Re: The Sandman’s Q&A

We don’t speak of it…

Hi, friends. We’re off to a very rough morning in my house today, so I decided to sneak away to the internet for a bit while the kiddos are eating breakfast. I stumbled across a little Q&A post from a fellow blogger, Sandman, and thought it would be a neat little way to pass some time, and cool my head. So here are my responses to the questions he posed!

Do you unbutton your shirts before you take them off?
I honestly don’t remember the last time I even owned a shirt with buttons! I’m a tee and sweatshirt kind of gal.

If your life was on stage, would it be a drama, a comedy or a musical (or a combination thereof)?
My life is so damn dramatic, you’d think a drama… but I find it all kind of hilarious. Kind of. Comedy. I don’t want to hear anyone around me sing!

Would you star, be an understudy, or hiding in the back doing tech stuff?
I think I could pull off any of the three. I’m not so afraid that I would shy away from the spotlight… but I certainly don’t have an ego that demands I be the star. I don’t mind being a supporting role. I also have done work behind the scenes, and have enjoyed it! Those are the real MPVs!

If you could, who (anyone living or dead) would you hire to write it?
Any of the writers from Mad TV.

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet?
Not even close. Shh. We don’t speak of it…

What do you think of Daylight Savings Time?
It can go straight to… well, not being a thing. Pleeease.
————————————————

Thanks for reading this quick little Q&A, friends! I’m off to pick up the food my toddler just threw on the floor, then finish cleaning up the orange juice that was spilled all over my carpet. What a great morning.

I need coffee…

Jan

Mom’s Visit | The Final Day

Liam was barefoot, and as I placed him down on the grass, I remembered that he has never walked barefoot on grass, or sand. It only took him a few minutes of funny walking to get used to the it, and enjoy it… but he definitely did not care for the feeling of sand between his toes.

[You can read about Days 0-1 here, Day 2 here, Day 3 here, Day 4 here, Day 5 here, and Day 6 here.]

Hello, friends. Yesterday was my mom’s final day visiting with us, though her plane doesn’t actually leave Illinois for another 3 hours or so. It was a very mixed day. I felt really on edge, and anxious, from the time I woke up, to the moment we said our goodbyes. I tried so hard to make it a good day, but it felt like my mom and I were butting heads more often than not, and it created a lot of tension.

Kyle worked from 10-6 yesterday, so it was another day of just my mom, Liam, and I. Liam has been in quite the mood for the last couple days, including yesterday, which resulted in an early nap, which I was hoping to avoid doing, since we were going out to eat that night, and I didn’t want him being fussy. Ah, life with toddlers. Everything revolves around them.

My mom came over just after lunch, and we left in search of local garage sales, since there are signs littering the entire town. After over an hour of driving around, which was pretty quiet and uneventful, and not seeing anything of interest, we decided to drive to the mall so that Liam could play a bit before dinner. I stopped by Sears to see Kyle, but was told that he had just gone to lunch. I asked his co-worker if she could get him for me really quickly, as there wasn’t a single person in the store, and she was just standing at the register, but she told me she wasn’t allowed to (which is bullshit). Since I don’t have minutes on my phone, I couldn’t text him to tell him we were there, so we left, and hoped that he would be there when we came back through.

My mom bought me a late lunch at my favorite spot in the mall, and I shared a delicious, pretzel bread turkey sandwich with Liam, who already eaten lunch, but always insists on eating everything in sight. We also went into Maurice’s to scope out the huge clearance sale they were having. My mom tried to buy me every single article of clothing that I touched, not I kept telling her not to. She was not happy about that.

When we got to the play area, it was empty. I ran around with Liam for a while, but he was being naughty, and kept running out into the open mall, and I had to chase after him. There is a ramp and some stairs right outside of the play area, and he always runs toward them, which is frustrating and exhausting. My mom sat at the opposite end of the play area, taking videos and pictures the entire time. As we were going to leave, I asked her if I could see them to send some to myself, but she told me that she had deleted all of them, because none came out.

Well, okay then…

We left the play area, and my mom insisted on going into the mall bookstore to look at children’s books and puzzles for Liam. I saw so many books that I wanted to get for him, but I let my pride and my bad attitude take charge, and wouldn’t let my mom get any of them for him.

I don’t know why. I really don’t. I wanted them, he wanted them, and she wanted to buy them. I said no. What is wrong with me? Ugh.

I headed to the bathroom to change Liam, and my mom disappeared. When I came out, I was stopped by a young couple with a tiny baby, and we chatted a bit about babies and whatnot, before I went back to Sears. Luckily, Kyle was there this time, and he gave me the details on our dinner plans for the night. We were to meet his mom and step father at Applebee’s at 5:30, which was an hour from that point, and then he would be meeting us there at 6:00, after he got off work. I gave him a hug and kiss, and he got some cuddles from Liam, and I went back out to meet my mom and let her know what was happening.

Since we had an hour to kill, we decided to head to a local park that I had been to before, but had never visited the playground. It is a massive plot of land, with a cute lake, a bunch of walking trails, and a large playground, lined with sand, and surrounded by grass and trees. It is a beautiful park, and I wish we lived closer. Liam was barefoot, and as I placed him down on the grass, I remembered that he has never walked barefoot on grass, or sand. It only took him a few minutes of funny walking to get used to the it, and enjoy it… but he definitely did not care for the feeling of sand between his toes. It was funny.

There was another mom there, and she had two little ones with her, a toddler boy, and a tiny infant. Her son was about 2.5, and he watched us closely from the picnic area while Liam was on the swing. My mom sat herself beneath a tree, and watched us from a distance. She didn’t have much interest in playing until the end of our playground adventure. After nearly 15 minutes on the swing, we decided to explore the rest of the large playground, and the other little boy joined us! Rather than telling you about it, here are some pictures I took!

So that was fun!

We left the park around 5:20 and headed to meet Kyle’s mom and step father at Applebee’s. They were already there when we pulled up, and we sat in a large corner booth, and ordered our appetizers and entrees without Kyle, since he would be joining us a bit later. I ordered the Southwest Steak and Black Bean Soup, as well as the Crispy Cheddar Bacon Potatoes, for myself, and the kid’s Chicken Grillers and broccoli for Liam. It was all super delicious. I forget what Kyle’s meal was called, I think it was one of those “Build Your Own” things, but he got sweet potato fries, a steak, and some seriously amazing looking mac ‘n cheese.

It was a nice dinner. My mom and Candace politely went back and forth over who would pay the bill, as I expected, but they settled on splitting it evenly, which I also expected. We then gathered in the parking lot to put Liam’s car seat back into our Lincoln (it’s been in my mom’s rental all week), chat about some upcoming family events, and say our goodbyes.

There were hugs, and thank yous, and my mom cried.

And then it was over. She leaves tonight, and though her plane doesn’t leave for 3 hours still, and she has been sitting at the airport for 2 hours, she did not want to come by today. I’m okay with that. I had a nice week, and it was honestly good to see her, and for her to meet Liam, but I am completely drained. I don’t know when I will see her again, but I do know that I am happy to have things go back to normal around here. We definitely work better with a thousand, or more, miles between us.

I have a few other blogs I need to write, but I don’t know when that will happen. I need rest. I need to recharge.

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

Mom’s Visit | Day 6

Hello, friends. Today has been very… trying.

[You can read about Days 0-1 here, Day 2 here, Day 3 here, Day 4 here, and Day 5 here.]

Hello, friends. Today has been very… trying.

Kyle went back to work today, though I had him with me all morning and early afternoon. I had planned on getting some housework done, since it has all gone undone ever since my mom arrived, but that never ended up happening. Liam was incredibly fussy all morning, despite sleeping for nearly 13 hours straight, and was being quite naughty. On top of dealing with a cranky toddler, Kyle had a meeting with the financial aid office about getting financial help with his CDL class… and they basically told him there is nothing they can do to help him. So he came home very upset, which only made me more upset about this whole day getting off to a rough start.

Liam took an early nap around 10:15, despite only being awake for 2.5 hours, and ended up sleeping for 3 whole hours. I decided to put off doing anything with my mom until after he had his lunch, in the hopes that his long nap would put him in better spirits. This did not stop her from driving all the way to the park up the street from our apartment, and texting us about all the comings and goings happening there. It made me feel bad, and a little annoyed, that she drove all the way here, when we didn’t want company for a while, but whatever.

After kiddo woke up and had his lunch, my mom came over, and we all sat around, playing with Liam’s blocks, doing puzzles, and chatting. Kyle left for work, and my mom and I left shortly after to take Liam to the play area at the mall. We stopped to get some concrete mixers from Culver’s (basically, for those who don’t know, it is just building your own delicious, frozen custard treat with all sorts of candies and toppings to mix in), since we’ve all been craving them lately. We brought one to Kyle at work, and visited with him and one of his co-workers for a while, then headed to the mall play area.

Unlike yesterday, we had the entire play area to ourselves, and Liam had a blast, running around and screaming like a silly boy. Unfortunately, it wasn’t all that fun for me, as my mom was driving me absolutely insane. She was crawling around, playing with Liam, and chasing him, and kept stopping every so often to proclaim loudly, “Oh, I better stop, I’m probably embarrassing mommy!”, despite the fact that there was no one around, and I had not said anything at all. She did this at least 10 times. That’s just something she does, and it honestly drives me insane. She always says things like, “I’m just so stupid, don’t listen to me.” or “I’m probably wrong, I’m wrong about everything.” or always assumes that you are embarrassed of her, even when you aren’t arguing with her, or correcting her, or anything. It is so irritating, and she has been like this my entire life. I was hoping that she had changed, even a little bit, in the 8 years since I’ve lived under the same roof as her, but she hasn’t. I’ve called her out on it before, and tell her to stop saying things like that about herself, but it just makes her angry.

Anyway, after a little while, it started getting close to dinner time, so we headed to the bathrooms at other end of the mall to change Liam’s diaper. Once we got there, my mom told me she was going to just go wait for me by the car, which was parked outside of a totally different entrance, and I told her I was going to be a minute, because I wanted to take Liam to say goodnight to Kyle, since he wouldn’t be home in time for bedtime. She just walked off without a word.

Back in Kyle’s work, where it was absolutely dead, I found myself ranting irritably to Kyle and his co-worker friend, while Liam ran around, playing with the various things that hung from low hooks. I eventually went to meet my mom back at the car, where she argued with me over where we should eat dinner, and we ended up eating nowhere, and she just dropped me off at the partment.

Ugh. I don’t know what’s going on. I’ve just been so exhausted lately, emotionally and physically, and it has put me so on edge. I knew that this was going to be a hard week for me, as even spending 24 hours with my mom gets under my skin, but this week has been hard for so many reasons. Tomorrow is her last visiting day with us, even though her flight leaves Saturday night, but she doesn’t want to stop by that day. I’ll be honest, I really missed alone time with my son. I missed cleaning my apartment. I missed taking naps. I missed spending Kyle’s days off with him, cuddling on the couch, watching Netflix. I missed normality.

I guess that’s it for now. I want to spend tomorrow driving around, looking for garage sales and yard sales in the area. My mom is still pushing that she wants to buy me stuff, so maybe I’ll be able to find a decent dresser somewhere for her to get me. Who knows.

Well, Kyle literally just walked in, and I want cuddles. We’ve been watching The Adventures of Merlin on Netflix, and I know I’ve mentioned it before, but seriously, you should check it out.

Also, before I go, I wanted to add something else that she does that I find… odd. Whenever Liam does literally anything, like how he plays with blocks, or babbles, or runs around excitedly… just the things he does normally, she never compares him to me at his age. Not at all. She always says that everything reminds her of herself, or her and her mom, from when she was little. She never even talks about me as a baby, or her and I. I just find it strange. Is it? I don’t know. Meh.

Anyway, thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

Mom’s Visit | Day 3

I picked out two shirts, two pairs of shorts, and a package of socks for Liam, and we found a cute sensory animal book for him as well. It has words I can read to him, as well as pictures of animals, and little patches of “fur” textures for him to touch. When you press on the textured spots, it makes the noise of that animal. I was excited, because I’ve been looking for a book just like that for him, and this was the first I had seen. It wasn’t until we got home that we realized that the whole back half of the book is a misleading block of fake pages, where the batteries and noise boxes are, and that it is actually only a few pages long. Very misleading, and definitely not worth the $13 it cost.

[You can read about Days 0-1 here, and Day 2 here!]

Hello, friends. Despite yesterday being not-so-fantastic, today was pretty good! It was unbearably hot, and we had made zero plans for the day, but I knew I wanted to stay indoors as much as possible. I wanted a little bit of alone time with my son, just to bond and relax, so I told my mom that we could meet up later in the day, some time after Liam’s lunch and nap, and then maybe do some afternoon shopping. I made delicious grilled cheese sandwiches for Liam and I for lunch, which had provolone cheese, parsley, avocado, and tomato (his was deconstructed, since he still doesn’t have many teeth), and they were so delicious. I haven’t cooked, or really made anything at home, in days!

We ended up meeting up much later than planned, thanks to some technical difficulties on my mom’s end with Facebook. Even though she was on it all day, she never saw any notifications for the half a dozen messages I sent her telling her she could come over at that point. After over two hours of waiting for her, I messaged Kyle and asked him to text her (I still don’t have minutes), since I knew she would get that right away. Sure enough, she did, then messaged me back immediately, very upset that she had missed all my messages. I was thankful for the time I got to spend with Liam (as well as a fantastic nap that I snuck in before lunch), but happy to finally get out and do some shopping.

She picked us up, and told me all about her morning and afternoon exploring the town. She went down to the waterfront, somewhere I didn’t even know existed, and relaxed by the water, sipping her coffee. We talked about possible plans for tomorrow, and I pointed out a few possible dinner options for tonight. We got to Walmart, and did a couple laps around the store. I picked out two shirts, two pairs of shorts, and a package of socks for Liam, and we found a cute sensory animal book for him as well. It has words I can read to him, as well as pictures of animals, and little patches of “fur” textures for him to touch. When you press on the textured spots, it makes the noise of that animal. I was excited, because I’ve been looking for a book just like that for him, and this was the first I had seen. It wasn’t until we got home that we realized that the whole back half of the book is a misleading block of fake pages, where the batteries and noise boxes are, and that it is actually only a few pages long. Very misleading, and definitely not worth the $13 it cost. Oh well.

I didn’t see anything there that I liked, mostly because Walmart only has three options for women: Too tight junior clothes in neon colors, workout clothes, and… well, clothes that even my 50 year old mother thinks are too old for her. So I got nothing, which was fine with me, since I’m still not comfortable letting her spend money on me. She bought some cute things for Liam, so that seemed to satisfy her urge to spend.

After Walmart, we went to Culver’s for dinner, since she had never been, and talked about the past. She asked me if I still kept in touch with the handful of friends I had in high school, which I do, and told me that she bumps into them every now and then. She asked me questions about my ex, and his family, and about our breakup, which I honestly didn’t mind answering. It’s not like I really have friends I can talk to about it, even though it was over 3 years ago, it was nice to be able to bitch about him and his family for a minute, ya know?

After dinner, we headed to the mall to visit with Kyle before he got off work, and Liam happily ran barefoot through the empty store. We decided that since Kyle has tomorrow off, we would head to one of the neighboring towns, where there is a huge indoor swimming pool, and do some swimming. It is supposed to be stormy and yucky for the next few days, so this will be a nice alternative, assuming it isn’t really crowded. The hotel pool where my mom is staying is still being renovated, and we spent a lot of money on swimsuits, and don’t want them to go unused. I am excited. Liam hasn’t had a lot of exposure to water, aside from the tub, and when he dumps his water cup on himself, so I am hoping he has fun. As for me, I haven’t been swimming in nearly 7 years. And I looove swimming.

It was a good day. I got some alone time with my kiddo, as well as a nice nap. Kyle is home now, so we are going to cuddle up on the couch and continue watching The Adventures of Merlin on Netflix. I can’t remember if I recommended that yet, but seriously, you guys should check it out if you’re into magic and fantasy and lore and adventure. It is quite fantastic!

Hope you’re all having a fantastic holiday, thanks for reading!

Jan

Mom’s Visit | Day 2

Hello, friends. I am so exhausted. My mom has been in Illinois for three days now, though we’ve been visiting for two, and I am already emotionally drained. The first day was nice. She got to meet Liam, and the four of us took a road trip, and we all caught up and whatnot (you can read about our first day here)… but yesterday, it was just my mom, Liam, and I… and it didn’t go as well as our first day.

WARNING: This will be a looong blog. Grab a drink, adjust your butt, and go pee now!

To be fair, it was a decent day. It could have been worse. Kyle worked 10-6, so it was literally just my mom and I all day, and I got zero time to myself, or any alone time with my son (which has certainly thrown us for a loop), because she wants to come over early in the morning, and I just don’t have the heart to say no, or make her wait. She came over about an hour before Kyle left, and we all just sat around, chatting politely, and playing with Liam’s blocks. After Kyle left for work, my mom asked if we could go to the park that Liam and I always walk to. I was hesitant, because it was very hot and sunny, and close to Liam’s nap time, but I slathered Liam in sunscreen and we drove there anyway.

Since Liam and I usually walk to the park, we get out of the stroller at the park, and he doesn’t really know the rest of the park. We parked in the parking area, pretty far from the playground. Liam started running away from me, so I grabbed Liam’s hand and said, “The playground is over here, bud.”

My mom then turned to me and said, “Don’t drag him, just let him lead the way.” But her tone… her tone, guys. Like she was scolding me. I ignored it, but it definitely put a damper on my mood. I don’t know why.

Once we finally got to the playground, Liam ran to the swing immediately. As usual, the rest of the playground was in the shade, except for the swing, which was in direct sunlight. I don’t like it, and try to limit his swing time, but it is his favorite. After a few minutes standing by the swing, my mom started complaining about the sun, and saying we should let him go down the slide. I told her that he really only likes the swing, and would fuss if I tried to get him out so soon. She stopped and returned to the shade of the tree.

A few minutes later, she came back and started trying to take pictures, but was getting frustrated because they weren’t coming out right, or Liam wasn’t looking at her… because he was on the swing. Eventually she gave up and went over to the playground, where she proceeded to repeatedly slide down the largest kid’s slide, screaming, “Wheee! Wooo! Yaaay!” at the top of her lungs, and urging Liam, who was still perfectly content in his swing, to come and slide with her.

It was so embarrassing. It reminded me too much of all the embarrassing moments I had endured in high school with her.

A little while later, kiddo gestured for me to take him out of the swing, and my mom thrust her phone at me, and tried to wrestle him into her lap in the grass so she could get a few pictures. He was not too happy about that. He was trying to push her away, but she wouldn’t let him go, and he eventually caved, and we were able to get a few nice pictures. I have told her a dozen times that he will warm up to her eventually, definitely before she leaves, but this was only the second day. He still doesn’t want her holding him, and he especially did not want her restraining him to her lap when he was trying to play. There will be plenty of opportunities to get pictures that won’t involve making him angry.

All day long, she just seemed so impatient with everything. I just kept thinking, you’ve had a child, remember? Do you not remember how toddlers are? Especially with strangers?

Then we went back home. Liam had his lunch, and went down for a nap, and my mom proceeded to drive me absolutely nuts with every word she said.

Me: Mom, I’m making coffee, do you want some?
Mom: Only if it’s already made.
Me: Well, I’m making some now, do you want some?
Mom: Um, well, I don’t want you to go out of your way.
Me: … I’m up. I’m making some. Do. You. Want. Any?
Mom: I mean, I guess…

YOU LOVE COFFEE. YOU ARE AN ADDICT. I AM OFFERING YOU SOMETHING THAT I AM ALREADY MAKING. WHY ARE YOU BEING LIKE THAT?

Then, instead of sitting in awkward silence for a few hours, I decided to put something on for us to watch.

Me: Do you want to watch something? What kind of shows to you watch?
Mom: I don’t watch TV, I’m too busy.
Me: Okay… what about movies? Want to watch a movie? Netflix has a million.
Mom: Oh, what about American Idol?
Me: Oh, no, they don’t have American Idol…
Mom: Oh… I don’t know then.
Me: Okay. Um, movie then?
Mom: I don’t know.
Me: Well, what movies do you like?
Mom: I don’t know.

She was acting like a pouty toddler, and it was getting frustrating, so I just decided on one of my favorite comedy specials. Everyone loves comedians, right?

Five minutes into the comedian’s special…

Mom: *sigh* She isn’t funny. I don’t like her.
Me: Okay… what do you want to put on then?
Mom: Nothing. I don’t know. This is fine.
Me: Fine.
Mom: *long sigh*

Silence.
*In my head* Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!

Nothing has changed. She is the same as I remember 4 years ago, and 4 years before that. She thinks that everything she says or does is so damn bothersome, that she can’t have any opinions. Any time you say anything against her, even if it is in the politest way possible, she just shuts down, and she gets pouty, and then it becomes bothersome. She thinks you’re constantly angry with her, for no reason. She just can’t act… normal. It’s like we are constantly stuck as strangers, butting heads over everything and nothing, and going nowhere. We don’t even feel like family.

Anyway, we spent most of Liam’s nap in silence, except for when I tried to help my mom work her iPhone, which has been an absolute pain (I hate iPhones!) After about two hours of Liam’s napping, she started saying that she was getting impatient that he was still asleep. I already told her a dozen times that he naps for 2+ hours, but she just kept saying, “Wow, this is the longest nap ever…”

I eventually went in to wake him up, which he was not happy about, and we went to the mall to visit Kyle. She wanted to stop at Dunkin Donuts and get coffee, and something for Kyle and I. I told her I didn’t want anything, which set her off on a pissed off rant about how she brought hundreds of dollars that she wanted to spend on me, and it made her angry that I didn’t let her buy me everything, everywhere. So I told her I would get a smoothie, since that is really the only thing at DD that I like.

Guess what? They were out of yogurt. Yup. My mom was not happy with this at all, and said some snide comments about how, “that never happens at my Dunkin!”. I opted to not get anything, but she got a medium coffee… but then, she didn’t get cream or sugar in her coffee (she didn’t ask for any, she forgot, it was her fault), so went inside in a huff, and ended up getting a large coffee as an apology.

We got to the mall, just as Kyle was taking his lunch break, and the four of us headed to the play area, which was packed with kids, mostly over the age of 5. Almost all of them were too big (according to the height rules) to be in there, and most of them also had their shoes on, and were running around and being a bit reckless. Two moms actually left in a huff because their little ones kept getting bumped or knocked over by these bigger kids, whose parents were paying zero attention to them.

Liam was perfectly content standing by us, as he normally does when there is a lot going on, and watching the other kids. He loves it. He ventured out a few feet at a time, surveying the area, while Kyle told us about his day thus far. Then he had to go back to work, and we were back to three.

Then… this.

A family came in with two young girls, both about 6 years old, and a toddler boy. One of the little girls was in a motorized wheelchair, which she got out of once they were in the play area. My mom, who has zero filter on her mouth, or any idea what is and is not appropriate to say out loud, said the following:

Mom: I see a wheelchair, but there is no one in it.
Me: One of the little girls was in it.
Mom: One of those two in the dresses? They look fine to me.
Me: Just because she looks fine doesn’t mean there isn’t something wrong, mom.
Mom: I’m just saying, don’t spend all your money on a wheelchair like that if there is nothing wrong with your kid.
Me: You don’t know what’s wrong with her. Stop it.
Mom: What? I’m just saying. She looks fine.

Then she proceeded sip her coffee in silence. I was annoyed, and thoroughly embarrassed, because while I don’t think the girl and her parents had heard her, I was certain that other people had.

I cheered on Liam while he climbed around the play area, and my mom continued to sit in silence, watching everyone but her grandson.

The family with the girl in the wheelchair got their stuff together to leave, but as she were leaving, the young girl accidentally bumped another young boy with her chair. He was fine, and didn’t even cry, but her and her parents were very apologetic, even as the boy’s dad comforted them and told them it was perfectly fine. They were all smiles. Everything was fine.

Well, for them. My mom was upset about the whole thing, of course.

Mom: That wouldn’t have happened if they didn’t have their daughter in that unnecessary chair.
Me: Stop.
Mom: What?
Me: Just stop. That’s a very ignorant thing to say. It’s none of our business.
Mom: Fine.

Then we sat in silence, until I picked up our stuff, thoroughly frustrated, and proceeded towards Sears to say goodbye to Kyle. On our trek to the other end of the mall, we passed by several stores again, and she tried to force me to let her buy me stuff, when I had already told her when we passed by the stores the first time that they do not carry my sizes. She was not pleased.

I swear, I’ve had to repeat everything that I’ve said to her at least three times, and answer every question twice. I don’t know if she just isn’t paying any attention to what I’m saying, or she is forgetting it all immediately. Either way, it keeps making her angry with herself, which puts her in a worse mood.

We went to Subway for dinner, the first thing she agreed to eat all day, which was uneventful enough, but then we ended up going back to the mall afterwards, because my mom lectured me again on wanting to spend all her money on me. I tried to look for a pair of decent sneakers that didn’t cost a fortune, since I’ve had mine for years and they are totally worn out, but didn’t have much luck, which only seemed to aggravate her further. It feels like she has been upset with me for no reason on this entire visit thus far. We left empty handed.

She didn’t stay long after dropping Liam and I off back at the apartment, and I am trying to limit how much time we spend together today, because honestly, I think I need a break. I need some space. I politely told her that we could meet up later in the afternoon, after Liam’s nap, because I had some things to take care of. I haven’t cleaned anything in my apartment, or spent any alone time with my son, in days. I just want to sleep, and snuggle, and relax, and breathe.

Hopefully today is better… we’ll see.

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

Mom’s Visit | Days 0-1

Day 0:
Hello, friends. I had mentioned in a previous post that my mom was coming to visit me, and meet her grandson, for the first time ever. She was due to arrive in Illinois around 4:00 pm yesterday, and should have arrived to her hotel around 7:00 pm. We decided that she would not come for a late night visit, as Liam would already be in bed, and she would probably be tired anyway. The morning of her departure, I remembered that I hadn’t given her Kyle’s new number (my phone has been out of minutes for ages), and messaged her around 6:00 in the morning, well before she left for the airport. Unfortunately, my mom did not check her computer before she left, and did not know that she could check Facebook or her email on her new iPhone, and this created a few problems.

We waited around for a call or a text, and started getting worried once 8:30 pm rolled around, and we hadn’t heard anything. She hadn’t seen my FB messages, and I was worried she hadn’t seen my emails either. At 9:00 pm, I remembered that I could check her flight online, and discovered that she had been delayed in Detroit for 3 hours, and hadn’t even landed in Illinois until 8:07, much later than scheduled. She wouldn’t even be getting to her hotel until after 10:00. We waited some more, but never got a call. I assumed she just went to sleep. We watched several episodes of The Adventures of Merlin, which we just started watching Netflix, and then went to bed.

Day 1:
We woke up this morning and realized that we still hadn’t heard from my mom. Kyle decided to re-read the email that she had sent me last month, and discovered that she had actually given me her phone number, which I didn’t think I had. Kyle texted her, and we figured out our situation, and then we showered and got ready for her visit.

Her hotel is only a few minutes from us, so her drive was short, and then she was here. Kyle and I were nervous. Kyle had never met, or talked to, my mom, and didn’t know much about her. I hadn’t seen her in over 4 years, and our last meeting wasn’t the greatest. It went surprisingly well.

We greeted her, we exchanged hugs, and Liam cried immediately when she sat near him, which we expected. I gave her the birthday drawing that Liam had made her, as well as the card and bracelet that I had gotten her, and we took some pictures together. We decided to play with his Mega Bloks on the floor, and within minutes, he was building towers with his grandma. He warmed up to her quicker than most. We had some coffee, played some more, and decided that we should do something, so we went on a looong drive to the Fox Valley Mall, about an hour and 20 minutes away. Liam sat in the back with my mom, which made me nervous, because I thought he would get upset, but he was surprisingly comfortable, and even played with her for a while, before falling asleep. We stopped to eat lunch at Golden Corral, since my mom had never been, then continued to the mall.

We love walking around malls, especially when they are enormous. And this mall is enormous. Three stories, and massive. We forgot Liam’s stroller, since we were taking my mom’s rental, and it took us forever to find the rentable strollers. Once we did find them, it was smooth sailing, and Liam was much more behaved. We went into several stores, like Lane Bryant, Torrid, a gaming store, and a few others, and my mom tried to coerce us into letting her buy us everything we passed. We politely declined several times, and she finally stopped, but I know it will come up several times over the next few days.

After three hours walking around the mall, we left for home. The ride was uneventful, and we talked about Kyle’s job, my mom and her boyfriend’s plans to build a new house, and the future and potential moves for us. It was pleasant. We got back to our area, and stopped to get some dinner at Steak ‘n Shake, another first for my mom. Afterwards, we went to Target for a few things, and I got to see my good friends Aubrey and Lindsey, who were both working that night. I introduced them to my mom, and they got to see Liam, who was happy to see them as well, and proceeded to be an absolute little flirty ham. It was SO cute. Then we said our goodbyes, as it was almost bedtime for the kiddo, and came home.

My mom said some goodbyes, and we told her how to get to her email and Facebook on her iPhone, so that she could keep in touch better, and upload the pictures that she took today. My mom has been in the state for a day and a half, and I thought it would be terrible… but it has been surprisingly nice. Her questions and energy can be exhausting, especially when they are deeply personal, and we have been estranged for a while… but it was okay. She will be here until next Saturday, and I won’t always have Kyle with me for morale support, but I am hoping that it continues to go well.

Thanks for reading, friends!

Jan

From Sunshine to Storming

Hello, friends.

Yesterday was… well, it was something. For the last couple of days, Kyle and I had been compiling a list of projects and things to buy that we wanted to complete on Friday (yesterday), since it was his one day off. I’ve really been stressing out about my mom’s visit, so I’ve been pushing to get as much done as possible around the house. Since Kyle’s other job put him back into a full-time position, he’s been working a lot more, and hasn’t been able to help me with some of the bigger projects I want to do, so yesterday was our big push day. We still had plenty of money in savings to spend on some needed things, thanks to his new hours, so we were excited to get it all done.

Our to do list for yesterday was:
1) Lower Liam’s crib
2) Clean out the hallway closet and laundry room (both still filled with boxes of crap from when we moved in 1.5 years ago…)
3) Clean out our kitchen junk drawer
4) Finish the dishes and throw out old/unwanted dishes
5) Hang my new paper towel holder
6) Fix and install our AC unit
7) Buy a new organizer for Liam’s room so I could re-organize his stuff
8) Buy new throw pillows for the couch
9) Vacuum and deep clean the living room carpet
10) Transfer Kyle’s tools into his new, larger tool box, and store them away
11) Hang up my DIY scarf holder in the bedroom
12) Buy a new inner tube for my stroller tire
13) Go grocery shopping

Yeah… QUITE the list. Did I mention that we had to do all of this while Liam was awake and running loose, because it would all make too much noise if he was sleeping? That was fun. Luckily, when we put our strengths together, we make a really productive team, and in just two hours, we got all of that list done, with the exception of lowering the crib, because the ONE tool we needed, we could not find in our collection, and all of the shopping stiff, which would come later when we went out. Liam was very well-behaved the entire time!

We left the house a little after 1:00, and it was gorgeous outside. 72 degrees, sunny, and not a cloud in the sky. We stopped in at two local hardware stores to try and find a new inner tube for my stroller tire. Both places did not have the size we needed, but told us about a bike shop nearby that probably had it. Before going there, we stopped at my bank so that I could cash the check my mom sent me for my birthday (5 days!) so I could put it into Kyle’s account. The woman informed me that I couldn’t cash it all… because I only had 14 cents in my account. Oops… So I deposited some into my account, cashed the rest, and off we went.

The bicycle shop ended up being next door to a bra boutique that I had been wanting to check out for YEARS, so while Kyle went to get the inner tube, I went bra hunting with Liam. I got fitted by an amazingly nice woman, and began the process of trying on expensive pieces of cloth to cover my boobs. I’m quite a large size, so cute, cheap bras at Walmart and Target are not an option for me. I found the perfect, most amazing bra, but could only buy one due to the price. I let it be my birthday present to myself, since the inner tube only cost us $8. Kyle and Liam chatted with the ladies in the shop, who all absolutely adored my son, and then we left, happy with our finds, as well as our accomplishments thus far.

Next, we stopped at Menards to buy the tools we needed to lower the crib, and some CLR for another project I decided to add to the list. Then, we went to Arby’s and grabbed a late lunch for Kyle and I (Liam ate at home), before heading to Walmart to grab the rest of our items.

This is where things start to go bad…

As we pulled into the Walmart parking lot, Arby’s in hand, we noted that the skies had started getting darker, and clouds were rolling in. We turned off the car to quickly eat our food, but when Kyle turned the key to roll our windows up before we went in, the car would not start. We tried, and tried, and tried. Nothing. It sounded like it was trying to turn over, so it wasn’t the battery, but nothing would get this car to start. Kyle, having the temper he has, immediately got frustrated, as we have had nothing but nonstop car troubles for the last 3 years. We JUST had to have this car looked at, due to an unrelated issue we were having a few weeks ago, and now this.

We gave up, went in, and got only about half of our list, as we didn’t know the outcome of the car situation, and did not want to grab anything from the freezer. Sure enough, the car still wouldn’t start, and we had to call Kyle’s mom for a ride, and a tow truck to get our car to Sears. While waiting outside for his mom, it started pouring rain, thundering, lightning, and there was some crazy wind. We had left our coats in the car because of the nice weather, and quickly retreated in. We were still waiting, when I grabbed Liam to change his diaper, and discovered that I had started my period as well.

Fan-freaking-tastic.

The tow cost us $85 to tow it less than half a mile, but we have roadside assistance, so we won’t have to pay it, but Sears couldn’t look at it until 3pm Saturday (today). Kyle’s mom showed up, and we loaded our stuff into her van, and I had to put Liam into his cousin’s car seat in the back. Not only was it front-facing (he’s still just a bit too small for that), but the straps were twisted, uneven, the clip was caked with food and goop, and the car seat in general was filthy and sticky. I was trying to wrestle him into the car seat, which was impossible because there were cars honking at me, and almost hitting me (his mom did not park wisely…), and rain falling on me, and wind blowing me around, and my kid was NOT happy about any of it.

I finally got him in safely, climbed in the front seat, soaking wet, and we went home. We got all the groceries and items in, I thanked her for the ride, and she left to meet Kyle at Sears. Liam and I put the groceries away, realizing only then that we had left the inner tube, stroller tire, completely full drinks from Arby’s, and my sweatshirt in our car. Ugh. Nothing we could do about it at that point.

I quickly made some broccoli and a sandwich for Liam as a late dinner, only making toast for myself, despite feeling famished. Afterwards, we sat in front of the TV, watching Monster Fish, both completely exhausted from the day. I had a cramp that could have rivaled a contraction, a headache that could knock down a horse, my nerves were shot, and I was shaking. When Kyle came home, he was in an awful mood, understandably. I tried my best to play with Liam until bed time, but because he missed a nap during the day, he was a cranky mess. All he wanted to do was pull my hair, grab at my face, and hit me with one of his toy bucket, which was making me cranky. After he bit me on my leg while we were playing on the floor (he’s been teething like crazy lately), causing me to bleed, I put him down for bed half an hour early, and he passed out instantly. Not even our neighbor’s ridiculous noise woke him up. Kyle and I sat down and watched Chopped on Netflix, but ended up going to bed early as well. Luckily, Liam slept through the night, because we were SO tired.

Kyle was able to find a coworker to give him a ride to work this morning, but our car still can’t be looked at until 3pm. We don’t know what’s wrong, or how much it will cost us, but we don’t have a choice. We need the car, so we need to get the problem fixed.

So much for my birthday money… Why does this always happen to me?

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

Alone

I’ll never understand just how single parents do it. They are honestly superheroes. I’m not even a single mother, but I feel like I am more often than not. Since day one, I have changed every poopy diaper (yes, every poopy diaper), and most of the wet ones. I have cooked and fed every meal. I have executed every bath, and read every story. Given every dose of medicine. I have put him down for every nap, and every bed time. I have woken up with him night after night, and rocked him back to sleep. I am the one who wakes up with him every morning. Just last night, he woke up at 1:30, and would not go back to sleep, not matter what I did. We spent hours rocking, and got nowhere. My back was on fire from the crappy, old rocking chair, and I was so exhausted that I was fighting the urge to throw up all over his sweet face. I ended up lying down uncomfortably on the couch in the living room around 3:00 in the morning, and he fell asleep on top of me from 5:00-7:30. All I could do was try to cry silently, like I’ve been doing most nights lately, and try not to wake him up. I got no sleep. None.

His separation anxiety is so extreme this time. It has never been this bad. He screams and screams and screams when I try to put him in his crib, if I even lean over it. He wakes up the second I put him in there, even if I’ve been rocking him for an hour, and he was passed out. He open his eyes, stand up, and scream.

This morning, he refused to nap, just like every day for the last week. This sleep regression/cold/ear infection/teething/separation anxiety has hit him like a ton of bricks, and it is wearing me thin. He has been so fussy during the day, and it has been so hard to get anything done, whether at home or in town, because he is just so clingy and upset. I tried to leave him with his father today, so I could try and get a few moments of sleep, but honestly, I don’t trust him with him. I know he would probably never hurt him, but he has a very short fuse, and a very bad temper, and often raises his voice at him, or cusses at him, and it makes me so angry. Sure, I get angry sometimes, and I’ve raised my voice more often than I’d like to admit in just the last week, but he just gets ridiculous. Nevermind the fact that our son is barely over a year old, and doesn’t even understand what is going on, but what reason does HE have to be upset? He doesn’t DO anything. He has never spent a night, getting zero sleep, rocking in a creaky rocking chair for 3 hours. He got 10 hours of sleep last night! So, I do everything. I sacrifice sleep to make sure his diaper is always clean, or that he gets his meals on time, because Kyle always seems to “forget” or “lose track of time” when I leave him alone with him, even for an hour, so I can sleep, even though he is just sitting on his ass playing a game, or watching TV. I hate it.

I made a comment out loud to my son today, a bit passive aggressively, about how I was too exhausted to make lunch, but that I had to, because no one else would, and Kyle stormed off to the bedroom, slamming the door behind him, to play his Gameboy (yep, talking about a grown man here). He gets so upset when I voice my frustration about doing 90% of the work when it comes to our son and our household, yet he throws these tantrums, and shuts himself in the bedroom for hours, leaving me even more alone. Proving my point. I’ve been asking him to get out to the laundromat for the last three days to do some laundry, since we are completely out of clean clothes, and he just keeps forgetting. A few days ago, I asked him if he would help me with the dishes, not DO the dishes, just help me, since I had already done nearly half of them, and our son was clinging to me, whining to be picked up. He just ignored me.

Last night was trash night, one of the only chores he will partake in, if I don’t do it, and he always waits until we are going to bed to do it. I was already under the covers, with the lights off, and with my glasses on the end table, when he came in and asked me to get the kitchen garbage out, and empty Liam’s diaper bin for him, which is something I always seem to end up doing for him. I stood my ground, and told him to just do it. He made sure to make as much noise as possible, sighing and gagging dramatically, cussing at the garbage bin when he dropped it and made noise. Then he came to bed, in a huff, and rolled over angrily. Absolutely unnecessary. And I get bitchy, and I get passive aggressive, and he brings out the worst in me. I don’t mean to, but I just get so upset. He doesn’t fight, we never fight. And that is a problem. He doesn’t talk back, because he doesn’t talk at all. He just shuts off, often storming off to the bedroom. And nothing gets done. I am so tired of it.

I love him, I really do, and I know he loves me and his son, but this is frustrating, and it is destroying me. I am exhausted, my blood pressure is through the roof, and I have been so, so depressed. I am tired of the bullshit excuses, and the immaturity. I want him to grow up, but he just won’t. I want him to listen to me, and understand how hard this has been for me, and what I am going through. The only reason I keep going is because I know that my son needs me, and no one else will take care of him.

But I’ve been having days lately, where the prospect of simply disappearing, leaving everything behind, seems more and more tempting.

I shouldn’t feel like this. I shouldn’t feel this overwhelmed, and this alone, when his father is RIGHT THERE. He doesn’t even work this week. He has been home for days, and will be home for the rest of the week, but… nothing. He won’t help me. It honestly feels like he doesn’t care.

I am at the end of my rope. I just want a break. A nap. Some quiet. I need help, and I have no one. Some days, I feel like it would be better if I actually were alone, then I would only have one toddler to deal with. Only one person’s messes to constantly clean up.

Anyway, thanks for reading, friends. Thank you for letting me vent. I’m off to feed my overly exhausted kiddo a snack, and try to get him to take a nap, even though I know it won’t happen.

Jan

Three Weeks

Three weeks.

Today marks three weeks since Liam’s cold symptoms started. Three weeks of relentless, all-day fussiness, sleepless nights, horrible congestion, and a non-stop runny nose. We have gone through thousands of tissues, several bottles of Infant’s Tylenol, constantly have his humidifier running, and we are now halfway through his Amoxicillin prescription. No signs of improvement, although the ear ache that he had developed seems to be better (probably due to the Amoxicillin). He doesn’t seem to be getting better at all, and while I have felt better for about a week now, I am completely drained from having to take care of this poor, sick kiddo.

I suppose I have had it easy up to this point. Even as a newborn, he never woke up hourly, or even every other hour, to eat. He slept in 4-5 hour spans during the night, and was sleeping entirely through the night by the time he was 4 months old, unless he was going through a developmental leap. I never really needed to rock him, not even when he had his first cold, at just a few months old. That cold was absolutely nothing compared to this beast. I’m starting to worry that his sickness is developing into something more serious, and I am keeping an eye on this cough. I thought he was getting better, until two days ago, when he started waking up every hour (or more frequently), with horrible coughing fits, and needed to be rocked to sleep. He has been so clingy, both day and night. I can’t do anything. I can’t eat, I can’t bathe, I can’t sit at my desk, without picking him up, or he throws a fit. He never did this.

Is it just a toddler thing? I believe he is also teething. So, there’s that.

Ugh. I am exhausted, completely on edge, and miserable. And I’m willing to bet he feels even worse. I try so hard not to get upset with him when it takes 2-3 hours to get him to fall asleep, or when he wakes me up every hour between 1:00 in the morning and 6:00 in the morning, and needs to be rocked back to sleep every time. I know he is sick, and just wants love and comfort, but it is wearing me out so badly. I think I am going to call his doctor tomorrow and tell her about his new cough, and his lack of improvement all around. I don’t know how much longer I can do this.

I just want some relief for the both of us.

Jan