A Long Time Coming

Things have been very quiet here on the blog for the last several months. It’s been a conscious choice on my part. There were things I wanted to write about but it just wasn’t the right time to share them. Events are finally pushing forward now and the time has come for me to be able to share them.

Scot and I are divorcing.

This has been building for many years and it has finally come to a head. We are broken. We cannot continue on this course; we cannot continue to be married. For the sake of our children, we must divorce.

I never thought I would have to say the words, “I want a divorce.” I never thought we would be a statistic. I never thought that we would be That Couple in our circle of friends that didn’t last. Everyone who knew us when we got married said we would be the kind of couple that would last.

And yet, here we are.

We still have a lot of details to work out. For the moment, we are still all living in the same house; a circumstance that is not very comfortable for anyone involved but it’s what it has to be at this point. We are working with the appropriate parties to figure out how to separate our lives after 15 years of them being entwined. We are trying to do this very difficult thing as peaceably as possible for the sake of the children we both love so much. I don’t know exactly what the future holds for the kids and I, but I know that it HAS to be better than where we are now.

I only hope that I can manage to walk this path with dignity and grace. I know there are times when I’m so angry it’s awfully hard to find any grace much less dignity. But I continue to pick myself up and put one foot in front of the other because I don’t know what else to do. I try to remind myself that the definition of grace is not that we never stumble and fall but that we get back up, we keep trying, we work to make each day a little better than the last. Breakdowns will come but I can’t let that mean that I give up.

A new life will rise from the disaster of this year and I can only hope that when I get there, it’s better than where I am now.

And so all of this is why I haven’t been blogging. There was too much to say and too much chance I’d say the wrong thing. I still won’t be sharing too much about the details of all this in this space (I’m sure you understand why) but I hope to not be such a stranger.


My Powerball Fantasy

The Powerball lottery is drawing tonight for a jackpot of 1.3 BILLION dollars. As I understand it, should a person hit the whole thing and take the cash payout, they’d get several hundred million after taxes.

So, what would I do if I won?

  • Pay off my house. Then, I would pay off the houses of my sister and my sister-in-law.
  • Do all the things to my house that need doing: new windows, fix the mortar on the porch, new gutters, etc.
  • Pay off Scot’s new car. Then, buy a new car for me. Probably another Prius, to be honest. Or maybe a Tesla.
  • Fund the kids’ higher education. Whatever that may be – college, trade school, whatever. Put money away for it.
  • Hire a cleaning service to clean my house weekly.
  • Go on a fantastic trip with Scot. Our honeymoon was very low key so this would be so much fun.
  • Help our parents with whatever they needed. I know both of their homes are paid off but if we could help in some way, I would.
  • Invest. Get a GOOD financial guy and make my money work for me.

And what wouldn’t I do?

  • Buy a boat or a bigger house or super luxury cars.
  • Following on from that, I wouldn’t move. I like where we live.
  • Get divorced. I love my husband, I think I’ll keep him.
  • Quit my job. I like my job. I enjoy getting out of the house and doing something that I know is making a difference in someone else’s life.
  • Put my kids in private school. We live where we live for a good reasons and one of them is the school district.
  • I wouldn’t give away money just because people asked for it. Would I want to help people? Absolutely. But I’m not a bank.
  • Blow it on some kind of high roller Vegas blow out. No hookers and blow for me.

Basically, I’d do everything I could to make our lives and the lives of those we love easier – to the extent to which money can do that. And then I’d invest the rest so that our lives could remain easier and live a normal, middle class, suburban existence.

Stress Level: Do Numbers Go That High?

To recap: Scot had an emergency cholecystectomy in early April. Two weeks later he was hospitalized for dehydration issues. Two weeks after that, he had an emergency appendectomy. That was just one week ago.

And last night? Last night Scot was readmitted to the hospital. For the fourth time in six weeks.

I’m going to keep the details to a minimum because they’re gross and because this whole situation is unbelievable anyway. So, after his shower last night Scot’s belly button incision started to leak nasty gross stuff. Stuff that said “you have a raging infection.” I took him to the ER, they ran tests, they started him on high power IV antibiotics and they admitted him.

This morning his surgeon saw him on rounds. They planned to clean out the infection as much as they could, repack the wound, and keep him on the IV antibiotics. They went ahead with this plan. They did not sedate him for this. It was less than pleasant for Scot. It was downright torturous, in fact.

We don’t know at this point how long he will be hospitalized. At least long enough for the cellulitis to clear up and his white count to steadily trend downward. The surgeon said this happens in about 30% of appendectomy cases and because Scot had had two surgeries through his belly button in a month’s time his risk was increased.

I’m starting to really crack under the strain. I’ve been solo parenting and nursemaiding for over a month now. I can’t seem to get on top of my chores and my life – and no wonder because I spend all these hours at the hospital. I feel like Sisyphus; I start to climb the mountain of backlogged chores only to fall back to the bottom to start again.

I haven’t been able to properly hug my husband in almost 8 weeks.

I’m tired and I’m cranky and worried and I’m stressed. I just want to crawl under a rock and not come out until this is over.

Scot’s parents have been amazing. They’ve helped with the kids, sat at the hospital, sat at my house until the wee hours of the morning. Anything and everything we’ve asked them to do, they’ve done. I don’t know what I would do without their help. I know my parents would do the same were they not 6 hours away.

I know we will get through this and he will be fine. But, for now, I’m in the depths of managing all this and all I can do is follow the tiny trail of breadcrumbs that (I hope) lead to normality.

Back To School

I’m sure you think this post is going to be about the kids. After all, it’s back to school time for the kiddos – it would only make sense. But, no. This one is about me because I’m the one going back to school.

A little background on me for those that don’t know. I have a B.S. in Anthropology from Michigan State University. My concentration was Classical Archaeology (this means Rome/Greece). I did a Field School while in college so I actually know how to do the physical work and science of archaeology. I still love my chosen field of study.

But I didn’t go to graduate school. When I got out of undergrad, I just didn’t have the dedication of continue school, I wasn’t focused enough, and I wasn’t willing to put up with politics in academia. Unfortunately, there’s not much I can DO in my field without graduate school. So, I went out and got a job in the clerical field. I moved around a lot for a few years after college and worked a number of different jobs. I eventually landed in Pittsburgh when Scot proposed to me and I got a job as a faculty assistant at Carnegie Mellon. I worked there for 4 years until they laid me off when I was 7 weeks pregnant with Liam.

I’ve been a stay at home mother ever since.  I’ve made a couple of attempts to go back to work but they haven’t worked out at all. It just made more sense for me to be home with the kids. It’s not always been the easy path but it felt like the right one.

Now, I am looking toward the time when I will have both kids in school. I’ve made it through those difficult early years when I wanted to be home with the kids as much as possible but I will soon be exiting that portion of my life. In addition, I feel like I’m finally on top of this whole Domestic Diva thing. Given those things, what the hell am I going to do with myself when they’re gone at school all day?

Plus, let me be honest – my brain is bored. Not to be uppity but I’m not stupid. I graduated college With Honors. After all these years at home I’m starting to feel like I need to feed my brain again. Part of that is because my kids are older and more independent. They don’t suck me dry like little vampires of need anymore. (Adorable vampires of need, don’t get me wrong, but certainly energy sucking.) Because of that, I can now focus on more than just getting from one end of the day to the other.

To that end, I’ve decided to go back to school to get certified in medical coding. I can do the entire program online at my own pace. There are a lot of things about this that make sense for my life. I know I can do school without the structure of a traditional classroom. With Jamie in preschool, I will have set time alone that I can work on schooling. Once I’m certified, there are a lot of jobs available in this area – many of which allow you to work from home. Also, there is a transition to a new coding system coming up in October of 2014 and there is a huge lack of people qualified in the new system. So I’m going to make myself qualified.

Even if my life doesn’t allow me to work full time, I’m getting to a point where I *could* work part time and still be home to get my kids off the bus. Ideally, I would like to work from home but I recognize that this may be something I have to earn with experience in the field first.

My first step in the process is to complete a basic Anatomy and Physiology course. Given that I’ve worked in medical offices, have a background in Latin (thanks, archaeology!), and grew up with two veterinarians who discussed surgery over the dinner table, I’m hoping that this will be fairly easy for me so that I can ease into the way that online schooling works. I ordered the book for the class and it should be here tomorrow; once Jamie starts school after Labor Day, I’ll register and get started.

I find that I’m excited about this and that shocks me just a little. It’s not like medical coding is a subject that engrosses me the way that archaeology does.  But I’m detail-oriented enough to find the intricacies of the subject to be interesting. I never thought I’d want to deal with school again – class, and studying and tests, UGH! – but I’m ready. I wish I didn’t have to wait another couple of weeks to begin.

So, as I begin the process of school again, I take with me my father’s oft-shared advice on school: RTPT – Read The Problem Twice – and take no prisoners. I plan to do just that.

Giggle. Snort.

So, a long time ago in a galaxy near, near to my house and in the early days of this blog, I put up this post about the Star Wars themed bears we bought the kids for Christmas.  If you go read the post, please note the title.*

I am now getting hits to that particular post from AROUND THE WORLD.  They are almost all being directed here from a google search.  I begin to wonder what those search terms might be.  Well, I don’t really wonder; I’m pretty sure I know since my mind does, after all, reside in the sewer.

I’ve gotten hits from Spain, Russia, Norway, and France.  And the only page those people have viewed is that particular post.  Now, if they’re searching for what I think they’re searching for, can you imagine their frustration and dismay when they click the link and find that they’ve hit some random chick’s post about TEDDY BEARS?!  Picturing it is making me giggle insanely!

France:  “Zoot a lors!  MERDE.”

Spain:  “Ay yi yi!  CACA.”

Norway: “DRITT.”

Russia: “дерьмо.”  (According to google translate that is Russian for “shit.”)

Well, all I can say is I hope they enjoyed their detour into Two Kids and a Beagle but they really should have taken that left turn at Albuquerque.

*I finally got tired of getting these random hits (Singapore, India, Lithuania, Brazil…) so I changed the title of the post.  We’ll see if that helps.