Posts Tagged ‘children’

Wedding and Israel

December 7, 2010

I spent a lot of time researching the best time to take my vacation this Winter. I negotiated with my managers over the course of three weeks before we settled on dates.
Finally, on November 1, 2010 I purchased my tickets to fly to Israel on January 23, 2011 and to New York on February 6, 2011.

I informed my parents and siblings of my plans and I let my ex-wife know that I would be unavailable during those two weeks.

One of my younger sisters decided to accept a marriage proposal just prior to Thanksgiving.
A couple of weekends ago she warned me that they were considering a January 30th wedding. I informed her that I already purchased my ticket and if they held it that date, I probably wouldn’t be there.

On Friday December 3, 2010 she informed that they did, in fact, book the wedding for January 30th.*

I didn’t want to change my plans, but I felt like I was “required” to research my options. I called the airline. They told me I’d be charged a minimum of $250.00 to change my flight plans.
I spoke to my management. They didn’t want to be blamed (how they phrased it) for keeping me from attending my sister’s wedding, so they agreed to re-open negotiations to plan my vacation dates. However, they made it clear that they wanted me to go on vacation sooner rather than later.

(Basically, they expect a lot of projects to begin in February 2011, so they want all hands on deck.)

I called my brother in Israel to find out what he was doing and to hear what he thought. He’ll be coming in for her wedding. He offered to let me use his apartment while he’s away (especially if his whole family travels with him). He agreed that I am not obligated to change my plans because they knew the situation before they chose January 30.


* When I ask people advice, they usually ask why is she getting married so soon after meeting the guy and why does she need to get married on that particular weekend?
I haven’t spoken to her about it. However, I think my dad is imposing his belief that engagements should be short. This belief might work for ultra-Orthodox Jews and its practice might be appropriate for people who buy into that way of life, but I think it’s a mistake for my sister.
My sister is a sincere, god-believing, ethical, Orthodox-practicing, commandment keeping person. But she is not ultra-Orthodox.
She should have a “normal” Orthodox engagement period of 3 to 6 month. I hope I’m wrong, but I believe that this shortened time line will have negative repercussions.

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Divorce Aftermath: Selling the Apartment

October 20, 2010

A long time ago, in September 2005, we bought an apartment together.
In our divorce agreement we agreed to put it up for sale immediately, but until it sold my ex could live in the apartment.

Yesterday my ex called me to ask if it would be okay to delay the sale of the apartment. She gave these reasons:
1. She said at the moment no one is interested in buying the apartment.
2. She doesn’t think the children should go through the moving process “after everything they’ve been through”.
3. She can’t find an apartment that she likes
4. She can’t find an apartment that has as many rooms as our apartment has.
5. She can’t find an apartment that has room as large as our apartment has.

I was surprised when she made the request because I’d heard through the grapevine that she already chose a place to move into and she was just waiting for the agreement to do so. Also, she and her lawyer pushed for the most of the provisions in the agreement about the apartment, so it didn’t seem like she was eager to stay.

I didn’t see a problem with her staying in the apartment for a while longer, so I told her I’d think it over.

I called my lawyer to see if there were negative implications to allowing her to stay longer. My lawyer said there are. There are 3 options:
1. We sell the apartment immediately and split the net (as specified in the agreement)
2. She buys my portion of the apartment and lives there as long as she’d like
3. She gets her lawyer to write-up an agreement that extends the term from “immediate” to “one year”.

My lawyer seemed to imply that extending it beyond a year wouldn’t be in my best interest. I’m not sure why an extension of two years would be worse than an extension of a year. I do fully recognize the need to formally document

I tried to come up with a solution to this problem.

Today I called her up to discuss what I thought of before going to my lawyer with it and she suggested it might be better if she buys the apartment from me. I don’t know if she realizes all the ramifications of doing that, but that would certainly be a better option for me!

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Father’s Day vs. Mother’s Day

June 23, 2010

(For fun I’ve decided to include some audio from previous years.)

Yesterday was Father’s Day.
Here are some tweets I saw on the day:
“happy father’s day to all the real fathers out there.. not just paying child support but paying attention!”
“[censored] you, to all the deadbeat dads”

These tweets express the idea that Father’s Day is a day for fathers to commit themselves to being involved in the lives of their children.

However, Mother’s Day is never seen as a day for mothers to rededicate themselves to being better mothers. Mother’s Day is solely a day to honor mothers.
It doesn’t matter if the woman should not have had a child or if she is abusive.

I don’t like the idea of Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. We should not encourage procreation. We should not honor a human who created another human more than we honor one who has not.

However, if we are going to honor those who breed, we should honor them evenly.

If we want to have a national criticize parents/parental awareness day, I am okay with that.

MRI Results

April 29, 2010

As indicated in a previous post my son needed an MRI to discover the cause of his developmental issues.

These are the results of his MRI:
At the level of the left middle fossa, there is 2.3 x 1.6 cm well defined fluid filled lesion, appearance of which is consistent with presence of arachnoid cyst. There is displacement and/or hypoplasia of adjacent left anterior temporal lobe cortex. No significant remodeling of regional osseous structures.

There is normal caliber of the ventricular system and remaining subarachnoid space. Several punctate foci of T2 signal hyperintensity are identified within the parietal periventricular white matter, felt to represent sequelae of terminal zone myelination. There is no evidence of hemorrhage, mass effect, or recent ischemic change.

Major arterial flow-voids at the skull base are preserved. Visualized orbits and paranasal sinuses are grossly unremarkable.

Impression: Left middle fossa arachnoid cyst.

April 8, 2010

April 9, 2010

It’s been a while, so here’s a quick rundown.

I stopped wearing my yarmulke at work. Only one person noticed and said something to me about it. (I simply informed her that I’m no longer religious.)
I don’t feel strange going without my yarmulke on the street, but I still feel weird without it at work. I also feel more honest. It’s strange to simultaneously feel both.

Last week I came home to a bill from my cable and internet provider. They demanded that I return an old cable modem or pay $100. I don’t have the modem they seek nor do I feel I should be responsible for its return. After discussing it many times, they made it clear that they weren’t going to do anything to resolve the issue. I told them since that is true I can no longer work with them either and I am terminating my service with them. They “shut down” my service 2 days ago. However, my internet still seems to work. (I’m confused.)

Last week I was in a neighborhood bar. The very nice bartenders were speaking with me. The woman bartender told me she thinks I’m ready to start dating. She wants to meet women, go out, keep it light, have a good time.
I asked her to explain how she knows that I’m ready. She gave good reasons. Maybe she’s right.

Last week I got a text from my ex. She said our son has high levels of lead and needs to take a supplement.
I called her up and asked how she arrived at that diagnosis. She told me that a chiropractor had a guy read his palm and feel his fingers and that allowed him to reach the conclusion that the child has high lead levels. However, he assured her that his supplements can reduce the lead levels.
Of course these supplements are very expensive.
I told her to get a simple blood test done. That would prove conclusively whether lead is an issue.
She responded that if I wanted to do so, I could, but she wasn’t going to.
Sunday, Chol HaMoed (Minor Holidays), I took him to a real doctor. The results came back Wednesday. His lead levels are normal/undetectable.
I informed my ex of the results. I hope she saves her money and doesn’t buy the supplements. Aside from the money, I have no idea what’s in the supplements. The supplements might be dangerous.

I had the children (at my parents) Friday Chol HaMoed until the end of Pesach (Passover). I was nervous to have the children for so long. (Sometimes over a short weekend by Saturday night they are anxious to see their mother. I did not want to deal with “homesickness” for a period of double that time. As it turned out the children had a great time.
We celebrated mine and my youngest’s lunar birthdays. (Not the same day.) My siblings bought Passover cakes (dreadful) and the children loved them.

Tonight I went to karaoke. As I’ve been doing recently, when songs came on with a steady beat, I danced (not well, mind you). Dancing in public is resolution for 2010. Whenever I successfully dance in public, I feel a sense of accomplishment. Tonight, I asked a woman to dance with me. It didn’t really matter to me what she looked like or what her interests in me (zero, probably), the experience of asking a stranger to dance was positive. (By the way, she accepted in general, but declined for that particular song.)

Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Verbal Dyspraxia, Gait Abnormality

March 15, 2010

I got a text from my children’s mother today. It said that a neurologist diagnosed our son as having Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Verbal Dyspraxia, and Gait Abnormality.

He will undergo an MRI later this week*. I guess to confirm the diagnosis. From what I’ve read online, there is no cure for these issues.

* The hospital was supposed to clear the procedure with the insurance company, but didn’t. The test will be rescheduled for the middle of April. – Edited March 19

Weekends: A contrast

February 26, 2010

The contrast between how I viewed weekends before the separation and how I view them now is stark.

Before my wife and I separated, I would dread Fridays and look forward to Mondays.
Friday afternoons I would stay at the office, so I wouldn’t get home until just before Shabbos.
I would try to work overtime on Saturday nights. (In the last year of us “living together” (before the housing bubble burst), I made about $15,000 on overtime. Mostly, as a result of trying to avoid painful interactions with my wife.)
I would go for long walks Friday night and Sunday evening. I didn’t have anywhere to go or friends to hang out with. I would just walk the streets and think.
During times that I was home, I tried to stay busy with books, newspapers, computers, and taking care of the children on my own.
We had very different approaches to childcare, so, when she was taking care of them, unless she asked for help, I didn’t mix in. Similarly, when I was caring for them, I preferred she stay out of the way.

Monday mornings were good, because it meant I had survived another weekend. I could stay late at the office and work.

Since the separation, I’ve finally discovered why many people say “Thank Goodness It’s Friday!”
On weekends that I don’t have the children, sometimes, I still work late on a Friday. However, that’s to make up for coming in a bit late or doing “non-work” activity during my work time.
I’ve come to dread Sunday evenings and the impending new work week.
(Since the economic trouble of 2008, overtime hasn’t been offered. Even if it were, I probably wouldn’t work extra.)

I frequently think of this contrast when people ask me if maybe I’ll regret getting divorced one day.

Take the Good, You Take the Bad

February 22, 2010

I think it’s important in life to not only focus on the negative, even though, often, it is more interesting.

As I described, last week we signed our final separation agreement. The agreement says that we each have the children on alternate weekends. Holidays are split up by a system that allows the children to spend time with both parents. This being an even year, she is supposed to have them Purim night, while I’m supposed to have them Purim day. However, this year Purim begins Saturday night and I’ll have them at my parents (35 minutes away by car).
She called me up Thursday evening to say that she thinks rather than me returning the children as soon as the weekly holiday ends and then getting them back Sunday afternoon, I should just return them early Sunday morning. I’m glad in this instance she’s being reasonable. I’ll not hold out hope that this is the beginning of a pattern, but, for now, this is good.

My dad came over to me last weekend, when I was over with the children, and told me about the graggers and masks he bought for the children. He told me he is going to lein in the house for the children. I could see his smile when he said that, an attempt of proselytization of me is going down. I am not looking forward to Saturday night. I think I’ll set the children up with their grandfather and then I’ll go someplace else. Someplace quiet or with a television. 😉

Rental Offer Part Two

February 14, 2010

After mulling over the apartment offer for a while, I called my oldest brother for advice.
He pointed out that it’s been over a year now and the children have never stopped at my place impromptu. They’ve only come over on a scheduled day at the scheduled time. That’s unlikely to change for a few more years. By that time, they’ll either be old enough to take a subway or with all the money I save, they can take a taxi for 20 minutes.
I wasn’t able to articulate my feelings that 24/7 security will feel uncomfortable, so I removed them from my list of Cons.
I called my lawyer to make sure there were no negative legal ramifications to me taking the apartment. They didn’t see any issue with it, and, from a financial standpoint, they encouraged me to take the offer.
I called my dad about the offer and he sounded so positive about it that I began to think I should take the offer. He suggested I call my uncle about my concern that I won’t have privacy. (Since I’d already resigned myself to the fact that if I take the apartment I’ll be required to go to family meals.)
I saw myself as being about 87-92% in favor of taking the apartment

Friday morning, my uncle returns my phone calls.
I mention the apartment. He says, “It won’t be available until August [previously, I was told July], but it might not be available until a year from August.”
Then he mentions the price. $200 more than I was originally told.
In the process of explaining why the price is so cheap, I pick up on an undercurrent of doubt. It seems like he is planning on selling the apartment as soon as my grandmother dies. She’s in her late 70s and I’m not sure it’s a good idea to take an apartment that I won’t get to stay in for long. Especially, when my current place is so convenient.
We continue talking and he enthusiastically mentions that I’ll be near the family. I’ll come to meals, etc. He didn’t seem happy when I honestly said that was a concern of mine.
I then asked about my privacy concern. Perhaps, my lack of enthusiasm at being invited to family meals coupled with this question got him mad, because he responded almost angrily, “Just don’t bring dirty girls over. Don’t have parties all night.” I guess he realized he was being a bit over the top, because he modified it by saying, “I won’t be checking up on you. No one will know, but it’s my parent’s apartment.” (I don’t want you desecrating it!)
I don’t know what dirty girls are, but I know if he ever finds out I brought Dominos pizza into his parent’s apartment, he’ll cry for a week. I don’t need that pressure or situation.
My official answer is, “Thanks, but, no thanks!”

My Alternate Weekend

February 14, 2010

I have the children this weekend. Because the children are being raised Jewish Orthodox, I’m required to show them a consistent religious weekend.
Jewish Orthodoxy prohibits the operation of computers over religious holidays, so I’m forced to stay off computers when I’m in front of the children.
Because of paranoia that I’ll violate the children’s innocence of Shabbos observance, I’m required to bring them to my parent’s home for the weekly holiday.

In our divorce agreement, I’m being required to sign that I will give the children an authentic Shabbos experience (with kosher food). Once the documents are signed and the divorce is finalized, I’ll be able to have them at my place. That will be good, because I purposely rented an apartment with two bedrooms so the children can sleep over by me.

I find the whole situation offensive in the extreme, but fighting it will just cost more money and lead to more fights with my soon to be ex-wife. After a so much time swallowing blow after blow, what’s one more?