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
I think it was around the time that I went to Portland that Jason started telling me my blog would be up soon. I guess I stopped blogging so much on my vox blog in anticipation of the new one. The result? I have a lot of catching up to do.
Misty left Portland the day after I did to come to Florida for a visit. While she was here we took her one Saturday for a day of sunshine fun! We started at the gun range showing her how to shoot the Revolver. We then went to Off the Wall Adventures to use the batting cages and climb the awesome rock wall. Misty however, did not want to climb the rock wall (I have to admit it is a bit intimidating). So Jason and I climbed, but sadly, I was the only one that made it to the top and rang the buzzer! Roar! tee hee. It was fun and we plan to go back for Jason’s Bday coming up in June. Paintball anyone?
Most families are a mom and dad plus a kid or two or five. Parenting can be difficult with that formula, but what about when mom and the kids are one family and dad and the kids are another? What happens when mom has one idea and plan for raising the kids and dad has another? Different values, different schedules, different finances? What if the mom is a bit of a control freak?
This is where I come in. I have in my mind what I want Nora and Noah to become. Their behavior and career are etched into my plan for their lives. Patrick takes care of the kids just fine. He feeds them, loves them, gives them baths and takes them to school. Our values are just different.
I had the kids for a few hours today. I see them about once a week for five hours. I talk to them on the phone probably every other day. I am seeing what it has been like for Patrick to see the kids sporatically and he is seeing what it is like to be a full-time parent. I have learned a lot. Patrick used to call me to see if he could drop the kids off a little early and I would say no, mostly because that is not what we agreed on and sometimes I just wasn’t home yet. Well, when I had them the other day, it was about 230pm and I was supposed to drop them off at 3pm. We were at Funtasia playing mini-golf and we could have went home which is what we had planned to do or dropped them off early. I was screwed either way. If I drop them off early, I look like I don’t want to spend time with the kids and if I am late I look rude and irresponsible. I chose to drop them off early. Then today, Patrick had asked if we would keep them overnight and I agreed before I talked to Jason. It turns out Jason was going to work on the floor tonight and there is no way he could have done it with the kids here because it is ridiculously loud scraping old linoleum off to replace it. I was too prideful and didn’t want to say to Patrick, “let me talk to Jason” because it drives me CRAzy when Patrick says, “let me talk to Trish” or vice versa. That one came back to bite me in the butt!
After not doing the daily stuff with the kids and contemplating how I parent them and some of my own issues it was good to have them today. We went to the Lakeland Choral Society concert at FPC. This is not really a kid thing, but is something I wanted the kids to see, with a huge choir and a small orchestra with the violins and Cellos, french horns. We have had a really tough time with Nora lately since she thinks she is a princess and gets anything her little heart desires. She cries her heart out as loudly as possible when you tell her “no”. We made it through the concert with the last few minutes spent with Jason and Nora in the hallway and Noah falling asleep on me. We headed home (which has now become Jason’s and Patrick’s house is called home) to cook dinner and let the kids see Harley and the mouse. Noah’s mouse missed him, I swear! Harley…not so much.
Since Nora doesn’t stop crying until she gets what she wants and mommy wasn’t giving her what she wanted, it took a while and a bit of sitting her on her bed until she quit crying and played nicely. I was also analyzing my behavior.
Instead of being a control freak and expecting perfection from my children, I simply wanted obedience. During the concert, I just wanted them to see the choir and orchestra and be still and quiet throughout the short concert. At home, I simply wanted them to play nicely and ask for things instead of telling. It has been three weeks and I was wondering what it would feel like to have the kids here like old times, it turned out to be good. I learned that I value quietness. The last time we met with Trish and Patrick I saw a big difference between the two couples. Jason and I are quiet. I can let loose and roll out the belly laughter with the rest of them, but mostly I enjoy quietness. I think Noah does too.
Jason and I have seen a big change in Patrick and also in Noah. As Patrick has learned to control himself, so has Noah. It is really nice. I was a little worried about Noah, from seeing him last, but he seems to be doing well.
I was talking to Jason about being more of an influence and less of a controlling person to my children. He balances that pretty well, but for me it is more about good behavior and less about character. I want to expect and teach and influence good character in my children. I wasn’t sure I understood the difference beforeall of this. I have started reading a very good book called Sacred Parenting by Gary L. Thomas and it has helped me see a bigger picture. Trying to raise children in two different households and still have good boundaries is difficult. Noah and Nora will grow up with two different examples, much as I did, and hopefully will grow up to make good choices because of this.
We gotz a kitteh. :o) We went to the SPCA like three times and on the third time, we brought the kids with us. We were looking for a female cat any age, short haired. We ended up taking home Harley, a two month old boy kitten. Noah and Nora LOVED him and he was pretty loveable as well as playful.
We had to keep him separate from Meiko for about two weeks and then we gradually introduced them to each other. Meiko showed him that she was the boss (making him pee himself a couple times) and finally they are bestest friends. :o) I kept telling Meiko that we would be getting her a friend since no one is home during the day and we did. I love having a kitty! He is so cute and purrs so VERY loudly, I think that’s why they named him Harley. I wanted to name him Mango, so that’s his middle name… Meiko and Mango. Yay!
Welcome everyone to my new weblog. Jason set it up as a birthday present for me. It took him over a year, but here it is! I will be posting here from now on. If you have an RSS reader, feel free to subscribe to my RSS feed which will let you know when I have posted. Thank you all for reading, it s kinda fun to post my thoughts and know that they are floating around out there on the web for someone to read and ponder. As the days stretch on I feel as if I am turning over a new leaf with my perspectives on life and love. Oh! Now anyone can comment (and I hope everone will) without registering or signing up for anything. I am so excited because I like to hear your thoughts too!
I feel as if I should show you around… The “chirp” is Twitter or my random status updates. Blogroll is other blogs that I occasionally visit and whom you might enjoy visiting also. I’m sure I will be changing things around as I always do, but for now I think that’s all that is new. I have some thoughts a-brewing, so I’m sure you’ll hear more from me soon!