Monday, May 23, 2016

If You Don't Hear From Me By This Time Tomorrow, Come Check On Me....and Bring Champagne.

I didn't really tell anyone, but last year in August I took the exam for the CCS certification. I failed....By one question. Yup. Three hundred dollars, months of studying, and a 4-hour exam later, I was devastated. Needless to say, I didn't tell anyone I failed either. I was about a month away from my wedding that I had been planning for over a year and stressed to the max, and then that happened.

I. Don't. Fail. Exams.

Hell, I don't fail anything. And by one damn question?!?! I pretty much holed up. That's what I do when shit doesn't work out how I think it should. Low and behold, it pissed some people off. Apparently, I'm not afforded the luxury of "mourning" my own defeat in privacy. People needed me to hold their hands through the events preceding the wedding and I apparently dropped the ball. I took that hit and let people (once again) walk out of my life. Best part of all this is, these people told me that if a loved one can walk out of my life then they weren't really in it to begin with and that they weren't going anywhere. Definition of irony right there, in case you needed one. That wedding was absolutely perfect though. I wouldn't change a single thing about it. Well, I wouldn't have labeled that one table "Parent's table"...but whatever.

But anyway...
I currently have my CCA (or Certified Coding Associate) certification. It wasn't easy for me to obtain, but it also doesn't really afford me much. It's the bottom rung on the ladder of the multitudes of letters you can put after your name in the industry I work in. The CCS is what I really need in order to keep growing and moving up. AND....I'm testing again tomorrow. I know what you're thinking..... "But Amanda, you only missed it by one question before! This should be easy peasy!!" That's where you'd be wrong. See, I tested in ICD-9 (International Classification of Disease, Ninth Revision) last year, and a couple months after that, ICD-10 took effect. What is the big difference, you ask? Well, in the 9th revision, there are approximately 13,000 codes, and in the 10th, 68,000 codes. There's a much wider scope of guidelines, more specificity, and.... I'm getting stressed again. You get the idea.

So, basically if I fail again, and I disappear, you'll know why. If you get pissed about that and decide to write me off, see ya. Says more about you than it does me.

Friday, December 11, 2015

I'm the Richest Woman in the World

So the cutest thing happened....(Or maybe I just think it was because I'm a mom).  I have to do a couple flashbacks though... *Cue whirly swirly music*

In early October, Charlee was playing with a little red button that she got at school, during craft time I'm guessing. She had the button on her for like a week and a half. You'd be talking to her and notice it was in her hand. I never said a word about it though...not to anyone. I don't know why, I just didn't think too much of it. I figured she kept it in her backpack and would pull it out occasionally when she saw it or just absentmindedly kept holding on to it. Either way, that's about how long I kept seeing it in her little hand. (Okay, flashback one is done. Flashing forward...slightly...)

About three weeks ago, I was going to lunch with a coworker and put my jacket on because the cafeteria is always freezing cold. As per my usual awkward habit, I put my hands in my pockets as we walked to the timeclock. I felt something small in there, which was weird because I don't use those pockets being as their pretty small. I pulled the item out of my pocket and looked at it just long enough for my coworker to see it and say "Oh no, what did that come off of...". It was the red button. I actually knew it was the button as I was pulling it out of my pocket but before I saw it. I sort of choked up for a second and looked at my friend and said "It's Charlee's." She didn't understand my reaction, and I didn't explain it. The day went on as normal. But, as I started to really think about it, what I couldn't wrap my brain around was how this little 5-year-old somehow found this button to be important or special to her and kept it in her possession for many days. If you understood our kids, or our schedules switching kids with exes, or even understood our house and how it works, you'd understand what a feat that was for her. But even more so, I couldn't grasp the gravity of how her little mind one day decided that she would gift that special little trinket to ME. I studied the thing the rest of my lunch break. It has 4 holes, it's a gorgeous shade of red, one side it beveled and the other says Apple Smile. It's about the size of a quarter and has good weight to it. Its crazy, but I started to understand why my youngest liked this button so much. It's of trivial value, there's no instance where she could really use it for what it was made for, yet, she liked it. It was small, she could hold it in her hand rather inconspicuously so as not to have someone try to take it or even want it (siblings can be a pain when you're little), and it was HERS. But, then she gave it up for one reason or another. I couldn't stop wondering what was going through her mind when she put it in my pocket, or how long ago she did it. I don't wear that jacket everyday. I got back to work and put the button under my monitor on my desk and there it sat until my last day working at the hospital a couple weeks later. That day, I cleaned out my office and brought my things home like my personal stapler and calendar, and that little red button. The stapler is still in my car, the calendar is in a stack of papers on top of my printer, but the little red button is back on my desk here at home underneath my monitor. Right where it belongs. (Okay, one more flashforward...keep up!!)

This morning, like I've done all week, I got up early, got my coffee, turned on my computer and got to work at 6am. As I'm checking email and starting my first task, Bryan's alarm goes off, and he heads out to get ready and get the girls up and going. In a half hour, he comes and gives me a kiss goodbye and tells me the girls are almost done getting ready. About a half hour after that, I hear little footsteps. I hear Charlee say: "Mom, I'm all done, can I watch TV until....HEY THAT'S MY BUTTON!" I turn and say "Yes, it is...I found it in my pocket." and she says with the biggest smile on her face, "I know! I put it there to surprise you. I thought you would like it. You saved it!!" I started choking up again and said "Of course I did!" I told her to watch a show and keep it down and she ran off. It was a short-lived moment, but it made my whole day.

I read something online the other day. It said something about how when a child brings you a rock or a weed/flower, to cherish it because to them it's not trivial, it's special. How very true. That little red button made both me and my little 5-year-old smile and share a special moment this morning. I wouldn't trade that little red button for anything.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Let's all stop raising assholes and teach our kids to be nice.

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately. Especially after hearing my daughter sing a song with the lyrics "I wish I could be like the cool kids". I tried to explain to her and the other kids that they ARE cool kids. That there isn't anything different between them and who everyone considers the "cool kids". I was met with a lot of blank stares and "Okay mom."

I was teased a lot in school. A lot. I switched out of a school because it was so bad. I was always ashamed to tell anyone that, because for the longest time, I still blamed myself. I blamed the fact that we were low-income, I blamed the fact that my mom cut my hair, and I blamed the fact that I didn't have the name brand clothes and shoes that everyone else did. Now, I realize that I was just a victim of good ol' fashioned bullies. More specifically, 'Mean Girls'. No matter what school, what state, or what age, I was their target. And I still don't quite understand why either. Regardless, I did my best to power through. In high school, I actually met their judgements and remarks by giving them more ammo. I became as weird as I could...and by that time, I was going to school in Utah so it wasn't that hard. I became 'goth' (or basically, today's 'emo'), colored my hair all the "odd" colors like pink and purple and black, I got my navel and my tongue pierced at 16 and my first tattoo at 17. My mom went for all this because she knew that I was finally coming to terms with who I was rather than slinking away into a shell of a person that was scared to deal with society. I loved her for that. This brings me to my point....

There was a profound day for me during my junior year of high school, and it literally took me at least 7 years to finally see it as being as heavy hitting as it is...

I had a test in gym class. It was smack dab in the middle of the day and it consisted of running for an hour straight. No stopping. Piece of cake at the time... Just set your pace, and zone out. I ran for an hour all by myself while everyone else had buddies and groups. But, that's nothing unusual, and by then I was used to it. The hour was up before I knew it, so I was off to my next class: English. I hated English. The teacher was really young, and it was very apparent that she was 'popular' when she was in high school. She was basically reliving her youth by teaching us. I didn't know anyone in that class, so I kept to myself. By the time that class was up, I had been sitting for an hour. It was on the second story of our school. I had to walk down stairs to get to my next class. My muscles were mad at me because we didn't have time to stretch or cool down after gym class, and by this time I had been sitting down for an hour letting them get good and stiff. Needless to say, I got about as far as the second step and I went down. Granted, I only went down on my shins and only about 3 more steps downwards, but it was scary and apparently HILARIOUS to the millions of students in that stairwell. That was the moment that I hear a girl say "It's not funny! Amanda, are you alright??" I looked up, and this girl that I knew OF, but not that well was bent over the railing and looking at me with genuine concern asking me if I was alright. I said 'yes' and went on my way. I didn't stop and think for a moment what that would actually mean to me down the road.

High school eventually came to an end and I slowly became comfortable in my own skin. My 10-year high school reunion came and went a few years ago and I contemplated going for about 10 minutes and in those 10 minutes, I thought to myself how pointless it would be to drive 12 hours to go see people who made my life and living hell, who wouldn't even recognize me, and who I would have absolutely nothing to say to. Also, I wouldn't even know anyone's names, because I never cared to commit them to memory. Except one.

Melanie Pacheco.

Other than the few friends that I had, that is the only full name that I remember of anyone from school. The one person who not only showed me real kindness, but who put her own reputation on the line to stick up for me.

The one person that showed me genuine kindness was the one person that I subconsciously remembered for almost 15 years. That tells you something about how important it is to be kind. And especially how important it is to teach our children to be kind to others. You never know what a simple, small act of kindness can mean to someone. Even if it is subconscious.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

How Do My Sloppy Seconds Taste?

I'm just curious....why would you want to commandeer my life when I tell you I don't want you in it anymore?? Seriously though, why would you want to go around to my friends and family and play the victim and get them all on your side? Do you feel like you won some battle or taught me a lesson? I remember you saying you did it to your ex before me and how the friends who went on to stay friends with her pissed you off....probably because you felt like you lost an opportunity to get even I suppose. I just don't get it though. Why would you want that?? If I don't want you in my life, and we are so completely finished, why would you want to continue on in the crappy shell of a life with the same crappy people that would do nothing but remind you of me? That's sad. I for one, don't want any of it anymore. You can have ALL OF THEM. Even my 'father'.... And here's why:

NONE of them were ever my friends or family to begin with. They saw everything you put me through. They witnessed firsthand all the pain and suffering I went through just to get away and make a better life for myself. They pretended to care about me, and they pretended to help me through it, only to turn around and buddy up to you. WHY would I ever want those kind of people in my life anyway?? So....Have at 'em! They're all yours!! Congratulations, you win!!

But what did you win exactly? A bunch of disloyal, backstabbing assholes?? Have fun with that. Let me know how it works out for you. I'll be over here, with my REAL friends and family who love me. Being all happy and shit.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

I've Got A Riddle For You...

What do you call a father who stops speaking to his daughter because he mistakenly thinks she is a bad parent??

A fucking hypocrite.

A father, sees a child who looks a little worse for wear and assumes that the mother lets her children 'go without'. In turn, he stops speaking to her.

Wait. Just let that sink in...

He thinks she's a bad mother, so he writes her off. Completely. He's her last surviving parent, and he disowns her.

Ya, I was confused too. But, I was even more confused for the last year and a half because I didn't even know the reason why my own father stopped speaking to me and buddied up to my ex-husband. Can you imagine the conversations I've had?:

"How's your dad?"
"I don't know. He doesn't speak to me anymore."
"Why not?!"
"Ummmmm. I don't know."

Ya, I'm sure people were thinking all sorts of things. But then again, I was too. I started off confused. Then I was hurt. Then I was just indifferent. Now I'm fucking angry. (Are those the steps of mourning? In order? How many more do I have to go??) Ya I was so angry, I called him last week. Don't know what happened, but I was thinking about how messed up it was that he could do this to me, and then 'Father of Mine' by Everclear came on (and anyone who knows me knows what that song does and means to me), and when it was over, I reached over, grabbed the phone and dialed his number. I couldn't believe he answered. Let me fill you in on the riveting ice breaker:

"Dad, do you have a minute?"
"Did you ever get my letter?"
"And did you feel I didn't deserve a response?"
"Nope. Figured if that was the way you felt, then to Hell with you"

Yup. To Hell with me. "To Hell with you". My father said that to me about my feelings. So what happened next you wonder?? I saw red. Now anyone who knows me, knows that I'm demure and somewhat of a wussy when it comes to confrontation. I will avoid conflict and tension like the plague. ESPECIALLY when it comes to my father. But for some unknown reason, I went ballistic. I then demanded answers on why he wrote me off and when he gave me vague answers about how I "live my life" and "the choices that I've made", I demanded concrete examples. The best he could come up with was the fact that I've owned a lot of vehicles. Honest. I almost laughed into the phone. Somewhere along the lines, I missed the parenting tip that said if your children owns in excess of a certain number of vehicles, then you are to stop speaking to them immediately. His next example (because of course that one stupid one just wasn't going to suffice with me) was that at the Christmas recital almost 2 years ago, Eve looked like she "just rolled out of bed" and so he came to the conclusion that I let my children "go without". I 'kindly' filled him in on the fact that her father dressed her that day and that it's no new thing for them to look like that coming from his house. And then the conversation went nowhere from there really. All in all, I got a lot of stuff off my chest about how he puts his wife above his kids and how unfortunate it is for him that he's missed out on seeing his daughter happy and building an amazing life that she's always wanted.

Now I can answer the questions about why my own father doesn't speak to me and I can enjoy the follow-up laughter. I also now know that I took all the steps that I feel is necessary on my part, and nothing will have been left for me to question when he's no longer around to ask.

So, to sum things up....

I guess if my children EVER allow my grandkids to leave the house in anything but spotless clothes and a perfectly coiffed updo, I should call child protective services and cease contact with my child immediately. Right dad?

To Hell with me? Fine... But save me a seat.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

To the one that "got away"...

It's been almost three years, and I still can't believe that you can't let the past go. I can't seem to understand why you are holding onto it. We weren't happy. Not in the least bit. Any couple that fights almost every single day isn't happy. You never truly loved me...not like a good man does. You never cared whether the things you said or did made me happy or sad. Nothing that you were doing was something I could support. You were working toward a future in a job and with a company that I still believe is for a single man or a cheater. There is no way you can ever have a happy life with anyone in a job like that...and for all those coworkers that you claim have happy marriages and content wives: There is more behind the scenes that you know of.'s not a life I would ever want. EVER.

I am now in a relationship that is so beyond perfect, it's almost indescribable. But, I'm going to try anyway. We have never been in a fight. Never. I HATE FIGHTING. If you knew me in the slightest, you would know this. I avoid it in any way that I can. Bryan and I may have had maybe a couple disagreements, but we actually talk them out and move on. It's such a nice change from the arguing and the maliciousness. In fact, the only person I fight with anymore And I hate it. I avoid it still, which in turn causes me to just give in half the time and not fight my cause. I'm almost positive that you know this too and exploit it. In any case, I'm happy. I have a relationship with a man who makes me feel important every single day. Nothing that I feel or want is treated as unsubstantial in any way. My opinions carry true value and are treated with the upmost respect. That's what someone who loves you does: They take your feelings and opinions into consideration and RESPECT them. Whether they agree or not, they understand that it's a real feeling coming from the person that they LOVE. This in no way means that his feelings or opinions go by the wayside. I know that he isn't the same person as me and doesn't have the same thoughts and feelings as I do. We meet in the middle and make sure that the other is as happy as possible. And believe me, I don't think either of us has a single complaint.

This brings me to what I've been telling many friends lately....If someone loves you, really loves you, or even cares for you, they will not say mean things to you. They won't actively TRY to hurt you emotionally. They will not plot to hit you in the heart with their malicious statements. You told me years ago that you used to plan all the things that you would throw into your ex's face when she would complain to you about something you did. That should've been a red flag for me. (Then again, I had MANY red flags I chose to ignore) I can see that you still do this with me. Unfortunately, I don't buy into it. So, feel free to stop.

This leads me to my point:

I am a good mother. STOP leading me and others to believe otherwise. I am a good person. STOP degrading me as a human being. I have completely let you AND my past go, so do the same and move on. We unfortunately have to continue to co-parent our children, and that should be your focus...

...and on a side note, the fact that you still try to hurt me says more about you than it does about me. You KNOW that you being close to my father and his wife hurts my feelings. And you know that you being able to do more for my children monetarily than I can stings. But riddle me this: WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO HURT ME?? Do you not realize that I have learned that a father like mine who can turn his back on his daughter like he has done to me is not a person I want in my life? Have you not realized that when I look back on my childhood, that I respect my mom so much more because of what she was able to do for my sister and I with what little money she had?? She gave me memories that no amount of money can take away.

The truth of the matter remains...


Saturday, March 9, 2013

A Text from a Friend

I haven't gotten this text out of my head ever since receiving it...

So I've been thinking. I love ******, as if she were my own child. I have for 10 years now. But yet I find myself wanting to "disown" her right now for the life she has chosen for herself and the actions she takes. It breaks my heart that when I reached out to her she didn't take it and instead ran back to her life...a choice that includes a loser boyfriend, a drug addiction, criminal activity and most likely jail time. I feel justified in my "tough love" attitude...but it's hard. It's so hard to let go of someone I love so much, someone who is like a daughter to me. And even though she knows I am done with her bullshit games and she isn't welcome in my life right now, she knows without a doubt that I love her and miss her. That I have made sure of. Because she is my daughter and I do love her. No matter how horrible her crimes, my feelings haven't changed and it's important that she knows that. Which leads me to my point. Your dad "disowned" you...and for what??? I don't get it and my heart breaks for you. I guess I just want you to know that his decision shouldn't reflect on shouldn't make you second guess your life, your choices. You are amazing and this is his loss. Unfortunately, it's your loss too because he has broken all ties. How can he do this to you? Let you live your life feeling as though you have let him down, disappointed him. What I'm trying to say is that I can't even disown ****** and she isnt even blood...and she's done HORRIBLE things! You haven't done anything wrong, and he is still doing this to you! That's crap...and I am just so happy that you have Bryan in your life. Someone who will remind you every day why you are so special and loved. And I want you to know that I love you, admire you and will always be here for you. Xoxoxo

...and ever since receiving this text, I have been thinking as well. My friend knows the value of another human. One that she didn't even give birth to or watch enter this world as her own flesh and blood. She can forgive and see others for the good in them. I love her dearly for that. She is always someone I can go to for clarity in any given situation that I have ever been in.

Truth be told, I've always wanted that in my own father and I am in shock over how long it has taken me to realize it's NEVER going to be something I will get from him. This man, that I want to love me unconditionally and tell me that he is proud of me, is the same man that has never once shown affection to me on his own accord. This is the man that I don't remember ever receiving a compliment from, one who used to make excuses as to why he shouldn't give me a hug. This is the man that was always out in the garage, always at work, and always in the other room. It then occurred to me what I've never really taken the time to acknowledge fully....THIS is the man that left us in the middle of the night. Like a coward, and without warning, he waited until the family was asleep, packed his things and left. But not before leaving a quip note on the very large dry-erase board in the kitchen. I don't remember the exact wording, although it wasn't too far from "I'll be here at 6:45 every morning to take Amanda to school". That was it. The only time I saw my father was for a 20 minute car ride to school in the mornings. At least for a while. That was when he then made his last and final twist of the knife. Allowing my mother to slowly drift into poverty, we were left with no choice but to move to Utah and in with my Uncle. Two states away. Now that I'm well versed in the rules governing child-bearing divorces, I know that a parent cannot move out of their county without permission from the other legal guardian. So, my father allowed my mother to move his children two states away and from there, was content with seeing us once a year in the summer and every other Christmas. I also have realized recently that a good father who loves his kids would NEVER separate himself from his children voluntarily.

So there's my epiphany. My father never cared. Never. All this time, I thought he just recently stopped caring and I also had a glimmer of hope that some day he would come to his senses and things could maybe be repaired. But I'm not going to kid myself for another 20 years. He NEVER gave a damn about me.