Closure, Gifs, and Mantras OH MY!

Yesterday the day finally came when I have felt I have done enough to make a blended family, I have done enough being a mediator, I have done enough to help someone who is hell bent on hating me. And that is really hard for me to say out loud (or in writing). I know that his ex-wife projects, I know that she deep down knows I am great for the kids, I know that she likely even does "like me" so to speak. What gets to me is the things she says in front of the kids and I have decided to relinquish control. I have decided that I need to let the fantasies and nightmares she perpetuates and throws at the kids unravel in their own time. Because they all will. Because the kids are strong and smart and can navigate those themselves.

The long and short of it was that a situation about school was brewing into possible court. Although she agreed with my fiance, she refused to meet him to sign off on it. He presented the idea 6 months ago, 4 months ago we sat and discussed with the kids therapist about it, a month ago she agreed in writing (text), and for the last three weeks he has tried to get her to meet to sign off on a paper. He decided that if she refused yesterday morning to meet him again he was going to go straight to the courthouse and file for a court order. What did he have to lose, some money? He had the texts, he had our reasons for wanting the change (which were all in the kids best interest).

So the evening before when she ignored his texts... I decided to reach out. Let me say that this woman has either some kind of narcissistic personality disorder or is manic depressive. I am not being petty or extreme when I say this. I know the signs. And on top of it she acts quite like a teenager who masks having some kind of learning disability so she is hiding/overcompensating for something. However, it had made me always make sure that whenever I communicate with her I do so in the most articulate, clear, concise, and straightforward way possible. I was very clear when I text her. I sent her:

"Hi! I am in Tampa right now and did not include Jay on this intentionally. I am not sure what your motivation is for ignoring him and prolonging signing a document to agree to something you already agreed to in writing multiple times. If you call his bluff it will look bad for you. He will get a court order and if you two ever have to return to court over anything it will be documented that HE had to do so even though you agreed in writing 3x. And to be straightforward, he is going to the courthouse tomorrow morning if you aren't going to meet him." 

She "three dotted" me for a while right away. I am not sure what everyone else calls this but that is what I call the imessage icon when someone is typing you a text. It came and went as though she was typing and erasing. I thought that maybe I should be MORE clear! (I know, I was overanalyzing.)

"And if you are wondering my motivation for a last ditch attempt to make you understand the repercussions, we have always had an end goal of the kids having two stable homes and it was *me* that became your target last time you were stressed from court. So my motivation is that you do not try to sabotage the kids or me bc of something that you were well aware would be an end game."

My texts were open and honest and meant to be helpful. However, that is not what she spun any of my statements as. Not only did she never reply even after the three-dotting but apparently the next day she was incessantly and nastily nagged her boyfriend to defend her honor. My fiance's text asking her kindly to meet him "Instead of dropping the kids off at my house at noon tomorrow, can you meet at the bank to sign the papers?" and mine were apparently "threats" and she wanted her boyfriend to... wait for it... text my fiance and THREATEN HIM! He rolled his eyes, changed the subject, and wholly ignored her. When the kids told us about this we explained that even though she was nagging and being mean, her boyfriend was a good man and was blowing her off for a reason and they should respect that and not see it as their mother treating him as though he is weak.

She did not get what she wanted so she text my fiance back after he had already gone to the courthouse and gotten the paperwork he needed to fill out and submit to a marshal. Her text to him read: "I'll meet you at 12. You need to have her stop threatening me though. That's no way to solve anything." To which Jay replied, "No one is threatening you. I'll be there at 12." (I would like to point out that even though she perpetuated my texts as though they were threatening, she agreed so she clearly saw my point.)

As noon approached and I spoke to my fiance (whilst I was attempting to relax by a pool in a Tampa resort hotel). I decided, fuck it! She can twist shit however she wants because people will see right through her (and I was right considering the fact that I learned about the nagging later on). I sent her one last text separate from our group chat. I will break it down for you here: 

"Please re-read every txt I have ever sent you and do it without looking for a reason to hate me! Of course I told Jay what I said to you and accusing me of threatening you if preposterous. (Trust me, you would know if I was threatening you.)

I have ALWAYS looked out for you! That is why I called 3 wks ago, why I txt last night, why I invited your family over when you were clearly suffering from effects of your mental illness. Congratulations, you've lost an ally in me.

I am a happy human and so I always read txts with an optimistic tone and don't have to twist anything. Try it."

And unlike Rachel Green, I am not looking back. (I mean, they were TOTALLY on a break anyway, amiright?) I felt fresh and free.

Meanwhile, at the bank, Jay met her at noon and they had the docs signed and notarized. While there MOTY (the mother of the year, herself) waited until the notary was out of earshot to dig at my fiance, to try and publicly pick a fight with him like a teenager. He kept his calm and ignored her as though she wasn't speaking...

"You and Melissa have to stop threatening me! How would you feel if Joe text you about mental illness?!"

"I haven't even gotten to visit the school yet!" 

Much like how I felt after hearing how she had been treating her boyfriend who did not respond to her craziness, I felt that her attempts to create drama out of a situation that warranted none was so over the top I was basically turned on by my fiance's cool head under pressure of her bull shit. It was so strong and so sexy of him. If I hadn't been eating room service food and reading a book in my Grand Hyatt hotel room I would've stolen him away!

And since I was away I had time to contemplate. Much like I contemplated before signing my own divorce papers I started asking myself: Have you tried your best? Would you have any regrets looking back or can you say you honestly did everything you could to salvage this? The answer was simple and complete. Yes and yes. And because I have I know that relinquishing control of her possible effects is temporary because anyone who believes her twisting and scapegoating and projecting (I mean, even her own boyfriend didn't buy it!) is not worth knowing! So she can take her anger and resentment and her nonsense and keep that unhappiness for herself!

I have decided that I am not in a place to just change, to just stop trying, even if I know its best for me and the kids. So we talked about how their Dad and I want minimum contact with her from now on. She does not change when we ask or when we directly call her out, she is rude and doesn't reply or cooperate. Why continue this? In situations where the kids will be able to, they will communicate about plans they want to make when she is watching them or wanting to bring toys from one house to the other. I have also decided to live by a few easy mantras. 

My goldie oldie: (1) Just be brave, do something that uses courage every single day and my new addition (2) Relinquish control, you are enough and lies unravel on their own. And I think mantras have a lot of power in our minds. I could talk about how there is science behind it but truthfully, the most important part is that if you repeat something that is a truth you don't always believe in, you can help your confidence and your outlook change! So there I am! I have tried my best, I gave it one last hoorah, I have let myself give up control and let myself consider the important fact that just being me is ENOUGH!

Poem for His Ex

This is an entry in my journal from last year. I was fed up with a lot of stuff and sometimes that is just how the words come out. It took me a long time to accept someone's ex being part of my life for pretty much ever and a long time to stand up for myself to her. This was hard for me because I am not used to letting other people fight my battles (although it did bring me and my fiance closer together honestly).

Hey little girl
I hear your angry cries
What's that you thought?
The wold was between your thighs?

Hey little girl
It's time to grow up now
What happened to you?
What happened to your pup now?

Hey little girl
You are rightfully scared
Everyone will see your ugliness 
If your face or soul are bared

Hey little girl 
I was broken once too
But my heart saved me
And that's the difference between me and you


Gifts for Your Golden Girls!

I generally keep my career to myself but I feel comfortable enough saying I am a schoolteacher. I made a little bit of a career move this year requesting that my schedule in the fall be moved to another high school in district. Over the last 12 years I have made some amazing friends at my home school but I was ready for a challenge. I decided to make candles to show them that I am thankful. 

I made about 3 dozen of these Golden Girls themed candles. I ended up selling off my extras on etsy but I found the graphic on pinterest (if anyone knows who created this I would love to thank and credit them) and added text. I also made a card to attach with bakery ribbon that said, "Thank you for being a friend." 

I used soy wax, salt and pepper shakers, and fragrance I ordered from Amazon (I am using these ingredients for our wedding favors so more on that soon!) 

You are enough!

Top 10 Connecticut Family Day Trips Not to Miss!

1. Falls Village
We have to start with FV because that was our town! There is a beautiful outlet of the Appalachian Trail you can access right near the region's High School and you can catch a view of the Great Falls with a short walk from the village itself. There are a few little shops and an annual car show but the view is what makes FV a little home in my heart. The best part about exploring this area is that the great outdoors are always free to explore. :)

2. Dinosaur State Park, Rocky Hill
This place was AWESOME and I am not entirely sure why so many people I come across who live in CT have never been here. Obviously, I was coming from a different point of view, I moved to the northwest corner after living in a huge state (NY) so I wanted to see ALL of CT basically immediately. This is an interactive museum built over top of real authentic dinosaur tracks that were found in 1966. The inside also has a fun little kids center and outdoors there are activities on weekends and some beautiful trails (if you are coming during warm weather keep in mind that you should pack your meal because they do not sell food but have a few nice spots to eat). Admission is free under 5, $2 for kids 6-12, and $5 12+


 3.  Angevine Christmas Tree Farm, Warren CT
I curse the little buggers that made transporting Christmas trees over state lines illegal because now that we have settled in upstate NY we can't trek to Warren where we experienced our first magical Christmas tree in the first house we ever lived in together. This was my first time cutting down my own Christmas tree and I am just rampant with the spirit of the season AND IT LIVED UP TO ALL MY EXPECTATIONS! The kids ran around and played tag while we chopped down our tree, we watched the sun crest over the mountainside, then we went into the Christmas barn where we had hot cocoa and the kids had Christmas treats and then listened to an old steinway player piano. It was fabulous! You will not regret your visit to this family run farm! 

This is an awesome family campground in CT-- they have theme weekends with activities and movie nights, photo contests, lots of other on property fun (swimming, playground, horseshoes, live local music). The sites are beautiful! Rates are competitive and change seasonally.

The town I grew up in has a huge county fair only a few towns north. It draws people from all over NY and it pulls in big name acts to the stage. Although the Goshen Fair isn't of this magnitude, there is something distinctly special about it. The Goshen Fair has the rides and games and fair food and crazy attractions that you find at every fair. It has big crowds but not as overpacked as some other local fairs in the region and the best part is that it is Labor Day weekend. Most fairs have come and gone by then and having a goodbye to summer that feels like the sweet hint of summer first peaking out at you is refreshing.

6. Beardsley Zoo, Bridgeport
 My fiance lived in CT for the majority of his life and still ended up never knowing there was even in Zoo in the state. Most people trek down to the Bronx Zoo in NY but honestly, at least in my opinion, most zoos are not worth a second trip. We had a great day at Beardsley, we went early in the season so crowds were low and we hit the first showing of the movie Zooptopia that had just come out so we arrived around noon. The zoo closes at 4 and we had plenty of time to see everything. Under 3 enter for free, 3-11 pay just $12 and 12+ $15.

We stopped here on the way back from a day out and about and the kids still talk about it! This place is certainly worth the stop. It is a self-guided museum right at the factory! There is a scavenger hunt for kids, lots of memorabilia, and literally all the pez you could dream of! They charge $4 for kids and $5 for adults to enter but you get a lanyard with your pez-shaped ticket attached as well as a pez dispenser (if you complete the scavenger hunt) and your ticket comes with a $2 off coupon so its more than fair price.

The nicest thing about Kent Falls is that its easy. Everything about it.. its an easy to find location, easy to park, easy to spot the falls from the road, easy walk, easy hike... all the makings for an easy day. One that includes picnics and cooking in the park. You can easily throw together a day of natural beauty and sunshiney fun with Kent Falls at the setting. Pack some food, outdoor games, cameras, and your family and head out and enjoy the easy beauty of CT. 

9. Mystic Seaport (and Aquarium)
Couples could make a weekend out of Mystic. Its not far from the casino, you can check out the historic seaport, shops, aquarium. However, having visited all spots I really think the most fun could be the seaport for day trip for kids. There are lots of other (more expensive) port villages to walk around in but Mystic is historic and easy/affordable to stay, and besides the charm the port is interesting and active. The aquarium is not a far drive from the seaport, and is mostly outdoors and is packed on most weekends. If you are interested in the Beluga whale or Penguin encounter it's certainly worth the trip, however, see below for our family's real aquarium choice! 

10.  Norwalk Aquarium
All the kids visited this aquarium on school trips and you know that teachers know best! They rave about it and my fiance even chaperoned the most recent trip and loved it as well. If it is aquariums you are after, the jelly-filled and shark-infested water's at Norwalk are worth the trip! And it boasts an IMAX theatre as well! Prices are $16 for kids 3-12, $21 for kids 13-17, $23 for adults.