Friday, December 21, 2007

Do you see? Do you see??!?!?!

This is what happens when I am not bound to anything and there is no deadline.... my blogging gets totally slacky... is that a word? Slacky..... if truthiness and woot can make it into the dictionary, surely slacky can too.....

Random bullets because it is the holidays and I haven;t posted in awhile:

- Big huge annual meeting at work is over. It nearly kills me every year because it is so overwhelming to gather and analyze the numbers, it is terribly boring and monotonous, and this year the numbers sucked so it was hard to report those numbers. I knew going in what the numbers were going to look like, but I always hate being right. I had the power point presentation done and loaded with only 15 minutes to spare before our advisory committee showed up. My mother was on my patooter every hour or so with... are you going to make it? Are you going to get done? And as I told her before, I will never be done. I will never have a project or show or anything that is done with plenty of time to rest before hand. I just can't do it. It is not in my nature...why, pray tell is that?? Because there is always room for more and there is always room for improvement. Truth be told, I was complete with the numbers long before 15 minutes before presentation, but I was constantly re-evaluating the numbers, pursuing the story deeper, and coming up with more things to report. As I sit here now, there are still things I want to know from those numbers.

- So 48 hours after said big meeting, I hosted the office Christmas party at my house... uh huh.. you heard me..... I like to cram it all in with no time for things like, oh I don't know.... sleep. It was great though, the food rocked and the people all showed up with their jingle bells on.

- I have bought no Christmas presents yet. This would freak most people out... but no.. not me....UPDATE..... I saved this as a draft before lunch and went shopping at lunch, so I cannot say that I have bought no gifts... because lunch was a haul!! I am clearly not done quite yet, so tomorrow I will arising at the crack of dawn before Mike leaves for work, to go and do some last minute shopping.

- We are going to visit my grandparents this weekend. They were supposed to come here, but my grandfather fell after a trip out to eat. He was fine, but the issue arose that if he is so tired after a quick trip to a cafeteria, how is he going to do traveling 3 hours and staying someplace he is not accustomed to for an extended period of time. I am sad they are not coming, but I am more sad that this is another reminder that things just will never be the same.

- if you don;t have a digital frame... get one! They are the coolest things I have seen in a very long time. My cousins, sister and I are all going gin on one for my grandparents. My grandma has always had a problem with too many picture frames of all the grandkids and great grandkids. Now that they are in an assisted living apartment, space is even more of an issue. i am solving this by having the families forward me pics that I am including in the frame... lots of pics... one frame.....priceless... problem solved.

- So I made a tomato basil bruchetta type thingy for the office today. I stopped at the store for the bread and then decided, well, it could be served with tortilla chips too... so I head over to that aisle... and well if we are having tortilla chips, we HAVE to have queso..... and if we have all this salty crunchy stuff, we HAVE TO HAVE something sweet, so I pick up some Christmas cookies... next thing you know I have made a mini brunch for my office staff.....

- Speaking of office staff, my assistant has quit as of next Friday.... pissy pants pissy pants pissy pants...... I cannot say that I didn't know nor can I say that I begged her to stay, but it still is crappy. She never wanted the job in the first place so I have spent the majority of the past year yelling at her to rise to the occasion or get out and she chose to get out. I am pretty sure that I am going to have to take some time to fix the bumps in the road in her position before we ever consider hiring a new person here.

Merry Christmas People...... I say this because I have no clue if I am going to find time to come back here before the big day......

P.S..... I just bought the boys this jungle gym dome thingy from Sam's .... you know, one of those dome triangular climby things that you see at playgrounds.....it is gonna be a bitch for Mike to put together outside on Christmas eve.......in the dark... in the cold.....and all those hexagonal screws..... yeah...sucks to be santa-daddy on Christmas eve.....

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Happy Birthday, Ben!!

My angel, Boo Boo Bear,

Three years old..... my goodness... three years old. I am still in amazement that MY BABY BOY is three years old.

But I cannot call you my baby boy, anymore. You make sure to correct me by reminding me that "I a big boy now!" And you are. You breezed through potty training, you dress yourself, and you will always try to do something by yourself first before asking for help... "I do it, I do it" is the most common phrase in your very large repertoire.

In the past few weeks, you have run head strong into your big boy shoes. You know what you want, how you want it and when you want it. Your sentences and thoughts are clear, and there is no confusing your opinion with your brother's opinion... because most of the time, it is usually the complete opposite. You two can have a heated debate over the correct sound an ambulance makes and follow it up with a friendly game of "I spy with my little eye...".

Max, your big brother, is your very best friend. The two of you cannot be separated. Even when you are fighting, you still manage to hug and say I love you ... and I still believe it. The other day, it was just the two of us in the car and you were talking about a little boy in your class. I asked if that boy was your friend, and you said, "Yes, but he not my best friend..." and I asked, "Well, who is your best friend?"... "MAX!!!"

If Max is your best friend, then daddy is your best buddy. You two have a relationship unlike any other father son relationship I have seen. There are a lot of times when you and daddy have taken off to the man store (Home Depot) or just to run some errands, and somehow time escapes you both and several hours later you are walking in with toys and treats and I am never really sure if you accomplished your original task. You are daddy's shadow from the moment you see his car parked in our driveway at the end of the day.

You are my teddy bear. There is no place you would rather be at night then in my arms. There have been many times when I have woken up in the middle of the night, and you have made it into our bed and crawled into my arms to snuggle up to my neck. If you are not feeling well, the only place that can comfort you is my lap. We have a kissing game that we love to play. It starts by me asking you if you know where my kisses are? You respond by pointing to you lips enthusiastically. I say that I don't believe you, and you show me by planting a big fat wet juicy kiss on my lips. I exclaim, OH THERE IT IS!!! I then ask if you want the kiss back, which of course you do, so I plant a big kiss on your lips. The you tell me, no mommy, you keep the kiss and give it back. We can go back and forth for forever giving each other kisses..... and you always close your eyes when we kiss... always. There have been a few times that I keep my eyes open and you open you eyes with frustration... no mommy...close your eyes!!!

I have to thank you, pumpkin, for coming into my life when you did. You were born right after your grandpa had died, and it was a very sad time for your mommy. I was so sad that I was a little worried I couldn't be the happy mommy I wanted to be for you. But when you came into our life shinning like a star, I had no choice but to instantly fall in love with you. And I know that you and grandpa never had the chance to meet here on Earth, but there is so much of him in you, that I feel blessed to be loving him through you.

I love you, angel.... every bouncing ounce if energy and every sweet kiss!!

Love,

Mommy


Because it is MY blog

Because this is MY blog.... I present to you the boys' Christmas production that will bore all of you to tears, EXCEPT, of course, maybe Grandma, Oma, and Tiff..... and maybe you, Christina....

Max in "All Around the World is Christmas"



Ben in "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer"



There is potential trouble in my future now that I am figurng our this technology...

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Please send prayers

Please go visit these wonderful people:

(****UPDATE***** Please be prepared that the most recent post from Alex's mother is very difficult to read, I know some of you read this blog at work, and I do not want you to be caught off guard.)

Alex's blog

I have silently witnessed this family's journey from Alex's diagnosis of brain cancer through their blog. His very long and courageous journey ended today.

I became attached to this family because their son Alex and my son Max were the same age. My heart ached for this wonderful woman as she candidly shared their story on a weekly basis. I prayed for healing everyday as I clicked their blog on my blog roll to check up on his progress. When the news turned for the worse, my daily prayers were to surround this family with love and support. Now my prayers will be for strength and courage to face each day without Alex.

God bless Alex Kasnoff and God bless the Kasnoff family.

Monday, December 03, 2007

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.....

There are 2 questions you ask yourself when you are looking at a new home:

1. Can I make it my own?

2. How will I decorate it for Christmas?

It is these 2 questions that have entered my mind each and every time I have ever walked into a new apartment, home, etc. In my world, there are 2 different faces for a home, the regular face and the holiday face. I would honestly keep the holiday face on year round, if it was socially acceptable, but it is not, so I have to wait until late November-ish, early December-ish to haul out all the lights, glitz and glam that I decorate my house with.

The past weekend started on Friday night with a light dinner of scrambled eggs. We did not want to waste precious time with a messy dinner and long clean up. We brought all the boxes down in order for me to do a quick sweep of "Oh, yeah, I remember I have that" and "Oh gosh, I completely forgot about that" and "Wait, I did buy that last year in clearance!" Then off to the Garden Ridge to get the additional things needed. Moving into a bigger house this year, meant we needed more stuff.... more banisters to wrap with garland, more windows to put lights in, you get the drift.

Saturday was planning day. It is the hardest day in the process. It requires me to open and TAKE OUT all the crap in the boxes and decide where it is all going to go. I would randomly walk through the house with stuff in my hands trying to decide themes, plug access, do I have enough garland for both the window AND the door opening.... ya know, important stuff. Everything was laid out and then reassessed for what additional things were still needed. We had to interrupt the process to go to a house warming, but at least it got me dressed and out of the house once.

Sunday, go day. Sunday we were in a race against the clock to do the outside decorations before the rain started (FYI - we lost the race, but the rain did not deter us, just made us wet.) By 4 PM we were headed back inside the house to work on the inside,and at 11 PM, I was so exhausted I wanted to throw up.

I am almost there. Just a few minor things that need to be finished and the empty boxes put back up in the attic. I promise pics soon, just a little more tweeking before the final presentation.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Goodbye Nablopomo

Oh you dear, sweet, NaBloPoMo ,

The time has come for us to end our little affair. Our daily "chats" have been a journey this past 30 days. I have enjoyed them all, even the weekend ones that were hard to remember. I was determined to stay committed to you, and I did. I will admit that there were times when the conversation was strained, and I had to think hard about what I wanted to say/share, but once you engaged me in this sweet little text box.... well.... the words and thoughts came flowing out.

I thank you for the excuse for the daily rant. Right before this affair, I was distant and unavailable, coming to this little part of myself once or twice a month, but like starting a good exercise program, this 30 day boot camp has helped me get back into the groove of one of my favorite pastimes. I cannot promise a daily post (those pesky weekends, with plans and families and such), but I will promise to try re-commit myself to this treasured journal of my life.

Enough of this crap..... I gotta get back to work......

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Strangers

Conversation in the car today:

- Mommy, yesterday we talked about strangers at school
- I am gonna turn off the radio because I want to hear all about this
(Turn off radio, because this is an important conversation)
- Mommy, I am not supposed to talk to strangers, if a stranger talks to me, I am just gonna run away
- That is a very good idea
- I am gonna run to you or daddy, or grandma, or oma or opa or.... ( and the list continued of adults he knows and trusts)
- That is right.... you run away
- AND I am NOT going to take any candy
- Good boy
- Because the strangers put things in the candy that make you sick
- That's right, you never eat or take anything, toys or candy or anything, unless you ask me or any of those adults that you just said, and if we say it is alright THEN you can take the candy.
- Uhm, I will just take the candy but I won't eat it until I ask you, is that okay mommy?
- No, pumpkin, because you wanna know why? If you get close enough to a stranger to take candy from their hand, they may try to grab you and then you won't be able to run away.
- No... then I am just gonna run to you.
- That is a good idea
- And if a stranger comes up to you, you have to run to me, and I will protect you.
- That's right, we have to run to each other and protect each other.
- And I am gonna grab Ben's hand, too, and run, okay?
- That would be a wonderful big brother thing to do, I am so proud of you.
- Mommy, how do you spell "jingle bells"?

And with that, our "afternoon children's special" concluded.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

1st Dentist appointments

Today we had our first dentist appointments and my kids rocked!!!! Well... the staff at the dentist office rocked which helped to make my children shine like rock stars!

I was just beaming with pride that both of them did so well. I was concerned with the whole invasion of personal space bit, because, come on, it is hard to let a stranger get that close and put their fingers in your mouth. I just cannot say enough about this office. They were all dressed up like elves, the entire office is kid friendly, everything was a toy or a cool star wars chair. Ben left with his entire chest of his shirt covered in stickers. They both got 2 tooth brushes each, one electric and one regular, toothpaste, floss, yadda yadda.... all things we have at our house... but THERE, at the cool dentist office... they were precious gifts and the coolest things they had ever seen.

And good news....we can stop funding the children's college funds of all the tooth paste makers of the world. Max hates toothpaste, so we have bought every version of toothpaste in every flavor available in hopes that he will find one he will like and we will not have to go down in the books for parental neglect. I asked the dentist what we should do, since he won't use toothpaste....Nothing..... uh huh, you heard me.... he said it is the act of brushing the plaque off, there is nothing magic in the tube.

Rock on!!! Good kids AND We are not bad parents.... this has been a good day!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Grinch-ing

Yesterday I pulled out the Christmas CDs in my car. Nothing sounded like something I wanted to listen to.

Last week, I bought the big papers to browse the sales and "what's hot this Christmas" ads, but didn't get through them because I don't have any money and don't plan to buy anything anyway.

Today I walk into my office and the Christmas decorations are up. My immediate response was to get pissed off because who the hell said they could put up the decorations and why are they goofing off on company time, and did it ever occur to them that maybe some one else may want to decorate as well?

Even though my wardrobe consists of a majority of red, perhaps I need to find some grinchy green sweaters to match my mood.

Again, I am not really sure what the hell is going on with me lately. I can't decide if I am depressed or if I am actually getting to the meat of some very deep down emotions and ... well.... they are just not real pretty.

Last night I started to talk to my husband about something that has been weighing heavily on my mind lately (unrelated to him or our family), and God love him, before I even finished a sentence he was coming up with "solutions". I kept saying, "wait, let me finish my thoughts", and sure enough moments later, another resolution was ready for presentation. I finally raised my voice to him saying, "Catch a bubble!!! I don't want you to fix this!! I want you to listen to me!! I want to talk about it out loud!" He quickly smiled and said, "Oh, got it.... no lips, just ears...go ahead" I rambled on as we made dinner and cleaned the kitchen and at the very end he hesitantly says, "So, what did you finally come up with?"

MEN!!!! You just gotta love 'em!! They have great purpose in our lives, but bitching posts is not one of them.

I hate editing and withholding and that is what I am doing here. I am trying to purposely not go into details, but rather deal with what I am feeling and deal with how I got here. What steps did I take. What actions did I allow to happen that created this.

It is one of those situations when you are trying and trying and trying and you realize you are trying so hard that you stop and take a look at yourself and realize, what the hell are you doing? You are such an idiot! And you start second guessing yourself... have you been fooling yourself this whole time? when are you going to catch a hint?

And then you shake it off... no no no...it couldn't possibly be what you are imagining.... you are thinking too much again... it is what it is... state the facts and only the facts... and you look at the facts... and damn it, you are back on the roller coaster of how could you be so blind to the situation.

Okay fine... you don't like the situation... so change it. But how? Is there an easy way? No, there is never an easy way... well, there is, but it is usually not very successful.

Next thing you know I have thought myself into a vortex around the tub drain and I am arms and legs extended, holding on to the edge of the drain, fighting the water trying to get down the drain and yelling at myself.... GET OUT OF THE TUB!!!! Stop playing this game!!!

Monday, November 26, 2007

He is MY child

So I am sitting in my room ( I am often banished there if I want to watch any TV that is not animated), when Max wanders in, deep in thought....

Uhm, mommy..... can I talk to you? Daddy needs to get the ladder and go up on the roof and take that cage thingy off the chim-in-ey so Santa can come down with the presents.

Blank stare... blink .. blink....

Well, you know what? You know Daddy's tool belt? Well Santa wears one when he is working too and he has one of those electric screw drivers on it, so in case he comes to a house like ours, he can zip zip zip it off, come down the chimney, then zip, zip zip it right back on before he goes to the next house.

Light bulb

Oh..... Okay.....

and he walks out of the room.

That child keeps us on our toes.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The 7 year itch

My dearest Ta Ta,

Today we begin our 7 year itch, and I am still itching for only you!

Happy Anniversary!

I love you!
Princess P.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The great switcheroo...

So I am blessed in that my sister loves to shop and she has a child the same sex as my children and older than my children. This blessing means that I have never really had to purchase a lot of clothes for my children as they are willed down the line.

The next great blessing is that my best friend has a same sex ( now TWO same sex) children as I do which means I am not required to figure out what to do with all the clothes once my children have out grown them... they will just be willed down to the next 2 boys in line.

The sucky part of this whole scenario is having to do the big switcheroo every season (the 2 we have here in Texas, hot and not so hot). I decided to take advantage of the big table that seats 12 to spread out all the clothes. There are 7 different catagories

Max later
Max now
Ben later
Ben now
Jimmy later
Jimmy now
Kellen - eventually (because we missed these outfits when they should have been sent to Jimmy, but are probably too late now or out of season)

I am half way through the process and all I want to do is go take a nap.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Ahhhh, chickie na na.....

Quick side note to begin, "chickie na na" was the first of many made up slangs created to substitute my ever loving habit of talking like a Long Island Shoreman.

This particular moment of "lady like" cursing brought to you by the fact that post thanksgiving nap, Ben woke up just wailing. It took me 45 minutes to calm him down so that I could ask what was wrong. Being the attentive mother that I was during thanksgiving preparations, I had brushed off his, "I have a boo boo....it's bleeding!" cries all day as he pointed to his face. I just thought is was one of his tactics to get a spiderman bandaid. Well, once he stopped crying long enough to point to "where it hurt" and he pointed to the side of his face, I realized, oh chickie na na.... his tonsils again. It was at this point that I remember the days events and how he had not eaten much, and no it probably wasn't our cooking or choice of menu, rather a "boo boo" that hurts like hell.

I open his mouth and take a flash light to look and sure enough, his tonsil is so huge it is gagging him. I give him some motrin and send daddy to the Exxon for an icee to help soothe the pain..... get 2 because I am sure that when Max wakes up he will want one too....

About an hour post Max waking up and having his icee.... he throws up.... big violent through the nose throw up.

Where, pray tell, is daddy during all this fun? Nursing a headache in bed.

That's right people... all my boys were down for the count.... but not me.... I am still standing... well sitting here at work today.

Today seems to be better, but daddy took Ben to the MD and he said he has an ear infection. So now we are on an antibiotic and hoping that whatever little bug is wandering through my youngest child finds the exit quickly before we have to take any drastic measures.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A Blessed Thanksgiving to all of you....



I am blessed, truly blessed.

I give thanks this day for all of my blessings and I wish all of you a wonderful day surrounded by the ones you love.

Thank you, thank you, thank you........

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Preparations

Last night our house was a buzz with preparations for tomorrow's big chow down with the family. Ben was king of the toaster - he enthusiastically toasted every piece of bread in the loaf (for the stuffing). Max helped me make corn bread and rice krispy treats. Mike was cleaning the kitchen (and behind us) the whole time all while we all rocked out to the radio. It was so much fun. The kids were just exploding with excitement. Then came the time to cut the "tester" piece out of the corn bread, ya know the first piece that makes sure it is good for everyone else to eat, and the boys were hoping up and down to get a bite, and I just lost it. I got very teary eyed and tried quickly to clean myself up and not ruin the moment.

You see... that first slice of corn bread is my dad's slice. He always made the cornbread, and when you lifted the foil off of the pan when it was time to make the dressing, there was always one slice missing, the "tester" piece. I hate that black cloud for being there. That black cloud that never goes away. The cloud that says no matter how fabulous the moment, no matter how wonderful it is to make new memories, it will always be 99%. It can never be 100% again. I have often wanted to talk to people who go threw this to see if this is true for everyone or if it is just me. I think this is a silent understood misery that those who belong to "the club" have and it is just not spoken about.

So many mixed emotions. Thankfully way more happy ones than sad ones. I was up late mopping the floors and cleaning the house. I got excited about my idea of putting all 12 people in our family around one table, that I asked Mike to help me set up the table so I could just see if my idea was going to work, and sure enough it did. I didn't completely set the table, but I sort of put things the way I think I want the center piece to be laid out, etc. As I was doing it, I was a little concerned that maybe I was going a little too fancy or over the top for our very young families. I went to bed late and exhausted. At about 3 in the morning, Max came downstairs with a bad dream and climbed into bed with us. I got up and went into the bathroom... a few moments later, my dreary eyed pumpkin followed me in the bathroom and sleepily stands in front of me:

"Uhm, mommy.... You know that big table you put up out there? I saw it .... it is soooo beautiful....."

He rubbed his eyes and went back to our bed.

I knew in that moment that making new memories ... making them special and big and over the top.... are worth it. They do notice.... even the little ones.

This morning as I walked out of the bedroom I saw he and his brother walking around the huge table discussing where everyone was going to sit.

Max: This will be the boys' side, and that will be the girls' side
Ben: Don't forget GRANDMA!!!!

Yep..... it's all worth it .....

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Woman of the world.....

So some interesting stats.... I swear I never do this by the way, so I am finding this hilarious that I did it again this week and found what I found.

Remember how I said earlier that I was huge in Canada and Spain... well today I am huge all over the world with hits from Canada, Australia, Italy, Brazil, United Kingdom and France.

And the most commom search phrase that leads people here? "Hearing voices". That's right people... this is the reference guide for those seeking counsel on hearing voices. Frightening I know.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Overload

I have that tired overload where I am thinking of a hundred things but only the first few thoughts or words of a sentence get out before I get distracted, I have a brain freeze, and require a re-boot. Like, as I was trying to think of things to write about in this blog:

Title: Traffic
You know the problem with traffic is that good drivers are required to share the road with bad drivers... if all the good drivers were just allowed to go about their law abiding ways, we wouldn't have to deal with the speeders and those who go below the speed limit who cause the traffic......

Title: Excited
I am getting excited about the family thanksgiving. I really dig making pretty meals for lots of people.....

Title: Never to early to learn about the pretty
I was concerned about bringing out the nice stuff (china, etc) for the kids for thanksgiving, but I am of the mind frame that you have to introduce the kids to the pretty stuff to start the memories. What is the point of having the nice stuff if you don't use it and what better time to use it then special occasions and holidays.

Title: Too much to do and don't want to do any of it
I have so much to do at work today and I do not want to do any of it. I want to go home, clean my house and start making things for Thursday. I don't want to upgrade the virus protection, I do not want to work on the big advisory board meeting, I do not want to work on the re-enrollment package, I do not want to make schedules or follow-up on patients.... I want to fold napkins.....

grrr...... going to work.............

Sunday, November 18, 2007

We are back....

See... that is how quick the quick trip was..... most of you probably didn't even notice as you don't visit here weekends.... most of you don't visit at all according to an article I read in the paper this weekend. It stated 99% of blogs live in complete obscurity with only once a month postings.... well not me, baby, I am on day 18 of 30 straight days of blogs and I am HUGE in Canada and Spain according to my stat counter... we are talking like 2, maybe 3 hits a quarter people!!!

Anyway, the 6 hours in the car back and forth on this trip allowed for some pre-holiday discussions with my mom (and sister via cell)... Mike just nodded and said "yeah, uh, huh, whatever" from the driver seat....

Mike and I will be hosting Thanksgiving. Mom will spend the night the night before to help. I am determined to get all 12 people in our combined families around one table and thanks to my new house and creative genius, I am pretty much sure it is going to happen.

My grandparents are going to come for Christmas. This is HUGE as they are in their 90's-late 80's and several hours away. I REALLY hope this happens. They miss out on so many holidays because they wouldn't come here and there is no place there for all of us to come and prepare a traditional holiday dinner, so we are stuck with weekends like this one were we go down, eat at a cafeteria ( they have to see the food they are buying, no ordering off menus for them) and then coming home. It is just not the same.

I am so freaking tired..... after a quick trip, mom and I decide to go get the shopping done tonight so we have it out of the way... I am glad we did it, because now it is out of the way, but, whoa doggies, are my dogs barking!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Quick trip

There is no such thing as a quick trip.....

Why does it seem like it takes longer to pack for trips like these than the actual amount of time we will be gone?

Why is it impossible for me to pack only what I need rather than pack for the what if's that we all know will not happen unless I do not prepare for them?

Crying children, yelling husband.... I am so looking forward to the next three hours trapped in car with this group.....

Friday, November 16, 2007

Pantie wad venting....

So there are a few things that have been on the news here in Houston that have had my panties in a wad:


The man who shot and killed 2 burglars in his neighbors yard: Yesterday I heard the 9-11 tape where the man and the operator conversed for several minutes as he taunted and cocked his shot gun prior to going outside and fatally wounding the burglars. It was very clear this was not a situation of a man who quickly picked up a gun and "defended" himself. This was a man who noticed what was going on outside his window, called 9-11, got his gun, talked to the 9-11 operator for several minutes trying to psyche himself up to do something, and then, even though the operator pleaded for him to stay inside and that the police were on their way, went outside and killed 2 men.

The Temple murder trial: This is such a sad story. It is a story of a local high school teacher/coach who murdered his wife who was 8 months pregnant who was also a high school teacher, by killing her execution style with a shot gun and staging it as a burglary. He even established an alibi by taking his then 2 yr old son to 2 different stores and making sure that he was clearly on the security camera, stayed a few minutes then exited to go to another store. I do not know much about this story, but I was home yesterday when the verdict was read and the family of the victim was spoken to outside the courthouse. It was apparently a brutal situation for the family because they were not the most educated or high class individuals in town, they were just good down to Earth people. They refused to let this go. They refused to allow this case to go unsolved while the suspected husband married the mistress he was seeing during the murder, and completely isolate them from their grandson for 9 years. After all this was done, after the verdict was read, all they said was "Thank you" and "no comment" when reporters tried to poke and prod nasty comments out of them concerning the convicted husband, these people who were openly called trash throughout the testimony stood there and silently wept and said "Thank you."

The Hotel collapse: So there is a home video that looks like there is a person in a building right before it is demolished. I saw the video, and I cannot tell what i see, but I see something. My first reaction was that it looked like a ghost. Apparently the FBI who is investigating this video concedes that when enhanced and running, it looks like a person running, but when they stop and go frame by frame, there is nothing there... like I said.... ghost.....

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Half way there....

So we are on day 15 of this NaBloPoMo journey, and so far we are successful.

Today landed us at the pediatrician's office. Through an unfortunate series of events, including asking my husband to make the appt and somehow we end up with the wrong doc, we discovered that both of our little pumpkins have tested positive for strep. Neither one of them had any symptoms other than runny noses and Ben having a large tonsil that was not bothering him. The bad news was we were trying to make it to see my grandparents for a thanksgiving visit this weekend, the good news, she gave them a shot so they would recover quickly. The bad news was THEY HAD TO GET A SHOT, the good news, we don't have to wrestle Max to the floor and force feed antibiotics for 10 days. The bad news was THEY HAD TO GET A SHOT and CRIED so hard they made me lose my mind and offer a trip to the store to get new toys just so they would forgive me, the good news, transformers aren't that expensive at Target. For the record... I do not have the transformer gene.... I do not have the boy gene that can figure out how to go from car to fighting robot to car again.

Root canal yesterday. It was a blessed welcome. I actually looked forward to the needles and drilling just to relieve the pain that kept me up the night before, trying to sleep in an upright position.

I am tired... the boys are tired..... I am going to go take a nap with my strep infected children.... conveniently I am on antibiotics for the root canal infection and Mike is on them for the other issues he was having, so we should all be good for awhile.

By the by.... the test scheduled for Mike today was cancelled. Other tests revealed he had a bug and the medicine seemed to clear it up well. The MD did suggest that he felt there was a chronic condition that he has probably had his entire life that was agitated by this bug, but since Mike has managed to control it and it does not interfere with quality of life issues, the MD just doesn't want to label him with a disease and start him on a series of drugs that he doesn't need just yet. He said, he can't say that we won't be down this road again, but for now, let's just let it be.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A whole hand.....



My sweet baby bubalah, Max,

Please do not mind mommy silently weeping and breathing into a paper bag over here in the corner. It may appear as though she is having a panic attack at the thought of you turning "5" today, but the truth is, she is incredibly happy and proud of you.

I wish I had a long list of things to include here about how much you have changed and what a different person you have become, but you are and always will be my good ole Max. You notice everything, you remember everything, and you remind me of everything I have ever said right around the time I tend to be saying the opposite of what I originally said. You are not one to accept things the way they are, because according to you, everything can be challenged. There have been many a time when we have been caught in a game of wits, you challenging every statement I make, and I find myself uttering the age old phrase (that I swore I would never say to MY children), BECAUSE I SAID SO, THAT'S WHY!

You are officially left handed and this information is the 1st of many challenges you have had to face and overcome. This year you started pre-k, which is more structured and academic than you have ever experienced before. We hit some major walls in the beginning because you were having great difficulty taking what was being taught to you and translating that into your left handed reality. This combined with your ever increasing need for perfection, led to many crying nights sitting at the table working on your homework. You would get very frustrated with yourself because the letter or numbers were not perfect, so we began the first steps on the long life lesson of "It doesn't have to perfect every time, you just have to TRY every time".

Your teacher Mrs. Rosa, is one of your biggest fans. She has told us on many occasions that you are the creative story teller and engineer in her class. She said you have taught her more about "space ships" and "lasers" with your lego creations and stories of space adventures, than any child she has ever had. I know this to be true since our lego playtime is never a discovery of what we can make, but rather a carefully thought out and calculated approach to building the design in your head which I know you have been thinking about for days. One mis-placement of a red lego where a blue lego should be, has you shaking your head and telling me, " No, no, no, mommy.... not there.... THERE!!"



I am sitting on the fence as to whether or not you are going to grow up to be an engineer or a chef. You have evolved into quite a little Emeril, even requiring a towel to drape over your shoulder when cooking like daddy and that "cooker guy on TV" does. You have made scrambled eggs, toast, waffles, koolaid, soup, tuna fish... you even made your own birthday cake we are going to enjoy tonight. You have a great sense of combining things... little macaroni and cheese, little crouton crumbs, little ranch... poof... Macaroni and Cheese ala Max.



You and Ben.... oh my goodness.... you and Ben. Well.... you have created your own little world. It is a world that on very few rare occasions, Daddy and I have been invited to join, but mostly, it is a super secret special place for just the two of you. You have mastered the art of answering together in perfect unison (Boys? What are you doing?......Nothing...followed by uproarious giggles) You camp together in your tent in your room. You make up a game and Ben follows with complete abandon. Wrestling ends up in hugs and kisses, and even when you are mad at each other, in a blink of an eye, you have made up and moved on to the next game.



Oh my Max.... you have no idea how much I love your sweet adorable red head and each one of your little freckles that have started to pop up. You are gentleman who opens doors, you tell me I am beautiful when I walk into the room after getting ready, and follow it up with a wink and shot of the imaginary "gun" in your hand. You even comforted me when I was reading a book that made me cry, by coming in the room, sitting at my side and gently patted my leg, asking me to stop reading the book because you didn't like that book for making me sad. I say silent prayers every day that this magical bond we have lasts just one more day before you are too cool to be a mama's boy! I don;t ever want you to be a REAL mama's boy, but I hope that I still get a wink and a kiss when you are 30.

I love you, baby boy... I truly do.....Happy Birthday!!

Love,
Mommy

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

You should both be the good guys....

So last night, we were way off schedule and our bedtime ritual was severly suffering. After work we went to the store, and that pushed dinner time back which pushed bath time back... you get the drift. Well, on top of all this my tooth was throbbing, I am tired of having a throbbing tooth for 2 weeks, and I was losing my cool. As I was cleaning up the kitchen I broke on of my favorite plates, yelled at my husband to help clean it up, he came back with a swifter rather than a broom, which in my fragile state, REALLY PISSED ME OFF, and in the midst of the most ridiculous fight in our marriage, Max comes around the corner and peeks his head into the kitchen to see what the commotion was. Even though he was frustrated at me, Mike barked at Max to go get into bed. Well that pissed me off even more, so I yelled at Mike..." I am the one in the bad mood... I get to be the one in the bad mood!! I am the bad cop tonight and you have to be the good cop, DON'T TAKE IT OUT ON MAX!" My husband quickly adjusted, realizing I needed some alone time with my pissiness and broken plate, and went to get the boys into bed.

This morning, again, because bedtime was later, waking up was later, so we are trying to get out of the house in a hurry. Mike barked at Max to go get his socks and shoes. Max came into my bathroom:

Mommy can I talk to you?
Yes
Daddy was being mean to me...
I don't think daddy was being mean, he was asking you to get your shoes and socks.
But he yelled at me.
Well, honey, we get frustrated when you do not follow directions the first time we give them to you.
Yeah, but 'member last night, you told daddy he had to be the good guy and you were the bad one.
(Ouch.... it sounds so much different coming out of a 5 yr old's mouth)
Uhm, yes... but.....
Well.... I think you should both be the good guys......

I almost melted into a pool of pride and shame, but instead, I stopped the crazy chicken dance as we were trying to get ready, got daddy, and we all sat in the living room and made a deal that mommy and daddy would try harder to both be the good guys and Max promised he would try harder to follow directions the first time.

Monday, November 12, 2007

They are not perfect, but they are mine

I had a conversation recently with someone who accused me of being "such an easy parent about stuff like that...". This person was revealing how much anxiety they have about their child sometimes and I never seem to have that same angst. And I thought about that for awhile. Because in some ways this person was very true, I tend to not sweat the small stuff when it comes to my children, but that doesn't mean I am not just as nervous about being a good parent as others in my generation going through similar journeys.

Truth is, I know my children aren't perfect. I know your children aren't perfect. And guess what? I love them anyway. Every child has something: too whiny, too clingy, too aggressive, too shy, too outgoing, too whatever. Everyone has a "too". You just have to balance the "too". You have to forgive the fault and embrace the whole. Now I didn't say ignore the fault, I didn't say deny the fault, I said forgive and embrace. You got whatcha got when you got it.

I wish I could give all the mothers I know a great big break. I want to give them permission to be the most amazing women I know them to be rather than spending all their energy trying to be what they think they should be. I wish they had their children's eyes for just a brief moment so they could see and feel how much love their children have for them just for being who they are.

This is new territory ladies and gentlemen. No one has ever raised children with the history we have had and the culture that we have today. This is a new chapter in an old book. We cannot compare ourselves to our parents and we will never be able to judge our children, because the rules will change when it is their turn. This is our journey and our journey alone. There are no comparables. I am not saying that we are reinventing the wheel, but we are having to learn how to use these useful tools on our cars and on our roads.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Throb, sting, bolt....

I am sitting here trying to think of what to blog about, and I can't think because of the overwhelming pain in my tooth. It has been a constant throb for about a week and half. A throb that goes into my eyes, into my sinus, into my ear, down my jaw, and down my neck. I have been to the dentist. She advised me that I need a root canal but she couldn't do it because of the shape of the nerve, blah blah blah. Here are some antibiotics. Once you have completed them, then go get a root canal. You should start to feel better in a few days... that was 5 days ago..... she was wrong....

I'm going to take about 4 Advil and hit myself in the head with a frying pan to get some relief and a nap...

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Google Images of me....

This may be a long one, so please hang in there. The game is to answer the questions by googling the answer in google image and posting one of the results:

1. Age on your next birthday:
2. Place you would like to visit:
3. Favorite place:
4. Favorite object:
5. Favorite food:
6. Favorite animal:
7. Favorite color:
8. Town you were born in:
9. Town you live:
10. Past pet:
11. Past love:
12. Best friend's nickname (2 for me):

13. Screen name or nickname:
14. First name:
15. Middle name:
16. Last name:
17. Bad habit:
18. First job:
19. Grandmother's name:
20. College Major:

Friday, November 09, 2007

OUCH!



Do you see that face? That face belongs to my adorable nephew Konner. He had a fight with the playground and the playground won.

Apparently he fell on the play ground, with not a lot of fanfare. Karen was out on Wednesday night, so her husband had picked him up from school and put them to bed long before she got home. He warned her about the fall and that he would probably have a good shiner the next morning...well......

...THAT sweet adorable face came down to my sister yesterday and then spent the day in the ER. They were concerned because the swelling was so bad that his nasal passage was blocked and the bones near his eye socket were broken. After many consults, everyone agreed, he is three and it will heal itself, no need to traumatize him with surgery, thank goodness!

I think she should schedule the family Christmas picture soon, whaddya you think!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

HE IS HERE!!!!

My best friend, Tiff, is punctual if nothing......

I called my dear friend last night on the drive home from work to get an update on Baby Watch 2007. Nothing was going on. They were just wrapping up dinner at a resturaunt and were headed home.... misery in her voice she concedes, "I am probably going to be pregnant for 2 more weeks!" I head home, dinner with the family myself, and fall asleep while watching TV.

Then I get a call at 9:30 (my time) from a very perky Tiff and I am thinking they are heading to the hospital to have their baby..... no... she said... "honey... did you not get the texts, the pic? The baby is here... we are done!" I screamed, (waking up my children) HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE????? I just talked to you on my drive home from work and it was nothing!!

Well.... (in her time):

7ish, they get home from dinner sitting on the couch, ouch, that was a good contraction, I'm going to go take a shower... that will surely make all this stop.

7:45 ish, can't get out of the shower alone, contractions one on top of each other, her husband and her mom help her get out and dressed.

8:00 ish they rush to the hospital, go in the ER, rushed up to labor and delivery, she informs them she has to push.

No time for epidural!

9:10 Baby is here!!

Baby BOY!!

Born on his due date!! I laughed so hard when I realized it! This child is so Tiff...."Did the paperwork not say Nov 7th? Am I wrong? I am here on Nov. 7th!"

I am so very happy for them, I could just explode!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Forgive me, Ladies, for I have sinned.....

I come to the council of women (and yes I know there are a few men who wander here, too, but you guys are just going to laugh and tell me to get over it), to confess my sin... one of the cardinal sins in the "woman to woman sins", second only to dating an "ex".

So I am in the elevator by myself when a lovely young lady walks on. She pushes her floor and sighs dramatically followed with, "Oh I am so tired!" I sympathetically look towards her and reply, "I know..... I hear you.....when are you due? " She drops her head and smiles the most delicate smile, " I had the baby 6 weeks ago!"
At this point I am hoping that there really is a way to disapparate like in all those Harry Potter books, but I couldn't find a port key, so I was resgined to beg for forgiveness from this adorable young lady. I grab her, a total stranger to me, by the shoulders and look her dead in the eyes:
I AM SO SORRY!
No, don't be, I know I still look pregnant!
It doesn't matter... I AM SO SORRY!!
It's my own fault, I refuse to wear anything but my maternity clothes! (she was in one of those empire waist, boob basket, v-neck, top with excess fabric to allow
spread as the baby grows and I swear, she had a perfect round belly)
LISTEN! I am a plus size woman, and I have had 2 kids.... 9 months on... 9 months off!! I am so sorry.

We laughed together, smiled and went on our way.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

He looks good

So my husband has not been feeling well for awhile, way over a month, I would say. It kind of escalated to a point where we couldn't ignore it anymore and we took him to the MD yesterday. I had made the appointment last week, hoping that the situation would correct itself in time to cancel the appointment, but no such luck.

The doctor was wonderful. He was so comfortable that we might as well have been talking over beers and trouble shooting the cares of the world. He was definitely attentive and staight forward, but his bedside manner was phenomenal. I have to say it is a rare thing in the medical industry to find a doctor who can comfort and care at the same time. So many times, the requirement to care for the patient requires the physician to remove themselves from the situation so much so that the patient is merely a collection of blood, tissue, and bones,and all they care about is how they connect and why they are not connecting properly this time. But not this doctor, so I am pleased, but I am digressing, so back to the point.

The appointment went as I thought it would: nice to meet you, what's been going on, let's schedule some tests. What I did not expect was to have my husband get off the scale and tell me he has lost over 20 lbs in 2 months with no dietary changes. I knew he had lost weight, but that amount was shocking to me. Mike thought my restricting his diet last week really worked, until I explained to him that weight loss like that is only normal for people who are trying to lose weight like that, not normal people who ate soup and waffles for 4 days!

I went to dinner with my friend, Allison, after the appointment, and she asked me how it was that I was so calm about this. Then this morning as I was talking to my mom, I asked her the same question, why am I so calm about this? Should I not be? And I realized that there is a great deal of shut down and denial right now. I have known there was a problem for years, but it has always managed to correct itself. I knew that eventually we would probably walk down this road, and "eventually" has arrived. Mike's familial history does not lend itself to marathons and granola trails, so I guess I am surprised a wake up call hasn't come sooner than this.

For the first time in a very long time, I am not sure if what I am feeling is a peace about the situation, or a chosen lock to a pandora's box that I am not prepared to open.

Monday, November 05, 2007

The Dancing Girl

So this has to be one of the craziest things I have seen in a while. It is called The Dancing Girl and it is a way to tell if you are left brained or right brained. I do not want to bias your experience, so click the link and go for yourself before reading the rest of my blog to tell you about my experience with it.

Go ahead... I will wait....

Here it is again for those of you who don't want to go back: The Dancing Girl


Anyhoo..... so I go to this and my husband just so happens to be sitting behind me, so he looks too. Immediately, we both say, she is heading clockwise. I had read the comments on another persons blog who said that she changed directions, so we watched for awhile. I commented to Mike, I could not possibly imagine how someone could perceive her as going anything but clockwise. In the other blog, someone mentioned that she read the description of what left brain and right brain meant and when she went back to focusing on the girl, she had changed directions. So I told him, do NOT look away, I am going to go read the text and then come back, you keep watching her.

So I read the description, and turned my attention back to the girl and she stopped, like a blip on the screen and started heading counter clockwise. I mentioned it to Mike..
Ahhhh... there it is.... she changed direction!!!
No she didn't she is still going clockwise.
No she isn't!! Her foot is clearly going the other way!!
Babe, I have been staring at her the whole time, and she hasn't changed direction!
(I turn around to look at him like he is crazy, and when I turn back to the screen, she is going clockwise again)
Oh my gosh... now she is back to closkwise!!
She has always been clockwise!!
No she hasn't, she changes!!

And at this point, I swear, the dancing girl mocked me and started swaying her foot back and forth in front of her like she couldn't decide which direction to turn. Almost like she was teasing me, "You are left brain, no, you are right brain, no you are left brain, just joking, right brain!!" I actually got a little dizzy. I looked away from the screen awhile, and then went back to her and again, she was a steady clockwise direction. Mike tried the trick where I watched and he read the description and came back, but she never changed for him. He even tried to change his perspective and he couldn't make her change.

Too freaking cool...

UPDATE:

Here is a link to an article that a friend sent me about this dancing chica . I still think it is is fun though!

"So what does the spinning dancer tell us? The whole test is more of an
optical illusion than anything else, according to Steven Novella, an
academic clinical neurologist at Yale University School of Medicine who
blogs on NeuroLogica. When our brains process visual images to make some
order or sense of the world, they have to make assumptions. The dancer
is just a two dimensional image switching back and forth, but ourbrains
process it as a three dimensional spinning object.

Depending on the assumptions made and visual cues picked up, your brain
can make the dancer spin either way. When my friend first sent the test
to me, I saw it go clockwise...then switch to counterclockwise as I was
staring at the screen. What this tells me about my personality and
mental abilities is hardly a no-brainer - the brain test connection to
our mental strengths and weaknesses is nonexistent."

Sunday, November 04, 2007

I WILL find my house today

Do you hear that people???? I will find my house today!! I will do the laundry, fold it, and PUT IT AWAY! I will pick up the things that do not belong and put them were they do belong. I will clean my bathrooms and mop my floors! I might even dust!

Do you hear me?!?!?! I will.... as soon as I get off this computer.....

Saturday, November 03, 2007

With 2 yr olds, pick your battles

Ben: Mommy... you do dis for me? (presenting me with a broken toy)
Mommy: Baby, it doesn't work, you broke it when you put the wrong ball in there.
Ben: No issss not
Mommy: Yes it is
Ben: No
Mommy: Yes
Ben: No
Mommy: Yes
Ben: No
Mommy: Yes
Ben: No
Mommy: Yes (Now I am just playing to see who will break first)
Ben: No
Mommy: Yes
Ben: No
Mommy: (Giving in) Do you see this ball... it will not come out, so the toy is broken
Ben: It will come out (struggles, trying to get ball out) HEY, Mommy, why you put dat ball in dere... now is broken!!!!

He walks off in a huff with broken toy....

Friday, November 02, 2007

The Grand Haul

So Halloween night I picked the kids up from school and headed home. They had that low frequency sugar/excitement buzz radiating about an inch off their skin. It was already dusk, and when we drove through a neighborhood, Max nearly flipped out when he saw kids out on the street, "Halloween, has already started!! Hurry mommy!!!" I assured him that there was plenty of time and that there would be plenty of candy for him and his brother. We pull into the drive way and I barely put the car into park before he has flown out of the car headed inside to get his candy bag. He is shaking and jumping with anticipation when I burst his proverbial bubble with the information that he has to eat dinner first. Heaven help the child who has to EAT something other than CANDY on Halloween. I inform him he must eat either a peanut butter and jelly or tuna fish sandwich..... in a panic he negotiates down to "just bread and butter" (toast). During this time, our first trick or treater arrives and he greets this young ninja ( a stanger to us ) with " I'm eating my dinner first, but then I get to come, too!"

I have to say Halloween night was not as big a hit at the new house as it was at the old house . I was very reserved with the first few trick or treaters, thinking I wouldn't have enough supplies to make it through the evening. When we only had a few by 8:00, the remaining trick or treaters were treated with handfuls of blow pops and tootsie rolls just to get it out of my house.

Then my little Darth Vader and Storm Trooper made it back with their haul. And apparenlty my neighbors were just as desperate to get the candy out of their house as I was, because the boys were dragging their bags. They had only gone around one block, and I think they thought they were just stopping to empty their bags and head out again, but it was late and I was not going to allow any more chocolate to enter my house. I was the evil wicked witch of motherhood when I only allowed them one piece of candy each before they had to head to the shower. After much crying and whining, we negotiated a shower in complete darkness with nothing but their glow stick necklaces, and well... who can turn down a shower in complete darkness with nothing but glow stick necklaces.

Now.... what to do with all the candy... we still have a bucket of candy from last year.....

Thursday, November 01, 2007

NaBloPoMo... or 30 days of me.....

Because I am always one to accept a challenge, I decided to participate in NaBloPoMo this year. It is a blog challenge were all you have to do is post every day in the month of November. You got it people. 30 straight days of my random, hopefully insightful thoughts, dreams, wishes, issues, and angsts displayed here for all of you to read.

I was a little overwhelmed trying to think of what I was going to write today. Should I write about the kids? Maybe I should just bullet things I would like to write about over the next 30 days? And then I thought... get over yourself.... because this is for you.... this is not the New York Times or the Daily News... this is your storage bin for stories you want to remember, issues you want to get off your chest, things you need help processing to move on, or just random thoughts in your head that just need to get out.

I have to admit, part of this is very selfish because I am about to lose my daily source of communication and stress relief. Tiffanie, one of my oldest, dearest, and bestest friends in the world is about to have her 2nd bundle of joy any day now, which means our daily email conversations will cease until she returns from maternity leave. I have come to rely on the conversations as the only way to make it through the day, sometimes. Well since she has to go and be happy making her wonderful family even more wonderful, YOU PEOPLE are just going to have to hear me talk, whine, complain, gush, and emote... at least for the next 30 days.

I am also excited to see some favortie bloggers accepting the challenge as well, like this lovely lady at "The Most Wild Thing of All" and The Princess . I've missed reading up on everyones lives and I look forward to finding some new blogs to read in this process.

Now, come Dec 1st, I may not want to come anywhere near this blog... we will see.....

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

May the Force be with you this Halloween!



Is it just me or does my Darth Vader look like Rick Moranis in Space Balls?

Anyhoo, usually Halloween is a very big deal around our house. Lots of decorations and spookiness are added to the decor of our house, but for some reason, we never got our act together this year. There was always something else to do or we just didn't have the energy to drag all the decorations down and think of how/where to place them in the new house.

The halloween costumes were quite the ordeal. A month ago, we were all about Max being a pilot, Ben being Super Man. When we got to Walmart last week, they had no pilot for Max and Ben turned into Spiderman. Well, we then moved to party city where Max begged to be Optimus Prime (Transformer), so much so, that he left and went to the counter to tell the nice lady to get the costume for him. Well, the costume was $40.00 and I don't care how much we like Halloween at our house, I am NOT paying $40 for a 4 yr olds halloween costume. Then the waves parted and Ben saw Darth Vader.... since Ben was Darth Vader, then Max decided he wanted to be a Storm Trooper. The first time Ben put on his Darth Vader mask he started breathing the Darth Vader voice, "Krsch, kah" and said, " I am your fahdah!" I nearly fell over.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Moonlight in Vermont



So, we are back. We got back last week, but to be honest, it was a tough trip and I am not sure that we have recovered yet. It was a very difficult trip in that it was sudden, it was far, and it had a lot of ups and downs. As you can see from the pics I have included here, we were in Vermont at the most beautiful time of year. We flew into Hartford, CT and drove 2 hours through Massachusetts and then up to Vermont. The views up and down the mountains were truly breath taking. Mike and I talked the entire way there. We didn't even turn the radio on. We joked about how this was our first date this year.


Mike's mom had passed away before we ever left home. I was worried that this was going to bother him, but it didn't. Unfortunately, we have been around a few situations were the people were in commas or unconscious (clearly gone to a better place even though the body was still here) and I think he knew that his mother was already gone. There were several times when in my dramatic flare, I was ready to race him to the airport and throw him on the next flight up there to be at her side, but I think he took the more reserved approach. I think he needed to mentally prepare himself for this very final chapter. I think he was anxious to see certain members of his family that he had not seen in a very long time, but in the end, it was wonderful to see all of them. Even though it was a sad event, there was a very good feeling surrounding it.



So I think I need to clarify some things for those of you who perhaps come here often and read the goings on in my life.... in particular, the post about "the darkness". No one commented here, but I got several comments in real life and I think I need to clarify the emotional stream of consciousness.

I have to be vague, because, well, I have to. But, let me say that... I AM NOT ON ANY LEDGES OR LOOKING FOR AN EXCESS OF PILLS TO END MY MISERY. To be honest, I am not in any misery. What I was trying to say, which apparently got lost in the translation, was I am very tired of running into the burning building trying to save people then getting burned in the end. This is a pattern that repeats itself in my life and I am so very very tired of it. I am tired of being the "go to person", then being yelled at for knowing too much information. Don't scream at me, "Who asked you?" when in fact it was you who asked. Don't ask me to fix it things then get mad if it is done my way and in my time... I am tired of having too many lists and my priorities are not on any of them.

Case in point: I was going to go to work last week after we got home, and I was dressed, dropped the kids at school and when I got in the car, I just lost it. I just cried and cried and cried. It was the first silence I had heard in a long time and my emotional tank was empty. I called my mother, dripping in guilt, and said, I just couldn't do it. I just couldn't make it into the office. I could not handle calls from pissed off nurses, patients, or staff members. I went home with plans to do laundry and clean my house and do laundry and I couldn't find the energy to do any of it. I had allowed myself to bring my energy level down to below empty.

Oh, there is so much more to get into but I am rambling and editing and rambling and editing, so it is time to end it for now.

But I promise... for those of you out there that were worried... I am fine... well... I am going to be fine, I just need some time.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Goodbyes

Call it premonition. Call it lousy timing... Call it what you will but the darkness just shifted and was given a name.

This morning after 3 rapid phone calls in succession on my cell phone, I finally get to it and answer it to find my husband very upset. His mother was found unresponsive at her assisted living facility and was currently being rushed to the ER. Turns out she had a massive stoke in the night some time, aspirated, and currently has massive bleeding in the brain. She is in a small town and the only options were to try to transfer her 2 hours to a major city and try a risky surgery that more than likely would not work, or just make her comfortable. My sister-in-law made the bravest and most difficult decision to go with the latter. It is unlikey she will make it for long as they have not intubated her and the active bleed is continuing to cause major pressure which will eventually lead to... well....

Mike and I will be leaving first thing in the morning. It is the first time he has seen his family in 5-6 years... some even longer. He is doing really well. We all knew it was going to be this way eventually, we are just really mad we were right. We were hoping this woman, who is way too young to be dealing with the health issues that she did, would magically turn around and change her life, but sadly, that is not the ending of this story.

I ache for my husband. I ache for the fact that he has lost both of his parents.. in almost mirror situations.... before he has turned 40. I ache for my sister-in-law who for way too long has had way too much on her plate with the responsibility and care of her mother. I ache for my brother-in-law who has the biggest heart and held the treasured position as his mother's beloved baby of the family.

I gotta go pack... this is going to be a long weekend.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I miss this

I miss this... I miss coming here more often and dribble drabble and thinking things through and being pissy and being happy and telling funny things that happened on the way to being a family.

It has been very dark lately. Very very dark. I wish I had an evil source that I could point my finger to and say, "it's all because of YOU" but the only common source in it all is me...and who wants to point a finger at themselves and call them evil. I surely don't. I know I am not evil.... I have evil thoughts, but .. oh that's a different post.

The darkness.. back to the darkness. I have tried to dress it up, ignore it, embrace it, face it.. but the thing about darkness is that it surrounds you and makes you lose your bearings. It is hard to feel stable when you can't see anything around you. And it just makes you want to sleep, or make things up. Because when you can't see things, you think you can see things that aren't really there.

I thought maybe the darkness was coming as part of the whole dealing with dad's death thing. I signed the family up to walk in a charity Light the Night walk for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. This has required me to bring up dad, write about dad, find pics of him and email friends and family about him and ask for their help to honor him. Okay.. maybe this contributes... but no... not really... at least not all of it....

I am not doing what I wanted to be doing, okay fine, get over it.
I am in that part of young family life where sacrifices have to be made for the better good... okay fine.. this too shall pass.
I don't want to talk about it.. then shut up.

I told my mother the other day, I was at this point that I looked around at the world around me, and other than warning people not to run with scissors, I just don't give a damn what you do. I have no interest in fighting you anymore. I have no interest in policing the activities that you do. I have no interest in correcting you or listening to you. You have no consideration for me and you have no intention of ever changing your ways, and I am tired... I AM TIRED... of confrontation... so I give up. I give you the rope... go hang yourself. I do not wish to play this game anymore, so I am putting down my ball and glove and walking off the field. Good luck to you all, but ... me... I am done.

Maybe this is a mourning that you can't blame on a death that goes into the ground in a pretty box. Maybe this is a mourning of a person I have played for 32 years and she really is dead, and I have to mourn that fighting spirit, that passionate bull headed person who won every debate and saved all the world's problems but her own. Because she... well.. she has left the building.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Thank You, Fall.....

Thank you for finally getting here. I tolerate the rest of the year just to enjoy these blessed months from October through December. The colors, the weather, the excuse to decorate, cook, make plans. It helps that I decorate my house in these colors year round, so when this time of year comes, it just feels right. I start to get excited around the time school starts because I know you are almost here!

I got a great head start to ideas for your arrival last weekend. My sister and I kidnapped my mother for a surprise trip to the hill country for her 60th birthday. The leaves were not turning, but all the shops we toured on the adorable main street were all decked out and gorgeous in the rich hues I long for this time of year. We stayed in the most wonderful 100 yr old house right off of main street. It was so perfect. The weather was amazing. The food was great, we even hit a couple of wineries. It could not have been more perfect. Mom was so surprised, it took her a while to absorb it all.

I am pretty sure you are gonna kill my husband though.... the leaves... which are beautiful... have already started to fall in our backyard....in our pool....lots of them! This is our first experience with you, Fall, and our new backyard/pool. We have a beautiful tree that has these itty bitty yellow blooms that apparently only bloom in Fall and they are gorgeous... they blanket the pool...which from an outside observer (me), it is quite breathtaking, but for the new cabana boy (my husband), it is cause for some very creative expletives.

It is now time to get out the Halloween decorations, buy the boys costumes, consider birthday party plans for the boys, look forward to the arrival of a new baby (Tiff's baby - not me this year), and think about how I am going to decorate the new house for Christmas!!

And a happy blogoversary to me.... happily (and sometimes not so happily) blah blah blahging since 2004.

Woo Hoo!!!... FALL!!!!... love it!!!!... love it!!!!....LOVE IT!!!!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Attack of the Alpha Mom

So as I am entering daycare today, I see a woman asking the girl at the front when a good time to contact the director would be.... after some face twisting in "I have no clue what time is better than another" the exhasperated mother sighs and says, "Oh never mind, I am going to leave my number and please have her call me....."

I take the kids to their rooms, kisses goodbye and I am off to start my day.

In the parking lot, I see the woman starting to back up, stop her car, return to her parking space and say:

"Excuse me!!!!" as she is exiting her car...."You are Max's mom, right?"

(Goodness gracious, how do these parents know my kid and that I belong to them... I need to be more attentive!)

"Listen... I just want to get your opinion on something... what is your feeling on the homework issue?"

"Uhm, well... I can't say that I am happy with 5 sheets a night, because sometimes it can be a little overwhelming, but generally, if he didn't complete his work or if there is something he needs extra assistance with, well I am okay with it."

"Well, my son is in the class below Max and they JUST informed me that they are doing away with homework, AND I AM NOT OKAY WITH THAT!"

(wait... the class beneath Max? That means he is 3 turning 4)

"I mean at this age the children are sponges and they need to be taught the discipline so that they are used to it.. I am just not okay with this and I have asked the director to call me...I am NOT happy...."

( Oh my... you have your child on some pre-qualifying list for Harvard, don't you?)

"I hear what you are saying, I mean... I know I could go get some workbooks to work with him alone at home (sarcastic jab of, if you want your kids to be an overachiever at 3, get your own worksheets), but I guess it is nice to have them send home the same type of sheets that they are working with in class so there is a universal language ( subtle clean up for previous sarcastic jab)"

"Well, I just wanted to see what your opinion is" (which I heard to say, " I am looking for people to camp out on my side of the protest before I speak with the director.")

"No problem!" (which was delivered to be heard as "Sorry, Lady, you are barking up the wrong tree!")

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Adventures in Potty Training: Day One

My sweet angel Benjamin.... it is time... this is the last 3 day weekend opportunity we are going to have for a while, so Daddy and I decided, we are tired of buying pull up diapers..... (see previous budget meltdown)...... this weekend, it is all about pee pee and poo poo in the potty.

It starts early in the week, casual conversation around the dinner table, "Ben is getting to be such a big boy, don't you think, Daddy?... Hey Max, would you be willing to help us teach Ben how to pee pee in the potty like a big boy just like you?" Max has decided he is the trainer, I am the underwear changer, and daddy will be the accident cleaner...(God, I love that child!)... but I digress.... the seeds are being planted, Ben lights up because he is the center of attention.

The casual conversation continues in the car to and from school,
Me: "So.... big weekend, huh?"
Max: "Yep, big weekend, pee pee in the potty like me..."
Ben: "I pee pee in the pahhhty!"

Friday night, we go to dinner with family and the conversation surrounds Ben, "Ben, I hear you are gonna pee pee in the potty this weekend!" says Aunt Karen, followed by my announcement, "Yep, after this we are going to the store to pick out our big boy underwear!" Ben can hardly contain himself with all the excitement, so he honors us with a PRE "pee pee in potty" party present of going pee pee in the restroom at the resturaunt.... he requested 4 trips the the bathroom to accomplish this feat, but it happened!

We head to Walmart to pick our new big boy underwear and choose Thomas the Train, Spiderman, and Diego (and mommy grabbed a basic white value pack as our back up). He is so excited he pulls them off the shelf himself and one by one puts them into the cart.

9:30 - This morning we wake up (luxuriously late, so, thank you boys) and it is time to get dressed. He bolts to the kitchen where his underwear is still in the bag and we begin to pull out all the underwear and look at them to decide which is going to be the glorious winner to grace my sweet baby bears little toosh for the very first time. It was a tough call between Thomas and Spiderman, but with the urging of his brother, Ben chose Spiderman. Of course mommy gets pictures because there is nothing more adorable than a 2 1/2 yr old in tighty whities with cartoon characters.

9:38 - we decide our brother pushed us a little too hard and we REALLY wanted to start this journey with Thomas the train... it is our middle name after all!

9:45 - we discover the first pit falls of big boy underwear as we try to flash gordon our heiney bump down the stairs. About 4 stairs into our bump, bump, bump down we realize.... hey...wait.... there is no cushion here.... we delicatly rub our toosh, and decide to stand and walk down the stairs.

10:00 - no pee pee

10:30 - no pee pee

11:00 - no pee pee

11:15 - jumping on the trampoline, we have our first accident - THAT'S OKAY....good try, let's get some clean clothes on... next time....

11:45 - standing right in front of me, no warning, puddles..... Boo Boo, you gotta pee pee in the potty.. just tell me and we will hurry!

12:30 - no pee pee

1:00 - WHAM...... upstairs door slams.....Oh crap..he is taking a CRAP! I know that I gotta hide in a room by myself to poop trick.... RUN upstairs to find him in the corner, hands over his eyes, deed done. Oh pumpkin, it's okay, this is hard, and we are going to learn, but you gotta tell mommy and dadddy, you don't want this yucky stuff on you, let's put it in the potty.

1:00-4:30 nothing.....nothing but a desperate child who desperately wants some of the m&m's that are sitting on the window ledge mocking him..."Candy, pleeeeeeze, mommy!!!" .... "No baby, you gotta get that pee pee in the potty!"

5:00 - Mommy... I gotta potty.....
Hurry... hurry..let's go....
Sitting on the potty, hand cupping his ear to make sure he can hear it... tinkle, tinkle, tinkle into the water!!!!
BIG BOY PEE PEE'S IN THE POTTY AND GET'S HIS JUST REWARD - M&Ms !!!!

7:00 - Hold onto your shorts, folks..... I come around the corner to a freaked child with no pants on pointing to the alien things in the potty and questioningly announcing, "Mommy, I poop in the potty?!?!?" I come to the potty and what do I see.....POO POO IN THE POTTY!!!!!!!! Two glorious perfect little poops in the potty!! I SCREAM in excitement and realize I have scared the bejezuz out of my child who is standing there not understanding what the hell just came out of his heiney or, if in fact, something just crawled up the toilet while he was sitting on it! I calm myself but still remain very enthusiastic, smiling, hugging, and high-fiving the newest big boy in the house!
What does he ask as a reward for this achievement?
Pizza
Guess who is ringing our door bell right now.......

8:00 ah crap (changing pee pee pants) it's only the first day..... baby steps, baby steps... no let be rephrase that... big boy steps, big boy steps.....

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

7:50 AM

Max throws up in car.

Will not be in the office today.

Mad rush to clean vomit out of car before hot summer day wins the battle and destroys my car.

Is there such a thing as too much Febreeze?

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Thy will be done

So through an interesting "one thing lead to another"... I came across the blog of the person who received the teaching position that I interviewed for earlier this summer. It started when I received an email from the HR dept of the district that I had applied for asking if I was still available to teach. I am sure it was a blanket email sent to everyone who had applied so that they can clean out their system. Then I drove past the high school near me that was welcoming the new principal to the school who just happened to be the associate principal that I had interiewed with at the OTHER high school. I went online to confirm the information and then my curious cat nature had me nosing around to find the name of the person who did get the postion, which I did, then I googled the name (which I always do) and found his blog instantly.... silly on his behalf because if I found it, so could his students and his students' parents, but hey, not my problem.

Any hoo... what struck me as interesting in the big picture of things was.... he didn't want the job. What he was really hoping for was to be accepted for a 3 yr MFA program at a prestigious college. In his blog he said he and his wife, "...gave it to God.. and whatever God wanted... so be it...." Well, he didn't get in. He got this teaching job instead...."which I guess is okay...I mean, it's a new school and I would be the head of the department..."

Wow..... this is just so amazing to me. It is just so amazing to me that - even though I believe we have the ultimate choice to accept his calling - God really is constantly hovering above, moving the chess pieces exactly where He needs them, when He needs them, for the greatest good.

My favorite Rolling Stones Song and personal mantra:

"You can't always get what you want... but if you try sometimes, you just might find... you get what you need...."

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I am pissed.....

I am pissed to the point of tears.
I am angry because I am internally humiliated.
I am upset because something that may seem so small and trivial to someone else can literlly cause an avalanche of reactions in my little insignficant world.

An eye doctor's appointment. A harmless eye fucking doctor's appointment. If it was not for the fact that I HAVE to get new contacts becasue the disposable ones that are in my eyes are so blurry I have headaches and easily 3 months old. I would just get contacts, but I am not allowed to per the government, I have to have an appointment.
I know that even 10 off of our budget can cause hundreds in overdraft protection fees, so I call ahead to my insurance company - WHAT DO YOU COVER....WHO IS IN NETWORK.... I call the in network provider who happens to be someone I went to years ago and my mother and sister have gone to for years....MY INSURANCE SAYS YOU ARE IN-NETWORK, ARE YOU?....yes..... DO YOU FILE OR DO I HAVE TO FILE?....we will file.... SO ALL THAT WILL BE COLLECTED IS MY CO-PAYS?.....yes.....

Get to the appointment...happy happy happy.... how's mom? how's sis? yadda yadda what's the problem? here's the solution.... we will put you in these.... same cost as what you were in before.... try these on....take all of these.....

That will be $284.00 if you order a years worth today......
What...(studder) uhm, well... let me just try these and then I will call.....
Oh... those are not samples.. those are the first of the order.....
Oh, uhm, well..... okay.....
But you can return them if you don't like them and want to try something else...
Oh, great ...okay.... (damnit Becky say something, you fucking idiot, tell them to take their damn contacts and shove it)...can I just pay for the exam right now?
SURE!... That's $58.00.....
$58.00... wait... I only have a $15 copay.....
Yes ma'm but that doesn't cover the $43.00 contact lense fitting fee.....
(coldly looking down at the counter because I am embarrassed that the entire store and all the associates can hear me stammering about money) I would have appreciated to have known this BEFORE now.....
Oh, I am sorry... I can take it out of the $150 allowance you are given for your contacts....
No....

At this point I want to start crying because I am so pissed but I am so exposed in an environment surrounded by people who cannot understand how $43.00 absolutely ruins me... how I feel like I have been had but I have lost my voice because I don't want to make a scene and I don't want to make it uncomfortable for my mother and sister who have gone there for over 10 yrs.

I walk out the door and I am so upset I can't hink clearly. I am panicking thinking where am I going to come up with $200.00. It takes me an hour to calm down to start thinking - call the office manager, make a complaint, return the contacts, get your prescription (which by the way I was not given) and go somewhere else.