Failure

So my plans to declutter this evening by sorting through the wads of paper … well …  ummm … yeah … aahhh … they didn’t come to fruition.

Instead of 2 piles of shit, I now have 7.  In total, yes, I’ve lost volume.  But you wouldn’t think so if you looked at my floor.

I rang the bank and found out how much is owing on the mortgage; called the phone company to check if losing the landline would reduce my monthly bill (no, but negotiated a $10 saving to keep it); sent 2 letters to my lawyers; completed my election update with my correct/maiden name; made contact with estate agents in the place I want to move to; and saw M10 perform in his first Kapa Haka performance.

So I’m not going to beat myself up.  Tomorrow is yet another day.

And I will clear that damn floor ….

Grateful for:

  1. chat with my sister and she sounds happier;
  2. a night to me, myself and I; and
  3. strong steroids and antibiotics!

One step forward

It’s a good day as there’s no contact from AH.  Obviously he’s just waiting for a response to his lawyer’s letter.  It’s lovely.

M12 seems peeved at school pick-up.  He had 1-on-1 with AH last night and I’m wondering what was discussed.  I know they spoke about his no-show at soccer and have no doubt AH will have been told the solution suggested by the coach and the manager, ie that he is to let me know if he has/hasn’t a lift for Saturday’s games.  I’m only told that AH said “do you want me to have it out with [coach/manager]”, to which M12 said “no”.  It takes pretty much the whole evening for me to get my kind, loving boy back.

I’ve spoken with my parents re my lawyer’s letters.  They don’t tell me what to do … I am mid-40s, after all … but I value their input so it’s good to sound out the scenarios with them.

I pretty sure I know the path to take regarding the UK monies so will hope to get that ball rolling tomorrow.  God, I hope AH doesn’t continue to stall the process by insisting on a lawyer-to-lawyer transfer as that doesn’t allow for my money to stay there.  Hopefully he’ll see that his accusations of me somehow performing a swindle are simply reflective of his suspicious mind.

The path re house sale/relocation is less certain.  If I take the route I’m leaning towards (sell house), I appreciate that he could turn around and say he’ll buy it.  And what then?

That’s the unknown.  Remembered this morning the advice of my counsellor when we last met: rather than doing an advantages/disadvantages of moving, I need to do the positives/negatives of NOT moving.  It sounded crazy to me as surely you’d get the same answers, just on opposite sides of the table.  But, apparently not!  That’s my job for tomorrow.  That and continuing to declutter….

junk

Living the dream!!

Grateful for:

  1. bit of 1-on-1 time with M10 and the way he opened up about something that had happened today at school;
  2. M10 cleaning the bathroom finally!; and
  3. getting antibiotics, lotions and potions from the doctor today.  Hope they work!

Decisions, decisions

Finally heard from my lawyers today addressing the transfer of the UK monies and, separately, the relocation/house sale.  Neither made me jump for joy.  In fact, I feel a bit sick to my guts!

I like these lawyers as they’re not vicious rottweilers.  They take longer to respond than I’d like, but I value their advice when they do.

Re the UK funds, their voice of sanity tells me:

… there is little point in either you or [AH] criticising the other for delays in the transfer of the funds in circumstances where the exchange rate is so volatile …

On my parents claiming interest on their loan, they confirm they’d have legal right to do so from the date of demand to the date of repayment, but they haven’t researched it in depth as AH has agreed to pay them.  Forget that he messed me around and the rate dropped that we lost £5k overnight.  To fight this might well incur more expense than any interest earned.

Like I’ve said, very balanced.

The relocation/house sale response got me though.  We’d spoken about the proposed path (ie relocate a 40min drive away, rather than 6½ hours towards my family).  They said it would look bad if he proposed buying the house once I suggested putting it on the market – as he is only renting and could also look further north too.

But today’s email:

However you should brace yourself for a proposal by [AH] that he acquire [‘my’] property and if that is the case we expect that he will oppose your proposed move as well … [AH] buying the former family home would be a factor [which] would weigh against the Court approving a relocation.

They actually suggest I buy AH out, along with going for a 65:35 compromise (he wants 60:40; my preference, given all the shit he’s thrown my way the past 2 years on top of my support in him getting his degree and it being my savings that paid the deposit on this house as well as the UK property, is 70:30).

Again, their voice of reason says:

You need to be careful that you don’t spend too much money on this issue given the relatively modest amount involved and bearing in mind that [AH] has already offered a 60/40 split.

I’m confused as to where to go from here.  I’ve been hoping that a court will see through his BS and the truth will prevail.  In my mind, that means I’d get to take the kids away from here (I’ve compromised and only looking to move a couple of towns away).  I want it in the court’s hands.

I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow as my skin has gone ballistic – I am ripping myself to shreds.  The stress I am being caused is not healthy for me.  I want out of here! … [without wanting to sound like a petulant child] …NOW!

If I buy him out, I could do the work it needs then put it on the market without having to involve him.  Potentially, I could make a, say, $30k profit.  But I’d still be in a house that’s too small for us, in a community I don’t want to be in, and still want to get the kids into different schools.  Relocation would still be my desire.

By that time, he might’ve purchased a house (he won’t go far from his brother).  And surely that would cement my being stuck here.

With the RP ratio, each 5% reduction costs me about $15k.  I’m loathe to compromise as I firmly believe my input deserves 70%.  But would a court see it the same way?  Would fighting it just cost me more than $15k?  Why didn’t that ass just let me buy him out in May last year when I proposed it!?

[That’s right!  Coz then he’d have lost control and we can’t have that, can we?!].

I’m leaning towards: (a) agreeing to get the money out of the UK now, less my monies and taking a hit on the lowered exchange rate; (b) putting the house on the market and risk him saying he’ll buy it [I’ll insist it has to go to auction to determine the sale price]; (c) going for relocation [still to the closer town, unless he fights it then I’ll go for closer to my family]; and (d) offering the 65:35 compromise.

I still feel I’m getting shafted though.  It doesn’t feel fair…

But I don’t suppose anything in this process is meant to be.

Grateful for:

  1. M10 and Ms7 getting on really well while M12 is on 1-on-1;
  2. NZ winning the America’s Cup; and
  3. yoga.

Wagging

Day off work today as M12 had a visit at the other local college so I went along.  Lunch had been planned with 3 of the other ladies who had babies the same time I had M10.  Always nice to catch up with them.  Loved that when they asked how things were going and updated them on the getting cash out of the UK situation, one of them commented “he’s not very bright, is he?”.  Clearly, other than his choice in women he married, no, no he’s not 🙂

M12 preferred the first college we saw.  He seemed quite anxious today and I don’t know why.  In fact, it struck me how alone he was with his peers.  He really didn’t have anyone to hang with, nor did anyone seem to want to hang with him.  It’s heartbreaking as he’s such a caring, loving kid.

Today’s college definitely needs a lick of paint and modernising but the principal impressed me more.  I’d prefer the second college purely as there’s less students (116% capacity (roll = 1585) v 93% capacity (roll = 1190)).  M12 is a good kid and I worry he’ll simply be a wee fish in a large ocean.  He will fly under the radar and, unless the teachers are really special, he won’t reach his full potential.  Not sure if AH will even bother going to the open evening for parents at the second college this week to see for himself … I’m going to put my money on “no”.

Busy afternoon as both boys now have their soccer training, at differing times of course.  M12 got a bit of a bollocking from his coach for not showing up on Saturday.  We all agreed M12 will let me know on Friday if he doesn’t have a lift and I will ensure that’s communicated.  Funnily enough, on the way home, M12 says he feels he’s “betraying Daddy” but I stress that he’s actually, as the coach said, stepping up and self-managing.  He needs to be responsible for ensuring he has all his gear on a Friday, and that includes whether he will actually be getting to the game.  He has 1-on-1 tomorrow so no doubt there will be badmouthing of me and accusations that I’ve caused a problem.  Eugh!

Grateful for:

  1. lunch with friends in the sun;
  2. opportunity to see other college; and
  3. day off work.

The middle

That’s the weekend over already.  Time is going way too quick; not helped by the shorter days (although, now we’ve passed the shortest day, they should start lengthening).

I’m still not feeling like ‘peopling’ so, where I’d usually make plans for my 2 kid-free nights, I’d intentionally kept Thurs and Fri clear.  Managed to get all my categorising of emails done on Thurs, and just watched rubbish tv on Fri.  It was great!

Fri1Friday (ie, AH’s day) was Teachers’ Only Day.  I rang in the morning to see how M12 was feeling after the cross-country.  Tried on AH’s, M12’s and M10’s phones – none of which were answered….

Awesome!  A day to spend with the kids … and he’s in meetings …. !?  Finally get hold of M10 and, lo and behold, Skank’s kids are with them.  Clearly another advantage of them hooking up: they get cheap, easy babysitting services when work pressures take priority.

I needed to speak to Ms7 as she’d been invited for a play on Monday.  Being a girl, her friendships can be so fickle: BFF one day; never speaking to that person ‘ever again’ the following.  I call on M10’s mobile again and ask to speak to her but she says she doesn’t want to.  I can hear Skank in the background telling her to ‘speak to her Mum’ and eventually she does.  Really bizarre!

I’d borrowed a friend’s Speedheater so I could strip paint of the window frames in the lounge.  I’d started before Melbourne so figure I really need to finish it before putting the place on the market.  Got Ms7 for her 1-on-1 and had a nice evening with her.

Until bedtime.  There was an earthquake at 6am that morning – a 3.8 centred not far from here, at a depth of 39km.  It woke me up (not because it was large, but because it seems I have cat senses with early morning quakes).  Despite not even feeling the quake, Ms7 is petrified.  She wasn’t even this scared after the big shakes we had late last year.  I ask who’s been talking about them and lo and behold … he’s a LIAR!

Quake1.png

She won’t go to sleep without me so it’s an earlier night than planned for me.

Boys are dropped back and Ms7 goes to say hi to AH at the bottom of the drive.  She comes back in tears as he’s driven off before she got down there.  She hadn’t been that long so she’s hurt.

I speak to M12 as I’d had a call from his soccer team manager yesterday asking why he didn’t turn up at their game.  They only had 9 players, ie not enough to field a team.  Apparently, AH had sent an email to the team’s parents [excl me] on Wed asking if anyone else could transport M12 to the [out-of-town] game, as he had M10 and Ms7 to get to soccer and swimming respectively.  Didn’t bother to bring it up with me.  Didn’t bother to ask his brother or Skank to help.  That would be too logical.  No – he just didn’t go nor did he even let the coach/manager know that M12 wouldn’t be playing.  The manager tells me AH actually got shitty on the phone, as no-one had responded to his email, and he blamed her/the coach for not arranging a lift.  I’m so happy that someone else has seen the real AH!  At her suggestion, we decide M12 needs to let me know if he is told he’s not going to his game.  As soon as I bring this up with him, he tells me “you need to speak to Daddy”.  What?  “Daddy said that if anyone says anything about me not turning up, I’m to tell them they need to speak to Daddy”.  Of course he did!  Eventually, he seems to realise he’s let his team down and, if they drove all the way over to discover they needed to forfeit, they’d have reason to be peeved.

Get told two extra things by M12 today:

  1. He’d got yelled at and banned from devices for not going with the babysitter to pick up the other 2 on Tuesday; and
  2. I’d bought him a Powerade on Thurs after the cross-country as he was wrecked.  He’d used up most of his water before the race even started, and the hydration stations were empty when he raced.  I wouldn’t normally buy the kids Powerade, but he’d just run a 3km race and was dehydrated.  AH gave them Powerade when they were sick – not even dehydrated – rather than proper electrolytes.  So he took this as an opportunity to say “Mama shouldn’t have bought you a Powerade when she tells me off for using them when you guys are sick”.  Nice one, AH.  Nice putting the kids RIGHT in the middle!

I asked AH on 10 June if we could arrange these school holidays and he have them one week; I’ll have them the other.  He refused.  My brother emailed last week to say they were going to hold a celebration for my niece on the Sun in the middle of the school holidays.  I’d already started thinking that I would get the kids back that morning and drive straight up to my parents’, thereby not let him control/dictate what I got to do with the kids on my time nor have us miss vital time with my family.  I decide we’re definitely going and email AH.  He doesn’t pick a fight!  He actually offers that I have a couple of extra days to go.  Unfortunately, they’re his days: he gets 5 kid-free days to work, instead of the 4 he would normally have.  I, instead of 4 working days, his proposal would see that I only got 1.  Hmmmm.  That ain’t yin and yang.  Or give and take.  Or fairness.

Busy few days then.  I think I need a weekend to get over it 🙂

Grateful for:

  1. Lunch with a friend today (with my boys and her son);
  2. Ms7 going up a level at swimming; and
  3. getting half the window frame stripped.

Proud

I think part of the ‘flat’ feeling is just not being in control: there’s so much going on at the moment that fitting everything in, is a little overwhelming.  College visits … Impending school holidays … Getting house ready for sale … Court … Interschool cross-country.

The latter was today.  By finishing 7th at the school x-country, M12 qualified.  I had a feeling many of the cliquey (read, wanky) boys had decided it was too hard and didn’t try to qualify.  Having seen the race today, I don’t blame them.  3km with two large hills and a forest in the middle.  He finished … and that’s more than I could’ve done.

It was AH’s day but, they needed it so, I’d offered transport.  Drove M12 and two of his peers up there, before heading to work.  Left early to see the boys race.  The beauty of working locally with [I’ve said it before] a flexible boss!

At the end of the race, M12 feels sick.

The parents who’ve transported kids are free to take them home so I text AH to say I’m taking M12 back to mine as it’s 40 mins before school finishes.  His text back:  “Why?”

As always, I have to ask: Why must it always be so hard?!

It’s only afterwards, I realise his defensiveness is because he’s not getting the kids. The babysitter is.

I’ve been told she’s at the house 20 mins early, so figure it’ll be easier to take M12 to AH’s (as the babysitter will be there, right?!).  As we drive by school, I realise the younger 2 will be waiting for M12 to get them to all walk to AH’s together.  [No wonder it’s so hard to take over the world … something always gets in the way.  Probably childcare!].

pinky

Can’t help but think of these guys!

She pulls up just after us, so I introduce myself (“Hi.  I’m the bitch Mum”) and we make a plan (me texting other mums to get a message to the younger 2 to walk to an agreed meeting point).  She’s not a bad person and I don’t hold the situation against her.  Ms7 said again last night she doesn’t want her to babysit … not because it’s her; but [her words] “[she] wants to be with Daddy; [she’d] rather be with me than with [her]”.  Why he wants to fight for time with the kids when he will simply outsource it, is beyond me.

Ms7 tells me that M12 was left alone while the babysitter came to collect them.  Whilst it’s illegal, I explain she shouldn’t get worked up.  He really was shattered after the race, and he knew where she was and that she wouldn’t be gone for long. Yay for Libra!  Trust and justice for all!

Grateful for:

  1. a beautiful, sunny day for x-country;
  2. M12 finishing after 3km.  I’m not a runner.  His dad (despite any protestations) is not a runner.  It’s not in the genes so I am so proud of him; and
  3. dusting and vacuuming the bedrooms.

2 years

Ominous day, today.  21 June.  Yes, it’s the shortest day and yes, garlic needs planting.  But it’s the anniversary of my niece’s passing.  I managed to get through it without tears – not unlike 2 years ago.  I think there’s nothing left.

Feeling quite flat at the moment.  Don’t think it’s purely because of the time of the year … perhaps more just a culmination of events.  Maybe the roller coaster was due for a downhill ride for a bit.  Let’s hope it doesn’t stay down for long.  Perhaps just a few good night’s sleep will be all it takes to get out of the slump.

I finally heard from my lawyer yesterday.  She forwarded a copy of AH’s lawyer’s letter dated 9 June.  Bit peeved that it took 11 days to get it to me (and it contained the confirmation I was looking for that I would definitely get my money.  Unfortunately it did not confirm how it would stay in the UK if it was sent the way they are insisting on).  There was also an email from AH’s lawyer this morning which basically said my parents didn’t have any recourse to charge interest and confirmed she has advised the transfer should be trust-trust account.  Grrr!  I like my lawyers but wish they worked faster.  I want out of this place and I want him out of my life as much as possible.

M12 had a college orientation this morning.  There was a parents’ evening for 2-hours tonight so I’d organised a neighbour to come sit with the 3 kids so I could go.  Despite having had notice about it 3/4 weeks ago, AH only got in touch about it yesterday evening:

KC4.png

Why does it all have to be so last minute?  Why does it always have to be difficult? 

If the parent evening was on his night, I wouldn’t have expected M12 to come with me.  I would have just put on my big girl panties and gone along by myself.   I ended up staying with M12 for the morning orientation [walking at a suitably distant pace behind him so as not to ruin any street cred].  The college confirmed that if you’d done the morning visit, there was no need to do the evening one … so why would I send M12 out into the cold when he didn’t want to go to pacify AH’s needs?

He is due to visit the other nearby college next week and I’ll go along to that too; thereby avoiding the evening one with all the other working parents.  M12 can then decide which one feels better for him …

… unless of course I am able to move up the line and it will all be moot anyway.

Grateful for:

  1. my healthy kids;
  2. getting garlic planted; and
  3. good chat with my sister.