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Starting Something New Tuesday January 15, 2008

Posted by gingerbreadman in Me and Mike.
Mike is finally ready to start his own business.  Hooray…I think. 
He’s a diesel mechanic, has done that since he was a teenager in his Dad’s shop before going on to work for some big companies.  Now he’s in a crappy shop with an unappreciative boss who overworks him while underpaying him…and Mike puts up with it to keep the family afloat.  For the past 4 years, he’s gone out on service calls – doing repairs on truck and trailers down on the road or stranded at a truck stop somewhere.  It’s called a Mobile Repair Service and that’s what he’s going to do on his own now.
Luckily, my parents ran their own business when I was a kid; I had to learn basic bookkeeping skills to help my Mom out, and took accounting again in college…I always loved the business classes.  And since I’m at home all the time anyway, I ‘get’ to be the dispatcher and bookkeeper now.
It’d be ideal…my last installment of my backpay for my disability claim helping to start out a business we’re in together, if I felt like WE were in it together.  But his brother wants to be involved, since he ran the same type of business in Indiana, and both the diesel mechanics are trying to dismiss my business ideas, questions about legalities and the like but assigning me all the grunt work of calling around for all the prices for all the things that have to be purchased, counting on me to set up advertising, web pages, manage the books…but I get this "We know what we’re doing about everything and you’re just our little secretary".
Ummm…not when it’s my money starting up this venture.  Not when this was Mike’s dream with me until Russell showed up.  I’m beginning to get very frustrated and angry at Mike’s attitude.
I’d come online wanting to say "Hey, all you self-employed business guys…gimme some advice!"  "Hey Kat…who are the really dependable insurance companies?"  "Hey, SAAM, Gina…how do you juggle running a business AND taking care of your house, kids and yourself?"
Then today, Russell remarked that it was "nothing" what I was going to be doing…."a piece of cake". 
Russell:  I did my own dispatching, books, went on the calls, no problem!
Lynn:  Okay, it’s nothing?  Did you have to come home and cook for 7 people while you were answering phones, faxing invoices, dealing with Comcheks and pissed off truckers who are waiting for their mechanic, Russell?   Did you answer the phones and do the books while doing 4 loads of laundry a day?  Did you have to schedule your calls around doctor’s appointments for the kids?
Russell:  (laughing)  No, it was just 3 adults all doing their own thing.
Lynn:  Well then…Fuck you, Russell, but don’t tell me what I’ll be doing is nothing.  You won’t even cook a meal after working all day. 
Mike: Hey, Lynn, he’s just saying it won’t be as hard as you think…
Lynn:  No, he’s saying what I’ll be doing is nothing, just like what I do NOW is nothing.  Russell did the dispatching, the books and the calls all by himself…FINE HE CAN DO THEM WITH YOUR BUSINESS.
We aren’t having a good day.  Heh.
I feel like we really should have a production companies and cameras in here.  I think this is going to be quite the drama for a while.  Stay tuned for the next installment of Lynn and Mike…will they or will he?

GRRRR He did it AGAIN!!! Saturday May 26, 2007

Posted by gingerbreadman in Me and Mike.
The kids are out of school for the term.  Woe is me.  I won’t pretend to be one of those parents who leaps for joy when the kids are home for the summer.  What it means for me is triple the grocery bill each month, kids trying to sleep til noon, stay up til 2 am making a racket.  They want to laze around the house like slugs in between those hours whining about how it’s too hot to go outside while they sit on their duffs playing on the computer, PS2, watching one of the 200 dvds we own or yapping on the phone all day.  Then the whining begins when I throw them out of the house or assign them chores…"It’s our vacation, Mom!"  I can feel the plate in my head start to shift as all the veins in my brain pulse in rage and frustration.
While I was picking up the report cards and Libby, who wanted to come home early on the ‘play day’ they call the last full day of school, I stopped in Em and Katie’s classroom to find the girls all dancing, the older male substitute teacher sitting behind his desk perplexed and a bit dazed and the music just blasting from a couple boom boxes set up around the room.  I jumped in and grabbed Emmy’s hands and started to dance with her.  She shrieked "Oh JEEZ MOM!!!!" dropped my hands and hid her face, so I stopped moving.  Then her friend Chelsea picked my hands up and begged me to dance with her.  I looked at Emily, she nodded, so I started jumping around with the kids…I think we danced for a few minutes and I stopped until "Girlfriend" by Avril Lavigne came on.  Now, I know it’s a mean-spirited song.  But it’s BOUNCY.  You can’t not dance to it if you’re on your feet, dangitall.  I’ve tried.  So off I went.  I got into what we call the b00by-bouncy dance with about 10 other girls before I finally left, and then asked the teacher to spin me…just one time…he laughed and did…said it was fun. 
I got 6 myspace messages from different girls in the classroom telling me "YOU ROCK!!!", I’m the coolest mom in the world, etc.  I don’t know…it’s good that they like me, as long as when the time comes they all know they have to respect me too….but of course when Mike came home he ended up hearing about it and Guess what?  Yes, you’re right…"That was inappropriate!"  Thank goodness the spinning with the male teacher didn’t come up…I’d probably have been stoned as an adulteress.  I ended up calling my mom in tears of frustration and hurt because I feel so damn judged and misunderstoond in my own marriage, and it is getting to the point where he can just Take Me or Leave Me.  I am so tired of being judged and found wanting and having it verbalized in this…demeaning sentence all the time.
Mom pointed out I’ve always ‘turned on’ around people, that I love people, period.  And that since I almost died, of course I’m going to celebrate and be more…boisterous is the word she used.  AND since I’m stuck at home all the time, getting out and around people would bring me out more too.  It all made a lot of sense to me.  I wish it made sense to Mike.  It helped a lot that my MOM validated me…the Mom that was my biggest criticizer for my entire childhood and so much of my adulthood.  That *she* says it’s okay makes me feel so much better.  MORE support for what I already know in my heart and soul is good and right.  It may not be what everyone else would do, how they would behave…but it is ME.  And I am good.  I’m okay, just the way I am.  Take me or leave me, baby.

But does it brew coffee?! Saturday April 28, 2007

Posted by gingerbreadman in Me and Mike.
Calamity struck yesterday…my coffee maker, the trusty, handy-dandy Black and Decker Smart Brew I’d owned and adored for so long died on me.  I didn’t realize at first what had happened; my last cup of coffee poured was a bit warm instead of pipin’ hot, but then, it was only about half a cup and I thought perhaps somehow the less coffee in the carafe, the harder it was to warm (don’t ask me where I got this logic, I was wearing a toddler at the time), so I shrugged off fact of the lukewarmity of my nectar and worshipped anyway.  
Time for Katie and Libby to wander over to the dance, and for me to try to console Emily because she couldn’t go while reinforcing the idea that we have to live with the consequences of our actions without being an Evil B-Word Mom and rubbing it in….That calls for a pot of coffee if anything does since La is still wandering around and I can’t hit the hard liquor. 
  • Water poured.  Check.   (I gotta learn how to make the cool check mark thingy)
  • Coffee grounds properly placed.  Check.  (It’s so much neater than this written goofiness…"Check", for Pete’s sake…what’m I, 5?)
  • "On" button pushed, Light shining brightly assuring me Power is flowing, coffee maker has received signal to start making brown substance that runs through my veins. (At least I know how to do the Bullet Points…my gosh and garters, if I couldn’t even do those, what kinda blogger would I be after all this time?!)

A not so funny thing didn’t happen.  There was no burbly, happy noise telling me the Juice of the Gods was on it’s way.  No sweet, acrid smell of mixed Folgers and Millstone’s Swiss Chocolate Almond.  No nothin’.  Just an empty carafe and a shiny "On" light.  Cold burner.  My coffee maker was dead.  Broken.  Finito.  Not working. 

Adieu, Old Friend.  I will miss you.  I miss you already, in fact.

Especially after I met your replacement, the Rocket.

Now, I was all set to be brave and wait until Sunday to go and pick out a new Best Friend and Constant Companion since Mike had to spend Saturday at WKU with the twins learning about College 101 and how to prepare ourselves and the kids for Getting Ready For Higher Education.  I was going to just get up early Saturday morning, make a MickeyD’s run and order 4 or 5 large cuppa joes and make do for the day until they brought me some Starbucks back from Barnes and Noble.  Then repeat process until I could hit the store for some shopping.  However, I must have seemed really upset, because long about 8 or so PM, Mike decided to take Emmy and make the 20+ mile trip to the Big City and buy me a new coffee maker.

No, no, that’s not necessary, honey, I said.  Really. (Oh no, please don’t, I was thinking.  I don’t want something with Nascar on it or a coffee grinder or even worse, a single cup maker because it’s cheaper…this is a personal thing…please don’t, man).  But he would not be dissuaded.  He, loving man that he is (Friday night and trapped at home and unaccustomed to that as he was), he wasn’t going to sit idly by while I was without my coffee maker.  So I specifically told him what I wanted, pointing out on the B&D the feature I needed: AUTO SET UP.

I just want the thing to make the coffee in the morning before I get up, honey.  That’s all.  No bells, no whistles, no special things.  No flashy stuff.  Just make coffee.  Please?

He comes home two hours later with The Rocket.  It scares me.  It DOES have the set up feature, but it’s complicated.  It’s got a tee-nineny place to pour the water in that it took me four attempts to find…but my floor got mopped!  And it has a different filter system than the ones I have now, so I’m rigging up a way to not flood the place with coffee grounds.  I am determined to learn and love The Rocket because he tried so darn hard. 

And after all, it was a guy shopping for an appliance.  Of course it’s shiny and tall and nothing like I would buy.  It has lots more buttons than it needs, perfect…it glows….woo-hoo…and reading the instruction manual would certainly be helpful with the process of figuring out where the water actually goes…but it isn’t necessary to get the thing running.

At least none of the parts have fallen off it yet.  He did a nice thing.  =) 


Just keep swimmin’, just keep swimmin’ Monday February 12, 2007

Posted by gingerbreadman in Me and Mike.
It figures that right after I write an entry with lots of info and feelings in it, the week would go haywire on us here at home and I’d be unable to find the time to sit down and update, wouldn’t it?  I shoulda known…but my optimistic nature always takes precedence over experience. 
Libby finally went ahead and got the flu, making it 4 out of 4 kids and starting up the "just keep swimming, just keep swimming" chant that ran through my head endlessly last week.  Then Mike got up in the middle of the night on the 6th with horrible jaw and tooth pain and we had to take him to the dentist early Wednesday for surgery…3 teeth were infected and oy vey! was he sick!  Between him and Libby I ran around like mad tending to the ill.
We’d had a talk on Tuesday night…a good one I think.  He listened patiently to my feelings of being a burden on him to him, how I felt we’d grown apart in the last year especially, how hopeless and angry I was to find myself apathetic at this point about whether we even made it anymore.  I didn’t want to feel that way, I am just so tired of seeing myself as a ball and chain weighing him down instead of a partner in this relationship-an equal partner in a love affair rather than a problem that had to be endured.  The fighting, the nights I spend on the couch because I just didn’t want to get into bed with someone I suspected didn’t love me and knew didn’t appreciate the gifts and help I bring into this family.
I was in for a surprise:  he opened up for the first time in so, so long.  I found out how isolated he felt living in a house with a group of people who already had a long history of family and bonding-the girls and I seeming to be a family without him, not really needing him emotionally.  How all the playing and talking and goofing I do with them makes him feel shut out a lot of the time, the fact that when he does things with the kids it is usually while leaving me at home to rest, recover or just have a break, and the very real truth that we rarely do things as an entire family, or ever just he and I.
All of those things are true-we hadn’t had a night out just the two of us in over a year;  we either took La with us, or at least one of the kids, or I do something with the kids or he does.  While of course we both need to spend time with the children alone, we need to do more together so we can bond better as a family unit.  And we definitely need some time just the two of us. 
Becca had to run into the "big city" Friday evening for a few hours and decided to take La and Emily with her, and Katie and Libby were staying over at friends for the night–the perfect opportunity for Mike and I to be alone for a while.  We had our first ‘date night’ in forever.  It was great, surprisingly.  I thought we’d be uncomfortable, run out of things to talk about or that animosities would come up at least.  It was nothing like that.  We held hands.  I’d forgotten what a sweet thing that is to do.  We laughed.  And we didn’t spend the entire night talking about the kids for a change. 
We spent the weekend doing things together with the kids, learning how to be parents together with them having fun.  I can admit now that lots of times the girls and I have shut him out just as much as I felt he was pulling away from us.  It doesn’t work that way in a family, as important as it is for each parent to build an individual relationship with each child.  While I’d always known I played a part in the disintegration of our marriage I am only now seeing my part in it as fully and completely as I see his. 
Not to say by any stretch I’m seeing this as my fault now;  I know and feel still a lot of hurt and anger over how I’ve felt in the last year and why.  The difference now is I think he sees it too, and has a firmer grasp on why and is commited to trying to repair the damage.  I want to be happy in my home, I want him to be happy in it too.  We both have a lot of swimming to do.  I think the important thing is we’re both trying now, and making an effort to swim in the same direction toward the same place.

Revelation…Not the Book Tuesday February 6, 2007

Posted by gingerbreadman in Me and Mike.
There’s something especially painful about finding out cheating is going on in a relationship.  It isn’t like other conflicts and problems between people who share a bed, a home, a family, a life together…it’s excruciatingly personal.  I’ve suspected for a while now that I was living with a lie, a liar, that things were not the status quo I was being led to believe…the life I was acting out as well, in truth.
Things have been a disaster in my partnership with Mike for over a year now, but I shut my eyes and mind to just how badly things had gone wrong because I didn’t want to see it, because I was too tired and sick to consider the alternatives to facing facts, because he was content to live the way we were living too.  Status quo…what a silly phrase: meaning the existing state of affairs.  Yes, let’s maintain the status quo, for heaven’s sakes.  Let’s not rock the boat, look at the problems let alone address them!   Heaven forfend we change the way things are or even discuss doing anything that might help this disintegrating union.  That might be work, and we both work too hard already-he at his job, me at mine here at home, both of us dealing with four children at home.
Better for me to accept that Mike is a misogynist whose values are grounded some where back in the Dark Ages when it comes to how men and women should relate to each other within the bounds of a union.  What’s funny about him was that his initial attraction to me was in part because I was an independent woman who took care of herself and her children on her own…I guess he was looking for someone who wouldn’t be needy and demanding after the stress of his last relationship.  He got what he wanted for a time-until Laura came along…and then my aneurysm.
Three months away from Laura’s first birthday and my planned return to work, disaster struck our family.  When I returned home from the hospital I was changed, not for the better.  I was sick, weak, needy; mentally off-balance and completely incapable of caring for myself and the children on my own.  People tell me I should be grateful he didn’t leave me-that many would have-and I have to question what kind of world we live in now that these thoughts come into people’s minds…or out of their mouths.  What the heck happened to loyalty, caring, the need to tend to your loved one, good grief, a sense of chilvary if nothing else?  Of course I was grateful I had him…but not because he didn’t leave me; rather because I wanted his comfort, support, the feelings of safety in the storm of all those emotions I was wrestling with at the time.  His feelings of protectiveness even lasted a few months before the exhaustion and worry set in on top of him and he began to treat me as a hindrance sometimes.  The lashing out when I forgot something, remarks made about how this or that wasn’t cleaned to his satisfaction, how long I’d napped, how long I was taking to get better.  After all, they’d released me from the neurosurgeon’s care, that must mean I was healed up, right?  To be fair, neither of us knew anything about how long it took to recover from a brain surgery or the answer to why I was having so many emotional problems during the first six months.  I think  he was so afraid of what he saw in my deterioration he was lashing out.  It didn’t help to know that when I was feeling it though.  Neither did his going out to his friend John’s every Friday and sometimes Saturday night.  I wasn’t able to get out, didn’t feel up to it…and this was his escape.  He said he needed it to cope with the stress of work, coming home to me and the kids and the uproar and all he had to do to help with things around the house now.  I believed him, and felt guilty for everything I was putting him through. 
Then I found the brain aneurysm support group online and got answers….affirmation, comfort.  I found out I wasn’t the only one by far who was reacting adversely to medication, the only one forgetting thing, experiencing painful eyesight and mind-crushing headaches.  It was normal…just as normal as having psychological problems after brain surgery and a rupture.  I was finally validated and knew how to get help for my problems.  I tried to share all this with Mike, but he didn’t like the idea of me talking to ‘strangers’ on the internet.  I should just go to my doctors, get better so we could move on, and go back to being the woman he met in April 2002.  Yeah, right.
Our status quo now is sad and painful for both of us.  He wants the woman he picked out, and she is gone…long gone and never coming back.  We have a baby now, and that slowed some things down even before we were hit with the event.  No more just bopping out the door to have a night on the town, not without a large bit of finagling to find a sitter and deal with all that extra confusion and expense.  No more hitting a bar to dance and flirt with each other and shoot pool and darts til we call a cab home to make love in the living room floor at 3 am.  I can’t be in bars now…the lights, the racket start a migraine up in no time flat.  Movies are out….my wires were screwed and unless we know there won’t be flashies and zooms I can’t sit in a theatre.  I’m a really fun date nowadays.  So I stay home and Mike consoles himself with nights out at his friends…or wherever he goes when he leaves here every weekend. 
Tension runs through the house all the time now.  Tension over money because he’s now supporting a woman and four kids he never thought he’d be taking care of on his income solely.  Stress because my girls are teenagers now and becoming more themselves, more ready to question rules and authority than in the early days of his internship as "Daddy".  He doesn’t think they should ever associate with boys, use the computer to talk to their friends in case a molester might get to them, use the phone after 8 pm because the ringing annoys him and he simply wants to come home at night, get dinner, take a shower and relax.  There is rebellion amongst the ranks and if I dare to insert my opinion and it differs with his, then I am siding with the chldren. 
And then there’s just me.  My assertive, confident personality.  My expectation to be accepted as me even as the flawed and damaged me I’ve become.  It is harder for me to concentrate on my improvements, find the joys in what I’ve learned on this journey back to wellness I am walking every day. When the anti-depressive medicines were making me so tired and lethargic, all I heard was complaints of how often I took a nap in the afternoon, all the things I could have gotten done here at home, how much I’ve changed and how much he dislikes it.  I got off the medication and got better, and I still don’t feel any change in his judgements of me.
I finally had a revelation this past week as I listened to his charges, my list of sins in his eyes, the things I wasn’t doing to make him happy and content;  I was never going to be enough for him again.  It doesn’t matter how much I improve, how much money Disability gives me to make up for the loss of income I’ve suffered because of this life-altering event-because I’m not who I was…at all.  I never will be again, no matter how much better I get.  I was given a GIFT on September 18, 2004.  The gift of a second chance at living…an opportunity to see life for all it could be if I woke up and embraced it.  It wasn’t a gift Mike wanted or saw or reacted to.  If I’ve learned nothing else in the last two years, it’s how important it is to love completely and unabashedly the people in your life….to tear down walls and barriers, to accept them for who they are and all they can be…damage and all.
So right now I feel cheated.  It’s been suggested to me often that perhaps I’m also being cheated *on* because of his frequent and regular absences, his suspicions of me on things as simple as who has called, who I talk to on the internet….Cheaters are very suspicious and accusatory of their spouses, I’m told.  Truth be told-I don’t really care one way or the other.  Being cheated of getting his acceptance and love for who I am is so much more important to me than to whom he is giving his body. 
Of course, there are two sides to every story, and I know I have been difficult, nigh on impossible to live with at times.  But after describing the way Mike and I carried on our relationships and differences on a blog once, Thotman remarked that we had passion between us, at least, and that passion was to be treasured…even if it wasn’t the kind everyone practiced.  Even that passion has diminished now.  I can’t bring myself to care much how all this turns out, even after I rock the boat and confront him with the problems with this status quo.  I am who and what I am…scars and all…crazy and all.  I’m a loveable nut, a giving train wreck, a funny depressed person, a smart brain-damaged woman.  I won’t be cheated any more.

Mike and Me Monday August 14, 2006

Posted by gingerbreadman in Me and Mike.
I got a wonderfully loving and supportive comment from JLo about my rant about Mike’s behavior last week over the housekeeping and tea brouhaha and went over to her space to leave her a comment about it all.  She’d also suggested that I look within myself a little more closely, that perhaps my needing to be needed, people pleasing were hallmarks of other things within myself.  Of course she is right, and I have looked within, and do so still.  With my past of a difficult childhood and a past abusive marriage, it is obvious I have wrestled with issues of self-esteem and feeling of need to be approved of and loved.  I don’t know many who haven’t.  But there are so many issues wrapped up with my relationship with Mike…so many that I’ve covered in this blog before, and some I haven’t.  I’ve argued my ‘serving’ Mike to death with my Sis the Imp…it makes her nuts too, but she’s finally given up as she knows I’m gonna do it anyway, and that even as I happily and quite lovingly bring him his plate for dinner most nights…
if he pisses me off he will just as likely find it dumped into his lap.
While I was reading over the comment I left over at JLo’s space, I realized a lot of what I said to her I should probably say to everyone who read my original rant.  It was a one-sided account of our fight, after all.  The thing about my blog is everyone gets my side of everything, and while I really don’t write much about Mike, because I don’t like to kiss, fight, relate and tell…when I do, it is *my* side that I relate, and Libra that I am, I don’t like being unfair that way.
And thank you to *EVERYONE* who came to my defense during my rant and the ensuing Lessons I had to give out last week.  And I showed that wonderful little story from Cheryl’s space to Mike and warned him it was coming SOON.
He brought me dinner that night and gave me a back massage.  And then sent Becca and I off for a day to ourselves while he stayed home with all the kids.
And thank you, JLo.  I loves you.  =)
*meow*  *You* are so beautiful to me as well, JLo.
To answer your comments about bringing my neanderthal husband his tea and doing things for him after my long days of toiling as well, I have to tell you two things about us and about me:
(and I did very much appreciate your comments…with many people it would seem that perhaps there would be issues with self-esteem, but I don’t really think that’s the case here…and I’ve looked!  But I’d love to talk to you about it further)
I did grow up amongst a largely patriarchal family setting.  Sunday dinner at Grandmother’s always consisted of the Men and the children eating first, the women setting out the food and waiting until the dessert had been finished before they got to eat their dinner.  It just was the way it was.  I never quite worked out whether it was because it was a Man Rules thing or because there was no room in the dining room for a bigger table and there were only 8 chairs.  Nowadays when we all gather at the bigger homes since grandmother passed away, everyone pretty much grabs a plate and eats at the same time…but the men always eat at the little dining room table.  But this was the LOVING family in my life, the warmth, the caring place, the one house I felt most comfortable, happiest, safest; and the atmosphere there shaped me the most.  It never seemed misogynistic or wrong or chauvinistic to me…none of the women ever complained about waiting, they always talked and laughed and visited in the kitchen, catching up on the week’s news while the men sat in the other room stuffing their face.
Mike is a diesel mechanic.  He works 10 hour days in a non-air-conditioned shop all day under hot engines on concrete floors, sometimes on the side of the road repairing broken down semis on the asphalt…his body temp is outrageously  overheated when he gets home.  Usually he can barely stagger through the door, get into the shower and fall into bed for an hour’s nap before dinner to recover from the day.  So I bring him a drink when he comes home for lunch…and I make his lunch and bring his plate to him too.  I bring him his dinner plate as well.  He busts his ass in horrendous conditions every day, works horrible hours, gets called out at night on service calls sometimes for hours and still has to go in at 7. 
Now, is his job harder than mine?  Physically, yeah.  Mentally, emotionally, no.  I get called out in the middle of the night too for hours and still have to get up and go to work every day, don’t I?  I have horrible days, just bad days, good days, wonderful days…but I don’t have days when I’m lying under a semi on the shoulder of an interstate with assholes blowing by me at 80mph because they won’t get over like they are supposed to as the asphalt is burning into my shoulders and brake fluid is shooting into my eyes.
Is he insensitive to my needs and feelings sometimes?  Hell yeah.  Does he have a concept of what I do all dayand how hard it is the way I do about his work?  Hell no.   He’s not an empath.  I am.  He’s an old-time, old-fashioned, plain old guy’s guy.  What he also is is a man who met a woman with five daughters who didn’t belong to him and didn’t run away from that.  He decided I was worth all the trouble that would bring.  He loves these girls like his own.  He gets angry with me if I call them *my* girls.  I had a headache last night and he spent an hour patiently helping Emmy with her homework and put Lala to bed, even with a toothache of his own.
Sometimes he’s really stupid.  But he learns.  That’s why I love him. 
Oh, LOL…he doesn’t give Lala baths because he doesn’t think he should touch her "girl parts"   The doofus.

It’s Funny How… Saturday August 12, 2006

Posted by gingerbreadman in Me and Mike.
I spent today determined to work more on looking within and without for things I could think about  that would remind me that I am more than just the housekeeper, mommy, wife, cook, maid, etc of this domicile and family.
I was endlessly interrupted in my endeavors by my family and my chores of course.  All the things that are important, vital, urgent, life-threatening and "HURRY HURRY NOW NOW!" in everyone’s life who lives in my heart and home…all the things that keep me running from the time I wake up until I finally pass out at whatever time my body gives up every night.
The thing is, while all this was going on, I was laughing through most of it today.  Teasing Katie about the outfit she came down in, since she’d dressed with her eyes half closed and the baby Alien pulling on her leg.  Libby and I wrestled Laura into her clothes and put her shirt on her legs on purpose just to see what it would look like, which confused and upset the holy heck out of Little Miss ‘Everything Must Be As It Always Is’ (ahhh, what a nice evil little feeling that was for a moment, too)!  Becca and I tried on lots of tank tops we’d never wear out in public, just to see how much fun it would be to look really racy for a little bit…and bought two of them after all.  And when Mike and I came back from dinner, very nice pleasant dinner, thank you very much…and I found two extra teenagers on my couch, I was quite amazed, but then got a giggle fit, slammed the door shut and told Mike it’d be best if we just went back to a movie or something — giggling the whole time.  I was in such a good mood, *he* didn’t even get cranky at finding two more 13 year old girls in our house uninvited!
I’ve come to accept that while I may never be anything but this person who is a housekeeper, mother, wife…what a noble, amazing, hard-working job that is.  Hell…Mike can’t do it.  *grin*  I have decided the reason that it is so thankless is that no one has enough breath in them to spend that much time wandering around saying "Thank You" to all the parents and partners who carry on the brunt of the homemaking and childrearing every day of the week, month of the year every time something is done for them.  It is an impossible task…can’t be done.  It should get done more often around here than it does…and believe me…after the past few days, I believe that has been made clear  *smile*  but I am seeing a little more clearly after thinking about it now that perhaps my attitude needs to open more as well.
I can’t think of myself as *JUST* anything.  I may not have an outside-the-home job…but I have lots of things I do.  I am slowly, very slowly, writing a book that will…see my positive thinking?….be published.  I’m sending extraordinary people out into the world to touch and move even more people, hopefully.  I hope that I am making good friends here and giving out a few smiles and thoughts once in a while.  I know I learn a great deal, and receive more love, support and laughter than I ever dreamed when I started this blog almost a year ago.
I’m well enough this year to really be involved with the PTO…heavens help the poor school system.  It’s going to be fun to be truly in the school system as more than just a volunteer in the classroom.  We have two new teachers for me to break in.  Yes, break in, not break.  I love teachers. 
Oh….and I have finally succumbed to Becca.  She’s going to take me to her studio and I’m going to pose for her and the class for a photo shoot.
NO you can’t see them.
Pa shaw….I’m just kidding!

Resolutions Saturday January 21, 2006

Posted by gingerbreadman in Me and Mike.
They say there are periods and events in people’s lives that cause extreme stress:
Illness…not colds, but you know…ILLNESS
Job changes
Relationship changes
Catastrophic events
When Mike and I sat down and finally had more than 10 minutes of uninterrupted time to talk the other night, we discussed the fact that our relationship was just one long stressor after another really, beyond the first year.  We met, fell in love,
Moved.  Adjusted to blending a family.
Lynn went to jail and we spent 3 months waiting that outcome over.  LOL
Nice period of quiet of ohhhhh, 7 months and then  HEY
We’re pregnant!
During that first year we did a LOT of adjusting.  It wasn’t always…sorry…it was rarely pretty.  Two teenage girls who did NOT like having a man in the house after six years of it just being ‘us girls’.  Especially a guy who thought he should come in and start changing the way we’d been doing things.  And…he was right, in a lot of ways.  I’d let the household go to the kids in some things, because, frankly, I worked all the time and Jess and Becca DID run the house with me.  But…things like Mike wanting us to take off our shoes at the door so we didn’t track in dirt on the carpet became battles.  He wanted to take an active role in raising the ‘Littles’ if he was going to be Daddy to them…and Protective Sisters Jessica and Rebecca didn’t like that at all…He was too Harsh.  Too Loud.  Too Demanding.  In their eyes.  Sometimes they were right.  Sometimes they were wrong.  There I was…stuck in the middle…playing referee with the man I love and the children I adore more than life.  The Littles…courting favor with the man they wanted as Daddy…and the Big Sisters who were part Sisters, part Mom to them…wanting their Favor too…and knowing Mom loved Mike.
And Mike dealt with it all by spending WAY too much time out with his friend, drinking and hanging out over there.  ‘It was on the way home.’ ‘It’s how I adjust to going from being single to living with a houseful of women…two of them who hate me.’ ‘I’m here most of the time, Woman.’
We were a MESS.
Then comes Baby.  And we were then, undoubtedly, no takesies-backsies now, a Family.
Stressors.  Huh.  I wonder if our Family Portrait is next to the word in the DSM IV?
So.  Move.  Relationship Changes.  Family Dynamics.  Baby.
Then we moved here because Mike’s job changed and it was an hour’s drive…one way.
MOVE.  Job change.
Daniel, Mike’s son, came to stay…because mom was living in a car.
Aneurysm three weeks later.
All this our first three years together, Mike and I.
We’re kind of a miracle, Mike and I, aren’t we?
2005 was kind of quiet.  I spent it recovering.  Just had a tornado.  LOL
2006 is the year, hopefully that we spend learning to be a regular married couple, a family settling in.  We’ve decided to shoot for that.  To try to learn to live a life instead of reacting to the constant stressors that have beset us since our meeting the million years ago that was 2001.  Maybe he can learn to relax, and I can learn to be less independent, more trusting myself. 
Yeah, I figured out I have a few trust issues too.  Not of Mike…but of allowing others to be there to take care of me.  When you spend your life NOT having others be there for you…emotionally, physically, mentally…all through your childhood and young adulthood and first marriage….when the only people you’ve ever been able to count on are your CHILDREN…
You develop some issues of your own.
Perhaps you get a little independent and refuse to allow others to do for you…you do it yourself first, for fear they WON’T do it for you.
I think he’s proven he’ll be there.
I know I’ve proven I’m Principled.  He knows that.  He worries that I’m too independent.  That I don’t need him.  That’s his concern.  And the truth.  It’s an ugly truth, one that I’ve spent a lifetime developing.
But, as I cried and cried into his shoulder explaining to him…
I want him.  I picked him.  I STALKED him.  I choose him. I *LOVE* him.
That’s a lot more precious than need, in my book.

I hate paying bills =| Friday January 20, 2006

Posted by gingerbreadman in Me and Mike.
Does the midde of the month suck or WHAT?!?!?
Man alive!  The gas bill!  There goes an entire paycheck!  POOF!  GONE!
Then Mike calls and tells me to get the other bills ready for him to figure out…what bills?  The PAYCHECK IS GONE, BABE!
Then I look at the water bill, and FREAK!  Holy crap!  Did we pay that one yet?! 
I had a panic attack.  A real, first-rate, bonafide panic attack.  Hyperventilating and everything.  I just freaked.  Called the water company to see if we’d paid it yet, what the amount was, everything, because I couldn’t remember paying it and was worried we were about to be out of water somehow.
Becca giggling at me, watching from the sidelines, shaking her head.
I kept pacing, wondering if I could take a klonopin NOW or wait a bit…maybe take two and just get it over with.
Katie’s Beta Convention money is due today.  She’s been excited and bouncing about going for the first time to this thing for months.  It’s expensive.  But an extra, not a Bill.  Oh man, can we afford THIS on top of the huge gas bill and the phone and the car payment and the maybe water bill that I can’t remember paying and damn Mike will be home soon and WHY does he want ME of all people to figure THIS out…I’m BRAIN DAMAGED for GOOD NESS SAKES!!!!!
Becca took me by the shoulders and led me around the house, room by room, bless her sane and rational heart.  Pointing out the roofs in each room.  The beds, the clothing, the televisions, vcrs, dvd players the children have…(spoiled dang brat the Lala is!)…the blankets piled high (Just in case the gas gets turned off she says…we’ll still be nice and warm hardy har har)…all the food in the fridge…we’re FINE, MOM…calm down.
And no one is pregnant.  That immediately relaxed me.  That is a huge deal in a houseful of females of childbearing years, 4 of whom are undoubtedly beautiful and available, even if two of them are only 12…two more of my daughters are ALSO 18 and 20 and in college and QUITE capable of making me a gran…but haven’t.  So life is good, isn’t it?
Yep.  Life is good.  I have much to be thankful for.  Lala is currently entranced with Shrek, I have typed for 4 minutes straight without being attacked by the Mole Monster.  The heat is on today.  I’ll go pay bills in a little while. Mike has a job and lots of work lined up this weekend.  We’ll tighten the belts up a leetle bit more, dangit. 
January is just not as much fun as December is it?  And we don’t even use credit cards to shop.  Bless the poor folks who have THOSE debts looming over them right now.

Not myself today Wednesday January 18, 2006

Posted by gingerbreadman in Me and Mike.
Every marriage has it’s ups and downs, back and forths, woohoos and uh ohs.  When you make a commitment, some parts of it feel like a real partnership and lifelong joining of heart, mind and soul…and some times feel like a commitment all right…
into an insane asylum.
It’s like Cher said once, and I am definitely paraphrasing:
"Why would I want to be a part of something that is an institution?  Prisons, hospitals, marriage…?"
I am, believe it or not, very private about my life, about my thoughts.  This blog was started by a woman who didn’t know what the word meant, still doesn’t really grasp the ‘bigness’ of the blogosphere and frankly doesn’t want to know. It was going to be PRIVATE.
I can’t think of many words more destructive to a relationship than the ones I heard last night spoken to me:
"I don’t trust you."
Because I keep the blog to myself.
Not because there’s anything here, as anyone and everyone knows WRONG with what I write here.
Simply that it is MINE.
My husband is very old world Latino male Neanderthal backwards in his thinking when it comes to this sort of thing.  His work, we don’t discuss, because it is his work.  He wants to leave it at work.  That makes a certain sort of sense, so I never argued with that logic.  Until the day he snapped at me to not ask who the new guy was related to at work that his job was "None of my business."
When he is on the phone with his friends making plans to go out for the evening, he takes the phone into another room and closes the door, because our house is loud and it is hard to hear conversations.  Okay fine.  Same with conversations he has with his family members.  Also fine.  I am not a meddlesome woman. 
I believe in respecting privacy.  I get the concept of boundaries.  I had none as a child.  I had none in my very bad marriage.  I think this entire business is a breakdown, fallout of all the stuff that has happened to us in the last year *finally* coming to play:  now that it is finally safe perhaps to say that he resents living with and caring for a woman who is so profoundly changed from the one he hooked up with…maybe…maybe not.  What I KNOW is that I am a faithful woman.  I am a good woman.  I do not HIDE things.  The fact that I do not want to share my every thought, that I wish to have things that are just for me in a house that is cram full of always being walked in on and never having a moment’s peace of mind or peace and quiet…this blog is honestly the only thing I have that is all mine.  I don’t want to share it.  Not with Mike, not with the kids.  Even Jess and Becca know better than to try and tell me how to write or to change the way I have the layout set up or the colors done.
There are long-reaching implications to the conversation that happened last night.  Hard-hitting emotions have been screaming and tearing at me since that talk.  I don’t know how to feel other than betrayed and battered.  I want to be Lynn.  I just feel…burnt.  What a weird word for how I feel, but it comes the closest.  I feel burnt right now. 
It snowed last night, the first pretty, lovely, measurable snowfall of the season.  Took the kids out for a bit…La’s first time out in the snow.  Hopefully I’ll feel like writing about that soon.  I’ll work on it, promise.
Pray to your God for me, please?  I need some good energies right now, very much.