Saturday, March 27, 2010


I am mellowing in a very gradual way. Just noticed it tonight. Perhaps because it's been so nonchalant.

Since first having to deal with my in-laws anew a couple months ago, my explosive temperament hit its peak and then somewhere began traveling back down to normal. I've dealt with a lot, and I mean a LOT of stuff in recent months, in terms of people doing and saying stupid and / or mean things. People in nearly every facet of my life. Some of them have pulled some pretty fast gut punches, and it's frustrated the heck out of me. Why can't we all just be nice and act respectable?

But in the midst, somehow I think I'm simmering down. Perhaps it's the warming weather. Or the busy-ness of the kids who are simply nonstop. Maybe I'm just worn out. Or could it be my prayers to God for some inner peace are working? Whatever it is, I am grateful. After my stressful weekend of entertaining in-laws, we've hosted a barrage of company and thoroughly enjoyed the socializing. I hope it's a sign of the tone of the summer, which is fast approaching.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Big lunchbox

I realize that every kid has funny moments - heck, they even named a TV show after it a while back. If my documentation of quirky comments doesn't charm you, that's ok. This is my place to jot them down so I don't forget what MY silly kiddos do and say.

For instance, on our way home from daycare last week, we drove behind a minivan with one of those tomb things on top. Breanna quipped that they must be really hungry to have such a big lunchbox strapped to their van.

Later that same night, Lillian told us during dinner that she is too little to eat more dinner. The only thing that could fit is some frosting and some cake and three cookies and some steak. But no gum, because we only chew gum, not swallow it. Then she continued babbling about how she is getting so big and her tummy is almost like Santa's. She told us she is so big that she needs a bigger roof in her bedroom because she almost bumps the ceiling. (For the record, even when I stand on her bed, I cannot reach the ceiling.)

We've been encouraging them to let Grant talk for himself and let him learn how to say words by them zipping their chatterboxes. Since we've started, his words have been FLOWING out. His words and sound effects. When he says puppy, he instantly hangs his tongue out and pants. And when he says horse, he wiggles his butt to wag the tail.

Who doesn't just love kids?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Pretending not to care about being judged

These past two months have been ... interesting for my marriage and interesting for me. For the first time ever, DH and I are on opposite planets. Not unfriendly planets, but just in very different worlds with very different takes. And it's really weird. I miss the "normal" that has been so comfortable for us ever since we first moved here.

Just before we moved about a year and a half ago, we made a very difficult decision to estrange ourselves from his parents. Both of DH's sisters agreed to do the same thing at the same time as a result of some escalating destructive behaviors on the parents' part. We let them know that we still love them and pray for them, but until they got themselves into a rehab program, we would not be exposing our precious children to their behavior. It wasn't long before the sisters made the decisions to send their kids to the parents' home for unsupervised care (for whatever their own reasons are - I refuse to speculate or judge them on it). We, though chastised up and down, held our ground. Not just chastised from DH's siblings, but subjected to some of the nastiest middle-of-the-night phone calls and emails from the parents. Garbage no offspring should ever have to hear their parents say. Our kids are simply too precious for us to take the chance of exposing them to such ugly, unhealthy situations.

Since making that big decision to separate ourselves, we have been treated like absolute garbage. It's part of the addiction thing - you deflect the blame. You deny the real problem. You have zero accountability. Regardless, some of the things that have been said and done are nearly unforgivable. Nearly. I think.

Suddenly, a big monkey wrench was dropped into our pleasant, mostly drama-free life in our new town. (Their contact attempts slowly dwindled as time went by.) About two months ago, DH's dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer. 1-2 years to live. DH immediately forgave his parents and decided to spend as much time as he can with them trying to build the relationships they so easily demolished. I admire him so very much for being able to let bygones be bygones. He's sent all those nasty memories straight into the trash and is relishing the opportunity to build new ones.

On my planet, there is none of that unconditional love. No desire to see any of the people who have caused my wonderful husband (and me, too) so much pain. No excitement to see those who told all the rest of the family mean and nasty lies about why we were no longer in the picture. No trust. And certainly no wanting to have to give up my comfortable, drama-free life. Yet, I love and cherish my husband and recognize that I need to support him. He's hurting as he struggles with the fact that he will never have the relationship with his dad that he's always wanted. And that they still don't call him. And that no one has acknowledged one ounce of accountability with all the crap they pulled. And through all the hurting, he still just wants to be with his parents and longs to have a non-dysfunctional family.

Needless to say, I've been biting my tongue so much I've created canker sores. Over and over again. I've even gone with DH to their house two times. Can't say I've slept more than a wink there, but I went for DH. Constantly on guard, waiting for the other shoe to drop. Trying my darnedest to be polite and not explode at them. Aching to someday be able to forgive them. Forcing myself to have some compassion for someone who has just received his death sentence at age 57. Praying that I won't be forced into a situation where I have to whisk my kids away so that they don't see something inappropriate. Wondering what my blood pressure is when I'm in their house.

My darling of a husband, thinking he was giving me a break when it comes to logistics, informed me last Sunday that he'd invited them to our house instead of us having to pack up our little family and head to their place. They're coming this weekend. To my home. My sanctuary.

Soon after he told me, I wretched my guts out in the toilet. I didn't tell him. As much as I tell myself that I don't care what anyone else thinks of me, I know it's not true. Especially when it comes to them. I would give up lattes for life in order to not allow them the satisfaction in finding one ounce of ammunition to say about us. They've done enough of that without any real good material already. Should I give a rip about what these people, of all people, think and say about us? No. Not one single bit. After all, we have a wonderful little family and a beautiful home and in the big picture, we've got it pretty well put together. And yet, I give a big huge stinkin' rip about it all.

Needless to say, this has been a great motivation for us to finish up some stuff with our house. I installed window treatments for our new family room and the kids' rooms. DH finished the bathroom tiling and had the plumber in to finish the rest of that end of stuff. I hung pictures, bought a new tablecloth and rugs and a fresh welcome mat, planned a wonderful menu, ordered some fresh flowers, etc. I'm taking the day off tomorrow so I can clean high and low (yes, they would lift up a lamp to see if I'd dusted beneath it and would open bathroom drawers to see how clean they are - I know - I've set traps for them in our old house - they snoop).

When DH told me last night at bedtime that they had changed their minds (this is part of their MO - they like to call all the shots and make sure everyone is under their rule), that they are only coming for Saturday and then driving back home that night, I nearly lept out of bed to do a great big happy dance. I'm not sure why, but it has lifted off at least some of the pressure.

Talk about stressing yourself out for those who least earn that designation. But oh, how therapeutic this has been to get it off my chest. Now back to wiping down the laundry room. I wish all of you dear readers a much more relaxing weekend than I anticipate for myself. If you are of the praying kind, please pray for peace for me and good behavior for them.