Bloggling Twenty-Three, MIA Version

I have been MIA, for this I am sorry.  I don’t know that I have any really good reason for being missing, but I just haven’t come here.  Or to any of your blogs either, which I am even more sorry.

It started out simply enough, in that I was trying to make sure to spend time off of my phone and my computer when I was home with my husband and Mea.  I did a great job of staying off my computer, I had to dust it off, and update a million things before I could even sign on to start this post, I still feel like I am on my phone too much, but it is a work in process.

I really discovered that the majority of my  blogging time was done when I was at work.  Whether it was reading blogs, or writing my blog posts, I did much of it while I was at work.  Which does not really make for a very productive employee.  Regardless, I do miss this place, I do miss your places, and I miss my friends in my computer.

So I am going to try to find a happy balance between everything so that I can get caught up, and still stay in touch with all of you.

 

On to the bloggling…

  • We drove to Ohio to visit Mack and her boyfriend.  It was a great visit, and could have only been made better, if I could have spent a few more days with them.  It was one hell of a car ride, thirteen hours in the car is too much to do in one day.
  • My Mom is doing very well.  Her doctors are very impressed with her health, and she continues to amaze everyone.  Last round of labs, and CT scan came back great, and the tumor on her chest wall may actually be getting smaller.  Her hip is healed, she is off the walker, and only uses a cane when she remembers to use it.
  • Mea has been doing great in school with one exception.  She has a new friend that is causing some issues in the class room.  I had already had some concerns, as we have had a few phone problems, where this girl has called our house well after Mea has gone to bed, or even once at 11:50 at night on the weekend.
  • On more than a few of these phone call interactions I have had with this girl, I have told her not to call our house after 7:30, and I tell her that she needs to get her homework done and get to bed on time too.
  • I have also heard from Mea that she has been absent from school because her parents didn’t want to get up, or they overslept, or the parents didn’t feel good.
  • After much discussion, my husband and I decided to switch her to the school that is our actual school for our neighborhood.
  • There are a couple of reasons, first the school she is attending is considered an “at-risk” school.  Which means that the school has not done well in standardized testing, and the students are not learning at the same rate as the other schools.  I have not been concerned with Mea’s education.  We work with he at home, she likes to learn, and has been at the top of her class for both reading and math.
  • She was only going to this school because it was the only school that our old sitter could take/pick up from, so now that she is no longer watching Mea, it seems stupid to have her go to this school that I really don’t like anyway.
  • She will be attending a grade school where all of the kids in the school will end up in the same middle school.  I worried with her going to the old school that she would have fewer friends going into middle school, and although I know she can make friends, it is easier if you know more people when you get there.
  • Does make me wonder if she will do even better in a new learning environment.
  • We were lucky enough to find a new daycare provider, and we are all extremely excited about it.  Mea is going to go to daycare with her baby nephew, at her sister’s best friend’s house.  She is my youngest stepdaughter’s best friend, and she is wonderful.  Mea can’t wait.  Quite frankly, neither can I.
  • I really don’t like my job.  I am over-qualified for it, my manager is a bit of a spoiled brat, and can’t manage her way out of anything.  I have been able to get her to set me up with some job shadows so I can have an idea as to where I want to transfer to when my year with them is up.  July 8, cannot come soon enough.

I think that is it for now, I am going to really try to get back here.  I have missed it, and I have missed all of you.


Metro

The day that our social worker called us and told us that Mea would be coming home to us, I dropped by Mack’s old sitter Lois’ house to see if she would take Mea in her daycare once she was home. 

At that time, Lois had quit taking babies.  Two to three years old was the youngest she would take them. 

She said she couldn’t promise anything but she would try it.  She was concerned, she kind of didn’t think it would work with a “little” baby and the rest of her big kids.  She said that if it didn’t work out she would let me know, and give me time to find someone else to watch her.

After the first week, they were two peas in a pod.  Lois loved Mea, and Mea loved Lolo.  It was an instant bond.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have much time saved up to take when she came home, and my Aunt was sick, so I had lots of “being away for work” guilt, so Mea started with Lois the second week she was home.

Lolo and her husband have been like a second set of grandparents to both of my kids.  First Mack, and now Mea, they are forever bonded to this couple. 

On November 20, Lois pulled me aside and said that she needed the week of Thanksgiving off.  She told me that her husband had cancer, but they didn’t know where or how bad yet.  The week of Thanksgiving was when they were doing the majority of the testing.  The evening before Thanksgiving, I had a call from one of the other mother’s to tell me that Lois was done. Her husband was pretty bad, and she couldn’t do daycare anymore starting immediately.

I was a little hurt that she didn’t call me herself.  (This is a post for a different day.  We have visited and called since and it is yet another heartbreaking story to go down for 2013.)

In addition to her being Mea’s babysitter, she is my friend.  I have cried all over her and her husband so many times over the years it is ridiculous.  I gave them a little space, knowing just how much they were going through at that time, I just left them be for a few days.

Then the search was on.

No one can replace a Lolo, but I was determined to try.

Mea was adamant from the beginning that she did not want to go to Metrokids, the school’s before and after care program.  I didn’t know why at the time she didn’t want to go, but she was so upset whenever I even mentioned it, I was going to try hard to find somewhere else.

I called all the centers all around us, and none of them had an opening for Mea’s school.  It is a big school.  One of the largest elementary schools in our city.  Not one of them had room on their bus for before and after, or after school only.

I posted a few things on Facebook, looking for opinions or suggestions of friends.

I looked online.

We found a website for state approved daycare providers within our area, and called a few that were close.  I set up appointments to go over to these homes, and interview the babysitters.

At the first house, it was clean.  The girl seemed nice enough, a little young, but nice.  Then she told me that she forgot that her own child had early out from school that day.  She goes to a private Catholic school, that only does early outs every now and then instead of every week like Mea’s school. 

But, you guys, she FORGOT HER OWN CHILD!!!!

While we were there someone from her child’s school brought her daughter home and another daycare child!

WTF.

As I am talking to her she tells me that she picks up from another school that gets out at the same time as Mea, but what she will do is pick up from the other school first, and Mea could cross the street with the crossing guard and wait on a street opposite from the school until she gets there.  It should only take her ten minutes.

ONLY TEN MINUTES????!!!  My kid is not standing in the cold, on a street corner, away from her school while she waits for you to get there.

Next.

The next house.  This house was across the street from the school.  It looked okay from the street.

It looked less okay up close and personal.

It was awful.  Mea goes tearing off playing with the kids.  The babysitter asks me if I want to see the rest of the house, I agreed only because I don’t know if I knew what to say.  It was filthy.  If you knew someone was going to be coming to your house, wouldn’t you run the vacuum?  Wipe down the counters in your kitchen? 

But then again, from the looks of things, this probably was “clean” to them.  She asked me if I wanted to sit down in the living room and I declined because the couch was so filthy I was afraid to sit on it.  There were no legs on the couch or love seat.  There were visible stains on both couches, that were almost “crunchy” looking. 

Of course, Mea saw nothing wrong with this place.  At all.  She was so mad when I said that she was absolutely not going to go to either of these places.  After the last one, I quit calling any in-home daycare providers.

We basically had no choice.  It had been two weeks, I needed someplace for her to go.  I told her that she had to go to Metrokids at the school, and if she hated it, I would do my best to find somewhere else.

The night before the first day, we had read some of her latest chapter book and were snuggling in bed.  She says in her whining tiny little voice that she does not want to go to Metro.  I asked her what was bothering her so bad about it.

She said, “Metro is in the cafeteria, and during lunch we have to sit and be quiet and not talk, or they turn the lights out.  I don’t want to sit in the dark from after school until you get there Momma.”

Oh, my heart. 

“Mea, just because Metro is in the cafeteria doesn’t mean that it is just like when you are in the cafeteria for lunch.  At Metro they play games, they play with some toys and do crafts.  They play outside when it is nice enough outside, and it’s supposed to be fun.”

She was still terribly nervous.  I promised her we would go early and I would stay with her for a little while so that she could meet some friends.  The lady who met us at the door was a little gruff, but nice enough, the other ladies inside were sweet and talked to Mea about some things.  She saw a friend playing “restaurant” with some other little girls, so I took her over to say hello.  They immediately asked her if she wanted to be a “worker or a customer” and brought her into their game.  I stood back for a little while and watched. 

I walked over to her after a few minutes and asked if it was okay for me to leave. She nodded her head and kissed me goodbye.

When I picked her up after I got off from work, she asked me why I came to get her so early.


Done.

I am turning into not a very nice person.  The last year, has had an unfortunate effect of making me a bitter, crabby, bitchy person.  This is probably not really all that true, but I just don’t know how much more I can take.

Mea has said to me, too many times to count, that I am always making a frowny face.  Which is not good for my overall mood, not to mention that I am going to end up with permanent frown lines, and need Botox or something.

Let’s do a recap of 2013 so far…

My Mom diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.

Fired from job of 10 years.

Unemployment for four and a half months.

More than one friend or friend’s spouse diagnosed with cancer.

One job offer, at a significant cut in pay.

Big daughter moves to Ohio.

House is broken into.

Small daughter’s babysitter quits with no notice right before Thanksgiving.

Big daughter calls crying as her work will not let her have any time off for Christmas, and she cannot come home.

This last one is just the icing on the cake.

Mack can’t afford to just quit her job, it took her 2 months to even find this crappy job she doesn’t really like, she had talked about just quitting and coming home, but this just isn’t really a reasonable thing to do.  My Mom is just devastated.  My heart hurts, I cried at work this morning.  Blubbered all over one of my co-workers. 

I cannot even begin to tell you what this is going to do to Mea.  She is going to be crushed.  She has said multiple times that she only wants Mack home for Christmas.  Now, she’s not fooling me completely, she still wants a guitar (she’s getting that) a computer (not so much) a I-Pod Touch (nope) and a Nerf bow and arrow (yes!), but I cannot provide the one thing that she has asked for over and over again.  It is at the top of each Christmas list.  I have even heard her whispering it to Sparkle Heart….

“I want my MackamooSissy home for Christmas….”

This breaks my heart, not just for Mea, but for me too.  I miss Mack like crazy.  I have been good, I haven’t complained about her not being here, I was sad when she wasn’t here for Thanksgiving, and I had to suck it up a few times.  I can only begin to imagine what Christmas without her is going to be like. 

Every year, for as long as she has been alive, and old enough to actually “help” Nana decorate their house for Christmas, she has been the main “elf” doing all of the decorating.  She told my Mom before she left for Ohio, that she understood that decorating couldn’t wait, but to please save the nativity for her to put out. 

My Mom made the nativity scene with her ceramics ladies.  Sanded, painted, and fired each piece herself.  The nativity has always been Mack’s last duty in the decorating.  Mom was saving it for her.

My Mom sent me a text that she can’t put it out.  She had my Dad put the box back in storage.

 We are going to pull everything together, get it wrapped so that I can get it shipped out in time for Mack and her boyfriend to have gifts to open.  Some of her stuff isn’t here yet, so I guess she may end up getting some of her presents in installments.  She has been making many of her gifts for the kids and grown-ups, so they are not all finished either.  I told her I would help her with the shipping when she was ready and able.

We have been planning on going out to visit over Spring Break, and to be honest, March 14th cannot come soon enough for me.  I need to see my girl.  I need to be able to touch her and give her a hug.  Skype is wonderful, but it’s not exactly the same thing as giving your big girl a snuggle.

I am over this year. 

It has been awful, and I just don’t know how much more I can take.

I’m tired of whining.

I’m tired of not being my normal snarky, somewhat happy self.

 

 


Fat Guy, Fatter Suit

I have worked with many different people over the years.

There are some, that for better or for worse stick with you.

“Jeff” is one that will always annoy the hell out of me, even eight years later when I should be over it.  He was supposed to be a professional.  He was supposed to be out drumming up business for me.  I could never take this guy seriously.

For the longest time I just couldn’t quite put my finger on it.

Then I realized.

All of his suits were too big.

But at the same time, they also seemed too small.

He was a biggish guy, not overly built, but kind of chubby, so I think that many of us thought that he had lost a lot of weight before he came to work for us, and that was why his suits didn’t fit, and you know he didn’t have enough money to get them all altered.

But then there was that part where some of them looked too small.

Not too small in the waist line.  Too small in the length.  The waist line was so big that often his belt would be doubled over the fabric, and make the waistband all bunchy.  Like when we would wear my Dad’s pants and pretend to be hobos when we were little.

His pants were also always a little bit too short.  Some suits were worse than others, but there was always quite a bit of sock showing. It probably didn’t help that he occasionally wore black sweat socks with his suits.

So then the day came and he was gone.

I was not sad, as I said there was always something about him that just seemed a little bit not quite right.

Years later, I was talking to an ex-co-worker about him and this is the story that came out.

It turns out that “Jeff” was in panic mode when he got hired on with the old company, and only owned one suit.

He had this friend, who sold him all the suits that didn’t fit him anymore.

His friend was as wide as he was tall apparently. 

Which explains why Jeff’s pants were always too short, and too big around in the middle, and why his jackets looked like he was hauling an extra body around with him.

 


Rattling Around

Believe it or not, I have come to this place many times in the last several weeks.  I just couldn’t make any words come out when I would sit down.   

I have a little green notebook in my purse where I have been jotting down ideas of things to blog about.

Whether it is some silly Meaism, or a story from my past, or something that has happened recently, those ideas have gone in this little notebook.

The thing is when I get here, and sign in, I kind of freeze, and no matter how many times I look at the pages of notes I have made in the little green notebook, I can’t pull the words together to form even one sentence.

Today, I opened the notebook, and then picked it back up and buried it back into the bottom of my purse.

I miss it here.  I miss you friends out there so much.  I hope you are still there.  I hope you haven’t given up on me.

I won’t lie, this year has been a hard one.  Most likely the hardest in all of my life.  First my Mom getting sick, my old job, new job, Mack moving so very far away, I just haven’t dealt with it all too well.  I am trying, but I am also trying not to get too lost. 

I was just rattling around doing the best at I could at functioning for a while.  The things I loved to do took a back seat while I tried to pull myself back together.  I haven’t read an entire book in more than six months.  I have bought several, started and stopped them.  My cooking and baking has taking a hiatus, which has had a positive effect on all of our waistlines, but still.  My blog and my blog peeps.

The thing is, that this blog is my best therapy.  I have to tell myself that you guys don’t necessarily need a funny, jokey story where I make fun of myself, every single time you come here.  Sadly, sometimes I just need to be me and vent my bad shit out so I can go on.

I think this is where I am.  I need to get some of the bad out, so the good can come back in. 

Even if it’s something short, I will be back daily for a while.  I need to get back in the groove of things. 

Little Green Book

Little Green Book

I may need to start things off by getting rid of this.  It hasn’t done me any favors.  I may go bury it in the backyard when I get home.


The Bag Lady

I first noticed her a little over ten years ago.  She would come into my office, dragging two large heavy plastic reusable grocery bags, from a discount grocery store.  They were packed to the limit. 

Where I worked, it was common for us to serve clients who were quite well off, and also serve clients who could barely rub two nickels together.  I could never quite figure out The Bag Lady’s circumstances.  She looked clean, she looked kept, but she had those bags, and seemingly, nowhere to go.

I saw her everywhere.

On every single side of town. 

She rode the bus, so I did see her frequently while I was at work.  At least several times per week.

Always with those two stuffed bags.

She was older, definitely should have been retired.  Frail enough that watching her carry those bags always concerned me, they looked so heavy.

I often wondered what she had in there.  I would find myself thinking about it at odd times.  If she were homeless, she might have all of her earthly possessions in those bags.  What if someone stole them from her?  What if she lost one?  What if one of them ripped and she started losing things?

She went missing for a while.  I didn’t see her.  This was over winter, so then I really began wondering if she was one of the homeless as so many of them head south for winter.

Then when the weather started warming up I began to see her again. 

Back with her bags.

Only this time they had multiplied. 

The first time I saw her she had four bags.

Then at least six.

Then she was walking around with at least ten or more of these bags filled to the brim, so heavy she could barely carry them herself.  She would walk two to four bags about twenty feet or so, then go back and get more bags, over and over and over again.

I couldn’t imagine how long it was taking her to get to wherever it was that she needed to be while carrying all of those bags.

Then one day, I realized she was gone.  I hadn’t seen her for months. More than a few seasons had passed.

She was gone.

So were her bags.

 

I am still here.  I will be back in this place.  I have been dragging around a bunch of baggage.  My brain has been so heavy it’s been hard to put all of my stuff away, and walk away without any of my bags, but please know this…..

I miss you.  I miss this space and the cheap therapy it gives me.  I miss making people laugh,  I miss reading your stories.   

I don’t know what happened to the bag lady.  I hope that some family member intervened and either got her some mental help that she may have needed, or helped her into an assisted living facility of some sort who could also help her. 

 


Bloggling Twenty-two

I am calling this in from my phone. Ignore typos and deliriousness. Also, no bullets points.

My husband and I planned with her mother to discuss the drinking problem with step-daughter number 2. We were supposed to do it all together, bit her mom couldn’t wait, and it blew up into a horrible texting thing vs. an in person serious thing. I have been so angry I haven’t been thinking straightly.

I may come back and revisit this again, but that is the very, very short version.

My Mom has a fracture in her hip. (Holly, Mom may not have mentioned this to L yet it is breaking (not funny) news.) She sees an ortho tomorrow. She is freaking out. There home would not be condusive to rehab. Way too many steps, she is panicking that she will have to go to a home for rehab. Please pray that this does not happen. I do not think any of us could deal with this at all.

I set my oldest step-daughter up with a guy that I work with and they really like each other. Like REALLY like each other. They ate on date number five this weekend. I am super thrilled. He is a nice guy and has his shit together.

Also speaking of my OSD, I went over to her house on Saturday afternoon while she filed a police report against her son’s father. While our grandson was with us Friday night, he called E1 33 times and sent her over 50 text messages. Calling her every name in the book and demanding to know where his son was. It was her weekend. WE asked for him, as it was boys sleepover night and we had baby L too. He has gotten wind of her dating this nice guy and wants to try to fuck it up. He is a douche bag. I just pray that he doesn’t scare this new guy away. He is a keeper.

Yesterday, I restricted and hid from view my husband’s ex-wife on FB. I don’t know what I was thinking adding her, because she irritates the hell out of me. Anytime I comment on something the girl’s have posted it seems like she has to try to “one-up” my comment. I know this is dumb, but I hate that loon boon so much that everything she does annoys the shit out of me.

I had a call from one of the companies that I had multiple interviews with while un-employed. They want me to come in for yet another interview. Although I am not super in love with my job, I just don’t think I can go back for a fifth interview with this company. It is ridiculous. If they wanted me they should have hired me in March when I first spoke with them.

This is it for now. My thumbs are getting tired and my battery is running low.