Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Know your worth

I stole this from Facebook today, text and all:

"Choose your relationships wisely. Being alone will never cause as much loneliness as the wrong relationships. Be with people who know your worth. You don’t need lots of friends to be happy; just a few real ones who appreciate you for who you are. Oftentimes walking away has nothing to do with weakness, and everything to do with strength. We walk away not because we want others to realize our worth, but because we finally realize our own worth."

I remember lying in bed wondering what I did to deserve to be in a relationship that was so wrong for me. What did I do to deserve this?

You know what I did? I didn't value myself enough to realize that being without someone is much better than being with someone who you're fundamentally unhappy with.

Glad I finally realized that. It took 35 years, but I finally realized my worth and grew the strength to move on.

Here's to choosing wisely!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Dealing with ex during the holidays - not much joy to this world

I haven't written anything in a long time. I guess that's the way blogs go sometimes.

Not a lot to report.

We're entering another holiday season still not officially divorced because my lawyer drags his foot like it's his job.

Holidays are hard, because ex doesn't understand our schedule that HE agreed to and fights back whenever he can. I'm sure he'll pull some stunt to screw up what we've already agreed to. It's just his way. He pays no attention until the moment is upon him, then he gets pissed and throws a fit cause he isn't getting his way.

Like a 2 year old. Good God.

But all this aside, I have to remember that nothing is as huge a deal after the fact as it is at the time. So a couple hours here and there on Christmas day that I thought I'd have with the girls that he somehow manages to ruin - it's all a thing of the past a couple months later.

The most important thing is to shield the kids from the "drama" and just allow them to have a great time with both parents.

And for my part when they're gone - I'll have a bunch of egg nog. :)

Happy (almost) holidays to whoever's reading out there. Good luck with your schedules, and enjoy the moments you have with your loved ones.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Don't lose yourself

Why does it take some of us so long to figure these things out? This is something I want to remember. Do not let anyone devalue you or make you work for the love that should come naturally.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Breaking out of my 'fear box'

This whole past year I've been aware that I need to work on myself and really make changes in myself. And I have been, to some extent.

But recently a friend said something that hit my like a ton of bricks, and I FINALLY realized that only I can make myself truly happy.

So, I'm officially working on me.

One of the things I want to do is break out of my little "fear box." I've always been timid when it comes to doing anything that might put me on display. And I'm sure that's because 1) I'm scared of people seeing me mess up, and 2) I have this weird feeling of not being worthy enough to have positive attention.

Stupid, I know.

I want to be less scared of failure, and I want my girls to see that everyone makes mistakes, and that it's OK to accept them, if not even laugh at them.

This past weekend I went to see The Price is Right stage show in Oklahoma. My friend and her sister got up and encouraged everyone in the audience to do the wave. My instinct was to sit in my chair and observe. And then I thought, "What the hell am I scared of?" So I got up and joined in the fun.

It was a small thing, but good for me.

And overall, I'm just trying to do more things that I wouldn't normally do or that I want to do with some fictional boyfriend. Instead, I'll either do them by myself or make my friends/family join in.

Next stop: Harvesting wine grapes with my bestie. I have this romantic vision of doing this with a man I'm in some amazing relationship with. Rather than wait around for that to happen, I'm moving on and finding another way to enjoy it. Thanks, BFF.

I also have a few restaurants I've been wanting to go to. Gonna sack up and go by myself. :)

Have a happy Wednesday!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Inner Peace - I love this

I just love this meme. I've been known to pretty much break all those "rules." I seriously think I've been conditioned over the years to have anger and negative thoughts. I won't go into detail about who in my life has surrounded me with that behavior. And I won't say I'm not to blame for picking up those bad habits.

But I'm ready for the cycle to end - for myself and for my children.

Negativity, anger, judgment, expectations, worry, guilt... Seriously, none of that helps.

I think I may print off this meme and put it in my wallet. When my inner peace is lagging behind, a cheat sheet may be helpful.

Thursday, July 11, 2013


It's been a while since I've written anything. Not much going on. The girls are adjusting pretty well to the schedule changes, although we certainly are having our share of discipline issues aimed at me/my mom and not so much at their dad.

Thanks, girls. Love you too. ;)

We'll see how things go once school starts in August and they're both in full-time school for the first time ever - especially Little Bit who's never been in daycare. Once the transition has set in, I see good things for them and their discipline/development.

Other than that, I'm preoccupied with two things lately:

* Can this divorce be finalized already?! My lawyer makes molasses look like Michael Johnson (or do I need to be more up-to-date and say Usain Bolt?). Seriously, his inability to call me back and get anything done is really holding this up. I'm quite frustrated, but my hands are tied. Please, oh please, let this end so we can move on with our lives!

* The other thing I'm thinking about lately is that Sunshine is turning 5! How is that possible? As of today, she's got three more days of being 4. A 5 year old. Wow, it seems so big. So "little girl" instead of "still kind of a toddler."

But, who am I to complain? Despite many setbacks and a ton of bullshit from their dad - which will never end, because it's in his nature to be a pain in the ass - things are going well at this point.

Let's all hope it continues.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

No time for hate

This is how I feel about ex. No matter the sh*tty things he does - and has done in the past - I can't bring myself to hate him. He is still a person.

Besides, spending my mental energy on hating someone? Nah. I'll save true hate for Hitler. Hating a person I was once married to and friends with seems ridiculous. I sure don't like him, but this chick has more to do with her time than waste it on hatred.

He certainly hates me, but that's his cross to bear. I'm over it.

Thoughts? Do you actively hate your ex, or are you ready to mentally move on?

Friday, May 24, 2013

The best revenge

So I just came across the above meme. It made me think of my situation (shocking, I know).

When ex and I first separated, and for many months after, I sometimes would make a point not to look too nice when I saw him at exchanges with the girls.


Well, I didn't want to look like I was thriving or happier or otherwise quickly moving on. There was a lot of guilt associated with the decision to divorce, and I didn't want to make him feel worse. So I'd do things like put on my new dress or nice makeup after I saw him.

Fast forward to now.

Ex seems to have it in his head that he's Mr. Winner in this whole divorce and that I (and my mom, who the girls and I live with) am struggling right now. He said he feels bad for me. Like I'm something to be pitied because I live with my mom and don't earn $1 million a year.

Oh, how wrong you are, sir.

The fact is, I am without things I would like at this age, like my own house, namely.

But I have gained so much in this divorce and learned more about how to make myself happy than I ever could have otherwise.

So now that meme rings true. Not only am I proud of how well I'm doing, I have no qualms anymore about showing it. My life is harder, but much happier on the whole.

I call that a success.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Our last week

This is the last week of the schedule we've used for the past year. As of Friday, I will have the girls all weekend. Then ex has them for two days, then I have them two days. Then it's his turn for the weekend.

And, switch.

I'm not freaking out like I thought I would, though.

Perhaps it's the calm before the storm, but I've explained our new schedule to Sunshine several times, and she doesn't seem too phased, other than to say, "I don't want anything to change." But it was a statement devoid of much emotion. Almost rote.

She seems OK with the idea of having long weekends with either parent. But in the end, we shall see how she and Little Bit handle it when we're in it.

Cross your fingers. Wish us luck. This seems like the last big hurdle for the girls to deal with in the near future, so I pray it goes well - or at least better than this time last year when I had to drag a kicking and screaming 4-year-old out of my arms into her daddy's.

No. Fun.

Hope everyone has a great Memorial Day. I'll update soon.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A quick note from me to me

I write things down so I remember them when I start to forget. This nugget is true in everything:

Take your time, have fun, and look out for you.

Being careful not to be selfish, it's important to remember - especially once you're a mom and become kid-absorbed - to look out for yourself.

Monday, May 13, 2013

It's been one year

This weekend was a first.

It was the first anniversary of the girls and I moving out from ex's house.

It was almost a carbon copy: Last year we left on a Saturday, and our first morning there was Mother's Day. The weather was beautiful. The girls played in their new backyard. The neighbor kids came over, introduced themselves and instantly became friends with Sunshine and Little Bit. I instantly became friends with their mom and step-dad.

This year, it was more of the same. Ex messed his days up and made plans to fish instead of have the girls Saturday, so I got them all weekend! Mother's Day was bright and sunny. We had an amazing day. The girls played with the neighbors. We grilled.

I couldn't have asked for a better Mother's Day weekend.

Because of ex's fishing trip, I got a small taste of what this every other weekend thing is going to be like (which starts in 2 weeks).

Wow, it's been a year since I've had a full weekend with my little ladies. That felt really nice, although I did want to hide in the closet a few times during Sunshine's epic "I can do whatever I want, and don't tell me no" fits.

Anyway, I feel like we got a lot of time together, accomplished some stuff and enjoyed the wonderful outdoors without having to check the clock to make sure they're ready for Daddy to come get them.

So now I've experienced the good side of every other weekend. With that, of course, comes the bad side, when every other week, they go with their dad, and I'm alone. But really, it's 5:30 p.m. Friday-5:30 p.m. Sunday. That's actually just 48 hours. When I think about it like that, it's really not that bad.

I can do this. And guess what? I can do most things. What a learning experience this past year has been.

While the unknowns still scare me, I have to say how happy I am to finally be getting to know myself as an adult - unincumbered by a toxic relationship and the ugly future that held for me.

Now - for a true, yet cheesy meme:

Friday, May 10, 2013

We have a custody schedule / This divorce is almost final

Yes, it's been a while since I posted. I apologize to my millions of fans. So sorry to keep you on the edge of your seat. :)

We had our last mediation session yesterday, and we've got a schedule. I kind of hate it. But our mediator sees it as the best option, so I will trust her instinct.

For those interested, it's called a 2-2-3 schedule and works as follows:

We have the girls every other weekend, from Friday at 5:30. When I have them, they spend that whole weekend with me. When he has them, they return to me Sunday at 5:30. So it's not quite 50/50, but it's good for the girls to only have 48 hours away from me (he wanted them to spend Sundays overnight too, but our mediator sided with me on that).

What concerned me about the typical every other weekend schedule is that the kids usually go 5 days in a row without the either parent, and we all agreed that was not good for them.

So during the week we'll alternate in 2-day chunks. If I have them for a weekend, he will then have them the following Monday and Tuesday (then I'll have them Wednesday and Thursday). The next week, we switch.

Make sense? Good. Your input is valuable. ;)

Anyway, here's the kicker

Ex has been such a bully (our mediator's words), control freak, angry, obsessive, cruel, inappropriate and borderline psychotic person this past year, and I have a lot of evidence to back it up.

So the mediator decided that we will go by this schedule -- which allows ex more time and lessens his child support obligation to practically nothing -- but we'll start with a 6-month probationary period.

He will have to keep his anger and hostile emails/texts in check; cooperate with the children's activities; provide for seamless transitions without talking about adult manners in front of the kids; and co-parent in an efficient manner.

I'll document, and in 6 months, if things don't work, we'll reconvene. Here's to hoping he cools his jets, and the girls handle the schedule well. Oh, and that this mommy doesn't slowly die from heartbreak. :(

I have more to say about my thoughts on this schedule, but this post is getting long and I have important web surfing to do. So I'll leave you, my devoted readers, with the following meme, which is one of my many enduring themes this past year, and one we should all live by.

And now for something that cracks me up. If you've ever watched Arrested Development, you'll definitely appreciate this. If not, get ye to Netflix and do it immediately.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Living in the now

Anyone else think it's a big relief once you finally realize you can't control things? If it's not in your control, then you have permission to release a lot of that guilt and worry.

With that in mind, I see only two choices:

Stay angry at the past and wish it had all gone differently.


Let it go, try better and be happy.

Which one will you choose?

Monday, April 15, 2013

My sparkle

I ran across this quote today and just love it:

Never let anybody else dull your sparkle!

That speaks volumes to me. I feel like I totally lost myself in my relationship with ex. There was so much about me that he didn't like or wanted to change, from the hue of my skin to my desire not to drink/party myself into oblivion like he did multiple times a week. For that, I was labeled a boring stick-in-the-mud. All for being myself.

By the time we separated a year ago, I barely saw any of the old me left.

Let me tell you, that has definitely changed. I'm much more confident and sure of what I will and won't put up with in my life. And while I have no idea what the future holds for my life as a mom and more, I try to remember that no one does.

No one has the answers. But we have ourselves. And don't let anyone make you think you're not worthy of being exactly who you are.

Never let anybody else dull your sparkle!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Checking in

Wow, it's been a long time since I posted.

I've just been at a point where I'm tired of talking about this divorce debacle all the time.

We should be coming close to the end soon (for now). We'll be going to limited case management soon to determine custody since we can't agree on it.

And he's trying to jack with my retirement.

All in all, a giant clusterf*ck.

But, one thing is for sure: This process has made me a much, much stronger person. I feel so much more like I know who I am, know what I want and am happy with myself.

On that note, have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A divorce update

OK, so most of what I'm about to say is more for my record than anything else. I just need to "talk it out" to get my thoughts straight:

I've been slow about updating with what happened last week in informal mediation.

Basically, we agreed on the financial aspects. It's amazing what ex will agree to when two lawyers basically tell him he needs to.

Anyway, we did not agree on custody. He wants Sunday overnights. I don't want him to have them. So we're going to limited case management where if we don't agree in front of the mediator, she will make her own recommendation to a judge, who will likely agree with her and make it so.

Of course, now ex is emailing me, pleading to "work together" so we can have a harmonious relationship for the sake of the girls. (As I told him - we can be harmonious at any point, no matter who "gets their way.")

But he has stipulations that, if I don't agree to, will derail all attempts at "working together." It is so tempting to go along with his ideas, because he claims that he would agree then to pretty much any ideas I have. Who wouldn't want to be able to actually talk things out regarding the kids???

But he wants me to agree to: Him having equal shared custody as soon as school starts this fall. (Seriously? Is the moment your 5-year-old goes back to school after a long summer and enters all-day kindergarten for the first time in her life REALLY the same time she should have to adjust to a completely different custody schedule?! Are you thinking this through at all, or just demanding what you want?)

Granted, last week he just wanted overnights on Sundays (he already has them two other nights and all day Sunday). Last week he also wanted shared custody in two years. Now he wants it this fall. And don't forget a couple months ago when he wanted custody exactly the same and told me he was happy with how it is, but he just wanted Sunday overnights and for me to accept less child support and no help with daycare. Before that, he was OK with not even bothering with Sundays yet. His "offers" change with the winds!

He also wants me to agree to: His mom watching Sunshine two days a week from after school till we get off work, and possibly watching Little Bit all day one of those days.

How does that work? So she watches one kid for a measly 1.5 hours twice a week (while her little sister gets left out of the grandma time) and also watches the younger kid one out of the FIVE days that she needs child care.

And who, oh wise one, will watch the kids ALL THE OTHER HOURS OF THE WEEK? We I pay my mom to watch the girls full-time. If she has her schedule cut, she'll have no choice but to find other employment. She can not watch them for free.

So again - what do we do with the kids the rest of the time? If we're lucky, there may be one facility in our town that will watch children on a part-time basis. But somehow I really doubt that I get to have a 3-year-old in there four days a week without paying full price. If his mom doesn't watch Little Bit at all, and my mom gets another job, MAYBE Little Bit will get into the daycare by my work that I've had her on the waiting list for nearly two years. But then he can't just opt out of paying his part of daycare. And again, who would watch Sunshine the other three days a week when she gets off school? Who would watch her during Monday holidays, inservices, spring breaks and all summer?

If his mom doesn't watch Little Bit at all and ONLY picks Sunshine up from school twice a week and takes care of her until 1.5 hours later when we get off work, I ask: What on Earth is the point?

Ex is trying to save money, but that would save like $30 a month. It's useless and actually helps nobody. What it does is leave Little Bit out and confuses Sunshine, who would prefer to be home with her Nana and sister.

I see what his point is, and I don't in theory disagree with it: Utilize his mom/parents, who loves the girls and are free. But unless they're going to take over full-time duties (that is 50 hours a week and only increases in work when both kids are off school in the summer), it only serves to confuse our schedule and make us lose our current daycare provider (my mom). And the girls have know no other childcare provider besides their Nana. Why would we change that for a measly $30?

Not to mention, his parents are healthy at the moment, but have big-time past/ongoing health issues that at any moment could land either of them in the hospital. We need consistent childcare. Period.

Please, any of you who read this, let me know if there's something I'm not seeing clearly about this. Because it seems obvious to me that his plan to use his parents for childcare doesn't work.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Finally a hint toward progress

Continuing my saga of the World's Longest Divorce...

Thursday my lawyer and I will sit down for an informal mediation with ex and his lawyer.

Nervous? Oh yah.

I have a lot of thing to prepare, mainly: My different options for custody that I can handle; and my different options for finances that I can handle.

Yet I sit paralyzed, not knowing where to start.

But I will, cause I want this hell to be over so we can move on and know more what our future will look like.

Thankful to have my lawyer on my side (besides the fact that he's paid to be, I think he genuinely realizes how hard it is to deal with ex). Thankful for the ability to try this out of court, even if we still end up in that direction.

And mostly - thankful for my children who make fighting for what I believe in so important.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Goin' on a hot date

That's right.

My BFF and I are dressing up and hitting the town! A wine bar, to be exact.

This is what I imagine we'll look like, all elegant and sophisticated as we gingerly sip our wine:

This is what I know we'll actually look like, all giggly, obnoxious, dirty and drunk tipsy:

Thankful for my friends and family who keep me sane on the nights I'm not with my girls.

* The women depicted here are paid actors.

** No they're not. I stole these images off of google.

*** Don't worry. We'll drink safely. We may love wine, but we're also old moms. I'm sure we'll be in bed by 9 p.m.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

How you live your days

Happiness is an attitude. How you will live your days is a choice that is completely within your control.

Man, I am just a wealth of random quotes meant to gag inspire all ones of my blog followers. I don't take my position lightly. ;)

Seriously, I do love the feeling that I have some control over my happiness. And better yet - I love that I can teach this to my kids.

Anyway, enough seriousness. Funny memes?

OK, without further ado (did I spell that right? looks weird):


And in case you thought your day was bad, just be happy you're not the editor of this fine work:

Good day.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Being loved

Ahh, I just came across this quote and love it:

No matter how strong and independent we are, we need to be loved in order to live well.

So true.

Which leads me to an epiphany of sorts I've had this week: I'm in a unique position (well, maybe not so unique given the divorce rate in our country) of getting to start over and get it right this time. In other words, it finally clicked that I no longer have to be that woman who looks at other couples and is jealous that these women have a man in their life who loves them and proves their love often with little affirmations.

Notes...thoughtful comments and actions...tiny gifts...

I really want that in a relationship. It helps me feel loved to have tiny reminders. But it's also about showing your partner that you love and appreciate them, and not being afraid to let others know that. It's about being an advocate for your partner. It's about thinking about them in addition to yourself and wanting them to be happy.

My ex pretty much never did that. Maybe I didn't for him, either. Fact is - we weren't right for each other. Case closed. Moving on.

And part of moving on for me will be setting boundaries. I've lived my life wishing I could be with a man who loved me and never let me wonder for a moment if that loved had slipped away.

Divorce sucks. But one thing that is nice about being 30-something, single and a bit wiser is that I have the chance to say what I want in a relationship and make it count.

No more settling. No more doormat. No more wishing for something but not communicating my desires.

When I'm ready - I hope I can finally have that relationship I've always dreamed of. Not a fairytale. That doesn't exist. But I think a relationship of serious love does exist. And this time I won't settle for anything less.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Divorce is better

It's been a while since I posted. Things are at a stalemate, and I'm dying to get this divorce finalized. I'm scared of the results, but just ready for them to happen.

I read this today, and I think I love it. Hopefully it rings true for any of you out there who got divorced and are living a happier life now:

No matter how contentious or acrimonious or downright explosively miserable the end of your marriage was, being divorced is better. It always is. It was sad. It sucked. Now it's better.

Have a happy Friday!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Sometimes I wonder...

... if for all of ex's grand-standing, yelling and bullying, this is really what he's thinking:

Monday, February 18, 2013

Happy Monday

Hope all is well in everyone's world today.

As for me, I've been at work all day. I look forward to heading home soon, spending a few hours with my girls before bed time and then having some BFF time with my, well, BFF.

Kisses all around!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Practicing mindfulness

I came across this link yesterday and really appreciate the message: http://alturl.com/9zzjw

The gist of it is to choose to be happy and avoid negative thinking. This is something I've made a major goal in my life. I can not control what happens as a result of this divorce, but I can control how I react to my situation, and will teach my kids the same.

On another note, I hope all three of the hoards of my readers enjoyed Valentine's Day. ;)

Mine was awesome: I took the day off work to spend the morning with Sunshine at her school. Then both girls and I had a play date at my best friend's house with her kids.

Love all around.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Trying to love 2013

I am trying my best to love 2013. After last year's shitstorm, I was hoping and expecting that this year would be better

But not even 2 months in, and SO many people I know of have died, nearly every single one of them before their time.

- Let's start with last week, when my friends' sweet 2-month-old girl died. The beloved daughter of two dear friends whose lives will never be the same.

- Today Sunshine's old daycare teacher lost her brother, in his 20s.

- Three weeks ago, my dad's longtime colleague was found dead on the hospital floor after going in for just some flu symptoms.

- On New Year's Eve my friend's cousin - a husband and father of three young children - had a heart attack in his sleep. He was 32.

- On New Year's Day, my dad's cousin's wife - who suffered from severe childhood trauma and resulting personality disorders - committed suicide by laying down in front of a train.

- Two weeks ago my friend's mom died of complications from alcoholism (liver failure, flu, pneumonia). She was 54. This friend, by the way, is related to the couple who lost their baby last week.

OK, 2013. We get it. Life continues to be a struggle. How about cutting us all some slack now.

Really, I am COMMITTED to "finding my happy" this year. It is hard, though, when there is so much sadness surrounding me.

I have a feeling this is going to be a 2013 staple:

Friday, February 8, 2013

Happiness. Sadness. And a possible deal.

Well, as I mentioned yesterday, life sometimes has a way of bringing you back down to Earth.

While my troubles with ex, a custody battle and financial choices aren't trivial, they seem so insignificant when you consider the real suffering going on elsewhere.

Here I am, blessed with (knock on wood) two healthy girls, while my friends' only child just died. She barely got to live. Two months? Really, that's all they got to have with her? It's so fucking unfair.

Clearly that devastating news has made my divorce issues take a back seat for the moment. But I can't ignore them altogether.

Why, you ask?

Because maybe, JUST MAYBE, we are close to having a deal. If this happens (and there are more things to agree on that may completely derail this), neither one of us win much. We are basically in a situation where we can't afford to divorce without us both taking a pretty big hit. Actually, I would take a big financial hit for a few years in lieu of a bigger hit (selling the house and risking 50/50 custody), plus my name would be stuck on "his" house until he can refinance and get me off the title/lien.

But perhaps most important: If he and I can come to an agreement together, his anger and general mood would improve tremendously. He'll always be bitter and hate me (I don't care), but I could perhaps see a day where we could co-parent for he benefit of our children.

Should I have to compromise so much just to help control his anger? No.

But I ask you, wouldn't you pay thousands if it meant your kid(s) could grow up in a non-adversarial (or less adversarial) environment?? I think that is worth gold.

To end this on an uplifting note, I find this meme to be something I need to remember more:

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Dealing with loss

I'm cold and shivering, rattled by the worst news one could imagine:

My friends' baby just died. She was only 2 months old.

She was born via c-section because she was breach, and that sweet little thing had little frog legs pointed up to her ears. She was tiny - 5 lbs. or so and on the short side, too.

Her parents questioned why she was small, but the doctors weren't concerned.

I don't know all the details, but at some point recently they realized she wasn't gaining weight appropriately, and doctors discovered she had a congenital heart defect.

She was in the hospital getting a "simply palliative procedure" done yesterday to tide her over until she was bigger and could have open heart surgery. It was all supposed to fix the problem. Her only limitation was supposed to be that she may not be a stellar athlete.

And then ... she died. I don't know the circumstances. I'm sure we can all figure it out. That sweet, tiny baby just must not have been strong enough to endure the surgery.

And I. Am. Gutted.

That poor girl and her grieving, scarred parents, who are such sweet people and so dear to me.

I'm glad I was lucky enough to hold her after she was born and kiss on her sweet face. I'm glad her parents even got 2 months with her, when I know a lot of parents have stillborn children and never get to see their child's open eyes.

But the grief is the same.

Oh, their aching hearts. I wish there was some way I could help, but I know all I can do is speak her name and always remember her.

RIP, sweet girl.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Wish me luck - and some memes

It is with guarded optimism that I say we might be getting to a point where we can come up with a solution to this custody/financial battle without ending up in limited case management/court.


I think



Please hold your breath, cross your fingers, send good vibes...whatever.

My goals are:

Create a custody schedule that keeps the girls' best interest first. There will likely be some changes they do not like, but hopefully what we're working on right now would involve minimal changes that the girls can adjust to fairly easily.

Create a financial solution that keeps me from having to pay way more in the next three years for day care than I should have to pay, but also keeps ex from having to sell the house and start over and be even more angry.

Create a financial solution that makes it so I can someday move out of the house with the girls and afford for us to live on our own if I so choose.

Create a solution that gets my name off the house within the next three years so I can perhaps buy my own someday.

Tame the relationship between ex and I so he can be civil to me in front of the girls.

Wish. Me. Luck.

Now, for some memes:


And just for fun...

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Needing some strength

I like having this outlet when I need some strength.

Ex has made his intentions to fight for 50/50 custody clear, but before we even can sit down in limited case management and discuss it, he's still trying to get me to agree to other changes. Little by little, wearing me down.

I almost said yes. Almost. The change isn't a big deal. But where does it stop? And why not just have it all out in case management?

So I just emailed him saying I'd rather we discuss the schedule in its entirety in case management rather than make more changes right now.

He is, obviously, going to be pissed and accuse me of denying him time with the girls. Really - there's no winning for me, is there? I try to the best of my ability to keep consistency for my girls, and I'm accused of keeping them away from their father.

And for the record, I don't think the amount of time they have with him is bad.

If you count just waking hours, they're with him:

Nine hours during the week and 11 hours during the weekend.

Waking hours with me:

About 15 or 15.5 hours during the week and about 14.5 hours on the weekend.

So they're with me about 30 waking hours a week, and him about 20. And that doesn't count the several times a week he stops by Sunshine's school to see them at pickup time and the once a week he takes them to lunch. I don't get to do those things, because I work farther away and have an unflexible schedule.

Anyone reading this, please let me know if you think that's an unfair balance. I honestly am curious. Maybe I'm wrong.

The girls are really young, have always had me as their main caregiver, and have been on this schedule for 9 months now. When they're with him, I don't exist. Any mention of me is - from what I gather from my 4yo - met with disdain. Phone calls aren't allowed. He yells at me in front of them and has always been very gruff and non-nurturing (not that he's abusive or anything to them).

So with that knowledge, why make massive changes just cause it's what he wants? If it were up to me, they'd be with me MORE, but that's what I want - not necessarily what's best for them.

Monday, February 4, 2013

This is today

Ex continues to try to scare me (it works) with insane custody threats. In the end, we'll end up in limited case management (which is like mediation, but the mediator decides the custody schedule and tells a judge). My lawyer says the emails/texts I have from ex where he blatantly offers to let me choose the custody schedule if I accept less money would - in his opinion - "sink him" in limited case management.

But my lawyer is also quick to point out that there are no guarantees in any of this.

And this I know. Ex may end up with 50/50, and oh our poor children. :( But I have to take that chance, because ex won't compromise AND is setting out this ridiculous offer to not pay any day care and not even pay full child support.

What choice do I have?

Of course, ex is throwing the guilt thing around again. That is was my decision to divorce...I'm the one who chose my personal happiness over that of my kids'...that I no longer can talk about "what's best for the children" now that I chose this separation.

I DID choose my happiness under the very hopeful, optimistic notion that regardless of ex's efforts to be a better husband (which he now refers to as "kissing my ass" - shows you how sincere those efforts were), we simply could not after 12 years suddenly transform this sham into a happy marriage. And why would I a) subject myself to that and b) teach my girls that this lie was real?

Even if we somehow managed to not fight often, the fact is I didn't love him. And regardless of what he says, he only loved the security of me - not ME. He had no respect for me in the least bit. It was fear, not love, that kept him holding on.

ANYWAY, if you chose to leave, how did you get over this guilt, especially during times when your child(ren) cry and ask why their life has changed?

I thought the guilt was gone...I was wrong.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Thankful Thursday and some memes

What I'm thankful for today:

My dad, who is willing to help me financially so I can get this divorce shit over with. His exact words were: "This is going to be a long court battle, and I have more money than him." Thanks, Dad.

My aunt, who has helped me enormously with her financial advise. She's a financial adviser specializing in divorce.

This blog, where I can air out my grievances and curse at will (I'm trying to clean up my language at home, since my kids have fucking freaking radar ears).

Leaving work at 4 so I can get one measly hour with my girls Wednesday and Thursday before their dad comes to pick them up. We squeeze in a lot in that hour.

Wine. Red wine.

And now my memes for today

Hell. Yes.

And this one, cause I'm feeling positive today:

And with that, I'm out. Have a good day.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Love your kids more than you hate your ex

I've never been able to talk sense into ex before, so I don't know why I think it would work now. But if there's only one point I could drive home, it's this:

It takes a real grown up to realize that you can't be bitter about the past. It takes a mature adult to see the bigger picture. It takes loving your children more than you hate your ex to stop the nastiness. When you talk badly about your ex in front of your children - or when you make everything about their other parent awkward and difficult for your kids - you are not harming your ex. You are harming your children.

His hostility toward me around the girls and even when I'm not around (they totally pick up on his hatred of me) makes me wants to just say, "Fine! Have everything you want! Just stop being so angry and taking it out on the kids."

If only money weren't an issue, this effing divorce would be final.

Nearly a year later, and I STILL don't know how to solve it:

Try my best to compromise with him financially (problem here is it leaves me out $20,000 in just three years), and therefore keep the kids' custody situation consistent...or go to court (a judge will force him to pay what he is supposed to), risk him getting 50 percent custody and turn him even more bitter.

If only he could see that his anger rubs off on the children.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Ehh, how about Tuesday Meme, too

Lately I have been noticing a lot of inspirational quotes and memes. Clearly that's reflective of this time in my life.

So, I thought I'd share a few that "speak" to me.

I lived with a controlling, emotionally dismissive/abusive man for 12 years. I won't put up with that shit anymore. 'Nuff said.

This goes for me, too. It touches home this morning after I acted horribly in reaction to Little Bit's EPIC tantrum. My behavior influences their reaction to me and their behavior. This goes for love of the other kind, too.

And this one? Well it's just funny (and true).

Have a good day!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Monday Meme

This is a big one for me. It took a LONG time to get to the point where I could look that fear in the eye and decide that my happiness was worth it.

Where does that leave my kids, though? What about THEIR happiness? Are they happier now that their father and I are apart?

They ARE happy. And I think I can say that despite rough times between their dad and I that affect them - and the transition of adjusting to new schedules - they remain happy children.

The only times they aren't happy is when their dad does things like yell at me to "Go away! Get off my porch! Back away!" right in front of them. (He did that last night. What a peach.)

In that regard - his ability to control himself - they are screwed. But, they were always screwed, because that's the dad they have. No matter the situation, he was always an angry man. Divorced or not, the girls will always grow up with a bitter father who has an inner hatred of himself that pushes out onto other people.

Anyway, through my fear a year ago, I saw a potential future that I will try my hardest to achieve:

One where
I am no longer living with a controlling, toxic man;
One where my girls see me happier and in control of my life;
One where my girls can talk openly with me about the troubles they will inevitably face;
One where I can teach them to "find the happy" and not see themselves as victims of divorce;
One where I can have a happy relationship with a man and be able to model that for my girls.

Pushing through the fear, one day at at time. :)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Thankful Thursday

My little big Sunshine at the park this weekend with, fittingly, the sun shining on her.

This blog is such a downer most of the time. And while I know that is to be expected given that I'm going through a nasty divorce with children, it gets old.

So, I'm instituting Thankful Thursdays. (I'm sure I'll forget all about it next Thursday.)

I am thankful for:

1. My children who - unless I'm blind - are thus far coping pretty well with this separation of homes and parents. And it is not lost on me that while divorce is HUGE, my girls are healthy and have a lot of love surrounding them. There are so many kids in far worse situations.

2. My mom, who without hesitation welcomed the girls and I into her modest home. How she puts up with my constant demands (she's the girls' babysitter while I'm at work) and pathetic attempt at maintaining household duties, I'll never know.

3. My dad, who if I needed it would loan me all his money to make sure the girls and I don't get hosed by ex's manipulative ways.

4. Myself. Yep, I'm thankful for my own natural ability to look at the bright side of things and people. For try as I might, I can't bring myself to come close to hating my ex. He is, after all, still a human being. And he's the father of my children. Don't get me wrong: I do NOT like him and am ever so incredibly grateful that I'm not in a toxic relationship with him anymore. He and I: oil and water. I wish he could control himself and his mouth around the girls, and I wish he didn't let his hatred of me get in the way of good parenting choices. But I can't control any of that. I can only control my reaction to him and teach my girls how best to handle him.

5. Other single mom bloggers, both those who are in the middle of it like me, and those who are ahead of me in this life. I greatly appreciate all insight.

6. My friends and family who have helped my emotionally along the way, from those who vastly questioned my true intentions in trying to reconcile a few months ago, to those who continuously tell me that MY GIRLS WILL BE OK.

7. The gift of time. It's already been a year since this separation began. And while I HATE that the divorce and custody aren't final yet, I am so relieved to know that I'm one year away from the hardest time of my life. I just hope custody decisions don't get made that throw my girls' entire schedule and sense of consistency off.

8. Thursday nights. If I can't be with my girls on Thursdays, I'm more than thrilled to be with friends.

9. Wine. Red wine.

10. My job. Wow, this probably shouldn't be #10. I truly love my job and co-workers, and am eternally thankful to have a steady job.

What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Soldier on

Sometimes that's all you can do: Soldier on.

Keep a good attitude as you soldier on with the life you have, even if it's not what you envisioned. Really, what choice is there?

Friday, January 11, 2013

All that doubt and guilt? Gone

So, I think I've failed to mention on here something very important:

All that soul-eating guilt and doubt that kept me up at night, gnawing on every bit of my flesh and brains: It's gone.

Not necessarily because I've moved into the anger phase. I'm sure I have. But then again, I've been there a lot over the years.

No, I think it has more two do with three things:

1. While the road ahead is still SO uncertain (especially custody) and will undoubtedly have incredibly hard times over and over, I know my girls and I can endure this. They've endured so much so far. And everything I swore would break Sunshine... well, it hasn't (Little Bit is still young enough to escape a lot of these difficulties). Sunshine still does not want to spend much time with her dad, specifically overnight. But she makes it through every day and is OK the next morning. Is it hurting her psyche? Maybe. But a great friend reminded me that children who go through struggles actually increase their EQ - Emotional Quotient. A perfect childhood with no bumps rarely turns into an adult who knows how to handle adversity. So, let's hope my girls learn from their current and future hardships and turn them into good, rather than bad.

2. Over the course of the last eight months since we separated officially, I have finally realized how mismatched ex and I are. And while I did a lot wrong in that relationship, he was just plain cruel in so many ways. No one deserves to be treated the way he treated me, and even worse: To be treated that way while being told that he loves you. Love can not possibly be like that. I deserve to be treated like I actually matter and like I'm a priority. Not the most important person in the world ... but like you genuinely appreciate me and want me to be happy. That was never the case before.

3. I am happy with myself. Ex did a great job of destroying my confidence. And I wasn't loaded with it to begin with. No outfit was ever cute enough. My lipstick never red enough. My heels never high enough. My shirt never sexy enough. My hair pulled up? No, I looked "severe." But guess what? I don't need his approval, and I don't have to look like every other blonde 25-year-old to look hot. I am me. I love getting dressed up to look nice for a man, but not if there's constant criticism involved. If you don't like me for ME, then move it along.

Friday, January 4, 2013

A new year

Wow, it's been a while since I posted. I think about it here and there, but SO much has gone on, and yet so little has been accomplished, that the thought of writing it down can feel daunting.

But, I will.

Our divorce is far from over, because ex keeps going back and forth on what he wants. First he wants to pay less money and let me have my say with the girls' custody. Then he throws a man-fit and decides that he's going to go after 50/50 custody because I haven't responded to his financial request fast enough. He has gone through that cycle twice so far.

I know he loves and misses his girls, but it is very clear (and I have the texts and emails to prove it) that his priority is finances. Because otherwise, what parent would try to bargain less time with their kids for more money?!?!

Anyway, I pray to all things holy that this will be resolved soon and that he and I can both live comfortably financially but MOST IMPORTANTLY that the best custody arrangement will be made for our very young children.

So, all of that aside, I want to say how proud I am of my girls for forging through this rough terrain. And last week, when their dad decided at the very last minute that he wanted them to spend an entire day and two nights with him, they handled it with such grace.

At that moment I thought, "Maybe this will work. Maybe I made the right decision for my happiness, and my girls WILL be OK."

Cause seriously, no longer being with my ex is the most freeing feeling of my entire life. And I know that sounds horrible. For all his faults, I still can't find a way to hate him. But I know in my heart that being with him was not good for me. At all.

So, it's a new year, and by god, I will embrace it and pull every ounce of good out of it. I heard a quote recently. I can't remember it verbatim, but the gist was:

You can't always choose your situation, but you can choose how you respond to it.

This is not how I pictured my life. But I can choose how I handle the cards I've been dealt.

I got one more piece of advice recently from a single father, and it's very simple: Just love your children. Love them, and they will be fine.

I want to believe that. Do you think it's true? Just love your kids (that love includes support, listening to them, etc.) and they will make it through divorced life OK?

I sure hope so. :)