Just call me Hant.

I'm a Hant! It's a half aunt. See, I have no 100% whole brothers or sisters, but I do have 2 half brothers and 2 half sisters. So that makes me a Hant when one of them has a kid, rather than an Aunt. Clever, huh? I thought so too.

So I'm now cool Hant Kristie! And I'm a Hant to a little man named Chase. Chase was born really really early and weighed only 2.5lbs. Other than being a tiny wee one, he's doing well. Wanna see his picture? Of course you do. Here he is in all his tiny baby glory...

I blurred part of the photo because his wee parts are all hanging out like he's tough litte guy. Which he is. Tough as nails, that one.
Unfortunetly he doesn't live here in Texas (even though I think that would wonderful), so I'm going to visit him and his momma. I leave for St. Louis tomorrow afternoon and I'll be there until Sunday evening.
I can't even tell you what a pain it was to redo my work schedule and all my appointments that I have for those days I'll be gone. But I just know it will be worth it. Even though I won't get to hold Chase, I'll get to see him in person. And THAT is really exciting.


Something bigger than ourselves.

Tonight, Derick and I watched the lunar eclipse. We sat on the driveway with the moon in clear view. It was really awesome to see the moon fade in the bright white color and darken to a deep brownish red color.

We set up Derick's telescope and scanned the skies for Saturn because we heard you might be able to see Saturn's rings if you had a telescope.

Let me tell you the elation I felt when I saw Saturn and the rings. It was nothing short of a utter euphoria. I actually felt tears come to my eyes. That's how amazing it was.

I've seen a million pictures in school earth science books and probably images on tv, but this. This was different. I saw Saturn! And Saturn's rings!

Derick and I were like little kids who had just discovered peanut butter and sugar sandwiches. We were giddy and talking in loud pronounced voices. We changed out the telescope lens to see if we could get a closer look. We called people and told them what we were actually seeing with our own eyes.

It was simply amazing. It was even more amazing to realize that we are such a small part of our universe.

If you didn't get a chance to see Saturn's ring, you can again in 2010. I highly recommend it. Derick and I have a date for the year 2010. Hopefully we will both be just as amazed as we were tonight.


The best day in my homeowning life.

Last year, about this time of year, I got a letter from my mortgage company. They politely informed me that I had an escrow shortage and my house payment was going to increase over FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS a month.

After I came to, from the fainting that ensued after I finished reading the letter, I fainted again.

Well, guess what. I got a letter from my mortgage company yesterday. And I did the opposite of faint, I cheered! I now have an escrow SURPLUS! My house payment is going down by over $350 a month.

I knew those bastards overcharged me.


Sign me up for Mother of the Year

This morning I traumatized my youngest child for life. Surely he will remember this day as the day his momma fucked him up for life. He will spend thousands of dollars on therapy and group healing sessions no doubt.

All because I'm a total idiot.

I locked my kid in the car today. While I waited for my Mom (have I mentioned she's my saving grace before? And she saves my ass all the time) to drive the 20 minutes to my house with the spare key, I ran circles around the car to entertain Jackson and keep him happy.

After about 10 minutes he realized that something was off. Mommy wasn't getting in the car to take him to the babysitter's house. She was acting like a raving lunatic. He got pissed and started screaming and kicking and probably sealing his therapy fate right then and there.

On the positive side, his kicking and flailing of his arms kept him warm so I didn't have to worry about him sitting in a car with no heat.

Yes, please send my award asap.


A diet is required

Today I am starting a new diet. I'm sick and tired of my old diet. It doesn't work and hasn't for a long long time.

I'm not talking a diet that regulates what I stuff into my mouth. THAT diet is working just fine.

No, the diet I'm talking about is a financial diet.

I've always been pretty horrible at managing my money. Not so bad that I am counting my pennies on a regular basis, but bad enough to where I feel anxiety right before my online bank information pops up. I dread seeing that amount of money I have, or don't have. There have been many times that I log into my online banking and have a mini heart attack right on the spot. Then I scroll through the purchases to realize that I spent triple digit amounts over the course of one weekend. But I NEEDED those earrings. And those shoes? They were calling my name.

I'm sort of financially responsible. I save for retirement and put money into a fairly high interest rate savings account. I bought a house after over 10 years of throwing away money in rent payments. I don't have many credit cards and the ones I do have are either very low interest rates or very low balances.

But still. My checkbook balance is looking a little thin and it's screaming at me to stop abusing it. I'm highly abusive to my debit card especially. In fact, my debit card has threatened to stop speaking to me. And I just can't have that.

I've made a list of financial diet rules for myself in the hopes that I will satisfy my debit card and my anxiety.

  • I was going to attempt the no spending money on frivolous things for a set amount of days. Then I introduced myself to myself and knew that was not possible. My willpower is to weak and Etsy.com sends me telepathic messages hourly. So I am limiting myself to $100 a month in frivilous purchases*.
  • I will increase my retirement contributions 10% starting next month. I want to retire a millionaire and have hot hunky men feed me grapes and massage my crusty old feet all while admiring my immense wealth.
  • I will pay off my higher interest rate credit cards by June 2008.
  • The credit card that's a low interest rate but a higher balance, I will keep paying the monthly payment but increase the payment by 50%.
  • I will continue to pay extra towards my principle for my house. But I'll do it on a regular basis, even it's only $5 extra.
  • I will start the search for a higher interest saving's account. Currently my savings account pays 3.65% which isn't too bad, but I bet I can find better. Anyone have suggestions?
  • By April 30 of this year I want to have saved $6,200 in my savings account to be used for emergencies and to sustain my household during the lean months of October through December 2008.
  • Finally, and this one's gonna hurt, I will stop buying coffee in the morning on my way to work. I only spend $6.75 a week on my morning coffee, but that's almost $30 and I can apply that to my principle payments for my house.

Wish me luck and sanity as I explore this new found diet. And if you feel bad that I can't spend much money on myself, feel free to send gifts. I don't mind.

*The only exception to this will be clothing. When I hit my goal weight, which will likely be around August at the rate I'm going, then I will include clothing in my financial diet.


If I have the nerve or the chance...

I stole this from Jennie. I'm sure she doesn't mind.

Here are my unsaid things I'd love to say if I had the guts or opportunity to do so:

1.) I wish things could have been different. I wish I would have been more my more authentic self so you didn't now think I was a totally different person. I miss our carefree days when we were kids. I wish you would stop drinking so much and be nicer to people in general.

2.) I feel honored that we are friends. I wish we were closer.

3.) I often wonder if I would have been 100% me instead of what I thought you wanted me to be, if things would have turned out differently. Did you know I wasn't being my real self?

4.) Thank you for trying your hardest to be in my life. After all these years I am still adjusting. I only hope that I can trust you to stay in my life longer than a few years.

5.) Please take care of yourself. You are slowly killing yourself and it hurts me to watch. I am trying so hard to not be like you in that way. I love you, please do something before you die.

6.) You are a selfish brat. And you know it, don't you? I'd still do anything for you.

7.) You are worth so much more than what you are allowing yourself to have. I hope that you rid yourself of the parasite that's sucking the life out of you. I barely recognize you anymore, physically and emotionally.

8.) Our relationship confused me. It still does.

9.) I'm glad I didn't sleep with you when I had the chance. SO GLAD.

10.) I'm so sorry. I hope that I can forgive myself for what I did to you. I don't think about you nearly enough, but when I do I always hold back the tears.


Thanks guys!

Thanks for all the well wishes for Derick. He's doing MUCH better. He went to a school dance last night and even danced. Although he told me that he couldn't dance at all. So I offered to teach him. I have a few moves from my clubbing days that I pull out on occasion. To which Derick replied "I don't want to learn how to dance from an old bag. And I mean that in the best possible way". Then he laughed and smiled and said he was kidding. The little shit. ;-)

On another positive note...the lovely Jennie took me to lunch yesterday which I am so grateful for. It was just the thing I needed. We managed to get in a little shopping and I bought the cutest EVER measuring spoons.

I got them at Anthropologie. I actually copied this picture from someone's blog and I thought I book marked that site and now can't find the blog again. So, if this is your picture, I hope you don't mind that I borrowed it! The Anthropologie site has the spoons listed but I can't copy the picture. I actually got the multicolored set. On the back of the Giraffe necks is the measurement for each spoon. I fell in love with these! If you go here and click on the 'Open Larger Image' button, you can see the actual set I got.

But I have to say that I am so mad at myself. I accidentally broke the smallest spoon. I watched it fall, in slo mo, to the floor in my kitchen last night. I called the store today and they are going to be so kind and replace it for me. For free! Awesome.

Anyway...thanks again for the positive thoughts. We really appreciate it. It's going to be a long road, but I think with the support of family, friends and medical professionals we will prevail and come out on the positive side.


My Derick

I've been having an internal wrestling match with myself about writing this blog. I decided to go ahead and write it in the hopes that it will be therapeutic for me. And maybe, just maybe, someone can say just the right thing to make it all better. Although I don't know that anything can make it all better.

Today I got a call from Derick's school. He's 12 and in 7th grade. After having encountered an episode that upset him today he made a comment twice that tore my heart out of my chest and made me a blubbering mess. The episode was nothing earth-shattering or really a big deal. But Derick is sensitive and smart and when things don't go the way he plans, he freaks. He told a teacher and his school counselor that he wanted to kill himself.

When a child utters such words, the school is required to do a suicide intervention. They called me first to explain what happened and within 2 minutes I was in my car driving to his school. On my way, I called Derick's psychologist to see what he recommended I do. After assessing Derick, the school counselor and the psychologist determined he was medium-high risk for suicide. When I heard those words I fell apart, My kid? My sweet first born who wouldn't hurt a fly? It was decided that I would take him immediately to the local children’s hospital to the emergency room to be evaluated.

My mom met Derick and I there while we waited to talk to the hospital counselor. I'm so grateful my mom was there, I don't know that I could have kept my shit together without her there. She talked to Derick and told us stories. Since I couldn't leave him alone in the room, she stayed with Derick could I get some lunch from the hospital cafeteria. She was my saving grace.

It was determined that Derick would not require an intake stay at the hospital. He came home with me but is not to be alone until further notice. It's been recommended that I enroll Derick into a 'partial school' for a few weeks. At the partial school they teach kids about coping mechanisms and have counselors that talk with the kids. I need to get more details, but I think we will go this route and then follow up with continued psychiatry appointments and obtain a regular counselor or therapist for Derick. Right now he's sleeping peacefully. Unaware, for the most part I'm sure, what havoc this has created.

A few weeks ago he was diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder and mild depression. I suppose his comment was probably only a way to get some attention. I truly don't think he meant he was honestly going to end his life. The counselor at his school and at the hospital agree with me. But we can't be too careful.

It's been a roller coaster ride today and it's not been fun. Not one bit. One the way to the hospital I was visibly upset and Derick tried to comfort me by rubbing my shoulder while I drove. It was so sweet and I just wanted to smack him and tell him that he's not allowed to leave me. I would never be the same if I didn't have Derick in my life. I told him that he has so many experiences that he has yet to encounter. I want him to out live me. I want him to get grey hair and saggy parts. I want him to know the freedom of driving a car. I want him to fail at things and succeed at things. I want him to have a family and to get his first real kiss. I don't want him to stop existing, physically, at 12.

Depression runs deep in my family and I fear the worst. But I hope for the best. I hope to get Derick the help he needs to function and be a happy, well adjusted kid. I can't imagine losing Derick. He's 1/2 of my heart. And I don't think people can function with 1/2 a heart.

Please, if you can, think positive thoughts for my Derick.

Score one for me!

Oh, Emily, I'm so sorry to rub it in your face. I really am.

I read this post and remembered the one day my dog, Emma, sprung herself out of her crate while I was at work. I came home to find she had eaten anything that wasn't nailed down. She also pooped and peed anywhere she damn well pleased. This was about a year and a half ago. I remember the horror I felt walking into my house. She has never been left alone in the house alone unless she's in her crate. She's generally a good dog, but her bordeom takes over and she ransacks the house.

So guess what happened today? She accidentally didn't get put outside before we all left for the day. She was INSIDE the house ALL DAY free to roam and demolish anything she pleased. When I walked in the door I saw on of Jackson's stuffed animals laying in the middle of the hallway and my heart sank. I just knew I was about to enounter what could be compared to World War 3 in my house. I just KNEW it.

As I walked in I saw her sleeping on the couch so I went room to room to assess the damage. Nothing! That's what I found! Other than the stuffed toy I didn't find any mess at all! She didn't even pee or poop in the house! I was literally shocked. She's almost 3 now so I guess she's realized that the house isn't her personal playspace or 'dumping' ground if you know what I mean.


Also, I have a question for you guys. When you comment on someone's blog do you always expect them to reply to your comment? I read every single comment but I rarely reply back. And that's only because Blogger doesn't give your return e-mail address unless you've entered it, so unless I know your e-mail address I'd have to research to e-mail you back. Do you even care if I don't reply back?


SERIOUSLY, what IS it with people?

So I'm sitting at my desk and a client comes in to drop some of their tax stuff off. We chat for a few minutes and then he looks at my stomach and says "Are you pregnant again?".


I'm irate about people making fat comments and pregnant comments. I'm not small by any means but seriously come on. I've average weight for most people my height and age and I don't have an overly protruding stomach.

I fully intend on charging him double or triple. Oh yes I do.
Thank you to all who wished my Bobee (Jackson) a happy birthday! The birthday party was a hit and we had lots of fun. Almost 40 people showed up to his b-day. Holy cow! That kiddo is so loved. Oh, and I didn't make his cake. I attempted twice and failed miserably. Eric's mom ordered a cake and it was ADORABLE. He's a Groundhog baby, so it only made sense to have a Groundhog theme. See the proof here:
The first cake was for the adults:

And THIS! This is Jackson's own little cake:


And lastly, tax season is in full swing. I have reached that point of not being able to go pee when I need to. SUCK!


Happy Birthday Bobee

Dearest Jackson,

Today is your 1st birthday. The first of many I hope you have. It's been a year of so many discoveries, smiles and laughter. Everyday you amaze me with how YOU you are. When you smile and laugh it just melts my heart. I thank the stars everyday that you are my son. I love you more than life itself. Even though you won't remember this day I hope that you know how loved you are by so so so many people.