I weighed in at 183.5 this morning.  Whoo Hooo!  Two pounds gone in the last week.  I still need to get more exercise but my ankles are giving me problems so I haven’t done much.  Unless you count scrubbing the tub.  My acrylic bathtub isn’t as shiny as it should be.  Somehow, it got kind of dull.  So I scrubbed yesterday.  You can’t use any kind of aerosol cleaner on acrylic.  In fact, there are several products you can’t use on them.  So…I scrubbed it with Joy dishwashing liquid, like I usually do.  Dull.   Then I scrubbed it with Tilex.  Dull.  I did some online research and tried white vinegar….windex….baking soda….Still looked kind of dull.  Several articles recommended KaBoom so I went and got some.  Clean but no pizzazz.  Finally, I broke down and used metal polish (which is also recommended) and got the shine!  At least on the part that shows when you’re standing in the bathroom.  Do you know how long it takes to polish a large soaker tub?  I’ll save the other half for another time.

Finished the bathroom scrubbing and moved to the kitchen.  Cleaned out the fridge and did a few dishes.  Went to my bedroom and did some serious laundry and wardrobe organizing.  I swear, it’s the most housecleaning I’ve done in ages.  I haven’t done much around here since last spring so it felt good to actually do a little heavy duty cleaning.

Got into a disagreement with DH over his hair.  What is it with men anyway?  I walked down the hall and saw him standing at the bathroom sink (the one I just scrubbed) using an old pair of clippers on his hair.  He didn’t have a clue what he was doing and it was all uneven and sticking out in all directions.  I ordered him to stop and he said he didn’t have the time or money to run around getting haircuts all the time.  Hello!!???  I’m lucky if I can get him to go get a cut every three months and he goes to Great Clips!  I told him I’d splurge and treat him to a haircut.  A couple hours later, he’s back in there hacking away at his hair again.  My God, he had a couple of spots in the back where it was almost to the scalp and parts of the top were half an inch long while others were two inches long.  I shrieked at him to STOP and he said he was trying to even it up but the clippers were dull.  He wanted me to do the back.  I tossed him a twenty and said “Go. Now.  Get a haircut.  See if they can straighten it up.”  He left for a haircut and I left for Kohls.  I came back a couple of hours later and he was standing in front of the bathroom mirror with a brand new pair of clippers.  I got mad and then he got mad and I told him I’m not going out in public with him unless he puts a paper bag over his head.  He said it saves money and I said, “You can get a cut at the beauty school for five bucks!”  He said he doesn’t have time to wait around for an hour at the beauty school and I gave up.  I didn’t talk to him much for the rest of the evening.  His hair looks like crap!  He actually said it was my fault because I wouldn’t do the back of his head for him.  Yeah, okay, you don’t want to go there…

Little sister called yesterday evening and told me she made it to our cabin in Florida.  She’s staying there for a week with her son and one of his friends.  They’re heading to St. Augustine for a couple of days in the middle of the week.  Wish I was there…

New day and I’m feeling good about the weight loss.  Sparkpeople still takes a lot of time but it’s helping me keep track of things and making me more aware of my diet.  Seems to be helping.  That and DS.  Although he did show up with Hershey Kisses yesterday.

 

THAT got your attention, didn’t it. No, DH is still asleep but I’ve been up for a little bit and decided I’d like to sit in the spa with my coffee this morning so this will be a quick post.

Pam and I went rambling yesterday. Had a good time. I decided to go “raw”. No makeup, tee shirt and jeans with hot pink shoes. Of course, we ran into three friends I hadn’t seen in a while. Always works that way, doesn’t it?  Pam said, “If they’re really friends, they don’t care what you look like.” I guess that’s true.  A lot of it comes back to my mom.  If I’m not totally polished when I see her, she tells all my siblings that she’s worried about me because I look “awful”.  Oh well, let em worry…

Now I’m going to go sit in the spa in the “raw”.

29thAugust

Thelma and Louise

Off to spend the day with Sistah Pam. She’s determined to save me from the doldrums these days. We tend to go off in her Z and wander around in search of…whatever. Today, it’s yard art and pond stuff. DS redid her pond for her and she’s happily eating breakfast out by the pond listening to the gentle cascade of water. Time to add fish and plants. Personally, I love koi. Had them for more than 15 years and they ate out of my hand and let me pet them. DS poisoned them a couple of years ago when I was on vacation in Hawaii and I don’t think he’s ever gotten over it. He got distracted while doing a partial water change and left the hose running in the pond for a couple of hours. They all died of chlorine poisoning. I never said anything to him about it because the guilt just about ate him alive. He’s been trying to talk me into getting more koi for a couple of years but I’ve been happy with just letting it be a pond of waterlilies and fountain spray. Pam wants to start with goldfish but DS made her promise to get a koi at some point and name it after him.

Latest on DIL…we’ve been just biding our time until we meet with the new attorney on Tuesday. DIL’s been as annoying as ever but no one seems to really care. It’s too soon to really talk to the new caseworker. We will, though. At some point. DS tried to talk to him about getting overnight visitation and he said he really wanted them to work it out on their own. He doesn’t want to have to get court ordered visits but prefers that we all work out the visitation. It seems best to let it go until we talk to the attorney.  Yesterday, I left work and found that I’d missed two calls from DIL, one from the elementary school the kids attend, one from the caseworker, and two from DS. My cell phone doesn’t always pick up in the building and DIL knows that. Seems Jake has pinkeye. The school called DIL and she told them she was at workand they need to call me. They called me and I didn’t get the call. They called DS a couple of times and he wasn’t up and didn’t get the calls. DIL had to take off work and go pick him up and take him to the doctor. She was not happy. Evidently, she thought the school would call me or DS and we’d take care of the situation. I was not happy when I talked to Scout and he said, “Jake woke up and he couldn’t open his eye. It was all red and scratchy. Mommy took us to school and told Jake to go right to the office as soon as he got there. Then she had to go to work.” What??? She knew he had a problem but she took him to school anyway, told him to go to the office, and then left? As always, she wanted someone else to deal with it. When the school called her, she told them to call me. So I guess it’s okay for me to have to leave work to deal with it but not her. The school called her back and she told them to call DS.  Finally, the school called her again and she had to go pick him up.  As I said, she was super pissed when they couldn’t reach me or DS.  School starts at 9:05 and the first call to my cell was at 9:28.  She’s never been able to take care of her kids and she never will. Her needs will always come first.

Enough about that…I’m going to do some cleaning and then hit the road with Pam.

I’m going to follow the Friday routine today.  I usually don’t but I feel like doing it today.  That means jeans and a tee shirt.  Every Friday, the kids are allowed to wear jeans and any tee shirt that has the school logo on it.  They call them “spirit shirts”.  I think we should call them “Friday shirts”.  That means I can wear my hot pink athletic shoes and leave the heels at home.  Whoo Hooo!

27thAugust

Saki Blue

 

The Sistahs met for dinner last night at Saki Blue.  Lovely restaurant with red and black decor and sushi chefs working hard to make everything look too good to eat.  We did eat it though and it was delicious.  Jana got there first and ordered edamane beans for starters and warm saki.  I enjoyed two thimble sized servings of saki.  No more than 2 oz. total and we shared the entrees.  I didn’t worry about calories (don’t know how you’d figure them for what we had) but it was all healthy so I’m not going to worry about it.  It was nice to get with the girls and we already set a date for a night out next month.

DS read an article that said dieters who had 6 oz. of tomato juice with breakfast every day lost 20% more weight than those who didn’t.  I went out and bought 3 large cans of it yesterday.  If I drink it with breakfast, lunch and dinner, will I lose 60% more than those who don’t?   The article didn’t say anything about dieters who take an evening off to enjoy saki and sushi. 

I don’t know where the time went this morning but I’ve got to hit the shower.

6:10 - Weight is at 185.5….guess I need more tomato juice….

26thAugust

Wednesday Totals

Weight - 185

26thAugust

Sans Sushi

I was supposed to go to Saki Blue with Sistah Pam and Sistah Jana yesterday evening but Jana’s schedule changed so we’re going tonight. Last night was $1 saki night so it’s probably a good thing we didn’t go. I was trying to figure out what I could eat that’s healthy but I can’t find their menu on line so I guess I’ll just have to look when I get there.

Sparkpeople took a lot of time yesterday evening. There’s so much there you could spend hours wandering around. Right now, I’m just trying to log my food and exercise. I actually ate a lot more yesterday because of it. I finished the day and was woefully under on calories and nutrients so I was scrambling to find something else to eat before I went to bed. Settled for Kashi Go Lean Crunch with milk to try to get some additional calories. Those of you who know me know that I tend to overdo when I’m dieting. I don’t eat enough and then I stop losing weight. It was kind of interesting to feel like I did everything perfectly and then do my daily totals and find myself taking a beating for being too low on almost everything. I’m also finding that I tend to be low on the same nutrients consistently. It goes against the grain for me but I’m using it as a learning tool. Making myself eat more when I really don’t want to. Trying to address the needs the nutritional analysis shows.

As far as exercise goes…I was truly committed yesterday. Going for 45 minutes at a higher speed and more incline. Only got 30 minutes however and then the treadmill quit. It probably overheated. I know I did. It was hot as blazes upstairs yesterday afternoon. I guess I could have tried to do something else but I’m not that dedicated yet.

It’ll be interesting to see what I weigh today. I can’t imagine that I’ve lost with eating so many calories and drinking so much water.

Here’s my sparkpeople table from yesterday:


6:00 a.m. update - I pasted this table in here and it’s a mess. Now I can’t delete it or edit it. Guess I’ll have to work on that. Weight is at 185. Same as yesterday.  DS is sending me to work with a 6 oz can of tomato juice, a hard-boiled egg, lite yogurt and a Smart Ones entree.

25thAugust

Tuesday Menu

Weight 185

Breakfast - Light Yogurt (80)

Lunch: Salad with Paul Newman’s Light Honey Mustard Dressing (191)

Need I say more?  I mean, really!  Thought I should throw in a reminder of why I have to get back on track.  Still, I did good yesterday.  According to Sparkpeople, I consumed under 800 calories and I know that’s too low but I have to work on it because DS’s pork rolls were difficult to figure out.  The pork strips were marinated and there was lime, garlic, sugar, and sesame oil involved.  I’m not sure what else was in there.  I’ll have to go back and do some more figuring when I get time.  I didn’t figure the cilantro either and it ought to have at least a dab of nutrients.  Anyway…I’ll try to get more accurate with it later on today.

I exercised for half an hour and I cut back on the TV time.  Also had a bit of a debate with DIL when she picked up the kids and that got the adrenaline going so that might have burned up a few extra calories.

Haven’t weighed myself yet but  I wouldn’t be surprised it I’m up a little because of the soy sauce.  I’ll find out in a few minutes.  DS and Sparkpeople might be just what I need right now to get me back on track.  There’s some accountability there that I’ve been missing.  It helps me be more structured.  DS has my breakfast and lunch packed for school so I plan on having another excellent day.

6:00 a.m. - Weight is at 185 today.  That’s down .5 from yesterday.  I’m happy.   I didn’t expect it with all that sodium in the soy sauce.

6:45 - Damn!  Don’t you hate it when you blink while applying mascara and it blobs all over your face and then your eye starts watering and you have to just stop and remove all makeup and start over?  Outa here….

Weight - 185.5

Breakfast - Coconut Cream Pie Lite Yogurt (80)

Lunch - Weight Watchers Smart Ones Chicken Fettucini (340)

DS knows what his situation has done to me.  At least he knows some of it.  He’s over here a lot.  Spends many nights.  He’s not used to being home without his family.  He works so hard to try to make it up to me.  My car is washed and waxed weekly.  He cooks, he cleans, he does laundry.  Finally, yesterday, as he was cleaning and detailing the inside of my car, I told him I had a job for him.  I said, “You know how crummy I feel.  I have to get motivated and get back to eating healthy and exercising.  Your job is to be my personal trainer.  Make sure I have something healthy to eat and don’t let me get by without exercising.”  He took up the gauntlet.

He went to the store and got me lots of yogurt and a couple of lean cuisines.  He already has dinner planned for tonight.  Vietnamese dry pork rolls.  Seasoned strips of pork loin and fresh homegrown tomato slices wrapped in lettuce leaves with a spicy dipping sauce.  He says we’re either going bike riding this evening or I’m getting on my treadmill.  It’ll give him something to take his mind off everything and it may help me get back to a healthier style of living.  Otherwise, I’m afraid he’s going to polish the paint right off my car.

I joined Sparkspeople a long time ago.  Get a list of those emails every week and I delete them.  Never really took the time to figure out how to use the site.  I’m going to start working with it today.  All about that accountability.

4:30 - I’m struggling with exercise.  I came home and changed clothes.  Went upstairs and my treadmill was buried under luggage and boxes again.  Cleared it off but I couldn’t find my headphones.  Someone must have borrowed them and didn’t put them back.  Finally found a pair of earbuds (which I don’t like) but then the battery in my MP3 player was dead.  So were the next four batteries I tried.  Now I’m sitting here waiting for them to recharge.  I will exercise today.

Alrighty then!  I walked on the treadmill for 30 minutes.  I know…that’s not much but I’m celebrating anyway.  Took the incline up to 4% at 5 minute intervals and kept the speed at 2.8.  Well, hey!  It’s better than nothing!  I burned up 123 calories.

Let me share a little Louisville networking that’s been going on.  Our best friends since the dawn of time are Rick and Pam.  Rick’s a criminal defense attorney but he’s done odds and ends for us over the years and has never charged us a cent.  Don’t get me wrong…we’ve offered, but he wouldn’t take it.  Making a will, DS’s charges against DIL for assault and hers’ against him.  I understand though because I tutored his son in math all the way through high school and his first couple years of college.  It’s a give and take relationship.  We’ve helped them, they’ve helped us.  We helped them paint their house and lay a flagstone patio.  It’s what friends do. 

When DS went through the whole saga with DIL the first time, Rick represented him.  Never charged him a cent.  Two years of battling for custody and many headaches for Rick but DS finally got custody of the kids and DIL should have been out of his life except for visitation and paying child support.  Then he took her back.  We all felt totally betrayed and used.  And, of course, humiliated.  I was totally humiliated that my son would put all of us through two years of Hell and then let DIL back into his life.  He still loved her and had this idiot dream that they’d be able to work it all out and be a “family”.  I love him dearly but, when it comes to DIL, he just doesn’t get it.  It was heartbreaking for all of us and Rick, although he said he wasn’t angry, told David that he was heading for disaster and he wasn’t going through all the drama again.  It made our relationship with Rick and Pam feel strained.  They don’t blame us and they still care about DS but I’ve always felt badly that Rick worked so hard for him and he threw it all out the window.  When all this crap started all over again in June, Rick told DS that he would represent him in the first couple of hearings but then he would have to find someone else.  I don’t blame him.  Not one tiny bit.  Rick told me, “Patty, you and I have worked our asses off for him.  He had everything going his way and we’ve both been telling him for the past year that it was a train wreck waiting to happen.  He let it happen and now it’s all come back to hurt you all over again.  If you ask me to represent him, I will.  If you want me to go through this whole thing again, I’ll do it.  For you.  Not for David.  I’ve known David since he was a little kid and I know he’s a good man and a good father but I’m not going to represent him this time.  We both know Stacy is a psychotic slut and he knew that when he let her come back.  I hate that bitch.  I know what she’s done from a first hand perspective and I can feel my blood pressure rising just thinking about her.  I don’t want to get involved in it again.  Unless YOU ask me to.”  And I told him I wouldn’t.  As much as I love David and the kids, Rick is right.  He brought this on himself in spite of all the warnings.  He just didn’t listen.  And I love Rick, too.  He’s a dear friend and I’m not going to ask him to go through this again.  I asked him what he would suggest and he suggested David use a court appointed attorney. 

DS met his court appointed attorney the day of the temporary custody hearing and he seemed like he did a decent job so we decided to ask him to represent him for the entire case.  Rick said he didn’t know him very well but he’d been around for a long time and seemed decent.  Of course, that hasn’t turned out to be the case.  He doesn’t seem to be doing anything.  Both times DS has contacted him, he’s spent several minutes having DS explain who he is and what the case is about.   About DIL cancelling visitation just because she felt like it “That’s between you guys and the caseworker” about DIL “no longer being bi-polar”, I’m just an attorney, I can’t do anything about that” about the caseworker being so obviously biased and unfair, “Some of them are good and some of them aren’t.  There’s really nothing we can do about it.” Our only contact has been the one meeting when he discussed his rates and we hired him and  the one phone call when it became obvious that he doesn’t know who DS is and doesn’t seem to be doing anything.  So, we decided to look for someone else.  Of course, I don’t know anyone except Rick and I don’t want to involve him in this so I have to try to figure out who’s a decent attorney.  The only other attorney who’s ever worked with us was one of Rick’s associates who stood in for him a few years ago when he was out of town.  She was a fire cracker.  I thought about calling her but felt, somehow, like that would be a slap in the face to Rick.  She’s not only an associate, she’s a friend of his and we’ve met her a few times at parties with them.  Very awkward.

I talked to a friend at work whose wife is an attorney up in Indiana.  She hasn’t practiced in Louisville for quite a while but she knew of two women who were really good.  One of them had twins six months ago and has taken a year off to raise them.  The other got married a few years ago and she can’t remember her married name but she had an office on Poplar Level Road.  She said she called the number but it had been disconnected so she wasn’t much help to us.

Next, I had a friend at work who said her neighbor had used a fabulous woman named “Mary Jones”  when she went through a difficult custody case five years ago.  She didn’t know where her office was located but thought it might be on Poplar Level Road.  She gave me the phone number.  I called “Mary Jones” and got a message that said, “You have reached the law offices of “Mary  Smith”.  I’m sorry I’m not in to take your call. I am located at 101 Main Street.  Please leave a message and I’ll get back with you as soon as possible.”  I left a message and then told DH that I thought this woman and the one Bob’s wife had been talking about might be the same one.  They both used to have an office on Poplar Level Road but the recording said she was now located at 101 Main Street.  DH said, “What?  That’s Rick’s address!” 

Long story summed up…We’ve come full circle.  Rick’s associate who stood in for him several years ago is the woman everyone has been referring us to.  The little fire cracker that impressed us the first time we met her.  The woman the attorney in Indiana said was great but had gotten married and changed her name.  The one who used to be on Poplar Level.  The one my friend’s neighbor said was fantastic.  All the same woman.  She’s gotten married and has a different last name and has been working out of the same office as Rick for almost four years now.

It’s like kismet.  Like it’s all come full circle.  DS called Rick and said he wanted him to know what was going on.  Rick said he understood completely and even thought about suggesting “Mary” but he wanted to stay out of it as much as possible.  He said she’s really good and does a lot of custody cases and he thinks DS should use her.

It’s going to be awkward.  I feel strange paying one of Rick’s close associates to represent David when we never paid Rick.  It feels a little bit like a betrayal.  Still, I’m glad DS called Rick to let him know what was going on and I’m not going to turn away from what seems like exactly what we need just to avoid feeling awkward.  Rick is a dear friend and he assured DS that he’s not angry with him, only disappointed, and that he thinks he should use “Mary”. 

We have an appointment with her on Sept. 3.  I wish it was sooner but, from what I remember of her, she’ll make sure she’s got a good handle on it before we go back to court Oct. 1.

small world, isn’t it?

20thAugust

One week - Done!

One full week of school is behind me!  Only 36 more to go!  My kids are good.  I had one annoying girl.  Smart as a whip and wanted to control and debate and disagree with everything.  Her schedule was changed so she’s gone.  I also have one boy who doesn’t want to do anything but sleep.  He’s sneaky, too.  He already messed up two laptops by fooling around with the settings.  Other than that, I have great kids!  And…I plan on working with the sleepy sneak to turn him around.

On the caseworker front, I listened to the recording DS made and this guy does seem fair and approachable.  It’s too early to really tell but I think we got a decent one.  He wasn’t happy with DS’s visitation and told him to have me work with DIL to set up a more equitable schedule with overnight visits.  DS told him the only day he can’t do it is Saturday and the caseworker said that shouldn’t be a problem.  I brought the subject up again with DIL and she said he could have them Friday night.  I told her that was the only night that wouldn’t work for him because he has to work early Saturdays.  I suggested during the week since he only lives a mile from their school.  She didn’t seem interested and said to ask him if he wanted to keep them Friday night because she has plans anyway.  The old caseworker would have said, “You asked for overnight and she said you could have them Friday.  Evidently, you don’t want them or you’d be willing to be flexible.”  I have a feeling this caseworker is going to say, “No, he told you that’s the only night that won’t work.  You’re going to have to come up with something else.”

Okay, I have to get moving or I’m going to wind up sporting ugly duds today.

19thAugust

Pink Shoes

Just a note…for future reference…You can not look professional in hot pink athletic shoes.  It just doesn’t work.  I put on those cute, comfy shoes yesterday and then starting looking for something to wear with them.  After much ado and with the time slipping away, I wound up with khaki stretch pants with tapered legs and a bright pink shirt little sister gave me that was too small for her but way too big for me.  I felt like a total slob all day.  Thank God Stacy and Clinton weren’t in town.

DS has a meeting with the new caseworker this morning at 10:00.  You asked what happened to the other one, Beerab.  She was never the actual assigned caseworker but was just the initial investigator who was only supposed to be on the case for a couple of weeks.  We got stuck with her for 2 1/2 months. 

I picked up the kids and brought them over here after I got off work so DS could concentrate on scrubbing and polishing at home.  Didn’t see much sense in him driving 15 miles to drop them off at my house for DIL to pick up within the hour and then turning around and driving another 15 miles back home.  Hope this new caseworker is fair.  Hope we can talk to him without being accused of being “unsupportive” and “unable to be flexible”. 

Right now, I’ve gotta get dressed.  I have a reputation to try to salvage.  No more pink shoes at work (unless they’re cute little Barbies).

8:00 a.m. - Yeah, I got it together!  White cotton trousers, baby blue blouse with a sunny yellow jacket over all.  Grabbed a pair of baby blue polka dotted wedges and I’m ALL THAT!  No slouching today!

3:45 - Can’t wait for DS to get here so I can hear what the new caseworker said.  DS called me at work and I spoke to him for a couple of minutes but I had a class and couldn’t really talk.  What I did get was that he liked this guy and felt like he was fair and open-minded.  DS told him about some of the stuff that had been going on and the guy said he should have reported the caseworker.  DS told him he didn’t feel like he could do that because it was too risky with her holding all the cards.  He gave him a number and said, “Well, you can certainly feel free to report her now.”  Don’t know if he’s going to.  It’s still risky but it shows that the new caseworker is not in cahoots with her.  DS said he recorded the whole conversation just to be on the safe side and will play it for me when he gets here.  I’m almost afraid to hope but things may be looking up.

18thAugust

It’s all good

That’s going to be my frame of mind.  It’s all good.  I read Firefly’s post and Brandie’s post and I felt embarressed.  I’ve been so down for so long and yet you guys keep on trucking.  Through everything.  You just keep going.

So, for today, it’s all going to be good.  I’m going to have a positive outlook and trust that everything is going to be great.  For today.

Started off with a weigh in at a whopping 187.5.  That’s okay.  It’s all good.  Could have been 190.  Decided to try to get back on track and then decided “try” doesn’t mean much.  I don’t have a lot of healthy choices around here but I do have a homegrown tomato on the window sill and a loaf of rye bread and some sliced deli turkey.  Sounds like a pretty decent lunch so I’m packing it.

I really hurt my ankles yesterday so I decided to look like crap at work today and wear some really comfy hot pink tennis shoes.  Don’t know what’s going to match hot pink tennis shoes but I need to rest my ankles.  I have a hard time sitting down when I’m working and I stood all day yesterday.  Going to save those ankles for a workout this afternoon.

The new caseworker set up a meeting with DS at his house tomorrow morning.  I’m leary because we got so burned with the last one but I’m going to keep my mantra going.  It’s all good.

17thAugust

Brrrrr!

I’m freezing!  Don’t know why.  The air conditioning is set at 70 and it’s 75 outside but I woke up freezing.  If I had time, I’d got out to the spa but I’ve squeezed the last possible bit of time out of the bed this morning and have to get my shower in a couple of minutes.  That’ll have to do. 

Pretty uneventful weekend.  Sistah Pam called and offered to kidnap me Saturday afternoon so we went to The Concrete Lady in Indiana and then to Huber’s winery for lunch.  It was nice to get out and enjoy a good time with a good friend.  (Especially since she took her 380Z with the top down.)

We had a family meeting.  Oldest DS says he’s moving to Florida the first of October.  Youngest DS can’t do much more than he’s already doing.  In fact, if everyone worked as hard as he does, I’d have the cleanest, most organized house in Louisville.  He cooks, he cleans, he does laundry, he washes my car.  I can’t ask anymore of him.  If nothing else, DIL trained him well because he’s always taken care of everything for her.  The twins are on notice.  Clean your room, do your laundry, if you make a mess, CLEAN IT UP!

DIL hasn’t called all weekend so DS and I don’t know what we’re supposed to do with regard to the kids.  He picked them up from school on Thursday and Friday but she picked them up early both days and said, on Friday, she’d call me over the weekend to let me know what was going on this week.  She really enjoys keeping us hopping and there’s nothing we can do but take it.  DS did get a call from someone at CPS Friday morning at 7:08 a.m.  Of course, he was still asleep but he got the message when he got up at 8:00.  Just some man leaving a message that consisted of his name and asking DS to call.  We’re hoping it’s the new caseworker.  He called a half dozen times Friday and several times on Saturday but all he could do was leave messages.  PLEASE let it be a new caseworker.

3:45 - Good day at work.  Got the job done, kids did a great job, and hit the door at 2:45.  Still in the honeymoon phase.  I know there won’t be a lot of days when I can get out that early but it’s nice to do it when I can.

Never did hear anything from DIL.  DS called me and I told him she hadn’t called so we figured she’d made other arrangements.  She doesn’t answer the phone at work.  Not allowed personal calls.  Still…I got to worrying around 2:00.  What if she hadn’t made any arrangements?   I guarantee it would somehow be our fault that the kids weren’t taken care of.  So I took a chance and called.  She answered the phone although she said never to call her at work because they’re not allowed to have cell phones on.

“Stacy, I just wanted to check and make sure you made arrangements for the kids to be picked up after school.  I know you said you’d call but I just wanted to double check.”

“Well, I get off at 6:00 today and I haven’t had a chance to find out anything about daycare.”

“So….have you arranged for anyone to pick them up after school?”

“No, like I said, I haven’t had a chance to work anything out.”

“Do you want David to pick them up after school and bring them over here?”

“Yes, because I don’t have any other arrangements made.  If I get off early, I’ll call you because I’m tired and I want to pick them up as soon as I can and get home.”

So casual.  So unconcerned.  No arrangements made.  No phone call.  Just a general assumption that someone will take care of it.  Damn!  I guarantee you, if I hadn’t called, the kids would have been sitting at school without anyone picking them up and it would somehow have been DS’s fault.  It burns me up that this kind of stuff is going on and there’s no one who cares.  No one to report to.  No one checking up on her.

Good news! I hope!  DS finally connected with the guy who called Friday morning and he is, indeed, the new caseworker.  He didn’t get a chance to talk to him because the guy was on the run.  Just confirmed that he’s the new caseworker and said he’d be getting in touch.  I hope he’s fair and open minded.  I hope he hasn’t been fed a load of BS from the other caseworker.  Still, DS said with his luck, the guy will probably be sleeping with DIL before the end of the week.  Yeah, I know, get a grip, Patty, and think positive.

15thAugust

Sleeping till nine!

And it felt good! If I didn’t have to pee all the time, I could do a lot better. The twins amaze me. There’s no bathroom upstairs and they can head up there at 8:00 in the evening, spend all evening in their room, sleep all night and come downstairs 12 or 14 hours later and stroll into the kitchen looking for breakfast. Ahhhh…to have an 18 year old bladder. What I wouldn’t give.

Tonight is family meeting night. I’m going to put together a plan and they’re going to abide by it. First of all, we are not running a hotel here. Oldest DS has been living here since last June when he said he needed to stay a “month or so”. Youngest DS is here almost all the time because it’s a 15 mile drive from here to his house and he has to do it back and forth twice daily to see the kids. There’s also the issue of making sure he has an “alibi” all the time but that can’t go on forever. I don’t know what the answer is. DIL is totally unreliable about the days and times for visitation so the two youngest grandkids are in and out of here all the time. Last night, the other DIL dropped granddaughter, Holly, off as she went to work. Holly walked in and said, “Mommy has to go to work and Daddy’s watching me.” I woke up this morning and found her asleep on the couch in the living room. Feels like Hotel California around here. And I don’t even want to try to discuss the buffet. All day long, non-stop consumption. DH and I should be feeding ourselves but our kitchen is serving non stop all day long. In fact, oldest DS just put a pizza in the oven and there’s half a pizza sitting on the counter that someone must have fixed after I went to bed. Yep, change has gotta come. I think I’m also going to keep track of all the phone calls today. It’s crazy. I bet we get thirty or forty phone calls on a daily basis and only two or three are actually for DH and I. Should be an interesting meeting.

On other topics, it’s time for me to take care of myself again. I was reading a post yesterday (Firefly?) and it brought home the importance of having a plan. I had a plan for a long time but then I just kind of decided to “eat healthy and exercise” and I lost the specifics. Eating healthy and exercising would be fine if I did it but I’m not holding myself accountable for specifics and I’m not doing what I need to be doing. All the chaos in our lives is a major part of the problem but I’m going to come up with a plan and stick to it. I’ve got a half dozen people running around here fixing all kinds of crap all the time and it just seems easier to eat what’s there instead of trying to fix an entire meal for myself. That’s got to stop. In fact, I hate goulash but DH fixed it Thursday night so I ate it. Because it was there. I wanted to fix a good dinner last night but I came home and DH said, “I got frozen DiGiorno’s pizzas for dinner.” I don’t like frozen pizza, it gives me indigestion, and it’s totally unhealthy. But I ate it. Actually, I only ate a couple of slices and each bite was gross. Youngest DS came in a little later with some chicken wings and I ate about five of them to fill the void. He also brought me a “treat”. A half gallon of blackberry, chocolate chunk ice cream. I ate some of that, too.

It’s gotta stop, stop, stop, stop, stop, stop, stop. STOP!

14thAugust

TGIF

First week of school for kids - - two days.  That’s a good thing.  A couple of days to get back in the swing and then the weekend to recover.  Personally, I’m not back into the school mode yet.  I tend to sleep just a bit too long and hang out with a cup of coffee just a bit too long and stay in the shower just a bit too long.  It all adds up to arriving at school just a bit later than I’d like.  So, this morning, one cup of coffee and one cigarette and it’s off to the shower.  Although I arrived at school twenty minutes early yesterday morning, I couldn’t find a parking space and spent ten minutes driving around looking for one and getting in the building.  I wound up parking way out in the north forty and forgot about it.  After school let out, the boys and I exited the building and it looked like the car was a half mile from the school.  I didn’t like carrying all my junk so far and it felt like my arm was going to fall off before I finally got a chance to dump everything in the back seat.  Although our parking spots are not reserved, they’re “established” through repetition and seniority and the parents took all the spots teachers usually take.  Maybe I should paint my name on the pavement.

6:15 - I’m ready.  Waiting on the boys.  Seems like a good time to lay down a few tidbits about the custody issue.  We’re looking for a new attorney.  It ain’t easy…No one seems to know a good one for custody issues.  A friend at work is married to an attorney but she lives and works in Indiana.  He told me to call her and tell her who we had and she could probably either tell us whether or not he’s any good or refer us to someone who is.  I talked to her for a few minutes yesterday afternoon.  Although she didn’t know the attorney representing DS, she had me explain my concerns to her.  In the end, she was as appalled as I am.  She said, “There are bad caseworkers and there are bad attorneys.  It sounds like you have the lethal combination of both.”  Although she doesn’t practice in Kentucky, she said she knows of a couple of people she could recommend.  She’s going to call me back with some numbers.  She said our attorney should be all over the changes in visitation, the living with boyfriend situation and the no-longer-bipolar situation.  In addition, she said the caseworker was way out of line to allow DIL to play games with the visitation and then infer that if “I couldn’t handle it” she would have to find someone else and my son would be lucky to get one day a week.  She said that’s nothing but an out and out threat.  I agree with her.  Everyone agrees with our take on the situation but it’s still happening and no one is following it except us.  The GAL is there for the kids but most of the crap is being aimed at DS and his attorney should be the one standing up for him during this time.

13thAugust

Teacher, Teacher

Things are a little bit messed up this morning.  I laid out my clothes and got up to find that my blouse is crumpled up on the couch like someone sat on it.  I’ll have to iron it again.  The coffeemaker didn’t automatically start this morning.  I got up about ten minutes later than I should have.  I guess I only get a couple sips of coffee and then it’s off to the showers.  This will be the first morning the twins have to get up for school so I’d better hustle.

12thAugust

Thank You!

Have I said that lately?  Don’t think so.  Thank you for being there for me.  For your patience, understanding and support.  I think if I were reading the kind of obsessive, depressing garbage you guys have been getting from me this summer, I would have moved on to happier and more positive blogs.  Still, you haven’t.  You continue to encourage me and I can’t tell you how much it means to me.  A simple “Thank You” doesn’t seem like much but it’s heartfelt. 

I checked my email for the list of approved therapists but it hasn’t come.  I had to spell my name three times for the woman who was going to send me the info and I didn’t have a lot of confidence even after three spellings that she had it right.  Guess I’ll have to call again today.  Still, I feel better. 

The boys just came in and headed to my room to snuggle up and sleep a little bit longer.  Still no definite plan from their mother about how visitation is going to change when they start back to school tomorrow.  Yes, Brandi, kids start back tomorrow.  Whether we’re ready or not.  Whether the flower beds are weeded or not.  Still, tomorrow will just be a name game to get acquainted and Friday will just be going over the syllabus, classroom rules and more getting acquainted.  I don’t plan on starting any real lessons until Monday.  I’ve been told, by the counselor, that I have “cream of the crop” this year.  I’m teaching an advanced web design course and I believe all my kids are seniors.  Another “Thank You!” that I don’t have the ankle biters this year.  I don’t know if “T” is returning this year.  There are rumors that he’s going to an alternative school.  We won’t know until they come in the door.  If he’s in the building this year, I know he’ll be assigned as an aide to me and I hope that happens.

DH and I are planning to have a “family meeting” this weekend.  Something we haven’t done since the kids were teenagers.  The decision to have a meeting came after DH and I had an argument yesterday evening which was totally out of character for us.  He said “F*ck You!” to me and I dumped an entire bucket of soapy water over his head as he turned to walk away.  We were both totally appalled at what we’d done.  He has never said that to me and I was shocked at my reaction.  We sat down and talked and cried and came to the conclusion that our sons are wrecking our lives and we’re enabling them.  We will continue to raise the twins because they’ve lived with us for almost six years now and are wonderful, sweet kids who are only half cooked and need a couple more years to mature before they can be successful on their own.  All the others have got to go.  They came back and dropped their burdens on us so slowly and it all built up until we suddenly have nine people running around, eating here, frequently staying the night and practically living here when it should only be DH and I.  Enjoying our empty nest, enjoying the peace and quiet and each other, and having enough money to do a few things for ourselves.

9:00 p.m.- Better day today.  I did okay at work.  Things were hectic when I got home and DH and I had a couple hours when we wanted to scream but then things settled down and the evening went fairly well.

I was ready to leave at 3:00 and then got grabbed by the principal at 2:55 for a “quick” meeting that ran till 3:30.  She wanted me to brief the new teachers on some technology stuff.  Got home at 4:00 to find DS here and going crazy because the caseworker called him for an unannounced drug/alcohol test.  He had to be there by 6:00 and had to drop off the kids.  He told the caseworker he had them and I was at work and she said that was his problem.  He told her he could take them with him but he couldn’t guarantee he’d be back in time for DIL to pick them up and she said that was his problem too.  I wish I had never told the judge that I thought he had a drinking problem.  I was going on what the caseworker and DIL said and he was telling me all along that he didn’t have a problem.  Still, the judge ordered random testing and he has to be ready to go and pay $30.00 whenever they call.  He’s pretty angry about it because he has to go to alcohol counseling and has to pay for that also.  And then…he hasn’t drank anything in 2 1/2 months.  I should have believed him.  I know he hasn’t had any alcohol because he stays over here most of the time and I’ve kept a sharp eye on him.  I feel guilty for telling the judge that I thought me might have a problem even though he told me he didn’t.  He hasn’t drank a single beer since the night of the arguement and the police report doesn’t say anything about him being drunk or smelling of alcohol.  He says that’s because he wasn’t drinking.  Still, the caseworker believed DIL and I wasn’t certain so I told the judge if he was drinking as much as the caseworker and he indicated, I thought he might have a problem.  Oh well, if nothing else, the testing and counseling should put that fear to rest.

He said something encouraging this evening.  Told me he doesn’t think his attorney is doing much of anything and he’s looking at hiring someone else.  Someone who’s supposed to be really good.  I said, “That’s going to be pretty expensive and we can’t help you out much more than we already have.”  He said, “I don’t care, Mom.  These are my kids we’re talking about and I’ll find the money if I have to get another job and give up eating.”  I don’t think he’ll have to give up eating but I was encouraged to see him taking the initiative and making the commitment to do whatever he has to.

He left to pee in a cup and then DIL called and said, “Patty, I gave blood at work today and I feel awful.  I don’t think I can come and pick up the kids.  My mom said she’ll come and get them when she gets off work around 7:30 but she said she’s tired and she doesn’t want to wait.  She said to watch for her car and send the boys out.”  I said, “Okay, we can take care of that.  What about tomorrow?  What arrangements have you made?”  She said, “I have to be at work at 9:00 so I can take them to school but I don’t get off until 7:30.”  I said, “So, who’s picking them up after school?”  She said, “I don’t know.  I just feel awful.  I knew I shouldn’t have donated blood.  It always just wipes me out.  I haven’t even thought that far.”  I said, “Do you want David to pick them up after school and bring them over here so you can pick them up when you get off?”  She said, “Yeah, I guess.  But I won’t get there until around 8:00.”  I said, “Okay, we’ll do that.”  The thing is…she’s not holding up very well and I knew she wouldn’t be able to but there’s no one who seems to care.  I know better than to call the caseworker but it would sure be nice if someone was aware of the fact that she’s not doing what she’s supposed to do.  DS and I are always here to do whatever is needed for the kids but no one’s aware of anything so it’s not like it’s going to have any bearing on anything.  The boys didn’t bring their little baggies of froot loops this morning.  They got here complaining that they were hungry and didn’t have any breakfast so DS fixed them breakfast when he got here.

After the boys were picked up, things settled down a little and I did something I haven’t done in a long time.  I went out to the spa.  Only the second time I’ve done it all summer.  I took a big glass of iced tea and sat in the spa and smoked a cigarette.  I’m down to about 3/4 a pack now and still working on it.  While I was sitting out there, I watched the bats swooping down to get a drink from the pool and then I did something totally unexpected.  I got out of the spa and went and jumped in the pool.  First time this year.  It was cold but it felt great and I swam a few laps and floated around watching the stars come out.  Almost like old times.  I floated around and it occured to me that I ought to plan a cheap cruise for DH and I over Christmas.  I wasn’t crazy about the cruise we took last Christmas but we did have my sister and both of the twins with us.  Big difference to have a room for ourselves.  Something to consider….