So, we've all seen the cartoon babies who try and flush all manner of things down the toilet. I thought it was a myth. Something funny.

Today, my son stuck our cordless phone in the toilet. He said "Flush!" Needless to say, our phone appears dead.

Who knew it was a real stage?? Probably everyone but me. *sigh*
I've discovered something fantastic about my son. I mean WONDERFUL, love him more for it, type fantastic.

He loves to vacuum.

He takes the attachment hose and just goes to town. He now cleans up his own messes. Sometimes I think he makes them now, just to clean it up!

See?? This warms my heart. Now, how long until he can do dishes?

Last week I was looking out on my patio and noticed something seemed wrong. You know, you look at something and you can't put your finger on it, but it's just off somehow?
That's what it was. So I've been looking out everyday trying trying trying to figure out what was wrong.

I finally figured out what it was. My little garden gnome, the only one that survived my daughter being 3, was gone. He was a lounging gnome with cheery red cheeks and an orange pointy cap. Not like the travelosity gnome, but cute, and small. Perfect for my little apartment patio, and someone has taken it! I suspect its one of the neighbor kids, we have some...challenged.. ones. Parents not so great kind of challenged. Anyway.. My gnome is gone. It wasn't expensive, it's just, it was my gnome. It lasted through moves and a toddler thinking they're toys(there were three) and he was perfect on my patio. I'm a little sad. Even looked in the bushes near the house in case he just got knocked off.. but he's gone.

Ok, that's my little "poor little gnome" thing.
aren't I pretty?
Needs his hair "done" just like his sisters
The flowers outside our back door
A close up.. I never stop being amazed at all the bright and vibrant colors nature makes.
My favorite toes!
Take the lid off, put the lid on..
Ice can be so tempting to a 20 month old.
Look Mom, my nose!
Boogie down with my bad self.
On tip toe to see over the seat
What are you doing mom?
Look at that..
So I don't know where else to turn, so internet, my friend, tag, you're it.

Edwin and I have been together for only 3 years and those years have been turbulent. We spent a year apart working on our relationship. But, lets start at the beginning.

Edwin and I went to high school together, where he dated a friend of mine. While their relationship was on again off again they got pregnant. He was in college, and she had just graduated high school. He begged her to abort because it wasn't a good time. She decided she wanted to be a mom and decided to continue the pregnancy. It wasn't what he wanted but he accepted it and was supportive. Shortly after his daughter was born, the mom kicked him out and ended the relationship once and for all. He was still very in love with her.

Fast forward 4 years and a mutual friend of he and I's sets us up. We go on a date and I fall for him in a major way. At that time I had a nearly 4 year old daughter(our daughters are 4 months apart) and was hesitant to start a relationship. But, after spending time together I introduced him to my daughter and we started getting more serious.

A few months into our relationship, my mother, who I lived with while attending college, announced she was moving to Alaska. I looked for my own place, but without a job or savings, I couldn't afford a place. So, Edwin invited me to move in with him. I took him up on the offer with the intention of it being temporary. But, a few days after signing the year long lease, he said he wanted to separate, that he thought he was still in love with his ex. To say I was devastated would be an understatement. I was hearing wedding bells and seeing happily ever after. I just 'knew' he was 'the one'.

I was hopeful that I could wait him out, but still I applied at the local community college to continue my degree and filled out applications for assistance through the state and low income housing so I could move out.

While living together we were still intimate from time to time, and during one of those times, I conceived. We talked about what to do. He wanted me to get an abortion. I agreed. I made the necessary appointments and went in. I was early enough along that I could do a non-invasive abortion. My doctor required I wait a certain amount of time, though I don't recall how long. It was right after christmas I went in. I was going to take the tablet and it would abort the fetus. My doctor came in and I just couldn't do it. I was in tears and discussed what to do next with her. She was very understanding. Unfortunately, Edwin was not. He was furious that I didn't do it.

After a while of not talking, we started discussing the future and plans. At this point, I had been so stressed out and freaked out and crazy that I had flunked my first term at the new college. I opted to drop out.

So now I have a 4 year old, I'm pregnant, a college drop out, and living with a man that seems to hate me. Life was difficult.

I decide to do training to be a CNA so that I can get a job with a decent income. Midway through my training, Edwin announces he's received and accepted a job in Seattle, which is five hours away from where we live. Our lease isn't up, I have no income, and he gives notice and pays the early termination fees. So I have 30 days to find my own place. Thankfully, I received a call from low income housing and they have an apartment open. I move from 'our' place to 'my' place with only a day to spare before the lease was up. At that point Edwin had been gone for a month. I had been sleeping on an air mattress.

We move just before my daughters 5th birthday in July, I was 8 months pregnant. We move in and it's ok. I get things kind of set up, Edwin visits every two weeks when he comes down to see his daughter. Things slowly get better between us. We have lots of long conversations and come to agreements about parenting and how we would treat one another.

August comes and I give birth to a healthy baby boy. Edwin comes down for the birth and chooses to miss a couple days of work to stay with us. He and I bond over that time and I fall back in love with him(I had given up on "us").

He continues to come down every two weeks and visits. We get closer. We decide that when his lease is up, he'll get a bigger place in Seattle and the kids and I will move up to be with him. We want to try again and try and make it work.

We move up June of 2007 and start living together. Things so far have been going ok. I went on Prozac for some depression and mood issues. It helped our relationship some because we didn't argue as much.

However recently he's started treating my daughter in ways that I don't like. I don't want her to have a messed up self image because of him.

He has previously refused to do parenting classes or family therapy. I know if I issue an ultimatum he'll be angry, but I believe I need to do what's best for my children. If we don't protect them, who will?

I'm having a really hard time right now. I wish there was an easy answer in life. But every choice has it's price.
The tulips I bought at the fruit stand.
A pretty bush in someones yard along the highway.
The lake near my house
The sailboats in the lake near my house. This defines jealousy.
Because I find wild flowers that grow in yards pretty.
My daughter Lori, is spending this week with her father and grandmother. Here are pictures sent to me. Looks like she's doing fine without me.