Friday, April 23, 2010

Saturday School

So far, 2010 has taken me in a different direction I wasn’t prepared for. After six years of a regular, consistent visitation schedule, I no longer have that. I don’t want to sound like I don’t love having my kids around, but anyone who is a parent can attest to the fact that having a day or two or sometimes a week or a month alone, (i.e. not having to worry about the safety and welfare of your child/children), and then suddenly, without warning – it’s gone….never to return…can be a bit daunting on the emotions. That’s what has happened to me. I truly love my children and would never ever give them up for anything in the world, but I am tired of finding the only place I can be alone is in my room. When I lived in the duplex, I always sat in my room because I didn’t really like the rest of the house. Now that I am in the apartment, I have really enjoyed being able to sit in the den and watch TV or work on the computer. It’s not that I can’t do that now, but it’s just not the same when people are constantly coming in and out of the house, doing homework and occasionally fighting. Gosh I feel horrible just putting these thoughts into words, but as a single parent, you do find that the one main benefit of divorce, if you are lucky enough, is that the children will go spend two weekends a month with the other parent. I was completely prepared for the gradual decline of this event, but not for it to completely come to a stop. At least I’m still getting child support and I live with the hope it will start up again one day.

The picture is of some shoes I ordered recently. If you don’t know about this site, it’s and what you do it go on there, order a pair of canvas shoes, lots of colors to choose from and it will cost you about $50 on the low end. Then, “Tom” donates a pair of shoes to a child in need of a pair of shoes. They are a little tight on the feet right now, but are already stretching out and will be perfect after this weekend. I am just so excited to have my own pair and help someone out in the process. I was thinking what a great Christmas gift this would make for the kids. Michael already has a pair and Ben wants a pair. I don’t know if we will make it until Christmas.

Tomorrow is a school make-up day for the district because of the two big snows we have had. The first make-up day was on Good Friday. Tomorrow is only a half day and probably a good fun day for the kids. I am certain attendance will not be at all normal as most kids aren’t concerned about loosing one school day – especially when it’s a Saturday. But, my kids will be there because we have exemptions to worry about. Jonathan will just go because, well, let’s face it, we live right across from the school and he doesn’t need to sleep in anyway. This does mean that I will have to get up though. The question is, will I come home and go back to bed or will I enjoy being alone in the house and start cleaning. I will let you know.
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Monday, April 19, 2010

The Ones We Love

When did it snow? Around Valentine's Day. That's the same weekend my Aunt Nell discovered that my Aunt Mary wasn't doing so well. She had called to check on her. My Aunt Nell was married to my dad's brother, Uncle Roy. He passed away about 5 years ago. Aunt Nell and Aunt Mary go to church together and, being both widows and related, they check up on each other. It's not an every day thing, but this one particular day, Aunt Nell felt like she needed to make sure Mary was doing ok. It was that day that it just snowed for like 12 hours straight.

She could tell something wasn't right, a stroke or something. Aunt Nell is a nurse. She knows these things. Aunt Nell called my dad and 911, not sure in what order, but anyway, Aunt Mary was taken to the hospital. It took a few days, but eventually, the tests came back. She had cancer in her brain and a few other places in her body. She is terminal. They have done the radiation and are about to finish up Keimo this month. I wanted to take this opportunity to share some of my memories I have of my Aunt Mary. This may be long, but she is a wonderful woman and has always been a sweet, wonderful aunt.

When I was little, I remember my Aunt Mary and Uncle Dick coming over to the house. They lived in Rockwall and we were in Hurst. It was always a time we stopped what we were doing. Uncle Dick worked on TV's (or so my memory tells me). I remember that they both smoked and in our house that was something rebellious. We never knew that my dad smoked until my oldest brother was born. We never saw him smoke anyway.  My mom told me that Aunt Mary gave me a really cute dress for my first birthday. It was from Neiman-Marcus and dry clean only. I think I still have it somewhere. It wasn't the norm for us growing up.

When I got married and started having kids, I had more of a relationship with Aunt Mary.  She never had children of her own. She had stepchildren, I learned later, but I don't remember us ever having any interaction. She was that Aunt that would doate over her nieces and nephews. She was always so generous with my kids, giving gifts for ever occassion - birth, Christmas, was something we looked forward to. When we couldn't provide anything for our kids, Aunt Mary was always there to give them something and they always loved it. She took time to find out what they liked, what they were into, and she would give accordingly. 

There was the time when Uncle Dick was very sick and she couldn't come around at all. I believe she was even taking care of her mother-in-law who was very sick as well. Uncle Dick had emphasema for a long time and Aunt Mary quit smoking when that happened. The day before his funeral I found out I was pregnant with Benjamin. I remember telling my cousin, Mary Lou, at the funeral but hadn't even told my dad. I wasn't sure how the family would handle it because Alyssa was only 5 month old and sick. I was sure they rolled their eyes. My cousin Jack's wife Ann was expecting their only child, Chris. It was a little awkward but I know Aunt Mary felt a little relief not having to care for someone sick anymore.

Now it's her turn to receive the love and care that she gave to her husband and mother-in-law all those years. She stayed with my Aunt Nell throughout the radiation treatments and then, once the first Keimo treatment was done, she wanted to go home. My dad and his wife had prepared a room for her so she could come live with them. The doctor didn't want her living alone. My dad and Aunt Mary have always been close. She wants to go live at her house with her cats, that's where she is going. My dad isn't going to force her to do what she wasn't comfortable doing. No matter what. Dad drives out to Rockwell on an almost daily basis (if not every day) from North Richland Hills.  Lene goes with him most of the time if she isn't needed at work. I can't imagine how hard that is on both of them, but when you do something out of love you just do it.

That's Aunt Mary in the picture (obviously) with a hat that Andy knit for her and how cute is she that she matches the workout suit that her sister, Aunt Ema, gave her? There will come a day, too soon I'm afraid, that Aunt Mary will no longer be on this earth, but we are certain she will be in a better place. She is and always will be loved. Don't forget to tell the ones you love how much you love them. You never know when they will be gone.
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Friday, April 16, 2010

My Thoughts on Facebook

So, I have some thoughts about Facebook that I thought I would share. I hope I do not offend anyone or make anyone uncomfortable. I am honestly not sure who reads this, although I know that several people out there do. I wish it was hundreds, but several works for me.

Several years ago I became a MySpace-aholic. That was more than just a way to keep up with my kids or friends. It was a way to get dates, at first. Then it pretty much just became about keeping up with my kids and their friends. I had heard about Facebook (FB from here on out) and that it was for college students. Then suddenly the people I was friends with on MySpace began moving to FB. Being the rebel that I can be (hahaha) I  was absolutely not switching. I wasn't going to make a profile. I wasn't even going there.

Yeah, so I did, obviously. I dug my heals in at first, not liking the set up because it was absolutely nothing like MySpace and I just couldn't get used to it. BUT, my brother was on there so it pushed me to keep trying to like it if I was going to communicate with him and help him keep up with me and the kids.  I trudged through and got used to it and then they changed things, which frustrated me, and then they changed things again. Now, about two years later, I am about to delete my MySpace account because I just never go there. I am totally "addicted" to FB.

It has allowed me to get back into contact with people that I grew up with, family and coworkers. It amazes me how many people I have been able to find on there. The other thing that amazes me is how people update their status. I, myself, try to say something random or funny to make people think or laugh. It usually works, unless I say something that can be taken as TMI or just sad, i.e. "I'm perfectly lonely cause I don't belong to anyone, and nobody belongs to me." I was just quoting a John Mayer song and certain people thought I was depressed or something. While that line does describe the way I feel sometimes, I just like the song itself.

The other day, my son posted something that got a small discussion started between his friends. It said, "I think that facebook updates are things that give us false feelings that someone cared, but honestly how many ppl see your status and actually care what you have to say..." I would definitely have to agree with that statement. I do tend to update my status to see how many people I can get to "like" it or comment on it. I rarely put random stuff that no one is interested in and on occassion, I will put something that makes people gasp (or so I imagine).  One thing you will not see me do it update my relationship status. That is like ending your relationship right then and there. I only did it twice and seriously, I knew better AND it was me who ended the relationship I was so happily announcing.

I also went through and deleted a bunch of people and have come to a "max friends" rule. 200 is all I want. I honestly don't think I personally know 200 people on FB and if I do, do I know them are they just aquaintences? That's all my thoughts for now. My brain is empty. ;)
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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Say It's Your Birthday! No Way!

How is it that just yesterday I was 18 and having fun and now I have a daughter who is 17?  The great thing about this birthday is that it was really low key. I have been waiting for the day that she wouldn't want every girl that she ever even talked to to come over and have this huge party. Now we have boys/couples going to a movie and hanging out at the house. I'm good with this because I know the boys and the couples and would much prefer them be at my house than someone else's.

As you see in the picture, there is (L)Riley, Melina and Alyssa at the table with (L) Jeremiah (Melina's boyfriend and Jason's best friend - how convenient) and Jason on the couch. Riley's boyfriend had to leave pretty quickly after they got back to the house. They had gone to see "Date Night" after school and then came back to the house for pizza and cake. It was a school night so not a lot of anything late.

When I look at my daughter and I think back when I was 17, I think what a great relationship we have - so much better than I had with my mom - ever. My mom is sweet but growing up we were never so close that I felt like I could tell her anything and she is so unemotional that she just lives in the moment and blocks anything bad out. Now, I love my mother but just want to be a much more open mother to my kids. I want to be approachable and honest at any turn. Sometimes my kids probably don't appreciate my complete honesty, but they get it anyway.

As for a gift, I haven't done anything yet. I asked her what she wanted and she just isn't sure yet. That's fine with me because you know, birthday's are meant to be stretched out. It's pretty nice to have a kid who isn't into massive name brands or major shopping. I think we will go shopping this weekend and see what we can find. I am very proud of my daughter and the woman she is becoming. She works very hard in school and has goals and ambitions for college and a career. I have said it before and I will say it again, I wasn't sure if I would be a good mom for a daughter, but I think I've done pretty well. She laughs at my jokes and thinks I'm just funny almost all the time. Can't beat that now, can ya?! I love you Alyssa Louise Nobles. You make me very proud!
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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Easter and Stuff

This year was the first Easter in quite a while, probably 6 years, that I have had my kids with me. Usually, for some reason, their visitation always feel on their dad's weekend. Since that isn't an issue anymore, they are with the for all holidays, which makes me happy.

The picture above just makes me smile. I posted this on my Facebook page on Sunday and I get a call from my brother who just loved the individuality of each of the kids. This picture really does show how each of them are in every day life. They each have a personality of their own, and yes, Alyssa and Ben are really that close, Michael is also "that cool" and Jonathan, well, yes, he is that silly. I had them stop at the front door for a picture. They started to do the line up and get situated until I said, "Not formal. Be silly." This is what I got.

I love this time of year. It definitely has to be my favorite in terms of weather and smells in the air. Being able to open up the windows or sit outside and not feel like you are going to freeze to death or instantaniously combust because of the heat - you can't beat that. Last night, I sat at the pool with Jonathan and his friend, Nahir (who lives upstairs and is in class with him) at the pool so that they could "sit in the hot tub". This turned into them jumping into the pool and the hot tub. All I could say was, "Don't swallow that nasty water. I got sick once when I swallowed nasty pool water." How motherly was that of me? They were having fun and getting all that energy out - they weren't listening to me.

Easter is about new life, Jesus Christ and all things holy. For my family, I feel like this is certainly a time of renewal and change. Enjoy the changes and grow from them.
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Friday, April 2, 2010

National Honor Society?!?!

I'm not sure if you know it or not, but my kids are really smart! I was just happy to graduate from high school. Back then (hahaha) they were really just starting to award different levels of graduation. Now you can actually graduate with college credits. Alyssa has been in the International Baccalaureate program this year. If she completes all of the requirements at the end of her Senior year next year, she will graduate with this honor AND....yesterday, she received her acceptance into the National Honor Socitey! I was so excited for her.

She told me that she had to write an essay, and while I may possibly remember her writing the essay, she is such an independant worker that I never know what her homework may be for. She works so hard on her school work and unfortunately, I don't recognize that as much as I should. She even tutors her boyfriend, which I think is very sweet and helpful because we do want him to graduate as well.

This makes me think back to when she was a baby and she was so sick we thought she might die. She had pertusos for 7 months and it was the longest 7 months of my life. I remember thinking, "She will never be 2!" That's as far into the future as I could see at that time because Michael was 2 and I didn't know what it was like having a child any older than 2. In two weeks she will be 17. Having a daughter has brought a joy to my life that I never could have imagined. I love all of my children, but I never thought I would be a good mom fora girl. I think she would disagree.

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Thursday, April 1, 2010

My, How Time Passes

So my brother, Andy, started blogging again - after a small reprieve. I knew I had not blogged in a very long time but I didn't realize it had been almost a month! So this is just going to be an update as to my last post, but, like Andy, I will make a more concerted effort to blog on a more daily basis.

So, things with school have gotten so much better. I spent a Saturday evening with some "school teacher" friends of mine, talking about how Jonathan was really struggling to keep up and how frustrated I was with the teachers. I had been in contact with the principal and vice-principal and counselor but still wasn't confident about the situation. Oneof them said to me, "Has he ever been tested for ADD?" Now, let me tell you, this strikes fear in my heart for someone to even mention that about one of my kids. Not because it's a bad thing, but because of my experience with children I have taught that have been on medication for ADD or ADHD. They were out of control one minute and zombies the next minute. I always felt so horrible for them.

That next Monday, I emailed the school counselor and asked her if she could help - where do I go now? She sent me a very short form of questions that I filled out. She also sent one to his homeroom teacher. They compared our scores and made an accessment. During spring break I took him to the doctor so that we could all talk about his inability to stay focused in school and about a vitamin for his brain. I think the fact that we were addressing this with the doctor made him feel better immediately. So we put him on a very low dose of medicine that has made a world of difference with him and school. Friday of last week he came home with a sticker on a sticker, which means that he gets to bring a drink and snack to school the next Monday. When he left for school this morning, he said, "Mom!! I may get another sticker on a sticker today because I haven't done anything bad all week!"

This makes me want to cry, happy and sad at the same time. It wasn't that he was doing anything bad in the first place, he just couldn't stay focused long enough to get his work done in class and then he would talk when he wasn't supposed to. He's not a hyper, out-of-control child. He just has a problem staying on task. That's it. And now, he is doing so much better and we are all so relieved!
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