Monday, October 31, 2005


Can you guess what I'm doing now as I type? Well, I must have graduated from Mommy-In-Training school because I've figured out how to type and pump my breasts at the same time. That's right...I'm hooked up to the double-electric, pumping "moo machine". I've been trying to go to the gym in the mornings to see if I can work off one of my three chins, but, let's face it, I'm not really motivated to get up at the butt crack of dawn when Zac has kept me up most of the night.

This morning he woke up at 5am very, very hungry and demanding to be fed. I say demanding because when I had to stop and go to the bathroom (my only other option was to pee on my sheets, but I just washed those, so that was out) he screamed like you have never heard a child outside of Wal-Mart scream. I mean, ear shattering, "Where the hell did my food go? I was sucking on that boob!!" kind of scream. After that tantrum, I didn't want to move him once he got latched back on, and once my bladder was empty. So, he happly sucked on my left side until we both went back to sleep.

Beautiful, tender moment and all that. When I woke up to go to the gym I could tell that my right boob was hurting, but there is no way on Earth that I was going to wake up early and pump when my little tyrant is asleep. A) Pumping tends to wake him up and B) I have to be awake to do that, whereas I can breast feed in my sleep (who would have thought that was possible?) So, I went to the gym, worked out, got stuck in traffic on my way into work, and by the time I made it to my office, it felt like my right breast was going to explode. I had no idea that there could be a painful side of breast feeding. Nor did I ever realize that breasts weren't connected. There is no tube inside that pushes all the milk to the breast that the baby is on. It's not like when you lose a kidney and the other kidney takes over for the both of them. No, you have to cater to each boob individually. Whatever I thought about breastfeeding pre-baby, I was blissful in my ignorance.

For all those who are wondering, I finished pumping. Took a couple of calls (look at me multi-tasking! I can answer the phone! Stand on my head! and pump my breasts at the same time!!) and now I need to go back to what I was doing before I took this short break to pump out eight ounces.

Sunday, October 30, 2005


The World Series are finally over, but here is a look at Zac and I, dressed and ready for a party. His Grandpa got him that "Take me out to the ballgame" outfit when he went to see the Astros play with Aunt Jen.

The party we were going to was at my Mom's friend's house from work, for a Hurricane Katrina survivor. The hurricane survivor was the aunt of someone my Mom works with. She is 85 years old and was moved from the Superdome to the Astrodome and then lost for a couple of days. My Mom's company took up a collection for her, donating clothes, food, and money: giving the words "hurricane survivor" a face and name. The party was in her honor.

Can't say that I'm that sad about the Astros, however. At least new episodes of "House" and "Lost" will air this week. Good God! I have an extremely pathetic life...

More pictures of Zac's first Halloween to come.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


The youngest "Blues Brother"?

So hurts.


Well, the conference is over and I had a day to think about it. The FOB called me at 7am, my time, just to talk about what we were going to talk about. Does that make any sense? It didn't really make a lot of sense to me, but then I was disappointed that I didn't get to sleep in like I was intending to. He shocked me by asking about Zac and I. Usually when I talk to him he just launches into a "whoas me" pityfest about how he doesn't have any money because the restaurant business is slow this year and because he owes his roommate $1500. I'm not going to make any stupid comments about how I think he has changed because I don't really think that he has. He was just surprised when he got the latest picture of Zac. He said that the baby looks a lot like him (although my son is much, much cuter). Aunt Jen and I have known that for about four months now, but it has taken him longer to figure it out.

As for the conference itself, it was really just more of me sitting in a room listening to the child support officer talk to the FOB on the phone. He couldn't hear me and I couldn't hear him. It was probably better that way because when I was told what he had reported for his annual income, I just about lost it. Restaurant servers, of course, are only taxed on their declared income and the very small hourly wage. You may make $150 a night in tips, but only claim $80 - so you are taxed on $80 + $2.30 an hour. New Hampshire doesn't even have a state income tax. Now in the state of Texas, child support is 20% of your net income, which means after tax. Leigh stated a very low gross income, and then the child support officer deducted for federal taxes, which made it even lower. Using this formula, his total child support payments came out to $230 a month (Did I mention that daycare for an infant costs between $540-$760 a month?) Since he is already four months late, I was awarded $960 of back child support, which the FOB can pay off at $50 at a time with each monthly payment at a 6% interest rate.

The only thing that kept me from defecating and throwing my feces at the phone in an act of aggression and frustration was that : 1) That wouldn't have done any good and 2) He has to pay for health care for Zac out of my health care premium, which is $160 a month. Total payment to the state of Texas each month = $440.

That doesn't seem like a lot of money to me and I'm sharing this with the internet community because I think that there are a lot of misconceptions about child support. I've heard a lot of men complain about their child support payments and how they are being "bled dry" by their ex-wives/ex-girlfriends/ex-something-or-other they had sex with and how the "system" is set up against them. But, if you imagine that you had almost $1000 in credit card debt, your minimum payment would be closer to $75 a month at a 19-22% interest rate, so really, deadbeat Dads are getting a good deal here at the expense of their children.

Honestly, I could complain more, but $440 a month would be a huge weight off my shoulders. Zac and I could start saving for a house and Icould move beyond dealing with this asshole and onto building a life for my family.
P.S. - Sio! Please e-mail me. I realized on my way home from work that I hadn't e-mailed you back and I don't have your phone number. Sorry! I'm looking forward to seeing you if we can make it work.

Sunday, October 16, 2005


So, Zac is asleep and I'm waiting for my sheets to get out of the dryer, perfect time to blog if I didn't have such conflicted emotions right now. I very purposefully haven't written much about the FOB since Zac's birth because there hasn't been anything to tell. He doesn't care. End of story.

I've talked to the FOB maybe a half a dozen times since the birth of his son because most of the time his roommates screen his calls so I automatically go to voicemail. Cute, huh? The father of my baby won't take my calls...even when I'm calling to tell him things like, "I have a temperature of a 103 and I'm going to the emergency room," or "Zac and I are fleeing a Category 4 hurricane".

Tomorrow I have a child support negotiation conference. I'm nervous, angry, and sad - all at once. The FOB has the right to particpate via telephone, but I have to go to the building and show them Zac's social security card and what not. Now the funny thing about this conference is that the FOB might not even pick up the phone. I may have to make the trip for nothing other than to say I was there. Even if he does answer the phone when the Review Officer from the Texas Attorney General's Office calls, what do I really think I'm going to get tomorrow, except legally codified broken promises? Will we really reach an agreement regarding retroactive child support? The parentage of the child? Current child support payments?

What child support payments?

The man that got me pregnant almost exactly a year ago has never given me anything since I found out I was pregnant with his child. Nothing. He wouldn't even stop drinking long enough to watch the U-Haul trailer roll down the driveway as I moved out. He was at a party in Concord that day and he needed to be with his friends because he was "so upset" about me "taking the baby". Fuck that. Getting wasted has always been more important to him than taking care of me or his child.

Even if I get awarded $5,000, $1,000, $500, or even just $100 worth of retroactive child support, I might as well get a swift kick in the ass because you can't take words to the bank. Would I sound too negative if I say that he will never pay? Well, I guess I am negative then. But I know that you can't diaper a baby with a promise. You can't feed a baby guilt and regret and you can't encourage a baby to burp up responsibility.

The worst, absolute worst thing about this that I find myself missing him sometimes. I missed the way he looked and I miss the fact that I can't compare him to my son and see if they have the same nose or same hairline. My anger, pity, and pride can't keep me from caring. Even if it's just a little. Even if it is just for the man that has screwed me over every chance he has gotten.

I should get a swift kick in the ass.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005



Your daughter and grandson

59 and counting - 2 = 57 years old


"Are you looking at me? Don't even get me started cuz I'll come over there and mess you up. What? No. Uhuh. I know you did not even say that to ME. I will jump over this arm and rearrange your face. Oh....ok, Mom says I have to go to bed. But you better watch out. I've got a mean duck puppet and I'm not afraid to use it."

Monday, October 03, 2005


I haven't been meaning to neglect my blog since the terrible duo of Hurricane Rita and Katrina. My life has turned upside down recently, or should I say, right side up.

I was working as a VISTA Volunteer with a nutritional program at the Houston Food Bank, hence my complete ignorance of all things having to do with the warehouse and food distribution. Well, my friend Jenna at the Food Bank just moved to Philly to pursue a law career, leaving her position open. My whole application and interview process was kept confidential, but in under a week I was hired and had moved offices. I am no longer a volunteer; forced to live at 110% of the poverty line.....let me tell you from first hand experience, it isn't pretty down there in that economic bracket.

My new position is a Grant Writer and Researcher. I have a salary, health benefits, life insurance, 401k, and sick leave. More importantly though, I look forward to going to work where my supervisors value my skills and opinions. Oh, another nice benefit is that I'm off welfare, but I'll have to write more about my experiences as a single Mom on every government program that would support Zac and I another time. Most people at this point in their writing would say something like, "I'm not proud of going on government assistance, but *sigh* I did what I had to to for my family to survive." I say, "SCREW THAT!" Hell yeah, I proud of all of the phone calls, faxes, visits, and forms I had to fill out just to keep Zac and I as healthy as possible.

It isn't the poor that is lazy, it's the rich. The folks in the upper classes know that they can go to the store and buy whatever they need, go to the doctor and not care how much the visit costs because they have the comfort of the health insurance, and walk into the daycare center with their head held high because they paid their bill on-time.

But for me, I'm back in the comfortable middle class. Snug as a bug and smiling all the way to work.