Thursday, October 26, 2006

Where was I going with this??

I do believe that the next six weeks are going to be reeeeeaaaaaalllllly long. Every other phrase from my boys' mouths seems to be "I want my Daddy!" Especially if they are displeased with whatever Mommy has said or done or denied them at that particular moment.

My response to "I want my Daddy" has become "Yeah, I want your Daddy, too." Which might sound callous, but it is the absolute truth. For different reasons, depending on when I say it. Many times that phrase includes the silent "Because maybe then I could escape your whining for a for a few minutes."

However most of the time, I am just thinking that I miss him. I am really, really not good at this single-mom thing. I know, I keep saying that. And, yes, I do feel a little guilty about him being over there. He didn't go remote because I MADE him go or anything. But he did go because we knew that it was the one sure way that we could get back to the one place where we knew that the kids and I would be happiest. We love this place and I would gladly stay here forever. But here is the catch. It isn't nearly as wonderful without him. He is such a wonderful daddy and our marriage is back in such a good place. It is just a little miserable around here alone. (She said, in the understatement of the decade.)

But in six weeks or so, we get him back for a little bit. He comes home for his mid-tour leave and we are all looking so forward to it. Only....I am almost dreading his departure in January almost as much as I am anticipating his arrival in December. I try to block it out, but it's impossible. The kids, especially the boys, don't really get what is up.

And why should they? Bug doesn't even really get where Daddy actually is or when he is coming home. Whenever we web-cam, he makes SD show him outside so that he can see that it is night there. When we drive by random buildings in town, he asks, "Is that Turkey? Is that where Daddy is?" Last week, we were sharing a little bag of Cheetos (an unheard of treat around here!) and Bug was telling me that when Daddy gets home, we can give him some too. Then he said, "When is Daddy coming home?" Similarly, Bear was wanting to walk to Sonic. I told him that Sonic was very far away. He asked, "Like Turkey?"

So really, to Bear and Bug, SD could be on the moon, or Mars or next door. He just isn't here.

And that is all that matters. So in January, I know I am going to be answering endless questions about why Daddy can't come home now and why we can't just drive to the airport to get him. Ugh. And after Christmas, there is the "long half" of this remote. How long until August?

So, SD? I miss you. We all miss you. And we love you and appreciate you and can't wait to see you. Oh, and TALK to you. This last trip with limited phone and internet contact has been yucky. Get back to Turkey where I can talk to you. Gotta love irony.

Friday, October 20, 2006

A little gripe

I had SugarPlum's and Bear's teacher conferences this week. SugarPlum's teachers all adore her. No big surprises there. She is a great kid and a focused, diligent student. Her teacher's only "complaint" was that she sometimes has to remind SP to stop reading. I told her that I have the same problem!

After those turbulent first few weeks of school, I was a little more apprehensive about my conference with Bear's teacher. Thankfully, it was very pleasant as well. He is doing so much better concentrating on his work and behaving as he should. Mrs. Kindergarten said that she has noticed a marked improvement over the past few weeks. He is really becoming such a citizen. That is a load off my mind!

Here is what has really been bothering me this week: a note (or packet of notes) from SP's P.E. teacher. Last month, the fourth grade did a PE unit on roller skating where they got to go to a local skate rink each day. It cost $9 per child. In the note home with the permission slip and money request, Mrs. PE added that if we were so inclined, they could use some "scholarships" for those students whose families couldn't afford the $9. I gladly contributed to the cause.

On Wednesday, SugarPlum handed me a stack of papers stapled together, folded in half and sealed with a sticker. She said that Mrs. PE sent it. Puzzling. I opened the packet and on top was a note from Mrs. PE thanking all of the parents who contributed to the skating "fund" for allowing all of the fourth graders to enjoy the unit. Very nice. HOWEVER, attached to this note were copies of thank you notes from each of the students who benefited from our contributions. Not from the entire fourth grade, just those students whose parents couldn't afford to pay for them to skate.

Am I crazy? Or so you also find this disturbing? I, for one, thought that this was was terribly demeaning and humiliating for those children to be singled out and have to write thank you notes. Kids can be cruel. And I know that if (and WHEN) Bitsy McSnottypants and her equally arrogant classmates find out which students benefited from their parents generosity, there will be some mean-spirited teasing going on. Some very fragile egos will be battered a little more. And that breaks my heart.

It has to be bad enough to not be able to pay for school activities. I was happy to help a couple of kids get to go skating. But at the expense of their dignity? That seems a little wrong. No, that seems a LOT wrong.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Signs of Fall by SugarPlum

My unbelievably gifted (no I'm not biased, why do you ask?) nine-year-old daughter has enthusiastically agreed to let me share this little essay that she wrote for her fourth grade English class last week. Personally, I found it one of the most lovely things I have ever read.

The many colored leaves rustle as the cool autumn breeze gently blows. A monarch butterfly alights on a flower. The cries of wild geese echo across the beautiful blue sky. These are a few of the many signs of fall. As I watch, a squirrel gathers nuts for winter. Suddenly, a bunch of acorns fall on me, reminding me of the pitter-patter of rain. I look up and see a huge flock of birds flying south like the geese. I imagine myself one of them, soaring over forests of red, yellow, and orange spangled trees and then diving into a cool refreshing mass of water. As I watch them fly into the sunset and over the horizon, I think to myself, "Fall is wonderful!"

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Looking before I leap....

I have been contemplating this whole "Blogger Beta" thing. But I am leery of switching over without any "real" knowledge of it. I asked around and nobody I know somewhat well has switched yet, either. We all have the same apprehensions, I suppose.

SO....have any of YOU switched? What do you think? If you haven't, have you heard anything good, bad, informative about the new beta Blogger? Any help would be welcome. And not just by me!


P.S. I have been very remiss in getting to this announcement: SugarDaddy now has a blog! He's had it up for about a month now, so go visit and help him feel a little less lonely!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Because there is never enough drama around here

So here's the whole story.....I was born a poor black, wait, that's not it....

Wednesday night, I noticed that the air conditioner wasn't, well, conditioning the air. It was getting warmer in the bedrooms, not cooler. It was then that I realized that I hadn't changed the a/c filter since SugarDaddy left in July. Okay, to be more precise, SD changed it sometime before he left. But I watched. Ostensibly so that I would be able to do it again in a month or so. *cough*

So, I shut off the a/c and made plans to go ot Lowes and buy a new filter after work Thursday. Which I did. Then Bug and I picked up Bear and SugarPlum at their respective schools (Thursdays are exhausting) and Bug fell asleep as soon as we left Lowes (see? exhausting!). Aaaaaanyhoo, got home, put Bug in bed, and installed the filter. Whilst installing said filter, Bear tell me, "Mommy, I need to show you what Bug did to the air conditioner while we were outside yesterday."

Ummmmmm, yeah, the filter change wasn't terribly effective.

Bug had opened the breaker box and pulled off the switch thingy (sorry for the technical jargon), swished it around in the mud a bit and placed it back in the box. Yes, dear readers, the air conditioner wasn't air conditioning because the damn thing, for all intents and purposes, wasn't plugged in. So, I took the switch thingy in, scraped off as much dirt as possible without placing it in water (I may be blonde, but I'm not suicidal!) and took it back out to put it in the switch thingy box. Only it wouldn't go in. At least not without me trying things that I was afraid might get me killed. So, I did what any temporarily single-mom would do in this situation: I called a guy.

I called my former neighbor Ed (remember him?), only he wasn't home yet, so I left a message with his daughter.

Fast Forward (had to believe) to soccer practice, I am telling Bear's coach's wife about the a/c ordeal and she says that her husband can come over and fix it. Like right after practice. I tried to tell them that it could wait until Friday, but he insisted that it was fine. So, they followed me home and, after much running back and forth (by me) turning breakers on and off and checking whether I even had the thing on and turned down, the a/c finally started! YAYY!!!!

Just then, SugarPlum asks, "Where are the dogs?"

No. NO! Not again. But, oh, yes, the Houdini dogs struck again. In the midst of the all of my running from the a/c unit, I had left the gate open. I did make sure that the driveway gate was closed. I simply forgot that Snazzy, and, as it turns out, Yogi, can squeeze through the two sides of the gate. Moron. (Me, not the dogs) (Well, yes the dogs, too. They have a good life here. Why run away???)

Just as we realize that the dogs are out, the doorbell rings. And it's Ed and his lovely wife. Ed asks what is wrong with my a/c. I tell him nothing NOW, but that the dogs had gotten out again. Ed replies, "Well, shit, Buffi. I guess I'll go find them for you!"

And he did. Because Ed rocks (and so does Mrs. Ed!).

And all of the SugarBabies went to sleep without incident. And I drank a beer and watched ER. (OMG!! Are you loving ER this season??) (I'm saving Grey's for when I am not so distracted. Really, it deserves my full attention, don't you think?!) (So, nobody spoil it for me)

Oh, yes, and what really SHOULD have been the big news of the day: All biopsies and blood tests, etc, came back good. I am officially, once and for all cancer-free. For now. In my thyroid anyway.

So there you go. Five minutes of your life you'll never get back. If you lasted this long. Happy Friday, everyone!!!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Let's all just climb into this handbasket now and....

What in the hell is going on? I'm not one for knee-jerk reactions, but honestly, there is that little part of me that wants to keep my kids home forever and never let them enter a school building ever again.

First there were the shootings in Colorado, then in Wisconsin. And yesterday some lunatic in Pennsylvania takes out twenty years of pent up rage on six-year- old little Amish girls? What the hell is that? Could you even imagine a more innocent group of people on the planet?! I am beside myself over this and then hell seemed to break loose in Las Vegas, as well? (I would normally say "all hell broke loose" but hell seems to be spread pretty evenly these days)

I want to gather all of the SugarBabies in my bed and huddle them in and not let them leave the house. But, I am sending them to school. With a hug, and a kiss and a ton of prayers. I'm praying for your kids, too. I'm praying for all of us. It's all I've got.