Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

It's hard to believe that tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  Where has the year gone?  I'm already feeling the pressure of not having enough done in the way of Christmas gifts.  I think I have Kaylen all but done.  Kelton is a struggle for me.  All he wants is Skylanders Giants which is great but I learned last year not to do single theme gifts.  Kaylen insisted on all things Barbie and then by June, was done with it.  I want a variety of things to hit a variety of interests.

And yes, I noticed that I titled this Thanksgiving but am focusing on Christmas. 

I've never been hugely into Thanksgiving.  It's a holiday that, in my opinion, should be moved to somewhere else on the calendar.  It gets the short end of the stick and honestly, I could do without it.  Then people wouldn't get all cranky and snotty when they learn I decorate for Christmas as soon as the Halloween decorations come down.

The kids are with Dakota for Thanksgiving this year.  I will confess that I'm not a fan of holidays when it comes to splitting time, nor dealing with it as a blended family.  It's chaotic and depressing and sad and I am finding the joy of the season hard to capture.  I want to.  But I don't feel it.  Haven't in...oh...say about three years now.  Thinking of Christmas morning makes me want to cry.  It isn't the way it was supposed to be and my traditions and things I think are important, are not shared ideals of Stephanie and Andrew.  What gives?  Which traditions trump because they can't co-exist just by the very nature of the holiday.

I don't think  passing out presents immediately and ripping everything open in less than 5 minutes is acceptable.  They do.  Last year, when we finally had our joint Christmas celebration, it was a struggle for me, and for my two as we tried to understand their ways.  But then, I'm finding lots of things with a blended family a struggle to find compromise.  I just don't want to feel like I am giving up things that are important to me.  You know?  And I don't want Stephanie to feel like like she is giving up things that are important to her.

And then there is Dakota and Vicki.  Where does everything and everyone fit in this year?  Last year, I felt awkward having Vicki at Christmas morning.  I'm just going to say it - even though I wanted to be the bigger person and be ok with it, I felt like an outsider in my own home with my children.  But it was the deal we made at the onset: the kids would always wake up on Christmas morning in their beds where ever they lived with me and Dakota (and whoever she was with) would be welcome to join us for the gift opening.  And I don't want the kids to wake up anywhere else but with me.  And Kelton must feel the same as he said today "I don't really care if they come (for Christmas morning) or not since I know we will see them later.  I just know I want to be home when I wake up."

How does that play with another child?  In another house?

I don't know.  And I'm rambling.  All these things are starting to keep me awake at night.  Again.  Tis the season for endless stress, I guess.

Sometimes I wish I could just fast forward but then again, I don't.  Because I want the kids to enjoy every minute of it.  Even if I don't.


But hey - Happy Thanksgiving everyone.  I hope you who are with family and friends enjoy the heck out of the day.

New Shoes

I am a Sketchers kinda girl.  Easy to find, models don't change much year to year.  White leather.  Pretty easy and don't forget, mostly affordable.

Stephanie is a tennis shoe hound.  I am not sure I even know how many pairs of shoes she owns.  She changes them throughout the day.  The comfort of her feet is critical to her well being.  I say rock on. 

For me?  I just put my feet in my shoes and don't really think about them again until my shoes come off at the other end of the day.

I'm easy like that.

But lately, my back issues (syringomyelia) has given way to hip problems and nerve issues that shoes seem to increase or decrease.  So Stephanie took me to the Fit Right NW store in town and had them run me through their walking diagnostic test and from there they determined the type of show I needed.

*Ahem*  *cough cough* 

Waaaaaay too much money later, I was the proud owner of a pair of Ghost GXT shoes.  They were AWESOME!  For the first two weeks.  Then I noticed a squeak, an uncomfortable feeling inside started to develop.  Huh.  Weird.  I took them back to the store (because honestly?  For the kind of money I wanted shoes that would STAY amazing.  You know?

I had hoped it was just a glitch.  So they special ordered me another pair (they didn't have any in stock).  While they were working on their end, I looked around the shop.  Fancy stuff.  So much gear for running (and is it wrong that I thought, ever so briefly, about buying the stickers for your car that have the miles you have run?  Hee hee.  A runner I am not, and never will be but the general population doesn't need to know that and they could look at me in awe when they see my 26.2 mile sticker.  Yeah right.).  I didn't see any of the fancy salomon s lab items but there was so much stuff crammed in a small store.  Who knew?  It actually made me wish, for a brief second, that I could (and wanted to) run.

Anyway.....they ordered the new shoes.  They came in.  I was thrilled beyond reason.  And then yesterday, eight days in, the same issues started to present themselves.  Clearly, this is not the right show for me.

So now I need to go back and try again with a different pair.  Which sucks.  Because these are cool.  They are black, which means I can wear them and pretend I'm dressed up more than tennis shoes usually allow, and personally, I think that's kind of cool.  I'm not a brightly colored shoe kind of girl.  And right now?  I'm kinda missing my Sketchers.

But I'm sure I will eventually find a good pair that will work and help ease the pain I have.

What? Can you amplify that a bit more? Oh wait - please don't.

Kelton is into music these days.  Specifically rap.  Yes, I said rap.  I'm not sure how this happened but I can tell you that I will be very, very happy when he outgrows this phase.  Of course, he isn't as bad as Andrew.  Suffice it to say that I am really, really glad they don't have a MXR amplifier.  Not that I don't think it's great that they are enhancing their love of music and musical's just that I don't have a need to hear it 24/7.  If you know what I mean.

There have been a few little charming ditties for which I had to put my foot down.  Oh my gosh.  Totally inappropriate.  Totally offensive.

Yea YouTube. know, not.

So back to the amplifier.  I'm really, really greatful they don't have an amazing piece of equipment to broadcast their new found interest.

And here's to hoping this phase ends as quickly as it started.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Manic Tuesday

What a day it has been.  And it isn't even 11:30am yet.

Got the kids up, ready for school, and delivered to their classrooms.  Back home to do morning chores and make breakfast for Stephanie and me.  Today is our second year anniversary so we enjoyed a little extra time together before heading off for our days.

First I had a phone call about heading up the school book fair next year.  Then I had three kittens to get to the vet (and now I have several slices on my hands and arms from not so happy about being caught and tossed into a carrier kittens.).  Shots, deworming and a new dx of ear mites later.....I brought everyone back to the house.  Waiting in the driveway were the electricians I hired to replace the main bathroom ceiling fan and wiring.  The fan hadn't been working for the past couple years which didn't have any ill effects with one, sometimes two showers a day but with with five of us was time to fix it.

While the guys were hard at work, I received a call from our pet sitter cancelling this weekend due to health complications on her end.  So now I am trying to figure out another way to get the pets taken care of for two nights so we can take the kids and go to the beach this weekend.  I am *this* close to working it out.  It will cost more but I so don't want to disappoint the kids - especially Kelton.  Plus, I am looking forward to getting out of dodge and breathing in some fresh sea air.

I have a lot of irons in the fire, so to speak.  But I can tell you that the on thing I don't have to worry about right now is working on  cd replication here.  Truth is, I haven't touched a CD in a long time.  DVD's every now and again but CD's?  Nope.

Ok - I'm off to contact the local kennel.  I've never put a dog in a kennel before...I'm a bit apprehensive about it but it sure would be nice if it were a viable alternative.

It's always something....that's for sure. :)

Friday, November 09, 2012

Coming Undone

To say it's been a bit of an emotional few weeks is kind of like saying we have had a tiny bit of rain.  And, in case you are wondering, we have had a very, very wet and chilly few weeks. 

The upshot of it all is that I made my last trip to the house I called home for ten plus years.  The house I magically transformed into a loving, nurturing home for my two babies.  The home where my babies rolled over, sat up, learned to crawl, learned to walk and run.  The home to where I brought Kaylen, fresh from the hospital, to forever be Kelton's baby sister.  The home that was the entire world, entire universe for my children and me for their entire lives.

One my last stop, I stood in the silence of the emptiness and I promise you, I could hear the echos of laughter, I could see them dancing their silly dances to their silly songs together in the kitchen while I cleaned up dinners night after night after night.  I heard them in their bedrooms.  Saw them laying under the branches of the Christmas tree, looking up at the lights.  Saw them splashing in the pool in the backyard.  Kicking through the leaves in the front yard, making giant piles and then jumping in them....squealing in delight.  I could see Kaylen having her tea parties than she had every. single. day. for a good year when she was two.

I could see the swing set being built, heard the happy voices of 5 year old Kelton and 2 year old Kaylen as they eagerly waited to be able to slide on the slide and swing "up to the trees".  I can see them running out the door into the dark of night, dressed in boots and coats, to play when the project was finally completely.  It was past their bedtimes but they had waited all day and I couldn't deny them.  I could hear Kaylen's amazing laugh as I pushed her in her orange airplane swing.

Every direction I turned I was hit with memories.  The tears flowed fast and furiously.  The emotions ran the full spectrum.  Anger welled up at all that was lost for my children....for me.  Heart ache over things that were, that never will be again and dreams that both lived and died within those walls.

A new family has rented it and will be moving in this weekend.  Small children to fill the house with sounds and magic.  New children to sleep and play in my children's rooms.  A dog who will romp and play in the yard.  It absolutely breaks my heart.  I thought I would live in that house well past the children being grown. isn't to be.  Wasn't meant to be, some would say.  I don't know.  All I know is it isn't and, in the end, there wasn't anything I could do about it.

Yesterday, three years to the month of being told I no longer had a relationship, my "divorce" became final.  I signed off on the house and will be removed from the title.  Everything is cleaned up.  Lose ends tied up.  The irony of Washington approving Marriage Equality in the same 24 hours period of finalizing of my divorce is not lost on me. 

My partner-based relationship with Dakota has been long over.  It is the home I built with, and for, my children, that I grieve for intensely.

And at the same time, I have a wonderful woman who loves me, and whom I love, deeply.  I share her home, we share our children, we are building a future - and one day I'm sure this house will feel more like my home than it does right now.  I still struggle with feeling like a visitor.  It's my doing, nothing Stephanie does or doesn't do.  She is understanding as I go through whatever wild ride my emotions takes me on.  Thank God for that.  She gave me pretty much free range on putting the house together, merging all of our things, decorating.  She is building me a closet so I can have more space, she lovingly put in the new floors, she encouraged, and helped me, paint.  She tries so hard and yet at times I still feel like a visitor.  That's my stuff though.  Me, being disoriented.  Me, afraid of failing again, of disappointing again, of being told my dreams, goals and desires aren't good enough. 

I have realized that I come with *a lot* of baggage.  Fear.  Trust issues.  Insecurities about being enough, doing enough.  None of it is founded in my reality with Stephanie.  It's me.  It's my past.  It's what I am currently bringing to the table.  Stuff I need to figure out how to make peace with.  How to quiet the voices in my head.  How to still the panic and anxiety I seem to have now and again.

The children are happy and adjusting well.  For that I am grateful.  As for me?  I have some things to work out for myself.  I need to get to a place where I feel like I am enough.  What I do is enough.  I need to find areas where I feel like I have some control so I can stop feeling wildly out of control.  After years of being on my own with the children, I struggle to include others in our circle even though it is what I so very much want.  I'm used to it being me and them.  It's been the three us as a primary unit for the better part of seven years (since Dakota started law school back in July of 2005 and, consequently, spent very little time with the kids and me.  Little compared to the amount of time the three of us were on our own together.). 

I don't know.  I'm doing the best I can.  I go back and forth between being great and feeling like I'm coming undone.  I guess that's mostly normal though given the monumental changes over the past while.  Yeah - normal.  I'm going to hold on to that. 

Normal, considering everything.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Shoes Shoes Shoes

Shoes. Twelve pair, to be exact.

That is how many pairs of shoes Miss. Kaylen has had since May. Yes. This past May. You know, not even 6 months ago. We should all be so lucky.

And of those thirteen pair only one was not purchased by me. My sister bought Kaylen a $1.00 pair of peace logo flip flops when we were up visiting in July. All the others though? *sigh* The girl and her shoes. A never ending saga.

She outgrew her Crocs and needed a new pair in May. The straps on those broke in July so I ordered a new pair. That's two pair.

She still needed a "real" pair of shoes in May but we ended up failing miserably because of sensory issues and bought a pair of Keene's. (bye bye waaaay too much money). She wore them a lot but alas, she outgrew those and in August, I bought her another pair. We're up to four pair.

For school I bought a pink pair of Ked-type shoes, a green pair of Ked-like shoes, and black dress shoes. That brings us up to seven pairs of shoes.

For soccer, I bought cleats. Three weeks later, she melted down because they were too tight (ah yes - sensory issue meltdown in full force. It was oh so much fun.). We went shopping for another pair. Those she wore all season though I am 100% positive they will not fit come spring.

What are we up to now? Nine.

Today she came home and her Crocs strap had broken beyond repair (it broke a while ago but I glued it and babied it along.). She and I went online and after a PAINFUL experience with not having the style she liked in the right size....she finally agreed to a pair. It will take two weeks to get them. That makes ten pair of shoes.

She welled up with tears. Her other shoes simply will not do and she doesn't know how she will deal with it for two weeks. *sigh* Did I mention that she has MAJOR sensory issues with shoes?? Always has.

Off to Fred Meyer we went because Stephanie had noticed last week that they carried Crocs. And Crocs, by their very nature, are roomy enough to limit issues with fit and can be worn a long long as we stay with the basic style and not get the fancy Mary Jane strap kind which, apparently, do NOT stand the test of time.

After being SURE the style of Crocs Fred Meyer carries wouldn't do and fighting back tears in the aisle (as a very tired mommy is on the verge of a mental breakdown, too), she tried on the fuzzy style Crocs.....and loved them. Of course.

And that is how we end up at pair number Eleven.

Add to that the peace flip flops from my sister and we have a mind blowing TWELVE pairs of shoes in less than six months.

Poor Kelton....he has only had four pairs of shoes in the same time span. And one of those pair are his "stay at school gym shoes". The real difference though is Kelton's four pairs of shoes will likely last him through the school year. I wish I could say that about Miss. Kaylen.

Meanwhile, my tennis shoes are two years old and starting to look like it. And suddenly......I feel like my mother who used to complain constantly about having to go without buying new underwear in order to keep the five of us in clothing. *sigh*

Life comes full circle. As it always does.