New Year, New….School?

Upon getting off work tonight, after working 14 straight hours, I was informed that Nichole’s school is closing its’ doors. Tomorrow. Just like that. No more ECOT. Yes, dear (few) followers. My kiddo was an ECOT student.

I went to her school portal, and found this letter:

Dear ECOT Family,

It is with great sadness that we inform you the ESC of Lake Erie West voted against our appeal at their board meeting tonight. We are very sorry that we were unable to maintain your education through the end of the school year. It was with our every intention that we would continue to provide students a quality education, as we have strived for each year since we began.

The decision has been made to close operations at the end of the day tomorrow. We will be sending each family a letter indicating the address and the name of the school district office where records will be delivered.

As long as we are able to staff people for the phones we will accept phone calls for file transfers other than to the local district. We will be able to send electronic files to the school of your choosing as long as it is permitted by the sponsor.

We will complete all semester one grading and issue earned credits and diplomas over the next few weeks. Diplomas are scheduled to be mailed to the address on file after the transcript has been certified by a counselor.

We are so thankful to each of you for choosing ECOT as your family. We have been inspired by the stories that each of you have shared. Our hope is that each of you are stronger, braver, and smarter than when you logged in your first day. We believe in each of you and believe you have the tools to be successful as you continue your educational journey.

Sincerely,

(Name Excluded by me)

 

Well, this sucks. I’ve had two children graduate from ECOT. Well, ok, I had one child graduate, and one “graduated” with an unfulfilled promise to finish his credits at summer school…and well, that didn’t happen.

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Regardless, now my youngest daughter and I must hurry up and find a new online school. I flat refuse to re-enroll her into public school. Maybe I’m sheltering her too much, but she’s in no condition to attend public school. I refuse to subject her to bullying again. I refuse to subject her to the threats of destructive little assholes that think they need to bring guns or knives or other weapons to school. I refuse to subject her to perverted little punks that may want to take advantage of her innocent soul. Nope.

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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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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!

What??!?!

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I just got a notification that I reached 50 likes on here! What??! I was so surprised! You all are just awesome! Who knew people liked hearing about my weirdo family and all our psycho problems! Anyway, thanks so much for supporting my need to file away my memories. Much love to everyone!!

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World Wars

Have you ever watched television or movies and wondered how in the hell these families

AR000902have kids that don’t constantly fight? This plagues me constantly. It hurts my heart to hear them talk about how much they hate each other. I’m well aware that siblings everywhere fight, but I can’t figure out at what point in time that all finally ends?

17523436_739932349500584_4913308194758659748_nI have an older brother myself, but we didn’t really grow up together. The few years that we did live together as kids, I do recall the occasional arguments here and there, but he was also five years older than me. He had his friends and his life, and I wasn’t included in any of that. By the time I was 11, we no AR001202longer lived together.

These days, my kids have had their whole lives together. In the last couple of years, Darcie and Cassie have finally gotten to the point where they’re close and loving sisters. It was a long, hard road because they’re 10402378_10152144751115925_129885094075340088_nalso five years apart. Stolen makeup and sibling arguments kept them going for a while but now they’re close and loving and have learned to appreciate each other.

 

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My issue is my son’s relationship with his sisters. And the girls’ relationship with their brother. I don’t know how to solve the issue, especially when none of them are interested in making the effort. My son is almost 19. At what point do they begin to make adult relationships with their siblings?

I feel like pulling my hair out.

I included “happy sibling” photos to remind myself of the few times they were happy together….*sigh*

June 11, 1995 ~ Happy Birthday, Darcie

On June 10th, 1995, I began having labor pains, or at least I had thought so. Maybe they were Braxton Hicks? Anyway, my husband (at the time), Rob, and his cousin Devon (who was 14 at the time and loved hanging out with us on her summer break) and I headed from Cardington, Ohio to Mt Vernon, Ohio to Knox Community Hospital. Morrow County Hospital was closer to us, but everyone in my family was born in Mt Vernon, and I wanted my daughter born there as well. Besides, my OB/GYN was located in Mt Vernon.

We arrived around 9:00 pm, and after being examined I was told that the baby hadn’t dropped into position, or turned in the correct direction. I probably still had at least a week to go. They asked me if my back was hurting and I said yes. They informed me that it was normal, so we were sent home. By the time we got home, it was well after midnight. I went to bed and I don’t think I slept a wink. My back was absolutely killing me! And the pain would come and go. It was enough to bring me to my knees, and make me vomit. The heat that summer was horrendous, and I couldn’t seem to cool off at all, in between my bouts of pain. When morning arrived, Rob got up and asked if I was alright. I told him my back was hurting badly, but we remembered that KCH had told us that it was normal. I had no pain in my abdominal area. So he asked me if I wanted to go to the hospital again. No, I didn’t. It seemed pointless just for them to send me home again? No thanks!

Rob and Devon had breakfast, and continued to check on me while I lay writhing in pain, on my bed. Around 2:00 pm, I had enough of sweating and crawled out of my bedroom and into the bathroom across the hall. I just wanted to crawl into the bathtub and pour cold water over my head. Rob found me on the bathroom floor. I hadn’t thought of how difficult it would be to get my pregnant belly over the side of the tub. He was not happy with me. He was mad that I refused to go to the hospital. It wasn’t really that I refused, though. I just kept remembering the KCH nurses telling me that the back pain was normal, and I had at least another week.

Rob finally had enough and called an ambulance. When the paramedics arrived, I was still on the bathroom floor. They took me to Morrow County Hospital around 4:00 pm. I remember the nurses scrambling around, telling me that had I waited another five minutes, my baby would’ve been born at home. I didn’t understand. I wasn’t in labor! My back hurt! I also remember hearing the nurses talking to each other, wondering who was going to deliver the baby since the “new” doctor had only just arrived to the area, and hadn’t officially started yet. Eventually, a man in jeans and a t-shirt arrived and asked the nurses where he could “scrub up”. I looked at Rob and said, “Dear God, they found somebody off the street!” The nurses and the man laughed at me, and explained that he was the new doctor, but hadn’t yet begun. His name was Dr. Louis Ling.

Darcie was born at 4:49 pm. Labor and delivery truly is terrifying if you hadn’t done it before, but I urge any OB/GYN to PLEASE PLEASE explain to your pregnant patients what BACK LABOR is! I’d never heard this term and had no idea what was going on.

I had a beautiful baby girl with a head full of dark hair. And today, twenty-two years later, we celebrate that day with…..

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……a trip down the river in canoes!!

I love you, Darcie. You were worth every minute of pain I had that day, and I thank God for you every single day!