Monday, June 25, 2007

Two year blog-o-versary

Ok, so my two year blog-o-versary came and went about two weeks ago and there was no fan fare. No one sent me any cards and I didn't even get a cake. Not even a little one.... :-(

However, since I didn't remember it until this weekend, I suppose I can't be too upset that none of you did either. Anyhow, I thought since this is such a momentous occasion (even though I'm two weeks late) I would write a little something about it.

Two years ago, on June 13th I started this blog. I had been reading some other people's blogs for awhile and I wanted to create one of my own. A place where family and friends could come and get caught up on our lives and where I could post my thoughts on what was going on in the world.

So, I jumped in with both feet and purchased a site. (Did you know you can get here by entering Really, try it... I'll wait...) I picked the name because hamiltonfamily and many other variations of the sort were already taken. Then I started thinking about the Family Circus cartoon and how we always seemed to take the long way to get anywhere and sometimes our life seemed very much like a circus and so the name was born. However, shortly after I purchased the domain name I realized that I had NO idea how to make a website and no money to do so.

That is when I stumbled upon blogger. It was free and it pretty much set up your site for you. All you had to do was type in your posts. Now that I could handle. The first order of business was coming up with a tag line. This was our first one....

Lots of people say their house is a zoo. We prefer to refer to our
household as a circus. In a zoo, the animals are in cages, and there is a
semblance of order. At a circus, everyone runs free. There are
always about 3 things happening at once and every once in a while an elephant
breaks loose into the crowd and reeks havoc on several people. That is our

(When I read that again, I sort of miss it. I may have to bring that tag line back!!) So anyhow, the website was born. I started it with one of those lame posts that you find in the beginning of most sites. Hey this is me... welcome to my website. It was followed by some equally lame posts about nothing at all.

Finally I decided to suck it up and actually write about my life. It went badly. VERY BADLY!! The post was long and drawn out and really not all that interesting to read (not unlike what I've got going on now...). Looking back at my posts from those early months I see quite a few of them which are kind of painful. (And quite a few of them that seemed like I just posted them yesterday... where has the time gone.)

Eventually I did have at least one good post, one that still makes me kind of chuckle. (Hey one out of 100 isn't bad!!) No wonder I only had about 5 readers. At Christmas time that year I sent out our website in our Christmas letter. I was convinced that I would see a huge jump in readership and that everyone I knew would be reading what I wrote. It made me really nervous at first and I started really censoring what I wrote.

Then.... no one came. No really. No one!! I asked my mom about it and she told me that people really aren't all that interested in reading what is going on in their families lives. The once a year Christmas letter is enough for them. (And her too, as she was also not reading) So, I stopped censoring what I wrote and just turned this into my own personal space.

Do you know who one of my most loyal readers is now? My mom. Hi mom!! Oh, and I think my dad too. Or at least he told my aunt about the website. Told her if she wanted to know what was going on with Jake and I she could just come here. After all I post it all for the world to see. (I'm not sure if that is a compliment or a slam but I will take it as a compliment. Hi Dad!!)

Oh, speaking of readers... remember that one time when Heather came to visit? I still think about that. I think that may have been the highlight of my blogging career. Pretty sad huh? Two years of writing and I reached my peak within the first six months. Is that sort of like marriage?? After that it's all sort of down hill?

Anyhow, so that is it, the grand story of how this website got started. Since then it has been a series of dry times and times when I post twice a day for weeks. I have put up the most intimate details of my life and loved almost every minute of it.

So now, in honor of this wonderful event I am going to post some little known facts about myself. This list might get long and it might ramble (which you're used to from me) and it might share a bit too much for some of you (mom...shield your eyes) but hey... that's who I am right? I just put it all out here for the world to see.


I think about this website pretty much non-stop

If I could make a career out of it I would, but hey... I'm not Heather remember?

I write posts in my head in the shower

While I'm lying in bed at night

While I'm watching TV

Pretty much everywhere

Only about half of what I write in my head makes it here

Mostly because I forget about it before I get here

No really, since I had my son my memory is terrible

It's either mom-niesia or a serious lack of brain cells from the sleep deprivation

This morning I was getting ready to leave and I couldn't find my keys

I finally gave up looking and just grabbed my spare set

I was in the car and getting ready to put the car in reverse before I realized where they were

I had left them and my cell phone on the back porch when I had let the dogs out this morning

Until that moment I had forgotten completely that I had even let the dogs out

I'm telling you sleep deprivation is a killer

What I write on this blog is pretty much the extent of my life

Over all, I have one of the most boring lives I can imagine

Well, except for the crap that Jake has put me through

I have never smoked a cigarette

I have never done ANY illegal drugs

I have never been drunk (buzzed once or twice but that is it)

Right now I do not drink

And not just because I'm breastfeeding

Because I really am that boring and that much of a control freak

I don't like how it makes me feel and how it makes your inhibitions go down

I like being in control too much to give that up for a mildly good buzzed feeling

On the boring front, if I am ever kidnapped by aliens you can probably judge the exact date and time by the condition of my house

I have a routine that I follow every morning

I get up

I pump

I feed the cats and every other day I clean their litterbox

I feed the dogs and take them outside to their pen

Sometimes I mix those three up a bit just to step outside of my box!!

Then I get in the shower

If Zack is up I change him

Then I feed him

If he's not up yet I wash bottles first

And make myself lunch

Bologna sandwich and chips

Pretty much every day

I always SAY that I'm going to do both of those things in the evenings to save myself time

It never happens

I am too busy with the rest of my boring routine

Mondays I clean the bathroom and wash laundry

Tuesdays it's the kitchen and dishes

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday the rest of the house

If my kitchen looks like it has been hit by a tornado it is probably Tuesday morning

If the cupboards are open I was taken against my will, call 911 immediately

I have a strange quirk about the cupboards

It drives me CRAZY if they are left open

I can not leave the house until they are all closed

Other strange quirks I have

The doors in our house are ALWAYS locked now

They didn't used to be

Before we were robbed (what you missed that? It's a four part thriller... go catch up... I'll wait...) I never locked the doors

Even when we weren't home

Now it is the first thing I do when I walk in the door

Not because I'm worried about someone coming to get me

I worry about Zack

I have irrational fears that someone will come and take him

I check on him two or three times a night

And ALWAYS before I go to bed

Or if I get up in the middle of the night for something

That way if someone steals him I will be able to tell the police how long he's been gone

Except that all the windows and doors in my house are locked

So someone would REALLY have to want to get to him

I also worry that he will stop breathing in his sleep

I was told this would go away once he was older

It hasn't yet

I worry about him a lot

I wouldn't stop to help someone on the side of the road if he was with me

I am afraid another car will come up and hit the back of my car with him in it

Speaking of irrational car fears

I wouldn't stop to help anyone who was in an accident

I have this fear that they would be faking it and as soon as I get out of my car they will pull a knife or a gun on me

I'm not sure I would stop even if they were hit by another car

They could be a stunt man

Working with another person

Trying to kidnap me

This morning I saw a dog walking along the side of the road

I was going to stop to see if it had a collar

But then I was stricken with panic about someone hitting my car with Zack in it

So I decided to come back after I had dropped him off at daycare

Then I promptly forgot about it until just now

I told you my memory is shit!!

Speaking of all things Zack

(Mom... this is where you will want to divert your eyes...)

I had never seen a porn until I was pregnant with Zack

I found once of Jake's and I popped it in to see what all the fuss was about

It was mildly amusing

I did NOT watch the whole thing

I then proceeded to throw out all the additional porns I found in the house (he got a bunch free when they did a flooring job at the lumber yard)

I thought I had them all

Until Jess and Shane came over to help me clean my house

And they kept finding them everywhere

Including in my movie rack

(I think Shane or Matt put them there.... I think I would have noticed if they had been there before that... I think....)

That was really the only thing that embarrassed me...

Them finding his porn

Other than that, I am pretty much an open book

And since I've started pumping I have no modesty either

I have pumped in front of almost every woman that is close to me

I just sort of whip them out and go about my business

A month ago even the exterminator saw my boobs

I think he was more embarrassed than me

I was pumping in the living room because I thought he was leaving

He came back to leave me a ticket

When he walked onto my back porch there is a giant window there and he saw right into my living room

He just left the ticket in the door and hightailed it out of there

Next time maybe he will be on time so I'm not running late

Then I can wait until he is fully out of the driveway before I start pumping

Speaking of that window

I have no peep hole in my house

If someone comes to the door and I want to see who they are I have to go around to that window to see them

That window is at the bottom of my stairs

If you want your own peep show stand outside my back door in the mornings

If anyone knocks and I'm in the shower I have to throw on clothes and then go around and look.

I can't just sneak upstairs like most people can

So, I think that's all the random facts for one day.

Happy blog-o-versary to me,

Happy blog-o-versary to me,

Happy blog-o-versary dear Heather,

Happy blog-o-bersary to me!!

Money Management

I received a question today and my guess is if one person asked me, 10 of you are probably thinking it.

The question was, "If you are that BROKE how do you afford to go see Jake and stay in a hotel and go out to eat? That is expensive in itself."

The answer, I have phenomenal parents and I borrow it from them. I try not to buy much that I don't need during the week because I know that I will be spending money when I go to see him. I am keeping a running total of every dime we have borrowed and I fully intend to pay it back but that is how we are doing it.

I try really hard to pay the day to day bills with the money I make, hence the Verizon situation, and I use their money for food, gas, diapers, etc. I think it is very important for Jake and I and Zack to spend some time together as a family before he is thrust back into our lives and that is why I am willing to borrow the money to go down and see him.

However, when I say that we are going "out to eat" I do not mean we are having $50 meals. It is a $20-$25 dollar dinner and lunch at a fast food restaurant. I try not to spend more than I have to when I am down there and especially when I am up here.

I also try to stress to Jake that we will be paying back this money. It is not free to us and therefore we do not get to live like we did before until it is paid back. He seems to understand, we will see if it continues when he returns home.

So there you have it, paying debt with debt. Man this is living isn't it??

Friday, June 22, 2007

Posting the Ordinary

For those of you who regularly check Zack's site you are going to notice some differences. I am going to/have been posting a lot more video of the ordinary parts of our day. I found out last week that Jake is able to check the website from the Library twice a week.

Since he already misses so much I want him to be able to see what he can, so I'm putting these videos up there. Feel free to skip over them if they bore you or take too much time to download. You will probably be able to tell by the description whether it is something different or special that I'm recording or just the ordinary parts of our day.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Our weekend with Jake

So, Zack and I went and visited Jake this weekend. The 24 hours that we were together were good. We were greeted with the hair, which we discussed earlier, and which against my better judgement I am kind of starting to like. Then, we went out to dinner on Saturday night and then went back to the hotel and fed Zack. He has to have a schedule of when he is doing what throughout the day so we had some time from 6:30 - 8:00 scheduled to swim.

As I was getting Zack ready to go Jake looked at me with concern. "Is it okay to take him in the pool? Aren't we supposed to wait an hour after he eats?" This made me laugh, for a couple of different reasons. Number one because that is a wives tale, and number two because I found it pretty sweet that he was so concerned with his safety.

We only swam for about 20 minutes before Zack started getting fussy. Generally in the evenings is not his best time so we took him back to the room and gave him a bath. I let Jake do it and he kept commenting on how he doesn't know how I do it, he gets so slippery and he's so squirmy. It was nice to be acknowledged for what I do but it was also at that time when I began to realize just how much Jake is missing. Not just the large things but the every day little things.

Zack was asleep by about 7:30 and we had decided to watch a little TV when I noticed a moth flying around the room. I asked Jake to take care of it because I didn't want it landing on Zack. What followed was moth-a-palooza 2007. Jake killed one, than two than about 4 more. He thought he had them all and had just began to fall asleep when I looked up.

On the ceiling were 5 or 6 more moths. I mentioned something to Jake and he was like, "I'm almost asleep, they won't hurt you just shut off the TV and ignore them." However, as I watched there were more and more and more. It looked like a scene out of a bad horror movie.

Finally I jumped out of bed and headed for the door. I told him I was going to get a janitor or someone because I was not sleeping in there. That is when he opened his eyes and realized what was above him. When we checked into the hotel they had told us that they were full so we figured the chances of getting another room were probably pretty slim. Especially another room with a fridge and a microwave for Zack's milk.

Also, as any of you with small kids will attest to, you kind of move into any place you visit so the thought of moving all of our stuff and possibly waking Zack up in the process did not really appeal to us.

So, Jake decided to begin extermination fun. I went and grabbed a plastic bag so I could take our new winged friends up to the front desk once we were done. Over the course of about a half an hour he proceeded to kill 30 or so moths. When I took them up to the front desk I don't think the girl there was really sure what to think.

She did offer to switch us rooms once she realized what we were dealing with but we politely declined stating our previous thoughts. So they gave us a $30 discount on the room. Which isn't a great deal but was better than nothing.

Once I got back to the room Jake ended up killing 3 or 4 more before we were finally able to drift off to sleep with their one lone companion still drifting around the room.

In the morning Zack was awake and chipper at his usual 5:00 wake up time. He laid in bed with us for a little while before getting kind of fussy. I took him and laid him next to me where he went to sleep until about 6:30. At that point he had decided that it was time to awaken for the day so that's what we did.

After we got him fed we went to the continental breakfast which was actually really good. They have waffles, so that was what clenched it for me. Then after breakfast we lounged around until swimming time at 10:30.

This time Zack did really good in the pool. He would kick his legs the whole time he was in the water so it looked like he was swimming. (The video is on his site.) He also got a big kick out of splashing in the water. We were in the pool for about 45 minutes before he decided enough was enough.

When we got back to the room we tried to feed him but he wanted no part of it. He was SOO tired from the pool that he just wanted to go to sleep. Jake and I also took a nap after lunch and the rest of the afternoon was just spent lounging around in the room.

All in all it was a very good time. Way too short but a nice start to spending quality time as a family again.


"Hi can I please speak with Heather Hamilton"

Damn... number I didn't know... I KNEW I shouldn't have answered. How'd they get my cell phone anyway?

"Heather this is so and so from Verizon."

Ahh... of course they have my cell number

"Are you aware that there is a $250 balance on your account?"


"I would be happy to take care of that today with a payment from your checking account or your Mastercard or Visa."

If I had the money don't you think I would have paid the bill in the first place?? I've had this phone for 10 years, I think I know how these things work!!

"Actually, I don't have that money right now. That's why I've been paying extra on my bill. As you can see I've been making payments about every two weeks and the amount is down from when I started. I just had one very large month a little while ago."

"Well I would be happy to set up a payment plan with you."

"Ok, but I have been paying extra on my bills."

"Well I just want to advise you that your cell phone could be turned off and then you could be subject to a reconnection fee."


"Alright, thank you, goodbye."

Mmm Hmm... and the point of that call was? So if you call me and get the this phone has been temporarily disconnected you will know why. Have no fear though, I'm pretty confident that they are not going to shut off the phone as long as I continue to make payments. They will just have to be patient.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Going for Broke

So, I was paying bills today... what a depressing job. As it is I do not bring in enough money to pay all of our bills, let alone pay for all of the other bills that seem to be coming in. I still owe the hospital, which seems to me to be no big deal as everyone says they owe the hospital after a delivery.

However, I also have been paying all the co-pays and such on Zack's many trips to the emergency room and the doctors. It seems like I just get a handle on something and then another bill arrives. Please explain to me why it takes them two months to get me a bill? At that point I figure I have paid all I need to pay and then WHAM... here's the rest of your bill.

Today I had to transfer more money into my savings account and I actually had to dip into my Grandma's money. I don't know why this bothers me so much, it has been sitting there for two years, but it really bothers me to have to use that money. When she passed away we all got $2,000 and were told to spend it on something we really wanted. One grandchild bought furniture, one paid for her med school and the others I'm sure did something fun with theirs.

Mine has just been sitting there. Gathering dust, waiting for the day when I knew what I REALLY wanted. I guess this is the day. However, it seems kind of sad to spend it on bills when everyone else got to spend it on fun stuff. But I guess in the grand scheme of things if keeping my family together, or really just keeping my house, is what I want than this is where I will have to spend the money.

Someday when I win the lottery I'm going to start a foundation for people like me. People who are not "poor" but who are struck with an unforeseen circumstance and go from a two income household to a one income household. I'm sure there are lots of women and men out there in the same boat I am in.

I have a good job but my house payment and my bills were designed for a two income household. When that got chopped down to one I just don't make enough. I'm above all the income limits for the public assistance places but I still have bills that are above my income.

Hmm... maybe I need to buy a lottery ticket. Anyone got a dollar they want to loan me?

No Hair

So, I went to pick up Jake this weekend for our weekend pass and this is what greeted me...

Let me re-iterate.... THIS is what greeted me...
This will definitely take some getting used to. He said that it was cooler in the summer and he always wears his hat anyway. I guess if he keeps the hat on, you really don't notice. Maybe I need to buy him some more hats so he will never be without. :-)

(I do have to admit that against my better judgement it is growning on me. The look not the hair obviously!! :-)

On the upside the bald doesn't look quite as bald when there is less hair surrounding it!!

Monday, June 18, 2007


There is a woman who comments on my site sometimes who needs your love and support right now. Her daughter is a drug addict, same as Jake. The difference being she has taken off with her two year old granddaughter.

My heart hurts for this woman. Please go over and give her your support. I'm sure she could use it.

This Bear Bites

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Still Here

Well... what a bummer post I left you sitting on for 11 days. Sorry about that. I've been kind of busy. Work has been a little crazy and I'm still (I know it's been 2 1/2 months) trying to get things into a rhythm at home.

It just seems like every time I get things in working order Zack goes and changes on me. Now that he is eating solid foods (well watered down versions of them anyway) and taking baths in his big boy bathtub (all of this is on his site.. I updated it last week) my evenings take a little longer.

Every day that I do this I have more and more respect for single moms. I literally get nothing done between the time I get home from work (6:30) and the time he goes to bed 8:00 besides tend to his needs. After that I'm so exhausted who has time for anything else??

Hopefully once the estimated tax deadline is over (Friday) I will have some more time at work to update this site and maybe take some time off to get some things done at home.

One can always hope anyway.....

Friday, June 01, 2007

Oh Bother...

That would be the kind of day I'm having today. One of those no good very bad types of days. You know what I'm talking about don't you? The kind of day where you focus on all the bad that is going on and forget to think about the good. That's me today...

Zack got up at 4:00. Usually this is not a problem but today he didn't want to settle back down. He just proceeded to lie there and kick me and keep me awake.

My alarm went off at 5:00. I was just dosing back off. I got out of bed at 5:30.

I get downstairs and I notice that the one load of laundry that I have managed to get clean this week will probably have to be re-washed, or at least re-dried because one of my stupid cats decided the laundry basket was her bed!! (Like I have TIME to re-wash clothes!!)

Then I get into the bathroom and notice that one of the cats has decided to use my rug as their own personal barfing ground and hacked a hairball on it.

The dog is loosing weight. He looks awful. I feed him the same amount as always, this week I have doubled it and I don't know if it's stress or if some thing's wrong. I'm afraid to take him to the vet because Jake will be devastated if something is wrong and I am HORRIBLE at lying to him so if I know something he will know something.

I got the bill for Jake's first stay in Broadlawns from 3/20 - 4/13. $20,000. Did you fall out of your chair yet? My portion is $1,900. Yeah... not as bad but still pretty close. I can only imagine the joy that will come when I get the rest of the bill for his second stay.

It is raining. Not just a little sprinkle either. When I was driving to work it was like a fire fighting helicopter was overhead and it had opened the bucket and was just pouring the water out. My hair... well it's a good thing I didn't do much with it because now my bangs are flat and my hair is frizzy...

I miss my son. I miss my son every day but today seems more than usual. He is so happy in the mornings that I just want to stay there with him and watch him smile and laugh. I need to get up earlier so that I can spend more time doing this.

Jake's pass got denied. Did I tell you he was trying to get a pass? He couldn't request one until he had been there 30 days so we counted on a calendar and thought 30 days was Saturday. I think they are counting differently. Technically he won't have been there a month until Monday.

Jake and I got in an argument over the phone last night. About what you ask?? The only thing we have to argue about these days. Money. He wanted some money to go to Costco today and I told him I didn't have any to give him. Only I'm not sure I was that nice about it. It ANGERS me a lot when he talks to me about money. It is like there is a big angry pot inside of me and it boils over whenever that subject comes up.

Finally there is all of this crap with this site. Honestly at this point, at least for this one post, if you don't have something nice and supportive to say PLEASE just keep your comments to yourself. Post on your own website, e-mail your friends, hell e-mail my friends, just don't carbon me on the e-mail okay?

At this point I don't really care what any of you think about the decisions I am making. I know my husband. I know him better than any one else and I have talked to him, more than what I have posted here or told any of you. I know that his addiction is a disease. It is in his family and his marriage is not the only marriage/relationship that has been threatened by it.

Say what you will (to yourselves today) but I am not making excuses for him. I know what he did was wrong and I am not willing for him to just come skipping back into our lives and pretend that nothing happened. But I also know that he has an illness. He didn't get help because he couldn't. He asked for it but then he would always say he could do it on his own. In the end it boils down to what he told me, "it doesn't matter how much you love your family your addiction takes hold and you just can't do it on your own. I wanted to check myself in to a treatment facility but I just couldn't do it."

Believe what you will (still to yourselves) but I chose to believe that he was sick and that in his right state of mind he would never have put anyone he loves in danger nor would he have done some of the things he has done. I know he's sorry, I know that he wants to make things right. I don't need to beat a dead horse by bashing him over and over with what happened. He gets it now we all need to move on.

At this point my sanity depends on surrounding myself with supportive people and on NOT dwelling on what happened in the past. Every time I think about it I have days like this. It happened, it's over and no it DOES NOT MATTER if I know 100% of what happened. It's over and if I'm willing to move on than you all should be willing to let me.

P.S. Thank you to all the anonymous people (whomever you are) who have been so great yesterday and today and have really stood up for me. It helps more than you know!!