. Back to the letter.

He then tells Chef that there are photos of the kids on his wall (wonderful... all the lovely felons can stare at my four young children, this makes me feel just dandy) and that "You and your sisters should never have had to suffer because of the decisions your mom and I made."

HUH?? He decided we were getting divorced. Then he decided to start stalking me, hack into my computer and read all my private email, have me followed, break into my cell phone account to monitor my calls and texts, and finally to bring a gun to my house and cause me physical harm. I'm pretty sure the more accurate sentence is, "You and your sisters should never have had to suffer because the decisions I made" but again... he's still sitting his crazy ass in jail not taking responsibility for what he's done.

I'm sorry, but the LAST thing I want is for him to be thinking of me every hour of every day... can we say Obsession? Unhealthy Fixation? Scary Stalker Behavior? And then the line about him promising Chef he hasn't given up. On what? Getting me back? Getting back AT me? Finishing what he set out to do and kill me then kill himself? What is he promising exactly, when he knows I'm reading these letters?

It concerns me when he uses phrases like, "and everything else that was taken away from me" It's no ones fault but his own that he lost his job, his family, and his freedom. Yet even now, a year after going to jail he still puts the blame on everyone else.

This letter scares me. I swear one day he'll try to kill me again. If I suddenly go missing at any time after March 11, 2011 then you all know what happened to me. He didn't give up, and he finally got what he wants.

So tell me friends, am I over reacting? Is my fear getting the better of my common sense? Once before I didn't listen to that nagging voice in the back of my head that said, "protect yourself, this is getting out of control" I let him bully me. I let someone I didn't know convince me that getting a restraining order would make things worse. I didn't follow my gut, or listen to the advice of friends and family and he proved himself to be both crazy and dangerous.

I don't trust myself anymore. I don't know what is a reasonable amount of caution versus hysterical fear, because honestly thinking about him at all makes me slightly hysterical. All I know is that after reading this letter tonight I'm feeling very vulnerable and I don't like it one bit.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


I feel anxious today and I don't know why. I woke up at four a.m., on the first day in several months that I've had the luxury of sleeping in. I wasn't able to get back to sleep - and without BLT here to talk to I'm finding myself full of nervous energy and the feeling of being "unsettled".

There's something comforting about having BLT here that calms me. His even breathing when we're laying here together in the dark helps me relax at night. His warm hand on the small of my back that makes me feel safe. Without him here I feel like an essential part of what keeps me grounded is missing.

On some level that makes me feel weak and slightly pathetic.

He's in Arizona for the next week on business and I'm going to miss him terribly. I don't want to assume that the upcoming week is going to be terrible...self fulfilling prophecy and all that. However I have to take the kids to visit the former In Laws, I have to start my counseling soon, and I'm waiting to hear about the Restraining Order... so the potential for stress and anxiety is high.

This may be a week for chocolate therapy.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Baby Fever

I recently got into contact with an old friend from High School. L.L is fantastic, and she's the only person I know with more kids than myself, LOL! She's also divorced, and has met someone new and moved on with her life in a grand fashion. She gives me hope that it possible to make a loving, happy life with someone new after divorce. L.L. also went through something traumatic - the death of a child, and she's been able to move on with her life.

L.L. is having her third daughter tomorrow. I'm pretty freaking excited about this, and I'm dying to get my hands on that baby! I'm really having a bad case of Baby Fever lately. Its like when you buy a certain car, and everywhere you look you see the same car. Every time I turn around there is a baby of some kind. Kittens, puppies, babies oh my!

It doesn't help any that I'm crazy in love at the moment. It doesn't help that my kids are all in school now and I don't have any babies or toddlers to focus on. It doesn't help that I'm turning 36 soon and I feel my biological clock ticking away. It doesn't help that I really loved being pregnant, and nursing... I just loved sitting with my babies, nursing them, rocking them, rubbing their soft heads and feeling their tiny hands wrap around my pinkie finger. I loved feeling my babies move inside me. I loved the first giggle, the first tooth, the first words.

I know logically I can't have another baby. I'm struggling right now to give my four kids everything they need emotionally and financially. I'm in love, but not married - and I don't plan on changing that any time soon. I have a psychotic ex husband who may very likely attempt to kill me again if he can find me and/or get me alone. I'm getting too old to have a baby without greatly increasing my chances of having a child with Down Syndrome. I don't have the time or money to care for another baby.

So why doesn't my heart want to listen to my head? Why is it that I see a newborn in a stroller and I get a hitch in my breath and a crazy urge to scoop up that baby and breath in that special newborn scent? Why is it that I have vivid dreams of nursing my babies, and childbirth? Why is it that I can picture in my head what BLT and my wee one would look like?

Maybe this is just some crazy hormonal surge and it'll pass. I hope so...