Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Starts with a C... by Thomas

Letter C... this year must be a year starting in C... How odd when you think my uncle's name starts with a C. Anyway, one thing you should know about my uncle is that all his life he has been working, never taking a day off or vacation... Also he is gay - this would be irrelevant if not for the fact that he never had kids... Last year he retired and suddenly was left with nothing today - good situation to become crazy.

But My uncle also loves dogs, and he considers them as his kids (I remember this tiny dog he was feeding cereals and yoghurt in the morning and first quality beef in the evening, and he became so huge)...Anyway, loving dogs and needing to find something to do, he decided to start breeding colleys. He bought a young male shetland, then a female... unfortunately, the male had trouble understanding what he was supposed to do ( I suppose) and for the first 2 years, nothing... but then it happened... 5 little puppies: Chico, chakira, chester, cigale and corti... new little babies in the family... Now my question is... will he sell them or fall in love with them??


Monday, May 21, 2007

Off to World's!!...by kim

Well i will not be blogging for a little while, about 4 days...However, the ever so talented with words...Thomas...he can post:)

We are going to Pickles competition for Odyssey of the Mind!! It is very exciting...The blog that I made for the team is HERE!!

We are having a huge trauma in our house though, thanks to my ex! He is not letting Cheese go, and since it falls over part of his weekend, it is his choice! He was able to go to the State Competition and when Pickles team won, he was sure he would be able to be a part of the World Championship adventure! My parents are even going to drive up from Chicago to stay with us, so he is also losing time with his Oma and Opa! My ex seems to think that it is me that wants to have him by my side, and does not see at all, how much he is hurting his son! I mean really people, if he doesn't go, I don't have to Pay for the bus fare that is over $100 and food and etc..it would save me a lot...It would be more relaxed for me to NOT have him there, as I would just be with my parents staying in a nice hotel and Pickles is really going to be doing activities mostly with his team...BUT I would love for him to experience this! This would make him have a zest for continuing his education, we will be on a college campus, experiencing all these unbelievable experiences....When he is in Odyssey of the mind next year, he will be able to tell kids, and motivate them to getting to worlds, cause he saw his brothers team go....I know kids who have participated in Ootm for years and years and never won...Pickles had done it for 5 years and not won anything past regionals 3 times, and states they won, one year 18th place! This year they won 2nd place...it's a huge deal!! There will be teams from all over the world and he will miss it!

We have tried not discussing it much when he is around, but these past weeks everything has revolved around going to worlds...with meetings and parties and fundraisers and press stuff....SIGH

I had told his father right in the beginning how important it was, and he said, I'm gonna have to say NO! Then the enrichment teacher asked if she could do anything because she works with Cheese and has already mentioned him being in the enrichment program and would love for him to experience this...I told her, NO that would make it worse...I relayed to him that she wanted to talk to him and that he did not have to make a decision right away, and that if he needed to take his time it was no problem, the teacher was willing to save him a seat just in case...i tried not to give him any pressure at all!

This really sucks, doesn't he get that it would be easier for me to have him stay home and that this is an opportunity for him to experience something that will make him want more in life?? ARGGhhhh

This morning, Cheese woke up, he had wet the bed, and woke up at 5 am, and had a hard time back asleep, so when I woke him up for schoool, he just was crying and sobbing...I kept him home, he just needed the rest! That is the other thing, he gets no sleep over there, so when he comes home, he has bags under his eyes and sleeps so soundly at our house that he wets the bed...

I guess this is life, and there is nothing I can do, it helps to vent, but not really! Not when I feel a little boys pain, and his own Father can't see it...

And yes, I offered his Father to make up the time, and even offered him double time...NOPE, he just has to say NO!

This time is a Happy time for one child and a frustrating time for the other, and trying to keep both kids emotions protected is not an easy thing! Not to mention they just plain don't get to share this memory......it hurts, it hurts real bad!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

My little Brie...by kim

My little Cheese...

For about, ohh...2 1/2 years now, he has been obsessed with France! Hohoho, I wonder why that could be??!

The other day, he told me this in the car....We were talking about setting our minds to things, and using a positive attitude...and I was talking about how everything is really attitude...For instance...If you say...I will get an A on that paper...you can, not by magic, but because if you say you will get an A to yourself, you will work for it and try really hard...As opposed to saying...OOh, I'm so gonna fail that test...Well DUH, you'll get a bad grade, not because you are so prophetic, but because if you say you will fail, you won't even have to bother trying...So I was telling them they could do anything in life and that a positive attitude will take them where they want! And Cheese says..."Well I already do that, I mean I say all the time...I WILL live in France someday, and I know I will!!" And trust me...that kid will live in France one day...I guarantee it!!

Just yesterday in their enrichment class, the project was to make a dream catcher and write 4 things that they dream of doing. On Cheeses Ojibwa dream catcher he has listed:

I will dream to be a professional Rugby player.
I will dream to be a professional Soccer player.
I will dream that I live in France!!
I will dream that I can speak French!

around the edging they write what they don't want to dream about...He wrote...I won't ever dream of being poor.

He's such a cool kid, I mean seriously..this is my little cheesenova! He is a charmer and I do believe thinks he is part french:)

When he was asking when the frog and I would be getting married...he was wanting part of the frogs last name...and we were saying, no it's not possible, you have your name and that will stay the same...and he was insisting...NOOO...I mean after you get married...and we were saying still no....so he gave that look, that look that tells me...we'll just see about that!!

At school, they are writing notes back and forth to each other, they each have to pull a stick, and then write something nice about the person they pulled....Here was his first letter that he got....
Dear Cheese, I think you are the most handsomest boy in the whole school. I think you make friends with everyone. I think you have the best clothes ever...
Love, Evan...ooops:)

My little Cheese is wonderful and he dreams of being french...how sweet is that:) So, do you think he likes my frog??

Monday, May 14, 2007

The bond of brotherhood...by kim

When I asked Pickles if he wanted to walk over to his brothers school to pick him up and then walk into town to the library to meet me, I was not surprised that he was happy and eager to do it...He loves getting these types of responsibilities and takes them very seriously!

As I was driving to the library, I saw them walking...Hand in hand!! At this point they had walked about 3 blocks from the school, I'm sure passing many friends of each of them...They could have gotten teased...BUT it wouldn't matter! Pickles is very protective of his brother, I see that often, but I just assumed it was because he thought I was watching. They had no idea I would be driving by them and seeing them holding hands, to them it was just normal. They love each other! They have always been wonderful, caring brothers. And they get plenty of lectures about the bond of brotherhood from the frog...(some that have me weeping and them hugging each other tightly, the frog is very very close to his little frog:) I love this photo, seeing them without them seeing me:) Seeing them how they are when I am not watching:) THIS makes me proud!
And this makes my heart warm and fuzzy, when they saw me, they dropped hands and ran to see me:) Being a Mother is wonderful!

I have people that ask me, you can leave your boys home together? AND they don't kill each other...I thought that was SO weird...They have never fought, they don't have any jealousy..they are always thinking of each other...I hope their bond is as tight when they are adults as it is now:)

BEEP BEEEP!...by kim

Guess who got a cute little snappy car???

Yes indeed another Mother's day gift for me!! No the car is not for me...The frog bought it for himself, as he was stressing every time I was driving and realized that after 2+ years, it is his turn to drive:)

This is just wonderful, I tell you, because it will make our weekends so enjoyable!! Before I used to leave work at 6, to pick him up at 8, to get dinner out near the train station, drive home to arrive after 12am...to spend time..you know, cuddling;) and then to wake very early to work all day, to be exhausted, to stay up really late to spend time together to wake up the next day very early to be with the kids and then drive him back to the train station leaving at 7pm, to get there around 9...for the train to leave at 10, and me to arrive back home after midnight..to talk on the phone saying how much we hated this schedule and missed each other...to starting the week out exhausted and never catching up on sleep...

I will finish work at 6, prepare a nice dinner, wait for him to arrive around 7 or 8 at the latest and start our weekend on the best foot ever! Relaxed and with each other:) He can leave either late Sunday night or early in the am on Monday...I'm voting for the early morning on Monday:):)

Have I said lately...Life is good!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

A Mother's day to remember!

My Mother's day was so fantastic! I just love these three guys! They put their brains together and made my day so memorable!

First of all, let me say..without knowing it...I slept until almost noon!!!!!!!!!! I cannot believe it...I thought the frog was next to me the whole time, when in fact he woke up very early with the kids and they all went to the store, to get some items they needed for b'fast and let me sleep in...Picture a totally quiet, dark house...just cool enough for the sleep to be so comfy and cozy...

They came in to wake me up and bring me to the deck...where I had this waiting for me!! Can you imagine, never have I ever been so surprised! Actually that is not entirely true, just yesterday they surprised me completely with flowers in beautiful wrought iron boxes to hook onto the deck...They took me in the house, covered my eyes and brought me to my deck..that was normally, just empty...and they girlied it up for me:) They are soooo wonderful! I can now enjoy my breakfasts and dinners with my 3 most favorite boys in the world! Ahhh, life is good! Happiness is Bliss!

Second I would like to say...

Happy Mother's day to all the wonderful Mothers!! I was blogging in my mind about making links to each one, but that would take all day, as everyday I cruise the blogosphere, I come across more and more wonderful Mothers! Just a few that I think are special are:

Kim - Someone that reminds me of my own mom!
Antipo - I wish I had her wit and creative ideas for what she does with her kids!
Doc - I admire her strength and the funny twists she puts on situations!
Wendz - A mother who doesn't realize just how great she really is!
Mausi -A sweet kind mutti, that I wish was related to me somehow!
Buzzgirl -A single mom, that deserves every bit of good in this world, oh and a hot french b/f:)
Jessica - Someone I know would be a good friend if she lived around here!
Deb - The cutest new mommy, who has been waiting for this little baby, since I began reading her blog:)
Pam - A wonderful spirit and I bet her girls would tell me, the most wonderful special mom!
Riana - Another wonderful new mum, that amazes me everytime I open her blog as to what she is making these days!
Nik - Someone who has fun with her life and daughter and handsome husband
Chris - Another mom who is witty, funny and makes me wish I had her writing talent!
Corey - Someone who is just beyond special in a spiritual way, that everyone should strive for!
Aimee - One of the other new mommies that are going to raise wonderful smart happy children
Ali - A beautiful mom, with such talent and spunk, that when she is with her kids, I bet the world stops for all of them!
Marion - A very cool and hip mom, that if I only had a smidgen of her decorating talent..I'd be happy!

I know that there are soo many out there that I have not mentioned and honestly I could go on and on...

Just reading about you and your families and the way you handle life, in the little glimpse I see...I admire each and every one of you! You are truly special people!

And for Jen Sam, Jenand B...One day, I cannot wait to read about your families, I know that when that time comes, you will all make wonderful mothers!

To everyone else that I did not mention, Have a wonderful day yourself and enjoy your families! Everyone is special when they are a MOM:)

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Weird humans... by Thomas

Today in the bus, i was looking around... people's attitude, and so on. And I realised something. We might be a social animal, but we hate contact with strangers...

People sit as far from eachother as they can, when forced to sit in between two persons, either they stay up or they will reluctantly sit making sure that they are not touching the other people. Also, people can't help looking at eachother, yet when eyes cross, they turn away as quick as possible. Guys can make the analogy with the public restroom - same...well not the eyes, but you always do your business, first as far away from the door, if someone has taken that spot already - as far as you can...

And you know what, the bigger the city, the more the phenomenum... Actually if you think about it, people in smaller villages know intimely more people than the ones in big cities.

We indeed are a weird social animal.

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Sunday, May 06, 2007

And this is our new president... by Thomas

I will say I am not totally unhappy he won. Not that his personality attracts me, or that I think that he has the feet big enough for the shoes of president, but he definitelly has more the charisma and competence to be president than his opponent.

But rather than discussing the president, I would like to discuss about what I think happened to the socialist party and what should be the next step. (not that I hold the universal truth on the subject, yet I have my opinion)

I knew since Royal has been elected as the socialist candidate she was going to lose, it was so obvious that I do not get that no one voting for her saw it coming. She won against DSK, the social-democrat, and Fabius, the new-born leftist, by attacking them over and over again, yet not really proposing anything.

Anyway, today the socialist party(PS) lost for many reasons

  • THE PS DID NOT DO ITS HOMEWORK: After the defeat of 2002, the PS had 5 years to really think about its future and the direction it wanted to take. Instead they just opposed during 5 years every decision from the gouvernments without bringing any proposals. Then she got elected on nothing, and started doing her participative assemblies... mmm what has been done during 5 years???
  • THEY FOCUSED ON THE "VOTE AGAINST" RATHER THAN "VOTE FOR": Because no real policies were thought through (remember the debate? her magic answer wasfor every question, we will negociate with the syndicates), they adopted the strategy of the TSS - in english everything but Sarkozy. As I mentioned in a previous post, rather than convincing people to embrace their project (which they didnt really have) they focussed on making everyone believe their opponent was the new Adolf Hitler. French can at times be uneducated, but they are not that stupid.
  • PROMISES OF FUTURE WITH SOLUTIONS OF THE PAST: this is a critical point that really killed them. THere is this idea in France of "Left". It is a nice word, but the problem is that the ideology behind it is from another time. Unlike most socialist parties in Europe who actually know success, our glorious PS still believes that the future is with the trotskists and other communists. They failed to see the aspiration of the people to the social-democracy (just look European countries) and let this big idea available to Francois Bayrou who, let it be remembered, was politically dead after 2002. They could have listened to DSK... Anyway, utlimately, a lot of people who do want some social in politics dont and cannot recognize themselves in policies influenced by archaic communism.
  • PRESIDENT IS NOT MINISTER: I really have nothing against segolene royal being a woman far from it, but more than a statut, the presidency in France in an Institution that represent Power, and the idea of international influence. The President represents France, the President IS France. Everyone who tell you, a president is elected for his personality not his program or party - it is all about charisma, and perceived competence. Some may argue the point I will be bringing next but unfortunatelly they are facts. Let's first take the PS itself - 3 candidates at first, Fabius, former prime minister and minister of finance; DSK, highly estimated in Europe, former finance minister, finally Segolene Royal, former vice-minister of education, family and childhood ( I will let aside the ministry of ecology) whose minister said she was incompetant. On the other side, Nicolas Sarkozy, you may not like the man, but he is the president of the first party in france, and was former minister of finance and minister of interior. She may appear as someone fresh bringing some youth or whatever, but I am sure that ultimately her lack of important function, if was able to on short term impress the socialist partisant, on the long term did not help her. She proved, in my opinion during the debate, that she was not ready yet for such a big commitment.

And there we are on this 6th of May... She promises to continue the fight, but I would ask her what fight, and with which allies? I do think that Sarkozy was the best choice for a president (out of all the contestant), but it is important to now put some checks to his power - This will be tough since French love to have a strong president, and in my opinion will not be possible with a PS the way it is, and with its ideas developped during this campaign.

I may be wrong but the important question that the PS has to ask itself is what its ideology itself will be, and what direction it wants to take. On one side Fabius pushing the PS to the left, a DSK thinking that the social-democracy is what will save the PS, and in the middle, Hollande and his defeated "wife" wanting to get more on the left and the center at the same time. My opinion is simple, either the PS listens to DSK, which it did not so far, and there will be a scission within the PS between the ones wanting to stay on the extreme left, and the ones more prone to discuss with the center and Bayrou., or they go more on the left to resuscitate the "plural Left" and it will be to me the clinic death of the PS as most of its most brilliant elements will join force with the new created democrat mouvement. The position of Hollande is just not possible as even if they have common points, the economic view of the MD and communists is way too different. Social democracy, as it happens in most European countries, appears to be the best solution. The liberal forces of the PS associated with the MD would shift the center of gravity of French politics more on the right, yet would allow to combine the best of what can be done on the right with the best that can be done on the left. DSK already talking about major reorganisation and other socialists like Rocard or Krouchner already calling for alliance with the center - the next month, till the elections, will be very interesting.

As I said, all I wrote is nothing but personal opinion...


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Gearing up for a fight...by kim

Want to know something about me??

I hate confrontation...avoid it like the plague...my entire marriage was coddling an asshole that was not afraid of confrontation..in a passive/aggressive way. I spent my days walking on eggshells and unfortunately teaching my boys to do the same thing...until I realized what i was doing of course...then I left!!

I was living in a dream world, when I thought...okay..i gave him everything..every tool he acquired during our marriage...the full sectional sofa that was over 1500...the brand new bed mattress..the TV stand...my old headboard, my parents 12 drawer dresser...the shop vac..air compressor...3 TVs...new digital camera...we divided the cars equally..i traded mine in for a more reliable car...he stopped making payments...."to screw my credit!"....he did not pay child support for the first year...making me jump through hoops and promising me to pay.....I have from my marriage...a dining room set that my parents gave us..the table and chairs I gave to goodwill because all the backs of the chairs had been broken....a 10 year old 32 inch TV...a computer that was already 3 years old..and now is long long gone....a kitchen aid mixer...and maybe some small miscellaneous things..oh yeah, a twin bed that was given to me by a client..that I slept on for 2 years...

Our divorce has been held up by lawyers.....just not doing their job...his lawyer or my lawyer not really sure..nonetheless...it's been almost 4 years!

Tonight, when I casually asked him if he had heard from his lawyer and to give him my update...he said his lawyer wanted for all 4 of us to get together and hash this out...he claims..that in the opting out agreement...that it states that we had equitable property distribution...and he claims we never did...now we did not have a house or anything else..just the "things" that to my knowledge..have been dispersed...more than equally...he says..."I want Cheese for a tax deduction"..and I said...you are going to go to court for that..and he said yes he would..if i would not agree...he would take me to court for it...

I informed him that I had talked to the IRS and they said that whoever the custodial parent is (which is me) gets the child for tax purposes...and he said, exactly...which is why i have the paper right here that you need to sign only once saying that i get him for a tax deduction...

okay..so please comment...please give me some advice...please be blunt and tell me the truth...if you've heard of anything similar or know the legal aspect of this....just advice..please

I'm having that fight and flight feeling...that shaky, teeth chattering...sick feeling....like i want to run, scream and barf at the same time....


I am sooo NOT happy about these elections in France!! Why you ask?? Because Thomas has to vote on Saturday, so I will not see him this weekend! Booooo!

I am really just teasing. I know these elections are very important! Although, I have no idea who he will be voting for, I know who he will NOT vote for. Although I have not followed the elections first hand, Thomas does talk about it alot, they are very important this time around. It will be interesting to see how it goes, I'm not sure...Will it be really close? Will everyone be sitting on the edge of their seat??

So France, I am giving up my frog for one weekend...just for you...just for that one vote, that could make a difference;)