Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Giving Thanks...

That's the theme of the week - if only I could remember. Typically I am pretty good at remembering to be thankful for all that I have - but lately - not so much. I've been crabby. I've been short and snippy with people that I love. I have not been pleasant :-( But I've got to get over it because this is not the person I strive to be - besides my family is coming to our house to share Thanksgiving I need to be happy.

Yes, we host Thanksgiving every year - but before you get all awestruck just let me tell you what my responsibilities are - POTATOES. That's it. Potatoes. The rest - my mom. My parents will show up early Thursday morning with turkey and stuffing, pumpkin and pecan pies and wine in tow. My sister will fill in with the rest and before you know it the preparation and cooking will begin and my kitchen will be a disaster. Unfortunately my brother and his family can't make it this year - my nephew has a basketball game the day after the turkey fun - who plans this stuff??? Anyway I digress, I do have a few more responsibilities than just potatoes but it isn't much when you think about a thanksgiving dinner. There is cleaning and dish washing (I never put my good china or crystal in the dishwasher) and I will have to brave the grocery store tonight (or tomorrow night) but as much as I hate grocery shopping I don't mind going this week. There is all the holiday hustle and bustle and people are cheerful and I usually run into at least a handful of people that I know. It will take me twice as long but that's okay I'm not taking kids and it's a bright, shiny, happy place (seriously, if you think it it's true). So I'm almost looking forward to it - almost :-)

Sooooo, we're finally to the topic I meant to cover at the beginning of this post - in the spirit of giving and thanking and all of that other gratitude stuff I am going to do a little giveaway. Leave a comment (and not just you "usuals" - I mean all your lurkers too) by midnight on 11/29 and I'll have one of my children randomly pick a number or name or whatever (remember me - I'm the one who is a little sketchy on the details - but it will happen) and someone will win this sign - you lucky duckies (LOL).

I know it's not the best picture but it is what it is (I've noticed that this (it is what it is) is the current "catch phrase" of the month. I've heard more people throw this out there lately and it is always in the context of being resigned to a situation. It seems like a lot of people I know amd care about are in turmoil right now *SIGH* I just want everyone to be happy...)

TTFN... have a wonderful thanksgiving filled with love, gratitude and many blessings.

Friday, November 14, 2008

It's so quiet...

everyone is gone and I'm home alone, I'm not sure if I'm happy or lonely - right now I'm feeling more lonely. The HotY took the girls and met up with his parents to watch his niece perform in a band concert and Alex is at a play being put on by one of our local high schools. It has been awhile since I've been home alone. I'm usually the one coming and going and I wouldn't have minded the HotY sticking around tonight :-) I KNOW - can you believe I said that - you aren't used to hearing me utter that kind of sweet talk but just because I don't say it doesn't mean I'm not thinking it. And besides if I let him know that kind of thing then he'd have the upper hand and I'd never get my way :-) I might lose my Saturday morning sleep in or shopping privileges or heaven forbid he might quit unloading the dishwasher. OR OR OR what if he decides he doesn't like me anymore :-(

Anyway, we (the HotY and I) have an unwritten rule that neither of us ever leaves the house without kissing the other goodbye - no matter what - no excuses - not even if you're late, or mad, or have your hands full of stuff and kids pulling on your legs - the rule is a kiss before leaving. I'm usually the one running out the door and then being stopped short by the "aren't you forgetting something" reminder at which point I begrudgingly walk back upstairs (or downstairs depending on the current HotY location) and give the quick peck to which I get the eye roll in return and that eye roll usually ticks me off just enough to send me walking the other way. Come on, I'm just being honest here - this is marriage not Grey's Anatomy. Anyway, the HotY, he rarely needs the "aren't you forgetting something" reminder - but tonight he needed reminding and guess what I got - A PECK! WHAT? I mean it isn't like, you know, an episode of the aforementioned Grey's Anatomy but it's usually better than a PECK. Holy Bananas. So as I was standing there a little bit shocked and dismayed he left. I wasn't sure what to make of that so I started to clean up the kitchen but I felt - well - sad. I was just getting ready to shut off the light and go downstairs when the door from the garage banged opened, the HotY rushed up the stairs two at a time, gave me more than a peck, said "I should have sent the girls with my parents" turned around and left. I have no idea what exactly was going on through all of that or what he was thinking when he left and what he was thinking when he came back (although I do know what he was thinking when he left the 2nd time) but it caught me a little off-guard. So now I'm left here to ponder and feel a little lonely. I'd think that maybe this was his plan but it is just not in him to be manipulative, he is not a game player. What you see is what you get - no false pretenses. That's one of the things that first attracted me to him; self-confident yet modest - it's a good thing. Too bad I can't find a little of that for myself (I'll let you decide if I'm talking about self-confidence or modesty).

TTFN... don't forget to give your own HotY or WotY or Significant Other a kiss before walking out the door, you just never know what may happen.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thank goodness...

they aren't like me - my girls that is... We had conferences tonight. The first real conferences for Lauren & Sydney. Both of them got rave reports. They need to work on their fine motor skills a little more but the teacher is not worried as they are "such little mites" (her words - and really they are - pictures are deceiving - Syd weighs all of 32 lbs and Lauren weighs 35 lbs and neither one of them are giants in terms of height either - but considering Syd started out in this world at 3lbs 8oz and Lauren was 4lbs 8oz they are doing pretty well). Anyway, the reports were great and the teacher stated they are hard little workers. You could almost hear me letting out the breath I had been holding since we sat down. I was so relieved to hear they were doing well and that we weren't going to be setting down and having "the talk" as my parents did with me each time they had conferences for me - from the time I can remember until High School graduation. And what did that talk consist of? It was the same thing EVERY.SINGLE.TIME. and I quote "Angela could be a straight "A" student if she would only apply herself". Honest to God - ask my mom - she'll remember. It was the same message year after year after year. I did good on all those Iowa Basic Skills tests (with Vocabulary my highest ranking area - always WELL above average and math coming in last place) but I didn't like to study. I was okay with getting by without cracking a book. How stupid. The problem is I should have had to struggle a little bit more it was too easy - but live and learn - right? I was a puzzle to my teachers as I could do so well yet so pitifully. But really there was no big mystery - it all depended on if I liked what I was learning or not. If something engaged me enough I was all over it and acing tests and homework and all the rest (Genetics in High School Biology was my thing - LOVED IT - the teacher actually called me into his office one day and asked me how it was that I could be getting "A"s in the hardest section of the class - I just looked at him and said "because I like it" - come on is that so hard to understand? Oh and I can still give you the stats regarding blue eye/brown eye dominance and all of that - and you do know that green eyes are a fluke right - no gene for green eyes). Unfortunately for me, until college, school was primarily a social event, much to my parents frustration. Luckily I eventually learned that it was okay to be smart - and it was even something to be proud of along with being social :-) So, short story long :-) I'm glad that my girls are "hard little workers" because in today's competitive society and college driven job market it is more important than ever to get good grades and keep up with your homework. Okay, I'm off to hide my report cards. I don't want my kids ever seeing those grades :-(


Sunday, November 9, 2008

I know...

I very rarely post two times in one day but I've been thinking about the upcoming week in view of the events of the past week - I guess maybe I didn't exactly expound on the week. So just to make sure we are clear:

Monday - BAD BAD BAD day which was beyond my control and affected people that I care about - it wasn't end of the world stuff but still pretty bad.

Tuesday - BAD BAD BAD day where I was more personally affected.

Wednesday - BAD BAD BAD day where I was contacted by the school around 10:15 to come and get my daughter who had tripped on her way out of school mass and hit her chin on the corner of the chair in front of her and was bleeding all over the place (both she and Lauren were crying - Lauren harder than Syd). I lucked out and avoided the ER but still spent a significant part of my morning at the clinic.

Thursday - BAD BAD BAD day where I accompanied my friend Roxann who, while closing the old, heavy, metal garage door at her cabin, got her hand caught between the panels which resulted in just what you would think - a smashed hand. More blood all over the place. Swelling and just a mess. I got her cleaned up, bandaged and gave her Ibuprofin.

Friday - No tragedies but Saturday was just waiting to happen.

Saturday - BAD BAD BAD day where children were puking, accidents where happening and I was sick of being a nurse but did it anyway.

SOOOOOO.... in view of all of that I've decided that this week is going to be all about giving and being nice. Seriously, I mean it couldn't possibly hurt - and bad things may continue to happen but if I can make someone happy or feel better in spite of the bad I'm going to do it. This I can control - the other stuff I can't but the interactions that I have with those who matter to me - that I can control. I've already told the HotY that I would voluntarily take a family trip with him next Sunday to visit his parents (believe me - this is a big thing). And really they are very, very nice people - and small doses are advised but when they live over an hour away big doses are endured. I am taking my friend Jay a big bowl of his favorite soup for lunch tomorrow. I made Cheesy Ham and Veggie soup for supper tonight. I've also made it for different work events - Jay loves it and is always teasing me about making it for him - so tomorrow he will get his soup and be surprised when he gets to his desk in the morning. I've got a few other nice surprises planned for my friends and I think I will take my kids on a little adventure one day after work. So that's it. That is the plan. To share goodness - because in the end don't we all deserve a little goodness, kindness and care??? I think so anyway.

And now a pause to think about the good things...

like my kids. Last night as I was lying in bed thinking of all the injuries my son could have suffered from his fall and how a dislocated elbow is pretty minor in the entire scheme of things I started thinking about my kids in general. Where would I be without my kids?

There is Alex. Who is stubborn and determined and clever and funny and loving and just good. Although his life is filled with obstacles, obstacles I can't even begin to imagine, he just keeps moving ahead. Never complaining, never feeling sorry for himself, never expecting anyone to make any exceptions for him. There are some who look at me and then look at my son Alex and I can see pity and sometimes disdain in their eyes. All I can think is "you really have no idea, no idea of the things you are missing by only seeing a disability and not seeing a person" because you know what - at the end of the day we all have a disability or two - some just aren't as obvious.

Then there is Sydney. I don't even know where to begin with this girl. She truly thinks that the world has great and wonderful surprises in store for her and she can't wait to discover all of them (especially the ones having to do with boys). Life is an opportunity for singing and dancing and rejoicing and sharing every thought that enters her mind. She has a HUGE crush on her 6th grade buddy and thinks that there would be nothing better than to tell him she loves him. In her mind how could he possibly not think it was the best thing to ever happen to him and it isn't really about her she just can't imagine that it isn't a good thing to "spread the love". The other day while talking to me she said "mommy please do not ever forget to kiss me when you leave in the morning because even though I'm still asleep I can feel it in my heart". I will admit she is a mommies girl.

And Lauren. She's my cautious sometimes subdued always thinking child. Lauren likes nothing better then to get the details and then figure it all out - and she will keep trying to figure it out until it all makes sense to her. I'm not sure if it is a logical mind or just a stubborn one :-) She is also a pleaser - checking in to make sure you are happy with her and what she is doing and she is always looking for ways to make others happy and is greatly empathetic (their teacher told me that Lauren was crying harder than Syd when Syd cut her chin). She's been very busy being a caretaker this weekend. She may sound serious on paper but in reality Lauren loves to laugh and she has a great infectious laugh and really the girl cracks herself up all the time. I love to listen to her go on and on about something barely able to get the words out because she keeps cracking herself up - what can I say she thinks she is witty and of course I think she is too!

So there you go. My thoughts about my kids this week. Sure it might be boring but really would you rather I go back to the whining and complaining???


Saturday, November 8, 2008

And it is still not over...

I was quickly reminded this morning that Friday does not the end of a bad week make.

Syd woke up crying this morning and complaining of a headache and wanted nothing to do with anyone but me (not to mention that the HotY was "on call" this weekend and tied up with some computer emergency or another). It wasn't long before the throwing-up began and it just kept coming. I finally got her to lie down and sleep but not until I promised to never leave her side. The up side is I got to spend some time in "the" bed.

About an hour later I was finally able to sneak away and jump in the shower - I still had the volunteering gig to look forward too. I should have known it was all too good to be true and far too uneventful. I was just leaving the High School to do a little shopping before heading home and my phone rang. It was the HotY saying "I think your son just broke his arm he said he fell off the deck". So I sped home ('cuz really I was just hoping for a cop to stop me so he could give me an escort to my house) picked up my son who was obviously in great pain and sped back downtown to the Emergency Room where while waiting to be admitted to a room more throw-up occurred. I mean really I started my day in puke I might as well finish out the cycle. I'm not blaming Alex, he had every right to throw up, I'm just sharing a thought :-) So while we are sitting there waiting I'm thinking my son fell off the deck. The deck which is 12 feet or so off the ground - how did he fall off the deck? Did he fall down the stairs? And where was his father while this was happening? To say that the HotY was on my list would be an understatement. I know it wasn't really his fault but when someone calls and tells you your child feel from at least 12 feet you get a little irrational. Anyway, it ended up that he dislocated his elbow (I know - what can I say some things just can't be explained by anything but heredity). So they fixed it and don't seem to think there are any other injuries. While we were spending our six hours in the ER I heard all kinds of commotion and kept seeing cops walking by our room and then next thing I heard was that they were going into "lock down mode" and everyone disappeared. Our nurse, the people in the hallways, everyone - gone - seriously. It was weird. Finally one of the nurses came back to our room (of course I tried to question her but she wasn't giving me any info) and let us go home - seriously we were there for SIX HOURS. Oh I'm watching the news - there was a big altercation in a small community near our growing city and two people died and several others were hurt and brought to the ER of the hospital where Alex was - I guess that solves the mystery - SAD).

Considering what happened to Alex and the height of the deck I am thankful that there were not more serious injuries. A dislocated elbow and puke are pretty easy to deal with when you think about the "what ifs" and those "what ifs" can do me in every time - seriously. Believe me, I'm not even going to mention that this might be the end of the "shitty week" because you just never know and right now I'm not taking any chances with tempting fate.

So that's it.


Friday, November 7, 2008

That about sums it up...

Yesterday I was talking with a co-worker/friend and after exchanging information (fine we were having a conversation) he looked at me and said "well this is shaping up to be one of my shittiest weeks on record" and all I could do was numbly agree - it has been a shitty week. I'm sorry, I usually try not to be quite so blunt but there just isn't anyway to bury it in sunshine and rainbows. It isn't like I haven't tried but it is what it is.

So during a week when I wanted nothing more then to crawl into my own little bed and pull the covers over my head life had other plans. I have had something come up every.single.night this week. Seriously, Monday night we went out to dinner, Tuesday night I met a friend for a drink, Wednesday I went to a house warming get together for another friend. Thursday I was looking forward to a quiet night at home and the bed thing but then my phone rang and it was my friend Roxann telling me she was back in the country (she has been gone for the past month) and wanted me to ride with her to her cabin 2 hours away. I didn't know what to say. It isn't like I didn't want to go but I looked around and saw the dishes in the sink and the backpacks on the floor and the clothes piled in the bedroom and the faces of my children and I just didn't know if I could be gone one more night but Rox can be very convincing so I told her if she wanted me to go with her SHE had to call the HotY at work and ask him if I could be gone AGAIN, one more night. She had no problem with that, she welcomes the opportunity to flirt with my husband :-). So about an hour later ('cuz believe me if you think I like to talk I've got nothing on Rox - trust me - Oh and Rox you know I love you!) the HotY called and said "do you think you can be home by midnight". I solemnly promised that I could do that (I walked in the door at 11:58) so off I went AGAIN and really by this time - in addition to my dismal week - I was feeling like a pretty crummy wife and mother but I lived with the guilt :-) Luckily for me the HotY is very tolerant of my coming and going. Anyway, I vowed to myself that I wasn't going anywhere this weekend until I remembered I have another social event this evening and that on Saturday I am volunteering at a fund-raising event for the high school associated with the girls' school. Sooooooo I am out on tonight's event, I'm staying home and I'm pretty darn glad about it - seriously!

So I guess although my gut instinct was to hide and sleep my bad week away life intervened and prevented that from happening and really I'm probably better off because at the end of the day avoiding problems is no way to persevere. Although my rose-colored glasses have been tinted blue lately I believe it will be okay and my quirky sense of life will return so don't give up on me I promise there will be more sunshine than raindrops in the near future - at least I'm believing in the possibility.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

On wishing stars and the reality of life...

Star light
Star bright
First star I see tonight
I wish I may
I wish I might
Have the wish I wish tonight.

Yes, I still wish on stars and I believe. I believe that if I keep repeating the same wish, if I keep reciting the same prayer, if I keep holding the same hope that all my dreams WILL come true and life will be bliss. Logically I know that life is not bliss, I really do, and as far as a blissful life goes I'm pretty close to there but still I believe in the realm of greater possibility.

My mom once told me that I always get my hopes up too high so I end up disappointed because I have too many expectations. That I'm too much of a daydreamer. She is probably right.

I think I'm done wishing on stars...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Does this mean autumn is over...

I actually talked to my brother today about THANKSGIVING. Yes, I said Thanksgiving. You know that holiday that is going to be here before I know it. I just put all the kids summer cl0thing in bins this morning how could it be November already?

As I am sitting here typing this I just glanced over and noted that I still haven't mailed the birthday presents for three of my nephews I HAVE to get them in the mail tomorrow. Why the urgency you may ask (even though I have had them sitting here for at least three months)?Because one of the birthday's was in February, one was in June and the other was in July. Do you see why I am having a hard time realizing that it is actually November. What can I say, I own a calendar I just don't look at it :-)

I think autumn brings out my domestic side. I actually cleaned, I mean really cleaned this weekend. You know what I mean, going through closets and drawers and cleaning all the notes and school papers and various other junk from the refrigerator doors, along with the normal dusting, bed making, vacuuming, etc. Oh and on Saturday after doing yard stuff I cooked the HotY's favorite meal of roast cooked with potatoes and carrots (not my favorite way to fix a roast but he loves it and what can I say I felt like being a pleaser :-)) and then I made apple crisp. Are you not impressed? Fine, we ordered pizza tonight but yesterday it was all about being a Stepford Wife. It happens sometimes. And really I'm a pretty good cook - I just don't like to cook unless it is for something special but that every night make something for supper stuff - I hate it. I mean really there are only so many different variations of chicken.

So the weekend was pretty quiet. I did go out on Saturday morning for a breakfast birthday celebration for my friend Julie but that was the extent of my excitement but I don't really mind a quiet weekend. It's rejuvenating.

Okay, the pile of laundry which, although started several hours ago, is STILL not done is calling me again and again and again. Life is bliss...


Saturday, November 1, 2008

So the princess bride...

thought that I should be sharing my own princess bride pictures since she is intrigued with all that is weddings and pretty dresses (I have no idea where she gets this stuff). But I've already done that - shared some of the wedding pictures - so if you really want to check out the whole deal you can click here and you'll be taken there - to pictures of my own fairytale day - and no it was not a costume ball. Actually for all my delusions of grandeur my own wedding day was pretty low key. I may have even started out the day a little crabby. My hair and make-up did not turn out as I had hoped and I looked ugly, I wore my hair up and I wish I had worn it down, my dress made me look fat (I still have no idea why I choose that shiny satin), I was late -yes, yes, yes, I was the last person to arrive at the church - what can I say - I tried to make it on time but I locked myself out of my apartment while having my mother do my hair, and our cake turned into the Leaning Tower of Pisa because poolside reception on a hot summer day and cake do not mix - who knew humidity would cause the frosting to start melting . BUT on the bright side - it was a gorgeous day in a summer of not so gorgeous days, I loved my veil thanks to my mom who added yards and yards of bridal veiling to my headpiece creating a cathedral length train (no train on the dress but a beautiful tulle train from the veil - I loved that veil - and at reception time - rrrriiiiippppppp off came the veiling and no train to trip over for the rest of the night - because you know about me and that tripping thing - RIGHT?), I was marrying a great guy (and really look how cute he was - YOUNG but cute), and we got married on 4th of July so we went with it and served brats, hot dogs, potato salad, chips and watermelon for our reception dinner and everyone LOVED IT! Oh and the convertible was my car - it was my dowry to the HotY - he still talks about that car. OMG - maybe he only married me for my car :-)

It really was a fun day but if I were to do it again I'd do it much differently. It would be small, it would be intimate and I would spend all that big wedding money on one absolutely gorgeous over the top wedding gown. Yep, that's how I would do it. I'd tell my girls that but everyone knows no one listens to their mothers about wedding advice.

WOW this turned into quite a tangent - sorry. Anyway, now I can tell the princess bride that I have made her wish come true and have shown my own wedding pictures. Oh and if you look at the pictures you can click on them to make them bigger if you are so inclined and if you do that look at how sad my dad looks while walking me down the aisle - I get tears in my eyes looking at that picture - what can I say I'm a daddy's girl!

Okay, I know this is probably one of the weirder posts I have done. I don't even have any brilliant words of advice to send you on your way so I'll just say TTFN...