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There once was a girl from the South

Who [thought she] knew what life was about

She gave it her all

Sometimes she would fall

Oh, hell.  Who am I kidding?

Dude, it has been an ass kicking year and a half.  No other way to put it.

So, it’s not quite the prose I had hoped for.  There aren’t but so many times someone can post that they’ve disappeared (as if it wasn’t obvious from lack of posts) and then promise to get back on track. It gets old after the first, but I probably have at least half a dozen to my credit.  If not more. So, when I took my last blip off the blogging radar, I didn’t come back.  One, I had nothing to say and two, which really should be one, is I have been consumed by lazy.  So many of the fantastic people I’ve met through blogging and I are now F@ceb00k friends, so they keep up with all the mundane stuff.

I hit bottom and bounced back up.  I hit bottom again and bounced back up.  That third time of hitting bottom has been super hard to recover from.  I have given up a lot of the volunteer work I was doing so I could focus on my family and household.  I will say, Fabul-O has been a trooper through all of the changes and has been so much more resilient than I ever could have asked.  The one thing that hasn’t changed is the love and unwavering support of all my fabulous friends and my parents.  Without them, I shudder to think what depths I would have sunk to.

In February I participated in my first half marathon.  I had some health issues at the end of last year that kept me from being able to train properly and run.  With constant nagging by me, the eventual blessing of my doctor with a conditional clearance, I did a walk/run (emphasis on walk) and completed.  Aside from the fact I thought I would die, and the massive blister I developed at mile 5, I felt good.  Except for the massive amounts of pain I was in.  I wasn’t last.  I know the “you lapped everyone who didn’t get off the couch” spiel and all the other well-intended yada-yas, but I didn’t feel like I really and truly “did” a half marathon.  Except for the super swag, fancy medal, and the best damn muffins I had ever eaten.  So, when I got the email for the discounted fee, I registered for it again.  Next time I want to run.  I will run the Myrtle Beach Half Marathon in February 2013.

My mission before that one is to run the Army Ten Miler in DC in October.  I joined Team Fisher House and will run raising awareness for all the awesomeness Fisher House provides for families of our service members.  For those who don’t know, Fisher House is kind of like a Ronald McDonald House for military families.

This is the last year of my 30s and I want to make it kick ass.  For the most part, my 30s were good, but I want to send them out with a bang.

I don’t know if anyone still hangs around to see if I’m still alive, but, I am.  And I’m going to be better than I’ve been in a long, long time.

 

xo

Well, I finally have a permanent, full-time job.  It’s not ideal, but I’m gainfully employed and, for that, I’m grateful.  No more 90 mi. round trip commute.  It’s 3.3 miles from my office to my house.  I could walk it, if I wanted to and didn’t need to be in pristine condition when I got there.  Maybe one day, but for now, I’m okay with the drive.

It has been a rough year and it has kicked my tuchus six ways from Sunday.  I’ve struggled with feelings of failure and letting all those around me down.  I hit a serious depression and there were days I couldn’t get my head up off the pillow.  Failed interview after failed interview and opportunities that I couldn’t make happen really brought me down.  I accepted a temp position with a company in June and was finally made permanent a few weeks ago.  A good friend helped me out with kid-care this summer when I started temping so I didn’t have to pay daycare rates.  As did the midwest G’ma and Papa L.  Fabul-O spent 3 weeks visiting them this summer.  It was wonderful for her and them.

I’ve made several attempts to redefine me and I have learned, but am still struggling to accept, is I am who I am and that’s not going to change.  Complacency gets us all and it got the best of me.  So, I’m no longer working on reinventing me or even redefining me.  I’m working on making the me I am the best it can be.  I still struggle and I still have a long way to go.  We have had the love and support of friends and family and I am so thankful I surround myself with people who care and don’t just throw lip service our way.  I am so glad I raised Olivia to understand the value of what we have and what we give because it’s helped to adjust to our revised way of living.

I’m back at Weight Watchers and had a successful first week back on plan.  I struggled this week, but I’m having to break a lot of bad habits and, damn, that gets a lot harder the older you get.  And oatmeal doesn’t taste nearly as good as a biscuit.

Olivia participated in her first 5K in September.  We ran about the first half mile and we walked the rest.  We finished in 52 minutes and I am super proud of my girl.  People say we could have shaved 5 min off our time had I not taken her picture at the mile markers.  We walked in support of Operation Homefront North Carolina.  She says she wants to do another one.  Running it.

I had my 20 year class reunion a few weeks ago.  20 years changed a lot of us in a lot of ways.  Others of us it totally skipped and nothing has changed.  I’ve changed.  And I’m glad.

I’m who I am and that won’t change.  There are still a lot of things that need to be worked on and I will… one of them at a time.

 

 

Going to start with things I have going on.  I’m going to be a co-ed again come Monday.  I’m going back to school to get my HR Generalist certificate.  7 1/2 years of experience isn’t enough for some companies, so I’ll get it.  I about stroked out in my advisor’s office when she told me I’m getting credit for all the core classes I took for my BA in ’91 and ’92.  So, I have 6 classes (maybe 5 if my last transcript shows a computer class – been too long to remember) to take and I will have my generalist by the end of next semester.  After she reviewed my stuff, she said don’t worry about taking any more classes for an AA in Bus with HR concentration, but to just move on with my MBA. So, I’m currently searching out MBA programs and meeting with some folks next week to discuss my options.  I was just going to get the AA to get it.  We’ll see.

My secret thing is moving right along and hope it continues.

Now for some things I’m loving right now:

Spin Pins.  I saw these on t.v. (I am a marketer’s dream) so I loaded up and went in search of these little curly pins.  I found two sizes.  One is a pack of two that are long and one is a pack of three that are shorter. I bought the shorter ones because my hair isn’t all that long.  I love them. L.O.V.E. them.   It totally makes rocking the mom hair easier and it’s not the same ‘ol pony tail.

Sparkpeople.  It’s an awesome website with lots of tools and I can track my progress.  So far there’s not a lot to track, but it’s all about baby steps.  What progress am I tracking on Sparkpeople?  Well, it’s because….

I’m back running again for the first time since I hurt my knee last fall.  It feels pretty good, but I run with my brace on.  I guess it’s been long enough that it should be feeling better.  Olivia is doing it with me… at least a small portion of it.  She rides her bike while I run/walk and she will run the last 1/4 mile or so with me.  She is so stinking supportive and even gave me a, “Mommy, it doesn’t matter if you don’t win.  You’re awesome and that’s what matters.  Now let’s get going.”  And we do.

Zumba isn’t made for people like me.  You want to know what kind of people it is?  I’ll tell you… it’s people without a lick of dang rhythm.  I told my friend M if I danced that bad back in college when we all used to go out, then my friends were bad friends for not telling me to sit my uncoordinated, couldn’t keep up with the beat if it was glued to the bottom of my shoes self down.  Fabul-O has less than me.  How sad is it I’ve one-upped a six year old?

Still working on regaining my sense of me.  It’s returning slowly but surely.

Enjoy your weekend…

I won’t start this by apologizing for my absence.  Once a year is okay.  Maybe even once a quarter, but if I start all my blog posts with it every time I go to post one, it’s all you’ll ever read.  We’ll pretend like I’m issuing a blanket apology for all those times I go MIA and, voila, I show up.

I’m still unemployed.

We have our garden planted.  Yay!  We actually planted it the first weekend of April.  Olivia and I grew our own starter plants instead of buying them at the store.  I had 80 total and set out almost all of them.  I make a huge gardening faux pas.  I didn’t lable what I planted where.  The only thing I’m really sure of are my zucchini and squash plants.  Everything else is up in the air until it starts producing and then I’ll know.  Except for my carrots because I won’t see them as they are underground.  I was going to remember where I put stuff.  Oh, yeah.  Like THAT would happen.

We took the training wheels off Olivia’s bike.  She’s terrified of it and we haven’t made it out of the front yard yet.  I’m afraid she’s just not ready.  I love her.  A lot.

I haven’t been cooking anything new and exciting and have kind of fallen off the couponing bandwagon.  I still do it, but have been living off my reserve – no, it’s not a stockpile. It’s not that big.  However, I am totally over whole chickens.  That’s not true.  Not just whole chickens.  Just chicken in general.  I’m tired of cooking it.  Except I needed freezer space, so I took one out and, in about three days, I’m gonna have to cook it.

Olivia is still doing well in school.  She won the character ed award for honesty earlier this year and last week she was awarded the Kiwanis Terrific Kid award.  She got a button, certificate and a pencil. I got the bumper sticker you’ve all seen, “Proud Parent of a Terrific Kid.”  That’s where it came from, in case you were wondering.  But it’s not going on my car.  The only stickers I’ve ever had on my car – and they were on the window and not the paint -were my college sticker, my blue star and another military one.  Outside that, I’m not intereste in fancying up my ride.

I’m hooked on Angry Birds.  I’m pissed b/c I had to get a new phone b/c my old new phone wouldn’t answer (less than a month old) and I had to redownload the apps and start all over.

I’m working on something, but I can’t talk about it.  It’s sort of a secret, but not really.  It’s not one I can talk about here yet, but will spill it when the time is appropriate.  It has the potential to be something of substance for many involved, but it’s way too early.  Some of y’all know what it is.   It netted me a trip to the beach yesterday, but had to come home b/c W was supposed to have jury duty.  I hope to go back next week.  And I’ll be staying at least overnight so I can enjoy a glass of wine listening to the waves roll in.  That and it’s a long damn trip to go and come back in a day.

I’m thrilled OBL is dead and am super proud of the special ops team who did it.  Hooah!  But we need to keep our thoughts focused or we become vulnerable.  Our military always has one eye open so we can rest with both eyes closed. 

I have a lot of friends with a lot of stuff going on who could use some well-wishes.  And keep us on your list, too.  Please.

Happy May!

So, I felt good blogging about meals I’ve cooked that were budget friendly.  I don’t know that anyone cared, but writing has been therapeutic in the past, so I thought it would be now.  Why not put two of my favorite things together: cooking and saving money.  But you know what I love more?  WORKING for said money.  This unemployment thing sucks.   One would think I would have all these magnificent projects done around the house.  No.  One would think I’d be well-rested and ready to perform at my peak.  Not even close.  One would think…One would think…I would think.

Over the past four weeks that I’ve been unemployed,  I have learned some things:

1. I have chosen to surround myself by some really awesome people.

2. These really awesome people randomly check in on me to make sure I’m still picking my head up off the pillow.

3. These people don’t judge me when I am honest about how I’m feeling.

4. My husband really does love me.  Maybe this one should have gone first, and I could have deleted it and moved it up there, but I decided to just keep it as it was because, well, it’s where it fell in my thought process.

5. Choices are so much more important than I ever thought.  I have preached it and believed it, but guess got a little complacent with it.

6. Not everyone who gives their word will keep it.

7. Everything (and -one) has a period of usefulness.  When it is outlived it is gone.  Period.

8. People still respect me.  And they always will.

9. I am beneficial to someone in some way.  I just might not know it yet.

10. People believe in me.  I only wish I did one third as much as they do.

11. My family loves me.  No one can ever take that away.  I don’t care how much of an asshole they are.  Being an asshole only reinforced it.

There are a couple of times a year I get all mushy and gushy over things and today just happens to be one of those days.  I never imagined the littlest love of my life would be born half a world away, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

Five years ago today we met Yu Si Jia  for the first time.  The scared little girl who cried for HOURS when we first held her is now a happy, healthy, thriving little girl who lights up my life more than I ever imagined.  My mom was right when she told me there was no love like a parent’s love for their child.

Happy Family Day, JiaJia.  I love you.

Learned today that my unemployment benefits are about $200 less from SC than in NC.  I live in NC…worked in SC, so I must file for benefits from SC.  Damn.  And both are significantly less than I was making.  Double damn.

FYI…E-mail after e-mail after e-mail saying, “sorry, we didn’t like what your resume had to offer” sucks and I don’t handle it very well.

To those who have been actively seeking employment, but have been rejected from all angles.  I feel for you.  I really, really do.  And I’m only into my 2nd week of it.

I lost my job today.  And it sucks.

Tis the season to be jolly…fa-la-la-la-meh.

I’ve been trying to get my holiday mojo, but it hasn’t quite worked in my favor.  Yet.  By saying “yet” means I’m still holding out hope.  For the past couple of months, I’ve been pounding the pavement and begging asking friends and family to help me with the canned food drive at Fabul-O’s school.  I was the PTA chair.  In the past, students have collected food for a food bank, but, this year, it was decided that each class would sponsor one of our school families who applied for assistance.  I reached out to 60 area churches requesting a $10 grocery gift card thinking for sure I would get the 43 I needed.  Students would provide the canned goods and we would give the families the card to purchase their turkey (can’t give out fresh food, especially poultry, due to health concerns).  Not a single church offered to help.  Including the one O goes to daycare at nor the one we attended for 5 years.   Grocery stores, some dear, dear friends, our National Guard unit and family stepped in to help me out.  I was able to meet the goal.  Next came time to divvy up the goods.  There were 3 families who had no transportation to pick up the goods, so arrangements were made to deliver it.  Out of the other 40 families, less than half came to get their goods.  *sigh*

Then came the unit Christmas party.  I am the new family support leader.  And I had one month to plan it.  The to-do list was divided among three of us.  Only one of us – you guess who – had her list completely done and ready to go on party day.  Another of us arranged the food, which was a huge deal and it was done, but the little “completer” items and part of the entertainment fell under them and it wasn’t done.  The last one of us ignored my texts and voicemail reminders of their completer items and they were totally forgotten. Our budget didn’t allow for duplicate purchases and 15 minutes before party time she dumped “Santa” gifts out to wrap IN FRONT OF THE CHILDREN who were going to be receiving said gifts.  Oy vey.

Overall, the party was a huge success and a good time was had by all.  Santa was a HUGE hit and I’m a rockstar because I know him 🙂  I got several compliments on my “attention” to detail and making sure each and every soldier had something to take home by making ornaments for them all and having a wrapped gift.  Granted, only half of the soldiers were there for the party, but the effort was put into it and it was noticed.  Next year I don’t know how I’ll handle if, if they vote me back for another year, aside from taking on the whole thing by myself.

Now it’s on to Christmas for my family and a trip to see the in-laws.  I’m about half done with shopping and have TOTALLY blown the budget, so I need to re-evaluate and see where we are.

I have the spirit of giving.  I have it all year long, but I can’t seem to get into the Christmas spirit.  I’m trying to be more peaceful and work towards getting my life back in order.  The last task at hand is Girl Scout cookie sales that begin in January.  After that, I’m taking some time off.  A lot of time.

I’m not a total Scrooge, I just have had so much going on it’s hard to wrap my mind around joy and peace when I know it’s there.  I’m still taking baby steps.

In case I don’t post again before Christmas, which is HIGHLY likely, I wish you all the very Merriest of Christmases and a New Year in which all your dreams come true.

Be well,

Susan

I have good days and I have bad days, which is expected.  But I’m not miserable all the time.

A few weekends ago, we went to the Bank of America 500.  Last year Mar was here.  They boys went to the race and the girls (us, Shannon and Shannon) went out and we had a fantastic time.  Hard to believe a year has passed and I miss her so.  This year we went again.  It was O’s first race and she was lukewarm about it.  I’m not a huge race fan, but there is something about feeling the thunder in the stands as the cars go by and being  under the lights that gets the adrenaline going.  O roots for “Smoke” (a.k.a. Tony Stewart) and I will pull for Junior (Dale Earnhardt, Jr.) because he drives the 88 National Guard car.  Y’all know that no matter what I have going on in my life, I love our Soldier boys and girls (and Marines, Airmen, Coasties…)

Last weekend we met up with a long time friend, M, and her husband JT and went to the SC State Fair. It was my first state fair.  Ever.  Seriously.  It was okay.  Fabul-O rode some rides…and Uncle JT got his first ride on the Wacky Worm roller coaster.  They don’t have children, so it was a super treat for him.  O kept her head down until the very end, at which time she proclaimed she had a fantastic time.

We ate fried pickles…I couldn’t bring myself to have fried butter even though I wanted to so, so badly.  And I also managed to stay away from the Krispy Kreme burger known by many as a Luther Burger.

And one of us sacked out before we made it back to the interstate to come home.

We had a good time.  I have always said friends are the family we get to choose and M has been part of my family since 1992.  Wish we saw them more often.

It was a nice couple of family days.  The sun was shining brightly and the weather was perfect.  Days aren’t always this good, but I’m trying to make note of all the good and, one of these days, they should outweigh the bad.  I hope.

Coming soon…an attempt at apple picking.

By now, I’m sure many of you have read Single Dad Laughing’s post “The Disease Called Perfection.”  It got my attention.  I nodded my head as I read through it and felt like some of the burdens on my shoulders were trying to get off.

Some time back, a dear friend confided in me with some happenings in her life.  When she told me, all I could muster up was wow….I never saw that coming.   I then felt I needed to confide in her with some things that have been going on in my life so she would know that when I told her I understood that I truly did and wasn’t giving an obligatory nicety.   She responded with something along the lines of she thought I had the perfect life.  She thought that not because of a perfect picture I paint, but because of what I don’t share.  Folks, let me tell you.  My life is far from perfect.  The only perfect part of my life is Olivia and it even has its challenges for me.  Let me just go ahead and say this…not one time have I ever regretted the decision to be a parent.  Not one time have I ever regretted choosing China as the country from which we would adopt.  Not one time have I ever felt pressured about being a parent.  And, lastly, not one time in my entire life has my heart ever been filled with so much love.  But, even as full as my heart is with love with her and for her, it is empty for so many other things.

This post has been circling in my brain for a very long time.  I’ve mentioned before about some struggles I’ve had going on in my life, but I’ve never mentioned all of them.  Some of them are from within me.  My need to be able to help everyone when they need it and to not fail. My biggest fear is failing.  At anything.  Another of my struggles is balance.  How to balance working (until this past February two jobs), being a mom and now PTA chair, Girl Scout leader, and FRG leader for our unit.  This last one was a tough decision for me and I felt as though I probably shouldn’t take on the responsibility.  Once I wade through all my shortcomings as a person and all my anxiety and fears I carry within me, comes the biggest struggle of all with failure tagging along.

For over two years, I’ve been struggling to keep my marriage together with this past year being the most draining on me.  I found out during my review at work back in the summer exactly how much having problems behind the scenes affected me.  I can count on one hand how many people know what has been going on.  I am not going into detail because I don’t think it’s fair to Will or necessary.  It has been the hardest two years of my life by far and, right now, I can’t tell you how this story will end.  I’m hoping for the best, whatever that may be.  I’m not perfect.  I get angry, frustrated, slam doors and cry.  I am carrying a grudge, disappointment, anger, hatred, and an overwhelming feeling of not being good enough.  My self esteem no longer exists.  I have shut down.  I have sunk to a level of being blue that I struggle to recover from.  I have friends who think I’ve abandoned them and no longer want to be friends or care about them.   I feel as though I’m letting Olivia down and that guilt is, by far, the largest.  I also didn’t, and still don’t, want to be the center of conversation or gossip.

I am trying to learn how to regain my self esteem and accept the fact that I am good enough.  I’m trying to learn forgiveness.  I’m trying to learn to let go of the anger and hatred I’m harboring.  I’m trying to learn to move forward and have things be better.  So far, I’m really not doing so good, but I also know it’s not an overnight process.  It took years to get to this point and will take time to get back to whatever my new normal will be.

To those who think I’ve abandoned them: I’m sorry.  I wanted to tell you, but couldn’t.  It’s embarrassing.  Closing some doors was easier than having to talk about it.

To those who have lent me shoulders, ears and wiped my tears: Thank you.

Every day I wake up trying and hope for a better day than the one before it.  Hopefully, one of these days, it will all fall back into place.

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Today was Olivia’s first day of kindergarten.  I had my big, nasty, “cleansing” cry last night and I only welled up a couple  of times this morning.   Being a parent brings with it so many feelings of inadequacy.  Am I doing the right thing?  Am I making the right decisions?  All Olivia knows is in the past 3 months I have made more changes to her daily schedule than I have in the past four years.

This was an email I typed to Mar last night:

I’m a blubbering mess.  It’s not like she’s never gone anywhere before.  She’s been in school since forever.  She did 2K, 3K, and 4k.  Now she’s a kindergartner and I’m heart broken.  The little teeny tiny baby who screamed her head off when I held her for the first time will start school tomorrow.  I have made her lunch and tucked her lunchbox note in it.  I’ve tried to get her ready, but I don’t think I’ve done enough.  Is she in the “good” class? What did they use to decide what class she belonged in?   If she was at her other school I know what we were up against.  I can’t make any more treats.  Everything has to be store  bought.  I joined the PTA.  I am going to chair the canned food drive.  Where has the time gone and why haven’t I done more?  Is it because I’m a bad parent or is it because I didn’t want to face the fact that my baby is going to school.  She has a back pack, will buy her lunch and carry her tray to the table and have quiet time instead of nap.  When Will told her we going out to eat tomorrow night so we could talk about her first day, she asked why.  We told her it was because tomorrow is a big day for her; she’s an official big girl now. she said, “That’s so sweet of you.  Thank you, but we don’t have to.”  Then I told her it was okay, she could pay.  She told me she would take “8 change and some dollars” and she would take care of it.  I hope her new teacher appreciates her like everyone else has.  I’m afraid she’s getting ready to get lost in a sea of numbers and not be appreciated for the Fab she is.  Oh, Mar….am I going to make it?

And then mom talked me off the ledge.  I was okay after that except for the puffy eyes, nonstop running nose and a headache that would have made a nun cuss.

This little girl:

is this little girl:

Just little more grown up.   And I love her so very, very much.

“I saw a cute boy at the pool today.  He was wearing shorts, a hat, and a whistle necklace.  He didn’t have no shirt on.  Oh, Mommy.  He was so cute.  He has dark curly hair and skin just.like.mine.”  And I was too awe struck by this conversation to correct her grammar.

Gah.  The “b” word.  The word every parent dreads to hear.  Boy.  B.O.Y.  Honestly, I never really thought I’d be hearing it at the tender age of 5-1/2.  You all may remember the super tough time we had transitioning to the Y from the private school she has been at since the tender age of 15 months old.   Well, at the Y they spent hours a day in the pool.  A couple of hours in the morning, come in for lunch and rest time and then head back out for their afternoon swim followed by swimming lessons.  Well, the boy with the whistle necklace was a lifeguard, just in case you haven’t figured that one out yet.   For blogging sakes, we’ll just call him the boy who stole my girl’s attention and for a blinking moment she thought someone in the world was cooler than her mommy Buoy.  ‘Cause buoys float and, well, lifeguards work hard to make sure people don’t sink.

So, Olivia has noticed Buoy.  A very tan young man with the most gorgeous curls.  And I’ll admit, my daughter has good taste in her first crush.  Each day she would give me another piece of information on him.  What his name was, where he went to high school, and how old.  He is 21, as per “the girl who went to high school with him.  They graduated together, so she knows this stuff, ya’ know.  Because when you graduate with someone you know this stuff about people.  Do you think I can wear two pigtails to the Y tomorrow.  You know, like Abby on NCIS.”   I think my exact response was something along the lines of, “whoa, sister.  Back it up just a bit.”

I wasn’t quite prepared for it.  Didn’t say too much about it at first, except to share the news with a few folks.  I mainly limited it to those who share my DNA.  Okay, maybe a few more.  Since that didn’t help, I threw it out as my FB status.  Now, let me say, this was huge in O’s world.  Massive, if you will.  She took this crush very, very seriously and I never mocked her over it.  I may have shared the story, but I never once mocked her first crush.  She would say his name so dreamily.  We watched The Pacifier one weekend and she told me, “He [Vin Diesel] is cute, but he’s not nearly as cute as Buoy.”  Oy vey.

So it begins…..

We are alive and well.  I’m still searching for my happy place and to get my zen back.  I think we’re going on about two years now, but, for the first time in a long time, I think I am actually getting close.  My heart and mind seem to be getting on the right track, now if I can just get the chip off my shoulders I will be there.  Just so you know, being a total control freak wreaks havoc and loosening the grip is so very hard.  Baby steps, right?

Now, to break out the super cool bullets of what’s going on and what will (hopefully) follow in future blog posts.

  • We didn’t have a garden this year, but mom and dad did and I’ve been lucky enough to be the recipient of some of the fruits of their labor.  I have shelled butter beans and like it less now then when I was a kid.  I’ve learned to can.  That’s a whole post in itself.  Blueberry season is here.  I haven’t been picking, but a family friend has and has shared his crops with us.  We have squash, squash, squash, tomatoes, squash, zucchini, squash, tomatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, butter beans, cantaloupe and watermelon.  Thanks mom and dad!  xoxo
  • Olivia has her first crush.  BIG crush.  It, too, is a post all its own.
  • Survived the transition to the Y.  In a couple of weeks she’ll be moving again to the place where she’ll attend after school care.  Hoping it will go more smoothly.
  • Running still sucks.  Hugely.
  • Jillian Michaels has azz kicking DVDs and it’s hard resisting the urge to sit and watch them with a bag of Cheez Puffs.
  • I cried during Toy Story 3 and even caught myself saying, “nooo!”  Will laughed at me.  Only because he has a cold heart and wasn’t moved like the rest of us.
  • I turned 37 on the 15th.  Either I felt old before, or the transition to getting older is easier than it used to be.

Hope all is well with y’all!

Be well,

Susan

This weekend I have four days off, which is very unusual for me. While I am enjoying four days of not working and am headed to the coast to spend time with my family, I know Memorial Day is more than days off, picnics and potato salad. We remember those who serve, have served in the past and those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. We continue to stand tall for, and honor, those who protect us.

As you enjoy whatever it is you will do this weekend, please take time to remember those who have answered our country’s call.

Fabul-O is on vacation with my parents.  She left Wednesday night and is enjoying five days of constant doting, late bedtime, boat rides, fishing and learning about crab pots.  She’s having a blast.  She’s also informing my mom that we bought her.  I thought when we addressed it and she said she understood how adoption works, etc. that we could move on.  Apparently, her little brain isn’t quite sure how to process the information and use it. She still has seeds of doubt because she is harping on it.  That’s what she does when she can’t wrap her mind completely around something and make it make sense.  I’m fine with that because I know how she functions and it helps me to come up with my next plan of attack.  I read another mom’s blog tonight and it appears that she’s facing a similar situation at her daughter’s preschool class.  And it chaps my ass.  Really.  Truly.


Those who know me in real life know two aspects of my reactions…one is of a calm, cool, collected, let’s see how it works out before we do anything else.  When I reach my breaking point, the other is one who takes no crap from people and lays a verbal smackdown that leaves them cross-eyed.  Regarding things with O, I have to watch how I say things and what I do because of, “out of the mouths of babes.”  Or do I?  Why do I always have to be the one with the good manners and the soft approach?  Why do I have to be the one that has to explain how screwed up everyone else is in their closed-minded ways of thinking?  Why do I have to take the doormat approach and let them verbally smack around my family while I listen to half-hearted apologies and then accept it while turning the other cheek.  Let’s leave being Christian out of this for a minute or two.  I am strong in my faith and know about turning the other cheek, etc.  But I am tired of it.  Plain and simple.  My mother is 4 hours away not 100% sure how to handle the conversation with Olivia.  I told her how I handled it and she carried through with the consistency.

I’m tired of it.  I’ve gotten many compliments on the way I handled the situation and how I expressed concern.  Do y’all really want to know what I think?  This is it…


I’m sick and tired of some azzhole parent/relative/friend of/person/whoever thinking they have the G*d given right to say whatever lays on the end of their tongue in front of children, or grown-ups for that matter.  You know what? Screw your “freedom of speech.”  When you are affecting the molding and shaping of my child with your racist, asinine, uninformed opinions and ideas, you lose that right.  You can cuss your child, you can do whatever you want to with yours, but leave mine out of it.  If you have questions about where Chinese babies come from, let me tell you.  If you want to assume you know why we adopted, let me clear it up.  If you think your closed-minded, selfish, misinformed information is the gospel, you are wrong.  You people don’t know anything about me.  I didn’t grow up in your community.  My child has gone to your school because of convenience and you have a Chr*st centered program.  Wanna know how that’s going for you? It’s sucking hugely in the pre-K classes, FYI.


When Olivia pushed a child, I addressed it head on the with affected parent and child.  When Olivia made fun of your child because he has a big head…Oh, wait.  She didn’t do that because I taught my child that all people are different and the way they look is how they are supposed to and how would she like it if people poked fun at her.  OH, wait.  They do.  And she takes it because that is what a grown-up is supposed to do.  But she’s not a grown up.  She’s a 5-year-old who wants to say, “screw you,” but is afraid because it goes against what I taught her.  She knows it’s not right when kids say mean things and call her names and try to make her eat bugs because “that’s what Chinese people do.”  She is a 5-year-old who practices restraint, grace and composure.  She is a 5-year-old who wants to say your child is an azzhole with a big mouth and deserves to have the ever-loving crap beat out of him, but she doesn’t because she is a freaking awesome kid who turns the other cheek.  She gets angry and knows it’s not fair that she has to take shit but no one else does.  She has approximately 6 weeks left at this school and then we’re moving on to the next phase of her post-toddlerhood life.  For the next 6 weeks, she can respond however she wants to.  I’m tired of being the one who has to listen to the school apologize for other kids and parents.  You know what, it’s time for you to apologize on behalf of the Chinese kid who stood up for herself and quit taking crap.  She’s not a “meek” child.  She is a well-mannered child who is learning to choose her battles.  Unfortunately, you are making it hard for her to differentiate between a battle and a regular day at school.  It’s a blur because they are virtually one in the same.

To those who want to know what makes my opinions right and theirs wrong?  I tell you.  It’s facts.  You don’t have to do mounds of resarch.  G00gle it.  It’s fact.  It’s common sense stuff, people.  Stop gossiping.  Stop it.  Stop it.  Be an adult and STOP IT.  You want to pick a fight, do it with me.  I am the representative of my family.  I am dying to let you know how it feels to be belittled and made to feel inadequate.

I am a nice person.  Most days one of the nicest people you’ll meet.  I say that with my head high and with confidence that you can not take away from me. This bullsh*t is making me less nice and I don’t like it.
To wrap up all this rambling that is a direct result of my level of disgust:  You suck and I’m not going to take your crap anymore and I’m going to let my child handle it how she feels is fit.  If she chooses to continue taking the high road, then I’m proud of the little person she is.  If she chooses to tell you how she feels in her own words and way, I’m still proud of the little person she is.  But I will tell you this, if she sheds one tear…one 1/100000 of a tear, I’m stepping in and will likely use words that will make my mother’s jaw drop.  You’ve been warned and I might just do it anyway.

To all non-adoptive parents, friends of non-AP, families of non-AP and anyone else who thinks this might be cute: Please, please, please don’t ever say adopted children are bought to another human being, especially around children who have no filter from their ear to their mouth. Want to know why? Because someone did and their +/-5 year old child heard it and that child told MY child that we bought her from another mommy. If you don’t believe in adoption. Fine. If you don’t believe in International adoption. Fine. If you don’t believe white people need to raise a child of another race then that’s on you. She’s a child. Not a commodity.

This is not the first time this has happened and I know it won’t be the last. Let me just try to tell you how freaking hard it is to stare into the most beautiful brown eyes God ever placed in a child’s head and see doubt about our family dynamic. Again. Do you know how hard it is to tell a child, without being utterly rude and disrespectful, that someone surely must have smoked crack or was just plain ignorant when they made that statement? Do you know how hard it is to try and teach your child patience, manners, love, tolerance and understanding for others and then try to reassure them that your teachings are good things and the behavior exhibited by others is what is not right? It’s hard. There is no hiding anything about Olivia’s past or how we became a family. We embrace it. We cherish it. We are privileged that we are adoptive parents. On top of that, we are PROUD of it. We aren’t saints because we adopted. We didn’t do a good deed. And I assure you it is not my ticket into Heaven.

I work hard to instill good values in my child and it shows. She is one of the most polite, well-mannered children and I’m proud to say that’s my teaching. Something else I’m having to teach her, much earlier than I had planned, is that a lot of times people don’t think before they speak and, even if they do, they don’t realize how just out of touch with reality some comments are. I’m learning that 5 is a very delicate age. Olivia is learning to define herself with the things she does. She’s a girly-girl and puts on two coats of lip gloss every morning. She crosses her legs and sits up straight. She thinks being a princess is marvelous half the time and the other half she and her superhero friends spend saving the world. If I tell her once I tell her 100 times how much I love her. She knows she is one of my favorite people in the world and that there is no love greater than our love. Something else also works to define her: the people with whom she interacts – mainly on the playground. It takes me so much time to undo the meanness, the bad words and all the other traits that she has picked up from other kids. A key phrase at Chateau L is, “just because so-and-so does it doesn’t make it right.” And it doesn’t. And I know that not everyone believes the way we do, but the core values we teach are the common sense, across the board, everyone should have them values.

You have a right to your thoughts, opinions and beliefs the same that every other person does, but what you don’t have the right to do is make my child feel she is less than adequate because she doesn’t fit your mold. Every parent wants to protect their child, and I’m no different. My final lesson to Olivia was this: Ignorance isn’t born. It’s learned and some people just don’t get it.

Be mindful of what you teach your children, please, because I’m getting tired of explaining you to my child.

Life at Chateau L hasn’t been all sunshiney and picket fences of late.  There have been some ups and downs.  Quite honestly, more downs than ups.  There have been days where I didn’t know which way I should turn and how I could manage to make one more decision.  It’s been trying, to say the least, and while I try to remember all the good I have going, the down side of it has been really, really down and it makes it super difficult to keep forging on.  With that comes feelings of failure.  Being a failure has always been one of my biggest fears.  I mean, who wants to fail?

My new card reader is sitting on my nightstand waiting to be plugged in to download pictures from vacation last NOVEMBER.  There are pictures from Christmas and New Year’s people want to see.  Then there’s Fabul-O’s fifth birthday party.  Her first milestone party.  Five.  Can you believe it?  In my bout of lacklusterness, depression, hibernation, or whatever you want to call it, I didn’t post about our four year anniversary of being a family.  I re-read my original blog post from the day I boarded the flight to China.  I relived that whole day right down to the Chinese man who insisted on eating grape tomatoes at the gate in Chicago and me trying not to heave all over the terminal.  I relived a fight Will and I had.  I relived every moment and every emotion of that trip and it made me sad.  It made me sad because I was finally going to achieve a level of life I had longed so much for…being a mom.  I have been sucked into a vortex and I can’t seem to get out of it.

Way back when I posted about doing the Marine Corps Mud Run in the fall.  I have lacked the desire and motivation to get started training.  I have a dear bloggy friend, who I’m truly inspired by, but I let my own pity and wallowing stand in my way of getting ready for it.  I have the shoes.  I have the earbuds that *shouldn’t* pop out when I run.  I have the gym membership to begin getting fit.

I have let myself sink to a low that I’m having trouble regaining ground from.  People who see me face to face don’t see this.  There are two people in my “real” life who have heard the heartache and anguish I’ve been going through.  It’s hard to admit failure and it’s even harder to try and get back on your feet from it.

There were some pretty exciting changes that had been on the horizon for Chateau L that are no longer even a glimmer.  I don’t know if they ever will be.  Certain parts of my future are uncertain.  As much as I want the white picket fences and bright, sunshiney skies….they just aren’t here right now and I don’t know when I will be able to see them.

When my alarm goes off in the morning, I will get up and start my day and hope that the hardness in my heart will be soft once again.  Forgiveness isn’t something I’ve ever been good at, and, as much as I want to be good at it, I am simply struggling so hard with it.

One of these days I’ll show you the pictures of the one reason most of you still hang around, but getting that spark just isn’t there.

Tomorrow I start my Couch-to-5k training.  I am hoping to be able to run my first 5K in 8 weeks.  We’ll see, I suppose.

Yes, comments are disabled.

Hi, I’m Susan…slacker blogger extraordinaire.   But it’s not without a reason.  (Never said it was a good reason).  Diznee pictures are screaming to get off my evil CF card.  I didn’t buy a new reader before now because Will needed something to get me for Christmas.  And he did.  Along with a minimuffin pan that our secret blurter gave away.  Conversation was a little something like this:

Me:  Olivia, if you and daddy go shopping, I’d like to have one of the muffin pans that has a bunch of little holes in them to make tiny muffins.

Olivia: We already got that for you so we can’t buy it again.

So, now I we had this dumbass brilliant idea to rearrange the living room.  When it’s only the size of a shoe box to begin with, you ain’t got a lot of options.  But let me tell you what we used to move the heavier-than-hell-two-ton entertainment center.  The same entertainment  center, which was empty, that took 3 men to bring in the house when we first bought it.  The same entertainment center we pinky swore would be sold with the house should anyone ever decide they want to live her after us.  We used these.  But we used the ones designed for hardwoods because I was paranoid of still scratching our floor with these because the package didn’t specifically state, “Susan, don’t fret, your floor will be fine.”  And that damn thing is so heavy, the entertainment center now has slippers because we aren’t lifting it to remove them.  Oh, yeah. We never unloaded it…still has the t.v., Wii, DVD player, mack daddy huge tuner thingy for our surround sound, all our DVDs and CDs in it.  Slid like a cold knife through tepid butter.  Meaning: not without some effort, but we certainly didn’t break a sweat and no one complained about it.

Rearranging brought with it the asinine idea to drag everything out of hiding so we can sort through it.  Oh, yeah.  We’re also trying to prime and paint the addition at the same time.  Nobody ever said I we were good planners.

Pictures to resume on my next night of insomnia, which is likely soon.

I hope your Christmas/Holiday/Festivity, whatever you celebrated, was Merry and Bright and your New Year totally rocks.

Olivia has been talking for a while about getting her ears pierced.  She decided today was the day.  You can’t tell, but she chose the purple daisy earrings.  She didn’t cry at all.  She held my hand tight and when all was done, I could tell she wanted to cry, but instead said, “I’m a big girl, mommy.”  Yes, she is.  Getting too big too fast.

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