Wednesday, April 30, 2008

On the proving of points.

So Kane and Jude's mom called them last night on Jude's cellphone- DON'T EVEN GET ME STARTED OF COURSE I KNOW HE'S TOO YOUNG TO HAVE A CELLPHONE- and I overheard both Jude and Kane saying something about how Fridays were pretty much "off days" for them and they could "totally" miss that day and it wouldn't matter, etc. Being as shameless of an enforcer as I am, I immediately brought it up with them after they got off the phone.

Turns out she figured it would be a GREAT idea if they went to her house a day early (Thursday instead of Friday) so they could go to the MIDNIGHT PREMIERE of Ironman. ON A SCHOOL NIGHT. Because they can just totally miss school on Friday. Since it's an off day and all.

Listen, I am not nearly as much of an over-reactor or hard-ass or wet blanket as I may seem on this blog. But FOR THE LOVE OF MY SANITY, PLEASE, PEOPLE. Right when she is saying they ought to be living with her during the school year, right when I have already been re-iterating to folks that one of the main reasons that Kane and Jude live with us is that they missed school all the time when they lived with her, right when she expects us to agree with her that it would be in their best interests to totally change school systems and daily routines, THEN SHE DOES THIS.

Nevermind the fact that Jude has a field trip on Friday that we've already paid for. Nevermind the fact that Jude missed so many days from the flu and the ear infection he had the next week that now he has to have a doctor's excuse to miss any more. Nevermind the GLARING OBVIOSITY of his EIGHTNESS (because, and I'm sorry to be such a square, but really? An eight-year-old at a midnight premiere?).

Thank you, mom, for proving my point. This list I'm making titled "Reasons Why This Plan Is Ludicrous" just got one item longer.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The tide is high, but I'm holding on.

Reed has stayed up until about 10:30 for three nights in a row.

I might crawl into the drier with a bottle of rum and see how long I can still breathe.

There is some good news. I think I'm being published in a local magazine. More later when it's finalized.

I forgot to even mention that Jason's cell phone was stolen at his work a few weeks ago- we've since ordered him a new phone, and tonight someone CALLED HIS PHONE asking for a person who works with him. I think I may have hyperventilated until I can no longer clearly make a point, but the point here is that now Jason thinks he knows who took the phone. Now we can at least try and get that person to pay for the $30 in downloads and the $80 in new phone.

There is more good news, but I think it's better not to go blabbing about it here, at least for the time being. It just feels good to feel some hope tingling down there somewhere.

WOW, that sounded dirty. I meant "down there" in my stomach, you PERVERTS! Gah!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Bowling balls for tonsils.

The nausea has set in, either from the birth control or the impending nastiness with Kane and Jude's mother. Days and days of clenching, gagging, and crying is really starting to take a toll on my body and mind.

She has registered them for school where she lives. Her mother thinks this plan is "great". It's becoming more and more obvious that there must be some hidden goal, something that no one is telling us about this plan, because I just can't understand what about it is great. I mean, all the time that they usually spend the night with Nan, they'll now be at our house, so there will be no more spending the night with Nan. All the time that they go on vacations with their mom or her family will now be spent at our house, so there will be no more vacations. The only days that they will spend with their mom or Nan or whomever will be days that they're at school for most of the day; the only nights with them will be nights that will be followed by getting up for school. I just feel like there is some hidden agenda, some reason we're not being told that makes this all just FANTASTIC for them.

I really can't apologize enough to all of you for my obsession with this topic. The moments I spend thinking about anything else are few and far between. Thankfully, Jason will begin the phone calls and referral process with some legal eagles tomorrow; I hope that most of the day will be spent lawin', not jawin'. Or jawin' about lawin'. Anything that might help ease this constant feeling like I have a 40 ton cement block riding on my shoulders.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Not even kidding.

Originally uploaded by cuttingroomfloor
This week has been really, awfully, terribly long, filled with thinking, re-thinking, fearing, raging, planning, calculating, researching, puking, bleeding, drinking, and then fearing and thinking and planning some more.

In other words, you have not wanted to be around me this week. Someone send Jason and Kristi a medal- they spent a lot of time with me this week.

I'm looking back on pictures from our show and trying to relive the happiness, the carefreeness, the feeling that things are good and will continue to get better.

This picture has most of my most favorite girls in it. DON'T EVEN GET PISSED OF IF YOU'RE NOT IN THE PICTURE AND WANT TO BE ONE OF MY FAVORITE GIRLS. I have others. These are must most of 'em.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I'm so happy.

So somebody found this for me, which is perfect because I need it more now than ever. Enjoy.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Now is the time for the breakdown.

There is nothing like ending a nice, long day of hard work with listening to a toddler scream.

Reed just finished a tantrum session that included some of the most gutteral, wild screaming I've ever heard him emit. He didn't want to put his shirt on, he didn't want to take it off. He didn't want a popsicle, a drink of water, milk, some french fries. He didn't want to be left in bed, he didn't want to be taken out of it. He didn't want me to leave him alone, he didn't want me near him, he didn't want me to talk to him, he didn't want any of his toys, his bah, Jude's slinky.

If ever there has been a time when I've thought "That's my boy!", this is it.

I am in day three of constant thought, worry, and rage about my step-children's mother's inability to see past the end of her own nose. It's eating me alive in a way that's both emotionally and physically painful. I allow myself to forget sometimes, when things go smoothly with her for a few months, that we're dealing with someone who is manipulative, thoughtless, and calculating.

I am in day 782 (or 60, if we're being literal) of bleeding like a stuck pig. It is wearing me out, I have to tell you. I often think of the ob/gyn, the doctor who delivered Reed, chuckling and saying, "Girl, you're headed for a hysterectomy!" as if it was funny or cute or something to be amused over. Part of me thinks, well, I guess I better call the doctor. But I have some experience with that, the seeing of doctors for this condition. I saw my pediatrician about it when I was thirteen; I've since seen general practioners and gynocologists alike. I've taken various drugs and herbs and eaten sweet potatoes and had a d and c ("dusting and cleaning") and slept with my feet on piles of pillows and drank hot tea. The only thing that's ever had any effect is taking birth control pills and that only helps somewhat, some of the time and the side effects include CRAZY and ILL and EMPTY BANK ACCOUNT.

I'm catharting all over the place and I hope you can bear with me, because I have a feeling there will be more of this over the next few days or weeks or months. For now I'm drinking beer and sleeping on a towel. Jason has never felt more lucky to be married to such a sex machine.

Monday, April 21, 2008

"I still say that if you don't want to raise kids, DON'T HAVE THEM."

Man, this stuff with Kane and Jude is consuming me, has consumed me all day long.

If we make this change that their mom wants to make, they will be with her for every week day during the school year except for school holidays and every other weekend during the summer. The rest of the time they will be with us- every weekend during the school year, every holiday and day off from school, and all summer except for the every other weekend when they're at their mom's.

The reason that this is a big deal is this: Jason and I both HAVE TO work full time in order to afford our mortgage, our bills, our food, etc. We both work five days a week; sometimes Jason works six. I ALWAYS work Saturdays, and Jason ALWAYS works Saturdays and Sundays. We both work in retail, so we both always work during school breaks and holidays. At Christmas time, for example, we are off on Christmas day and that's it.

Kane and Jude's mom and and stepdad, on the other hand, DO NOT HAVE TO WORK. Neither of them work. At all. Period. EVERY DAY IS AN OFF-DAY. So when the kids stay with them on weekends and holidays and in the summer, they have the ability to go to movies, the McWane center, day trips; they go on vacations and camping trips and road trips. They have a brand new swimming pool at their brand new apartments where they go swimming every single day in the summertime. And they can all sleep as late as they want to, every single morning.

That's why this arrangement works out pretty well- we are on a fairly strict schedule, and Kane and Jude's school schedule just slides right into that schedule. We never go to the movies, we never go swimming; we very, very rarely go on vacation and when we do, it's a weekend at a friend's house a few hours away, not anything remotely exciting for a kid. At our house there are rules about bedtime and how much time can be spent watching television or playing video games; at their mom's house there are no such rules.

So if this swap happens, they will be at their mom's house for the school week, and then they'll be at our house on the weekend while Jason and I work and they do nothing but sit in the living room. I'm not exaggerating- there will be nothing for them to do. Then during their awesome-ass summer, they will stay with us for several ten-day stretches during which Jason and I will work, and they will sit on the couch. During all the excitement of spring break and Christmas vacation, they will sit on the couch while Jason and I work.

Granted Jason and I are home at night, which means most days we'll get our whole three-and-a-half hours with them before bedtime, during which they will watch television and play video games since that's the only time we allow it. We don't feel like we can move their bedtime back because besides the fact that THEY need the sleep, Reed, Jason, and I need the sleep, too. Their bedtime is just one step in a progression of steps every night that lead to Jason and I falling into bed.

This is all besides the one big flashing neon sign of a reason why I don't think this can work: I'm not convinced that Kane and Jude are old enough to be left home alone for eight or nine hour stretches for several days a week. When Jason told their mom that we didn't have anyone to keep them on those days, her answer was "You better work on getting those days off." Right. Jason will just phone on in that he's going to need to be off from May 28 until August 8 this summer. Thanks for the advice. Even if his employer would go right along with it, that would reduce his paychecks from 80 hours of pay to about 16. The good news is that we have all these piles of money all over the house that have been just DRIVING ME BATTY, and now we can finally put them to good use. Again, THANKS FOR THOSE JEWELS OF KNOWLEDGE, YOU SHINING EXAMPLE OF A PARENT, YOU.

This is all really just an big indicator of what I'd been fearing recently- that their mom is still, for the most part, mentally unstable and totally self-involved. And delusional. And assy.

So, we're exploring our legal options. I think two things are possible. Either someone will wave something shiny in front of her and this will all be forgotten, or it's going to get a lot uglier before it gets better. Right now I'm praying for the first and counting on the second.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Flowers or weeds?

Flowers or weeds?
Originally uploaded by buffpuff
The last week or so has been a blur, an exhausting whirlwind of good and bad and ugly.

Our show at Speakeasy was fantastic- we sold a whole lot of stuff and did a whole lot of networking. Some new things have opened up for us as a consequence and I'm looking forward to moving ahead with our artistic careers. Plus we drank a lot, laughed a lot, and got lots of hugs from people we love very much.

It turns out Reed had walking pnemonia, but now he's on the mend. He's been sleeping through the night with no nasty coughing fits, which is good for everyone involoved.

Kane and Jude are back from spring break and ready to get this last month of school over with.

We are about to embark, I think, on a very long and painful journey with lawyers and courts and finger-pointing and I'm really not looking forward to it. Part of me hesitates to say much about it, but the larger part wants to rant and rave and scream and spill it all out for you. And for me. And for my knotted stomach and swimming head.

Kane and Jude's mom has decided that the kids should live with her
to go to school and stay with us for all the weekends, holidays, and in the summer- pretty much the exact opposite of the way things are now. She says that this is her decision to make and the fact that we don't agree to it doesn't matter.

Luckily a few people who are very close to us are very invested in this situation and are helping us figure out what path we're going to take. That's all I'm going to say for now, except to say that I hope you can all bear with me through what is bound to be a difficult time for all of us. I appreciate everyone who reads this and I'll try to keep things balanced and rational.

But I make no promises.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

You gotta know when to hold 'em.

Ah, life. Such a tricky little bitch, eh?

We've managed to push through the moment when we thought we would never get everything done for our show; now it appears that we'll have around 50 photos, 65 pieces of jewelry, and 3 paintings for sale, as well as a good-lookin' portfolio to peruse. Now there's room to be excited about it again, since the fear and dread have worn off.

Kane and Jude are at their mom's house for spring break and our house has been quiet, in both a relaxing and unnerving kind of way. The peace and calm that sets in when we have one child instead of three is nice in that we can regroup, rekindle, and revive. But I have to say, I get so accustomed to our life with Kane and Jude that I find myself sort of spinning my wheels at times.

Their mother called today to let Jason know that he should come early to pick them up on Sunday because she has something to talk to him about and something for him to "take a look at". She apparently refused to divulge anything about the nature of the issue; she would only repeat that Jason can come early to "talk" and "look". This, too, is unsettling since our experiences with her, both ours as a married couple and Jason's on his own, have been tumultuous and unpredictable. More on this on Sunday when there is more to tell.

Reed has inherited my tendency towards constant illness of some kind. We're hoping it's just allergies, but he has a really nasty cough that keeps him up at night, and it makes it hard for all of us to act like normal humans during the daylight hours. Last night he came to bed with us around three a.m., and this morning there were literally loogies all over the bed where Reed had been sleeping. It's really lovely, the blobs of phlegm all over our sheets. Then when he came home from school today, he had a pretty bad tantrum after I had to physically wrench the gum out of his mouth that he kept nearly sucking down his throat with every hacking cough, and then passed out at 6:45, about three hours earlier than he normally goes to sleep. Right now he's still in bed, and I'm sort of pacing about the house waiting for him to wake up and stay up all night long.

But maybe he'll stay asleep! Who knows? It's like roulette except I NEVER win money. Here, the house NEVER wins, and neither do I. How's that for odds?

Monday, April 14, 2008

No carns, no mums, no babies breath.

The weather has been so summery, so breezy and comfortable and sunny and happy, that this sudden cold spell is making me very grumpy. I'm cold and irritated and my nostrils hurt.

But Reed made me feel better a moment ago. He's obsessed with this little pink pirate dude that came with a pirate ship bath set his Grandmommy 'Cile gave him for his first birthday, and he takes it with him to bathe every night. When Jason was getting him out of the tub, I heard Reed saying "I give it to mommy! I give it to mommy!" Jason brought him in to me (into my crack den, where I smoke the crack), and he handed it to me and said, "There, mommy. He loves you."

Just about as sweet as it gets.

It's like a midget rodeo around here lately. My two-year-old does handstands- I am not shitting you.

The past few days I've thought about little else besides getting ready for our show at Speakeasy this Thursday night. There is a lot of photo-matting that must be done, and I'm feeling kind of nervous. I've been right on top of Jason, reminding him to print this and paint that and go get stuff and check stuff out. It's MARVELOUS for our marriage, as well as for Jason's opinion of me. He thinks I'm great. Really. The nagging- that's sexy. Just a little marriage advice from me to you.

At work today, I learned how to make corsages. It's a big deal, and I'm very excited about the learning because the more I know about what I do, the more valuable I become. That and one day I will rule the world, and the ruler of the world must wear the best corsages on a daily basis. Now I know how to make my own.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

I'm so happy that I can dance, I'm so happy I can stand up and dance!

I decided I would show you what I've been obsessed with lately, and that is a song on Yo Gabba Gabba by The Saltines called I'm So Happy. I LOVE IT. I can't get enough of it.

Alas, I cannot find it anywhere on the internet. My searching skills are probably mediocre at best, but I tried YouTube, Myspace, and Google. Seriously, I can't find it. If you can find it I'll send you picture postcard of my bum.

But in the process I found another song that pleases me. Enjoy.

Monday, April 07, 2008

When Kane watches the show, I spontaneously develop a nervous tick.

Tonight I am battling with all my strength a serious headache and aching, burning ribs that shout WHY? WHY WOULD YOU MOVE WHEN YOU COULD JUST GET ON THE FLOOR AND LIE THERE?

I have just one anecdote for you. This evening I was cooking myself a quesadilla while Kane, Jude, and Reed sat at our kitchen table and ate theirs. Reed was, for the love of all that expects me to survive this month without taking a spatula and beating my face with it until I pass out or go blind, sitting quietly, eating, and nodding his head at everything that Kane and Jude were saying.

Then Kane says, "Jude I put our [I will never remember the name of this Pokemon dinosaur thingy that they have on some game on the internet] in daycare." Jude, bless his heart, actually froze, put his hand flat over his chest, and said, "MY [Pokemon dinosaur thingy]? WHY?" Kane thoughtfully replied, "Well, he has to grow and learn and socialize. When we check on him tomorrow, I bet he'll have metamorphosed into a [the next metamorphosis* of this Pokemon dinosaur thingy]. Jude took a deep breath and was like, "Mm, okay. I hope he's alright."

And I realized, THEY WERE ME AND JASON. They were such proud, thoughtful, caring and concerned parents right in that moment.

And then Reed dipped his quesadilla in his orange juice and ate it, and Kane and Jude proceeded to moan and convulse and gag.

* Did you know that they metamorph? I knew that, on account of I played Pokemon, the card game, for quite some time several years ago. I actually had hundreds of Pokemon cards organized into these long, cardboard boxes, and I had a killer deck that was pretty hard to beat. LOADS of things I haven't gotten to on this blog yet.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Screaming toddlers, leaking pipes, and a bag full o' tampons.

Tonight I'm feeling slightly melancholy, and I'm thinking that perhaps it's because of the, I don't know, MONTH-AND-A-HALF LONG Advil and Tampax binge I've been on.

I truly hope that none of the few boys who read this blog (Hey, Jason! Hey, Jason! Hey, Thom! ROBERT, are you reading this?) are horrified that I write this stuff, that I sneak it in too quickly for them to look away and think about baseball, or comic books, or girls who aren't currently menstruating. Or girls who aren't menstruating who play baseball and read comic books- THAT WOULD BE SO HOT.

Today I worked eight hours with an ace bandage strapped tightly around my ribs and, I have to tell you, it helped. Then Jason told me that the plumbing is not fixed, and I had to grip down onto the steering wheel tightly, tightly enough to stop my body from spontaneously throwing itself out of the window of my car whilst in motion.

I must say I feel like what I'm doing isn't so much circling the drain as persevering. There is a difference- that moment where I manage not to throw myself out the window of a moving car that I am driving? That's the difference.

P.S. I talked to someone tonight who I haven't talked to in quite a while, who I love very much. At one point, I had to tell him to hang on, and he got the immense pleasure of listening to me fighting a bag of peanuts out of Reed's hands. He said, "Dude, is he talking now?" I was like, "Yuh-huh!" He then said his significant other has baby fever, and I was like, "Well, just let me lock her in a room with Reed for about 48 hours. And I'll go drink."

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Go forward. Move ahead. Try to detect it. It's not too late.

The plumbing is fixed, we think. Jason's car is fixed, we think. The "ripped, torn, and very inflamed cartilage" in my ribs might heal eventually, we think.

We've been taking Reed out into the world quite a bit lately, to restaurants and stores. It's fun to see how much he's grown up, waving at strangers and saying hello. He is so curious and friendly, and people really respond to it. Usually. Every now and then we run into people who are like I was about eight or ten years ago- "sure he's cute and all, but that doesn't mean I want him staring at me for long periods of time or standing close to me." But, hey, those people will be alright. They just need to drink more.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Sadly I don't have anything to say about balls.

So my doctor tells me that my ribs should be better in two to three weeks.

What can I say? I'm pretty unenthusiastic about it. He also gave me a note for work saying that I can't lift anything heavier than ten pounds for the next two weeks. Alas, he didn't give me note to hand to Reed that says, "Mommy can't live your heavy Agan ass for the next couple of weeks, so pipe down and rub her feet. Make her some nachos." He also didn't give me a prescription for two weeks resting on the beach like I'd hoped.

I am currently looking for a new doctor who will do my bidding.

In other news, we are running the dishwasher even though the plumbing isn't fixed yet. The only clean silverware we have are a few teaspoons, and the only clean dishes we have are a few clean plates and coffee cups. I GIVE. A clean kitchen is more important to me than cleanliness below the house. Sure, it stinks, but so does my kitchen sink which is full of all the dirty dishes that won't fit into the dishwasher.

I seem to be having trouble getting things done lately. Some days I'm on top of everything; oddly enough, it seems that on the days that I work I'm able to do a lot before and after work. On my off days something happens and the whole day gets sucked away. Today I was at the doctor for two-and-a-half hours; I had expected to be there for about an hour, and the time-suckage threw me for a loop. I've straightened up and done a few loads of laundry, which is good, but looking back at the day it feels wasted somehow. I don't know; we'll see.

Well, I'm off to the pharmacy to buy an ace bandage and some Mentholatum. Good times!