Happy 9th Birthday Munch

It was 9 years ago today at 11:34 a.m. that I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. He weighed 5 pounds, 15 ounces and I loved him more than I ever thought possible. I cried tears of joy when I heard him cry for the first time. I made his dad leave me and stay with him. I didn’t want him out of our sight. He was so tiny that I was worried that he would always be small. I was told that he was the perfect weight for a preemie.

I relaxed. I touched his hands. His face. His feet. I was in awe of this beautiful bundle of joy. Two eyes. Two ears. Ten fingers. Ten toes. I counted everything. I studied this little person vowing that I would never let anything happen to him. That I would fiercely protect his spirit and teach him to serve others.

With each passing year it becomes harder to watch him grow up and navigate his own life. I still want that chubby little boy that loved his bottle and binky. That little boy that looked at everything with an inquisitive yet unconcerned stare. This almost pre-teen is my greatest joy and gift.

So, today I celebrate God’s greatest gift to me. I want to let him know…

You are loved more than you could ever know. I wish you nothing but joy and happiness and laughter. I wish you peace and understanding that life sometimes brings challenges and changes, but you will get through it. I wish you lots of hugs and kisses in knowing that there is nothing in this world that could make me happier than being your mommy.

Happy Birthday Munch!

Happy Resurrection Day!

What a beautiful Easter Sunday in Maryland! I’m going to both church services this morning because the Drama and Music ministries will be doing a program for the second church service.

I’m excited.

My Munch is in Danville, Virginia with his dad’s family. It’s a tradition that I started when he was an infant and one that he will always keep. It’s important for him to have the love of his grandma and her family engulfing him. She’s an amazing woman.

Munch was telling me last week that he was super excited to go and visit his grandma. He saw her last month for her 75th birthday, but he enjoys spending time with her. I smiled. When I asked him was he going to do an Easter egg hunt at his grandma’s house he said “I’m not sure.” “Well, I’m sure that she’ll get you a big Easter basket baby” I said. He said “Mommy, the Easter bunny brings me my Easter basket, not my grandma.”

And just like that I remembered that my son still believes in the magic of the Easter Bunny. I love that. In all the drama from the last week, it warms my soul to know that he still believes in the great things about being a kid. He knows that Easter is more than baskets or colored eggs. He knows that it is about the resurrection of Christ.

He will go to sunrise service at his grandma’s church with his dad. A beautiful church in the country where everyone has watched him grow up year after year. He will go downstairs after church is over for the sunrise breakfast that is a mandatory part of their service. He will eat breakfast and smell the scents of good ole’ country cooking. He will probably just eat the bacon and potatoes. He’s pretty particular.

He will pray and he will remember what this day is all about. I pray that he will hear me whispering “with God all things are possible.” This is not a day of sadness but of happiness because we know that Christ rose. So, on this beautiful Sunday I wish you thoughts of colored eggs, Easter baskets and bunnies, but more importantly I wish you the comfort of knowing that Jesus paid it all.

happy-easter-wallpaper-2014-images-greetings

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

March for Babies

Hey Loves,

I’ve decided to participate in March for Babies. I, along with some members of my sorority are walking in the March for Babies at Nationals Stadium on Saturday, May 6th. This is my first time participating in March for Babies, but I’m extremely excited.

Munch was born premature and thankfully didn’t have to spend time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) because I was given the shot of steroids 6 weeks earlier. The shot of steroids were to help his lungs rapidly develop (since that’s the last thing to develop) because my cervix kept shortening. He’s fine, healthy and a precocious soon to be 9 year old.

However, he was lucky. Many children are not as lucky. Including some of the children of my friends. I can’t imagine losing a child, but many parents experience this loss. The March of Dimes focuses on the prevention of birth defects, infant mortality and the prevention of premature births.

I want to help. I need your help. I set my goal at $250.00. If each of my WordPress followers were able to donate just $5.00, I could surpass that goal. It would be $7,240.00. How awesome is that?

Any amount that you can donate will be greatly appreciated. No amount is too small and all amounts are tax deductible. Can you help? If you can help – please click on my fundraising page here: March for Babies

Thank you in advance. Your help is truly appreciated. I will post a follow-up after the March with pictures and my feedback. I want you to know how invaluable you are to helping others.

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Divorced Again

I told you in yesterday’s post Failure of the Court how we went to court for a modification of custody to find out that we are still legally married to each other. The court failed us. We thought we were divorced, but the divorce wasn’t worth the paper it was written on. It was a sham.

In Maryland you can have both your divorce and custody tied together if there are no issues. It’s simpler, more effective and cheaper. I chose this route since I filed for divorce. It saved us time and money. However, because our custody was tied to the divorce and not separate. There was no custody agreement because there was no divorce.

You see the dilemma?

We were both having mini-breakdowns and trying to navigate what happens now. The magistrate explains that he can’t discuss custody because we’re still legally married and that divorce we were given is invalid so we can’t modify the custody as part of the divorce because the divorce is invalid. Basically, no one has custody. Are you freaking kidding me? What?

We were trying to digest all the information that was provided. The magistrate informed us that he was upset over the situation as well and wanted to get out of meeting with us because he couldn’t bear to hear that one of us had remarried and what that meant because he had defended a woman that had a similar situation in another county.

In Maryland, bigamy is a felony that can result in an individual spending up to nine years in jail.  The only way out of it is if your “ex-spouse” has been gone for seven continuous years or you don’t know where your “ex-spouse” is living at the time of your new marriage. That meant that if either of us had been remarried we would have been charged criminally with a felony because the courts screwed up our divorce. They don’t care if you knew about their screw up or not because you are charged criminally and divorce is a civil case.

This is getting more frustrating.

To learn that even if you didn’t know that your divorce was invalid and the courts were at fault and you get remarried you could still catch a felony case? To put it in perspective, our magistrate then tells us a story of a client he had a few years ago that went through this. She went through a bitter custody and property divorce. Her ex was upset because it wasn’t favorable to him. They settled custody and property and then the woman’s attorney filed for divorce. The divorce was filed 11 months after their separation and they were granted a divorce.

Fast forward two years and the woman is remarried and just had a baby with her new husband. She receives in the mail a bench warrant for her arrest and a notice vacating her divorce as invalid. Her “ex-spouse” had went to the state’s attorney’s office and requested that he check their files because their divorce wasn’t legal because Maryland required a 12 month separation not 11 months. The state’s attorney found out it was true and then the woman’s life became a two year nightmare of having to fight a felony bigamy charge, getting divorced, getting remarried and getting her life back.

We sat there dumbfounded.

I said “I don’t understand how the state can charge someone for something they did. The state is at fault because you can’t marry or divorce yourself so if documents aren’t valid then the state is at fault for that. How am I to be criminally charged with their poor hiring choices? That’s not my fault.” He responded “It’s not your fault and you did nothing wrong. But, Maryland law is firm.”

Thank God neither one of us remarried.

The magistrate then asks us do we still want to be divorced. Umm, yes. However, I said that I don’t want to pay for it. I paid the first time and it was a waste of money so everything should be free.

So, he has us go to the paralegal’s office down the hall and have them print out a complaint for absolute divorce and an answer to an absolute divorce. I then requested a complaint for custody and an answer to complaint for custody.

We completed the forms and I asked for sole custody in all paperwork. Both sole physical and sole legal.  I wasn’t going to stop his visitation, but I needed written confirmation on how we’re supposed to do this. We went back into the court room and the bailiff let him see my forms so he knew how to respond in answer. The bailiff gave the forms to the magistrate.

We asked questions on how do we proceed not having a signed custody agreement in place, he said as a lawyer I would advise you to keep things as they are until you go before a judge. No matter how you want to change it, the courts care about how the child is coping with things now.

We sighed.

He included a line in the decree to untie it from the divorce and we would get a separate custody agreement. He turned on the recording and then proceeded to divorce us.

We were divorced again. We left feeling somewhat defeated. This ordeal was working our nerves.

We then met with the scheduling coordinator and turned in our custody paperwork. The coordinator then scheduled all of the things we needed to do including the temporary hearing for 3 weeks. It was overwhelming to say the least.

We go to court again for a hearing on May 4th. My ex-husband (I pray this is in fact legitimate) and I will go to discuss a temporary custody agreement, attend parenting classes and mediation and then have a final custody hearing in August. It’s a hot mess.

We are trying to meet and work some things out on our own prior to our May 4th court date. The more that we try to do on our own and just have the courts put it in writing the better off. There are no winners in our battle for custody. I know that. Ultimately, Munch will be the loser, so knowing that allows me to try to meet with him and work some stuff out on our own.

At this point I realized and began to accept the silver lining in all this. What silver lining you might ask? The fact that he wanted a modification which got us back in court to realize that our first divorce wasn’t real and then actually get divorced again. This allowed us to not have to catch a felony case or sue the state for negligence.

You see? God was in it.

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

I Broke

I’ve always been honest with you about my co-parenting struggles. The relationship with my ex-husband is sometimes unnerving, antagonistic and dysfunctional to say the best. I’m tired. I’m tired of fighting.

I received a certified notice at my house in January. It was a certified letter from my ex’s cousin. I opened it up and in it was a Writ of Summons. He was petitioning the court to modify the custody arrangements. I cried.

I couldn’t believe that he wouldn’t even send me an email or try to communicate with me about his wishes before trying to take me to court. Nine months after custody was finalized he was trying to change it. I couldn’t understand why he didn’t object in March of last year.

I called Mr. C. I was a wreck. Between tears and anguish, I poured out my heart. I screamed “You see why I don’t trust him? Why would he betray me like this?” He said “Babe, calm down.”

I couldn’t. I couldn’t be calm. I had to get a handle on my life right now. I struggled to breathe. How could he do this to me? This is ridiculous.

I have physical custody of my son. My ex-husband has a visitation schedule with joint legal. I talked about this in my post last year entitled Closed. He knew that I was filing for sole physical custody. It was in the best interest of Munch. I never hid that from him. I wanted to modify the visitation schedule we were doing with every other week due to his health issues. He agreed.

I told him that I would give him time to let me know what he would like and proposed a Thursday to Monday every other week. I told him that I was open and to please let me know what he wanted to do. He said “Okay. I’m going to trust you. I’m going to trust that you’re not trying to keep my son from me.” I’ve kept up my end of the bargain.

I’ve never kept him from his son. Never. He came back to me a few months after the divorce was final and said he didn’t want to adjust the schedule. He wanted to keep it as is. Trying to appear fair and level headed and not the controlling b*tch that he’s called me, I agreed.

Best of interest of Munch. I allowed him to keep Thanksgiving and Easter. I offered him the opportunity to spend time with his son on Christmas Day too.  Any additional times he wanted to take Munch out of town or just be present in his life. Yep. I have no problem with that either. That’s his dad.

Best interest of Munch.

That is what I kept telling myself. It is in the best interest of Munch. The many arguments, the threats, the name calling. I’ve endured it all. I never harass him about payment for expenses and I don’t ask for child support. We agreed to equally support Munch. It’s not equal. I pay for medical expenses, dental expenses, swim lessons, tutoring, guitar, soccer and any and all equipment needed.

His response was “You never tell me how much stuff costs.” I sighed and responded “You know it’s not free. When I asked you before you said you didn’t know when you could give me the money.” I let it go. I didn’t worry about it.

Munch was my responsibility. I had primary physical custody. I can’t complain about the many expenses outside of the $150 a month he pays towards Munch’s childcare. I would take care of it. I adapt. I adjust my spending. I adjust and keep it moving. Allow my son to learn and love both parents equally.

I don’t say no to the things he needs or the experiences he wants. I figure it out. Alone. I just make sure that my son has the experiences he wants. I didn’t have that when I was growing up. My son would never know what that is like.

I submitted my response to the courts last month. I had 30 days. New information was presented to me. I amended my response and submitted it to the courts. I mailed everything to him. Now, we have to do what I thought we never wanted to do…allow the courts to decide what is best for Munch.

Today is the day that the courts have to be in our business and choose for our son. Am I happy about it? Nope. Am I surprised? Honestly, nope. Did I wish for better? Yeah. But, this is the luck of the draw. I chose this situation when I ended my marriage and this is where I find myself. Accepting responsibilities for my choices and fighting for the best interest of my child.

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links:  Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Mommy Moments: 4/8/2017

It’s a brisk Saturday morning and I’m laying here after prayer trying to force myself to get out of bed. There are things to do and places to go. Munch has a soccer game at 12:30 pm today. His first of the season. We’re both excited.

I have to head down stairs and fix his breakfast. Fuel for his body. He needs to stay focused and engaged and not worry about hunger pains. His sickness is gone and he’s back to normal.

When we returned back to the world of the living on Wednesday and were getting ready to leave the house, he says to me “Mommy, I don’t think anyone missed me.” I stopped. “Missed you when Munch?” I asked. “The last two days that I’ve been out of school. I don’t think the kids missed me.”

I laughed. He was so sweet and sincere. The innocence of a child. I replied “Munch, you were only gone two days. I’m pretty sure no one missed me after two days of taking care of you at home.” He looked shocked. “You don’t think anyone on your staff missed you while you were out?” “No baby” I replied. “Well then, you should fire them Mommy” he said. I began to laugh hysterically.

“Munch, you can’t fire people because they don’t miss you. Even if they work for you” I said. He looked confused. I then realized that I needed this precious boy to keep me sane. I needed his words, his kisses and his hugs. I needed his belief that I was superwoman and that I could do anything. Supermommy.

Although it’s illegal to fire someone and I can’t imagine anyone doing it to me, I see my son as a fighter. A fighter for me. He believes that others should miss me like he misses me and that means more to me than anything in this world.

I make mistakes. I’m not perfect. I probably reward way more than most parents. But, I’m learning and I love what God has blessed me with in Munch. I just thank my blessings for my Munch.

Happy Saturday loves!

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Random Rumblings: 4/7/2017

Hey Loves,

Sorry for the delay in writing. Life has been hectic.  We’re already into the second quarter of 2017. Time has really flown by. I’m exhausted.

Munch was sick on Monday morning. My week started off with a nasty smelling bang. He had a stomach virus. I thought it was strep again. Ugh!

Monday was a scheduled day off for me. I had 3 doctor’s appointments and a nail appointment. Combo sick day so I could accomplish all that I needed to get done. One day off. Handle my own health.

But, life has a way of stopping you in your tracks. Munch comes to me after sitting at the table not eating breakfast. He said “My tummy hurts.” Not one to play with his health, I went through the myriad of questions “Did you eat?” “Do you have to go stinky?” “Where does it hurt?” He answered.

I sighed.

“Baby, I have to go to the doctor’s today. I have 3 appointments. It’s class picture day. You can’t stay home today.”

Excuses. I gave him excuses for his health concerns as I rattled off my schedule. I was too busy to take off.

Two minutes later he was in the bathroom vomiting. Painful and forceful as tears rolled down his face. Last night’s dinner.

No breakfast. He hadn’t eaten anything on his plate. I rubbed his back and began to console him. Three more rounds of gut wrenching and painful vomiting. He was in pain.

I sat worrying about my baby and waiting until the doctor’s office opened to cancel my appointments. My baby was sick. I put him to bed. Rest. He needed rest.

I began to cancel my appointments and heard the sound of footsteps back and forth to the bathroom. Gross. He vomited 12 times before I remembered that I had prescription medication to stop vomiting and nausea.

I gave him a pill. “Let it dissolve on your tongue. Rest baby.” He laid down for an hour. I told Mr. C about the medication and that Munch was finally resting. He informed me that I should take him to the doctor’s instead of just giving him medication.

I laughed. I know what I’m doing. Munch entered my room. Red spots on his face. I began thinking he had something more serious than a bug.  Maybe strep or scarlet fever again.

“We need to go to urgent care. I need you to see the doctor. Put your socks and shoes on. Stay in your pajamas.” We left the house and headed to PM Pediatrics.

Urgent care tested him for strep. I told them that I gave him the anti-nausea and vomiting medication. Do you remember the mg? they asked “Yep, 4mg” I replied smugly. “Good move mom for thinking of that.”

I smiled. I was adjusting to this motherhood thing and trying to heal my son. LOL. Well, at least figure it out on my own. I was growing.

 

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.