29 December 2007

A feeling of dread (dum dum DUM)

Last year was just a lot of fun. This summer til a few weeks ago, I was pretty depressed and didn't find life fun anymore. I started getting a sense of humor and adventure last month, and am doing OK.


New Year is approaching.

Tater enters residential care on January 7th.

I have a birthday on January 12th. I turn 35. I did OK last year but I got to go away for the weekend and had probably the best birthday I've had since I was a kid.

My former wedding anniversary is January 15th. I did OK that day last year but I had something to look forward to, a trip to LA (I'd received the invitation on my birthday).

Tater's birthday is on the 21st. She won't be here.

I had looked forward to this being the year I entered the nursing program but it's not going to happen. I thought this year would be the one that put me on my path towards the rest of my life.

I suppose I will have to sit down and actually write out some positive things to look forward to, but I can't think of any at the moment. I'll make it a point to do that in the next post.

16 December 2007

God bless us, every one! Even that guy over there, though he's kinda smelly!

So life loves to just mess my cynical self up by giving me things to be happy about. It especially likes to do this at Christmas time which has, historically, been my least favorite time of year and also the point at which Western society's redeeming qualities are at their lowest. Really. It's ALL about buying into the Christmas image which is as real as Santa Claus.

Anyway, Christmas this year was going to be a struggle. Last year, even though I had a broken foot, I had had a job, had a little money saved up. This time around I've got nothing. I'm spending now over $100 on gas per week which is KILLING my budget. I also have had to make a bunch of unexpected trips to hospitals, etc., none of which are close by. I've also tapped out my parents, who are well enough off but don't need their daughter and grandkids leeching off of their retirement money. I was kinda faced with "Hey, you guys can have new coats or new blankets. Which one do ya want?"

My son's teacher had no idea what was going on in our family, just that we were a single parent family with issues. She didn't know about The Bear's abuse or Tater's in-and-out-of-the-hospital thing or any of that. She only knows Peanut and that he's been one stressed-out little boy who doesn't always make it to school on time and doesn't always have what he's supposed to (Look, YOU take a kid to the hospital and come back, get your kids, get 'em to bed at 10:30 pm, get 'em up and to school 30 miles away by 7:45 and see if YOU can get them everything). Anyway, Peanut's teacher (We'll call her Mrs. J) requested prayer for Peanut whilst at Bible study or church or something.

Long story short: Really cool guy came up to her after that and asked if he could sponsor our family for Christmas. Decided to ask everyone coming to his Christmas party if they would bring a gift. Really cool guy (RCG) had no idea what was going to happen. He called me the other day to tell me that 20-something people were out shopping for us. WOW.

So last night we picked up Tater and drove a couple of hours to RCG's house. First off, I want to say that I felt more "at home" at RCG's house with those folks than I have since moving to NC. GREAT people. We were instantly welcomed with nary an awkward moment. We weren't on display or anything, just got to sit right down and eat some barbecue and talk and all that. Kids played video games and such. I wish we lived closer to RCG just because the people (including the very-amusing RCG) were so cool that I want to spend more time with them.

Present time arrived. My good gracious, you have never seen so many gifts in your life! And the best part was how incredibly thankful my children were! As they pulled out blankets and coats and clothes and toothbrushes and even underwear, they were so glad to have them. Additionally, Peanut and Punkin got new sheets (Transformers and Disney Princesses, respectively) that they LOVE. There was a fishing rod for Peanut, a pastels set for Tater, a bunch of doll stuff for Punkin and hair-doing stuff for Bean. It was amazing! I do confess here on my blog that my eyes leaked. Poor little suckers just couldn't keep that water in. Might need to be repaired.

We have a seven seat minivan. (Yes, I know. A minivan. I am so, SO uncool.) We occupied five of those seats. The gifts occupied the other two, plus the trunk, plus in between the seats AND on our laps. We also had some leftovers on the dash. The car was so full. Now my little living room is full! Presently Punkin is running around in Santa earmuffs, a shirt, another shirt, a pair of underwear, a Disney princess crown and some jewelry, searching for "a giant lipstick". I am laughing! There's Christmas carnage everywhere - gift bags, boxes, tissue paper!

I needed last night more than you know. About six months ago, I lost hope. I lost any hope of life ever being anything than what it was. About three months ago, I bought into the lies that I am a bad mom. Sure, I've stuck through thick and thin with my kids, far more than I think some people would be able to. But despite our stressful circumstances, I believed that any normal and good mom would always have her children's things perfectly in order. Realistically, I don't know ANYONE who could do what I've had to do and have it all together. But I bought into the lie that I just suck. In my darkest moments, I've actually pondered just giving my children over to Social Services because I must just be the worst mom in the universe.

Last night, my children showed me that I do things right. Just like when we visited Funsize in April and they voluntarily all piled into Funsize's bed and were so thankful for our vacation, last night my children were so incredibly grateful and happy for one another. Each one of them was so excited for the others with each new gift. If I have done nothing but teach my children that THEY are not the center of the universe, then I think I've done them a huge favor the some people never get.

Anyway, these are just some jumbled thoughts. I'll post the pics when they're sent to me and I'm sure my thinking will be clearer then.

Until then, Merry Christmas!

13 December 2007

Sometimes you just gotta let it all hang out

Warning: This blog is not profound in any way. It may also be stomach-turning for the squeamish (and skinny).

You know how some people have a fat pouch? The thing that kinda...hangs...down at their belly?

Yeah. I noticed one back in April. I couldn't figure out where it came from because I'd lost some weight.

I gained weight a couple of months ago and, oddly, the pouch disappeared.

I returned to my April weight (possibly less) and there it is again!

I have realized this sucker is nothing but loose skin. Ewwwww.

My poor lower abdominal muscles have been cut through five times. I'm amazed they even hold ANYTHING together. And thinking back, this weird thingy first reared it's saggy head after my last major surgery.

I really hope this thing will disappear with regular exercise, decent diet and time. Else I'll be going under the knife again.

updates updates updates

So I haven't blogged in a while really. Here are some updates:

Tater is still living in therapeutic foster care but comes home to me every day to be homeschooled. It's an interesting arrangement but really only a bandaid until a long-term placement becomes available. We are hoping to get her somewhere where she can have school, therapy and home all in one spot. Yes, it's THAT severe.

The Bear decided he wanted to be part of the kids' lives after all. He has his first therapy session with the younger three today. I am not trying to be pessimistic but realistic. I am afraid he will soon drop out of their lives again, just when they get used to having him there. I am also afraid he will be a manipulative jerk like he was before. :( Punkin has been very anxious these past few days and really acting younger than she is. I dread the weekend.

Speaking of the weekend, we have our own "Christmas miracle" that I'll blog later. Suffice to say that life insists on giving me --a known scrooge-- happy things at Christmastime. I really hate it. ;)

In other news, I had to drop out of school a couple of weeks ago. Real bummer, that, but it was one of those things I couldn't avoid. My entire existence is now spent jumping through hoops for various agencies and what not. Yay. The Bear lied to Social Services again and said that I was institutionalized, so now I get to go have mental health evaluations and such. I released my medical records to them but hey...why check THOSE out to find out the truth when we can just create more paperwork for everyone by making me go?
Anyway, I guess that's about it. I'll have more news tomorrow from today's therapy session.

12 December 2007

I miss the way things were last year

I miss late night conversations with Funsize.
Finding music in my mailbox, when i never asked for it.
I miss having Tater home.
I miss all the hope stretching out before us.
I miss who I was last year.