Monthly Archives: October 2008

Scary Movie

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I like scary movies, although I am very easily spooked.  I am the type of person, who after watching a scary movie, will jump at my own shadow.  It really doesn’t take a lot to chill me as long as it’s not too cheesy (Saw).  If so, I will examine and highlight its corniness to death.

I am afraid of Jason, Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger, and the thing on the Jeepers Creepers movie.  These are monsters that creep me out!

The Shining really leaves me shaking–it is too real!  I can see this movie being more than fiction as truth is stranger than fiction!  Jack Nicholson is a true thespian.  He is Johnny!!!  This is the number one scary movie in my opinion.

Speaking of Nics’, once when Nicholas was about five-years-old my aunt kept him for a few hours.  Upon arriving to pick him I was dismayed to see that he and his cousins were sprawled around the tv watching Darkness Falls.  I was sure that he would have nightmares as a result of this.  I had saw the movie a couple of weeks prior and of course, was scared to the bone!  How could my five-year-old not be?  However, Nicholas was not at all frightened.  Instead he analyzed the entire movie so much that it sounded more like a comedy film instead of horror once he had finished dissecting it.

Some other scary movies that gave me nightmares include:

Haute Tension-This had me sweating!

Helter Skelter-I know this is not truly considered a scary movie, but to me it was the ultimate horror film.

Poltergist-“Come into the Light, Carol Ann!”

Stay Alive-Small wonder I am not a big fan video games.

The Devil’s Rejects-This movie was so disturbingly scary!

Texas Chainsaw Massacre-Left me feeling so yucky, mutilated, and violated! 

28 Days Later-Just the barren, eerie cinematography alone was enough for moi!

The Exocerist-Twisting heads, scary faces, bile, and curse words–need I say more?

The Ring-It was enough to keep me away from the tv for weeks.

The Devil’s Advocate-Al Pacino really had me convinced that he was Old Scratch he was so “devilishly handsome!”

Suspiria-One of my students who was into old 70’s horror flicks thought I might like it due to it being set in a ballet school.  I would not want to be trained at that studio!

Wrong Turn-Those things were soooo ugly–and crazy!

When a Stranger Calls-I was thankful that we did not have an upstairs after watching this one!

I’m sure that there are many more that I could add to the list.  But these are the first that popped in my head.  Tell me, what scary movie gets your heart racing? Take this here quiz to see if you could survive a scary movie!  No surprises here because I was labeled a “scaredy cat” and died in the first thirty minutes of the movie!

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The Order

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Yesterday we received a notice from the court.  It has been ordered that due to his present mental status it is in the best interest of Evan to have no visitation with Eliza at this time.  It did not specify if or when her rights would be restored.  Nor did it acknowledge any of the other “concerns” that she had.

A part of me feels that she got what she asked for.  She was not at all truthful in her letter and had no reason to write it in the first place.  I felt like she wanted us to be punished for not giving into her every whim and desire.  I tried to warn her that this could happen.  However, she told me that “no judge would take my rights away.” 

There is a side of me also that feels sorry for her.  I know she will not take this news in stride.  I know it will be hard for her.  I’m sure she will blame us somehow, some way.

But she needs to understand the severity of Evan’s mental state.  I don’t know if this will help her realize it, however, this ruling takes a lot of pressure off of us.  She is currently in solitary confinement and I believe that this will give her time to think without the opinions of the other women influencing her.

Regardless of her reaction, I am just glad to have this matter finally resolved.

Growing Pains

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I’ve been thinking about the progress I have made growing in my role of stepmom.  It has been a painful, tedious yet extraordinary time.  I look forward to stretching myself to grow more as a stepmom and as an individual in general. 

  • Solution Seeker:  I love this healthy approach!  Don’t get me wrong, I regress from time to time, but usually after I finish venting, I still like to end on a positive note.  I know that our road will never be smooth and I anticipate the bumps.  I try to formulate a plan to overcome them or live with them.
  • Stepmom of Evan and Ethan:  It took me some time to realize this simple truth.  In the beginning, I worked harder at forming a relationship with her than I did with the boys.  Admittedly, I thought I could win their heart by winning her over first.   I really felt this way with Ethan because Evan already doted on me.  While it would be nice for us to have a working relationship; I know that it is more important that I focus my energy on giving the boys the best that I have. 
  • Serenity:  I’ve pretty much accepted that Eliza is who she is and I have to let her be.  I can’t change her.  However, I can change my reactions to things.  I am finally okay with the fact that we may never get beyond our current surface level.  But I feel truimphant for trying.
  • The Gift of Space:  Since I have bequethed Eliza with space, I feel much more peaceful.  I don’t  feel as “responsible” for her as I used to.  I realized that I was probably overwhelming her by being too much of a presence in her life.  I thought I was providing her with encouragment and support in her time of need.   But I think I was actually smothering her!  I know it sounds strange, but I had to sit back and think about it, too.  I am a constant reminder of our past and that she is presently not able to be with her children.  Now mind you, I did not say I am the reason, but I know she can’t help seeing me this way.  Out of compassion and exhaustion, I have taken a back seat.  I have forfeited riding shotgun.
  • Detachment:  I now use this practice when corresponding with her.  I can’t control her emotions but I don’t have to play into them either.  Also, when I can remove myself from the equation I do just that.  I had to learn this the hard way.  Case in point:  When Eliza was asking for information about Evan, I should have immediatedly gotten something in writing from his therapist.  I called myself shielding her from the truth, as I knew she would have trouble accepting it.  The last case summary I had provided her with only served to upset her.  She questioned the credentials of the therapist and thought we were “feeding” him things.  Despite this I still attempted to keep her informed though it only created a lot of stress for me.  I never dreamed that she would accuse me of lying.  In hindsight I realized I should have let her hear the information straight from the source regardless of how it made her feel.  I know now that I can’t worry about how she processes events.  The less I am “involved,” the better things are for me and her (I believe).
  • Empowerment:  There used to be a point in time in which seeing Eliza made my stomach turn.  She caused that much anxiety in me.  Not any more.  There is no reason.  In person, she is not at all intimidating.  Even when she takes us through unneccessary change it just doesn’t bother me the way that it used to.  This is one small way that I know I’ve grown!  I don’t try to psychoanalyze her to death anymore either.
  • Keeping the Circle Unbroken:  If I were an “evil” stepmom, I could easily attepmt to sever the ties between her and the boys.  However, I wouldn’t dream of doing so.  I like to help them stay connected with her.  In fact, my son and I are reading a book together.  I told Ethan he could either join us, and/or  select a book for him and his mom to read and I would send it to her. 
  • Communication:  In the last year or so I’ve been more conscious as ever of how I have probably contributed to the breakdown in communication.  I’ve lived and I’ve learned.  I want to keep the communication going for all practical purposes.  Therefore I concentrate on using invitational practices in our dialogue.  I talk to her respectfully, I understand that she the right to disagree with my husband and me,  I avoid holding grudges, and I genuinely care about her boys and I let it show. 

Have you measured yourself lately?

The Second Shift

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For the last couple of months, my husband has been working the second shift.  By the time he gets home, which is well past 9pm, I am usually in the bed.  He has made the change so that he can put Evan on the bus in the morning when he comes home.  This too, gives him a window of time to pick Evan up if he is having trouble at school.  If he makes it past 11am, Evan is usually okay for the day. 

Therefore it’s just the kids and I.  I get to monitor/help with homework, pick up Nicholas from football practice and Jazmine from the sitter’s, tidy the house, cook dinner, entertain, and everything else in between.  Not to mention all the prep work that I do for school.  I feel like I work a second shift, too (I actually read a book in my college sociology class about this very phenomenon called The Second Shift)!

I do miss my husband.  I am not used to him being gone in the evenings.  The only time that we basically get to spend together is on the weekends.  But then the weekends consist of the many chores that we don’t have time to do during the work week.  The weekends fly by so fast and it’s soon time to get ready for the daily grind…again.

I have two days for Fall Break, today is one of them.  This morning I took Nicholas to school and attended his 7am parent/teacher conference.  When I got home, I slept for an hour before dropping Jazmine off at the sitter’s and my husband at work.  His car is running funny and we don’t want to aggravate the problem.  Then I spent an hour or so working on my friend’s computer before  going to my hair appointment. 

Afterwards I waited for Jazmine to be dropped off (they were at McDonald’s when I went to pick her up) so that we could go to her doctor’s appointment.  Next I had to swing by the sitter’s (again) to get Jazmine’s belongings.

In twenty minutes football practice will be over so I’ll grab Nicholas.  Thankfully, a coworker agreed to bring my husband home tonight.

Tomorrow I plan to take Jazmine to visit her mom.  I also have to get the grocery shopping done.  And I would like to rake a few bags of leaves before they totally engulf us.  I might end the day by watching Bend It Like Beckham and taking notes.  My kids will be studying this film for its cultural aspects and I would like to see it before I show it.

I am the original do-it-yourselfer.  If something needs to be done, by golly, I’m your girl.  I really have trouble allocating tasks as you can see.  If I can do it, I don’t see any reason to ask anyone else.

Maybe I will get to relax one of these days, eh?  However, I think I might take a personal day or two here in the near future!

Channeling Hannah

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I’ve been thinking about writing this post for a long time and here goes it.  Today I would like to spend some time examining the growing phenomenon of the so-called “bitter” stepmom.  I’ve been seeing this term on many blogs lately.

My general opinion is that we all have the right to blog about our feelings and perspectives.  I don’t recall WordPress excluding certain emotions.  Furthermore, I find it odd and hypocritical when other stepmom bloggers write about “bitter” stepmoms who judge the exwife in their life.  They state that it is not right/healthy for them to do so.  But isn’t that a form of judging in itself? 

I am thankful that God gave us such a wide range of emotions.  It is okay to be bitter just as it is okay to be joyful, fearful or envious.  Personally speaking, I am bitter about my stepmom situation from time to time.  And to quote Kela, so what?  Does that make me a “bad” stepmom?  I embrace all of my feelings–the good, the bad, and the ugly.  I learn from them all.

If all stepmom blogs were alike–would we grow or glean any wisdom from reading them?  It takes all kind. Bitter or not, we are all stepmoms.  Some “bitter” stepmoms might be annoyed by the “Pollymamas.”  Everything isn’t always good and that’s keeping it real.

 On this long, strange trip with Eliza, I have grown from blogging.  I am able to learn from many of the blogs that  I follow.   I reflect on the comments.  Blogging helps me see things from more than one angle.   Even if it is a “bitter” blog, I try to take something away from it or I simply stop reading it.  I don’t feel that I have the right to dictate feelings or thoughts. 

Also, it is easy to label other stepmoms as bitter when you have a good/civil/friendly relationship with the exwife.  Trust me, I know.  If you read through my earlier posts I was much more forgiving/tolerant/peaceful about Eliza.  Now that the tide has turned, I have to work extra hard not to be bitter/cynical/petty/judgemental/whiny/mean/spiteful–pick one.  This is my challenge and I love it!

I am able to celebrate the stepmoms who have a working/great relationship with the exwife just as I am able to commiserate with the stepmoms who don’t have this luxury.

Rhonda and I always joke about how we would handle a negative comment.  But because we feel that everyone is entitled to their opinion, we would post the remark and simply say “thank you for comment,” and leave it at that.  We decided if the commenter refuses to let the issue go; we would kindly delete those comments.

I however, I have chosen not to leave negative/judgemental comments to  put any blogger in their “place.”  My opinion is no more valid than any one else’s.  If I can’t say something supportive or provocative in a considerate way, then I say nothing at all.  I blog primarily for my own self—not to “check”  or chastise others.  I don’t have the time or desire for that.  I like to think we are all in this together.

Besides, we are all in unique predicaments.  I don’t know any of my online friends intimately–other than what I read.  It seems that we judge each other far more harsher than the exwives themselves!

I blog for peace, growth, healing, fun, relaxation, pleasure, and yes, venting.  Remember, if you don’t like the contents of any particular blog, you do not have to read/continue reading it.  It’s just that simple.  Full Moon welcomes stepmoms of all kind–bitter, happy, angry, frustrated, jealous, evil (hehe)–do you catch my drift?  You may come as you are.

This leads me to the title of my post, Channeling Hannah, in reference to Nobody’s Perfect.  That includes me and you, dear reader.  Just know…

My intentions are good
Sometimes just misunderstood
Nobody’s Perfect!
I gotta work it!
Again and again ’til I get it right
Nobody’s Perfect!
You live and you learn it!
And if I mess it up sometimes…
Nobody’s perfect

And this blog is me working it!

Think Pink

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This week I learned some disturbinng news about my cousin Cia.  She was diagnosed with breast cancer.  When my aunt called and told me, my heart shivered in terror.  I felt choked with denial, sadness, and horror all at the same time.  Why her?

Cia…my cousin has always been a great role model to me.  She took me under her wing as I was growing up.  When she was in college majoring in Engineering, she made sure to expose me to the campus.  She wanted me to have a taste of college life and made sure that I participated in all the programs her university offered for high school students.

It was her who told me about the birds and the bees.

She also began our family newsletter.  When my mother died Cia was the first to call express her love and concern. 

During the holidays she would often host gatherings.  She would cook mounds of delicious foods, including the best caramel and Hershey cakes that would melt in your mouth.

She was there for my open-house, my house-warming, babyshower, the surprise birthday party that I had for my mother, and other important milestones in my life…

Stepmom is also one of her titles.

I have yet to talk to her because I am too upset right now.  I am trying to be strong but I don’t know how.  Our family has been beaten down by tragic deaths.  I couldn’t possibly handle another one.  I keep thinking about her husband and two girls.

The slogan “Race for the Cure” has a whole new meaning for me now.  My mind is consumed with pink thoughts.  I have already converted my debit card over to one that donates to breast cancer research.  A coworker emailed me this link and I couldn’t believe the timeliness of it.  Anyone with a pair of breasts should visit this site daily.  Here is the email:

Please  tell ten friends to tell ten today! 

The  Breast Cancer site is having trouble getting enough
people to  click on their site daily to meet their quota of
donating at  least one free mammogram a day to an
underprivileged  woman. 
It  takes less than a minute to go to their site and clickon  ‘donating a mammogram’ — for free (pink window in the  middle).   This  does not cost you a thing. Their
corporate  sponsors/advertisers use the number of daily visits to donate a  mammogram in exchange for  advertising.

Here’s  the web site!  http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/clickToGive/home.faces?siteId=2

Another supportive site can be found here.  I made a celebration for my cousin.  Please make one for anyone you know who has suffered from this disease.  A dollar will be donated to research for every one made.