Thursday, November 7, 2013

Lens!!

I received my Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S VR DX NIKKOR lens today and can’t believe the smokin’ deal I got from this EBay purchase. It was less than half of the average retail price that I’ve found online. This is one happy gurl!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Digital SLR–Here I come!

I’ve finally decided on my starter camera. I say starter because it’s the first DSLR that I’m going to buy and I’m pretty confident on my choice. I have been reading reviews, saving up money and crunching the numbers for a few years now and finally decided on a brand. For the longest time I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to go with Canon or Nikon. I’ve always been a huge Nikon girl, but I was hearing some great things about Canon. Honestly, there’s not a whole lot of a different between the two so I decided to stay with what I know. Nikon D5300 here I come! I’m going to buy the red one which doesn’t get released for another couple of weeks, but I did find a smoking deal on my point and shoot go-to 18-55mm lens. It’s on the way and should be arriving on my doorstep within the next day or two. I’m stoked! Thank you EBay! I won’t get the body till probably January, but now that I’ve bought my first lens, I can’t talk myself out of it. I’ve made the plunge.

Now, I’m off to read about techniques and fill my brain with too many ideas.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Preparing for the Worst, Hoping for the Best

It's been a while now, but a few months back my daughter said something to me that completely caught me off guard and made me extremely angry at NR. To hear the words "daddy hits me" come out of my child's mouth can make for one of the worst possible moments in a parents' life. Upon further investigation of what she said, it was only that her dad would spank her. This alone bothered me because the first couple years of her life he was very strong on his feelings that spanking was bad. I'm not exactly sure why he resorts to it now. The thing about that though, is that it's not all that she had to say. Apparently, she wasn't allowed to tell anyone that he spanked her and if she did, he wouldn't allow her to come see me anymore. I can't say that I agree with any part of this behavior. Since then I've been keeping a close eye on my children to make sure that they aren't being hurt. It's a hard spot to be in because you want to ask questions but at the same time, a court order keeps you from saying anything bad about the other parent. 

It's important that my children have a good relationship with their dad, no matter how much I hate him. My daughter started using that word, 'hate'. I told her that we didn't use that word and that she should describe her feelings with words like dislike, instead. I haven't heard her say it in quite a while now, and I'm glad that maybe it's left her vocabulary. Unfortunately, it hasn't left mine and for the most part, it's exactly how I feel about my ex. There is zero love and zero respect for that man. I loathe him. 

The way that I feel about him doesn't have anything to do with what my children should think of him though. They should be able to love him and to not be afraid of him. My children shouldn't know what happens when their daddy gets mad. It's not right that they would witness him pushing his girlfriend against a door and breaking the wall. My daughters shouldn't be woken up in the middle of the night because they are screaming at each other. These girls shouldn't know what it sounds like when someone hits someone else. In the end, there isn't much that I can do about the situation. It's all second hand information from a five year old. Or is there? 

When my children came to stay with me a couple of weeks ago, it was brought to my attention that NR and KL had gotten into a pretty bad fight the night before. My daughter said that it sounded like she was being hit and that she had said things like "don't hit me." It's hard to live so far away from my children and to not be close for them to call me when things like this happen. Obviously there is something going on in that house that my children should not be witness to. I don't feel that he is hitting our children, but I have this awful feeling in my gut that says he'll go too far someday. That's probably just a crazy mom being over protective, but I'd rather be safe now than sorry later. I ended up calling and speaking with an officer in his county. I knew there wasn't anything that could be done, at that point it had been over a week, but I was worried about my kids being so close to that kind of violence. 

I've spoken with police officers and lawyers about my situation a lot lately and I'm glad that 'most' of them have turned out to be some pretty nice people. The latest ended up giving me some solid advice that I've actually begun to implement. When it comes to domestic violence, there's really not a whole lot that the police can do unless they are notified of it while it is happening. He suggested that I try to talk to KL and see if maybe she'd talk to me about what was going on. She'd need to call the police or someone around them would need to dial 911 in order for the cops to get involved. If I really thought that there might be something going on, he thought it would be a good idea to educate my children on how to use a phone and who to dial when someone is in trouble. The last weekend the girls were here I started talking to them about 911. It was the cutest thing when I asked my daughter if she knew the number she could call if someone was in trouble: "119?" 

There's always that chance that when you start teaching your kids how to call for help that they may feel the need to investigate or experiment. Being as young as she is, her interpretation of "if someone is in trouble or being hurt" may be a lot different than what would be expected for a call to emergency services. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Equality and Books

Just a few days ago I thought that I was going to have to completely put my education on hold so that I could use the money for school to pay for hiring a lawyer. I shouldn't have to be worring about things like this. Whether or not NR and I have a joint or sole custody order, when it comes to our children, there shouldn't be this much disagreement. I am so tired of him picking fights with me over 15 minute windows, and I just don't understand why he doesn't want to make sure that our kids see both him and I as much as they possibly can. His actions should be in our children's best interest, not what is convenient for him.

After a week of doing research about my case and putting together my defense, I truly feel that I have enough reason to show that my children should be with their mother. The thing is, my kids should be shown that they are equally loved by every important person in their lives and their father should not only respect that but also make sure that it happens.

With that said, I'm happy to say that I am extremely excited that I didn't have to set aside one of my dreams so that I could focus on another. I'll be able to do them both.

A little random, but I read this quote today:

“My daughter is seven, and some of the other second-grade parents complain that their children don't read for pleasure. When I visit their homes, the children's rooms are crammed with expensive books, but the parent's rooms are empty. Those children do not see their parents reading, as I did every day of my childhood. By contrast, when I walk into an apartment with books on the shelves, books on the bedside tables, books on the floor, and books on the toilet tank, then I know what I would see if I opened the door that says 'PRIVATE--GROWNUPS KEEP OUT': a child sprawled on the bed, reading.” ― Anne FadimanEx Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader

With today's technology, not a lot of people have books scattered throughout the house. I almost want to buy books just to do this. I want my kids to be interested in reading. The more they read, the more they will know.

Friday, August 2, 2013

My Laundry List of Complaints

I found this listed as a draft and I'm not sure exactly when it was written. Unfortunately, the date updated to today, after I'd read it over. I'd have to say this was shortly before my kids moved to their 2nd apartment with NR... I decided to post it now, not sure why I didn't to begin with... Just another side note here, the situation has changed drastically from this post until now.

I received a call from The Ex yesterday. We were discussing our arrangement for him picking up our girls on Thursday morning. He mentioned how excited the girls will be once they get home because they will have a new room and many new things to play with when they get there. One thing he was so proud to spout off about was the brand new 3D TV he just purchased. Now at that moment in time I didn't think anything of it. But as I sit here going over my finances ($8.62 total), wondering how I was going to fill up my gas tank at least one more time and buy food to last me just one more week until I get paid again. It dawned on me... How the fuck can he possibly afford to buy a new television like that? Obviously if he's feeding my children as he should be and makes sure that all of their needs are being met, he should be pretty close to pinching pennies much like myself. But no.. he's out earning a Best Buy Silver membership and purchasing brand new televisions. I pay him over $450 in child support specifically so that money can go toward my girls. Not so he can splurge on new toys for himself. My children don't need a new fancy television. They need to be outside. Playing at the park or out in the yard. From sun up to sun down. Until those little eyes of theirs won't stay open a minute longer. A television is not a babysitter.

As well as I know the guy though, there are things I'm pretty sure are going on in the privacy of their own home: All or most hours that the girls are at home with their dad are spent in front of the television with a movie playing. While this is going on, he is probably in another room doing who knows what (video games, movies, generally anything that involves him sitting on his ass). I'm pretty sure that one to two meals are skipped completely and they may or may not snack throughout the day. Visits to the park are few and far between. When he says they go on a walk every day, I'm pretty sure he means to the mail box and back. (located about 20' away from their back door). It's only obvious that they don't get enough physical activity. A small two block walk to and from the park should not tucker out my 4.5 year old. Those tiny little legs should be used to running and climbing for days at a time! She should be excited to be out and about, running up ahead and wanting to just go, go, go. Proper nutrition and being outside as often as possible helps make that happen. Not sitting inside watching television all day.

Some things that have been confirmed by other parties: At least 4 days out of the week, are not even spent at home, but out of town with other family members. Not day trips. Not like they are going to a babysitter then home to sleep in their own beds, but actually staying the night for 2 to 4 or more days a week. Why aren't my children coming to stay with me? If he needs them to be looked after so much and so often, why am I not the first person on the list of where they will stay? If he's not going to look into daycare so that they can be home each night as they should be, I really feel they should be coming to stay with me instead.

What about his bullshit daily text messages. "How are the girls?" Seriously? The girls are amazing and much better off here with me where they play outside and go to the park. Where they are allowed to use crayons even when they 'accidently' write on the walls. Where they don't have to ask to go to the bathroom or to grab a drink of water.

Without actually hiring a private investigator, I can't think of any other way to prove that he's not taking proper care of our children. They have mentioned from time to time that "Daddy is mean," but when it comes to our sweet and adorable little munchkins, that could mean that Daddy didn't let them have sprinkles on their ice cream..