Friday, December 30, 2005

Holiday fun

It has been a fast couple of weeks.

Steve and I flew down to California and a short 6 days later I went back down and we both flew back home again.

Although I missed him during Christmas it was a very nice couple of days with my cousins, siblings and parents. Its nice to be back in my home state again to be able to be with my family. Although Steve was not here for the actual day we did have a very nice celebration with him before he left and he will be here next year.

He is home again and as he yells at me down the hall" MOM.....MOM.....I need you...." so I can come into his room and he can tell me about something that happened today....I think to myself. "All is as it should be...all is right in my world."

We just got back from a very nice 3 day visit to the mountains with a couple of my cousins and their families. There were 12 of us all together...we rented a cabin and went up to the mountain to go sledding two days in the row....what a wonderful trip.

The cabin was great.....3 bedrooms with 6 beds and room for two blow up mattresses, an almost fully stocked kitchen...short of a dishwasher. Just a few small complaints....1. No dishwasher, 2. One bathroom.....did I mention 12 people, 7 females...thank goodness only one teenage girl, 3. It took 6 hours....yes 6 hours to cook a 17 pound turkey (unstuffed) in the oven and lastly we ran out of toilet paper...did I mention 12 people and 7 females. They left us 2 1/2 rolls of TP...we had brought one roll...just incase.. They said "go to the store"...they forgot to mention that the store was closed...we had to raid the local rest stop for that a crime?

Overall the stay at the cabin was very nice and very comfortable. Everything was nicely labeled for our convenience....Just incase we did not know what the switch located just inside of the bathroom door was ----a label told us "Bathroom Lighting". Not to be mistaken for the "Kitchen Lighting" labled just inside the Kitchen.

We all had wonderful time... I was very happy to be able to share this with Steve. After living in this area 25 of my 30 something is amazing that this is the first time I have visited the local mountains during snow season. It was a site to be had and I look forward to sharing much more of this with my son in the years to come.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Well we made it...

Yesterday I took Steve down to Southern Cal to visit his dad. He was excited and nervous all at the same time. So was I.

We had to change plans in Oregon and of course all flights were delayed...I really did not want to miss a flight because that would be a domino effect for the return as well. We ran through the Portland airport and got on the plane. Steve was tired and every second..."mom we've been in this plane for hours when are we gone see my dad?"

When we got there - Ontario, CA - small airport. We were both nervous. They were all standing at the bottom of the stairs. Steve's dad, his new girlfriend and her two kids. Steve had told me that when he saw his dad he was going to run to him...But I think he got kinda nervous when he saw them all standing there. He had never met this woman or her kids. They all seemed pretty nice. The kids were very excited to see him, so that was good. He gave me two big hugs and then I turned and went to check into the next flight. My heart was breaking but it is important for me that this is as easy for him as it can be. He is the innocent one in this. We have come such a long way since last Christmas. We have been on our own for over a year now and we are both blossoming.

I had to check into my flight back to Seattle, go through security and find a bathroom. Once I did that I noticed that my phone was flashing, my little angel had already tried to call 3 times. I called him back and he just answer my questions. The kids were kidding around with him so he was laughing. I think he was just nervous. He was good and seem to be relaxing.

I waited for another delayed flight...could not even get a drink because they don't have a bar open till 9:30 - and well that is when my flight was scheduled to take off.

I finally got back to Seattle at 12:30 am. I probably did not get to sleep till about 2:30...and I am very tired. But thats ok. I get to do it all over again on Monday....But this time my little angel will be coming home with me.

To anyone who reads this...Have a happy, merry, whatever you celebrate have a great one!!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Some say my son is spoiled.....

And well he is, to a point.....BUT he is also a very good boy. He is spoiled when it come to me. When he speaks I listen, I jump and sometimes I even "obey". But most of the time with me... and always with everyone else. he listens, he is polite, he is thankful and with all of us he is very sweat.

Today I am getting ready for my parents, and my sister (we live with my brother) to come over and celebrate an early Christmas with us, before Steve goes to his dad's.

Last night I was feeling a little down...or maybe that was a little anger...and resentment because I do not want to spend actual Christmas without my son....but that is the way it is. So I finally got some sleep and woke up to the new day and a new attitude....and my little man helped with his attitude.

We walked out to the living room and started yelling..."Mom.....MOM....."

I was still half asleep....."whhhaaattt?"
"Come out here"....well it finally dawned on me what he wanted.....I had wrapped presents last night..... I was even down doing that because I have not gotten him everything I wanted to yet....actually I am not even exactly sure what else I want to get him....but something. On top of it...most (all but one) of the things I got him were of the practical nature. But he was very excited....I had one sitting on the table that i wanted him to open he asked if he could open it...I said sure.

It was a new shirt and new jeans....He was so excited...I could not believe his excitement...Most kids his age (that I have seen) say something like "oh thanks" and throw them down to move onto to the next or "oh is there more"... My little angle hugged me and said "Thanks mom, I always wanted a shirt like this since I was 3, can I wear them today?"

My heart just melted ---yet again. I have to remember about all we have and be thankful for it. We don't have that dream family with the white picket fence....We did not even have it when everyone else thought we did...But we have each other, we have a roof over our heads, we have our health and we have lots of love, WE ARE VERY BLESSED.

Merry....Happy....Joy to all...Whatever you celebrate I hope it is a wonderful season for you and yours!!!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

This mornings news.....

I had chills this morning......

did you hear about the mom that had to toss her 1 month old baby out the window of a burning building in New York to save its life. I can't imagine having to do that or what those last few moments before she did it had to feel like. From what I heard the baby was not breathing so she had to do something....The trust she had to instill in those waiting below to catch her baby. Wow...
Mother and baby both survived....What an amazing story.

Then locally there is a missing 4 year old. They say that he was with his babysitter and now both are missing as well as the family vehicle. How scary. I have only left my son with non family members an handful of times and all times it was family friends. I can't imagine not knowing where my child is...

Wow...Scary things...I wish everyone well.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Carpool Lane

Ok so when I was younger and without child I remember driving 405 everyday to and from work.....The traffic was awful...Ugh

I used to moan and groan, complaining to myself since I was alone and obviously not in the carpool lane about those people that drive in the carpool lane with kids in the car. I mean come on how could that be legal. Its not like the kid can drive, its not like if they were not a passenger in that car they would be driving their own.

Well my attitude quickly changed once I had Steve. When he was born we were living in Arizona and when I went back to work we lived an hours drive away from work. I could have left him at a local daycare but hello...I am not going to leave my child in a location that I cant get to for a minimum of an hour. Besides I was lucky enough to have an employer that had a daycare facility right on the property.

But given my previous attitude I still did not believe that it could possibly be legal for me to drive with Steve as my second person...He was 4 months old.

I called highway patrol, and after waiting finally got someone that at least attempted to answer my question
Me: "hi can you tell me if it is legal for me to drive on freeways in the carpool lane with an infant as my passenger"..
The lady who was assigned to take my call: "Well I don't know"
Me: "I was told that I could, that it was legal. But it seems so funny that I wanted to make sure"
Her: "Yeah that does seem weird since the baby can't drive, Hold on"
Some background conversation...
Her: "Well it is legal..But I was told that sometimes you can still get pulled over if the state patrol does not see the passenger. That's neat huh. I guess it makes sense"

Hmmm ok well with that although I did not feel real comfortable with her answer...I took it as the truth and started driving.

Now days...Or at least in Washington you can look at the Dept of Transportation website and find the HOV FAQs and it tells you that it is legal because they don't want to fight the battle.

So far I have not been pulled over...But

When Steve was real little, someone pulled in the carpool lane behind me ( I guess thinking that I was already breaking the law he might was well too). A motorcycle officer pulled along side me and the other car. He pulled right up next to me...I showed him Steve's bottle and he waved me on and then pulled the guy behind me over.

Another time in the carpool lane I was "singing" Christmas songs with a CD to Steve (he was about 2) and accidentally called my friend at work not realizing it...She was real nice and recorded my song...And emailed it around the office. (not carpool related...But it was funny all the same).

Since being in Washington we have been turned in to BE A HERO as violating the carpool lane. I got a notice in the mail stating the date,time and area of 405 I was on when reported.

Then one time when we were driving home on 405 again.. I noticed an officer with his lights on coming up behind us. I asked Steve to raise his hands so the officer could see him...Just in case he was coming after me. He did this as we pulled over to the side to allow the officer to pass...As he did he turned off his lights but remained in front of us. My theory is that he was after us until he saw Steve raise his hands and then turned off his lights.

Now we just make a game of waving to Mr officer as we pass by - Steve thinks its cool.

I bet many others are sharing my old feelings saying to themselves "urrrgg look at that person in the carpool lane with a child in the car..Its not like they are saving us anything..Why should they get the carpool lane"

I can't say it makes sense - BUT I can say I LOVE IT 8)

Monday, December 12, 2005

Babies are amazing creatures..

When my cousin had her 3rd child he was 3 months premature. She had some infection and was forced into an early C section. I remember the day I went to Children's Hospital to see her and her little boy. She had been there for two days by then and she was finally able to see visitors.

I walked into her room and she had been crying. I asked her what was wrong..She said "I had him two days ago and I have not been able to see him yet.....I am scared." I said "that's ok, can we see him now?" She said yes and I said "Ok we'll do it together". Her husband had seen him and at the time was gone taking care of their one year old daughter. He would be back after grandma got off work that day. She did not want to wait. I was scared too I mean I didn't like hospitals and well what would I say.

We went to the intensive care nursery. I pushed her in her wheelchair since it was too far way for her to walk yet. We got to the intensive care nursery and she stood up...Looking scared. I grabbed her hand and said "Its ok...Lets go see that wonderful little boy".

We found his incubator and what we found was incredible...This little body smaller than the size of his dad hand was lying there. We could see his veins....Although most of them were covered by tubs and wires that were attached to his little body. He had survived the crutial first 48 hours..But he still was not breathing on his own...Without reminder. The thing is that he would "forget" to breath. So they had a monitor on him to measure his heartbeat and his breathing. As we were standing there tears where streaming down her face....I was trying not to show my surprise and amazement that he was breathing at all.

As we stood there a machine started to beep....Louder and louder....At first we just looked around...Then it hit us...It was his...He had stopped breathing. I think we were both ready to start screaming, calling a nurse to come because in our mind he was dying...Then a nurse just casually came over...Stuck her hand in the slot of the incubator ...And with her finger touched him ever so slightly...The machine stopped and he was breathing again....Then we each took a breath ourselves.

That was 13 years ago and when asked what he wanted for Christmas this year, that young man would probably say......"Just some money..I am saving up for a tune up on the quad'

I will never forget that first Christmas with him...He was born the end of July and did not go home till November...With oxygen and a heart monitor attached. We had to be careful not to over stimulate him...So I held him most of the time so that my cousin and her husband could share Christmas activities with their other two daughters. He and I slept a lot that Christmas, he had worked so hard those first 3 months just to survive and I was working two jobs...We were both very tired.

My X's exs....

So in talking to my ex sister in law last night I decided to ask her about her brothers new girlfriend/Fiance. I don't like to ask her anything that relates to her brother because 1. its her brother and I really don't have anything nice to say and I was taught if you don't have anything nice to say - KEEP your mouth SHUT. 2. My relationship with her has everything to do with her and her family not her brother.

But since I had gathered from conversation with her brother that the family had at least met this latest fiance...I wanted to ask and I knew that she would not mind since Steve is scheduled to stay with them in 9 days.

She said "Well I did meet her but I did not go out of my way to get to know her, I figure she won't be around long enough and I don't want to get close". Ok fair enough. She said that all she can judge by is what my X's two daughters from his first marriage said since they stayed with them a couple days. They had reported that this one was going out of her way to be nice to them. Well I guess that is good since they had told their dad that they would not visit him again after their visit this last summer with the soon to be 3rd ex Mrs X because she was so mean.

She also said she had adopted that first Mrs X's idea over this train rec....The first Mrs X had told the girls that based on history this one should be ok...

1. First Mrs X - was with him for 8 years..Had two daughters (my step daughters)
2. Never a Mrs so we will just call her Psycho....Had a son that X does not see and she was not at all nice to the girls.
3. Second Mrs X - Me had a son and had a very good relationship with my two step daughters and keep in touch with them - was with him for 6 years, but finally got smart with some guts (divorce final April 2004).
4. Third Mrs X - not yet an ex - married a month after my divorce - funny since she was not even the reason we divorced - I left him. Marriage lasted 4 months...Divorce pending. She was another person that was not very nice to the girls.
5. The new soon to be (rumor has it) Mrs X - should be ok if history repeats itself.

Interestingly enough rumor also has it that they have been together since January of 2004....mmmm

Glad I am an ex Mrs X instead of a Mrs X....

Sometimes I wonder if Psycho was really Psycho or just the smartest one of us all...Guess we'll never know since I don't trust either her or the X...

Sunday, December 11, 2005

That'll make your heart skip a beat or two..

I talked to my ex sister in law today. She was telling me a story about her daughter coming in the house and she said "mom Tyler is across the street at aunt Sandy's house" and dad said "Well go get him and tell him to get into the house" she said..."but he is in mom's car"....

Well If I had been there I am sure that I would have seen mom and dads face turn ghost white...their 4 wheel drive Ford Explorer was in the middle of mom's best friends yard backed right into a small tree with 3 1/2 year old Tyler sitting in the drivers seet, smiling big as day.

Now anytime Tyler goes towards a says "SON... step away from the car"....

Thank goodness, we are able to say that no kids or homes were hurt in this stunt....

Daddy Visits

Well someday I will tell the whole story but for right now I just wanted to share my moment of heart break.

On December 21st Steve and I fly down to Southern Cal so that he can spend a few days with his dad, his dads new girl friend or fiance as he is waiting for his divorce to be final ...Ours hasn't even been final for a year yet. The girlfriend has two kids and I was explaining that things are a little different for dad since the last time he visited. New state, new home, new girlfriend and 2 new kids in the house. So naturally Steve was asking me questions. I have found that my son deals with these upheavals much better if he kind of has an idea of what to expect and I think I am very good at explaining things to him without beating up his dad - a lot of tough biting. Anyway he told me a couple of days ago he was nervous about his visit with dad. Yesterday I sent his dad an email...Giving him the literature about the speech therapy, Steve's report card and asking about the girlfriends kids so I could tell Steve about them...And letting him know that Steve was slightly nervous. Well I did not get a response but Steve go a call and from what I could tell it went well. But I am starting to see some of the natural attitude that happens with visiting one parent and then another......That I have been told to expect.

Yesterday we were getting ready to spend the night with one of our cousins because today we are going to go to see a small production of the Nutcracker - The Everett production instead of the big Seattle one.

I said "ok Steve its time for a bath so we can get ready to go spend the night with Kelly"-- he said "I just don't want to do anything with you just my daddy" hmmm my heart breaks just a little. I know its just a thing....That happens. I just said "Well," taking a big cleansing breath, "I know you miss daddy and you will be going to see him soon...But in the mean time we are going to go have some fun" reluctantly he said "ok" and stalked off to take his bath.

Last night at bed time he told me "mom I had fun today I am glad we came to Kelly's house to spend the night". I just gave him a big hug and told him I was glad too. The first thing he says to me everyday and the last thing he says every night is "mommy I love you". Then during the day we say that a lot too...Its funny when he says "mommy we say that a lot don't we...Yeah because we love each other so much". I get that and it warms my heart. His dad used to call him everyday and now he does not...I ask Steve if he wants to call his dad and he tells me no.

Its hard for me because I know that his dad choose alcohol and drugs over his family....I know that we are much better off now...And Steve will get some quality attention from his dad when he visits..Because they are short visits. But I also know that my son misses his dad and the moments of attention he did get when we lived in the same house and the same state.

Each day is a learning experience.....And my son teaches me the hardest lessons of all. My job is to make sure the choices of his parents effect him as little as possible.

Friday, December 09, 2005

PC Holiday fun

I want to say to all "Happy...Merry...Joy to all..What ever you celebrate or whatever you don't celebrate I hope it is a good one for you and yours"

Yesterday was our PC Holiday Feast at work....oh great, a free meal...oh nope no such thing. That's ok we can all get together and share in a moment of happiness and joy and what always turns out to be a wonderful meal - worth every penny spent.

So I am on the committee that puts these events together for our place of employment and there are 9 of us that do all the planning, setting up, clean up and of course fund raising. Thank goodness we are not the ones that fix the meals - we have wonderful help for that part of it. So how much real work do we get done at the end of the day during one of these events...hmmm not much.

It was a busy day from the get go. First thing is taking little Steve to school. But that is not always easy because he is starting to care about what he wears. I guess it is time for him to get his clothes ready the night before. It used to be that I just pulled out some clothes and that was it. Now we have to go through this whole painful process on what is a good thing and what is not. I blame it on school. I am starting to get the "NO mom I can't wear that its not COOL" how does a 5 year old know what is cool. At that age, its just what little Johnny was wearing yesterday and that changes every day. I am not going to learn this new way of dressing because I am always wrong, just ask my 5 year old.

This morning that's not too bad. After I dropped him off I had to talk to the speech therapist and get him singed up for some help for his stuttering that was at 8:15. Once that meeting is over I run to work..Get there about 9:00 and I have another meeting at 9:30...With my boss..oh oh what did I do now? In the interim I try to help the group organize for the afternoons lunch.

Ok so the meeting with the boss was great. I am very lucky to have found a job that I absolutely love and well the cool thing is they like me too. I am officially off probation...Get a raise...Now they are stuck with me. I have my masters degree and I was beginning to think it was not going to help me...But I think it brought me up to the top with this job and well then I wowwwd them with me and my skill - whoohooo what a great feeling.

So then I go back to my office and get ready for yet another meeting....lunch starts at 11:30 and my team is meeting to set up the room for 90 plus to join us....We have 73 on the list but usually more come by. I have a few minutes to help set the tables for lunch so I help for 15 minutes doing the place settings and then excuse myself, feeling guilty that I have to leave them all during the setup.

So I go to this meeting to talk about one specific project....Of course since the meeting is staring just an hour before our lunch starts I am just a little anxious to get to topic and get it done. I am supposed to take lunch tickets as everyone goes through the line. It never fails....The meeting starts off and we starting talking about a semi related project...And the reality being that some of us should have been included in on meetings regarding this topic much earlier on. Owell we can muddle through and hope that enough good information is being passed on even though we are just getting to hear about it.

I start to panic because we finally get to topic and its a 1/2 hour till ticket duty. Side concerns that affect what I do kept being brought up. For those of you in the IT/IS ...It is funny how its your job to support people with these things but it never fails that we get an unbelievable number of problems we NEVER hear about until we are in a meeting about something else. Well gee if they had reported that problem to me I could have had a solution instead of waiting 2 months for this truly unrelated meeting to report and complain about this. Owell....

Finally after I weeded out what I really needed to get out of that meeting along with the page and a half of notes of the unrelated topic...I have to excuse myself for lunch ticket taking duty.

I was standing at the beginning of the line...My job is to take the tickets for those who have paid..mmmm then we have a list of names just in case they did not remember their tickets. Basically make sure that someone doesn't take someone else's ticket and that person can then say they forgot theirs. I am not too worried about it because I am pretty sure that the people I work with would not pull a fast one. But I was thinking if I was in a line of teenagers...I have only been at this job since March and there are still A LOT of people I don't. I guess I am the proverbial keep the honest person honest. To my surpise I had help in my endeavors of the ticket taker and it all went very smoothly..there were a couple of people that gave me tickets of people I knew and they were not them...but the person helping me had already heard about these and it was ok...whew thank goodness she was there.

Our wonderful crew of people who prepared the meal and served it were outstanding. In a 35 minutes they had served 64 people. It was a great meal and I think every one really enjoyed it...I enjoyed the desert the most...Sweet tooth..gosh darn it...

Although at my place of employment it is important for us to be PC...We were able to share in some light hearted jokes about that during our meal and thank goodness did not offend anyone. A good time was had by all.

Guess what's next clean up.....All those tables, chairs, decorations, place settings..All have to be cleaned up and put away now. No more meetings for me, I can actually help with this process. Its amazing how much work is put into the set up and clean up for a 1/2 hour meal. But it was all worth it....Kind of like Thanksgiving. I like getting everyone together and spending some down, social time and getting to know the people that you may work with everyday but not always notice their smiling faces.

I think by about 1:30...We were done...Ready to start work. Hmmmmm I for one was exhausted...Time for a nap the whole nap after turkey thing. Oh it might have been the desert too...Mine plus the extra plate I decided was mine too...hmmm were they good. My dear friend and co-worker Karie didn't eat hers at first..She was too full from the meal. Sometime during the rest of the afternoon as we tried to buckle down and get something done she decided to try some. She took a bite and said "oh a piece of chocolate with a clump of grease in the middle" yup that's how it felt in it pit of my stomach as well. The she said "mmm that's good" It was something like a Dutch chocolate truffle. We like our chocolate...Well I do, her not so much...I love it.

Anyway we made it through the rest of the day....And well actually got a couple of things done. All in all it was a good day...and its only December 3 more weeks of celebration...I don't think my belt buckle can handle it.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Gotta Start Somewhere

I have been looking over these blogs for a short time and thought hmmmm might as well give it a try.

I can try my hand at being creative, interesting (or more likely boring), brave, public and not worry a bit about what anyone thinks because if they don't like it they don't have to read it or visit again.

My son is 5 and a very sweet little boy...Steve. He yells at me down the hall and if I don't answer right away he yells again....Or if I say "what?"...He says "mom" yes again... And again I say "what" ..He pauses again and says "mom", by this time I get slightly aggravated and say "WHAT" in an oh so slightly raised voice...And he sweetly says "I love you"....Man that gets me every time.

I wonder when we exchange this little dialog...Almost daily, if he does it just to get on my nerves or if he is just thinking of something to say and like most of us do at times looses his train of thought before he can get it out.

Last night at bed time...Or well way past bed time he decided he wanted to fill me in on the days activities. I have not figured out why this dialog has to happen at or past bed time we usually have this conversation after school and then again at dinner time. The funny thing is that there is a lot more information being shared at and after bedtime. Anyway he wanted to take "Rudolph" to school and show his friends his favorite animal of the week. Unfortunately the kids are not supposed to take items of the Christmas nature to school. How do you explain to a 5 year old that Rudolph could offend someone at school. He was crying because I told him he could not take his Rudolph to school and says "but mom its just a toy". To be as innocent as a kid...I wish we could all just practice what we believe and not hurt others or be offended when others practice what they believe.