The wedding is tomorrow.  I’ve been working my butt off to get the yard ready and now they’re forecasting thunderstorms all day long tomorrow.  So I think I’m going to ignore the yard today and clean inside.  We may be able to go outside but I’m not betting on it.

Speaking of betting…tomorrow is the Kentucky Derby.  We’re off work today because it’s the running of the Kentucky Oaks.  I guarantee things are going to get crazy around town but I’m not going to be in the middle of it.  We usually stay close to home on Derby weekend and avoid all the tourists and crazies.

DIL called DS twice yesterday evening.  Once, to see if he had plans for this weekend.  He told her he was busy.  The second time, she wanted to know why he didn’t call her after she left all the text messages on his phone Thursday evening.  I swear, she’s totally unbelievable.  She still seems to think that all she has to do is have the Protective Order dropped and then they can just chat and hang around and work things out.

Gotta keep this short.  DS and I are making a wedding cake today.  I’ve done fondant decorations before but we’re going to try to cover a cake in a sheet of fondant and we’ve never tried it before.  Thank God for youtube.  How did anyone ever figure out how to do anything before youtube???

29thApril

Unbelievable!

Really!  Just unbelievable!

DS called me at work yesterday to tell me that he’d just received a call from wicked DIL.  It went something like this:

DS - “Hello”

DIL - “Hello.  Dave?”

DS - “Hello???”

DIL - “Hello, it’s me.”

DS - “Stacy??”

DIL - “I went down to the courthouse and had the Order of Protection dismissed.  I thought we could talk.  How’ve you been?”

DS - “I have nothing to say to you, Stacy.” (click)

30 seconds later…

DS - “Hello”

DIL - “Did you just hang up on me?  How do you think we’re going to resolve anything if you hang up on me?  I called to talk.  I miss you and I was hoping we could get together and try to talk things out.”

DS - “Are you crazy, Stacy????  We don’t have anything to talk about and we don’t have anything to work out.  I’m working right now and I’m finished talking to you.” (click)

2 minutes later…text message….”Nothing’s going to get resolved if you keep hanging up on me.  We need to talk.  Where are you working?  I’ll call you later.”

Can you believe it?  I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised but I mean, really…Can you believe it??!!!  That bitch!  After Jake and Scout telling us, over last weekend that, “Thomas is not Mommy’s boyfriend anymore.  They got into a fight and we’re moving back to Gram’s house today.”  Boyfriend number three in ten months kicked her out and now she wants to talk to David.  All of a sudden, she feels safe enough to have the Protective Order dismissed.

I got home around 5:00 and she called at 5:30. 

“Patty?  Have you talked to Dave?”

I played dumb. “No, I just got home from work.”

“Well, I had the Protective Order dismissed and I called him earlier today but he wouldn’t talk to me.  I don’t think he believes that it’s okay for us to talk and communicate.  I have a copy of the dismissal and I want to bring it over to him.  Do you know what time he gets off?”

“I don’t have any idea, Stacy, but I seriously doubt if he wants to talk.  Why don’t you just bring it over and I’ll see that he gets it.”

“Okay, what time do you think he’ll be there?”

“Stacy, I really don’t have a clue.  I think it would be better if you just dropped it off.”

“Okay.  I’m right down the street.  (Her mother just lives 1 1/2 miles from me)  I’ll be there in about ten minutes.”

I called DS and he said, “Mom, I don’t want to see her.  I don’t want to talk to her.  I don’t want to be anywhere near her.  Call me after she leaves.

Meanwhile, she didn’t show up until 7:40.  She kept texting DS, wanting to know when he would get home.   I know it sounds crazy but I wouldn’t be surprised if she was sitting down at the end of the street, waiting for him to pull into the driveway.  DS called me and said, “I just drove by the house and I’m going to drive down a couple of streets to see if she’s parked somewhere, then I’ll be home.”  I was still on the phone with him when she pulled into the driveway.  Was she waiting somewhere down the street?  It was really strange that she pulled in about thirty seconds after he said he drove by the house.  I sent Andrew out to the car the minute she pulled into the driveway so she didn’t even have an excuse to come to the door.

The dismissal of the Protective Order says, “that the evidence shows for the Respondant (David) that it was not established, by a preponderance of the evidence, that an act of domestic violence or abuse occured.” What does that mean?  That having lied repeatedly and gotten everything she wanted, she finally told them that it didn’t happen?  Surely that’s not what it means.  I mean, they don’t let people do that.  Do they?  Wouldn’t there be some kind of penalty for false charges or something?  Of course, I haven’t understood anything about this entire fiasco from the beginning.

I’ve gotta go.  To summarize…she repeatedly called him last night and he didn’t answer.  He was angry all evening and kept going on about how she had ruined his life and torn our family apart and then has the nerve to want to talk.  He says he knows she wants to get back together and that he hates her and hates what she’s done and it will never happen.  He said she’s almost stalking him now and he’s thinking about taking out a restraining order but knows that will just stir things up and make it more difficult for him where the kids are concerned. 

Where are the caseworkers now?  Where are the judges and the attorneys and the social workers?  They’re all finished and signed off on everything.  As far as they’re concerned, it’s over and they have no more involvement.  They’ve all established, based on her lies, that David is violent and abusive and she’s a wonderful mother.  Of course, as far as we know, the final custody order was never made permanent and is still a temporary order.  The woman is totally nuts.  Never a dull moment.  Never…

27thApril

Take a break!

It’s been crazy lately!  Getting ready for Andrew’s graduation, getting ready for the wedding this weekend and money running through my hands like water.  Andrew’s senior trip, scrapboarding supplies for Andrew’s senior project, Steven’s senior ring, Steven’s new glasses, field trip for Steven, field trip for Andrew, car repairs…..It seems like I can’t take a breath without opening up my wallet.

I’ve been working like a dog to get ready for the wedding.  (Dishing out money for that, too!)  The house is shaping up nicely but I’m having trouble with the yard.  I got the koi pond drained and cleaned, got the main flower bed weeded, got the pond in the front yard cleaned but the pump isn’t working so I’ve got to buy a new fountain pump for it.  Then it started raining and turned off cool.  I haven’t been able to do anything outside for two days.  I need to buy some annuals and get them out and do some mulching.  The weather is going to be cold and wet for the next two days but then it’s supposed to warm up.  Thursday and Friday should be nice and I’ll be able to finish up.  I’m off work Friday but it’s a full day since Jim and Kat are getting married Saturday.  I feel for the kids.  They don’t have any money to speak of but still, a wedding is a wedding.  They only have a handful of friends coming and they asked DS if he could make a wedding cake.  Nothing fancy, just a basic cake.  Of course, DS is ON IT!  Neither one of us can do anything with standard decorating so I suggested fondant.  I’ve done a few cakes in the past and decorated them with fondant flowers.  Now he’s looking at covering an entire cake with fondant while I make the flowers.  I think we should do a trial run but there’s no time.  On top of that, they haven’t made any plans for food.  They just want a place for a handful of friends and a JP to gather for their vows.  Well, crap!  You know I can’t leave that alone!  I’ve got to figure out some simple foods to serve, David’s on the cake, and I guess I’ll fix some kind of punch.

So…in spite of the approaching storm, I’m taking a day off.  I reserved Sherlock Holmes for this evening and, as soon as I get home from work, I’m going to relax and watch it.  Who knows?  Maybe I can make fondant flowers while I’m watching.

Judge Judy is the enemy.  Every day, when I come home from work, I turn on the TV, prop myself up on the couch and watch Judge Judy.  For an hour and a half.  Then it’s on to Judge Millian with the People’s Court.  Her show airs during the day but my handy, dandy TiVo makes sure she’s waiting for me after Judge Judy.  By the time I’ve passed judgement on any number of litigants, it time to move on to American Idol, or the First 48 or a whole bunch of other shows that will keep me tuned in until I’m ready for bed.  Obviously, this pattern of behavior is not conductive to evening workouts and exercise sessions.  I’ve gotta get rid of Judy……

- Wednesday update - Acckk!  See what happens when I try to be good?  I told myself I wouldn’t watch any TV except for American Idol and Glee.  Then I set to work helping Andrew with his senior project, called it a day at 8:45 and turned on the TV to find that TiVo betrayed me and didn’t record American Idol!  At least I got to see the last ten minutes with Big Mike and Krystal.  Krystal was probably the best of the evening anyway.

Kind of in a panic today.  A friend of DS’s that we’ve known since he was twelve years old has been living with his girlfriend for the past five years and they’ve decided to get married.  He came over and told DH and I that we’re the closest thing they have to parents (both raised in foster care) and they want to get married at our house.  In two weeks…Crap!  This place is a mess.  He said, and I quote, “We want someplace nice and were hoping you would let us get married here.”

Are you kidding me????  Someplace nice???  I mean, open your eyes.  This place is a wreck!  Don’t know how much blogging I’ll be doing for the next couple of weeks.  We’ve got to get the house clean, open the pool, clean and plant all the flower beds in the back yard, etc. etc. 

On the one hand, I was going to have to do all that anyway for DGS, Andrew’s graduation party but that’s not until the first of June.  This is going to force me to get on it a whole lot sooner and work a whole lot harder than I’d planned.

19thApril

Adding Smiles

I’m adding to the list of things I love this morning.  Not as fast as some of you but I try to add three when I get a chance.  This mornings additions are:

  1. Sitting in the spa with my morning coffee and looking at the stars
  2. Walking through a parking lot and realizing that I’m kind of swishing around in my jeans because they’re a little bit loose and they’re not glued to me
  3. Meeting a mini goal that I wasn’t sure I could meet

Yes, chickies, I’m down to 192 this morning.  That first week of being back on track netted me a loss of 3 1/2 pounds.  Whoo Hooo!

16thApril

Getting there…

Weighed in at 193 this morning.  My “pie-in-the-sky”, “dream-on, dream-on” goal was 3.5 pounds for this first week of being back on track.  It was just a “wouldn’t-it-be-nice” goal but I might actually make it.  One more pound over the next three days would do it.  That is, if this initial loss doesn’t start fluctuating.  At any rate, it makes me feel good and gives me some incentive to work hard this weekend so I won’t crash and burn.

My birthday was nice.  I had to do an inservice for teachers after work yesterday but it was a good group.  I provided Subway subs cut into fourths, sliced oranges (that I brought back from Florida last weekend) and fresh apple slices, and iced tea.  Participants were grateful to get the hours because they can take off April 30th if they have all their PD hours finished and I enjoyed working with them.  They ate up all the goodies and seemed just as happy with subs and fruit as they would have been with cookies and chips or cake.

I came home to my favorite perfume from DH, a couple of perennials for the garden, and some new  ink cartridges that I wanted for one of my printers.  DS was cooking one of my absolute favorites for dinner, Vietnamese dry-cooked pork loin strips with cilantro, tomatoes, and cucumber rolled up in leaf lettuce and a lime dipping sauce.  Lite, healthy, and delicious.  He gave me a new CD and provided a special treat of Edy’s Fruit Bars.  If you haven’t tried them, definitely go out and buy a box!  They’re fat free frozen bars made with fresh fruit.  I usually don’t like frozen fruit bars because the texture gets on my nerves.  Hard as a rock.  These were fresh, fruity bars with a smooth, melt in your mouth texture.  And only 45 calories!  Whoo Hooo!  I found a new best friend, Edy!

Thanks for all the birthday wishes, Chickies!  It was a good one!

I have to work today but I don’t have to put even a passing thought into what to wear.  They passed out new tee shirts to staff yesterday to kick off next week’s testing.  We’re all supposed to wear our new tees and jeans today.  I didn’t know what size to order so I went with XL.  You never know with those things.  It may shrink when I wash it but, honestly, it’s huge and fits like a nightgown.  I may not pass Stacy and Clinton’s inspection today but I’ll definitely be comfortable.

Tomorrow is my last session of Saturday school so I’m bracing myself to avoid the wonderful, fantastic doughnuts the assistant principal always brings for all the kids.  I know most doughnuts are only so-so but these are absolutely the best.  I haven’t decided if I’ll try to check the calorie count and eat one or take a protein bar and steer clear.  At any rate, I know it’s going to happen and I’m preparing for it.

Allright, girls, I’m feelin good and ready to tackle the day.  Have a good one!

15thApril

Another Day Down

Got through yesterday.  Still nowhere near my long-ago and well-remembered “Perfect” days in the past but I’m okay with it.  I ate a carton of low-fat yogurt and tomato juice for breakfast, a frozen diet entree for lunch and had Pepper Steak Salad for dinner.  I got to craving something sweet last night while I was watching American Idol so I ate a granola bar.  So, the food went well.

Exercise was okay.  I didn’t exactly work up a sweat but I still worked in the yard until the spa cover arrived and then took the old, waterlogged cover off and dragged it to the back of the yard.  That thing must weigh a hundred pounds!  What a contrast to the new one that I can lift with one finger.  In case you hadn’t noticed, I’d kind of stopped going to the spa recently.  The cover needed to be replaced and I was argueing and negotiating with the company over the warranty for quite a while.  It was so awkward to get the heavy old cover off that I’d given up on doing it.  Finally got them to send a new one so I’ll be back in my spa now!

Today is my birthday!  Don’t have anything special planned.  In fact, I’ll be working late and won’t get home until around 6:00.  I don’t think I’ll even try to exercise (other than going out back and lifting that new spa cover with one finger)  :-)

Weighed in at 193.5 this morning so that’s down another pound.  I’ve got my food all planned out…yogurt for breakfast, turkey sandwich with 12 grain bread and an orange for lunch. 

I like to feed people who attend my inservices.  They’re stuck at school until 5:30 and that makes for a ten hour day.  Some of our teachers have their lunch breaks at 10:10 a.m. so they get pretty hungry in the late afternoon.  I’m going to run out to Subway and pick up some low-fat subs and have them sliced into fourths.  I’ve also got a couple packages of apple slices.  That’ll hold them off until they get home and I’ll get a sub for myself for dinner.

I’ve put the word out - please don’t get me a birthday cake.  I don’t want to come home to cake and ice cream.  Please…….

How’d I do yesterday? Not great. Okay, but not great. I ate a hard boiled egg and a small can of tomato juice for breakfast. Had leftover Pepper Steak with Mango, Avocado and Jalapeno dressing. Unfortunately, the dressing didn’t keep well. It was great the night before but had a metallic taste after being refrigerated overnight. Still, I ate it and survived.

The problems came in when I got home. I didn’t get home until 4:00 and intended to go to the store but a few minutes after I got home, a friend of DS’s dropped by with his wife and daughter. She’s a sweet girl but I didn’t want to hang around and entertain her. I wanted to work out. Then DH comes home and his car’s acting up so he took my car to go get some thingie for his and was gone more than an hour and a half. Came home with the makings for spaghetti and said, “Well, if you don’t want spaghetti, fix yourself something else.” By then, it was getting along toward 7:00 and DS and his friend were still installing a stereo in a car and I was still stuck with wife and daughter.

To make a long story short…by the time everyone left, I was too tired to work out and I caved and ate spaghetti. Not too much though and I didn’t have any of the buttered garlic bread. Still…not so great for the first day back on track. I’ve promised myself I’ll do better today.  I’m in that bad place where I’m so out of shape that I absolutely do not want to exercise but I won’t get in better shape until I do.

Still, the scales are showing 194.5 today and that’s a pound less than yesterday but I know I have to do a lot better in order to reach the goals I’ve set for myself.  I learned a couple of things yesterday.  Learned that I’ve absolutely got to be prepared with food and plans or I’ll cave in to circumstances.  In fact, I promised myself I’d go by the store immediately after work today to stock up on healthy food.  Then I remembered that we’re having a new spa cover delivered between 3:00 and 6:00 today and I have to be here to inspect it and sign for it.  That precludes working out upstairs because I’d never hear the doorbell.  I’ve compromised and decided to work in the front flower beds, raking and digging and cleaning them out, while I wait for the spa cover.  I’m going to the store as soon as it’s delivered.

13thApril

Setting goals

Been a while since I’ve done that… I think….

At any rate, it’s definitely been a while since I met any goals so I guess it doesn’t really matter if I set any or not. I’ve been thinking about it since yesterday and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect to lose 12 pounds in the next 7 weeks. I may adjust that after I look at the scales this morning.

So, I’m going to eat healthy, record everything I put in my mouth and exercise for the next 7 weeks. I actually tried a new recipe for dinner last night and really enjoyed it. Pepper Steak salad with mango, avocado and jalapeno viniagrette. It was delicious and I think I’ll add it to my favorite recipe category. I bought sliced roast beef from the deli instead of grilling steak so it was a quick fix. Only problem is that it didn’t come with a nutritional analysis. I don’t think it’s particularly low calorie but it has lots of healthy stuff in it. Maybe I’ll sit down and figure up the calories when I get a chance.

5:25 a.m. update:  Took my shower and weighed myself.  Weight is at 195.5 (gasp!).  I may need to adjust my first goal of 12 pounds.  With that much weight hanging on, the first few pounds should come off pretty quickly.  I’d love to lose 15.5 pounds over the next seven weeks but I don’t know if that’s reasonable.  At any rate, my first goal is 3.5 pounds by next Monday morning.  I know it sounds like a lot but I want to take advantage of that initial drop so I think it’s doable.  For today, record food with my best guess on calories, eat healthy and get some exercise.

On the agenda today, work - followed by a one hour staff meeting.

12thApril

The Final Stretch

Back to work today after a week off. It’s down to the last seven weeks of the school year and I’m heading into the final stretch.

Spring break was nice. I got to spend lots of time with the little ones. Jake and Scout were really sweet and I enjoyed watching them feed the gulls, run on the beach, battle boogie boards and fly kites. There aren’t many things more beautiful than watching sun-drenched kiddos chasing the waves. We got home yesterday evening after a long drive and I wish I could stay in bed for a couple more hours.

I couldn’t help noticing how many big, big women were strolling the beaches in BIKINIS!! Really! I mean, what’s that about? I’m talking women who must weigh at least 400 pounds walking around in string bikinis. I didn’t just see one or two. I saw three or four each day. It made me feel downright petite. I don’t even know where you’d get a bikini that large. Are they to be admired for their self-confidence or what? I remember giving up two piece suits with the appearance of the first stretch marks. I can’t imagine being self-confident enough to walk around in public with my bathing suit bottom totally obscured by mah belly hanging over it. Maybe I should just live on the beach in my conservative swim dress with the floaty skirt that drops over the top of my thighs. In fact, a couple of women actually made it a point to say they loved my bathing suit and wanted to know where I got it. At any rate, we don’t have to worry about people staring at us on the beach, girls. There’s plenty of stuff to gawk at besides overweight women in conservative suits. Oh, and let’s not forget the men in the speedos. Ughh. Have you ever noticed that the men in the speedos are not the trim, muscular type? They’re always middle aged men with bellies hanging over the speedos.

On the other hand, I feel sorry for the large women who walk around with a man’s tee shirt, size XXXL over the top of their bathing suits and won’t take it off for anything or anyone. I want to go up to them and say, “Would you just relax and enjoy yourself? You’re overweight but no more so than half the other women on the beach. You may think you stick out like a sore thumb but, trust me, no one will think any less of you if you get rid of the shirt and no one’s going to grab their kids and head for high ground if you do.”

Such extremes. Both sides of the spectrum. Those who are so embarrassed they walk around wearing a tent and are miserable and those who let it ALL hang out. Guess I’m somewhere in the middle.

Still, being in the middle isn’t such a bad place to be.  I’ve been feeling so bad for the past year.  I’ve done nothing of any significance.  I exercise or diet for a few days and then lose it and I don’t seem to have any motivation or committment.  A week in a bathing suit has actually made me feel a little bit better about things.  It doesn’t feel quite as hopeless as it did.  I’m not a total disaster.

I’ve decided that I’m in a good place to set a couple of  goals.  I’ve got a  seven week milestone.  I’m going to do some serious planning and make some reasonable goals that I’ll share tomorrow. 

Now, off to work!

1stApril

Tuh Duh!

Done, done, done!  At least, for a week.  I added to my 100 favorite things list.

  1. Walking out of the building on the last day before spring/summer/Christmas break
  2. Finishing a MAJOR project at work
  3. daffodils

I took a personal day tomorrow so I’m driving the boys to school in the morning and then we’re hitting the road.  DS, David, and DGS’s, Jake and Scout, are going with us.  We’ll be in Florida by tomorrow night and I’ll spend a few days cutting grass and soaking up the moonlight in the clawfoot tub out back.  Hopefully, we’ll be able to get to St. George Island for a day and then, it’s off to Daytona Beach for four days.  We rented a condo on the beach so it should be fairly roomy and relaxing.

I’m beginning to really see how much damage I’ve done to my poor old body this winter.  I’ve been wearing long sleeves and jackets all winter.  Recently, with the warm weather, I’ve gotten out some short sleeved tops and tanks and it’s pretty gross.  So, I’ve been wearing summer jackets over them and, even then, there’s the belly fat problem.  sigh….

Beerab, you asked about the situation with DS.  It’s pretty much the same disaster it’s been for six months.  Everything is in a holding pattern.  DS can get the kids anytime he wants.  We knew that wouldn’t be a problem.  Once the caseworker signed off and no one was watching, DIL became very generous with visitation.  She has no problem with DS having them as much as he wants.  In fact, he’s taking them to Florida with us over spring break.  There’s still no permanent custody arrangement.  She has temporary residential custody and he has visitation “as agreed upon by the two of them”.  Of course, the two of them can’t communicate so I still have to call and arrange everything and she drops them off and picks them up at my house.  She’s broken up with the first boyfriend, moved in with another one for three months, and is now “engaged” to and has gotten an apartment with yet another one.  All major decisions concerning the kids are supposed to be discussed and decided between DS and DIL but I don’t know how that’s supposed to happen when he can’t contact her. 

I still don’t get it.  The caseworker “signed off” in January.  Whatever the Hell that means…Neither of them have any more contact with him.  They’re both finished with any kind of  drug and alcohol testing and don’t check in with anyone.  DS finished his “anger management” classes.  He was really upset when he learned, last week, that she’s started giving Scout medication to “calm him down”.  Something he felt very strongly about and fought her on for years.  Scout’s doctor didn’t feel like he needed any medication and his teachers didn’t feel like he needed it but DIL always complained that he was “hyper” and needed something to calm him down.  Evidently, she’s found a doctor that will provide him with meds.  DS is really upset about it and feels like that should have been one of those “major decisions” that was supposed to have been discussed and decided between the two of them.  He doesn’t think Scout should be on medication without a serious reason but I told him she’s found a doctor and she’s told him whatever she wants in order to get a prescription and any judge will not dispute it if she has a doctor who says he needs to be on medication.  What’s really strange is that no permanent custody has been decided and there are no planned court hearings in the future.

I suppose he should be working with an attorney and screaming bloody murder but he’s pretty defeated right now and doesn’t know what, if anything, to do.  I advised him to hang on for a while.  Give her enough rope and let her hang herself.  Get a good job (something he hasn’t been able to do - right now, he’s hanging drywall and catering) and save his money so he can reopen everything when the time is right. We’re still very hurt and vulnerable after the beating we took.  It seems like she’s able to move in with guys right and left and put Scout on meds without his permission and DS just gets told that “it doesn’t concern” him. 

Like I said, he’s got to bide his time and plan carefully for the day when he can do something.  I’m still concerned because the fact that she’s moved the kids in with three different guys in the last eight months and has put Scout on meds tells me that she still has major problems and I don’t know why no one cares.

I still get upset.  Out of the blue, I’ll start dwelling on the situation and get angry and resentful.  I can truly say I have NO confidence in our legal system anymore.  I don’t trust anyone involved with it.  I wake up sometimes in the middle of the night and get to thinking about it and I’m unable to get back to sleep.  I feel so powerless and so does DS.  He’s afraid to stir things up because she could restrict his visitation out of spite.  And the courts don’t care….

Enough.  I’m packing my bags and getting ready to head to Florida!  At least, we’ll have the kids to ourselves for a week and I won’t have to deal with her.  It makes me sick to have to chat with her and be nice and compliant so that DS can see his kids when I can’t even stand to be around her.