Update on My Girl

I wanted to give you all at least an update on Hannah. I just called and she is doing okay. God, it is so much more complicated than that, so many different layers to that one simple word, “okay.” In this case, what that means is that she is where she needs to be, and she is safe. I had a meeting, actually WE had a short therapy session yesterday before I headed home, with her and her therapist and myself, to go over what led to her being admitted to the BHC, what our short term goals are as well as a few long-term ones. It was-I don’t know. GOOD is not the right word, but necessary anyway, and terribly difficult.

At this point, the whole situation is very much on a day-to-day basis. When they tell me she had a good night, that means something entirely different than a good night for one of us, and that concept is hard to get my mind around. She is still being very closely watched, considered still at high-risk for a suicide attempt, so for the moment, a good night means she didn’t. The general consensus is that the poor sweet girl has been hanging on by her fingernails for a very long time, and she just couldn’t do it any longer. It has been (and these are not her words, but mine, based on the conversations I have had with the billions and three-it seems that way anyway-people with whom I have spoken the last 48 hours) all she has been able to do to get up and get dressed and maintain. Here, she doesn’t have to do that any longer. They are at the moment focusing on the most basic things: sleeping, eating correctly, and personal hygiene. That’s it. She has no option BUT to eat, though of course she isn’t required to eat everything. After observing her the first night and talking to me about her sleeping patterns at home, the decision was made (and I agreed) to put her on a mood stabilizer/sleeping aid combo, and last night she took that for the first time. She HAS to get up every morning and take a shower. There is a lot of structure and very little free time, and I think that is good as well.

There are a thousand things I want to write about, need to write about, but I just can’t right now. There are balls in the air and a level of uncertainty that I am not comfortable with but HAVE to be this way. My daughter is a very long way away and I can’t be with her or see her, and I hate that-but she is requiring at this point a level of care that I cannot provide for her, even if you removed the other kids and the job from the equation. She needs 24 hour monitoring, 24 hour care, and I just am not equipped to do that for her. I understand all of that, I truly do, and there is much to be grateful for even in the midst of this-I can’t even write about that right now.

I will say that I have made a lot of painful decisions in my life thus far. I have been through some tough stuff, as have my kids. To date, the most difficult, painful thing I have ever experienced has been this: I had to pry her arms from around my neck and forcefully push her toward these people who will help her stay alive when she so badly does not want to. I had to listen to her cry and beg me to please not leave her there, and I had to turn around and walk out. I think of that, and I just can’t write anything else.

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Weekend Recap

I have to laugh at something: I have noticed that I have a couple of people who read my blog who are not only very conservative Christians but are ALSO completely Anti-Obama (and I am not talking about YOU, Steph, I love you!); while I appreciate the readers and think it is cool that they obviously find something about my blog compelling enough to keep reading, it just makes me laugh. So if this sounds like you, I am dying to know: are you simply waiting for my blog to burst into flames, do I need to be glad I am moving so you won’t be able to bomb my house, or are you simply here because you find me interesting? Do tell!


I had a very unexpected invite over the weekend; Steve wanted to Go Away With Me! We went to a Bed and Breakfast Inn by Lava Hot Springs. Stopped and ate at Red Lobster on the way, then checked in to the Moose Hollow Bed and Breakfast before heading to the hot pools at Lava. First things first here: you all know that Steve has been a dick, and while you might not know all the details, you know by now that he is often “confused.” In all these years together, be it “official” or not, he does this. he says or does something really, really mean, and instead of saying that he is wrong or that he said something in the heat of the moment, instead of God Forbid APOLOGIZING, he does something unexpectedly and out of the blue nice and thoughtful and loving. He doesn’t apologize, he never will, but this is his way of doing so. I talked to a friend of mine about this and her suggestion was next time something like this happens-which it inevitably will-I could try to help him verbalize the meaning behind it, but at the same time accept this about him. That makes sense to me, and might help next time something similar occurs. I could bore you all to tears with the different little things that I never, EVER write about, but I won’t do that. What I will say is that while we all know what he **should** do, that shouldn’t be taken into account. I “should” do a lot of things that I don’t, nor do I plan on EVER doing. So. In the spirit of the invitation, I went, and we had a lovely time. The B&B was-odd, to say the least, and I don’t know that I would ever stay there again, but the rest was lovely. A note to anyone who might want to stay here: make the coffee in your room, don’t drink it in the dining room, unless you like coffee the color of tea. If you do not like to eat right first thing upon awakening, get up early-because they will NOT let you leave without eating. And if you want to get “busy,” do NOT reserve the Sunrise Room; the headboard bangs against the wall. LOUDLY.

Also on Sunday, we stopped at Costco and picked up some things (diapers and coffee, as you all know, and mundane stuff like laundry soap and toilet paper. Not very exciting, but I felt better getting home and mentally calculating how much I saved in the long term by buying there. Really, it is considerable; I figured in one month’s time, I will have saved just over $70.00. Not bad at all.

I did splurge by stopping at Starbucks and indulging in a triple shot grande white chocolate mocha, EXTRA HOT, along with a pumpkin scone. Heaven. I don’t care who you are, Starbucks coffee IS better. We then went to Lowe’s, where I found two rugs-one for the kitchen (with, of all things, coffee varieties on it in varying shades of brown. Gorgeous!) and one for the little boys’ room-it looks like a race track. It was very, very exciting to pick out these two brand new things for the house, things I LOVE.

Today, my friend Janet came by at lunch and we went to the local thrift store, where we found these things: a rocking recliner in beige, a mattress and box spring set (with frame) for ME, a brand-new set of bunk beds for the little boys (one of the older kids will have the set we have, which has a full bed on the bottom), and the loveliest old farm table for the kitchen. It has black legs and a brown top, all wooden, and I love it. It caught my eye immediately, and I thought “oh, it matches the rug perfectly!” When we were putting all the “sold” tags on them, Janet wrote out the check and handed me the receipt, saying, “Happy new house!” I just, predictably, cried with how blessed I truly am.

Not everything is well and good here, though. I got a call from the school informing me that Hannah is failing her classes. ALL.OF.THEM. We are talking FAILING. Zeros in more than one. I have a meeting at the school at 7:15 in the morning, because they want to transfer her to the local Alternative School, which just doesn’t seem like a reasonable solution to me. Why in God’s name, unless she is a discipline problem (not), would they want to throw her amongst a group of kids that I try desperately to keep her away from? Anyway, I know that part of the problem this year has had to do with the whole CSG incident and then the CF incident; it still isn’t an excuse for Hannah to simply fuck of school, and I am holding her responsible for silly little things like not turning in HOMEwork, but with hope the school is willing to be a bit more lenient. I will let you all know what happens tomorrow; I have a couple of things to propose, to with hope they will be more willing to explore other options as opposed to just throwing her out.

All in all, I feel really good today. I think-I don’t know if I would call it “grace,” but something is happening and I just feel very calm. Not that things don’t still suck in some respects-we still have problems and worries and fears, of course (don’t we all?) but today I feel strong enough to face them and deal with them by simply taking the next step. I am wearing a necklace* that says “Courage” and a bracelet* that says “Strength,” and maybe that is making the difference.

*Both of these items were given to me for Christmas by Mr. Lady, but she bought them from Nicole Lorentz; go check out her Etsy shop, you will be amazed at the talent this woman has.

Happy Friday

Well. IHA called and my inspection is set up for next Thursday; she is already familiar with the home and doesn’t anticipate any problems, was almost as equally excited for us as WE are, and get this: I am going to be paying $11.00 less a month than I am currently paying for, let’s face it, a dive. The utilities are a little bit more expensive there, but there is natural gas heat (which we have here in our office, and it runs less than $100/month for this big place), so they will probably be pretty close to the same. I will be paying more in actual gasoline as I will be “commuting,” (come on. In Idaho, 10 miles IS commuting, thank you very much), but I think that I am going to be okay from a financial standpoint as well. Not great, but I think we will get by all right, which is a huge load off my mind. Huge.

I got the power and gas turned on, and with neither of them did I need to have a deposit, which is most excellent. This is how far I have come, in that when we moved here five years ago I had to put down a deposit for EVERYTHING, so I gave myself a little pat on the back. Tonight, we are headed back over there to see it again in the full light, and Jacquie is going to come with and we can measure the windows…as a “housewarming” gift, she is going to make curtains for me, which is awesome. Her husband Jim is pitching in and we should be able to get fabric and rods for all the windows and a new comforter for my bed. How wonderful is that? April told me on the phone last night (after making fun of me for having a sack of potatoes on the kitchen table!) that as much as she loves me, SHE wouldn’t do that for me, so it is especially thoughtful and sweet. She is also going to help me find some decent used furniture, stuff like that. I did sign up for FreeCycle as well, and with hope I will find just what I am looking for at just the right time.

So that is where things are right now, moving forward. I feel a huge wight off my shoulders about the housing issue, on a lot of different levels, and what I have loved the most is that last night, all of the kids were so excited and HAPPY that it was the best, most fun-filled night we have in awhile. Every time I would try to ignore them I mean try to READ, one of them would pop up with,”Mom. Guess what? We’re moving!” or “Mom. I get my own room.” And by time I finally got them to be quiet and go to bed, we were all laughing like maniacs. I got to talk to April on the phone last night as well, and that was lovely as always. All in all, I am feeling better about things in general. It isn’t, as usual, as if anything outward has CHANGED so much; I mean, there is still a lot of shit going on, and that isn’t going to go away for awhile-but this one big thing, this one really GREAT thing, has happened, and I am at least to the point where I can genuinely be happy about it instead of letting the rest of it drag me down.

On that note, I have some decorating websites to look at, so if you will excuse me…..

A House! A House! We Got A House!

It is a good thing I took the extra time to do something with my hair today. I mean, it is getting kind of long, and I got a gift certificate for Christmas for a cut and style, but I don’t know what I want to do with it. So I have been trying all of these different things-pulling it back in a ponytail with a sideways part (it looked really nice like that when my sister got married, by the way, I had on bright red lipstick and a retro-looking dress; I looked very glam), using a clip, straightening it, using my diffuser to make it curlier…and the other day when I straightened it, the bangs wouldn’t cooperate so I just pulled them back. I looked in the mirror and thought, “Oh, God, crack whore.” Only not skinny. And with all my teeth. Anyway….

Today, my new landlord came in to the office to go over my lease, which is why I was glad my hair looked nice. I mean, nothing says “Hey, Rent to Me!” like the Crack Whore Look, but still. See, we looked at the house last night (keep in mind that this is NOT the same owner who thought I was going to let Owen shit everywhere; this is a different one, different house AND owner), and I called him to let him know we would take it. I was feeling under the slightest bit of pressure, as there were other people there looking at it as well, so I thought I better call and let him know that we were interested, even if we weren’t 100% sure. So he came by the office to go over the lease and fill out the paperwork for the Idaho Housing Authority (which I very promptly faxed in), and I was glad that he could see me in my “professional mode.” He didn’t know a couple of the salient details about the construction year and such of the house, so I put on my “Insurance Agent Extraordinaire” voice (can also be confused at times with those 1-976 numbers) and called the Assessor’s office for him…very cool. It is one thing to KNOW I have four kids and two dogs, it would be another thing entirely for him to meet me at my house and witness the chaos firsthand. I have the Crack Whore Look, and the Professional Look, but there is also the Slatternly Housewife Look; bandanna and curlers in my hair, a polka-dotted housecoat, with a cigarette hanging out of my mouth. No, I am glad he came here instead. We went over the stuff, I paid my deposit, he gave me the keys. That was it. He still has to have the house inspected, and I have to be there for that as well, at which point everything is Official and Final, but for all intents and purposes, the house is mine.

I will say that I don’t LOVE the house, but I don’t HATE it, either. Actually, I love the upstairs; two bedrooms up, a small living room, all with hardwood floors and windows that are perfectly situated for maximum light. In the room that will be mine, the sun will shine in and wake me up in the summer, which makes me very, very happy. The bathroom is small, but then so is the one we have now, and this one is nice. The kitchen is small (do you see a pattern here?), but with new linoleum and counter tops, and again, LOTS of light. I can have houseplants again!

The downstairs is more, “Meh.” It is a basement with concrete floors, with two finished bedrooms also with concrete floors. Both bedrooms are painted some hideous dark blue color (but the landlord said he would take the $$ for paint off my share of the rent is we wanted to change it), but they DO have two high windows in each. Also, the rest of the basement is open, with those high windows, so it isn’t like a dungeon or anything. My thought was that the upstairs-due to the size-would be the TV Free Zone; I could make it cozy and quiet with bookshelves and chairs and reading lamps, and then the downstairs could be the TV/game/play room. I think it will be fine with some throw or area rugs and a divider between the laundry area and the main room, even homey.

So. All the paperwork is complete, I am just waiting for the inspection to be scheduled and final approval made. This house has apparently been on the IHA program before, so the Landlord is familiar with the process and felt confident in going ahead and taking the deposit and giving me the keys. Keys, guys. Keys to the really nice, solid, NEW door with double-paned safety glass. Keys to the shiny, sturdy new deadbolt. Keys.

So there you are; there is some damn fine news, and while I try to not get TOO excited in case things go tits-up, this feels good to me. Thanks for all your good vibes and Karma and prayers or whatever. I am sure you will all get sick of hearing about this, but again, damn.

On Being a Grown Up

I hate being a grown-up sometimes. Or rather, I like being one, I just hate FEELING like one. I had to order new tires yesterday (or rather, Steve ordered them because he can get them at cost AND put them on for me) and the total was very nearly $700. I about had a heart attack, really. The last time I had to get new tires was when Eli was a baby, and I was given them as a birthday present. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t been driving the same car on bald tires all this time, I just haven’t owned a car long enough to have to get new tires in that long. Which is the subject of another post for another time. The rational, ADULT part of me is all, “Well, they are going to last probably four years, I DO drive kids around a lot and don’t want to take the chance, it does snow and get icy so I really should have good tires, I should just be grateful I have the funds with which to do this….” and the other part of me is all like, “Dude, what the fuck? $700 for TIRES? You have GOT to be kidding me!” Whatever; they have been ordered, and with luck Steve will put them on for me on Saturday. He might be a real dick sometimes and get all “This is confusing!” but he does take good care of the car. (see, that comment right there was an indication of me being more gentle and compassionate. Note that, would you?)

********

Why, oh why, does this happen every time? I am going to Costco this weekend; this trip has been planned for two weeks (it isn’t in the same town so I have to wait until I need a lot of things in order to justify the expense of driving to said town, 45 miles away). I have an ongoing list on the fridge, and three days before I go, I run out of both diapers AND coffee beans. Neither of which we can go without. So tonight, I have to go to the store and spend $10.99 (with coupon, I might add) for a small package of diapers and about $5.00 for enough coffee beans to get me through until Saturday. That isn’t because I use SO many beans (though I do use a lot), it is because they are $11.00 a pound here. $11.34 for THREE pounds at Costco. Anyway, I try to plan it so that we don’t run out of these things and have to buy them elsewhere, because the price is so high for some items, but last month and this month both, we ran out before the slated trip. Maybe it is time to get totally serious about potty training Owen, because damn. And believe me, if it ever gets to the point in this economy where I have to choose between diapers and coffee, the poor boy will be thrust into his undies without further ado. Just sayin‘.

*****

I have been searching diligently for a four bedroom house, as the deadline in is 6 weeks and I have still not found one. There was one in the paper about 10 days ago, and I called on it-perfect location, as it is just a block from where we currently live. Newly remodeled, 4 bed/2 bath and an office, just really, really nice. We would have had to get rid of the dogs, but okay, we can deal. Then I get to talking in depth to this guy, and I changed my mind in a hurry. “Are you married?” No, of course, and his tone of voice immediately became cooler. No biggie, really, I have lived here awhile I know that it isn’t the “done” thing to be a single and not looking mom. He made a couple of comments about his previous renters not being very “reverent,” which is a very, very Mormon thing to say, so I knew that his judgement was clouded by that. Again, no biggie. The two things that got to me enough that I mentally said “fuck it” were that he was very, very condescending when asking, “So since you are going to getting this subsidy, I am assuming you will be able to afford the rent?” and then when he asked if all my kids were potty trained. “So your kids are all toilet-trainer, right?” and honestly, I laughed; it was just such an odd question, and I kind of thought he was joking. “Well, obviously my older three are, but the 2 year old isn’t.” He did not think I was amusing, and said very stiffly, “I would have a problem with an untrained child in the house.” Like what, I am going to let Owen just shit all over the floor at will? Anyway, I was very polite and kind, and did go look at the house-it is beautiful, but not worth the potential hassles with Mr. Reverent.

There is another 4 bedroom that I am going to call on today, but it is in another town. A close one, I wouldn’t need to find a new job or anything, but there are issues involved in moving to a different town, even one only 8 miles away. I have blogged about those issued before, so I won’t get into it right now, but regardless, I am still going to call on it. If this one isn’t “The One,” we are going to have to start seriously considering a three bedroom one. Not ideal, but certainly better than we have a the moment.

*****

I heard three Valentine’s Day commercials on the radio yesterday. What the fuck is up with that? This is why I love my Sirius (and I am having issues with my receiver and am without it for a day or so), because I hate commercials so badly. Talk about a huge amount of hype for one day; Christmas is bad enough, but at least then the advertising is geared toward the majority. I think I will come up with a new ad campaign for those of who don’t have partners. Something along the lines of, “Don’t feel about about not getting a diamond this year; he is already cheating on her and the marriage will last 6 months, and he will be paying on the ring she throws in the rover in a fit of rage for years to come!” Maybe something a little more catchy, but you get the idea.

I got nothing else today; seems to be a little bit lame-o to be writing anything so mundane after yesterdays historic event, doesn’t it?

Yes, We Did-But Don't Stop Now!

Like most everyone in our country today, I watched Barack Hussein Obama give his Inauguration Speech, the crowd a wonderfully compelling mixture of different race and economic status and every possible difference we use to keep ourselves apart from one another. There were a million people huddled together in the cold to watch our 44th President take office. While I was not there physically, I sat here at my computer and cried as he made his speech, feeling part of something far, far greater than myself. I helped make this happen; I helped in some small way to get this man where he is today, and that is a huge feeling of accomplishment. We should all feel proud, on so many different levels.

I don’t pretend to be any kind of a political expert, nor do I pretend to have all of the answers. While I hate to say that this election was all about race, I can’t deny my own shame when President Obama talked about how less than 60 years ago his father could not be seated in a restaurant. I was not there, but perhaps my relatives were, fighting a war against race that I simply cannot even begin to understand. So to say that race has not been a factor would be to turn a blind eye to how far we as a nation have come, and I don’t want to do that, either. The odds were stacked against Obama from Day One, because of his race, his name, his relative obscurity, and yet there he was today in front of our nation, accepting it’s highest office. What an amazing blessing to be part of this, to be part of the beginning of something so huge. Regardless of political party affiliations, this is a moment in time where we should all simply stop and revel in how great a nation we truly are.

Obama’s call to service touched me deeply, and I will tell you this: I will be one of those who work until my hands are raw in support of this man. I will strive harder to better teach my children about service-not service to the government, or even this man in particular, but service to fellow Americans. To their neighbors, to their friends. I will set a better example of what it means to be part of the human race, not just in our country but in every country in this world. I will soften my heart toward others, I will be more generous and understanding, yet underneath I will keep handy this steel cord that has kept me going for so long; I have needed it in the past, and God help me, I will need it again. We will all need it in the days to come, of that I am sure, and what I will do instead of using it to keep my own spine straight and my eyes looking ahead, but I will temper it until it is fluid enough to be spread amongst my friends, my fellow Americans.

We live in such a blessed world, and I for one am going to work harder than ever before to stop forgetting that. I am going to make an attempt every day to foster this feeling of unity, even if the best I can do at some point in time is smile at a stranger. I am going to stop selling myself short, because in doing so I sell you short, too. We are all part of this, whether we want to be or not, and I would ask you to simply look in your hearts and give this man a chance. If you can’t do that, give me a chance; give every single mother you know a chance to tell her kids, “This could be you.” Give every struggling, working0two0jobs-and-still-not-making-it man a chance. Give yourselves a chance to learn and grow right along with the rest of the country. While Obama is certainly not the Messiah, he is, I think, our greatest chance to become a nation we are once again proud of.

Another Monday

My first post for the Rocky Mountain Moms Blog is up; you can check it out here if you are so inclined. And please leave a comment if you read it, because I have this terrible paranoia that if they don’t think anyone is interested, they will boot me off as a contributor and I will feel horribly ashamed and embarrassed that I wasn’t good enough. Oh. Did I say that out loud? Perhaps I still have one or two self-esteem issues to work on…


It is Monday now, another foggy day in which the trees and grass are white with the frost, looking beautiful in their bareness rather than simply stark. When I was younger, I used to hate to fog; it scared me by muffling and disguising the world with which I was familiar. Now, as an adult, I love it; the way it blurs everything and makes it seem softer than it truly is, the way the lights of the houses shine out like beacons, is a comfort to me.


We had a pleasant weekend, albeit a quiet one, which seems to be par for the course for us lately. I am still having a hard time shaking this cough and stuffy head, clear back from when I had bronchitis forever ago, so I walk around feeling tired and half-deaf from congestion. Therefore, the quiet hasn’t been just nice, but necessary. I did go to AA on Friday and it was better than it has been, less uncomfortable, and for that I was grateful. Although some lines have been drawn with regards to the CF factor, it was as if the single mindedness of purpose was more evident, which made it much easier to be there. In the meantime, I have been immersing myself in AA literature and talking at length to a few close friends in the program, and all of that serves to keep me sober for another day.


I had to go get my taxes done on Saturday, which used to be really exciting (refund!) but has become instead just one more thing to be done. I still get a refund, of course, but there are always so many things to be taken care of that it doesn’t have the same zip it used to. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful that it is there; I will have enough that I will be okay until the rest of the garnishment is paid, which is just barely over $1000 now; THAT is huge, the ONE really big thing that has fucked with my finances for the last year. There are also mundane, not-fun things to be done like get new tires, go get my eyes checked (the last time I had an exam was before I got pregnant with Owen, so going on 4 years now…a necessity this year, as I am really beginning to have problems seeing things. I choose to think it is because my glasses are old, NOT that I am getting older! Just sayin.’), etc…However, what is good is that I will be able to get those things taken care of, so even though I won’t get to go on a wild spending spree, I will be able to breathe a little easier, and that is a wonderful feeling.

There is one thing I AM going to splurge on, though: I have one free night’s stay at a Best Western Hotel coming (I tell you, those reward programs actually do pay off eventually), and I am going to take that, and pay for one, and take a weekend off. For myself. Alone. No kids, no animals, no Steve (a given), just-ALONE. I am not going to go anywhere new or fancy or exciting, just the next town over (45 miles away), but I am going to browse through the used bookstores and drink coffee at my favorite little place and take long walks along the canyon and just.be.alone. Every year I vow I am going to do this, and I never have yet. Last year I did go to Seattle, and that was wonderful and much needed and a huge blessing, but I wasn’t alone, and I long to be. Some might say it is a foolish use of resources, and perhaps they would be right, but for me, right now, it feels necessary.

Nothing else much happened over the weekend; as I said, I am still not feeling well, so I slept a lot, read, did things around the house. The kids were all especially nice this weekend, too, maybe because the older two were either gone or had friends over the whole weekend so were less inclined to torment Sam, I don’t know. Sam took Owen outside for a while on Saturday which was good for both of them, and then I took Sam grocery shopping with me. He craves attention SO much, and misbehaves to GET attention (SOME generalizations are true, I have found out), so I have been really trying to spend more time with him one-on-one. Grocery shopping seems like such a strange way to do it, but it works. He feels like he is getting to do something fun, he gets to feel like he is contributing (I ask his advice on certain things, or ask him to help me figure out which is cheaper, or which heads of garlic look the freshest), and he really is a big help. It is one of those small things that seems to make a really big difference.

And now, back to work. The town is quiet, with the banks and post office and city offices all closed for Martin Luther King Day. The private school is closed as well, but the public schools are open, as are we. People must be laboring under the assumption that our office is closed as well, because there have been very few phone calls today, and you know, that is just fine with me. Tomorrow will, I am sure, make up for today. I have phone calsl to make tomorrow to offices that are closed today, work that had to be done but can’t be done today, and tomorrow I will spend a lot of time trying to catch up on things I should be doing today. No matter; it will all get done in time.