As I posted here in October, had my little girl.
Decided in February to get a divorce - much nastiness in the man I can't wrap myself around, after doing everything I think I could have. This feels like a major failure area in my life, but necessary I suppose.
Have started spiritual classes with a mentor, loving that.
Kids are all doing phenomenally well - 7yo exceeds all grade-level expectations in school, 3yo exceeds MOST personal expectations (but that MOUTH sometimes!), 7mo girl is beginning to crawl. Yay!
Am back now. Trying to catch up. Glad to be back.
Our daughter, Ivy Elizabeth, was born on Friday, October 13, at 12:06PM. She weighed a perfect 7lbs, 14oz and was 19.5 inches long. Everyone is doing well, and we are all so proud! :c)
So I was sitting here thinking, "Maybe I'll stay with my mom tonight. I'm really not feeling like being alone tonight. Weird. Am I feeling that way because the baby's coming?...."
Then my horoscope arrived in my e-mail box.
"Shake the family tree, and some interesting fruit drops right into your hands. Now, be gentle -- you can't force this. Just hang out with some relatives and pay attention to what they have to tell you."
I bought the new Dixie Chicks CD last night...I like it a lot. They keep themselves humble, but they stand up for their beliefs and most of the songs on the album just give the finger to those who questioned their patriotism.
It's spunky, and there's a song on there about adoption which I wasn't expecting... interesting addition, I thought.
Funniest thing to hit my mailbox in a long time:
"Jesus Saves, Let Him Save You With This Preferred Bible."
On Monday my oldest little guy will be 6. I'm so excited for him! We're having his party on Saturday at a local park...pinata, outdoor games for the kiddies...should be lots of fun.
Today's no good. People suck. Or maybe it's just me...
Bad energy today. I need a deep hole to crawl inside.
I hate. And I hate that, too.
Last Wednesday I left town after work and headed for the mountains just outside of town for a Pagan holiday celebration I was very excited about. Beltane is a holiday which celebrates the return of spring, growth, new beginnings, partnerships, and other such things. We chose, in our community, to celebrate this together with a communal camping trip.
There were probably 80 attendees by the time the weekend was at its high point. It wasn't a formal campground - there were no facilites whatsoever and no designated camping areas. Fires had to be in raised containers, and it was a Leave No Trace camping area, so we had to sweep clear spaces for tents and reform the groundcover when we left it. It was wonderful.
I arrived Wednesday night with my two children in tow, we pitched the tent and visited with the 3 others who'd made it up before us. (The gathering wasn't to officially begin until Friday evening.) I quickly realized how very allergic to sagebrush I am. I'd heard tell that a sagebrush allergy can mean misery for those who experience it, but I've been camping in the Sierras hundreds of times during the last dozen years, never to experience anything like this. My sinuses were immediately swollen and stuffed up. Yuck. Oh well, a bit of Sudafed made that manageable. I went to sleep with the sound of frogs in my head...they surrounded us. I loved it.
Thursday brought a few new faces to the site, each having their own traditions and paths they follow, so it was a great learning experience. We shared stories, lots of laughs, and I got a pretty severe sunburn along with a rather nasty case of heat stroke. I went to bed with a headache and blisters. Yes, I put sunblock all over the kids but forgot to take care of myself...bad mistake.
Friday morning brought my children wanting to return home to technology and all it's glory. They were "bored." I cured them of that by having them help to gather firewood - an experience they both really loved by the end of it. My toddler would have stayed with me all weekend, unfortunately he has asthma and was exhibiting signs of the same allergies I was having, so it was best to get him home. My mom agreed to take them for the night until their dad could come a get them the next afternoon.
So, I drove for the hour to drop them off and got back to the campsite just in time for the blessing ritual for the campsite. It was both powerful and purposeful. After that we shared dinner and drank. A lot. :c) We sat around the campfire (our campsite for the 6 or 7 of us who were the first-arrivers had quickly become party central) and everyone who had one brought their drum. We probably had 30 people around the campfire with drums each beating out and creating this great noise you could feel inside.
It didn't matter which way you looked someone was handing you a bottle of some kind of alcohol or another. There were puckers, tequilas, vodkas and a myriad of homebrews and mixed drinks and beer. No one got drunk to the point of stupidity, and everyone remained respectful somehow. It was a great night. I wasn't drinking, though, as my body was telling me loudly that it was already dehydrated and I had begun to hallucinate from the heat stroke. I turned in early to help myself heal.
Saturday I woke feeling much better, but with many mosquito bites! :c) Dang the bugs and the boys had been playing in the tent all day leaving it open, so it was infested...bummer. Not intolerable, though. Saturday was the day of the main ritual and the shared feast among all participants. So we all spent the day in anticipation of it...women were braiding each others' hair, (and the few men who wanted theirs done), there was lots of singing and dancing...all-in-all a feel-good day.
Late afternoon came around and the shared feast began with lots of yummy stuff contributed. Immediately after that began the ritual to welcome the spring. I loved it. It felt right. When that was over, there was more drinking, drumming and dancing...some song and some poetry sharing. Lots of theosophical talk took place, but I mostly stayed away from that because I've found that drunk religious discussions can get nasty in a hurry and I wanted no part of that.
Sunday morning we woke and cooked a pancake breakfast for anyone who wanted a meal before packing and heading out. It was a fundraiser for the Pagan Alliance of Nevada (PAN) of which I am a board member. There was a good turnout and we were able to make a bit of money.
After breakfast we all began packing up, though it took most of the day. I ended up arriving home at about 6:30 on Sunday night and felt as fulfilled as I ever could have hoped.
I've recently begun walking a Wiccan path in my life. It's something I've felt drawn to since I was a child, honestly, though at that time I didn't have a name for it. I've always believed in the duality of a supreme power. The fact that there could be only one essence of a deity, and that it could be male, never resonated with me to be "true." This isn't to say that people who believe so are wrong, just to say that it isn't a belief which ever felt real for me...I've felt for a very long time that there had to be a strong maternal presence in any deity - the power of creation, if you will.
I was hesitant to align myself with any practice centered on "magic" so to speak, because I simply don't believe in it. But upon further study, I've come to find that when most people work "magic" it is simply their form of prayer. They use tools, much as any other church (symbology, incense, phrases) to communicate their desires, and this gives them focus. The result isn't obtained from the work itself, but from the focus on the prayer itself. When we direct our energies toward a certain outcome, we are more likely to achieve it.
I am still relatively new to all of this, but I find it fascinating and comforting to have found something which seems, at least for now, to fit with me.
So Saturday night I'm heading to a Chinese-themed party. There will be rice (of course) of a few varieties, a chicken stir fry, fortune cookies (arguably American). I am interested in bringing an additional dish, though, as there will be 12 people to feed, and I don't think we have enough planned for food.
I'm looking for an easy Beef Broccoli recipe that someone has made and enjoyed. Anyone?
So, on Friday I finalized my hire process with the company. On Monday I come in to find that my boss is missing - presumably due to the snow which she doesn't drive in (raised in Brazil, after all), and my cow-orker missing.
Yesterday morning the assistant HR rep asks if she can talk to me...tells me she has MAJOR ethics issues with her boss, proceeds to tell me what they are...why? No f-ing idea. So I suggest the company's confidential reporting system which goes straight to corporate...she takes it and runs with it.
When I finally make it up to my desk I realize that, again, my cow-orker and my boss are missing.
They both quit. My boss's boss? On vacation this week...
So I have no boss, no cow-orker, and piles of work to do.
Last night my 5yo whimpered all night in his sleep - couldn't articulate exactly what the problem was, presumably because he was just too sleepy. I couldn't rouse him this morning (not by talking, anyway), and after several minutes it became clear he couldn't hear me...no hearing in his right ear, and pain. Lots of pain when he woke up.
After rushing to the emergency room, they tell me he does NOT have an ear infection...YAY! He has overactive wax production which has completely blocked the ear canal. Poor little guy. So we opted out of the painful ear irrigation and went with the eardrops instead...he loves them! The doc said one day each month do the drops several times after this particular episode clears up in order to keep that in check. Thank goodness for huge favors...I'm thrilled it was just that.
I get my offer letter at 1:30 today...
That persistence paid off, so we'll see what they offer...
is a keen thing to do. It's morally admirable, socially responsible and all around neighborly. I wouldn't feel right if I didn't do it.
So today my work had a blood drive, with the blood truck parked out front. I went out for my 9AM appointment. Yes, I ate breakfast at 7 this morning.
I give blood, all goes well. I walk over and help myself to the juice and a cookie and have a seat when WHAM! I pass out.
Completely passed out. Wet myself because I completely lost consciousness.
Now, I give blood on a fairly consistent basis. About every 3 months I go donate, and this has never happened before.
So last night I'm driving to pick someone up for dinner and I'm on the freeway heading south...rush hour. I look ahead of the car in front of me to see brake lights beginning to light up the highway and I look back at the car in front of me to see it...stopped...completely.
I lay on the brakes and my wheels locked so my attempt to veer off the highway onto the median was useless. I hit that car at about 40MPH.
I immediately pulled out of traffic, as it wasn't a serious accident and there was somehow no notable damage to the other vehicle. A witness pulled behind me, thankfully. I approached the other party's car and opened the passenger door to ensure everyone was okay or whether to call an ambulance only to see upon opening the door that the passenger was a man in his 60s (apparently) on oxygen.
The woman who was driving was presumably his daughter, and was hollering at me for having moved my vehicle. "You need to put your car back," she yelled.
Uh, no. I was in rush hour traffic in a traffic lane on the FREEWAY. There was no reason to stay in traffic other than to put myself and the other drivers on the road at risk. I moved my car, so be it. I urged her to move hers, as well, lest someone else hit her, and she continually refused. Needless to say, the police had her move her vehicle immediately upon their arrival.
She told the officer and the paramedics I called that she was not injured, and her father was brushing off the medics as though they were flies. The two of them walked away together and talked for a moment and, I kid you not, as they finished talking they both grabbed their necks and requested neck braces and limped to stretchers which then carried them onto ambulances...
The cop was livid. He came to me and told me he'd attest in court if I requested it that they had both adamantly denied any pain or injury only moments before. He wrote me a ticket for the minimal offense he could, "Duty to decrease speed," and didn't even request my insurance information.
So, I'm looking at increased insurance premiums for my first accident since I started driving 12 years ago, and I'm sore. Not terribly sore, but my neck is a bit stiff, my knees are bruised, and my shoulder is sore from bracing against the steering wheel at impact...dumb.
The best part is yet to come, however. Because as my boyfriend arrived with his brother in tow, his brother requested my spare key to their apartment so that he could get back in. I removed the key from my ring, and apparently lost my housekey at the same time because when I arrived home last night it was gone. I have no spare key.
I spent the night on the floor at my mother's house and tonight will have to call a locksmith to get in and get new keys made for my apartment.
Yesterday was teh major sux.
What kind of pirate am I?
Powdered Donuts and Coca-Cola
My 8-year-old nephew (who some of you know is very close to my heart) fell yesterday while ice skating and hit his head on the ice.
He seemed okay, though he cried a bit after the fall. He continued skating and was the same kid for another hour and half. At that point he began vomitting and describing that immediately after the fall he had trouble seeing.
He vomitted twice more before they got him home and was disoriented and not speaking clearly. My brother rushed him down to the hospital, trying to keep him awake, and failing. I was following in the car behind him, so my passenger jumped out to keep Zach awake for the duration of the drive.
By the time we got to the hospital he couldn't hold his head up and couldn't stand on his own, though his eyes were open. He was randomly spitting out into the air and stuttering and completely incoherent.
The medical center immediately took him in for a CT scan and they said it came back clean - no bleeding inside the head. The good news? It's not as bad as it could have been. The bad news? "Usually they recover." They don't know what to expect, they say, other than that he will probably wake up, though they're saying that could be hours or months from now.
I just want to know if anyone has had any experience with this sort of thing and what we might expect? It's hard to feel so helpless watching that little guy be so out of himself, and so lost...
with another division of the company I'm leaving. Interviewed Friday.
I interviewed with the accounting manager who said, "If you have time, I'd love for you to meet and interview with our CFO." So I did.
And he said, when we were done, "If you have time, I'd like you to meet and interview with our HR manager." So I did.
And he took me on a tour of the entire facility.
And 7 minutes after I left the interview, I got my acceptance call asking if I could start tomorrow at 10.
Written on the bathroom mirror just the other morning:
"Como ti vidi
Et tu serridi
per che lo sai."
I have no idea what this says...and I need some help....
of my day today sucked.
The first half, not so much. Was out til about 5AM having a keen time, drove to my mom's to pick up my boys.
Got the boys all nestled in their car seats and prepared to start the car - turned the key - nothing. No click, no lights, no DASH lights, nada.
Try again - same failing result.
Try to jump it - nothing. Crap.
I just replaced the battery for this car 3 weeks ago.
So, I get a ride home from my step-mom, sleep for an hour, wake up and get ready for work. I get to work after dropping off the boys at their respective dayplaces, and my mom calls me shortly thereafter to tell me her mechanic can take the car today but only if we get it there right away. She wants the keys. Yeah.
They're in my pocket.
So I call a few friends to see who can rescue my keys and take them to their destination, and finally find my one friend who worked until 7AM, so she was sleeping but kindly drove nearly 1/2 hour to come pick up my keys.
Upon her arrival I realized that they keys in my pocket are my HOUSE keys and not my CAR keys. THOSE, I realize, fell out of my pocket into mom's car this morning on the way to work. So now I've drug the friend out of bed for no reason. Ouch.
So the car gets towed down to the mechanic who calls and says, "it starts just fine for me, what exactly was the problem?"
Crap. Wiring issue? Ouch.
Eventually he came to the conclusion (in all of about 2 minutes) that there was just gunk on my battery connections that should be cleaned off and solve the problem.
$20.00 to fix it. Love that guy.
What a hectic stressful morning.
Deep breaths...ommmm....come back to realtiy, Dani, all is not as bad as it seems.
and I received a lukewarm response.
I sat down with the program director last night to tell her of my concerns. She was shocked, but I don't think she entirely believed me. She kept reiterating that their background check person used to be a cop and so he had access to information not usually available to the general public about someone's past.
The problem with this, as I explained to her, is that not even a judge in my god-daughter's custody case could uncover that information. He had sealed it away. Fortunately enough we were able to get his mother and sister to testify in court so that supervised visitation was still mandated.
None of this carries over into his criminal record, though, so she's having a difficult time swallowng the story, I think.
At any rate, she has promised to keep my son out of that program (as she did before) and she has said that whenever that man is present, two other staff will be mandated to be present also with the children at all times.
I just don't know whether that's pro-active enough.
Something in me screams that these parents need to know - deserve to know - that their children are in danger. I would want to know and would be furious if I weren't notified.
So do I post anonymous fliers? Do I confront him directly and tell him I plan to notify other parents? I'm just not sure what the best method is for proceeding from here, so I'm going to spend a day thinking hard on it and asking the advice of others. Any thoughts are appreciated, as your input has been so far.
My son is in an after-school program run by the Boys and Girls Club. Last Monday night my son came home with a pamphlet which read: "This is my Boy Scout Orientation Guide."
This made me physically ill, let me explain why.
I happen to know the troop leader for that area. He is my best friend's ex-husband. He is a convicted child molester.
He was convicted, at 17, of molesting his three sisters, the youngest of whom was 6.
After the birth of his daughter (3 weeks after, to be precise) I was witness to him making some heinous comments about her genitalia and about what a wonderful wife she'd make someday.
The friend threw him out.
Because he was too young, this information is not contained on his record, and so he is allowed to lead this troop of boy scouts.
I am faced with a dilemma. I have told the head of the after-school program that I do not want my child left alone with that man, and that if he is present I want my son removed from the program. But do I disclose why? Certainly there is some need-to-know there, but what proof do I have?
Do I raise alarm, or is that futile?
We all have defense mechanisms which come into play at different times in our lives. Some of us use these things to protect us from harsh words from family or friends, some of us use them to prevent the general public from knowing too much about us...and some of us use these to protect us from broken hearts (most of the above are also in this category, I've found.)
Now, some of us practice these behaviors consciously and with calculated effort. And still for some of us these are effortless habits weaved into our behaviors over the course of years, having become things we consider part of ourselves which have become invisible to us. And for a few, these two are combined.
Having found someone who has, in a mere 7 days, managed to debunk several of my most defensive behaviors, I am confronted with lots of questyns.
I wonder if no one in my life had seen these things for what they really were...but that seems unlikely. So, I wonder, were they not brave enough to confront me with the knowledge that these were behaviors I should have let go of long ago, or did they simply not care enough to expose them? Perhaps a combination of all of those, maybe?
At any rate, it feels strangely comforting to know there is someone out there who is not as easily fooled, and who is also comfortable in hearing that I'm not ready to relinquish some of those things just yet...It is a comfort to know that this person is as content to point out the behavior as he is to let it go...not demanding results from his comments, simply acknowledging the existence of something I may have forgotten, and may no longer need to employ.
The end...and something else
He moved half of his things on Wednesday and to celebrate I went out on the town with some girlfriends that night. I have a friend I'll call Curls. Well she unexpectedly brought along two friends, one of whom she had planned for me to meet. I, uninterested in meeting ANYONE, had dressed in my worst possible clothes and had worn no make-up nor had I styled my hair. I was, in short, flat and lifeless. When she introduced us and took me aside to tell me of her intentions, I initially refused to even speak to the guy we'll call "Specs." I was determined to personify the clothes I was wearing, regardless of the good intentions of my friend.
So, toward the end of our time at Bar X, Specs decided to pick up the ball and rather than continue socializing with the other folks at the table he picked up conversation with me. He picked on me for drinking "foo foo" girly drinks (which were free), and I made the retort that Bud Light wasn't exactly considered "real" beer. Not wanting to be rude or to make my friend look like an ass, I smiled my best smile and made polite chit-chat until it was time for us to migrate to The Spot. So, the gals and I decided to head over and since Specs had hitched a ride with Curls, he tagged along. Well, at least he was funny, I thought.
Upon arriving at The Spot, Specs offered to get me a beer. He brought back two pints of Guinness, which made me chuckle. While sharing some space at the table we talked and laughed and had a great time. At the end of the night he gave me HIS number rather than asking for mine, and said he'd look forward to my call at some point in the future.
I called on Friday, we arranged to visit again on Saturday night...Lo and behold, Mr. Not-so-responsible moved out the rest of his belongings on Saturday morning, giving me even more reason to celebrate that night! We didn't drink. We had dinner, drank Kool-Aid and had a relaxed evening of no pressure for anything at all...It was simple...comfortable...easy.
I got a text today saying he can't wait to see me again. And so we have plans to visit tomorrow night.
I'm not a "revolving door" kind of girl, so that part about this bothers me...but sometimes we can't choose who opens the door or when they choose to stop in for a friendly "hello." We can simply smile and welcome them as best we know how.
Glory be to my son's Kindergarten!
My son (he's 5) started Kindergarten this week. He loves it...I love it. It's an AMAZING school!
Initially I considered getting him a variance. See, I don't live in a GREAT neighborhood, but it's workable. But most of the children attending the school we're zoned for don't speak much English. Now, the "NCLB" act means that these teachers have to teach to the slowest-learning student in class to ensure they don't fall behind, or at least that's the impression I had when I first began looking into Kindergarten. So, I thought getting my son a variance to a more English-speaking school would help him not to become bored in class. (He's reading at a 2nd grade level, and has tested to 1st grade math, so challenging him in school is a big concern for me.)
I was so wrong.
I called to speak with the Kindergarten Coordinator for our county sch. dist. and she told me the school we're zoned for is the best in the dictrict for Kindergarten programs and then went into details with me.
They have a program called "Success For All" (SFA) which ensures every student is tested in the first 10 days of every school year to assess their skill-level with all sorts of things (Literacy, Mathematics, Gross and Fine Motor Skills, etc.). They are then grouped into classrooms to ensure a good mix of abilities (so there is no one "advanced class" and one "slow class"). The kids are all mixed up.
But within each class they are groupned into ability levels so that when working on group activities they can work at the same speed with their peers. Cool? Yeah, it gets better...
Since my son has tested to a 2nd grade reading level, he and several other K students will move for the literacy portion of their day to a 2nd grade class for reading where they'll be taught by a special teacher, using 2nd grade materials but using K methods...for the entire 2-hour literacy portion of the day. How awesome is that?
Same for math - all the kids who test to the same level are moved together, so they still work with their peers, just working on higher-level materials...it's tremendous. I am so comforted to know he's there and that they work so well with kids at ALL skill levels.
In speaking with the principal of the school, I told her of my concern with the NCLB act and her response? "Here we believe that NCLB means that NO child is left behind, including those who are advanced and might otherwise be left to learn on their own. We believe it's important to teach to EVERY child at his/her level."
My son's class has 32 students...they also have one FT teacher, 2 FT teacher aides and one revolving aide, as well as a FT parent volunteer...I'm in awe of their program, and so thankful for it.
After completing his first day of school my son said, "It was SUPER, mom! I LOVE it!"
Yesterday Mr. N-S-R moved out, much the same way as he moved in. When he moved IN to my apartment I was supposed to have a month (longer) to prepare for his move, but then one day he told me he was moving in that night...it was all downhill from there.
On the 20th of August I gave him 30 days' notice to move. Yesterday, after placing a call to him to find out his plan for last night (as I had never given him a key to the apartment), since I had early and late evening plans. At this point he chose to tell me he'd planned to move that night.
Suddenly my plans changed and I was eager to go babysit the move. He gathered up two or three items from one room, two or three items from another room, and eventually I took control and moved all of this things into one room to have them all moved out.
All but one last truckload of stuff is gone now from my place, and I can't tell you how happy I am about it. He'll finish up on Saturday evening (as that is the next time my children won't be at home) and then we'll finally be done.
I slept alone in my house last night for the first time in many many moons. I slept so well...