Sunday, March 30, 2008

And Not A Punch Was Thrown


Somebody had a date this weekend.

No, not me. But read on and help me decide on something related.

The Champ had a play date on Saturday. He's been asking me for a few weeks if Nate, one of his classmates could come over one day. So I called Nate's mom on Friday and asked if it was okay. She said it was fine. Considering this was my first time overseeing a play date alone, I seemed okay with it also.

Nate's mom dropped him off around 10:30. The boys played well together the whole time. I was sure I would have to settle a dispute over a toy or something but they got along good. Peanut was a typical little sister, wanting to get involved. They didn't seem to mind. Nate has a little sister as well so that might have helped.

I fed them all lunch and then the boys kept quiet, spending some time on the computer, while I put Peanut down for a nap.

Nate's mom came back around 3:00, happy to have had some free time. It was actually good for me, too. It kept The Champ occupied while I boxed some more of Mrs. Joe's remaining things.

Which leads me to a question for you.

For Christmas, I bought two tickets to a touring performance of The Producers at the Springfield Symphony Hall. Obviously, we know who one of the tickets was for. After everything, I'll be damned if Mrs. Joe is going to go. The show is this Thursday and I have two options.
  1. I can sell the tickets without a loss to a girl I work with.
  2. I can take another girl I work with who showed interest in going with me.

I need you to voice your opinion.

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Kicking A Man While He's Down

I guess it is safe to say this year has not been one of the best for me. I am doing my best to keep my head up but sometimes I feel like I can't take anymore.

I felt that way today at work when this appeared on my computer screen while trying to check for comments on my blog.
















It seems they installed some internet filter that restricts most blogs.

What do they expect me to do now? Work?

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Easter Bunny Came Early


I hope everybody had a good Easter. Mine was okay. Mrs. Joe had Peanut & The Champ on Sunday but I had them overnight Thursday, Friday morning and most of Saturday.

Seeing I wasn't going to have them on Easter Sunday, I arranged for the Easter Bunny to come by on Thursday night. He scattered some eggs around the house and left a basket for each of the kids. Peanut got some chocolate eggs, a few Reese's cups and a Pooh puzzle while The Champ also got some chocolate eggs, Reese's cups and four Matchbox cars.

I didn't have to work on Friday so the egg hunt wasn't rushed. I read a letter to the kids from the Easter Bunny saying how he heard they wouldn't be home on Sunday so he decided to come a few days early.

We searched the house for awhile. I did my best to keep The Champ from going after every egg. Peanut found some on her own but I had to keep telling The Champ to let her find some on her own to keep it somewhat equal. He then took to showing her where they were.

After we found all of the eggs we sat at the dining room table and opened them up. It seems the Easter Bunny now puts a quarter in a few of the eggs now. Two eggs even had $1 in them. I then got the kids dressed and took the to their mother's for the rest of the day.

So I figure I handled my first holiday as a separated parent pretty good. I did what I could to enjoy Easter with the kids even though it wasn't the actual day. Right now they are young, they don't really understand what's going on. They just see they are getting two of everything. As they get older, hopefully they will see the efforts that I put in to make the best of a bad situation.

That's the best I can hope for.

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

It Would Be Easier If He Seen A Monster


I heard something last night that I had never heard before. See, I had just left Wal-Mart because over the last week, I had kept a list of the little things that Mrs. Joe took that I needed to replace. Nail clippers, a paring knife, can opener, hand lotion, etc. So I went to get those things and to also get Peanut & The Champ something for Easter.

I was in my car and since Mrs. Joe moved out I have called the kids every night that she has had them to say good night and to tell them I love them. Last night, I talked to Peanut first, which due to the fact that she has just started talking, isn't much of a conversation. I told her to be good for mommy and that I love her. She said bye and then handed the phone to The Champ.

He seemed to be upset about something. I asked him what was the matter. A typical "nothing" was his response.

I pressed on and he stopped me in my tracks.

"I'm a little scared," he replied. That was the first time he ever told me he was scared of something.

"Scared of what?"

"Mommy is really yelling at Peanut and it's making me a little scared."

Apparently Peanut was not cooperating at bath time. I told him it would be okay and he told me he would be alright. I told him I loved him and he told me the same. I then asked him to put his mother on the phone.

I did my best to keep the tone civil. I asked her if everything was alright. She said it was. I told her what The Champ said about being scared and she had no reply. I added I was concerned that he had never said anything like that before. No reply. A few seconds went by.

And then she hung up the phone on me.

After I calmed down, I drove home. I later checked my home e-mail to find the following letter from Mrs. Joe:



Well I ruined Christmas for u & New Year's so here let's ruin Easter!

I want a divorce.......... If you'd like to make the session w/the therapist go for it ??? in about 2 weeks ..

maybe we can be done with this game by your B-day so you can have your own fireworks instead of the relationship ones.. because I am DONE!





Regarding the last line, my birthday is the fourth of July. But I guess that sums up her latest feelings towards me. I didn't react much at all to the e-mail. I figure she was just venting at my asking if she was okay and mentioning The Champ being scared. Either way, a reconciliation doesn't look too promising.

As for Easter, I have them tonight but she has them for the weekend. As I said, I picked up some stuff for the Easter Bunny to give them. I made some baskets earlier tonight after they went to bed and hid a bunch of eggs with chocolate and some with money around the house. I have the day off from work so tomorrow morning when they wake up they will learn the Easter Bunny stopped by a few days early and we will check out our baskets and search for some eggs.

I guess it will be a Good Friday after all

If I don't post before, Happy Easter everybody.

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Baby Steps

Sitting here tonight in celebration. Why celebrate, you ask? I made Peanut & The Champ pancakes for breakfast this morning.

And they ate them!

So in honor of my first successful attempt at using the stove top for something that did not involve boiling water, I give you each one of these...



A nice hoppy I.P.A. from Magic Hat Brewing Company.

Emeril, you better watch out.

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Friday, March 14, 2008

Trying To Get Back To Normal


Per Mrs. Joe & I's arrangement, I have Peanut & The Champ this weekend. I picked them up from school yesterday and will have them until I bring them to school Wednesday morning. Everybody told us to minimize the amount of times we exchange them. This will take getting used to for all of us.

During dinner last night, we were dining on hot dogs and french fries. Hey, Mrs. Joe did all the cooking. I got to start somewhere. The Champ asked me something that felt like a punch to the throat.

"I wish this fight between you and mommy would be over. I don't like having an empty chair at the table."

I do to, buddy. I do to.

We went to Friendly's for dinner tonight. Across the street, there's a Barnes and Noble and on Fridays they have story time for the kids. Someone will read a story, tonight it was about St. Patrick's Day, and then they have an activity for the kids. So we stopped for dinner before heading over to B&N. Happily the munchkins behaved and we came home, read a few stories and they went to bed.

If it doesn't rain tomorrow, I'll take them to the park in the morning.

Every day I feel more and more secure with myself and with the way I am handling everything that is going on. I can do this. I can step up and take care of these kids all by myself. As much as I love Mrs. Joe, I can't sit by and wait for her to come to her senses. I got two kids that are depending on me to keep their life as normal as possible.

I can do this.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Weight Lifted


It is safe to say the last week has been difficult.

Mrs. Joe did leave Friday night. I spoke to her that morning before I left for work and told her that I hoped she finds whatever she is looking for. I went out to dinner that night with some friends and got home pretty late.

And pretty drunk.

I spent most of Saturday regretting my consumption from the night before but started putting the house back together. My sister and cousin came over on Sunday and we got the place picked up pretty good.

I got to see the kids on Monday. I picked them up from school and took them to The Champs’ gymnastics class. After that we had dinner at McDonald’s. Mrs. Joe came over and picked them up before bedtime.

I went to Mrs. Joe’s apartment yesterday. The Champ called and asked me if I could bring a toy he wanted over. What was I to do, say no? The kids showed me their rooms and the new stuff they got. As much as I wanted to see them, I could not get out of there fast enough.

After that, I spent the evening picking up the kids’ rooms. Mrs. Joe bought Peanut a big girl bed for her place so I had to take the crib apart and fetch a twin bed out of the attic that we were saving for her. I’m off to buy new sheet sets for each of them after work today.

I miss the kids so much. It’s not a constant, though, probably because I’m busy cleaning up and resetting the rooms. I assume once all that settles down and I have a little free time those feelings will become more noticeable.

I will be picking them up from school tomorrow. I get them through the weekend and up to Wednesday. I want to plan some things to do outside of the house. Sitting around watching t.v. seems like a waste of time now.

So as difficult as it has been, it is also better. If the last week has taught me anything, it is to appreciate the time I get with them now.

My emotions toward Mrs. Joe are a little different than I had thought. With her gone, the feelings of trying to fix the mess have gone also. That is a huge relief. I have to keep telling myself that I did not do anything to deserve all of this. Unless she wants to try to repair our marriage, I’m better off with her away.

It’s more fun to focus on the kids anyway.

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Thursday, March 06, 2008

Love Letter

Dear Peanut & The Champ,

We write this letter to you both in an attempt to explain what is about to happen. Tomorrow will be the day that your mother and I separate. We know neither of you understand what that means right now but we hope in time you will.

One thing that we will maintain is our love for the two of you. Seeing the smiles on your faces and hearing your laughs have kept the both of us going through these tough times. The two of you have shown your mother and I what we can create together and it has made this decision so very difficult.

We both agree that we need time apart to better understand ourselves and each other. The longer we stay together right now the harder it will be to reconcile. We believe this is the best chance for the future.

Let us tell you that neither of you should blame yourself for this. Your mother and I are no longer the same people as when we first met. We have grown apart and that growth has led us in different directions. We need to find out if those directions are correct and staying together will not allow that.

Beginning next week, there will be many changes in your lives. You may not like some of them but please remember that your mother and I love you very much and we are trying not to do anything that we feel would hurt you.

Hopefully in time your mother and I will find ourselves pointed in a direction that takes us back together. Hopefully we can find that special bond that held us tight for so many years. And hopefully our love for the two of you will remind us that we belong together. The four of us. As one.

We will love you both, always,

Mom & Dad


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Monday, March 03, 2008

Countdown


The countdown has begun. Mrs. Joe will be out of the house this Friday night. She has made arrangements with her mother to take Peanut & The Champ after school on Friday and keep them until Saturday afternoon. She will move her stuff out Friday evening.

I figure I will get out of work Friday and go out to dinner with my cousin and his girlfriend. They, along with my sister, have been really supportive through all this and I will assume I'll be needing them most of all when I get home to god knows what sometime Friday night.

They both, my cousin and sister, have agreed to come over Saturday and help me salvage what ever I have left over and turn it into some type of home. Mrs. Joe is only taking the dining room set and The Champ's bedroom set (both are family pieces) so furniture wise I don't have too much to replace. It's all the small stuff I have no idea about.

Take it, I'll replace the small shit.

I think I am prepared for this. We haven't spoke about much without it turning into an argument this past week. The child custody has gotten ugly. Mrs. Joe set up an appointment with a mediator this Thursday to hep us come to an agreement. I'm going for an even split, 50-50, for custody. Let someone who hears the story tell me otherwise. Money doesn't look to be an issue. We are looking to just split the bills instead of custody payments.

So the finish line is near. I am melancholy to say the least.

But I think it is for the best for all involved.

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