Saturday, September 29, 2007

Paging Dr. Phil....

For obligatory apology, see here and/or here.

What to do, what to do....I am having a really hard time trying to find a balance between family time and "me time." Because "me time " is the only time that I have to post or check email or read everyone else's blogs. In the not too distant past I tried to merge "me time" and family time with less than stellar results. I found myself saying "Wait a minute. I'll get you some milk/supper/attention after I finish this post. Which then turns into "..when I finish reading this person's post."

I had to ask myself, when did reading about other people's lives and children become more important than living my own life and spending time with my children. While SD was gone, blogging was my refuge. I got so much wonderful support from my blog friends and I felt a little less alone. But, I was using my time with the kids to do so. I am needing to find balance and it's not easy.

I am really tired of whining here. I used to have a sense of humor. My kids do really freaking funny things every day. And I should just get on and share the little tidbits. I guess I'm afraid that if I turn on the computer, I will be here for six hours and that's no good. A little self control would be helpful here. Does Amazon sell that? No, I didn't think so.

So, the funeral and the trip down there wasn't as bad as I was afraid it was going to be. In fact it was, I am somewhat ashamed to It seems like such a cliche` to say that we all only get together for weddings and funerals, but it's true. And this time I got to meet cousins I had never really seen before. Or at least not in at least 15 years. And given that they were small children then, it was cool to get to know them. One cousin who is getting married in the Spring declared that I must come to the wedding because I am one of the "cool cousins." And for my down in the dumps, frumpy feeling 37 year old self to be declared cool by a 25 year old was very satisfying indeed. Of course it's not too much of a challenge to seem cool when the other cousins are self-righteous teetotalers who really have no clue how to have fun. (did I say that out loud?) We are considering havin a secret family reunion. You are only invited if you can kick back and have a beer with us. Or at least not judge us if we do enjoy and adult beverage or two.

My poor grandmother was so confused. She, at times, had no idea who any of us were. She thought that the "cool cousin" was me because she had long blonde hair like I used to. However this cousin also has these huge b00bs, so that should have been a dead give away. My grandmother did come up to me and tell me how pretty I was several times, though. Really. She would come up and stroke my cheek and say, "You're so pretty!" She had no clue who I was or what I was doing there. And it was hard not to laugh when I was showing her pictures of the kids and she kept saying things like, "Now what's that one's name? How old is he?" I hope people are nice to me when I am old. I totally won't deserve it.

The drive itself was fairly uneventful. It was strange to be in the car with just my parents and my brother. It was almost like I was twelve again. But without the choking on cigarette smoke or the "he's touching me" game. Oh, and I had to drive part of the way. The trip down was almost pleasant until we got stuck in Houston traffic and I had to pee so bad I seriously would have gone in my pants but I would have never been able to live THAT down. Daddy finally pulled into a McDonald's so that I could potty. Two minutes later, we were at my cousins'. Natch.

The drive home would have been okay except that I had a horrendous migraine and my mother would not shut the fuck up. She had something to say about every billboard, every restaurant and every other driver on the road. She's lucky that the migraine had rendered me almost paralyzed or I might have reached up there and ripped her vocal cords out. It was a satisfying fantasy, anyway.

I arrived back home to a clean house and happy children. And damn SD for being able to maintain things while I was gone. I never can commiserate with other wives about the whole house-falling-apart-after-I-was-gone-for-only-three-days thing. He does a damn good job at that and I am so grateful.

The marriage? It seems...better....I think. You know, nobody tells you how hard it is being married. Or staying married anyway. But, damn it's a lot of work. It should really be in the pamphlet. I think it is a miracle that my grandparents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary just before he died. Because he was an old curmudgeon. I would have divorced his ass long ago. Love is indeed a many splendored thing.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Just another rambling, disjointed, and slightly whiny post

Seems like every post lately has started the same way....sorry for the lack of posting.

And I really am. Sorry, that is. Also sorry for the lack of visiting everyone else's blogs. I have been severely limiting my computer time lately. I have been trying to give more time to my family and my house and my "real" life in an effort to improve my marriage.

Has it worked? Hell if I know. Husbands are hard to read, you know? At least mine is. I go all along la-tee-dahing for months and years and at time thinking life is all happy and fine and whammo! Not so much. No, I'm not saying anything is wrong per-say. Just that I don't know how things are. *sigh*

The start of school always throws me. Especially this year, since Bug is going to preschool every day. I thought I'd have all this time and get a lot done. HA! Somehow, I have at least two to three appointments a week of some sort or other. I'm really not sure what happens to my time. the only thing I know is I'm not on the computer that's for sure!

Bug started preschool after Labor Day. He is so funny. He was so excited and so freaking adorable. Then he had to go and be....Bug. Yes, my four-year-old got sent to the office on the second day of preschool. Did you even know that preschool HAD an "office" (In the ooooh! you're in troouuuubbblllleee!" sense of the word)? Seems our little rebel didn't want to help his classmates clean up the toys and started throwing blocks. One of which hit a little girl in the face, requiring an ice pack. Thus, the trip to the office.

Later that same day, he was kicking the crap out of some little girl on the play ground.This prompted a teacher to tell him that "We don't do that to our friends!"

To which Bug replied, "She's not my friend!"

Yeah. It's gonna be that kind of year. Heaven help me. It's a good thing he's cute.

Bear had a bumpy start to first grade. He was having trouble staying focused and getting all of his work done. Blessedly, Mrs Firstgrade chatted with me about it on afternoon, telling me that he is such a smart boy, but he needed to really focus and finish his work. She said that it was something that she would work on with him at school as I said I would at home. She was so gracious and sweet about it. I nearly kissed her. It was such a nice change from Mrs Kindergarten. And let me tell you, Bear has already turned around and is finishing his work every day. He's so proud! He had his first spelling test Friday and made 100%! Same for his reading test. He was about to bust his buttons he was so proud. WHEW!

Friday night, SD, Gray Gray and I took the kids to the fair. We all had a good time, though Bug was a little pissy because he didn't get to ride the bumper cars. None of us adults could ride with him. You know, I've had enough "bumper cars" over the last few months to last me for a while! Also, at the fair, my dad got a call that my grandfather had died. He'd been sick for a while, so it wasn't totally unexpected. Still, sad. But mostly weird, because I am 37 years old and until Friday, all of my grandparents were alive. I'm afraid that this is going to be happening more often and to the grandparents I am closer to, which will NOT be good for my mental health. I'm trying not to think about it.

So, I am heading to Houston tomorrow for the funeral. I'm leaving the kids here with SD. Pray for him. Also, I am riding in a car with my parents and brother for several hours each way. Pray for ME. I don't want to go to jail. You have no idea how real that possibility might be. Also? Houston. Heat. Humidity. Emotions. Angst. Family. This can't turn out well.

Hopefully this catches me up. I'll try not to go two weeks between posts, but I don't know how that will work out. Hopefully, I will find a way to balance blogging and the rest of my life. I still need to review the BOB books that MotherTalk sent me (they are fantastic) and the novel, A History Lesson for Girls (wonderful, wonderful!) for another firm that asked me to. I enjoy reading these books and sharing them with you. It's just that lately life keeps coming at me and won't stop. What's up with that?

Must go pack my black dress and other funereal stuff. This should be fun.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

If you're blue and you don't know where to go to.....

So, we are back from our weekend of partying (she said, tongue firmly placed in cheek). This was supposed to be a relaxing weekend, spent visiting friends and family. Instead, like always, it felt hectic, over-scheduled and somewhat disappointing.

Now, to those of you I visited this weekend, don't get me wrong. I had an absolute blast seeing everyone and don't regret a minute I spent with you.

For everyone else on the planet (high expectations here), I went home for the 20 year reunion of all my high school friends. Confused? Well, you're not the only one. With one or two exceptions, my best friends from high school all graduated a year before me. So, when it came time for their reunion this year, I was delighted to have been invited to the reunion by a friend who thought it would be nice to have the gang back together. I had every intention of attending all of the reunion events. But over the summer, my grandmother was diagnosed with lymphoma and started chemo. So, I tweaked my plans some and decided that we would still go to Candyland West this weekend, but I would just go to the dinner and the get together with all of the choir gang on Sunday. Those plans were further altered when several of us realized that the dinner was going to cost $120 per couple. For barbecue. As much as I wanted to attend that dinner, I really didn't want to spend that much. For barbecue. So several of us decided to go out to a nice dinner at one of the better restaurants in Candyland West.

I was really looking forward to this trip. I was so excited to see some of these people I haven't seen in years. And some I hadn't seen in weeks. But Wednesday I started feeling nauseous and it didn't go away all weekend. I don't think I ate more than three bites of anything for several days. On the upside, I lost a few more pounds, so at least there was a silver lining. Of course the cloud inside that silver lining included the migraine that wouldn't die. I'm not sure which the cause and which was the effect, but I had either a headache, a tummyache or both all stinking weekend. Ugh.

THEN! We awoke Saturday morning to the dulcet tones of barking coming from the boys' room. More specifically, from Bear's bed. Crap. It's croup. While SD steamed up the bathroom, I found some benedryl and motrin in the medicine cabinet at Gram's house. Had I brought the nebulizer? No. Of course not. It's summer! He doesn't get croup in summer! Also? I never even thought about it. The steam seemed to help (no ER trip!), so I decided to pull myself together quickly and get up to my old high school for the tour.

I don't recommend this. A high school can change a LOT in twenty years and not all of it will make you happy. By the time I got there, the tour was headed out to the gym. Which has been expanded a great deal and is now two gyms plus a lot more stuff that I didn't see. We started to go into the "old gym" - the one we all remembered - but there was a volleyball game going on and we couldn't go in. But the poor little Student Council (class of 2009!) rep was happy to show us the new gym! Um, yeah. But that is not a part of our past. It's not where we had our pep rallies and saw our beloved basketball team get trounced time and time again.

Back inside. We go through the door back into the school, look to the right and see that the dance studio no longer exists! It appears to have been turned into a janitor's closet. Sacrilege! Then? We learn that the gymnastics gym? Is now the new library. What is wrong with these people. The gymnastics team was the only team we had to brag about!!! And little student council rep/tour guide? Seems PROUD of the fact that the gym was ripped out to make their new state-of-the-art library! FOR SHAME! Why look at all those computers! Back in my day, we had to make an effort to do a research paper. We didn't have computers to look up stuff. We had do dig through microfiche and plow through the stacks to find the articles and books we needed to get that one perfect quote! These kids today have it so easy....

::deep cleansing breath::

That's better. { /rant}

We made our way up to the choir room. Sure that that would satisfy what we came for. But it was locked! Oh! The disappointment. We were all so pathetic standing on tiptoe, peeking int he little windows on the doors. Noticing the what changes we could see. There was much sadness. Luckily, we all made our way down to the auditorium, which still looked and smelled the same. That was happy. We climbed up on stage and forced out significant others to take photos of us as we tried in vain to remember the words and steps to some of our show choir numbers. I think little student council boy was very impressed! You know, if a bunch of old people singing off key and fumbling around on a high school stage is his idea of impressive.

Other tour highlights:

~ Student Council boy telling us how the bell tower is haunted since a person was murdered up there in the mid-80's (you know, waaaaaaaaaay back in the 80's). We told him that we thought we probably would have remembered that.

~ They have elevators now. We reminisced about how we used to sell "elevator tickets" to clueless sophomores. "Now where are the elevators?" "Right next to the swimming pool." Oh, yeah. We were clever.

After the tour, the rest of the gang (read: the people who actually graduated in '87) went tot he picnic. SD and I planned on going over to visit my grandparents, but a wave of nausea gripped me and turned me green and I decided that I didn't need to expose Maw Maw to that or to Bear's cough, given that she has zero immune system after two rounds of chemo. I promised that we would go over Sunday, after the choir gathering.

Dinner Saturday night was good. And, if SD's veal chop alone hadn't cost $42.95(!), it might have been less expensive than the reunion dinner. But the conversation was great, and they had amazing creme brulee which made one of our group declare, "This is what the gods bathe in!" We had a lot of fun, so I suppose it was worth it. Sadly, later that night, my stomach rebelled again and I didn't get to enjoy the fun at the hotel with everyone. This also precluded any visits to see my grandparents Sunday. Much, much sadness.

Our choir party was even more fun than I had hoped! I was happy to see everyone who showed up. I am proud to say that among us, we have the most beautiful, well behaved, smartest group of children in the world. It must be something in the water in Candyland West. It makes for good genes to pass down!

Meanwhile, back in Soccer Land.....SugarPlum played as a guest player for one of the uber-competitive club teams in our town. They have been pursuing her for a while, but she hasn't wanted to make the commitment that the team requires. She had a lot of fun and the team won second place in their tournament. SP is thinking that maybe she would like to play for them next season. I'm not AS opposed as I once was. They only practice twice a week and they are a great group of girls. The parents are pretty cool too. I suppose that the only thing holding us back will be whether we can get a second mortgage on our house to pay the astronomical fees that are required to be on the team. Plus the tournament fees, travel expenses, etc. *sigh* She's ten. I don't know if I'm ready for this. Seem like it's gonna happen whether I'm ready or not. was YOUR Labor Day??