When Life Gives You Lemons...

Writer's Block = List Update
Ok... so in case you haven't noticed, I've had a serious case of writer's block lately, so no new posts.  Ugh.  So instead of writing something today, all you get is a list update.  Numbers 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, and 20 are now done.  Yeah!

NOW....    would someone please tell me to get my ass in gear and start working out.  Come on, people... summer's coming and I need some serious toning before I'm getting into a bathing suit.  The whole point of posting this list was so that people would keep on me to get things done.  You're slacking!  LOL 

Speaking of slacking... I promise I'll start posting on a more regular basis as soon as this nasty case of writer's block subsides. 

Happy April Fools Day!

Spring Fever
So yesterday and today were the prettiest days of the year so far and I was trapped inside...sick.  I'm feeling much better now so I've decided that tomorrow, rain or shine, warm or cool, I'm heading out to Ferne Clyffe for a little hiking.  I need it.  I've had a lot on my mind lately and a couple of hours in the woods always seems to help clear my head. 
I'm so ready for Spring to get here.  Camping has been a big part of our family time for the last few years.  I'm a little nervous about that this year.  The idea of doing it alone freaks me out a little.  I guess it shouldn't.  I mean, on the "family trips", I was always the one who did everything anyway.  I was the "girl scout"...the ex was just along for the ride.  But at least he was an extra set of eyes to watch the kids.  The idea of three kids to one adult in the woods is a little scary.  My boy is...as described in a prior entry...ummm...high octane.  He's a good kid, he's just very energetic and he's a born explorer.  He already nearly gave me a heart attack two summers ago by sneaking off on a solo exploration of the woods.  We were out at Rend Lake, with another couple, and I was cooking breakfast.  Next thing I know, he's gone.  We found him, 150 yards away at the edge of the lake.  I didn't know if I should hug him or beat him!  If he could sneak away from the watchful eyes of 4 adults, how the hell am I going to keep track of him and his two sisters by myself?
But, I'm not willing to give up camping with my kids.  It's too important.  They love it, for one.  But more importantly, it's the only time that I get to really spend time with just them...no TV, no electronic games, no emails to answer, no work...just me and my kids.
So, part of my "solution" to this, is that as soon as it's warm enough overnight, I'm going to take a few solo camping trips.  Just me.  To try to get back into the swing of doing everything myself.  A few "practice runs" without the kids.  I've never gone camping alone before, so I'm actually really excited about this.  I used to go hiking alone all the time when I was first married.  We lived near Giant City and I was working at Penney's at the time.  There where many times that I'd get off work and I was just too stressed to head straight home, so I'd drive right past our apartment and head out to the park.  Those hours alone in nature were like an elixir.  I felt instantly calm. So the idea of an entire night or even entire weekend alone in the woods sounds like pure heaven.
I'm still a little nervous about the idea of camping alone with the kids, but if this divorce has taught me anything it's that I'm stronger than I though I was.  My mom sent me a card a few days after the divorce was finalized.  (My mom is the queen of sending cards.  She sends cards for literally everything!) On the front it said, "Sometimes you don't know the strength you have until something comes along to test it".  That has proved itself to be the most truthful statement in the world to me lately. So, ready or not, camping season, here I come! :)

Happy St. Patrick's Day
Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone.  Don't drink too much green beer...and for goodness sake, make sure you have a designated driver. :)  Sorry...that's about all you get today...I'm sick...blah.  More later when these body aches go away.

List Update
Well, I've been very busy this past week so I figured I'd post an update on my "Motivation Needed" list.

Making progress
No progress, yet

1. Find a temp job to hold me over until my new contract starts in June. 
(Very long story, but this new contract could end up with me running the firm within two years.  In the meantime, I've got to bring home the bacon!)

2. Get this house back in order.  Preferably without having to call in FEMA...or worse, my mom.
(6 weeks of 12 hour days has not been good on my house.)
(I have a house again! Woo hoo. :)  And I didn't even need the help of FEMA or my mom.  And...other than a few things that are buried in the garage, the ex has all of his stuff out of here.)

3. Schedule check-ups for the whole family.

4. Schedule dental appointments for the whole family. 

5. Spend more time on my CASA case... "my" girl deserves more time than I've been allotting.

6. Decide what I'm going to talk about at the new CASA training session.

7. Get Charlotte out of my bed and into her own. 
(We're making progress...she's still sleeping in my bed, but she's falling asleep on her own without me laying down with her.  Maybe by next week she'll be in her bed.  I hope so...she's a total bed hog! Seriously.  I woke up this morning and she was laying cross-ways across the bed with her little feet digging into my back.  Ouch!)

8. Spend more time studying spelling words with Macey.

9. Spend more time studying math facts with Macey.

10. Get back into a workout schedule.  Uggggh.

11. Start potty training Charlotte.  Ugggh again.

12. Spend more time reading to my kids.

13. Spend more time playing with my kids.

14. Plan this year's vegetable garden.

15. Order seeds and plants for garden.

16. Schedule compost delivery for garden.

17. Buy a new camera.

18.  Organize and restock camping supplies... Spring is coming... Woo hoo!

19. Steam clean all upholstered furniture.

20.  Finish pulling up carpet. (One room to go...we'll see if I get inspired enough to finish it today or not.)

21.  Re-finish hardwood floors.

22. Strip the horrible floral wallpaper that has been on my bedrooms walls since 1980.  New plan:  I attempted to strip the awful wallpaper.  Apparently the former owner of this house hung the offending wallpaper with super glue!  The stuff will NOT come off.  So the new plan is to sand down any rough seems, paint it with KILLZ, and then just paint over it. 

23. Paint bedroom.

24. Paint kitchen.

25. Re-paint all trim and woodwork.

26. Clean out garage.  Again, hopefully without the assistance of FEMA.  Or the EPA.  It's scary in there.

27.  Install pipes and duct work in the back of the garage to set up laundry room. 

28. Paint the girls' bedroom.

29. Hang wallpaper border in Collier's room.

30. Figure out a way to clone myself so that I can accomplish everything on this list before Charlotte starts college.  Wish me luck!  :)

This is SOOOO not what I ordered...
So I'm taking a break from Spring cleaning and stumbled across this article.  Wow!  Talk about not getting what you ordered.  LOL


Highly productive day!
Today's list:  Cleaned walls, bleached and organized an entire toy room full of toys (I can't believe there's actually a FLOOR in that room!!!  My kids are SPOILED...thanks Mom.), straightened bookshelves, cleaned and organized kitchen cabinets, organized three closets, and dusted all the "above eye level" stuff that's been ignored for an embarrassingly long time.  My back hurts, my feet hurt, I have "bleach burns" on my hands and I think my arms might actually fall of at any given moment...but I'm very proud of myself today.  Woohoo!  Lack of motivation defeated! I still have a lot to do, but in the words of Scarlett O'Hara, "tomorrow is another day".  I will not be defeated by Spring cleaning. :) As for now, it's time for a beer and a good night's sleep.

This is wrong...funny...but wrong
So in light of last night's post, I figured I'd post something funny today.  This video is so, so wrong, and yet, so, so funny.  I'm going to hell for laughing so much at this, I just know it.


By the way, Sandie, what's Grover's word of the day? LOL

A rant
OK, so I swore to myself when I started this blog that I would not use it to "bash the ex".  But tonight I'm pissed, and when I'm pissed I need to vent, so here I am. You might want to stop reading at this point.  If you decide to continue, do so at your own caution because this is me at my bitchiest and it's not pretty.  But I have to get this out of my system or I won't sleep tonight.  I'm already sitting here fuming at 01:00. So, here goes...
Every since our divorce was finalized and we were no longer deciding who "gets what, pays what and does what", we've managed to get along better than we did for the last few years of our marriage.  It came to a point where we just realized that we have to just swallow our pride and do what's best for our children.  We've survived a joint birthday party for our son, one school function for our daughter, and a near daily "exchange of kids" without much drama and zero bloodshed.  We've had a few disagreements and there was a second school function that didn't go so well, but most of the time, we are able to deal with each other in, at the very least, a civilized manner, and sometimes even a friendly manner.
When he first moved out, he was living with his parents so I didn't force the issue of him getting all his stuff out.  I knew that the situation was temporary and I also knew that his parents house was, well, close quarters, so I didn't mind "storing" all of his things here.  But he's been living in his own place for a few months now and all the stuff is still here.  I've had enough.  I've given him many opportunities to get it out.  A few times, even allowing him to stay here, in my home on his weekends with the kids while I would go stay with friends, so that he would have plenty of time to finish packing.  Not to pat myself on the back here, but I really don't think that many ex-wives would do that.  Well.  The shit is still here.  Not all of it, he has made some progress, but certainly not enough for the time he has been given. 
I guess this sounds like a petty issue, but to me, it's just not.  We're divorced.  We're both moving on with our lives.  Starting over.  But for him, starting over meant starting fresh in a home that he's never shared with me.  For me, it means trying to start over in a home that we shared for the last 6 years of our marriage, the last few of which were the worst years of my life.  So here I am, every day, in this house with all these reminders of him.  Now please understand, I'm not the bitter ex-wife who destroyed the wedding album or cut him out of every picture I own.  I want to preserve some memories of our time together, if for no other reason than for our children.  We did have some happy times.  We did love each other.  I will never regret our marriage.  I hate how it turned out, but some of those years were the best I've experienced and out of that marriage came my three amazing kids. But now that the marriage is over, and I'm trying to start over, I don't need to see his clothes in my closet every morning. I don't think that's too much to ask for.  Is it?
Now I know that I could pack it all up and say come and get it, but the frustrating thing is that, as it is, I will be the one fulfilling all of his broken promises.  The garage that he promised for a year that he would clean out so that I can finish turning it into an office/toy room?  Yeah.  I'll be doing that now.  The storage room that he promised since we moved in that he would run pipes/duct work to so that I could have my laundry room?  Yep.  That's my job now, too. The holes he punched in the wall during his infamous temper tantrums?  Nope, he won't be repairing those after all.  I will.  The hardwood floors he was going to refinish?  Ha!  Guess who will be sanding floors the first weekend I can open the windows to keep from suffocating in the dust?  Yeah.  Me. This list goes on and on.  Broken promises that piled up year after year that I will never see kept.  Now that's all on my shoulders.  So now, not only do I have to figure out a way to start over in a home that we shared so many bad memories in, but I also have to do all of the things he promised to do and never did.  So I guess I'm just not overjoyed about the prospect of being the one to take time that I don't have to pack all of his remaining belongings. 
Never mind the broken down van that he still has parked in my driveway, despite the fact that he has now let the insurance laps on it.  I'm done with that battle.  I won't be held responsible for that.  That's too big of a liability for me.  According to the divorce papers, he technically had ten days to come and get it or it's mine.  I assure you ten days have come and gone many times over.  He was informed tonight that he now has three days to get it out of here or I will be selling it to a junk dealer who will not only come move it free of charge, but I'll make a few bucks off of it.  I really don't want this to get ugly.  I've been so proud of how well we've been able to work through our disagreements and be civil for the sake of our children, but my patience has been tested to the breaking point.  I'm done.  I want my home.  I want my fresh start.  Enough already. Rant over. Maybe now I can get some sleep.  If you made it this far, thanks for reading and I hope you don't think I'm a horrible bitch.  Grrrrrrr.

A hero heads back to the sandbox
My "baby" sister, Kayla, is engaged to a great guy named Michael.  Michael is in the National Guard, and has been serving in Afghanistan since last fall.  He was able to come home for a two week R&R, but he boarded a plane this morning to head back to the sandbox.  Below is a re-printed blog about Michael and Kayla.  This was originally posted on my photo sharing site, but since we had to say goodbye again, re-posting it here felt right.  Originally posted: September 26, 2008
Kayla is my "baby sister" (although I'm sure she doesn't like me calling her that...after all she is 20 years old!).  A few years ago, she brought home this red-headed boy named Michael.  None of us were real sure what to think of him.  He was quiet.  That's a trait that tends to scare people in our family.  We are talkers.  And huggers...but that's a whole other topic! So here's this kid who doesn't talk much and he's dating "our Kayla". We just weren't real sure about him.  See, as I stated before, Kayla is the baby of the family, and as such, we all tend to be a little over protective of her.  But as time went by, and Michael got to know us better, he began letting us see more of him.  What we discovered was a sweet, caring, funny individual who loves Kayla with a fierceness not often seen in a young man of his age. 

Last month, Michael asked Kayla to marry him and she accepted.  We are all thrilled that Michael is going to be joining our family...not that he isn't already a part of of family...just that it will be "official". :)  Michael is in the National Guard and he is at Ft. Bragg, NC right now training to leave for Afghanistan for at least a year.  We ask that you keep both Kayla and Michael in your thoughts and prayers. This will be a difficult time for both of them, but we know that together, and with the love and support of their friends and family, they will come through this experience stronger, wiser and more mature.
Michael, and the thousands of other soldiers who selflessly serve our country, is a true hero.  He doesn't like being told that.  He doesn't like people thanking him for his service.  He's too humble, too shy.  But he is a hero, and as his future sister-in-law, it's my obligation and my honor to say that I am very proud of him.  Keep him in your thoughts, please.  Thank you.
Kayla and Michael, Engagement Photo, July '08

A movie review, a great website and other random thoughts
I haven't written all week.  I suck.  Sorry. Really though, it's in your best interests.  It really would not have done you any good to take a look inside my head this past week.  It's been a little scary in there. :)

So.  I'm still pretty unmotivated.  But progress is being made.  Not that you care.  Not that you should.  In fact, why are you even reading this blog? You really might want to conside a new hobby...and on that note:  Here is a sample from one of my favorite websites on the face of the earth. 

For cynics like me, this site is like heaven.  Check out the rest of their fantastic "de-motivators" here: despair.com/viewall.html  Hummm...maybe spending too much time on that site is contributing to my recent lack of motivation?  I'm just saying.

In other, completely unrelated news... I went to the movies with a great friend yesterday.  We went to see "Watchmen".  It absolutely ROCKS!  Of course, it is the first movie that I've seen in awhile that wasn't animated, so perhaps that made it all the better for me.  But really, as a closeted dork, I am a fan of dark, disturbing graphic novels.  (It sounds so much cooler when you call them graphic novels, rather than comic books.)  And Watchmen is one of the best out there.  The movie, in my opinion, was the best film adaptation of a graphic novel ever made. 
They stuck close enough to the source material to please the die-hard fans of the comic...er...graphic novel, but they didn't adhere to it so closely that those in the audience who had never read it wouldn't "get it".  I was very pleased with the casting as well.  I'm glad that they picked lesser known, working actors to fill the parts.  I think big name, "A-list" stars would have compromised the integrity of the source material.  I mean really, Keanu Reeves as Doctor Manhattan? Yuck!  (And sadly, yes, that was one of the original plans for the film.) It was long, 3 hours, but so worth it.  It is definitely one of those movies that is worth seeing on the big screen to get the full effect. I will warn you though, it is very dark and quite graphic, not for the squeamish.  Take the R rating seriously and don't take your kids to see this one.  Best line? "Men get arrested, dogs get put down."  Yeah baby!


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