Blogger Bingo

Kids…I gotta be honest…I had another post all set to go until I saw the latest post by Mister Mama, Sir. I liked the idea so much that I decided to blatantly steal it and make it my own.

A couple of years ago, the late Jim at Depot Dad wrote a post where he created a single parent blogger bingo card, which he used to keep track of the online bloggers that he wanted to meet and those that he had already met.

I couldn’t have been happier that he thought enough of me to include me in that list, and I wish I could have turned that online friendship into an in-person meeting.

So I’ve gone and created my own “Blog Bingo” card.  It’s certainly in no order at all, certainly not “all encompassing”, and those I’ve met already (umm…the one person other than Sunshine, anyway) has been marked as such.

I highly suggest checking them ALL out!!!

Sunshine on my Shoulder

Random Esquire

Mister Mama, Sir

Life as a Classroom

SingleMommyHood

QT Mama

Outside Looking In

Single Mom Survives

Determined To Be

Single Mom Seeking

Musings of the Lil’ Devil Mama

Stay at Home Maven

When Did I Go From A Kid To Grown Up?

Run Pippi Run

The Seigel Files

Sex & the Single Dad

So…who would be on YOUR list?

Struggling With The Struggle

Over this past weekend, I had a situation. This situation, unfortunately, also happened the last time that I got together with Sunshine and all three kids. I think it probably happened the time before that, too.

See…Sunshine and I have VERY different parenting styles. Let me be quick to say that neither style is any better than the other…it’s simply a different view on things. But the problem isn’t the parenting styles themselves…on our own, we each do very well with our children.

No, the problem is trying to find that happy medium where our styles can compliment each other. It has happened on occasion and things worked out quite well. But this past weekend, that wasn’t the case.

Now…it’s not a situation where I’m hollering and screaming or where Sunshine is yelling and waving her arms in the air.  No…it’s nothing that drastic. But it’s real and it’s 99% me.

I tend to have mini-panic attacks in some situations…where I feel overwhelmed and then I react poorly. It’s something that’s affected me for quite awhile and, for the most part, it’s something that I’ve been able to deal with and keep in check over the past few years.

The problem is that when this happens, I tense up and the panic turns to fear turns to anger…and that ends up affecting those around me. And even if I’m fine 5 minutes later…to the point that I don’t even remember why I got upset to begin with…the change in attitude still affects the people I’m around. 

And it hurts me knowing that I’ve affected them that much.

I could go into specifics…but suffice it to say that I struggle with my temper, but that my temper is based upon other issues that go much farther than skin deep. I’ve been struggling with trying to work through these issues since I hit a low point back in 2008 because I needed to find out what was wrong with me and figure out why I react the way I do to certain situations.

So I’m struggling with my struggle.  And it sucks because I don’t want to be that guy. I don’t want to be the guy that makes my family walk on eggshells when around me. I don’t want to be the guy who makes people feel uncomfortable. I don’t want to be the guy that doesn’t realize what’s going on around him.

The positive side of this, I suppose, is that I’m acutely aware of where I’m at mentally and emotionally. I know that my rationale for certain reactions isn’t justified and that I shouldn’t feel the way I feel about certain things. So I suppose that being able to look inward and really analyze the situation is a good thing.

How many men do you know actually want to constantly improve themselves as individuals and will actively work to make that happen?

I’m one of those guys, and I believe that it’s a trait to be proud of. So while there were times this weekend where I didn’t act the way I wanted to act…or I didn’t react the way I wanted to react…being able to recognize that and want to work on improving that aspect of my character is something I should never shy away from.

So I’m struggling with the struggle…but it’s a struggle that I think I can eventually overcome.

Weekend in Pictures

Ankle Biter and I arrived on Friday by 1pm and immediately found out that Kiddo, Sunshine’s oldest, was REALLY sick with some kind of stomach virus. There aren’t any pictures from Friday as we didn’t really do anything. It’s okay, though…we still ended up having a pretty full weekend…

Ankle Biter has himself a new "faux-hawk" haircut. He loves it. AND...strangely enough...he's posing for pictures and acting more and more like his own man. I have no idea where he gets it from...
Oh yeah...now I remember where he gets it from.
CUPCAKES!!! Ahem...we packed-up all three kids and head off to the Halifax Seaport Farmer's Market for a lookie-loo. We stumbled upon the cupcake stand to end all farmer's market cupcake stands. Actually, Sunshine and I had thought last week that this would be a good treat for the kids. And yes...they were fascinated and drooling at these things.

 Halifax Seaport Farmer’s Market

Just a bit of a closer look at these amazing cupcakes. Seriously...these were tremendous!! I had the Jelly Bean one with the purple icing with the broken mini chocolate Easter eggs on top. It was a marble cake with a (surprise!!) mini chocolate Easter egg center. Ankle Biter had the Jelly Bean cupcake.

http://www.susiesshortbreads.com/

My four favorite people (although we're missing Rugrat) as we made our way through the upstairs part of the farmer's market.
The roof of the building was open because of the beautiful weather, so we couldn't pass up the opportunity to enjoy the fresh air. I attempted...numerous times...to get the kids to all smile and look at the camera. I eventually gave up and said, "Make a funny face". THAT worked. Go figure...
Enjoying the view from the roof of the Halifax Seaport Farmer's Market.
Don't ask me why, but I'm just LOVING this picture. Really...I loved sitting back and watching all four of them interact with each other. Ankle Biter gets along with them so well...it's just really awesome for me to enjoy.
If I had a nickel for every time I could have used this t-shirt in my lifetime...

www.facebook.com/thebookofjoe

We took the kids to the Harbourview Weekend Market, where they checked out the rubber duckie store.

http://www.facebook.com/harbourviewmarket

Duckies anyone?
Seriously....that's a lot of ducks.

www.facebook.com/pages/Lil-Duckie-Bath-Boutique

Okay...I'm all for novelty items and all, but a "Scream" rubber duckie? I guess. If they had made more of these then maybe Scream 4 might have been a bigger hit. Oh well...maybe I'll just buy the OH MY GOD!! TWENTY FIVE DOLLARS FOR THIS THING?? What the effin' crap???
After hitting two farmer's markets, it was just too nice of a day to stay indoors so we went to the Halifax Common playground. Kiddo still wasn't feeling very well, but Mo & Ankle Biter had an awesome time.
These two really bonded and had a GREAT time over the weekend together.
Sunshine cooked an amazing dinner for everybody: Easter Ham!! Seriously...I just want to make sure her hard work doesn't go un-noticed because cooking for a family isn't the easiest job in the world and too many men take it for granted. So thank you, Sunshine. The kids and I loved it!!
J-J-J-JENGA!!
This was as good a picture as I could take of the moment the blocks fell over. Ankle Biter thoroughly enjoyed this game. I think I'll have to pick up some board games for the two of us to play because he seems to enjoy them quite a bit.
Once the kids went to bed, Sunshine and I did exactly the same thing on Saturday night that we did on Friday night: PARTY!!! Well...not exactly.

BLOKUS!!

The kids were slightly excited to get up and have at 'er on Easter morning. I'm actually impressed that we got them to wait this long before they tore into everything...
This was the loot that the Easter Bunny left for them. Yeah...they were pretty happy. It was like a cross between Christmas and Halloween. Sunshine put this all together and really...how awesome is she???
Ankle Biter absolutely LOVES "Don't Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus", so Sunshine thought it was a good idea to buy him another book in the series. She couldn't have been more right. And I can't wait until the next night that he stays over so I can read the book to him. I just might have to pick up the rest of the series. He LOVES these books!!

http://www.pigeonpresents.com

Because the girls were going to their dad's for the "2nd half" of Easter, Ankle Biter and I had to leave at noon to go back home. 'Twas all good, though...as we got one last pic with all of them together smiling and looking at the camera at the same time!!
I love that my son is as silly as I am.
So was everything good? Did we end up having a good time in the end?
Well of COURSE we ended up having a good time! Listen...every couple has stumbling blocks that they need to work on. I've got some things that I need to address (I'll talk more about it tomorrow), but at the end of the day we are MADLY in love and we'll both do whatever it takes to make this work.

Hope everybody had a great weekend!

Thinking About The Future

Sometimes I don’t think I can enjoy the present because I don’t want to even think about the future.

The future is something that can be scary and foreboding, and most of the time I just want to try to make it through the day and worry about the future another time. But the problem with that line of thinking is that I end up not allowing myself the right to enjoy the present. The future is unpredictable and is molded by the choices I make in the present. If I don’t let myself live in the present, then what else can I live for? I mean, what good will it do me to just go through the motions?

My family is the present. My children are the present. My friends are the present. ** I ** am the present. To cast that aside or to let the negative outweigh the positive will only lead to an unhappy future…especially if it’s already pre-determined in my mind that the future is an unhappy one because I’m not allowing myself to enjoy the good things about the present.

I’m currently in a position where I’m having a difficult time enjoying the present because I’m concerned about the future. This is a thought process that I have control over, though.  I would like to believe that it’s a matter of the choices that I can make now in the present that can alter, mold, and shape the future…even if those choices appear to be small and seemingly insignificant now.

Nobody can predict the future, obviously. I’d like to believe that if one is willing to at least be open to possibilities, then anything can be possible. Feelings shouldn’t be ignored…feelings shouldn’t be set aside…they need to be brought up and dealt with, whether it’s a complaint or a concern or a worry.  But I know that this bond I’ve created with Sunshine is so strong that there is nothing that can’t be overcome if we truly want to overcome it.

Reality Sucks

Y’know, my relationship with Sunshine isn’t all wine and roses.

I’m not a big fan of wine, actually…but that’s not the point of this post.

And no, we’re not fighting. It’s not that type of post, either.

This whole long-distance relationship thing can really SUCK after awhile.  And because Sunshine and I watched this movie over the weekend, thoughts of our situation crept back into my brain both Monday AND Tuesday and it was very tiring.

Y’see, the reality of our situation (as I’ve mentioned many times before) is that because of our children and our ex-spouses, we can’t move to the other’s city.  And what makes it worse is that when we try to come up with possible solutions to our dilemma, we can’t find any.

At best, it’s going to be YEARS before we’re finally together…and that’s a really tough pill to swallow.

At this stage in the relationship, it looks like I’m probably going to be the one more likely to move…and I feel a bit of pressure because of it. I mean, I’m not being pressured by Sunshine or anything, I just feel like we could finally be together if I became that “every other weekend” dad that most single fathers are anyway.

But obviously I can’t do that. I see my son a couple of times every week outside of just our weekends together.  I’m always around in case my ex needs a hand in some way.  Just this week, for example, he’s staying overnight with me tonight and tomorrow night (before our normal weekend together) because she just purchased a small home of her own and is moving in this week.  And y’know, I’m MORE than happy to have the extra time with him.

So clearly I cannot chose the wine in front of me.

Sunshine mentioned to me yesterday that the reason I haven’t fully embraced my new home and unpacked or decorated isn’t just because I was more occupied with my mom’s health, but rather because I was simply living here…waiting for the day that we’re eventually together.  I’m uninspired to do anything.

And she’s right.  It’s a very depressing situation when I really sit and think about it. Doing this…traveling every other weekend, not having any extra spending money, sleeping alone most nights…is going to be the norm for quite some time.

I think Sunshine said it best to me last night:

It’s like I only feel like I’m “living” when we’re together. The rest of the time I’m just waiting to live.

But at the end of the day, I couldn’t imagine my life without Sunshine in it.  I couldn’t imagine not being in a love that most people never get to experience.  I knew the risks of a long-distance relationship going into this, so I just have to suck it up because things aren’t changing any time soon.

I’m really looking forward to that eventual happy ending.  It’s going to happen, folks…it simply has to.