Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

It is Christmas Eve morning and I'm at work. It's not that I have any actual work to do, it's more that I'm required to be here. It should be noted however that they are only making us work a half day. Now for the facts of this particular Christmas Eve:
  • My brain is swirling, swirling, swirling. It will not stop. I keep trying to grab things and write them down before I forget them but I still feel things I've forgotten waiting at the edges of my consciousness waiting until it's too late to pounce.

  • The lights are still not on the tree.

  • The house has not been cleaned.

  • The baking has not been done.

  • The food shopping for tomorrow is not done. I was suppose to do it yesterday but instead spent the evening at the doctor's with the 10 year old. Earache and possible strep. Every year one of them is sick. It seems he is the chosen one this year.

  • I only have a couple of gifts left to wrap.

  • A Hanukkah miracle has occurred. The older two received Cranium WOW for the first night of Hanukkah. We have all played it twice since then. The miracle? My FOURTEEN year old played and had fun and was animated and excited to play a board game with his family. Trying to hold on to that memory. Who knows when it will happen again.

  • I have a late-breaking gift for one of the children which has thrown off the whole fairly even, fairly fair gift piles. Now I'm trying to figure out how to work it into the rotation. What I'm not willing to do is buy 3 more gifts. What to do? What to do?

  • I really need to relax and approach my shopping without a frantic edge. It's all about state of mind now. I always make sure to not have to go to the store on Christmas eve. I hate the kind of crowds out there and yet here I am making lists of food for tomorrow, last minute needs and last minute chores. I'm afraid there isn't enough time left to get it all done.
Have a Happy Holiday! Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! May it be fun and stress-free.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Holiday Plans

Today is my oldest's birthday. He is 14. This is a problem for two reasons. One, how can my baby be 14? And two, how can I be old enough to have a 14 year old child? How did this happen?

Since his birthday is on a school night he has planned his own get-together with his friends. They are coming over to a adult-free house after school and playing snow football. Now the reasons I have allowed a bunch of unsupervised teens in my house is this, there will be no girls as they don't usually like snow football, they will be outside most of the time and he is fourteen (gasp) and he and his friends are pretty darn responsible. Please do not take the time to tell me how foolish I am. I'll be home approximately two and 1/2 hours after them. I'm guessing I will find them playing Madden '09 on the Wii.

Tonight is also the second night of Hanukkah. The kids gifts went over well last night - in fact the game (Cranium WOW) I got the older two went over better than I thought it would. Two of the boys gave me a pair of lovely earrings. It seems my second born has impeccable taste. Or at least he always knows exactly what I like. The earrings are dangly and it's weird but I haven't worn dangly earrings since the kids were born. Or at least only when I was dressed up. I forgot how much I enjoy them.

The only disappointment was the gift I got my husband. He always tells me not to get him anything and of course, I always do. Get him something, that is. He always acts... what is the best word to describe it? Respectful? Thankful? Annoyed? Never, ever excited. I've never, ever seen the kind of smile that you just can't repress when you receive a great gift (like the one I had when I got my flash for my birthday). It's been sort of my mission to get one of those smiles out of him. I thought I had finally nailed it. I really did. I even got an amazing deal on it. Turns out? Not so much. I actually think I may give up. I mean, I can't. I just don't know what to do anymore. Accept he'll never be happy with the gifts I give him? Not try to find the perfect gift? Just give him underwear and socks? Gah! It should be noted, he shows proper excitement when other people give him gifts. It's just the ones from me he seems resigned to. Maybe I'm just a terrible gift giver. Seriously? If the Christmas gift I got him doesn't do it, nothing will.

I have decided tonight is book night. The kids and everyone get books. I try to arrange the nights very carefully to maximize excitement and things to keep them busy. I do themes each night and I think only once did I do a misc. night. There is ALWAYS a book night - or two. This year we had game night, tonight is book night (the children have been complaining they have no good books to read which 1. is a lie and 2. there is a library 1/10th of a mile down the street), tomorrow we are celebrating with their Grandpa so no gifts from us, Wednesday is clothes night (so they will be comfy over the holiday), Thursday is Christmas so no gifts yet again, Friday we are going to rent their ski equipment, Saturday is celebrating with Nana and Aunts, Uncles and cousins. I have no idea what to do on Sunday. By that point they will have a present hangover. Maybe I should divide the giant stacks of books into two nights. Guess I better figure that out pretty quickly.

As for Christmas, my mother and I have decided to go with mini foods in a buffet. Oh, and ham. Crackers, cheese, hummus, mini quiches, mini pizzas, meatballs, cookies and whatever else I find at BJ's tomorrow night. We all get too full off snacks on holidays anyway so why bother with the sit down dinner? Snack, drink and pie. Must not forget the pie. Crap! Must remember the ingredients for my traditional Christmas morning coffee cake. This is the only time a year I make it.

As for the cookies? I'm thinking the week AFTER Christmas is a good time to make them. What are your plans for the holidays?

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Best Birthday Ever

Today all my birthday wishes are coming true.

  • Kids have snow day so I don't have to drag them from bed and get them ready for school.

  • The most awesome birthday gift from my husband ever.

  • Cake for lunch. Young woman in my office brought me a homemade, from scratch chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. It may be the best cake I've ever eaten.

  • Work closes early because of sever storm.

  • The ride was was a bit stressful but uneventful if not extremely slow. I saw 2 tractor trailer trucks stuck. One was blocking the main road to my house. No serious accidents were witnessed though so I call it a win.

  • Local liquor store near the local grocery store near my house had lots of my favorite wine. Is 4 bottles overkill? Is it wrong to start drinking at 3pm on your birthday after a stressful drive home? I think not.

  • The kids are shoveling driveway.

  • The husband is picking up Chinese on his way home so I don't have to cook.

Chocolate cake, Gilmore girls on DVD, favorite wine, Chinese food, no reason to go outside again. Whoohooo! BEST. BIRTHDAY. EVA.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Miracles and Madness

WARNING: Apparently 3.5 hours of sleep is not enough for my brain to function.

Yesterday I crashed my site. Complete meltdown. Nothing showing up. Nada. I spent many hours fixing what I'm sure a fourteen year old could fix in about 15 minutes. Many, many hours. As in late into the night or rather, into the early morning. I also installed WordPress. I may even like it. I can't really tell you though because my brain is not actually connected to the rest of me at the moment. And yes, I do have a 14 y/o. But my 14 y/o can't do such things because apparently when you have a mother who knows even a little bit about computers, you don't feel the need to learn anything about them yourself - much like cooking.

It seems to be up and working today. It's actually working much better than my brain. I was even an hour and a half late for work this morning (one of the 3.5 hours spent sleeping was when I am normally getting ready for work and getting the kids ready). Just know, there is not enough coffee in the world right now.

In other news, I have had my own personal Christmas miracle. I would say more but there is always the chance that one of my offspring will read this. A small chance but who wants to blow the miracle now? Just know that miracles do happen. And remind me to tell you about it after the holiday.

I seem to use the phrase, "In other news" much too often.

I have to ask, are your children, assuming you have them or have spent some time with some recently, insane? I mean really. Mine are driving me mad. They are fighting and teasing and whining and WILL. NOT. STOP. TOUCHING. EACH. OTHER. I get that they are excited but lay off already. When at least one is in tears at a near constant rate it may indicate you should leave your brothers the hell alone. For those of you who don't know what I refer to, it goes something like this:
  1. One brother (any brother) does something he knows will annoy the snot out of everyone. Or just one someone.

  2. Said brother is told to stop behavior.

  3. Repeat step 2.

  4. Repeat.

  5. First brother is attacked physically by other brother(s).

  6. Melee ensues.

  7. First brother ends up in tears.

  8. First brother tries to garner sympathy from parental units.

  9. NOTE: Step #8 NEVER works yet child keeps doing it.

  10. Repeat steps 1-9.

  11. Repeat steps 1-9 with different brother playing the part of First Brother.

  12. Repeat steps 1-11 over and over - even while parental units scream, yell, and send everyone to their rooms.

  13. And keep repeating until parental units are dead on floor from apoplexy.
There is no amount of wine that will take the edge off this chaos. Believe me, I've tried.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Swirling Thoughts

Work? What work? Was I suppose to be working?Ah, I thought I was suppose to be mucking around on my web server. Foolish me.

I've been trying to come up with something to blog about but have realized there is just too much swirling about my head to form coherent thoughts. I decided that I would try letting a little of the crazy out and maybe make room to string 2 thoughts together. Wishful thinking, I know.
  • We have a tree. It is not decorated. There are no lights on it. The good part is we sort of have a tradition of not decorating it until Christmas eve. Yes, this was born of laziness one year and the children have opted to live by "tradition". That and the Chinese food we eat on Christmas eve. I say go for it. Don't need to stress about decorating the tree in a timely manor and don't need to cook. Win-win.

  • Holiday cards are printed. Envelopes are ready. Still needed are stamps and folding. Lots and lots of folding to be done. Also, I am NOT FUNNY. This makes me sad.

  • Still trying to redirect the old site to the new. Not going well.

  • Have realized I am also not funny enough to twitter. I LOVE twitter. I just am bad at it. Again, sad I am not funny. Funny = FAIL.

  • Spent the majority of yesterday redesigning a logo type thing for work. A logo type thing everyone claimed to love when I first designed it about a month ago. Realized on my way to work yesterday that it was AWFUL. So, so bad. HATE with fiery hot passion bad. Did about four new versions and hated them all. Office chose favorite and now I must use it because the printing is due by the end of the week. Design = FAIL.

  • Wow, didn't realize I had such a high fail rate this week. Instead of making myself feel better this is kind of depressing me.

  • Last band concert of the season is tonight.

  • Have not yet found time to make cookies for holidays. Also just realized I haven't put together a shopping list for ingredients for said cookies.

  • Weight is skyrocketing.

  • Wow. More failure. I think I should go before I depress myself.
Happy holiday making to you!

PS - All images have disappeared from this site. WTF?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Love Thursday

I spent $1.66/gal for gas this morning. ONE DOLLAR SIXTY SIX CENTS. I can't tell you the last time gas was this cheap. Also? The gas near my house? Between $1.99 and $2.04. By work? Between $1.66 and $1.89. It astounds me. Really. I paid $6.50 LESS than I would have if I bought it around the corner from my house. That is huge people. I work about 30 miles from home. The husband works about 45 miles from home and the temple we attend is about 40 miles from home. That's a lot of gas. That's a lot of savings.

More Loving...
If you still need a gift for that hard to buy person. Any person really. I have the PERFECT gift. Bath towels. No really. Not lame like it sounds. Everyone needs bath towels. And these towels are the most luxuriant, absorbent, soft towels on the planet. They are even good for the planet as they are a bamboo cotton mix. The price right now (on sale at Amazon) is between $16.50 - $17.99 depending on color. This is one of those things that no one knows they need. They don't know they want them until you give them to them. BUY THEM. I have 2 and I don't let anyone else in the house use them. They are MINE. Love.

Still need more loving thoughts?
My job. Still love it. Finally feel like I found my niche here at the old place of employment. You may recall how much I despised the job I was originally hired to do. HATE. But the job they offered me at the end of the summer? LOVE.

So this isn't about the love of people but it is love all the same.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

More Holiday Stuff

I am finally playing Christmas music. I've been neglecting the playlist on my ipod and sort of skirting around it. I'm not sure why. It could be that I'm afraid of burnout before the actual holiday. Am I waiting for decorating or baking or wrapping? Who knows. And no, I have done NONE of those things yet.

The holiday newsletter is ALMOST ready to print. Yes, I'm one of those annoying people that send out a newsletter. I know. I'd like to stop but I have had complaints when I did. This year I did something a little different. I made the boys write their own blurbs. I have to say it's not nearly as funny as I had hoped/expected. They may actually be more boring than me. If anyone has ideas to spice it up I'd appreciate it. (and so would the recipients)

In other news, I realized I've gone a bit crazy with the gifts this year. It's the first year in 14 that I've been working full time. FOURTEEN. YEARS. So to say we have a little more cash to work with would be an accurate assessment. Not that I can go completely insane but I can actually shop without the palpatations of the past. The downside to this, I just realized, is I have to now WRAP all the gifts. I'm not a talented wrapper. And I really want to do it up right this year. I got the gifts and now I need to make them look like the treats that they are. The big question... do I even have wrapping paper? And where does one buy nice paper? My kids are out of preschool and to be honest, most of my wrapping paper purchases came from their fundraisers. I'm a bit of a wrapping paper snob in that I like a nice heavy paper. That flimsy stuff just pisses me off. Don't even get me started on the stuff you can see through. Who the hell thought that was a good idea? Cheap? Yes. Worth it? NO.

I suppose I will have to plan a wrapping/decorating weekend. It also seems it will have to be this weekend as I'm starting to run out of time. Hanuakkah starts in a mere 11 days. The good thing is the kids' Hanukkah gifts don't get wrapped. I bought big, blue gift bags one year and decorated them with the kids' names with a silver sharpie. Since then I have had to replace them once but for the most part I just drop the gifts in and hand them over each night. Since Hanukkah is not as big a celebration on the nights it's just the immediate family and we're usually short on time (school nights you know) it works well.

Now I just have to get the husband to take the kids somewhere while I set up a little workshop for myself to crank out the gifts.

Hope your holiday plans are moving along smoothly.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Need Time To Breathe

First I would like to say that I'm still loving my new template. And the same place I first found it (Smashing Magazine) I also found wallpapers for December. I'm thinking I will change my wallpaper each week since there was more than one that I liked. I also think I have a serious problem picking and living with things for more than a week. No wonder I have such a hard time decorating my house. What I like today I may not like tomorrow. I get bored easily and I like a lot of different things. Yes, now you know why my house is just a jumble of stuff rather than "decorated". Let's just call it eclectic. Or ugly. Whatever.

In my previous post I mentioned how I wanted to enjoy the holiday this year and focus on the process. I'm having a bit of trouble with it now. The holiday concerts and shopping (for groceries - holiday shopping is mostly done - FTW!) and basic everyday stuff is not leaving room for holiday stuff. And why? WHY? can't holiday baking be done AFTER the holiday? We get all this time off after the holiday but when we NEED it - before to prepare - we still have work and school and eight billion papers that need to be signed and meetings etc. Speaking of meetings, can someone please tell me WHY we need to have a planning meeting for my eighth grader's schedule for next year this week? Seriously? Like no one has enough to do? It can't wait until January? Seriously? When am I suppose to decorate or bake or even breath?

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Whys

A friend asked me the other day how and why we celebrate Christmas. Because we are raising the boys Jewish she wanted to know how we handled the why of Christmas. I explained that Christmas in our house is all about Santa and family. She then asked if I, a recovering Catholic, still celebrated the birth of Jesus. What I said, and what holds true, is no. I definitely identify more with the Reformed Jews, and our temple's beliefs, than I ever identified with the Catholic church. I won't say I believe in Jesus but I don't not believe in him either. I'm actually kind of ambivalent about him. I believe he existed I'm just not sure I believe all the hype about him. And if you're a firm believer you can pick yourself up off the floor now. It's no reflection on you. It's just me. And yes, I've been told I'm going to hell for this so you can keep that comment to yourself.

I keep wanting to get into more detail about my religious beliefs here but that's not really what this post is about. It is about Christmas and why we celebrate it.

On my way to work this morning I was thinking about why I do celebrate and what really is it I'm celebrating. I realized I wasn't really sure. I could say tradition. I could say religion. I could say for the kids. But while tradition and the kids are the reasons why I couldn't really say the what. What is it we're celebrating? Consumerism? Is it all about the presents? Food? Is it about the decorating? Family?

I can honestly say it's not so much the decorating for me. I don't have many decorations. I kind of hate decorating. In fact, this weekend the littles got the decorations from the basement and then while I was out they decorated the house with their friends. Now it's not exactly how I would have done it but it's done. They had fun. And I don't have to do it. I know this would send most of the women I know over the edge. It's like doing crafts with small children, you almost can't help "helping" them or "fixing" it. I suppose that is something having all these kids has taught me. Keep my damn hands off what their doing. They might WANT it to look that way. It's all about the process for them. As it should be.

I get stressed like every adult this time of year. I want to find the perfect gifts. I don't want to break the bank. The lack of time. It drives us all crazy. So I asked myself, why do I do it? And I realized I wouldn't want to NOT do it. I do enjoy finding the perfect gift. I enjoy a well wrapped gift (something I want to spend more time on this year instead of less). I enjoy seeing someone's face when they opened something they never knew they wanted or the one thing they really, really wanted.

I realized I still believe in the magic of Christmas. And just because it sometimes seems like such a chore the memories of the kids' faces on Christmas morning, the video the kids made one year of their "cooking show" while we baked cookies, the family given a reason to come from where ever they are to just hang out... that is why I do it. To celebrate my family.

Now to just remember to enjoy it. To remember to take the time experience the little parts instead of rushing through them as if they are just one more thing I have to do.

May your Christmas or Hanukkah or seasonal celebration be filled with magic. May you remember why you are doing all this and enjoy it.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Do It!

I know you love the environment. I do. So the first five of you that click this link and fill out your name and e-mail can win one day of carbon neutrality. The company Brighter Planet will donate 136 pounds of carbon offsets in your name. Just click here.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

So very tired

I just realized that the last post makes no sense at all. I seem to have been delirious from staring at code most of the day and night. I'd like to add... am. so. tired. Work has been crazy busy (which I like) but that coupled with lack of sleep and a million things that need to get done tonight - stop at store with child's (only) winter coat with broken zipper! dinner! appointment @ 6pm! dog food! JH band concert! - well, it's making it difficult to keep my eyes open. And before I start babbling again I'm going to pack up and get the heck out of here. Will finish up tomorrow after I SLEEP tonight.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Please excuse me, it's late

Wow! The whole reason I changed my blogging address was so it would be easier to change the design. HA! Not so. Well, hopefully it will be true in the future. So what do you think of the new look? I'm betting you still haven't found me here. Especially if you read through a reader and not at my site.

Anyway, I have to say one of the best parts of having 4 boys (and maybe it's true of those of you with girls too but I would. not. know.) is that things like broken toes are nothing to get flustered about. You know to tape it to the one next to it. You know what it looks like. You know what the doctor won't will do if you were to take the child in. That would be NOTHING. Unless it is a big toe. Then they x-ray it and as long as it's not mangled in some farm equipment, they do NOTHING. Not to worry though, the toe is almost healed. The sick children are almost better. Now it's just left for the adults to fight off illness and find time to do things like... grocery shop. Yes, once again we are at a critical point in the grocery area. The dog is a half a serving away from starvation and there is no go-gurt or granola bars for the lunch boxes. Help! The children will starve. God forbid they eat more turkey.

Now that I've played half the night I must go to bed because it is almost time to get up and I'm not even in my jammies and robe.

Good night all!

Monday, December 1, 2008

New Digs, Holidays and Illness

So, you found my new digs. You did didn't you? PLEASE let me know if you did.

The holiday weekend was nice. Really nice.

Thursday was spent at my MIL's and fun was had by all. All I had to contribute was a green salad and an apple caramel pie. The husband made his famous mashed potatoes.

Friday was spent cleaning and forcing the children to each clean one room in the downstairs. It amazes me that they can whine so much about being responsible for ONE. ROOM. They even got to pick which they wanted. In the end, at about nine o'clock at night, the downstairs was clean. My kitchen (my room) was - and still is - sparkling.

Saturday was yet another holiday celebration at our house. My FIL, mom, dad, both SIL's and various spouses, nephews etc all showed up for a yummy dinner. The turkeys were fab and we had more stuffing than we knew what to do with. I had it easy as my SIL brought her death-by-sugary-goodness-sweet-potato dish and a creme de menth chocolate chip cake. My FIL brought the pumpkin pie. My mom brought a turkey, stuffing, salad & hot veggies. I only had to prepare a turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes (husband actually did the work on this one), fresh baked bread, homemade cranberry relish, gravy, apple caramel pie, and drinks!

I know, doesn't seem fair how easy I had it. We even had it cleaned up before bed.

Sunday was a surprise. Two of the kids had fevers. The two who never get sick. We withheld meds and put one on one couch with the football game on. The other went on the other couch with a TV & DVD player and watched movie after movie. The other 2 kids were allowed to hang with their respective partners in crime. So the children happily spent a day vegging in front of the TV. Meanwhile, the husband and I managed to clean the room that was set to have the house condemed. The room that gets random bits tossed in. The room that hadn't been cleaned since the plaster removing and replacing in the hall off said room. Yes, INCHES of plaster dust was residing on every surface in the room. All my card/scrapbook/jewelry making supplies reside in this room. My COMPUTER resides in this room. This is also called the office. I will admit to spending greatly reduced amounts of time in this room since going back to work full time. But still, I did have to grace this room occasionally to pay bills and print children's reports. And now, NOW, it is clean. It is organized. I am happy. And amazed. It is clean.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Look At Me...

Hey, look at me. I look all different AND I'm at a new address. Of course, I don't think anyone can find me yet. Still working on that. If you do find me, the actual address is:

Don't ask. I'm trying to make things easier in the long run.

Updated to add: Please leave a comment if you've found me. I'm trying to figure out if you've been able to find me.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I am...

I have recently realized it is time to come to a place of acceptance. Acceptance of myself. As I near 40 (keep breathing, I still have a couple more years) I need to work on my feelings about myself. (More deep breathing needed.) It looks like it may take all the remaining time to come to that place so I must start working now.

The election was a catalyst that made me realize I am tired of apologizing for who I am. I am tired of being told that what I believe isn't 'American' or 'nice' or that it makes me less somehow. I am tired of some of the labels that identify me being said as if they are terrible things one must not admit to. The following are labels that apply to me. They are all things that I've been made to feel less than proud of by someone or other.

I am a liberal.

I am a feminist.

I am a mother who works outside the home.

I believe all women should have the right to choose.

I believe in socialized medicine.

I believe any 2 consenting adults should be allowed to marry.

I try to be open-minded.

I will not apologize for these things. If anything I should be proud of them. I hope my children can say the same things when they are grown. I am not sorry.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Some of my Favorite Things

Sometimes it feels as if life is just getting away from you. I work, care for the kids and there seems to be no time left over except to collapse into bed and watch a little TV or, as is more often the case, fall right asleep. In fact, right now the boys aren't even playing any sports and I still seem to be lacking time. I will say that I spend a lovely 15-20 minutes 3 days a week visiting with a friend of mine when I pick up the littles after work. That time alone is such a gift.

I do cook actual dinners about 4x's a week. But the house is still trashed and special projects aren't getting done. In fact, I haven't even started the holiday newsletter. A fact made all the more appalling by the lack of one last year. The lack of any holiday missive actually. Between the Bar Mitzvah, job interviews & the holidays themselves I had no energy left for sending out holiday cheer. I suppose I should send a little something out this year.

I've also really wanted to post here on a more regular basis. It actually makes me sad that I don't take the time to do it even when I intend to. I think it's a combination of being out of practice, putting too much pressure on myself that I need to say something worthwhile and not just waste everyone's time with bullet points and the busy factor. I barely get on my computer at home anymore and at work I'm usually pretty busy. Ok, that's a lie. I am busy but I could totally find the time if I was so inclined.

Anyway, here is a little list of some of my current favorites for you:

My new boots: Velma in dk. brown. Now I just need them in black. (purchased on sale, plus 1/2 off when buying son new sneakers AND a $10 off coupon. - I ROCK!)

Coffee that's so worth the shipping: Back Dog Coffee (My favorite is the Tanzanian Peaberry - but they're all yummy! I tried them at a Virginia Wine Festival and was more excited about the coffee then the wine.) Also, I have a code for 5% off your order for new customers (to give to friends and family) - if you're interested it's 46UVLC2F.

For the hard to buy person on your list: uncommon goods

Music I can't stop listening to: Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-long Blog (bought for $5 when Amazon had it on sale) I'm totally annoying everyone in my life because I insist on playing it over and over.

New TV show I actually think about days before it's on again: Life on Mars - I think I'm in love with Sam. Also, this show is so good, so funny, just WOW. Love it.

Ok, off to do a little work before going home.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

No Help from the Girl Scouts

The cookies arrived today.

I have to ask...

What are they thinking selling cookies around Halloween? I think my scale will be "broken" for the next 2 months.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Meme

I haven't done a meme in ages and this seemed like one I could handle. I also haven't posted in ages even though yesterday I left the empty post page open a good portion of the day and entered not one letter. What can I say, life is busy and I'm lame.

44 lame things about MoMMY.

1. Do you like blue cheese? I'll eat it when appropriate.

2. Have you ever drank alcohol? hahahaha - have we met?

3. Do you own a gun? does Nerf count?

4. What flavor Kool Aid was your favorite? Ick.

5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointment? Depends what it's for. Todays? Yes. HATE.

6. What do you think of hot dogs? I think they are acceptable about once a year. Otherwise, ick.

7. Favorite Christmas movie? Don't have one.

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? STRONG coffee with milk.

9. Can you do push ups? hahahahah - again, have we met?

10. What's your favorite piece of jewelry? My wedding ring

11. Favorite hobby? Reading

12. Do you have A.D.D.? Definitely not.

13. What's your weight? ick.

14. Middle name? Miller or "of Many"

15. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment? I should be working. I hope the child doesn't have strep. I have to pee.

16. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink? Coffee & seltzer (that's really about it)

17. Briefs or Boxers? Hello - Boxers, or how about the combo, Boxer-breifs.

18. Current hate right now? yearly exams

19. Favorite place to be? Ocean

20. How did you bring in the New Year? Do not even remember - it's been 11 months.

21. Where would you like to go? Bimini

22. Name three people who will complete this? ah, no.

23. Do you own slippers? yes, yes, yes

24. What color shirt are you wearing right now? Burgundy

25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? Ick.

26. Can you whistle? Sadly no.

27. Favorite color? Black? green? Depends.

28. Would you be a pirate? Yes, although I'd need a serious supply of Dramamine.

29. What songs do you sing in the shower? Don't sing in the shower. Only the car.

30. Favorite Girls name? don't have one...

31. Favorite boys name? I suppose the ones I used to name my children

32. What's in your pocket? key to office bathroom

33. Last thing that made you laugh? Plumbers working in my office talking about "lubricating the shaft." Why yes, I am a 12 y/o boy.

35. Worst injury you've ever had as a child? Flattening my hand as thin as paper at 2. Nothing broken though.

36. Do you love where you live? I love my house. I love the location - for the kids. But the house needs lots of work & I'd rather live in a city or at the beach when the kids are grown.

37. How many TVs are in your house? 3 - sadly most of them only get 3 stations.

38. Who is your loudest friend? Um... that's my title.

39. How many dogs do you have? 1 - he is plenty.

40. Does someone have a crush on you? Doubtful

41. What is your favorite book? How do you pick just one?

42. What is your favorite candy? So many choices... something with chocolate? peanut butter? Good & Plentys? Anything without coconut.

43. Favorite Sports Team? whatever one the kids are on

44. What song do you want played at your funeral? Don't want a funeral. But I do want someone to play Amazing Grace by Drop Kick Murphys in my memory. (Must include the bagpipes or forget it)

**Obviously I have issues picking one favorite anything.

Thanks to CursingMama for the meme.

Updated to add: Forgot #33. It's there now. Go read it.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Let Freedom Ring!

I had a whole post I wanted to do on the passing of Prop 8 in California but then I read much more eloquent writings here and here. Swistle's post led me to here which led me to here. So you can see what I think of Proposition 8 passing below.

To sum up... People, stay out of other people's business. Commitment is good. You judging others is bad. Now go read those other people who explain it so beautifully.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Now you go out and vote too.

Yes, I actually got up early and was at my polling place by 6:35 am. I was #30 to vote. I rock! Now tell me how you rocked the vote.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Weekend of Chocolate

The party was not FAIL.

YAY! Fun was had by all. Children were kept out of trouble. A few grownups got into trouble or at least drank too much. (Although, I was not one of them. As I was too focused on the children. Although, I did miss when the sheriff stopped to speak to the 12 year old and his best friend for LYING IN THE MIDDLE OF A DARK ROAD AT 9:30 at NIGHT. The husband was on the front porch "watching" the boys play football in the road while I supervised smaller children play ping pong and get hopped up on sugar in the garage. End of extremely long parenthetical side.)

I realized this morning while I read from my feeder that I did not take one single photo of the event. Seriously, WTF? Does it not say photographer on my degree? So I guess I still get a big FAIL on that.

I am proud to announce I only ate 2 pieces of candy on Halloween. And 2 brownies. And 1 slice of pizza. However, the rest of the weekend I ate my body weight in chocolate. It was to save the children. Really. All that chocolate isn't good for them. No really, that's what I'm told. To be fair, they ate their body weights in chocolate also. Fortunately their body weights are considerably less then mine.

And now I must get back to work...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I'm kinda feeling like I get a big FAIL on life right now. Dinners not made. House not clean. Laundry needing to be done. Blog not updated. Ever.

Life is kicking my ass and yet it's all good. I'm happy. It's amazing how the people in my life make all the difference. When they're happy? I'm happy. That and my job. Love the new job. That alone makes life so much better.

In other news which is starting to look like another possible FAIL...

I told the kids we'd have a Halloween party. Yeah, not sure what I was thinking. Actually, I do. I was thinking that instead of the jr. high kids out on the streets getting into trouble, they could hang out in our garage. Then the oldest informed me all his friends wanted to go trick-or-treating. So the party became a sort of after-party. A get-off-the-streets-and-into-my-garage-where-I-can-keep-an-eye-on-you party.

We made the guest list. I bought some decorations. We cleaned the garage. I bought food. The kids told me they invited more people. We cleaned the garage. We decorated. I bought more decorations. The kids ran out of invites and invited more kids. We brought the air hockey table into the garage to put near the ping pong table. I bought more decorations. I now have no idea who or how many kids are coming, how many families or what the hell is going on.

The deal is suppose to be that once they come to the house they can't leave until a parent picks them up. (I live in a very heavily trick or treating trafficked neighborhood.) NOW my oldest tells me that a bunch of them are meeting up BEFORE trick or treating at our house. NOT part of the plan. Also, it was suppose to be mostly for his friends with a couple of the youngers' thrown in. Now the other three each have a handful of kids invited.

What to do? I think I may be going with the whole wing it thing. What happens happens and if we run out of food they can eat their candy. That and I'm locking them all in the garage so no one escapes.

What say you? FAIL? I say I agree, FAIL.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Bungee Cord of Life

While I'm waiting for people to return my e-mails so I can do some more work, I thought I'd put some thoughts down here. What thoughts? I'm not sure.

Wow, that's a stunning start, no? Are you ready to run away yet?

I almost subjected you to bullets but I just deleted them all. You're welcome. Instead I will pull a thread from them and pontificate on that alone. In truth though, many of the bullets were pointing toward the same area so I figured I would just write about that. Right now you're dying to know what the hell I'm talking about. What already? What? Gah! Now I've set myself up for failure. The big build up - how does one follow that?

I guess what I want to write about is the simultaneous suckatude and blessings bestowed on me this past 18 months. I've realized that most of my life has been lived on the middle line. A few extreme highs, a few extreme lows but for the most part, middle. In fact, I've spent most of the past 6 years living on that middle line. Okay, the depression was quite a low but still, pretty middle groundish.

About 18 months ago I stepped off a cliff and it's like I did it attached to a bungee cord. Seriously scary lows alternating with seriously flying highs. As time passes I find myself bouncing a little less high and a little less low but I'm still bouncing. While I hate the lows, who doesn't?, I'm finding that I've still been able to see how some of them might be for the best. They might teach me something or they might be a catalyst to make me do something I need to do. Yes, they suck. But eventually things get better. I also see I'm not out of the woods yet.

I spent many years fearing the tragedy. I was so afraid of what could happen I didn't dare wish for anything better. I believe in balance in this world. For every good thing something bad will happen. Maybe not a 1:1 ratio but I realize that no matter how great things are, there is no such thing as perfect. Life will never be perfect. If we got on our feet financially something might happen to one of the kids. Actually, that was pretty much my fear. If any of our problems went away, the something bad to take its place might hurt one of the kids. That is something I couldn't live with. I never want my life to be easier at the cost of one of the kids suffering.

So, I was afraid to hope. But then bad things happened and I had to take action. I had to help myself and the kids. So I got a full time job. And although it's been 10 months, the transition is just getting better. The kids who had me home and available at the drop of a hat for pretty much all of their lives got use to me working full time and not always being there. And you know what? For all the worrying I do about them not having constant supervision, I also think it may be a little good for them. I do worry something will go horribly wrong. But I think if it doesn't, they will be better for it.

Because of this full time job we're slowing creeping out of that place called debt. We even bought a brand new minivan. That may not seem like much to most of you but it is the first new vehicle Jeff or I have ever owned. It's not top of the line but it is safe and durable and we love it. It's still so hard for me to believe we have the resources to buy a new car. It's something I honestly couldn't even imagine happening. I never thought we'd be in that place. I've seen us losing our house but not owning a new car. AND we were able to have new walls & a new ceiling put up in our stairwell. That's something that's needed to be done since we moved in 8 years ago.

So some of the suckatude has definitely brought good things. Not that it comes without the pain of the bad crap though. Case in point, my father passed away this summer and although that has it's own baggage it also gives my brother the freedom to do what he's been wanting to do for years. You may think that sounds horrible but my father was not in good health, he was not enjoying his life a whole lot and he was difficult for my brother. Now he is at peace and my brother is doing what he's been wanting to do without feeling like he's abandoned my father. See? Sucky yet freedom.

Well, I'd go on but no one has e-mailed me back and it's time to go home. Or rather, time to go to pick up the kids and go to a soccer game. Have a non-sucktastic night!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Hello? Am I alone here?

So I guess I've neglected this place. In my heart I think I had given up on it. But now, time has passed and I'm thinking of giving it another go. Maybe I should, maybe I shouldn't. Maybe no one cares and maybe no one will check in here to see I'm back. I suppose that's all fine. Well and good. Removes all the pressure too. So, thank you if you've forgotten about me in my little corner of cyberspace. You've made this easier.

What to say now that I've been gone so long...

The kids are enormous. As in one of them is now the tallest person in the house. The next one is gaining on us and I'm thinking in another year or so he may be the 2nd tallest. As much as this scares the crap out of me I'm glad they'll be taller than their parents. Anyone who knows us in real life knows we are little people. Not in the actual medical classification of the phrase but still, quite short. Close friends like to refer to us as Shetland people.

If you're curious about the "scares the crap out of me" comment above, that would allude to the fact that they are aging. They are entering the teen years. The older two boys are now in Junior High and although they are easier in many ways than the diaper changing/sleep deprived/just eat a healthy food, you cannot live on Cheerios and cheese alone days it is harder in more important ways. Like the stop eating everything in sight, I can't afford to feed you/how much supervision is too much and how much is not enough/what the hell are you saying in all those text messages/what do you mean that's your girlfriend, she has BOOBS way.

But I'm sure you've heard that from other parents before. You've also heard that trying to keep up with four boys schedules is nearly impossible. What the hell were we thinking having more than two children? Also, how does the most unathletic woman on the planet have a bunch of sons who live for sports? HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN?

My God, the soccer schedule alone! I must also mention that the one child that is not completely thrilled with sports (although he does play lacrosse and summer soccer) takes guitar lessons and writes his own friggin' music. Did I mention I'm also the most unmusical person you will ever meet? Tone deaf may have been mention in connection with my name once or twice or eleventy-billion times.

Since I've been gone I've also managed to put on a Bar Mitzvah celebration for my oldest. (He is amazing! The work that kid put in was phenomenal!) Got a new job. Received a promotion. And had walls put up in my stairwell. That's some big changes right there.

But for now I must go. There was a topic I wanted to write on but of course, I've since forgotten what it was.

You Know you have to register, right?

Thanks Erica!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Arrrr, It's Talk Like A Pirate Day!

Glad I didn't miss it this year.
Blimey, I really need to work on my pirate speak.
Off to swab the deck!

Feel the Need to Share

I try my hardest to not post political rantings here because I do not argue them well. Do not let this cause you to believe I don't have strong feeling about these subject because - roar, I totally do. It's best really to not get me started lest I stroke out in frustration.

But I do want to pass on this link I got from... somewhere. It's been a few days and honestly I can't remember where or who mentioned the site. Just know it is completely non-partisan.

I give you the truth behind the candidate's words: .

Seriously, if you plan on voting (and I really hope you do), this might help you make your decision - either way you lean.

*And I shall label this post "dreams" because politics sometimes makes me feel like all I can do is dream and wish upon the damn stars to make things right.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A + F = C

It seems the checking of the planner and homework each night is not sufficient. STILL. The child in question is in SEVENTH GRADE. IE: old enough to get his head out of his bum and keep up with his homework. And yet, I just received an email from his English teacher saying he's been handing in his homework late and it's effecting his grade.

The whole reason the husband and I have become the homework natzis is because he managed to bring his grade from an A in math last year to a C. Yes, apparently when you fail to pass in your homework, you fail that part of your grade. A's on tests + F's on homework = C on your report card. This also kept him out of honors math this year. Can you say crazy making?

Looks like it might be time to take away the brand new cell phone he got last night.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Is This What They Call A Blog?

Wow! Look what I just found here. A blog. My blog. Gee, I'd kind of forgotten I had one. Whoops.

I actually had a dream last night that I blogged for the first time in a millennium. I'm guessing that's what spurred this post. And now you're wondering what this post is actually about. Ha! As if there is any topic beyond "LOOK, I'm back! Maybe. If I don't forget all about this place again."

In other news, I'm sure you've all realized... school has started again. YAY school! The children are busy for many hours a day. They are no longer left to their own devices with periodic check in's from responsible adults. They are however, still trying to kill each other most days. Also, the youngest has apparently aged enough to no longer be kept safe from the oldest's wrath. Or maybe he's just more annoying. Most likely both. The older 2 are at school from 7am - 5:30pm (when I can now pick them up). Soccer is wearing them out - oh how I love soccer. And for the first time pretty much ever, I'm paying for regular child care three days a week. And it is so worth it.

I've also received a promotion. Better hours! (7:30-4) More to do! Doesn't make me want to jab a pen in my eye rather than work! (Those who follow me on twitter may remember that lovely day.) It's in the same office as before. I did not have to apply or interview because they just offered it (and a small raise) up on a platter. YAY! And I am repaying them by blogging while at work. I ROCK!

In other updating type news... the husband was the most awsomest ever during meeting about child with "issues". Said son is now in therapy, getting extra help at school and has a teacher who is all about helping kids succeed. There may be medication in another month or two but for now we're trying other things. I can't tell you the relief and joy this gives me. Thank you Universe!

Personally, I ditched my therapist again but am still taking the Zoloft. Feeling good and keeping it together - most of the time - except when having to get a small child out the door by 6:40am and he refuses to MOVE. And also complains if I leave him for his dad to take to sitter's. CAN NOT WIN. Also, pre-bedtime is rough. I'm tired and the kids are tired and they don't want to have me check their homework or get ready for bed. Still, things are going well. Until I get home tonight and it all falls apart because I just jinxed myself with the parenting Gods.

*Note to Parenting Gods: Please be gentle. I'm so sorry I dared to mention what I mentioned. You still rule the Parenting Universe.

Now I must really get back to work.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Excuse me as I blow the dust off this place. WOW. It's amazing how a class and a full schedule can keep a woman busy. Also, it's amazing how once you stop writing you have no ability to put coherent thoughts about life together again. Or maybe that's just me. I am doomed. And since you are reading this you are too. This is a warning.

Couple of things I've noticed lately:
  • I still need lots of therapy.

  • I pink puffy heart Zoloft.

  • My two older children are freakishly tan. They are also a big pain about putting on sunscreen but do it occasionally (re: when I nag them to death).

  • This working full time while trying to coordinate 4 children's summer schedules is kicking my ass. It is HARD. Or maybe I'm just a big whimp. Whatever.

  • Today's schedule:

    • 9-12 Oldest 2 soccer camp

    • 9-12 youngest 2 need childcare

    • 1-3 3rd drama camp

    • 1-4 2nd & 4th golf camp

    • 6-7:30 3rd soccer (our snack night)

    • 6 - oldest soccer game

  • Today is less busy than yesterday. Yes, I said LESS.

  • Also must note, husband has been out of town. He's coming back tonight. All hail a helper at bedtime and soccer runs.

  • It has been unbearably hot and humid here. The air is trying to drown me.

  • I have PMS.

  • Do I need to mention I've been extremely cranky the last couple of days?

  • Oh, my car has no AC and the husband has the new vehicle.

  • Work is unbearably dull.

  • I'm taking a 1/2 day tomorrow.

  • So we can take one of the kids to a psychologist. For depression. And possibly ADD. Fabulous.

  • I just found out I can't have September 3rd off. It's the day before school starts AND the 2nd's birthday. I have a tradition of taking the kids out to breakfast and a whole day of fun the day before school starts. I'd like to plan an alternate celebration but I'm not sure what to do. Any suggestions? And since I asked for the day off I can't call in sick. Frack!

  • I do not get enough vacation days.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Okay, first, I'm on Zoloft now. Things are so much better. So, so much better.

Things have also been insane. Between work and baseball and soccer and lacrosse. All I do is get up, get the kids ready for school, go to work, take children to sport, find rides for people, watch some sporting event, go home, refeed children and put them to bed. By then it's around 9:30-10:30 and I read for approximately 3 minutes before falling asleep. Rinse, repeat.

Plus, the last 3 weeks I was taking an intensive ASL (American Sign Language) course. It was so much fun. My classmates were fabulous, the teachers rocked. I'm sad it's over. But it was one more thing on my plate.

Good news? Today is the last day of school.

Bad news? Three weeks where I have no childcare in place and no camps or activities over the summer.

Good news? Lacrosse and 2 baseball leagues are done for the season.

Bad News? 2 Travel soccer leagues and 1 baseball league is still going. PLUS, 2 local soccer leagues start Monday.

Good news? Children will have time to do chores.

Bad News? Looks like one of the kids needs therapy for depression. And medication (depression & ADD).

Good news? Husband and I have been getting along really well. (Meds help immensely)

Bad news? He is making a difficult situation (re: child in therapy & meds) worse. He ALWAYS makes the most difficult situations worse and it's pissing me off.

Good news? Getting help for my depression.

Bad news? Have just realized my husband has no understanding of depression. NONE. And won't listen to what I have to say about it.

Looks like it's turned into a list. Sorry. Just so much going on and my brain is overwhelmed.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Welcome Back Old Friend

I would like to welcome you back my old friend depression. I thought I had left you behind but now I see you were just waiting to surprise me. Thanks for that. Good thing I finally got an appointment with a therapist. Please hold off on the paralyzing mire until next week when said appointment is scheduled.

I just feel so defeated.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Kid Conversation

Things my 13 year old said to me this morning while I took him step-by-step through the process of preparing dinner:

13: Do I have to touch the raw chicken with my hands?

Me: No, it will leap into the pot all by itself. You're just there to watch.

13: Do I put the chicken IN the crockpot?

Me: No, place it AROUND the pot. It cooks better that way.

This may have made my day.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Maybe I Just Need A Nap

A good friend recently suggested that I may want to resume taking antidepressants.

I'll give you a minute to let that sink in a bit.

I had thought I was doing well. I had thought that maybe I needed to start therapy again, maybe, possibly. But that coupled with the fact that I think it's time to find a new therapist... seems a bit, oh I don't know, overwhelming. I did not think I was anywhere near the antidepressant stage.

This does not give me much confidence in my current state of mind.

I don't even have time for a haircut. Spring! Sports! No life for you! How am I to make time for therapy? Do I really want to have to start all over explaining my brand of crazy? That just seems so exhausting. After my recent spate of medical doctors and their serious lack of helping me, I have decided to suck it up and ignore any and all physical problems. I keep thinking I should do the same with the crazy. Except the crazy affects the people who live with me. And that is not really fair. GAH! I don't know. Maybe I'll just go to bed early tonight and continue to
ignore, ignore, ignore.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Things that are currently pissing me off:

**I'm sorry if this keeps showing up in your readers. I keep adding to the list. Someone may perish by the end of the day. It may not be wise to piss me off in person today.**

  • Doctors who do NOT LISTEN to their patients. And then other doctors who tell you to listen to them anyway.

  • When people send me a receipt addressed to Mr. & Mrs. First Middle Last Name of husband when it is ME who made a donation to their organization. WTF? He didn’t even WANT to give you people money.

  • Bosses who review you and pick some random thing to say you need to improve on. And by random, I mean one of the few things I thought I was doing well. Not the things like spending too much time on the internet and not getting the filing done in a timely manner or dressing too casually. These would be legitimate complaints. Not having good customer service skills is crap.

  • The price of gas. $3.94? Seriously? I can’t afford to drive to and from work anymore.

  • Children who don’t get ready for school and then blame you when they miss the bus. Need I say more?

  • The fact I need to shop at no less than 4 different stores to acquire all the things my household needs. AND everyone complaining that we do not have said things. AND when I ask for suggestions of how I could get the time to actually visit these stores, be told that they have no suggestions. Actually, before being told that a certain spouse had no suggestions he may or may not have just not responded to the question. When pressed, he then gave the answer of “I didn’t respond because I don’t have any suggestions.” So it all falls to me once again. Plan, arrange, acquire, prepare, clean up. Not even a response from anyone. Thanks.

  • Coworkers who ask you if you’ve ordered the toner for the printer when it was never made clear that it was your responsibility. And then two minutes later being told that the fax machine has been out of toner for days and why haven’t you replaced it and do we even have any. When you do not use the fax machine and this is the first you’ve heard about the problem.

  • My breadmaker broke the second week we had it. I did what they told me to on the phone and now, two months later, nothing. I want my freaking bread maker back.

  • People who are applying for a job and insult the people who will be working for him. The same people that have a say in who gets hired. I wish I was making this shit up.

  • I lost my favorite pencil. I have no pencil and I have no idea what happened to it. I love office supplies. I may have an unhealthy addiction to them. I know I have an unhealthy affection for my pencil. The pencil I write in my sketch/idea/list/everything book. I need to write in my book and I have no pencil. Grrrr.

  • Horrible things are happening in the world and I'm seriously pissed about a whole lot of meaningless shit.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Guilt, Guilt, Guilt

About once a week my mother sends me an e-mail telling me some tidbit about how my youngest cried that morning after I dropped him off. Either he was up to late and was tired or, like today, he wanted to have breakfast with me but didn’t. In just about every case it is because he did not do what he needed to for the task to be accomplished. Of course he never tells her that part. In every instance it is somehow my fault. For example, last night he said he wanted to get up and have breakfast with me this morning. I woke him up at the designated time, he refused to rise, when he finally did emerge from his bed he cried because I was done eating and had even showered. My husband and I tried to wake him approximately 8,724 times.

But the absolute best part of these missives my mother sends me is how she ends each one. “Your children miss you.”

Why thank you for that mom. It is a lovely way to start my day. Crying at my keyboard in the office is a fabulous way to greet students and coworkers.

I have told her how I miss them since going back to work full-time in January. I’ve told her how I’ve been spending MORE time with them. I’ve told her about the things I’ve tried to do to make the time together better (like breakfast with them).

She always assures me she’s not criticizing. She tells me I can’t quit my job, the children will adapt, etc, etc. So why, WHY must she lay on the guilt?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Random Thought Tuesday

(AKA Bullets Are My Friends)

  • The reason for all the tiredness and exhaustion? My iron level which should reside at a minimum of 50 is at an all time low of 5. The doctor asked if I’d been feeling a little fuzzy in the brain. Ah, yeah. Well, that is why. When I stated that must be why I’ve been so freaking tired he said he was surprised I was still standing. All the other tests? Normal.

  • My camera. My love. My huge investment that we could not afford and I was so guilt ridden about that it took me months to really USE the damn thing? GONE. I used it Saturday and now it is GONE. I swear I remember putting it in the car on our way home from a festival. It was between the seats of the van with my purse on top of it. We went to my s-i-l’s and then home. It was not there when we got home. My s-i-l searched her house and so did her husband even though I SWEAR I didn’t bring it in. I called the campus safety people and the library at the location of the festival in the pathetic hope that I remember incorrectly AND I left said camera on a park bench. This particular fantasy includes the finder of the Nikon D80 with 18-200 VR lens to actually turn it in and not keep it for themselves. So far, no such luck. This also means I have to file a police report.

  • Did you know to file a police report for a stolen item you must be in the county of the theft and call 911? I did not. I thought 911 was for absolute, my house is on fire, emergencies. I was wrong. I do not live in the same county as my sil. I do however work in the same county as her. This means I must either find time in my Spring sport calendar (NONE. NONE I tell you) to go to her house and call OR I must have the police report to my JOB. It seems you must call 911 then they come to you and you file the report. I do not want the local sheriff’s at my place of business. I also do not want to wait much longer to file the report.

  • I really keep hoping my brain is not working well and someone finds the damn camera. We just finished paying it off.

  • I don’t think this particular fantasy is going to come true.

  • I miss my camera.

  • Stress + low iron = need nap now (or from now on: nnn)

  • My 1st performance review for my new job is this afternoon. And I’m blogging. I’m a bit worried.

  • I hate 1st reviews. You never know how they’re going to go.

  • nnn

Friday, May 2, 2008

Friday Five

  1. I called in sick yesterday. And I was sick. Just not the not able to get out of bed kind. That is actually the only kind of sick that has actually caused me to miss work before yesterday. Needless to say, the children did not understand this sick. They kept saying I wasn't. I was kind of feeling like I wasn't really sick. I mean I was up walking around. I even did a couple loads of laundry and helped the youngest complete his homework. I drove myself to the doctor's. Clearly I couldn't be that sick. But really, I was. I have serious muscle fatigue, regular old fatigue and my God I'm so frigging tired. But I did not take a nap. I actually ran out of time. Still, it was a leisurely kind of day where I did things but at a much slower pace than I'm use to.

  2. The hypochondriac that I am went back to the doctor (as I mentioned above). My husband actually had to make the appointment because at the time it was determined (by him) that I really needed to follow up all those negative test results, I was too damn tired and overwhelmed to even make the phone call on Wednesday. It's sad really. I'm completely pathetic. So I went and envisioned an appointment filled with rolled eyes and pats on the head. I should make it clear here that my fine physician has never treated me that way before. But honestly, I was starting to treat myself that way and I figured if I'm sick of me being sick but not really sick with all normal tests then certainly everyone else thinks I'm a fraud.

  3. You see where this is going. He totally validated my feelings. He totally believed something is wrong. He ordered a gallon of blood to be drawn and yet more x-rays and... well, I really don't want to actually think about the other thing he ordered *cough* colonoscopy *cough*. I spent my morning on a journey of needles and nakedness and no, none of it was fun in the way nakedness should be fun. The last thing on the list is not for a couple of weeks so all ended well.

  4. The day got decidedly better after that. I got to have lunch with a friend (yes, I should have been napping) and her darling daughter. With cute! striped! purple! tights. Tights! I love tights! And none of the boys will agree to cute striped tights. Odd, I know.After paying bills, blech, I went with the 3 younger boys to their art class. It's a new place right down the street and honestly? It makes me want to quit my job and just hang out there. It is a wonderfully warm and inviting space designed to unleash your creativity. The owner has tables and chairs set up in front of the big front window for parents to hang at and even free wifi (which would be great if I owned a laptop). As it was, I knit and listened to their chatter. Maybe I'm a horrible person to admit this but I love to listen to my kids' trains of thought. They are so insightful and creative and wonderful. The bad part? I don't feel the same way about other people's kids. I know. Terrible. I'm really sorry. I'm sure YOUR kids are just as fabulous as mine, I just haven't met them.

  5. Another way one of my children has amazed me - seriously knocked my socks off amazed me - is by writing music. Let me give you a bit of background. I have been accused of being tone deaf. I enjoy music but it's like this mysterious entity to me. I have no ear for languages either. In fact, I grew up in Massachusetts and no one can figure out why I don't have an accent. It may be because I have no audio competency. Yes, it's totally a real thing. No, I did not just make that up. Ok, maybe I did. Anyway, somehow, even with having me for a mother, my NINE year old is learning three instruments, can read music, and is WRITING HIS OWN. It's the furthest thing from my comprehension. And it ROCKS!Am I the only who thinks this is amazing?

Monday, April 28, 2008

Told You So

It's a good thing I learned to spell hypochondriac because it's official. I am one. Hypochondriac, hypochondriac, hypochondriac. Tests are all negative. Yes, I'm happy I can keep eating bagels and crackers and pizza. But now I can't do anything about the anemia, B12 deficiency (will have to keep getting my shots every 2 weeks), lower abdominal pain and severe cramping. Frack!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Friday Five

  1. I'd just like to point out that NO ONE helped me find more ways to be a more earth friendly person. I know I could do some research online but I was hoping for ways you (all 2 of you that read here) do your part. And to be honest, I was maybe hoping for easy things to do. As for my family starting to compost again, I'm working on it. I'm guessing it will be a while since the husband's response to the subject was, "Yeah, go for it." Which means - it's all you (me). So ya. I'm guessing this means I have to go to the local big orange box store and find supplies for a yard waste cage thing and try to find a way to finance an actual compost bin since we live in a village now and we don't want the kitchen waste smelling up the place. Have you seen the cost? Those things are expensive for what amounts to a big plastic box.

  2. On the mention of possibly getting a hybrid... according to the research we've done, biodiesel would be a better choice for the type of driving we do around here. Unfortunately it's not currently available. But maybe it will be by the time we can afford to purchase a new car. (This is where I would normally send a shout out to a friend of ours that is currently working to rectify this problem to get a move on but since no one in my offline life knows about this blog... not really appropriate.)

  3. Why does my 13 y/o son get chatty when a) I'm in a hurry to get out the door, b) I'm standing in a towel trying to get a little privacy so I can get dressed, c) He's late for something? Does he want to chat over dinner? No. Does he want to chat while I'm cooking dinner? No. How about when we're riding in the car together? No, never. This is when he forgets how to speak and answers any questions or comments with grunts.This results in my standing there trying to keep my towel on and listening when I should be getting ready to leave. It also results in me being late to work on the day I'm suppose to be leaving early to watch his first baseball game of the season. (and probably the only one I'll get to this year) Does anyone have a solution to this? Please? Help.

  4. I'm very sad the nice weather will be leaving us again. Predictions of rain, thunder storms and cold for the next week. Yes, I know it's April and this is western NY. Yes, I know I've been spoiled. But the weather has made me so happy. The flowers and leaves have literally sprung up overnight and now I'm guessing the storm will pull all the petals off. The worst part? I have not had a chance to photograph one single flower. And when I get the chance (tomorrow) it will be pouring. H.A.T.E. working full time.

  5. As for the job I've been whining about... a) I've decided it could be a much worse job, b) I should feel privileged to HAVE a full time job with great benefits, c) I can not guarantee that this means I won't whine anymore. Note that I do feel better about the whole thing though.

  6. And somehow the Friday Five seems to keep turning into the Friday Six. I should just do the Saturday Six but I'm not blogging on weekends so, no.My doctor finally caught me last Friday in our game of phone tag. He caught me on my cell at work. Yes, I'd love to talk to you about my private medical stuff in an office full of people, all of which can hear every word spoken, all of who LISTEN to everyone's conversations and then discusses them behind the person's back. Why yes, I am a hypochondriac (Who can't actually spell that word without looking it up.) and I'd love to talk to you in a hallway outside my office door.Point being (because I was getting off track there just a tad, or a whole, whole bunch), he agreed in my assessment that it's probably NOT my back. He agreed it made sense to order a screening for something else. I went to get blood drawn on Monday and they had no order for said screening. Maybe he thought I was insane and only agreed to get me to stop calling him long enough to change his phone number. I have no idea. The phlebotomist said she'd go over when the office opened and pick up the order. Then I received another call at work from an office worker at the doctor's saying they had no order for bloodwork. She asked if I was just insane or had he actually ordered something? Oh he did? What was it he ordered? I have no idea what the test is called and I really don't want the entire office to discuss my hypochondria (Why can I not spell that word???) so go ask HIM. ahem.

    To end: I got my blood drawn Tuesday and have no results. I'm sure they'll say I'm FINE. FINE I tell you, you damn hypochondriac! (I did it! I spelled it correctly for once!)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Earth Day

So Earth Day. Yes, I know it was yesterday and I’m writing about it today. No, I’m not sure why I waited until today. Ok, maybe because of time constraints. Maybe because I needed time to collect my thoughts. Maybe just because I was lazy yesterday and needed something to write about today. The world will never know.

I read many posts and articles yesterday complaining about having an Earth Day holiday. They all spoke of doing things every day and not just one day a year. I actually felt like I was reading about Valentine’s Day. Show the special person in your life every day that you care. Blah, blah, blah. Amazingly, I’m able to articulate my feelings on this subject more clearly when focused on Earth Day but really, they sort of apply to both.

I like Earth Day. I think it is a fabulous holiday. I think everyone should celebrate it. We might not all have a special love in our lives but the Earth is important to us all. (Even if you don’t agree – it is still important because without it WE WOULD NOT BE HERE.) Anyway…

As for the whole “do things to help the earth all the time not just on one day” thing, I do try to do things all the time. Shall I list a few? Because I will. And I actually like it when other people do too. Why? Does it make me feel good about myself to say, “see, see all I do,” sometimes. But most often I feel like, “That’s it? I really should be doing more.” I’m going to list what I do because when I read about what other people do it gives me IDEAS. Maybe they do something I’ve never thought of. Maybe they do something I had previously rejected but now that I think about it again I realize I too could try it.

The whole one day a year thing gives us a day to reflect on what we are doing and what still needs to be done. That is a good thing. That does not mean we can forget about it for the rest of the year but if we’ve pushed those efforts to the side to focus on other things (as we all do) it reminds us to pull the issue back out and reexamine it. It is a day to talk about and share ideas.

So my admittedly very short list of things we do in our home:

  • Change to CFL bulbs as the regular ones burn out. We have been doing this long enough that we are almost regular bulb free.

  • Recycle. I still need to get past the once or twice a year I’m too lazy to clean out the peanut butter jar and just toss it. Although, since I read someone else put it in the dishwasher – I have not thrown even one jar away. See what I mean about ideas from other people?

  • Walk to run local errands, build time into my schedule to walk to the kids local sporting events. This doesn’t happen as often as I’d like but the more I do it, the easier it seems to get.

  • Use reusable bags at the grocery store. This is something that definitely gets easier with time. The biggest road block? Remembering to put the bags back in the car or into my husband’s car when I take it.

  • Turn off lights. It’s the kids I’m having trouble training with this one. Anyone have ideas for that?

  • Turn off the water when brushing teeth. Since we were kids people. Are there seriously still people who don’t do this?

  • Back off on the bottled water. A couple times of year I still do this for convenience. We do reuse the bottles for quite a while and then recycle. Still, MUST STOP.

  • We installed low flow toilets a few years ago. Now I have to admit something. HATE. I hate them. The kids clog them almost every damn day. In fact, I need to get a new plunger because I believe we have WORN OUT ours. Who knew that was even possible? Not I.

  • When our washer died last year we replaced it with a front loader. Less detergent, less water, less loads because more clothes fit in it. (and I always do full loads because hello! 4 boys)

  • Buying more local and organic foods and less processed foods. With the cost of gas and groceries rising and our pay not getting higher, this one has been tough. But, it is one of the most important expenditures in our household. I still haven’t managed to buy organic milk by the gallon because my God, we’d be destitute in a week but we buy local milk and organic eggs. And if I could find someone local to buy eggs from I would. If I could keep a plant alive I might even plant a garden but for now I will take any and all fruits and veggies offered by friends and relatives.
Things I’d like to get back to working on:
  • Composting. At our old house we had a compost pile. When we moved into the village with a little yard we did away with it. I have looked at those compost bins you can buy and never could justify the cost. Well, it is time to revisit this. I was amazed at the reduction in our waste when we composted. I actually miss it. It is time.

  • Safer cleaning products. The ones I used in the past sucked. But, now I’ll do a little research and try again. I’ve been lazy about this one and there is no good reason why I should be.
I know we need to make major changes but baby steps people. Change takes time. And as much as I would like to get rid of my cars and get more fuel efficient ones or hybrids, that isn’t good either because my cars still run. So I’m saving and hoping they will last for another year or two at which point I will try to get the latest energy-efficient technologically advanced car.

So, now I ask you. What am I missing?

Friday, April 18, 2008

Friday Five

  • $420 later and my van is so quiet it’s actually unsettling. I forgot a vehicle could be that silent.

  • It is the last official day of Spring break and I just remembered the projects 2 of the kids were suppose to be working on over break. Whoops! Guess I know what I’ll be doing tomorrow.

  • My doctor and I have been playing phone tag. All I want is for him to order a blood test to rule out something. I don’t want a whole appointment. Also, I think he thinks I’m a complete hypochondriac at this point. All the tests so far have shown I’m FINE. But the pain is telling me that diagnosis is wrong.

  • The weather is so beautiful it’s making me giddy. I ate my lunch outside in the sun yesterday. Without a coat! I’m not a big outdoor person but this is my absolute favorite weather and I want to weep when forced to go indoors for something like work. A place with tinted windows that do not open – in other words, no fresh air and it always looks a bit gray out. BAH.

  • This whole Texas, locked compound, child abuse thing has been stuck on my mind ever since yesterday morning when I saw the brainwashed zombie mom’s on the Today show. They didn’t once deny anything. Not once did they say “No.” What the women did say was they love their children and their children love them. That if they had abused them, the kids wouldn’t love them. And love, love, love. And the kids cried when taken away. So the kids must love them. And that means they can’t have been abused.It made my skin crawl. It’s been proven that even kids whose parents abuse them usually still love them. They know no different. And they will cling and cry when being removed from all that they know. I can’t tell you how much I wanted these women to say, “No. There is no abuse. No, children aren’t being married to grown men and impregnated at 13.” I really wanted it to be a situation where people were freaked out by others who were “different” and not have all the allegations be true. All those children being taken away. What they’ve lived through and now all they still have left to endure – it makes me incredibly sad.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I LOVE the Very Nice Policeman

I’d just like to admit to public humiliation here because that’s what us bloggers do. Why? I have no idea. We do seem compelled to do it though.

Last night I was taking my oldest son’s friend home and got pulled over by the police. But wait! As any story on the internet, this one gets better. It was around 9:30 and he only lives about a mile or so away.

Very Nice Policeman: “License and registration.”

Me: “Ah, I don’t have my license. I’m in my pajamas. I was just bringing my son’s friend home.” I gestured to my very obvious pajama pants and pink fuzzy slippers. “Wait, the registration’s here.”

VNP: “Is the vehicle registered to you?”

Me: “Yes. I mean no. I mean it might be registered to my husband.”

VNP: “Do you know why I stopped you?”

Me: “Uh, no.”

VNP: “You didn’t come to a complete stop when you pulled out of that side street.”

Me: “Ah yeah. I live on that side street.” Not sure why I thought I should mention this.

VNP: “Have you noticed your muffler is very loud?”

Me: “Yeah, I asked my husband to have it taken care of but he hasn’t gotten to it yet.” Again, not sure why I can’t keep my damn mouth shut.

VNP: “You’re GOING to have it looked at. Right?”

Me: “Yes, of course. Right away.”

VNP: “Ok.”

And he then WALKED AWAY.

I have never gotten pulled over and not received a ticket.


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Love Breaks Your Heart

I was wrong about the IEP testing yesterday. It was a meeting to say, “Yes, we want there to be testing.” And “Yes, the school thinks there needs to be testing.” So now we wait for information from the school which we will sign and send back so they can put him on the schedule for testing. Phrases like, “I work in the summer,” were thrown around. I hate the snail-like speed of these things. Especially considering the heartbreaking tale that was painted of a child that just wants to do well and can’t. The absolute worst is the new thing he does of crying and saying he can’t because he is stupid. No matter how much I try to explain how smart he is and how we all learn differently and how his teachers tell us he is smart, he will not believe.

And he is smart child according to the teachers. Apparently they feel you can have a bad day and do poorly on a test even if you know the material but you can’t ace it by accident. So his high scores combined with his plunging low scores make his grades look similar to a saw blade. They tell us this means he’s smart but struggling with some unseen force that keeps him from focusing or processing or, most likely, a combination of ADD and some as yet unidentified learning disorder. Fun stuff.

I will admit that the fact this is finally getting looked at makes me happy. The fact his reading has improved so much that at nine he can read and comprehend and verbalize facts and concepts makes me thrilled. A year and a half ago I wasn’t sure when or if that would happen. Even in math he seems to understand the concepts but he doesn’t know his math facts so his grades are abysmal.

As frustrating a child as this one is, and he is frustrating and high maintenance and extremely exhausting, he breaks my heart when he is so clearly trying and he just can’t do something. I suppose this is what they call love.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Fear Factor

I sent in a request to be part of an intensive 3 week class this summer to learn sign language. And I’m terrified.

I’ve been trying to figure out why this terrifies me so because really, this doesn’t seem like something that should strike fear in my heart. It’s something I want to do. (hence the application) But it makes my heart race to think I might get into the class.

So why did I apply? I want to learn. The place I work has a high number of deaf students and I’d like to be able to communicate with them without paper and pencil. I think it shows a bit of respect to learn this to help serve them. And I plain old think it would be cool to learn.

Now my fear tells me I have been getting by without learning and no one would bat an eye if I didn’t learn. It also keeps whispering in my ear that it will be very embarrassing if I can’t learn. I don’t have the best memory. I haven’t been a student in forever. I DO NOT MEMORIZE WELL. My entire office will know I’m taking the class and will expect me to come back full of knowledge and the ability to sign to actual deaf people and understand the same deaf people’s signing. What if I can’t?

Working at a university has many positive aspects. Free classes for one sounds like a beautiful benefit unless you don’t do well. Then EVERYONE will know you are an idiot.

In the end I bit the bullet, gave my boss the application to sign (it’s during work hours), and sent it in. I don’t have one of those bucket lists or 40 by 40 lists because I can never think of anything I really want to do. This morning on my way to work I realized that learning sign language is something I would like to do before 40. I’ve always wanted to learn, and really, it’s not out of my reach. But it is very scary.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

How's Your Throat Feeling?

Cursingmama guessed it! I was testing the whole post from e-mail thing. I had forgotten that was an option and decided it may help increase my posting now that I’m all anonymous and all. So I had to test it out.

Just as I realized it worked things got away from me again a between a full activity schedule and a child down with strep. But a new week! A new chance to post!

And then I got a call from the school nurse. My mother was out of town (1st line of defense), husband was working on a big project (2nd line of defense), so I was called up to bat. I got to work at 8am and left at 9:30. Picked up the child, took him directly to the doctors and got back a negative on the rapid strep. Stopped to buy throat soothing foods and went home. Yay! All those extra hours just waiting to be filled. And they were. They were filled with calls and visits to and from the plumber, playing nursemaid to a sick 9 y/o, balancing the checkbook (left over chore from the weekend), cooking a delicious dinner and driving a couple kids to Hebrew.

May I ask why, the one day the dinner is in the crockpot and you have things basically under control – why is THAT the day you get to go home early? It is never the day you forgot your cell phone at home and have no idea what you’re making for dinner (today).

Lest you think I’m complaining, I shall say, the situation allowed me to call the plumber in a timely manner and he even stopped by less than 2 hours after I called. This resulted in TWO working toilets in our house vs. yesterday morning when I left and only one was working. BIG! HUGE! BONUS! Living with one toilet and six people is just not an option.

As for posting today, I keep having this dream of doing a “real” post. You know the kind. The ones that don’t just talk about the day but have a beginning, middle and end and some underlying theme to tie it all up pretty – yeah, I think I forgot how to do those. Or maybe, I never really knew how in the first place.

In other news, or rather to continue my slice of life posting, the doctor’s office just called. The culture came back positive. The child I sent to school this morning because he didn’t have a fever and the rapid test came back negative, that child DOES have strep. He gets out of school 20 minutes after the result came in. That doesn’t even make it worth it to leave work again and pick him up since he will be home before I am. I am one of those parents you all hate. My kid is currently the one spreading strep to one and all. Sorry.

The most fabulous part of all of this – aside from the fact that the doctor’s office won’t prescribe the remaining 4 of us antibiotics right now instead of one at a time as the rapid streps come back negative but then the next day the cultures come back positive (2 out of 2! Whoot!) in the coming weeks – is, wait, what? Did you forget what I was saying? That may have been the longest aside ever.

Where was I? Oh, the most fabulous part is that the currently ill child has IEP testing tomorrow. My husband and I both took a half day off because they want us to be there to find out what the hell is going on with him academically/learning-wise. And now he has strep. I have decreed he will have been on the medication long enough to go anyway. But, not really. I don’t want to have to reschedule it though because you need to coordinate approximately 50 people (or maybe 6) PLUS the parents to do the testing and it may be some time in May 2010 before that happens again. I say the show must go on. The fact he’s not 100% health wise will just make it more likely he’ll be having a “bad” day. The kind of day he needs to have during the testing. If he has a “good” day, they will not be able to assess his difficulties because he won’t be having any. So maybe this is a good thing. Who knows? Justification baby! It’s where it’s at.

Is that an itch in my throat?