My next door neighbor, Sasha*, was banging on my apartment door, calling my name. She sounded like she was panicking about something. When I answered, she grabbed me by the arm, and yanked me into her apartment. Continue reading “Dream Journal 5/19/18 | Beast”
Hello, friends! I want to tell you about the walk I took with my son yesterday. It was… well, it was something! Continue reading “Take A Walk With Jan #15”
I was sitting at my kitchen table with my son, as we dug into two, large bowls of cereal. I looked up, and saw water dripping from my ceiling, in the same place we had experienced a leak the first night we moved in, three years ago. Continue reading “Dream Journal 8/6/17 | Bad Neighbor”
I looked through the poop hole, and saw my childhood neighbor, Ashley, and her younger brother, Jacob, moving furniture into the apartment across the hall. I opened the door and greeted them excitedly.
I was sitting at my kitchen table, drinking coffee while Liam ate his breakfast, when I heard the sound of voices in the building’s hallway. Continue reading “Dream Journal 10/19/16”
I sat on the floor with this stranger’s children, and my own son, and we all talked about milestones, and the joys of having boys. Their father was an absolute doll, and his words about raising his boys, and when they each started talking, walking, and getting their teeth, were so comforting to me, as I often worry about Liam hitting his milestones on time. They were such a lovely family.
[You can read about Days 0-1 here, Day 2 here, Day 3 here, and Day 4 here.]
Hello, friends! Today was another great day, with only a few minor low points to share. Today is my mom’s 50th birthday, and once again, we decided to go to the pool at the Metro Center in Princeton, and it was even better than it was yesterday! We decided to schedule our whole day around the pool trip this time, so that we could get as much time in the water as possible, and left much earlier than yesterday, as soon as Liam finished his breakfast, and we all got showered and dressed.
It was barely 11:00 when we got to the pool, and there were only a handful of swimmers in the large pool. Once again, we had the kiddie pool to ourselves, and Liam could hardly contain his excitement as we approached the shallow pool. There was no hesitation this time, no clinging to my legs, no fear, just pure happiness, and so much splashing. He really wanted to put his adorable, new swim shorts to good use! He came 100% out of his shell, wading through the water, going after the pool toys, dunking them, pouring them, and being so much more curious and adventurous with the water. My mom managed to get a dozen more pictures of him today, and he was smiling in every single one of them. It filled my heart with so much joy to see him having so much fun.
We stayed at the pool for about an hour, but had to leave around noon to grab some lunch, because Kyle had a meeting about a scholarship for his CDL class at 1:00. Luckily, the meeting was in the same town, so we stopped at a nearby Subway to get some lunch, but because the lines were so long, Kyle had to leave his sandwich with us, and leave for his meeting. While he was gone, my mom drove me a bit nuts, which has been happening off and on for the last couple days, but I managed to have a good time. I ordered Liam his own sub for the first time, and he sat in a booster seat at the table with me for the first time ever. He did so well! It was amusing to watch him pick apart the sandwich, and decide which veggies he did and did not like (his absolute favorite Subway veggies are pickles and olives, just like his mama!).
Unfortunately, my happiness faded when I saw Kyle pull up, just a short time later, with a very obvious frown. He did not get the scholarship. His income was too high, thanks to his last two, abnormal paychecks, and he did not qualify. He was upset, and my mom kept saying that she would pay for it for us, which made me upset. She already paid $5000 toward my failed college education, and I still owe my old school, and her, money. I didn’t even want her paying for things for us while she was here (despite her many protests), let alone dish out thousands for Kyle’s class. But without her help, we don’t know if we can make it happen, and that is absolutely crushing. Maybe I should put my pride aside? I don’t know.
After lunch, we headed back to Peru to do a little grocery shopping. Despite our fridge being absolutely empty, and only having $80 to buy food for the month, I found myself feeling offended when my mom offered to pay for our groceries, and turned her down yet again. She left the store to have a cigarette (she quit years ago, but started smoking again recently, and hasn’t told her boyfriend), and never came back in. Things were a bit tense between Kyle and I, as they usually get when the topic of money comes up, and we grabbed only a handful of things, like milk, bread, bagels, cheese, and bananas, to try and stay under budget. We warmed up again once we left Walmart, and headed home.
Liam had not taken a nap yet, so I put him down as soon as we walked in, and he passed right out. I put something on Netflix for us to watch, but our internet stopped working shortly after that, and despite our best efforts to revive it, I ended up having to call our internet provider, who had me do a handful of ineffective things, before informing us that there was a actually massive service outage in our area.
With no internet, cable, movies, games, or really anything to do, we all just kind of sat around in silence for a bit, not knowing what to talk about. Eventually, the internet came back on, and we continued on with watching Netflix, and fiddling with our phones. Around 4:30, just about when Liam would be waking up from his nap, my mom suddenly stood up, and left, telling us to text her if we wanted to get food or something later. Sure enough, not even 10 minutes later, Liam woke up, and we texted her to come back. She hadn’t even gone back to her hotel, she had gone to the park up the street, because apparently the trees and grass are better company than we are.
We decided to go to the large, Chinese buffet in Peru, located right near her hotel, since it is a favorite spot of ours. We pigged out hard on all the delicious things, and left feeling miserable, and hating ourselves, as usual. It was delicious. Afterwards, we decided to take Liam to the mall play area to burn some energy, and tire him out, since he had taken such a late nap. When we got there, there was only one man in the play area, with four boys. We immediately hit it off with him and his sweet boys, and Liam made two friends. He was there with his wife and mother, who were across the way getting their nails done at the salon. He had a baby with him, who was just four months old, and the sweetest little thing I’ve ever seen. He made my ovaries weep, and made me crave having a tiny baby again. Ladies, you know what I’m talking about.
He also had a little boy who had just turned two, and another boy who was four. They were absolutely enamored with Liam, and the four year old asked me a million questions about him, and me.
“Does he like cars? What kind of car do you have? We have a Diesel truck!”
“Does he eat a lot of food?”
“Does he cry a lot? I cry a lot, and scream, because my parents irritate me.” (LOL!)
“Does he talk a lot? My brother is two, he doesn’t talk.”
“Do you like bouncy balls?”
“Do you live here? We’re from far away. We’re driving.”
He was adorable. I sat on the floor with this stranger’s children, and my own son, and we all talked about milestones, and the joys of having boys. Their father was an absolute doll, and his words about raising his boys, and when they each started talking, walking, and getting their teeth, were so comforting to me, as I often worry about Liam hitting his milestones on time. They were such a lovely family. The four year old kept giving Liam hugs, and saying he wanted to be friends, and the two year old would walk up to me and share his bouncy balls. They were the absolute sweetest, and it was so wonderful. We talked and played for a while, before we all had to go our separate ways and head home.
Oh, I forgot to mention that right before we left the mall, my mom got a FaceTime call from her boyfriend back home (who she has been with for 20 years, but they aren’t married, so I still call him her boyfriend instead of my step-father), and we were able to introduce him to Liam and Kyle, and chat for a little while. It was nice to see him, and for him to meet the boy who is basically his grandson.
We also stopped to introduce my mom to our upstairs neighbor when we got home (the one who has helped us with many, many problems we’ve dealt with since living here), and we all chatted outside for a bit, before I insisted on going inside, since it was an hour past Liam’s bedtime. Liam was half asleep before I even put him in his crib, and I sat down with a cup of coffee, and began typing shortly after. Kyle goes back to work tomorrow, after having these last two days off, and I think I might take a day to myself to catch up on housework and cleaning, which has gone completely undone since my mom’s arrival. We’ll see.
I am also trying to arrange a nice dinner with Kyle’s mom, my mom, and Kyle, Liam, and I on Friday, since it will be my mom’s last full day in Illinois, and we really want her to meet Kyle’s mom, who is basically my second mom. It is the only day Kyle’s mom has off, though Kyle works until 6:00 that night. I’m hoping we can work something out.
Anyway! That’s all for today! Thanks for reading, friends!
It was nighttime. Kyle and I were outside, on the deck of a large duplex, presumably ours, sitting in wooden Adirondack chairs, talking. A young girl, probably 7 or 8 years old, walked up to the stairs to the deck and started kicking and shaking the wooden rails violently. Kyle stood up and yelled at her to stop, and she ran into the duplex next door. Several minutes passed, and we decided to go back inside. We shut off the lights and climbed into bed, but were immediately disturbed by loud pounding on our door.
By the time we got to the door, the door had been broken open, and a large group of people were pushing into the living room. The woman in front was our neighbor (yes, our real neighbor that I always complain about), and she demanded to know what we did to her daughter, who was at home crying. We told her that she was vandalizing our property, and we yelled for her to stop, and that was it. She claimed that her daughter came home covered in bruises, and I laughed and told her that bruises didn’t form in the span of 5 minutes. She got so angry that she turned red, and ordered the people behind her to tear apart our living room.
Kyle and I stepped in front of them, and I shoved another woman who tried to push by me. She grabbed my shoulders and tried to move me, and I punched her in the face, causing her to stumble backwards, screaming. The rest of the group, except for my neighbor, ran from our apartment, while she stood there fuming. I picked up a large vase from the end table nearby, and threw it at her head. She ducked, and ran out the door.
We woke up after falling asleep on the couch, and Liam was standing in the living room, pointing at one of the windows. I looked up and saw that all of our windows had been broken, and there was glass everywhere. I picked up Liam and Kyle got on the phone with the police. I went next door, still holding Liam, and kicked the door down. I had a large torch in my hand, and tossed it onto the large sectional in the middle of the room. I could hear my neighbor screaming from the back of the apartment, and I picked up another torch, and threw it into the kitchen, which went up in flames immediately.
I calmly walked out, and Kyle was waiting for me by the car, carrying Liam’s favorite Froggy stuffed animal, as well as my diaper bag. We left the property, and Kyle asked where I wanted to have breakfast. I told him Steak ‘n Shake, and we headed that way. I could see a massive mushroom cloud of smoke behind us where the apartment was, and I just laughed.
I ordered a taco salad at Steak ‘n Shake, and a milkshake, which was a terrifyingly bright, neon purple color, but seemed delicious.
Then I woke up.
Kyle and I were sitting on the couch watching some animated movie, while Liam was dragging all of his stuffed animals over to the couch, and placing them at my feet. Kyle asked me if I had left a faucet on somewhere in the apartment, because we could hear running water, but I hadn’t. After a little while, we got up to double-check, because the sound was still happening, but found nothing.
Liam started crying, and threw one of his bears at me, and I realized that the bear was wet. I looked down, and saw that our entire living room was flooding with water. Kyle and I jumped up and started panicking, looking around frantically, trying to find where the water was coming from. I picked up Liam, who was now screaming from being wet and uncomfortable, and Kyle shouted for me to come to the bathroom. In the bathroom, water was cascading down each of the walls, appearing out of thin air. We ran from the bathroom back to the living room, and suddenly, water was trickling down all of the walls in the apartment, in varying severity.
There was a knock at our door, and I answered it, still carrying a crying toddler. My upstairs neighbor asked if everything was okay, but took one look at our apartment, and stormed in, determined to help us. I went to change Liam, and luckily all of the clothes in his dresser were still dry, because everything in our apartment was soaking wet. when we went back to the living room, my neighbor was on a ladder, trying to figure out where the water was coming from, but he couldn’t find anything either.
I looked out the window, and saw that there was a bad snow storm happening, and that we couldn’t leave. I was soaked and shivering, and Liam was crying, but I opened the front and back doors to that the water could pour out. When I opened the door, the water went out, but started to freeze around my feet and ankles. I brought Liam into our room and shut the door. I sat on the bed, which was soaking wet. I could hear Kyle and the landlord calling people on the phone out in the living room. Liam fell asleep on my shoulder, and we sat in the room until Kyle came in, told me to pack a bag, because we had to leave.
I packed all of the dry clothes that I could find, but couldn’t bring anything else. Back in the living room, they had shut the door to keep the cold out, and the water was up to their knees. We opened the door and left, and our neighbor went up to his apartment, still talking on the phone. The snow had nearly stopped as we ran out to the car, and I started crying as I put Liam on my lap in the front seat. His car seat had been in the living room, and was wet. Kyle called his mom to ask if we could spend the night at her house, but she only yelled at him for calling her while she was at work, and wouldn’t listen. After she hung up, Kyle started the car, and we drove to the McDonald’s a few towns over, which is open 24 hours, and went inside. Liam was still asleep on me, so I put our clothes down on one of the booths to make a bed, and put him down. Kyle went to order us food, and people turned to stare at us.
My pants had ice and frost on them and I brushed them off. An old woman across the restaurant got up and started walking towards me, but stopped, shaking her head, and turned back. I was still crying when Kyle brought our tray over, and I hungrily shoved french fries in my mouth.
Kyle got up to get our drinks, and the old woman started approaching him…
And then I woke up.