Being a Single Parent

April 26, 2009 at 9:10 pm (Brody, Evan, Single Parenthood)

The hardest part about being a single parent is having enough patience to get you through the day. Now, I understand this is a big adjustment for everyone. It will take some time for us all to get into our routines, etc. It wasn’t like we had an exhausting day – but after 12 straight hours of doing NOTHING, one tends to get edgy (one being Brody) and needs to be out! near people! other people! Again, Evan and I could lounge our entire day away but Brody is a social animal.

He wanted me to take him to Target because I have 10 dollars of his in my wallet – he can’t see it or touch it, yet it’s still burning a hole in his pocket (he’s just like my dad). He wants to buy more toys he won’t play with … apparently he doesn’t know what Target does to his momma. This was the main reason I started buying Melaleuca products on a monthly basis… not because they are good for the environment or work amazing (those were qualifiers though) – but because I couldn’t take the 200$ trips to Target anymore. I am a sucker for that store and everything inside of it! I especially love the cheap-o dollar items as you first walk in the store – that’s FAB!

Since I needed some items for lunches, Brody had to settle with Safeway. Both boys love to get inside the cart and have me lug them up and down every aisle – begging for crap they know we don’t buy. As we walked into the store – past the carts, Brody started whining. “I want to ride in the cart! wah! horrible mother who makes me walk 10 feet to the apples! wah! I don’t want to walk anywhere! wah!” Have I mentioned that both boys are about 50lbs? I’m not complaining, but on a Sunday evening (after a successful BBQ the day before where many beers were consummed) and after writing a paper, I just wasn’t feeling like pushing those two around safeway for an hour. I know… I’m such a party pooper!

Back to the patience. Once the boys smell weakness, they attack with the ferocity of lions. It’s 7:00 pm on a Sunday evening for goodness sakes! I’m tired! Just let me get apples and salami and get the heck out of there! Since they don’t watch where they are going, I am forced to direct them and point them to where I want to end up. At one point Brody actually swatted my hand away. Can I just say that little kids generally do NOT watch where they are going and it’s annoying and embarrassing as their parent (especially as their mother). Picture me holding a basket in one hand and directing two wandering kids with the other. And the whining! Dear god the whining! It just doesn’t stop.

At that point, I think I could have left them. Every parent has those times when they could take or leave their child(ren) and Safeway was one of those times when I wish I hadn’t even left the house. It’s best to stay within the comforts of your own home when the kids are like this. I’m sure I could have scrounged up a cheese and pickle sandwich for lunch… or a “just jam!” for Brody. What was I thinking when I took the lions out of their den? Thankfully we all arrived home in one piece and I did what any parent would have done. I sent them outside to the backyard to play for an hour before bed… it was either that or give them away to the next person to walk by…

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Tortilla Chips

April 23, 2009 at 11:18 am (Brody, Melodie)

Setting the stage:

Momma asks “who wants chips and salsa?” Brody says “Me!” 

So I pour the salsa in a bowl, put some chips in another bowl… and this is how the conversation progressed.

Brody (after realizing there are triangle chips NOT round chips in the bowl): Momma! I want round chips! Where are the round chips?
Momma: Brody, all tortilla chips taste the same no matter what their shape is. Unless the chips are a different color – then they have a different taste.
Brody: I want round chips (now heightening his voice to a whine) I only like round chips. Round chips taste the best!!!  (much whining ensues)
Momma: Brody, trust me – all tortilla chips taste the same! Just try one, I guarantee you’ll like it. Have I ever steered you wrong?
Brody: No! I like round chips only!
Momma: I’ve already told you – we don’t have round chips. I do have blue chips – do you want to try them?
Brody: No! No no no round chips! I want round chips!

Sidenote: I had this same issue with a recipe we got from the hippies for a lemon pound cake. The recipe was like 100 years old, had all of 6 ingredients and is the BEST cake ever. Brody watched us all eat it, me, his dad, Evan… we all had a piece. I brought a bite over to Brody who refused to even put his tongue on the cake. It was so ridiculous his dad had to hold him down while I shoved the cake in his mouth. I did this because I knew he’d like the cake – he is so unwilling to try new food (only for me though, his grandma in Canada doesn’t have this issue AT ALL). When I was a kid, cake was special – it signified a special occasion. To a kid… cake is the ultimate treat!

Here’s where we wrestle. I have a tortilla chip with salsa in my hand and I encourage him to just try 1 bite! Just one bite! I bring the garbage closer to him and ensure him he can spit it right out if it doesn’t taste the same. It goes on like this for 10 minutes. I have come to realize that Brody would not try anything new (food wise) unless I force him to try it.  Here’s where it gets really good…

Brody: Can I have a pop?
Momma: Yep, but you have to try the triangle chips first.
Brody: Momma! That’s not fair!
Momma: Yes it’s fair, try a chip.

Picture my sweet little boy making gagging noises and the most horrible faces that would scare the biggest monsters — all while he whines about how unfair it is! How he wants a pop! How he doesn’t like triangle chips! How he only likes round chips! Why didn’t I buy round chips! Go to the store!

Brody: Ok, I’ll try one chip.

Momma holds the chip for him to bite… he takes a bite and a huge smile shows up on his face! We start to giggle as Brody realizes his momma was right, triangle chips taste the same as round chips. Mommy wins another round!

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How I am really feeling (edited for family)

April 15, 2009 at 10:03 pm (Feelings, Melodie)

Honestly, if I knew how hard this was going to be, I’d have kept my mouth shut and lived the rest of my life in a mediocre relationship.

No one deserves mediocre, truly. Everyday I often wonder what the heck (I promised mom no more swearing) is going on – what is really happening with me. I am getting divorced (this from a girl who didn’t believe in divorce) and it’s not easy. It’s probably the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through. Divorce does something to a person – to a family. Maybe I’d feel different if kids weren’t involved, it’s hard to say. I can’t (and won’t) say I’m doing this for my kids, I’m not. I’m doing this for me. I’m not saying I didn’t love Michael, I did – and I do. I just wasn’t happy, wasn’t in love and wasn’t willing to sacrifice myself for the cause.

Both of my grandmothers left their husbands. They had their reasons, I’m sure they were good ones. I was a kid at the time – no one talks to kids, so I have no clue why they left. But they did. I think they may have had some of the same feelings that I’m having now, but again, I was a kid – a miniature mushroom left in the dark. No one talked about anything 30 years ago – you just self medicated and went on with life. Now all of  a sudden, you are expected to talk about your feelings – to talk about what happened. It’s healthier – but harder.

The hardest part about all of this is the distance between me and my people.

Brody and I just had a discussion about “mama’s people” who lived everywhere else but where we live. He wondered why we couldn’t have a party. He’s such a social animal, it’s amazing that Evan and I put up with him. So there I am in the Costco parking lot having to explain to my first born why we aren’t having parties all the time. Of course, I layered the truth with thick creamy icing – so that he wouldn’t suspect anything was wrong with his mama. We don’t have parties because my people don’t live here. Plain and simple. He’s a logical kid, that made sense to him. I know there will come a time when I have to admit to Brody that I don’t have parties because I don’t really like having parties. That we’re not having parties because mama can barely keep up with the laundry, nevermind clean the entire house and prepare food for company.

I can’t give him what their dad gives him (everyone who knows my kids knows I’m speaking specifically about Brody -Evan couldn’t give a crap about parties). His dad has an entire family surrounding him. He lives 2 minutes from 10 relatives. My best friend lives 2 hours away and I’m not that good at making new friends; It took me 4 years to find her – which is a pretty good average for me. I have no relatives near me and none of them plan on moving closer. This is not a pity party, this is the truth.

I haven’t been talking lately, mostly bitching to Aronne about my ex. But the truth is, if I don’t get some of this stuff out of my head – I may never sleep again (4 hours just isn’t cutting it, especially with a new job that requires I use my brain).

Part of me (a very very large part) wants to pack everything up and move home. I am going through one of those periods where you need to surround yourself with familiarity and love. I need my mom. I need my dad. I need my people (you know who you are). But since I chose to have babies with a man who lives in a different country than I was raised, I am now suffering the consequences of my actions. Did I think it would end like this? No. Of course not. Everyone gets married and thinks they’ll be married for the rest of their life. I certainly did.

I’m sure my grandmothers thought that way too. It’s just what you do.

My parents (ergo Mom) are quite sensitive to the fact that I am now a single parent. She didn’t say so, but I know my mom has a hard time hearing her daughter is a single parent (especially because she likes Michael so much). Trust me, it’s the last phrase I ever wanted to use to describe myself. My dad is different, he’s a very “matter of fact” kind of guy (just like my Brody), Michael left – so now he’s out – he’s off the island. End of story. Dad’s the guy you call when you need to know how to work the lawn mower or want to be slapped up side the head with the reality of a situation – or when you need to laugh. Admitting to anyone (especially your dad) that your life isn’t how you thought it would be is not that easy. For Dad, the facts are – someone needs to cut the lawn, take out the garbage and feed the boys – get it done. I can admire that, but sometimes you just want someone to tell you everything is going to be okay. He’ll do this – on his own time. I can’t rush it, even though I desperately need him to say it. I need someone I’m going to be okay.

So, how am I feeling? Honestly, I am so overwhelmed with life right now that I’m having a hard time figuring out my feelings. I’m numb most of the time. I’m busy with school and a new job – so taking time out to “feel” is not easy. Usually, it’s my top priority, but there has been so much change lately that I haven’t been able to concentrate on myself. Until things settle down, I’m probably not going to be able to concentrate on myself or moving on from this divorce. That’s just the way life goes. Until then, I’m probably going to feel numb and am probably not going to want to talk about it. That’s just how I roll.

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New dishes

April 15, 2009 at 9:27 pm (Bored, House)

Hi, um yeah, so I got new dishes. It took me 5 months to find dishes. I sort of didn’t want to go with plain white – although every fiber of my being told me to choose something plain and white. I had a few criteria… well, one really… and it came from my mom. The plates couldn’t weigh 800 thousand million pounds. I thought I found a set a few months ago and ended up having to call my mom to say “can I really eat off of square plates?” The answer was no… I’m a traditionalist, a purist if you will, about my dishes.

My camera had no battery power!

My camera had no battery power!

That up there is the salad plate. The dinner plates look similar except there is less white pattern. The picture is dark because my camera had no extra battery power for the flash (really, who needs a flash anyway?). The best part, other than they are pretty and are NOT plain and white, is they fit in my cupboards. YAY.

And here are the bowls… they are sort of weird shaped but after 5 months of extensive looking, I finally had to say to myself “just go with it.” Because seriously… I needed dishes already!

They love each other! Look at them kiss! MWAH

They love each other! Look at them kiss! MWAH

I now have to scour the globe looking for 4 more salad plates and 4 more dinner plates, hopefully in the white pattern. I just want to give a shout out to the Ross store in (the town where I live), someone in the sticker control department thought it best to use brand new price tag stickers with super duper batman adhesive (how do you think he keeps the suit on?) to adhere the tags to the dishes. I would LOVE to meet the brainiac who suggested THAT at the meeting!  I suspect the residue (glue) will be completely off in about 1000 washings (give or take).

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Wii Fit

April 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm (Melodie, Wii)

Every year, I get a bonus from work. It’s nothing major – just some extra money because I accomplished my objectives blah blah blah. Well, every year that I have received a bonus, it’s gone towards our property taxes (it’s an amazing coincidence that the bonus comes 10 days before taxes are due). This year, I have been careful with my money and when the bonus came I wanted to treat myself to something special.

I decided to buy a Wii Fit balance board and the Wii Ski and Snowboard game. I’ve never snowboarded a day in my life, but this game makes me want to buy a board! It is awesome! I initially bought the Fit so that I could exercise any day of the week…  well! The balance games on the disk are AWESOME!

I do have one complaint… when I put in my weight and height – it told me I was overweight! Um hello… hasn’t it been reading my blog? Doesn’t it know that I am big boned? GAWD Anyway, I am happy to report that I have to loose 5 BMI points (not bad) and about 10 lbs for the Wii Fit (dictator) to stop harrassing me everytime I jump on the board.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go wax my snowboard and head down the mountain!

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Baseball Update

April 4, 2009 at 4:17 pm (Baseball, Brody, Evan)

Here is Brody playing baseball

Here is Brody playing baseball

and

Here is Evan playing baseball

Here is Evan playing baseball

Let’s just say that Evan spends a lot more time at the concession stand or in the stands than he does swinging a bat or throwing a ball. I think he’s too young for baseball – it just doesn’t hold his interest. Which is a SHOCKER because we all thought he’d take to the sport quickly. We thought Brody would be the tough nut to crack. Evan LOVES the concession stand, they sell hotdogs. He makes me take the weiner out of the bun – so I give the bun to his baby cousin. Maybe he’ll get the hang of it because he can throw a ball with amazing speed and accuracy. I just wish he gave a crap!!  He really doesn’t and it’s very funny to watch. Their games are about 1.5 hours long and I would say that is 45 minutes longer than they should be. These are 5 and 6 year old kids – they don’t have the fortitude to pay attention to anything for longer than an hour.

Thankfully, the whining has stopped and they now get dressed for baseball with minimal yelling and begging (from their father). I make sure the uniforms are washed (because, seriously… who else would?) I know Brody loves being a part of this team, he’s having a ton of fun and that makes me very happy.

He's a happy boy!

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New Job!

April 4, 2009 at 4:03 pm (Melodie, Work)

I completed my last day as an Admin on Friday. From this point forward, I will be responsible for my own calendar and expense reports. I will never have to complete someone else’s expense report ever again. I cannot tell you the joy this gives me. To have worked my way up into an analyst position has been difficult. I’ve been an admin for 17 years (ack) and for someone to see my potential and act upon it, well, I am just tickled pink.

I start the job on Monday and I really hope I like it. I have a feeling I will – but you never can tell. Especially since this is a new position, there is no one to ask “did you like this job?” I’m sure I’ll be making a lot of it up as I go along, but I am confident this is an excellent move for me. The extra bit of money is going to be helpful as well. Wish me luck!

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