Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Family Court Gives Me Ennui

The family court system is broken. Shocker.

'Don't say anything negative about the other parent to a mediator' I have been told. Why would I say anything negative? The interview is about the children, right? All I want is for him to get some counseling like the rest of the family. I told her that I supported the recommendations of the therapist, but if he would agree to ongoing counseling, perhaps there was less immediate need for a psych evaluation? I want to know that he is helping himself so the kids can see him again regularly. I told her I have no desire or intention of keeping them apart unnecessarily. I want to know that he understands that depression doesn't just go away on it's own, and that nobody can deal with the death of a child on his own. He broke. It was serious. I have compassion for these issues. Compassion is positive; I want to move forward, not back!
A psych evaluation will show us, however, the real potential in that desire becoming a reality.

The interviewer never asked more than two questions about our children to me. Instead, she sat in front of me, sighed, and said, "I am required by law to give you this domestic violence questionnaire." And then she proceeded to do so. She asked about the incident in April and any threats made in our history. Then she finally asked where our children go to school and how they are doing emotionally. That last part took about five minutes. For five minutes she heard me talk about our children, then cut me off.
Seems to me that it would be very difficult to say nothing at all negative about a person when being questioned about how he hurt you (a document she could have looked up - his own police statement) and what he was yelling at you while he did.
I told her, "He can be a good father - there was a time he was a good father! He loves his children."

Do you think she told him that?

She wrote that he denies the incident happened the way I describe, and that he believes I planned the assault, in order to gain control of the children. (Again, I defer to the police report.)

Does it sometimes seem that there are more problems caused to all parties when someone erroneously suggests that the family should then spend another few thousand dollars to further incite and inflame this situation? Let us review a portion of the California Family Code, section 3044:

"(e) When a court makes a finding that a party has perpetrated
domestic violence, the court may not base its findings solely on
conclusions reached by a child custody evaluator or on the
recommendation of the Family Court Services staff, but shall consider
any relevant, admissible evidence submitted by the parties."

That makes sense. I would love to see it come to a reality.
I don't see here, in our specific situation, where our children are being addressed. How does bleeding the parents dry serve to consider our children first and foremost?

Just sayin.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Bubbles' First Poem, (as dictated to me yesterday, randomly and all at once in the car)

and hurt
and sad
and scratching

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Is This A Soap Opera?

The day he admits that his violent and unnecessary actions have negatively impacted our children, and that listening to our child scream, "Stop, Daddy! STOP!! Stop breaking mama's arm!!" should have been enough to stop him from continuing to hurt me, will be the day we move forward for our children.

His action, not his absence, was the catalyst here.

Instead, we are in a place where I have been accused of 'planning' the whole incident to get him out of my life.

Which, if you think about it, makes about as much sense as a spleen.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

How to Party Like A Pirate: At your fourth birthday party...

Bubbles wanted a pirate party.
Well really, he wanted a pirate party and then he changed it to a spiderman party and then superman with purple sparkly wings and then demanded live monkeys and giraffes and I just kept nodding and affirming and planning the pirate party. Because, OMG, I was not taking my stressy Virgo brain back to a starting point on this party and he had asked for a boat and castle. And the freaking pirates.
So, pirate party it was.

After the sick ones had been weeded out canceled, we had about seven friends his age coming, and their very welcome gaggle of siblings. And their parents, whose help was infinitely helpful in pulling the event off, food and all.
I wanted to plan a treasure hunt for the kids, but ended up creating the 'earn your way to being a pirate' treasure hunt rewards, and saved the actual treasure hunt for a pro.
Meet my friend the BoS's son, Gabe.

Dude. He made this awesome map:

And then he bravely took the pirate wannabes and turned them into full fledged pirates, with each new treasure map challenge.
Armed with bags, we started off to hunt for our first necessity: gooogly eye patches!

After we were properly armed with less eyesight than moments before, we headed over to dig for some buried treasure (glass marbles and jewels)....

And then over to the trampoline to search under it for bilge rats, bats, and giant spiders...

Then we were so exhausted from all that activity that we had to stop for some pirate sustenance: Peel your own apple on the cool spiral apple peelers and then roll it in chocolate sprinkles ants. The line for this activity was impressive!

Yum, ANTS!!!!

After a hearty snack, they headed up to the hills in search of the famously rumored gold, and lo! There WAS gold in those hills! And plenty of it! Go forth and pillage, ye pirates!

The loot was good!

After the looting, there was really only one thing left to do....fight each other with swords for it!
A duel!
These swords were the favorite part of the party - they kids dueled for hours. Literally, hours. And nobody got hurt!
I made them from pipe insulation (6 ft for .98 = 3 for $1!) and felt (handles) and electrical tape. Total cost for 18 swords? About $11.

The big and little kids loved them. In fact, this is what most of the rest of the party looked like:

I must stress, nobody was hurt!

The scalliwags were then convinced to take a break from the sword mayhem to ransack the treasure chest, which I made from this pattern, and I think ROCKED.

All pirates took home an extra bit of booty at the end: A thank you message with candy and beads in a bottle.

ARGGGHHH!!! I pulled THAT one off!!!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Key Lime Bars of Best Deliciousness


Want to know how I made them?

Because, really? Wow.
They were delicious!!!

Okay, fine.


Sunday, November 01, 2009

We Made It!!

This morning Bubbles woke up and asked me if today was The Big Day.

Bubbles: Today is my birthday, Mama?

Me: Yes! Today is your birthday!

Bubbles: Today I am four?

Me: Yes, today you are four! Happy Birthday!

Bubbles: Oh, I'm four? I keep saying, 'am I four?' and you keep saying, 'not yet!', BUT I MADE IT!!!!


Happy Birthday, Bubbles - every day you bring more joy into my life than the day before.

And, since you share my silly sense of humor....

I hope you like your cheeseburger cupcakes.

Love, Mama.