Monday, December 21, 2009

Working on it.... (pics)

I have a post I'm writing about the child support collection system, but it's just not coming out the way I want it to. I'm losing something in the details about how much anguish and frustration has gone into trying to get the system to work correctly. Plus, it's really long right now.

So while I work on that, how about some cute kid pics instead? Hooray!

Wii Just Dance



dry erase markers














Early Christmas with family



















Early gift since it was
delivered in clear wrapping!














Mornings before coffee

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Finals

Finals coming up, thinking of posts I need to write!

Still here, haven't exploded yet. No new place & snow = probably stuck until spring. *sighs*

Child support drama is a whole big post. Unbelievable how the system is so broken.

Soon, I promise I'll be back soon.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Wordless

When your apartment management asks you, "Don't you have space heaters?" when you call to find out if they're going to complete the repairs on your heater, and you were left without heat in 33 degree weather, it's time to move.

There is a LOT more to this story but at this point I want to not be tied to this place in any way before I relate the whole story about the year long saga that left me without heat for days. There are links for the backstory, but today pretty much was the icing on the cake.

I have three days off. Guess what I'm going to be doing with that time? December moves really suck.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

I'm alive

I'm catcing up with schoolwork bc when the plague hit my house, school and work both fell to the wayside while I recovered. So I'm buried since I have to get a minimum of B's across the board this semester.

Heater is not fixed. I called and they argued with me about the problem, lied about when someone was coming to fix it, and now I'm on the warpath. Since I have heat, I can only do so much even though it IS broken and is spewing noxious fumes on us when it's on.

The ex-husband is garbage as usual and missed visitation last weekend. Long story that ends with more of his lies. My final word is to not offer if you're going to miss, or have my number written down so someone can call me. I feel sorry for his GF. I really do.

I've been reading and reading and reading because TV is boring when you're sick. More on this later. Back to homework!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Gas Leak - Year Two

In case you missed Year One's gas drama, click through and come back.

So last year the problem with my heater never really got fixed correctly. I still smelled something (natural gas according to the gas co.) when my heater started up, but then it would vanish. I just gave up trying to have them fix it correctly after two failed attempts and sleeping on a too-small loveseat. All it did was give me high blood pressure and anxiety every time the heater would kick on. The rumble of the heater kicking on, the wait for the click/whoosh, and the fan kicking on a minute later. I spent 2 1/2 months on edge praying for spring and warm temps. I envisioned us exploding in our sleep, or worse a fire breaking out in the closet and us getting burned up and barely surviving it. I had trouble sleeping in the bedroom knowing the heater was in there with us. I would wake up from a dead sleep when I'd hear it turn on. It was a bad winter to say the least.

This year when the temps dipped I had no choice but to turn the dread heater on. I had hoped to move before I had to do it, but things didn't work out as planned. Let me just give a big "fuck you" to the ex on that one. Pay your child support dickhead! So it got too cold not have heat and I got sick and needed warmth. I went and turned on the gas to the heater, and waited out the burnt dust smell. Then I couldn't smell anything for over two weeks because of being sick. That didn't stop me from stressing out when the heat would kick on. Or not being able to sleep at night. Or sleeping on the too-small loveseat that leaves me with pain and headaches the next day. Noah has been sleeping in the living room like it's some kind of camp out. So much for that sleep schedule we were working on. This would be the time where I wish I had a man around to confirm there's a problem or to take care of it while I'm sick. The problem with my car tire being the other.

Now why didn't I just call the gas company out again to check it if I was unsure about a leak? Because I have two closets in my apartment. The bedroom being the one packed completely with heavy boxes and random stuff. I couldn't move things out of the closet when I could barely breathe or get off the couch with sickness. So having the gas company turn off my heat when I can't even clear the way to the heater to be fixed, doesn't solve my problem. That makes it worse. Blowing up in an explosion would seriously suck too, but as I found out today, maintenance wouldn't come out unless the gas company confirmed a problem! Nice right. Just adding to the list of reasons to move, when I know I can't.

So I get my sense of smell back for the first time in weeks, and I confirm I am definitely smelling something. I was able to move everything out of the closet, but now my bed is full of clothes. It's just ridiculous. Back to the loveseat I guess. Maintenance said the gas company had to be called first, the gas co. employee was the same as last year! LOL He was funny and totally on my side. Apparently my heater doesn't even kick on quick enough so it's a combination of problems. Lovely. My managment company was not thrilled that I called back for service, then the maintenance guy went in there, opened the window all the way freezing us, and tinkered around in there. He even tried to act like it was just a relay problem causing a delay and not a gas problem!!! Then said the gas company's equipment is so sensitive that it goes off even if it's not gas!!!!! Basically he said there's a 'clog' causing the delay in it turning on and the heating company will be out (hopefully he meant in the morning). If we blow up, this is the proof that they're lying and my family should sue.

The worst part is that my anxiety is at max levels. I actually visibly flinched when I was in the bedroom and the click/woosh sound happened right by my head! My stomach drops when I hear the buzz of the heater that means that I'm going to hear the click & whoosh before the fan starts. My bedroom is a safety hazard for my child with everything stacked up in there. I feel like the heating company isn't going to fix it. They tried twice last year and it's still a problem. I'm so freaked out and it's no wonder it took me three weeks to get better with all this stress. I almost feel worse after they mess with it since I don't trust them to fix it right. I almost feel like, as with my car, that after they mess with it it'll just be more messed up and more likely to blow up if they did it wrong, again. *sighs*

I obviously can't live like this and need to move, but I'm stuck and that's what makes it worse. So I'm just taking it day by day. We'll just see what happens in the morning.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Birthday Snafu

So my bday was on the 26th and I got ZERO hits here that day! I find that hilarious that from 180 hits all month (stop laughing I know it's sad), not even my dad or mom read my blog that day. Damn you Facebook and Twitter. LOL Everyone sent their wishes that way so that's why it's amusing. I think after a disastrous 30th where no one showed up to a gathering I had to arrange myself, I don't give it much thought.

So on to the snafu. Somehow I lost a whole year and was making myself OLDER! Like I'm in a hurry to get to 40 or something. So at some point, not sure when, I made myself older and I managed to skip my 35th year of life! I don't even know if at any point last year I said I was 35. Everything I typed in 36! So when I really did turn 36 on Sept. 26, I didn't believe it! I had to ask four people before I was sure. Isn't that ridiculous?! Thank God I have siblings to confirm my own age. That's how I know I'm getting old. I'm lying about my age but in the wrong direction. LOL

So this weekend I'm going to make a toast to not turning 37 this year! LOL

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

Birthdays, school, and moving

I'm going to be 37 on Saturday. I'm trying to plan something really awesome but it's not falling into place just yet because I waited until the last minute. Not surprising. I also have Noah this weekend. I just really want to see the P!nk concert on my bday this year but it's doubtful. Whatever.

I'm maintaining all A's in 3 of my 4 classes. Ironically it's the design class that is causing me problems. A lot of it is watching videos, which my computer hates, and I don't learn well at all from listening. I have to see and read the material or I get bored and my mind wanders. I can't just sit for the 15-30 minutes needed to watch all the videos. This week is finally creating stuff so I'm hoping my interest and grade improves. Um, that and the teacher called my house to see if I was okay so far. LOL Just the kick in the butt I needed actually. On a side note, F**K You to the State of IL for jacking up the state budget and causing a cut in my educational grants. If I had transferred this year, I would have owed a lot of money to continue my term and would have had to drop out. So thanks a lot you morons for making me revamp my budget because you suck at keeping yours.

Moving has me so stressed out I can't even think straight. I don't think I make enough to move to a bigger place according to MY 30% of income guidelines. Not only has the grant situation hurt me, but the child support has become a drama since the ex's job change and their stupidity in not taking it out. My lawyer is getting an email at this point. I'm just so worried that a variety of things are going to cause me disapointment in my search. I don't want to get my hopes up and fall in love with a place only not to get it. I have one that fits all my needs, and my tentative budget, but I have to go tour it. I need to stalk it a few times, weekends, and at night before I know for sure. Granted, if I do not find a place, it's not like I'm losing this one. Everything happens for a reason. I'm trying to remember that. I am grateful for what I have now. Two years ago it was way worse. Way, way worse. We don't HAVE to move, it's just a really, really good idea if we do. LOL Ok I feel a little better. And hey, at least I have A's this semester right?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Fundraising for Pancreatic Cancer - Saving my Mom

Today's news of the passing of Patrick Swayze from pancreatic cancer really hit home because my mom has pancreatic cancer, albeit the rare type called "Neuroendocrine" or "Islet Cell" which only affects 1.3% of those diagnosed.

The 'good' news is this type, unlike the majority of pancreatic cancers, is it generally progresses slowly. The bad news is that, like most, the cancer was found too late to cure and had already spread to her liver and lung, making it Stage IV. It is incurable and only a special chemotherapy at this point can keep the symptoms under control. The other good news: Her current chemo does not cause debilitating side effects. Which isn't to say there aren't side effects, as a huge chunk of her pancreas is gone from a necessary surgery to try to do damage control. In turn, this causes a diabetic reaction to occur and brings on a whole new set of concerns.

So today's news was like finding out about my mom all over again. Patrick Swayze was on the news with his diagnosis almost at the same time as my mom was diagnosed. Now he's dead. He had a lot of money to keep it at bay, but his was the more common type that's really aggressive. Honestly I try not to let that train of thought continue. It not knowing what's going to happen in the future that stresses me out.

So my request you, my small group of readers
, please sponsor me if you can in the Chicago Lustgarten Pancreatic Cancer walk in October.

http://www.lustgarten.org/jansangeljen

Please pass this link on to anyone you know that would help by contributing to the research and cure of this cancer.



100% of every dollar donated to the Foundation goes directly to critically needed pancreatic cancer research. Please support me in the Walk, and help ensure that pancreatic cancer patients like my mom have a fighting chance.

Thank you!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I Got Nothin'

Really, for real. I've got homework waiting is what I've got.

Well, there's a post somewhere about apartment hunting and the crazy that goes with that, and why I'm not keen on bringing my kid with me lest they pass judgement. It's just that a post like that makes me tired to think about let alone write.

Also, a rage against a Halloween store that is completely inappropriate considering they sell costumes to children, but again, that may take a while to write so it has to wait.

Everything will have to wait since I HAVE to get all A's this semester. No B's, no C's will work. Gotta get the GPA back up.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Promoting Handmade



My close friend Angela makes amazing bags/totes and is doing her first blog giveaway! http://tr.im/ymbg Go check it out and leave a comment to win it!

If that's not your style, she has more fabulous stuff at her store (link on her blog). Seriously, if I had a little girl, she'd never have anything to sell since she does kids' clothing as well.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Cheating and Hunting

I completely threw the weight loss guidelines I had set up right out the window. A few good things happened and there was celebrating going on and end-of-summer BBQ's to attend. I'm back on track this week. Although, I'm pretty sure the cheesy nachos I just made don't count. Sshhh! I did gain back 2 pounds from the 5 I was down, but all the snacks have gone missing from my house again so I'm good.

I've finally narrowed my apartment hunt to two suburbs that are central to anywhere I may ever need to drive. Closer to some friends and a little further to others, but with major interstates to cut down on travel time. Or not, depending on construction. I may have to stay in a 1-bedroom until he starts school and I finish school, and that's just another two years. Then I can upgrade to a bigger place in the same town. The schools are excellent in both 'burbs, the rents reflect that, but it's better than paying for a crappy school district and gunshots at night. Still close to the Metra trains, hospitals, and parks as well. This time, no third floor walk ups!!! Although, if I was in the first floor apartment in my current building I'd be a wreck. So this time I need to put more thought into it. or at least have an elevator and a safer 'hood.

Otherwise, I'm gearing up for my mom's Pacreatic Cancer Walk benefit this weekend. I have a birthday in a few weeks in which I'm almost considered late 30's, rather than mid-30's. Plus school and work. The apartment hunting is the best part of all of this. I also realized that I somehow chose classes that don't require any exams at the actual school and very little paper writing. Finally, I may actually have an easy semester. Week 2 and I haven't fallen behind. :-D

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Weight Thing

I've always had issues with my weight. It goes up and down over time but I've never been as stressed over it like I am now. I used to love almost all of my body and how it looked. My calves and I have a love/hate relationship. Now, I'm the heaviest I've ever been and I weigh the same now as right before I gave birth. I added the baby weight back on rather than losing it. I only blame myself for letting it get out of hand, but now I'm going to be accountable for losing it rather than hiding it and being embarrassed about my size. The weight-loss ticker to the left is going to keep me accountable and honest about my progress. I already had to add pounds before I got to take pounds off.

I come from a line of heavy people on my paternal side, and know the health issues that come with it. I'm at risk for Type II diabetes, genetically and due to my gestational diabetes which vanished (thankfully) after Noah was born. I have terrible eating habits because I'm not disciplined and it's easier to snack at a computer than to stop and eat a meal. I work at home and my classes are online, so I sit in front of a computer for 15+ hours a day if not more. My son thinks my treadmill is an indoor jungle gym. The one thing I can say positive is that I quit smoking in 2006, which is never a negative even if it added pounds!

The problem now is that my weight is causing me to change how I feel and act around people I know or just meet. I'm embarrassed to go see old friends who knew me when I was thinner. I constantly wonder if I'm dismissed as 'the fat chick'. I look in the mirror and I hate how round my face is and the smaller double chin (omg I just said that out loud). My belly looks a mess with a yucky flap business from carrying a kid. The only reason I don't really have wrinkles is that fat is less painful than botox for keeping them away. I don't feel good at all about any part of me. I have cute clothes in my current size (18/20 btw), but I'm not happy at all about how I look in them.

My average weight is around 145-ish, I was down to 125 (bad breakup) when I met my ex-husband, emotionally ate while I lived in AZ until I was 170 and thought that was the heaviest I'd get and had ever been. Then I got pregnant. I cried at 200, my 'max limit weight'. I got up to 235 but was at 208 after the baby. I haven't been under 200 since Noah was born. I'm ready to be back down to at least 150 max. I have a long way to go.

So this is my leap into better eating and then I'll try to add the exercise in slowly. I've failed before by trying to revamp my whole lifestyle and gave up when it was too much at once. Exercise is going to be the harder part of this whole thing. I am NOT a motivated person. I know what I should do, but putting it into action isn't my forte. So healthy eating first, and exercise once I've got a better diet down pat. Slow and steady is going to win this one.

Small changes I've made so far:
  • Replacing ice cream with sugar free yogurt when I need something sweet. This seriously knocked my caloric/fat intake down a LOT! I love ice cream.
  • Diet pop and sugar free flavored 'water'. I HATE plain water, hate it.
  • Eat breakfast! Usually Greek yogurt, my new love, with something else. I don't get as hungry during the day when I have breakfast.
  • Reducing meal portions by half and only eating a little when feel hungry. Just not overeating then feeling gross afterward.
  • Pour any snacks into a very small bowl so I don't overeat. Small bowls and plates are my new friend.
  • Realizing if I'm emotional/boredom eating or if I'm really hungry. (The hardest one to manage)
I've lost almost 5 pounds so far. I feel motivated. I know I can do this. I changed my diet almost overnight when I was gestating a child and our health was in jeopardy, and I've put those nutritional rules back in place. My health IS in jeopardy if I keep going this way! I do have to be careful because I don't have a gall bladder (past starvation dieting), and if I don't eat I end up with major gastric issues. This doesn't let me starve to lose the weight, which was always my go-to in the past to maintain things.

I am going to get back in my 'skinny-self' jeans. I won't be embarrassed to be in a swimsuit at the pool next year. I will have more energy to play with my child. I will be healthier to teach my child good eating habits. I won't hate my body anymore. So I'm putting it out there, and that ticker will be going down instead of up now that I know people will be watching! ;-)

Now:


Goal:

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Random

School started Monday, and I'm going to do well, even if I have to hire a sitter one or two nights a week. I've already started my homework for next week. I'm on academic probation so I have to do really well this semester or my options shrink dramatically.

Noah's back to bad tantrums when he gets home from daddy's house, and I think he figured out that screaming is a hot button for me right now. We now have a good/bad behavior chart with consequences and rewards. I can honestly admit I have no idea what I'm doing anymore as far as discipline. *Shrugs* I can say that apartment living with a screaming preschooler and nosy neighbors sucks. Even more so than the gunshots I heard on Friday night.

I'm gearing up to move within the next 60 days I hope. Before it gets really cold and we see snow anyway. God, moving in the winter would suck so bad. Living here another winter would suck so bad.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Pool, Beach, Whatever (pics)

Ah, the end of summer beach adventure! Noah and I were so emotional on Friday we totally needed a super fun weekend. What better way than to break in the new pool passes? We've currently got every weekend until after Labor Day to use them. Here's to hoping they're all sunny and rain-less, at least until the late afternoon anyway. Now I'm wondering why I didn't figure this out sooner when I just could not figure out what to do after the park got old on weekends.

We scoped it out on Saturday, as we had made previous plans with grandma to go Sunday. Saturday was PERFECT!!! We had one little unpleasant 'moment'. Noah almost drowned in 1' 8" water while I stood right next to him! Maybe not drowned, but he inhaled a crapload of water that made him gag while underwater. I didn't put a life vest on him at first (floaties forbidden), and I assumed he knew to blow out his nose and/or put his feet down since he's been in pools previously with other people. Also, he wasn't so keen on putting his head in the water. I looked away to check our stuff on the grass, he put his head under in the meantime, and when I looked back he was doing some froggy swimming type move under the water. It took me a second to realize he was sinking to the bottom and wasn't standing up to get his head out! I felt like a total dunce, we were both totally freaked out for a minute, but we got a life jacket after that and we were all much happier for the next 45 minutes! We played in the sand for another hour to try to warm up and dry out. I noticed that other smaller children obey some unspoken rule about territory and not destroying another child's 'construction'. Big kids, they pretty much do a Godzilla on stuff, either on purpose or accident. I did have to tell two older boys to move elsewhere w/the destruction, but they were good about it.

Noah is so funny about remembering things and what he shows pride in. Before we went to the beach today with grandma, I reminded him no pooping in the swim diaper and to tell me if he had to go. We're not at the diaperless in public stage yet. Plus, he swallowed quite a bit of water Saturday and it showed up this morning. We didn't want that in the pool. So we got home after the storms closed the pool, he napped for a few hours, and then woke up and said to me, "I didn't poop in the water mom!" I love that kid.






THIS is the loser 'Nosy Neighbor' who insulted me. I cannot believe I let someone like THIS get me in such an uproar. The rips in the shirt are on purpose, he's over 55 and dressed like that in public, and EW to the smoking that lingers in the hallway and is against the lease rules. Does he think he's 20 still? I just had to share when I saw this today because it's like the black bar "Dont's" in Glamour but worse.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Heartbreak

My poor little man is heartbroken, which in turn hurts my heart to watch. His brother is gone back home and he probably won't see him until Christmas. Nothing can prepare you for this kind of thing. No one tells you when you marry a man with a child(ren) that it gets more complicated when you add half siblings into the mix. There's no guidebook to explaining why the sibling has to leave across the country when summer visitation ends. Add this to why his daddy doesn't live here, and you have a really emotional 3.5 year old trying to process everything.

I try to be sensitive to this kind of thing. I come from divorced parents and stepsiblings. Mindful of this, I took a picture of Noah and his brother together so he'd have something to remember until he sees him again. I put it in his special picture book today with the other photos of him and our family. I thought he'd be excited to see his brother's picture today.

He was NOT happy. He told me over and over that he doesn't like his brother. He said he wanted to tear his brother out of the picture and he only wanted himself in it. He told me to use another picture to cover his brother up. He said he didn't miss him & he wasn't angry. And my heart broke a little with each declaration through out the day. I knew he didn't mean it. I knew he was missing his brother today. I just couldn't do anything to fix it.

I had tried preparing him by talking about before it happened. I tried to make sure he knew his brother was leaving to go home to his mom's house. We've always talked about how his brother lives at his mom's house far away on a plane. There's only so much you can explain to a preschooler and so little they can express back. I never once considered not saying anything and having his brother just not there during his next visitation w/his dad. I think being age appropriately honest and open with kids is best as it builds trust and communication early.

What's worse is that I'm sad for my son losing out on the benefits of a big brother the rest of the year. I still love my stepson too and I miss seeing him as well. Watching Noah play with his big brother is wonderful, and I'm so glad they love each other. I hate that it's only part time due to the distance.

Tonight my son finally crumbled after again insisting that I take his brother's photo out. I just hugged him and let him know it was ok to miss his big brother. I let Noah know we all still love him and his brother misses him too. I told that we would plan a trip to see him soon, and that when he was older he could fly with them to take his brother home. I asked if he was feeling angry and sad and all he could do was nod. Mostly I just let him cry and let him be angry. I still get angry too sometimes, and no, it isn't fair that life doesn't alwasy go as planned and creates chaos like this. I can't imagine trying to figure all this out at 3, when it's not always easy for me at 36. I just hope it gets easier when he's older. For right now, we're all just a little emotional here.

Unfinished

I have like 5 unfinished posts in my head. I will probably never get around to posting any of them. I have a super busy, long day working today. Noah was away all week so today will be difficult at best as his older, half-brother leaves for AZ today in time for school. It's hard to explain to a 3 yo how that works. Then I think about AZ and I miss it, especially when it's 80% humidity here! Plus I've got him in underwear all day w/Pullups at night only. I've got a roll of quarters for the laundry waiting to go!

We're closing out the pool season this weekend, and hopefully next weekend if the sun cooperates next weekend too. I want to stop at the farmer's market tomorrow as well, if we get up that early. Although I just saw 88 for the temps tomorrow so it might be an early farmers market, the pool when it opens, and home to lounge in the AC when it's really hot! My AC doesn't seem to be cooling my house as well as I'd like right now either. Third floor is really sucky in summer, but great in winter. LOL

I feel wilty right now. *sighs*

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Spiders are Coming!

So somehow over the weekend I ended up with a baby spider infestation. I hate spiders so much. In the winter I get the yucky yellow 'booger' spiders that freak me out, but they vanish in the spring and I'm free for a while. So this sucked more than usual because it was so hot and all the windows were closed! I couldn't spray them with bug spray, and they couldn't escape outside.

On Saturday, I kept feeling something tickling my arms while I was working and I killed something I didn't see first. The ex sat on the couch and got bitten up apparently. Heh. So finally I saw a few little spiders on the wall and tried to kill them with bug spray. All that did was make my house smell like poison, make us cough, and I had to open the windows on a 90+ degree, super humid day to air it out.

Come Sunday I woke up to the infestation!!! There were a TON of teeny specks all moving around the corners of my ceiling. I have a vaulted ceiling so this seriously sucked to kill them. There was a broom, a folding chair, and yelling for Noah to stop shaking the chair while I stood on it. My neighbors may have seen me through the window, standing on the couch, trying to smash multiple spider specks throughout the day.

What I figured out later was that I had brought out a comforter from my closet, and even though I shook it out I bet the spider babies were waiting to hatch. When I put it over the couch (long story), they must've escaped en mass. Just now, writing this, I killed another six near the lamplight. Ick. Just ick. If you breathe on them, they blow away!

At least I can open the windows tomorrow and spray the place down with actual spider spray! They will die. I will not have them grow up to be big, scary, horrible, living in my corners, crawling on my computer while I work SPIDERS!!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Why our post offices lose money...





I made a very thrifty purchase of an expensive perfume I've been lusting after for a while. It was on sale, had a gift w/purchase, and I had a coupon for free shipping. I'm thrilled to get it and put it on. What is annoying is this nonsense by the USPS:
Electronic Shipping Info Received, August 10, 2009Shipment Accepted; August 10, 2009, 4:40 pm, ROMEOVILLE, IL 60446
Processed through Sort Facility, August 10, 2009, 7:45 pm, CHICAGO, IL 60701
My town from Romeoville = 11 miles
My town from Chicago = 32 miles

STREAMLINE DAMMIT!!! It is ridiculous that it had to go to Chicago first. This is why our stamps cost so much, inefficiency.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Do I Have a Sign on My Back?

Damned if I do, damned if I don't. I don't understand where people get off giving unsolicited parenting advice. Two in two weeks from strangers. I would totally get it if I was weeping in a corner helplessly or dragging him on a leash or letting him run amok without a word. I do not get what makes people think they can tell me how to parent. I'm seriously wondering if I had a ring on, or a man around, if people would be so quick to 'help' me.

After the Nosy Neighbor (official name now) gave me his 'official parenting advice' to get my kid outside to play, I purposely walked to the drugstore so Nosy Neighbor would STFU. As we came home, that man was out on his balcony shouting to me, "See that's what I was talking about! That's what he needs. That's what I like to see!" Are you KIDDING ME?! And yelling off a balcony! I let Noah jump around the apartment and be loud until bedtime. And those kids Nosey Neighbor indicated my child should emulate in being outside all the time? Seen kicking our other neighbor's car because it has an alarm that talks. Lovely example.

Fast forward to two weeks later, Wednesday afternoon.

Noah and I ran errands, went on a long walk to play at the park for 1.5 hours, and I did one very large load of laundry at the laundromat. I knew the kid would be wiped out during laundry. He was having some issues on the way to the car from the park, "I don't LIKE the car! I don't LIKE laundry! I don't LIKE to go home!" and wanting to be picked up and carried. I knew I'd have to be creative in keeping him sane for two hours. Just two very loooooong hours in public with a super meltdown looming on the horizon. I knew that I'd be doing a lot of counting, threatening, and redirection to ensure he wasn't a disturbance. No pushing the carts, no touching the machines, and no shouting inside. He had a snack and juice and I kept him engaged at all times. I have Cheetos cheese on my clean white socks to prove it!

What he did do was put his foot over the threshold over and over because I told him not to. Every time we'd get near the doorway, he'd stop and slide his foot over to the outside just to test me. He finally put his whole body outside the door and I told him to get inside more than once. Then I pretended to walk away to get him to follow, which usually brings my child running in fear of being left...but it did NOT work! I walked maybe three steps, and he said, "Well go then." and laughed at me. I started to take a step towards him to lead him inside, but as I did, he ran over before he would get in big trouble. Fine. I let it slide because he came back in.

All the sudden, Ms. Random Customer starts telling me that I "need to pick him up and bring him in to make him listen." She obviously read the same sign on me as Nosy Neighbor that said, "Please comment on my parenting." She then continued on that while he's little I need to teach him so when he's bigger it's not as hard, and that's why God makes kids little so you can remove them from what they're doing wrong. That I should get loud with him, and I don't have to spank him, but be firm with him so he knows I'm in charge. She then started telling my child that he has to listen to me because I'm keeping him safe and he could get smooshed by cars if he runs off! Guess which one of us made him cry? It wasn't me. I got to do damage control as she went on her merry way. Here I had been having fun with my kid all day (outside), and then I got that crap dumped on me.

So in the last two weeks I've had some random lady telling me to be firm with my kid even if he has a fit, and a neighbor who hates listening to my child have fits when I am firm. I'm officially done being polite to any more people commenting on how I should be parenting. I am not even for a second going to doubt my parenting based on other people's opinions of my child's behavior. I am a great mom to my son! I know I am because I have a great kid who loves me. Period.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Busy

I just spent a super busy week filled with working 12 hour days to pay the bills, trying to get my kid outside (stupid neighbor), and doing a logo/flyer for a fundraiser.

I'll have more to say later, but I'm going to focus on my kid as much as I can this weekend. He was SO good all week while I was glued to a computer working. We only got out twice for a short walk this week, but Noah finally lost it today and had two nasty tantrums.

The next two weeks will be easier work-wise, and I scheduled 1/2 days on Wednesdays for 'fun days'.

School starts soon and I'm SO ready! I'm also apartment hunting online in hopes the 'perfect' place will show up there. See...busy, but mostly caught up!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Good News for School

My financial aid appeal for fall semester at my current school was approved! Nothing was falling into place with my transfer school, and I've learned that when things just don't click there's a reason for it. It doesn't keep me from worrying about it, but I do remember to look for other avenues that open up in the meantime. Things happen when they're meant to happen.

Now I can get my timing belt fixed, pay for preschool, and move (thank god). Granted, it's not until the end of August, but I can breathe a little easier knowing it's there. I can sleep again. I bet I see an attitude change in my child as well with my reduced stress levels. What a relief.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Better Days

Noah went with his dad until Sunday night. I think it's actually vacation with grandma and other family members out of state. I know he's in good hands so I'm not worried. Ok, a little worried, but not any more than when he's here. I'm relieved to have the extra time apart after the week I've had and I'm sure he is too. I'm sure when he gets home it will have done us both good and we can start refreshed.

It's always strange not having him here and the quiet throws me off completely. I keep thinking I should go check on him because he must be sleeping in the bedroom, and then realize no I don't because it's just me. Then I realize I won't get woken up by a toy truck bashed into my face, like on Tuesday. I can work all day and not feel guilty, and I will probably make more money as I'll finish my incoming work more quickly. I can leave the cookies on the counter and not have Noah ask for one for breakfast & then meltdown when I say no! But I also won't get my hugs and kisses and my silly stories all day either.

I know he's having fun swimming, running, playing with his half-brother, and probably his cousins too. I want that for him as often as possible. I want to know he's enjoying his time away from me to the fullest. Granted, it causes some guilt that I can't cater to him all day every day too, but that's the life of a single, working parent. I get to enjoy him and his adorableness every single day, and I know my son better than anyone, and that really is a gift.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Am I a Bad Mom?

Sometimes when we're doubting ourselves about something, and someone points out our perceived or real failures, it isn't appreciated at all. Especially when it comes to parenting. Especially when it comes from someone who doesn't know you at all, or anything about your personal situation. Even if they've been a parent.

That was my reality today as I tried to sneak downstairs to get the mail. My downstairs neighbor called me out by very nicely saying that as a former parent, and a man, and that my son will become a man, my son needs to get outside to play and get some energy out, like the kids that are outside playing everyday. All I could think of was that I wasn't wearing a bra with my tank top and hadn't really combed my hair at all, and my kid was in a pull up and tshirt. The white trash extraordinaire look for sure. My witty response to all this guilt spewed on me? "Well I work from home so..." He cut me off, but I was so shocked a neighbor was talking to me that I was speechless.

Let me point out that these kids who are outside playing have no parental supervision, tear things up (such as my car), and are much older than Noah. I'm glad their parents allow that if it works for them, but Noah is 3, so I'm pretty sure letting him run wild outside by a street with speeding cars will get me a DCFS case. Also, the man has no idea what my life is like right now. I know my child needs to be outside playing! I also know rent is due on the 1st and my ex quit his job so the child support may not come, and my financial aid isn't coming either. So I'm relying solely on working for 10+ hours a day to make sure I have enough money this month. My savings was already depleted by emergencies and unexpected events. So I'm flying by the seat of my pants and a prayer. To top off my stress this week, the ex isn't paying COBRA to keep his kid insured per the divorce papers and didn't tell me, so Noah's been uninsured!

Needless to say Noah's time outdoors is suffering and being in an apartment on the third floor isn't conducive to playing freely outside. I can't even let him on the balcony unless I can see him, which I can't from my computer area. I feel like shit already over this without someone telling me what I 'need' to do with my child. I have an exhusband who's great at that already. I have things for Noah to do in the house, including his trampoline, and the windows/blinds are wide open. I feel like I'm neglecting my kid because we only get Saturdays and sometimes Sundays to go to the park or to go to a local event. I only have short breaks during the day to feed my kid or get him to sleep. I am STRESSED OUT and until rent is paid the next two months, I'm going to be worried about money. There's nothing that can be done about this.

Also due to the stress in the house, Noah is acting out big time. The tantrums are out of control. Not sleeping is a given for us both now. He's defiant in his actions and his words. He's willful and stubborn in trying to get his way. He's had me in tears twice this week not knowing if I should give in or stand firm. The screaming for his stories and for milk late at night had to have helped spur this conversation with the neighbor occur. If I heard a kid screaming forever about milk at 11pm, which was his way of delaying going to sleep, I'd be pissed off too. Of course my irritation and yelling to "NO! GO TO BED!" probably didn't help either. I'm the dreaded horrible neighbor now.

So now I'm here second guessing my neighbor's motivation. Was it spurred by the 3 yo jumping around on his ceiling and all the active behaviors he has to hear? Is it the insane loud hysterical tantrums that even I can barely get through with my sanity intact? On one hand, I feel like if someone isn't a contributing member of my house then they can keep their opinions to themselves. On the other hand, I worry that I really am screwing up here and damaging my kid by not getting him outside to play. I hate doubting myself. I've had enough stress put on me this week. I already wanted to move so the kid could play & run in a yard while I work, but I can't right now. I know we're probably obnoxious neighbors and it sucks, but it's an apartment and he's 3.

I'm doing the best I can. I can't do more and I can't work less. Now I'm just going to try to keep Noah from being too loud, or jumping around too much. I'm going to try to keep potential tantrums from escalating, even if it means my kid 'wins' for the next 1.5 weeks. I'm really starting to wonder if looking for an 'office job' in this market is what I need to do so we can move, and so my child starts having fun everyday instead of just being stuck inside with his mom all day. I just don't know anymore. I don't know if I'm doing is right or wrong. I just know I'm feeling like the worst parent ever.

The Honest Scrap Award




I got my first 'award' from Spewage and it's possibly the only meme I've done on this blog!

“The Honest Scrap award is given by other bloggers who consider a blog’s content or design to be brilliant. The awardee must then post ten honest things about themselves and pass the award on to other bloggers who fit the bill – in other words, whose blog is brilliant.”
  1. I'm insanely private secretive, but I keep a public blog. Go figure. What happens is I tend to spring my big news on people all at once, and usually via email. My marriage, my separation, and my pregnancy all fall in that category. I'm not sure if it's the shock value or the avoidance part that makes me do it. My sister and brother do this too.

  2. I'm an email/texting kind of person. I hate talking on the phone and avoid it at all costs. Again, very likely an avoidance thing. I think it's the feeling that I know they'll see my email at some point & the person can answer when they have time.

  3. I have a 2 minute phone hold policy. Comcast, the government, and the electric company being the only two that get a pass on this. I hate being put on hold when someone takes a call on call waiting. If I'm left on the other line for that long, I assume it's important and they can call me back later.

  4. I just figured out that Pamprin/Midol is the best thing EVER made! Not sure how I've gone almost all my post-puberty years without using these items! Since my tubes were tied after having Noah, my PMS has escalated to extremes & it sucks.

  5. I freak out if I see someone using a toaster right under their wood cabinets. I don't even like my toaster plugged in if I'm not using it. My sister and brother freak out too. We had a toaster catch on fire when we were younger, I was maybe 9 or 10, and I just threw water on it. I know right? My dad was at work & my sister and brother were toasting something and had to wake me up to tell me it was on fire. I thought they were tricking me again. It only blackened the bottom of the cabinet, but it was a good lesson, and it stuck obviously.

  6. I've moved almost as many times as I have years on this earth. Some years were multiple moves, and the longest stretch was maybe 4 years when I was in elementary school, and 2 years as an adult. I think. I'm ready to move again but to a place where my kid can go to a good school and stay put. Ok, well maybe we'll move again after that, but in the good school district or a better one. LOL The thought of staying in one place for the next 10+ years makes me feel weird.

  7. I've been homeless twice. Once was as a child with my dad, and once as an adult with my child. I never lived in a homeless shelter, but I lived in a station wagon for a summer with my dad & siblings. It was our big adventure. I also lived in transitional housing for a year when Noah was 1. It's why I want my son to have a stable home now before he's in school.

  8. I can recall almost every book I've ever read, but I can't remember titles or authors. Not photographic memory, but if I read a few pages of something I read as a teenager or in my 20's, I remember it clearly. I can tell you about most the books I read in grade school. I've accidentally read second books in a series, not realizing it was the same author, and have thought, "I know these characters from somewhere!" and had to look up if it was related to the book I was remembering. This has happened three times recently. A typical paperback is done in a couple hours. I obviously do well on reading comprehension tests.

  9. I am a huge blog lurker! I will easily lurk for months or even years before putting a comment on someone's blog or I'll drive by comment and then not comment again for ages. Sometimes I start a comment, but then delete it because it seems irrelevant or trite or weird. I obviously don't comment for the hits & I'm absolutely not in the 'in crowd' of bloggers. Oddly, I regularly read at least 40 blogs on my RSS feed. The first blogger I 'followed', and still follow, is Spynotes. I believe her son was the same age as Noah, and he's now in second grade. I think I've only left 2 -3 comments on her blog total. I've only twice emailed fellow bloggers and I'm terrible about keeping up with it. I'd really like to get out and meet some of my fellow local bloggers, but I have no idea how to go about that. LOL I'm a social moron apparently.

  10. I've been blogging since 2003, I think, but have kept written journals since childhood. I think I started blogging at Diaryland, tried Livejournal, and settled into Journalspace for years before ending up on Blogger. JS died a sad little death when a former employee did something to it, but thankfully I had backed up all my entries. I also had a very personal blog on there that caused family drama and hurt by some of my 'from the heart' and honest entries. I thought it was private and hard to find. LOL! See #1.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Potty Training Success

If you're squeamish about body functions or aren't potty training your kid, or never ever potty trained a child, this will probably not be the post for you. Although I'm sure I'm jinxing it by writing this.

Over the weekend I decided I had had enough of buying pull ups. I was done with worrying if I had enough for a week or two, clipping coupons for them, and watching the sale papers for deals. He was going through pull ups faster than diapers and they sure don't give you very many in a package! So I dug out all the big boy undies I've had stashed away, cleaned up the little potty seat, and buckled down for a week of potty training boot camp! It helped that a fellow blogger is in the potty trenches as well, but with two kids, AND is approx 24 weeks pregnant with TWINS no less. I truly am impressed and in awe of her! It's nice to know someone else is doing it at the same time as you.

So I figured I'd have two weeks before Noah goes to his daddy's house again so we wouldn't be interrupted. By the time his dad gets him, it won't be a huge drama for the ex to keep up the pace and will only need the seat cover so Noah doesn't fall in. So far we're on track for that to happen and it's awesome. I wouldn't say we're on the way to wearing undies out in public, but maybe by the end of the month? He should be done in time for preschool...oh the possibilities.

The most telling reason I decided to try the hard core potty training this time was he started hiding away to poop. God, I almost did a happy dance the first time I realized he was doing that! I knew he was finally ready for real when I saw that. We've been doing this potty thing for a year, but until he knew he had to go and cared about it, he just wasn't going to pull his undies off to go. The first day I used candy bribes and constantly asked if he had to pee and offered a lot of juice boxes. He even pooped in the potty that day. That exceeded my expectations! I think that first day the wet undies and the treats made sure he really got it that his body was peeing. My carpet took a beating though. My sanity took a beating the first two days. Although, I thought Friday was Wednesday until I saw 'Follow Friday' on Twitter! So I may just have 'forgotten' how bad it was, but if you ask a friend of mine who was on the phone with me at one point, she may claim she heard hysteria creeping in.

The second day wasn't as successful, but not just in potty training. We had a really, really bad day in general. After that day he progressed nicely and bribes aren't even on his radar. He's in pull ups still but pulls them down now to go, which when he pooped it saved me from nasty underwear (gagging). Poop in potties makes me gag, but in diapers it's okay. So weird. Now sometimes he will stop what he's doing, even if it's exciting, to run to the potty. I'd say we're at 90%? Not ready to leave the house in underwear, but almost ready for undies all day at home. I want to transition him to the regular toilet w/potty cover first before we try that, & to get him ready for his dad's house next weekend. His dad is totally in charge of the standing up thing...later, much later.

I keep thinking about errands and hearing, "I have to pee!" while we're driving on a busy street or at a red light. Being tied to locations with bathrooms and knowing where they are at all times. Our favorite park doesn't have a bathroom anywhere near it, and I think if he whipped it out on a tree, the snooty ladies would chase us out of there like Frankenstein's monster. *sighs* Now I see why other moms told me potty training will make me crazy. I'm already overthinking it! The upside is that he can go to preschool! Wheeeee!

I guess it's true that you just have to wait until the child is ready. I really tried all different ways to potty train this past year. Sometimes he was all for it but quit, sometimes he just sat forever on the potty (making me insane), and mostly he just was not hearing it at all. Suddenly his body started letting him know he had to go, and his mental part wanted to be a big boy like his brother, and it all just clicked for him. This week has really just been more successful than I could have imagined. It's just all happening so quickly compared to our past failures and stress. You just can't force it until the planets align just right! Who knew? (Besides all those other moms who said so.)

I love the park

I love the park more when I go with friends who have kids close to Noah's age. I need to remember to do this more often, just call someone who's free during the day & go. Today a friend of mine, with a boy very much like Noah, changed my mind about being a recluse all the time. It was nice to have someone for him to navigate towards when the bigger kids were too much for his abilities.

Noah gravitates to big kids when we go alone, and sometimes they get him in trouble. Like the kid who was going to boost Noah up enough to get on a sliding handle thing...no idea what it is called, but bad for children who cannot reach on their own! I remembered to thank him for helping Noah, after my heart attack ended! The scarier part was my kid was totally on board and not even scared to be up so high!

Also, there are kids who are older but take Noah's little boy playing, pretending he's a superhero or in Star Wars, as a personal affront. Noah is 3, and he plays in pretend-ville right now. Everything is light sabers, pirates, and dinosaurs. He thinks his Batman jammies make him into Batman for goodness sakes! So the one kid who got in Noah's face like he was going to hit him, was a huge problem and got me all momma-bear. I don't care if my child said he was going to 'shoot you, cut you, punch your butt', or whatever crazy karate chop hands he did in the air, big kids should know little kids are weird. Noah thinks he's asking kids to play whatever game, and expects them to pretend play pretend right back. He's not really going to hit other kids. He's never actually hit another kid that I remember. If my kid DID do anything physically aggressive, or hurt someone, he'd be in trouble. We go over how it's not nice to talk nasty and mean, but I know he's influenced by things he sees. Even the Veggie Tales Pirates movie has slashing with swords! Dinosaurs roar at each other and are agressive. Maybe some kids just prey on other smaller kids?

Fortunately for Noah, momma was there to give the big kid 'the look' to rethink his intimidation on my kid. Watching from where the big kid couldn't see, it was like a shark circling on a minnow, and showing off for his older friend. There was pure shock on the boy's face to see a grownup step into sight when he moved in to hurt my kid. Had the boy not been giving his friend a running commentary about what he was doing, I may not have noticed what was happening as soon as I did.

I just don't know what else to do to explain to him that it's not a good idea to yell "hiya!" with karate chop hands at big kids without him getting hurt by one eventually. Granted, most of the bigger kids on the park just ignored him, played with him, or laughed at him, but I cringe inside when he's trying to get kids to play. I think it's weird the way he acts because we're not around other kids his age. The kids we know all have very different personalities from Noah. Then again, I'm not a boy and never was good at playing with other kids either. Maybe I'm just being too sensitive about how he plays with other kids. Maybe as he gets closer to 4 & 5 his social skills will improve. He'll likely have started preschool or daycare part time by then.

Sometimes I wonder if daycare would be better for Noah. He is SO social and loves interacting with people. I feel like having him here with me isn't doing him any good. He could be doing fun crafts, and learning, and playing outside every day. I know it's not the same as my caring for him, but I'm just second guessing myself lately. I wonder if we're driving each other crazy being together all the time. It's not the same as being a stay at home mom & having him home with me is making me feel bad. I just wonder if he needs more than just me to help him grow into a well-rounded little boy. I just don't want 'the talk' from his teacher in kindergarten telling me that my son is a 'great kid but a little rambunctious' aka a terror to other kids. Paying for daycare means getting a job out of the home. In this market, I think it'll be a little longer before that happens. Ah, parenthood, full of guilt out of love for our kids. It's a wonderful thing.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Fighting Sleep

I don't think my child ever wants to sleep again. It's almost 1:00am and my son is awake. He's laying down but still awake. I can hear him. I know it's a developmental thing where he's fighting for control and autonomy. I know this because all he does is tell me NO all day, but then runs over for a hug as if I might not love him anymore. He says he needs "two kisses and two hugs, that's all." Cracks me up. So even though he manages not to wake up at ungodly hours before 8am, he still refuses to go to sleep by 8:30p. And I even consider that late for a 3 year old. But he will often nap for a good 2 hours in the afternoon. If he skips the 'quiet time/nap' in the afternoon, getting him to stay up until bedtime becomes a fight of epic proportions. Sometimes he's so wound up and overtired that I he can't sleep and ends up awake at like 10pm but crying and yelling at me for like breathing wrong. Then I'm the bad mom who has a kid up and playing at ridiculous hours of the night. I also become 'really irritated inside mommy' because my kid is bouncing off the walls and I need quiet after 9pm. I finally told him that the dark circles under his eyes don't go away until he sleeps & they will make his eyes fall out if he doesn't. It works 60% of the time.

The bedtime routine I was loving so much hasn't been working at all these past few weeks. The 'peaceful, peaceful song' from our yoga class isn't working either (actually it's Happy Thoughts on the Child's Play by Wah CD) and that was guaranteed to work. Now all it does is put me to sleep while I whisper sing the lyrics to him. He's usually yelling at me to "WAKE UP! Sing peaceful, peaceful mommy!" and I'm like, "OMG how are you still awake; please close your eyes and go to SLEEP!" Then I suggest the CD version and he says, "I don't LIKE that one! YOU sing it!" and I put it on anyway so he gets mad and has a tantrum. The upside is that he's finally deciding, on his own, that he's going to sleep in his big-boy bed by himself! Hooray!

Tomorrow is the other exciting topic of all mommy-bloggers, when we don't all talk about sleeping or not sleeping...POTTY TRAINING!!! Also known as, how to make yourself completely insane in just a few days, but still see it as a success.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

More later

Because I couldn't have another quickie! Well, I could but it's just not satisfying. Thanks to everyone who left comments on my last post. I think I was melting down that day in a serious way.

The tantrums continue, and I know that they're usually worse after going to his dad's house overnight, but it sure doesn't prepare me for them. Today has been a bad day, yesterday was a good day. I knew 3 was going to be bad, but WOW!!!! Wow. You just can't prepare someone for this age and have them believe you.

Did I mention I decided to start potty training boot camp here? I'm a glutton for punishment people. No more pull ups unless sleeping or out in public! Undies all the time at home. I just cannot bear to have to buy ugly, expensive, yucky pull-ups every week. I have a small potty in my living room, which I hate but allows me to keep an eye on things and ask Noah 100 times if he needs to pee. I have a potty seat thing for the normal toilet in the bathroom too. We're at about 50 - 60% success right now. I officially need a washer/dryer in my apartment & my rug will need a good cleaning!

I'm working like crazy to make up for the financial aid fiasco that I caused for myself. I transfer in the new school in September anyway, so it's fine and we'll make it. I always manage to get through it.

I think my left foot is swollen a bit and my heels have been hurting. I keep telling myself it's just that I need to lose weight (like 80 lbs) and it'll all be fine. Eventually I'll get around to that physical I've been meaning to schedule.

There was a yucky yellow spider hanging off my mail as I walked back to my apartment. Very gross.

I have three posts in my head and have yet to write one down. I'm working on it!

Friday, July 10, 2009

A quickie

I got dropped from summer school completely without owing anything, and I hate the age of 3 already. We're only two months into it and I hate it.

I'm writing this while my temper-tantrum-having, smacking-me-in-the-face, naughty child is in time out wailing hysterically. I'm having a great f'ing day already.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Failure of my Education

I'm totally flunking out of school. I'm currently on financial aid probation and it's really put a huge cramp in my budgeting. I knew that when I failed my statistics class (again) that I was in trouble. I take on so much I don't have time for what has to be done. I get sucked into time wasters and blow off important things because I always feel like I don't have enough 'me time' & I want to have fun too. So then I feel guilty taking any time for myself even to read a magazine because that's an hour I should've done homework, or work, or cleaning. Usually homework is the one I blow off thinking I can catch up. Now I'm in trouble at the community college I attend. From straight A's to barely passing. I'd have never imagined this for myself. I love school. I love learning and I'm screwing it up.

Thankfully I'm transferring into my 4 year for the fall, but that doesn't start until September. Meaning any financial aid I would get isn't coming my way for a while. If my financial aid appeal for summer is denied I can't drop my current summer classes either. No matter what I have to finish them because I have to pay for them. I'm not dropping classes and still paying $550 for them! I have two tests in two different psychology classes that are due tomorrow or I get dropped automatically. Since my probation appeal is still being processed, I basically have to take them or the financial aid probation is moot. I just won't get it because I won't even be in school at that point, AND I'll still owe them the money for the classes because the drop date for a refund passed weeks ago! It sucks. My time management sucks. Even having everything planned out on my Outlook, I just really suck at figuring out how much I have to work so that I have time for my child, myself, and homework. I had to drop the two meetup groups I organized because it was overwhelming me, and I wanted to make time for my family and for just Noah and I to be together without me working or being on the Internet. Even now, while writing this, I am pissed at myself for not doing homework and studying instead of blogging!

I thought about how I've let my grades slip these last two semesters. I'm not counting the three times I failed Statistics because I passed my other classes with A's and B's! I take my classes online though the local community college. I do this because it's not really that close to me at all. Since I moved, it's really far actually. I just wasn't ready to transfer. When I started school I didn't have Noah but now him here all day, and then when he goes to bed I try to say I'm doing my homework. Most the time I schedule myself to work instead. Or I try to catch up on reducing the daily clutter. Then I let the clutter build up while I did homework instead of working. Then I needed the money from work and everything fell apart! I'm figured out that now, with a child, that I need the time in a classroom to focus and learn. I don't know how to find the time for writing papers with my child here. I'm practically plugged into my computer all the time. I think my kid believes computers are part of our bodies now. Somehow I have to write 3, five-page minimum, research papers in a couple weeks. I used to knock out 3 pages like nothing. Now I'm dreading it for the time involved.

So basically the point is I'm screwing up. My focus used to be on getting straight A's before my son was born, and now I'm lucky to get a C most the time. I just procrastinate and procrastinate and play catch up every single day. I'm never going to catch up to my list of to do items. I don't even think I'm made that way. I sometimes wish I was more like my sister who can go and go and go & plows through her day with sheer will power with three kids in school! I only have one here at home. I just don't know how to prioritize and organize my time so that I can fit it in and be more productive, but also stay sane and healthy. It's like I'm a hoarder of activities and events, but I can't pare down my task list to a more sane level that I can handle. It's not reasonable to think that I can pull 12 credit hours of school, 50+ hours at work, and my active child at the same time, plus keep a household running with laundry, dishes, and other cleaning! Add 'fun stuff' like the zoo, family events, and just summer fun in general...it's just not possible. Yet here I am trying to do all that and more. If I read that on anyone else's blog, I'd be like, "Are you crazy?!" Yet, I'm pissed at myself for not being able to do MORE! Now I want to figure out how to fix it all.

It's just what I need, to add another to do item to the list: "Organize your life". Somehow I think that checkbox is going to stay unmarked for a long, long while. I'd be better off putting, "Go to sleep before 3am."

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Safety Factor

In the previous post I mentioned the safety issue for wanting to move. Everything last night completely solidified that reason. It's like the psycho train stopped in my complex after I got home from going to the zoo with my mom! I honestly thought when I moved to this town that it was safe. I think every safe, quiet suburb has a spot where the crime rate just lives and breathes. I live in that spot in my burb.

Yesterday Noah and I hopped on the Metra train to meet up with my mom and we all drove on to the zoo. I kept thinking how much I enjoy just getting on the train to go somewhere and how I like that our line is convenient for my mom to pick us up. I don't even need to haul the car seat because she has one for just this kind of thing. Although, when the Metra leaves Chicago 10 minutes EARLY, and it only runs every 2 hours on Sunday, you'll be watching your train leave your station just as you're driving up to it! Thankfully my mom was able to drive us to the station by my house where I'd parked earlier. So I was telling my mom that instead of moving to my 'stalker city' that's on a less convenient Metra line, maybe I'd stay put if my heater got fixed or I could move into to the two bedroom downstairs. My mom gently reminded me that it's the safety issue that I always complain about, which really is the main reason I want to move. So I started considering other towns on the same Metra line that might work in addition to stalking my ideal suburb.

Then, just to prove that the safety issue is the most important reason to move from here, at around 5pm I hear screaming and all sorts of insanity outside my window in the parking lot. It's the 4th of July weekend so the fireworks and loud people were expected and annoying. I got over it. I usually just look out and make sure my car is okay and try to ignore it. This time it was so bad I called 911. They said they already had people who were on the line for that issue, but they never showed up here. Considering the police and/or firetrucks are in this complex every week, I was shocked. I guess because the people drove away, it wasn't necessary?

Fast forward to 9:30pm, people start shouting at each other across the parking lot to "Shut the fuck up" and other nasty things. I guess because screaming at other loud people helps the situation? Right. Then I noticed out my window some fireworks over the trees in the next town over and Noah and I stood at the window to watch. All the sudden it's not flashing fireworks, it's a flashing police cruiser RACING down our street! Then another, and then sirens from two MORE police cars rushing to my complex! WTF! All our cars were blocked in, not that I was leaving, but still it was insane. So now I look like the nosey neighbor who's trying to see the drama, but in reality I was trying to keep my kid's attention on the fireworks in the sky. I don't know why so many cops showed up or what the neighbors did to cause such insanity here, but I'm sure it was related to the 911 drama earlier. At least having the cops zoom up all fast made the stupid shouting people in the other buildings shut up! I bet they thought the cops were coming for their stupid assses.

So not only did my child NOT get to quietly enjoy the fireworks out the window, but he got to hear lots of swearing, flashing police lights, and his mom muttering to herself that we've got to move asap. I don't know what I was thinking about when I said maybe I'd like to stay here near the train station because we can walk to it! Aparently I needed this quick reminder that my neighborhood sucks and we need to move before something really bad happens. Seriously, I'm just waiting for the shooting to happen in the parking lot. I just hope we're not home to see or hear it.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Itching to Move - again

I'm itching to move. I always move. I think the longest I ever stayed in one place was three or four years and I was like...8 years old. As an adult, probably two years max. I just can't stay still. I get the itch to go and I'm out as soon as possible. In the past, it was just local until I moved to AZ and back. Except now Noah is almost school age. Pre-school age anyway, and that leads to kindergarten and so on. So the urge to stay still has finally kicked in and I get it! I get how some kids in high school lived in one place for their whole lives. Ok, I don't GET it for ME, because that's never been true for me, but I get it for my son. I'd like him to be able to say, "This is my friend from when I was 8." In my case, I don't even know if Facebook can help me connect to all the people I only knew in passing. I stopped trying to remember people's names, and to this day, I'm terrible at names.

The point being is that I'm researching better areas, crime rates, school ratings, commute options, and of course price. Ideally, I'd like to be in walking distance to parks, the Metra, shops, childcare, my college, and other minor things. My car isn't always reliable so knowing I can get my needs met w/o a car gives me peace of mind. Winter being the yuck variable in there when it comes to walking. I hate cold! My current area has crap schools, bad crime rates, but is close to shopping, a daycare, my college, a park, and the Metra. I'll take safety over a nearby park any day! I'd love to rent a townhome with a yard for Noah to play, but probably out of my price range at this moment. Since I work at home, I don't pay for daycare, but I also make less. It also means my job comes with me if I move. When I moved from the transitional housing 2-bedroom apartment, we moved into a 1-bedroom apartment since I KNEW I could make the rent by just working & no school financial aid or child support. I thought I was moving to a better neighborhood since this is touted as one of those "U.S. News Top Ten" blah blah towns. Bwahahahahaha! Not in my part I guess. I also didn't count on feeling so cramped and crowded. I'd also have chosen the ground floor now that I know 3 year olds need room to run around.

Mostly the cost of living in a decent area in Chicagoland is kicking my want-to-move butt! My other choice is to move out of state to a location with a lower cost of living. I could rent something MUCH nicer than I have here, & probably safer too. Of course that means changing the divorce papers unless I move to NC, but that's likely out. Some of the things there have changed so I'm not sure that would work anymore. Then there's AZ, where I lived before and was quite content pre-baby years. But will having a child so far from everyone be doable? I like being able to see my family when there are events. I like the things Chicago has to offer if we want to hop on the train. I don't like the weather, and I don't like the weather! LOL I just don't know if AZ is doable with a child as a single parent. Plus the schools suck and it's not really THAT safe for Noah as he gets older. I have friends there, but it's not like seeing your family and having your child know their extended family.

So then there's the suburb I lived in when I was in transitional housing. The library sucked but was by a bigger one in the neighboring town. It was central to my friends and to family. Close to Metra, a hospital, parks, shopping, and it was quiet. I love quiet. Ok, my neighbors were NOT quiet and were super, extra horrible. Part of that had to do with the crappy insulation in the apartment and hearing everything they did, like sneezing and sex and DCFS visiting. It was so awsome. Not. So I've been stalking all the rental listings in that city and watching for one of the few apartments go up for rent. I saw two this spring, but I wasn't ready to move yet. There's one coming up in December, but they're listing it $50 over the market value of identical apartments right next door. If I could get them to come down, I'd be on it immediately. I only moved from that place because I thought I couldn't afford it. Now I wish I'd stayed and not panicked over the cost. I'd have icky neighbors, but the place that's opening up is the one the icky neighbors were in. I'm concerned because it's second floor and I remember what it was like living under two toddlers jumping and running. I know there's no way I can get Noah to NOT be an active toddler. They'll hear me doing everything. Not sure how I feel about that either.

So I continue to stalk apartment listings in that town, while I keep looking in AZ and other places in the U.S. that sound interesting. I just don't know where I want to go, but I need to choose soon as pre-school is on the horizon. I just know we can't stay here when Noah goes to school. I suppose something will happen when it's meant to happen. I just hate waiting to see what it is.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

I think the whole blogosphere has pretty much said all there is to say on this.

I'll be calling my dad later and my kid comes home tonight.

I hope all the fathers out there have a great day today and get to enjoy their day to the fullest!

It's almost over

My week of childlessness is almost over. I get my son back tomorrow and I haven't talked to him since Thursday. I'm not happy about this, but I know my son is having fun there so I'll live. We'll be back to our routine eventually, and I'm sure he'll be full of tantrums and vinegar for a while. I'll live.

Between the weather, PMS, the ex driving me crazy, & missing my child to death, I was feeling totally blah and lazy. I didn't finish sorting toys or clothes or anything else I wanted to do, and I was just LAZY. Totally and completely lazy when I wasn't working. Instead of making me feel rejuvenated, I was feeling so blah today.

I had done everything to waste time that I could do. Read through my stack of books, watched all my DVR shows, and slept as much as I humanly could. I even watched a scary movie, which I NEVER do! I HATE scary movies. I actually started watching it the night before, stopped it, and finished in the daytime. My heart was just racing and I put on Nemo before going to bed so I wouldn't have nighmares. I'm such a dork. Today, I was only awake for just over 3 hours today before I went back to sleep from 1 - 5:00 pm. I'm not sleeping well without my child nearby. I also had a headache from PMS and Tylenol makes me fall asleep. Weird but they do, even if I take them with my coffee.

I had crazy dreams while I was napping. I dreamed I was in one of those reality modeling shows and I was the 'fat' girl. I was trying to find my shoes for a challenge but they were missing and everyone else's shoes were all over the house, hundreds of them. All in my size but they weren't mine, and I couldn't 'steal' their shoes even though they had obviously taken mine so I had none. In my dream, my mental voice kept telling me to just take a damn pair already, but I had to keep searching until I found MINE! Even when the perfect pair, that matched my most fabulously colored dress, were right in front of me I couldn't take them. In other words, the nap sucked.

Anyway, my friend convinced me to leave the house and do something fun before Noah gets home. I tried to weasel out, but gave in since I really was so super bored...and she shot down all my reasons to stay home and mope. So the choice was to see either The Proposal or The Hangover. I figured The Proposal was predictable and bleh to romance, or The Hangover would be low-brow, potty humor which I hate. So I chose The Hangover because really I did not want to see anything love/romance related that might be stupid and even if The Hangover sucked, there had to be SOME funny parts.

The Hangover was f'ing HILARIOUS! I laughed the whole way through, gasped in horror and amusement, and was mortified by the ending credits, in a funny way. It wasn't really stupid like I thought it might be. It was the perfect movie to see for my mood. I wish I could describe why it was so hilarious but it was. Plus, I got to get a little dressed up and wear my new, cute sandals.

Now I feel all motivated to get everything clean and organized before my child gets home! Considering I slept all day, I'll be up all night cleaning, will get groceries and diapers in the early morning, and nap in the daytime before his dad drops him off. This way I can just go to bed when Noah does tomorrow night. I miss him sleeping in my house. My baby is coming home tomorrow!!!! Hooray!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Give a Mile, Take an Inch

For the first time since my son was born, he's visiting his father for more than 24 hours. Seven days to be exact. Most my twitter and facebook followers have been watching my crazy unfold as I go through the paces of "Hooray!" to "WTF this sucks."

I had BIG plans for this week and so far it's not working out the way I saw it in my head. I did not anticipate the ex fighting with me over the visitation. So that was super fun to argue with him before he got our child and almost everyday after. Good times. Completely unnecessary if he wouldn't try to change the visitation on a whim without talking to me at all.

Again this summer, my ex's older son is here from out of state and he's playing super dad. Any other time of year it's a struggle to get him to follow the 1st and 3rd weekends in the divorce papers. Even then it's only Saturday night to Sunday night, not even bothering with the Friday night he's allowed/supposed to take. So exactly what gives my ex the right to tell me I can't talk to my son on the phone while he's at his dad's house? Just because the boy is distracted from all the fun, the ex can't be bothered to dial a phone to put to his ear? I almost lost it and drove to his house to get our child on Wednesday. Making me the bad guy in the process of course. Keeping me from my child means the mile I gave him with this week's visitation will go right back to the inch he takes the rest of the year. Our child is not a plaything & this week-long visitation was supposed to be 'in the best interest of the child' so we could all enjoy it. It's that fine line between being a raging momma & having a happy child that tears at me when the ex pulls this nonsense.

I just don't understand this mentality at all. The saddest part of all is that if he put more effort into seeing his son more often the rest of the year, I wouldn't care or be so concerned about calling. I'm keeping in touch with Noah not just because I miss him, but because as resiliant as he is it's not going to be easy to transition back to reality at mom's house. I get the aftermath and emotional freakouts when my child comes home. He won't even let me go get the mail after a trip to daddy's house. He said he thinks I'm going to stay away and/or leaving him forever. I'm glad Daddy's house is all fun and games w/gramma, aunties, cousins, and big brothers. How fortunate that Daddy has an army of people to help him since he lives at home. I'm glad a week with his child is a breeze. I hope he never has to know how hard it is to be in my shoes. But Mommy's house is like boot camp and Daddy's house is like a 24-hour day pass. Someone has to put boundaries and limits on the kid so he's not a little jerk as he gets older.

It obviously hurts a lot little when my child couldn't take 5 seconds to say I love you, or anything else for that manner. Oh wait, he did tell me off & remind me of his name when I called him my 'baby'! It's been a crappy week so far. It was supposed to be stress free and relaxing, but I miss my kid. I keep thinking he's sleeping in the bedroom. I miss the insanity and the chaos and the yelling to "stay out of the fridge! Close it! Now! All the way!" I miss my munchkin grabbing my hair and hugging my neck before we wake up just to snuggle. I could do without the instant chatter and shouting and jumping on me, but I'll take that right now too!

And so far my house is not yet clean, my laundry has not done itself, and my grocery shopping has yet to be completed. My school work and my seasonal organizing is all just waiting to be finished too. At least I managed to shove toys to the side of the living room so I can get to the computer to get to work. Does that count?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Fun stuff

It's too little here, but just click it because it's fun to see the larger version (& bc I said so)!

Wordle: Baby Blogger

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My son's butt is like a princess

Did you know my son's butt is like a princess that does magic by making poo? Yeah, well were is she when I have to wipe that butt and change the pull up? Lazy princess making me do all the dirty work!

Anyway, we're about to head out of state, to visit family over Memorial Day weekend. We go about every six months and our Halloween candy is waiting for us, as we forgot it last time we went there. LOL This time we're taking a rental so as not to completely destroy my SUV and strand us in WI.

I should be starting a new job training pretty soon. Still working from home but more customer service than typing. It just pays better. My computer doesn't like my current company's application so it's stressful for me. I'm also trying to get my website back up so I can hopefully pull in some work with my portfolio. I've been in school long enough, you'd think I'd have things to put on there!

Summer school starts after Memorial day. I have no books, my financial aid hasn't been approved yet, and I'm not talking about last semester. It was a disaster at the end. Working 50+ hours a week doesn't help me at all. In fall I transfer to a 4 year college, again. At least this time I won't find out I'm pregnant a few weeks into it! By then I shouldn't have to be working crazy long hours because I'll be doing the new job for more money.

I think I've decided to stay put another year. It'll go fast if we don't blow up from the heater gas leak they still can't seem to fix. But now it's summer and they can get in there as many times as they want and my heat won't get turned off for days, and I bet they're all hot as hell up there in the closet attic. I'm going to keep my eyes open for rugs to cover the crappy berber carpet that shreds my feet, and the rest I just have to suck up another year. Laundry being the biggest suck up of all. The community noise, fire trucks, policemen, one bedroom, third floor, spiders galore, and annoying neighbors can all be suffered through for another year. My wants aren't needs yet.

The car. Oh, the car issues. The timing belt needs to be changed and it's at least $700 to do it. I don't love that car, at all, not with only 2 doors and leaning in to do the car seat buckles, but it's paid off. I almost feel that buying another older, used car just will bring me more issues to fix. Plus, I have to finance a very small portion to at least get something in the 2000 range as my trade in (LOLOLOL) won't be an even trade obviously. I just really don't want a payment is the thing.

I'm hoping by staying put and being able to make it until the end of the summer will allow me to save for either the balance so as to not finance anything, or to save and fix the SUV until something else goes terribly wrong with it. Again, sucking it up until I can do something better without putting myself deep in debt. But those leasing deals call to me and make me want a new car. *sighs*

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mothers' Day

A quick and heartfelt Happy Mothers' Day to all the moms out there.

It's not always an easy journey but each one is special in its own way.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Enter the 'B!g B()y' (pics)

My son's hair has been a lot of effort and caused many arguments w/the ex. Noah came out of the womb with tons of hair (Pic 1), and was the source of much commentary by others. At the store, people used to reach into the covered carseat to touch him! It took me over a year to cut it (Pic 2). I loved those curls. LOVED them! But it took us forever to leave the house after showering, and his hair needed more attention and product than mine! Then again, I have crazy straight hair so what do I know about caring for curls!

So the first haircut made it faster and easier to get out and go, which was wonderful. We could finally brush it out and go. I kept it manageable from 1.5 to 3 yrs old (Pics 3 & 4). But I have to take him to a shop to get it cut, and that gets expensive and not always easily scheduled. So it would get a little long. Then the back would get tangled and all rat's nesty even just rubbing against the carseat. (Pic 5) I even had a black grandmother in Borders mention that his hair 'was a little dry back there'. I know right, like I wasn't already embarrassed by it. LOL! I love grandmothers, they certainly don't hold back. So I've tried detangler, black hair care 'oils', etc, and nothing worked right and was too greasy or too dry. So I knew I had to get it cut asap and make sure I had more time before the next cut.

I had an idea of a look in my head, but was a little nervous. I've always kept the curls big and bouncy and everyone thinks they're "so adorable". So the curls have always been his thing, but it was time for a change. Then I entered the salon and another boy who had hair like my son had the same cut from in my head and it was cute! It was an easy answer when she asked what kind of cut.

Enter...the FADE! (pics 6 & 7) We put a little fauxhawk in there since he said YES! at the salon. It's a tad longer than I envisioned but I like it, and he loves it. He says, "I so han-some mommy! I like-ah my haircut.' LOL! I just hope it doesn't grow out all crazy! My baby really is a preschooler now. *sighs* Like he says, "I growing up. Growing bigger, and Bigger, and BIGGER!"


Friday, May 1, 2009

Happy 3rd Birthday to my 'Baby'

It was a busy day that started with frosting the little cakelets that I made last night and then opening presents before I started work. I had gotten him skates, Melissa & Doug stuff, a Vtech Wall-E game, and Color Wonder coloring items. Last week I'd gotten him a Playdoh play area, and a small bike. I saved the Cooties game for my mom's house next weekend when the family will celebrate with us. Our friends came by earlier in the week with some other Color Wonder markers that were a hit, a DVD, & a puzzle we had fun with. Noah's going to his dad's house this weekend so no party here. I'm sure he'll come home with more stuff.

Pardon in advance as these are all pre-coffee pics. The house was a mess, there was cake for breakfast, and jammies falling off at will. The poor kid got a rash from a shirt the other day and was all itchy, I have no idea where those pants came from, & I'm not even sure if I'd changed his pullup yet in the pics. All the kid could say from the time he opened his eyes was, "IT'S MY BIRTHDAY! Cake? Presents?" So we rolled like that in 3rd birthday style! LoL

The mommy/Noah celebration:



For anyone who's curious about his size, you'd never know he ever ate food, let alone a huge chunk of cake. He totally takes after his dad, & after seeing pics of me as a young kid, I was scrawny too! Seriously though, he's less than 5% for weight so I'm always shoving food at him. I joke that I'm carb-loading him before his 3 yr check up so we can hit 5%! lol I figure if the pedi isn't stressing, & he's hitting milestones, I'm ok for the most part.

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