11thAugust

Wet and icky!

I’m sitting here waiting for DIL to bring the boys.  It’s late.  They should have been here almost 20 minutes ago.  She can barely make it to work on time if they get here now. 

It’s nasty outside.  All wet and muddy.  We had a humongous downpour yesterday evening and the rain continued into the night.  The electricity went out for about ten minutes at 7:00.  I had to go around and reset all the clocks and timers.  Then it went out again around 9:30.  Same routine.  Reset everything.  The satellite was acting up by then and the TV was all scrambled so I went to bed.  I was asleep by 10:00 and woke up at 6:00.  A Tylenol PM can work wonders.

The boys are here.  Clutching little baggies of froot loops and a packet of powdered cocoa mix.  Getting fancy!  They said Mommy couldn’t find her purse and that’s why they’re late.

They’re slowing phasing us into the work routine.  Continental breakfast at 7:30.  Work starts at 8:00.  Guess I’d better keep an eye on the clock this morning.  I’m not into continental breakfasts but I don’t want to be walking out the door at 8:00 this morning.

4:15 - Home from work.  Today was a lot better.  Still, when one of the APs made an announcement at 3:00 that they would like for volunteers to stick around and weed the flower beds, pick up litter, and do some general sprucing up before the first day of school, I declined.  That has nothing to do with depression.  That’s just on general principle.  Hello!  Work all day and then volunteer to stay and weed the flower beds?  Only in education….

I went out to lunch with some friends.  Also called my insurance company to see what the policy is on therapy.  I’m still not sure what it is.  I found out that our general benefits pay for three (count em, three) sessions with one particular group.  Then I found out that through my insurance, there are some approved people who will evaluate the situation, provide the insurance company with a specific number of sessions that they recommend and, if the sessions are approved, you can see anyone on the network list.  They said they would email me the network list but it didn’t come through by the time I left work. 

DS has given DIL all the kids clothes except for two outfits each and a pair of sandals for each of them.  Jake said he needs his sandals.  I said, “Why do you need your sandals, Jake?  You have two pair of tennis shoes and two pair of flip flops and your house shoes at Mommy’s house.  You need to leave a few things at Daddy’s house so you have clothes to wear when you’re over there.”  He said, “Mommy said SHE bought them and she wants them at her house.”  Yeah…probably the only pair of shoes she’s ever bought for any of her kids.  Maybe she wants to bronze them.  I told DS and he said he’d  give them to her.  Neither of us want Jake stuck in the middle. It continues to amaze me that she keeps asking for more stuff after he’s already given her all the kids clothes and shoes, almost all their toys, and everything that’s even remotely considered to be “hers”.  She told me there’s an old ice cream maker somewhere in the garage that belonged to her dad and she wants it.  I told DS and he said they threw it out a couple of years ago because it didn’t work.  I have to face her in a couple of hours and I’ve gotten to where I hate it.  Having to smile and be nice no matter how I really feel about things.  ”I’m so sorry, Stacy.  I think your dad’s old ice cream maker was a piece of rusted crap that hit the trash a couple of years ago.  Is there anything I can do to make it up to you?”

Okay, Okay, get out of the gutter.  Enough of that.  I really did feel a lot better today.  Now, I need to fix something for dinner so I can control what we eat instead of DH going out for frozen pizzas or something.

10thAugust

Turn it around

Sitting here waiting for DIL to drop off the kids.  Been up since 6:00 because she’s supposed to drop them off at 6:30 but experience has shown it’s going to be more like 6:15.  Actually, it’s supposed to be 8:30 but she had to work early all last week except Thursday and she says she has to work early all this week.

Didn’t get much sleep.  I went to bed at 11:30 and was awakened at 3:30 by DH turning on the light and ransacking the bedroom because he couldn’t find his keys.  I got up to help him look and, by the time he got out the door, I couldn’t go back to sleep.  I tried.  Stayed awake for about an hour and finally dozed off and got a few more minutes of sleep before I had to get up.

DS called the caseworker Friday afternoon.  He called from the home phone and recorded the conversation.  I think she knew it was being recorded.  He called her on her cell, which is the number she gave us and she immediately told him she couldn’t hear him and gave him the office number to call back.  She probably recorded the call herself because she was very accommodating.  Well, not exactly accommodating but not nasty like she usually is to him.  He asked her about visitation starting this week when the kids go back to school.  He suggested that DIL drop the kids off at school on Monday and he’d pick them up and they would spend the night.  He’d take them to school on Tuesday and she’d pick them up and they’d spend the night with her.  He suggested alternating on school days.  The caseworker said that was a good idea but she’d have to run it by DIL because she doesn’t get off work until 5:00 and they get out of school at 4:00.  DS told her they could put the kids in an after school program that they used last year.  You can use it 1 day a week, three days a week or everyday.  They don’t care and charge by the day.  After he got off the phone, he called the program to see if they needed to re-register them or anything and was told they had an outstanding bill of $400.00.  Needless to say, he was pissed!  Just one more instance of DIL taking the money.  He said they told him the bill hadn’t been paid for the last six weeks of school even though he gave her the money to pay it. 

Enough about that.  The kids came in and I sent them to bed.  They get here every morning with a baggie of dry fruit loops, toss it on the table, and hit the bed.  The fruit loops started appearing after I told the case worker about Jake saying they didn’t have time for breakfast because they had to get up early to take Mark to work.  She must have said something to DIL because they showed up with their “breakfast” after we had that conversation.

I’m going to try to turn things around starting today.  My life is such a mess and this stuff with DIL is eating me up.  We headed out in the RV Friday afternoon and didn’t get home until yesterday evening and I felt awful all weekend.  DH took us to Belterra Caseeno which was his idea of a nice weekend getaway.  As I’ve said before, I’m not much of a gambler.  I didn’t even go in the caseeno Friday evening but stayed in the RV and watched The Soloist on the DVD player.  I felt awful.  My chest hurt and I was tired and didn’t feel like doing anything.  Saturday, I went in and lost my $20.00 and came back out to the RV to read.  Sunday, I went in and lost my $20.00 and then sat around the RV watching TV and reading.  I’ve never lost so quickly.  My chest hurt all weekend and it still hurts.  I have an almost constant headache and I don’t feel like doing anything.  I’ve gone from an occasional smoker to a pack and a half a day.  Really, I’ve got to turn this around.  The smoking will get better because I refuse to smoke in my car or at work so I’ll get back to a couple per day.  That’s only part of the problem.  The rest is about diet and exercise and getting some sleep.  Today, I’m eating healthy.  Today, I’m going to get some exercise.  Sleep?  That’s another matter.  I constantly worry about what’s happening with DS and the kids.  I don’t know how to put it out of my mind.  I lie in bed and turn it all over in my mind.  I wake up in the middle of the night and worry about it.  It’s always in my thoughts.  Hopefully, getting back to work will make it better. 

Today isn’t the first “official” day for teachers.  We’re allowed one day to get stuff ready and set up our rooms for extra pay.  I’m doing that today.  Tomorrow and Wednesday are professional development days and then the kids return on Thursday.

And so, today, I’m going to try to start turning my life around.  I’m going to try to stop worrying about things so much and concentrate on school.  Hmmm….maybe I should grab some headphones and start exercising everytime the DIL situation pops in my head.  At least I’d get some bang for my buck.

I’m going to write down five positive things that happen today.  Here we go.  I’ll be watching for them:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

7:45 - Okay, that’s it.  I give up.  I need a therapist.  I couldn’t think of anything positive that happened today.  Nothing.  I planned on being at work at 8:00 this morning.  Kept an eye on the clock.  Thought everything was going fine.  I went out to the car and started it and it showed 8:00 a.m.  How did that happen?  Last time I checked, it was 7:15 and I was almost ready to leave.  I honestly don’t know what happened.  I was shocked to see that it was 8:00 and I was just leaving the house.  I don’t know what happened to 45 minutes.  I guess I was wandering around with a lot of stuff on my mind and lost track of time. 

Everything at work irritated me.  I got there and ROTC wanted to have a meeting right away.  They had lots of stuff they needed to get rolling and I just honestly didn’t give a damn.  I didn’t feel like being there and I didn’t want to commit to anything.

Next, I had a long line of teachers needing this or that and I kind of mindlessly did what they needed.  I had to talk to one of the APs about the school website that I’m redoing and Pitiful, Arrogant, Upchuck Lowlife butted in and started taking over the conversation and I just let him roll.  Kind of figured, “Fine!  If you want to do it, be my guest.”  The conversation moved to the distribution of the laptop carts this year, something I’d already discussed with the principal and he had major objections to the plan and said he was going to talk to her about how he wanted to do it.  Again, “Fine.  Do whatever you want.  I don’t care.”

Friends invited me out to lunch and I told them I’d rather keep working so I could go home an hour early. Everyone wanted to know what I did this summer and I didn’t even want to talk about it.  I kept looking for five good things and, through my grimy distorted view, I didn’t think anything was good.  I couldn’t even think of one thing.  Much less five.

I came home, waited for DS to bring the kids back and then stayed dressed long enough for DIL to pick them up.  As soon as she left, I took a long hot soak and put on my pajamas.  And now…here I am.  I haven’t eaten anything all day and I can’t think of anything I want.

I’m not stupid.  I know I’m severely depressed and thought I could pull myself out of it but, obviously, I’m not doing too well.  Tomorrow, I’m looking for a therapist.

Today is the last day I have before I start back to work Monday. Of course, it feels like I’ve already started back. What with the retreat and all…. Got me back into that “teacher mode”. You know…the one where you have lesson plans and kids and grades occupying a space in the background of every waking moment. That’s where my mind is…planning lessons and getting back to work.

Drove about twenty minutes yesterday morning to meet Phyllisann. Sat there in the parking lot of a Walmart for several minutes wondering where the Hell she was and finally called her. She was a basket case. Someone broke into her truck and stole her computer, stereo, etc. I could hear the car alarm going off in the background. She cancelled out and I had to drive up by myself. I was already running late at that point, didn’t have enough gas to get to Lexington, didn’t know where I was going (I didn’t pay any attention on Wednesday because she was driving) and didn’t want to have to drive through heavy fog all the way. It was so tempting to just turn around and go home but I’m proud to say I got it all under control and made it to the retreat. The fog was really bad and I was a nervous wreck by the time I got there but, at least, I DID get there. I don’t know what’s wrong with me…getting old? stress? insecurity? I’m just not as confident as I used to be. It’s real easy to give up when the going gets tough. What used to be a challenge has become an obstacle. At any rate, I feel good that I didn’t give up and go home.

Got out of the retreat early and was home by 2:45 so I decided to go cash in DS’s bond and get my money back. I tried to on Monday but the line went all the way through all the turnstiles and around the corner. I didn’t have time to deal with it and make it home in time for DIL to pick up the kids so I had to leave. So, yesterday, I went downtown, drove around the block a couple of times to find a parking spot, maneuvered my big ass Lincoln into a space, shoved a fistfull of quarters in the meter and went to the courthouse. Stood in line for 45 minutes and got up to the window at 3:45. Those people are awful. I know they don’t exactly deal with the upper crust of society but still! They shuffle around like they have all day. Two windows open and 10 people in line and they work with one person, leave the window, come back two or three minutes later, talk to the person at the window for a minute and fill out a form, leave the window, come back two or three minutes later, etc . I finally got up to the window and the woman who waited on me didn’t even say, “May I help you?” She just ignored me for a couple of minutes while she typed a word or two (probably would have gone a lot faster but she was handicapped with two inch nails and hit the keys one at a time) and then looked up and stared at me. I said, “I need to get a bond refund.” “Got a receipt?” “Yes, here it is.” She took the receipt, grabbed a form and started filling it out. The woman next to her said, “Don’t do any more bonds. They closed down a couple of minutes ago.” Dagger nails looked at her watch and said, “There’s still fifteen minutes.” The other woman said, “They just called. They closed down twenty minutes early for some kind of meeting.” Dagger nails hands my receipt back to me and says, “They’re closed. You’ll have to come back tomorrow.” I said, “Well, can’t I go ahead and get some of the paperwork done? I’ve been standing in line for 45 minutes. Can I get the forms filled out and just pick up the check tomorrow?” Dagger nails looks at me like I’m stupid and says, “They’re closed. You have to come back tomorrow.” No wonder they check your handbag before you can go in. I felt like grabbing one of the sheriff’s guns and saying, “Well I guess they’re just going to have to open up again, aren’t they? I guess you’re gonna have to chip those nails, Bitch, cause I’m not leaving till I get my money so you better start hitting those keys. You got that??? MOVE!!!”

I didn’t though. Probably would have looked bad to the caseworker. She might have thought I was “inflexible”.

Got up this morning and DH said he’d take me back down there. We went out front and someone had broken the antenna off his car. Crap! This used to be such a nice neighborhood. Coincidence? He dropped me off at the courthouse and I went in loaded for bear. Surprise! There were only five people in line and three windows open. Remind me to only go to the courthouse on Friday mornings. At any rate, it didn’t take very long and a woman called me up to her window. I handed her my receipt and said, “I need to get a bond refund.” She looked at the receipt and then looked at me and a big smile broke out on her face and she said, “Mrs. R!!! Don’t you remember me? You were my teacher a few years ago. Lakiesha Hunter. Remember?”

Sh*t!! I didn’t know her from a hole in the ground but I smiled and said, “Well, Hey, Lakiesha! Of course I remember you. It’s been a long time!”

She’s smiling and yells across the office, “Hey! Loretta, this is Mrs. R. She used to be my math teacher!” Now everyone in the entire office is looking at me and everyone in the line is glaring at me and wishing I’d finish my business so they can get their money back and Lakiesha says, “I sure never expected to see you down here! You remember Robert? Robert White? He’s my husband now! I can’t wait to tell him I saw you. What do you need? A bond refund? I sure never thought I’d be filling out a bond refund for you Mrs. R!”

“Yeah, well, it’s not for me, Lakiesha. The bond was for my son.”

“OMG! I bet you wanted to kill him, didn’t you? I can’t imagine one of your kids getting in trouble. I just can’t imagine it! I bet you tore his butt up, didn’t you?”

I finally got away from Lakiesha, went upstairs with my paperwork, and got my money back. Can’t wait for Lakiesha’s next high school reunion. She’ll have lots to share with everyone. I hate my life…..

DH is packing the RV.  Won’t tell me where we’re going but says we’re out of here as soon as DIL picks up the kids.

6thAugust

Through the fog

Woke up to heavy fog.  Guess that’s to be expected with all that rain.  Phyllisann and I should leave for Lexington a little bit early.  We have to drive through some areas that cross a few rivers and valleys.

The retreat was okay yesterday.  I’ve been assigned to mentor a new teacher and I met her.  Seems really nice.  Not really mentoring…more like being a buddy to her because she’s new to the school and I’m supposed to help her figure out the ropes, introduce her to people and try to make her comfortable.  Not a bad idea for staff that are new to the school.

Nothing much going on…I went to the retreat yesterday and that meant twelve hours from the time I got up until I got home.  DS fixed dinner and I watched So You Think You Can Dance for a couple of hours and then hit the bed.  DIL showed up with her new boyfriend at 6:30 to pick up her bike, her mirror, an old “dome” hairdryer from the 60s and a few more clothes.  I think that’s about all of her stuff.  I’m sure DS will come across more but she says she doesn’t know of anything else.  Sure do wish they’d assign a permanent caseworker.  DIL says she’ll bring the kids at 8:30 this morning but I told her I wouldn’t be here.  DH is home and she said that would be fine.

Brandi, I’m with ya!  Let’s make this the best year ever.  It seems like forever since I’ve been eating well and working out.  Last spring, it seemed like school consumed me and I couldn’t find time to get on track.  Now, I’m hoping getting back to work will help me get back to being healthy.  At any rate, I’m getting geared up to start all over again!

5thAugust

H.A.L

HAL has taken over the computers.  DH hooked up Andrew’s new computer through the airport Monday evening and now none of the other computers in the house will hook up to the internet.  I don’t know what he’s done.  All the computers ask for a password and it doesn’t work.  The name of the network is showing up as Andrew’s PC.  I didn’t get a chance to look at it yesterday and don’t know if I will today.

You may have seen that we had major flooding here yesterday.  Six inches of rain in less than three hours.  Set a new all-time record.  Roads were closed and buildings were flooded.  Me and Mine were fine but it took some major re-routing to get to oldest DIL’s father’s funeral yesterday.  Seems like we were tied up all day with the funeral.  Getting everyone ready, getting there and getting back.

This morning, I’m up at 5:30 to get ready to drive to Lexington for my school retreat.  I’ve decided not to stay overnight.  If I don’t stay, I can be here for the kids to be dropped off and picked up.  Guess I’ll miss this evening’s karaoke and all the other stupid stuff a hotel full of teachers do when they’re not planning lessons.  It would have been nice to get away and have a nice room to myself this evening but Phyllisann called and said she’d decided not to stay overnight and that was the kicker.  She’s my bud.  Neither one of us feel like we’re ready to start the new year but it looks like it’s here anyway.  Retreat all day today and tomorrow, off Friday and back to work Monday.

Gotta run…I have to meet Phyllisann about 25 miles from here in an hour and a half.  Better get ready.

Andrew, who is absolutely chomping at the bit to get his new computer (the bank was closed yesterday and he has all his money in a savings account) woke me up a few minutes ago.  I was sleeping so good.  He knocks on the door and comes in at 7:45 saying, “Nana, aren’t you sleeping too long?”  Perhaps.  Not now….

I have so much to do today.  I have to take DGD, Holly, to get an outfit to wear to the funeral home and funeral for her other grandfather.  Andrew’s got to get his computer.  The kids have to meet with the GAL at 1:00 and DS meets with his attorney at 2:00.  Steven has a doctor’s appointment.  At some point, we all have to go to the funeral home.  Oh yeah, I’ve got to order flowers.  We need to get the surveillance cameras working, too.  I think I should be the coordinator:  I’ll take Holly, You take Andrew, You take Steven, I’ll order flowers, you mount the cameras, yada, yada, yada.

The police took the report.  A local policeman who has had this beat forever.  I was surprised that he seemed to know all of us.  DS and he were downright chatty.  Seems they both share an interest in restoring old cars and they’ve met several times through that.   Youngest DS knows him because he used to eat at a restaurant he worked in.  At any rate, he was nice and made the report but said there wasn’t much else they could do.  We had to tighten all the lug nuts to get the car towed home and he said they probably wouldn’t find any prints.  We told him about DIL but we also told him we really didn’t believe she would do something like that.  He said she might not do it herself but she might have shot off her mouth so much that one of her friends would take it upon themselves to do it.  He also mentioned that there are a group of kids in the neigborhood that have been vandalizing property and said he’d have a chat with them.  In fact, he recalled a few months ago when someone threw a huge rock through my car window while my car was sitting in the driveway.

After considerable thought, I’ve decided that DIL would not do this.  I really don’t think she would.  Her friends?  Boyfriend?  That’s another story.  She brought the kids by last night at 7:00 and was as sweet as could be.  I can’t believe how she acts.  Like she didn’t have a meltdown in my front yard Thursday afternoon.  Of course, this is how she is.  She can be a raving lunatic one minute and sweet as can be the next.  She can scratch and claw and spit and kick and then be as cool as a cucumber when the police get there.  Appearing totally rational and believable to anyone who doesn’t know better.  DS took the boys home last night.  First time he’s had them overnight in the last couple of weeks.  I even wondered if he should take them overnight but decided that’s ridiculous.  If she drops them off Sunday evening so she doesn’t have to get up early Monday morning to get them ready, that’s the time she drops them off for visitation.  As far as I’m concerned, he can take them home overnight.  It’s not my job as the intermediary to be a babysitter.  It’s just my job to transfer the kids.

I’m going to talk to the GAL today and find out if I’m over reacting and how I should be dealing with the caseworker and DS is going to talk to his attorney and try to get a handle on what he needs to do.  The caseworker has chosen not to communicate with him at all and he doesn’t want to deal with her.  His fear is that she will contribute that to a lack of motivation or caring about getting the kids back.  I suspect the GAL will tell me that I should report activity to the caseworker but make sure everything is recorded.  I just want to verify that I’m not over stepping the boundaries.

Alright…gotta get moving….

6:30 - Long day.  Got Holly looking good and took her over to the funeral home.  Went downtown to talk to the GAL.  Left the GAL and went to DS’s attorney’s office. Stopped and got a late lunch for the kids.  Had an hour of so of “wait time” between DS leaving and DIL getting here and he played with the kids.  I like a 30 minute window between them.  I want DS gone by 6:00 and I call him when she leaves.  Today, he was caught up in playing one of the new games he got them on the playstation and she showed up at 6:10.  He ran out in the back yard and I ran out front and apologized for him being there and told her she was 20 minutes early.  She said that was okay, grabbed up the kids and left.  She said she has to work early all week so I told her to go ahead and bring the kids at 6:30 each morning.  I told her I’d decided not to spend the night at my retreat and would be able to take them at 6:30 and make the 60 mile drive to Lexington in time to get there by 8:00.

Things went pretty much as we expected today.  The GAL talked with the kids and didn’t tell me what he discussed with them but told me that the living situation was very sticky.  Okay on the outside but was something the case worker needed to keep a close eye on.  I gathered from that that DIL is living in a basement apartment of her boyfriend’s house.  We all know what’s going on but it still meets the guidelines.  As for her changing the visitation, the GAL said it was to our advantage to have the kids as much as possible and her willingness to bring them early, pick them up late, and drop them off the night before shows the caseworker that she’s not all that good about being able to stick to the visitation schedule but DS and I are always there to make sure the kids are cared for.  His advice?  Let her fall on her face and just be there to pick up the pieces.

DS’s attorney thinks everything looks good for him and gave me the name of someone who can help me set up my Blackberry to record phone conversations.  He said he thinks we should be able to wrap this up in October.  The next hearing is October 1.  He said the caseworker is an Investigative Caseworker.  It’s her job to jump into the fray, quickly figure out the best way to keep the kids safe, try to cover her ass so it looks like the best solution and then get out of the way for the real caseworker.  He said it’s not unusual for the Investigative Caseworker to align herself with one side but she still has an obligation to work with the other side.  He said this particular caseworker is a bitch (he didn’t use the word but he mouthed it)  and he hates working with her.  He said, “I have to work with these people and I try to maintain a decent relationship with them.  This one?  I don’t even try to keep a good relationship with her.  I just try to keep things under control until she’s out of the picture.”  He had lots of good things to say but it’s getting late and I’ve got to get dinner going so I’ll try to give more details tomorrow.  For now…the kids are gone and I’m going to enjoy a few minutes of peace and quiet before Holly comes back.

Woke up to a phone call from oldest DS at 6:30 a.m.  He used DH’s car to go to work and the tire came off while he was driving down the expressway.  All the lug nuts have been loosened.  Thank God he wasn’t hurt.

I just talked to him on the phone.  He took pictures with the camera on the phone and AAA is just getting there to tow the car.  This really sucks.  Too much of a coincidence to be ignored but probably totally unrelated to DIL.  I mean, I can’t believe she’d be behind anything like this.  Her boyfriend?  I don’t know.  I feel like an idiot thinking about making a police report but I know we have to.  Even if she isn’t involved, we have to make a report but I’ll have to give them her name when they ask if I know anyone who would do this.  Crap!  I really hate this.  The problem is that DH had a flat on the tire that came off just a couple of weeks ago and it’s possible that the lug nuts weren’t tightened correctly.  DH is not an amateur when it comes to cars but he’s walking around saying, “It’s possible that the lug nuts weren’t tightened correctly.  I can’t believe it but it’s possible.”  I guess we’ll check all the other lug nuts when the car gets here.  If others are loose, there’s no doubt that it was deliberate.

Sistah Pam took me out yesterday.  She drove over the river to Indiana and we visited Huber’s Winery and Orchard.  Had a wonderful lunch and I bought a half bushel of tomatoes and a basket of overripe peaches for a song.  We were planning on going to The Concrete Lady to look for some yard art for Pam but headed out at 4:00 and then noticed on the brochure that The Concrete Lady closes at 4:00 so that outing will have to wait for another day.  While we were driving home, my cell phone rang and it was DIL.  Pam’s entire purpose was to get all this drama off my mind and I could feel the anger and anxiety returning the minute I saw who was calling.  I didn’t answer.  Figured I’d wait until I got home and put the recorder on the phone before I called her back but we worked on the damn thing for a couple of hours and couldn’t figure out how to get the phone recorder to work with my Blackberry.  I guess I’m going to have to call her back this morning but I don’t know what to do about recording the conversation.  We went up and bought an attachment that should have worked and it does…on every phone except my blackberry.

DH is highly perturbed.  Just came in and said AAA wouldn’t tow the car because he wasn’t driving it when it happened.  Also said ALL the lug nuts are loose on the entire car.  He’s getting the car dolly and going back to pick up the car.  The fender is all torn up and he is not a happy man.  Guess we’re going to have to make a police report.  DH is saying, “Why would she do this to my car?  Why not DS’s?  It doesn’t make sense.”  I don’t know.  Too obvious?  Her boyfriend who doesn’t know who’s car is whose?  This is not pretty.  I’m just happy no one was hurt.  DS said the tire came off and went rolling across the expressway and some guy had to slam on his brakes to keep from hitting it. 

This is getting so nasty.  DS has been staying here since last Wednesday.  He feels like a prisoner.  Like he has to have a witness and alibi for every minute since she made the police report that her mother’s car was damaged last week.  He went to Walmart last night and took DGS with him because he’s afraid of being accused of something else.  Paranoid?  I don’t know.  Are we all paranoid?  I don’t even want to call her on the phone without having a witness or being able to record the conversation.  It was agreed that she and I would communicate through my cell phone because, if she calls the home phone, DS could pick up.  The damn phone recorder works fine on the land line.  It just won’t work on my cell.

We’ve decided that we have no choice but to wire this place like a fortress.  We’re getting a surveillance system today to mount in front of the house and inside the house.  We’re taking pictures.  We’re recording everything.  We’re going to have to figure out how to record calls on my Blackberry.  I don’t know why but this makes me feel trashy.  I don’t think I should have to do these kinds of things.  I’m a nervous wreck about still not returning her call from yesterday afternoon.  As if I’ll get in trouble for not jumping when she says “Jump”.  I’m wondering if the recorder will pick it up if I just hold it close when I call and turn the volume all the way up on my phone.

10:30 - Returned DIL’s phone call.  She said she got a call Friday evening and she has to do mandatory overtime on Monday.  Needs to drop the kids off at 6:30 a.m. but it would make it easier on her and them if she could drop them off around 7:00 this evening.  Sweet as can be.  Says she doesn’t know if she’ll have to do overtime all week or not but she’ll let me know.  Told her that would be fine.  Don’t want to be accused of being “inflexible” or “non-accommodating”.  At least we’ll have the kids tomorrow so they can meet with the GAL. 

1stAugust

Rest for the weary

Who said there’s no rest for the weary?  I slept like a rock last night and I didn’t even need a Tylenol PM to do it.  I slept ten full hours.  Woke up feeling better than I have in days.  Don’t know where DH is.  He’s already cleaned the house and the coffee pot has turned itself off and isn’t even warm anymore.

Some serious discussion going on in yesterday’s comments.  Sunny, yes, I see where you’re coming from and I agree with you to some degree.  However, if you’ve never been in this kind of situation, you should know that a temporary custody period is critical.  You MUST do exactly what you’re supposed to do.  We go back to court in October and they’ll be looking at everything.  In the past, when I had temporary custody, I had to document everything and the caseworkers considered a breach in the visitation agreement or moving the kids in with a boyfriend to be very serious infractions of the agreement.  Things like a missed day of visitation may seem petty but it’s the way she did it.  She should have discussed it with me and I would have discussed it with DS and it would have been fine.  To deliberately refuse to bring them when he has visitation shows that she is not doing what the court ordered.  It SHOULD show that she is not concerned with the kids best interests and is, once again, only interested in what she wants to do.  I would not be half as worried as I am if the caseworker was not so biased.  It’s only been a week and she’s moved in with a boyfriend and deliberately cancelled a visitation.  These are things the caseworker SHOULD see as serious problems considering that the temporary custody period has just begun.

As far as my son is concerned, I agree, I need to back off and let him deal with more of this but the truth of the matter is that he and DIL have an Order of Protection so he doesn’t have to deal with her.  There can be no communication between them.  I’m the one who has to communicate and face DIL all the time  I know I’m raging in my blog but in person, I’m being polite and friendly.  I’m putting on a mask and doing my best to make every encounter as pleasant as possible.  DIL has a horrible temper and the least little bit of adversity brings it out.  For example, when she dropped the bombshell the other evening, “I’m not bringing them tomorrow.”  I tried to be reasonable saying, “No, Stacy, you know he has visitation tomorrow from 8:30 to 5:30.”  I said this in a reasonable tone and she immediately got furious and antagonistic to the point where I had to walk away to avoid a scene.

A couple of things that should be noted…If DIL was a good mother, I wouldn’t worry nearly as much as I do.  I’d just deal with the situation the best I could and DS and DIL would have to work out custody and child support and everything else.  The problem is that she has serious mental problems.  She can turn on a dime.  She always put her own interests ahead of the kids and she’s moved in with boyfriends with serious problems in the past.  Would she deliberately hurt the kids?  No.  I can honestly say I don’t think she would.  But, she WILL put them in dangerous situations.  She’s only had them for a week and she’s moved them into some guy’s house.  And her judgement is not good.  She DOES take off for days at a time and I’ve had to step in and take care of the kids.  Who will fill that role now?  If she decides to run off and party all weekend, this new guy may decide he’s not going to hang around and babysit for her.  Worse…he may be TOO willing to hang around with the kids, if you know what I mean.

I worry about what will happen to them.  For those who may not be aware, I lost a two year old granddaughter several years ago and her death was devastating.  If I’m more aware of the consequences than most people, it’s because I’ve been somewhere that you never want to go.  The aftershocks of her loss still affect my family.   

As for DS, he has to fight his own battles but it’s very difficult when the caseworker is so opinionated.  To date, she has only talked to DS once.  That initial interview.  Other than that, she’s chosen to ignore him or has been so antagonistic to him that he’s decided to avoid her if at all possible.  Don’t forget, it’s only been a week and he still hasn’t had an opportunity to sit down with his attorney for a pow-wow.  That will happen Monday.  He’ll also get a new caseworker and we’re hoping she’ll be more open and professional.

I’ve been so consumed with the two youngest grandkids this summer, I haven’t said much about the twins.  I’m so proud of Andrew.  He worked all summer and saved every penny he earned.  Now, he has $1,200 in the bank and saved it all up to buy a top of the line laptop.  He’s so excited.  I kind of hate for him to spend a thousand bucks on a laptop because he could get everything he needs for a lot less but he fell in love with an HP Pavillion with all the bells and whistles (including Blu Ray) earlier this year and has worked and saved all summer to buy it so I’m certainly not going to bust his bubble.  Steven never did find a job this summer but he mowed a few lawns and did some odd jobs.  Funny, even though they’re twins, they’ve so different.  Money runs through Steven’s hands like water.  He tends to buy little items and isn’t very good about saving up for the big stuff.  We’ll have to work on that.  Both boys registered for classes last week and Steven is content with his schedule but Andrew came out of it grinning from ear to ear.  He got total candy classes.  Got all the best teachers and gets to be an aide for his favorite counselor.  Believe it or not, he actually got my class.  We teach a class called Advocacy once a week.  It’s an ungraded class that is designed to form a close relationship with a small group of students so that every student feels like they have a teacher they can talk to and count on when the need arises.  Andrew is thrilled to be in my Advocacy class but I’m not so sure.  I think I’ll see how it goes but I may have him transferred to another teacher.  We talk about problems that the kids have and frequently discuss issues they don’t feel comfortable talking about with parents.  I’m not sure it would be to Andrew’s benefit to be in my class.  He’s a senior this year and thinks he’s on top of the world.  Steven failed the 6th grade so he’s a junior but he’s finally at a point where he can start having some fun.  Prom and senior rings and other good stuff.

Now…enough about that.  It’s a beautiful day and I don’t have a houseful of kids to take care of.  Time to do something for me.  Sistah Pam is determined to save me from myself and has suggested an outing….

Oh, I should mention, my other DIL’s father passed away yesterday evening.  I didn’t know him very well and the kids seem to be handling it okay.  They saw him on Christmas and occasional holidays but have never been really close.  Another casualty of my granddaughter’s death?  Perhaps.  After she died, they began to slowly pull away from the other grandkids.  Haven’t ever been very close to them.  We all have our own ways of dealing with these things.  I gathered all my kids and grandkids tightly against me and treasure every day with them.  They distanced themselves.  I’m not being critical.  As I said, we have to deal with these things in our own way.