Saturday, November 26, 2005

We decided to leave Sharon and Joel's early since Jaden is sick. He hadn't thrown up in awhile, so we weren't worried about the trip being unpleasant because of that. We thought it would be better to just have him home.

The trip wasn't too bad considering that the kids didn't sleep nearly as much as on the way there. Jaden did sleep for a decent amount of time, since he didn't get much last night. Danielle only slept for about an hour, though. I think the DVD player really helped, though. The trip didn't seem nearly as short as the trip there, but it wasn't bad.

When we got home, Erin and Lisa were here with Kyle. Jaden really loved seeing Kyle. He seemed to be feeling much better, but we still put him to bed a bit early.

Friday, November 25, 2005

This morning, Linda, Joel and I went to Toys R Us. There was a really good deal on a toy I wanted to get for Spencer, but they were already out of it long before we got there. I was disappointed, but we ended up getting some other things anyway. The line wrapped all the way around the store, but Joel got in line while Linda and I were still shopping, so it wasn't too bad.

The day went well until after we put Jaden to bed. We all decided to play a game and were having lots of fun until we heard Jaden cry. We went in and Jaden said, "Mommy, I threw up." Sure enough, he had. That was just the first time of many. Unfortunately, he threw up several more times that night. I slept in his room with him and he was pretty miserable. I felt so bad for him.

It's funny but he's really cute when he's sick. He said, "I want to pray that God makes me not throw up anymore." And he's so cute and cuddly when he's sick. He signs "I love you" and just wants to talk to us. He wanted Scott to read his Bible to him too. Such a sweetie!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Today was Thanksgiving. It was nice to be at Sharon & Joel's for Thanksgiving and to spend some time getting to know Spencer. Apparently, he only sleeps for a half hour at a time. Poor Sharon! I don't know how she manages to keep sane.

Thanksgiving dinner was really good and interesting. Joel's sisterJennifer, who is a chef, made the meal. It was interesting to have homemade stuffing and cranberry sauce and other fixin's.

We had a really nice time hanging out with everyone.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Well, my mom said that this morning, my dad was truly sorry - more sorry than he's ever been in his life. He seemed to realize that he had done some major damage to our family and he was actually sorry about it. That really surprised me - usually, he would just try to sweep everything under the rug and pretend like he didn't really do anything all that bad. My mom told my dad that if he ever acts like that again, she'll leave him. I'm not sure if that makes me happy or sad. I have a feeling that if my mom left my dad, I would almost never see him again. She's the glue that holds our whole family together.

Erin and Lisa seemed to be happy that my dad was truly sorry - they even ventured that perhaps his outbursts are due to his diabetes or something. But, of course, they still don't particularly want anything to do with him right now. I have a feeling it's going to take awhile before things are normal again, if they ever are. I can't say that I blame them - if my dad talked to me the way that he talked to Erin, I don't know that I could ever really forgive him. Well, I suppose that I would try to because I know that that's what God wants us to do, but it would take some real healing time.

Anyway, we had a conference with Jaden's teacher, Miss Moll today. Nothing too new came up - we have already been talking a lot with her about the fact that Jaden is not very good at listening. He just doesn't want to do what they tell him to do and they've been having a hard time getting him to do anything without spending inordinate amounts of time and attention on him. So, we're working on it. We talked about how counting generally works and that he often listens after I ask him to repeat what I've asked him to do (and then remind him that he needs to listen and obey). It's frustrating that he's not doing well with listening, but I don't know what else we can do besides continue working with him.

We left this evening for St. Louis to spend Thanksgiving with Sharon and Joel. Linda came with - her first holiday without the girls. Linda got here a bit after 5:00, but, of course, we weren't ready to go. As usual, we were running late.

The drive to St. Louis went amazingly well. First of all, Linda brought a DVD player so that Jaden and Danielle could watch movies. They were mesmerized. Honestly, I think Jaden made about two peeps the entire ride. They watched about one and a half movies and then they both fell asleep and slept the rest of the ride. It took us about 5 and a half hours to get there, but the ride went really fast since we were chatting with Linda for most of it. We finally found out a lot more about what went wrong with her and Chris. We really hadn't realized that she was trying to keep them together and Chris really still wanted a divorce. He is pretty much just happy to live a bachelor's life - in fact, his best friend decided suddenly to ask his wife for a divorce as well and they are going out to bars together, etc. We also hadn't really thought about how tied to Chris Linda will still be and how much this will change every aspect of her life. She now can't make any kind of life decision without conferring with someone who is not directly involved in her life. And, she isn't just losing Chris - she's losing time with the girls and she's losing the close bond that she's formed with his family. Chris' family is actually having another dinner with everyone except Chris because they don't want to lose Linda. It just makes you put everything in perspective.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Well, today would qualify as a pretty horrible day. This afternoon, I got a call from Erin - he was crying and said that he was moving out of mom & dad's house and into a shelter. Apparently, my dad suddenly turned back into the person he was when I was a kid. He got mad at my brother for asking him to turn the TV down and went into a tirade, yelling and swearing and calling my brother all kinds of names. Kyle was there with them and he was crying and apparently Lisa was up all night crying because my dad just turned into this horrible person. I know what it's like - I remember. Erin kept saying that Dad must hate him because he would never talk to me that way. He's right about that - I don't know why Dad is a different person with me than with everyone else in the family.

Then, apparently, this morning, my dad continued to scream obscenities at Erin until he just left and called my mom. My mom called my dad, which made my dad even more angry because he thought that Erin was being a baby by calling my mom. He called him things like a sissy and a 4-year-old crybaby and he told him that he was going to crack his head open (all of this was, of course, peppered with swears and yelling). When Erin called me, I just couldn't believe that my dad was reverting back to that. It made me so sad. I thought maybe I could talk some sense into him, so I told my mom that I wanted to talk to him. When she got back to the house, she tried to get him to talk to me, but he wouldn't at first. Finally, he got on the phone with me. It was so ridiculous - I could hear him swearing in the background just before he got on the phone with me and then as soon as he picks up the phone he sounds completely reasonable - "I'm really sorry that you got dragged into this. We're going to work all of this out and I'm sorry that you ended up in the middle of it. It's not fair to you." I asked him how he thought it was all going to work out - he leaves and Erin goes to a shelter? He said, "No, Erin's not going to go to a shelter. It will all be fine." I blurted out, "So you think that he's going to stay there after the way that you've been treating him?" At that point, he said, "Alright, forget it, we're not talking anymore," and he gave the phone back to my mom. I was mad at myself for not being able to reason with him. I wished that I had said something better. But, most of all, I was furious that he had reverted back to the dad that I grew up with - the man that I hated.

I ended up calling Scott, crying. We talked about it and agreed that Erin and Lisa could come here for tonight and that we would talk about them possibly staying with us. I called my parents' house again and could hear my dad yelling more obscenities at my brother. He was being ridiculously cruel. I told Erin that they could come here.

Scott came home early. We talked about what kind of ground rules we would need to have if Erin and Lisa moved in. I had a really hard time setting up "rules" but I know it was probably better to set up expectations ahead of time. Erin and Lisa took it all really well and said that they completely understood why we felt the need to have rules for the house, but I still felt awkward about it and it's hard to tell how people really feel. We hope that this doesn't all blow up in our faces. We don't want to end up on bad terms with Erin and Lisa because this doesn't work out.

When I went to bed tonight, I just cried because of the stress of it all and because I am so sad to lose my "new" dad. It really hurts to know that Christmas probably won't be the same as usual because things aren't going to be right between my dad and my brother (or Lisa or Kyle). I also know that this is going to forever be in Kyle's memory. When Erin and Lisa drove him home, he said, "I wish I wasn't part of this family." How sad is that. I hate that my dad contributed to that - I remember feeling that most of the time as a kid. It's hard to think that the grandpa that my kids know is not the real person - I hope that's not the truth. I've come to really love my dad over the past decade or so and I don't want to have to change that image of him again.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Scott had to go back to Las Vegas again today. Luckily this time he only has to stay until Wednesday, so it shouldn't be too bad. Still, it's hard when he's not here.

Not much else to say about today. We went to playgroup at Mary's and gave Dana her birthday present. We gave her the extra magnifying glass that Jaden got for his birthday. It's a really big magnifying glass that's supposed to be for looking at bugs - Jaden loves it and Dana seemed to like it too.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

The first drama today was a bit stressful because Jaden freaked out. I talked to him before it was time for him to go to small group and he didn't want me to leave him. I managed to slip away, but then he started crying and wouldn't stop no matter what I did. He just kept saying that he wanted to go home. I think he is just really stressed out by the fact that Scott was gone for two weeks and I've had to be gone so much on the weekends doing these dramas. Finally, I just had them call Scott - I didn't know what else to do.

I still heard him crying when the drama first started, but he stopped soon after. When I went out, I saw that my mom and Scott were sitting with Jaden in the back. They had managed to calm him down enough to stay.

This evening, I went to Mom's Night Out with my friends. I really didn't want to go, but I noticed that today is Mary's birthday and I didn't want to bow out on her birthday. I thought that I would be disappointed if we were supposed to get together on my birthday and no one came. It turned out that Marcia and Martha both made it too, though. I felt bad because I brought Mary a card and made a big deal out of the fact that it was her birthday and then found out that it had been Marcia's birthday on Wednesday! For some reason, it wasn't in my calendar. Marcia wasn't upset, but I felt really bad.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

I was gone most of the day today because I had drama workshop and a drama. After workshop, a bunch of us went to lunch at the new breakfast place right by Willow. It was really good.

The drama went really well, although it took us awhile to sort tech out. I played the same character that I played in the drama last weekend - Queen Henrietta. She's lots of fun and I enjoy doing the dramas in the three-year-old room. It was really cute because lots of the kids asked me before the drama where King Henry was and I got to kind of extend the teaching of the story by telling them that King Henry hadn't listened to me. I really enjoy interacting with the kids.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Scott and I had a really good night tonight. It seems like things are going back to normal. I'm sure they won't be perfect for awhile, but it's good to be happy with each other again.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Today, our lives went mostly back to normal. When Scott got home, he took the kids out to play in the leaves some more while I got some things done around the house. He said that Danielle was much better about the leaves today. He said that she was jumping in them and didn't seem nearly as apprehensive as she had been. When they got back in, I got the kids some food and then went grocery shopping.

This evening, Scott worked on his computer and we watched a few shows that I had been waiting to watch with him. We talked a bit more before bed and agreed that we were feeling like things were going back to normal. I hope we stay this way - no, actually, I hope we get back to where we were a few weeks ago. Everything seemed perfect then.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Well, today was a generally bad day. Nothing really got resolved between Scott and I last night, so I basically spent the entire day feeling miserable. I know that he's feeling miserable too, but I wasn't able to feel too terribly sorry for him most of the time.

Tonight, Scott and I had another big talk and I think we both ended up feeling better about things. I still don't really trust that he's not going to break his promises again, but we at least got everything out on the table. I told him that I actually went from really looking forward to seeing him to feeling like I didn't want to be around him - that really hit him hard. I felt horrible, but it was the truth and I thought that he should know it. I'm really hoping that we can get back to normal again soon and that this can just be a faded memory.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Well, today was the day we have been waiting for. Scott came home! I had a rehearsal for this weekend's drama this morning and then spent most of the afternoon cleaning the house. I thought that if I were gone for two weeks, I would want to come home to a nice, clean house.

Scott got here at about 4:00, and suggested that we all go outside and jump in some leaves. Boy, did Jaden love that idea! The kids both had so much fun! It was really cute. They are funny, though. Neither of them wanted to get too much into the leaves. Jaden wanted to run through them, but he wasn't so sure about rolling in them. And Danielle liked to throw them up in the air, but she seemed really concerned if there were leaves actually on her. The expression on her face when we sat her down in the leaves was priceless! She just sat there, lifting her legs up a bit, looking at us like "What are you doing to me?!" But she absolutely loved it when Scott would throw the leaves up in the air and they would come raining down on them. Go figure!

We decided not to go to class tonight, since Scott had just come home. My mom stayed until the kids were in bed and then went home. Scott and I had a very nice evening together until he told me that he had broken a promise that he made me. His homecoming was pretty much spoiled at that point and we had a VERY bad night. It's amazing how quickly things can change.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Not much to say about today. We didn't have playgroup, but even if we had, I probably wouldn't have been able to go. Danielle is still not feeling her normal self. So, we pretty much just hung around the house today.

In the evening, I caught up on some TV. All that Yahtzee made me fall way behind! :-)

Sunday, November 06, 2005

I had to be at church early this morning - 7:45. My mom came to church at normal time and I met her by the doors so that I could help her check the kids into Promiseland. If it weren't for the fact that I was doing the drama in Jaden's room, my mom probably would have just stayed home with the kids - but I didn't want Jaden to miss my drama!

He seemed to really love it. The leaders told me that he was engrossed in the drama the entire time, which I definitely believe, since he seemed to remember all the details tonight at bedtime. After the drama was over, he wanted me to go to his small group with him, so I walked him over, but then he didn't want me to leave. I finally let him come with me. Unfortunately, the room leader then stopped me and told me that he had to be pulled aside for hitting again. I was really upset. I can't understand why he is acting out so much at church.

I went with my mom to take the kids back to the van and then went back and talked to his group leader and the room leader some more. For some reason, I was being really over-emotional about the whole thing. I actually started to cry. I just hate hearing that he is doing things like hitting and pinching. I just don't understand it. I knew that I was overreacting, but I wasn't able to stop myself - pretty typical for me!

Anyway, the rest of the day went well. We did the drama one more time and then I went home. Linda and Chris were going to come over to chop down the tree in front of our house, but it was rainy and very windy, so we decided it wasn't a good idea. I was actually kind of glad about that, since it had been an exhausting day.

My mom and I played some more Yahtzee (our final games before Scott comes home) and then I watched a bit of TV after she left.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Well, Mom let me take a nap this morning. Yeah! I slept for over 2 and a half hours! It's nice to have Mom sleep over!

This afternoon, I had to go to church for my rehearsal for this weekend's drama. The tech for this drama was a bit of a nightmare, so we only got in two LOOONG run-through's. Luckily, the performance went much better than the rehearsals! We actually felt really good about the drama. I had an all-around fun day with everyone - it was me, Dave, Paige and a volunteer teacher named Christie, who I'd never worked with before. We had a great time!

When I got home, my mom and I... yep, you guessed it - played Yahtzee!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Today was another busy day. I dropped Jaden off at school and then took Danielle to the store with me. I spent $55 after my coupon - saved a total of $22. Not too bad!

Since I knew that I was going to have to leave with the kids at about 2:45, I decided not to put Danielle down for a morning nap (she didn't get out of bed until almost 8:00 this morning anyway). Instead, I thought I would put her down right after lunch so that she could get at least one decent nap in before we left. That worked out pretty well. I also put Jaden doen at 1:30, hoping that he would at least get a little down time before we had to leave. To my surprise, he fell asleep! Danielle woke up at 2:00 (a bit earlier than I was hoping), but I had to wake Jaden up at 2:30.

We drove to my mom's work, but there was an accident on 290, so I was running a bit late. I didn't end up getting there until almost a quarter to 4:00. Marge told my mom just to leave a little early, since it seemed silly to ring the kids in for fifteen minutes. But, Marge brought her dog Sophie out so the kids could see her - Jaden had been looking forward to meeting Sophie.

My mom told me that on their way to her house, they passed a fire truck and my cousin Jeff was in it! She told him that she had the kids in the van and he said, "Follow me to the fire station!" So, Jaden got to see the whole fire station!! Apparently, they have beds in little cubicle-type areas and a kitchen with three refrigerators. They have a work-out room and a classroom where they have some type of class every day. My mom said that the fire suits are lined up with the boots attached - just like you see in the movies. Jaden got to try on Jeff's real fire helmet and his jacket. He told daddy that the fire helmet was "really heavy!" He also got to see every nook and cranny of the fire truck. My mom said that he pointed at every little door and Jeff would open it and tell him about everything inside. So neat!

My mom then took the kids to her house - Jaden has been asking for weeks to go to Grandma's house. He really wanted to go. He said that he wanted to play cowboy (with the cowboy hats at her house). So, my dad got to visit with the kids. He, of course, had several little presents for Jaden - I guess that's what grandparents are for!

While my mom took the kids to her house, I went to my meeting at Se-Kure. It went well. We didn't start until almost an hour after we got there, though. We talked about what we need to do for the next meeting and Roger really cracked me up. He kept saying, "Well, if we can get a camera set up in our Michigan office and see that from here, then I will REALLY be impressed." He didn't seem to understand the fact that since this works over the internet, it makes absolutely no difference where we set up a camera. He thinks that somehow the fact that that office is farther away makes the technology more impressive. We didn't have the heart to tell him that REALLY impressing him would take absolutely no more programmatic work. Kevin and I just kind of had a sidebar conversation about what we should actually try to accomplish for the next meeting. I am not a terribly technical person, but things like this just remind me that there are MUCH less technical people out there.

When I got home, my mom and the kids weren't here yet. They got here about forty-five minutes later. We basically just hung out for a little while and then put the kids to bed. After they were in bed, my mom and I returned to our obsession - Triple Yahtzee!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Well, I decided that I didn't feel like going to the store today. I was really tired and just wanted to rest during Danielle's nap. I ended up finishing my adoption stories book and then in the evening I put another book on hold. Maybe I'll make it out to the library tomorrow.

Not much else to say about today. I just watched TV in the evening - nothing exciting.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Today was a pretty good day, even if it was a bit busy. First off, the kids woke up at 6:30. Danielle woke up this morning with a cold. Her nose was really disgusting and it pretty much stayed that way all day long. I got them up and in the kitchen with their breakfasts and then headed back upstairs to take a shower while they ate. I definitely needed it, since I hadn't bothered to shower yesterday! I then drove Jaden to school and went to Dominicks with Danielle. I had a coupon for $10 off of a $50 purchase - a great deal! I spent $46 after the coupon (saved a total of $27 with sales). I was really happy about that. Tomorrow I will go to Jewel and try to spend just over $50 again because I have a $5 off coupon from there.

After the store, we came home and I put Danielle down for a nap. I was hoping she would sleep well, since she has the cold, but it didn't seem to work that way. It took her awhile to fall asleep. But, after she fell asleep, I fell asleep too. :-) I set the alarm for 11:15, and took a much needed nap.

We then went and picked Jaden up from school. When we got home, we ate lunch and then just hung out for awhile. Jaden said that he wanted to play ring-around-the-rosey and Danielle immediately got up and went over to him. I had no idea that she knew what ring-around-the-rosey was! I think I have seen her play it with him once or twice before, but didn't think that she would have really made the connection. Anyway, I had told Jaden that I would play once, but she was so cute that I just couldn't resist playing several times. It's so neat to see her playing real games!

I put the kids down at 1:30, so that they could get a short nap in before we had to leave to go to my drama rehearsal at church. Unfortunately, I don't know that Danielle ever fell asleep. And Jaden (who I didn't expect to sleep at all) fell asleep, but only got to sleep for probably 20 minutes or so. Sigh.

We got to my rehearsal, but the guy that we were supposed to be rehearsing with didn't get there until very late. We were there at 3:30 and he didn't get there until about 4:15. Deanna needed to leave by 4:45, so we just had a very quick rehearsal. The kids were great up until the time that we started rehearsing and then Jaden wanted to be in on the action. For a good portion of the rehearsal, both kids were actually on the stage with us. Jaden would try to talk to us while we were saying our lines, sometimes interacting with the "characters" and sometimes just randomly talking to us. It was pretty crazy and hard to actually get anything done. Danielle was very good, but I could definitely tell that she wasn't feeling well, poor sweetie.

After the rehearsal, Jaden wanted to eat, so I got a little bit of food for the kids from Harvest. We ate and then left for home. By the time we got home, both kids were pretty wiped out, but I got Jaden to let me take his "month birthday" pictures. I still have to do their videos - I missed last month completely.

I gave Danielle some Tylenol when I put her to bed. It was obvious that she had a fever (although I didn't take her temperature).

In the evening, I just watched a couple of episodes of Firefly and then read through my adoption boards. I think I'll head to bed now and read for a bit - hopefully I'll fall asleep before it's tomorrow! :-)

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Well, I didn't get much sleep last night. For some reason, I was feeling freaked out (for the second night in a row, but tonight was worse). I didn't even head up to bed until 12:30 because I just wasn't tired earlier. And then, Sota was running around and acting weird upstairs, so I called him down and made him walk back up with me. When I walked into my room, I thought I heard a noise coming from over by Scott's side of the bathroom. I looked over there and the door to his closet was closed, which I know I didn't do. Then, I looked at the bed and my pillow was in the middle of my bed. Of course, I reasoned that the kids must have done both of these things while I was in the shower and I just hadn't noticed it earlier, but reason was not really ruling my brain. I was really freaked out and didn't want to even get undressed for bed. I just climbed in bed with all of my clothes on (I decided that all of the clothes I was wearing needed to be washed anyway, so what the heck). I lay there, stiffly, with my glasses still on, the phone in my hand and the light on it's lowest setting. I kept thinking I should just go check the closet because then I could actually rest, but I couldn't bring myself to actually do it. I told myself that if anyone were in the closet, I would surely hear the door open before they could come out and kill me. Well, I was just dangling on the edge of sleep when I woke suddenly to the sound of a creaking door and then a thump. I was sure that this was the sound of one of our doors, but Sota was right next to me in bed and the kids were both sleeping. I couldn't imagine that one of the doors had suddenly decided to open on their own. Panicked, I turned the light on it's highest setting and leaned over to where I could see the closet door. It was still closed. I lay there, trying to convince myself that the sound that I had heard had just been part of an "almost asleep" dream. I heard a noise from Jaden's room and knew that it was just him turning over in his bed, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I needed to check for someone in the house. Earlier in the day, when I had been at playgroup, Martha and Marcia both were talking about how when they're home alone, they feel compelled to check all the rooms, closets, etc. I'm sure that hearing them say that put the idea that I had to do that in my head. Anyway, it was now 2 AM and I knew that I was not getting any sleep until I could reassure myself. I made Sota get up with me and I went first into Jaden's room, then into Danielle's. It took me more courage to go into the kids' bathroom, the spare bedroom and then, finally Scott's closet. I knew it was silly, but I just couldn't help it. I was so scared that I was actually shaking. I couldn't believe how freaked out I was. I finally left the hall light on and went back to bed. I was finally able to turn off my bedroom light and take off my glasses. I think I fell asleep a bit before 3 AM. Ugh!

This morning, Danielle actually woke up first (which is very unusual) at 6:15. Jaden didn't get up until about 6:45. Then, he climbed in bed with me and I went and got Danielle and brought her into bed with us. It was actually really nice because they were both being snuggly instead of being antsy like they usually are when they get into bed with me.

After I fed the kids breakfast, I laid on the couch for a little while while Jaden played his computer game and Danielle played in the family room. Then I put Danielle down for her nap, put in Toy Story for Jaden, and laid down in bed for about a half hour. Unfortunately, Deb called at 9:30 and I had to go do a little bit of Encapsolution work. Once I was down here, Jaden wanted my attention and I decided that it didn't make sense to try to lay down again.

When I got Danielle up from her nap, she did one of the typically cute things that she does lately. She absolutely loves all of her stuffed animals, and she always wants to take them all with her. I always put a little blanket and a few stuffed animals in bed with her because she likes to hug them. Well, when I get her up out of bed, she often wants to take everything with her. She loads me up with stuffed animals and blankets so that I'll carry them downstairs for her. Sometimes this can make actually carrying her quite a challenge. She is so cute with those stuffed animals, though, I just can't resist. She is always hugging them and giving them kisses. It's really adorable. She often walks around with three stuffed animals in her arms. And she recently got this huge bear from next door - it's bigger than her, but she still manages to carry it around. She is so cute when she climbs on him to hug him. I definitely have to get a picture of that.

I decided not to go to class tonight because I just thought that I would be too exhausted. The thought of driving home at 9:30 at night just seemed unbearable. Of course, I was then wide awake tonight, even though I should have been sleeping like a log. Scott called at 12:30 because he had done an Encapsolution thing and wanted me to test it. He was all apologetic because he said I should have been sleeping, but I assured him that I had just been lying in bed, wishing I could sleep. I finally fell asleep at around 2 AM. (At least I wasn't freaked out, though).