Thursday, August 30, 2018

Shut. Up.


A few weeks ago I found myself standing in line at Panera, as I do every so often when Frisbee Boy's Mom (AKA my surrogate mom) invites me to lunch so we can chat. She's amazing, she really is. I've honestly never in my life, met anyone like her. She goes so far out of her way to help everyone, and it's just a quality you often see in today's busy world. When The Girl Child was in the hospital, she and her husband booked us a hotel room for the night. When The Girl Child got home, she showed up the very next day with cupcakes. That's what life is like with her, all of the time, because she is, as I said, amazing. 

I like her and she likes me, so it's usually a good time, but it's also weird.

I mean come on, remember the time her and I went to Goodwill and she convinced me to try on someone's bedroom shoes? Or that time we she and I went grocery shopping, and I got stuck in the freezer?

(Bonus points for anyone who can find that blog in the archives, I know it's around here somewhere!)

Friday, August 3, 2018

Take Notice



My daughter has been in the hospital for nearly a week now. Because of the move, my business trip, and now this, I've stayed in seven hotels, in the last three weeks.

I'm weary.

Last night my husband picked up my sons and took them back "home," leaving me at the Ronald McDonald House, with an empty stroller that he couldn't fit into his car.

My heart felt empty as I looked around at yet another unfamiliar place, full of unfamiliar people.

Monday, July 23, 2018

And This Is How I Accidentally Slept With A Naked Homeless Guy On Drugs


**If the photos appear fuzzy, viewing on your mobile device's desktop version clears them up**



If only we had known what was hiding under the lights, of The Ellison Suites Hotel, maybe none of this would have happened.

**************

Have you ever had something happen in your life, that is just so far out of the "normal" category, that it doesn't even seem real?

I'm speechless, and that's really saying something, if you know me.

In fact when it was happening, I kept saying how this was going to be the best blog ever, but now that I'm trying to actually write about it... I've been staring at my computer for the past three days and the only words that keep coming to my mind are "What. The. F."

Since I don't even know where to start, I guess I'll start back at the beginning, when Mr. Attorney Man and I had to fly to LA for some business. I had a few meetings to attend that he didn't need to be at, so for the first few days, we spent much of our time apart. But, because his (super fun) wife had traveled with him, we decided to check out of the swanky hotel I had stayed at for my meetings, and stay an extra day in a hotel that Mr. Attorney Man had found, by the beach.

A hotel that I looked up online, and promptly decided I wasn't staying in. 

"Um, this place looks scary" I hinted.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Who We Were All Meant To Be


Recently, The Littlest underwent a several hour long surgery, and then an extended stay in the Intensive Care Unit.

Although upon his birth it was believed that he had not inherited the genetic disorder that my family carries, it has now become relatively obvious that our initial reassurances were wrong.

Tonight, I was feeling especially worn out. There's a grieving process you go through, when you realize that the life you had planned for your child, might not be the one that they are going to lead.

Monday, July 2, 2018

"Things That Make You Ask Why?" 13th Edition

On this blog, we discuss some really difficult things, that can make you question the way the world works. But we aren't here for that today. Nope, today is all about the strange shit that seems to serve zero purpose at all.

The shit that just makes you ask "why?"

**************

Why hasn't this house been rented yet!? I saw the listing on a Facebook ad, and I simply can't understand why someone hasn't snatched it up yet.


Do you think it's because the bathroom is tiny? I mean at least it gets great light, and views, of the street... from the toilet...

I simply have no idea why it's still for rent.

None at all.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Living At The Hyatt


So, I now live at the Hyatt.

Like... I'm not just staying here for a bit, I live here.

My family lives at the Hyatt.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Remember Always


The baby was fussing this morning, so my daughter climbed into bed and asked me to snuggle him up with her. "He just wants to feel safe and loved mom."

I look at her, loving on him, and the reality of her life hits me. Abandonment. Abuse. Trauma.

Knowing what her biological father did to her and her other brother. She watched him punch an infant in the face! And now, here we are, several years later, and she's giving her new sibling what was never given to her, by one of the people supposed to have protected her most.

It gives me hope for humanity. Hope for my children. Hope in a world that's teaching our children lessons that we are trying to protect them from.

Our kids know how to be good people. They all do. I just pray that they remember that when the world tries to teach them differently.

Remember always, that it's never too late to be the person that you intended to be, when you started out on this journey of life.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

No One Is More Surprised Than Me, To Be Writing This.

So...

We moved.

I know, right?

Trust me, no one is more surprised than I am to be seeing those words.

We moved.

After deciding to stay, renovating our house, and writing a long blog about it all, we moved out.

I'll be honest, I really didn't want to. I cried when we made the decision, and I cried my way through packing.


Thursday, May 31, 2018

That Post Where We Talk About Why My Kids Think I'm A Fraud


The Boy Child is the kind of kid, that when his feet hit the ground in the morning, he takes off running and doesn't stop until after he is in bed at night.

But not that long ago, he surprised me by waking up and climbing into my bed to snuggle. Not wanting to waste any of that precious time, I took the opportunity to ask him a few questions about life.

"So buddy," I inquired. "Tell me about your friends at school. Who do you like to play with?"

"I play with Samuel" he replied. (Not his real name)

"Oh," I said, hoping for a bit more. "And what is Samuel like?"

Being six, The Boy Child went for the most obvious answer, and began to describe Samuel's physical appearance to me. "He has black skin and brown hair..."

Thinking that this might be the perfect time to expand on his observances, to include a discussion about looking past skin color, I said in my teaching-mom-voice, "isn't it neat that we all look different? The only thing that matters is" and then he interrupted me.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

It Was An Accident, I Swear



OK. So something happened today.

You see, when the baby was born, he had kind of a folded ear. He must have been laying on it in the womb or something. No biggie, the ENT just taped it down for a few weeks. The worst part of it was that he needed to have a bit of his hair shaved off so that the tape would stick.

Anyway, the ear was fixed and the tape came off, but now he had a patch of hair missing, that just looked strange.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

It Mattered In The End

****** TRIGGER WARNING******

This post deals with the subject of death, and although I think that the overall message is worth discussing, I respectfully wish to warn you that some may find this post to be upsetting. Should you choose not to proceed through this one, I look forward to your return next time.

*********************

Towards the end of winter last year, we had an unseasonably nice day that also happened to fall on a weekend. Finally able to enjoy venturing out of the house again, The Guy and I were looking for something fun to do. But after contemplating how crowded the zoo would be, and realizing that most of the farms near us were still closed, I suggested that we do something different, and visit the local historic cemetery.

Yes I did.

“A… cemetery…” The Guy said slowly, as if he were trying to mentally absorb the meaning of the words.

“Yes” I said. “Where they bury people.”

“Why would we do that?” he asked.

“Why not?” I asked back.

And because he is exactly my type of person, off we went to the cemetery, taking the kids with us.

We spent the next four hours wandering through the rows of headstones, while the kids did crayon rubbings over the words. The Guy and I chatted about the husbands and wives who were buried side by side, and contemplated what life must have been like for them to have either lived decades without each other, or passed away only days apart. We saw the headstones of families that clearly had died in wealth, while others eluded to the fact that they most likely died while living in poverty. There were men with multiple wives resting next to them; proof of the intimate moments they had gone on to lead — one after another — without the one that they had left behind. And then there were families with centuries of descendants who had died decades before others were born, all grouped together; sharing nothing more in common then a last name, an ending fate, and the fact that their physical resting place will spent forever together.


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

I'm Lost, And I Have No Idea Where I'm Actually Supposed To Be




*************

"Uh... you won't let me in?" I asked, the confusion written all over my face.

"Sorry" she said flatly, giving no other indication that she actually cared.

"Um... but... this is a support group... and... I need support. I called yesterday and they said that everyone is welcome. I even got a babysitter and drove 30 minutes here" I said, adding in that last bit for the sympathy factor.

"Well yes, all are welcome, at the beginning of the 12 week session" she stated. "The divorce support group is more of a class than a group, and we require that everyone start at the beginning. We aren't currently at the beginning, we are 3 weeks in, so you will have to come back in 9 weeks and then you will be welcome."

No one had relayed that vital bit of information to me over the phone.

She then closed the door to the not-very-supportive divorce support group that was actually a very strict class, and left me standing in the hallway of a church.

It had been a year and a half since my husband had left and I was having a difficult time. Initially I had jumped right into a relationship with someone else, and if anything, it had only served to deflect a lot of the issues that I really needed to be dealing with. When that relationship had gone down like an atomic bomb, I was left standing for the first time, truly alone, and in the destruction of what was left of my life.


I had absolutely no idea where to turn.

So I didn't turn anywhere, instead, sinking inside of myself and shutting everyone out.

I remember one night in particular where I was lying on my bed, face down in my pillow, and bawling my eyes out. In the midst of my tears, the doorbell rang. I crawled over to my window so that no one outside would see me, and I peeked out to see two of my best friends standing on my front porch.

I could hear them out there talking to each other "she has to be home, her car is outside. Do you think she is OK?" but I couldn't bring myself to get out of bed and answer the door. After what seemed like an eternity, they left and sent me a text that read "We left a case of diapers for The Boy Child and a carton of ice cream for you on your front porch. We hope you are OK. It's alright if you don't want to talk, but just at least let us know you are OK."

I texted them back, apologized, thanked them for their kindness, and I felt awful.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Welcome To The World Little One (Also Known As The Day I Screamed At Everyone)

Wow. These last few weeks have been quite the frenzy of activity, but what is life with a newborn if not a little bit hectic?

In the event that you missed my Facebook announcement, The Littlest joined our family on March 2nd. Tipping the scales at 7lbs 6oz, he was my biggest baby yet, but not at all the ginormous baby that the doctor had said I might expect.


Thank you Jesus.

Especially, because the labor and delivery was hard enough as it was.

P.S. I would like to speak to whomever conjured up the theory that so many have tossed my way in the last several months, when they said “being your third, this labor should be easy!” because that person lied.

LIES.

Seriously, lies.

With The Girl Child, I went from 1cm to having her in my arms, in nine minutes. Yes, truth. With The Boy Child, labor was six hours long, going from 6cm to in my arms, in less than 30 minutes.

With The Littlest?

FOURTEEN FREAKING HOURS.

Friday, March 2, 2018

By The Time You Read This...


Yesterday, my friend and I went out to celebrate my last day of freedom, before I have a baby to tend to again, because by the time many of you read this tomorrow (Friday), I will already be in the hospital, preparing to have The Littlest.

Yay!!

I really cannot believe that baby boy held out this long, but the day is here! I have so many feelings coming at me right now, and thanks to hormones, they all feel very overwhelming.

I’m excited.

I’m nervous.

I’m scared.

Because of my genetic disorder, I’m a high-risk delivery, with a known hemorrhage risk (remember that terrifying rhino-septoplasty I had?) and that's been weighing on my mind a lot, so please pray for me. My biggest fear is not one of dying, but one of leaving my children motherless.

But anyway, I’m getting morbid here and this is supposed to be a happy post!

THE BABY IS COMING!!!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Sex, Diagrams, And A Cheesecake

* If the pictures appear blurry, select the desktop version on your mobile device*

In case you didn't pick up on this from my last post, I am very, very, extremely ready to have this baby. Even more now, since I dislocated my hip (stupid genetic disorder) not long after hitting "publish" on the last post, and it's really difficult to heal a hip with all this extra baby weight pressing on it.

Awesomeness.

And my poor husband, well let's just say that the man should get some kind of medal, or nomination for sainthood, because I think that the wife he married and loves, has recently been replaced by a ball of weeping, eating, complaining, hormones.

I'm the green, and my saint of a husband is the gray, texting from his place of work.


Thursday, February 15, 2018

Baby Update




**If the photos appear fuzzy, select the desktop view on your mobile device**

Is it just me, or have I been pregnant forever?

Because seriously, it feels like it’s been forever…

I’m 37 weeks pregnant, and I really can’t believe I made it this far. With my first two, I had preterm labor that landed me on bedrest a few months before my due date. So this time, when I ended up in the hospital at 21 weeks, contracting regularly, and scared out of my mind, I was sure that he was going to be born very, very, early.

But nope!

Now he doesn’t want to get out.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Six Years Later, Perjury Caught Up With Him (Part Three)


I was driving home when Mr. Attorney Man called to say that he thought it had gone well. I agreed, and then caught him off guard by saying that I wanted to concede to my ex’s motion, and moving forward have a cap placed on what he would owe me.

Repeatedly explaining that there was no legal basis for that, and that it would mean I would end up paying a majority of the bills in the end, I stood firm that it was what I wanted.

I do want justice, but I also need to move on.

“Please ask the judge to cap it, and in turn raise his monthly payments for support and arrears. I’d rather he be obligated to pay a higher amount each month, if it means that I don’t have to talk to him ever again. I know that means I will end up paying more towards medical bills than he will, but I can’t keep doing this. I want to move on.”

I need to.

I got home that night to a bouquet of flowers, a bottle of alcohol removed champagne, and a husband waiting to either comfort me, or celebrate, and had to explain that the case wasn't yet over. 

I tossed and turned all night, and the next morning when closing arguments began, Mr. Attorney Man expressed to the court how weary the process has made me, and that although I was there for justice, I was desperate to move on. He pointed out that it was clear my ex’s testimony was not credible and asked that the courts make things right for me and my children.

Then, my ex’s attorney said “your honor, we have a lot of deadbeat dads that come through this courtroom, and it’s obvious that Mr. Ex is not one of them.”

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Six Years Later, Perjury Caught Up With Him (Part Two)



It was absolutely freezing on the walk to the courthouse.

Held in the afternoon and the only case on the docket, the courtroom was empty for our hearing, with the exception of Mr. Attorney Man, myself, a friend, my ex, his attorney, the judge, and the bailiff.

Intimate in a strange kind of way, it was both comforting, and unnerving.

Mr. Attorney Man had prepared a binder of documents that was no less than five inches thick and marked with exhibits.

I myself had brought a four inch file folder of well gone through evidence; copies of everything from bills that I had incurred, to photographs of my ex, his wife, and their children, provided to me by someone they believe is their friend, and proving that his lifestyle isn't quite as homeless as he has claimed.

I was ready, and utterly sick to my stomach. But, in a twist of fortune, the judge that had spent years letting my ex bluff his way through court, had retired, and a new judge now reigned over our case; giving me a glimmer of hope that maybe, just maybe, this time would be different.

My ex was called first, and as he sat there on the witness stand, I was taken aback at his appearance. A gaunt face with dark circles under his eyes, his hair has gone almost completely gray. Repeatedly clenching his jaw in anxiety, just as he had done throughout our marriage, only a couple teeth were now left on his bottom jaw, and a damaged partial denture that was supposed to be a temporary fix from work started nearly a decade ago, clung to the top and cause him to appear even older than he is.

Mr. Attorney Man wasted no time in getting down to business, and in an effort to condense what ended up being almost four hours of testimony, I’ll tell you that my ex’s answers were filled almost completely with perjury, and fake tears that dripped of manipulation, and desperation.

“Mr. Ex, were you not ordered to log into the website Talking Parents once a week (our only mode of communication), to converse regularly with Ms. Strong about the children and finances?” Mr. Attorney Man asked.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Six Years Later, Perjury Caught Up With Him (Part One)


Wow. 

Just wow.

Four years since I started this blog, 387 posts later, and almost exactly six years since my ex abandoned me and the kids, I finally get to write this post.

This is it. 

This is THEE post that so many of you, including myself, have been waiting for since I started this blog in 2013.

What began with a few readers, has since led to millions of you following along, and it all culminates to this moment.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

An After Flood, House Renovation Tour


**If the photos appear fuzzy, select the desktop view on your mobile device**

******************

Now that we are expecting our third child, there is one question that I get asked, surprisingly, more often than "do you know what you are having? Do you have a name picked out?" and "are you going to have anymore?"

And that question is "are you going to move into a bigger house now?"

Our townhouse isn't large, so when we got married, The Guy and I naturally talked about moving into a bigger space. But in the end we decided against it because we didn't want to shake the kids lives up too much at once.

People were surprisingly opinionated about it, but most accepted our reasoning and stopped asking.

But when I got pregnant, it was amazing how many people began to ask not "if" we were now moving, but "when" we were now moving.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

A Uniboat, A Big Ass Dog, And A Week With My Kids

It's been a while since I've let you all into the craziness that is my life with my particular two children, and I have to admit, I am still laughing at some of the things they've said this week. And since I've never been one to hold back the parts of me that make me look bad, I figured why the hell not share some of this with you, even though yea, it probably doesn't make me look the best.

Like any of you are perfect either.

Therefore I bring you, the next installment of "Conversations I Didn't Think I'd Be Having This Week: Kid Edition."

I went out with a friend the other night, and this is what The Guy sent me while I was gone. Looks like they had fun!


Monday: 

We are driving down the street, when The Boy Child excitedly yells out to everyone else in the car, "Look! A uniboat!"

Not having any idea what a uniboat is, I turn to my left, and see hanging in the window of a sporting goods store, a kayak; you know, a boat for one person.

In other words, a uniboat.

Right on little man!

Found him watching TV like this. Yep, seems normal.

Tuesday:

Friday, January 5, 2018

A Court Date, A DCFS Case, And A Cry For Help

"Do you know what makes you special, in a different way than the baby in mommy's tummy?" The Guy asked The Boy Child as he pulled him onto his lap.

"I'm better at building with Legos" The Boy Child replied, apparently confident in his six-year-old understanding of how the world works.

"Well, yes" The Guy replied, trying not to laugh, before asking "but do you know what makes me love you so much?"

"Because I'm your best buddy!" The Boy Child exclaimed, throwing his arms around The Guy's neck.

Hugging him back, The Guy explained "yes you are! You are my buddy, and what makes you so special to me, is that your brother is being born into our family, but I picked you to be mine. I met you, and I took a good long look at everything that makes you who you are, and I said to myself  'I want to be his daddy, because that's how much I love him.' Forever, and ever, and ever, you're mine, because out of all the little boys in the whole wide world, I picked you."

With The Boy Child in is arms, The Guy is showing him how to hold his candle during the Christmas church service.

******************

A couple weeks before Christmas, The Boy Child was injured, intentionally, by a respite care worker we had hired to keep him safe. And due to a pending investigation of her, I can't go into details, but this woman had worked for us for a couple months, had gone through a background check, interview, drug test, and CPR class, all through a respite care agency. Yet still, she harbored an anger streak that none of us knew about.