I was doing soooo well until yesterday. I forgot to post a blog entry...I know, I know, shoot me now!
So to keep up with my goal, I have decided to just make this one lonnnnnnngggg...and maybe I will write another later on.
First order of business (official voice): I'd like to make a motion to request votes for a photo contest I am in.
Okay, enough playing around. In all seriousness...I entered a photo contest the other day with Kristy Sola Photography. I met Kristy on Craigslist in February of 2010. We were getting ready for Dan to deploy and decided we wanted to get family pictures done before he was gone for a year. I am so glad I decided to search there (of all places) for photographers, as we were fairly new to the area. Kristy had a very small amount of clients locally at that point because most of her work had been back at home in California or of her family (She and her husband JJ have 3 beautiful children of their own), so her prices were significantly lower than most places I had seen, but she had great talent.
About a week before Dan deployed, she took our pictures. The weather was COLD, the wind was AWFUL, and yet, she was able to capture some stunning shots. Here are a few highlights of that shoot:
Needless to say, after this shoot, I fell in love with her photography. Since then, I have referred her to hundreds of people and so many of my friends have had equally pleasing family photos taken by her. She's one of a kind!
And she's not just a great photographer, she is an AMAZING person, beautiful both inside and out. She has gone above and beyond, out of her way so many times to cater to me and my crazy schedule, or lack of and words can't express just how much she has meant to our family.
She photographed us for Dan's R&R (Malachi had a massive scratch from the cat across his eye and face and she was able to almost completely erase it from the picture):
She took pictures of our Kaylee bear at 5 months:
She took more family photos of us in July this past year, right before Dan left to go play Army dude in Fort Benning:
And lastly, in November, she took pictures of Kaylee for her soon to be birthday and birthday party:
Okay so back to the point, because believe it or not, I am not just showing off my gorgeous family (I mean, come on...look at those kids!) haha :)
When Dan left in January, I took down all of the family photos and packed them into his stuff. It was really hard seeing us so happy and everything so perfect, everywhere I turned. It was also causing a lot of meltdowns with the kids for the same reason. I figured this was for the best.
Our walls are pretty much bare now and I would love to take new photos and make new memories with the kiddos, but money is super tight and doesn't allow for any of that right now.
What I am asking for you to do is to simply go to Kristy's link to our picture: (just copy and paste it into your browser)
and simply "like" our picture. I promise, that's it. If we have the most votes by Wednesday at 6pm, we get a free photo shoot and it would mean the WORLD to us.
Part 2 of the blog post that never ends:
Yesterday I finally finished unpacking all of the kids' toys in the basement. We now have two large rooms full of their stuff, separated by age so Kaylee has her own space. It was really hard, and it took a long time to do...and not just the sorting aspect, but the fact that I was having to unpack things that I had just packed up in anticipation of our big move to Texas just a few months ago.
It made everything so real. I guess up until now I didn't want to believe that he would really leave us here. But he did. And.it.sucks.
While unpacking, I began to think about the future and try to figure out just exactly what to do with my life. Let me tell you this, it is really hard to do when you don't have a lawyer and have no clue what your rights or entitlements are. I have come to the conclusion that I have WAYYYY too much stuff to move, and will probably never find a big enough place to put it in, that is also within my budget.
This got me thinking...what are the odds that in lieu of child support, I could keep the house and Dan could just pay for that instead. I could use the money that Bobby helps me out with in addition to the financial aid excess I get, to pay all of my bills, and then just pay cash for a used vehicle in the upcoming months. Again, don't get your hopes up about me staying in Colorado...because this is yet just another crazy thought. I guess it will be a while before I figure out if it is even possible.
So many things to think about.
Part 3 of this never-ending saga:
I brought Kaylee back to the doctor's office today for yet another follow-up. This makes 5 since she has been out of the hospital. She gained all of her weight back that she lost the week she was admitted, and then some. However, her oxygen levels still are not where they are supposed to be, and the doctor STILL has no idea why. He referred us to Rocky Mountain Pediatric Pulmonary Dept in Denver and said we should get a call back within a few days. He doesn't know what their course of action will be but he said we can expect to spend a couple of days inpatient in Denver for a sleep study and some other tests. YAYYYYY!!!! (sarcasm) I'm not looking forward to it, but I know that I'll do whatever it takes to figure out what exactly is wrong with Kaylee...because there IS something, I just know.
So if you pray, please do. For her, for me, and for Avery and Malachi who have had to deal with so many stresses over the past few months...far too many things at such a young age.
And lastly, part 4...the controversial one.
I mean, really...what is a blog post without controversy??
Dan texted me today and said he was going to be coming up here this summer for his friend's wedding (the same wedding that he said he was going to be surprised if it ever even happened because he couldn't stand his friend's fiance and didn't think it would last) Okay, I'll stop being bitter, but I dislike both of them for some awful awful things they had to say about me when this all unfolded in November.
Anyway, so he asks if I can fit in my schedule for him to see Kaylee.
Ummm...did I read that right?
I contemplate it for a while and decide against it. Kaylee doesn't know who he is and seeing him for a couple of hours will not change that, so I am not going to put Avery and Malachi through hell, just to please him because he wants to act like a dad for a split second.
So I tell him no, I can't, and to leave me alone.
Does he really think that he can go 3 months without fitting her into his schedule when he is living 10 minutes away, but then expect me to cater to him when he wants to play dad? Ha.ha.ha...no!
Who has changed every single diaper since July? ME
Who has given her every bath? ME
Who has put her to bed every single night? ME
Who has wiped away all of her tears, fed her every meal, stayed up and watched her sleep for the past 3 weeks? me, me, ME!
Who do you think you are that you can walk out of her life, ignore her and me for months like an immature little high school boy that broke up with his girlfriend, break my other 2 children's hearts...and then say you want to see her all of a sudden because you are coming to town? Why should you get the perks of having a child without having to raise them? I have done EVERYTHING for her and you asked about her for the first time in over a month because she was in the hospital...
How does this make sense?? What makes you think this is okay to do??
Go ahead and judge me, because I know some of you are shocked. I begged for him to have a relationship with her for so long and now that he finally asks to see her, I say no? That's right, I call the shots now. She is my child. I am just supposed to say okay and jump when he says jump?
It definitely does not work that way anymore.
If he wants a relationship with her, he will build one again from the ground up. He can start by calling and having me put it on speaker phone, he can try skyping with her so she sees him and gets used to him, because right now, she has no clue who he is.
Sadly, I have come to the conclusion that I like it that way. He is not her dad, he is her father and as much as it breaks my heart to say it, it's the truth...and it took me a long time to see it for what it was. I wanted so badly for him to be the person he was before, and he won't be, and my children are not going to suffer anymore because of his selfishness.
And to tell you the truth, there is no way I could stand to be around the person he has become and keep it civil, after all of the awful things he has said and done---and I do not trust him alone with Kaylee because until there is a written custody order in place, he could legally take her away. I'm not saying he would do that, but I'm not saying he wouldn't, because the boy he has become is not the man I married.
Until a judge gives him rights, he has none in my eyes. He is nothing to our family.
I know some of you may disagree with this, and that is fine. Maybe if you were in my shoes you would understand a little more, but maybe not. I have heard many people say things like the more I talk about what he is doing, the further I am pushing him away or that I am just making him more angry by being mad at him for what he has done.
You know what I've realized?
It is not my job to walk on eggshells to make sure I don't upset him. HE did this, not me. It's not my job to fix it, it would be his (if that were something he wants-which he doesn't). He screwed up, I did not. This is why I don't censor myself, I am not wrong for writing about what is going on in my life. If it makes people think poorly of him, well, he should have thought about it before he did the things he did.
After a stressful few texts back and forth, I came home from a friend's house and got the kids in bed, then went to check the mail.
An amazing friend, one I have never even met in person, sent me this:
It was the perfect ending to a pretty awful day. I am so thankful for the friends I have, I really don't know what I would do without them! Many of them have been through everything with me the past few months and I consider them family. Thanks again JEN!