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December 05, 2008 - Friday, 12:28 p.m.

What happened to November?

Friday. It’s been a strange weather week. It was really warm on Monday and Tuesday and then it got VERY cold. Today it is hovering around freezing. The weekend is supposed to be warm, in the 60’s! That’s Colorado for you.

L & T got a new place to live on the north side of town. They are very glad to be out from under their current landlord. She never was very reasonable for them, so this is a good thing.

Alex ended up spending most of November with his Mom. After Halloween weekend, we had the boys the weekend of November 15th & 16th. It seemed to go okay. Scott went over his expectations with Alex on Sunday evening, which really weren't to extreme. Get's C's or better in school, take out the trash, keep your room clean and do your laundry (no dishes). About the only comment he made when Scott was going through this was that C's were too much to ask. They are just too much work to get!!? Scott asked Alex what he wanted to do, “Should he pick Alex up after school on Monday?” Alex went upstairs to think about it. (I was at my desk when Scott asked the question, but wasn't there when he got the answer) Alex said for now he wants to go to his Mom's. Scott told him he was okay with that decision, but that he really wanted to know the reason behind the decision. Alex's response, "I'd rather keep that to myself." This was what really hurt Scott. Not that Alex would choose to live with his Mom, but that he'd choose not to explain why to Scott. I figure it's one of two reasons... either he can't stand to be around me or he has an issue with not getting to play games. There could be other reasons, but I couldn't begin to guess beyond these two.

Scott's doing okay. He's hurt, but doing okay. I think men find it much easier to let their kids make the mistakes that they are going to make, where women worry about it through the entire process. Scott was making his own decisions by that age, so he handling it real well. Much better then I ever could.

About Tuesday of that week, Alex’s mom called to let us know that Alex would remain there for the rest of the week, and then she called the next week to let us know that Alex would stay with her until Thursday morning of Thanksgiving. So, even though from our point of view, Alex made his decision to live with his mom, that isn’t the impression that he gave his mom. Scott knows it is a game for Alex and possible Alex’s mom, so he feels that can just go on with this nebulousness until they make it official.

Uncle Wayne passed away Sunday the 23rd of November. He’d fallen and broken his hip the previous Tuesday, had surgery on the hip Tuesday, dialysis on Wednesday and was doing quite well on Thursday, alert and visiting. On Sunday morning he had a heart attack and died. There were some mummers that he’d fallen out of bed in the hospital on like Friday or Saturday, but it wasn’t listed in the reason for his passing. An era has ended for Mom. All of her siblings in North Dakota are gone now. Those threads that connected her to home are slipping away.

Monday around noon (on the 24th) Charlotte and I left for North Dakota and the funeral. Mom, Dad and Maureen left EARLY, early on Tuesday morning. There was a service at the funeral home on Tuesday evening and the funeral was Wednesday morning at 11 am. The graveside was at 2 pm in Granville. Uncle Wayne was buried in the Shipman plot in Granville at the foot of his father. We went out to the farm to wander around and visit with Bill. Bill let Mom know that he’ll be moving out of the farm house. He is unable to afford to fix it up (which is what he wanted to do) and so will be putting in a modular home in the yard to the east of the house. Mom and Dad “oh’d and ah’d” over the model information on the house, which was really nice for Bill. It seemed that he wanted her blessing, and she gave it to him. He told her that there were still the three bedroom furniture sets in the house, and that he wasn’t going to use them if she’d like them. I think Mom and Dad will go get them this summer. We headed home after that and I crawled into bed with Scott at 4:30 am on Thursday morning. It was good to see everyone. So sad that more and more often our chance to get together are funerals!

Our weekend with Alex and Bjorn went good. We had dinner on Thanksgiving up in Woodland Park. It was a good meal and so nice to get together! The rest of the weekend was uneventful. However, suddenly on Sunday afternoon Alex’s argumentative attitude started to get more prevalent. He started arguing with Scott about dumb stuff like keeping the cushions on the couch. He’d started the loud belching on Saturday and I made the comment ‘Excuse me?” trying to get him to say excuse me. He didn’t, he just made some joke about it. I work real hard all weekend to hold my tongue. If something bothered me I didn’t say anything I just let it pass. On Sunday after the cushion discussion I went upstairs to do the dishes, and Alex came through with the dog and belched in the kitchen. I said the “Excuse me?” again, and he went into the joke. I said something to the effect that he should say excuse me. He told me he was just being funny, and I said I know but still it would be nice to do the polite thing and that he hadn’t the day before. He said he had, and I said if he didn’t I didn’t hear it. He slammed outside, and I would imagine said excuse me to the backyard. I mentioned to Scott that Alex really needed to not do that, and that saying “excuse me” wasn’t a lot to expect. When Scott said something to Alex about it, he said he’d said ‘excuse me’. I said that I hadn’t heard it, and he said “Bullshit”. Scott told him that wasn’t acceptable and he proceeded to pout and refused to eat dinner. After we ate dinner he called his Mom to have her come get him. Scott told me he talked to Alex so upstairs. Told him that he needed to stop ‘running’ from the problems and address them. He said nothing to Scott, other then “See you in two weeks.” My thoughts, and Scott’s, is that he was looking for a reason to go back to his mom’s, and he manufactured it.

Yesterday I was looking at my bills and seeing what I need to pay, etc. I checked the cell phone bill and it was about 80 dollars higher then I expected so I called the phone company. It seems that on October 31 for most of the day and then November 2, 3 & 4 Alex surfed the internet with his phone. Something we’d told him NOT to do. That surfing ran $72!! Not acceptable. All I can think though is how happy I am we took the phone away from him on the 4th!! Our bill could have been hundreds and hundreds of dollars!! GAH!! Thank goodness!!!!

I don’t know what will happen with this, but I think he is setting himself up to be at his mom’s permanently. And if that is the case, that will be fine. Nothing we can do about it anyway.

This weekend is the conference in Portland. It is a regional conference that the UHJ asked all of the Baha’is to try to make. I looked at going but there was just no money available to us in our accounts. I know my mom was disappointed that I didn’t make it happen. I did talk to Scott about it and even looked at tickets. We just couldn’t find the money to make it happen and I didn’t feel like I could ask for help, I am already so much in debt with people. I still owe Charlotte for my part of the trip back to North Dakota, and then all that money I borrowed to refinance my house. Some days it is all just so overwhelming. I constantly think about getting a second job, but that would really be hard to do.

It is the weekend again. I am glad to have this week under my belt. I am hoping for a nice weekend and a chance to unwind. Next week is crazy!! We have a school concert for Bjorn and TWO Christmas Parties. I am going to be worn out by next weekend!!

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