Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 in review

Every year, I like to go through and summarize the events of the last year. It is interesting to see what we retain, what events were the most important.

January – I told ExH that I had retained a lawyer and would be filing for divorce through her. He did not take that well, but did calm down a few days later.

February – the petition to divorce was officially filed. The rest of the month was spent negotiating everything with ExH.

March -  ExH and I filed the final agreement of our divorce, division of assets, custody of Rit, financial, etc. I also met two friends who would later become incredibly close friends of mine, and be two people who would really help me recover from the divorce, whether they know it or not.
I also had my first party as a single lady: St. Patrick’s Day. Everyone had a great time and told me that they were excited for the next party.

April – We have our first semi-annual Castleteers event of the year. I can truly pinpoint this event as the turning point for me in recovery of my divorce.

May – The divorce is final! I also had a birthday/divorce party at the end of the month.

June – The Kentucky Renaissance Festival opened and we had our annual camping trip for it. There is something about a weekend by the lake, and attending the renaissance festival that is just pure bliss for our group. It is a weekend away from modern day civilization and distractions.

July – I had my first post-divorce date. It did not go well, but I was glad to be back in the dating scene.

August – Rit turned a year old and we had his first birthday party. He also had tubes put in his ears since he had persistent ear infections and his ears were not draining the fluid they should have been.
I also painted my bedroom, the first step in my process to reclaim it and make it mine.

September – The Ohio Renaissance Festival opened and ran for the next 8 weekends. I had a season pass and was able to attend at least once every weekend. I even took Rit a few times as well.
This month also marked one year since ExH had moved out.

October – Aside from more time at OHRF, what would have been ExH and my 3rd anniversary passed by. I almost didn’t realize the date until I had received a reminder from Though, it did remind me to call my Grandpa and wish him a happy birthday.

November – We had our 2nd Castleteers Gathering of the year.
I had Rit for Thanksgiving and we drove out to Pennsylvania to see my dad’s side of the family. I had not seen most of them since my wedding day or earlier. None of my cousins, and most of my aunts and uncles, had not met Rit yet. It was a great family gathering with lots of little ones playing together.

December – I threw an end-of-the-world party and had a lot of fun with several friends.
This was also the first Christmas with an official parenting plan in place. It seemed to work out well.

For 2013…

I am hoping to be in a serious relationship at some point
I am going to attempt to pay off my credit card
I need to replace the banister/railing in the living room
I want to fence in the back yard
I hope to get the basement painted
I want to really get the laundry/utility room cleaned up and organized. It is the most neglected room in the house.
I want to go to the Great Lakes Medieval Faire and the Ashville Viking Festival, along with my usual Ohio Renaissance Festival, Kentucky Renaissance Festival, and Castleteers Gatherings.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you have a wonderful holiday whether you spend it with family or friends.

I had difficulty deciding on what to write about today. So many possibilities: the spirit of giving, how I am celebrating, discussing the holiday and its significance  Instead, I want to share with you a memory; a memory of my favorite gift that I gave.

It starts in early December 2010. I took a pregnancy test and it came out positive. I was freaking out at first, as was ExH, because it was very unplanned and I was unemployed. The following week, we went to a pregnancy center and had them administer a test so I could qualify for Medicaid. We also decided that we would wait and tell our families at Christmas. A few friends already knew.
On the way home we were getting hungry and decided to stop by a local fast food place where my siblings worked, and one of them was a manager. He would give us discounts on our food there. ExH said that he wasn't sure he could keep it quiet if he saw them, so we agreed that if more than one sibling was there we would tell them. We walk in and both of my brothers were there. We swear everyone there to secrecy (my brothers, another employee and a customer. They went along with it.) and tell them they are going to be uncles. Spartan runs up to me and hugs me, telling us we just made his year. My other brother is standing in the back, making food, completely speechless. We ended up eating for free that day.
That night, I had my sister to come over and help me make cookies for Christmas gifts. She barely got in the door when I closed it and ExH is standing at the top of the stairs bouncing excitedly. I tell him to go ahead and tell her and he says "Your sister is pregnant". My sister squealed, which is what surprised me as I have never heard her squeal before. We did make cookies too. I also swore her to secrecy.
Later on I found out that when she got home that night, Spartan asked her if we told her. She was going to try and tease him and ask "Tell me what?" but she couldn't and smiled instead. That night she started working on a baby blanket for me and finished it in a week, just in time for Christmas. More on that in a bit.
For the next week I had to avoid even talking to my parents or risk telling them. Instead I worked on a fun way to tell them. You see, my parents love telling the story of how they told my dad's parents that they were pregnant with me. ExH and I wanted to top that. I had purchased two charms: one that said Grandma and one that said Grandpa, and made key-chains out of them. Then, I wrapped them up as gifts.
On Christmas Day, ExH and I went over to my parents house for Christmas with all of the gifts. It was easier to just explain my excitement as my excitement to give Christmas gifts. Finally when we were all done with the gifts, I gave my dad the small wrapped gift to open for him and mom. He saw them, looked at me and asked quietly "Really?" I just smiled and nodded. He gave the one that said Grandma to my mom. She had a hard time reading it at first since she didn't have her reading glasses. She thought it was just a log until we asked her if she could read it. The she jumped a bit, squeaked (yes, squeaked) and hugged me and ExH. It is one gift I don't think I will ever be able to top. Later that day I called my dad's side of the family to tell them the good news.
The next day was Christmas with my mom's side of the family. Remember the blanket I mentioned that my sister made? We got together and decided to use it to reveal my news to that side if the family. She wrapped it up really nice. It took a bit of sneakiness, but we were able to make it so that I opened that gift after everyone else. The few cousins that caught on that something was going on were confused, but went with it. We announced that we had one more gift to open, to me from my sister. I opened it and held it up. My cousins figured out what it was right away and got very excited. My sister told everyone it was a baby blanket; that is when my aunts and uncles figured it out. I told everyone that ExH and I found out that we were expecting. Then everyone, but my Grandma figured it out. My Grandma leaned over to my sister and said "Why is everyone so excited? It's a nice blanket, but I don't understand." My sister told her "Grandma, Lissa's pregnant!" I laughed when she told me that later on. My Grandma was worried that she would never get to see her great-grandchildren because ExH and I were the only ones married and in no rush to have kids. She was telling my sister this earlier that day. When my sister relayed that to me, I had to stifle the giggles since we were going to tell her otherwise in a few hours.
Sadly, my Grandma never did get to meet her great-grandson as she passed away April 4th, 2011. However, that Christmas is still the most memorable Christmas for me.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Dead Sea Scrolls

Last weekend I had the chance to go and see the Dead Sea Scrolls Exhibit at the Cincinnati Museum Center with a friend of mine. I love classics history and especially love when I have a chance to go see it with someone who will appreciate as much as me.

The exhibit itself was incredible. They had pottery, currency, and several artifacts on display. The scrolls themselves were near the end of the exhibit. Being able to see the scrolls, and get so close to them was an incredible feeling. About halfway through the run of the exhibit, they will change out the scrolls to limit the amount of light exposure and reduce the risk of damage to them.

My second favorite part of the exhibit was that they had a chunk of the Wall of Jerusalem there for everyone to touch. I know to some it may just be a rock, but to me, it is a piece of history.

My greatest praise for the exhibit is that they kept it neutral. They never said this religion was better or older or anything. In fact, the exhibit discussed the Scrolls and their effect on Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.

If you live in Cincinnati, Ohio or plan to visit between now and April, I highly recommend this exhibit.

Friday, December 14, 2012


Today, my heart and prayers go out to all of the families affected in Connecticut school shooting. I cannot even begin to fathom the pain the families are going through, especially those that lost children (27 people killed, 18 of them kindergartners). Hug your families close today.
ExH is stopping by my house today to pick up Rit's medication refill and agreed to bring Rit so I can hug him tight tonight.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Traveling with a Toddler at Thanksgiving

I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving! We traveled out of town to visit family. My dad’s side of the family lives in Pennsylvania, about 6 hours away with stops. On the trip were my parents, my brother (not the one that lives with me), Rit, and me. I was really worried about how well Rit would do on such a long car ride, but he did great. We stopped every two hours for bathroom breaks or food and to stretch our legs. If Rit was awake, we let him out so he could run around and burn off some energy.

We arrived at my Grandparents’ house Wednesday afternoon and left Friday morning. I stayed at my aunt and uncle’s house at night since they have a pack n play and things set up for little ones. Though I missed staying at my grandparents', I think this was a better setup for us. Plus, I was able to sleep on an actual bed instead of an air mattress. It's hard to pass that up!

Thanksgiving was very busy. My uncle dropped Rit and I off at my grandparents' house that morning, and we had lunch Thanksgiving lunch there, and then went back to my aunt and uncle’s house for dessert. Rit met his six of his 2nd cousins. The oldest one is 15 years old, and the youngest is 9 months old. In fact, 3 of them were born within a year of each other; 4 if you include Rit. He played with them a lot, and even made friends with the only other boy his age there (of the 7 there: 4 girls and 3 boys). He fell in love with the cars and track my aunt and uncle had out for all of them. He didn't spend much time attached to me, which I was worried about, since we were in a new place surrounded by new people. I am very lucky that he is able to warm up to new people and make new friends easily.

I had a great time seeing my cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents again.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Balance is a juggling act

This past weekend was the semi-annual Castleteers Gathering. I won’t go into much detail about it though, as there were many things that happened. In short, there were some great memories made, funny events to remember, new friends met, and old friends hugged. It was cold and wet all day; however I had a wonderful time. The cold just gave us a reason to sit a little closer together. We joke that it wouldn’t be a Castleteers Gathering if it wasn’t cold out, as I cannot remember a single warm weather Gathering.

The only downside to having such a wonderful time over the weekend is that I pay the price. I do not mean a hangover or anything like that, but the mental price. Newton’s law says it best: “What goes up must come down.” Monday, I dealt with a feeling of depression. Luckily it was not bad and I knew it was a result of the high of the weekend. I could feel myself going manic at one point and was able to stop it before it hit. Even though I did not have the full blown manic/anxiety attack, I still did start the manic rise hence the depression afterwards.

Keeping balance is important in life: balance the bad with the good. Without any good there is no hope. Without any bad, there is no appreciation.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Today is Halloween; a night of kids and adults dressing up, going out, and having fun. ExH has Rit today (his year for Halloween) so I am on my own. Next year I am looking forward to taking him trick-or-treating.

For some of us, this day is something more than a night of costumes and candy.  At dusk tonight, the holiday of Samhain starts and will continue until dawn. For many Pagans (it does depend which branch you follow), this night is one of our two holiest nights of the year. Our other one is Beltane in May. Tonight, the barrier between this plane and the “other world” will open allowing the souls to travel between the two. It’s a night when magick, for lack of a better word, is at its most powerful.

To celebrate, I will light my candles and pray to the creators for their blessing for the year to come. And then I will dress up and join in the costumed fun that is Halloween.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Single Habits

We all have them: things we do when a significant other is not around. The benefit of being single is that I don’t have to worry about making sure “they” aren’t around.

Girly TV – I admit that I enjoy watching shows like America’s Next Top Model, Project Runway, and other shows that my family and ExH would give me the side-eye for watching. I rarely got to watch them at home without a comment, and ExH would usually make a comment as well. Now? I watch whatever I want after Rit has gone to bed.

Meals – I usually eat dinner with my parents 3 days a week. It is just easier to stay there and have dinner when I pick up Rit. But on the other days, my eating can vary. When I get home, I don’t have to worry about who I am cooking for, as long as I like it. Sometimes I cook for Spartan and myself, sometimes just me. And no worries about if he has eaten or not.

Family/friends time – I fully admit I spend a lot more time with family and friends than I did when I was ExH. I can go over and stay however long I want, stay out with friends however long I want without complaint.

Lounging – I don’t have to worry about dressing up for anyone except myself. If I want to wear jeans and a t-shirt, then I do. If I want to wear my worn out comfy nightgown, I can. I don’t feel like I have to look sexy or nice if I don’t want to. The funny thing is, I dress up more now that I am single than I did when I was married. Less pressure to perhaps?

Beauty routines – every girl has their routines that they don’t want the SO to see: Shaving, tweezing, whatever it may be. No SO means no one to hide from while we beautify ourselves.

Music – There was often a “battle of music” when I was with ExH. He would turn on his music so I could not turn on mine. And too bad if I didn’t like it (usually I did, but not always). Now, I can play my music, sing along or dance along to my heart’s content. I especially love being able to play music while I clean.

Hang out in bed – I enjoy being able to just hang out in my bed if I don’t feel like getting up. Play around on my phone, or just snuggle under the covers a little longer. No one else to worry about waking up.

On the other side, there is a lot I miss about having someone else: snuggling with them while watching TV, being able to cook for someone else (Spartan works nights so our schedules rarely line up), hearing “I love you”, the feeling of their arm around me while I sleep…

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Am I broken?

Several months ago I wrote about my bipolar disorder. It still affects me greatly. I recently had an experience that caused me to “flashback” to what happened last year with ExH. In short, I was told that someone has been spreading untruths about me. I cannot seem to get an answer as to whom or what, but hearing that immediately sent me back to the feelings of fear, anxiety, and powerlessness that I experienced last year when I learned of the numerous lies and misconceptions being spread about me then. The anxiety from this experience, feeling so much like my last experience, sent me into a manic episode. I admit that is scares me when it happens. I became scared that I will go through all of it again: the loss of friends, the feeling of need to rebuild my reputation, the feeling of starting over. I fight between wanting to reach out to someone, yet worried that dealing with me will scare them away, and wanting to hide away until the episode is over.
Trusting is an issue for me. I want to be able to trust someone completely, the way I was supposed to trust my husband. Luckily, I have my best friend whom I am able to trust. However, I end up worrying that the people I am trying to trust are lying to me or talking about me behind my back. This is something I continue to work on and have made some progress on.

One thing I have noticed, is I have the constant feeling of "too good to be true". Whenever things start going good for me, I worry that something bad is going to happen. For instance, earlier this year I was feeling good about my finances. I was going to have my credit card paid off by the end of the year. The my mortgage jumped $200 a month starting in September. Or I am feeling really close to a few friends, and then they stop inviting me out on their group stuff. I have a hard time enjoying the moment.

There is a side of me that I am scared of, this side of me. The side that is not perfect, the side I wish I didn't have. I don't want to be bipolar. I want to be able to trust people. I don't like feeling like something bad is right around the corner. I worry that if I show people this side, they will not want to associate with me anymore. So why am I posting it on a blog for all to see? Because then it's not a secret side of me anymore.

The bright side of all of this is that no matter how down I feel, Rit can still bring a smile to my face and I can still smile when I am around him.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Another milestone

Today would have been my 3rd anniversary with ExH. I was worried that I might get depressed or anxious, but really I have no emotion regarding this day. At this point it is just another day in my life, and my Grandpa’s birthday.

I think that this was the last big milestone I was worried about. I made it through the holidays last year fine, the one year mark of our separation without a single tear, and the birthdays without a care.

I wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of my possible reactions, but this wasn’t it. I guess I expected to have more attachment to this day. But in reality, it’s a day that no longer important to me in terms of my marriage. All of the wedding stuff has been boxed up and stored underneath my stairs for almost a year now. Out of sight where I do not have to worry about it, where it will stay until A asks about it and wants to see it.

My last real trigger is songs that meant something to us and that were played at our wedding. I am still working on moving past that, but I know it will take time. One day, I will hear a song that would have made me cry, and not even react to it.

Until then, one day at a time, enjoying myself and my son.

Thursday, September 27, 2012


If you have not been able to tell from my recent posts, I have been thinking a lot about how much I have grown and how far I have come. One thing that has been the greatest help in that has been my self-confidence.

I have never been the most self-confident person. When I was younger, I was incredibly, painfully shy. I was also teased a lot in school. It was hard to make new friends, and I was (and truth be told I still am to an extent) socially awkward.

In college, I made friends with this girl who seemed incredibly self-confident, got a lot of attention from guys and girls, and had a lot of friends. I saw that and wished I was like that. So I did the only thing that made sense to me: I started emulating her. At first, I faked my self-confidence. I put myself into situations that were new and a little uncomfortable. Over time, it became natural to me. I spoke up more, became more outgoing, said hi to strangers and had long conversations with them. Then, I realized I was no longer faking the self-confidence. I truly had become confident in who I was. Even now I look back on who I was in high school, and who I was in college and the difference is like night and day.

However, my dislike of my appearance was one issue that had not changed for me. I never truly loved how I looked. I always found things that I felt were ugly and if someone complimented me saying I was pretty or sexy then they must have been doing it only to cheer me up. Yes, I was bad at receiving compliments. While I was pregnant with Rit, it only got worse. I got the stretch marks late in the pregnancy, I was worried I would never lose the baby weight, and some comments were made by ExH that made me feel unattractive. By the time we separated, I lost so much of my self-confidence that I wasn’t sure if I could build it back up again. Little by little I tried. Several months later, a friend made a comment that broke it down again. It scared me how easily it was done. I felt defeated. However, another friend changed all of that.

It was at the Castleteers party I wrote about earlier this year. We were talking about our insecurities and, in my alcohol induced honesty and oversharing, I told him about the comments that had been made to me in the months beforehand. He did not say much about it then as a friend joined us and we changed the topic of conversation. Later on as everyone went to bed, we took the opportunity to continue our earlier conversation. He said to me, “Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you are unattractive again. You are absolutely gorgeous.” And right then, things switched for me. I no longer detest what I see in the mirror. Sure, there are things I want to change, but I no longer see myself as ugly; I see beauty. I love my curves now and want to show them off. When I discussed this with my college friend (same one I mentioned earlier in this entry), she pointed out something I did not think of; he did not say I was pretty or sexy, he said I was gorgeous and being that he has a girlfriend, it had a different connotation to it than any of the other descriptions he could have used. I have used those words as the foundation to re-build my self-confidence. Now, I feel that it is stronger than it ever was.

Sometimes, you just need a helping hand, or phrase, to start the confidence building.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Dating Fears

It has been over a year since ExH moved out. It has been a crazy year, a lot of ups and downs.

I have been back in the dating scene for a little over a month now. I have been on a whole 3 dates, with 2 different guys. Some of my fears have resurfaced as a result though. And that is not fun.

Dating as a single mom isn’t easy. My time is restricted because I am on Rit’s schedule, and he goes to bed at 8. I went on one date on a night I had Rit after he went to bed and Spartan watched him for me. I do not want to make a habit out of that though. Right now my date nights are Thursday through Saturday. It can be limiting at times I admit. I also worry that I may be judged for being a single mom. Luckily the stigma attached to it has become less so, especially since the number of single moms has gone up. It's not that single mom's are teenage mothers or anything like that. We just get to a point where we say "No more" and do what we feel is best for ourselves and our children.

My other fear is in regards to my bipolar disorder. I am so scared that it will scare people away. Before I became pregnant, before I was able to get my bipolar disorder under control, I had several friends tell me that they could not handle the fact that I was bipolar or the mood swings that came along with it and ended our friendship. Then, one of the reasons ExH said he wanted a divorce was that he could not handle my bipolar disorder either. With these two things, it is no surprise that it is something for me to worry about. I understand it is hard to be around someone who has this disorder and I do not blame people for choosing to do what is best for them, though it doesn't hurt any less. I have a few friends who have seen me go through a manic attack and still want to be my friend. Some have seen me deal with deep depression, and they are still around. Yet, this remains one of my biggest fears.

Will I find someone who will love Rit and will be able to handle being with someone who is bipolar? I know it is too early into my returning to the dating scene to worry about this, but I am a worrier and it is always in the back of my mind. Perhaps this time of year is what prompted it to move to the forefront.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Truth Behind the Mask

I say a lot that I am happy being single, that I am enjoying being single, etc. While that is true, it is not the entire truth. I do enjoy being single, but at the same time, I miss having a companion to snuggle up with at night, to comfort me when I have had a bad day, to hug me when I am feeling down.

For example, this last weekend, I went to the Ohio Renaissance Festival and decided it would be my day to celebrate one year since ExH moved out; one year since I started this new life. I bought myself a rickshaw ride around the festival grounds. 

I really enjoyed having the rickshaw to myself. It was the first time I ever did. However, I also realized that I miss having someone with me.

I ran into some friends of mine who are currently dating. The guy is actually the first mate of my pirate crew at the renaissance festival. I hung out with them for the rest of the faire day. It is very obvious how much they love each other. Walking around with them and seeing how they interacted made me realize just how much I missed the affection of someone else.

I tell people that I am happy being single, that I am enjoying life single, doing my own thing. Yet, deep down, I am not as happy and okay with being single as I want people to believe. I don’t want to be single, but I am single so I try to make the best of it. I refuse to settle for just anyone. That leads to bad decisions and bad relationships. I deserve better than that.

I used to think that if I was happy single, I wouldn’t need anyone else. In short, I was right. I am happy single, but I don’t need someone else. Want on the other hand, is a completely different thing.

I continue to hope that someday I will meet someone who will be the right person for me and my son.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Renaissance Faire again

This past weekend was opening weekend for the Ohio Renaissance Festival. Of course, I attended. My other brother M and I carpooled up to save money on gas and parking.

It was a very hot and humid day. I still dressed up and wore my corset. Why? Because I always feel good in it. There is something about wearing a corset that gives me added confidence.

M and I wandered around, saying hi to our friends and picking up the things we wanted. I bought my usual souvenirs – a shot glass mug, a medallion, a plush dragon for Rit and one for me, and the limited edition steel rose that a vendor creates special for the year. I set aside for these items months ago, knowing I would be getting them. There are several additional items I want to get as well, so this year will be a lesson in willpower.

There is something about being back at the renfaire that is very calming to me - a day without technology, a day with friends, a day outside, a vacation from reality. Renfaire is my stress relief.

I was planning to go Monday as well with Rit, but there were thunderstorms forecast so I made the decision to stay home. I will take Rit later in the season since so many people want to see him and haven’t seen him since he was 2 months old at last year’s renfaire.

Some of my family and friends wonder why I am so into the renfaire, because they don’t see what the big deal is. All they see are people dressing up in costumes and talking funny. I ask them why they are in theater or music or any other activity. Because I enjoy it and it makes me happy. One thing I have noticed is that a lot of people who don’t understand the community are ones who do not dress up in the garb or attempt to join the community. We are a very welcoming group, but you have to show us you understand our passion and have the same desire to be a part of the group. You do that by dressing up in garb and attending the faire regularly, meaning several times a season. For example, if someone comes to your runners club saying they want to join, who would you take more seriously: the person in jeans and a polo shirt or the person in running shorts, a t-shirt, and running shoes? It’s the same idea.
This group has helped me through some tough times. No matter what community you are a part of, embrace it. It is a part of who you are.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Single mom dating timeline

I have been on a few dates now. I have been enjoying dating quite a bit. I know that may change, but I will enjoy it for now.

When I had told some friends that I had been on a date with a guy, several of them asked “What did Rit think of him?” I told them that I would not be introducing Rit to any potential dates until I am serious with the person, typically several months into dating. I don’t want to parade people in and out of his life.

This was a topic discussed among my singles group, as there are several single parents. Trying to figure out the right time to introduce children is hard. I don’t want to introduce Rit to someone who may or may not be long term potential. However, I don’t want to wait too long in case it turns out that the person realizes they don’t want to be with a single mom when they see the mom aspect happen. It’s fine line, a juggling act, trying to find that right amount of time before introducing the most important person in my life to them.

I am not in a place anywhere near that decision currently. I have only been on 3 dates total since my divorce, with 2 different people. However, it does remain in the back of my mind. Right now, I just hope that I will know when the time is right. Until then… enjoying dating and being single!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Favorite Moments as a Mom

I thought for this week, I would share some of my favorite moments as a mom.

The moment when Rit crawls furiously over to me and climbs up me just to give me a kiss

The look of pride he gets when he figures something out, and he looks for me when he does it, as if he wants to make sure I saw it too

The big smile he gets when I go to my parents after work and he sees me walk in the door

The smile he gives me when he sees me in the morning

When he grabs a book and brings it over to me so we can read together

Watching him play with other babies and learning to share with them

Watching him grow and learn. He is now saying "That" and pointing at something. When I tell him what it is, he points at something else.

How he waves "bye" to everyone when I ask him if he wants to go home.

All I have to do is look at him, and I feel pride in being his mom. He truly is a wonderful child and I am very lucky to have him.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

1st Birthday Party!

This past Sunday was Rit’s birthday party. Overall it went really well. I had several friends cancel last minute, so I had plenty of food leftover. While in some respects can be a good thing, it is not so great when I look at it and think of the money wasted. I was even more thankful that my parents helped out and bought some food for the party as well (the stuff to make sandwiches and a veggie platter). I supplied the cake, cupcakes, chips, fruit, drinks, decorations, and location.

Rit got a little bit of a lot of foods. He had turkey, cheese, bread, watermelon, pineapple, veggie dip, cake, and who knows what else he got into. Nothing upset his stomach and he enjoyed it all. In fact, he kept going back to Grandpap (my dad) for more veggie dip. He is such a spoiled little boy.

One of my friends that came brought their 9 month old daughter as well. It was fun to watch her and Rit playing. She would get mad if Rit was playing with a toy she wanted, so Rit would share with her. I was very proud of him for that.

Later on, it was time for gifts. He got several toys and books. We opened up some of them right away and he loved them. His favorite seemed to be the books. They are the kind of books where you can push a button for the sounds to go with the story. Of course, he loves anything that makes noise. My favorite for him was a drawing my dad did of a lion for him, since he is a Leo. I am excited to get that hung up in his room. I hope that he appreciates it as much as I do when he is older. The most unexpected was from a friend, who got me a gift as well (a delicious smelling candle perfect for the upcoming fall season). She told me that this was as much a party for me surviving my first year of parenthood as it was for him surviving his first year.

The party was set to go from 2-5, but it went until after 6. Rit was starting to get really cranky and fussy (I think he was crashing from the sugar of the cake) so I had him in bed by 7. Luckily I have thrown enough parties that I can discreetly clean as I go during the party, leaving little cleanup at the end.

Unfortunately, I was so busy running around, taking care of my guests, taking care of Rit, making sure there was plenty of food out, that I did not get many pictures during the party. My aunt and some friends did however, so I am looking forward to seeing those.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

One year and a Birth Story

Today, Rit turns 1 year old. It is so hard to believe that a year ago I was holding this tiny bundle in my arms; a tiny bundle that is now standing tall, walking and babbling. Being a mom has been one of the greatest journeys I have been on.

Today, ExH, Rit and I are going out to lunch celebrate after Rit's 1 year checkup at the doctor.

I realized that I had not posted my birth story of Rit, so here it is.

I think I can say this story started on 7/31/2011. I was up most of the morning with contractions that felt like really bad menstrual cramps. I could not sleep from them, but they were irregular in timing so I did not call my doctor. I went out into the living room and watched TV so I would not disturb ExH with my tossing and turning. I told him that I was having the contractions after he woke up, but we couldn’t do anything since they were spaced far apart and irregularly timed. ExH went to work and I rested on the couch. I was able to get a 2 hr nap in and tried to do some chores, such as finishing washing Rit’s clothes. I continued contracting all day, but they weren’t incredibly painful, just really uncomfortable.
That night, I was having a hard time sleeping again, but this time it was from all of the bug bites on the back of my legs (not sure where from exactly). I was tossing and turning for awhile when something just didn’t feel right, like I was about to wet myself if I didn’t get to the bathroom right away. As soon as I sat up, I felt a small gush of fluid and hurried to the bathroom. I apparently said “Oh crap.”
ExH was suddenly wide awake and asked, “Honey, what’s wrong?”
“Hold on one minute.” I checked as soon as I got in the bathroom and had another small gush of clear fluid. I put on a pad and went back to the bedroom and said, “I think my water broke.” He got up quickly and got dressed while I called the doctor. The doctor told me that once my contractions got to 5 minutes apart, call him back. We timed them for 45 minutes and they were 4 minutes apart, though still not strong. We called the doctor back and he told us to go on in.
ExH practically sped the entire way, even though we did not really need to as the contractions were far from strong. We got there and they had me in triage right away. The nurse told me that she had to take a swab to make sure my water broke, but as soon as she went to take it, there was no doubt. They called ExH in right before they did my exam, and I was still only 3 cm. They brought in the paperwork to admit me, had me sign, put in the heparin lock IV, and started the saline drip (to keep me hydrated). As soon as they left, we called his mom and my parents, despite that it was almost 2 am, to let them know that it was baby day! We walked over to delivery and got set up.
The nurse there got a little concerned as my contractions were slowing down. In triage they were 1-3 minutes, but in delivery they were 4-6 minutes apart. They decided to let me labor for a few hours myself to see if they would regulate themselves. The contractions were very mild so we went ahead set up my netbook and we browsed around on the internet and watched movies while we waited. I got another exam during that time and I was 3-4 cm dilated, so very little progress. I got really worried. Not long after that, they started me on Pitocin in order to try and encourage the contractions. I could feel them getting stronger and slowly they got closer. I’m not sure how often, but I swear every visit the nurse upped the dosage of Pitocin. The contractions were getting more and more painful. I was in tears and glad to have ExH with me to remind me to breathe through them and hold me when I had one while standing up. At about 8 am, the contractions were at the point where I was screaming from the pain. He kept trying to tell me that it was only making things worse (I knew it was) but I just could not help it. I was also falling asleep between them. ExH said that I was probably getting shocked awake by the pain and would panic, hence the screaming. The pain medication they gave me helped for 2 contractions and then was pretty much no longer there. At some point, the doctor came in and checked me again and I was at 100% effaced and 5 cm dilation.
When we were admitted to delivery, we told the nurse that I did not want an epidural and told her of my back issues and back surgery. After the doctor checked me, the nurse told us that the anesthesiologist on call was experienced in doing epidurals on people with back problems. We agreed to talk to him. At that point, ExH and I had agreed that the pain was more than I can manage and that if this can help then it was worth a try. The anesthesiologist explained what we would do and how he would do it with my spine. I felt a little better about getting one with him doing it so I agreed to go ahead and get one. It took him a little while to get set up, but by taking his time he was able to get it in the right spot in the first try, even in the middle of one of my contractions! Within 10 minutes I had relief. I could no longer feel the pain or even my contractions, giving me the chance to rest. This was about 9 am. I slept for the next 2 hours. ExH took the opportunity to go down to the cafeteria and get some breakfast and read the book he brought.
At 11 am, the nurse came in and woke me up. During my contractions, Rit was moving away from the monitors so she wanted to start monitoring both him and my contractions internally. She got all the stuff together and prepped before checking me. She went to put the monitors in and she felt Rit’s head right there. She then did a quick check and I was fully dilated! By getting the epidural and allowing my body to relax, I dilated the last 5 cm in only 2 hours. The nurse got me set up and then went to get the doctor. He arrived 20 minutes later and we started to get things rolling. The nurse told me when I was having a contraction (still completely numb from the waist down, but I could move everything) and had me do some practice pushes. Apparently they were really good because she told the doctor that he should get his gloves on.
I pointed out to the doctor that I was supposed to have an appointment to see him at 11:50 and he joked that we should set a goal of seeing if Rit will be born by the appointment. The nurse held one leg while ExH held the other and I pushed when the nurse told me to. Much to our surprise, we decided to go ahead and watch Rit be born. We both thought that we would not want to actually see it, just see and hold him afterwards. Things change in the heat of the moment. After 5 sets of pushes (3 pushes for each contraction), at 11:52 am, Rit was born screaming. I suffered only a 2nd degree tear. When they took him away to get weighed and cleaned up, I asked ExH to grab the camera and take some pictures. He got pictures of him on the scale. Rit came out weighing 3800 grams exactly (8 pounds 6 ounces). He also had a head full of blonde hair. Even the nurse was wondering where the blonde came from since we both are brunettes. ExH said that he was born blonde and darkened as he got older.
Once he was cleaned up, Rit was handed back to me and the three of us were left alone to bond as a new family. After an hour, we invited our families, who had been waiting in the waiting room since before I started pushing, to come in and meet the newest family member.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

1st birthday party planning is underway

I have printed the invites and sent them out. They are mostly for those who I know will want them as a keepsake (family and a few select friends). I invited several people, family and friends alike. There will also be lots of kids there for Rit to play with.

I have bought the decorations. I won’t put them up until the week of the party, but I like knowing that I have them. It is one less thing to worry about. I will really only be decoration the living room and dining room.

I am still figuring out what I want to do for food. My thought is a veggie platter, fruit platter, and sandwiches (the party is from 2-5, though I am sure it will go longer). And of course cake, though I will probably order that. I will make cupcakes though.

As a fellow August ’11 mom said, this isn’t a party for the baby but more for the parents to celebrate their first year of parenthood.

In just two weeks my baby will turn a year old. I can’t help but wonder where the time went. I think back on the year and I am amazed by everything that happened, and how much stronger it has made me. The best thing about this year is the little boy I have now. He is my world. And no matter how old, or how big he gets, he will always be my little boy, my prince.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

First date post divorce

I just had my first date post divorce. I was very nervous about it as I had not been on a first date in almost 6 years. This was also the second time I had ever been on a date with someone I was not friends with prior.
We first met on OK Cupid. We swapped numbers and had been texting back and forth when he asked me if I wanted to meet for coffee. I said sure. We set up a time, and then he suggested we meet for lunch instead which worked better for me. We met at a local restaurant which is known for the bagels, but has really good sandwhiches and soups. He bought my meal which was good, but the date was just really uncomfortable. There was no chemistry there for me. The energy I felt just wasn't right.

Instead of boring ou with the details of my 45 minute date, here is a list of things not to do on a first date:
  • Wait in your car when you said you would meet by the front doors.
  • Bring up your ex. Or ask about your date's ex. That is something best saved for a later date. A much later date.
  • When you ask about your date's ex, bring it up like the guy/girl is already a bad guy. Even if s/he is, it puts the other person on the defensive.
  • When your date looks at the time because they have to go back to work (which you knew), tell them that you are going to kidnap them. Joking or not, it is just creepy.
  • Say "Aww man" when they tell you they have to leave to go back to work. It sounds too much like guilt tripping, and who wants to be with someone who will guilt them.
And these are from just today.

On a lighter side...
A blog I read, Hindsight Is Pretty Funny, did a great, and amusing, list of what not to say on a first date awhile ago. I highly recommend reading it, and her blog.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Thankful and Appreciation

Many times in life, we forget how good it can be until we see someone who has it worse.

When ExH and I first separated, I was angry at him and hurt. We have now reached a point now that the divorce is final where we can be friendly to each other. It has made co-parenting Rit a lot easier. I also think that it will benefit Rit down the road too, seeing his parents work together even if they are not together. I've realized that, sadly, this is not the norm. I see it with my friends and with some of the moms in my online single moms group; for whatever reason the parents cannot get along whether it be because of the mom or because of the dad. Hearing what my friends go through (the moms and the dads), and seeing what the single moms online go through, I realized just how lucky I am that ExH and I are able to put aside our issues when it comes to Rit. My friend who is a single dad told me that he envies the fact that ExH and I can do this, as he wishes his ex would be willing to do the same.

I am also very thankful for the friends I have. They understand my situation and when we make plans, it is based on when I have Rit and when he is with ExH. My best friend has adopted Rit as her nephew. When she visits, it's part time with just the two of us and part time with Rit. My friends are there to support me. I lost many friends after the affair happened. For the ones I didn't lose, most of them have been irreparably damaged. A few friendships became stronger. Since then, I have expanded my friends circle. I have made new friends; friends who know me as the strong, happy woman I am now, not as I was when I was with ExH (as many friends have commented that I seem a lot happier now than when I was with him).

I am thankful that I have a good job. There are times I get frustrated because it seems like I have never have enough money to pay all the bills and do something for Rit and I. Especially last month when I ended up having over $1000 in unexpected bills and repairs. But at the end of the month, I am able to pay all of the bills, put food on the table, get clothes and diapers for Rit, and even put a little into savings for each of us. And sometimes we can afford to go somewhere like the Zoo or Aquarium. I see friends struggling with money, even when they have 2 incomes.

I am thankful for my family as well. They have helped me so much, from watching Rit for me so I can go to work, to having me over for dinner several times a week, to just being there for me. They have been a great help to me.

I challenge you to take a look around your own life and find at least 3 things that you are thankful for and appreciate.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Single Mom Life Update

Things between ExH and I have actually been going rather well I dare say. We are having decent conversations, exchanging information regarding Rit without tension, and generally co-parenting well together. I am very happy about this.

I am part of an online group for single parents. I try to respond to posts and participate in discussions, but it is difficult when my situation is so different from most of the other single moms on there. Most of their topics are in regards to child support, the father’s visitation, father’s failing to actually be a dad, etc. While it was rough in the beginning and we still have the rough spots, things are going well between ExH and I. He is a good dad to Rit, we don’t have child support to fight about, we have 50/50 custody so it is not considered visitation, we keep to the times outlined in the parenting plan, and we try to be flexible in case something happens such as illness or a family event. When compared to them we are really doing well, which honestly surprises me at times. Reading about their experiences, I was expecting it to be like that.

Right now I am at that weird place of being single where I am enjoying the freedom of being single yet want that familiarity of a significant other. I really would like to start dating, but that is proving difficult. I honestly have no idea where to start. Also add in that any guy I date needs to be okay with dating a single mom, it is going to prove to be a challenge.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Single Lady and a Single Mom

Being single versus being a single mom. It is a difference I have been reminded of several times in the last few weeks.

Thursday, Friday and Saturday I am essentially a single woman. ExH has Rit for those days so I do not have to worry about him. Don’t get me wrong, I miss him like crazy, but I know he is safe. I can go out when I want, for as long as I want and not worry about having to find a babysitter. Sunday through Wednesday I am a single mom. My world revolves around my little boy. Where I go, when I go, and for how long all depends upon him.

There are times I get down about being a single mom. Within my group of friends and family, there were 10 babies born in 2011. I am the only one who is currently a single mom of those 10. Most of them were not, and still are not, married when their baby was born. However, they are still together. I admit that I get jealous of this. I was married when I got pregnant and had my child. We are taught that this is how it “should be done”. Yet, I am the one who is a single parent and my friends have someone there to help and support them. When there are issues with Rit, or there is something going on I really want to do or see, I do not have a partner I can turn to for help. It's just me.
On the flip side of that issue, I have several other friends who are single and childless. Their schedules allow them to go out and be with friends at times when I can't because Rit is already in bed. So, more often than not, I will be home while my friends are out and hear about their fun later on.
There are benefits to being a single mom as well. The only schedules I have to worry about are mine and Rit’s. We can go where we want without having to see if someone else wants to go as well. Once Rit goes to bed, I have my quiet time without interruption.

Someone said to me recently that the arrangement ExH and I have is great because I can be a single mom half the week and a single woman the other half. I agreed, but then I really thought about it. While I may not have my son 3 days a week, I am still his mom 24/7. While, it is great that I can go out and be with my friends on the days that ExH has Rit, I don’t think that makes me any less of a mother.
I realized recently that it has been over 9 months since ExH and I separated. Yet, I have not been asked out on a single date yet while several of my friends who became single after I did have been on several dates. The biggest difference is that I have Rit. I knew that being a single mom would make dating more difficult, but I don’t think it really sunk in until this recent realization. Juggling being a single woman and a single mom is no easy task. I look up to the mothers who are able to do it and hope that one day I can be as good at it as they are.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Kentucky Renaissance Festival

This past weekend I attended the opening weekend of the Kentucky Renaissance Festival and it was a blast. I have been attending renaissance festivals for 13 years now. This is the first time I really attended as a single person. I am so glad I did too.

The weekend started Friday with us camping at Lake Jericho. A group of us have been camping there every opening weekend since 2008. It started as 4 people. This weekend there were 11 people camping! We had a tent compound going on. I carpooled with my brother and another friend. We were the 2nd car there and set up our tent as soon as we unloaded. As the other friends arrived, we helped them set up tents and got the fire pit started for dinner. I was worried it might be weird for me to camp in the tent alone as I have never done that before, but it was just like going to be alone at home.

Saturday we got up at 6am to get breakfast and get dressed for the faire, which opens at 10am. Our campsite is 20 minutes away. We barely made it in time. It takes awhile to get dressed, especially when we are adding extra layers due to the unexpected cold. I won’t bore you with all of the details of the day, but there were many great memories made. I truly enjoyed my first faire as a single lady. That night we returned to the camp site and made dinner again.

Sunday we woke up, made breakfast again, tore down the tents, and returned to the faire.

I enjoyed being able to go around and do my own thing, see who I want see, shop where I want and for however long I want. I think this time as a single woman is doing me a lot of good. I am realizing the benefits of it, learning new things about myself, and having fun.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

First Birthday Planning

Rit is quickly approaching 10 months old (next week!) which means his first birthday is not far away.

When ExH and I first separated, we hoped that we would be able to have a joint birthday party for Rit. However, as the separation and divorce progressed, it became apparent to me that a joint birthday party would simply cause a lot of stress for everyone there at a time that is supposed to be a celebration. To be honest, I am not ready to be around his girlfriend yet. Not because she is his girlfriend, but because she was once a friend that betrayed me in the worst way. I also want to invite several friends and family who do not want to be around ExH, some of whom ExH does not want to be around either.

In my gut, I knew he would not take it well so I came up with a compromise: we each throw our own, separate parties and on Rit’s actual birthday the 3 of us go out to dinner. This way, we could invite whomever we wanted to the parties without issue, yet still celebrate Rit’s birthday together. I felt this was fair as per the divorce decree, I have Rit on his birthday this year (ExH will have him on his birthday next year) and this way ExH will still get to see Rit on his birthday. When I messaged him this proposal, his immediate reply was “I guess that works. Kinda glad to know I’m still a monster. Though I really don’t like being excluded from that kind of thing.” This response upset me as he seems to think that everyone should have forgiven him by now and that he should no longer have to deal with the consequences of lying and cheating. Later on, a friend sent me what he had written on Facebook about it where he was saying that I was keeping him from his son’s first birthday activities and that he would never do such a thing to me. Both times, I bit my tongue to keep from saying what was really going through my head.
Later on, ExH did message me again and apologized, agreeing that this was probably the best option. I was glad to see that and I hope that these negative responses from him become less frequent and he realizes that I am not doing this to be spiteful or hurtful towards him, but trying to do what I feel is best for me and Rit.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Divorce Hearing

The divorce hearing was just as anti-climatic as I expected.

My friend S came over that morning to go with me to my hearing. We dropped Rit off with my parents and made it down there with 30 minutes to spare. I am a stickler about being early or on time. Finding a parking spot downtown was not easy, but we were able to find one close enough to the courthouse.

Once we got inside and through the metal detectors, we found our way to the 3rd floor and checked in with the bailiff. My lawyer had not arrived yet, so S and I waited out in the hall. ExH arrived and checked in as well, then sat next to me. It made a little uncomfortable, but my lawyer showed up soon after. She let the bailiff know she was there and off we went to pay additional fees and finish signing all of the paperwork. Once we got back, we went to court. My lawyer asked me several questions, essentially making sure that I understood everything I signed, that I felt it to be fair, and that I believed that ExH had told the truth when he filled out his paperwork. Then she called ExH up and asked him the same thing. Then the judge granted us our divorce. We left and finished signing all of the paperwork (I swear we signed more that day than when we got our marriage license!). After that, I looked at ExH and said “See you Thursday,” and we left.

To celebrate, S and I met up with our friends J and B and the 4 of us went out for sushi. I had a great time. Later, J gave me a ride around the parking lot on his motorcycle, so now I can say I have ridden on one.

I am very glad that it s now over and done. I feel like I can officially start a new chapter, just me and my son. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Story Before Divorce

With the divorce done, I feel ready to share my full story.

There really were a lot of red flags in this relationship. I should have left ExH a lot earlier than I did. There were so many little lies here and there. I would catch him in a lie and he would apologize. Just as I would trust him again, I would find out about another lie. So why did I marry him? Honestly? Because I loved him. I truly loved him. And I kept hoping that if we got married, he would stop lying to me. Naïve and stupid I know.

The marriage did not even start off great. The one request I had was that ExH not go to a strip club for his bachelor party. And that’s where they went. Everyone told me that nothing happened there, only to find out two months later that he had several lap dances. I was furious. Not because of the lap dances, but because that the people I considered my friends had just lied to me.
Our honeymoon did not go well either. We had rented a cabin in Gatlinburg, TN. Earlier that year we had gone on vacation there with a couple friends of ours and had a great time. I was excited to go and see everything with ExH. He wanted to stay at the cabin the whole trip. He did not tell me this until later. We had a lot of miscommunication about what we expected and as a result, I felt like I ruined our honeymoon. He moped the entire trip and rebuffed every attempt I made to make things up. I wanted to go home early since it was obvious it was not salvageable, but we stayed. Its funny how for the first year and a half I was married, I remembered all of the great things about the trip. Now, I also remember the bad things. A defense mechanism I suppose.

After that, things started getting a little better. I had not found out about any other lies in awhile. I was starting to trust again.
Before I go into this next section, I need to give some background. About three months before we got married, one of our friends, L, moved into our spare bedroom because he needed a place to stay. Things were going pretty well. About a month after the wedding, another friend, S, moved in. They began dating at that time. Two months later, T moved in.
The first few months of everyone living there seemed to go okay. Then it started going downhill. I was clashing with S very badly. Before this we were best friends. She was used to having and running her own home where this was my first home and I wanted to have it set up our (my & ExH’s) way. L sided with S on almost everything (obviously). The problem was that ExH was siding with them too. ExH had lost his job about a month before we got married and was now working at a shop in the mall for 11 hours a week and paid minimum wage. This meant that 1) he was home all day and becoming closer with L, S, and T and 2) I was the one working and making the money. Of the five people living there, I was the only one who worked steady hours and made a steady paycheck. As time went on, I began to resent them for it. No one helped me with grocery shopping despite repeated requests. If cleaning was done, I was made to feel guilty because I had not kept things cleaned or I did not immediately recognize that something had been cleaned by ExH. I believe the worst part was when they would all go out and do things during the day when I had to work, yet were always too busy or tired to do things when I was home. I was feeling rejected in my own home. With ExH siding with them on almost everything, or making me the “fall guy” when he did agree with me on something, I was feeling like it was me against everyone.

To add to the stress, in April (6 months after we were married) I received notice that I would be losing my job that September due to outsourcing. I had hit my breaking point and from there, I fell hard and fast. My bipolar disorder became out of control and I could not see it. I was mood swinging very hard, very fast, and lashing out at everyone around me. In July, I finally started seeing a psychiatrist and started a mood stabilizer. I could feel it working. I was very hesitant about taking medication because the last time I had taken an anti-depressant, I went through some very bad side effects. After a few weeks on the medication, the psychiatrist upped my dosage. ExH and S kept saying that they needed to up my dosage again because it was not working well enough. I said no because I wanted to see how I did on the current dosage before I asked to have it upped again. Later on, ExH said that this is when he was ready to end it. We never got a chance to up the dosage again because in early December, I found out I was pregnant despite being on the birth control pill. I had to do some digging, but I discovered that the mood stabilizer I was on had a chance of interacting negatively with my birth control pill. This was not in the original literature I was given and came as a surprise to me. I was weaned off of my medication and I started taking prenatal vitamins.
As I advanced through the pregnancy, I was more insistent that S and L move out (T moved out shortly before I found out I was pregnant). I also started to realize how bad my actions had been and started apologizing. More than one night, I would lie in bed crying, afraid that ExH would leave me, and him assuring me that he loved me and would not. (With my bipolar disorder, something happened during the pregnancy that stabilized everything. I continue to see a counselor and she says that she sees no reason for me to return to medication at this time. We continue to do check-in appointments to see how I am doing.)

In March, almost a year and a half after I was married, S and L moved out. Two days later, I found out that ExH had been having an emotional affair with a friend of ours. I was completely crushed. I was so angry but I wanted to try and work things out for our unborn child’s sake. I told him that I was ok with him talking to her as long as they did not hang out alone and she did not come over unless I was home. That did not last long as they soon made the affair a physical one. For the next several months, she lied to people about what was going on, ExH lied to me and others about what was going on, I was lied to by others so that they could be together, and desperate to try and save my marriage, I believed ExH. He would tell me he was not talking to her, but then I would find out that they had been texting for weeks. He would say that he was not seeing her, only to find out that they had been hanging out together after work when he had told me that he was working late. In August, our baby boy was born. I was dealing with a failing marriage, a newborn, and being a new mother all at the same time. It finally got to the point where we separated because what we were doing was not working. I hoped that time away from me and the home would help him realize what he was giving up. Instead, he broke more and more promises to me and lied to me even more. It was becoming apparent that even though he said he wanted our marriage to work, he was not willing to do what it would take to do so. A month later, just over a week after our 2 year anniversary, I told him that he needed to choose between her or his family. He chose divorce. I cried for hours after that. I never thought I would be divorced, or a single mother. Yet, I was about to be both.

Over the next few weeks, I dug deep and found the strength I needed to get me through this tough time. I knew I needed to be strong for my son. I needed to do this because staying only gave my son the message that lying and cheating were okay. He deserved better than that.

Even now, after the divorce, I continue to catch the lies that ExH is telling me; lies about such small things that it makes me wonder if he is even capable of telling the truth.

In the end, I learned that while it does take two to make a marriage either succeed or fail, in the end, it was his choice to have the affair and his choice to repeatedly lie to me. And it was my choice to divorce him and pursue a better life for both me and my son.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Bipolar Disorder

Several years ago I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. It has been a rough time as I learn how to deal and live with it.

I have discovered two things about my disorder: 1) major stress is a trigger that makes it get worse. The entire year of 2010 is a great example of this. 2) I have realized that a certain type of event triggers the depressive cycle. These two things have helped me manage the mood swing cycles, particularly the depressive end of them.

Once I realize that the sadness is part of the bipolar depressive cycle, it is easier for me to handle and I seem to get back to normal quicker. I feel that pinpointing the reason for it is what helps me.

The hardest part is making sure that I don’t say or do anything that could alienate any of my friends. I am torn between becoming anti-social and hiding away while I go through it or reaching out to friends so I don’t feel alone (which can make it worse on me). I am always scared that when my friends see me going through a cycle of emotions like that as quickly as I experience them, it can throw them off and scare them away. I am not always the most coherent when cycling so what I try to say is not very clear. I tend to ramble as well because I am trying so hard to get that message across. The general message is almost always the same: Something happened that caused me to feel alone or unwanted and all I want at that moment is to be told/shown that I am not alone and that my friends do want me around. I know this thought sounds like an obvious realization that I should be able to reach on my own, but when I hit that state of mind, self-realization is a difficult thing.

Whatever caused me to be upset may seem petty, but telling me that will only make it worse (I usually realize that I overreacted afterwards, but it never seems that way during it). The best things to do is to try to understand why I would be feeling that way and tell me so, and help me realize that this was the exception and not the rule. When one of my friends did this, it helped me so much to know that someone understood, that I was not alone and I was back to normal the next day.

Unfortunately, bipolar disorder is one of those issues that not only affects the person with the disorder, but the people around them too. We know we can be difficult to deal with. I don’t know a single person out there who has this disorder that is happy that they have it. Some of us need medication to help control it, sometimes just counseling or therapy. We all need patience and understanding though. Every day, I want to thank the friends that have stood by me and been there for me during my bad days.

Do I worry about how this disorder will affect Rit? Always, which is why I am working so hard to control it and I continue to see a counselor about it. I worry that Rit could possibly inherit this from me (or ADHD from his dad). I am hoping though that he will end up “normal” in that sense. Only time will tell. I can only hope that by then, if he does have it, I will have the answers he needs.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Saturday I attended an event called Castleteers. Twice a year this event happens. It was started by a few for a group from a forum we are all on. The event happens at Loveland Castle.

Loveland Castle has an amazing history. The man who built it is just as amazing. It was started by Harry Andrews in 1929 for his Boy Scout troop whom he called his knights, and later became the first Knights of the Golden Trail. Sir Harry built 90% of the castle himself, and worked on until he died at the age of 91 in 1981. The knights are the ones who finished, and continue to maintain the castle. I highly recommend looking up the history and reading about the castle and Sir Harry Andrews. Better yet, visit the castle.

This was my 4th gathering of the 12 Castleteers events they have had. Many of us consider it the kick-off to our renaissance faire season. The next gathering in the fall is the closing of our season.

The day starts with me getting dressed up in my garb (a requirement for the party): skirts, leggings for additional warmth, chemise, corset, jewelry, boots, and cloak. All the while I was making a dish called Monkey Bread in the shape of a castle. My friend arrived and we loaded up my car with everything we would need to stay the night at the castle and our food offerings for the pot luck dinner.

Loveland Castle is a museum, a tourist attraction, and home to the Knights. They open their gates at 11 am to the public. Admission is $5 to be able to walk through the castle and the grounds (very much worth it!). We arrived at noon. I have been visiting the castle for several years. In 2010, D and I were actually learning the facts of the castle so we could help give tours. Whenever I am there, especially in garb, I try to help the Knights with greeting visitors and helping out around the castle. On this day, one of the original Knights came to visit! It was such an honor to meet one of the men who are the reason we have the castle today. The castle remained open until 5pm. After that, we “closed” the gates (I say that with quote because the gates remained open for those arriving late) and it became a private party. The bed-spots were claimed (I got the spot next to the fireplace!) and the food came out. It was a party of food and fun with friends. A night like that leaves me very happy and looking forward to the next Castleteers event. I lost track of how many times I went up and down those stone stairs. In fact, I am still sore from it all. But every pain, scrape, and bruise is also a reminder of the good times I had with my friends.

It is events like these that remind me that I am better off without my ex-husband. This was by far the best Castleteers event I have attended, and the first one I attended alone. I think single is something I need right now.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Dating Anxieties

Friday, a friend of mine told me that she has a guy she wants to set me up with. It is an old friend of hers. He was visiting and made comment of “I’m single so if you know anyone…” and she thought of me. She showed me his picture and told me a bit about him so I told her to go ahead and set us up.

I started thinking after that. I have not been on a first date in over 5 ½ years. All together I have been on 4 first dates: movie with my ex-fiancé, comedy club with my ex-boyfriend, double date dinner with a blind date that did not go well, and a movie with my ex-husband. With everyone, except for the blind date, I was already friends with them before we had our first date. While I did have first date jitters with them, I was already comfortable being around them.

Here I am, about to start dating again as a newly single woman, and I feel so unsure. What is expected on a first date? How do I dress? How much information do I give? (She has already told him that I am about to finalize my divorce. I am assuming she will warn him that I am a mother as well.) Do I call or wait for him to call after the first date? Should he pay if he is the one to ask me out or do we split the check? I am sure that between now and I am asked out for the first time (whether it be him or someone else) about a hundred other questions will go through my mind. I am about 99% sure that I am worrying over nothing and that I am making a bigger deal about it than I need to. But alas, this is me.

Updated August 2012: I never did hear from him. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

RenFaire Fever

It’s that time of year again. Spring is here. The weather is getting warmer; flowers are blooming, birds are chirping. But most importantly, faire season is almost here!

Now what is faire season? I attend Renaissance Festivals every year. This will be my 13th year attending the Ohio Renaissance Festival actually. We call ourselves Rennies. Faire season is the time of year when our local renaissance festivals/faires start up. For some areas of the country, it has already started. For those in my area, we are about to start. My faire season runs from March/Aril through October/November depending on when certain events happen.

It starts with Castle Day at Loveland Castle this weekend. Next weekend we have our semi-annual Castleteers gathering. These are akin to a “rennie reunion” before we start the multi-weekend festivals.

The most anticipated event within our group though is the opening weekend of the Kentucky Renaissance Festival in Eminence, KY. It has become quite a big deal in our group. Several years ago a few of us decided to camp for the entire weekend and attend both days. We had so much fun that it became an annual event and we have more friends wanting to camp with us every year. I was unable to go last year since I was 8 months pregnant, but this year I am able to attend and am very excited about it.

What is faire fever? I think the best way to describe it would be the excited anticipation of the upcoming renaissance faires leading to desires to watch medieval themed movies, research new outfit ideas, look up new garb, play faire music all day, and the only thing you can think about it the renaissance faire. It is rather contagious in our group. Once one of us starts talking about it, it will spread like wildfire. Currently, there are several of us discussing it, looking at purchasing new items in anticipation of camping and of the faire, and just being generally excited that we will get to go and see our friends again.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Dating Qualities

I made the decision to not start dating until after my divorce is final (May 7th!).  However, that has not kept from thinking about dating: what I’m looking for, what are my deal breakers, etc. I put together a top 5 list of my wants, and of my hates.

Top 5 qualities in a partner:

1) Honesty. If I find out that the person is lying to me, then that is it. It is one of those lines where I do not need to know everything, but do not lie to me. After my last marriage, dishonesty is a deal breaker.

2) Family. Having a son, whomever I date needs to realize that I come as a package, and to be with me means being with my son too. I do not plan on introducing any guy I date to my son until we are serious, but it is something to be aware of. Also, what is their family situation like? I know that you cannot tell a book by its cover, but the blurb can tell a lot as well.

3) Patience. Between my bipolar disorder and the trust issues I have as a result of ExH, I will need someone who can be patient with me and understanding.

4) Responsible. The person must have a decent job and be financially responsible. While I was with ExH, I was the breadwinner for our entire marriage. It put a lot of stress on me, especially when I lost my job for short period. I do not want to feel like I am taking care of someone who is supposed to be my partner.

5) Open minded. I add this because I come from a very conservative family who judge those who are not like them. I am not like them. I lead a very interesting life with many interesting friends. I am hardly what anyone would consider normal. If someone were to judge me for enjoying dressing up in a corset and going to the renaissance festivals, or for the friends I have, or any other lifestyle choice I have made, then they are not the type of person I want in my life.

Top 5 deal-breakers:

1) Lying. If it is early on in the relationship, even a little white lie can end things. If I have been with the person awhile, any lie of substance will give me cause to give them the boot. I saw the kind of person I became when I accepted lies from the person who said he loved me. I do not want to become that person again.

2) Cheating. You think this would be a no-brainer, but I still took ExH back after he cheated. I deserve better than that and will not allow myself to accept that again. Also, if they have cheated on a significant other in the past, then I will not date them. I used to believe that "Once a cheater does not mean always a cheater" however I seem to be proven wrong over and over on that.

3) Close-minded/judgmental. I lead a very interesting lifestyle. I have very interesting friends. None of which would fall into the realm of normal by society’s definition. In fact, we take great pride in the fact that we are who we are and do not conform to what society says we should be. We enjoy who we are and if someone is going to judge me for that, then they do not deserve to be a part of it.

4) Dislike of the renaissance faire. This may seem strange, but the renaissance faire has been a part of my life for 13 years now. I have made many wonderful friends as a result. They were there for me and supported me through my surprise pregnancy, my divorce, and several other moments in my life. If someone wants to be a part of my life, then they need to be at least accepting, if not a participant in this aspect of my life.

5) Make me choose between them and my son. Sorry, but my son will win this every time. I don’t think I need to explain this one further.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Divorce Story

Once my divorce is final, I will post the story of what happened leading up to the divorce. For this, I will post about what has happened since we separated.

The short version of the story is that ExH had an affair, and I found out about it when I was 5 months pregnant with Rit. I wanted to try to work things out. He said he did too. That obviously did not happen.

On Sept 6, 2011 ExH moved out and into his parents’ home. The plan was for us to do a trial separation in the hopes it would save our marriage. Nothing else was working. Rit was only a month old.

Throughout the separation, I found out he was still lying to me and seeing the girl he had the affair with behind my back. On Oct 11, I confronted him about it and told him that I have had enough and that he needed to choose between her and his family. He chose divorce.

In December, I found out that he had started dating the girl. I was very hurt and upset. We had not even filed the paperwork yet as he said he wanted to wait until after the holidays. It had only been two months since he said he wanted a divorce. I decided I was not going to wait for him. On December 20th, I met with a lawyer some friends had recommended. I really liked her and decided I wanted to hire her.

I told ExH on New Years Day 2012 that I had retained a lawyer (I had already sent in the money but she did not receive it until January 4th). That did not go well. He accused me of going behind his back and asked me how bad I was going to “screw him over”. I remained calm and told him that I felt that I needed a lawyer to make sure that Rit and I were taken care of and that everything was handled correctly in the divorce. He calmed down several days later and we discussed it.

I filled out several affidavits my lawyer sent me for financial and property information; all required to file for divorce. On Feb 17, 2012 the paperwork was filed with the courts and ExH was served via certified mail. We were given a pre-trial court date of April 5th to go before the Magistrate. We also had to take a class on “Helping Children Cope with Divorce” since we have a child. I admit, I did laugh about it as Rit was only 7 months old and had no idea what was going on. The class did provide useful information for when he is older though.

Since ExH and I were getting along, we had been discussing the division of finances, property, assets, custody, etc. We made sure to email each other as well so we had a paper trail. I forwarded these emails to my lawyer and she drew up a proposed agreement on our assets and on custody of Rit. On March 9th, the proposal was mailed to ExH. We met up a few days after he received it, so he had time to look it over, and we both signed it and I mailed it back to my lawyer. She filed it with the courts on March 21st. Our April 5th court date was cancelled and we were given a new court date on May 7th before the judge. This will be our finalized divorce hearing.

I admit that I am excited that the end of this process is near.

I have had a few people ask me about how things are child wise between ExH and myself, mostly other moms on their way to becoming a single mom. I am lucky in the fact that ExH and I can get along well enough when it comes to Rit. We can set aside our issues with each other and have a good conversation. We both love him very much and want what is best for him. So with that said, our set-up is not the usual set up many parents have with their child’s other parents.

What is our custody set-up like? ExH and I are splitting time with Rit 50/50. I drop him off with ExH on my way to work Thursday mornings at 7 am. He has Rit from then, until Sunday where he drops Rit off on his way to work. Then I will have Rit until Thursday. It is a set-up that works well for the 3 of us. I have received several raised eyebrows regarding this set-up considering how old Rit is (almost 8 months). Most fathers get one day a week and every other weekend. My response is that this is what works for ExH, me, and Rit. And as long as Rit continues to thrive, then I see no need to change it.

With 50/50, is he paying child support? No he is not. This is by our choice, not the courts. We came to an agreement that we feel benefits all 3 of us. He covers his health insurance, I get the tax credits, and we split any additional costs such as child care, medical costs, etc.

Who is the residential/custodial parent then? The answer is both and neither. With a shared parenting plan such as ours, we are both considered the custodial parent. However, my address will be the one provided for medical visits, schooling, etc. My reasoning for this was that as it currently stands, I have a house and a permanent residence. ExH is currently living with his parents and is unsure where he will live as he is looking for better work outside of the city as well as within the city. Using my address, we will not have to worry about changes of address as often.

How did you divide the holidays? I wrote down all of the holidays important to me, and the few I know are important to him, and came up with my proposal on how to split them. He apparently found it fair and agreed to it and that was added in to the custody agreement of the divorce. We will alternate years on Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Rit’s Birthday. I will have him on Mothers Day, Christmas Eve, and until 1pm Christmas Day. ExH will have him Fathers Day, the last half of Christmas Day, and the day after Christmas.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Welcome to my blog. This is a blog of variety. I will post about my life as a single mother, issues of going through a divorce, dealing with the divorce, dating as a single mother, dating in general, troubles with redecorating my home, etc.

A little about me: I am different that is for sure.
As I wrote above, I am a single mother to a wonderful little boy. He is my world and he will always be first to me. I also have a 2 1/2 year old mutt whom I adopted from a friend when she was 3 months old. She has been a great companion for the last 2 years.
I met my soon-to-be-ex-husband back in 2004. We began dating in 2006, got engaged in 2007, bought a home and got married in 2009, found out I was pregnant in 2010, had our son in 2011, separated shortly after, and are currently in the process of a divorce.
I was raised Roman Catholic but converted to Paganism 9 years ago. I am a very spiritual person and while I enjoy a good discussion on religion, I am not one for debating it. I stand by the belief of "Do not force your beliefs on me and I will not force mine upon you."
I love attending the renaissance festivals and I am even a licensed wench (visit for more information). This will be my 13th year attending my local renaissance festival. I do dress up in corsets and bodices and have created a persona for the festivals. I have enjoyed it greatly and have made many amazing friends in the process. I am sure there will be posts regarding this as well!
During the regular work week, I am an accountant. I have an office and work the standard hours. I enjoy my job, but its hardly something one could consider exciting.
Finally, my main hobby, aside from the renaissance festivals, is writing. I love to write, especially fiction. I have not been published yet, but my dream is to one day be a published author.

I will probably talk about several different people on here. In order to give some sort of privacy, I will simply use nicknames to refer to them. For instance, when I discuss my soon-to-be-ex-husband, he will be referred to as ExH. I will refer to my son as Rit. I think you get the idea.

So welcome and happy reading!