Week in Review


I love the calls that start out “are you busy?” What is a mother supposed to say? Geoff and I are on vacation yet the calls come (beautiful isn’t it!). Okay,  first thing I thought something’s wrong, but she corrected me. She just wanted to talk. Wow, a call with no crisis behinid it, even on vacation thaat is a welcomed conversation.

She had a meeting with her boss. She got a two dollar an hour raise, and will be eligible for health insurance in 60 days. From no job, to two jobs, to more money and health insurance. Such a good feeling knowing your child is headed in the right direction!

Now, as for Jeff; who knows where he is headed. He hasn’t mentioned being arrested nor have I. Stange isn’t it? We can talk about so many things, and there is so much openness in the family but in this regard we both steer clear. Guess it is emotional survival on both our parts.

 And then there’s Jakie. His job is great- he is mostly responsible, and he still acts like I  am in charge. Guess my ego needs that from time to time. Of course since I have been out of town in San Francisco my mind wanders to just what him and  his girlfriend, DJ are getting away with. I am sure she is spending the night at the house most nights. I swore to myself I wouldn’t ask.  Don’t ask don’t tell…that is my new personal motto!

typewriter.gif   I have not been keeping record of the life and times of my rugrats as well as I should be. I use to write daily, or almost daily about the good, the bad, and the ugly in regard to my relationship with my children, as well as their personal ups and downs. I am not sure why I stopped, but I am really in need of getting back to the release one gets from words.
Week in Review – Liz:

Liz is still out of a job, but at least had an interview and Longs Drug Stores. I was really excited for her. Ok, let me be honest; the excitement was for me as well. Paying her bills is killing me. 700+ a month. I know it does not sound like an enormous amount, but it is when you have to pay it. She lost her last job in late December 2005 and since that time my money is her money. She has not been able to find a job because she became ill and was unable to hit the pavement and jobsearch. So now…now I thought great she is feeling better so job here she comes – no that was not to happen. She called last night and sounded sick, really sick. Relapse is my worst enemy right now.

As to her love life I could kick her. She is still pining over her ex who is not good for her anyway. It's complicated because her brother lives with her ex, and Liz lives with her brother's ex. There is no way to separate oneself from ex's if they live underfoot. She cries and cries "Why doesn't he like me that way anymore?" I wonder why she wants him to. He is not the same kid that she knew when they were together. He is pot smoker, dead beat cocaine using kid. She does not do any of those things. I guess you can not help who your heart is drawn to but I remind her all the time there is a choice you have about entering or maintaining a relationship with a person like that. Her stock reply "I know Mom."

Week in Review – Jeff:

Not much to report in regard to Jeff. He seems to be getting into less trouble. He has not gotten a drunk in public ticket in quite sometime, so on that front maybe he is finally tired of that hard partying life. He loves his job and is good at it. He loves the people interaction. This weekend he is off at his Marine Drill Weekend. Before he left he told me he was contemplating going active duty. I did not respond negatively. I simply said I would support any decision he made I just wanted him to be careful.

Week in Review- Jake:

A typical senior in highschool who is starting to get even more lazy about school than usual. I received a letter from the school "Your senior student is in danger of not graduating." He failed first quarter government. The one class he HAS to pass and he messing around. We talked and that is all I can really do. Extra credit here Jake comes!

I had a great conversation with Jeff tonight. I mean a real adult conversation. We talked for over 30 minutes about his school plans, work, and other things. I have to say it was actually enjoyable. It’s been awhile since Jeff and I had a conversation that didn’t end in an argument.

Jeff’s enrolled in 13 units next semester. I didn’t tell him he had to go to school – he decided that is what he wants. I guess everyone can find themselves in their own sweet time.

The phone rang tonight – the called I.D. said “US GOVT” – my first thought was it was someone for Jeff. Since the Marine Corps has this number and address as Jeff’s I figured it was for Jeff; it wasn’t. It was for Jake; a Marine Recruiter calling to schedule an appointment with Jake. I guess he is considering all his options. He has an appointment tomorrow. I think he isn’t very serious – the other day he talked about interest in the Air Force – my heart is so heavy tonight thinking about Jake taking that step. I know he will have to do what is right for him – I just don’t want him to do it if he thinks it is his only option.

This is Liz’s third day home. For the most part I love it. The dog is getting on my nerves. She keeps saying Duke is no trouble, and I guess not as she is leaving him with others while she catches up with old friends. But dinners and lunches, talking and laughing into the wee hours of the night….I have missed her.

We had one disagreement thus far. Jessica (Jeff’s ex) has a birthday on the 24th – Sucks to have a birthday so close to Christmas. Liz asked if she could have about 10 people over Friday night for Jess’ birthday. Sure was my first thought; of course the next thing said was “We’re doing Jello shots.” First off – NO. I am sorry they all know how I feel about alcohol. Secondly, Liz is the only one of age the others, including Jessica are only 20. No way I am going to support under age drinking. She threw a little hissy fit but didn’t hang on to the Jello Shot dream for too long.

All in all – kid wise it was a good day

Liz had been home almost a week before Jeff arrived. The only miserable moment was Liz getting kicked out of Jeff's room. Since the kids moved away one of the bedrooms is an office, and thus we are one bed short when everyone is home. It wasn't a huge deal as Liz could have slept on the couch in the living room. However, if that occured how would Santa quietly slipped into the house? She would have been smack-dab in the middle of the house while Santa (ok Me) been able to drag out every last gift. So Liz ended up in Jake's room, which worked out fine. Jake was not thrilled about sharing his bed, but since Liz reminded him it was actually her bed it made for a nice laugh and an agreement to share the wonderful feather bed. All in all the kids were happy, nice, and actually getting along with each other. I enjoyed Liz and Jeff being home, but must admit when they left to go home all of us, Geoff, myself, and Jake were happy. It was quiet again. No chaotic moments, or not ones we are not use to, it was back to our little world. It is so strange how quickly things change. A year ago it would not have bothered me in the slightest to have everyone under one roof, now, though enjoyable, there's a sense of oddness when we all come together.The new year rang in and of course Geoff and I were alone. Jake was at a party, and yes I suppose it entailed drinking. We didn't allow him to take his car which meant we had to pick him up. Geoff went out at 1 a.m. and gave a drunk Brett (friend) and a slightly intoxicated Jake a ride. I don't condone the drinking but I refuse to pretend that it wasn't going to happen.

Liz is in Lake Tahoe with friends. Of course, she has no money but went anyway so I suppose when she comes home she will attempt to get money out of me. I told her that I am not going to buy food for her, or assist with her bills when she could have worked. Lets see if I stick to my guns.

Jeff stayed home in Santa Barbara. He had originally said he was going to come home for New Years, but I reminded him no drinking, no coming home if he was drinking, no alcohol of anykind as if he had involvement he knew there was no home to come to. He said what he always says "I know Mom." He ended up staying home as the road conditions were so bad. Rainfall is flooding out many parts of the area he had travel on to get home. I talked to him today and he sounded fine. He said he did go out, and yes drank, but didn't really get "fucked up" as he would say because he had to work today. I always have concerns with his logic. Drinking at all is something he shouldn't do. With his past involvement with alcohol, and his current involvement with alcohol fines you think he would figure that out himself, but I guess he will when he is good and ready.

The year couldn't have started better. I know all my kids are safe and what could be better than that.

It’s been awhile and quite honestly although a lot has transpired I haven’t felt the call to actually write about it. Not even now do I have the desire to write, but feel that if I don’t somehow the memory could be lost in the hectic and chaotic mind of mine.

So, because it is has been a while the condensed version will do….

Jeff and Liz no longer live together. Although they both talked about it often Liz did leave and has been sleeping on a friend’s couch. Jeff’s ex-girlfriend, Jessica, is moving to
Santa Barbara at the beginning of January ’06 so Liz and Jessica have rented a room in someone’s house. Liz had the deposit returned to her from where she lived with Jeff, but didn’t return the money to me as it was loaned to her by me. When confronted about it she said she didn’t tell me she had it back as she figured I was going to allow her to use it for her new place. Ok, so she was right I was and did let her have it for the new place but the point was it was my 700 dollars and she needed to return it, or at the very least tell me she had it and ask me if she could still have it.

Jeff is like a girl in emotions sometimes. Sometimes he is way up and sometimes way down. His drinking seems to be in check as he has to work everyday and can’t afford to be so hung over he can’t make it to work. In the past Jeff would call me, all hours of the day or night, on any day, and I could tell he was intoxicated. Recently, there has been no weird hour calls, no calls for money, no slurred language. He has been calling about every other day and actually sounds good. In one of our recent conversations I asked him if he was getting tired of working and making enough just to pay for his alcohol fines. He said yes, and maybe, just maybe he was telling the truth.

Geoff drove to
Santa Barbara this past Saturday to take Jeff to Encino for his drill duty. Jeff had to work distributing toys for toys for tots for the Marines. Geoff said he was awake and sober when he arrived at the house to pick him up (so different from the previous month). I guess Jeff had the opportunity to go out and get drunk with friends the night before but knew he was obligated to be up at 4 in the morning so made a different choice; responsible choice of staying in. Adam (Liz’a ex) went out and got drunk and returned home making noise which woke Jeff. I guess Jeff gave him and the others in the home an ear full talking about their lack of consideration to those in the house not partying. It is nice to hear Jeff is seeing the bigger picture of life.

The news in the area of Jake is big. In a recent conversation with Jake and Jeff’s ex girlfriend, Jessica about sex it came to light that Jake is not a virgin. I don’t know why I was so surprised. Jake, by no means is perfect, but I guess I just held on to the baby idea of him. So long and short of it Jake has had sex with two different girls. His emotional behavior on Thanksgiving when he and his girlfriend broke up is more understandable now. Jake also disclosed he did not use a condom once. Talk about going ballistic. We had a nice long talk about it considering there have always been condoms in the cupboard easily accessible to him. Jake did do the responsible thing. Him, along with Jessica and Jeff’s friend, Brett, went down and got tested. I guess the others went for either moral support and/or they had been stupid in the past too. In any case Jake’s fine and agreeable to practicing safe sex if he decides to have sex again. At the moment his newest girlfriend is a virgin and has no plans of changing that. Jake said he was ok with that as he hasn’t had sex so many times that he feels that it is the important part of a relationship. During that same conversation Jessica told me that Liz has had intercourse too. Ok, now I already knew that deep down, but Liz had not shared that. I knew she did everything else (and I do mean everything) but she never could come clean about intercourse. Jake must have told her I know now so she called to share ever last detail. A visual no mother needs. Fortunately, or unfortunately ( I am not really sure) she doesn’t care for intercourse, or much of any sex act. I keep trying to tell her she will enjoy it more when she finds the right person. Sex for just sex isn’t high on my list either. Sex and intimacy with that person who makes your heart skip a beat or two and makes you lose your breath when they enter the room is wonderful. Jessica also felt the need to tell me that she and Jeff aren't sleeping together anymore. She has finally decided not to just be the booty call. They both care about each other but fight. I have been telling her, really both of them for months. If they aren't together sex shouldn't be a part of their friendship. It might not hold, as they usually wind up in bed when they see each other, but at some point Jessica needs to think of her other needs and not jus the sexual ones. I love Jeff, but I think they both need a sex break.

Strange, some people can’t understand these types of talks with their kids. I am upset when I don’t have these talks with them. As their mother I should know all these things. Granted as they get older they will have some private things, but as they are not yet experienced adults and need the guidance the fact that we can talk about all these things brings great comfort to me. I hope it brings the same to them.

Christmas shopping madness is now over. YEAH! I am done with every gift for them. The only thing I have to get is stocking stuffers, which for them is things like toothpaste, razors, etc etc. It is funny how kids who turn adult and have to buy all those necessities for themselves now think of those items as a gift.“I have a 9 year old, so I don't know what it's like to have adult children, but I don't think that you are a bad mom for not wanting Jeff to move back home. It sounds like he would really disrupt your life. From what you have written it doesn't seem as though he would learn anything by moving home, rather he would basically be using you since he would not be willing to respect you and your wishes.Motherhood is gentleness and love, but it is also standing one's ground and being firm.”Comments like this one touch a core deep within me brining forth comfort. That said, this comment also makes me feel inadequate. I know that Jeff moving home would disrupt my life; there is no way to predict in how many ways this disruption can and would take place.A mother is that one person that is there no matter what; good and bad, sickness and health, right? So I don’t want Jeff to move home because it would cramp my style? What style do I have? I work too many hours, get very little sleep and worry far too much. So what would be different if Jeff was sleeping down the hall?I write all this like I believe I am wrong for not wanting him home and that is true, I do believe I am wrong. More importantly there is a sense of selfishness I feel. A mother, even a mother of adult children, needs to really understand their needs, most especially at their darkest times.

I think I am in a catch 22. If I allow him to move home we all suffer. He will do what he wants with little consequence and I will watch him slip further into the dark abyss. Insisting he live on his own still, anywhere but here, will make him a bit more responsible (not much as he still calls home for much assistance) and if he finds himself in darkness by his own hands I won’t have to watch the daily downfall. Jeff wouldn’t be respectful towards me if he moved home, and yes he would not be learning anything. If I think of it in that way my mind tells me stay strong and say no to move home. However, when I think of the possibility of him being deployed this coming year to
Iraq or Afghanistan I feel that my inconvenience is not the most important thing to focus on. What if sticks in my mind, and with that I feel that anything I do for him is something I have to be able to live with in my heart; anything can change in the blink of any eye and I want to have a content heart. Again, that is being selfish because I am thinking about my heart instead of what is best for Jeff’s growth and journey into adulthood.

I cry often over my son. He’s a beautiful person and in those moments when he is thinking clearly he is kind, respectful, and loving. I know deep within him he loves and knows he is loved, but somewhere along the way that tough shit kid was born and that is what I have to deal with most of the time.

In speaking to Liz today she said she felt bad because Jeff is so mean he pushes everyone away. Of course we will all be right there if something terrible happens, but as far enjoying spending time with him just because – well that isn’t happening anymore. Liz said I am better off living 3 hours from Jeff and only seeing him a few times a month. I talk to him often, at least three or four times a week and we seem to enjoy talking most of the time. Lately, with the stressors of the fighting between Jeff and Liz and both their money woes it has been difficult for someone not to leave the conversation upset.

Although Jeff has talked about moving home recently I am hoping when he examines his life he will see that moving home would make him even more unhappy than he already is. Having me harping on him all the time would be miserable for both he and I.

Time will tell…

But I think my being selfish could be the best thing for him. There comes a point when everyone must stand on their own. I can honestly say I don’t believe that time is age 19 or 20, but unfortunately that is where it is starting with Jeff.

People talk and offer advice and words of comfort and that is very much appreciated. I won’t say they don’t know how I feel because most who offer assistance have some sense of parenthood and a parent’s heart. Their situation doesn’t have to be as chaotic as mine to understand the unconditional heart and love of a parent. I just feel that sometimes people with children that have not journeyed through any time of inner demon, drama or life event has a more difficult time feeling my pain or heart. I wish I didn’t feel like I was the only parent in the world fucking up. People are right I do go away overboard for my children, and honestly I shouldn’t. It isn’t that I feel I have to either; I really want to. I want to be the type of mother that is there always; the supporter, even if that is in lending an ear only.

I have had many difficult moments in recent years with the kids. Liz crying wanting to move home because she didn’t want to be a grown up, and me listening and telling her she would be okay she was just having a bad moment. I was right, the next morning she was back to thinking she could conquer the world. Jeff and all the times I didn’t think he would make it out of high school and all the pep talks I gave even if my heart didn’t believe it at the time just so Jeff might actually find the strength to believe it himself. And Jake…well lets just say that I see some troubled spots but he is my so called “normal” child, if “normal” is even possible.

I love all my children equally, and though my writing might not represent it they all bring joy and sorrow to me equally in their own way.

I guess that is just the life of a mother – juggling the good and the bad.

LATER

A feeling of misery and worry can disappear (at least momentarily) with a good phone call.

Jeff called at about 10:30 p.m. and naturally a call that late usually is bad – very bad. He sounded great and more importantly he sounded SOBER! He told me had just got home from work and was talked to be the district manager about how well he is doing. In fact they are taking him to lunch to get to know him better. He seems to be doing well in the sales arena.

Ok, so the good news out and he sounds good and our conversation is going well and then he hits me with why he really called (even though he won't admit it). He needs to borrow rent money. He has about 200 dollars but needs another 275 for rent and for gas to share cost with the other Marine when they drive down for weekend duty. First off I am so excited that he actually followed through with finding someone to carpool with. Usually when we tell him he has to do something he doesn't follow through and Geoff and I have to move heaven and earth to make it happen. He tells me he gets paid on the 12/8 but his rent is due by the 5th. I was hesitant because – well just because. Jeff told me to take whatever I loan him out of his account on payday. One thing about all my kids they aren't secretive about money. I have their account #'s and passwords and can check on their money situation any time I wish.

Then Jeff stated he recently got a visa card but didn't want to use it as he doesn't want to start getting use to charging and would prefer to borrow the money from me and have me take it back out of his account on payday. I almost fell over – it was so responsible sounding!

My heart is a little lighter. Jeff sounds happier. His job is going well, and the thoughts of moving home are in the very far corners of his mind (today at least). I know a lot of his depression and fear and desire to move home comes from a lack of money. With that looking up he seems to feel okay about being on his own.

I reminded him that he shouldn't be spending his money on alcohol and being drunk all the time especially if he was asking me for help. He told me that he isn't buying the beer but was having a drink (he meant right then). I wish I could make him see how drinking only leads him to a place he finds no joy, but I guess he is still learning those lessons. For now I feel good. It was late, he wasn't drunk, he sounded good, he was thinking more responsible….

My Son – it was a good moment.

It’s a terrible thing for a mother to hate herself for certain thoughts. Jeff called today saying he might have to move home due to money issues. Before I could talk I just had to take a breath. It sickens me to admit but the first thing I thought about was the fact that I don’t think I can endure living with Jeff anymore.He mentioned I would have to help him pay his rent this month because he just can’t afford it. I immediately stated I didn’t have the money right now, which is completely true. He went into the whole drama about himself and Liz and the fact that she moved out but is still there all the time trying to run the show, etc. I tried not to say anything but just listen. There’s no way for me to fix this. Even though Liz moved out she still “sees” Adam and as such is there often. She sleeps there sometimes and showers there. Of course that brought up the water bill. How did I know more money issues would arise!

After a few minutes of Jeff talking and me coming to grips with the possibility of him moving home I told him he would be unhappy at home but if he wanted to come back he could. I reminded him there is no drinking in the house or coming home drunk or being around me or the house intoxicated. I reminded him that moving home, though it seems easier, just might be more difficult for him. As I am saying all this time him I know in my heart he will drink, he will be verbally abusive, and he will say over and over again “I will do as I see fit.”

Even writing this makes me feel awful. What kind of mother prays for her child to stay away from home? When I started talking about his drinking and the fact that I wouldn’t stand for it he got somewhat upset. He told me I was singling him out and Jake has been drinking too. I felt like I was talking to a client of mine trying to change the subject, switch the focus and throw someone else into the fire. I reminded him that Jake was not his concern and I am fully aware of the “normal” senior year stuff that is going on for Jake. I won’t say Jake has not drank (I know he has). I don’t agree with it, but Jake does one thing differently than all the others. He knows how to be a normal, not in your face teenager. Anyway, I am left with my feelings still.

Do I actually come up with the money for his rent (not all just part) because the alternative..him moving home is just too upsetting for me. I have no answers right now. I believe either way I move the move will be wrong. There’s no right answer for me.

Right now I am just a terrible mother.

The good news is according to Liz, Jeff does drink much less. He still drinks on weekends but rarely drinks during the week because of his job. He is working full time and kept the job for more than a blink of an eye. Actually, he likes his job which is a first. He calls for food money sometime, but all in all has tried not to involve me in his living arrangements. I will admit I do transfer money into his checking account for food, but I have done so for Liz as well.

All this rambling is simple, simple because I don’t want to feel like a heartless mother for hoping and praying Jeff doesn’t move home. If he does it might just very well break me. Is my heart really a mother's heart? It doesn't feel like it at the moment. Right this second I just feel selfish.

I always go overboard at Christmas when getting the kids presents. This year I thought I would be better. However, at this moment, as my anxiety is rising, I think I have already failed. Most likely it was the 330 dollars for Jeff's personal trainer that has sent me over the edge. I had already bought him the Nano, which is sitting in a drawer someplace, when he called and said he really wanted personal training sessions for Christmas. Then Liz informed me she found a used bike for 80 dollars, which is a far cry from the 360 dollar bike she originally was looking at. When she called and said she bought it and asked for me to transfer money to her account to cover the bike I said yes. Heck, she did save me a lot of money and although she is getting it early she knows it is part of her Christmas presents. Of couse everyone says that but when it comes time to open gifts they feel a bit jipped when there isn't much under the tree for them. After an hour or so Liz called me back and let me know that Adam #2 gets an additional 35% off today at Nordstroms and some of what she wants for Christmas is there. So Adam is going to purchase it and then call me and let me know how much money to put in his account to cover it. Ok, all sounds good, right? I am able to buy Liz what she wants, cheaper than we thought it would be, and everyone is happy. Except that I only have a small amount of money until I get paid again ( a week and a half away) and all of this Christmas present stuff happened right now. It is easier to give them the world (my version of the world) when it is done over time. It is difficult to do so in one pay checkI believe I will have enough money for Jake's lunches and such and gas for his car. Me, well I believe PB&J will be a very good friend of mine this week.

I wonder when I will no longer feel the need to give my children a big Christmas. Adults don't get tons of presents from their parents they get a few things, and things that don't cost an arm and leg.

Jake's present purchased so far:
♥ Poker Chips 11.5 grams world poker tour style
♥ Poker table, seats eight – red felt top, leather sides with drink holders
♥ chairs for the poker table
♥ itunes gift cards 40 dollars
♥ clothes

Liz's present purchased so far:
♥ Crest White Strips ( double pack)
♥ 4gb ipod
♥ Bike
♥ shoes from nordstroms
♥ MAC makeup from nordstroms
♥ Clothes (only a few items)
♥ rechargeable batteries and charger for digital camera

Jeff's present purchased so far:
♥ season one of Nip/Tuck
♥ season two of Nip/Tuck
♥ NANO ipod
♥ itunes gift card
♥ clothes
♥ 10 sessions with persona trainer

Things left to buy for all the kids:
♥ food gift cetificates to fast food places
♥ Liz and Jeff Ralphs gift certificate for groceries
♥ gas gift card for Liz

…still thinking as I know I forgot something. Even though I look at these lists and think it is more than enough..I look again and think is it even? Sometimes christmas presents can be so stressful and for this I am stuck being broke!

Christmas and Anxiety…Ho Ho Ho!

It’s all related and it would be foolish for me to think otherwise. The violent stomach summersaults, hyperventilating, passing out, and last but not least the dreaded panic attacks. Normally the emotions and feelings that go along with parenthood though difficult can be handled. Not this time – at least not for me.

The things said can never be taken back – forgiven yes, forgotten – maybe not right away. To get to the point with me on the ground, Geoff over me and Jake starting to call 911 pretty much tells me enough is enough.

They will have to handle their issues and I will have to learn to not fix everything. The admitted enabler in me is going to have to take a break (if that is possible) because it is seeping into other areas of my life.

The panicked feelings are coming more often and more intensely and honestly if it continues it might be something I have to address through physicians. It worries me because everything I have been through in the past I handled. Maybe not always well, but it seems to be better than I am now.

To be at work and sense my hands shaking – the breath deep within me quickly racing out – feeling confused, disoriented and a lack of energy tells me just one thing – enough is enough.

I can’t allow it to continue – at least that is what the select few say. Time will tell if it will pass. I sure hope it does.

Breathless use to be a wonderful thing; a happy sort of breathless when interacting with my babies – in the younger years of course. – Breathless when finding happiness with my love – (in all ways imaginable). Breathless….almost feels horrible now. For when I think of breathless now I think danger and panic

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It isn’t the first time I have heard it, but it is becoming less and less acceptable to me. Maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on people as I use to say just a reservist as well. I said it to set my mind at ease; a mother’s need to keep worry at bay as long as possible. Other people have said it to take something always from what he’s accomplished, and yes, what he has promised to sacrifice if need be.

From my sister (who has since changed her vocabulary in this area) to a very good friend of mine. When it is said I choose to ignore the statement as best I can. It enrages me if I am honest, but I can’t own what other people think. I know sometimes it is said without thinking; even those times bother me.

Every time it is said I lose a little bit of respect for the person that says it. I have no problem with someone judging me or what I am doing with my life (ok that is not exactly true but more so than judging my child). I find it quite offensive for someone to judge a person in the Military. After all, no matter if they are defending us at this moment they could be called up at any moment. My son’s life could be in danger tomorrow, and he knowing that enlisted anyway. I only hope any need our country has of him does not place him in danger, but realistically, with what is going on in the world that may not be possible.

My son often remarks about other military branches such as “those dirty army guys”- there have been times I have made joking remarks as to Marines being the top dogs. Maybe that is because Marines have that mentality and it truly does rub off on parents. Really it is all a big joking thing that is done among each other; rarely out and about. When Jeff has said things about other armed forces I remind him they are risking their safety like everyone else. When it all comes down to it I respect any person that is serving in any capacity.

Ok, enough of that….

Updates:

Liz is doing well in school or so she says. I am a little upset with her for being such a last minute kind of girl. Her ex roommate finally meeting up with me (of course not Liz – mom always cleans things up) at the storage facility to hand over the unit as all Liz’ things were there. She and Liz had a falling out some time ago and this girl changed the lock on the storage unit. Now that the fee is due and she no longer needs it she was willing to allow Liz to re-rent thereby saving her items from storage facility ebay. So another 65 dollars to the girl who doesn’t need help- too bad she didn’t tell me it is going to cost me 65 a month to keep her memories stored. I wish there was room at the house to store her items. The books, pictures and keepsakes can be stored, but the washer/dryer, dining room table and other household items will never fit.

Thus far Jeff and Liz (along with her boyfriend Adam #2 – Jeff’s high school friend) don’t seem to have much difficulty living together. A few arguments (mostly between Adam and Liz) but other than that all is going well.

Jeff got a job too. YEA!! It was so funny Jeff called and told me he is the new Stocking Supervisor. “What does a stocking supervisor do,” I asked. He just laughed and told me he had no idea. He said the owner/manager is a retired Marine and liked him. The owner/manager went on to say the workers need structure and inspiration, etc ..etc. I reminded Jeff that a leader can’t be bossy, well not entirely. He wasn’t there to make enemies he was there to do a job and do it well. There’s a difference between expected work integrity and playing a big shot to a bunch of people who have been there far longer than he. He said he knew and I truly hope he does. After his first day he called me and said he hated it. He felt no one liked him. Maybe no one does – I told him that isn’t the most important thing. The most important thing is doing a good job, having good work ethics and treating co-workers with respect. Time will tell how this all goes.

Last weekend Geoff took off work to take Jeff to report for processing and his weekend duty. Of course because he is a [insert our last name as bad luck follows the name] it didn’t go smoothly. They got to Encino Thursday morning at 10 am as instructed. When they arrived they were told to come back at 6pm. Now, Geoff had left
Bakersfield and drove to
Santa Barbara; then drove
Santa Barbara to Encino only to be told to come back. I can’t understand how this could happen again. This was as bad as him trying to check in the Friday after he got home. So Geoff calls me and lets me know what is going on. Geoff told me that he and Jeff are driving back to SB because Geoff was supposed to help Jake with his paper (damn English) and he won’t have any time to do it if he doesn’t find a computer to work on. So back to SB they go – work on Jake’s paper (outline) and email it to me at work. At 4pm drove from SB back to Encino where they processed Jeff. Of course there’s more. Originally they told Jeff to bring his gear as it was drill weekend. When they processed him they told him that he didn’t have to drill because he wasn’t processed early enough. Needless to say Geoff took the day off and drove 500 + miles that day. He and Jeff came home to
Bakersfield – got home at about 10 p.m. Geoff had to get up at 2:30 am and drive to LA for work as he starts at 5 a.m. As I have said before Geoff must love us. I made mention of that when Geoff and Jeff were in the same room and Jeff said “I know he loves me” and walked up behind Geoff and kissed him on the cheek. That caught me off guard, but it was a great off moment moment for me.

Jeff’s DUI will follow him for a while, and that means follow us. We try to help him, along with Liz. Hopefully Jeff will take care of his DUI needed classes to satisfy the DMV and get his license once again. Although I am not sure how that would help if he doesn’t have a car. I already told Jeff his car is on him. I provided the car in high school and he screwed up. Now the Man will have to provide for himself.

Jake’s doing remarkably well. His school work for the most part is being done solely by him. I have to admit his English papers are being assisted (pretty much done by) by Geoff. This is Jake’s first year in College Prep English. Since the 7th grade he has been in RSP English. I can’t say enough about the LIPS program that brought him from 2nd grade level reading to 11th grade reading level. So assisting with English papers will always be a part of our life (ours meaning Geoff and I). I would like to think Jake could write the paper without Geoff, but not sure that is a realistic expectation at this time. I really think that will come in college. He will have to take classes that focus on writing only. High school English doesn’t really teach that anymore. Am I justifying our cheating ways – possibly, but I live with it knowing that Jake does the school work and passes, does the other homework and passes, takes all the tests and passes…He may not get A’s all the time, but his C’s are sometimes the best kind of A to get.

As difficult as life is something – I love my kids and I am so glad I can say those are my kids. I wouldn’t want them any other way

I haven’t been chronicling things as I should. Not sure if I have been out of sync, or just lazy. So things are moving right along in the motherhood and relationship with my children department.

Liz started school this week. Woohoo – 3rd year of Jr. College. What can I say; as long as she is moving forward in search of what she wants to do with her forever I am happy. As of this week she is pretty clear she wants to major in political science. We have been talking a lot recently she’s even mentioned law school. Last we spoke of school she stated that she would be applying to schools out of Santa Barbara. She has a transfer agreement with UCSB, but as a political science major she felt other area schools might be better suited. Sacramento, where she can intern in the Capital is just one example. Who knows if that will come to be as she changes her mind so often but for now she has a goal.

Of course she and Adam #2 are off again. It changes daily so it stresses me out. What does one expect at their young age? I try to listen and stay out of it (I don’t stay out very well)

Jake started his senior year. He looked the part up until a week ago when he chopped off all his hair. I swear he looks like a Jr. Higher now. Another new situation with Jake is his girlfriend, Katie. I swear that Romeo gets around. He hangs out with many but not often does he use the word girlfriend. She must be something special (for today) as he has rarely used the word.

And of course can’t forget Jeff. He returned from Virginia on August 25, 2005. Liz picked him up at LAX and made their way back to Santa Barbara, which Jeff now calls home.

Geoff and I drove up on August 26th to spend part of the weekend with Jeff. Of course we all had duties to perform. Geoff and Jeff needed to drive to L.A. so that Jeff could report to his reservist depot, and of course because he is a [insert last name here] (we always joke about anything associated with our last name being jinxed) that it didn’t go smoothly as it should have. They got to L.A. only to find no one there. Jeff’s orders said report by 2100 on August 26th. After wandering around some a Navy officer talked to them (guess there was Navy in there as well – after all they are affiliated). They told Jeff no one was there to process him and he would have to come back on the 29th. Jeff informed them he couldn’t return on the 29th as he didn’t have a ride from
Santa Barbara on that day. They were pretty accommodating and stated they would call him on the 29th to work something out.

While Geoff and Jeff were gone Liz and I went grocery shopping, clothes shopping (Jeff had very little that still fit him) and school book shopping. Kids can be so expensive. I am a firm believer on a parent putting their children through college as best they can so of course I bought Liz’s books (300 dollars and still two books to buy). All in all the weekend cost me 700 dollars. I am broke now!!

After Geoff and Jeff arrived home we did some home repair things at Liz’s (and not Jeff’s), we hooked up Jeff’s computer and got his living area all situated. Later we all went to Chili’s for dinner, of course on good ol’ mom (another 100 bucks), and really enjoyed the time shared. There was kidding around, laughing and a few moments of reminiscing. We all talked of what to do after dinner and decided going to a movie (Wedding Crashers) would be good. I told all the kids (young adults) they would have to pay for themselves. No one had issue with it and we went on to a great movie. I spent more time watching Jeff laugh, smile and get teary eyed because he was laughing so hard than I did watching the movie. My good he looks good. Fit, happy, respectful (for the most part) and level headed.

There wasn’t much to do after the movie so we all went back to the house and went to bed. By this time Liz and Adam were arguing (again I stayed out of it). Geoff and I took their bed, Jeff slept in his area, and Liz and Adam took the couches. I was very upset at Adam as he made Liz sleep on the short, uncomfortable couch instead of offering her the longer sofa. Liz had to work the next day at 9am and he had the day off. Adam is so young he doesn’t understand how to treat a girl, but I suppose that is something they will have to work out between themselves.

Anyway, when we got up Liz was gone, and Adam was sleeping. Geoff and Jeff had been up for hours and were just mulling around. Geoff had been to the McD’s a few dozen times (over exaggerating) for coffee as Liz had none. Geoff finished doing some home things for Liz and working on computers. The day got a bit rougher for me as Adam continually asked Jeff he wanted to go to the Indian Casino. The first three or four times Adam asked Jeff said no, “I am going to hang out with my parents.” Finally, after an hour or so of badgering Jeff said, “Mom do you care?” Now, I did care but he has been limited on what he could do for 8 months so I didn’t think it was my place to tell him no. After all he is a grown man now. Adam said it was 30 minutes there and 30 minutes back and since each were only going to spend 20 dollars so wouldn’t be a long trip. Anyway, three hours later as Geoff and I sat in their house alone I began fuming. I tried to not let it get to me but dammit I hadn’t seen Jeff in 5 months it would have been nice to think of that before he left.

Liz arrived home from work – Geoff, Liz and I went to lunch ..and then Geoff and I headed home. I called Jeff and told him that I loved him and would see him soon.

On the drive home Jake called and said he was going to SB with Jeff’s girlfriend. I couldn’t say no as he wanted to see Jeff as well, but I was annoyed because he should have just gone with us. When we got home I saw some of their friend’s cars outside the house. Now I had told Liz earlier in the week, along with all Jeff’s friends, this weekend was a family weekend only. I thought Jeff needed time to get settled, not immediately hang out with all his lush friends, and wanted to keep it fairly calm at Liz’s since she had school starting on Monday. Needless to say I was very angry when I found out all the gang was on their way to SB.

I called and yelled at Liz. Liz was so adult like she said, “ I know you aren’t mad at me Mom and it is okay that you are venting all this to me.” Of course later on Jeff called me and yelled at me saying that I shouldn’t be upset at all. Jeff went on to say that I needed to stop being childish about his going to the Casino because if I didn’t want him to go I should have told him no. So, Jeff and I agreed, I was acting childish (angry) and he was inconsiderate. The entire argument lasted 5 minutes.

A day went by and I didn’t talk to Jeff. I am not going to hound him to death just because he is home. He called me last night and said he needed money. I told him he was going to have to get serious and find a job as I was not going to give him spending money.

Well, today Jeff got a job!!!!!!. He will be starting next Tuesday as the Stocking Supervisor at The Gap. What does the stocking supervisor do I asked. Jeff laughed and said “Hell of I know, but the manager/owner is a Marine so he liked me.” Jeff said he will be starting at 9.00 dollars an hour, and that is with no experience. He thinks that is great and I am happy as can be that he is pleased with it.

He also called his reservist depot. He needs to report next Wednesday for processing and then return Thurday evening for his first weekend of duty. I am already stressed out thinking how we are going to get him there and back two days in a row, and then on Sunday, and then every month. Him having no license because of that DUI is really adding a lot of work to others. Geoff has talked with Jeff and will make it happen, all that driving that is. It is hard, Bakersfield to Santa Barbara, to LA, back to SB, then back to Bakersfield.

Geoff does love Jeff as if he was his own son. My family is blessed.