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Thread: Secular Confessions

  1. #33841

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    Eeek. I am dying my hair right now. Right now I have in the "all over brilliant color" and then likely tomorrow since it has to be dry I'll apply the highlights. I'm nervous! Never used this particular kit before.

    We hatched a whole bunch of praying mantis eggs early in the summer. Tragically, shortly after they hatched, dbf mistook a bottle of bleach solution for the water we were misting in the cage and they all died. But not before we had released a handful of them into the garden. So on thursday night Kai found a full grown one on the hood of his electric jeep. Talk about crazy excitment around here! Well we have a huge egress window downstairs where we had to create a second fire exit for the daycare. We put him down there with some house plants and twigs and it's been really cool. He is so neat looking. (I don't know why I think he's a boy) We spend so much time and effort catching bugs for him. On friday night, which is supposed to be our movie night, Savana and Kai and I spent a lot of giggly time trying to coral a fly into the window and when we finally got the fly in you would think we just won an olympic event! lol Then we put a box elder in there and put it right in front of him. He snatched it up and devoured it. The kids were so enthralled! They totally forgot to ask for their movie. I love our praying mantis.

  2. #33842
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    That's so great Bridget!

    I hope your hair color comes out the way you anticipate it to. Or better.

    Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
    I'm gonna be a Gramama! Jesi is due 11/22/13


  3. #33843

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    Chrissy I am sure that hurts that the girls won't talk to you.

    Bridget that is so cool about the praying mantis. Will have to add that to our list around here.

    Yesterday G was outside helping daddy with lawn care and it started raining and they stayed out there. G was thrilled beyond belief that he was out in the rain, he was soaked and dancing around. The rain always makes me think of my mom, she loved rain. When she would hear rain, she'd want to go out in a motorhome and listen to the rain on the roof.

    Today is dh's birthday. We're having pork chops and chocolate cake. We're living well around here lol
    Shelley-mom to DS, 5

  4. #33844

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    "This Morning's Emails to my Husband: A Poem"

    Forgot my phone. It is in the cosleeper.
    Forgot diapers for daycare. They have enough to get through the day, but maybe you could take some when you go to pick her up?
    Forgot my head. It was not fastened on.
    Monday.
    D-Mama (37) D-Dada (43) and D-Baby (11/02/2011)


  5. #33845

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    "The Husband's Response"

    TIL
    When emptying out the diaper bin by hand, once you stick your fingers into a poopy diaper, there is no longer a need to be careful.



    (TIL = Today I Learned)
    D-Mama (37) D-Dada (43) and D-Baby (11/02/2011)


  6. #33846

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    You guys are really cute and funny! I love that.

  7. #33847

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    We both cope through humor, but he. never. stops. I hope it turns out to be a good parenting thing because sometimes funny gets old and he just does not have the ability to be serious.
    I am in serious admiration of your praying mantis hatching. We have one that's been hanging around in the plants on our front porch. I had no idea you could hatch them. I hope I remember next spring!
    D-Mama (37) D-Dada (43) and D-Baby (11/02/2011)


  8. #33848
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    Oy I missed a lot!! Hope everyone had a great weekend and Happy Monday!!

    Bridget, I am sorry about the video game debacle with DBF We are not a video game family (I like to play my Super Nintendo on occasion I confess - me some Donkey Kong!), but I do agree with you in that video games should wait until the kiddo’s are older and limiting the amount of time playing them is very important

    I love the name that Molly picked out! Can’t see the pics at work, but I’ll be checking as soon as I get home

    Ash that sounds like a fairly uncomfortable evening and I am sorry

    Chrissy I am sorry, it has to hurt that the girs don’t want to speak with you They will come to terms with it in their own time.

    Bridget I am also impressed about the Praying Mantis’!! I think they would have to be my favorite “bug creature” Very neat!!

    Things are a little crazy, but I'm loving every minute of it My Blog


  9. #33849

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    Our praying mantis.

    PrayingMantis.jpg

    I don't know why it is so small. Ugh.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by dana_renay; 07-23-2012 at 01:53 PM. Reason: pic troubles
    D-Mama (37) D-Dada (43) and D-Baby (11/02/2011)


  10. #33850
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    Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
    I'm gonna be a Gramama! Jesi is due 11/22/13


  11. #33851

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    Hey! Looks just like ours!

  12. #33852

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    Lol - I may be stereotyping mantises, but they all look alike to me! When it wasn't so tiny, it was actually a really cool pic because you could see it's eyes looking right at you. But the shrinking of the pic kind of takes that away.
    How did your hair come out, Bridget?
    D-Mama (37) D-Dada (43) and D-Baby (11/02/2011)


  13. #33853

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    Ash, I think you and your Rich would get on well with me & my DH for a night out. Would you believe I've never seen him drunk, and he's only seen me drunk once at his sister's wedding? We both had our party days as kids, but those were far behind us when we met. The only thing I don't like about our "going out" style is that when we sit around and talk, he tends to start 2nd conversations, and the cross-talk gets so distracting I become unable to follow the conversation I'm having. I wish he'd just stay on the topic we're on, but he's too much of a talker to listen quietly for long.

    Bridget, do you have a name for your praying mantis? What a great activity for you and your kids! And catching bugs does such wonders for the hand-eye coordination.

    Dana, I'm envious of your banter with your DH. "Witty" was always on my must-list for a partner, but then I got older and decided that wit is great and all, but I'd settle for nice (if "witty & nice" wasn't on the menu). For some reason, all the witty guys I dated were broken; that's obviously not to say that your DH isn't witty & nice. I just never found myself one of those. So I married a very cute (to me), nice man whose sense of humor enters the corny zone quickly.

    Speaking of broken men, I randomly Googled someone I once dated yesterday. I'd suspected something was going on with him at the time because he was a tremendous flake. He was barely hanging on to his sanity when we first met; he rarely slept and then slept for days straight. He then became progressively more paranoid that someone was trying to hack his computer. He'd been an entertainment industry exec. Had a few blockbusters (and monumental flops) under his belt in the 90s. He started to scare me when he showed up at my door at 2am unannounced to borrow a wireless keyboard (that he never returned), and had two guys following him in another car that were going to go home and "party" with him...undoubtedly to do some drugs. I just sort of stopped trying to stay in contact with him after that point, and he was so flaky that we managed to completely fade out of each others' lives as a non-event. When I knew him, he was your classic story of the guy who had it all, but then had a huge fall from grace. His old press photos reminded me of Armani ads. His ex-girlfriend was beautiful and seemed like she'd been a positive influence on him. By the time I met him, he was disheveled, graying, and not often lucid. Anyway, I found an article on him in Variety obituaries saying that he died in 2004 of "apparent heart failure". Can't help wondering if drugs had played into his death. I was surprised he was as young as he was when he died. He'd seemed so old to me even back when we dated.

    So he's been in my head since yesterday, and was still a little bit there when Bodhi & I went to the funeral service of my great-aunt this morning. Bodhi understood that she had passed away from a bad sickness called leukemia, that many people were very sad and missing her, and we were there to remember all the good things we could about her as we said goodbye, so he was as respectful as he could manage. I carried him on my hip as I visited her open casket. He had questions about why her medicine didn't work. Overall, I'm glad he experienced the occasion to learn about family and the circle of life. When he started to get antsy, we went outside and walked around. Frankly, it was some of the best one-on-one time we'd had to ourselves in a long time, playing and talking while we waited for the service to be over. One of the reasons I brought him was, in addition to my mom being there (she'd flown in and stayed with us for the weekend), her sisters and mother had driven up from Vegas/Los Angeles too, and they rarely get to see him. I also felt like the presence of the youngest generation is meaningful at funerals of the elders. It just seems to me there's the whole point right there.

    All my 2nd cousins were there, since my great-aunt who'd died was their grandma. There were 2 girls and 4 boys. We'd once been so close, especially the girl "M" who was my age. She and I even went off to the same college together, living in separate houses on the same property. She has 2 boys now, 4 and 7. I regret the way we grew apart. She was always so unassuming, by-the-book, athletic and wholesome. By the time we got to college, I didn't want to have much to do with her. She represented all the things I thought were unimaginative and uncool at that age. So of course, now I see her and she is WONDERFUL. In her 20's, she moved off to live in Guam with their dad after he divorced my mom's cousin. "M" met her husband, they bought land by the sea and built their own house themselves. They live simply, adore their kids, and y'know, I wouldn't mind a life like hers one bit. I just thought, good for you, "M". I'm so happy things turned out the way they did, and they were all pretty much by her own design. She's here for the summer, so I invited her to come out to stay with us and play at the beach in a couple weekends. I hope that can happen.

    Chrissy, that really stinks that your daughters had to learn about you and your former boss. You didn't do anything TO them. I hope Bobbie can influence them to see things her way, her being the big sis and all. I have to admit, I am a little amused. I look back at the friction between you and reimagine it all as sexual tension. LOL. Is it going to be complex/awkward from now on? Do you want to see him again?

    I have more stuff to share with you guys, but I feel like this post is so long already. My head has been full of all these thoughts lately. Chat more soon!
    Last edited by demigraf; 07-23-2012 at 03:27 PM.

  14. #33854

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    That is crazy about your ex, Myles. And cool that you got to spend that time with B. When my mom died it was pretty raw and the kids were involved in everything. I think it's scary for them when they are little but it also prepares them for it to not be so scary when they are older, you know?

  15. #33855

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    I think you're so right, Bridget. We didn't go to the cemetery today because Bodhi would have torn the place apart after such an early morning. However, we passed a cemetery on the way home, and I pointed it out to him, saying it was similar to the one where my great aunt was being put to rest. And he took it all in with some fascination and some apprehension. It just felt like he was getting an authentic experience rather than, say, the way some kids get their first exposure to death in the form of spooky stories or shoot 'em up cartoons/games.

    How's the hair, btw, Bridget?

    So, my head being full of all these thoughts and all, here's an open question for all the ladies in the house: Do you feel like you've always been "good", or do you feel like you were "bad" in some way in the past and are somewhat reformed today? (Or option c, do you think you've always been or have become more evil over time?) ;)

    Just seeing my cousin "M" today was a reminder of the many ways I've been a dismissive jerk to people in the past. I'd say I was once not a very good person and have been trying to become one. I can't say there was one turning point, only that I made mistakes and hurt people even when I thought I was trying to improve myself.

  16. #33856
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    Myles, how ironic that you said that was some of the best one on one time you've had with Bodhi was during/after a funeral. I had a very similar experience with Syd after my great aunt died. We'd driven to NYC for her funeral and I remember having to take her outside because she'd gotten a little antsy. Those moments are very surreal. I don't know if it's true for the kids, but I'm sure this memory will stick with you like mine did.

    As for sexual tension between my former boss & I, I honestly can't say. I didn't think so. I never felt it. Was it subconscious? I don't know. I don't know how I feel about him or if I want to see him again. Well, I DO want to see him again. We meet weekly for lunch and I enjoy his friendship. As for anything else, I really don't know. I don't forget what a jerk he could be. Maybe it was because he wasn't happy at home, but I don't do that. I have had some serious stuff going on and I never once took it out on anyone at work. I'm willing to keep a friendship with him and just see what transpires.

    I think I've improved as a person. I can be a hardass ***** and maybe mean on occasion still, but compared to teenage me I'm a freakin lol

    And yes Bridget-how'd the hair turn out? Are you going to post a pic for us?

    Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
    I'm gonna be a Gramama! Jesi is due 11/22/13


  17. #33857

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    I am a better person now. I think I've always had a good heart but my own insecurities have led me to do some not so nice things, like sleep with guys I knew had girlfriends and some whose girlfriends I even knew. I am ashamed of that but that's just who I was then. I drank too much and the lines between right and wrong were often hazy with tequila. Thank goodness I sorted it all out. My moral compass is on high alert now.

    I think the hair is ok. Better than I've ever done on my own before. I'll post a pic after I get the kids to bed. I hope y'all don't think I'm some horrible heathen now that I shared that little tidbit above.
    Last edited by Bridget; 07-23-2012 at 06:33 PM.

  18. #33858

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    .
    Last edited by girlwonder; 07-24-2012 at 09:35 AM.

    "Any idiot can face a crisis; it is this day-to-day living that wears you out." -Anton Chekhov


  19. #33859
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    Bridget, we could never think you were horrible! What's done is done. I don't believe in having regrets...at least, I try to teach my kids not to have them. If they do something they don't feel great about, they need to try to not repeat it. They're learning experiences, nothing more. And yes, sometimes we repeat things a few times before we learn from them.

    With you-look at the end result! I wouldn't change anything about your past in that regard because it contributed to making the fabulous you that you are today.

    And it does help me keep things in perspective with my own teenagers. They don't always make decisions that I agree with, but they're young and a huge part of life is finding your own path. I can offer my opinion about stuff, but with Jesi & Bobbie especially, their decisions are their own alone and they can't grow as people if they don't make some mistakes themselves.

    Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
    I'm gonna be a Gramama! Jesi is due 11/22/13


  20. #33860

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    Thanks for saying that, Chrissy, about the end result. That made me feel better.

    So here's the hair. Not thrilled with the front pieces, but overall it's better than past do it myself attempts.
    011.jpg
    016.jpg

  21. #33861
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    Phone check in. Terrible vacation. Plane was delayed 4 hours leaving so we got in at 10 pm instead of 6. We did nothing but hang out at dad's house and dh refused to eat anything there, even things that had peels like bananas or came fresh in packages like bread. More later.

  22. #33862

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    Was wondering where you've been.

  23. #33863
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    Bridget, your hair looks great!

    L, I hope your vacation improves from this point.

    I can't imagine any of you girls as "bad." I honestly don't know about myself - I've always been fairly straight in certain ways, for example I've never been a drinker or a partier but I still had my fair share of mistakes with guys. I guess my biggest struggle is that I'm very internally focused and tend to forget about the outside world, so I'm terrible about things such as keeping up with old friends and family, remembering birthdays, Keeping up with tasks/chores, that sort of thing. My mind is generally elsewhere and, although I'm patient with kids, I have little to no patience at all with adults so I can be very difficult to deal with IRL -not because I'm doing "bad" things but just because of how I am. So I'm not really sure how to answer that one. I tend to agree with Chrissy, though, that I wouldn't change my past mistakes because they got me where I am today and I'm happy with that. You are all of you such a fabulous group that you must have been doing something right.
    Last edited by Gwenn; 07-23-2012 at 10:49 PM.
    Me (39) DH (46) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

  24. #33864
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bridget View Post
    I am a better person now. I think I've always had a good heart but my own insecurities have led me to do some not so nice things, like sleep with guys I knew had girlfriends and some whose girlfriends I even knew. I am ashamed of that but that's just who I was then. I drank too much and the lines between right and wrong were often hazy with tequila. Thank goodness I sorted it all out. My moral compass is on high alert now.

    I think the hair is ok. Better than I've ever done on my own before. I'll post a pic after I get the kids to bed. I hope y'all don't think I'm some horrible heathen now that I shared that little tidbit above.
    You look cute!

    I think I'm a pretty good person. And I think I generally have been mostly a pretty good person. Most of the bad things I have done have been through obliviousness, and not through a genuine need to be hurtful. Even when breaking up or breaking hearts, I've tried to do it gently and kindly. I pick up litter. I return change if it's incorrect. I give people the benefit of the doubt. I did, once when I was young and careless (not that drunk, though), contemplate sleeping with a guy who had a girlfriend, and the girl knew I was flirting with him. It wasn't because I was insecure, though. It was because I was young and had not yet developed the deeper sense of empathy - I felt more connected to the guy and completely distant from the girl, and couldn't put myself in her place and didn't have that overweening morality at that point.

    For things that I don't really consider 'bad' but other people might, I experimented with substances in my younger days. I slept with different people. I travelled a lot. I rode a motorcycle. I didn't always wear underwear, or clothes. When I look back on my life with regrets, the thing I feel the most guilty about is the time I got cable hooked up when I was 17 and moving in with my boyfriend. There was a discount on installation with a canned good donation. So I went to the store and bought about $30 worth of canned goods, but they were all terrible canned goods, like canned asparagus and hominy and stuff, not good things like canned pineapple or corn or Spaghetti-Os, things that people would actually eat. I still don't know why I deliberately went out and bought crappy canned goods, and I still feel guilty about it to this day. I just try to console myself with the hope that someone, somewhere, might possibly eat canned asparagus.

    I do know a couple of guys who would say I was "bad" to them, but I honestly was as kind to them as I possibly could have been.

    In any case, life is all about growing and learning.

    ------------

    The airline did not tell us they were delayed until well after the plane was supposed to have left. There was no one at the gate. We finally found a rep. of another airline who told us it was delayed. Eventually we got on the plane 2 hours late, prepared for departure, got the whole spiel about seat belts and oxygen, and then they said that they screwed up the paperwork and we'd have to get off the plane. We should wait at the gate and hopefully within an hour or so we'd be good to go, and the gate agent would update us. The entire plane full of people yelled in unison, "WHAT GATE AGENT?!?!" S. screamed as we left the plane. It was past his nap time by that point. "But I wanted to go on a plane ride! Why are we leaving?" He clutched at each seat as we left.

    The birthday party was kind of a bust. My mom had invited a couple of families with kids, and some other friends. We had cake and balloons and food. None of the kids showed up. A homeless guy who is living in a tent in my dad's driveway showed up before the party was scheduled to begin and interrogated me about why it wasn't decorated well enough and how come it didn't look like I was ready and how come I wasn't sitting down and paying enough attention to him while I was chasing my kids around and trying to set up for the party. My dad's current mistress showed up. My dad's old mistress from my childhood showed up. And five elderly people and the homeless guy. No kids. I had a terrible headache for four days in a row that coincidentally disappeared after we got home.

    DH and I were at loggerheads a bunch. He could not find anything good about the weekend at all. I thought it was really sweet that my dad went out and bought groceries ahead of time for us and had someone clean the house and made a huge attempt to babyproof, so much so that we couldn't throw anything away because the trash was behind zip-tied cupboards. He duct-taped a lot of the drawers shut.

    C. had asked for a diamond for her birthday, so mom made her a ribbon choker with a heart-shaped gem on it, and a matching bracelet. My dad gave her a handful of uncut diamonds. A handful. Of real diamonds. I have hidden those away.
    -------
    Chrissy, that really stinks that your daughters had to learn about you and your former boss. You didn't do anything TO them. I hope Bobbie can influence them to see things her way, her being the big sis and all. I have to admit, I am a little amused. I look back at the friction between you and reimagine it all as sexual tension. LOL. Is it going to be complex/awkward from now on? Do you want to see him again?
    I was thinking the exact same thing!!!!! Jinx!
    -------------

    Okay, I'm sorry to jump in here and whine about my brief vacation. I normally come back with great pictures and this time, Nada. We saw no beautiful mountains, no sparkling streams, no fields of wildflowers. Well, we're going camping next, so I'll be packing for that tomorrow.


  25. #33865
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    L, you have a gift. You can have an absolutely miserable experience, as this vacation was, and make it completely amusing and entertaining to read about. Probably doesn't help you out much, but I appreciate it!
    Me (39) DH (46) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

  26. #33866

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    Oh my gosh, Lydia. That is too much! Your dad is a trip. Duct tape drawers and cut diamonds. Lol

  27. #33867
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    Oh L! I don't even know what to say to all that! Eesh! I hope the camping trip is a million times better.

    Speaking of diamonds, call me an old fuddy-duddy, but I would have been slightly annoyed with my dad if he gave my daughter any diamonds. Beyond the fact that she's too young to appreciate them, but because there's that old tradition that a woman's first diamond should come from her future husband. I don't even care if my kids get married, much less to a guy, so why I hang on to this is beyond me. I remember feeling a bit torn about it because diamonds about supposed to be Bobbie's birthstone and I felt sad that I couldn't get her a diamond. Well, I could and I knew I could, but didn't want to because of that old belief. It ended up being irrelevant as we never we in a position to be able to afford to buy her a diamond anything

    Rich told me last night he's filing for a legal separation and he's going to sell our house. It's his decision to make so I'll go along with selling it. He also blames the breakup of our relationship on the internet...ya know, 'cause he had nothing to do while I was online "always talking to those people" He's definitely an alcoholic-it's always someone else's fault and it's irrelevant that 1) he drank before Gore invented the internet (ha!) and 2) I didn't get online a lot till I enrolled in college and then APA, when I was pregnant with Conner. By then our marriage was already starting to get in trouble. But it's going to be someone else's fault with him. He won't own up to his share of the blame. And I'm not saying that like I was innocent of everything...not by a long shot.

    Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
    I'm gonna be a Gramama! Jesi is due 11/22/13


  28. #33868
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    I really like your hair, Bridget; I think you did a fantastic job! I'm also impressed with your mantis hatching skills! Travis was just telling me about how one of his friends got in trouble at school the other day for stepping on a bug on purpose and we had a big discussion on how bugs are our friends and do a lot of important jobs for us.

    L, I'm sorry your vacation to see your dad wasn't so great. Luckily, we have yet to have any airport disasters while travelling with the kids, but I'm sure we will somewhere along the way. Your dad reminds me of my dad in some ways with his hoarding, trying to clean up and with spoiling the kids with what they want. My dad hardly ever throws things away, so every time we've gone to visit him, the house is more and more cluttered. We had to stop staying with my parents at visits because the house is so cluttered and messy nowadays. And with the getting C some diamonds, that is quite sweet, though! Whenever I mention something that I want to my dad, he goes above and beyond....like last time we were there I had mentioned about how I miss peanut butter Twixes when in England, so a few hours later, he came back with a whole box of about 25 peanut butter Twixes for me. I hope your camping trip goes better than this vacation did; I really want to try to get my DH in to camping because I am a nature freak, but DH is a city boy and loves his city break vacations.

    Myles, it's funny you say that about how we'd get along. I have mentioned a few times to Rich about your DH and his studio and all the cool people you have met (Slash-Rich's hero and Jon Hamm-my latest crush since starting watching Mad Men!). Well, I mention all of the ladies in here a lot as well. I was really feeling like the odd one out the other night and had a little cry about it because I hate feeling like I don't belong in a group some times. I'm glad most of you say that you'd feel the same way as I did. Also, Myles, I think it's great that you took B to the funeral and talked about it all. I feel like some times I try too hard to shield Travis from the sad stuff in life.

    Regarding the question about bad things. I grew up always too scared to do anything bad. I always wanted to be good. I can remember a boy in high school calling me a 'goody two shoes.' In all honesty, I don't know who I was trying to impress. I always wanted to be the best academically and luckily for me, my brain is the type that soaks everything up that I read or someone says, so I was always top of the class. I was terribly shy as well because I never wanted to say the wrong thing to people, so I hardly ever had conversations with anyone other than people who knew me really well (mostly family). I think the one thing that I was guilty of back then that I still work on today is being judgmental. I try really hard not to judge people so quickly because back then, I was sure my way was the right way and anyone who disagreed with me was a moron to me, so I am still working on that mentality. I try really hard especially with hardcore Christian people because I have a very hard time understanding how they can be how they are, but I try not to judge them. Everything is not black and white. Though, with my personality type, I wish it were!

    Chrissy, I'm sorry to hear about everything going on with you right now. With the separation and everything going down the legal road of having it done that way, will you be working on agreeing a custody arrangement of the kids? It sounds like your Rich is in denial if he's blaming your split on the Internet. Like he didn't have a hand in it all.

  29. #33869
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    Bridget, I was going to say I loved your hair but then forgot. I read a lot from my phone and have mental responses...then totally forget them when I actually get online.

    Ash, I too have a hard time not judging Christians. I cannot fathom how they believe what they do and justify their judgment of others and their lifestyles. So in that, I judge them for being judgmental. I don't really feel bad about that

    I did speak up and tell Rich I wanted joint custody of Syd & Conner. Jesi & Bobbie are irrelevant as Jesi will be 18 in Sept and Bobbie is 19 already. I said that I was ok with the current living arrangements (both Syd & Conner primarily living with him) and ok with continuing the finances as they are (I'm paying for certain things as child support) but I don't want either of us to have sole custody. He didn't argue with me, but he didn't say anything either. I think he plans on trying to get sole custody. I'll fight him on that...especially with his history of drinking and driving drunk.

    Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
    I'm gonna be a Gramama! Jesi is due 11/22/13


  30. #33870

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gwenn View Post
    L, you have a gift. You can have an absolutely miserable experience, as this vacation was, and make it completely amusing and entertaining to read about. Probably doesn't help you out much, but I appreciate it!

    I agree with this L! You have a way with words. And wow about the handful of diamonds!!! I have been trying to think of something to collect (I watch too much Antiques Roadshow LOL) and I came up with jewelry since it is something that seems to always appreciate in value or hold its value, also posters, just because I like posters. I would be soooo happy if someone gave Elle some diamonds. I'd probably have a brooch or something made for her out of one and am bad (my bad thing I'll get to in a moment) and keep the rest for myself at least until I am old and about to die, then I'd give them back to her.

    I honestly have never thought that I have ever been "bad," to actual people that is. I grew up in sort of a "hood" environment though around a lot of criminally minded characters and if I wanted, I could easily be a criminal as I am good at pick pocketing and stealing things (hence me keeping the diamonds!). Usually though, my petty theft began from an outside force that I got upset about. When I was a little girl I stole $5 from my mom (I was in 2nd grade so I think I was 7) to buy her a Christmas present because she wouldn't give me any money to buy her a present from a special Christmas school store that they had set up. I stole some pretty bear shaped, fruit smelling erasers from the mall once in 5th grade because one of "The Mints" (a cliquey group of girls at my elementary school) was going on and on about how I was poor and wouldn't be able to buy anything on our mall fieldtrip, which was true, so I stole some erasers and I felt REALLY bad about it. When I was 19 I had a job at the airport here in Atlanta making $6.25 an hour. I worked full time and was in college full time. I had class from 8am to 2pm and had to be at work at 2:30 pm through 10:30 pm or close. By the time I got off of work, the bus to get me to my apartment would not be running unless it was the weekend. So I had a tip jar set up at work for spare change if customers wanted to give me a tip that said "TAXI MONEY FOR MY RIDE HOME" on it as it would cost over $10 for me to get a taxi from the train station to my apartment. My Marta (train/bus) pass for the month, since I was a student was only $35 and I honestly did not have an additional $10 to get home via a taxi some nights, money was extremely tight and practically all of my money went to rent and bills. I didn't even buy groceries really during this time because since I worked for the concessions company at the airport, I could eat for free for my dinner on days I worked and since I worked 6 days a week, I only bought spaghetti and canned sauce to eat on the days I was home to save money. My boss told me I couldn't put my taxi money container out after about a month of working there so to "get back" at him I started pocketing all the money people gave me that was exact change and just not ringing them up via the register and I would steal a lot of money that way, more than enough for taxi money every day. Back then I used the excuse of "well if he didn't take away my taxi money jar, I wouldn't have done that" but it is something bad I did. I quit that job because I was afraid I'd get caught and go to jail, plus I didn't like working there. I took all the exact change money for about 3 weeks straight though, it was a lot of money. I stopped using the "five finger discount" at that time and I am ashamed I did that.

    In regards to treating individuals badly, I don't think I'm bad in that way. I was never a drinker or drug user. I have never enjoyed "partying." DH used to say I was literally an "old lady" in the way I behaved as I am such a clean sort of person in regards to the vices other people fall prey to. Even though I like having sex, I was never promiscuous. I was afraid of STDs and so I was hesitant in having sex with anyone and didn't trust many guys. DH is only the 2nd guy I have ever been with. The first was a friend I worked with when I did telemarketing and he was pretty freaky and I was a virgin at the time and figured it was about time I was not a virgin anymore so I had sex with him. I did not regret it and still don't.

    When I was younger, I always stood up for kids who were bullied, especially the ones that The Mints used to mess with. I could fight even though I was nerdy so they didn't talk about me too much, only once in a blue moon (like at the mall that time as I think they knew I wouldn't get myself in trouble on a field trip). They really harrassed a lot of kids, usually girls and usually girls new to our school and I would befriend the bullied kids and stick up for them until The Mints left them alone. By the time I was in jr. high and high school, I had a reputation for being tough and protective. I was also a popular nerdy person. Most of my friends were also nerdy kids and we bonded over being band geeks and starting heated discussions in AP English and AP History class.

    I was remembering recently and telling DH about an incident my friends and I dubbed the "n*gg** riot" that started due to my teacher acting out some scenes from Huck Finn, one of my favorite books BTW, and me saying that some people might not think it was appropriate for her to get up there saying "n*gg**" in 11th grade AP English, it may not look good and some kids might get offended. I assured her I wasn't (I was only 1 of 3 black kids in the class and the other 2 said they weren't offended either), but she got really defensive and said that that was the way they talked back then and that we had never read any other books with that word and I informed her that we had read 3-4 other books with that word in it. She said I was a liar so I told her the book titles and my classmates got into the discussion and we were all talking about how it was odd that of all materials available to us in regards to American literature, that basically every book we read had that word. We were having a civil discussion about it but our teacher got really upset, I think because we were actually saying the word lol, which was hilarious since she had basically just been a minstrel show in her rendition of Huck Finn (she was a redhead with a short cut and had a straw hat on and overalls and an apple, and even had on sandals to look like she was barefoot!! I loved her as a teacher BTW and even though this got to be very extreme, she was and still is one of my favorite teachers ever, she was also coach of the Quiz Bowl team and so we went on road trips to "battle" other schools and out to eat on our trips and we all got to know each other well on Quiz Bowl). The discussion got really loud and other classes heard us using the word and the ghetto sort of people in my school - I went to a heavily integrated school, about 35% white, 25% black, 25% hispanic, 13% asian, and 2% native american - were in the hall asking us what we were talking about and getting rude and it started a HUGE shouting match between everyone! I probably should feel bad starting the n*gg** riot, but I don't, it was good times and before the sensitive, ghetto acting people got into the discussion, and before my teacher got all defensive, I thought it was a good discussion. They wanted to suspend me for starting the incident but my mom threatened to go to the media, so they didn't.

    Erin

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