Four Months

30 Aug

It’s been four months since I’ve posted anything. Almost five months. Quite frankly the longest amount of time I’ve ever gone not writing on here. What’s happened? A lot – but nothing you likely care about.

I realized, as I was re-reading some of my last posts, that I was making this blog more of a “this is what I did today” blog than what I had intended it to be – a digital diary. So I’m going to go back to that format. I’m going to write what I think, and what I need to get off my chest, and am going to try (TRY) not to care if I offend anyone – namely family and in-law family.

First, how adorable are they?!

Toad and Babygirl are doing wonderfully. Toad has been sleeping much better (although he still needs melatonin in order to do so, but the doctor, and we, are fine with that) and Babygirl has blossomed a great deal this summer. As you can see she’s doing her best to bring the 80′s back LOL.

Scott’s fine – he still hates work, but that will likely never change unless he gets a new position somewhere else. He’s been an ENORMOUS help this past year with the photography business and has taken over all of the financial aspect of it, which has taken tons of stress off of me.

How am I?

Happy
Frustrated
Tired
Stressed
Frustrated
Grumpy
Sad
Frustrated
Silly
Crazy
Frustrated
Frustrated
Frustrated…

Oh – wait – I wrote frustrated more than once, didn’t I? But why am I so frustrated you may ask? Okay, you probably wouldn’t ask because you would be worried about the answer. I’m frustrated about, well, everything. Life, basically. I get frustrated that my emotions aren’t where I want them to be, and frustrated that I’m not spending as much time as I want to with the kids, and that I don’t have the house as clean as I’d like it, and that I can’t seem to change a lot of things that I’d like to change, and most especially that I don’t handle stress now very well at all.

Remember that little breakdown in February? The one where I didn’t get off the couch for about a month? Ever since then, I can’t handle stress anywhere near as well as I used to. Now it seems like simple little things, such as the kids asking if they can have a candy bar even though it’s only 1 1/2 hours until dinner time but they swweeaarrrr that they’re really hungry stresses me out. I don’t know what to answer. Do I say ‘yes’ and hope that they really are hungry? Do I say ‘no’ and make them suffer? Lately I’ve been having Scott make those decisions.

Example: we’re at the grocery store. Babygirl asks if she can buy a bottle of some drink or other. Before February? I’d decide. Now my decision is: “ask your father”.

Fortunately Scott’s been amazing at handling these things, and I’m so, SO grateful to him.

Yet sometimes I still feel alone.

One of my closest friends friends lives a number of hours away. In the past she’s driven back to this area and has stayed at our house while she is visiting with friends and family. I usually get to spend a few hours with her catching up before she heads back.

I found out she’s back. She’s here. She’s not staying with me – didn’t ask to – and is instead staying with her sister-in-law who she claimed to hate. Maybe things changed – I don’t know – all I know is that we haven’t been close for a long time, and I miss that.

My sister-in-law (the only one who actually gives a crap about this part of their family and boy don’t I have a story to write about THAT) is focusing on her mother. We’ve seen very little of her, or her fiance, this summer and I can feel that relationship disintegrating as well.

My cousin does weddings with me, and she’s very sweet, but I wind up being her therapist half the time rather than her equal.

My husband is, again, wonderful and I love talking with him, but he’s inside of the situation and sometimes I just want someone who is outside of things. Someone who can see things differently and maybe someone who will occasionally be there to say, “okay, you’re right, you really don’t fit in – but you know why? Because you’re amazing and they’re all freakish idiots and let’s go get some chocolate fudge brownie ice cream and watch a stupid sappy movie together while we bitch about life – okay?”

Trust me, I don’t mind being told if I’m fucking up or if I’m the one who has made the mistake, but this not having anyone – this feeling so alone?

Sucks.

Ass.

The funny thing about this is that if you were to know me in person? You’d think I was hilarious. You’d think that I was full of life and vim and vigor and that there was absolutely nothing wrong with me that a diet wouldn’t cure.

I’m a really good actress.

I wonder if Anne Hathaway or Julia Roberts are lonely.

Playing Well with Others

17 Apr

One of the things I’ve always wanted to do was to be very involved in the community we live in as well as the school my children go to. For the past five years I’ve dropped them off and picked them up and have slowly gotten to know the teachers and the administration in the school. I can now bring our dog Duke into the school without dealing with eye-rolling (side note: I cleared it with the principal the first time I ever took him in). I’ve gotten my name out there enough that I was asked to be a part of the board that selects our new principal.

Our current principal has been there 8 years, and we have a history of having principals who stay in the school a long time. When you add to that the fact that this is the PRINCIPAL, it’s a daunting task. About 16 of us were selected – some teachers, some community, and some parents, to work together to select a principal. Once a week we’ve gotten together for a few hours to do various tasks, and last night was our first night interviewing candidates.

Three of the candidates that we’re interested in do not live in the state, so we did some Skype interviewing! It was very cool to utilize technology this way and I loved that we didn’t have to pay lots of money to fly candidates here when we weren’t sure about them yet. But once again I was the outsider.

Let me backtrack: I fancy myself a good judge of character. There have been a number of time when Scott would admonish men for “judging someone before you know them”, and then, not too long after, he’ll retract his words and say that I was right in the first place. I don’t believe I “judge” people – I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, but I think my intuition when it comes to people is pretty spot on.

The first candidate we interviewed was from a long way away. I had concerns over this candidate’s (let’s call them candidate A) various moves. Candidate A did manage to make me feel better about the moves, but there was something about Candidate A that just didn’t seem right. It was one of those things that was really hard to put my finger on. One thing I do know is that the main profession that Candidate A studies is something I’m very familiar with, and all of the people who tend to be in this field tend to be a bit pretentious. Candidate A was definitely a little pretentious. Candidate A did their research and had looked up information about our school, but it was all about facts and figures. Candidate A has a lot of theory, but no practice behind this theory. In all honesty I don’t think that Candidate A is capable of the job.

Candidate B was a teacher for a long time before accepting a position as a principal. While Candidate B has had a rough time at their current school, it was not due to Candidate B’s actions and actually Candidate B has managed to hold things together better than anyone could expect. Candidate B’s responses were warm and sincere and Candidate B is the type of person I could see as principal who would make my kids feel safe, secure, and who they would be comfortable going to. Candidate B was all about “what’s best for the children”, but it was when Candidate B made the comment that children went into the principal’s office less and less simply because they didn’t want to disappoint their principal that sold me on this candidate.

So two candidates. My problem? Almost everyone thought that Candidate A was the better choice of the two. Yes, Candidate A could spout facts and figures – but you could easily see that he was simply reading them off of a document he had on his computer. Candidate A was all about research. I do research for a living – it’s easy to make yourself sound like you’re a genius about a certain topic when you’re not. Give me a little time and I could make you believe I was an expert on just about anything (save mechanics – mechanics and I don’t get along). So the fact that Candidate A knew facts and figures didn’t impress me at all, but it seemed to light a spark with everyone else. They all thought that Candidate A was amazing and were gushing over Candidate A and wondering how quickly we could get them here for an in-person interview.

Meanwhile Candidate B, the one who actually HAS experience as a principal and who seemed to be the perfect fit for our school didn’t get anywhere near as much praise. While the team wants to interview Candidate B in person, they weren’t as excited about this candidate.

There’s just something about Candidate A that doesn’t ring true. I don’t care if people disagree with me – that’s their right and I love that people have their own opinions. But I don’t feel like I’m getting my thought across correctly. I don’t think that people are seeing what I see nor are they trying to. It feels like I’m trying to tell a Mac lover that there are other computers in the world – like talking to a brick wall.

Babygirl’s Oreo Birthday

13 Apr

Yesterday Babygirl turned 8.

Hang on while I resign myself to the fact that she’s growing up…

Okay, I think I’ve come to terms with the fact that she’s 8. Okay, maybe not, but we’ll move on.

I had planned on writing a lengthy diatribe about how amazing she is and how much we love her, but then I got sidetracked. I had to pick up balloons and get Wendys to deliver to her at school for lunch as a surprise (which she loved). I had to make a pumpkin roll, get work done, and I was watching a photography class online as well, so trust me when I say I was BUSY!

Babygirl came home from school (in the new outfit she’d gotten to open in the morning) and was excited to open her presents. Once Scott got home I told her that I’d love to give her presents but she needed to do a few quick birthday shots in the studio for me. The studio door is always shut to keep the cats (and kids) out, and when she opened it she saw something special…

Meet Oreo! Babygirl’s been going on for awhile about wanting a hamster, and I’ll admit at first Scott was NOT for it. We already have 4 cats and 3 dogs, so I can’t blame him, but come on, it’s a HAMSTER, it’s not like it’s another huge animal. Once I pointed out that Babygirl is a huge help in taking care of the other pets in the house, he relented. Unfortunately I had to drive over an hour away to pick up this little sweetheart simply because our local pet store only has teddy bear hamsters, and these fancy bear hamsters tend to be a lot more gentle than teddy bear hamsters.

Isn’t she cute?

Babygirl also got the Bratz Catz doll she’s been begging for – now this is a huge deal because I have BANNED Bratz from my house. I hate the things. They’re creepy looking and make little girls want to dress like cheap hookers. The Catz dolls aren’t quite as bad as the normal ones, though, and considering that all she asked for was the doll and a hamster, it was kind of hard to refuse.

Last night after we attended a school function we came home and ate a celebratory Chinese dinner. As soon as she was done she darted off to her bedroom to watch Oreo. I sat with her for awhile and we talked about taking care of her and training her. She was pretty upset that Oreo would let me pet her but ran when Babygirl put her hand in the cage. I explained that it made sense because I’ve been working with her for a few days.

This morning Babygirl woke up and immediately went to Oreo’s cage. Oreo was running around and I suggested that Babygirl try to give her a little treat. She’d tried yesterday and Oreo wanted nothing of it. This morning, however, she took it right from Babygirl’s hand!

She turned to me. “MOM! She took it right from my hand! And it only took one day!!”

That huge smile. That look. That excitement. THAT is why I love my Babygirl.

Happy, Happy Birthday Babygirl. You are more amazing than I could ever have hoped that you would be and you make me smile all the time. I can’t wait to see how you and Oreo bond.

The Birthday Boy

6 Apr

Dear Scott,

You’re coming home at noon today, and while I love any day you get to come home early, today I’m really excited. Why? Because it’s your birthday!! When we first got together you weren’t a huge birthday person. You had no problem celebrating the children’s birthdays but you thought that an adult birthday was sort of silly. “It’s just another day”, you would say.

Slowly you started to realize that a birthday isn’t just another day, but is actually a very, VERY special day. It’s the one day out of 365 that you can call your own. The last few years you have created some amazing birthdays for me, and I so, SO appreciate it. You’re always way better than I am when it comes to birthdays and Christmas – probably because you break the bank every time and get mad at me if *I* break the bank on you, so I’ve had to get creative.

I’ve got a few little surprises up my sleeve today, starting at 12 when some XXX action may be happening…insert evil grin here…and goes into tonight. We’re celebrating with the kids, and alone, so hopefully I can give you the best of both as I know you love being a father as much as you love being a husband.

Scott – you are amazing. I’m currently writing a letter that I’m going to leave for you to read before you come inside, which is why I’m keeping this pretty short. As I write it tears of joy are escaping because I realize how amazingly fortunate I am to have a man like you in my life.

I love you Scott.

Happy birthday.

All Over the News

29 Mar

I’m pretty secretive about myself online. I give readers my name, and my husbands name, but I protect my children’s names just because eventually Google will rule the earth and I want to protect them as much as I can. Wait – Google already rules the earth. Ah well.

I live in Vermont. I’ve always been proud to live in Vermont. Scott and I live in a very small area of Vermont and are so rural that it takes us over an hour just to get to a Walmart (BTW, Target has boycotted VT – what’s up with that?). I love the fact that you can walk down the street, smile at someone, and know, with relative certainty, that they will smile back at you. I love the fact that there are under 100 kids in my children’s school, and the simple fact that you can go into the woods and escape from everything if you want to.

It’s also a fairly safe area to live in. There are no real gangs, you don’t hear about car jackings or muggings, like, EVER, and while we do have some crime, it’s nothing compared to what I’ve heard about in large cities.

That’s why when we heard on Monday morning that a local teacher – one who lives a very short distance away from us – was missing and her 2 year old son was found alive and unharmed in her car, the entire area went on alert and started looking for her. A few hours later, she was found – dead. It rocked the community.

This is Melissa Jenkins. Isn’t she gorgeous?

She has a 2 year old son and is a single mom.

Or…she was.

Vermont is a great place to live, but there have been a number of documented cases where a murder occurs and no one is charge for a very long time. Both Scott and I worried that whomever did this to this sweet woman (who was a science teacher and worked part-time as a waitress as well) would never be brought to justice.

We were wrong.

Yesterday there was a press conference where it was announced that they had taken two people into custody who were being charged with 2nd degree murder and improperly disposing of a body. The affidavit documents state that Melissa Jenkins had been strangled and was left, nude, near (or partially in) a lake and was covered up with boughs.

Two people who strangled a single, hard-working mother.

Two MARRIED PEOPLE.

These two.

 

Allen Prue and his wife, Patricia Prue, were arraigned and are currently being held without bail in a local jail. According to court documents the two lured the sweet teacher onto a deserted road by claiming that their vehicle had broken down. The documents also state that Allen “got the idea to get a girl”, and that was how this whole thing stated.

What they didn’t plan on was Melissa being far smarter than they were. She called friends and told them that she was going to help the man who used to plow her driveway, and even left her business card with information on it on her counter. She took all of the precautions that you should take whenever you’re meeting someone and feel uncomfortable, and she still died.

I find a slight comfort in the situation – my number 1 comfort is that her 2 year old son is fine. He was unharmed (aside from his mother being murdered). I told Scott that I’m sure that her last thoughts were of him, and that she is grateful that he is unharmed, as any mother would be. My second comfort is the fact that Allen and Patricia have been arrested. Allen basically confessed although he later went on to plead not guilty. I have no idea where they will find a jury for this, if it goes to trial, because everyone, and I mean EVERYONE knows about it.

One thing that most people don’t understand, though, is why this is such a big deal. People are murdered in places like New York City and Los Angeles all the time – why is one person being killed worthy of being on the front page of MSNBC?

Because these types of things don’t happen often here. We’re not a city or state – we’re a community. We band together and try to protect one another. Even now there are numerous fundraisers going on to raise money for her son’s care. We DO smile and try to help one another, and it’s nothing to ask a complete stranger on the street if you can borrow their phone and to have them say “sure” and let you.

We’re a small community. A heinous thing happened. An amazing woman, who apparently I went to college with although I do not remember her (we had separate majors) was killed, a child was left without a mother.

BUT

The community bands together. We help one another through this. We support her son and do everything we can to make life as easy as possible for those caring for him.

We are a community. This matter will not be taken lightly. Justice will be served.

I try to find comfort in that.

Long

26 Mar

It’s been a long few weeks.

On the good side: the studio is 1/2 done! Almost all of the equipment is here and I’m really excited for the lighting, which should arrive in a few days.

On the bad side: I’ve been sick for over a week. Last week I had a seriously bad sore throat. The next thing I knew I had no voice – as in NO VOICE. I’m slowly getting it back but I sound like a teenage boy going through puberty right now.

On the annoying side: since I’ve had no voice the one thing I’ve heard over and over again is “you husband must be LOVING this” and other comments like “Randi? With no voice? THAT I have to see!” Maybe I’m just being fragile or overly sensitive but it’s making me feel like I talk far, far too much, and making me want to stop talking at all.

On the other bad side: Scott and I are on the outs right now. We had a bit of a go two nights ago, then yesterday called a truce and went to see The Hunger Games together. Last night found us worse off than we were the night before. I woke up to a long note from him this morning, but once again he thinks he knows what the problem is and he’s actually pretty off. This means I have to explain to him why I’m upset, and with my husband that means whacking him upside the head with it 10 different ways before he finally understands. I am NOT saying that my husband is stupid – not at all – but what he IS is stubborn. He gets something in his head and once he believes it, it takes a LOT of talking and maneuvering to get him to realize that what he thought was true may not necessarily be.

And oh look – a lovely email just popped up in my inbox from someone who is pissed off at me too. Great.

Monday – go suck it.

It Shouldn’t Bother Me

4 Mar

So I was on Facebook yesterday and today.

I know – nothing good happens when you start a sentence with “I was on Facebook”.

I noticed a cousin of mine posting photos about a sleigh/sledding party. I saw photos of other cousins there. It looked like everyone was having a blast.

My grandmother (who is currently in FL) got onto the chat this morning. I asked if she knew what had been going on.

“Yes,” she replied, “it was the annual sledding/sleigh party that your Aunt puts on as a Christmas gift for everyone.”

That is so nice. It’s a really sweet idea. To invite all of your family to a sledding/sleigh party in lieu of buying everyone their own gifts. It promote unity, family, and likely saves a heck of a lot of money as well.

Everyone had a great time.

Or so I assume.

See, my family wasn’t invited. Me, Scott, and the kids were excluded from the party.

Why were we excluded, you may be asking? Did I do something horribly wrong to that side of the family to make myself become the black sheep or something?

No.

If I were to run into this Aunt tomorrow, she’d be all hugs and kisses and asking after the kids. All of my cousins chat with me on FB and seem to have a fine relationship with me.

So why was I excluded?

I. Don’t. Know.

If this were the first time this had happened, or the second, or even the third I guess I could understand. But it’s not. This always happens. Every time they have a gathering, I am not invited. I understand them not inviting us for Christmas, as they do the party on Christmas day and we have our own celebration here, but why not invite us other times?

My close friend is telling me that I should “let it go”. That they’re all just jealous and that I don’t need them.

I want to let it go. I don’t want to be bothered by this. I don’t believe they’re jealous – I honestly think either they truly dislike me OR they simply exclude me because they forget I even exist.

I’m not quite sure which one hurts worse.

My husband used to yell at me for being upset about things like this. Now he just hugs me and says “I’m sorry baby.” He acts like I’m too good for them – like we don’t need them. His family, however, invites him to gatherings.

I know things are wonky with me right now. I had a bit of a breakdown yesterday – I think it was due to the high stress I was dealing with this weekend – it was a LOOONNNGGG weekend – and seeing those posts.

I feel fragile.
I feel sad.
I feel unwanted.
I feel unloved.
I feel frustrated.
I feel angry.
I feel….

Too. Much.

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