Sunday, August 22, 2010

I've Moved!

I have very recently moved my blog from Blogger to WordPress and while doing so seem to have lost almost everyone who was subscribed to me.  :( 

The move has been a major learning experience but has also caused me a lot of frustration.  The loss of subscribers being one of them.  If you are still interested in my blog, please go to and you should arrive to my WordPress version and there you can re-subscribe.  I hope, as long as I have set it up correctly.  :) 

It is still very much a work in progress!

Thanks for your readership!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Innocence Stealing Text Message

WARNING:  To any relatives reading this post (i.e., my mother/my children's grandmother), it's contents will haunt you.

The other day my kids and I were sitting at the dinner table enjoying our homemade pizza and salad.  We were chatting about miscellaneous things and having a pleasant time.

Out of the blue my daughter says, "Neighbor Boy's mom  and her boyfriend are engaged."  "Really?", I say, a bit surprised because they haven't been dating very long. "JK", Lovey says. (There is a lot of JKing -just joking- that goes on these days, it must be a tween thing.)  Without pause she then says, "But Neighbor Boy told us about a text message he saw on his mom's phone." My attention is caught, I look across the table to Handsome who has quickly met eyes with his sister and I can tell he knows where she is going with this.

"What did it say?", I ask.

"Do you really want to know?", Lovey inquires.

"Sure", I say, trying to sound cool because I can tell something is up and I don't want her to chicken out.

Without further ado she says "It said 'I want to wake up with your pussy on my face, and I will be happy'."

Bam!  Shot right between the eyes.  I was expecting something, I was.  But not that.  I thought it was going to be something about them wanting to get married or a secret marriage, that involved not telling Neighbor Boy, something secretive, but NOT this.

Heart beating faster, palms sweating, face cringing.  The first words out of my mouth, "Oh Jesus."

And just in case that first shot between the eyes didn't do me in, Handsome, who is seven, asks, "What is a pussy anyway".

That one was felt piercing my heart.

"It's something really bad", I say to his sweet, wondering face.  Yep, that was my best answer.

"So Neighbor Boy saw this on her phone? Does she know he saw it?", I ask calmly.

"No, she doesn't know.  He looks at her phone all the time.", Lovey says.

"Well, you guys, that was a very inappropriate thing Neighbor Mom's Boyfriend wrote. People shouldn't say things like that.  And you two are not allowed to say anything like that."  And that was it.

I didn't want to over react, but did I under react?

I didn't ask Lovey if she knew what that word meant or if she knew what the whole text message meant.  She didn't ask, so I didn't either.  Maybe I should have?

I want to desperately tell Neighbor Lady that her son is looking at her phone and reading all of her nasty text messages but then chances are she'll say something to her son, who will then say something to my kids.  As much as hearing the word 'pussy' come out of my 11 and 7 year-old children's mouths was horrifying, I want them to tell me this kind of stuff.  And if I tell her, and she tells her kid, and he tells mine, then they will probably stop filling me in.

So I'm having a dilemma in my brain. 

Did I say enough?  Should I bring it up again or leave it alone?  Do I say something to the neighbor?       

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Friendly Divorce

An article titled More Couples Opt for Friendly Divorce in Sunday's Detroit Free Press is the prompt for this post.  You can find the article here.  The main idea of this article is that while the majority of divorcing couples still use lawyers, more and more couples are choosing to do a mediation type of divorce rather than the standard court divorce.

My divorce consisted of me and my attorney, and my ex-husband and his attorney.  Also involved were accountants for each of us, a business appraiser, a realtor, and a home appraiser.    So between the two of us, the total cost of our divorce was, well, really expensive.   Probably very close to what our wedding and honeymoon cost. Sad, I know, very sad.

I wouldn't call my divorce 'friendly' just because of the simple fact that we were divorcing, so obviously there were issues between us and on top of that, pile on the division of assets, the division of debt, what to do with the house, drama regarding a business and child support.  So, friendly?  No.  But we kept our anger, frustration and problems away from our kids.  We were always amicable in front of the kids, it was not easy, but it was necessary.

The article suggests that a mediated divorce could cost just a thousand dollars.  And when you are at the start line of divorce, that can sound really enticing.  But there are a few things that need to be considered.
Divorce is usually a traumatic, emotional time and most of us don't think clearly or make the best of decisions
during traumatic, emotional times.  So to guide yourself and look out for the best interests of your kids through such an extremely life changing event without legal representation, seems risky and scary to me. 

The article also implies that lawyers "fight to get the best deals for their clients" and that can cause further pain and damage to an already faulty relationship.  In my case, yes, my attorney did fight for me but I didn't hire her to get me the best deal.  I didn't hire her to allow me to walk away with loads of assests and money.  I hired her to be fair.  It was never an interest of mine to gauge my ex-husband and our final divorce decree would prove that.  I hired her because I needed to be sure I was covering all my bases.  I needed someone who was looking out 100% for me and my best interests, which included my children. 

Once those official divorce papers are signed and you've agreed to A,B & C, it can be very costly and time consuming to get things changed or reversed.  Mediation or 'do it yourself' divorce kits might work for some but in my opinion, the majority of divorcing couples, especially those with kids, need the advice of attorneys. 

Where the "friendly" part of divorce is important is after the papers have been filed and you begin your new lives, separate from one another but still connected by your children.  The friendly part needs to come in during your day to day lives and the lives of your children. 

Divorce is the cutting of ties with your spouse, legally and hopefully emotionally.  Divorce is the end of two people as a couple and with that should come the burying of the issues that drove you there.  It isn't easy, trust me.  And it won't happen immediately.  It will take time, but eventually there needs to be a peace and calm that your children can put trust in.  Because any continuing friction between ex spouses just adds confusion and pain to the children.

I have struggled with the feeling of 'If I'm nice to him, he'll think I'm OK with ____________.'  I didn't want my ex-husband to think that I was OK with some of the things he had done.   But I slowly remembered and realized that I had clearly told him how I felt about all of those things.  Many times I told him how I felt and what I thought, and I used an awesome variety of language and gestures to help prove my point.  So it was time to just bury it.   I try to see him now no longer as my ex-husband but as my children's dad. And that really helps me be friendly and civil with him.

As with many of life's biggest events, every situation is different.  Most importantly, trust your feelings and your gut instincts. And if there are children involved, the 'friendly post divorce' is an important step to healing.    

Friday, August 6, 2010

I Still Use a Bookmark

Technology has certainly given book lovers a new meaning to the word 'convenient'.  No longer must they endure the dreaded task* of going to the library or the book store to find the latest read.  Now they can simply download it onto a fancy high tech reader with one quick click.  *read with sarcasm

I would not call myself an avid reader.  Although I am a teacher, so I do read A LOT of 4th grade type material during the school year.  As for personal reading, the majority of that is done during the summer.
But I have a worry.  I have seen a fancy high tech reader and it was cool.  Simply stated.  I "ooohhed" and "aaahhed" while I held it and clicked the arrows back and forth.  Because, well, it's technology and that continues to amaze me!

I imagine this type of technology would be most useful to someone who travels a lot.  This device would allow such traveler to have access to endless reads while on plane, train or automobile and while passing time in hotel rooms.  It would make an extremely smart travel companion.
But for the rest of us, what is it's purpose?

It's gadgety, yes.

And convenient, seeing that those trips to the library or bookstore could be permanently checked off of the "to-do" list.

However, I can't help but think that some technology comes at a price we may not realize we are paying.

Such as: 
The way your fingers bump from one book spine to another while you peruse the titles.

The creak of the cover as you open it up to read the inside flap.

The colors and details of the illustrations.

The sound of your fingers drumming the back cover.

Your favorite handmade "I Love Mom" bookmark.

Your bookmark traveling deeper and deeper into the pages.

The inviting look the book has as it waits on your nightstand.

The simple pleasures of a book.  Not the story written on the pages but the actual, physical book.

I worry (it's the mom in me) that as we gain more and more technology conveniences we will continue to lose some of life's simplest pleasures. 

I really don't want to hear my great-grandchildren (yep I'm living that long) say, "Sweet, sweet Grandma, tell us a story about that library place you used to visit."

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Same Old, Same Old ( A Rant About My Ex)

One of the many issues that were in my marriage was the assumption from my ex that I was always available and able to readily accept any unforeseen change of plans. 

Before I continue, let me clearly state that I understand and truly believe that there must be a certain amount of flexibility, cooperation, give & take and all that in a marriage.  I get it.  And I was.  However, in my opinion, it was very one-sided and I began to see myself as a doormat, with not much backbone.

And I HATED that.

Here are a few examples of the last minute changes that were an ever present part of my marriage:

Example 1:   Dinner is at 6:00p.m.  I get a call at 5:50p.m........"I won't be home for dinner because (insert lame excuse here) - This type of phone was received more times than I could ever remember.  It was embarrassing.   Dinner is 5 minutes from being ready, table is set and we're just waiting on him to arrive.
It made me feel incredibly insignificant.  However, I was very good at quietly ignoring those stupid feelings and hoping things would change.   But then the kids started to notice that dad wasn't home for dinner again, and as soon as they started to show signs of disappointment, well that's when the doormat came to life.  Because, as always, I can handle anything against me in stride, but once something negatively affects my children, watch out. 

Example 2:  He says in the morning, "I'll be home by 7:00 tonight".......I get a call at 7:30........."Sorry I won't be home until (insert any hour here, because I stopped listening after the word 'home').  And again when it was just me that was let down, well, it sucked but I was a strong girl and really, really hoped that it wasn't always going to be like that.  However, as the kids got older and they would be waiting for dad to come home and I'd get that effing phone call....well mama unleashed.

Example 3:  "Sorry, I can't take child to practice tonight as planned because (insert same old, same old here)."

These three examples were the most frequent ones and so unfortunately are still deeply embedded in my memory.  There were others but I think I've made the point. 

This brings us to today.  My little trip down memory lane was sparked by a phone call I received last night.
My children usually spend Thursday nights with their dad.  Last night, which was Wednesday, I received a call from him at 10:25p.m.  I let the call go to voicemail because I knew I would end up getting annoyed. 

The message was, "I'm sorry but I just realized I have a work problem and will need to stay over night in City X tomorrow night, so I won't be able to have the kids."

It's 10:25p.m.  You just now realized this work problem?

There was no 'Is it possible for the kids to stay with you?'  It was simply, 'I have to do this, so your on your own'.

My response, through text, because I could not listen to his voice was, "I am always more than flexible when it comes to your schedule but really 10:25 at night?  Clearly there is zero consideration for anyone other than yourself.  Did it occur to you that I might possibly have plans tomorrow night?  No, just the usual assumption that I am available."

And just to make it clear this has nothing to do with me having the kids for the night or not.  Becasue I am Mom and will drop or cancel anything for them, anytime.

The frustration is simply because in his mind, there is just him and his schedule and his needs.

So, tonight I'll summon up my Go Go Gadget self and get Handsome to football practice at 6:00, get to the library by 6:30 to tutor until 8:00 and then back to pick up Handsome at 8:30.  And both kids now will be thrilled to join me for 2 hours worth of tutoring in the library, tomorrow morning.

And really the above schedule is nothing, I've used my Go Go Gadget powers in much more time crunching situations. 

But that's not the point.  It's the same old, same old routine with him that drives me mad.  And, well, it's been many years now so I suppose this is just how he works.

I still don't understand how someone can be so clueless. 

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

BlogHer Pity Party

All things bloggy are eye-opening to me.  I knew absolutely nothing about blogs, blogging, social media (except Facebook, of course), or online networking before I started my blog in June.  I was quickly overwhelmed and pleasantly surprised!

It didn't take long until I began to read about blogging conferences and workshops.  There are so many and they range from small group monthly get-togethers with local bloggers to nationwide conferences with tons of media attention.  From what I have gathered it seems as though the BlogHer Conference is the biggest of them all.

BlogHer 2010 is going on right now, August 6-August 7 in New York City.  It sounds like an amazing experience with networking, friend making&meeting, and learning galore!

So, today I have decided to join the not going to BlogHer Pity Party put on by Tina at Life Without Pink and Lori at Mommyfriend .

Reasons why I would love to be at BlogHer 2010:
1.  It's in New York City....plain and simple.
2.  Attending sessions about blogging to learn, learn & learn would be awesome.
3.  The opportunity to meet face to face some of the women behind the blogs I already love.

Reasons why I'm OK not going to BlogHer 2010:
1.  I am certain I would be totally overwhelmed with information - too much too soon!
2.  I would have to find a Sugar Daddy to fund the trip.
3.  And truth be told, I would probably feel left out since I'm a new blog and am not known by many.

So, to all those who are attending BlogHer 2010, have a marvelous time!
And to those of us staying home, CHEERS!  I'll be drinking later tonight after my kids are in bed. :)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What is Gluten Free? Why am I Gluten Free?

Chances are you have probably heard the words 'gluten free'. 

Being on a gluten free diet is very trendy right now.  So what exactly does it mean and why would anyone choose to go gluten free?

I am no expert but sometimes an amateur's explanation is more understandable, so here goes.

Let's start with the basics.  Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and sometimes oats.  So anything bready or doughy probably has gluten in it.  Such as, cereals, pastas, bread, rolls, biscuits, cookies, brownies, cake, yep, all that good stuff is gluten filled.

This is a typical gluten free symbol.  Clearly letting the consumer know that gluten is bad and therefore not in said product.

Before it became trendy, people who were on a gluten free diet had probably been diagnosed with Celiac Disease.  Anyone who has this disease has a severe intolerance to gluten and must stay away from it completely.  Otherwise they can become extremely ill and possibly die, but don't quote me on that.  Read more about celiac disease here:

Why would anyone willingly choose a gluten free diet unless they were diagnosed with Celiac Diease? 

Here's why I did.

Last July was the start of an extremely stressful time in my life.  Anyone who enjoys soap operas would be ringing their hands to hear that story.  I'll spare all of the dramatic details but I will tell you it involved serious and scary financial issues (You know I'm divorced?  Go ahead and imagine a few scenarios....) and my Lovey having a difficult (read traumatic) time adjusting to some changes (You know I'm divorced?  Go ahead and imagine a few scenarios....).

So as the above mentioned crises played out, my body went funky with major stomach issues, weight gain and a mess of a complexion.

When I say stomach issues I mean bloating, diarrhea, constipation, gas and pain. Everyday. ( I know, I know, TMI.)  You might wonder, as I did, how does one have diarrhea and constipation at the same time?  I'm not sure either.  It was misery.  Months and months of misery. 

When I say weight gain, well, I gained weight.  Mostly, I guess because I spent a lot of time at home.  Because of Scenario 1, I didn't have money to go out and because of Scenario 2, when the kids were not with me I was panic stricken and stayed home to worry and stress out.

No explanation needed about the mess of a complexion. 

So in addition to my mind racing with worry, my body was going to hell.  It sucked (understatement).

Let's fast forward to this past May.  By then much of the severe money stress had subsided so I was breathing a bit easier and Lovey was doing much better.  Thank God.

However, my stomach, the scale, and my face were not giving in.

So, I was advised by a doctor friend and a gluten free friend to try a gluten free diet and take a probiotic everyday for a few weeks and see if that might help.

So I did.  And guess what?  The bloating, diarrhea, constipation, gas and cramping began to fade.  My face was clearing up.  After 3 weeks, my stomach felt completely back to normal and my face was totally clear.

And I must have lost weight because I couldn't eat bread, pasta, cookies or cake, right? 

Not so much. 

You see wine and chocolate are naturally gluten free.  And so are chips and salsa and cheese and rice and potatoes and popcorn with butter and parmesan cheese.  Oh and ice cream, too.  Totally, naturally gluten free.

And Betty Crocker joined the trend and made a heavenly gluten free chocolate chip cookie mix.  They are really good.

At first I was excited about this new diet and perhaps this new way of life.  So after about 4 weeks of being gluten free, I was shopping and decided to buy my first officially gluten free labeled food. 

I was dying for a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup.  So I went to the gluten free section of Kroger and found a small loaf of rice bread, sounds yummy doesn't it?  It felt like a brick when I picked it up.  It also cost $6.00.  For a small loaf of rice bread.  Seriously?  A $6.00 loaf of bread does look good in the budget.

I felt a bit defeated but thought I would go ahead and just make the Cream of Tomato soup and dip some of my gluten free crackers in it.  That might feed the craving? 

So that night I got out the can of soup and just for 'fun' read the label.   Here comes the let down.....wheat flour.  Yep.  Gluten filled wheat flour is in my beloved Cream of Tomato soup.  And high fructose corn syrup, too.  Who knew?

"Screw this", I remember thinking.  I opened up that can of soup and made a grilled cheese sandwich on gluten filled glorious wheat bread.

I sat at the table and stared at my feast of gluten and then dug in.  I swallowed every drop of soup.  I ate every crumb of that grilled cheese sandwich.

And waited.


I went to bed that night feeling victorious.  Maybe I just needed a few weeks off of gluten to feel better.  I fell asleep happy.....dreaming of oatmeal for breakfast.

"Wakey, wakey", said the stomach cramps at 6:00 a.m. the next morning. 

"It's been awhile", smirked my bloated gut. 

"Don't worry, Mr. Constipation will be here later on today", they said in unison.

"Curses gluten!", I cried. 

Well, not really but you get the picture.  I woke up feeling like total crap.

So here I am today, still eating gluten free.  My stomach is good, all is working as it should.  My face is clear most of the time, so positive and positive.

But now I am that annoying woman who has to ask what ingredients are in the food. 

I am that annoying woman who travels with her own pasta, crackers, and gluten free cookies.

And I'm still trying to figure out how to work this insanely expensive diet into my budget.

Oh and my butt is still big.