Friday, August 31, 2007 yeah...

I'm not sure how to begin this post or really how to end it. In fact, I'm not really sure what to put in the middle either so excuse me if I just sort of ramble in incoherent sentences and in some sort of a random order. Things at my house right now are stressful, to put it mildly... REALLY mildly.

Jake is home. Not for a visit, he is home. Sort of got dumped on me after the funeral. I told you all how he had sort of stalled in his progress two weeks ago and then he appeared to be moving again but apparently not at the rate they think that he should be. His counselor called it failure to thrive.

I don't know how I feel. I have talked to her a couple of times and she has assured me that this is not really a problem with Jake but more a problem with the environment. She doesn't feel that he's making progress because he is too focused on me and Zack and he is too far away from us. She thinks that he will do much better in an outpatient environment here, where he can still see us every night.

I called her again yesterday morning just to be sure. I made sure that she understood that I was basing my decision to let him back in our household on this information and she needed to tell me the truth, not what she thought I wanted to hear. She assured me she was.

She says that she has no doubts that Jake can do this and with five months of sobriety under his belt she doesn't think he needs a residential treatment center any more. In her opinion he will do much better and make much more progress if he can be around us and not be distracted by worrying about us.

There's a part of me that's happy that he's home. It's now another set of hands to help me with Zack and thus far, in the three short days he's been there, he has been a great help around the house too.

However, there is also a part of me that is disappointed and sad. He wanted to finish this program, I wanted him to finish this program and the both of us feel that they sort of gave up on him because he wasn't making progress as quickly as they would like.

My counselor tells me that sometimes these places have stats that they turn in and if someone is bringing down their stats they will discharge them. I don't know if this is the case or not. However, I am sure that if Jake tries at this, he can make it.

On Tuesday he will begin outpatient treatment. This weekend we will attend some meetings. There are some tonight that are an AA meeting in one room and an Al-anon meeting in another. I think we may try to hit those.

As for my stress level, it is through the roof. I think I need a Valium or a percoset or whatever it is that people pop to bring their heart rate down and make them function again. As a friend of mine so wonderfully pointed out, I have chosen to let him come back so I have to give him the space to prove to me he can do this.

I think my stress level will be much diminished once I fully embrace this concept. This is no longer my battle to fight. Jake has to sink or swim and at this point I know that if he falls I have an amazing support system to lean on and I can do this on my own. My big thing now is not that he's here but that I had no warning. I wasn't prepared for it and so I'm feeling very caught off guard and a little out of sorts.

Hopefully after a three day weekend and a whole lot of projects that I hope to get done I will feel a little more like myself.


I talked to Katie today and she says that the tests are complete on Sawyer. She has an infection but it is curable. No cancer. YEAH!! She says to thank everyone for their thoughts and good wishes!!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Give Her Some Love

Hey all... there's a lot going on right now but rather than write about me I wanted to tell you a little bit about a friend of mine who needs some love from you.

My friend Katie... over there... see that link... or click here... A Little Crazy & A Lot of Love has a niece. Her niece just started the 9th grade and went for her sports physical where they drew blood and told her her platelet level is VERY low.

They are doing more testing now but their initial suspicion was cancer. I can only imagine how scared this little girl is and I know that she could use all the support you could give her. Katie told her to keep checking the website so go over there and give her your love.

Well.... what are you still doing here?? Get going!!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Not at All What I Planned

Yesterday I ran around like a crazy person. I showered, vacuumed, & packed for our weekend with Jake's family and mine. At approximately 12:20 I pulled out of my driveway ready to make the 2 hour drive to where Jake's family lives to go to the wedding reception.

I was heading towards the interstate when at 12:25 my phone rang and everything changed.

Yesterday morning my Grandfather was driving down to southern Iowa to check the flooding in his pasture. He never made it. A semi pulled out in front of him and his entire truck went under the semi and came out on the other side ending up in a ditch. He was killed instantly. He was 87 years old and VERY alive and happy for his age.

He died heading to do one of the things he loved. Checking on his land down south, taking care of the cattle.

I have SO many things running through my head right now. I thought I would have more time with him. He wasn't sick. Why didn't I make more of an effort to see him since he lived so close? Why didn't I make more of an effort to take Zack to see him?

It's all for not. He is gone now and all we can do is move forward. From now on I will be making more of an effort to make sure that I take Zack to see his remaining great-grandparents. I may not get the vacuuming done on Saturday's (the reason I didn't go see Jake's grandma yesterday morning when she called) but I think some things might be more important than sweeping up cat hair.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Not my Finest Hour

I am having a no good, very bad day today so I will keep this short in an effort to not drag the rest of you into my funk.It has been raining... I think for seven years but possibly it has only been for seven days. Either way it is gloomy and nasty outside and it is doing nothing for my temperament.

Last night, in an effort to move myself out of this funk I went to get my hair cut. Instead of cutting it... I sort of chopped it the F$%^ off.... ooopps... I was hoping that a change would help my mood... it didn't.

So if you remember... first we had this...
Then we had this...
Now we have this...It just keeps getting progressively shorter. Eventually I will get to the place where I just wash it and run my fingers through it. Hell... maybe I'll borrow Jake's clippers and just go for the bald look......

(Mom... that was a joke... you can stop dialing my number now telling me how much you hate short hair... I know... I get it...)
For the most part i like the haircut. It is easy to do it doesn't require a lot of maintenance, etc. Now whether I like the haircut on my head is another story entirely. I will let you know after I have some time to adjust to it this weekend.

Other than that, I decided to go to a meeting at noon today, since it was downtown and that's all sorts of convenient for me. Only problem, when I got there, no one was there. I called the Al-anon number and she couldn't help me. All she knew was that there was supposed to be a meeting there. Well... I knew THAT much.

So, here I am, missing my son (he's been going to bed at 6:30 and getting up at 6:45 all week so I don't feel like I've seen him all week) and buried in work at my desk and all I REALLY want to do is go home and go to bed.
Is it 5:00 yet??

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Please stop on by and give a hug or a cyber {hug} as the case may be to Miss Jessica. Or you can leave her a comment here. She has been my saving grace on more than one occasion and has now done it again.

Last night I left her with Zack so I could attend my first Al-anon meeting. (It went ok, I'll talk more about it later) When I left my house looked like it had been hit by two tornadoes. I have been so busy working on things for Jake and his counselor in the evenings that I have really let my housework slide.

I just pointed her in the direction of the chair (which was clean), handed her the remote and told her to just watch TV and ignore the mess. She assured me that she would be fine and I headed out for the meeting.

When I returned I thought maybe I had entered the wrong house. My kitchen was sparkling. All the dishes were done and I could see the counter tops and the table tops again. It would have EASILY taken me 4 hours to do what she completed in 1. (Jess says it's because I'm easily distracted)

Whatever the reason it allowed me to go to bed at 10:00 instead of 12:00 and it has allowed me to be at work, all day and not worry about getting home to clean since I'm going to be gone all weekend.

Sometimes a friend just sees what needs to be done and steps in and does it. I am eternally grateful to have several of those and last night it was Jess that stepped up to the plate. Thank you SOO much!! My sanity thanks you, my son's sanity thanks you, and my dogs thank you because I was so relaxed last night I let them come in and sleep in the air conditioning!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Five Months

It has been five months since Jake went away and five months that he has been sober. (Technically he left on the 20th of March but he obviously wasn't sober that day so I count from the 21st.)

Congratulations Jake!! I'm very proud of you for making it this far!!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Homework for Jake's Councelor

A couple of months ago I got a phone call from Jake. I could tell that he wanted to tell me something but I didn't quite know what, so the conversation progressed and there were these awkward pauses where I was kind of waiting for him to say whatever it was he needed to say, but he didn't quite get to it.

Then after about five minutes he just sort of blurted out, "I need to know what you love about me." Just plain as day. Simple, short and to the point. When he blurted that out my first thought was "Why?" Not that it mattered but I couldn't figure out why the heck he was asking. That was followed quickly by my mind freezing. It just went blank. It's not that I didn't know anything; it's just that I'm not really a Johnny on the Spot kind of girl.

I could tell that my silence really bothered him. He was kind of waiting for me to say something and then when I didn't the tone in his voice kind of changed and it sounded kind of sad when he said, "Well if you don’t know you can think about it and I can write it down later." And really, it wasn't that I didn't know, I was just sort of taken off guard.

So, while my mind was racing, he answered my original question of why. He told me that his counselor had asked him that day and he had told her he didn't know. So she had told him to ask me and then write it down. Therefore, never one to disappoint the counselor, I pulled my thoughts together and just started rambling things off as he wrote them down. Or at least I thought he was writing them down. Every once and awhile he would stop me or tell me to slow down so he could get it all down and then he would read back to me what he was writing down.

I thought this was sufficient; however, a little over a month ago I found out that what he wrote down was apparently the readers digest or the Cliff's Notes version of what I had told him. When I talked to his counselor after his visit in June she told me there were only three or four things on his list and they were just items written down with no explanation.

So, since she was trying to work on Jake's self esteem, obviously he has low self esteem, all addicts have low self esteem, she wanted me to think about it and write down what I loved about Jake.

At first I didn't really think that this would be as much of a reflection project as it has been. I thought I would just write a few things down and then move on with life. However, when I was talking to a friend of mine about this project right after I received it she said to me that she thought it would be kind of hard. In her opinion I had only known him as an addict and so if she had to write down ten things she liked about Jake she wasn't sure she could do it because she's not sure she knows the real him.

At first this really caught me off guard and I admit, I saw red. I thought how rude of her to say such a thing. She is not married to Jake, so of course she couldn't write down what she liked about him. She was seeing the superficial stuff, not the real him.

I on the other hand have known the man for 11 years; of course I know what I love about him. Don't I? In fact it kind of made me defensive, like obviously if I've stuck by him for this long I should know what I love about him. Shouldn't I?? And then I started thinking about it. I ran through the list of things that I had given him the first time and there were several character traits that I do love. Several things that are fundamentally him but there are also several things that I am now questioning.

As I listened to myself say them out loud I wasn't so sure that some of the things I loved didn't sound like what a parent would love about a child instead of what one spouse would love about the other. You see Jake and I have fallen into a very parent/child relationship over the past 11 years.

Mostly out of necessity I have taken on a parental role in taking care of the finances and continually having to remind him to do household chores. He has a prepaid Visa card because he has been unable to manage money and therefore has never been allowed (see that parental role) to have a regular credit card or checking account. I also did a lot of parental "babysitting" when he was home. Calling to check to see where he was, trying to make sure I knew his friends or where he was, going to get him if he didn't come home, things like that.

At first I was unsure if I was willing to give some of those roles up because I'm pretty comfortable with them. But after some more reflection I've come to the conclusion that if he wants to get a good job and work full time while I work part time I would gladly give up the role of the main breadwinner. If he wants to step it up and take care of his house I would gladly give up the role of nagger of the year. (I never really liked that one anyway.)

In fact one of the things I am most looking forward to when he returns is having a normal adult relationship. I don’t want to have to question where he is or what he's doing. I'm NOT his mother and I'm tired of being "forced" to play that role. I have actually grown quite comfortable with being able to sleep the whole night without waking up for every little sound wondering if it was him and being able to work a full day without having to call him and worry about where he is or what he's doing.

In fact, so much of the last eleven years of our lives has been in such turmoil that some of the things I convinced myself that I loved about Jake had really just become things I was comfortable with. And in the same token, so much of what I thought were qualities that he had I am now questioning whether were lies or truths. Do I really know the real Jake??

In the end, what I thought was going to just be a quick write down the things I love about Jake has turned into a two month project of really examining everything about our relationship and everything about who he is to me. I have really had to examine the roles that we have kind of put ourselves in and decide if I love those qualities and those roles or if I'm just comfortable with them because they are all I know.

So once I sorted out the things I wasn't sure were things I loved but were more like things I was comfortable with I discovered that the list was pretty small. So I decided to look back at our website and through my old journals to try to remind myself of who Jake was and who he has been to me. And you know what I discovered? More anger.

In fact it has taken two trips home for him and two trips down there for me and lots and LOTS of question and answer sessions for me to finally process all of that anger. I have anger about things that he has done and said and I also have anger about things that he should have been doing or saying.

On top of the anger I have resentment. All of this has been a lot to process in the past two months and not at all what I thought this process was going to be. However, I think I am finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I'm finally starting to remember what it is that has kept me with Jake for all of these years and the things about him that just make me smile inside. For two months I have been looking all over for him and this weekend, while I was visiting him, I opened my eyes and there he was.

I feel like I've come full circle and I can now start to be Jake's biggest fan and supporter again instead of his biggest critic. For several years now I have been the first one to question what his motives are and take a position against him. Now I finally feel like I can begin to support him and believe in him again. I've come to a place where I can once again take his side or believe him without needing to call his counselor and question him or check his story. It's taken me a LONG time to get here… but it sure feels good to have arrived.

One question...

So, I just have a quick question for everyone out there...
Who is this child?
And what did you do with my baby???

Drama, Drama, Drama

So yesterday I went to visit Jake at his treatment center. Since he is not getting a pass next weekend and I have family stuff to do I decided that Zack and I would go down yesterday and then Labor Day weekend.

Zack did WONDERFULLY in the car. I packed up pretty much every toy he owns hoping to keep him entertained but in the end, he slept for 2 hours on the way down there and the full 2 hours and 45 minutes on the way back. Although he did enjoy his 20 minutes of wooden spoon and pot time immensely!!

Once we got there I could sort of tell right away that this would not be like some of the other times I visited Jake. For one there were a lot of people out in the visiting area. Usually when I go down there everyone is in the back watching TV or taking a nap.

The fun started when this one girl's husband/boyfriend whatever showed up high or drunk. Hell he could have been both for all I know. I'm unsure as to why the aid did not kick him out but they let him stay although all the people there, myself included, could tell that he was obviously impaired. So when they all stepped outside to smoke that was the talk, what is he on, man he looks messed up, etc.

Then they all came back inside and sat at a table at the far end of the room from where we were seated yet they talked so loud that I could hear every word of their conversation. For instance I know that she says that she is trying but she just doesn't understand why she's not getting it. I also know that she's considering leaving to which her kids felt it necessary to lecture her on how she is on drugs and how she is off of them. Also on the fact that if she walks out of there she better not show up on their doorsteps.

Now if that was only all of it... oh no... there's still more.

While all of this was going on another client's wife came with his two grandchildren. They sat at one table and whispered back and forth while the oldest grandchild (she's probably 2 1/2) ran around and did whatever she wanted. At one point she was on the couch next to me kicking me and then she somehow got a key and was trying to stick it into an electrical outlet when one of the other clients saw her and stopped her.

Finally around 4:00 they decided it was time to leave. The client walked them out to the parking lot and the next thing you know he's gone. Apparently all that whispering was trying to convince his wife to let him leave with her. What I don't understand, however, is that this place has an open door policy. If he wanted to leave all he had to do was say I'm leaving now, pack his things and leave. Why wait around for three hours and then sneak off and disappear??

So... after he left we had to deal with everyone talking about that and how they couldn't believe he left, etc. Then this other kid, who just creeps me the f@#^% out, felt it necessary to tell me all about how he has been to three other treatment facilities and how he's seen all sorts of people walk out and it's not really all that unusual, etc. ON TOP of the fact that he kept trying to walk by and talk to Zack and get him to smile, etc. He just wouldn't leave us alone!!

I tell ya what, I don't have a CLUE how Jake lives there. Obviously I kept this fact to myself because I want him to continue the treatment program, but if it were me I would go crazy living there. I would have to shave my head too because otherwise I would be pulling out all my hair. It was like stepping back into high school again complete with the clicks and the gossipping and the immaturity. Dear LORD!!

So... how was your weekend?? :-)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Answering Questions & A Bit About Jake

I have gotten some wonderful comments on my last post. Several have been anonymous and I wonder do you leave them that way because you don't want me to know who you are or because you don't want others to know who you are?? Either way, I greatly appreciate all of the support and compassion that you all continue to show me. You are a great help to me in this time of my life.

I have gotten a few comments and/or questions that I would like to address though. First of all, to Jess, I have not told you about Jake because it is not a HUGE deal (well it was on Tuesday but it's not now). I intended to do a post about it today but then last night while reading all the old journal entries they seemed more important so I wrote about that instead.

The deal with Jake is that he is not progressing as quickly or as much as his counselor would like. Basically he is still stuck in a lot of his old behaviors that they are trying to change but he is not doing it. I don't think it's for a lack of trying on his part, I just think it's hard to change everything about yourself. (Which is what they ask them to do there.) I know for me I'm doing a lot of self evaluation and while I can see the problems it is much harder to actually go about fixing them.

What really brought this situation to a head though was that Jake told a lie. Last week he called a group on his father. Out of respect for his dad I won't go into great details here except to say that his dad drinks and Jake is uncomfortable around it and so they had told Jake how to talk to his dad about that and a few other things. Jake did call his dad but he didn't talk to him about that stuff because he thought it would embarrass his dad or make him mad.

However, when the group asked him, he lied to them and told them that he did talk to him. Then when he got back from pass he was upset about his dad again, he stood Jake up when he was supposed to meet him at the fair, and so he called another group. In this group he mentioned that he had, in fact, not talked to his dad about the drinking and other items. So, when they had treatment reviews on Tuesday he was essentially "called out" for lying.

That basically brought the whole thing to a head. His counselor talked to Jake about how he has yet to come up with a good reason that he's in treatment. When asked he will say because he wants to get sober for me or Zack, but really he needs to have a reason to be sober for him and he hasn't found that yet.

He also still has a huge problem thinking for himself. He consistently looks to me or to the counselors for approval when he has an idea. He wants desperately for someone to tell him how to do things instead of coming up with his own ideas. He does his homework to get it done and then he has to redo it 3 or 4 times before it is right instead of taking the time to think it through and do it correctly.

And those are just a few examples. According to his counselor everything Jake is doing is typical addict behavior. It is all things that she works with all of her clients on. The problem with Jake doesn't stem from these factors it stems from the fact that he is in a rut. He has basically been going no where for about two weeks and so she told him that he needed to come up with a list of reasons for them to let him stay.

He came up with that list and for now he is there and hopefully this will be what he needs to begin moving forward again. At this treatment facility you can stay as long as you need to but you have to continue to move forward to do it. You can't just sit still and take up space.

So to answer another question that I got, no he is not coming home right now. Will he come home eventually, yes that is the plan. If he does what he needs to do and he graduates this program than yes, he is welcome in our home. If he can't get it done than I'm not sure what will happen. I want desperately to tell you all that if he doesn't graduate he won't come here but right now that's not realistic for me to say. I have learned that if I am going to say something I need to follow through with it so I'm just going to leave it open ended for now.

About what I love about Jake. Someone said that it shouldn't be hard to think of the things I love about Jake. I think I made it harder than it was. You all have opened my eyes to that quite nicely. I think I just needed to dig through some of my emotional baggage and get to the real Jake. The Jake that keeps me smiling. Once I dug through that and realized that they don't have to be the "huge" things that I love they can be little things too it became much easier. I should have it finished as soon as I finish this post.

Finally, on to my last question. Do I feel obligated to stay with him so that he stays successful with his recovery? Wow, when you guys ask questions you go for the gusto don't you? Actually this has been something I have struggled with quite a bit. When people asked me why I didn't just leave him and let him rot in the getto this was my answer. If I left him he would have no one else who would go get him. And for a long while that was true.

Now, however, I don't know how I feel about it. That's a fair answer isn't it? If nothing else, it's honest. I do wonder what will happen to him if we do not stay together. That is why I fully support his counselor when she says that he needs to find a reason that he wants to be sober that is for him. For a long time he has told me that I'm all that he has and without me he has nothing. While that's a sweet sentiment and all, I'm really hoping that he can build back up some of his self esteem and get to a place where he loves me and he wants to live with me but he knows he could live without me. I don't want to feel like if I can't leave him (should something happen where I feel we can no longer stay married) because he would relapse without me. That's a hell of a burden to carry around. Even for me.

So now, I think I've answered all of your questions and told you a bit of an update on Jake in the process. If you have any more questions or if I was unclear on anything please don't hesitate to ask or e-mail me. I am one of the most open people you will meet and part of my reasoning for writing about all of this is to educate and to make sure that no one else who is going through this feels alone.

Being Alone

So, like I mentioned the other day, I've been looking through my old journal entries. Some of them have been really funny but a lot of them have really got me thinking. I'm supposed to be writing this thing for Jake's counselor about why I love Jake and I've had the assignment for over a month. I've managed to write three pages of filler but only about one page of real stuff.

So I thought maybe I would find some answers in my old writings. However, I'm not finding much. What I am finding is an overwhelming sense that I have been through a LOT in my life, and not just with Jake. I'm also discovering that this stint on my own is probably the longest I have ever been alone in my life.

Throughout my journal there are numerous entries about not wanting to be alone. I was continually clinging to friends or to boyfriends. Even when they were not as nice to me as they should have been I stayed because I didn't have a backup plan and so they were all I knew.

In high school I had a whole string of friends who I was SOO close with, even one who I called my mommy for a time (don't get me started on how stupid this sounds to me now) and yet none of those friendships were really based on anything other than the fact that these people liked me and accepted me for a time and I clung to them like glue.

It is sad to me to think that before Jake I had a steady boyfriend that I fought with for 5 months before we broke up and STILL I was sad when he left. Before that I had another boyfriend that I NEVER saw and only talked to on the phone once a week, but still... I had a boyfriend and I was not alone. (And when we broke up I cried in my cheerios over that one too....)

My journal is filled with all of these entries about how much I love boyfriends and friends and how within the span of just a few short weeks I am SOO attached to someone that I would let them walk all over me just so I wouldn't be alone.

It makes me wonder who that person is. Five months after Jake has been gone I am having a hard time remembering her. However, two days ago Jake called to tell me things were not going well and he may not graduate his program and it all came flooding back.

I know in my brain that if he doesn't graduate (I'll write more on this later) that he's not serious about his recovery and so I should not let him back in my life. But in my heart there was a great sense of panic. This is why I have to continue to be honest with my friends and family.

It would be all to easy for me to fall back into my old routine and make excuses for him and then let him come back and blame the system instead of him. It would be all to easy to make sure that I'm not alone. But I can't do that. I have a son who depends on me to keep him safe and so really, I'm not alone. (In fact in a few short years I may be BEGGING for time alone.) But right now, I'm the sole care giver for the smartest, most adorable baby in the whole wide world (heavens no I'm not biased) and I have to make sure I keep him safe.

So what's my real problem? The fact that his counselor gave me an assignment that should not have, but has caused me to look at myself in a whole new way and to really examine who I am and why I put up with what I have. Why do I get SOO attached to people who are obviously bad for me? How do I make sure that I'm letting Jake back into my life because I love him and I love our life together and not just because he's comfortable? And most importantly, how do I make sure that I never go back to being that person that I was, so afraid of being alone that she would let herself be trampled all over just to be with someone?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Message from my SIL

Hey guys!! My sister-in-law is having a really rough time after the birth of her second child and she wanted to try to get some feed back from anyone else who has been in a similar situation. If you don't want to leave a comment here than shoot me an e-mail hamiltonfamilycircus {at} yahoo {dot} com. She would appreciate any suggestions you have.

Well it has been one month since I had Jamison. I feel so happy to have 2 healthy, wonderful boys in my life. They really do mean the world to me. Lately I have been feeling really low and sad and ready to scream. Jamison is very demanding through out the night AND day and so is Jackson. I have been either pregnant or had a baby since May 2005...that is 2 years! When I am pregnant I can NEVER sleep and then when the baby is here you never get a good nights I haven't had a good night sleep (meaning a FULL 8 hours) since I got pregnant with Jackson. I am SO tired all the time and all I want to do is sleep. I feel like a very ugly mom...I am fat and just want to get in shape and feel good about myself. I have really been working on it. Watching what I eat and going to the gym. I just wish until I see a difference in the way I look I could feel good about myself. Everything I do I do it for Jackson, Jamison, and Marshall. I spend my day tending to the boys and cooking dinner that sometimes I don't get a shower until 2 or 3 or when Marshall gets home. And usually I get up and get in the shower so that I can start my day! I have had a really hard time trying to tell Marshall the way I feel. I finally came out and told him the other day and he said that I just need to get out of it! SO his cure for me being depressed and stressed out is to write me an e-mail everyday to tell me how much he loves me and how wonderful of a mom and wife I am..."Oh Marshall....I AM CURED!!" Yeah right...I need something more then that. And I honestly think I need some least for a little while to get me out of this rut! If ANYBODY has any helpful information or has been through the same thing I would love any information!! Please help...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


So, this weekend went really well. I was very impressed with Jake's attitude and I finally had a weekend with him where I didn't spend every moment he was out of my sight thinking he was up to something.

For the first time in MONTHS I actually wanted him to stay and when he was gone I actually missed him being there. I would say that's an improvement.

Right now I'm attempting to help him establish a time line for his life story. His memory is blurry and he remembers things happening but is unsure of WHEN they happened. So, I have been on the courts online website pulling his convictions.

What's that? You didn't know that Iowa had one of those? Oh yes, for absolutely no charge at all you can become the nosey neighbor. Just go here and enter the person's first and last name. You can find everything from speeding tickets to felonies.

So I have pulled all of Jake's and the stack is about half an inch thick. Most of the things I knew about and some I've tried to forget but there wasn't anything in there too surprising. Coincidentally while I was looking I discovered there is another Jacob Alan only he spells his middle name Allan. He was born on 11/27/80 and my Jake was born on 12/27/80. How strange is that??

Unfortunately it has taken me awhile to pull all of this info so now my lunch hour is over and I'm going to have to get back to work. That means that I will probably be working on this tonight after Zack goes to bed. Woo Hoo.

Oh, one more thing to note. While I was looking for my diaries to help jog my memory for his time line I stumbled upon my diary from when I was 11. Do any of you have your old diaries? Have you ever gone back and re-read them? There was one entry that sticks in my mind. It reads:

Dear Diary,

My boyfriend is Ryan P. O.K. Well any way I told everyone my name was Heather P. So anyway people started calling me Mrs. P. Cool huh? Well anyway this is fun because I love him so much. J.T. likes me I think. If Ryan breaks up with me I would go with J.T. He even gave me a can of pop. He is a good pal! Of course all boys are!

Sounds like true love doesn't it? Coincidentally we "broke up" within a month and I was heartbroken. Cried for days convinced I couldn't live without him even though we never saw each other and only talked like once a month. Guess my backup plan wasn't so good after all.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Where have I been?

Good question. On Monday I got "the talk" again at work. Basically I need to focus on my work when I'm at work. So, if I'm focusing on my work that leaves me no time for blogging at work. And when I'm home, half the time I don't take my computer and this week I've been working on homework assignments for Jake's counselor.

Oh yeah, and in my free time I've been doing laundry and dishes and vacuuming and all of that other fun stuff. Therefore, since I really have nothing of content to share with you I'm going to attempt to bribe you with pictures... will it work?? Who knows but it's worth a shot.

Jake's home this weekend so I'll try to write next week about how that goes.
{This picture has been removed. It can be viewed on Zack's passworded site}
Zack & I at Lindsay's wedding

{This picture has been removed. It can be viewed on Zack's passworded site}
Zack in his "little man" outfit

{This picture has been removed. It can be viewed on Zack's passworded site}
Look mom, no hands

{This picture has been removed. It can be viewed on Zack's passworded site}
Did you see that? Did you see what I just did? That was pretty cool wasn't it?

Thursday, August 09, 2007

What Would You Do??

I'm going to put this up here and also on Gift of Gab because I'm still so shocked by it that I wanted to share it with the masses to see if I over reacted or under reacted or reacted just enough....

As I was coming out of my counseling appointment on Tuesday I walked down the stairs of the office building and passed a car parked closest to the door. The back door of the car was open and in the car sat three little children.

One little boy was about 5 or 6, the little girl was 3 or 4 and the other little boy was still in a car seat, I would guess 9 months to a year. The youngest little boy was visibly sweating (it was after all 93 degrees outside, I can only imagine what it was in the car) and the oldest little boy was playing with a can of starting fluid.

I could smell the strong smell as he took paper towels and was spraying it on them and then wiping the tires. (I have no idea what he was hoping to accomplish, I'm guessing it was boredom.) Since the smell was so strong outside of the car I can only imagine how strong it was inside the car.

As I passed these kids I thought to myself, where is their mother? I then proceeded across the parking lot, got in my vehicle, and pulled out. I made it about 100 yards before I pulled my car over and called my mom. I asked her for the non-emergency number to the police department and then I went back to the car and parked two spaces down from it.

As I was on the phone with my mom the mother came out with some water. At this point it had been at least 5 minutes that these children were alone in the car. Enough time that if I wanted to I could have kidnapped them all and she would have been none the wiser.

She gave the youngest some water and then wiped the sweat from his head. The oldest boy got out of the car and ran up the steps and into the office building. The little girl followed him leaving just the baby in the car. It was at this point that I dialed the non-emergency number as the mother once again walked up the steps after her two oldest children leaving the infant unattended.

Once she got the two oldest back to the car I'm pretty sure she knew I was calling someone. She was not a large woman probably my build and wore a "cape...(I don't know what they're called)" over her head. My other thought was maybe in her culture it is not a problem to leave children in the car....

As she put the kids in the car, the oldest with no seat belts, the dispatcher asked me to tell him where she was going. So I followed her. At first there was a car between us but pretty soon I was right behind her and I'm pretty sure she knew I was following her. We traveled down the street where she drove really slowly and then eventually pulled over and was watching to see what I would do in her mirrors.

Not wanting to cause a huge confrontation I pulled around her and watched her do a u-turn and go back the other way. I'm not sure if the police ever found her because by the time I got turned around she was gone.

After talking to Shane on the phone he says he would have blocked her in and not let her leave or pulled in behind her when she pulled over. Is it legal for me to do that?? Now, two days later, I worry about those kids. If she left them once, she will leave them again. Next week they are talking about highs in the 100's.

So, what would you have done? Would you have confronted her and tried to keep her there until the police came or continued to follow her when it was obvious she knew you were there and didn't want to be followed?

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Coolest Mom E-V-E-R!!

I just thought I would let you know that my status has been moved up the ladder for at least one day. Last night I let Zack ride in the shopping cart and I'm pretty sure the entire grocery store knew how excited he was.

{This picture has been removed and moved to Zack's personal site... you can check it out there}

**The Picture will be removed later but I couldn't help sharing it with all of you because it just makes me smile!! Sorry the quality is not so great it was taken on my phone.**

Monday, August 06, 2007

The Incredible Shrinking Baby

Ummm... Yeah... So apparently my son is shrinking.

I was comparing notes from his doctors appointments while I was updating his site this morning and here's what I've got.

DHS Doctor - 7/12/07 - 18 lbs 9.6 oz, 28 inches long

6 month Checkup - 7/20/07 - 19 lbs 2 oz, 27 1/2 inches long

Gastro Doctor - 7/30/07 - 19 lbs 10 oz, Just over 27 inches long

Apparently as his belly grows out his legs grow up.... :-)

**No I do not actually think my son is shrinking. Please do not leave me comments stating the obvious. I am aware that they are probably measuring him different or not getting him stretched out...It's a joke people... LAUGH!!**

How you know you need to go back to bed...

You're writing your son's name on his baby food for daycare and you have to pause a moment and actually think as to how you spell his name... is it Z-A-C-K-A-R-Y or Z-A-C-K-E-R-Y?? (I even considered going upstairs and pulling out his birth certificate...)

It's A-R-Y for those of you interested....

I'll write a new post when my brain returns on the second Tuesday of next week.

Friday, August 03, 2007

My week

So... um... yeah... I'm pretty sure I put something on this site about writing a new post before the end of the week.

Not gonna happen, move on, sorry if you've been waiting.

Let me tell you a little bit about why. At this moment if I write a new post it has to be at work or written on my digital voice recorder and typed at work. To do it at work I need to have a lunch hour or some other sort of free time. I have had none of the sort this week.

Monday I had to take Zack to the gastro doctor. Then Monday night the DHS woman came again.

Tuesday I was sick. I was at work but I was lucky to get anything done in between the trips to the bathroom.

Wednesday they called me and told me that Zack was sick and so I had to go get him at 3:45.

Yesterday they called me at 8:30 and told me that he was sick. He was not sick. I got there and he was smiling and fine. However at that point I was so frustrated that I just took him and my niece and my mom watched him. So I got back to work at 10:30 and then had a dress fitting at 1:00 and then my father-in-laws birthday party last night.

Today I have to get some things done because I have to teach a class on Monday and my topic... well I haven't even STARTED!! Really, NOTHING!! So I have to get that done this morning before I go to another dress thing with my sister this afternoon and then we have rehearsal and rehearsal dinner and tomorrow is the wedding and Sunday is the gift opening and Sunday night I may just fall down on my couch and never get up!!

So... that new post... yeah... maybe next week!!