WIP: Doll, De-Clutter, Divorce

Today’s Wednesday and I’m supposed to show you my WIP except my camera’s gone missing. So, instead of showing you, I will tell you that I am working on this pretty little doll also from Milky Robot. This is the second pattern I’d won on her giveaway post. One panda is complete (you’ll see him Friday if the camera turns up) and the other panda is 80% complete. The patterns are crystal clear and easy to follow. They’re not inundated with pictures but you’re not left unsure what the heck you’re supposed to do. My panda doesn’t look like her panda but I went with a very different approach facially and I’m still not great at sewing all of the parts together (you’ll see what I mean).

Something else I’ve been working on is de-cluttering of course. I’m on a year-long mission to go through my house space by space and purge, clean, and organize. So many changes already, and it’s still so early in the year. There is definitely a lot of truth to the idea one can only handle so much stuff. The less there is, the easier it is to keep neat and tidy even with three mini godzillas precious angels running around. This week, I got a couple of boxes my grandmother had in her garage that were mine and started picking through those. One was full of photos—old photos. Photos from before Ex and I separated. Sorting through the pictures, and chucking so very many away, made me realize a few things.

Uno. He really did/does have an alcohol issue. Just because you’re a mostly functional alcoholic, doesn’t mean you’re not an alcoholic. Most of the photos he’s in feature him holding some sort of alcoholic beverage, or passed out behind a row of bottles, or show boxes of beer in the background. He needed a drink every day and didn’t care what it was. I remember on days we didn’t have beer or wine or mixers, he’d pour himself a glass of straight vodka on ice and drink that—usually more than just one.

Dos. We were really, really young (I was also super skinny holy crap), quite foolish, and badly misguided. He really did not want the family life. It’s obvious in the photos too. So many of the photos that have him with one of the kids, it’s with him on the sofa, looking away from the camera at the TV, with a kid on his lap or next to him. There’s one where Eldest was just a little fat infant and he was smashing his nose and the face Ex was making… just total annoyance and irritation. It hurt to see that. When he was looking at the camera, he was usually frowning or deadpan. The only exceptions to these photos are family, friend, and group photos. In other words, he was only happy being a family man when others were watching.

Tres. I really don’t make a bad mom or even wife or even friend. I know I made some mistakes, but I also admit I was really young and really scared about what was going on. I was also stubborn and likely suffering from post-partum but too proud to seek professional help. And yet, I saw in so many pictures all of the handmade cards I’d made him and the kids. You should’ve seen all of the cakes and treats I used to make for birthdays and holidays. When it comes to people I care about, I’ve always made a concerted effort to spoil them rotten—even if the favor is unreturned.

I’ve done a lot of purging this month of really old things tied with lots of emotions. It sucks while at the same time soothes. But, it really is very easy to get rid of things when you’re in a world of hurt. I reduced three big plastic bins of my old keepsakes down to one. I whittled down two overflowing photo boxes to one with a bit of room. I know I can do more and get rid of even more, but it’s also tiring and in the case of photos, tedious. So, I’ve made my first round and I know that when it’s time to get into the living room, I need to make organizing photos a project. But, I’ve got a great start and even found two empty photo albums.

Meanwhile, I am not reading anything at the moment which is just crazy considering the insane pace I’ve been keeping. I have finished Outlander (fun) and Organizing from the Inside Out (meh). I just can’t decide which book to read next from the several I have available to me. But, it does feel quite good to be reading voraciously again and I’ve decided to revise my reading goal after all. Initially, I’d set my brain to read eleven books and crochet eleven projects this year. I’ve read sixteen books already and we’re not even done with March. So, I’m going to go with 60 books as my new challenge because challenges are supposed to be challenging. At first, I was thinking 48 but then I was like, “Hey! Stop being such a wussy book worm, nerd!” and I changed it. So, for the love of Shakespeare, please send book suggestions my way. I’ve found several other book worm bloggers that I’m following and am blatantly stealing ideas from them but they may not be enough! I also pillaged Time’s list of 100 best English language novels and took my first round of picks from there as well. Although I do have a page here entitled Books I’d like to Read, I’ll probably keep it to about ten to fifteen titles long. The majority of my “to read” list is on Goodreads (sorry NicoleandMaggie).

Tomorrow’s the big day. I did talk to Ex yesterday and he’s definitely not going to the hearing which is a relief for me. He’s also making some sort of payment today, but I suspect it will only be half what he’d promised me. I’ll enter the final amount he’s in arrears for tomorrow with the income garnishment. I just don’t think he’s going to ever catch up otherwise. Because it’s half, I don’t have to borrow money from my parents, but I’m not sure I’ll have a very good rollover for next month. Since he’s starting a new job in the next few days, I am sure there’s going to be income issues as there’s always one delay or another with a new job’s first paychecks.

I just keep chanting “It’s almost over” between deep and steady breaths alternated with stuffing junk food in my mouth.

Last night, I made Peanut Butter Cookies—from scratch. That’s right: this working single mom of three made cookies from scratch on a weeknight. And they were delicious. Even my Mom said they were and even Abuela said they were ok (she actually said they were “rico” but very begrudgingly). The other night,  I asked my mom if she had any good general reference cookbooks she didn’t really use anymore that I might borrow (forever, sorry Mom) and she brought me two. These might really get me going in the kitchen. It’s nice to have a couple of big books like this. There’s options, but not too many options that you’re overwhelmed like what happens when I do recipe searches online. They’re reputable cookbooks and I really love working with a recipe. The cookies were made with a recipe from the ever classic Joy of Cooking. I had all of the ingredients on hand. It turns out, I enjoy baking. I was reminded of this while looking through those old pictures too.

Maybe I’ll have a Divorce is Sweet Dessert Party.

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23 thoughts on “WIP: Doll, De-Clutter, Divorce

  1. What age did you give birth to MutantEldest? I had my eldest at age 20 back home in Miami and I swear, looking back on the memories I have of that time and all that I battled (very bad post partum, personal demons, still GROWING UP while learning to be a mom, toxic relationships that formed, working full-time with no help, raising a boy when I had no clue how to do so with no family nearby-only friends that had no children to teach me the works lol, just to name a few – lots more), used to be very hard for me. I used to beat myself up over my choices and decisions I made back then after being scolded by the absent-father for being a horrible mother (when now I realize it was just to cover himself up for being the ahole non-parent that that he knew he was) but now that I’m just eight years older, I feel that I have matured into the supermom I am today all because of my past (albeit a rather gray one). Looking through old photos (something I did a couple of years ago after a breakup with the man I dated for the five years that passed after my son was a year of age) had me reminiscing on all of that and I gained a sense of closure in all of it…I really wasn’t the person I beat myself up about. Even though my past was rocky I still managed to raise the amazingly caring and gentle boy that is still my number one today 🙂 LONG STORY short: sorting through old memories and trinkets IS soothing with an emotional side dish to work through, but, I think it is all a part of the process of moving on…we all do the same at some point in time. You rock!

    Reply
    • He was born the week before I turned 23. I found out I was pregnant only eight months after his dad and I started dating. It is true what you say about your past building your present and your future. You can’t have one without the others. Thank you for your comment. It’s very touching and encouraging when I hear from other strong women who’ve gone through their own struggles and come out winning.

      Reply
  2. I’m impressed with how you are handling what you are going through. Sounds like you are going to be much better off when all is said and done. I like your idea of reading 11 books and crocheting 11 projects!

    Reply
  3. The Joy of Cooking is awesome. I’m not sure what #2 has against goodreads… it may just be she’s pro-librarything.

    I’m also impressed with how you’re handling things. Life is definitely going to get better.

    Reply
  4. Sounds like you’re going through some rough stuff, but it sounds like the pictures and old papers really helped you realize some important things. That’s great. Stay strong!

    Reply
  5. Purging and decluttering always makes me feel in better control. It’s definitely therapeutic despite how grueling and slow going it can be sometimes.

    Just about every photo I have of me with my dad when I was an infant was when he was drunk. I’m both sad for both you and your kids for having to go through that too (it sucked), but also very glad that they will have a more stable environment moving forward.

    Here’s a post with his photo in it..it so reminds me of your above description.

    http://firstgenamerican.com/2010/08/26/verbal-abuse-brainwashing-and-personal-finance/

    Reply
  6. Beautiful post. It’s amazing how freeing it is to purge things that have been in your life, and even one time meant something to you, but now just takes up space. We’ve done that recently to our house and feel like the world has been lifted off our shoulders. Good luck with the rest of it. Relish it.

    I can’t wait to see the doll. I loved the picture in the link you posted.

    Reply
  7. You always seem to have sooo much going on! I think you’re a very strong woman and as the saying goes, “what doesnt kill you, will only make you stronger,” You’re awesome! 🙂

    Reply
  8. It sounds like the purging has been really therapeutic for you. I am always in some sort of state of decluttering. It helps me clear my mind.

    I love that you read Outlander. I love that series. If you haven’t read it already, East of Eden is fabulous. Amazing.

    Reply
  9. I remember getting married at 20(what was I thinking) and having my son right after my 21st birthday. Its amazing how strong we can become.

    Congratulations…bake away and enjoy..you have earned it

    Judy

    Reply
  10. I’m in the middle of the sequel to Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber. It’s not as juicy but a good long read.
    Your doing great and, yes, you should have a nice divorce blow out. I don’t have the excuse of being too young or scared. I walked right into that fire pit (AKA- my first marriage) knowing what would happen!
    My daughter never new a time when her dad and I were together. She cherishes any and all photos of the two of us before the divorce.

    Reply
    • Since I have three, they have different concepts of their father and me. My oldest knows we were together and aren’t anymore. Obviously, he’s the one who remembers the most. In his room, I kept a photo of his father and I holding him while he blew out his first birthday candle. My daughter, I think, has some idea of her dad and I being together but hasn’t figured it out. She asks if we’re going to get married for instance and the other day asked if a poster I have in my room was of me and Daddy kissing (NO). Of course Baby probably has no idea about his dad and I being together. There are some photos of us together in scrapbooks and photo albums but none of just the two of us– no couple shots. I got rid of those. Maybe it was a bad idea but I didn’t want to entertain ideas of him and I getting back together if that makes sense and they just bothered the hell out of me because I felt they were so damn fake. I imagine my kids will be fascinated with whatever photos exist of us together but there aren’t many.

      Reply
      • I don’t believe in bad ideas. We just do the best we can with what we have. When our kids grow up they will tell us how our actions effected them. When that happens I plan to do a bunch of listening!
        About 10 years ago a book came out- it was a 25 yr study on kids of all ages that came from divorced families. I wish I could remember the name of it! There was one thing that stuck with me: The kids were different ages, divorce happened at different stages of their lives but one of the consistency when interview was that the divorce never ended for the kids. Some of them felt shut down from a parent when they would ask questions about the marriage or divorce. I know for myself after the initial divorce I went on with my life. This reaction made so much sense to me and has given me the perspective I needed. 12 years after my divorce my daughter still wants to hear the story of why I left my husband and nice stories of when we were together. If I hadn’t read this book I think I would have tried to blow her off or been perturbed about repeating these stories over and over.

      • Yeah I’ve heard children hold on to the idea of mom and dad reuniting for WAY longer than either parent would even imagine. Very interesting on how they handle it versus the adults. I do think the key is to listen and let them guide you in your reactions but it is a very uncomfortable situation as well.

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