Sunday the fam came over and we bbq’d and swam in the stock tank. This is my favorite thing to do on any holiday. Everyone comes over, we eat, we play games (in this case badminton), and enjoy each other’s company. It stayed sunnyish out just long enough to turn blue in the pool and eat lunch. This picture is of us all cozy in our living room eating ice cream cones while it poured outside. It let up long enough to (sortof) have a fire outside and roast marshmallows! Yay! We each had about four marshmallows. Yum!
We didn’t get to the watermelon, although Noah REALLY wanted some, we saved it for our Memorial Day Shootfest.
This was the second shootfest which included Jason, Noah and I, Brittani, Sivilli and my mom. We mostly shot the SKS, very fun, at cans and target stickers. Jason’s blog shows the stands he made, which rock. Jason shot one watermelon with a hollow point bullet and then he helped Noah (or Noah helped him) shoot another watermelon with the SKS. Fun and burgers were had by all. Oh! and Brittani was sweet enough to watch the little ones for Jason and I to have a date night! We had dinner that did not consist of ordering a value meal! Sweet!
I have been knitting, as I keep telling you, and Noah wanted a scarf for Snowflake the Pony. I started a scarf in Portland and it was just the right size. I cast-off the last bit and voila! He loves it and Pony is nice and warm.
Jason and I have been to see his family a total of five times now. Driving to Ybor has taught me patience on a road trip, so this time we left a little earlier than usual and tried not to drive through the night. I think I actually did most of the driving this time which is highly unusual. It rained a lot and we knew this would be the last trip without the kids since Patrick had decided to up and move to PA. He thankfully waited until we got back from North Carolina. We took it easy, watching TV and movies like The Onion “Shoot your love all over me” eww. We found some new hiking trails and enjoyed breathtaking views. I found this little knit shop in downtown Franklin which got me full-out knitting! Yay! I still want to learn how to quilt, but I am not sure I will get to before the summer is over. The girls had to work most of the time that we were there, so we were mostly on our own. If we continue to visit and his parents stay in Franklin, I am thinking it would be really great to buy a small house up there. A small two bedroom that we shove all the kids in and stay for a few days. This (of course) won’t be for a few years, but it is a thought a-brewin’. It is very beautiful up there. A bit of country close to home. I think we are hoping to take the kids up to play with Jason’s family sometime this summer, but we don’t know when. Nora calls the new kitten Charley instead of Harley, so it makes me think of Jason’s dad a lot. “Where’s my Charley?” she says. Running from you! lol
On our last trip to North Carolina; Charley, Sheena, Amber, Jason and I all went whitewater rafting. I don’t think any of us have ever been and we were all very excited! Our river guide’s name was Patrick, which I thought was hilarious, but I think the funny was lost on the others. It had been raining almost the entire time, so the river was pretty high making it a category 1-3. It was so cold. The water would splash up a little on the sides and I would totally scream in surprise. I had this delirious moment thinking I might not get wet since I was in the middle. Ha! It was pretty tame for most of the ride down river. We had a couple of Duckies following us which are inflatable kayak’s for the very brave. One inexperienced duck fell out twice and we had to pull over the last time (not easy in a gigantic raft!) to wait for him and give him back his tugboat. He had a wetsuit on which I learned only works if it is wet, so it is a little bit ironic that he fell out and the other dude in swim trunks stayed high and dry. Anyway. We got almost to the end and had to get out to scout the falls. Exactly. A flippin’ (though smallish) waterfall we would be going over. Topnot is what he called it which basically means right through the middle. If we didn’t paddle hard all the way through we would flip, yay! So, we were good students and paddled most of the way. BRRR!
You can’t even see me! I am covered in waterfall! It was the best part of the whole ride. A perfect end to a lovely (freezing!) afternoon. I think us girls were practically hypothermic towards the end. Let’s go again!!
When I was younger I spent a lot of time with The Torbert’s. They were like a second family to me. Roger and Linda, and my two brothers Jason (haha), Luke and my sister Amie. I even called Roger “dad” for a little while. I met them when I was three (though I don’t really remember) and my mom and Linda were best friends, so we spent a lot of time at their house. I spent entire weekends with them during the fun years of 7-12 years and we still keep in touch.
I was definitely a tomboy when I was younger since they lived WAY out in the boonies off of Lunn rd and then Rockridge Rd…if you know where that is…in Lakeland. I climbed trees, played every sport with the boys and was usually picked first I might add! I mowed the lawn (3 acres!) once I got old enough and when I was about 5 or 6 I remember complaining that it wasn’t fair that the boys got to take their shirts off and play outside. Linda’s reply was “go ahead”, since they lived out in the boonies, who cares?
Well, I now live out in the boonies, so when Nora wanted to take her shirt off too this past weekend when the boys were raking leaves I thought, “sure, why not?” It brought back some great memories of growing up.
I apologize if you were unable to access my blog recently. Jason borked it.
To make you feel better I have pictures to post! Yay! Maybe even a fun slideshow?? We went to NC last week and went whitewater rafting, but first I will post my thoughts about a particular issue that seems to take precedence.
Patrick left for PA Monday. We now have children 24/7. It is wonderful. :o) Patrick having the kids full-time was a bit unconventional for divorced parents and visitation, but God uses all things to the good. The kids got to live with their father! I got to see what it would be like WITHOUT them! Patrick moved away. Yes I count this as a good thing, because it wasn’t looking like the back and forth was going to work out so well. Holidays and Summers (if, if, if) will be just enough time with them.
Jason and I have read this book by John Rosemond called Parenting by the Book. It is not a how to with “1,2,3 Magic” it is a scripture based and frank-talkin’ thinker book. There are questions at the end of the chapters that Jason and I discussed and it shed a LOT of light on my parenting then and now. Jason and I were also able to get on the same page when it comes to discipline which feels like half the battle!
Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart. Proverbs 29:17 I can’t really say when my children have been a delight. There were moments recently, but the weariness of my soul and the anger in my heart would not allow me to be at peace. I would definitely exasperate my children with trying to control them and make them into perfect little robots. As a result, they are very good. Most of the time they do as they are told, but almost like robots. If robots whine and scream sometimes… This past month I grew. I grew in patience, self-discipline, and healing. I learned to “let go and let God,” if you will.
There were some very dark moments during the first few months of being a single mom. Noah remembers these moments (cause he’s a freakin’ elephant or something!) and I knew they had effected him. Last night I was able to start reconnecting with Noah. One thing I figured out from reading the book, besides Tell and Compel, was that there are different stages of growth with your children and at the moment playtime and tickling and books is great for Nora, but Noah needs communication. He needs one on one conversations that lead wherever he takes them. He still needs discipline, but the kids grow so quickly! I want Noah to trust me and to look up to me. That will come with time-time I am glad to have.
I can sense that I am a different mom. I play more with the kids and can compel them to listen to me without flying off the handle. Also being able to release Patrick to go off and do his own thing helps. I can’t make him be a good father although I tried! Not caring what Patrick’s household looked like or trying to correct anything he did helps us to develop our own family unit. Right now the TV is borked too and it is so nice. Just before bed is story time on the couch. It is a place to sit together instead of a place to zone out to the TV together. It has not been long, but I think the kids can already tell that life at our house is different. The mouse is still alive in case you were wondering.
I have noticed for the past week that Patrick has been spiraling down from his high of actually getting a job. It is nearing the two month mark of stability which is usually his limit and to top it off they started taking child support out of his paycheck. It was no surprise when I dropped the kids off yesterday afternoon that Patrick needed to “talk”.
He announced with his usual intensity that when I get back from North Carolina that I will need to pick up the kids from school that Monday and keep them from now on. He tried to blame this decision on child support and my need to control the situation, but I calmly replied that this was about him and his inability to be stable for any length of time.
Since leaving Patrick over a year ago I have been taking care of my children with the perspective that Patrick couldn’t do it so I HAD to. I’m not saying that’s the best attitude to have, but with the dysfunctionality that occurred during my marriage to Patrick, that was basically a development of survivor mode. I love my kids, but I guess I have also learned to enjoy them and to let myself relax and have fun with them too. A side they didn’t really get to see until lately.
Over the past month I had to learn to let go of a lot of things. I had to realize that I can’t make Patrick be the father my kids still need. The fantasy that we could all work together to raise the kids needed to be put to rest and this was my last ditch effort. I knew that either the visitation schedule was going to work or Patrick was going to give up in some form or fashion on raising his kids. I had to believe I could live with both. So when he was telling me yesterday that he was moving to PENNSYLVANIA, I had peace. I laughingly asked him when he would be leaving…tomorrow? Thankfully he is putting it off until we get back from NC. Unless he decides to leave with the kids while we are in NC and in that case we will be taking another trip to PA immediately following.
I have missed the kids. I feel like I have been given a choice if only in perspective. I choose to take care of my children as if it is what I am called to do rather than what I have to do. I look forward to the opportunity to have them full-time again even though in the back of my mind, I think Patrick may return in a couple of months.
It is so sad that Patrick continues to make the same bad choices over and over. When it comes to the kids, I have felt the freedom of not having to be responsible for them and yet knowing they are being taken care of, so on some level I understand his reasoning for being able to leave them. On some level… I have also released Patrick from the box I have tried to put him in surrendering my idea of what Noah and Nora’s life should be like and trying to replace it with God’s. He probably gotz a better idea than mine anyway. ;o)
Hopefully the summer will be quiet around here. Thank God we have been working our booties off to get the house put together!
I had planned to post about the Aquarium trip we took. Maybe put up some nice pics, but there has been some nagging thoughts a-ponderin’ in my mind the last week or so.
Since moving in with Jason and having the kids staying with Patrick Full-time, Jason and I have developed a bit of a routine. We work together during the day if I’m not at school and I usually get home before him and make dinner. We have our chores we do to keep the household running and we are still trying to get a few things situated like the floor done in the dining room and the green couch moved out and the blue one from my apartment moved in. Pictures hung and the broken TV removed from the living room.
Most things are done out of habit. We very much enjoy each others company, but being in the same room together or talking about work isn’t really intimacy. When you have screaming kids running around or aren’t seeing each other very much, you make the time to talk about real stuff. When you have all the time in the world or see each other sooo much, there isn’t much of a need or any pressure applied to cause conflict and then there is no need for conflict resolution. It’s all peachy keen! Except it isn’t.
I feel like relationships are living things. You can’t let things get stagnant because being connected is important for other aspects of your relationship. Once you start communicating out of necessity they might as well be grunts. Pass the ketchup…whatever. Or. You start getting annoyed that that person does things that never used to bother you and a wall starts to build. Not consciously of course.
Intimacy is when we are open and vulnerable and that really doesn’t happen when you are watching 3oRock or going through daily motions; cook dinner, brush teeth, get ready for bed. Some people don’t really talk unless they are fighting, but if everything is fine then there isn’t any fighting going on! You may start picking on each other and start treating each other less tenderly with the erosion of boundaries.
Another issue is trying to stay two people when you are slowly melding into one person. Iz gotz codependency and control freak issuez. Spending this much time with one person makes me a little crazy. I have to try so hard to keep good boundaries and do things like cook dinner because I want to not because it is expected. I really do like cooking dinner for Jason, but sometimes you can do so much for a person it disables them.
Lastly, we aren’t engaged. Iz gettin’ impatient. Patiently waiting is turning into impatiently waiting. I have learned that Jason doesn’t do much unless it turns into necessity and getting married is only a necessity if someone gets pregnant and that ain’t happenin’. I guess I have known that Jason was different from the time we started getting to know each other and that was more than a year ago. The wedding is already half planned in my head and we talk about kids and when we are married and have built a house, but it is still all in the “one day” phase and we live together. So I can’t date anyone else, but I’m not married, but I’m also not having babies… Limbo people! I live in limbo.
I am in my last week of school with really just one final that I actually have to prepare for. Then I get a week and a half break before one summer class that will last 7 weeks. Then I will have an almost two month break before Noah and I both go back to school. He will be starting Kindergarten in August. He has grown so much this year. It almost makes me sad, but happy at the same time. I think VPK has really helped him prepare for school, both academically and behaviorally. The kids have been with Patrick for a month now. They don’t really understand why I keep bringing them back to Daddy’s instead of keeping them for a while. Good things have happened though. I have learned to let go a little. Patrick and Trish have stopped babying Nora so much. Noah has seen his Dad grow up a little and both are controlling their actions better. The kids have learned that Daddy’s house is also “home”. I have learned what it is like to be the sometimes parent, so essentially understand now what Patrick was feeling all this time. We won’t have the new schedule start until June, so I still expect to see some changes within Patrick’s household. In May, Jason and I will visit NC and at the end of May I am going for a quick visit to see my good friend Syndi in Indiana. I have never traveled so much! If only my friends would stay put. :oP