And that’s Monday done

Wasn’t able to repeat last Monday’s excitement of spending the day cleaning the house (oh boy, how sad does that sound?!).

ocd

Popped into work for a couple of hours as boss asked me to.  Didn’t mind as money is tight.  And I mean like my jeans at the moment, TIGHT!!  It’s similar to the days when I was paid monthly when I worked full-time many, many years ago.  The difference was then it was only me that needed feeding … now there’s 3 other mouths.  A couple of big unexpected bills threw everything out.

And there’s firewood to buy.  And I owe AH for my share of M11’s Chromebook.

I must budget better!

Or win lotto 🙂

AH emails first thing re the council tax, yet still refuses to email his signed letter of engagement for the UK lawyers.  Tells me he’s going to bring it tomorrow when he picks up M9 for his 1-on-1.   I’m afraid that doesn’t work for me as I’ve fallen for it before: he gets what he wants, I don’t.  Eventually, he emails it.  Result!

He calls to say goodnight to the kids.  Only M11 is in the house and, as he’s having his 15 minutes on the tablet, he puts the phone onto loudspeaker.  AH is asking loads of questions (“what did you do yesterday”, “what time did you get home from the pub”, “what was for dinner”).  Sounds like he’s now keeping track of my parenting.  Funny thing is, I have absolutely nothing to hide …

2901

He calls back to speak to the other 2 (we live on a cul-de-sac so love that they are out playing with neighbour kids.  Old skool!).  Have to speak to him.  He asks about the flat/whether my parents’ money can be used.  He doesn’t seem to be as much of a prick as usual (but he is after something, after all … man, I don’t want to sound cynical, which this does … but I know him well).  Suggest he confirms all avenues have been investigated first, ie. he’s been sent a summons to appear in court for non-payment of council tax, yet the council have confirmed they know the property had vacant possession.  Did they have any other contact details on their files that they could have sent their demands to, instead of sending them to a property they knew was vacant?  He actually doesn’t seem to take my comment other than what it was intended as: an effort to save us money!  Double result.

So positives from the day:

  1. Yummy lasagna for dinner;
  2. successful play for Ms6 here – with friends for both boys coming for tomorrow;
  3. a calm phone conversation with AH.

Boy, that flew!

Can’t believe my ‘lone’ time has gone already.  Almost as much as I can’t believe that we’re almost going to say goodbye to February (shame there’s no-one I’d like to propose to tomorrow … guess I’ll have to wait four more years, dammit).

Have had a couple of nice days.  Minimal contact with AH on Fri (other than when I called to say goodnight to the kids … although it wasn’t easy to get them as he was at soccer and had to find each of them who were off with their respective mates).  Later, a catch-up with neighbours, which was a hoot!

friends

After a lovely, long Satuday lie-in (well, except for that wake at about 5/6 am that I can’t seem to stop), decide the lawn needs doing.  So glad I did: the satisfaction afterwards.

Text from AH at 8 am asking if M11 could get his soccer boots, so was nice to see get to see him when I wouldn’t normally.  I ask AH what he thought of the app and get:

Yeah it’s fine…it won’t cook me dinner & i already have something assigned to me

(when soccer registration opened, I had asked if he’d deal with that.  Got some snarly response about how he wasn’t just going to act on emails asking him to do stuff; we needed to “share the responsibility”.  OMG!  If only he would share and not leaving it all to me, unless I ask him to get involved (as he’d never think of doing that himself).  I remind him that it doesn’t allow you to post retrospectively, otherwise it would’ve had ‘organise [M11] party, research the Chromebook and get M11 new soccer boots’ all assigned to me).

AH texts again to say he’ll send M11 home as they’ll be out.  But I usually get to see the other 2 when I pick up whoever I’ve got for 1-on-1 and remind him of this.  He agrees to send them all down to say hi.  Both Ms6 and M9 are utterly shattered – it’s written all over their faces (M9’s friend sleptover on Fri).  They’re now at a christening party up the road for one of the old crew I used to hang with.  M9 is in a foul mood and not happy with Ms6.  He storms back to the party without her, so I drop her off as we need to go past.  It’s not looking promising.

But it’s not my time!!

Nice evening with M11 – though it didn’t end up being just me and him.  A friend had dropped in earlier and she’s not being made to feel particularly special by her partner, so I’d suggested she bring her two kids and stay here.  A change is as good as a rest, right!

Couldn’t stop myself so texted AH that, considering he had the two youngest kids, I hope their needs for sleep would be given precedence over his need to socialise.  I know!  My bad.

Other 2 are dropped back late at 8.15.  Still in pjs.  And breakfast for each of them (as AH had only woken when they had to leave) was 2 Shrewsbury biscuits.  Breakfast of champions, right there!

M9 comes in and tells me he got into a fight with another boy.  Ended up punching the other kid 3 times in the head as well as kneeing him in his groin.  I’m pleased that he at least is being honest and telling me about it, but appalled that he’d behave like that.  But not completely surprised – I had warned AH that the kids were shattered.  When M9 is exhausted, he struggles with his emotions.  And anger is usually close to the surface.  Apparently only the hostess and AH’s ex-colleague mate saw what went on.

M9 says he doesn’t want me to tell Daddy what happened.  I’m not going to keep secrets like this so text him to ask if he was aware of what happened last night, he says “Yes”.

Oh, okay.  Thanks for that wonderfully, comprehensive reply.

I ask if anything is going to be done about it (I mean, M9 doesn’t think AH even knows so it’s not like there’s been any discussion/consequences).  And, surprise surprise, he doesn’t respond to me.  He rings M9.  I’m told his words were, “don’t do it again”.  Well, that ought to put the bejeysus up him that he will never, EVER behave like that again, love!

Email from him in the evening regarding our UK flat.  We’d forgotten about council tax.  As it turns out, HE has gone into arrears as, for some unknown reason, only his name is on their records.  He’s had a summons served against him and was meant to appear in court.  EGADS!

He asks if the money my parents have loaned us could be used for these costs.  I’m STILL waiting (one month on) for a signed copy of our lawyer’s letter of engagement that he said he’d provide a week or so ago.

Why is it I’m meant to give him answers, yet it’s never reciprocated! 

And more importantly, will it ever change?

Positives:

  1. Great fun at the pub this afternoon in the sun with mates and kids;
  2. my Super 16 rugby team winning their first game of the season last night; and
  3. getting those lawns mowed and tomatoes staked.

Changeover day

AH emailed early this morning to ask me if the SquareHub link was legit.  Said it was, gave him the password and asked him to let me know his thoughts.  He said he’d download it tonight – look forward to seeing if he can see it for what it is… something that’ll make our kids’ lives easier!

Now … my house is quiet!  Kids are now with AH.  I hate Thursdays.

But I love Thursdays.

damned-if-you-do

It’s such a catch-22!  I’ll miss them.  But I’m excited not to have to be Mama.

No lunches.  No cooking.  No washing (well, other than me!).  No breaking-up fights.

M9 came into my bed last night.  He managed one night this week NOT coming in.  But he’s there when he wakes up today saying “I’m sad and I’m happy” (sad to be leaving me, happy to be with Daddy).  He says he can come back here if he’s being told off … and …  NO, honey, no you can’t!  Explain that if Daddy is telling him off about something, he needs to do 5 things:

  • Breathe / calm down
  • Think about  what’s happened
  • Accept what was his
  • Say sorry
  • Move on.

He can CALL me, whenever he wants – 24/7 (but my phone’s on mute during the night lol).  But he cannot run to me just because he’s not happy that Daddy is disciplining him.  That works both ways.  He seems to get it .. yet, as he’s making his breakfast and I say something he doesn’t like, throws out a “I wish Daddy was home”.  REALLY?!  After our cuddles and chat this morning?!?!?!

Drinks and nibbles with the neighbours after work.  Now don’t judge me but have sat down and watched “Real Housewives of Melbourne”.  I’ve had a ‘guilty pleasure’ relationship with the Real Housewives series.  But this one made me physically cringe!  I always thought Australians were quite down to earth.  But these vacuous, hideous woman!

“If that’s the case that I have to have vaginal births [coz she’s psychic and is going to have twins] then I’ll have 2 Bulgari bracelets and another house in Brazil”.

Dumb, short ‘rock star’ husband:  “We don’t even have one house in Brazil”.

And I’m so pleased they’re going to make a NZ version……. NOT!!!

Let’s just be real.  Life’s hard.  It’s not about plastic surgery and wealth.  It’s not about the quantity of shoes.

It’s about what you do in the shoes you have.

It’s about surviving within your means.  Hell, it’s about being a good human!

Positives:

  1. that I will never be as hollow or botoxed as the Real Housewives;
  2. that AH actually said ‘thanks’ for the calendar app;
  3. M9 didn’t mind about not making the football ‘travelling’ team.  YAY!  Only have to wake up 20 mins early on a Saturday … not a potential 40 min drive.

Priorities!

AH called the other day to see if he could have the kids for Sat week to go to a 40th in the Wairarapa.  I said fine, but the kids need to be back by 9.45 Sun, as Ms6 has a party and I’ve got plans.  Apparently the kids will be tired having to come back so early.  These kids who wake at 6.30 would be tired as they’d have to come back at 8 am?!  Somehow don’t think it’s the kids who will be struggling.

So will I swap nights?  Explain (again!) I won’t swap Sunday as the kids can’t start the school week tired.  To that end, ask what time they’d gone to bed on Saturday after a bbq at his brother’s as they’d been particularly ‘horrible’ since I got them back.

He ignores my question – and asks if I’ll just have all the kids.  No swapsies.

I ignore his question – and ask him to answer mine first.  He replies:

M11 had a sleep over on Friday & so did M9… thats why they were tired…they where in bed around 8.45 (I think) & they woke up early. Why is that important? Why do I have to continue to explain myself?

… and subsequently …

I don’t need to explain myself to you. The children are looked after and are safe – thats all you need to be concerned with. I cant help it if they wake up early. They not at mine long enough to get them to settle and my house is hot which makes it difficult for them to get to sleep to.

This is where I disagree.  If I’m getting tired, cranky kids back (most Sundays), then he is not looking after them properly.  Sleep is vital or they can’t function properly … hell, who can?!   If they’re lacking as he’s putting his socialising above their needs, then something ain’t right.

Don’t think me a prude.  Obviously they can stay up late occasionally: sleepovers, either a Fri or a Sat, holidays … but they’re currently late to bed on a Thurs (AH’s netball), Fri (AH’s soccer and sleepovers last week) AND Sat (brother’s or ex-colleague’s).

I don’t send them to him exhausted.  I would just appreciate being afforded the same respect.

It gets better today.

I get an email from him with correspondence regarding our kids’ insurance policies (long-term savings for uni, basically).  He’s been paying the premiums as, well, his $100k salary vs. my $17k means … he can.  I’ve been wanting him to get a breakdown of all our policies (premiums, surrender value, etc) since July last year.  He can’t get that info in 7 months but in a few days he, without recourse to me, cancels the direct debit for the kids’ policies.  I’d be ok with this if it was just because he can’t afford to pay it anymore … but he has the audacity in his email to say he’d look to “open separate policies”.  So it’s not just a money issue then?  It’s a control issue.

Until London is sold, the relationship property agreement is agreed, and I know what my financial situation is, how the hell can I possibly make decisions regarding insurance policies that I have no information on?!

What AH should be doing is coming to the party with the RPA.  He should be getting his lawyer to respond to mine.  He should be going through the chattels list so we can divide once-and-for-all.

BTW – I do not like the word “should”.  It’s a useless word.  It’s neither here nor there.  It leads to guilt or shame too often.  I just wish AH WOULD pull his finger out and work out what’s important and give it the priority it needs.

SunsetPriorities

Positives:

  1. thanks to the lovely blogger, theeuphoriciraqisinglemom: finding a better solution to the Google Drive calendar idea that I had yesterday (SquareHub).  Have sent it to AH but yet to hear anything – good or bad;
  2. the boys’ reaction to getting surimi pasta salad for dinner – already asking when I’m doing it again;
  3. this song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSJj9mMgHZ4.  Saw the video for the first time this evening with the kids.  Have heard it on the radio for the past week and loving it … but oh my, how young are those lads?!  Gorgeous scenery 🙂

He cocks up

Had an interesting email conversation with AH last Thursday.  I still can’t quite believe it, despite it following his usual over-reactive path…

AH:  Does [M9, but spelt wrong] have one on one with you tomorrow night and meant to walk to you after school?

Me:   Yes

AH:  So when we’re you going to tell me and discuss it with me?

Me:  Sure you realise your son is actually named [M9, spelt correctly] 😉

Me:  Discuss what? You remember we swapped, right? What else were you thinking?

AH:  When we’re you going to ask me if it was okay for [M9] to swap so u can go to a party?  Why are they telling me these things?

Me:  Seriously?!!  You agreed on 29 Jan: ” …. I will swap but the next time I ask, I would appreciate the same”.  Have you forgotten?

What exactly is the issue here?  This has been arranged for weeks and now you’re claiming no knowledge. Kindly stop this arrogant, antagonistic stance. What time should I get [M9] tomoro then? Pls ensure he knows what the new plan is.

AH:  Please send me the email because I can’t find it.  The plan hasn’t changed he will come to you after school

Me:  Check your texts. It was when you threw your toys about missing [his mate’s 40th in Sydney] despite me being invited on 6 Jan.  Pls don’t put the kids in this.

AH:  Ok…found it…sorry

BoomI do so love being right but am disappointed to hear from M9 that AH got angry with both him and M11 “and we didn’t like it”.   Why didn’t he make a note of the date swap when the plan was made?  

I don’t believe I should handhold him (we’re meant to be CO-parenting; not me continuing to be the one who keeps track/organises/sorts gear for sports, etc), but to make things smoother for the kids and avoid them being blamed for his mistake again, I will look to set up a calendar in Google Drive that we both have access to.   Wonder if he’ll think it ‘controlling’, as usual!

Riding the procrastination bus

I think it’s similar to a London night bus and I’ve fallen asleep and missed my stop :).  I am unable to get my routine sorted.

Bits of it, I’m all over: getting the kids out the door in the morning for school with full lunch-boxes and mostly clean faces?  Getting them home again?  Yup.  Nailing it.

But the domestic side of things, ie dusting, vacuuming, baking, etc?!  That’s just been hard to schedule back in.  It probably hasn’t helped that there’s been the trip to the alopecia conference and a few social things.  It’s meant that I’ve had to go into work a bit more randomly to make up hours, rather than having one day of the week dedicated to getting on top of the chores.

But today I took that day back.  And I have a clean house.  And I baked biscuits.  And got on top of the washing (not so much the folding, but let’s leave some fun for tomorrow).

So now it’s just a matter of factoring in my ‘sit-on-the-couch-with-laptop-blogging’ time.  Today is the first day of the rest of my life, after all … so let’s go!

M11 had his birthday party yesterday.  AH had borrowed a people-mover for half the kids, and I took the others.  Thankfully didn’t have to have too much to do with AH as things are still not good.  It was friendly enough – when he was around (I mean, he did disappear for ½-an-hour of the 1-hour bubble soccer to have a cappucino; leaving me to deal with all the kids.  I really shouldn’t be surprised as his amazement when I asked him to do the treasure hunt for M11’s 5th birthday (and the 5th parties for M9 and Ms6) … : “In South Africa, we just get everyone around and have a braai” [BBQ where the kids entertain themselves and the adults, who outnumber the kids, get pissed].

I had sent a list of all the things that needed doing including cake, morning tea packs for each kid, pizza and drink, drop kids home … he very kindly offered to order pizza and drop his carload home (remember I’d asked M11 what he wanted to do, booked it, sorted the invite list and got invites to the invitees already).  His willingness to do a fair share knows no bounds.

I shouldn’t be surprised that he didn’t even grunt a ‘thanks’ when we finished.  I know that men value appreciation when they do something (jeepers, if he moved the lawns or hung out the washing, about 45 minutes of ‘wow, it looks fantastic’ or ‘thanks so much for …’ usually sufficed!) but don’t like to reciprocate to the same level, if it at all [sweeping generalisation!  Not ALL men, I know!].  To get NOTHING is just freakin’ rude!  M9’s 10th party is at the end of August.  Perhaps AH needs to take the lead … ?!

He rung this evening to ask if he can have the kids for his mate’s 40th on 5 March.  It’s about 1½ hour’s drive away.  There’s a kite festival on the 6th that I’ve made plans to take the kids to so said he’d need to have them back by 11 am.  Apparently “that might be a problem”.  Jeepers, man!  How drunk are you planning on getting that you won’t be able to drive them at 9.30 am?!

He’s also booked tickets at an all-day music fest taking place on 2 April.  This is the one that he emailed about recently then flew off the handle when I said I’ve got a lunch already.  So he asked about that again and whether I could have the kids in the evening.  The lunch is meant to be a long one, and there’s also another party in the evening we’ve both been invited to.  I’d been told that he won’t be going so said ‘I might go seeings he won’t be there’.  As I’d be due to have one kid for 1-on-1, he asked what I’d do if I’m not back … and I’d just arrange a sleepover if that were the case. God knows what he’ll organise for the kids, as most parents will be at the party that night.  Perhaps booking tickets should only happen once you’ve considered childcare, douchebag!

He also delighted me when he mentioned that he’d sent some documents through direct to the UK lawyer.  I’ve been waiting on them and even had my NZ lawyer chasing for them.  Why the hell would he not let me know that he’d sent them?  What needs to be hidden there?

I’ve been thinking it for a while but it’s getting worse:  I think his mental state isn’t good.  Interestingly, when he went to pick up M9 from my Friday night drinkie house, my friend who has a very honest, if not subtle, brain-to-mouth filter asked him about his love life.  Apparently that angered him.  She reminded him about the Dutch solo mum in the clique and was told about how I’ve changed and how ‘dark’ I am now.  She told him (as we had a drunken chat some months back) that I had held out some hope that we might, just might, get back together.  At this, his face turned to thunder and he stormed out.  She followed him out to find out what was wrong.  Something along the lines of ‘you wouldn’t treat a person like she’s treated me for the past year if that was the case’.  She was amazed as his reaction and thinks we should chat.

I disagree.  His statement purely shows he’s an utter victim.  It’s all on me!  He’s innocent in ALL of this.  It also reflects on the people around him, ie his auntie definitely knows that I thought we could try harder rather than split – did she tell him?.  The bitter friends who he’s confided in since?  His anger is misguided.

And way, WAY too late.

Positives:

  1. decluttering;
  2. agreeing to be part of a girls’ fishing competition;
  3. playing backgammon with M9.  Bugger even beat me for the 2nd game 😛

Must … must … must …

… get back into the habit of sitting every evening and jotting down the daily goings-on.  To think that AH is not documentating everything would be extremely naive; and considering how filled with venom he is at the moment, dangerous!

I flew up to my hometown on Thursday last week for an alopecia conference.  The conference was only happening on Saturday, but was a great oppotunity to have some time with my parents.  Thankfully Mum is better than she has been of late (arthritis and coming off Prednisone screwed with her bod).  And Papa wasn’t as grumpy as he’d been over Xmas as there were no kids to discipline (well, besides me … nearly 45 and still worried about getting told off by my parents 🙂 ).  The conference was great – although hearing that there’s no cure and no-one interested in even doing the research to find one is somewhat disappointing.  Oh well, lack of hair ain’t going to kill me!

Have started a shitstorm since my return though.  Neighbour was feeding the cat/bringing in my mail while I was away.  I grabbed the mail and opened it all without paying any attention to it (as you do, when you’ve a backlog of it).  So I didn’t even notice that the letter from the bank was not for me.

It was for AH.  Yup – the person who hasn’t lived here for 11 months!  Let him know I’d opened it and … he’s nuts!

Letter

11 months and his personal bank correspondence is still coming here?  With his current state, I will not be surprised if he takes this to the police.  I call them to see if they’ll find it as laughable if he was to call (“aah yes, my wife and I separated almost a year ago and, when I made a credit card application a few days ago, I still didn’t bother to update my address details, now she’s opening my post [aah, yes, that I got sent to my old address], so I’d like her arrested please”).  Well, it is a crime but they’ve taken my statement and filed a report.

Nuts, I tell ya!  NUTS!!

He continues the craziness tonight.  He’s emailed, including photographic ‘evidence’ of the letter.  Reminds me it’s illegal to open other people’s post.  Change. The. Record.

I’d given his post to M11 to take to AH as he’s there for 1-on-1 tonight.  Also gave him an envelope that contains the deed for the loan from my parents that he needs to sign.  Wrote on the envelope “pls sign and return tomoro”.  AH arrives and M11 says his goodbye.  He’s back in the house seconds later with the envelope with AH’s writing on it: “pls sign first”.  Seriously?!  And he has the audacity to call me ‘controlling’ … what a joke!

So was surprised that he throws a paragraph into the email:

Why did you not bring the deed down for me to sign?   We agreed that the children are not to be put in the middle of our discussions. I would have thought [M11] playing courier should not have happened.

He goes on with other accusations which drop my jaw.  I’ve said it before, I’m concerned about his state of mental health, and let him know this.  He’s entering neurotic territory.

Please stop the abuse…your constant reference to me needing help is not acceptable.

So tonight I unsubscribed.  Unsubscribed from his issues.  That’s the one-word reply he’ll get from now on, when the ranting starts.   He knows how to get under my skin, as I do his.  But I’ve got to stop biting when he casts his line.

Otherwise, a good day.  Took M11 for an x-ray at the orthodontist.  He’s got a strange thing going on with his upper teeth, so braces likely for the future (kerching … kerching).  Also needed a CT scan to check what exactly was going on with the odd tooth (kerching … kerching).  Took a day’s holiday from work and spent a few hours cleaning the boys’ room.  It was FILTHY!

Positives from the day:

  1. Having some rain – good for the garden;
  2. The sun coming out after the rain – good for the washing I had out;
  3. Looking at a lovely clean boys’ room.