Friday, October 30, 2009

One Year Later

Yesterday was the year anniversary of the restaurant closing. I can still remember it like was yesterday. I can still remember all of the emotions that slammed through us...shock, fear, confusion, sadness, anger, pain, guilt, emptiness. It was dreadful. I also remembering sitting on my front porch on Halloween night with my dear friend V. As I watched the waves of kids come to our front porch for candy I started to cry thinking that that was going to be my last Halloween in my house...but alas, here I am, still in my wonderful home, getting ready for those waves of kids again. In looking back, this past year has been interesting. Some things have been great, awesome even but other things haven't changed yet. For the first time in a long time, I can actually say that time did NOT fly by. It's been a long rough year but I remember my days, I feel good that I made the most of each and every one. I can look back and actually say I don't regret anything...well, that's not true entirely...I didn't make it to the beach.

So, in a quick round up - the good and bad of how far we've come since last year:

1. The restaurant is still empty. And I'm finally starting to agree with the guys (G&J) that the landlord screwed us over. They've heard it from several people and now that I'm learning of the incredible offers the landlords is giving to try to rerent the place, it's disheartening. I would like to say it serves him right but I'm Catholic and I can't.
2. No closure. Things are still not complete and it's very frustrating. I hate the unknowing and until things remain unfinished, that's where we remain.
3. G is back to being unemployed. We're back to where we started. This is hard to swallow. For a short stint we were doing ok, things looked promising but it was short lived and we're back "there" again. I can feel myself being pulled into my darkness again but I'm trying really hard to not let myself falter. I can't go back there again, I just can't.
4. My mom. She's not over it and I don't know if she ever will be. It's heartbreaking for me. I am still so consumed with guilt for having caused her so much stress and pain. No matter what I say, she can't get past being angry. I pray everyday for some resolution for her but I'm afraid her anger is blocking the way.

The Good
1. G and I have become stronger. I don't know how else to explain that. We as a couple, as parents and human beings, we've become stronger.
2. I've reconnected with my Faith. It is true that in the past I've turned to it in times of hardship but I've remained faithful, even in the good times. My Faith has given me a peace that fuels my mind, body and soul.
3. I'm still in my home, for now. We're so close to getting a resolution with our house but now that G is unemployed, I'm scared again. If this loan modification doesn't go through, we've lost our chance. There is no second one.
4. My kids, my happiness. They are immune to the suffering and the sacrificing and that is all that matters.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I'm Not Crazy

As much as I love being a mom, I've decided it's a perpetual curse from one mother to another. I know I gave my mom hell and I thought she was crazy. I especially thought she was crazy because she grew up in a different country so how could she know what life was "really" like for a teen here in the U.S.? I'm already thinking I can't wait for Teen to have her own kids (at the right time) and have to deal with "being crazy"...see it's a curse.

Well, now that I'm a mom I'm realizing that some things may have been different but for the most part my mom was not crazy...and neither am I...contrary to what Teen believes. It really is funny how she thinks I don't get it or that I talk just to hear myself talk..well, sometimes that may be true..but for the most part I know "what's up". I recently learned that her mother said that I was too strict and expected Teen to be a perfect straight A student. Yeah, that is not true. My mother was strict...I'm just tough ;) Seriously though, I don't think I'm overly strict. I want Teen to have fun and love life everyday, especially now when there are no worries. My rules are your best in school, get good grades (not straight A's), and be honest. That's it. I don't think that's too bad.

Ninth grade has been a big adjustment for Teen so far. The work is very different from Middle school and she's having a tough time with it. I've finally broken it down to her that she needs to study a little every day, even if she doesn't have HW. This did not go over too well with her..she thought I was crazy, especially after our little incident recently but after our parent/teacher conference and the teachers said the EXACT same thing I said, she finally got it. I even looked at her and said..."see, I'm not crazy".

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


No, it hasn't taken me this long to settle down and get over my anger's just been busy. The dust has settled, it's amazing what waiting in a 3 hour line for the H1N1 flu shot can do to simmer things down between Teen and I. Yes, you did read correctly 3 hours. And, the best part about that is out of the 4 of us, Me, Teen, Seena and AJ, only Seena and I got the shot. So, now I have to go back and wait 3 hours again for Teen and AJ. Fun stuff.

Anyway, Teen and I have come to an agreement (more on this on another post), G and I are on the same page, we've had a parent/teacher conference and they are on the same page with us. Hopefully, this will move things in a better direction. Still have not talked to Teen's mom. She won't return my call. That's fine.

And now back to my post. Ever since Seena started Kindergarten and Teen has started HS, I've gone a little volunteering crazy. More so for's easier. Recently, Seena's school had a family fun night with a Magic Show and I volunteered to help with the pizza sales before the show. One of my daycare parents overheard me say this and laughed that I was the in the new kindergarten mom honeymoon phase. Hmmm, is it? I don't know. Since school has started I've joined the PTA and have gone to the meetings, I volunteer in the classroom for a few hours once a month, I'm starting this attendance thing once a week next week (it's just 15 minutes), I volunteer at as many events as I can....including Teen's Homecoming. That was interesting.

Is it a honeymoon? I don't know but I don't think so. I've always wanted to be involved in my kids stuff and now that there are opportunities to do so, I want to. I enjoy it. Plus I'm bored. There I said it. I am very, very, very bored. My job offers me no fulfillment. None. Don't get me wrong, I'm very thankful that it's flexible and that I can volunteer but I'm finding myself getting aggravated with work. It's almost become a nuisance for interruption in my day. But I'm thankful...don't want to jinx myself.

My latest volunteering gesture is potentially becoming a co-leader for Seena's Daisy troop. My sister thinks I'm crazy but I need to do something. Being bored has made my mind wander into crazy going back to school to possibly teach?, to start my own part-time business, to go back to meeting planning...yes, I've actually been researching these options a lot and in depth....that's how bored I am. Maybe it's just my funk....but for now, I'm enjoying my volunteering honeymoon. Seena loves it when I'm in the classroom. Teen on the other hand...her words over Homecoming ..."I'm not going to talk to you". :)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Out of respect, I have skirted around my true feelings about certain people in my life. I worried that just maybe certain people would come across this blog and well, not be happy but no more. I don't care. I am fed up. My shoulders cannot bear the weight of other people's responsibilities any longer...

I'm still finding it difficult to talk or even write about this because I am still so emotional over the betrayal I experienced this weekend. You know what, betrayal is probably not the right word, I mean, Teen's mom does not have any loyalties towards me right? I mean, I am only raising HER daughter. By her choice nonetheless. It's not like G and I swooped in and forced full-time care for Teen. I used to give her the benefit of the doubt. She had a horrible husband and perhaps it was in Teen's best interest that she handed Teen over to us. G tried a few times to tell me she wasn't exactly all-together right or as G would say cuckoo. But I didn't want to believe him. I couldn't understand how a mom could let someone raise their own kid but whatever, we did it.

It hasn't been easy. Not at all. The first year was horrendous. And maybe I still carry a grudge for Teen to this day because our relationship is certainly not perfect. We do lack a connection but I cannot accept the full blame. I have always dreamed of having a family, a big one. One where we were all up in each other's stuff all the time...kinda like I grew up. But I don't have that. There is a division in my family; me and the little ones and Teen and G. I know Teen complains of feeling that she doesn't belong anywhere but I have tried and tried to make this family unite as one but between Teen's walls and G's laid back approach to everything, it's been a struggle. But I continued to fight because I believed I would get there.

Within the last year or so I began noticing Teen's mom interest or concern in Teen decrease. Teen's mom did not insist on getting Teen on her weekends or over the summer as was agreed on. I don't think I ever received a call from Teen's mom asking how Teen was doing in school or in general. Lately, I'm lucky if she even returns a call now.

What I find so funny now, is that Teen thinks her mom walks on water and I'm the B. She even told a friend right in front of me, that her mom is like her best friend and I'm like her real mom. That's great. So, I'm the B because:
I believe in good grades
I'm strict about grades and following rules
I do not tolerate lying
I have expectations of everyone, EVERYONE, contributing in the house
I want family traditions

Yes, I'm the B. Can't you tell?

So, it finally starts to get really good when I caught both Teen and her mom in a lie. I grounded Teen again for bad grades for the weekend and her mom - fully aware of my rules when it comes to grades covered for Teen this weekend. She told me Teen was with her when in fact she most certainly was not. I can't even begin to express how angry I was and still am. I, for one, cannot STAND lying.. Because Teen is a teen, I can accept it for Teen because of the age but not her mom. Especially not when she handed her over to ME to raise. I don't think I need to remind anyone how difficult it is to raise a teenager. They are constantly testing their limits, trying to see what they can get away etc. etc. So, someone please tell me WHY, why would a parent want to encourage that behavior? And, on top of that, I struggle with authority with Teen as it is, didn't her mom think that by allowing her daughter to lie and lie with her would totally undermine any authority I had at all. AND ON TOP OF THAT - the fact that her mom KNEW Teen had not just one, but three bad grades (lower than C) and STILL let her lie, lied with her and let her go out to have fun, is completely beyond me. This makes me soooo mad. Part of our jobs, as parents, is to make sure that we help our children lay the foundation to a successful future for themselves. How is Teen going to get that if her own mother is teaching her that it's ok to lie and that grades are obviously not important?

Ooooh, and it gets better. After learning of all of the lying I told Teen and G she had to move back in with her mom. If her mom wanted to teach her those things than she can raise her. Teen's mom needed some accountability for her own daughter. I was done. So, what does Teen's mom do....drops off Teen at Teen's best friend's house, asks if she can stay with them and lies to them and tells them that we were aware that Teen was there. Unbelievable!!! I have absolutely NO RESPECT for this woman any more. None. I'm sorry Teen, if you ever read this but this is my space, these are my feelings. I cannot accept this.

So, you ask where G fits into all of this. He's upset with me for essentially making a decision regarding HIS daughter without him. I can accept that but he needs to understand that I never would have succeeded with Teen as long as that sort of manipulation was going on. And now, because Teen's mom has pawned off Teen to someone else, G is angry and has insisted that Teen move back in. When I sent Teen to move back in with her mom, I knew she wouldn't last there very long and would be back home with us but I never imagined this. It hasn't even been two days and Teen was at a friend's house. Even though I know G felt he had no choice and he felt he was doing the best thing for his daughter, I don't know if I agree. A part of me wishes he grabbed Teen and marched her right back to her mom's house and forced them both to take responsibility for their actions. The other part of me feels sorry for Teen. I'm sure she's feeling that she is not wanted by anyone, that she doesn't belong anywhere. I don't know what was right but I know that by G bringing Teen back this quickly he essentially has now done the same thing Teen's mom did. He has cut me at the knees and I feel betrayed. I feel defeated and alone.

As far as I can see nothing has been learned and nothing has changed. Teen's mom has skirted around her responsibility. Teen has learned nothing other than she can lie and not face any consequences. G says he's going to be all over her and on top of it all. {insert raised eyebrow here} all good intentions aside, he can't. I know my husband and I know his weaknesses. So does Teen and she'll bulldoze right over him.

I hope for G's and Teen's sake that I am wrong. But for now, I'm still mad. I'm still hurt. I'm still not ready to forgive.