Saturday, July 30, 2011

Child Support

On Friday, July 29th there wa a court hearing on the motion I entered regarding child support and parenting time. The paperwork was sent at the beginning of June and it took 7 weeks to be put on the calendar. The Judge seemed a little confused and I wondered if he had read through everything... Since it had taken so long, the twins' dad and I had worked out some of the kinks with the parenting time. The child support however needed to be court ordered because it wasn't going to be sent without it !

The Judge asked us if we were working. I told him no, and the paperwork explained why I wasn't currently employed. Right now the cost of daycare would eat my entire paycheck. I babysit every once in a while to make a little cash but I wouldn't consider it working since it is random and usually paid in trade, not cash. Their dad also said he was not working. However we had just talked about the work he was doing from home. He even has a name for it - "Media by Ken".

I had done the child support calculation online through the court website and based it off his being able to earn at least minimum wage. It was calculated to be $397 a month for two children. I didn't add in the parenting days correctly (or account for holidays) so the Judge calculated it to be $336.15 per month. He asked when we separated and I told him it had been one year ago this week. He decided to back date the child support to August 1st, 2010. (Grand Total of $4,033.80 for the last year) The first payment is due this Monday. When my (STBEx) husband said he didn't have that kind of money, and wouldn't be able to pay rent, and how would he get it, and... and... The Judge seemed annoyed. (This was via telephone but you could hear it.) The Judge had the best line ever : "Whether or not you pay the child support, your children wake up hungry every morning." He then ordered that an additional $20 a month should be paid with the current amount to help cover the arrears. So I am supposed to be getting $350 this week. Don't worry - I am not holding my breath !

I am pretty happy about the decision. I know I am not going to get a check for $4,000 anytime soon but it is on the books and will start growing interest. He has to pay the money eventually. The Judge said he wanted to have a dent made in the total amount before the trial date. Final trial hearing has been set for October 12. So I will be officially single before the holidays.

Up until yesterday, I was still hoping that things could be repaired. However something in his voice and the way he balked at having child support ordered... Well, that hope died. For the last year, I have been piecing together $5 here and $10 there and trying to make ends meet with welfare cash and food stamps. I am tired of being behind on rent, and having to beg help for diapers. My bills need to be paid so I can give Sammy and Jason the life they deserve.

Monday, July 25, 2011

FRUSTRATED !##$@%$%^*&

I am been so short tempered lately. I hate it. I don't like telling my kids NO all day long. Sammy will try to climb on top of the TV stand - I get him down, tell him NO, turn around and Jason is doing it !!! The maintenance man has been a great help. He put up a permanent baby gate to the kitchen, guards on the window sills, a sliding lock on the bathroom, and a chain on the front door. They shake the gate until it is about to pull out of the wall. They pull on the window guards (and are bending all the mini blinds). They have been fighting too. Body slams and wrestling are not a good idea for anyone - especially toddlers that seem to bust a lip once a week !

This could possibly be explained by one key event. This weeks mark the one year anniversary of me leaving my husband. I first left on July 15th, 2010 but I came back on the 18th. He had his birthday on the 23rd and we had a big family dinner. By the 28th all hell had broken loose. We left that night. I was in a DV shelter in Flagstaff before midnight on the 30th.

We spent 9 weeks in that shelter. We now live in transitional housing for women that have dealt with domestic violence. I am lucky that it only happened those few times and never got too bad. We moved in on October 1st and have been here since. Transitional housing has it pros and cons. I get super cheap rent that is based on the income I was bringing in when I applied. (I was a substitute teacher and I was barely over min. wage). I have since lost that job but my rent stays the same - so it is hard to pay each month. We are on welfare but it isn't enough to cover the bills. I get discounts on gas/electric but we get behind pretty easily. As part of living here we have to attend groups/classes on M,T,W evenings and do case management. The classes are usually pretty decent and they provide free child care so it gives me 90 minutes to focus on something else. The bad part is the DRAMA !!! Living in a place where there are 24 women (and their children) who have all been through domestic violence and the trauma that can cause... gets to be a little much at times. Some women are bitter, some pretend it didn't happen, some are repeating their mistakes. We gossip, our cycles come together, and it ends up reminding you of high school.

I think there have been a combination of issues lately that have kept me frustrated. Being a single mom isn't easy, being jealous or aggravated of/by others makes it worse. I just need to pray that God will calm my head and my heart. Thanks for reading. I appreciate those of you that listen.

Good Night.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

in a slump

So I have been dealing with some depression lately. More of a down in the dumps but functioning type of depression. I can't really complain though... I used to suffer with depression really bad years ago. Mainly I have been agitated, frustrated and annoyed. The little things drive me nuts. The twins are hyper little monkeys and I am not sleeping well - so that all adds up to a stressed out MaMa !!!

My oldest son, Christian (16 - lives in Phoenix) came to visit for a week. I love the kid to death but he actually added more stress than decreasing it... The twins are hard to handle as it is. Even their father admitted to this after he had them for 6 nights in June. Although he swore he would never repeat it ! Having a teen in the house that wanted late nights, movies, redbull and attention was a little more than I could take. I hate to say that I think he is better off living without me. He couldn't handle living with toddlers full time and there is not enough of me to go around for three boys. Especially boys that have such a difference in needs.

As for the twins - they hit 18 MONTHS on Monday. I really can't believe it. The time has flown by ! It has been almost a year since I left their father. We moved to Flagstaff on July 30, 2010. The boys have grown up so much, they look so different from a year ago. Sammy is defiantly the Big Brother of the two. He does all the talking, steals his brother food, and makes sure I refill the cups with juice/milk. He has a couple of simple two word sentences : "What's that?"  "Where's brudder ?" "Yea Jason" "Hi Jacob" (our neighbor) "See ya"... Jason is still babbling a lot. He had a hearing test at the hospital's Audiology department this week. They said he can hear speaking tones just fine but is missing some low tones and noises. So, he might need speech therapy. There is nothing wrong with his ears that is keeping him from talking. He either likes using his own language or he is happy to let Sammy talk for him. The new screeching though is something I hope we get past quickly. Both boys can do the baby signs for "more", "all done", and "milk". They wave HI and BYE and play peek-a-boo (either with a blanket or their hands. I have even heard Sammy say "I found you" and "Here I am". Although I might be the only one that can understand those last two sentences :) They are eating much better and they can tolerate some gluten - it is a fine line though - too much and they get upset tummies. I try to do gluten free at home for the most part and then not worry if we go out with friends/church/play dates. They love going on the slide at the park or the mall play place. They have moved to Toddler Beds and they like sleeping together. So I pushed the beds side by side and added rails to the two outside edges. They tend to end up on one pillow together at some point during the night.

If it weren't for them, I wouldn't be able to get through the day. I feel bad sometimes because I know that my depression hit me so hard when Christian was little. I can function much better as a Single Mom to twins for some reason than I could with just one baby all those years ago... Hell, I even babysit two, three or five kids at a time some nights without issue.
The 4th of July weekend had me babysitting 5 little girls. That was two sets of twins under 2, then a 5 yr old, 6yr old and 7yr old girl. I fed them all dinner, and then had them all in bed asleep by 10 pm. The parents came back after a night of fun and were amazed that I had 7 kids asleep and I was sitting there eating BBQ leftovers and watching a movie !

Well, I didn't really have a plan tonight - I just needed to ramble on.  

Check out some of the new video I uploaded to our YouTube channel :

At Summer Movie Fun - Every Friday (during Brother's Visit)

A picture with their Daddy before he took them for the weekend.

Asleep in the stroller after Storytime. Look at their matching knees :)
They fall asleep together almost every night.

They used other toys to climb up on their desks ! UGH !!