May 31, 2018 ~ Graduation!

  • Moving
  • New School for Nichole
  • Cassie’s 18th Birthday
  • Cassie’s Graduation
  • Darcie’s 23rd Birthday
  • Nichole’s 15th Birthday
  • Robbie’s 20th Birthday
  • Nichole starts HIGH SCHOOL!
  • Cassie starts COLLEGE!

 

Graduation is finally over! She’s officially an adult! God help us all! LOL!

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Hard Christmases

Have you ever sat alone and thought about the past, and thought about the present, and wondered when it all got so hard? We’re weeks away from Christmas, and I feel like crying. This adulting thing is so much harder on single moms than you could ever imagine.

I’m working my ass off, literally. I’m clocking between 70-80 hours a week, at less than $10/hour. I’m paying the bills alone, and it’s killing me. And now, looming just over the horizon, is Christmas. I’ve got kids expecting presents, as they should. How in the world am I supposed to pull extra money out of thin air to afford gifts? I WANT to buy the gifts, but how? My kids are all older, as any of you have already read. I can’t get away with little stuff anymore. How in the world am I gonna pull this off?

 

Most of the Christmases we’ve celebrated before weren’t just in my court. My first husband always worked, and made pretty good money. When the kids were little, we always made sure they had plenty of gifts, even if they weren’t pricey. After we were divorced, my grandmother helped me so much. Then, I was with my second husband. We didn’t make much money either, but at least we tried. Now….it’s just me.

I’m praying for the strength and wisdom to get through this holiday on my own.

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September 30, 1971

I want to wish my ex-husband, Rob, a happy 46th birthday. We’ve been divorced for 14 years, but I still consider him one of my best friends. He’s a good dad, a good man, and a good friend and I wish him all the happiness in the world.

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8.10.1998 ~ the Fourth

Labor and delivery for my second baby was easier than the first, for the most part. I remember at one point my labor just slowed to a stop. The doctors finally came in and told me that I had two choices. I could stay at the hospital and they could break my water, which would kick start labor back into gear. Or I could go home and wait for labor to restart on my own. This choice was given to me at about 8am.

Rob and I discussed the options and decided that since we were already there, and we already had Darcie firmly with a babysitter, we might as well just stay put. So, the doctor broke my water at 8:45am on August 10, 1998.

That definitely worked. Labor returned with a vengeance. My son was born at 9:17am….32 minutes after they broke my water. My sweet baby boy was the only child I had that was born in the morning. Gorgeous baby boy. Robert Scott Stewart IV.

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Nineteen years later, my son isn’t nearly what I expected when I dreamed of what he’d be like as a grown up. But who is?

Happy Birthday, Robbie!

May 12, 2000 ~ Cassandra

I started this blog after Cassie’s birthday, so I want to revisit that day.

I will never, ever forget the day she was born. Rob was working in Columbus. He used to be a concrete finisher, once upon a time ago. On May 1, 2000, Rob and his father quit their jobs at a concrete company, and began their own company. Thankfully, Rob’s health insurance held out for the rest of that month. On May 12, 2000, I had taken Robbie (2) and Darcie (5) into town to visit with a friend of mine. At that point in time, we lived in Sparta, Ohio. I took the kids to Mount Vernon for the day. Now, before I get ahead of myself, the baby was due on Darcie’s birthday – June 11th.

Well, for the past couple of days, I had been having pains off and on in my abdominal area. Rob and I would time them, but they weren’t consistent at all. They weren’t getting any stronger either. They were uncomfortable, but completely bearable. Well, Rob didn’t really want me to stay home by myself with the kids, just in case things escalated while he was at work. So I made arrangements with my friend, Tammy, to spend the day at her house. Darcie and her daughter, Samantha, were good friends.

So Tammy and I decided to pack all three kids into my van and take them to McDonald’s for lunch. I was driving because…well, it was my van, and Tammy wasn’t allowed to drive, medically. When we got to McDonald’s, we decided to just go through the drive-thru and take the food home. Neither of us had any desire to fight with the 20 other kids in the playland area. Once the order was placed, I pulled up to the drive thru window and was suddenly gripped with whatever these darn pains were. I lost my ability to talk momentarily, and the poor McDonald’s worker started panicking, throwing around “Oh my God! Are you alright??!!” Tammy just laughed and leaned over to explain that I was in active labor, but give me a minute and I’d pay her. This really freaked out the poor girl, but I was ok a minute or so later, and happily paid her. After we got our food, Tammy told me that I really should go up to the hospital and at least get checked out.

I told her that I couldn’t. I still needed a baby book. So she handed the kids their Happy Meals, and told them to go ahead and start eating. I drove up to the Hallmark store and went in to find a baby book. Unfortunately, when I got to the counter to ask where they were, another pain hit me. Boy, when you’re 9 month pregnant and in pain, people jump to help you! I tried to explain that I was on my way to the hospital, but I still needed a baby book for a boy (Two ultrasounds through my pregnancy, and both of them showed how the baby was clearly a boy. See the penis?), and the poor women went running to the rear of the store and brought me back two different baby books to choose from. I’m thinking they really didn’t want me to give birth there.

I picked one, paid for it, and was on my way. When I got to the van, I told Tammy about it, and she thought it was hilarious. She jokingly wondered where else we could stop and get such fast service while I was in “labor” but I merely took everyone back to Tammy’s house. I dropped her and the kids off their, and headed to the hospital. I called my grandmother who met me there.

Unfortunately, upon examination, the hospital staff concluded that the pains I was getting were indeed NOT labor pains. I wasn’t dilated at all. Everything was perfect with the baby. I had a severe kidney infection. Well, son of a bitch! Then, they said something that completely terrified me. They told me that they were going to put an IV into my arm, run the medicine to treat the infection through the IV and then I was free to go home. I HAD NEVER HAD AN IV BEFORE, AND I WAS TERRIFIED OF NEEDLES! I had already had two babies without any IV’s or drugs or anything.

Well, needless to say, I panicked. And I mean, I PANICKED! I started crying and practically screaming and ended up having a full-on panic attack. My grandmother, a woman of very little patience, told me to calm the hell down and it would be over in a minute. Nothing I could do. I had to let them stick that damn needle into my arm. Realistically, it wasn’t JUST about the needle. They were gonna stick something into my arm….AND LEAVE IT THERE! What kind of barbaric ritual bullshit is that?

Well, guess what? The panic attack threw my unhappy ass into labor, full speed ahead. They put that IV into my arm at 6pm. My grandmother decided since I wasn’t in labor, and Rob was on his way anyway, she’d just head home. She kissed me on the forehead and told me to call her when I got home. I nodded, still kind of crying about this IV business. And, dammit, why were the pains in my belly getting worse from this medicine and not better?

The nurse, confused by the panic attack and my new complaints of stronger pain, finally called the doctor back. He begrudgingly came back and checked me again. I was now crying from the pain. He looked up at me, completely dumbfounded. I had gone from 0-10 in a matter of minutes. MINUTES! He started barking orders and I was taken to delivery immediately.

Rob barely got there in time to go into delivery with me. The baby was born at 6:48pm. Within 48 minutes, I had gone into active labor, and progressed into delivery, and gave birth. I remember hearing a nurse say that since I already had an IV in my arm, I could actually have drugs this time. So they gave me something for pain, but the baby came within two minutes of her putting that med into the IV. So, really….that pain med only helped with the after effects of giving birth.

Holy shit! That’s not a boy! OMG! Rob and I were dumbfounded! We had gotten rid of all of Darcie’s baby clothes, and kept all of Robbie’s. We had everything set up for a boy! We didn’t even have a name picked out for a girl! We didn’t even have a girl “home from the hospital” outfit.

So, when we called family to let them know, we asked that they bring girl clothes! I’ll never forget my grandmother’s reaction to the news that I had the baby. Her exact words were, “You were SUPPOSED to go home! That’s why I left!”

Rob left that night. Tammy had been called and agreed to keep the kids overnight. Rob had to run out to Sparta, pick up stuff for both kids, bring it back to town before turning around and going home. He called me when he got home, and we talked for an hour or so….finally agreeing on a first name for the baby: Cassandra.

He had to work the next day, but had made arrangements to pick the baby and I up after work. The hospital personnel was pressuring me to pick a middle name, but I was at a loss. Rob told me to pick whatever I wanted, just please no weird names (his niece’s names were very “creative”).

I liked the “creative” names though, so I gave my baby the name Cassandra Chayne (pronounced Shane). When Rob picked us up, I told him the name I picked (already on the birth certificate) and he wasn’t happy. I explained (dishonestly) that Chayne was how you spell Shane for a girl, and he grudgingly accepted that explanation. I flat lied, and I don’t regret it. I will always love Cassie’s name.

 

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Happy Father’s Day

Mark Allen Monk

There aren’t very many men in my life, but the few that I do have are very loved. First of all, happy Father’s Day to my father. I lost him in 1992 and I miss him more and more

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every day. Its been a quarter of a century since he’s been gone and I still have a hard time understanding.

Merrill “Sonny” Monk

On the same note, happy Father’s Day to my grandfather. I lost him in 1982, and its no easier. Thirty-five years has gone by and I still remember his smile.

 

William L Sanders

11115622_10152693110705925_1403673445787193712_nHappy Father’s Day to my amazing step-father, Willie. He’s shown me that there is such a thing as a GOOD step-father. He’s an awesome cook, an outstanding husband to my mother, and an all-around great father. I know if I ever need him, he’ll always be there for me, and that means the world.

Robert Scott Stewart III

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Happy Father’s Day to Rob, my first husband and the father of three of my children. He and I are still very good friends, and he’s got such a good relationship with his kids. I hope he has a fantastic day.

 

 

Jason Atkinson

17634814_739280422899110_920356943432014039_nHappy Father’s Day to Jason, my future son-in-law and the father of my almost grandchild, Tessa. Every day, you impress me more and more. I hope you enjoy your day!