Finally home

Well, #2 was finally released from the hospital today. Yeah!! We are all home tonight. Even though they have driven me a little crazy, it has been nice to have them home. Tonight, I am thankful to be home, have these four home with me, and have them all be healthy (well, on the mend).

The whole ordeal this week really made me feel alone. Do you know what it feels like to look through your contacts and realize how few people you really know? How few of them you know well enough to trust them with your children? How few of them you know well enough that you could ask for help? I came to that this week and it is a lonely place to be. When I was trying to find someone to pick up #1 and #3 from the bus, when I was trying to find someone to help with #4, when I was trying to find someone to take all three of them so that I did not have to leave #2 alone in the hospital, or when I Grandma had picked up #1 and #3 and her car died on the way home and someone needed to rescue them. I resorted to calling to people that I hardly ever talk to because I was running out of people to call. There were people stepping up that I never would have called on purpose, but unfortunately don’t know well enough to trust them with my kids. There were people that I expected to help that did not. There were people that should have helped, but refused. There were people that I would have helped if the tables were turned and I would not have thought twice about it and it hurts. I even had to resort to full on tears for my own mother to help. The only person from my side that even came to see him was Alex and he didn’t stay for long because KD was on his way up.

All week, KD was unavailable to do anything. He didn’t spend much time at the hospital with #2. That is until he found out that the kids were at my mom’s. Then he went ballistic. I gave him the option on Wednesday to take the kids Thursday. I told him that I needed to know by 11:00 AM, but he never gave me a response so I made other arrangements. Yes, we did think that #2 might go home yesterday, but it all hinged on him not puking. There was never a definite that he would come home yesterday, obviously since he stayed another night.

Then last night, Alex decided to send me a text that said, ” I know you don’t need this now, but I can’t do his s*** for 13 years.” I told him that he was right, I didn’t need it now. I also told him to just walk away then because together or just friends, he will still have to deal with it. That the only way to not deal with it is to shut me out completely. I don’t want that, but if it is what he needs to do to be happy then so be it. I will survive, it’s what I do. I survive.

Although they don’t even know this blog exists, I need to send a big THANK YOU to the people who did get me through this week. First, my 79 year old grandmother who took #1, #3, and #4 on Monday night, and took #1 and #3 on Tuesday and Wednesday night. Second, a woman I hardly know. I know I can trust her because she watches A1 and A2. She took #4 on Tuesday and kept her until Thursday. She had never even met #4 before and she kept her for two days straight. She is truly amazing. These two women were my angels this week. And even though I had to resort to tears to get her to reluctantly help, my mother was too. My supervisor put me on a leave of absence without a second thought. We had a couple pretty amazing nurses too.

On a plus note, I got my financial aid (read L-O-A-N-S) award letter today. As long as I can keep up on my scholarship, I might actually make it through law school.

It has been a long week sleeping in a hospital. I think it is time to turn off my computer, curl up into my bed, and pass out.

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Quiet Hospital Room

It’s almost 11:00 PM and I am not sleepy. #2 is snoring lightly, the IV pump is making its noises, the suction machine is making its noises, the heating system rattles, and I have Pandora playing in my ear. Otherwise, this hospital room is quiet. The lights are off and the only lights are the IV pump and the ones from the hall. This recliner is not exactly comfortable, but it is right next to my baby (yes, I know he’s 11).

It all started with a text from KD on Sunday that #2 was complaining of his stomach hurting and he’d thrown up once. When I talked to the kids Sunday night, he sounded horrible. I picked the kids up from KD Monday morning, dropped #1 and #3 at the bus and went home. I gave #2 some acetaminophen and tried to get him comfortable. Made him a doctor appointment for 8:20. His doctor sent us to get an ultrasound at 9:15to rule out appendicitis. You see, his pain was mid-lower abdomen, not the right. The radiology technician and the radiologist were unable to find the appendix. We went home and waited to hear from the doctor as to what the next step was. She finally called about 11:25 and told me to take him to the emergency room because they would be quicker with the tests. We got to ER at 12:05. The doctor finally came in around 2:00. #2 was in pain and #4 was with us, but she was doing a great job. The doctor ordered an X-ray that ended up showing a great deal of gas in his abdomen. The blood tests showed an elevated white cell count. Then they did a CT scan. The scan showed a perforated appendix. He was in surgery at 7:00.

The surgery went well. They left a tube up his nose and down his throat to drain his abdomen. That tube has been his chief complaint.

The logistics of the other three has been the hard part. KD is not helping. Oh wait, he took the two to school and brought me #4. Oooooh!

The portion of the hospital we are in also houses the pediatric oncology patients. It’s sad to see so many bald kids. It is also heartbreaking to see how many kids are up here all alone.

Well, I guess I should get some sleep before the nurse comes in and makes noise. Besides I have kids to take to school tomorrow.

A Week Crammed With Emotion

As sit here in a hot bath, I contemplate the events, emotions, and advice of the past few days. These last few days have been jam packed with emotion.

Monday was spent with Alex and the girls because the kids were with KD. Other than the fact that I was beginning to fight off some type of stomach bug, it was a good day. Tuesday was fairly uneventful, although I was still spending a horrible amount of time in the bathroom.

Then Wednesday came. This is the day that our parenting conference with the GAL was scheduled. I started this day like any other and went to work. Shortly after arriving at work, we had a site-wide meeting. This is never a good thing. We were informed that our account was expected to be pulled by the end of March. The good news is that they are planning on having positions in other accounts for all of our agents. The bad news is that they cannot guarantee that they will be able to work with my schedule needs. Okay, maybe this is my hint that it is time to start getting my resume and cover letter out and try to get some type of position in the legal field. Then, the parenting conference. The short version is that the GAL is recommending that KD and I continue a week on week off schedule, participate in co-parenting communication counseling with the kids’ counselor, and both take the same parenting class. She is also recommending that KD participate in anger management and that #1 no longer be allowed to be unsupervised with any of the other children. Of course, because KD is passive aggressive and I stand up for myself and my children, it turned into what felt like a meeting bashing me. The GAL actually told me that my yelling is just as abusive to the children as KD’s physical abuse. I did share that I understand that there are aspects of my parenting that I need to work on. I also stated that I think it is great for KD to do the anger management and parenting class, but in order for these to be effective he needs to admit that there is even a problem. So, she turned to KD and asked him if he understood the need for the anger management and parenting classes. KD’s response was such a typical KD response that I probably could have answered for him. “I have taken anger management and parenting classes before, but you can always learn something new.” Really?

Then, we had court on Thursday. Unfortunately, the hearing went pretty much how we expected. The commissioner agreed with the GAL on all of the recommendations that she made. Basically, everyone was patting KD on the back for not doing a single thing over the last six months because he was following the court orders. What about the fact that he never tried to get the restrictions removed? So, we are back to full 50/50 with all four kids, we are to do the communication stuff, he is to do the anger management, and #1 cannot babysit the other kids.

I am starting to feel like I did in my marriage. I am feeling like maybe I am as crazy as they seem to think I am. If I am the only one that thinks that he is a danger, maybe I am wrong. I don’t know. I do know that I am tired of being accused of just trying to be vindictive. That is not what I am doing. I am trying to protect my kids. Aren’t I?

Alex left town on Thursday just before lunch to go to see his grandpa in the hospital. His grandpa is not doing well at all.

I have been staying at Alex’s even with him gone, but I cannot wait for him to come home tomorrow. I miss him. I was talking to a friend today who told me that Alex is a great guy and I am a lucky girl. I told her that I agree, on both accounts. He is pretty amazing. I am a little worried about him though. All the stress and lack of sleep is taking its toll on his immune system and he is getting sick. I worry about him coming back home over the mountain pass tomorrow because when he was like this for our trip over there this summer, he got a nasty ear infection.

I was approved for the new apartment! As long as the Section 8 housing goes through, I will be moved in by the end of March. I still have to file the required relocation paperwork and because my home is changing school districts (even though the kids will not actually be changing anything because they are in private school), and KD has the right to object, but because I am staying in the same town and nothing will change for the kids, I don’t see him having a basis for the objection.

The new place is only nine minutes from Alex’s apartment. It has a washer and dryer in the unit. One of #4 ‘s daycare teachers lives there so I am going to work out some carpooling and no school day arrangements with her. I am excited. I know that I need to start packing and probably should have been at my place doing that tonight, but I didn’t want to so I didn’t. I just sat here in Alex’s chair in my jammies and watched Netflix.

Well, I think that I might have gotten enough out that I can go to sleep now. I have to get some rest before Alex comes home tomorrow. Depending on how he is feeling, we are supposed to go out for our biweekly couples’ night tomorrow night because our friend had a birthday on Wednesday. Good night world (technically it is morning, but I haven’t slept yet so it does not count.)

Advice for the Guys

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Guys, if you love her, show her. Alex is amazing at this. Not once had he even tried to discourage me from going to law school, he encourages and supports me.

The little things are the big things. Offering to get her something because you’re up, a good morning text or call if you’re not together that morning, a good night before bed, random messages (text, email, call, write) to let her know you’re thinking of her, making her coffee before yours, a surprise visit, leave her notes hidden in random places (book, coat pocket, purse, cupboard, fridge, etc.), listen to her and file it away for later recall….you get the point.

Valentine’s Day is Friday. You may be freaking out about what to do, but I can tell you a couple things. If you are doing amazingly sweet and romantic things all year, it is just another day. This holiday is for the guys and gals who forget that wooing your mate is a year-round job. If you happen to be one of the guys who needs to do something for her, here’s some ideas:
1. Go buy a card and put it in the mail in the morning. If you’re in the same town, it should arrive the next day.
2. Surprise her with flowers. At work is nice, depending on where she works. At home is still great because then she doesn’t have to worry about getting them home safe.
3. Can’t be together on Friday night? Present he’d with a gift certificate (you make it) for a pre-planned date next time you can go on one. Make if romantic.

4. This is the most important. Do it all year so you’re not scrambling.

What Will it Take??

Well, I know many of you are wondering how court went yesterday.

It sucked. Prior to the hearing,  the GAL told both attorneys that she wanted to talk to them. She quickly went over  her opinion of this hearing and what her final recommendation would be, barring any major statements from the counselor on Monday. After this chat, Pat pulled me into the empty courtroom to tell me. The GAL is recommending that we resume a 50/50 schedule with no supervision. She spoke with at least the three older kids on Wednesday and all three of them told her that they did not want Grandma (KD’s mom) there all the time and that none of them are afraid of him. Of course they aren’t afraid of him, their time has been supervised for almost  a year and the last incident was almost a year ago. I lost it. Basically, what these people are telling me and my kids is that I cannot protect them. We decided to continue the hearing for two weeks in order for me to digest what the GAL had to say. However, the only way that the other side would agree to a continuance was for us to drop supervision pending the next hearing. That means that KD is now with the kids unsupervised.

I was directly asked by a friend how I feel about all of this information. I had to stop and think for a minute. On one hand, I am outraged, angry, and scared. I am outraged that once again, KD can do whatever he wants to and get away with it. I am angry that the history and the CPS findings mean nothing. I am scared about what will happen next, or if my kids will even be willing to come forward when something happens. On the other hand,  I am happy to have my weeks back with Alex.

I am going to fight this through trial. I am not going to give up this time. It will have to be a judge’s decision that we stick with 50/50. That way, when something does happen again, I will be able to say that I did everything I could to protect these kids.

Two quotes

It was natural to believe that she had found someone who might be able to take care of her in all sorts of ways. Was it so wrong to want that? No one had ever really taken care of her. Not her father and not her mother, not really.
~Laura Lippman, and when she was good

Wow. That’s all that quote gets.

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I need to keep reminding myself of this.

We all need to make changes

 

 

Yep. This seems to be the story of my life. Every single time I start to feel like life is starting to go my way, life laughs at me and throws me a curve ball. I suppose you are wondering, “What is she going to complain about now?” I am aware that my blog has turned into a constant bitch session. I have tried to post when there are positive things going on as well, but when things are going well, I am wrapped up in enjoying it.

Yesterday, Alex told me that he missed me. I responded that I missed him too and asked if he wanted to do dinner last night, or something today. He said he would ask the girls. I was speechless for a few minutes, but responded with “K.” The he told me, “Best I can do.” Then I kinda lost it. I asked if he asked if they wanted to go to anyone else’s house, or just mine. I told him that I know the girls’ opinion matters to him, but sometimes I think that they have too much control. He told me that their opinions matter to him and he asks them if they want to go to everyone’s house. I told him that my kids’ opinions matter too, but sometimes, as the parent, I make the decisions. We both got off early and spent about a half hour together. As always, it was nice.

Alex and the girls did come over for dinner last night and I thought it was going pretty well. #1 didn’t argue when I told her to do the dishes. #2, #3, and A1 were playing together upstairs. A2 was sitting with Alex and I on the couch. Alex asked her what their plans for today were and if she wanted company. She pointed to me and I reminded her that I would have the kids and she said no. Then, Alex told her that was not very nice and came up with ideas of how it would work. She got excited.

#4 went upstairs, but there was a little bit of a problem because she took a marker upstairs with her and #2 started to get upset. I told #4 that she needed to stay downstairs with the marker. #1 came and sat on the couch with us, but was a little upset that A2 was snuggling with me and so #1 could not. She never wants to cuddle with me. Then A2 went and colored with #4. #3 came downstairs and sat watching the movie with us. #4 went upstairs and I heard her start crying. I went to find out what was going on. #2 had told her that she could not come in because she had a pen. I told her that she needed to stay downstairs to color. At that point, I thought all was good. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Suddenly, A1 came downstairs and asked if they could leave. At first, Alex was all over it. Then, A2 was not impressed and they stayed for the rest of the movie. A1 did tell Alex that #2 was being mean to #4.

This morning, I got a text from Alex that when they got home last night, A1 went straight to bed. Then he told me that he didn’t think today or tomorrow was a good idea. You see, he is going to M&M’s for the game and told me to call and see about us joining them. I hated the idea of inviting myself, but was willing to do it in order to spend the time with Alex. I guess Alex asked if she wanted to see me or the kids today or tomorrow and she said no. I told him that he blames all of our problems on KD, but even if he dropped off the face of the earth, we would be in the same position. Alex told me I was right, nothing would ever change. I told him that things can change, but we will ALL have to be willing to make changes. He told me to let him know when my kids were ready to change. It took all I had not to flip out at that moment. I haven’t heard much else from him today. I asked him if he wants #1 and I to come over on Monday. His response was that he wants us to, but he doesn’t know what is best and he knows I need to do laundry. I told him not to worry about my laundry. Make a choice based on him only.

I have some serious heartburn tonight. I already took 4 chewable antacids, but it hasn’t gone away. I just took 4 more.

I want him to be happy. I want to be happy. He makes me happy, but sometimes I wonder if he would be happier without me. I know that I make him happy, but I cannot change what I bring with me.

I know that my kids are not the same as his kids. I know that my kids can be difficult, but I also know that my kids can be pretty amazing. These four kids have been through a world of hurt over the last two years and continue to be thrown around like pawns in their father’s games. I know that things haven’t been easy for A1 and A2, but they know that both their parents love them. They are even lucky enough to have me love them. My kids don’t have that. At least one of them is convinced that their father hates them. Two of them think want their father’s affection so much that they don’t know how to react. These kids want someone to love them, they want to know that they are important. I can only do so much. We really don’t have any family here. I don’t have friends that take any interest in the kids. I feel like I am screwing these kids up almost every single day, but then one of them does something so amazing that I wonder where it came from. Then I realize, these kids are amazing, they just need someone to believe in them and show them that they are important. I try, but it just isn’t enough. Very rarely is what I do enough.

Hey!! My heartburn is finally gone!!! Yeah! At least something is going my way.

I am scared about this hearing. What the Guardian ad Litem says on Thursday will give us a major insight into what she is going to say in regards to the entire case. Logically, I know that someday the supervision will have to be dropped, but it scares me. I am afraid of what will happen. Oh, KD will be careful for a little while, but one day he will snap again. Logically, I know that I have shown that I have the best interests of the kids at heart and am the best place for them, but I am still scared. I don’t know who to talk to about it.

Forget about the heartburn being gone. It was just a temporary reprieve, go figure.