Thinking & Feeling

“The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.” Horace Walpole

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Is, ja

The only thing that counts, the only thing that matters is what we do with our lives from this moment on. - Unknown

We sometimes feel that we have been really understood, but it was always long ago, by someone now dead. ~Mignon McLaughlin,

I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence. - Frederick Douglass

Tips For Positive Communication With Your Ex

I started this post LAST September, but never published it... I STILL can't speak to my ex 10 months later. Our communication is very very sparse and rudimentary and almost always only a few lines about whether/when the boys are being collected. That's it. No pleasantries allowed (his request). I still live in hope that this will change and we can become civil and then hopefully even friendly at some point again in the future. (In fact listening to Gwen Stefani's 'Cool' makes me tear up because that's what I 'd like).
And after all the obstacles
It's good to see you now with someone else
And it's such a miracle that you and me are still good friends
After all that we've been through
I know we're cool

And I'll be happy for you
If you can be happy for me
Circles and triangles, and now we're hangin' out with your new girlfriend
So far from where we've been
I know we're cool
Anyway the point is how does one really communicate with an ex? How do you get past the anger and hurt and be sincere and practical? Here's what I have found... Maybe he will read this and start trying to treat me differently. One can only hope...

If your marriage to your ex spouse produced children then nothing is more important than maintaining a civil relationship with your ex. It is essential that all parents work together for the welfare of their children. If there is poor communication with your ex-spouse and resentment between the two of you, you are not the loser, your child / children is. These tips will help you put aside any negative feelings you have toward your ex. Effort on your part to build a new and productive relationship with your ex will help all involved in the healing process and moving forward with life.

1. Consult a therapist.
If you find that the two of you have a hard time discussing important issues regarding the children, seek help from a third party. Don’t be afraid to consult a therapist or a friend you both have a trusting relationship with.

2. Set clear boundaries.
Communicate with each other and set clear boundaries about the roles you will play in your children’s lives. It’s important that you each understand the value of your relationship to your child and respect that relationship.

3. Don't bring up old issues.
When solving problems don’t bring up the past. Discuss the issue at hand and excuse yourself from the conversation if you are unable to remain calm and business like. View your ex spouse the same way you would a business associate. Make appointments to discuss issues, meet in a neutral location and always be prompt and courteous. Never allow yourself to resort to name calling, blaming, cursing or yelling. Keep negative emotions out of the equation and deal with them on your own time.

4. Be empathetic.
Be willing to see the situation from your ex’s perspective. They have concerns and fears just like you do and recognizing that will help you feel more empathetic and open to finding solutions to any problems that might arise.

5. Consider what is best for your children.
Most importantly, always consider what your children would want. You may find it hard to even be around your ex but making the needs of your children your main priority will help establish the kind of relationship that benefits them.

More Ex-Spouse Tips

Don´t Expect Too Much
Be realistic in your expectations. You were married to this person and probably know them better than they know themselves. Therefore you can probably predict their behavior and response to certain situations. Don't deliberately try to antagonize or upset the other person to get revenge. Learn the true meaning of forgiveness and get on with your life. If you harbor unforgiveness and bitterness, it will hinder your future. Let go of the past and look forward to the future. Give your ex time for his/her wounds to heal. Don't expect too much from them. Take it one step at a time and try to work toward a harmonious relationship for your children's sakes. Sometimes you may be able to compromise on issues, other times you may have to agree to disagree, but try to find a workable solution. Just don't expect too much cooperation too soon. Be sincere at all times and don't play games!

Discuss Issues
Discuss issues together. If your child is facing a problem in school, social life, or at home, let the other parent know. Think it through together. Both of you should have your child´s best interests at heart and even if you are not able to come to an agreement on how to handle the situation, both of you know what is going on.

Keep the Other Parent Informed
Keep the other parent posted on the little things. Send copies of report cards, drawings and graded papers on a regular basis. Kids often will not share all these things if they have limited time with the other parent. Make a special place to put items from school or home and be sure that the child remembers to take these items with them when they go on the visit. This gives the non-custodial parent insight into the little things that are going on and can help conversations when the parent and the child feel awkward.

Avoid Mudslinging
Engaging in mudslinging in front of the children is a big mistake. Children suffer emotionally when they hear one parent badmouthing the other. Name calling also increases the ill will and escalates conflict with your ex. Try to work together, not against each other. Everyone loses in mudslinging and name calling. You want to win, not lose. Forget the past, move ahead toward a peaceful future.

Communicating Negative Messages
Be careful not to use your child as a message bearer to communicate with your ex-spouse. If your child delivers a negative message for you, your child risks receiving the brunt of the other person's anger. Keep your children out of your domestic squabbles. They will only confuse and upset your child who is trying to be loyal to both of you. Communicate negative messages yourself by whatever means is appropriate, just make sure it does not include your kids.

Forget Past Mistakes
Don't bring up past mistakes and injustices. Throw away your laundry list of complaints and stay focused on the topic of discussion. Forget past mistakes, deal with the present. Hopefully they have learned from their past mistakes. It is time to forgive and forget.

No Bad-Mouthing
Be careful about saying unkind things about your child's missing parent. Try not to even think them or it will eventually come out. The mouth tends to speak what is in the heart, so keep your heart clean. Children need to be taught to respect their parents, even when one of them tends to act like a jerk. In time your children may see the truth for themselves, but hopefully by that time they have matured enough to realize we cannot control another person's behavior. Teach them to love and respect all people, even when that love is not returned. Don't put your child in a position of having to take sides against the other parent. They should love you both.

Communication is Important
If you and your ex are unable to carry on a civil conversation, you may need to find other ways to communicate information such as through letters or notes. If it is a very hostile situation that could end up in court, be sure to make copies of all your written communications to have as evidence should you need it. Some people have to communicate solely through lawyers, which is sad because the two adults are acting worse than a couple of two-year olds fighting over the same toy, except it is a child. If the other spouse insists upon acting like a child, then you need to be the grown-up and, by example, teach the other parent how to communicate. Set a good example for your children and exhibit some maturity in handling your side of the situation. Show them the right way to handle negative situations, not the wrong way, which is stooping to the other parent's level. Respect yourself even if your ex doesn't show you any.

Don't Cut Your Ex Out of the Loop
Keep your ex-spouse informed about everyday happenings and problems concerning your child. This includes school events and extracurricular activities. You may not want him there, but your child probably does. Put your selfish feelings aside and consider your child's well being. And it will go a long way in building a peaceful, harmonious relationship.

Stay Calm
If your ex tries to get you upset or angry, stay calm. Don't respond to his anger or engage in a confrontation he is trying to get you involved in. Be sincere and calm in your response. As the old saying goes, “kill them with kindness” (not literally of course!) Deal with the situation the same as you would with a hostile customer at work. Don't take it personally even though it is directed at your personally. Tell them you are sorry they feel that way but the situation is out of your control, the situation can't be undone, you are not able to discuss the issue with them, or whatever the rationale is. When dealing with men, remember that men are factual and respond to facts, not emotions. Getting upset and angry only fuels their fire more because men, by nature, are usually not geared to handle emotional issues, which leaves them even more frustrated and angry. Therefore you end up in a vicious cycle from which you need to remove yourself. Take away the fuel and the fire will die out.

No Accusations
Hurling accusations such as “You are selfish, and that is why you are constantly late picking up Ryan” is not helpful. It would be better to address how you ex-spouse's behavior affects Ryan (“He said he feels bad because he is late for basketball practice and the coach gets mad.”)

What your ex should know
Never tell your children to keep something secret from your ex. Your ex and the world at large have a right to know whatever your child knows. Telling children to keep secrets is harmful to the child´s development. Children are innocent and will tell every thing they know to anyone. This is normal, do not tamper with it. Telling children to keep secrets makes them vulnerable to people who want to exploit them and makes them feel guilty when they talk to their other parent. If you do not want your ex to know something, do not let the children know.

Your Child Is not a Message Center
Never use your child as a message bearer. Your child will inevitably end up in the middle of the war zone, which is not fair. Children should not be exposed to their parents' immaturity. Try to find an appropriate method of communication that does not put your children in the middle. Leave a message on an answering machine or write a letter and mail it if necessary, but don't rely upon your children to communicate your messages. The message can be forgotten, misunderstood by the child and miscommunicated to the other adult, etc. If it is important, put it in writing. Just don't rely upon your children to deliver it or it may get lost or forgotten.

Meet at Least Once a Month
Be open to meeting regularly each month with your ex and discussing how the kids are doing. Do this in a "businesslike" manner when the children are not present. If you sense problems or difficulties with the arrangement or a difference in household rules, bring them up! Letting them sit and simmer will only cause an uproar later. Remember that you both have your children´s best interests at heart and meeting each other half-way is the best way to resolve most conflicts.

When the children complain
When the children complain about the care they are getting from your ex, talk to your ex about what the children are saying. Do not accuse but do explore. Often children think you want to hear something bad so they tell you something. Sometimes it is made up, other times it is inflated. By talking together without accusing, you insure that the children do not grow up manipulating those around them.

Forget Perfectionism
Trying to be perfect in order to look better than the other parent is another big mistake. That is a pretense that will quickly falter. Just relax and act naturally. While we should always strive to improve ourselves, setting too high of a goal for yourself adds more stress and pressure that you do not need. Be satisfied with being the best you can be

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Quinn's report brilliant, but teacher STILL negative.

So we got Quinn's report. These are his results for term 1 & 2 of grade 4:

- English - Term 1: 3 - 64.5%, Term 2: 4 - 72.9%
- Afrikaans - Term 1: 3 - 66.6%, Term 2: 3 - 68.7%
- Xhosa - Term 1: 2 - 50%, Term 2: 4 - 82.5%
- Mathematics - Term 1: 4 - 88.2%, Term 2: 4 - 85.1%
- History - Term 1: 4 - 73.3%, Term 2: 4 - 81.4%
- Geography - Term 1: 4 - 92.8%, Term 2: 4 - 81.6%
- Natural Science - Term 1: 4 - 80%, Term 2: 4 - 78%
- EMS - Term 1: 4 - 90%, Term 2: 4 - 80%

- Life Orientation - Term 1: 4 -70%, Term 2: 4 - 75.7%
- Physical Education - Term 1: 3 - 50%, Term 2: 4 - 100%

- Computers - Term 1: 4 - 70%, Term 2: 4 - 80%
- Design - Term 1: 2 - 25%, Term 2: 3 -53.3%

- Music - Term 1: 4 - 79%, Term 2: 4 - 81.7%
- Art - Term 1: 4 - 75%, Term 2: 4 - 68.7%

I think those results are pretty incredible... especial since his readiness for Grade 4 was questioned at the beginning of the year!

But his teacher is consistently negative about him and doesn't seem to give him any leeway, and despite this very good result her comments are pretty demotivating - saying he is 'extremely talkative', which he IS, I know, and that she is concerned about his readiness for Grade 5 (which is more then 6 months away still!). But rather than encourage him, in any way, she just puts him down all the time and questions whether he should be in that grade (as the youngest), yet next year he will STILL be talkative, that's his personality. It is actually getting quite annoying now and I am not sure how to address it now...?

:( This is the first teacher at the school I have had an issue with, I find her quite difficult to deal with...

Thursday, 25 June 2009

You could do so much better than this

Keane - Better Than This

Is this what you meant?
Is this what you dreamed of?
When you were making your plans,
Shaking the dirt off?
Do you feel like you and I belong?
(oh ah oh)
Just keep your eyes on the road and nothing can go wrong

You could do so much better than this
You could do so much better than this

I've been checking my sums
Oh where did the time go?
Holding my photograph up to the window
Through the paper, a refracted sun
(oh ah oh)
I can see all the things I wish that I'd done

You can hang your hopes on the bedsits
You can put your faith in the foreign
You can tell yourself you can do your best
You could do so much better than this

Get a grip on yourself
Get a grip on yourself
Could have been something, but you're too late
And you wouldn't want it anyway

Just a photograph from the wrong time
'Cause there is no soap star holding your hand
You can see yourself in a freeze-frame
Must be someone else using your name

And everyone will be the same
And everyone will never go
And everywhere, you'll see your name
In every shop window

It's better than this
You could do so much better than this
You could do so much better than this
You could do so much better than this

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

I'm so sanctified and free

The World We Live In - Killers

This is world that we live in
I feel myself get tired
This is the world that we live in

Well maybe I was mistaken
I heard a rumor that you quit this day and age
Well maybe I was mistaken

Bless your body, bless your soul
Pray for peace and self control

I gotta believe it's worth it
Without a victory,
I'm so sanctified and free
Well maybe I'm just mistaken

Lesson learned and the wheels keep turning

This is the world that we live in
I can't take blame for two
This is the world that we live in
And maybe we'll make it through

Bless your body, bless your soul
Reel me in and cut my throat

Underneath the waterfall
Baby we're still in this boat, yeah

This is the world that we live in
Feel myself get tired
This is the world that we live in

I had a dream that I was falling, down
There's no next time around
A storm wastes its water on me
But my heart was free

I guess it's the world that we live in
It's not too late for that
This is the world that we live in
And no, we can't go back

This is the world that we live in
We still want something real
This is the world that we live in
I know that we can heal over time

This is the world that we live in

Monday, 22 June 2009

There's life in the old bird yet!

It was recently my good friend Beryl and her hubby's respective birthdays, so they arranged a drinks/snacks session at the Fat Cactus on Friday. I love the place and so I was game.

I had a pretty hectic day on Friday: work, giving a colleague a lift home, rushing to Q's eye appointment, then some rapid emergency shopping before rushing the boys to cubs just in time (but sans their uniforms) and then having to get their week-end bags sorted and dropped of with them at cubs. I ended up making it to the Fat Cactus well after 18:30 (the invite was for 17:30). Because of all of this there was simply no time to go home to change into something more befitting of a Friday night out and so I was in my dorky work outfit.

I wasn't too perturbed, many people use the Fat Cactus as an after work sundowner spot, so no harm done...

But then as we were leaving at 22:00 or so someone decided it was too early to go home. I suggested we pop into Stones in Claremont to play pool. This is a suitably adult thing to do. They agreed and off we went. Somehow though the other couple we were with; Bridget & Tanya got way laid in Tantra downstairs from Stones and so I relented to 'one drink' there... yeah right. We ended up on the dance floor amid a bunch of guys who seriously looked about 12 years old... but shame I bet they were older... maybe 16! And never left util somewhere around 2am, and not before the photographer snapped us there. SO now there is evidence too!

Now that my so called 'friends' Meriel & Lindy have let the cat out of the bag and blabbed about the proof of me clubbing it up like a 16 year old. Here is the evidence as captured for all the world to see!
Admittedly it was a lot of fun, but I am finding these shindigs a bit harder to recover from these days... So Saturday morning had me feeling a bit grim and I decided to stay in bed until I had had at least 3 cups of coffee. My planned run turned into a rather pitiful walk instead. But it did the job and I felt good enough to drag myself to the Comedy show after a long bath.

So what's planned for this week-end? Oh right I have a work party I am organising on Friday... argh! ;)

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Meeting Magnanimous Meriel

A true friend reaches for your hand and touches your heart. ~Author Unknown

I had the honour and privilege of meeting the lovely Meriel last night.

Meriel you are the best! You are one of those people who are (and I KNEW would be) just as lovely, lovable, warm, calm, genuine and big hearted in real life as on-line.

You are a total sweet-heart. (B also though both you and your MIM are just wonderful people.)

Meriel and I had never met. We connected via the blog network, and she knows my ex, and more specifically his brother, from the ancient past way back when...

Meriel is nothing but kind, caring, supportive, warm, amusing, charming and just damn NICE! All the time. I don't know how she manages it, but I do know she pays a lot of attention to her thoughts and attitudes and I think a lot can be learned from that. She is an inspiration and clearly a wonderful mother and partner and a sterling friend.

Thanks so much for the invite. I had a fabulous time and LOVED the comedy show! It was excellent and I have not laughed so long and hard for a long long time. It was just what the doctor ordered.

It really was a privilege and treat t meet you. Thank-you thank-you so much for your kindness and generosity in inviting me along.

“Laugh as much as you breathe and love as long as you live.”

Laughter is an instant vacation. ~Milton Berle

A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book. ~Irish Proverb

“A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are.”

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Count Quinn

Quinn counting people from 1-10 in Xhosa. He'd JUST learned it and was practicing for a test at school the next day.

Dr Spec

So Quinn had his optometrist appointment yesterday...

It turns out his eyes have deteriorated quite significantly in the last year. When he had his test last March his eyes were both +1.5. Now they are sitting on +2.5 and +3.0 respectively and he has astigmatism in one of them too. It was confirmed that he does NEED to wear his glasses, and pretty much all the time. He could barely read anything on the charts without them.

The optometrist, a lovely tiny young thing seemed almost scared and apologetic to tell me the news, she seemed to expect I'd be upset. Being the pragmatist I am, I asked if anything can/could have been 'done' about it, or if it's just one of those things that happen and can't actually be controlled at all (until you get to adulthood and can consider lasik etc etc), and she said yes it just happens and can't be controlled. I asked if increasing the prescription, or wearing the specs more, causes the eyes to weaken further and she said no not really - although they do try to keep the prescription on the lower rather than higher side, to keep the eyes having to work and focus etc so they don't get too 'lazy'.

So I said 'Right then we just need to deal with it as we can. He wears glasses already and doesn't mind them at all. He has done well with his glasses over the 15 or so months he's had them, and if he'll be able to see better and be more functional with a new prescription, well then bring it on!'. This really isn't something worth being 'upset' about, it is what it is.

Quinn's dad has quite bad eyes (around +4.5 in both eyes plus astigmatism) but they have been stable at that since his late teens, so I think we can expect Quinn's eyes to worsen and then stabilise as well, but time will tell. For now we'll get him tested annually and see how he is doing, and help him to be able to see his world!

We then had to select new frames. Last year the whole test, specs purchase and fitting cost close to R2500. Yikes! I went to Spec Savers this time because apart from being hellishly expensive the other woman is a bit of a snooty snob. This time I was told the test was free, and so are the lenses, and yes they will have the protective coating applied too - like the last ones, AND there was a selection of free frames too. This is all available for kids under 12 years old. GO SPEC SAVERS!

However Quinn did not like the free frames at all, and barely wanted to try them on. He finally did but just didn't feel comfortable wearing them. He likes the squarish lenses and very minimal frames. He doesn't like how obvious the full and thicker frames look. So when the man said he could order in the same frames he currently has, but we'd need to pay for those - around R700. I decided to just do it. He's loved his specs and treated them amazingly well up to now, and the fact that they were broken was not his fault and it turns out he DID need new specs anyway. So I have decided to get him the pair he loves. I guess we have saved a LOT by going to Spec Savers, and my boy deserves to feel comfortable and confident in his specs. (I have told him though that if they get broken again next time he'll be getting the free frames.)

Incidentally I was sitting with Griff while Quinn was being tested and he could read every single thing on the chart - so could I. Granted we were sitting about half the distance Quinn was, but we could both ready even the teeny tiny characters. :)

Friday, 19 June 2009

The Famous Highland Fling for Father's Day

So Sunday is Father's Day, and the one good thing I do have in my life is a fabulous Father! I love him to bits.

Not only is he a brilliant father and grandfather, but he is also a wonderful friend & confidant. I also use him as my voice of reason and valued wise advisor whenever needed, and he never fails to be there when needed to offer support and encouragement. Something for which I am immensely grateful. I don't think he even realises just how much I need and appreciate it.

Also I never have as much fun as when chatting over a good meal and sharing a bottle of wine with my good ol' dad.

This is when we last saw him earlier this year and the boys and I met him for dinner at the Blue Peter Hotel.

I have created the following fun Father's Day video for him which suits him perfectly, being of Scottish decent and having a penchant for Whisky and all ;)

I love you dad!

Thursday, 18 June 2009

It costs 45c!

So you know how I have not been able to phone my ex in a month (or more?) because his cell phone was cut off due to lack of payment? And he has been harassing me saying I must give him money asap (and lots of it) so that he can have a phone, otherwise it is implied it is my fault that he is incommunicado...?

Well yesterday I got a SIM card to put in a cheap old handset I have lying around. This is so that I can send it with Quinn when they are with their dad so that I have some way to contact them, and they can contact me if needed.... guess how much it cost???

Yep, a whole 45 cents! I kid you not. This is for a SIM which is active for 30 days, and which allows incoming calls and can send 'call me back's. (Of course I can add airtime to it to allow call to be made from it, and to extend the activation window further.)

See, making a plan is really not that hard!... But I am only prepared to be 'the mom' to my actual children now.

Of course Quinn is happy as a pig in muck at this idea. So despite my best efforts at avoiding the cell phone issue with the kids for as long as possible it is now a practical requirement to give him one.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Life has a funny way of helping you out

Alanis Morissette - Ironic

An old man turned ninety-eight
He won the lottery and died the next day
It's a black fly in your Chardonnay
It's a death row pardon two minutes too late
Isn't it ironic ... don't you think

It's like rain on your wedding day
It's a free ride when you've already paid
It's the good advice that you just didn't take
Who would've thought ... it figures

Mr. Play It Safe was afraid to fly
He packed his suitcase and kissed his kids good-bye
He waited his whole damn life to take that flight
And as the plane crashed down he thought
'Well isn't this nice...'
And isn't it ironic ... don't you think

Well life has a funny way of sneaking up on you
When you think everything's okay and everything's going right
And life has a funny way of helping you out when
You think everything's gone wrong and everything blows up
In your face

It's a traffic jam when you're already late
It's a no-smoking sign on your cigarette break
It's like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife
It's meeting the man of my dreams
And then meeting his beautiful wife
And isn't it ironic... don't you think
A little too ironic... and yeah I really do think...

Life has a funny way of sneaking up on you
Life has a funny, funny way of helping you out
Helping you out

Friday, 12 June 2009

I can't slow down

Keane - Can't Stop Now

I noticed tonight that the world has been turning
While I've been stuck here dithering around
Well I know I said I'd wait around till you need me
But I have to go, I hate to let you down
But I can't stop now
I've got troubles of my own
Cause I'm short on time
I'm lonely
And I'm too tired to talk

I noticed tonight that the world has been turning
While I've been stuck here withering away
Well I know I said I wouldn't leave you behind
But I have to go, it breaks my heart to say

That I can't stop now
I've got troubles of my own
Cause I'm short on time
I'm lonely
And I'm too tired to talk

No one back home
I've got troubles of my own
And I can't slow down
For no one in town
And I can't stop now

And I can't slow down
For no one in town
And I can't stop now
For no one

The motion keeps my heart running
The motion keeps my heart running
The motion keeps my heart running
The motion keeps my heart running

Thursday, 11 June 2009

She can hardly breathe without you

She Has No Time - Keane

You think your days are uneventful
And no one ever thinks about you
She goes her own way
She goes her own way
You think your days are ordinary
And no one ever thinks about you
But we're all the same
And she can hardly breathe without you

She says she has no time
For you now
She says she has no time

Think about the lonely people
Then think about the day she found you
Or lie to yourself
And see it all dissolve around you

She says she has no time
For you now
She says she has no time
For you now
She says she has no time

Lonely people tumble downwards
My heart opens up to you
When she says

She says she has no time
For you now
She says she has no time
For you now
She says she has no time

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Oh holy fuck

My day just got EVEN better...

At 17:45 G was brought home and I was bitched at for not being 'where we arranged to be'. Oh sorry I forgot we only do what he says ALL THE TIME, and the reason he doesn't have a phone or money is MY fault.

I was told that I will give him:
"R25 000 by Friday
A further R100 000 by the end of the month
and the balance to follow."
Because, and get this, pay attention because this is the BEST bit, he is "Tired of waiting now."

I was like what balance and he says "The R250 000 you agreed to pay me."

What fucking planet is this retard on. REALLY?

I mean even if I do/did agree to pay him, there is no money available AT ALL until the transfer goes through, the transfer is delayed by 6+ months because HE WOULDN'T SIGN THE FUCKING FORMS!!!

But now it is my fault.

Tomorrow I am filing the papers to get the car he is driving off my name, and I am taking it off my insurance. I was thinking about that today and thought 'Shame I can't take him off, he needs car insurance' and yet he thought nothing of letting our medical aid and life insurance lapse. he didn't even feel it was necessary to TELL me.

I will also be phoning my lawyer and finding out exactly where I stand with this money thing....

The boys were standing right there, and I said, 'Can we discuss this another time, when the children aren't standing right here?', and he just launched into a long monologue about me having to sell the house if I have to to pay him etc.

So before it got too out of hand I had to usher my children inside because he was creating a scene in the street and I decided they were not going with him tonight, and now I have Griffin crying because he "Wanted to go with daddy, and it's all because daddy stopped working at Ubuntu hey? And now he has no money."

When and how can I ever get this shit done with and have a normal life that is not so screwed up and full of shit all the time? I am never going to have a normal life or normal relationship while I have this kind of bullshit going on ALL the time. :`(


Ok, I am fucking fed up. I have fucking had enough now.

What went wrong? Let's see.

Quinn's glasses were broken and now I have to replace them at MY expense. So instead of the expensive snooty optometrist we usually use, I thought I'd try Spec Savers. Their funky website doesn't work so I could not use their 'store locator' to find a phone number for the Kenilworth branch, so I phoned their head office who gave me the number. I phoned and booked. The appointment was for today 16:30.

In the mean time Quinn had an away soccer match until 16:00 and Griffin was going to be at aftercare and the boys were meant to be seeing their dad from 17:00 tonight. That's pretty tight timing, but it;s how my life works. Rush rush rush.

Since I have NO way to contact my ex other than email I emailed him YESTERDAY asking if he could collect G from after-care today and then collect Q from the optometrist appointment. He responded about 26 hours later saying ok.

In the interim, the Spec Savers branch in HOUT BAY phoned to confirm my appointment, and I was like WTF!? I wanted an appointment in Kenilworth. Nope the head office gave me the number for Hout Bay. So appointment was cancelled and new one made for next Friday.

So when ex emailed to say ok, I replied, within 30 mins to let him know plans had changed, and never mind collect boys at home at 17:00 as per original plan.

So at 16:00 I dash off to school t get Griffin and can't find him I searched and searched and then realised he must have been taken. Yep sure enough he was signed out. So I dashed off to get Quinn, but half way there the teacher phones with these exact words 'Hello, are you planning to fetch Quinn today?'. Er no, I think I'll just leave him there for the night! D'oh. +++Stress. :`(

So then I get home to find my fucking garage door motor broken again. 3rd time in 18 months I think!!! So I phone and tell the man as politely as I can manage to please fucking Christ not put another plastic gear in this time since his R10 gear costs R650 to replace each time I have to call them out!

Then my domestic has some bloody small claims court issue with her son she wants me to intervene with. She is forever getting herself into shit with people and opening accounts which I then have to pay off for her. She does not learn!!!

And then I STILL CAN'T find Griffin. I assume he is with Richard but it is now 17:30 and no sign or sound from them. This does not make me feel happy or relaxed.

How fucking hard is it to get a R1.99 starter pack and even send me 'call me backs' if he has no money? I mean REALLY. Come on, does everything have to be so god damned hard all the time??

Then my sister is really getting my goat, I have just had it with her now. She only contacts me when she wants something from me... I am not even going into all that now, but now she is interfering with my domestic too, who then moans at ME about her and how unreliable she is and how she doesn't ask for anything she just tells you what you are going to do, and how she makes you do favours for her without compensation etc etc. I KNOW. She is a brat. I am sick of her too!

Maybe the problem is me and that I have a bad attitude? I don't know, but fuck it I just want a break now!

So that's my rant.

Monday, 8 June 2009

I think about the implications

I heard this song yesterday evening and it has stuck in my head...

Overkill - Men at Work

I cant get to sleep
I think about the implications
Of diving in too deep
And possibly the complications

Especially at night
I worry over situations
I know will be alright
Perhaps its just my imagination

Day after day it reappears
Night after night my heartbeat, shows the fear
Ghosts appear and fade away

Alone between the sheets
Only brings exasperation
It's time to walk the streets
Smell the desperation

At least there's pretty lights
And though theres little variation
It nullifies the night
From overkill

Day after day it reappears
Night after night my heartbeat, shows the fear
Ghosts appear and fade away

I can't get to sleep
I think about the implications
Of diving in too deep
And possibly the complications

Especially at night
I worry over situations
I know will be alright
It's just overkill

Day after day it reappears
Night after night my heartbeat, shows the fear
Ghosts appear and fade away

Here it is in the context that I saw it
, I actually prefer the acoustic version (and I LOVE that show).

It's hard not to get overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done, and all the injustice and inequality around us.

It does become haunting.

But I think we just need to do what we can, when we can. Influence what you can and make a difference in the small ways that you can, and with the people who value it the most.

Everything will be alright.

"It is not the magnitude of our actions but the amount of love that is put into them that matters." ~ Mother Teresa

"We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop." ~ Mother Teresa

Being something to somebody is significant, and sometimes it is enough...

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Update on the glasses saga

Yesterday the Aunt mailed me to say that T claimed the 3rd child had slammed him into the floor, so it was not his fault the glasses had broken.

The deputy headmaster phoned me later in the afternoon (the Headmaster responded briefly to my mail message saying he'd relegated the matter to the deputy for investigation and action and I should make contact with him again if it is not resolved to my satisfaction) and we had a constructive chat. He has spoken to all 3 boys (separately) and he said Quinn's version is correct, and the 3rd boy was just trying to help Quinn and so is not to blame, even though his help didn't help.

I told him I am not going to insist they pay, but would leave it up to T's family to decide, but that I wanted the boys to understand that this kind of thing is not on. And that things like glasses, braces, hearing aids or what have you are not thing to mess around with. He agreed completely and said he would take it further.

He has also spoken to the PE teacher who said it happened while he was packing up and while the boys were getting dressed right at the end of the lesson. I told him I didn't feel the teacher or school was to blame. This could have just as easily happened on the play ground or at after care etc...

I did tell him I wanted Q & T watched to ensure no more serious a situation develops between them though and for them possibly to be separated in class so they don't sit near each other or work in the same group, and he agreed. He told me he'll contact T's guardians as well and hear from them too and we'll speak again.

I am impressed with his response and how seriously he took it.

I still think it is a phenomenal school.

I may be going to hell...

But at least it is warm there!

Warning: Don't go any further in this post if you are:
a) Christian and/or
b) Easily offended.
Seriously! You. Have. Been. Warned.

But OMFG is this not the FUNNIEST thing you have ever seen!?

Here are just some of the outfits available:

Marilyn Monroe
Father Christmas
And how about Hitler! ;)

It brings new meaning to 'Jesus Christ Superstar'! ;)

Cept I have tiny melons and a massive ass!

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

What a spectacle of note!

So there seems to be a not so pleasant situation developing between Quinn and another child T at school.

I have just mailed the headmaster about it, to see if we can get it dealt with fifth-with (slightly faster than fourth with)....

Quinn and T have known each other since they were around 2 years old, as they attended the same nursery school, along with T's cousin C. C's Mom (S) and I worked together at the time. Tragically T's mother passed away when he was about 4 years old, and from what I can tell S and her mother (the granny) now share the responsibility for T. We mostly lost contact for several years but now T and Quinn are in the same class again.

A few weeks ago the deputy head of the school phoned me to inform me that Quinn had been caught passing rude notes around class, and he was given detention for this. I was sent a copy of the notes, and they were indeed rather shocking - especially for their age. In questioning Quinn he told me that T was involved and that T had started the exchange. Quinn was chastised and dealt with at home, and I decided not to take the matter further at the time, but made it clear to Quinn that that kind of behaviour is not acceptable on any level and will not be tolerated. He seems to have understood and has been working hard ever since, and toeing the line, from what I can tell.

Then yesterday I went to collect Quinn from after-care and discovered that T had broken Quinn's R1800 prescription spectacles during the PE class at the end of the day.

I was told that T tried to trip Quinn, but Quinn dodged him and so T tripped himself. Then he said 'Hey I'm going to wear these' and grabbed Quinn's glasses, ripped them off his face and put them on himself. He then refused to give them back. Another child, L, apparently got involved and tried to assist Quinn to get his glasses back, also to no avail. T then ran off wearing the glasses and slipped on the floor. L tried to restrain T and told him to give the glasses back, but he didn't. T was holding the glasses onto his face, when L let go/lost his grip of T he fell forward and broke the glasses between his hands and the floor.

The left arm off was completely snapped off and the rest of the frame was distorted and one of the lenses is chipped.

We had to make an emergency visit to to the optometrist to get them patched and bent more or less into shape so that Quinn can see at school today, but they are going to need to be replaced, as they have a special frame which is not easy to repair. (Note that I don't have medical aid and have to pay these kind of expenses out of pocket.)

Now I understand that accidents happen, and I understand that T has a complicated family history, as well as Quinn having been through a difficult year himself (with me now being a single parent and sole breadwinner etc), but I am concerned that further issues could develop between the 2 of them, although Quinn has agreed to keep away from T and to call on an adult for help should any kind of uncomfortable situation arise.

So I have sent a letter to the school's headmaster asking him to investigate what is going on between them and also to discuss either with T, the class, or the whole school that that glasses are effectively a piece of medical equipment (and very expensive at that) which is medically required by the child in question to function normally in the world, and should not be touched by anyone else. Certainly not without permission, and never in a rough or aggressive way.

When I spoke to Quinn last night about it and asked what he thinks would happen if HE had done that, he immediately said he thinks he would/should have to pay for it (for a long time). I am pleased that if nothing else I am teaching him to take responsibility, and he has already learned that 'if you do the crime, you do the time'. At the time of the rude note incident he volunteered to write a letter of apology to his teacher, which he did on his own and without supervision from me.

Whew parenting - not for the feint hearted!

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Tommy Pickles

Makes me smile. :)

Monday, 1 June 2009

The circle of life completes...

For the past couple of weeks I have kept thinking about the egg donor recipients and wondering what happened to them... I finally emailed to ask the other day and was thrilled to hear that about 2 weeks ago (corresponding pretty much exactly with when I started thinking about them) they gave birth to their baby GIRL.

I just knew it was a girl!

I am thrilled for them! The whole experience just felt like it was meant to be, and I just know it was significant, not only to them, but to me too. It feels like the whole experience with Angelique came to a close and her life journey completed.

Go well baby girl.

May the 3 of them have a lifetime of giggles, smiles, joy and much happiness.