Upon chatting today after a couple of hours of good TV Veg Time, the hubby and I have decided, after my next semester, I'm going to go back out to Florida and seek employment as an EMT-Basic and finish out my Paramedic program there.

My mother is killing the both of us. I know, I know, I should be eternally grateful to her for letting us live here, but it's not as if we don't do back-flips to try to keep her happy. We try constantly to keep the peace, but now it's affecting our kids.

She never has a positive thing to say to them. Not one. They run her over like a freight train and she can't see why. They don't do that to us. I've tried talking rationally to her. It just doesn't work.

2 major recent arguments...

1.) Mornings: My husband gets up every morning and gets the kids ready for school. He does laundry twice a week and they always have nice, clean uniforms and warm jackets, etc. It never fails. She gets up before him and then starts getting in the way. "Morgan could wear a skirt and tights and you wouldn't have to do laundry so often." (It's in the 30's...I think pants are a little more smart)....Or in the afternoons it's "Put your uniforms here so I know where they are." Uh, you don't need to know. HE needs to know. THEY know where to put them.

This would seem like piddly crapola if it weren't for the fact that it's really screwing the kids up. We set down guidelines, and she's constantly over-riding us and confusing these poor children. They are good kids, but they can only be expected to be pulled in so many directions at once.

We had a "family discussion" the other night. My dad told her "Stay out of the way in the mornings..they have it..you don't need to do anything", because she'll martyr herself on how she helps and on and on and on...but she's not helping...she's hindering.

2.) "Get up and come see what I got the kids for Christmas"..."I'm studying for a final, Mom. Can't right now. I'll see it on Christmas"...So she comes in my room and sticks it in between myself and my book.

She doesn't do this for the effect of "Hey, aren't the kids going to love this?"...I've known her for 28 years. I know what her motives are. She's been trying to talk us into letting them open presents here the week before Christmas. It's not because she wants to spend Christmas with them. She'd like them to not talk, move or laugh. It's all because she needs everyone to know and bow to her greatness for how much she spent and how hard she worked to get those gifts.

My dad has always been the "bread winner"..she just started working a few years ago. She does retail at Dillard's part-time. But I'll be damned if she doesn't look my kids in the eye at least once a day...for something they got months ago...and "What do you say to Nana???"...Over and over and over again.

The woman has no soul. I've seen her cry once in my life and I can tell you exactly why. My brother and I were young and she had finally pushed my father to the breaking point. He told her to leave. She wasn't crying because she was heartbroken over losing my father. She was crying because she had "failed" and had no way to support herself and it would "look bad". It wasn't status quo. That's it. That's all. I guarantee it.

So, we are going back to Florida. Attempting to avoid Jacksonville, itself and try to get a HFH house in Fernandina. My husband's mother is awesome and adores the kids. She can be a little batty, but she's a really good mom and grandmother.

I swore when I left there in the beginning of 2001 that I'd never return. Now I find myself wishing I was on the beach with my kids and we were all happy and healthy. Here, we aren't. We just aren't. We are all miserable and my kids don't have TIME to waste. Every minute I spend too stressed out to take them outside to play, is a minute I lose with them. I can't afford time like that. They need me. They need him. They need love. They need all the things that we had to give them there. I was simply too selfish and tired to see it. I wanted to go home. I wanted to go back to school and couldn't see a way of doing it from there.

Now, I CAN see it. I know I can do it. If I can live in this war zone, I can work and go to school. I can take my kids outside...hell, they can play in my mother-in-law's yard just fine. Here, if I'm not right up their ass it's "They picked up a rock from my garden!!!!", yet if she's watching them while I'm in class, I come home to find my room destroyed because she's shut them in here and doesn't care, because she can't hear them. As long as she doesn't hear them, she's happy and my stuff be damned.

I want my life back. I want my space back. Damnit...I want my kids back. They are so beautiful and smart and funny, and I don't want them bittered. It's not right for her to tell them once a week that she's going to put us all out on the street and how their mother is a good for nothing bitch. That's a direct quote.

I'm busting ass to get through school and show them what can be done. My husband has really turned into a wonderful man that wants everything for his kids. We're getting there. We sure as hell aren't sitting on our asses.

Goodbye Lousyana...Hello Fernandina.