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Halloween came and went and a good time was had by all. We went to a church things and had chili and cornbread and then there were games for the kids, and afterward went to a few houses and called it a night. Sam went trick-or-treating with a friend after we all ate. Yes, they are fifteen and went trick or treating! And I might add, there were a LOT of teenagers out and about, all in costume and having a good old time. I know it makes a lot of people mad when teens go, but it makes me smile. They are only kids a little longer, and it’s better than going to a “party” or any number of other things they could do.

While this wasn’t Josie’s first Halloween, it was the first one in her memory and was therefore a little overwhelming for her. It took her a little while to figure out what to do, but then once she realized people were giving her candy! she went a little crazy. It was almost manic. I am not used to this in a child. I mean, Sam and Owen both have always been pretty mellow about the whole thing. When he was younger, Sam would go to a few houses and then declare he was done, and Owen is simply pretty chill about everything. Not so with Josie! The great thing? Once we got home she seemed to have basically forgotten that there was CANDY.

Not much going on here today other than Steve will be home this afternoon! Which is plenty of excitement for all of us. We have piano lessons for the boys and dance for Josie this afternoon, so he is going to show up at dance when he gets in. It will be really fun to see Josie’s reaction. She loves her daddy!

As for school, well, we are doing what we do. We have a project today, making a Thanksgiving Tree and then every day we will all write something we are thankful for on a paper leaf and hang it on the tree. I want them to learn that there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for, no matter what. Both Owen and Sam have just started their second math books (Life of Fred, which we all LOVE), Sam is working on a HUGE history research paper, and it’s also Science day. Yay! I love watching them both grow as they learn that learning can be fun, and that there is SO MUCH to learn about! In just a few short months, I can see the spark in both their eyes again, and that makes me happy.

Hope everyone is having a great week thus far!

Sigh….

Right now I have one adult child who isn’t speaking to me at all because I have ruined her life and the other adult child who messaged me on Facebook begging me to make him a pan of my lasagna to take to a work party. It’s no wonder being a parent makes us crazy.

I make light of it but the situation with my oldest daughter is so, so sad. She has been through so much-admittedly, a hard life. Partly due to our poverty when she was younger and partly due to her sexual abuse and partly due to just life being hard and partly due to her own poor choices. However, everything she is doing right now is typical of an abuse survivor, and that breaks my heart. It’s all just so sad, and I don’t know what to do for her anymore.

But here is the thing I have to remember: she doesn’t want help right now. I tried, Steve tried, our chosen family has tried, and she seems hell-bent on this path of what is surely self-destruction. We took her and Aubry in a few months ago when her poor choices led her to being evicted from her apartment, and then there were all these lies. Not little white lies, either, but the big kind that really have an impact not just on her life but on everyone’s. Then, when confronted with a few of them, she lied even more. She had a choice, to be honest with us and get some help, but instead she chose to leave. And beyond a very few words I haven’t talked to her since.

I think the thing that bothers me the most is that sweet baby. Hannah loves her with every fiber of her being-Aubry doesn’t lack for love. What she lacks is stability, and the knowledge that she comes first in her mama’s life, and any sense of a “normal” childhood. There have been all sorts of uncertain situations and that sweet girl doesn’t even know what to think half the time.

But while I am worried about Aubry, and equally worried about Hannah, I have done enough Al-Anon work and recovery work to know that there isn’t really anything else I can do. I have my boundaries, and she violated them repeatedly, and I can’t make her do anything. I can’t make her acknowledge the broken parts of her, nor can I make her see that there is hope and light. All I can do is love her and pray for her, and remain distant.

And it’s never ever about giving up on a child, because that isn’t possible. Not in my heart, not for me. But it IS about trying to keep sane and stop using tremendous amounts of energy on a child who can’t hear anything you say.

So. The thing is to keep moving forward. I have high hopes for her, not OF her.I pray for her to learn hard enough lessons that she will learn from them, but not so hard that she has to lose everything. I pray that God will speak to her through people and circumstances and show her that she CAN heal. Mostly, I just pray that she will someday be happy. That’s all a parent really wants, isn’t it?

Friday Fragments, Halloween Edition

Half-Past Kissin' Time
Haven’t done one of these for awhile, so special thanks to Mrs. 4444 for still doing these! It makes me smile that some things haven’t changed!
  • Owen went to bed with a stomach ache last night and Sam has been up barfing most of the night. This does not bode well for a happy Halloween, does it? The thing is, as long as Josie doesn’t get sick, we are still totally going trick-or-treating. She picked her own costume this year and I am NOT going to deny her the chance to wear it!
  • Steve was supposed to be flying home from work today but it has been changed now to Tuesday afternoon. This is another reason we WILL go out tonight, to distract the kids. It is a blessing that Steve has this job, but it isn’t easy on any of us.
  • In a bloodthirsty rampage a few months ago, the dogs killed all of our half-wild cats. We live in the country, which means we now have a mouse problem. This does not make me happy, as I witnessed one scurrying through the kids’ bathroom this morning.
  • We have a forecast of snow for this weekend. I am not sure how I feel about this.
  • Jose put these gel cling-on things on the window, Halloween themed. The way she has it set up, the black cat is pooping out a full moon. She thinks we are laughing because she is so sweet.
  • Even though I hate sick kids, I am also not entirely sad about having a quiet day. There may or may not be a nap later, and my house really needs attention after the goings on of the last few weeks.
  • Sam got accepted to go to a huge Modeling/Acting convention in New York Next year. This is a huge deal, and we are really excited.
  • We have to raise $15,000 to GET to the convention and have Sam participate. Lots less excited about that, but we have some great fundraising ideas and Sam set up a GoFundMe account. We can do it, right?

Well. I know there are better fragments out there so go check them out.

Homeschooling

We had kind if an interesting year at school last year. Owen was identified and tested as gifted, which is thrilling-yet not, because we have no program in place at the school for gifted kids anymore. Funding, you know, and Butch Otter is a douchebag extraordinaire so no hope of GETTING any funding for the program and well. There were all sorts of suggestions for this we could do to help him at home, which yay! But then if we were supposed to be doing all of these things at home to enrich him, it wasn’t that far of a stretch to just decide to do ALL of it at home.

Then, for entirely different reasons, Sam was having trouble socially in school, which actually translates as “he came out as gay and life became hell.” As in, he was forced to quit the track team because no one wanted to run in front of a faggot, or be in the same locker room with one, and friends he has had since kindergarten stopped talking to him. Those kinds of problems, the ones that lots of adults turn a blind eye to because of their own personal beliefs.

Add to that the implementation of Common Core standards in Idaho and Steve and I just decided it was time. We had been doing school work over the summer, not a lot but just enough to keep them learning and interested, and both boys agreed that “trying” homeschooling would be ok.

Now, 6 weeks in, I have days where I think we made a great decision, and other days I am pretty sure that I am going to single-handedly ruin all of them. Which, according to other homeschooling moms I know, is completely normal. I have gotten a lot of information and have a ton of resources, we have joined a home school co-op, and let’s just say it is an adventure.

That’s one small portion of the catch-up phase of the blog; I promise, there won’t always be a back story, but a lot of things have changed in my life, our lives and it feels good to me to actually write about them, you know? It always just makes things more real to me, and it feels good to be back here writing.

So….

I had forgotten how much I hate (and suck at) coming up with titles. It’s like the absolute worst thing to ever have to do. Which has nothing to do with this post, just a little thought flitting through my head.

One of the things I did want to write about tonight, though, is that fact that I have four cigarettes left and am putting on a nicotine patch tonight. And I am nervous and afraid and yes, panicked. Because you know, smoking is an addiction and it’s so terrible and all that, which is true but ALSO because man, it’s my crutch. Bored? Smoke. Tired of waiting? Go have a smoke. Annoyed at the kids/spouse/dogs/mailman? Have a smoke. It’s like that six minutes of absolute heaven, where everything just sort of melts away. Really. If you have never smoked, you don’t get that, but it’s there for every smoker I know.

At any rate, my mom died unexpectedly and suddenly last August. Which is a whole other freaking SERIES of posts, but I am not ready for that yet. The only reason I bring it up now is that you know, she was 65, and that is really young, and I don’t want to die. There were lots of other issues with her, but she smoked 3 packs of smokes a day, y’all. Let’s just say it didn’t help.

At any rate, I have been working my way toward this point for the past year and two months. As in, I have been preparing myself to be ready to be finished smoking. And it sucks, yes, that it has taken this long, but it is what it is. So for the last two months I have been ACTIVELY getting ready to be done, things like substituting nicotine gum for cigarettes occasionally, visiting a smoking cessation website, consciously choosing to not light one. Little things, but they have finally brought me here.

It might seem like such a small thing, but really, if it does, you have never smoked. That’s all I can say. But, I don’t know, it’s just time. And it’s also no small thing, for me. And in all my life, writing things down is a way to make things real, plus it opens up a feeling of accountability. Not that anyone ELSE holds me accountable, it’s just that being open and honest about it helps ME be accountable.

So. Here’s to the last four smokes.

Dusting Off…Again

The last few days I have had reason to look through some old posts on this blog, and I realized how much I have missed it. I have been writing for pay, you know, such wonderful things as how to grow/harvest/dry marijuana, the average cost of cosmetic surgery, and even some really compelling stuff about rats and termites. Living the dream, you know. It’s not the same as writing here, though, and I miss the community, the friends, the day-to-day details of my life down in black and white.

I haven’t decided if I will continue on with this particular blog. After all, it chronicles so much of my earlier me, my single-momness and my craziness and so much freaking drama that I almost don’t recognize some of it. At the same time, though, who I am not is largely dependent on who I used to be, just (marginally) better. I guess the thing to do is just write, and listen to those little voices that tell me what to do next.

Question, though-Google reader is obsolete, right? so is there another reader I can use? I miss all my old blog friends, and I know not everyone is still around but I also know that blogging is not dead. Suggestions?

Frustration abounds these days. We got news that we were unexpectedly going to be closing on the house; not unexpected in the sense that we did not know we were buying it, but in that it was sooner than we thought. So we finished getting all of the paperwork gathered together and got ready for the appraiser to come in and then we waited. And waited. Finally talked to the Realtor yesterday and the appraisal came back low. Like, significantly lower than we had anticipated and much lower than the asking price of the house. This would be good for us, obviously, except….yes. Except. There are also a couple of cosmetic issues with the house that need addressed before we can close.

Now we are waiting again, to see if the seller is willing to come down in price. Which we believe she is, but what we are not sure of is whether her bank will be okay with it. Don’t know how much she still owes on it, you see, and for some reason she didn’t know either. We are supposed to hear by tomorrow, which really means by next week sometime, so it’s more waiting. A flurry of activity, followed by waiting, isn’t that always how it works?

The good thing is that we are already approved for a loan in the amount of the asking price of this house. So, worst case scenario  we start looking for another one.  The thing is, I want this house. We chose this house, have been leasing it with an intent to purchase agreement, and I would be so sad if we have to find a different one. We have made this our home, you know? Besides the fact that we love it, I will be pissed as hell if we basically lose all of the money we have invested in it already. Not in terms of things we have done, we have been prohibited from doing anything permanent until we close, but just in living here. We have been making the seller’s house payment, with a percentage going toward the down payment, which  we have down to less than $1,000 now, and all that will be gone and we would have to start over somewhere else. Yes, it can be done. We have made a lot of sacrifices to get this far and we can continue to do it in a different place, but of course that isn’t the point.

So I am trying to keep busy with work, which I had put on hold because there was all this stuff to take care of, and with the garden (that I hope I will get to see come to fruition!), and the lawn, and I sit and wait. And hope.