Monday, February 26, 2007

In way over my head

So, Snugglebutt, the newly turned 7 year old, some days I feel like I am not competent enough to be his parent, let alone his only parent.

We made a quick run to the grocery store after school, and as the cashier was placing the items in the bag, Snugglebutt was taking the bags off the carousel thingy and putting them in the cart. Then when we got to the car, without being asked, as soon as I opened the trunk, he began to get the bags out of the cart and load them up in the car. When we got into the car I said to him "You know I'm pretty proud of you right now." He said "Because I helped? You know why I did that, don't you?" When I asked him why, he said "I did it for approval."

!!! Ok, how does a 7 year old think to respond like that? He's SO smart! But, man! Don't I already give him approval? I try to anyway! Maybe he needs more than I give. This mom thing just never is easy.

Of course, then he tried to tell me he said he did it for a poodle...

Friday, February 23, 2007

I can breathe again

I think I've finally kicked this bronchitis thing, after over a month! I can take a deep breath again without coughing and wheezing. Well there's still a little wheeze, and a lingering cough occasionally, but I feel like I'm getting a sufficient amount of oxygen when I breathe. I couldn't say that last week. Thanks to those of you have been praying!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

ABC's of Homemaking

Rebekah at Diagonally Parked in a Parallel Universe (I LOVE the name of her blog!) tagged me for this meme, so I'll play along. But of course it would be the one subject that is just really not working in my life right now! I was reading her answers and giggling thinking, man I hope nobody asks me that! Then got down to the bottom and saw my name! UGH! But, ok, I'll do it. Won't promise complete and total honesty though!

Aprons- Y/N? - I have one that my sunday school class made me for my birthday a few years ago. It's got everybody's name on it. It's too special to actually use, so I guess I'd have to say no.

Baking- I love baking but finding the time is another issue. DQ has been a baking fiend lately though. She got up at 5am on Monday to bake banana bread for her castmates for play rehearsal.

Clothesline- Y/N? - No. I love clothes dried out on the line, but it's just too easy and fast to pop them in the dryer.

Donuts- Ever made them? - Yep. Once. A long time ago. We'll not discuss the results.

Everyday- One homemaking thing you do everyday? - Honestly these days, I don't think there is a homemaking thing I do everyday. I suck at it, really. Not only that, with my work schedule, the inclination to be picky about my house has totally left me.

Freezer- Do you have a separate deep freezer? - Yep. It was my ex-husband's when we got together, and when he was here and did the shopping it was pretty much kept full and stocked. With me, not so much. I'm considering selling it.

Garbage Disposal- Y/N? - Yes. I don't think I'd know what to do without one anymore.

Handbook- Y/N? - I have most of the handbooks to appliances and such. Somewhere. Don't ask where....

Ironing- Only if I absolutely must.

Junk Drawer- Where is it? - it's the drawer right over the cabinet where we keep our ziploc bags, aluminum foil and trash bags. It's the drawer closest to the door.

Kitchen- Design and decorating? - It was remodelled about 5 or 6 years ago after a major leak that caused a lot of damage. There was mold in the walls and cabinets, so they all had to be replaced. Insurance paid for most of it. We had an old cooktop and wall oven that could not be replaced because they don't make that size anymore, so darn, we had to get a whole new stove and counter top! I like my countertop, it's a champaign color with oak trim on the front. As far as the rest of the decor, it needs redone badly. It's just been the last thing on my mind for the past 3 years.

Love- What is your favorite part of homemaking? - ......

Mop - Y/N? - That's why I have children...

Nylons- Wash by hand or in the washer? - I rarely wear them. When I do, I wash them out by hand.

Oven- Do you use the window or open it to check? - Open it usually.

Pizza- What do you put on yours? - a favorite is ham and pineapple, but really, anything except anchovies, ewwwww

Quiet- What do you do during the day when you get a quiet moment? - sleep.

Recipe card box- Y/N? - no.

Style of house - Ranch, I guess. We do have a basement which is VERY rare for houses in Arizona.

Tablecloths and napkins- Y/N? - For everyday use, no way.

Under the kitchen sink - Dish soap, dishwasher detergent, other misc cleaning supplies.

Vacuum- How many times a week? - Again, God made teenagers for a reason... :P

Wash- How many loads do you do a week? - Me personally, 2, but the kids do a lot more. The 9 year old washes towels on Wednesdays, and the two teenagers are responsible for washing the two younger kids' clothes.

X's- Do you keep a list of things to do and cross them off? - That would require me to do them, right?

Yard- Who does what? - Me, when it gets done, or sometimes I ask one of the kids if I have a specific job for them to do. I have desert landscaping in the front so that makes it easy. I am not going to discuss the backyard. This is one of the things that as a single working parent, I feel like I can't keep up with.

ZZZ's- What is your last homemaking task for the day? - Ummmm... nothing routine, since my routine is pretty backwards!

I'll tag Janean and Jessica and anybody else who wants to play :)

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Wrong Way!

Apparently it doesn't take much skill to get a bowling ball down the alley where it will hit pins, you just have to wave your arms wildly in the air to show it which way to go... but sometimes, bowling balls don't obey...

Friday, February 16, 2007

Snugglebutt's birthday cake

Snugglebutt has discovered all of his older brother's outgrown Pokemon stuff, and is absolutely loving it. So naturally, he wanted a Pikachu cake for his birthday. Well, the rest of the world has not caught on to the resurgence of Pokemon, so finding a cake at the store was not happening, so I took matters into my own hands. I'm pretty pleased with the result!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Happy Birthday Snugglebutt :D

February 17, 2000 at 5:30am, my little Snugglebutt was born! (Or Corky Porky as he was sometimes called.) He came into the world in the very room in which I am typing this post.

His birth story is short and sweet - I had a planned homebirth (after the fiasco of Sassy's birth, but that's a post for a different day! Specifically, May 4th!) I went to bed around 11 on February 16th. At midnight, I woke up and thought I felt a contraction, but I wasn't going to get my hopes up, so I went back to sleep. At 1 am, I woke up with another one, and again told myself to just relax and go to sleep. At 2am, I woke up and had a few, so I decided to get up and start timing them. I expected them to be irregular and stay far apart, but as I was timing them, they were getting closer. At around 3am, I decided to go take a shower because I figured a change in activity would either make them stronger or make them go away. The shower made them stronger (but still very manageable.) At 3:30, I laid back down, figuring I'd need to get some rest, and by 3:45 I felt like I was needing some support through the contractions. So I grabbed my sleeping husband's shoulder and squeezed. He woke up and I told him I thought it was time to call the midwife. I called her at 4. She told me to go take a bath and call her in 20 minutes if I wanted her to come. I made it halfway to the bathroom, turned around and called her back. I now finally had no doubt that this kid was coming. The midwife arrived at 4:45, and she said it wouldn't be long. She was right, Snugglebutt was born at 5:30 according to the midwife's cell phone. And all the other kids slept right on through right across the hall! They woke up an hour after the midwife left and said "Did we hear a baby cry?"

As far as births go, it was the easiest and most "text book" of my 5, and I sincerely believe it's because nobody messed with me much during labor. I allowed my body to work the way it was made to. I can't say as much for my previous 4 births. I'm not saying I didn't think once or twice "....I thought this was a good idea, WHY?..." and "DRUGS. I want DRUGS!" But if I had to do it again, which I'd really rather not, thankyouverymuch, I'd choose to do it at home again in a heartbeat.

As far as memories go, it's the most bittersweet of the 5, just because of how I felt about Snugglebutt's father at the time we had this child together, and because of how things turned out. But, my son's birthday is not about me and my feelings, but about celebrating the blessing that God gave us that day. And oh boy did He!

This is the child who kissed me at 6 months old. It took me a while to figure it out because none of my other kids did that at such an early age. But the first time we left him with a babysitter for any amount of time, the child flung himself at me with his mouth open, squealing with delight, and I had no doubt what he was doing.

This is the child who didn't speak well until he was almost 3, but on his 2nd birthday, sat with a magnadoodle saying "two, two, two..." and covered the magnadoodle writing the number 2.

This is the child who's very first word was.... hamburger. I don't know why. I have him on video running back and forth at the park saying "hamburger hamburger hamburger hamburger HAM-BUR-GERRRRRRRR!"

This is the child that when he did learn to speak, he couldn't say the F, S, SH or Z sound and replaced them all with the L sound. So if we wanted to go out for lupper (supper) we had to put his loos (shoes) and lockth (socks) on his leet (feet.) And maybe we'd see his best friend, Leke (Zeke.) I don't think I will ever forget when we took the beastvan for a test drive, and we were on a bridge on the freeway going through downtown. His carseat sat up higher than in my little Ford Escort, and he exclaimed "I lee a lity!" Took us a while to figure it out that he saw a city! And I don't think I will forget the day he came up to me and said "I want... I want...FFFFood!" and you could tell he was trying so hard to say it right. I was so proud and so sad at the same time, because my baby was trying to become a big boy.

This is the child who for his third birthday, wanted only one thing - to go climb a mountain.

This is the child who for his fourth birthday, wanted only one thing - to go sheep riding. Yeah. I didn't even know people actually did that until I was talking to a friend of mine who said sheep riding was a popular event at kid's rodeos, and that happens all the time here in Arizona. Being a yankee by birth, I had no clue... And I don't know how or why he decided he wanted to ride a sheep.

This is the child who about a month or so after my ex-husband's arrest, asked me if I was going to find him a new daddy. When I told him I couldn't even think about that right then, that my feelings were still too hurt, he said "Mommy, one day soon I'm going to make you golden feelings, so they'll never get hurt again." I have tears in my eyes just typing it, it was so very sweet. Of course he did add "but first I'll have to make a silver Buzz Lightyear, so the golden feelings will have to wait a bit..."

He's been through a lot in his short 7 years, and I think he's pretty well adjusted, most of the time, though there are days when I worry more about him than I do my 9 year old daughter. But I'm going to cling to Jeremiah 29:11 for him - "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Happy Birthday Buddy, I love you!

Little Update

I've been kind of quiet because, guess what? I'm sick again! GRRRR! The bronchitis is back with a vengeance! I've toughed it out at work, but tonight is my night off so I hauled my sorry carcass to the doctor again today and got some different antibiotics, and an inhaler this time. It's so bad, she asked me "Are you sure you don't have asthma?" The inhaler makes me all shaky and woozy, even if it does help me breathe better. I'm not sure which I like better - being able to breathe, or having my wits about me!

Training is going a LOT better. I may actually be able to do this. Still not sure if I'll like it very much, but I feel... capable. It's a good feeling. Monday night my trainer sat there and played her Nintendo DS all night, and then said "I know you're doing a lot better, I got really far on Super Mario!" Hmmm, ok! And my friend, the one they gave 2 weeks to improve, ended up getting a different trainer. I'm happy he's still trying.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Hard day to be in Bloggyville

What with all the Valentines posts about how wonderful everybody's husbands are... don't get me wrong - I'm happy for those of you who have great guys, and I'm happy you post about them. It just makes me a little... wistful... I guess, about what I thought I had. The thing I've figured out is that even when marriages have rough spots, it's still a privilege to have the opportunity to work through them. If you've got a spouse that loves you and is willing to work with you to resolve problems, you are blessed.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

3 real 911 calls

Me: 911, what is your emergency?
Caller1: Yes, my neighbors have too many people at their house.
Me: Are they being loud?
Caller1: No. They're just there.
Me: So are they causing a problem at all?
Caller1: No. Just a lot of people.
Me: Ok, no noise, no problem...
Caller1: Right. I just don't think they should have that many people at their house.
Me: I see. I'm sorry, that's not a 911 call....
Me: 911, what is your emergency?
Caller2: There's a guy sitting on the corner, and he's saying things to people.
Me (after getting the address and physical description of the person): So what did he say to you?
Caller2: He said "hey, how ya doing?"
Me: ... Ok, did he say anything else?
Caller2: No. He just said that and waved.
Me: Did he make any moves that made you feel unsafe?
Caller2: No, he was just sitting there.
Me: Ok
Caller2: I just think it's suspicious, you know? For him to just be sitting there, saying Hi to people as they pass by...
Me: 911, what's your emergency?
Caller3: I had a bad dream.
Me: Is there someone at home you can talk to?
Caller3: No, I live alone.
Me: Are you an adult?
Caller3: Yes, I'm 23.
Me: So you're calling because you had a bad dream?
Caller3: That's right.
Me: But you don't have a medical emergency, or fire or police emergency?
Caller3: No. I had a bad dream. I can't call my friend because my cell phone was disconnected because I didn't pay the bill and I can only call 911. Can you call my friend for me?
Me: Let me just make sure - you are 23 years old, you had a bad dream, and you called 911 so that we could call your friend for you?
Caller3: Yes.
Me: No.

Oh well, at least the UFO calls were all on Tuesday night :D

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

I am officially an idiot

Yes I am, don't argue with me.

Ok, so I'm pretty much useless when I'm not at work (and sometimes even when I am at work.) If I'm not sleeping, I'm wishing I was sleeping, and keeping on top of everyday life is just hard. I can't keep up with the laundry, let alone stuff like, ummm, vehicle maintenance. Yeah. THAT kind of idiot.

I got my car in February last year, so I've had it for almost a year. It's a 2005, so it's still under warranty and should be pretty much worry free as long as it's maintained, right? I keep thinking "it's about time to get an oil change, I need to take care of that." I've been thinking that for at LEAST 6 months. HA! So I decided that even if I can't get the oil changed right now, it's been a year, I'm sure adding a quart or two wouldn't hurt. I checked the car to see what kind of oil the manufacturer recommended, picked some up and yesterday before I picked the kids up, I did what I thought was a good thing and put some oil in the car. Lesson learned. Always check the levels before adding more! See, I told you I was an idiot! Too much oil... is a bad thing. Who knew? Pretty soon my poor lil car was sputtering and blowing smoke out the rear end (and it's not even a politician!) I thought it was better, but then the check engine light went on. Oh joy.

I just took it to get an oil change, and I've been assured that everything should be fine and the engine light is just an emissions things which should correct itself as the engine burns off the residue from the extra oil. And if not, then I should take it to a dealership and not mention my automotive maintenance skillz :P I feel... so dumb :P

That was fun, but now I'm tired

I was really expecting this ride along to be lame, being 3rd shift and all, middle of the night, people sleeping... but it was not lame at all. When I got to the station, I was waiting around and I saw a familiar face, but I had a hard time placing where I'd seen him. It took me a while, but I figured it out - he was a sergeant in the employment services division when I was being hired, and when I worked in that division before I started 911 training. As I've mentioned, that was right before Christmas the year my ex-husband was arrested, and employment services provided Christmas for our family that year. So I asked this guy if he was at that division at that time, and he was, and he remembered me. He's now 3rd shift lieutenant at the precinct where I was last night. So I got the chance to let him know how much what they did for us still means to me, and I'm so thankful for that. If nothing else was interesting the whole night, I'm glad I got to go there because I ran into him.

But there was plenty that I found interesting. First call was a noise complaint. Nobody wanted contact, we didnt hear anything, so we moved on to the next - A burglary call. It was a report call, the people came home to find their house basically cleaned out. It was a young couple with two young kids, they both work, and from the decorations left in the house, it looked like they were Christians. I felt sick to my stomach seeing their house. The living room was empty, the all but one of the bedrooms were emtpy, and they said here was a lot of money and jewelry missing. Leather furniture, about 1000 CD's and DVD's, TV's, bedding, the kid's bedroom set... as a call taker, I don't think I will ever think of a burglary call as routine again.

Next we responded to an emergency call of a rape. It turned out to be a prostitution situation gone bad, and the victim was claiming to be 18 years old. There were a few officers there, and they ranged in attitude from "non-payment for services = shoplifting" to "yeah, it may be a job, but nobody deserves that." I was talking to the sergeant for a few minutes, who was a female, about the situation. One of the first thing she said was that she'd be willing to place money that this girl was molested as a younger child. I wonder what kind of help she's had, who cared about her then, and who cares about her now? Does she have anybody who tells her she's worth something and God loves her? Will having someone who cares make a difference for my daughter? This job gives me so many things to pray for!

We didn't stay there too long, and went on to our next task - helping out an undercover unit by providing transportation to the police station for someone he'd arrested. Another prostitute. Claiming to be 18. Who looked VERY young. All we had to do was drop her off.

As we were headed out the door, we passed another officer who was bringing in a guy with no shirt, no shoes, sweatpants, who looked totally out of it. They were going to finger print him to see if they could determine who he was, because the officer that brought him in couldn't even get a name out of him. One of the other officers walking by knew the person, and even knew his address, so we followed the officer who had the guy in cuffs to drop this guy off at his house. His family didn't want him there. He's bipolar, not taking his meds, and on drugs. He's prone to violence, and was at the mental health emergency room the night before but left. We called the mental health crisis team and they responded, but I don't know what happened after that, we left in search of stolen vehicles or other kind of trouble. I could sympathize with his family though. We weren't sure for a while if we were going to be able to get the crisis team there because he wasn't threatening anybody or himself, or damaging property. He was lying there calm and wanted to go to sleep. We also couldn't arrest him because he hadn't committed any crime. They were afraid of him though. The mental health care system could use some work I think.

Next we drove around for a while running plates, we chased a drunk trespasser off private property, and then we did manage to find a few people to pull over. Of the 3 people we pulled over, we only gave one a ticket. And it's my fault she got the ticket. The officer left the decision up to me. Suspended license, no proof of ownership, no proof of insurance - yeah, she was getting a ticket. Too many irresponsible drivers making the insurance rates here one of the most expensive in the country!

We went out with another officer who had pulled someone over on suspicion of drunk driving. The guy could NOT walk a straight line to save his life, and blamed his utter lack of balance on new boots. We were quite suprised however when the breathalyzer only came back with a .022. Drunk is .08.

At one point we stopped back at the station, and there was an officer there booking a juvenile for drug possession. And sitting there on the table was two little bags - one with m e t h and one with m a r i j u a n a. The big deal there was it was the first time I've ever seen either. When I said that, especially about the weed, the officer didn't believe me at first.

I was able to see dispatching from the officer's persective for a while and we talked a good bit about what dispatchers do that drives officers crazy vs what officers do that drive dispatchers crazy :) And my trainer was dispatcher for a while so that was cool. I got to play on the in car computer a little bit :P

As it got later all we really did was run plates, and circulate the beat area looking of suspicious activity. Even though we were in a high crime area, everybody seemed to be calm. We went to grab something to eat at 5, and when we were done with that we responded to an emergency burglary in progress call. We were going pretty quick anyway, but when the first unit to arrive there asked how long it would be till someone else showed up, we went lights and sirens the rest of the way, something police here rarely do anymore. Six Flags has nothing on a squad car responding code 3 ;P The suspect was likely someone known to the homeowner who was trying to harrass them. They turned off the circuit breaker box, turned on the water spigot in the back yard, banged on a few doors and windows, then hightailed it out of there. Since it was getting to be late, we didn't stay there long once we couldn't find the guy, because I had to get home to take my kids to school.

I was glad there was nothing too horrific, but there was enough to keep me interested and thinking. And the officer was very nice, and cute too... cute in a "let me introduce you to my daughter..." kind of way ;D

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Tuesday Randomness, mostly work stuff

This week has gone a lot better with dispatch training. I'm still making some mistakes but much more relaxed about it and I've been quicker to recongize them and fix them on my own. My trainer really is great and she thinks I can do it... so I stick with it. One of my coworkers who was in the dispatch training class with me is feeling a little more discouraged. His trainer and their supervisor told him that he's got two weeks to improve, and if not then he's back in 911. I feel so bad because I know he really wants to do dispatch, and he's just a really nice guy. There are a few other of my classmates that are struggling, and a few that have already completed training.

Tonight though, I get a break. Instead of going to the communications bureau, I get to go on another ride along with an officer. We have to set goals every year for our evaluations and a common one is to ask for a ride along. New and different goals are tough! So at my last evaluation last April, I asked to go for a ride in our busiest and highest crime area. Bad things happen all over, but more happens in this precinct than the other five. So hopefully even though I'm going on 3rd shift, it will be busy enough to be interesting. I'm not afraid (even though I refer to that area as Scaryvale!) I just hope we have more to do than drive up and down the street running plates all night :) Next time, I'm going to ask to go on a ride with the police helicopter!

When I was growing up in Ohio, I dreamed of owning a citrus tree. I couldn't imagine living in a place where orange trees grew, because all we seemed to have was apples, pears, and the occasional cherry tree. Oranges were my absolute favorite fruit, and I really just wanted an orange tree. Now I have one! I have to say, one of the things I adore about Arizona is the citrus trees. They look nice, and I love the fruit. Today as I was leaving work, there was a table by the door with a huge bag of lemons with a sign that said "help yourself." So I grabbed a few. All the way home I could smell the lemons and it was so nice. This may sound weird, but as I was driving past the (dry) river with an excellent view of the rising sun, it was one of those moments that reminded me that God loves us. He created sights, sounds and smells for us to enjoy, and I'm so thankful for that.

I'm happy to report DQ has had an attitude adjustment (she's still grounded from the computer though!) and Snugglebutt is doing better and trying very hard to behave in school. He's had a bunch of good days in a row.

More Slightly Amusing Kidstuff (SAK):
We had stopped at the store for milk, and Sassy and Snugglebutt asked to get those little containers of chocolate milk. It was right after school and they were thirsty, so I agreed. On our way out, this older lady stopped me and asked me if I knew where the nearest post office was, then she said to Snugglebutt "If you drink that chocolate milk, you'll turn brown!" Snugglebutt, in his most serious voice said to the lady "That's just a chance I'll have to take."

And my Sassy told me just a bit ago that books are her life. I could take away food and water, but not books. She said "If someone shot me, as long as I had a book, I'd survive." Somehow I have a feeling this daughter of mine will one day write some books of her own :)

Sunday, February 04, 2007

A Little Better

Maybe it was because I set a time frame for myself, that if I still hated dispatching in a month and wasn't doing well, I was going to go back to 911 - maybe having that knowledge that the stress wasn't going to go on indefinitely helped me relax enough that last night at work I did really well. I still made a lot of mistakes and asked a lot of questions, but I wasn't all stressed out and frustrated and ready to smash my headset to smithereens. This is a good thing. It gave me some hope again that maybe I can do this. I also think praying the whole way to work helped too :)

So, I grounded DQ, my 15 year old, from the computer the other day for two weeks. Stuff I was asking to be done wasn't or not being done well. And she was being mouthy. It's usually the computer absorbing all of her attention. I got up just a bit ago to go pick up the 17 year old from work, and guess where I found DQ - On the computer! This is the first time I've had one of my teenagers be that deliberately defiant. This parenting teenager stuf is HARD! And unlike dispatch training at work, I can't give this a month to get better! I figure this next month is either going to cure her of her defiant ways or make her rebel more, but I've extended it to a month that she's not allowed on the computer, and I've added passwords to all ways she could get on our home computer. I guess with 5 kids, I shouldn't expect smooth sailing all the way, huh?

Friday, February 02, 2007

Up, up and away!

I was looking through my pictures today and found this. I took it almost 2 years ago on our way to a field trip with Sassy's class. There's nothing photographically outstanding about this picture, it's really just kind of average. But I like it. It makes me want to be in that hot air balloon - above all the chaos of everyday life. Wouldn't it be fun? I think I'm going to look into going on a hot air balloon ride during our vacation in May :)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Having a hard time

I guess I've hit one of those rough patches. I know it's just temporary, and there's still joy in Christ, but wow, things are just hard right now. I'm still fighting this crud. I've been on antibiotics for a little over a week now, and I was getting better, but then the coughing started getting worse again, and I've had a sinus headache for like two weeks now. So that's not making life any easier. I missed a week of work, but went back this past Saturday. Not feeling quite up to par is not a good thing for being in training. But then again, being in training just SUCKS anyway! There, I said it. I hate it. I want to quit. There, I said that too. I'm not all that convinced I like dispatching anyway. Even if I don't always love talking to some of the callers, I'm GOOD at it, and that feels good. I'm not sure I like the job of keeping track of all the officers and being responsible for their safety. Plus so far I just really stink at it. I can't keep up when it's busy and I can't always hear what it is they're telling me. My trainer keeps saying to type and repeat what they say, but how can I do that if it sounds like a foreign language that I've never heard before? I had an officer the other night tell me that he tased someone, and I totally DID NOT hear it. Luckily my trainer did. That scares me though. I don't want to be putting these officers in danger, it would kill me if something bad happened because I made a mistake. The other day, I almost quit training. I was frustrated to the point of tears (again, gosh I hate crying at work! But they tell me that's normal...) But, I didn't feel good about just quitting training yet. I decided to give it one month, and if I still hate it this much and I'm still struggling, I'm out of there and back to 911 where I actually know what I'm doing. Well, most of the time. Because there's so much other.... junk... in life, I don't need to be this stressed out over something that's not going to make THAT much of a difference in our quality of life.

Yes, and the other junk. In the middle of my bronchitis induced fog, Snugglebutt's teacher called me. It was not good. He's not been turning in his homework, and he's been quite disruptive in class, especially music. For some reason, the boy absolutely hates music class. They apparently make him play games and he does not like that. So he throws things and behaves like a little butthead. So we had nice heart to heart talk in which I made it clear that such behavior was not ok and I wouldn't put up with him being a little butthead in school. He promised to do his homework and behave better. Now, I know this is my fault and I should pay more attention to what's really going on with him and school, and check his homework more, but he's not really lied to me before and when he said he did his homework, I believed him. There's just so much to keep up with, lately I feel like the harder I try to keep up with it all, the more I fall behind. So yesterday I got a note that he hadn't turned in his homework at all, and that he's still being disruptive. Not that I want him to use it as an excuse, but I know he still has a lot of feelings he can't express about his dad and all that happened. Sometimes I think he's well adjusted and happy, and others I think he's just falling apart on the inside. He's been in counseling and that's helped some, but I think there are wounds there that he's not going to let anybody near. Hopefully when he's ready he'll let God heal him...

But I can't even talk to him about healing I guess because I'm struggling just as much as he is. I go through phases where I feel healed and ready and able to move on with my life. I think of all that happened very little, and I feel strong and confident. Then I go through other phases where I can't get it out of my head or heart, and it hurts again. And in those times, I don't feel strong or confident. I simply cannot fathom why this man did what he did - I don't know that I will ever understand. I know what triggered the return of the bad feelings this time, and it really wasn't that big of a deal. I don't know why I can't seem to find my way back to where I was before. I pray and, well, it's just a time when God seems far away. I know it's not Him that moved... but I'm not sure how I moved, where I went, or how to get back.

Honestly? I want to tell the world that I'm completely over this thing. I don't want to hurt, I don't want to be a victim anymore. I want to say I've completely risen above the the pain this person caused. But I'd be lying. And I'd be fake. I don't want to be fake. So here's real for you - this still hurts. A lot. And I hate that it does. I hate that my son, the one who was supposed to the only one of the 7 kids between us who didn't come from a broken home, does indeed come from a broken home. There's more, but I can't put a voice to it right now.

The more I hold it in though, the more damage it does. So, I'm putting it out here because secrets have no power if they aren't secrets anymore. I'm not looking for advice or sympathy, maybe some prayers... but really it's just the release of spilling it all that I'm looking for. And that really does help.

Even though things are really hard, I still know I am very very blessed. Yesterday as I was talking to Snugglebutt about his problems at school, I was trying to explain to him what it's like being a grown up - to be responsible for so many things. Part of the conversation went a little like this:
Me: And there are all these bills that I have to make sure get paid on time, every month.
Him: Like the electric bill?
Me: Yes, exactly.
Him: And the water bill?
Me: Yes, and the insurance, and the car payment and...
Him: And the duck bill?
Me: Yes, the... No! Duck bill!
And I couldn't help but laugh myself silly. At not even 7 years old, the boy sure does know how to lighten things up :)

So now's the part where I wince when hit publish...