Tuesday, June 28, 2011

*CAUTION* Anger management in progress…

Remember what I said before about walking away from additional anxieties?  I have more to add to the list apparently.  I know that I have mentioned my mother-in-law Gisela in this blog before and here I will mention her yet again.  Today was visiting day, so I arrived at Gisela’s to pick up Ashley at a quarter after 4 or thereabouts.  When I walk in the door I don’t really notice anything out of the ordinary so I proceed to herd Ashley into the kitchen to wash her face and hands since she is always covered in some sort of food.  We go back to the living room and Anita keeps urging Jimena to ‘tell her’.  Trying not to sigh, I ask what is going on and Jimena says that my daughter cut her.  Jimena comes over and uncovers her pinkie to show me a gash about half an inch long right over her knuckle.  Completely horrified I demanded to know what had happened.

Jimena tells me that Ashley had picked up a knife and was playing with it when Jimena intervened and attempted to take it away from Ashley.  Ashley then accidentally cut Jimena’s finger with the knife while trying to keep possession of it.  I could feel my blood pressure rising as I started questioning Anita and Jimena about first aid supplies so I could properly cut and wrap the cut.  They don’t have any supplies in the house to speak of because the girls keep using up all the Band-Aids.  As I look at the cut again, it occurs to me to ask if Jimena has health insurance right now and if someone could take her to the doctor to get it cleaned and closed since it probably needs stitches.  Jimena has coverage, but no one in the house can drive and are even less inclined to do anything about the injury.  I went upstairs to talk to Gisela and retrieve Ashley’s bag and was met with resistance.  “I can’t drive so how am I going to take her to the doctor?  It will close on its own.”  By this time I had reached the end of my tolerance and had to leave immediately before saying or doing something I would regret later.  I told Jimena to keep the wound clean, dry, and to try to get someone buy some Band-Aids and an antibiotic for her to use.  I left as soon as this was said for the good of the children.

Monday, June 27, 2011


I’m going to walk away from any additional anxieties for the time being and focus on the neuroses I already have.  Lord knows I have enough troubling me without adding to the laundry list of fears that are causing me to lose sleep.  I keep reminding myself that I get to see Alberto tomorrow and that in itself is a small miracle.  As a matter of fact the visit only costs me $4 for parking and some gas.  On our last trip to Mexico, the airfare was $622.61 for me with an additional $77.39 for Ashley’s ticket since they only charged me the ‘taxes’ for a child under 2 years old.  What’s interesting is if you add everything up: $622.61 + $77.39 + $77.39 = $777.39 which I thought was a pretty auspicious number at the time.  Three and its multiples happen to be lucky for me and nine is some numerology result I vaguely remember from several years ago. 

There was a point in my life where I spent a large portion of my waking hours taking online tests because I had no life or friends to speak of.  According to my mom, I did not cope with the move from the city out to the suburbs very well.  She told me that I was difficult and largely unwilling to try and make new friends which may have caused the majority of the problems I had with kids my age throughout my school years.  Well what can you expect from an 8 year old really?  Not only that, we moved two weeks before school was out so I spent the entire summer moping around because I couldn’t see my friends.  What could possibly go wrong moving 20 miles away from the only friends you’ve ever known, and being socially awkward?  I can’t blame anyone but myself for the years that followed and there are sometimes I wish I could go back and change everything but then where would I be now?  Sometimes it’s best not to think about it.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Change may be on the horizon

I just want to say this once:  We should lock the legislators together in a small room with only a bathroom until they have solved Minnesota’s budget to avoid a disastrous governmental shutdown.  Both Ashley and I have health insurance through the state, what in the hell are we going to do if the government shuts down?  What if we get sick or sustain an injury which requires medical care?  I guess we’ll be SOL, but that’s not even the worst of the matter.  What about the people who depend on WIC or EBT to provide enough food for their families?  What about the people who need Section 8 just to afford safe housing?  The legislators have already made sure that they will get a paycheck through a shutdown, but what about the working poor within in the governmental sector?  Who is going to help the government workers who will be out of a job and unable to pay their bills or buy groceries?  I’m not just talking about the secretaries and clerks either.  You have to consider the police, sheriff, correctional officers, parole officers, postal workers, sanitary workers, and county courthouses are all government run entities which will be negatively impacted by a shutdown.  My biggest fear surrounding the budget standoff here in Minnesota is what will happen to our criminal proceedings if the government experiences a shutdown? 

This was brought on by an email I received from Brian just a few hours ago.  It was a forward from the County Attorney’s office which stated that the Discovery was available for pick up on our case.  The Discovery is a process of obtaining and exchanging information between the prosecutor and the defendant both before and during a trial.  In our case, the Discovery will tell us about the strength of the case the prosecutor has built against Alberto and will help us to make a decision as to which path we should take.  After the Discovery has been reviewed is typically when the defendant will attempt a plea agreement to obtain a reduced sentence for the crime they have been accused of.  I am praying with all my might that Alberto will not have to plead guilty for a reduced sentence and conviction just to avoid the dire consequences of a guilty verdict from a trial.  Alberto did not in any way, shape, or form commit a crime let alone what he is being accused of so having to plead guilty to save himself would be demoralizing in the extreme.  We’ve talked about this hundreds of times and he is prepared to do whatever the best option is.  He has turned to God in this hour of need and his renewed faith has brought him peace.  If Alberto is found guilty of a felony, he may never be able to obtain legal status within the United States and in fact be barred from reentry for LIFE.  Está gacho te digo… 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Blood sucking financial institutions

Today is the day I decided to look for a new bank for our joint accounts.  I have absolutely had enough of Wells Fargo’s porquerías.  I am being charged $10 a month for letting the bank hold onto MY money?  On top of that their telephone customer service is appalling, and the bankers at the branches are not always all that much better.  They are a soulless community of leaches that heartlessly attach themselves to the wallets of the less fortunate.  They’re like chupacabras only instead of blood; they suck your wallet dry.  Wells Fargo was not my choice, but it was the only bank I knew of at the time that could accommodate us since Alberto doesn’t have status in the United States.  Lizzy said that she and her husband have accounts through Us Bank, and it appears they are less evil than Wells Fargo so I’m going to look into switching.  If anyone else knows of a bank that does the same, please let me know since I love having options!

I use a Credit Union for my personal accounts that I use to pay the bills and I think I would go crazy without them.  Why choose a Credit Union you ask, well I would be more than happy to tell you!  My number one reason is that Credit Unions are serving you, not some nameless board of directors looking to line their pockets with your hard earned money.  I love having my checking and savings account FREE, and that it only took the price of a share ($5) to join.  I also get free checks, but that may be because I have been a member so long.  I walk into the Credit Union and one of the tellers will greet me by name and ask me about my daughter and husband.  When my mom had her checkbooks stolen several years ago, Leah noticed that the signature did not match and stopped all the checks from being honored.  My mom did not have to pay for any special service, and it did not cost her anything to get the situation squared away even though the culprit was never found.  How cool is that?  Leah has known me since I was 8 or thereabouts, and I miss her dearly since she transferred to another branch.  Melissa is my go-to gal these days and she is always willing to go the extra mile to help me out in my time of need.  If I am ever too far away from my branch when I need to complete a transaction, I simply go to a CU Service Center and they will help me free of charge.  How many people can say that about their bank?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Interesting revelations

This weekend was rather unexciting to tell you the truth, but sometimes these are the best weekends of all.  I had to work on Saturday which isn’t terribly fun, but you have to make the most of what is given to you.  We managed to get caught up on the registrations for programs starting on Monday, and for any registrations that were turned in late for last week.  I didn’t encounter too many problems overall which always puts me in a good mood since that streamlines my data entry.  The most irritating thing we came across all day was 4 registrations that came with a cover letter from a woman that referred to herself in the third person.  Why this woman couldn’t write out what she needed in plain English is beyond me, but based on the writing I would say she most likely works in the law firm and doesn’t understand the concept of grammar.  It took a broad interpretation of the letter in conjunction with the completed registrations by no less than three individuals in order to construe what exactly it was that she was trying to say.  This is why education needs more support to help people succeed in life!

I ended my shift well satisfied with the amount of work I had completed.  I also managed to catch up on the hours I had been missing during the week without working more than 4 hours!  If Deza doesn’t work 40 hours, then Deza doesn’t get paid 40 hours and that makes Deza very sad indeed.  I can’t afford to miss work because I’m already living paycheck to paycheck. 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Living the dream

On Thursday after work I took Ashley to a pediatric dental office to have them look at her amazing Technicolor tooth.  I tried to leave work by a specific time to get to my mother-in-law’s house early enough to avoid any of the predicable delays, only it just didn’t work out for me.  I had to help Judy find some registrations that I entered for a special program, so that put me behind a good 15 minutes.  Judy is so nice about the hundreds of questions that I ask her on any given day, so I was glad to be able to help her out.  I rushed out of work and drove to Gisela’s house as fast as the law would allow.  I swear I got a red light at every single intersection I came across!  So I get to Gisela’s and immediately my eyes are drawn to the sleeping form on my daughter on the couch, still in her pajamas no less!  Now I know for a fact I had mentioned this appointment three times during the week and twice in the morning.  Gisela asked me what I was doing there so early and suddenly remembered about the appointment I had told her about.  I set my nieces about to finding Ashley’s shoes and socks while I woke her up as slowly as possible and changed her clothing.  She was also covered head to toe in mugre and sweat so she didn’t exactly smell like a flor either.  I managed to get my complaining daughter changed and wiped down with a damp cloth.

I hustled us into the car and stowed the bag with Ashley’s clothes and diapers and off we went.  There was no help for it at this point; we were going to be late.  Anyone who knows me knows just how much I despise being late for anything.  On a typical day I am at work at least 30 minutes before the start of my shift and I’m out of sorts if I’m not early.  Anyway, we were making good time until we got to a certain portion of the freeway less than a mile from our destination where traffic slowed to a crawl.  It was at that point when the receptionist from the dental office called me to make sure I was aware of our appointment.  I advised the receptionist that we were less than a mile from their office but stuck in traffic at the moment.  She said that if we were more than 15 minutes late, we would lose our chance to be seen and a fee would be assessed for insufficient notice since they have a 24 hours policy.  We managed to arrive at the office exactly 10 minutes after our set appointment time.  I spent the next 10 minutes filling out paperwork while Ashley played with the toys in the lobby.  By this point she was actually in a rather good mood which is rare when you have to wake her up from her nap.  We were shown back to the exam area and Ashley sat on the chair all by herself.  The dental assistant looked at the tooth in question and checked for any sign that would indicate a problem.  Ashley was not happy at all after the initial exam since the dental assistant had to push and pull on her tooth and the surrounding gums.  They decided they needed an x-ray so she had me sit down in the exam chair and hold Ashley on my lap.  As she draped the lead apron draped over us, she asked me if there was any chance of my being pregnant.  I started laughing.  I just couldn’t help it!  Luckily she took that as a no and didn’t ask for an explanation.  We had to restrain Ashley for the x-ray because the bite thing they use was a little too big for her mouth so she fought it.  The x-ray was clean; there was no damage to the root so I was told what signs to watch for regarding the tooth.  Otherwise Ashley is doing well with her teeth and doesn’t need her first real visit until her last molar comes in which should be within the next six months.  Beautiful, one less thing I need to worry about!  I am so happy I have such a healthy, mostly well behaved girl.  I attribute the mostly well behaved part to her being a normal toddler, which also makes her highly entertaining.  My favorite thing that she does these days is when she wants to play with me or my mother.  She jumps and waves her arms while singing, “boo boo, boo boo!”  That is her version of the classic taunt, ‘nana nana boo boo’ which only makes it funnier when she does it. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

May this night be uneventful

I’m hoping for a nice quiet night at this point.  Work today was frustrating to say the least and I need time to decompress and wallow in my 450 thread count sheets.  I am a firm believer that small luxuries are a worthwhile investment as long as you don’t spend beyond your means.  I have two sets of plain serviceable sheets that came as a package and on sale, and my wonderful sheets de lujo.  I change my sheets regularly because not doing so would be completely disgusting, but my deluxe sheets stay out of rotation until I have a particularly bad day.  I’m hoping this way they will last longer since I can’t afford to buy anything new for a while.  I need to get another job just to support my daughter’s diaper habit, since Ms. Ashley does not want to be potty trained.

Speaking of potty training, we have a sticker chart up on the bathroom wall and she gets mad when I don’t let her put stickers on it.  So far this has not done much to motivate Ashley to use the potty, so maybe I need to get some extra special stickers.  What else could I possibly do to motivate the girl?  I will not use food as a motivator because I do not want to lead her down my path to an unhealthy weight.  She already has a bunch of toys.  Maybe I should figure out a way to use coins since she liked my coin purse so much it became Ashley’s coin purse.  She likes to go around to everyone and show them her ‘monies’.  I guess this is something I need to keep thinking about, and I’m going to try pushing for potty training this weekend again.  The problem I have with Ashley is that she is so stubborn that anytime I try to get her to do something she’s not keen on, she shuts down.  I would say she learned this tactic from her father; however she has never been around him enough to pick up this behavior.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

In the eye of the storm comes a moment of calm

I would say the official start of the day was at 1 am when Ashley had a coughing fit and started crying.  I look at the bright side of the situation and realize this gave me more cuddle time than I am usually allowed.  She becomes more independent every day.  Just yesterday I tried to give her a hug and she said, “Awwwww Mamí...” in a voice reminiscent of that whiney teenager tone.  I refuse to let her grow up that fast!  She was back in bed within a half an hour and which point I collapsed in my own.  I remember nothing and apparently did not move for the rest of the night.  At 6:45 am, Ashley came downstairs and climbed into bed with me, which I may not have noticed if she didn’t fall on me trying to get to her ‘spot’.  Another round of cartoons and a shower, I began to feel almost human.  This is the point where I usually tell whomever I happen to be talking to that I am not now nor will I ever be a ‘morning person’.  As a matter of fact I had to move my super loud alarm clock to the other side of the room just to facilitate getting my arse out of bed.  I also never shut my curtains so the sun streams in on my face.  Then there is the four different alarms programmed on my cell phone and a backup alarm clock in the opposite corner of my primary alarm.  There are still days that I barely get out the house on time even with all that precaution.

By that time I was reluctantly awake and beginning to feel nervous.  The butterflies in the pit of my stomach quashed my appetite down to nothing.  Since I was running late anyway, I didn’t pack a lunch and figured I would just grab something frozen at the gas station.  This is usually a good backup plan, however, I didn’t actually remember to go and buy something.  I had a Pop Tart for breakfast since there was a box of them in my desk drawer and a piece of cinnamon coffee cake that some dear soul in our office made to share.  I felt sick to my stomach all morning and afternoon.  I finally decided to get Jimmy Johns for lunch since their subs are too bland to offend the stomach, and ended up eating only half of my sandwich.  I hope the other half is still good so I can eat it for lunch tomorrow.  As 4 o’clock approached hobbling on crutches my nervousness progressed to nausea and I wasn’t sure I was going to make it.  For the love of frijoles this is my husband I was nervous about seeing!  It must be because so much time has passed since we last spoke face to face.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The hits just keep on coming

Saturday arrived with yet another slap to the face.  I had a horrible night with a sick toddler, so I probably slept no more than 3 hours total.  Even so I was up at 7 o’clock to shower and get dressed.  Ashley woke up crying before I had my outfit together, so I turned on some cartoons to keep her occupied while I got ready.  After last minute issues were taken care of, my mom gave us a ride to the jail since parking was so expensive when I was there on Thursday.  I had asked her to do me that favor yesterday and Lizzy was going to pick us up to go to the meeting afterwards.

We arrived at the jail facility and I got our things together so we could go and visit Alberto.  When we walked in the doors I was surprised that the only people in the lobby area were the two uniformed guards.  Feeling more optimistic I approached the desk and stated my business.  The guard who was a county officer replied rather smartly that visiting was closed because there were too many people waiting to visit on the block where Alberto was being held.  I asked her to please double check for me since this would be the first time Alberto would see his daughter it well over a year.  She called the guard on the block in question, and said that there were still too many people waiting so I would have to visit on another day.  I was crushed.  Though I tried my hardest to maintain my composure, I felt a few tears slip past my guard.  I simply have no defense against any setbacks when it comes to Alberto.  Ashley and I settled ourselves in the lobby to wait for Lizzy to arrive since it was still a little chilly outside.

Friday, June 10, 2011

And Friday was not much better

I think the title says it all.  After the issues I had with Ashley and pink eye in the morning, I decided it was best for me to stay home today and care for my daughter.  I did this knowing that I will be short on hours this week and I can’t make them up.  I’m a seasonal staff member at my place of employment, so I don’t have any options like PTO or sick time for this fiasco.  I absolutely hate staying home unless it is: covered by PTO, covered by Sick Time, or absolutely unavoidable.  I’m the kind of person who stays home only if I’ve vomited in the last few hours, am too dizzy to walk, or I have a fever of 101° or more.  I think this stems from being the sole breadwinner for so long and from my three month stint of being unemployed.  I’ve found that I go crazy when I’m not working, although I would be willing to try this experiment again once we’re living together on our own.  A major issue I had with being home all day was being here with my father who was laid off a few years ago and still is unable to find a job.  The sad thing is we were better off financially when I wasn’t working because my benefits covered all the bills with some extra for essentials.  Now I can barely make ends meet and I have fallen behind on some of my bills because of gas and childcare expenses. 

Childcare expenses, so you see I am paying my mother-in-law for watching my daughter get into trouble because no one is watching her closely enough.  I have a few examples, but the one that is currently pissing me off the most is this one:  I arrive to pick my daughter up just like every other day and everyone is out front because the heat in the house was oppressive.  I went in the house to get Ashley’s bag when my niece Jimena comes up and says that my daughter broke her Nintendo DS.  I ask her how Ashley managed to do that and Jimena tells me that she threw the DS out of the second story window of the house.  I am shocked by this revelation because Ashley does not throw things when we’re at home, let alone out of a window.  My mother-in-law Gisela confirms the story; Ashley was in her bedroom and chucked the game out of the window.  Gisela then proceeds to tell me how a few days prior Ashley had gotten into someone else’s room and tossed a bunch of clothing and a bottle of cologne out of his bedroom window.  I can’t remember exactly who said that I was on the hook to replace the game, but it was at this point I got mad.  To make sure I wouldn’t say something I would later regret, I picked up Ashley and left. What the hell is Gisela doing during the day if she’s not keeping an eye on my daughter whom she insisted she be allowed to care for?  The fact that Ashley did it a second time and it is going to cost me money to replace a broken object makes my blood boil.  She was obviously never yelled at the first time around.  Mind you this is only the most recent offense.  Also she would not have been able to toss anything out of the window if the screens were not in tatters on all the windows.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A week to forget and it's not even Friday

This whole last week has been pretty lousy to tell you the truth.  I had accepted on Monday afternoon that they were going to bring him back here since the 10 days had passed without Alberto gaining his release.  This inspired a mad cleaning frenzy since I was embarrassed at the condition of our room.  I make sure Ashley’s room is clean, and the family room where she plays is clean.  I honestly don’t care what my room looks like as long as my clothes are clean and accessible and the bed is in good order.  Alberto on the other hand doesn’t like having the bedroom in a constant state of disaster.  The problem is I have been in the middle of organizing and throwing out junk for about a month now, so I have things everywhere until I find a place for them.  I am a huge pack rat, and I have a hard time throwing anything out which makes our room cluttered.  I freely admit most of the things I have are crap, but that doesn’t stop me from having to sort through every single little thing I own and still setting things aside to keep.  I still have a lot of work to do on our room, but it definitely looks better.

On Wednesday I went online to make sure he was still in jail, and it showed he was released at 8 am that morning.  I called the information line at the jail, and the guy I talked to confirmed that he was in the process of extradition.  I didn’t know what mode of transportation they were using, but I knew he would be here sooner than later.  I didn’t hear anything else for the entire day.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Not such a bad mom after all…

Today was Ashley’s open house for a summer preschool program.  A few interesting things happened and I learned that I am not a bad parent, nor is my daughter nearly as bad as I feared.  Ashley is stubborn like me and her father.  I’m hoping as she gets older we will be able to channel this into something good, but right now it means she refuses to be potty-trained.  This is a problem because she cannot attend the program that I am paying for until she is potty-trained.  I can cancel any sessions up to the Monday beforehand without any fees being tacked on, so I need to either get her potty trained this weekend, or get the first session canceled on Monday.  Here’s the funny thing, she knows when she has to go but will only tell me if she is in the bathtub.  I think this has to do with the last time she pooped in the tub and I was sternly disappointed.  I wish I could remember the incident clearly because she hasn’t had an accident in the bathtub since then.

Anyway at the open house there was this pretty little blond girl.  For the longest time I couldn’t figure out who her parents were because no one was keeping an eye on her that I could tell and there were no natural blondes among the parents.  Well during the open house when my mom had her back in the classroom since she was being a little girl, Blondie started pushing Ashley around and taking toys away from her.  I don’t know this was happening so when we migrated back to the classroom I was oblivious to this history.  At one point during the presentation on the program, Ashley went to the back of the room where one of the teachers was and discovered a hamster in a cage.  She watched his animal in his cage intently for several minutes when Blondie came over and pushed her out of the way.  I went to get out of my chair but the teacher motioned that it was ok, so I decided to wait and see what would happen next.  (Which is my favorite thing to do!)  Blondie kept pushing Ashley, and Ashley kept pushing back.  After several minutes passed, I retrieved Ashley and had her sit with me for a while.  Ashley stayed away from Blondie at that point.