Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

I am alive

August 31, 2008

Hello everyone. First of all, I want to thank everyone that keeps stopping by to check on me. I am here. I am alive. I am just on a very much needed break from TTC. At first I thought I would be able to take a break and still blog…but my life is SO boring…I was having a hard time thinking of anything to write (besides my non-baby blues). So I need to apologize for abandoning the TTC community for last couple of months or so. I have also found it hard to visit some of my friends’ blogs — so many of you have finally had your babies, and I am SO happy for you, but at the same time, I feel very much left behind sometimes.

TW and I have been diligently taking our vitamins and will do another IVF in the next couple of months. I may start coming back here again, but until then I am trying to clear my head and start afresh. Our remodel is 99% done. If you are curious, here is a slide show of the house as it is now. We should be moving in about 3 weeks if all goes as planned. After 12 long months we are SO ready to get out of the 700 sq ft cottage with one bathroom!

http://s349.photobucket.com/albums/q385/777manor/August%202008
/August%2027/?albumview=slideshow

(You may have to update your flash player to see the photos).

As you can see, it was quite a huge project. And I pat myself on the back because I managed it with very little help from TW, and without a designer. AND did two IVFs in the process, while working full time! It has been a very busy 12 months.

So thank you everyone for all your support. I promise to stop by to say hi on your blogs, sometime real soon. I will be back, I am sure of it. Just taking a breather.

Love to all,

Babystep

Advertisements

Eight Is Enough

June 24, 2008

Photobucket

I just couldn’t help myself.

Oh No.

May 17, 2008

Anyone see the movie “Stepmom“? It is such a good movie. Susan Sarandon plays a mom extraordinaire who is divorced from a pretty good guy played by Ed Harris. Ed Harris gets engaged to Julia Roberts. There are two kids, a 13 year old girl and a 7 year old boy (or something like that) that are in a shared custody arrangement. Susan Sarandon gets cancer and the family has to come together, despite the differences between the two powerful women in the story. I have watched this movie probably a dozen times. And at the end I always bawl. I think being a stepmom and watching it brings up different feelings than it would for others, but still, I highly recommend.

A little history: TW and PT’s mom (I will call her X) never got married. He was in the Marines, and as Marines do, frequented the local watering hole when he was stationed here or there. X was a frequent lurker at the watering hole, hoping to catch a Marine or two. They got together whenever TW was in town, and at one point she moved to AZ when he was stationed there. The truth of the matter is that they didn’t really get along all that well, but they liked having sex. Clearly they had unprotected sex because PT was the result of this on-again, off-again relationship. X announced she was pregnant. TW said she needed to decide what to do, and he would be on board. X decided to keep the baby and TW left the Marines (he had done his required term). They moved in together and TW supported her through her pregnancy. He wanted to see if marriage should be an option for them. When the baby was born, X sounds like she had post-partum depression, because the story goes that she didn’t get out of bed. TW was in grad school and working, he would feed everyone breakfast and get back early evening. X would still be in bed, the baby would be screaming in a filthy diaper, the house would be a wreck. TW would clean up, cook dinner, feed everyone, and the whole thing would start again the next day. Finally he started taking the baby to his mom’s during the day so that she would get some TLC since X seemed to be unable to parent.

Things got even worse. TW and X started fighting like cats and dogs. TW ended up moving out and there was a horrific court battle over custody. As is the case many times, the courts sided with X and she got much more custody than TW. Over the years TW started getting more and more custody and currently it is split 50/50. Some highlights of X’s behavior:

  • Called Child Protective Services on TW when PT was 2 years old and launched a huge child abuse investigation which was thrown out due to lack of evidence. But not until after they interviewed TW’s co-workers, the teachers, family members, etc. Totally humiliating and horrible. X said that PT came home with a cigarette burn on her arm (TW doesn’t smoke) and that her vagina was always sore and red when she got back from a visit with him. The doctors concluded that the sore vagina was due to long soaks in cheap bubble bath at X’s house. The “cigarette burn” was actually a burn from X’s kitchen. X even called TW towards the end of the saga to apologize, saying she had no idea it would get so out of control. She admitted that she lied.
  • X put TW in jail for the weekend. It was TW’s official weekend for custody, and he was on his way to pick PT up on Friday after work. He called X when he was on the way, and said he was 20 minutes out. X said that he should just turn around because she was taking PT to Texas for the weekend. TW said “It is MY weekend” and that he was coming to get her. So TW got to X’s house and the cops were waiting for him. He had a copy of the court order in his car (he always had to have it on him because of X’s antics) and showed the cops. X had a copy of a letter she wrote to her attorney asking permission to take PT to Texas. The letter was just a letter asking permission. The judge hadn’t even seen it, there was no court order or response. X was hysterical saying that TW was trying to kidnap her daughter. They cuffed TW and threw him in the back of the car. They said that the judge would clear it up if it really was his weekend. They carted him off to jail, and since it was Friday at 5pm, he had to wait until Monday morning to speak to the judge to get released.
  • She called CPS on me. When TW and I first moved in together, PT was in kindergarten. I arrived home from work and there was a note on the door, saying that CPS had come by for a home check. We were to call within 24 hours. We called, and they said there had been an anonymous complaint and that an investigation was launched. We went through about a month of interviews and visits and they threw the case out. One day the CPS social worker stopped by unannounced and it was like a Norman Rockwell scene: hot chocolate and board games in front of the fire, Grandfather was over for the day, dog sleeping on the hearth. They even said that when they visited X’s house, they were more concerned about the child’s wellbeing because of the filth and bad neighborhood that they lived in. I know it was an anonymous “tip” but who else would have called CPS?
  • There was a court assessment for changing custody. Luckily X was too stupid to realize you cannot tell a 5 year old to lie because they will usually fuck it up. In the court document it is recorded that PT said to the court assessor, “My mommy made me promise that I would tell you that I don’t like my dad and that I don’t want to live with him anymore”. Ha!
  • We asked X if we could take PT a few hours early on a Friday so we could take her to Disneyland for her birthday. X said it would be fine so we bought a non-refundable package travel deal. Then two weeks before we were supposed to go, I sent an e-mail reminding her and she said that she never gave us permission. She said that she was throwing a big birthday party for PT and the invitations were already out. Mind you, we were picking up PT a couple of hours early on a FRIDAY. (We were going to take PT out of 1st grade for the day). X claimed that the party was at 9am on a school day. But in any event, we didn’t have formal permission so we had to lose the money, AND PT lost out on going to Disneyland.
  • More minor incidents include X keeping PT out of school whenever she gets wind that TW is going to chaperon a field trip. This has happened multiple times. TW ran a couple of girl scout meetings and PT didn’t show up on those days. She never brings her to team practice for sports, never checks her homework, says horrible things about me and TW to PT on a frequent basis (for example she told PT that her dad didn’t want her, and that he tried to force her to have an abortion).

The last two or three years, things have calmed down quite a bit. X got a real job (prior jobs were day-care aide, changing poopie diapers) as a 2nd grade teacher. She started allowing PT to participate in after school activities and TW and X have even been amicable enough that they call each other for help if one or the other is busy and need transportation for PT. Which has been HUGE. I have even met X for lunch a couple of times. I thought it would soften her up a bit, and I think it did. And we actually had a pretty nice time. I realized that if circumstances were different, we may have even had a friendship.

X has breast cancer. I found out yesterday. I feel so awful and guilty because I used to have horrible, horrible thoughts about the woman. Like wishing she would disappear. Wishing she would meet some guy and run away forever. Wanting to plant drugs in her house so she would go to jail. (I don’t know if I can even type the next one…) Hoping that she would die in a plane crash. My life would be SO much easier if she didn’t exist. That is how I felt daily when I first got engaged to TW. To the point that I wished I had known what a bitch she was because I would have rethought the whole marriage/stepmom thing.

But as I say, things have really gotten better.

I saw X this morning at an event for the girls. TW told me last night that she has cancer (she told him), but being a GUY, he really didn’t know what to say to her. So I talked to her about what was going on, what her prognosis is, what her treatment plan is. She puts on a pretty good public face. She just found out on Wednesday. I was tearing up and then she started too. I gave her a big hug. I told her that if she needed ANYTHING, I would be there for her. Her family is far away, and she isn’t seeing anyone. Her only friends are work friends. She doesn’t have a good support network.

I just feel awful. I hope she makes it out alright. I know that women survive breast cancer all the time now, but it is so SCARY. And I worry about PT if her mom gets really sick. They are so attached to each other, a bond that I have always been really jealous of. And one that I know I won’t be able to replicate if something happens to X. I wonder what our lives will be like, if X dies and PT lives with us full time. I wonder if I will be able to handle it. I wish I could look into the future right now.

Surprise!

May 4, 2008

My brother is here. We decided to surprise our mom. He told me about a month ago that he was coming out here to see his friend G who lives 2 hours from me, and they were going to a motorcycle show about 40 minutes from me. So — he wasn’t really coming to see US, he was coming to see G and motorcycles and making a side trip to see us. He NEVER comes to see us. The last time he came, was before my doggie Cleo died of cancer — she had been through radiation and chemo to no avail…I had just gone through two failed IUIs and I was having a really rough time. Cleo was given a clean bill of health and 5 days after her last treatment, I checked her throat (she had oral melanoma) and I could see that the tumors were growing back with a vengeance.  There was nothing more we could do. My brother’s ‘wife’ sent him to see me. I am certain it wasn’t his idea — he would NEVER think of it. But I talked to my SIL and then two days later my brother called to say he was coming to visit…then it was the SIL that bought the plane tix, etc.

Anyway, that was about a year and a half ago. My brother lives in NYC with his evil “wife” (I put it in quotes because they never got married but had a huge “commitment ceremony” that looked so much like a wedding, I am sure half of the guests were fooled). He claims he doesn’t have enough vacation time to come out here, but (for example) they were just in New Orleans for Jazz Fest and later this month they are going to the Galapagos islands for 9 days (SO JEALOUS!). They were in Costa Rica for New Years and France last Thanksgiving. SO….anyway…

My brother isn’t into family. He is childless by choice (his wife — not so much). He told his wife when they were first dating that he NEVER wanted kids. She thought he would change his mind. She is now 43 and I think has finally come to terms that kids are not in her future. But she stayed with him knowingly — she KNEW that he didn’t want kids. There were a handful of years where I was waiting for a big announcement that she was pregnant…I really thought she was have an “ooops” on purpose. But it hasn’t happened and now that she is turning 44 pretty soon, I seriously doubt it will happen (well, with my luck it may still happen). I don’t know how she got past it. For the first 3 or 4 years she talked about kids constantly — she would say she dreamt she was pregnant, and at one point she was researching adoption until my brother said, ‘DUH…I don’t want kids!’ I don’t think I would have married TW if he told me straight up that he didn’t want kids. It would have been a deal breaker. That is all moot now, of course…but anyway.

I invited my parents over for dinner a month ago. They are here from France until mid-June and they are such social butterflies it is almost impossible to get an “appointment” with them. After my brother called to say he would be in town, I called my dad and we conived about surprising my mom. So my dad was in on it. Yesterday was the big day. My brother’s friend G drove him down from the motorcycle show, and he arrived at about 4pm. I made a big dinner – turkey and 3-bean chili, cornbread, home made caesar salad, home-made guac and salsa, and we had all the fixin’s like sour cream, cheese, chopped onion, cilantro. And for dessert I made this chocolate truffle cake, but I drizzled it with raspberry jam and sprinkled tons of slivered almonds and fresh raspberries on top. Ugh, if you look at the recipe…it is no wonder I have gained 5 pounds in the last few months!!!

So my brother arrived and we drank some beers and hung out, finishing dinner. Then my mom and dad arrived at around 7pm. I hid my brother in the back room and sat my parents down with a drink. Then I said, “Oh! Mom — I have an early mother’s day present for you! Wait one sec” and I went to get my brother. I pushed him into the room and BOY was my mom surprised.  But then it just got annoying. My mom has nothing nice to say about my brother. Just that he causes her so much heart ache. Because he never visits and he rarely calls and he claims he has no vacation time but travels all over the world. That his priorities are fucked up. But the minute she is in the same room as him, she WORSHIPS him. And I disappear. I am the one that stayed in our home-town. But when my parents realized that my brother wasn’t coming back, they decided that there was nothing keeping them here (ummm…hello?) so they moved to France. I am the one they turn to anytime they need help. I am the one that talks to them at least once a week when they are in France and e-mails almost every day. My brother? He does shit. All he does is complain about them, and he sees them maybe once every two years. So watching my parents fawn all over him is so hard. I feel really jealous. He is their golden boy, no matter what he does. And somehow, my parents’ behavior always suprises me. And then so does my reaction.

 

Save the Polar Bear

April 29, 2008

Will you sign this petition? Let’s help save the Polar Bear.

Skydiving was AWESOME!

April 29, 2008

I have nothing to report on the TTC front, so just some random babbling for now.

Indoor skydiving was SO MUCH FUN. I was really lame at it and I could feel drool (yes) streaming UP my face because I was laughing the whole time, and I guess my spit was being picked up by the wind. Grody! But it ROCKED. If any of you have an iFly or SkyVenture near you, I would highly recommend checking it out. It wasn’t scary at all — just really great fun! We couldn’t bring cameras into the wind tunnel for obvious reasons but the websites for these places have videos posted so you can see what it is like.

I am in a bit of a quandary now. My mom has a charitable organization and we have a huge annual fundraiser each year — the event was on Sunday. I worked so hard on my piece, I was in charge of the silent auction. It was a lot of work! I solicited a friend to help me on the day of the event….I invited her two months in advance and we spoke about it at least once a week leading up to it. We talked on Saturday and then three times on Sunday morning…each time I talked to her on Sunday morning she said she was on her way. Then 20 minutes before the event, she called me up and asked me if I would mind if she didn’t come because she was so tired. YES I MINDED! I ended up practically hanging up on her. She did say if I really needed her, she would come. But I am not going to force someone to do something they don’t want to do.

Now I am waiting for her to contact me but she hasn’t. We usually talk on the phone at least 2 times a day, and no contact from her at all. I am wondering if I should just get off my high horse and call her first. I think we need to talk this out, otherwise the friendship will be damaged. My thing is — when I commit to something, I follow through. I am not a flake. Flakes SUCK. I thought it was totally inconsiderate of her to leave me hanging like that. Especially since this was planned so far in advance. And I talked to her THREE times the morning of the event and she didn’t say anything until 20 minutes before she was supposed to come. Am I over-reacting?

April 4, 2008
Stop Puppy Mills
HSUS MySpace Page | Stop Puppy Mills Website