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10.01.2009

Game On.

You start to put your life back together. You come back from this incredible darkness, so dark that the light on the other side actually looks appealing. But you don't go towards it. You have responsibilities here, a tiny life that is depending on you and only you. So you pull yourself up. You go from being unemployed to working full time, all the while taking care of this tiny life. You find yourself incredibly lucky with this job, blessed, because they realize that family is important. And you carve a niche for yourself in this company, where they realize what you have to contribute. Probably more than most other people in your life, they realize your potential, your value, and do what they can to help it blossom, all the while allowing you to balance this new life you have. Pretty soon the darkness starts to fade. You start to discover who you are. Not the person you were pretending to be for the majority of your adult life, but the real you. Not long after you realize that the dark days, the truly dark days, are becoming a mere memory, almost one you have to remind yourself actually happened. There are times when it does get cloudy again, but that's all. A shadow. One that is fairly easy to fend off now. You feel strong. And while with this whole parenting alone thing you still aren't completely stable on your feet, you don't feel like a complete failure.


Not yet anyway, she's not a teenager... but I digress...

And then a day like today happens.

From my previous post, you can probably deduce I was up with a sick baby all night. And I was glad to do it. But I am tired. And I'm sure that probably has more to do with any darkness than the actual situation, but its darkness nonetheless. Darkness I feared would happen, but am still caught off guard by.

I got an email from the ex today. And it left me with a bad taste in my mouth at the time. Not because he was rude, because he wasn't, not because even really there was anything out of the ordinary with it. The email started with him asking....no....TELLING me when he was going to have visitation next. Which is not uncommon, so I just brush right past it. And then the next statement was where the bad taste came in.

"Also, Maura's insurance will be changing back to my city insurance."

I'm sure I've mentioned previously about how he cancelled that insurance and put her into a cheap one DAYS after the divorce decree was finalized to save himself a couple hundred bucks. And I have consistently fought him on putting her back on it. To the point of taking him back to court to ask for the court to mandate it. But no. I finally gave up that fight. And now, out of the blue, with nothing to preempt it, he's going to put her back on. Pardon me if I'm a little paranoid, suspicious, whatever you want to call it. But yeah, I am. I was. I even interrupted my BFF's trip in Oregon with family she hasn't seen in 20 years to talk it out with her. To confirm for myself that I wasn't being unnecessarily paranoid, that his actions on this were suspicious. I was going to email him back and ask him why. And to ask him how changing her insurance would affect her pre-existing conditions.

But I hadn't had the chance to do it yet, and wasn't real worried about it, I'd get around to it when I had time. Bad taste mostly gone.

I checked my mail later in the day, and in the midst of the junk mailings and the letter from my former insurance company (another story for another day), I noticed a letter with the return address for an Eric Karl. And immediately in my minds eye I could see the registered mail notice I had gotten a few weeks ago but hadn't had an opportunity to go pick up from the post office. The name on the notice was Eric Karl as well.

Slight twinge. But only because of the registered mail thing. Not because of the email, because I had already worked through my suspicions on that, had a plan of action, and it was no longer an issue.

On closer inspection, Eric Karl is apparently an attorney at law. I immediately started wondering what bills I had outstanding. Thinking this was an attempt to collect a debt I didn't know about, or at the very least to collect the $2500 debt I did know about, but have put on the ex's shoulder because he's the idiot who caused it, I opened the letter. No big deal.

You know how sometimes when you open the mail, one thing will jump out at you above the rest? Even if its buried in a mass gathering of alphabet letters, it just screams at you. Like how some of those words do in the word scrambles. Here's what screamed at me:

"RE: Cause Number XXXXXXX, In the Matter of the Marriage of Mandy and James, and in the Interest of A Child; in the Judicial District Court, Texas"

And that was when the darkness came. I didn't even have to read the rest of the letter to know what it was about. All the pieces fell into place. The suspicion. The strangely calm email. The registered letter. And it got dark. Because now I know what I have always been afraid of, but never thought would actually happen.

He's trying to take her from me.

And so its dark again. But this dark? Its different. This dark isn't despair, or helplessness. This dark? This is rage. This is pure rage.

The anger I had before was because I didn't feel like I had a leg to stand on. I had no defense. I doubted my strength. All I had was my words, and my anger, and I cycled on it. Because that's all I had.

Now?

I hope that son of a bitch has his seat belt buckled.

9.30.2009

Late Night Ramblings

Ahhhh. The life of a single mother.


Currently I'm forcing myself awake because I have a toddler who can't stop vomiting. And by vomit I mean dry heave, because she successfully expelled all the contents of her stomach in the first go round in an impressive impersonation of a shotgun. So now its just the most pathetic and sad attempt at what I can only describe as what a cat looks like trying to dislodge a hair ball every ten minutes or so.

Can I just side bar for a second and say that never ever ever in my life did I ever think it would be useful that my 2 year old can spit on command? I'm not sure where she got it from, and to be honest I wasn't enTIREly thrilled about the idea when she first started to do it. But now? WOW am I glad that I can tell her to spit into the bowl or the toilet and SHE DOES IT. And when she feels the urge to 'spit', she lets me know by pointing to the bowl with one sad little chubby hand and holding her mouth closed with the other. **happy dance in honor of a mommy that doesn't have to clean up vomit off the floor every ten minutes!**

So anyway. Here we are. And by we I mean me. She's resting. Which I know she needs because if her dry heaves are half as painful as they look, it's got to be wearing her out.

You know what the worst part about all of this is? My guilt. Not because I caused this. But because her and I haven't been very nice to each other the last couple of days. She's been...well...two, and I've been the never ending supply of patience. That was sarcasm. On the patience part, not the two part. So to keep myself from losing it with her when she acts like an ass hole, I send her to her room. We've been spending a lot of time doing that back and forth. Because she's every bit as stubborn as I am, and that's not good. And its exhausting. I have no relief. I can't walk away and let her father deal with her. Because he's not here. Nor has he even seen her in the last two weeks (his choice), but that's a whole other post. Regardless, I don't get to say to anyone, WATCH HER SO I CAN PUT A PLASTIC SACK OVER MY HEAD AND SCREAM.

Stand by...time to her to 'spit' again...

Ok. Where were we? Right. Plastic sack over my head. I love my daughter. I really do. But oh my God does she try every last inch of my being. And I was actually complaining about how its really starting to ruin my days to a coworker just yesterday. Because we start off with this little pissing contest. We get up, I get moving, she tells me NO with every request. Go take off your diaper and go potty. NO. Go get your panties. NO. Come here and let me put your clothes on you. NO. Need I go on? (NO) (oh come on, that was kinda funny). And I don't have the time to wait until she gets over standing there with her pouty face telling me no because I have to be at work at some point during the day. So I usually just shut down and manually start doing it without asking. When its time for her to get in the car, if she's saying no, I pick her up and put her in the car, kicking and screaming. All the way into the daycare. And so by the time I'm driving to work, I'm seriously contemplating stopping at the bar down the straight to spend my day there instead. So it puts me in a crappy mood. And so yesterday I was complaining, and I found myself wondering if I even like my own kid. OBVIOUSLY I love her, but like her? Sometimes not so much.

And now look at what's happening. She's laying on a towel on the couch, dry heaving to the point of choking every five to ten minutes, while I'm holding her and stroking her hair and telling her that Mommy's right here. And feeling like a complete tool.

8.28.2009

Mark This Date...I'm Using Restraint.

So I don't do political posting, right? No really, I don't. Which is why all I'm going to say is this.


To all you douche bag politicians out there who think that the REPUBLICANS organized the town hall meetings that all went horribly wrong (in your eyes), guess what? If we had THAT kind of power, you really think your guy would have made it into office?

And I'm done. Thank you, and goodnight.

See? Restraint!

8.24.2009

Email Marathon

***WARNING***
This is going to be a long post. I suggest you go get a beverage. Maybe a snack. And a Xanax. And bring me one.

Being a single mother is hands down the most difficult task ever. You go through things that you could never prepare yourself for in ways that you could never imagine. And that's just you and the kid. Throw a bitter ex husband in the mix and well, the fun never ends. And by fun I mean the overwhelming urge to have the taste of metal from the end of a shot gun in your mouth.

One of the tricks of the single mother trade, unless you're well off, which I am not so much, is juggling finances to make ends meet. I mean, is it the car payment or dinner? Phone or running water? So while the bills get paid, every now and again a situation arises where it may not necessarily be on time. Which brings me to the beginning of this story.

Last month my sister got married. In a location that is 900 miles away from where I currently live. At the first part of the month. Which is not such a good time for me. I mean that's when the bulk of my bills go out. And I was glad I was able to go. But in order to be there, I had to tap into that financial juggling I've gotten so good at.

Surprisingly enough, the only bill that was really going to need to be creatively adjusted was my car payment. So I got on the horn with them, explained to them I was going to need a little flexibility for the next couple months of payments, and we worked out a weekly payment plan. Everyone was happy, everyone understood, and the world was right. A week and a half ago, I was completely caught up on what I owed to the bank on the car. Which is why I was completely surprised to receive this email this past Wednesday:

Mandy
Will you ensure that you are paid up with {the car people}? They keep calling and sending letters asking for the car payment on the Lancer to be made. Last month it was because of partial payment, and this month they say the payment has not been made at all (Due August 15th). The calls started out as courtesy calls and now are demands for payment. Please take care of this matter promptly.
James

I literally had no idea what he was talking about. Soooo, I responded like this:

Not sure what you are talking about. The account is up to date and has been for months.

Because, well, it was caught up. The bank hadn't been calling me, and until these last two months, it hadn't been in the red. And the fact that I was making payments kept it from even being that. So I truly was confused as to what the email was for. Note how the emails up to this point are friendly, casual, not really all that interesting. Here's HIS response:

Mandy,
If by up to date means late then you would be correct. For your convenience I have attached the two most recent copies of the bill sent out by {the bank people}. You were 30 days past due and it was reported to the credit bureau by not paying the mnimum amount you owed for the month of July and you still have yet to pay for the August payment.
Instead of denying it, see that it's taken care of. I am still part owner of the Lancer until you pay it off. As you may remember, the court awarded the Lancer to you as part of the divorce decree. However, they cannot supercede the loan agreement, which, by proxy, means that until you refinance it, or pay it off, the Lancer is still part mine.
James

Can you say tool? Now was that really necessary? I'm thinking no. And it kinda set me off. I mean, I let him talk a lot of shit to me in the interest of keeping things calm for The Monkey. I bend over and take it in the interest of the kid. But this? Really? So I responded:

Dear James,

Gosh. You sound so frustrated. Which is understandable seeing as how your credit is being messed with. I can completely understand though. See, I have this ass hat of an ex husband who does everything he can to get out of paying for his portion of our daughter's medical bills; delay tactics, denial, blah blah blah, yet has plenty of money for new clothes, expensive watches and sunglasses, trips to Hawaii and New York, the list goes on. You know that he even cancelled her dental and vision insurance to save a buck? Despite the fact that she's got a huge under bite that's going to cost quite a pretty penny to fix. And then there's all the genetic issues that could arise. But what does he care right? So long as he can cater to his needs, and believe you me, they are some preeeetty materialistic ones. Its not affecting his credit at all. Instead, I've got, ooooh, probably 10 or so lines of bad medical credit from her bills stemming from his refusal to be held accountable in a timely fashion. And you know, I'm trying, but it just gets hard. I mean, I am a single mother in a one income household. Do I try to pay what I can when I can, including his portion, to keep it off my credit? Do I wait for him to hold up his part of our divorce decree, which in one case is currently a year and a half outstanding? Do I drag his benevolent behind back to court, which is just going to cost me more money, and really isn't going to force him to do anything. And then there's always the option of sending all his emails and delinquencies to his boss and coworkers. Really not anything they are going to do about it, but can you imagine how red his face would be if he knew his fellow employees saw his dirty laundry? *GASP! Decisions, decisions, ya know?

But hey, this isn't about me. This is about you. I'd say if there's only been one time that your credit has been affected by a non-payment, you're doing pretty f-ing good. I'm in a position now financially where I could easily just park the car in a lot somewhere and let it get repossessed. What would that do to your credit James? But just so you're aware, the account is up to date. Due to circumstances that are none of your business, Wells Fargo was completely aware that the July payment was going to be late, and I set up a weekly payment plan with them to get current through the August payment. The July payment was not ever more than 30 days outstanding. But nice try. Since you're so concerned about it, the account has been up to date for at least a week prior to your shitty little email. The only letters that I was getting from them were confirming my weekly payment, and I never once got a phone call. See, I know how to handle my business. And if you don't like how I'm doing it, you can go twist off.

You've mentioned high horses in other emails. Who's up on one now? But thanks for writing. As always its been an experience. You have a great day now, ya hear? Kthxbai!

Now, I realize that for some of you who aren't privy to all the other crap I get put through this is probably a little much. And I'm sure there are some of you out there thinking that its uber important that he and I have a good relationship. To those of you who think that, I say eat crap and die. You haven't walked a mile in my shoes, and just like I'm not sitting here judging you (ok maybe a little, but only because you are actually reading this, not for anything really substantial) for the things you've done in your life, you don't get to judge me for mine. And if you do know me, and all the crap I get to take for this guy, then you're totally cheering right now. Because that email up there? Was a long stinkin' time coming.

But I digress. You want his response? It's priceless. Here we go:

Mandy,
Did that make you feel better?
See there's a difference between credit with banks vs. medical credit and when you are late with those creditors it affects you much more so than it does with medical bills.
I've had to deal with my credit being in the negative. One, I had a partner who would never hold her end up and could never keep a job since everyone else was "out to get her" and then there's this other thing called a divorce where I kept paying all her bills on top of mine, plus child support. Now it's a much different picture, I have a partner who has a good job and helps out with her share.
I believe I have paid all medical bills that have been sent other than the most recent which had to do with the Geneticist where you stated that I should be the one responsible for the whole amount. So if you haven't sent me any other bills that are pending, I can't help that.
What's this about an underbite? First time I've heard of it. I'm not sure why, as a concerned parent, you would one, not tell me about something wrong with Maura, and two, why you would go and get her teeth checked out, knowing she had no insurance. Good job on the communication. Maybe it would be easier if you had a cell phone that sent emails. Oh, wait, you do.
As far as you sending anything to my employer, what is there that they don't know. Let's see, there's the time you tried to get me fired with the "burglary" and then there's Alamo Heights where you tried to get me fired. I passed all my polygraphs, so I don't know what it is you think they don't know. It's kind of laughable that you mention my employer. They ask how things are going about every other week. I've taken enough polygraphs to know I don't lie well so I just tell them the truth. That kinda arrangement works for me.
I'm sorry that you worry so much about the trips I go on and the things I wear, they're really none of your concern. I pay my child support and provide health insurance. I also buy clothes and shoes for Maura as well as anything else she needs when she's with me. As I've said in the past, If you would like to provide additional health insurance or dental insurance or vision insurance there's nothing to stop you, you stated that your financially stable enough, and that being the case then you shouldn't have a problem refinancing the car so I won't get statements or bother you with emails concerning the Lancer.
Anyway, I'd rather be in the right than be clever. Kthxbai!

Now at this point I have a couple of options. I can respond, being my ever cheerful, glib self, or I can stop the madness. But you know what? I'm kinda having fun now. I mean, this is two and a half years of a fight brewing. And the best part? I'm not even angry! No seriously! I mean, he's saying all these things, and for me what it's really boiling down to is who has a better 'yo mama' joke. I can totally see him getting his panties all up in a bunch! And its FANTASTIC! So do I respond, or do I walk away?

YOU'RE DAMN RIGHT I RESPONDED! And giggled the whole time, I'll have you know. You can't PAY for this kind of therapy. Here it is:

James,

Thank you for your email. It was everything I'd hoped it to be and more. I really do hope we can keep up this kind of open communication, since, well, it makes you look like a complete and utter douche.

Since you had your little last stance about rather being right than clever, and you were actually neither of those things, I'm not even going to respond to most of your email. It's just faaaaar to easy, and I'm kinda tired. I'd even go so far so to give that little battle of wits saying, but it just wouldn't be fair.

I am, however, going to say this about Maura's under bite. Why didn't I ever mention that to you before? Well, honestly, because I thought you had vision. ARE YOU F-ING KIDDING ME? Do you ever even look at your daughter? Are you blind? I mean, I'm trying to help you out here with an excuse as to why you would miss something that is wrong with your daughter that is LITERALLY AS PLAIN AS THE NOSE ON HER FACE. But I'm glad you put that into an email. That's gonna come in handy. This is gonna rank right up there with you being in complete and utter denial and actually blaming me for her acid reflux, liver levels, and gall stones. How'd that turn out for you?

No, I haven't taken her to a dentist. As with all of her medical appointments, you've been made aware of them prior to her attending. Have you been made aware of any? I think not. And of course I would tell you. I mean, how else am I going to be able to confirm you won't be there?

As for the Lancer. Nope, not gonna refinance. Where would be the fun in that?

Wow. I guess I had more in me than I thought. But now, I'm sad to say, I gotta hit the sack. Gotta be in top form for your response, cuz I KNOW it's gonna be a good one. Kthxbai!

(oh, and stop quoting me. I mean, I know I'm cool and all, but you don't get to anymore. I'm pretty sure it was in the decree).

-sent from my Palm Pre (that's a cell phone btw...)

This strain of emails has done far more for me than any time on a shrink's couch, any amount of meds, and definitely more than the liquor cabinet ever could (and that's saying a LOT). I've never felt so liberated. Exhilarated. No seriously! I've sat and fantasized about all the things I would do to him, where I'd hide the body (or bodies), alibi's, oh the list goes on. And it helped, it really did. But these emails. O.M.G. It would almost be worth talking like that to him all the time.

But I won't. Because it really is about trying to keep the peace for The Monkey. And these emails are probably not conducive to that happening. So if he responds, no...wait...WHEN he responds, two things will happen. One, I'm totally gonna post it on here. And two, I probably won't write back. I say probably because, well, sometimes there IS a need for a response. But I am gonna try not to. Like a real try. Not like that time I tried Cardio Kick Boxing. Seriously, who is that big of a masochist?

8.02.2009

Maternity Test

So about three years ago (OMFG), I was pregnant. I know this because pregnancy leaves me with PTSD. I hate it. Its horrifying. But that's me. Anyway, after this pregnancy thing, I gave birth to a baby. A tiny little beautiful miracle of wonder that almost, ALMOST, made up for the whole pregnancy thing. Somewhere between then and now, I'm pretty sure my kid got swapped out.

When I was younger, I had this irrational fear of costumed folk. I don't mean like around Halloween. Or even clowns. I mean those people whose job it is to don a monkey suit and jump around like idiots to the merriment to most other kiddos. The two specific instances I can remember is at Show Biz (which is what Chuck E Cheese used to be) and at a place in Denver called....oh crap...mmmm....OH! Casa Bonita (yeah I googled Denver Mexican places. what.). Both of these places had gorillas that mingled amongst the folk. Granted, they were people in costumes as gorillas, but whatever. In my head, they were real. And freaking TERRIFYING. No joke, I would hide under the table. Shivering in terror. As these....monstrosities would walk past the table I was simply trying to finish a meal at. And yeah. I still get shit over it from my family.

Which brings me back to why I think my kid was swapped out at some point. She. LOVES. The costumed people. She has yet to meet one she doesn't like. She will run right the hell up to them, hug them, grab their hands, touch them, whatever. No fear.

We went to Sea World today (side note: I just spelled World wrong in every possibly way before getting it right) for some fun in the water park, then headed up to the big gazebo thing for some grub and a show. Which is where every SW (so much easier) performed in a show. And my kid? Hugged all of them.

Look at her. She's totally cheezing it up with this guy. Granted, the stripped shirt and sailor cap does make him significantly less scary than a gorilla, but still. And yes, that bottom picture? That's her smiling for the camera. Why do kids do that? It's like they loose all control of their facial muscles in a desperate attempt to say cheese. Who came up with that anyway? Cheese? Really? When I think cheese, I think about how many days it'll be before I get to take a crap again, and THAT is nothing to smile about. But I digress.


Here's the little traitor with Dolly the Dolphin and Shamu. She charged the stage a couple of times to get at these two. When she got up there, she immediately started petting and chatting and holding hands. It was a regular little love fest. Weird.
She hugged this one for so long it actually became uncomfortable. I almost asked if she needed a minute alone or what the hell. I took the picture, and actually had to drag her away from him. She kept wanting to huuuug and saying 'Tayn Too.'
Sidney the Shark. How did this NOT scare the bejesus out of her? I'M a little scared of this guy. But the monkey? Nooooo, he was the only one left, so she HAD to run over to him. She grabbed his hand (or her, not sure how that works), hugged him, then turned around and made her cheese face.

Had it been me at that age? I probably would have admired them from a distance, been slightly jealous of all the other kids running up to them for hugs and cheese faces, but when the time came for my turn? Yeah. Would've dived right the hell under the table. Pretty sure this isn't my kid.

6.26.2009

Whoops

In order for this story to reach its full potential in hilarity, there are a couple of little tid-bits of information you need to know first.

So I got the Palm Pre, right? And I'm still learning my way through all the intricacies of this new AWESOMEness. That's the first thing you need to know.

Second, in my phone, my ex is labelled as The Ass. I do this for a couple of reasons. One, seeing his name makes my butt pucker, so changing it to The Ass makes me happy, even if for a few seconds prior to reading whatever random word vomit he's decided to spew on me at that moment. And two, because I have a couple of people in my phone who have the name 'James', this keeps him from being lumped in with people I like.

Ok. So. Today I had to take the monkey to the doctor for an ear infection. And being the award winning mother of the year I am, I figured I should probably let the sperm donor know about it. Plus the divorce decree makes me, but that's this whole other thing that we won't get into at this moment. Here's the email I sent to him:

James,

I've scheduled an appointment this morning with Dr. Albrecht for Monkey. Her ear infection does not seem to be getting better. The appointment is at 1145. Just fyi as I know you won't attend.

Thanks.

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Perfectly harmless, yes? HERE'S the response I got back from him:

Mandy,

I just received your email, but won't be able to attend as I am currently in New York.

Please let me know how her appt. turns out.

James
aka "The Ass"

Um. What? Aka 'The Ass'? How would he...how did he...what the...? It was at that moment that I realized that my new phone, which has now reached a NEW level of awesomeness, disclosed to the recipient how he was titled in my phone. So the ACTUAL email looked like this:

fromme@themail.com
reply-to"me@themail.com"
toThe Ass "libr8r@themail.com"
dateFri, Jun 26, 2009 at 9:06 AM
subjectMonkey
mailed-bythemail.com
hide details 9:06 AM (6 hours ago)
James,

I've scheduled an appointment this morning with Dr. Albrecht for Monkey. Her ear infection does not seem to be getting better. The appointment is at 1145. Just fyi as I know you won't attend.

Thanks.

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Fan-freaking-tastic. I have not stopped laughing since. I have so many responses I want to reply with.
"It was easier to type that than rat bastard whore mongering douche bag."
"At least now you know what to answer to"
"At what point did you ever think that WOULDN'T be what I would call you"

And the list goes on and on. Point is, it has made my day that he got to see that. I have YET to stop laughing. :) Also, I'm pretty sure every time I sent him an email from my phone I'm going to change his name to some other derogatory title. Any suggestions?

6.05.2009

Horrifying and Awesome

It's like when you see a car accident, and you don't want to look, even slightly ridiculing others that do, but you still can't look away.


Like that, but better.  And worse.  


Hoffify

Click that.  I swear to you it will be worth it.  And click more than once.  Don't be shy.  

I'm totally not judging you right now.  I promise. 

5.10.2009

Mother's Day

It's 3:25 in the morning, and I can't sleep.


I can't sleep because for me this is just another Sunday.  I don't get to sleep late.  I don't get to awaken to the smell of breakfast in bed.  I don't get to be handed a bouquet of flowers.  I don't get to hear the words Happy Mother's Day in my daughter's voice at the coaching of my significant other.  I don't get to thank my daughter for the crayon creation on construction paper she diligently worked over to celebrate my being a mother to her.  I don't get hugs from family members and loved ones.  Those are things that, as a mother, on Mother's Day, I have never experienced.

I know, this post sounds awesome, huh?  Well hold on a second, it gets better.

I want to wish each and every single one of you who has ever played the role of mother a very Happy Mother's Day.  I really and truly do.  It's a shame that only one day is dedicated to the trials and tribulations that go into being a mother.  You all deserve so much more credit, so much more thanks, and so much more respect than anyone can fit into a 24 hour period.

But for me, I don't celebrate Mother's Day.  It hurts to much to sit around and think about all those things I mentioned above.

Instead, I get to awaken at the butt crack of dawn to the smiling face of a beautiful little girl.  A beautiful little girl whose eyes show so much excitement that Mommy is awake, and 'oh, Mommy, I've been waiting all night for us to start a new day.'  A little girl who climbs clumsily into bed next to me so that she can snuggle her warm little head into the crook of my arm and jam her warm little knees into my ribs.  A little girl who grabs my face into her hands and covers me with kisses.  A little girl who, when I tell her that I love her, shrugs her little shoulders and says 'I yuve you.'  A little girl who can't wait to tell me that she went potty, and ew, gross.  Poop.  A little girl who gets excited about going outside to water the garden.  A little girl who twirls in her dress just to hear me tell her she's pretty and smile at her.  A little girl who loves the breakfast I make for her, whether it's cereal or toaster waffles.  A little girl whose smile lights up the room.  Whose voice is like music.  Whose touch is like magic.

So today, I don't celebrate me.  I celebrate her.  Because without her, there would be nothing to celebrate.    

So Happy Mother's Day, Monkey.  Thank you so much for letting me be your Mommy.  Thank you so much for keeping me alive.  Thank you giving me something to live for.  Thank you for making each and every single day more interesting than the last.  Thank you for bringing a meaning and a joy into my life I had no idea existed until the day you were born.  Thank you for making every day, Mother's Day.

5.05.2009

Awesome.


4.30.2009

I can now blog from my phone. As long as its 160 characters or less. So its kind of like Twitter. But with more characters.
This is what 160 looks like.....

Weird Dreams

I haven't been sleeping very well lately. I'm not 100% sure why, and to be honest, I don't really care. All I want is to be able to lay down, actually fall asleep, and stay that way. Last night was pretty rough, probably the worst I've had.

I wasn't able to actually get into bed until around 1am thanks to work. And when I did finally crawl under the covers, I couldn't fall asleep. When I was finally able to do that, I woke up every thirty minutes. Not joking. And within those thirty minutes, I was having dreams. Not the same dream. Different dreams. All with different ex-boyfriends. Weird huh? I'm not going to even attempt to analyze that.

I had a weird dream yesterday as well, but I can't remember what it was about. Have you ever woken up, remembered a dream as vividly as it was still happening, but the longer you think about the dream, the less you remember? What kind of crap is that? I mean, it came from your mind, did it not? So why can't your mind retain that information long enough to blog about it so the whole world can laugh at you? I'm thinking it has something to do with the swine flu.

4.26.2009

Because when I think Holst, I think Peanut Butter cups.

So there's this commercial that always catches my eye, which is kind of spectacular on its own because I don't watch commercials, that's what I pay extra for a DVR for thank you very much.  Anyway, it's a Reese's Peanut Butter cup commercial, and even if I'm not watching the TV, as soon as I hear the music, I always stop what I'm doing to turn around and watch it.  And not because its exciting.  Because it is absolutely not.  Without the music, its probably the most boring commercial in the history of man.  But the music.  It's Gustav Holst's The Planets, specifically Jupiter.  And I love it.  All the movements, not just Jupiter, but especially Jupiter because the sheet music sat in my high school band folder for I'm pretty sure all four years of high school.  I'm really not sure why, we never actually played it for anything, but there it was.  Probably because its a hard piece, and to play it half ass would not be doing anybody any favors.  You just can't dumb it down the way you can a lot of the John Williams stuff (no offense to John Williams, he's an idol of mine as well) and have it be as fantastic as it is in full form.


Anyway, the point of the story is I love the commercial because of the music.  I don't even like RPBC.  But I would totally buy them now because they remind me of some of the incredible music I'm missing out on by not living my dream.  But in a good way.  I need that kind of reminder so I don't get lost.  

Here's the commercial.   

And here?  Well there you won't be doing yourself any favors if you don't listen.  If you've never listened to this song, you've lived half your life for nothing.  And you can't be my friend anymore.  So save our friendship and listen.  I won't make you listen to all of them.  Just Jupiter.  But if you like it, then go out and listen to the entire suite.  It's totally worth it.  And make sure you crank up the volume.

And yes, I totally did just go all band geek on you and put my horn together for some practice.

4.14.2009

My Heart Hurts

http://tinyurl.com/campa6

There really are no words.

Tonight I'm going to hold the Monkey a lot tighter though.

3.17.2009

Kiss it, I'm Irish

Has it been long enough for ya? Anyone still out there? This thing still on?

I'm blaming facebook. No seriously. Since I can constantly update my status there, by the time I get home in the evenings, or whatever, not so interested in recapping. You wanna know? Go check me out on facebook. Mandy Bell.

But seriously, I do want to get back into writing here. It was a good outlet, I had fun, and I definitely want to capture some of the memories of The Smoodge down so that later in life I can say, See? This is why Mommy drinks.

The problem in the last month or so has been the fact that my immune system is trying to take me down. And for real this time. I've had colds, allergies, gastroenteritis, kidney stones, and now? Today's current affliction? I'm pretty sure I'm getting a kidney infection. How awesome is that? I had one good day. ONE. Then back to the sick mill again. I don't know who I've pissed off upstairs, but seriously? I'm SORRY. A LOT. Could we just do the raining frogs thing or the locusts thing? Because I can at least go inside for that. I'll even smear some what is it? lamb's blood? on my door frame. Name it. But let's call a truce on the immune system, mkay?

The Smoodge has been kinda awesome during Mommy's bouts of death. Last week, after coming home from the hospital and still enjoying the effects of two bags of happy juice and a couple of vicodin, I crashed out on the couch. And ever the good little monkey, The Smoodge camped out right there with me. And mEl-mo.

I look like crap. Don't look at me. Look at The Smoodge. Who more and more often now is being called Monkey. We'll make a slow transition, don't worry. Anyway, how cute is she? The pic was taken by my friend Jennifer, who was kind enough to drive about 35 miles at 7am to take The Smoodge...er, Monkey to daycare and me to the emergency room and stay with me all day until Monkey went to bed. However. That kindness was quickly erased when I discovered there were pictures. Come on, how good am I supposed to look after passing kidney stones and being fairly stoned myself? Pictures? Seriously? Gah.

Monkey's newest forte is Xtreme Temper Tantrums. I always knew there would be a day when that little angry redhead in her would appear, I just didn't realize it was going to be last Friday. Some warning next time would have been nice. So, I spent Thursday in the hospital/on vicodin, then Friday felt I could go in to work, provided I maintained my normal levels of narcos during the day (but not while driving. I timed it out). When I arrived at the daycare to pick up Monkey(maybe not such a slow transition after all), she was happy to see me. Ok. Normal so far. Then I asked her to put on her jacket so we could leave. It was at that point that I felt the earth shift on it's axis and hell open up to release the inner demons that are part of Monkey's Xtreme Temper Tantrum. She started with the face. Oh it's a sad face all right. Except I don't buy it. I know what comes next. Then, comes the pushing/hitting/biting self/pick your self mutilation here. Then. Then comes the best part. She falls to her knees, as if to plea with God one last time before being overcome like in the Exorcist. Next the face plant, the flailing limbs, the crying, the screaming, the gnashing of teeth. Her teacher in the evenings is a push over. And when Monkey went into this XTT, she immediately flew to her aid, wringing hands, saying, oh Monkey, oh, it's okay! Don't cry...blah blah blah. I told teacher to back off and leave her alone. I addressed Monkey and told her that I don't know what happened to my baby, MY sweet baby who lays beside her mommy all nice and sweet while Mommy births kidney stones with the help of water and narcos, but I want her back and I am not taking THIS baby with me. And I walked out. Seriously. I mean, not out of the whole daycare, because that would be mean, just out of the classroom, and I hid just out of site. And wouldn't you know it? Monkey stood up, brushed herself off, dried her own tears, and put on her jacket. The end. Bow for the audience. Curtains close. Exit stage left.

Not all of the XTT's have gone as well as that one. That one is my favorite because I'm pretty sure the teacher was about to internally explode right after calling CPS because I had just WALKED OUT ON MY CHILD. Also. The XTT's are kind of exhausting for me. Especially since I'm only running on half, if that, tank of gas anyway. Since that one on Friday, we've had probably three or four a day. So basically what I'm sayin' is....

One toddler, slightly used, $5 OBO.

2.21.2009

Making My Death Bed

I haven't blogged in awhile.  I know.  You'll get over it.


Most of that has to do with all the craziness that has been going on in and around my life right now, and my complete inability to speak on it as honestly as I want to and my anger at the limitation of that.  From the birth of my younger sister's baby boy, to the complete lack of...I don't even know what...from my middle sister, to the garbage spewed forth from a man in my life (and no, it's NOT the ex), to the fact that I'm pretty sure my immune system has quit.  Which is good, because I fired it today and am now accepting applications for a new one.  One that doesn't have allergies, a consistent body ache, 101+ degree temperature, and the ability to cause me to sneeze so hard I have to make sure I didn't pee my pants.  I know.  Kegels.  I do 'em.  Doesn't matter.  Fuck you very much to all the catheters I've had in my life.

See how overwhelming all that is?  Throw in the amount of pressure I feel at work and you've got a cocktail for disappearance.  Hence, the not blogging.

I don't know that I'm back.  I do know that I've been on the couch all day long, suffering in quiet agony, while The Smoodge continually kisses my forehead and says, 'Mommy owie?  Owie?  Awwww...' and tries to force me to drink from her sippy cup.  And after a day of that, I'm awake enough to know that if I don't change positions, there's a very good chance my ass will stick like this forever, so here I am.

Oh.  I totally forgot to mention the fact that on Wednesday I was PUSHED fell into a cactus and only today was able to get all the barbs out.  Of my bum.  Yeah.  What was I gonna do?  Give the two year old the tweezers and tell her to go to town?  Not so much.  I completely appreciate Tina for doing that for me, but I also completely realize that THAT was a moment that is going to require therapy for everyone involved.  Once you have spent time bent over your best friends couch while she uses a flashlight, tweezers, and peroxide to pick stickers out of your right cheek, there's just no going back from that.  EVER.

And now I've spent more time in the upright position than my body is capable, so I'm off to lay back down in the Mandy shaped imprint on the couch.

*side note-apparently the spell check was created by a man because it doesn't recognize the word Kegels.  What does it want it replaced with?  Keels, Keel's, Gels, Kegs,  and Hegel's.  WTF.

2.14.2009

VD

No, not THAT VD. Valentine's Day. Duh. THAT VD would involve me getting some, which I am currently not. So it's both a blessing, and a curse.

I could go on and on about the blah that is Valentine's day, but that's boring, and besides, I can bitch about how single I am any day of the year. So I'll mix it up a bit and NOT do a post that will make you want to grab your nearest straight edge and start fraying the edges of whatever artery for you is closest to the surface of your skin.

So instead, today The Smoodge and I are chillin' like villains in bed. All day probably. Mostly because she's running 101+ temp. How fun is that? We're currently rockin' the 'Love is a Battlefield' theme on USA. First, Notting Hill. Which has led me to believe that I will never be truly happy in life unless I marry a Brit. Second up, Along Came Polly. That's where we are currently. I don't even really like this flick, but there is not really a whole lot else on. I thought maybe they'd be running a marathon of Burn Notice, which would have been AWESOME. I think I'd make a kick ass spy.

I just now realized that I could probably watch all the Burn Notice I can handle on hulu.com or surfthechannel.com. Dude. VD just got a whole lot better.

And for clarification, I don't mean the disease.

2.08.2009

Wordle


You can make one here.  And don't worry, it requires no thought process whatsoever, just a copy and paste and you're good to go.  So if you're lazy like me (after all, I'm posting the work of a computer in someones basement as opposed to actually blogging about something), do not fret, this web site's for YOU!

2.07.2009

Amen

PROFANITY AHEAD.



2.03.2009

Cheater, Cheater

Totally cheating because this floated to me on facebook, but since I haven't posted anything in awhile....


Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.
(To do this, go to “notes” under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people (in the right hand corner of the app) then click publish.

1. I always use two towels when I shower. Always. And each one has it's own specific drying area. And never the two shall meet.

2. I have a cat named Natra and a dog named April. Natra is named after Sinatra, because he has blue eyes (he's a Siamese snow shoe). April lives with my mom 1000 miles away. Hopefully she'll get to come live with me this year.

3. I married my soul mate only to have him break my heart and leave me in the same year. I'm scared I'll never find that kind of love again. Also, commitment is shit.

4. I hate doing stuff like this. It puts all kinds of pressure on me to think about stuff. I usually spend a week or more obsessing about it before putting up crap like #3.

5. My best friend is certifiably crazy. Not crazy like psych ward crazy. Crazy like monkey in a knife fight crazy. Maybe psych ward crazy...

6. I'm certifiably crazy.

7. I have a 2 year old daughter that saved my life.

8. When I grow up I want to be a band director. I would love to go back to school and get my degree so I can, I just don't know how to do it while being a single mother with a 2 year old.

9. I'm OCD about really random things. And when those things get messed up, it seriously messes with my head.

10. I'm only on 10 of 25? Shit.

11. I have three re-occurring nightmares. One has ET in it, the other a castle, and the third involves Smurfs. Stop judging me.

12. I am deathly afraid of aliens and dinosaurs. And birds, but that relates to the dinosaurs.

13. No matter how hard I try, I cannot get to bed before midnight.

14. I just tried to skip 14 and go to 15 thinking no one would notice and I'd only have to come up with 24 things (well, technically 23, see #10), but felt guilty about it.

15. I can't cook. Seriously. I made some cookies last weekend with my daughter, and the recipe ingredients said to put in 1/2 tsp of soda, so I put in 1/2 tsp of soda, only to read later it meant baking soda. Upside: diet coke can be substituted for baking soda.

16. I have one tattoo, and that is a travesty. I'm designing my next one, and it's gonna be a BIG one.

17. I'm scared to death of needles. I guess I could have added that to #12.

18. I want to live in Australia. This may happen sooner rather than later if I can plan for it right.

19. I suck at planning stuff.

20. Most people who meet me think I'm a liberal, and it surprises them that I'm a conservative. I don't generally talk politics with people because everyone is entitled to their own brand of stupidity.

21. I don't want to have any more children. I hated being pregnant. If I do have more kids, I'll adopt.

22. My favorite thing ever is when Maura wakes up in the middle of the night and wants to cuddle. Favorite. Thing. EVER.

23. I hate going to professional photographers. They never capture the image I want. Also, I can't ever leave there without buying enough pictures to take home a CD. Because the thought of anyone throwing pictures of my daughter away freak me out. Like seriously freak me out.

24. It is taking me forever to finish this stupid thing. All of you who tagged me obviously don't know me at all. Also, all of you I've tagged, misery loves company :)

25. I love Bath & Body Works Midnight Pomegranate. Feel free to buy me presents.

1.22.2009

It's cute how you think I'm listening.

It's late, and once again I'm working into the wee hours. I can't think for the life of me what to blog about.

Not true. I have several topics, but all of which require extensive brain usage, none of which I currently have. I could list them for you, but that would be boring. And really it would only serve as a reminder for me to try and write about tomorrow.

Wellll, since you talked me into it...

1. People who talk to me like they are my boss, but are most definitely not.
2. Fun with Sprint
3. SPAZMATICS TOMORROW NIGHT (wow, that one took a lot of energy. you didn't catch that from the all caps?)
4. The poo contest the cat and the kid are having (how would you measure that? an odormometer? is that a word? its at least close to a word...right?)
5. That feeling when I feel like the creepy crawlies on my neck are trying to rip my spine through my pores.

Ok, very sleepy now. Eyes closing, fingers fumbling on the keyboard, and I can actually hear myself snoring..........zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

1.21.2009

I like you uglies, but don't talk to me.

It's late.  And I'm exhausted.  Watching two episodes of American Idol in a row will do that to you.  Especially when your trachea (pronounced Tray She Ah) gets irricatated by your rectums.  And no, I haven't lost it.  Those were actual words used by a contestant on yesterday's San Francisco AI, which I just watched tonight.  And no, I'm not providing a link.  I can't find it.  But it was hilarious.


I can't decide if I want to take a shower tonight or in the morning.  Oh, the pressure of it all.

Do you ever feel like the dirty dishes breed?  I mean, I did dishes today around 3:30pm, and now I've got a sink full of dirty ones.  What the hell.

I think I'm gonna take that shower.  I'm cold, and it'll help warm me up before I jump into bed.  Or not, I dunno.  Did I mention I'm exhausted?

This HAS to be the dumbest post EVER.

1.20.2009

I've been naughty. So what?

Ok. So I just realized that the inauguration this morning was at 11 am. Oh no, I watched it, I'm not having this realization because I missed it. I'm having the realization that it was at 11 am. Which is what time the Young and the Restless comes on. And I'm betting that CBS covered it, because why wouldn't they be like the rest of the sheep in this country who was glued into the coverage (and yes, I totally was too. But only because I thought my shows would be safely recording at home on the DVR. Don't ask me to explain my logic to you. It will only leave both of us confused, me angry, and you with a bruise on your head from where the stapler I threw hit it). Why wouldn't they dare to be different, to REALIZE CHANGE? Ugh. Now I have to wait until tomorrow to find out what happens to Amber and Katherine and all my other friends.

I know. I'm sad.

YES I watched the inauguration today. I kind of led a revolt at work in order to watch it. Let me es'plain.... no, there is too much, let me sum up. I got to work this morning, and tuned the ole interweb to msnbc to watch the live coverage (and before you make some sort of conservative watching liberal media comment, let me just tell you I TRIED watching it on fox.com, but the feed wouldn't come through because our IT guy sucks). And me and msnbc were trucking along just fine. Until others realized what I was listening/watching, and then THEY wanted to listen/watch. Well, with all the peeps trying to watch and the WORLDS CRAPPIEST INTERNET BECAUSE OF THE WORLDS CRAPPIEST IT GUY (actually, it's not his fault, but he's throwing a temper tantrum at me right now, so I'm throwing one right back. hehe, rookie), every one's feed kept locking up. So I made the receptionist announce that if they wanted to watch it, NOT to watch it on their computers, but to go to this other guys desk who has a big ole monitor, and the room for all six of us to cram in to watch it (and yes, there are only about six of us in the office this week. which means pants are optional. there's no memo or anything, but it's totally implied). What was I talking about? Oh, right. Pants. No. Inauguration. Yeah, that's it. So we were watching it in there, but then it started sucking again, so we crammed into another office to watch it on a tiny little black and white. And it was anti-climatic. I enjoyed the performance of Yo-Yo Ma and Co. more so than the speech. I'm not saying it was bad or anything, I'm just waiting for more than lip service, you know?

Anyway, before the bleeding heart liberals start to get all crazy on me (and oh, one kinda did today during the swearing in...she totally got all Manson over the fact that the word execute was used in the oath, like it's never happened before. seriously) let's change the subject. Like to the fact that there are only 10 minutes left in the work day.

Oh! I almost forgot! So remember LAST week when ass hole rat bastard the ex was all, oh, I haven't seen The Smoodge in forever so I'm going to steal her and bring her back when I damn well feel like it (I'm paraphrasing here)? Remember? Well TODAY, he has visitation, all day, until 5pm, and he sends me a text message at 2pm, A TEXT MESSAGE, telling me that he has dropped her off at the daycare. W. T. F. Seriously?

Okay, that's a lot of topics, and only 4 minutes left, so I have done my bloggingly duties for the day, and am now gonna pack up and leave and call my sister to find out why her due date has been bumped up by a week and she didn't tell me and I found out because my other sister (the one who can't keep secrets) posted it on Facebook. FACEBOOK knew before I did. That's fucked up.

1.19.2009

Your ugliness cheers me up.

The week before I took off from Christmas (I remember specifically, it was that Monday), I went to lunch with a co-worker.  We went to this place that's fairly new, and when we got there, questioned whether or not it was open.  I noticed a waiter type standing by the bar, peeked in, and asked if the joint was available.  He indicated it was, and said we could sit wherever.  Duh.  The place was empty.  I saw tumbleweeds.  So we picked out a table, and Mr. Waiter came over to introduce himself and get our drink orders.  He was good looking, and said his name was Brent.  I work with a Brent, and being the friendly type I am, I said as such, and instigated a conversation.  There was brief flirting.  Lunch moved forward, we ordered, whatever.  I can't remember a lot of the specific details because I have slept since then, but at some point he came and sat down next to us and chatted for a bit.  As we got our receipts back, I made some joke about leaving my number on the back for him.  My coworker basically dared me (she had a good point.  just do it, and if he doesn't call, I don't ever have to go back there, and if he does, score), so I left a little note with the digits.  We giggled our way out of there and booked it back to work.


Day continues, boring blah, and I pick up The Smoodge and head home.  Around 6 that evening, the phone rings, and it's not a number I recognize.  It's Brent.  I'm freaking shocked.  Normally dudes do that whole wait a couple of days before calling.  Well, I guess it's not fair to say dudes, because girls do it too, but you get what I mean.  Anyway, we chat for a bit, the normally boring getting to know you small talk blah, and he invites me out for that Thursday.  I told him I'd have to check my schedule and I'd get back with him the next day.

Let me break into this story now and say that I never told him about The Smoodge.  He doesn't know I have a kid, and I didn't feel that first couple minutes chatting was the time to do it.  I figured it would behoove me to get to know him a bit first.  See if he's even worth mentioning I have a child to.

He's not.  But we'll get there in a minute.

So a friend of a friend, which I guess is a friend of mine too, except I'm not really familiar with the whole chain of friendship thing, which is also why I suck at doing the send this to seven people email thingies, but anyway, this girl I know volunteered to baby sit The Smoodge for me as a birthday present (since my birthday was the next day).  So I got all dolled up, which for me is basically putting on deodorant (what do you expect?  I have a freaking TWO YEAR OLD), and headed out to meet up with Brent.

We met up at a bar.  Not even a nice bar.  A dive.  A dive I had never been to, but he apparently had his name on a plaque on the wall for who could accumulate the most DWI's on the way out of there.  I get there, he's already gotten started on the liquor.  I gave him a pass on that since we were meeting up late anyway.  So we go in, we sit down, start with the formalities, and some random dude walks up and apparently hasn't seen Brent in 8 or something stupid years and while I'm sitting there with my thumb in my ass thinking, I left The Smoodge at home for THIS?  During the time I'm having an internal debate about whether or not I should take a shot, walk out, and go catch a flick, my DATE apparently decided that our time would be best spent hanging out with this old friend of his.  Playing darts.  Awesome.

I actually had a decent time playing darts.  I don't normally like games I haven't played before because I suck, and I don't like sucking, especially not in front of someone who I'm still in the 'need to impress' stage (although, for a date, he was getting me out of that stage in record times), but apparently I was having beginner's luck because I was rocking the dart board.  Plus, the more you drink, the easier it becomes to hang out with...well...anyone.  Unless you're a mean drunk.  In which case, I know this guy you can go get drunk with...

I should break in right here and also say that not once, even a little bit, during any part of the flirting at the restaurant or the time at the bar did I ever have the thought that this guy was going to be anything more than a friend.  I have a two year old.  I don't need more children.  And let's face it, that's all men are.

I told Brent as much.  He asked me at some point what I was looking for.  And I was perfectly straight with him.  I told him I'm looking for someone to hang out with.  And I absolutely was NOT looking for a relationship.  Under no circumstances.  Not even a little.  Nuh-uh.  No.  Way.  And he seemed cool with it.  So we had fun playing darts, he asked when we could hang out again, I told him I was going out of town for the next two weeks, but we'd figure something out once I got back into town.  He seemed cool with it, and I went home.

He called every.  Single.  Day.  while I was in Missouri.  Which was....mmmm...what's the word?  Annoying at best?  I talked to him occasionally, but I was busy.  I mean, come on!  I'm with family I haven't seen in ages, it's the freaking holidays, and I've only DATED YOU ONCE.  ON A FAKE DATE.  Seriously?  Sometimes I would answer, sometimes I wouldn't.  Didn't matter.  Every.  Single.  Day.

So now I'm back.  And he knows I'm back.  And I keep making excuses as to why I can't just drop everything and hang out with him.  He still doesn't know I have a kid.  He thinks I've been out of town off and on for business.  Which is funny because I don't travel for business.  Ok, maybe once, but I needed the money, and hell, I'll try anything once.

I talked to him a few nights ago, and he was all kinds of pissy with me.  I was half tempted to ask him if he was pre or post menstrual, but decided against it.  Besides, the pissier he got, the more fun I had with the conversation.  He asked me if I wanted to go to a movie with him this last weekend, and then started in on some diatribe about chick flicks and how there are some out there he'd totally go see with me, and I was like, um.  Have you met me?  I don't do chick flicks, but instead I gave him some bull-oney excuse about Houston, and shows, and whatever, and he asked me if my phone worked where I was going.  I said, oh yeah.  So HE says, get this...lol...SO YOU CAN CALL THEN.  All pissy like he had the right!!!  I KNOW!

So that whole time to start dating post I had a few weeks ago?  Yeah.  That post can suck it.    

1.18.2009

You're icky and that's sad.

I don't normally do any sort of political posting.  I simply don't have time to brush up on stuff like I used to pre-toddler.  Point is, if you read past this paragraph, and you get pissed off, don't say you weren't warned. 

This coming Tuesday is going to be a big day in the history of this great country.  And regardless of how you voted, you can't help but admit that it's exciting times.  For once, in our life times, we get to be a part of a huge moment that didn't involve the death of millions of people.  Or of Brad and Angelina adopting another shade of kid.

That being said, Barack Obama is just a man.  Regardless of the color of his skin, he is not going to cure the economy, he is not going to stop the fighting, he is not going to banish unemployment, and he is not going to house the homeless.  Sure, he may take steps towards that, but realistically, until he is in office for more than just one term, those steps won't even begin to matter.  The economy ebbs and flows, the wars will continue, the unemployment will fluctuate, as will the homeless numbers.

I mention all of this because of the outpouring of...well, complete and utter bullshit his presidency is starting off with.  I'm sorry, but travelling the same path Abraham Lincoln took the capitol via train for four days?  Seriously?  Not to mention the number of inaugural things and parties and blah blah blah that will go on on the 20th.  Exactly how much money is being dumped into this?  And out of curiosity, how is it AWFUL for a financial institution to take it's leaders on a retreat costing several hundreds of thousands of dollars, but perfectly acceptable for the same man who abhorred that specific kind of action to spend hundreds of MILLIONS of dollars on winning of a popularity contest?  Has it crossed the mind of the man who is going to take the reigns of the United States of America that his kick-off festivities are currently projected at running TWICE that of the bail-out?  

Look, I won't deny it.  I voted for McCain.  And sure, that is probably going to make me just a tad more cynical of the actions our new president takes once in office (and apparently in the days before).  That being said, despite the fact that I didn't vote for him, I hope he succeeds as president.  Regardless of who is driving, I'm still in the car, and I'm not going to wish for his failure simply because I didn't vote for him.  

But so far?  So far it's not looking good. 

1.17.2009

Shave and a Haircut...Twoooooo Biiiiiiiits

Except no shave.


I took The Smoodge to Sharkey's today for a hair cut.  She's been sticking her hair in her mouth and chewing on it, then ripping it out of her mouth while still clamped between her teeth.  Which makes this hair ripping sound that is not too far from nails on a chalkboard.  Which in turn makes me want to jab a paperclip through my retina.  It also means that at the end of the day the sides of her hair resemble the texture of the hair in this picture.  

I'm entirely too scared to cut her hair myself.  When I was little, my mom took me to a place to get my hair cut, and instead they cut into the bottom of my right ear lobe.  I still have the scar.  And am still severely traumatized.  So when I think about cutting The Smoodge's hair, I have all these horrible visions of her coughing and jamming the sharp end of the scissors up her nose, or through her temple.  Try explaining THAT one to CPS.  I have cut her bangs a couple of times, but that's usually something I have to drink talk myself into.

So to save The Smoodge from an impaled noggin and myself from having to buy more booze, I took her to Sharkey's.  It's this cute little place that specializes in kids haircuts.  The 'chair' that The Smoodge got to sit in was a Barbie Jeep (which, on a side note, I know now not to buy her, because her short little feet don't reach the pedals), and watch Elmo (Mell-Mo!) while some other woman got to worry about stabbing the baby.  I took pictures, she got her haircut, and nobody had to explain anything to the authorities.  And now, for your viewing pleasure, and without further ado, except for this sentence, and possibly...oh never mind, here's the pics:

Pulling the gum out of her mouth.  Just after this, she handed it to me.  Babies are gross.


The expression on her face is freaking priceless.  Except it's not what it looks like.  She's trying to look around the stylists hands to watch Elmo (Mell-Mo!).  But still.  Funny.

See that hair dryer?  I WANT THAT.

Ta-Da!

Pretty hair, Mommy?

1.14.2009

Good or Bad?

I'm not sure which of those categories this day falls into.  Or this week really.  It's just been one of those...?


Monday was the day the (son of a bitch) ex took The Smoodge and didn't bring her back like he was supposed to.  That was bad.  I filed a report with SAPD.  That was eh.  I was told by SAPD to have New Braunfels PD escort me to his residence to pick her up.  That was hopeful.  NBPD says they don't do that...for anyone.  Seriously, like they needed to clarify.  Which tells me that they DO do it, just not when it involves a member of their own.  That was bad.  Then the officer, Frank Moreno (oh yeah, I'm gonna call you out), tells me that while NBPD doesn't do that (for anyone), the Constable does, and would I mind waiting a few minutes for one to call me?  That was promising.  The constable calls, and they don't do that without a judges order.  Which is confusing, because I thought that's what the divorce decree was.  Apparently not.  Even though it's signed by a judge.  So that decree I've been walking on pins and needles to abide by?  Not enforceable.  At least according to the SAPD, the NBPD, and the CCC.  Highlight?  The ex's job has it on record that he doesn't follow court orders.

Tuesday was fairly uninteresting, with a three hour car ride to Houston with the boss.  He's a funny dude, so it wasn't too bad.  The meeting went okay, actually went really well for us, and then lunch at the Katy Mills mall before hitting the 3 hour drive back home.  Very neutral.

Today?  Wellll....  Today I went and checked out a new daycare that I would love to get The Smoodge into.  They seemed awesome.  Except.  They want just shy of 10 billion dollars to get her enrolled.  They also want all of the daycare costs for the month up front, whereas now I pay weekly.  That's sort of a problem.  I am hoping they will work with me on it, but won't know for sure until I call and talk to them tomorrow.  *fingers crossed!!!  Once back at work, I've finally been able to pin down what my title there should be.  Crutch.  At some point during the day, every single department came to me at some point for help.  For things I don't do.  Which means for the things I do do (hehe, do do), they don't get done.  Or I'm left doing them into the wee hours of the night.  Which I don't have the energy to do while the Mountain Cedar is attempting to kill me.  Once that was over, I went to go pick up The Smoodge at the daycare, am backing out of my parking space, and some woman tries to jam herself into the empty space next to me while I'm backing out.  Nice.  Now the front driver side of my car is all scratched to crap.  I seriously don't see how that could have been my fault.  She KNEW I was leaving.  Ugh.  But I'll have to wait for the adjuster and liability hoo-ha to come out and assess fault.  I'm hoping it's hers.  *fingers crossed!!!

Then there's the phone call from the current stalker.  I'm gonna have to come back to that later, because I just don't know where I'm going to pull the energy from to rant about THAT GUY.  I'm just too exhausted from the lack of definition.  Or something.

*side bar- in rereading this post, I realize I've used the phrase 'do do' twice.  Not sure what that means, but now I have go to the bathroom.  Coincidence?  Or more like my intestines are sending me subliminal messages?

1.13.2009

Houston

I'm tired.  I was going to be in bed an hour ago, but I have this awesome allergy trick where I feel like I'm trying to swallow a rock.  Not that I've ever tried to swallow a rock, but if I did, I can imagine this is what it would feel like.  Anyone caring to try that rock swallowing thing, let me know, we'll compare notes.  Anyway, the rock swallowing thing is keeping me from sleeping.


I went to Houston today.  That's, like, 3 hours away.  Drove there, went to a meeting, had lunch, drove back.  At least it was with a good looking Brit.  Who is funny.  So that helps.

The end.

1.12.2009

You can talk to me, but where will we put the barf?

Second time using my little calendar for a title, and I have to say this one is my favorite thus far :)

Just found out that I'm going to Houston tomorrow. Whoo. Freakin'. Hoo. Leaving SA at 8:15am, to drive to an 11am meeting with the stinkin' union, then turn back around and be home by 5pm. How much fun is THAT going to be? Seriously. At least I'm not doing it alone, I'm actually riding down there with the VP of the company, and he's a pretty entertaining dude. And he's British, so even just talking to him is interesting. Yeah. That won't get old at all after 6 hours in a car. Nope. Not even a little bit.

The ex took The Smoodge this morning and is insisting he's keeping her tonight. He knows about her therapy. I'm really not sure what I'll do if he doesn't bring her back. I have several options, the most fun being the fact that he's pissed me off and left me without any responsibilities. I'm thinking yard forking. Or maybe using that stuff that kills grass to spell dirty words on the lawn. Or maybe just a can of spraypaint'll do it. Ahhh, the possibilities are endless.....

Seriously though, chances are PRETTY good I'm just going to drink myself to sleep. What? I'm not doing the driving tomorrow. Don't judge me. Because lets face it. The system isn't set up to do jack shit when he fucks with my world. I pretty much get to bend over and take it. The only thing I can really do is set aside the correspondence in case we ever go back to court. Specifically to use it against him if he tries to get more visitation or keep me under a residency restriction longer. Until then? It's just me, a six pack, and my blanket. Good times.

1.11.2009

Options

Me: You wanna eat?

The Smoodge: No.

Me: You wanna go get me a diaper?
TS: No.

Me: Wanna go potty?
TS: No.

Me: Wanna go jump off a tall tower?
TS: Tower?

*sigh

Bored

Sunday afternoon, and I'm waiting for The Smoodge to wake up from her nap.  In the meantime, I've changed the look of my blog about six times.  Not sure how I feel about this one, but I guess I'll roll with it for a bit.  At least until I find something I like better.


Those stinkin' allergies are attacking me again.  I never used to have any issues with allergies.  I mean, randomly I'd have weird issues with things like grass.  Or stuffed animal hair.  I know, that one freaks me out too.  But other than that, all the cedar and pollen and blah blah blah never bothered me.  Until.  I had The Smoodge.  I am pretty sure it's really HER that I'm allergic too, and the other stuff is just what triggers the external reactions.  I mean, who WOULDN'T be allergic to this:


I'm pretty sure everyone is allergic to ninja babies.

1.10.2009

A Day in the Life of Someone Who Deals with a Moron Baby Daddy

Ok, I realize this may be cheating just a bit, because it's not a real blog entry, it's just cutting and pasting an email conversation between myself and my AWESOME (said with only a hint of sarcasm) ex-husband.  But.  It IS actually the kind of crap I deal with from him on a regular basis, and since I have to deal with it, I thought it only fair that you should share in the bull shit.

For the back story, The Smoodge and I went on a two week vacation over the holidays.  I let him know in accordance with the damn divorce decree, and he agreed.  We got back this last weekend, and he started this email conversation with me on Thursday.  He's in red (because that's what color evil is) and I'm in blue.  The ONLY thing I've changed is her name to The Smoodge (because that would be weird if that's how we referred to her in real life.  that's just for you crazies).

Mandy,
Since you were out of town during my weekend visitation with her, I will keep her overnight on Mon. Jan. 12th and will drop her off on Tue Jan. 13th.

James,
Unfortunately that is not going to be possible.  Perhaps if you had given more notice something could have been negotiated.
On October 26, 2008, I asked that you give at least a 15 day notice of when you wanted your overnight visit to be.  On October 28, 2008, you agreed to this request.  You were made aware of the dates she would be gone on October 26th, and had ample opportunity to schedule an alternate overnight, and you failed to do so. 
If you are voiding our agreement to give a 15 day notice, or to have your overnight with The Smoodge on your weekend with her, please state that as such.  If this is the route you would prefer to take, you will need to let me know what dates for an overnight you would like to have from now until November so that I can schedule it accordingly.  
Thank you.

Mandy,
Unfortunately for you, you don't get to make up the rules for my overnights with The Smoodge. There is not a notification process stated in the divorce decree. I suppose it would be inconsiderate to let you know a day before or the day of, but seeing how she's only 2 yrs of age and not in school or part of Girl Scouts or a professional gymnastics team there really isn't much to discuss and it's only Thursday.
I did email you in regards to overnights stating I would take her overnights on the weekends I'm to have her. It's not my problem that you decided to take her out of town during my overnight weekend this month (Jan.). I will exercise my overnight with her, it is my right as her father and I have not seen The Smoodge in over 3 wks.
You should be concerned about her having a good relationship with BOTH PARENTS and ensuring she spend time with her father as well, but as always you let your own issues get in the way of your parenting.
You don't get to make up rules when you feel like it, We know you have difficulties following court orders, but a no show on Monday is in violation of the court order and a report will be filed if you fail to let me see her.

James,
I am not attempting to 'make up the rules for your overnights with The Smoodge.'  I am simply abiding by the written agreement that you and I had in regards to when the overnights would occur.  You were notified, and did agree to, The Smoodge and I being out of town for the dates that we were.  You were aware that this included your weekend with her.  I am confused as to why you are implying it is my problem that you failed to make plans accordingly.
I do realize the importance of The Smoodge spending time with her father.  I have no problem with her spending time with you overnight on a weekend as we agreed to.  What I would ask is that you value and respect the schedule that The Smoodge has during the week days, and the importance, even at the age of two, of sticking to that schedule.
That being said, I believe you are off this weekend.  If you would like to have your overnight with her on Saturday night, perhaps beginning on Saturday at noon and continuing for a 24 hour period, that would be appropriate, and I am more than willing to agree to that.
Thank you.

I will pick her up on Monday.

This has got to be one of the most moronic things he could ever put into print.  He just put into writing that he doesn't give a damn what goes on in The Smoodge's life, and that spending time with him should only be done when convenient for him.  He's not interested in co-parenting, or the best interest of his daughter.  And if you know me at all, the responses I had were NOT my first draft.  Those were rewritten numerous time to cut out the 'rat bastard son of a bitch's' and 'whore mongering douche bag's'.  Aren't you proud?  I think I should get a gold star.

I don't want to move away from San Antonio.  It's warm here.  Kansas City did not put it's best foot forward when we were there for the holidays.  It was cold.  Ridiculously cold.  Like, I'm surprised people are able to live there cold.  I would take a shower, and linger just a few more minutes under the warm water, all the while thinking to myself, this is the last time I'm ever going to be warm again.  Yes, the family is there, but there are up and downsides to that.  If they could all move here, that would be great.  Mostly it's the weather.  Oh, and the job.  I love my job.  It works for the life I am currently living, and is willing to work around my life if I went back to school.  I know that I could not find something up there with the pay and benefits as with what I have now.  But that chain of emails?  That would be crap I wouldn't have to deal with if I were to move.  And that crap sucks so much of my will to live that it's a definite POSITIVE for getting out of here.

Oh, and the scheduling issue that doesn't make it ideal for her to stay the night with him?  Not a big deal or anything.  Just her THERAPY.