Friday, February 26, 2010







I had a moment on momtuition last night that she should be checked, so Cody's mom brought me and her to the ER here since Cody's also been sick. She's been lethargic, throwing up everything she's eaten and half of what she ate Wednesday, clammy, not as responsive as usual, fussier than normal, and very warm. I didn't get the feeling it was just a usual bug, and had a gut feeling she was dehydrated.

She was definitely dehydrated. She's weighed every Wednesday morning, and on the 10th she was 12lb12oz, 13lb14oz on the 17th, 13lb10oz on the 24th (this started my concern), and ended up being 12lb11oz last night. That's quite a drop in just 36 hours. I lost track at seven sticks to get an IV started. She had an -ray taken and an ultrasound. She also had blood work done. That bitchy nurse who took the blood was not only nasty to Cody's mom, but she lost the blood, which I found between the bed Charlotte was on and the wall. Since it was a busy night, we were in the hall, and that nurse didn't even tell anyone the blood wasn't turned in. We and the doctor were waiting for the results, and I was looking for something else when I found the bag with the vials a couple hours later. I've lodged a complaint. Until I found that, another doctor had ordered more blood since we needed the results. Charlotte would have been poked again without it being found.

Anyway, the doctor assigned to her now was thinking GERD or gastroenteritis, among other things, though gastroenteritis seems most likely now. She's doing better today, but will remain here again tonight for continued observation. She's off the saline drip and they want to make sure she can maintain hydration and keep food down, though she still has the IV. It was so hard listening to her scream as she was being poked to get that thing in. I held her during two attempts, then just couldn't anymore because I was just too upset. It was torment hearing her scream for me (she makes a sound like "mummummummmm, mummummummm" when she wants me) and not being able to make it all better for her. I just wanted to snatch her up and cuddle her and kiss away the pain in her hands and feet from all the pokes.

I'm still allowed to nurse her. She needs breastmilk more now than when she's well, not only for the nutrition but the comfort. The poor baby was being tortured, as far as she understands, to get the IV in. We know that she's not going through anything life-threatening at this moment, but it's still hard enough.

Not only do we not like seeing her hurt and afraid of what's going on, but it takes standing firm on certain things, like vaccinating and co-sleeping. They are trying to talk us into a bunch of vaccines and having her sleep in the crib overnight. We are not going to let her tiny, already-sick body be pumped full of vaccines (even healthy children routinely get sick for a few days!), and I'm not going to have her waking up in a strange place and not have mommy there when she's slept every single night of her life with me. The cots here are firm and have solid rails that make it so she can't fall off. So she stays with me. She needs as little change at the moment as possible.

It's nerve-wracking feeling like, while we're here, someone else is in control of my baby instead of me or Cody. We can't enter or exit the ward without permission, and even though we, as the parents of a patient haven't been denied (and I haven't left at all), it's still not a nice feeling having to basically get permission to come in. At least the ped and PICU staff are extremely kind and attentive.

I can't wait until we're all home.

Hospital

Been in the ER with Charlotte. She's being admitted. :-(

Sunday, February 21, 2010

More pictures

It's been, what, a whole week with no new pictures? Too long!

I had more spit-up on me than she had on her face!
February 16, 2010


She was born with a sterling silver rattle in her mouth. I guess we fail because it's not a spoon. :) We are giving her a gift for her month-days. We want them to be things she can ass on to her own children. For her second, she got this antique sterling rattle.
February 17, 2010


Look at this little angel, so perfect.
February 17, 2010


She's just so precious.
February 18, 2010


Daddy and daughter asleep on the couch.
February 19, 2010


Don't throw the baby out with the (clean) laundry! I just laid her down to take both her and the basket to our bedroom. There's still quite a bit in the hallway, and so I only wanted to take one trip.
February 20, 2010




Grumpetty-grump-grump! Mommy's lil' activist! This was after the protest on Saturday. Wow, Yesterday. We've been so busy since then that it feels several days ago.
February 20, 2010



Tomorrow is Monday, meaning vacation's over. Vacation? Well, the weekend allowed for doing other things. During the day tomorrow, I'll be on the phone with a tax advocate and figuring out what to do regarding the IRS office. I'm still livid about that.

Let me think about something nice. Charlotte. And yesterday we picked 25 large avocados off the trees in our back yard.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Update, and Protest #2

I contacted a coupe attorneys who don't think it's any big deal, a person from La Leche League said "it happens to everyone", and I've contacted First Right (thanks to the commenters who mentioned that one). I'll be contacting media and will try to figure out the best way to organize a nurse-in. I would have done more today were it not for a horrible headache. My midwife's attendant called the IRS and has some information. We'll go over that this weekend.

We get a mixed message. Breastfeeding is best, but "you can't do that here." I've spoken with a few moms today who are uncomfortable feeding in public because they're afraid of this happening, so use formula when they're out. No mom should ever be made to feel ashamed or like she's doing something wrong for feeding a baby!


Also the second protest for the midwife ban is tomorrow, 11-1 on the corner or Rose and Gonzales in Oxnard, in front of St. John's Hosptal, rain or shine. If anyone reading this is local, PLEASE be there! There's all this talk about "a woman's right to choose", but so little attention to women having so few rights with regards to how to give birth. Worse than banning midwifery, there wasn't even a buffer period. There are woman who are due any day now who have found out they must scramble to either find a doctor at the hospital or find a midwife at another hospital or birth center. This is stress a woman doesn't need. Tomorrow one of those expectant mothers will be at the protest. Rumor has is that larger new stations out of LA will be there.

I need to go find something warm for Charlotte to wear. It's supposed to rain, and her clothes are still mostly packed. I may just dress her in what she wore last week, only with the turtleneck and thick cotton tights.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I was kicked out of the IRS office for breastfeeding.

This makes three times in less than 24 hours the IRS has severely pissed us off.

First Cody checked the amount his pay check would be this Friday to find the IRS is garnishing his checks. They claimed in early December to never have received his 2007 return, so to refile it, which was done. Total owing was $86. It was refiled February 2nd, and we had assistance from the tax advocate. Cody verified with someone from the IRS that his return was received. They're proceeding to garnish his checks anyway at 25% for about 10 pay periods. They are not owed this money!! So we have to deal with that.

Then we checked the status of our refund for last year, and saw that 98.8% of it (no joke) has been withheld. $79 instead of over $6,000. We called and found out the IRS is claiming I had wages for a year I didn't work, so there is taxes on that plus penalties and interest. So we have to deal with that too.

I went down today to the SSA to get proof of no income that year. That went without a hitch. Nursed Charlotte while waiting for the doors to open. Was out of there at 9:02. They opened at 9. Not bad!

From there I went to the IRS office in Santa Barbara and they weren't issuing numbers again until 1:30, though I was told I could go ahead and wait, or come back. The lady said it might also be possible the lady helping people could see me before lunch at 1:30. Since it was two hours until then, and I didn't feel like driving all the way home only to turn around and drive back, and there was a chance to be seen earlier, I decided to wait.

Charlotte got hungry, so I did what any breastfeeding mama would do and started to feed her. I was sitting there minding my own business, watching Charlotte, not talking to anyone, not even Charlotte, just watching her and smiling since she was looking up at me so sweetly. I was sitting three seats from the corner with no one on either side of me, and no one between me and the corner.

The lady who was helping people today (the only one) told me, loudly and from behind the counter so that it was impossible for anyone there to not hear her, that I can't "do that" there, that "there are other places to do it." Where? Outside? A nasty bathroom?! I asserted that state law protects my right to nurse my baby anywhere, especially a government office. She said there are security cameras and she got a complaint about me "doing that" (she wouldn't even say "nursing), and I again told her it's my right, the laws protect nursing in public. She walked back to the window where she had come from, the one closest to the door, while saying that at 12:30, law or no law, I would not be there, and told the lady she was helping that security had been called on me and they'd be right there. I couldn't risk a confrontation with anyone who could arrest me without someone else there to take Charlotte. It would be wrongful arrest and I could sue for probably millions, but I wouldn't risk Charlotte ending up in foster care while Cody and I fought to get her back. It would be unfair to our baby to be in foster care on formula and away from her parents, for even one night. So I had to leave.

I went right from there to the police department to verify the law, and I am correct. State laws expressly protect the right to breastfeed anywhere a baby is authorized to be, barring private residences. Civil Code 43.3 And some more. There aren't even an restrictions on HOW breastfeeding is to be done.

I was really embarrassed and humiliated by this, and it takes a lot to make me feel this way. I'm also feeling very self-conscious about breastfeeding, which isn't fair to me or Charlotte.

What I'm not sure of now is my options on how to proceed. I don't want to drop this. Third time's the charm. It would be easier for me to overlook the government stealing over $6,000 from us, and even them taking 25% of Cody's income for three months, though we can't exactly afford that garnishment with me being a stay-at-home mom, but there's no way I could overlook this. It was a GOVERNMENT WORKER at a GOVERNMENT OFFICE, of all people and places!!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Baby functions!

I've got a baby asleep across my tummy pinning my right arm so that I can just barely type, and a load of diapers washing. Cody's dad bought us an amazing super-duty Whirlpool washer and dryer. I must be getting old - washers and dryers excite me. And these diapers - I can't express my love for them enough. A whopping minute to toss them into the washer, ad then I go about whatever I want to do. A minute to throw into the dryer. Munch on some chocolate-covered fruit or make faces at Charlotte. 30 second to dump them into the basket. Maybe 75 cents between detergent and energy is all a load costs. Sure beats dropping $15 on a pack of diapers every dew days, and having to spend half an hour going to the store for them. Whoops, down to 1 diaper at midnight, and the store's closed? No prob, jut throw in a load. We also use cloth wipes. If I had the money, I'd buy every mom and expectant-mom I know cloth diapers.

When the washer and dryer were being delivered, I'd just taken Charlotte's diaper off, and she peed on me. I felt this warm stream going down my left side. Well, it couldn't hurt to let her go sans diaper for a little bit, let her skin get some air (she's never even had a hint of diaper rash, and I think it's a combination of keeping her dry and letting her skin get air). So maybe half an hour later, I sit down on the (thankfully leather) couch, her head on my knees, her butt by my crotch, her legs upward on my chest. I have a clean diaper on my right hand and am just about to put it under her when she pees again. Remember how I said her butt was near my crotch? Yeah. I looked like I peed myself.

A couple hours before the delivery people got here, I was changing her diaper. I unsnapped her sleeper and put my hands behind her to pull her lets out of the legs of her sleeper. She'd...had a blow-out. So I dug my hands in poo! She grinned a huge grin.

And she's spit up on me a good deal. I say she's "blessing" me rather than spitting up. I'd so much rather have her regurgitate onto me than to not spit up because she's not here. I'll take the spit-up and poo and pee to have her. She's worth every bit of everything. She's worth every minute of headache I get when she's crying from teething, every diaper-change, every everything.

That wasn't the point of this post when I started. I guess I'll do that one later.

Pictures! This was yesterday at Cheesecake Factory at lunch with Cody and his mom:



These next two were taken on the 7th. Look at how long her eyelashes are, and how perfectly beautiful she is. You can faintly see her forehead birthmark.



Sunday, February 14, 2010

God dammit!

Will my mother ever SHUT THE FUCK UP!! Now she's texting me. She called day before yesterday and yesterday too see how Charlotte was doing before starting to yell at me for "not caring" about when she was homeless, and then texted me a few minutes ago pissed that I didn't take care of her last year. Really, what the flying fuck was she expecting us to do?! Ever since my dad died, I'd done all I could to take care of her, get her bills paid, her rent, making sure she had food, even when it meant skipping my own bills or skipping groceries for myself. A couple times management at one of the Archstones I lived at was nice enough to let me be a couple weeks late on rent because her own apartment manager wasn't going to let her be late again. It took until February of last year to finally say NO MORE, after we were nearly evicted using our rent to get HER moved to keep a roof over HER head. How dare she insist I have never taken care of her!! I've nearly ended up homeless again and have literally gone hungry so she wouldn't have to!! I can't believe she genuinely thinks I should have been sheltering and feeding her last year when I was pregnant and we didn't have enough for even just me at times.

She is so selfish!! Until she got sick with this tumor, it was all her fault she was going through hell instead of living a life of luxury. Give her any money and she'd drink it away.

I do NOT believe alcoholism is a disease - show me the physical proof, the cells that have mutated, the body attacking itself, or something. Calling it a disease gives alcoholics reason to say, "It's not my fault," and to shun responsibility, and so why bother trying to go to therapy or AA if it's something beyond their control. If you don't drink to excess, you won't become an alcoholic. Drink a single drink a night, and you won't become an alcoholic Drink all the time, and you will. I'm pretty sick and tired of every vice being called a disease rather than telling people to be responsible for themselves and their actions.

Mom would use this as justification for buying alcohol. "I have a disease. I need alcohol." She did this for five goddamned years.

After getting her into a house while we were crammed into a really tiny apartment, she went off and caused some massive fights with her housemate, and it was then that finally I'd had enough of paying for her.

What's insulting too is that neither time I was homeless did she lift a finger to help me, yet she expects me to keep supporting her financially. The first time I was homeless was her fault. I'd been out of the hospital three days, a stay during which I was comatose for weeks, was rushed into the ER on an emergency basis more than once, etc.. She had vodka, then started in on me for not dong the laundry. I couldn't even shower on my own yet! So she kicked me out. Didn't give me a chance to get any clothes. I had the clothes on my back and grabbed my backpack and Yoda while on the way out the door, and she told me if I didn't leave, she was calling the cops, phone in her hand. I tried calling a few hours later from a phone at the high school down the road, and she said if I called again, she was going to call the cops for harassment. I ended up in the ER twice during that time, and still she wouldn't budge An ex-employer of mine found out and took me in. Word got back to mom about that, and then she finally consented to me being back in the house, but only because she didn't want someone else to look better than her.

And yet she expects me to have gotten her another place to live after all we did do for her, all the money I spent over the years, all the money Cody and I spent together after getting together, after paying her rent at her old apartment and moving her to a house, complete with paying the deposit and rent for a while, risking our own housing for her.

She's claiming Steve, the meth addict who's hit her and took advantage of her, makes her feel alive again like Dad did. Oh hell no. She did NOT compare MY dad to an abusive druggie.... I can't believe she could mean that.

She will never meet Charlotte. I will not allow my daughter around the type of person Mom and Dad years ago struggled to get me and my brother away from. I will NOT willingly walk my daughter right into the center of drugs and violence, right into a place where I'd be constantly worried about someone harming her, or at least fantasizing about it.

Really, she could die right now for all I care. She's doing nothing but trying to drag me down again, and I'm not going to have it.

I need to go find a way to cheer up. Maybe a long hot shower and some spaghetti, and then back to working on getting my sewing room in order.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Protest article

Charlotte and I were in the news article for the protest at St. John's regarding the midwife ban! There's a photo on the left (copied below, with the text to it). Also watch the video. We're in that too. Proud, I am, to be involved with this.





Aria Austin takes care of her baby, Charlotte Clements, who was born at her home in Ventura, during the rally. Other hospitals around the country have adopted bans similar to the one at St. John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital in Camarillo.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Busy day

We woke up late, the three of us. Took Cody to work, a 50-minute drive following the speed limit. Going 5 over takes 45 minutes. Anyway, took him to work, stopped at CVS really quick to get poster board, then came home to make up a sign for a protest.

St. John's Pleasant Valley in Oxnard decided to ban midwives, claiming that it's too dangerous for midwives to attend births in hospitals without NICUs. Now this makes no sense. Midwives take lower-case pregnancies only. Doctors take the high-risk pregnancies. Those high-risk pregnancies can be handled in hospitals without NICUs. So why the hell can't lower-risk midwife births? Midwives have such a low rate of complications in deliveries, so much lower than doctors, even when considering only low-risk doctor-births.

Charlotte and I were both there. To think, I was worried about her being too cold. Instead it was so warm I had to strip her down to her diaper for a little while. (Good thing about driving a convertible is that high-SPF sunblock is a standard item in it for me, so I had 85SPF sunblock for us.) I was interviewed by a news station and a newspaper. I cant remember which. I'm still so unfamiliar with what's around here, what with only having cable tv again for a few days, and getting most of my news online.

So the protest took up most of our day. Then we did some shopping while waiting to pick up Cody. Made no sense to drive half an hour back to Santa Barbara only to turn around and drive an hour in traffic back to Thousand Oaks within 10 minutes of getting home.

Cody's dad bought us a new washer and dryer since this house doesn't have them. They'll be delivered tomorrow, and first thing is to wash diapers. We've got eight clean ones left. Then I'll get to wash a bunch of fabric for sewing! This excites me. Then on Sunday we're going to finish getting my sewing room put together, minus the painting, which will happen later in the week. I'll get to sew again! I've been aching to do so. Let's see if I can churn out the five little girl dresses I'm planning to by the end of the month, a burgundy one, two white ones, a blue one with silver-lines leaves, and another that hasn't yet been decided. And then I'll start the Phantom of the Opera wedding gown for the girl in Israel, the top of the Don Juan gown (from the film) with the skirt of the Think of Me gown (from the film), but not beaded. I may potentially have a fourth wedding gown lines up, but for September 2011.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Moved!

I went to a mothering circle today, which was a lot of fun. Charlotte hadn't seen other babies up close before. She was especially interested at staring at a little girl named Summer who is five months. This circle shall become a regular weekly event. She weighed in at 12lb4oz.

In the December due date club I'm a part of, one mom lost her baby a couple days ago. She and her husband woke up and she went to check on the baby at 6am, and he wasn't responsive. Hell ensued. Now I'm having a hard time with going to bed. I just want to sit here with Charlotte behind me and watch her. I'm not worried about her getting a cold or anything, but I'm feeling rather paranoid about her dying. That would kill me.

Another mom in the club had to stand by as her son had surgery on his stomach, and the pictures she posted of before they all went to the hospital and then afterward in the PICU are heartbreaking. That poor baby had no idea what was coming, and then he was covered in tubes. He's still in the hospital. Again, if this happened to Charlotte, I'd be beside myself.

Another mom's baby is hospitalized with RSV. To IV that baby, they took him from her and she wasn't able to be there. When she got to see him again, the IV was in his HEAD and his eyes were red from crying. I would have been shitting bricks and then hitting people with them.

Just the thought of anything happening to our little girl makes me feel sick. She is our world.

Another hospital has banned midwives from delivering babies. Such bullshit. Midwives have a c-section rate of under 2% whereas doctors have a c-section rate of 33%, yet it's midwives who are so risky that their deliveries must be by a NICU? Women are supposedly mentally competent enough to decide whether or not to kill an unborn baby, but can't be trusted to make a competent decision on how to deliver?

There's a protest on Friday at 11am and Charlotte and I will be there. Cody is working, or he'd be there too. Charlotte may not have been born in a hospital with a midwife, but dammit, if that's how some women want to deliver, rather than at home with a midwife or at a hospital with a doctor who wants total control, then why can't she have it?

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We finally got moved this past weekend, so now we're in the process of settling in. Cody's mom lives about half a mile away (which is fine since she's so completely awesome and not overbearing and respects our space, so we're not crowded), and we found out today that the house his dad grew up in in visible from our porch!

The dogs are loving having a whole huge yard to run around in all day. We love the fireplace and indoor grill and that we actually have permission to do anything we want to the house.

This house predates heating systems, so there's a wall-heater that was installed some years back, and the fireplace. It's interesting figuring out alternative ways (alternative compared to what we grew up with) to keep warm overnight. This isn't so difficult, but leaving our bedroom in the morning sucks. Charlotte definitely sleeps with us. She's still so little that she'd probably literally freeze to death somewhere other than our bed.

I'm going to repaint Charlotte's room. Right now it's purple on top. The bottom is wood paneling, but real wood, not that fake stuff. So we can't remove the wood (one of the few things we can't do). Lavender and brown just don't go well together, so I guess it's pink after all, but it'll be a mauve-pink.

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My sewing room will be in lilac with some of the lavender used to trim. As soon as that's all done, which will be within the next week, I'll get back to sewing. I sealed the deal on a wedding gown for June and am working on one for September of next year. Little girls' dresses a Hermione Yule ball gown, etc., are in the works. I actually have a rather busy order schedule right now. I like this.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Damn

Our tax refund is delayed. Since they're claiming to not have received 2007's return, which had $87 owing, they've delayed our refund for last year. We had to refile for 2007, and since that's a paper return (e-filing is only allowed through October of the filing year), it's expected to take up to eight weeks. After that, our 2009 return will be processed and will take up to four more weeks. This means that the Ford Escape we were lined up to buy, price negotiated and everything, we have to pass on. I'm beyond pissed.

We got most of our stuff moved to the house last night with the last dregs remaining today. Cody and his buddy Mike (Uncle Mike to Charlotte) and his mom are out there right now doing that. I'm in our bedroom nursing and typing one-handed. We'll be picking up our new bed on the way over.

I am sad to leave this apartment for the simple reason that Charlotte was born here, feet from where I'm sitting now. I want to rip up that piece of carpet, but can't.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Continued

After those phone calls, Cody and I went to Montecito and bought a new bed set. With me, him, Charlotte, and two dogs on the bed, a queen size is squishy. So we got a California king. We pick it up on Saturday. On Sunday we'll be test-driving a new For Escape. Hopefully our tax refund is credited before then so we can buy it on the spot if we like it.

While we were out and about, I got another call from my mom and she started right in on me. If I wasn't already pissed before, I sure as fuck am furious now.

She said that I let Richard put her legal paperwork by the dumpster at the motel. Uh, how did I let someone 400 miles away do something? And why should Richard be expected to drag her shit around? The rent on the motel would be due, so he can't stay there, and if she decided to abandon him there, then I don't blame him one bit for not lugging her stuff around. She says its her right if she wanted to up and go to Tahoe to marry another guy without telling anyone. Well it's Richard's right to leave her shit the way she left him to marry someone else. FFS, she and Richard were dating. How heartless to leave the man who loves her and that she's been dating for months to go marry someone who's ditched her ass when she had no money left. I side with Richard on this one.

THEN! She had the GALL to throw it in my face that I was in an abusive relationship, and actually told me that it's coming back to me now and my history is repeating itself. When I asked her to give just one example about how it's repeating itself, how Cody's abusing me, she just said it's all repeating. So she'll accuse Cody of being abusive, but won't tell me how.

Cody doesn't hit me, force me into sexual things, tell me he wishes I would die, or deprive me of food or medical supplies. Jeff did, but Cody didn't. I am disgusted to my core that she dared to say that he's the same as Jeff. Hell, Jeff wouldn't have done shit for her. Cody helped with getting her moved and we payed for it. Cody himself rented the moving truck and spent every day off for three weeks helping with packing and driving 120 miles away to help check out houses, and then moved her stuff, and had no problem taking her grocery shopping and buying her the food and toiletries she needed to get set up, and with giving her a couple hundred buck (this all came from our own rent and was when we nearly got evicted). Jeff wouldn't have done anything.

Cody protects me and puts me first. He'll put my wants before his own needs. Even when I get mad for no reason and say some somewhat mean things, he won't raise his voice or say a single word that's even slightly mean to me. He would go hungry for a week before letting me get hungry once.

He's the same as Jeff...how? They're both white guys with blue eyes? Even physically they're so different. Her insisting that Cody is just like Jeff is so disgustingly offensive.

I think she was saying that about Cody to hurt me. She pissed me off rather than hurt me. She pissed me off enough that I finally said, "I hate you." She asked me, "Do you mean that?" And I said, "Yes." And hung up. It's one thing to insult me the way she's done today with the crap she's said. Already any relationship we've had has been on a thread. I've already been wary, even though I've been hopeful that things would get back on track for her now that she has the money to get things back on track. What she's done has severed it. I'm taking out life insurance on her since her funeral expenses will be thrown on me, but that's it. I won't be happy when she dies, but I won't be sad either. Probably I'll end up with more mental issues though. She sure knows how to chisel away at a person, and then make herself out to be the victim. But I'm finished at this point. I've got to take care of myself, even if that means cutting her out. I've got to take care of me so I can take care of the baby asleep against my chest. I feel bad and guilty, I hate to have to admit, but I can't keep taking care of her if she won't take care of herself and if she'll make decisions she knows are bad. I'm so angry that I'm almost apathetic.

I hate my mom

Oh fuck it all to hell!

I got a call from my mom last night and returned it, but her voicemail was full. I got another call this morning and called her back. This time I reached her.

See, she knows these two guys in Winton. Richard's a decent guy whose done for her what he can even when she had nothing to give in return. Steve is a meth addict whose only had an interest in her when she has money or something he can take. When she got her tax refund from 2007 in December (she didn't file until November because she didn't realize she could get money back from making little enough in 2007), suddenly Steve's interested. So she left Richard's place, where she'd been allowed to stay for free because the guy cares about her (he damaged his relationship with his mom and sisters to stick by my mom), to move in with Steve, who turned around and charged her $300 for sleeping on the couch for 2 weeks (this is a town where rent on an entire house is about $500 per full month) and $300 for "her share" of food, though she bought her own food with food stamps. When she had nothing left, Steve kicked her out. Thing is, I told her to hold on to that money as if her life depended on it because people in Winton would try t take it from her. Look at what happened. I was right. She told me I was right.

Finally after multiple appeals, mom got approved for disability at about $1,400/mo (plus she has $200 in food stamps, making her downright rich on that area), including about $8,000 in back-money. She got her car out of impound (she was pretty mad I wouldn't send her the money a few weeks ago, even though she knew I could only get it by taking it from rent this month or by selling our car), and was starting to look for a place of her own. I was helping her search, but couldn't co-sign from 400 miles away. Truth be told even if I were closer, I'd come up with another excuse to not sign because I don't trust her with money, and the last place I cosigned on (and paid for myself, and paid to have her moved from the apartment she was being evicted from) she got kicked out of for the severity of her drinking and the fights she was causing. I wasn't willing to risk an eviction on my credit (again) for her. If she wants me to stay out of her finances, then I won't be put legally on the hook for her rent. But still it seemed like things were getting better. She was going to get a place, have her surgery done, then get back to work after recovery.

The last time we spoke was 2 days ago. Since then I've spent hours looking for more places for her to check out instead of spending that time with Cody and Charlotte.

Richard had been staying with his mom, an elderly lady, to help her out. He was kicked out that day for siding with my mom, and so went to a motel. She found a place, since we last spoke, as long as she could get a cosigner. Richard humbled himself to ask his friends to cosign, and one agreed. His son went down from Yuba, which isn't exactly close. He paid his way down and mom was going to pay his return fare for helping her move.

Then last night mom took off with Steve. To Tahoe. To get married. Steve found out about the money and is back now, claiming to "love" her.

She's livid that I'm not happy for her. Uh, this is something joyous? Eloping with a druggie who took advantage of her while another man who lives her and has done his best to take care of her was abandoned in a motel now with nowhere to go? For a freak who took advantage of her and kicked her out when he had all her money?!

She asked me if I wanted her to live the rest of her life alone, and I told her the truth, that I'd rather see her "alone" a little longer until she married a man who loved her instead of was just after money. She doesn't seem to understand that, by getting married, when she has her surgery the doctors will no longer be allowed to legally tell me anything nor will I be legally allowed to be involved in any decision-making. Steve doesn't know her medical history. Its dangerous trusting a stranger to make medical decisions for her. I think she's going to die if any decision shave to be made for her. Steve didn't even go see her any of the times she was in the hospital. Why would he go now?

She's convinced this guy is the only one who loves her now. She doesn't understand that, if he loved her, he wouldn't have kicked her out when she had nothing. He wouldn't have taken advantage of her. He wouldn't only be around now that she has money.

My dad loved her. When she had nothing and when her drunken antics cost his so much money in court and legal fees for her DUI, or any of the times she was 51/50'd by the cops at his expense, and when she wasn't bringing in a damned dime, he was there for her and took care of her. For fuck's sake, there were nights he'd call me at 2am upset over what was going on, but he loved her and was dedicated to her! That's love. For better OR FOR WORSE, IN SICKNESS and in health.

So why the fuck does she think this guy who ditched her when sick and kicked her our in worse will possibly be there now?

She started yelling at me not to give her relationship advice if I wasn't going to take any from her on my relationship with Cody. Why the fuck would I take relationship advice from someone who tramples on the guys who do everything they can for her (George, then Richard) to run to someone like Steve the moment he decides he wants her for something? Why the fuck would I take advice from her on my relationship that is a loving, caring, supportive, functional one with open communication? She thinks that, because she's older, she knows better. Someone older ALWAYS knows better than someone younger. Unless she's the younger one, in which case she still knows better. Apparently my relationship is a bad one beneath the surface and will fail because I don't wake her advice, won't even listen to it.

The last thing she said to me before her phone supposedly died was, "Aria, I want you to really think about this, and don't answer now. Over this last year when I was homeless, you told me I couldn't come live with you" End of phone call.

What Cody doesn't know is that I did ask her. I risked my relationship and asked her. "No, you need to take care of my grandbaby," she said, when I was still pregnant. When she finally started trying to get disability I didn't ask her, and did tell her at that time she needed to stay in Merced county because she had county health care coverage at that time, and if she moved here, she'd have to start all over, and it too months as it was to get MAPP coverage. She agreed that she couldn't leave until she got disability for the Medicare to have her surgery at Stanford.

I'm glad this is all true because, well, open the front door to this apartment and you can see the manager's office. They'd notice someone living here who isn't on the lease and we'd be evicted for an unauthorized person living here. Would things somehow be better in her eyes if I was homeless again too? With Cody and Charlotte in tow? I really thinks she thinks life isn't fair if the older one isn't doing better than the younger one, so how dare I have a home if she doesn't, or some shit like that.

Not to mention has she forgotten how tight money was in August? Did she forget money was so tight that we could barely eat and I was so seriously considering putting Charlotte up for adoption that I was in contact with adoption agencies? When adopting out a baby, the adoptive parents have an interest in the pregnancy being healthy, so will pay for food. I would have let her go so that she could be born healthy. Mercifully we got help so were able to keep her, but still. Money was that tight. How does she expect us to have had a way to bring her here and support her?

Is she thinking we should have begged her, like it would have been an honor to support her? Of course she would have been pissed if she got here and the liquor cabinet was locked up claiming we didn't trust her (we wouldn't have trusted her).

She seems to think that my bank account should be shared with her and that I should sell stuff if she needs money. When her car was impounded she was fine with me selling our car (leaving Cody no way to get to work, making US homeless) or selling my jewelry or shorting ourselves on rent for this month, which I didn't do. When she needs money and I've offered to send her some, she'll tell me I needed it, but here's an address and I'd still send her what I could (usually without telling Cody), then turn around and later claim I have never offered to help her.

My childhood was so wonderful (well, not the part about being sick). Parents who were beyond stable to the point of damned near perfect, parents who were there for me and my brother, the baseball games and camping and little "carnivals" for the neighbor kids and us (my parents were immensely popular for being the "cool" parents). Weekends at the grandparents' house, trips, A's games, etc.. I think this is part of what's hardest for me. My once-nearly-perfect family is shattered, and this one fragment does all she can to pull me down with her and tries making me feel guilty for any smidge of success that I don't share with her.

I've given her so much more help than anyone should. One of the reasons I've been in therapy is because of her. I've felt guilty thinking about how far she's fallen from when my dad was alive, and felt bad thinking she was feeling like she was all alone in the world. Well, if she thinks marrying Steve means she won't be alone anymore, then I can walk away. How long before she comes crawling back for help, before turning around claiming I've never helped in this world?



Update:

She called again screaming at me for telling Richard what I knew. Well of course I was going to. I'm tired of keeping her secrets and lying to people for her. I've done that enough over the last six years, and I'm tired of it. I let her know where her paperwork was going to be since Richard isn't going to continue carting it around for her. I don't blame him. He shouldn't be expected to store her stuff for her. So she yelled at me for being in a plan with Richard to get her back out there. Um, no, I simply relayed a message, and I do side with Richard on this. The last thing she yelled at me was, "Aria, I'm so disappointed in you, SO disappointed." Then she hung up.

Yeah well, I'm disappointed in you, Mom, only I had valid grounds. I've stood by you when everyone else told me not to. I let relationships with other relatives crumble to be there for you. I've given you chance after chance, hoping each time you meant it when you said you'd stopped drinking or doing whatever it was. Time and time again you've gone right back to the same ol' crap you were doing before, claiming no one was willing to help you, overlooking or ignoring the financial risks others have taken to help you. I've held forward-progress back in my own life to try helping you improve yours when you've fucked up yet again, even when I told you exactly what was about to happen. And I'm not picking up the pieces again. I'm not going to offer to help you, and I'm done sending you money without even telling Cody. I was wrong in lying-by-omission to him, and I did it for you, to help you, and this is what you do in return. My daughter and Cody come first. You are now an enemy to me and a threat to my life's forward progression. You're making your bed, and this time you can lie in it. You've been warned. Enjoy your consequences. We are over. I have no mother anymore.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Wow.....

Friday I was driving home and the front passenger tire blew. The side wall looks like it's been perforated many times. I got over to the side of the road, changed the tire (I'm so glad my dad made sure to teach me car stuff like this), and got the front two tires changed. They were nearly bald and I kept procrastinating. So it was my fault. But all ended up well. The back two were replaced a few months ago.

Then I got home and the Macbook Pro wouldn't start. Dammit. Logic board needed to be replaced. So into Apple with it for the weekend, leaving me with my iPhone. Boo. But it's back now.

Our move has been pushed back to this next Friday instead. This works out better for us anyway.

And...more drama from my mom's side of the family. It's major, and I may be filing for conservatorship over my grandmother's multi-million-dollar estate. Brief outline: After my step-grandpa died in October, her ex-husband, who is one of those fuckers so abusive to kids he should be slowly killed (I can barely stand the thought of some of the things he did to my mom, and many of the things she can't bring herself to say, but suffice it to say that what she has told me is bad enough), dropped his girlfriend of 15 years to get back with my grandma, who is still in mourning, has early dementia (diagnosed), and has been keeping her plies with hard alcohol when she has always detested anything stronger than a single glass of wine or can or Coors Light. Already all spending and all of Grandma's activities are defaulting to him. Nothing happens unless he gives his approval. With her mental state altered, partly by medical condition and partly by his hand, he's planning to take her to Reno to marry her. Easy to see what he wants here.

I can't stomach the thought of a child abuser and child rapist profiting, without proper and mentally-stable consent of those he abused, and one he is again abusing. I'm less concerned with my grandma's care than I am with him profiting. I've got no love for this woman, but I've got much less love, to the point of violent hatred, of people who do to kids what this sick fuck did, and if I can prevent him from living happily ever after after all he's done, and what he's doing now, then I will.

Oh, and he might not have followed through on divorcing someone else 15 years ago...and he's already got two strikes remaining on his record, after having one removed somehow....