Saturday, April 14, 2018

Living the Life!

If you live in Northeast Wisconsin, or well really anywhere in Wisconsin, you might just be homebound for the entire weekend. We get a ton of snow some years. We're all used to driving in this. So why are there so many cars in the ditch! We got a foot of snow at least today. And tonight we're supposed to get another foot to foot and a half of snow. My only hope for tomorrow is that whatever caused my snowblower to stop working today is better by tomorrow! I think the gearcase got too much ice around it. Hoping that's all it is because I don't want to replace that and wont be able to do it if I have a foot of snow in my driveway preventing me from getting to the hardware store. Before getting it going in the first place I had to fix the starter rope. It broke off the handle and apparently I'm the only person who knows how to fix it. I showed the little guy how so maybe by the time he's five he'll be fixing things for me.

With all the snow I wanted to go sledding but I was overruled by a four year old. We stayed in and watched Prince of Persia after the first round of snowblowing and shoveling and then watched the first Harry Potter after the second round of snowblowing and more shoveling and a very very long nap for my two boys. One of my boys has a bit more hair than the other! No room left for me on the couch.

Tomorrow, more snow. More board games. Keeping a four year old entertained indoors isn't easy. Though he did ride his bike in the driveway today! Only my child would think a blizzard is a great time to get out his bike.

There are lots of things on my to do list for the house. Some of that can get done tomorrow too. Small repairs, patching up some nail holes, and painting a couple areas. I debate whether to sell the house this year. I love my home and realize I always have. I love my bedroom, how I have it decorated and painted. I love this room and the layout of my house. I would really like another colonial style home. But a single mom with only one child left at home has little use for a colonial style home with so much room. I've been looking at duplexes in the area my family lives in. I think it's likely I'll buy one of those for the short term and live on one side and rent out the other. Then someday maybe I'll rent out both sides. And if I don't have a tenant, well a duplex isn't more than what I currently pay so I know I will be fine financially. Emotionally though. It's going to be difficult.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

My Name Isn't Michael

I'm a woman. I was born female and identify as moderately girly and not particularly masculine.

I have been called Michael instead of my given name. I've had men say that I'm intimidating. I've had guys question my sexuality. I've had former partners leave saying they needed to "learn how to be a man again". I've been told I shouldn't hammer down nails on my deck because it's not girly. Well mister, you going to do it for me? Didn't think so... I've been told I shouldn't know what a jig saw or skill saw is, that I shouldn't own my own tile cutter and circular saw. That those are things for men, not for women.

One of my good friends said I intimidate men because I am a capable woman and men don't know what to do with a woman who knows the difference between a phillips and a flathead. I think she's right to a degree. I think there are still a lot of men out there who think women should sit and look pretty and shut up. I'm not that kind of woman. I'm the kind of woman who looks hot holding an ax. I'm the kind of woman who will tell you my opinion on just about anything. And I'm the kind of woman who will call you out for trying to fit me into your stereotypical gender box.

I think all people regardless of their gender identifiers should have some basic knowledge of how to handle stuff. The basics of unclogging a toilet, turning off the water supply, and the difference between screwdrivers. Besides how would a woman change batteries in her kids toys without knowing what kind of screwdriver to use? All the damn things now are screwed down because some kid somewhere ate a damn battery! Whats next. Seriously.

I'm proud of my ability to build a custom closet insert for the kids to have their own locker like space. I'm happy I can sledgehammer down an awful tile shower to save myself hundreds if not a thousand dollars on home repairs. That money is better used elsewhere. I'm grateful I know basic plumbing to put in new sinks and faucets. I like that I know how to use a steamer to remove atrocious wallpaper. It's awesome that I can clean my own gutters. I love that I put in my own carpet. I'm not afraid to use an ax to split a log while wearing a dress and heels (Okay, that day I was wearing flat sandals). I'm glad my dad taught me the basics of doing things for yourself. The ability to do any of those things does NOT make me a man or masculine. It makes me a woman who is capable of handling her shit.

I'm also proud that I can braid my own hair, do my own highlights, organize a dinner for 25 people, host family gatherings, and so many other things. I love dancing, picking out throw pillows, doing fun activities with the kids, getting massages, and so much more. These things don't make me feminine either though. 

There's been lots of times I've had a man in my life. And there's been lots of times I'll ask them to do something for me. Not because I can't do it, but usually because I have no desire to do it. And eventually it seems I end up doing it myself anyway. I'm not the girl who's going to nag you 1,000,000 times to flip the screen to the top of the door and the glass to the bottom. No, I'm the girl that will ask twice then do it my own self. I hate when the kids push on the screen and I have to fix the screen ten times in a summer. And I would love a guy in my life who would see his kids do that and correct it himself. I'd love a guy who would sand the stairs with me. Or put up a fence with me. Or paint the kitchen with me. But they say, no I'm not going to help because I can't do it as well as you. Well how do you think I learned? By doing it myself. And I'd love the help. Or at least someone to hang out with me while I do it myself if it has to be that way.

I feel that the last guy I dated didn't want me to teach his daughter it's okay to use a hammer. He wanted me to paint her nails. I love painting nails. She however is rarely patient enough for that and would rather play cars with my son. I used to do my nails every single Sunday with my daughter. But that doesn't mean I didn't teach my daughter about tools too. I felt that he didn't want his daughter to think it's okay to use a saw and build something for herself. He wanted me to clean the house and do my hair. That's the example I was supposed to be. I'm not your 1950's housewife. I'm not opposed to being a housewife. My day would look like this: Kids to school. Me to the gym. Walk the dog. Get a massage. Clean a bit. See what's needed to be done on the to do list. Mow the lawn. Replace the cabinet handles and latches. Get the kids. Make the dinner. Some days I' might sit on my butt and do nothing. If I were a stay at home wife, my steps would be refinished right now and I'd be working on my hardwood floors next. I'd be at the gym. I'd get my hair done and nails done too. Power tools and painted nails are not mutually exclusive. Though I can't paint my nails because of my job so toenails it has to be ;).

Men who are secure in who they are as a man aren't offended by my ability to use a power tool. Many of them think it's awesome too. Men who think boys shouldn't play the clarinet and should only play the tuba or "manly" instruments are the one's who are intimidated. A secure guy isn't going to feel less of a man because of the instrument he loves. A secure man isn't going to feel less because his woman can fix a sink faster than him. Tubas, trucks, big muscles, and sports don't make a man manly. It's all about attitude and presentation. I can look quite feminine holding that saw. Or I could look masculine holding it depending on my attitude, overall appearance, and how I present myself overall to the world. And a man can look quite feminine bending over the hood of a car to check the oil too. Depends on more factors than what you have hanging between your legs.

My name is Michelle. I am feminine even when holding a circular saw or a 110 lb barbell. I am exactly who I was meant to be.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Putting Life Back Together

Breakups suck.

Yesterday I was officially "alone" in the house. He and his kids are moved out and it was just me and my little guy. Going from four kids running around to just one kid chilling out... it was a bit eerie. Too quiet. I've gotten used to the noise. I can actually sleep through all the kids attempting to murder each other ;). But now they're not here. Now he's not here. I've done this before but this time feels different. Two divorces. One relationship that was on and off before this one that was totally toxic. And one guy I loved but left because he was sacrificing his happiness for mine.

My first night missing half my family was spent having a sleepover with my lil man on the couches. Watching Ghost Busters (the old version) and eating candy till we passed out. Then this morning I had to get busy putting my life back together. Filling the empty spots in the house where their things were and attempting to close the spots in my heart where they all fit. It's not going to be easy to do the latter. The former is easier, less stuff in the kitchen and I can't reach the top shelf so move things down and I can at least open a cupboard without seeing the spaces they were. I know they're not "things" but it was their presence. And now there is this lack of their presence.

I knew this was coming but was hoping it wasn't. I found things had been hidden from me and he couldn't get over a picture behind a picture on the wall. I lost trust when finding out those two things. But then I found out my dog has cancer and one of my very close friends passed very young. So those two things I found out within days of each other had to wait till I processed the more traumatic things. I was hoping we could find a way to rebuild the trust he broke. I was hoping he was willing to do that. I would have given him yet another chance. And for a moment he said what could he do to rebuild trust. Then he was just done. Days went by. Then weeks. Then he said he wished I'd never found out and we would have been just fine which damaged trust further. He never planned to tell me. I felt more and more like two separate families living under one roof. That wasn't okay with me. We were supposed to be making this our family. I had plans before I met him for my future. Then I met him and his family and made plans for our future while he was still just planning his as he said.

My needs weren't being met for stability and emotional security in a relationship. His needs weren't being met either I'm sure. We couldn't talk about expectations and I needed to. I think it's healthy to talk about that. One person can say this is what I need and expect. The next says I can do these things but not those. Then the first person decides whether they can alter their expectations or not and continues or bails. I stated my expectations. I wanted someone who would be part of my family. Someone who would decorate Christmas trees with me. It didn't happen and I didn't "retaliate". I wouldn't do something he asked, said it made me feel controlled and if I did it I'd end up resentful. So then he refused to do something to get back at me. I get done at a standard time and his shifts vary in length day to day. Which meant I never knew when he'd get home. So I couldn't plan our evenings together, couldn't plan dinner, and then there was no choice but to continue my night hoping he would be in a good mood coming home. It wasn't healthy

Despite that there were so many good things. The weekends when we would all be here together doing things with the kids. Them laughing and playing together. He and I sitting together, talking about all the things that were going on in the world. The comfort we felt just being together. The give and take in the kitchen. The companionship that came so easily. The physical contact, the hugs and touching throughout the day. And yes, the sex was amazing. I trusted him completely. And that really hurt when that broke. We enjoyed enough of the same things and had enough differences to work well together. We were great with the kids as a family and we were great with just the two of us when they were with their opposite parents. We took naps on our free weekends. He zoned out watching You Tube while I played Candy Crush next to him. It was easy. We were easy.

Now that's all gone. And I'm left putting my life back together.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

My Rules for Sex and Dating

After nearly two years, I'm back!

I've spent 6 years in and out of two relationship. We got together, he broke up with me. I forgave and accepted him back. Took time off. Repeated that process of break ups and reunification with another relationship. I've learned from this and from the history of the relationship before it. Hopefully this will help me to have healthier relationships in the future.

I've had some rules over the past years and I think they're important.

Sex Rules:

Rule 1- NEVER sleep with someone if you don't know their last name.
Rule 2- NEVER sleep with someone your friends have dated or are dating/married to.
Rule 3- NEVER sleep with someone that is friends with your ex.

Those are the firm three.

Rule 4- Know someone for three months before sex.
Rule 5- If you can't talk about birth control and STD's, no banging allowed.

Those are more gray. Sometimes you really connect with someone, like my last partner. And it was closer to 6 weeks. But without a three month rule maybe I'd only make three days. Haha. And birth control, I was on it so we didn't talk about it but the STD rule, definitely. I didn't get this far in life to pick up something now. You need to know so you can make the necessary precautions and choices.

Dating Rules:

Rule 1- if you text/call/contact 3 times with no response in the early dating phase without a response, take the hint and walk away. And if he texts you days later, he's not worth your time. The other woman he was texting probably fell thru so now he's back to you.
Same goes if you're the only one initiating conversation in early dating. Take that as his way of not showing interest but being to nice to just ghost you.
Rule 2- if he ghosts you don't waste your time when months later when he finally sends a random hook up text. Block and move on.
Rule 3- Your interests don't have to line up perfect but your morals and general long term goals should. If they don't, save yourself the heartache and move on.
Rule 4- If he says he's deleting his online profile for you and you find out he's active on two more sites, block that guy and walk away. You deserve better!

Firm Dating rules:
Rule 1- First sign of physical abuse, RUN.
Rule 2- First sign of emotional abuse or manipulation, run.
Rule 3- If he's not nice to you then wants to pretend everything is great and gets mad if you call him out on being rude or mean to you, run.

Rules I'm adding to my dating life:

Rule 5- if he breaks up with you for ANY reason (like he uses his zodiac sign as a reason you are not compatible) don't take him back. Don't take any man back. It just teaches them they can treat you however they like and they'll still have someone to fall back on. Don't be their back up plan.
Rule 6- Break up immediately if someone withhold serious life information. Like if after months or years he says, "hey babe forgot to tell you about a whole 'nother family". RUN. "Oops, forgot to mention I'm married". RUN. Just run. It's one thing to be like hey forgot to mention my ex and I went to this location you want to go to for vacation because I didn't want to hurt your feelings versus withholding information about his family circumstances, criminal history, and serious life events. If he said he was only married once and you find out it was twice... Run then too. That's a serious breach of ethics.

With all that said and done for now, it'll be a long while before I date again. I need to get my house in order to sell and move closer to where my family is. That's my priority. I took quite some time off dating before this relationship too and it's time to do that again. So no, I'm not free market material here. I'm not interested in casual sex. And I have no desire to start any relationship anytime soon.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

There's Beauty in Every Day

Sometimes it's just hard to see it. Most of us are overworked, over stressed, and over tired. Some of us are dealing with extremely stressful situations; the loss of a family member, chronic pain, mental illness, financial insecurity... the list goes on. But regardless of how craptastic our lives sometimes get, there really is something beautiful to be seen every day.

Every day on my way to work I drive about an hour. Most days I can appreciate how beautiful the sky is and ignore all the factories and businesses lining the highway. Even at work, I sit here and see the bridge going over the river and the water rippling under it. Or just glancing up at night on my drive home (second shift) and seeing the stars and moon.

But I am very thankful that I have some really beautiful trails I can walk as well. Here's a couple recent pictures :).
 These first two are from the Fox River Trail. It's just an easy trail to run because it's so wide. Taking the large jogging stroller and the dog is easy when passing people.

And this one is from the East River Trail. I even got to see some people Kayaking along the river on this day. It was absolutely beautiful out. I ran four miles on the first trail, and three miles on this one. Just perfect days this past week!

I know sometimes it's difficult to find anything good in a day. Sometimes the world seems dark and horrible and sad. And sometimes it doesn't always seem worth getting out of bed in the morning, but I promise it is. Six months ago it was really really hard for me to see anything good in any day yet every day I actively tried to find something happy and beautiful. Well, I see my awesome kids and they're beautiful but something outside my own life. And looking outside our own lives to find something that shines a little bit to you really helps keep this whole thing we're doing in perspective.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Life Plans? Haha

Is there ever really a plan? I'm not so sure.

I have plans. I have plans to get in super awesome shape. I took a little over a week off with the vacation and a really excessive amount of yard work. Plan was back to it today but we had a parents group event that could NOT be missed! It was the Big Rig Gig in a city really close to us. Lil man got to "drive" semi's, a fire truck, dump truck, garbage truck, and even a police car! He had a great time climbing in and out of all the cool trucks. We missed going in the Humvee but he was way more interested in the semi's.

So tomorrow right? Back to the gym? But nope, I'm doing something way more important. Bringing my son to see his brother. I can't wait for them to have some time together! With their dad being basically absent they really don't see each other ever. It's good that my son's brother's mother wants to hang out with us too! 

Saturday night maybe. After little guy goes to bed, it's pole time for me. Put on the music and just dance. Especially now that my skin is feeling much better from last weekend! A bit burned on the belly, thighs, and chest. No peeling yet so I think I'm in the safe zone :). 

And I have plans to be financially ok. Which is sort of the case. I owe a private loan of a lot of money and a slight amount on my medical that would have been paid off first I didn't have my car break down twice in the last couple months and secondly I could have not gone on my very much needed vacation. 

And I have relationship goals. Well I've had relationship goals since I was 5. And that's probably the most significantly stressful part of life. There is one person in charge of my workout routine generally other than the small ways of activities getting in the way. There is really only one person in charge of my finances other than the unpredictable breakdowns on the car or random home repairs. But there is one thing you will never ever fully know, the mind and heart of another person. I want safety and security in a relationship. And hopefully that is how things will play out but really even after ten years with one person I thought would always be there, he left without warning. Everything can seem doable to you when the other person just wants to walk away because that's what's easier to them. I want what most people want. To wake up next to someone who loves you as much as you love them every single day. Someone who drives you nuts in all the right ways and puts up with your pet peeves and knows the little things that make you smile. Someday maybe. Until then, dating will suck and I'll keep planning my life around me.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Weekend Getaway!

This past weekend was Mothers Day weekend and I'd been having a pretty stressful time about a month ago dealing with an absent father for my son so I decided we'd take a trip away to escape Wisconsin for just a bit :).

We went to Carlsbad, California. We spent a day in San Diego at the zoo and we spent a ton of time sitting next to the ocean the rest of the time! Lil Man loved the sand and the waves. He kept running from them so they wouldn't touch his toes and get his feet wet. And he climbed on the rocks pretending to be a dinosaur and named one of the rocks Petrie for his favorite Land Before Time character.

The little guy was amazing the whole time. He cried twice, when he hurt his knee and when I made him eat the lunch he asked for :). Kids, they're funny sometimes. He has been the easiest traveling companion I've ever traveled with. I don't know that I've ever met such a laid back and easy going kid. And having only a two year old to talk to I was expecting to be really burned out by that by the time we flew back and I wasn't. Did help that I have some awesome friends who texted with me on Saturday! But truly he and I were so busy just enjoying the weekend I didn't have lots of time to text or chat with friends anyway.

This was probably the best weekend I've had in months if not years! I loved my trip in September with my parents but that was before surgery where everything still hurt. This is my first pain free vacation and just being able to fully enjoy it was more than I ever expected I'd be able to do again. I was able to chase my son on the beach and run through the waves with him. At the zoo I decided to forgo a stroller and carried him on my back and shoulders when he didn't want to walk. Things I couldn't have done before. Short months ago even when I was sleeping I was still aware of being in pain. And now this, it really just makes me realize how lucky I am to have a second chance to be alive basically. And I plan to continue to enjoy my life much more and see more of the world than I have before. And I'll see the world alone if I need to, I shall not be stopped!

Here's just a couple pics of us...
At the zoo

Just before Sunset