Thursday, November 30, 2006

Ode to the Queen Mother

Howdy, y'all in the blogosphere.

No, I do not mean the Queen Mother, as in the mother of Queen Elizabeth.

I mean the Queen Mother of Jades The plant of all plants. The ginormous Jade that I received as a confirmation gift when I was twelve. The plant the spawned hundreds of others, given away to friends and family over the years. The plant that keeps on giving.

When THE plant was brought in this October, ready to start the winter in our happy home, I must admit I had reservations. The other plants are all small enough to sit on the bay window sill, the enormous Jade is not. So it sat on the floor on a plastic mat next to the sliding door. It had plenty of sunlight there. The dog would only bump into it once in a while, it would be ok.

Then Darling and Bug Boy began leaning the baby gate up against the Jade whenever they let the dog in and out. We keep the gate there to put at the top of the slider so that Bugaboo cannot escape. They kept propping it up against the sturdy plant and I made a point to remind them that it is a plant, not a piece of furniture.

The plant fell over. Several times. But still the plant lived on.

The last straw came last evening. Darling was excited to be putting up his chili pepper lights. We purchased them on clearance after Christmas last year and he begged to put them up all year. So last evening they came out of the box and as he put them up he bumped into the plant and the top of it toppled over, dirt came flying up and the roots were right-side up. There was nasty, dirty, potted plant all over the family room rugs. We scrambled to clean it up as quickly as possible, since Shad Roe the Dog and Bugaboo were quite curious as to why there was dirt all over the family room.

Once it was cleaned and Darling and I carried the remains of the plant to the front porch I started to get teary-eyed. Why in the world do I love this plant so much? What does it represent? Is it because I received it almost as a coming-of-age gift and it has seen me through multiple moves, several boyfriends, a husband and now children? Is it because when I had Rosie the Cockatiel she used to love to sit in the plant and sing? Is it because the kids put plastic snakes and dinosaurs in it and use it for a playset? Is it because it has grown from one measly little leaf in the back of a plastic elephant planter to a four-foot-high-fifty-plus-pound permanent fixture in our home?

And so it sits, propped up by two chairs, barely clinging to life. I plan on getting a new pot and dirt today, along with whatever plant food I can find. It is going to need tons of love the next few months in order for it to make it. Jades are hearty plants, to the point that if leaves fall off I toss them in the pot and they REROOT themselves. I imagine it will survive.

As cliche as it sounds, I think this plant represents life to me. As it grows and I trim off pieces, I give the pieces to other people to start their own plant. And those plants grow and get bigger and then they pick off pieces to give to other people. This is one of the most amazing things about life. You give little pieces of yourself to others and they take those little pieces to the people in their lives. In a number of years you are leaving behind the most amazing legacy. I try to think about my grandparents (three have passed on) and what they have left behind. My Grandfather left behind a large family and a love for charity. My Pop-pop and Nana left behind a son who wanted to raise his own brood of children with the same unconditional love (and strict discipline) that he had as a child. They always had an open door, anyone could come to see them and talk to them anytime. Is that what I am leaving behind someday? What are people going to remember me for? Are they going to remember that I give to charity, go to church, love my children and family with all my heart, speak kind words to people as often as I can and give of myself when others need me? Are they going to remember the brave woman I am trying to be or a scared woman who cannot make decisions? What legacy am I going to leave?

I know it sounds bizarre, coming out of a woman my age. Who thinks of this stuff in their thirties? ME! I want to know the purpose of this life and so I try to live it to the fullest. My purpose is to touch as many people's lives as possible so that when I move on someday (sorry if it sounds sad or morbid!) each one of those people has a little piece of me. Just like the Queen Mother of Jades.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Guilty pleasures

My name is M-j, and I am a recovering teen movie addict...

Seriously. Wanna know what my guilty pleasure is? Teen movies. Teen romance, comedies, angst, you name it. Do not ask me why. I love sappy, innocent movies.

It probably started in the 80s when I was in grade school and high school. Those were the days of the "Brat Pack" and movies by John Hughes. You know, Breakfast Club, Weird Science, Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, Some Kind of Wonderful. There are many more that he did not write that were just as worthy. I have no idea why I fell in love with those movies but I did. And then my love turned to classic films for a while. As long as it was filmed in black and white and in the theaters before 1960 I'd watch it.

A few years ago it happened again. Although watching television is a rare occurrence these days, I still find the occasional teen flick on the free cable channels. Recently I have fell in love with 10 Things I Hate About You (a spin on Taming of the Shrew), Clueless (a spin on Emma), She's All That, Can't Hardly Wait, need I say more?

Recently I have found The Princess Diaries, Ella Enchanted and What a Girl Wants. There is something sappy and charming about these dripping-with-cheese-factor movies that I cannot get enough of. Perhaps it is because lately I do not have the brain power to read and yet I am hungry for romance, drama and true love? Who knows. All I know is that when Darling walks into the room once the boys are in bed and I have one of these movies on he rolls his eyes.

And while we are on the subject of things I am embarrassed to admit I watch, let's discuss the Discovery Channels. I cannot get enough of plastic surgery/makeover shows. Now, I would never actually GET plastic surgery. I would never even consider it unless I had some horribly disfiguring condition and even then I would balk at it. But for some reason nothing intrigues me more than these super-vain people spending their life's savings on a face-left or eye-left and are left looking fake and honestly do not look that much better.

Oh, wait! Then there are the gastric bypass shows. You know, I lost 500 lbs? Then had to have a year's worth of plastic surgery to get rid of the hanging skin? Or the teenage boy who had the bypass surgery at 16 because he weighed 500 lbs?

What about the shows about Little People? The Woman With Half a Body? The Girl Born Without a Face? The Mermaid Baby? Conjoined Twins? The Real Rainman? I am getting the sense that the Science Channels are turning into the Science Fiction Channels, or may have been bought out by the National Enquirer. Talk about Tabloid Fodder.

The next time you see me please, do not chastise me for watching this fluff.

Monday, November 27, 2006

The Griswolds

C'mon, every neighborhood has a family like the Griswolds!

If you don't know what I am talking about, click here.)

I am hoping we aren't that family. We spent the better part of yesterday taking down Fall decor and putting up wreaths, lights and bows. I think it is tasteful. In our old house we'd put boughs and bows on every window sill, with candles in each windows. It was simple but pretty. Perfect for an old Victorian. For some reason Darling has gotten the icicle light itch. He wants to put them on every square inch of the house.

At the moment we have wreaths on each windows with lights on the three cone-shaped trees. It looks pretty. But Darling had to do more. He went and bought icicle lights yesterday. He carefully measured the porch and roof to make sure we had enough lights. He went home to put them up and they were about four feet short! HAHAHAHA! I stood there talking to my neighbor's wife while he balanced himself on the roof and he and the neighbor took pot shots at each other, one threatening to call 911, the other joking he might fall out of the tree. The kids (all of them) ran around, up and down the side walk. It was a GORGEOUS day, unseasonably warm. Bugaboo sat in our Honda for two hours. Don't ask.

So, we have pretty wreaths and bows and icicle lights. I swore I would never give in to those lights. I did not take into account that darling and the boys would like them so much. Sigh.

Oh yeah, and I forgot to tell you that he put them on the GARAGE!!!!! Sheesh.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Angry with Darling

I know this is totally trivial, and there are more important things to worry about, but Darling and I have had this ongoing thing for a while and I really need to get it off of my chest.

Darling has a habit of disappearing into the garage. Now, if he is working on a car or the lawn mowers or cleaning up or...something that has to do with the garage, I am OK. But when he disappears for six hours and I go out to check on him and see if he wants to at least come in for lunch and find him cutting up an 8 foot steel beam with an acetylene torch, I get a little Irish. I mean, this has to be the WORST idea he has ever had. He is literally trying to cut it up into 3 foot sections so he can throw it out, one piece at a time.

Now, it was suggested to us to post it on Freecycle or Craig's list. So I encouraged him to do it. And guess what? Someone was looking for steel beams! All he had to do was post it. Did he? No. He started cutting it up instead. It is taking him forever. He has 2-4 inch gashes that took nearly three hours to do. So his grand plan isn't working. Not to mention the fact that he is cutting it up in the garage, over an old oil spot. With two cords of wood in the garage. And two lawnmowers full of fuel. And two cars.
I am not sure I am angry with him. More like frustrated that he is doing this. Sorry to vent about something so...well, stupid. But he is usually so intelligent and is so thoughtful. I just don't get the torch thing. He is either going to burn his hand off or set the garage on fire. Or asphyxiate from the fumes. Grrr...

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Turkey wishes and Turkey Dreams

Bug Boy brought home a simple assignment the other day. The students had a teeny little Thanksgiving book and they were to ask a relative or friend (well, interview) what their favorite Thanksgiving food or memory is. Naturally he wanted to ask Darling, who has no recollection of yesterday, let alone a few years ago.

I offered to help Bug Boy (and gave Darling the hairy eyeball for not making something up) and told him my favorite food (GASP!!! NO WAAAAYYY!!!) was mashed potatoes. I told him I also like the stuffing that gets all crispy and kinda burnt when the turkey first comes out of the oven (yes, we stuff the turkey. We have not gotten salmonella in thirty-odd years.). And the creamed corn that my mom is famous for. And her apple pie. And gravy. Did I mention the gravy?

Moving right along...

So, Bug Boy moves onto the part where we share out favorite Thanksgiving memory. I thought about it for a moment and then told him all of them.

All of them, because I can remember being with my huge, loud, obnoxious family every year. Even though the past few years we have been alternating between in-laws and our family, I can remember having dinner at our house, my sister's house, my brother's house, my parent's house (where we are much too small to fit anymore, and my mother's cooking is totally slipping anyway). I remember sneaking into the kitchen to open the oven and peek at the bird and steal some of that crispy stuffing. I remember the year that my mother was hospitalized for Thanksgiving and my two older sisters were in college and no longer lived at home, so fourteen-year-old me made (and messed up) my first Thanksgiving dinner, complete with purple mashed potatoes. I remember squeezing around the not-quite-an-eat-in kitchen and telling everyone else, one at a time, what we were thankful for. I remember the creamed corn getting so burnt we could taste smoke. I remember my then-five-year-old sister, who sang twenty-four hours a day, making up a Thanksgiving Carol because she was annoyed that there weren't any:

Deck the Halls with Turkeys falling
Fa la la la la, la la la la
If you don't you won't get stuffing
Fa la la la la, la la la la

I kid you not. This is what she sang and I remember it like yesterday!

I think the point I am trying to make is that I want this feeling for my children. I want them to look back on all of the Thanksgivings and the funny things that happen and smile and sigh. I want them to cherish having those moments with our crazy family. I enjoy spending time with my family (yes, Crissie, ALL OF THEM) even when they drive me nuts, or I don't agree with them, or they tease my kids one-too-many-times or they look at me like I have three heads, which I do. I love being together with them because despite the fact that my parents are sometimes off in never-never land chasing pirates, they loved us very much and did their best to provide for us with the little they had. They always tried to make it fun. My mother was very creative and crafty and we had homemade EVERYTHING. Some people might have thought it was shabby, we always knew it was filled with love. To this day, when my sons have a birthday or we have a family holiday, I insist on making EVERYTHING fresh and from scratch, because I just feel that making it homemade means making it with love.

Except the cranberry sauce, I've burnt that too many times to try it again.

Forget who you are angry with this year. Forget that Aunt-so-and-so thinks your kid looks like a cabbage patch doll or that your brother said your potatoes (GASP!) tasted like sawdust one year. Forget that your parents are always late, and are always the first to leave. Forget that it is loud and when you leave your ears ring like you've been at a rock concert. Please, just concentrate on being together, reminiscing, loving. Enjoy your family and make memories. Concentrate on the fact that you have such a blessing! This life goes so fast! No one EVER says on their death bed that they wish they swept their floors one last time or changed the oil in the car more often. They always wish they had spent more time with their families building memories.

So, fall asleep after dinner from all the tryptophan (which they now say is a lie, you just ate too much) and have sweet dreams of Thanksgiving. And apple pie. And pumpkin pie. A la mode. And cheese cake, mmmm! Cheese cake! And creamed onions and...

Monday, November 20, 2006

Weekend? What weekend?

At the risk of sounding cliche, I must tell y'all that I cannot believe it is Monday already!

Where, oh where, does the time go? Could it be that the entire weekend was a blur because on the first weekend in three months that we had NOTHING planned and NOTHING we absolutely had to do, that we were so goshdarn busy that it passed too quickly?

As I sit her contemplating that epiphany Bugaboo is stalking Bug Boy for the remains of his asiago cheese bagel. At twelve to fifteen grams of protein per bagel it is no doubt Bugaboo obtains his main sources of protein from these bagels. This weekend he tried a piece of pizza crust. We thought we were being crafty when we left a teeny piece of cheese and sauce on the crust and handed it to Bugaboo. He turned it over, carefully inspecting it, then ripped off the offending piece and put it behind him (he is no longer allowed to throw things on the floor, he now tucks them under his behind or puts them behind his back). Nice try, Mom and Dad! As if...

I have been running a fever all weekend. It started with the hairball-stuck-in-throat-so-blame-it-on-the-shedding-dog theory and Saturday morning it became the I-picked-up-a-cat-so-my-allergies-are-bothering-me theory. By the time I woke up from a nap that afternoon it was OMIGOSH-I-am-really-sick-and-it-wasn't-the-Crest-Whitestrips theory. Although those work very well and they taste awful. So I was convinced I was being poisoned for about five minutes. Yesterday I spent the day lounging by the fireplace (yes, it was lit) either with a kid sitting on my head or feet or one sprawled across my body whining, "mmmaaaaaaammmmm!" And after ten years of marriage Darling finally figured out that when I am sick I need attention and pampering. He offered to get me soup, made me drinks, kept the kids at bay and made sure I had enough blankets to keep me warm. What a nice way to spend the day! Too bad it will not happen for another ten years. It was worth waiting for!

Sleeping well can do wonders for a person. I actually slept for over eight hours last evening and it was HEAVENLY. I woke up with tummy pains (never, ever eat chicken wings and green veggies when you are having digestion issues) but recharged from a restful night. I did not stare at the ceiling half the night worrying about my day, my kids, my life. Instead of drifted off into a peaceful sleep dreaming of my grandparents' homes when I was a kid and how big they seemed when I was so young(Or perhaps it was just that I grew up in a shoe closet so their homes felt like mansions to me. ).

Bugaboo is still stalking Bug Boy for that last bite of bagel. He follows him around with his face about two inches away, waiting for Bug Boy to look at something so he can lick it or take a bite. It is very funny to see. One of these days I will upload a video to my blog. You know, with all of my free time.

Oh, and the best part of this weekend? Darling went over our finances in preparation of Christmas shopping (which I have been doing for two months but he did not notice) and declared our budget and that he was fine with the purchases I made online. Normally if I spend two cents he gives me a lecture about spending our mortgage money, yadda, yadda, yadda. This year I am being super frugal and getting things finished in a timely manner. It feels great!

Ok, feverish rant over...

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Oh yeah, I've been tagged

I normally don't like to do this stuff, but I wanted y'all to see how pathetic my purse is. I have never carried a purse (went right from backpacks to diaper bags) so this is new territory for me. So, without further ado, here is the list of things in my purse, thanks to Tracy for the tag:

  • Calender
  • credit cards
  • id cards for Y
  • License
  • pocket change
  • $7
  • pen
  • lip balm
  • Cell phone
  • sunglasses

Yup. That is it. Kinda sad, huh? I have never been a makeup kind of girl and I don't carry a hairbrush even. I think there is one in the glove compartment of my car. I used to just shove a wallet and whatever else I needed into a diaper bag. These days I don't even know where to put my keys (usually in my pocket).

Ok, I will tag...Crissie.

To clarify a few things...

I usually read people's comments and think about them, then forget them. I answer them in my head but do not always respond to the person who asked the question (does that mean I am losing it?). So, here is my best effort to clarify things:

Kathy: I know that reflux and gallbladder disease are two different things. You see, for me, if one is active then the other flares up. In other words, when my ulcer starts up, it is usually because I am stressed out, which means the acid is flaring up, which means my gallbladder is working twice as hard from my crappy diet, which means the next thing you know I have pains in my side and a sore throat. So, taking Tagamet (a reflux med) believe it or not DOES help with my gallbladder. It just doesn't help my liver too much, so I don't like to take it unless absotively necessary. The more meds you are on, the more your kidneys and liver have to work. And I am thinking of holding onto them for as long as possible. But the gallbladder can go.

Tracy: I didn't realize that once you got your gallbladder out you couldn't process fats. We have to tell everyone in Hollywood this. They'll stop getting plastic surgery and go for laproscopic gallbladder removal instead.

Rachel: I'm glad your happy pills work for you. I just haven't found one that works for me yet. I think it is because I was misdiagnosed with depression. I am positive that depression isn't my issue, mostly because I am nearly a carbon copy of my mother. She has bi-polar disorder (so do my FIL and Brother). And while I am not quite as up and down as she is, but I can come close a few times a month. So until I get on a mood stabilizer specifically for Bi-polar disorder, which I am currently unwilling to do, I will just go with what I am doing for now. It works for the most part. Except sometimes I end up with hair colors I don't like or clothes I don't need.

Anjali: Someone that has your awesome figure oughta wear a bikini, even with scars! The heck with 'em! I plan on wearing mine until the wrinkles get in the way of my bottom trunks.

Advice on Bollywood Films: The way I find most of them is by accident. But you could try the Wikipedia entry on Bollywood and go from there. The more popular films aren't necessarily the best ones, but it is a good place to start. Oh, and check out Mississippi Masala, if you haven't. It isn't necessarily a Bollywood film, but I love stories that portray characters trying to survive love between two conflicting cultures. Nothing could be more dramatic than an African American man in the south in love with a young woman from India. Talk about culture clash!

I think that is everything I had for now.

update: I looked at my blog traffic for the week and here are some of the google searches that landed people here:
  • George Prepard
  • Jena Malone dubbed Pride and Prejudice
  • No, not yours. Can't have it
  • Dale Earnhardt Junior
  • Baby EEGs
  • How to remove salon wax from tile
  • Bugaboo
  • Bollywood Mj
  • Gap Audrey Hepburn commercial where is it from
  • What does Ralph mean in baby book
Some weird wild stuff, indeed.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Last night at OCB...

My friends had a good time socializing and yucking it up (and scarfing it down) while I alternated between running for the john and moaning on the couch.

I am going to take a wild guess at what the problem is.

The past few weeks I have been experiencing heartburn, pains in my side, problems digesting certain foods and a bad taste in my mouth. My throat is even sore from it. Yup, the reflux is back.

Here's a little secret: The last time I had reflux like this I was pregnant with Bugaboo. And the time before that it was when I was pregnant with Bug Boy. And the time before that it was when I was bulimic for nearly eight years, between Senior Year in High School and the time that I married Darling.

I have gallbladder disease. I have had it since I was nineteen. If I am not careful with my food selections I pay for it. For example, it is a really bad idea to have pizza AND lemonade, since they will both do a number on me. I can have gravy on my potatoes but I really shouldn't eat anything fried or any cruciferous veggies for the rest of the day. I have to avoid taking certain pain relievers and other meds. Alcohol and excessive caffeine do not agree with me. And that's too bad, because I am properly developing an addiction to coffee. But only after 3pm.

The good news is that I have been able to control my diet for fifteen years and therefore have needed no surgery or meds. The bad news is that even with watching what I eat, lately I have been having flare-ups. The doc says take Tagamet and see how that goes. But I know what is going to happen! They told me about ten years ago that eventually I will have to get my gallbladder out.

I know, it is a relatively minor procedure. These days they do it with a laproscopic approach. There is very minor scarring. But I develop keloids, so I am none too pleased. I still wear a bikini (I AM SO VAIN!!!), don't want little scars!

Lately I have been unhappy with my body. I do not like my shape. I am not thrilled with my increasingly shrinking breasts, since they now show stretch marks. I do not feel that I am in the best shape of my life. I am keeping up with my house but it is not (even after living here a year) close to where I want it to be. And then there is the ever-increasing stress and worry about Bugaboo and his future. I cannot even think about it right now and I know I need to begin putting a few things in place, like a special needs trust.

So, if I could find a way to deal with my stress (exercise usually helps) and a few things in my life could let up a little I feel like I would be able to control this latest round of stomach problems. The thing is, Bugaboo ain't going away. It will be Christmas before I know it, and no matter how well I prepare it seems so stressful. I start becoming less and less sociable, more anxious, more introverted and slightly depressed. I am trying so hard to avoid the Zoloft again! It seems like every fall, between Halloween and Thanksgiving, this all starts. And it takes me six months to get out of it. The doc is convinced I have SAD (seasonal affective disorder) since it only happens when the days get shorted and I am better by the time spring rolls around. But this time I am going to kick it in the butt. I want to enjoy the holidays. I want to feel all of the joys and the sorrows. And believe it or not, the stress.

So, let go and Let God, right? I'm trying...

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

It's 5am...

Scene: Hatzell home. It is five o'clock in the morning.

Marj bolts awake from a great dream about her son's neurologist. She will not insult you and tell you the details of that dream, since you can probably guess. Marj hears something, looks over at her husband. He is fast asleep. The dog is snoring at the foot of the bed on her favorite blanket. Marj is just about to settle back to sleep when she hears noises across the hall.

A blood curdling scream ensues, followed by banging on Bugaboo's door. He is trying to get out of the room, but they keep it locked so he cannot go outside to play in the wagon at six am, like last week. Marj jumps up, opens Bugaboo's door and tried to quiet him quickly, so as not to wake the rest of the household.

She cuddles with Bugaboo as he screams and flails his arms and legs. He is out of control, running around the room, literally trying to climb the walls. She scoops him up again, attempts to climb back under the cuddles and whispers to him, "It's okay, Momma is here. Shhhh...Momma is here, it is okay." He continues to scream, attempts to flee. After fifteen minutes of out-of-control screaming Marj decides to try getting Bugaboo something to drink. This, of course, sets him off screaming the most horribly imaginable cry. He sounds like someone is trying to hurt him, like he is scared beyond belief.

Marj makes her way downstairs in the pitch black as quickly as she can drag her sorry behind down there. Once the cup is filled (exact proportions of juice and water, just the right temperature!) she groggily climbs the stairs again, grasping for the railing that has not been hanging on the wall since she moved into her home a year ago. She enters Bugaboo's room, hands him the cup, "Here, sweetie. Momma got you some juice. Do you want to drink your juice?" Bugaboo stands there screaming, but manages to take sips in between the hysterical hiccups. He can barely take a breath, is shaking uncontrollably. He begins to quiet down. Marj snuggles down under the covers once again. Ever few sips he returns to the wild-animal-like cry. It becomes clear that this is not going to stop without some desperate measures. With a sigh, she tells him, "We are going downstairs. " He takes her hand and they walk down slowly.

They make it to the family room and Marj turns the dimmer on very low. She turns on the television and asks Bugaboo what he would like to watch. He stands there gasping and crying, "Maaaamaaaaaa!" She shows him Chicka Chicka, Thomas and Wiggles. He stares at the Wiggles. She takes it as his sign that he made up his mind and puts Top of the Tots in the DVD player. Not her favorite!

The music starts and Bugaboo climbs on the couch. He is finally silent. It is nearly five-thirty. Marj gets blankets and they snuggle on the couch. She drifts off for a few minutes but he climbs onto her and wakes her. She must keep watch with him. He will not allow her to close her eyes for long, placing his chilly hands on her warm cheeks and making eye contact with her each time. She still manages to drift off a few more times before the DVD goes back to the main menu. He hops down off the couch, runs to the DVD, pushes play and then climbs quickly under the covers. The next time Marj opens her eyes he is putting the DVD on for the third time. A few moments later she hears someone get up to go to the bathroom. The alarm is going off.

Marj reluctantly gets up from the couch and wearily goes upstairs to make sure Bug Boy and Darling are getting up, showered and dressed. She dresses herself, pulls her hair back under a bandanna and returns to the kitchen to start breakfast and get medicine for Bugaboo. She makes darling's breakfast (toast with honey) and begins fantasizing about dozing off peacefully once the kids are on their buses and Darling goes to work. That fantasy is interrupted by the realization that she watches her neighbor's children before and after school.

An hour later Bugaboo is dancing up and down the sidewalk waiting for his bus. He sees it off in a distance and hugs Marj's legs. He laughs out loud and claps his little hands together, holding one of his bus toys. As the bus picks up the child down the street Bugaboo begins to jump higher than a Jack Russel. The bus finally pulls up to our driveway and before the driver can put the bus into park, turn on the flashing lights and open the doors, Bugaboo has already tried to pry them open. He jumps on the bus, the aide straps him into his five-point harness and they soon drive away. Marj waves to the children, happy that she gets a few moments of peace but sad that she will not see her kids for nearly eight hours. It is sometimes more that she can stand.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Updates on various topics

It rained this weekend.

Just kidding, I know you knew that.

Darling spent two hours sucking up leaves with the tractor while I raked the neighbor's front yard and the kids jumped in it.

Penn State beat Temple with no coach. No one is surprised by this.

The Eagles won. I don't know if the Flyers did because Darling cannot stand to watch it at the moment, it is too depressing for him without Bobby Clark.

Bug Boy had a sleep over with Polite Boy. They played ALL day Saturday, slept over and played half the day Sunday. They never got sick of each other. Of course, Bug Boy turned into a pumpkin at the stroke of noon and it was meltdown city for the rest of the day. He cried for two hours and the entire time repeated (over and over and over) "But I wanna play video games! I wanna play video games!" Mommy is ready to chuck all electronics out the window. Daddy didn't do a good job of sticking to Bug Boy's chart limiting tv time!

Bugaboo had fun yesterday while Daddy fell asleep watching football. See, Daddy said Mommy needed a nap and sent me to bed. Daddy fell asleep and Bugaboo was bringing pictures to him but couldn't find his hands to put the picture in, since Daddy was fast asleep. So Bugaboo stripped down to his birthday suit (happens many times a day), ran into the Living Room and proceeded to relieve himself all over the carpet. And then smear it on the wall. Oh, and the pumpkin light. And then walked in it and tracked it around the Living Room. Then walked into the kitchen leaving footprints on the floor and then peed on my newer rug. Then opened and closed the fridge while stuff was running down his legs. That is when Darling FINALLY woke up and screamed for me. I spent the next three hours scrubbing, steaming, decontaminating. Great way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon.

I watched a great movie called Monsoon Wedding. Another Indian themed movie, very well done. So many of them center around weddings. Hmmm...

As of this last sentence Bug Boy is still lobbying for video game time. Methinks Darling and I need to have a family meeting this evening and renegotiate his contract, since he seems to forget to rule about school days and tv time (um, zero.).

I met a friend for coffee last night. Both of our older boys have the same name and both have PDD-NOS. We met at Border's, our once-monthly haunt, because it is the only place around that serves stuff not on the diet and stays open late enough on Sunday for us to chat. They were OUT OF BELGIAN CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE and I really needed it after Bugaboo's incident. I settled for coffee cake (not even close to Starbucks!) and it ended up having nuts. My caffe Mocha wasn't prepared properly. There was a new girl at the register (go figure) and she was rude. Next time we try Panera's or Starbucks.

You don't know this, but there was just a fifteen minute pause between the last sentence and this one because Bug Boy was on the floor kicking and crying about the dang video games. I had to calm him down and getting him waiting by the door for the bus.

We found two dog-ticks on the Shad Roe this weekend, and she has a bad sore by each of them. We have no doubt they came from upstate. I cannot imagine how much worse she would have them if we did not treat her with the monthly tick and flea treatment. The vet said to keep an eye on her behavior and bring her in if she seems lethargic, depressed or has a change in her usual psychotic self.

I took a pair of pants back to Target last night because I am too short and didn't feel like hemming them. Plus, they were for church and the rise was a tad too low. I made copies of Bugaboo's pictures for school for his Family Unit. I printed out all of his aunts, uncles and cousins. I even printed out the dog. Hopefully he will learn them. I had to make sure I had very current pictures, since a hairstyle change is enough to confuse him!

I do not have extra children, thanks to their Dad being sick. I know that does not sound like a good thing but I have not been to the Y in nearly three weeks due to appointments and childcare issues. I feel like a sack of potatoes. I feel like eating a sack of potatoes. I may just settle for potato soup, my homemade-much lower fat version.

When I was at church yesterday I closed my eyes during the Lord's Prayer and asked God to give me an answer or sign regarding Bugaboo. Things have fallen into place for Bug Boy and I need to know if I am doing the right thing by Bugaboo. I know we have some things in place but right now we are considering a touch-talker for him. I just feel that we are giving up on him speaking if we do it, but I know it will give him another way to express himself, which is what we want at this point. He is increasingly interested in electronics (could put videos and DVDs in for himself at the ripe ole age of 1) and we think this would help him. But I feel conflicted about it. So, God, I am handing it over to you. Tell me what to do. I want so badly to hear my baby's voice, it rips my heart to shreds just thinking about it. In one respect he is so much easier to deal with that Bug Boy (who can talk, sounds like Rain Man and NEVER STOPS!) but if I could just talk to my sweet little guy and having him answer back, I cannot even begin to tell you what that would do for us. Heck, I'd settle for one word answers and pointing! ANYTHING!!! Okay, rant over. I am giving it back to God. I know it will be taken care of, this is where patience comes into play.

I am determined to finish this cup of tea and get to the Y. So I'm signing off, y'all. Have a grand day.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Good movies

I do not watch much television. Once in a while the stars and planets align, the kids cooperate and I have nothing to do since I am caught up on all routines. So guess what I did last night? I picked up the remote and watched television.

I spent 20 minutes searching for my newest crossword puzzle and word game book to no avail. I was frustrated and angry after a rough day (Bug Boy diagnosed with seizures like Bugaboo, Bugaboo having diarrhea in the tub, the list goes on) and by the time I located the book my brain was fried beyond repair. So tv it was.

I flipped through the makeover and plastic surgery shows and finally settled on Bend It Like Bekham. I have been wanting to see that movie forever, it had great reviews. And it was good! It starred Parminda Nagra (of ER fame) and Keira Knightley (of Pirates of the Carribean and Pride and Prejudice Fame) and others. Quite a light-hearted little dramedy. I have realized that I liked it so much because it was so clean cut and because the girls in the movie were total tomboys, kinda like me. But I also loved it because it was about a Sikh family in Englad. I have this thing for Bollywood films, Bride and Prejudice perhaps is my favorite. Bend it Like Bekham was a good fit because it showed the struggle that Jess endured trying to please her traditional Indian Family while growing up a teen in London and trying to be a modern girl. Very cute film, so if you haven't seen it, please do.

Oh, and I also watched Discovery Health, you know the show about the women that lost 800 lbs? I have this thing for Discovery Health shows...

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Say What?

not surprised by the majority of the election results. Really, I am not. There are a few that I may have been hoping would win (because of certain issues, not because I necessarily like them or that they were in the party I am registered in) but did not, and I am sad about that. There are a few that were very close.

But y'all, last night at 8pm, Darling and I watched some of the election results. With 3 and 4% of precincts reporting, folks were ALREADY CLAIMING VICTORY BASED ON EXIT POLLS!!!!

Darling and I hate this particular part of elections. The media attacks it, projects outcomes, and is sometimes right. But sometimes wrong. The last presidential elections are a good example. When one coast can see results and the other coast is still standing in line to vote, don't you think that people are swayed or influenced? I mean, it was clear that the balance of power was going to shift. It is something that happens after 2 terms of one president. It has happened before and will happen again. And they were very happy with the numbers at the polls, although they still did not have as many people as a presidential election.

I just do not think it is fair or good reporting to have all of these so-called political experts projecting this stuff of tv. It is BS (yes, I said that). And it makes me nuts. Grrr....I also think it is ridiculous for a candidate to refuse to concede when the race is very close. I mean, you lost by 2,000 votes. So you demand a recount? Huh? WHATEVER! YOU LOST! But I think we are all still thinking about those Chads in Ohio and Florida from the Gore/Bush election.

And don't even get me started on Santorum.

End rant.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election Day!

this is my soapbox moment.

I am here today to tell you to go vote. I don't wanna hear any whining about how little time you have, you work, I stay at home, Yadda, Yadda, Yadda. In a few weeks when you are biatching about the issues at hand, I will say, "Told you so!"

Now, I am going in a few minutes with my two (Bugaboo counts as two or three kids by himself) and the neighbor's three. If I can do it with those five, just about anyone can.

There are very important issues at hand this election. No, it isn't a presidential year, but it is just as important. Control of the House and Senate will be dictated by what happens today. So please, please, please go and exercise your privilege of voting. Yes, privilege. It is something that can be taken away. And in some countries, not only can you NOT VOTE but if you are a woman, you have even less rights.

I don't care what party you align with. I don't care what issues you support or don't support. I certainly don't care if you are a bat-eating-communist-with-a-foot-fetish-and-furry-costume (Huh?). Y'all need to go out and do it. If you don't know who the candidates are, don't just vote for the party because you like it or you like their last name. Please take a few minutes and educate yourself before you go.

Now, that being said, there are some candidates that I am still undecided about. I want some new blood but kinda wanna stick with a few people in office. I also cannot get past certain issues and I know that will influence my vote. I will make sure I know when I go down there in a few minutes.

Ok. Soapbox rant over. Carry on.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Romantic weekend

We survived our tenth anniversary.

This weekend we went to our little cabin in the woods, ate and drank ourselves silly and slept quite a bit. We never built a fire. We ate out for every meal (because I was NOT about to cook and have to do dishes!) and were so spontaneous my head is still spinning.

Now, I have this teensy problem with transitions and prefer to follow the same schedule and routines daily. And I wonder where my kids get it. I can usually tolerate the cabin since it is practically a home away from home. It has wood floors, uncomfy beds, a kitchen area, plumbing, a fireplace, you name it. Quite a cozy place. We love it there and so do the kids (and the dog!).

So here is a run-down of our weekend:

  • Left at about 6:30 when Bug Boy got home from his after-school group and the neighbor kids got picked up.
  • Arrived at the cabin at approximately 10:00 pm. We hadn't eaten dinner so decided to crank up the heat (it was 55 in there) and go get food. The doggie was very happy to be there.
  • Drove over the mountain to State College, PSU country and ended up, of all places, at Hooters. The wings were pretty darn awesome, I have to say. But the waitresses were total idiots and didn't look all that good in those outfits. I mean, part of their job is to schmooze with the clients. Basically, the more you butter them up, the better the service. And drunk college guys tip VERY well, so guess who the waitresses spent the most time with? Old people like us?
  • Got back to the cabin around midnight or so. Saw some wildlife, took our time driving back in the 30 degree weather.
  • Literally fell right asleep. No kidding (and no hanky-panky).
  • Dog woke us up at 9:45 am barking at the park ranger knocking on the cabin door making sure it was us and not some stranger. Darling talked to Allen the Ranger (nice guy, we see him every time we go up) and I stayed in bed with no bra on pretending to be asleep. Shad Roe is fired as a watch dog, since the ranger turned off of the noisy dirt road, drove up the dirt and gravel driveway, opened and closed the screened porch door and knocked before she bothered to wake us up with her barking. But she DID get a mouse at 3am. Good dog.
  • We got showered after the ranger left and drove into State College again to Ye Olde College Diner, home of the world-famous stickies. MMmmmm, nothing like 'em! We could have gone into Belleville (the little Amish town at the other side of the mountain from the camp) to the Smorgasbord, but decided we didn't need that much food. And they don't have stickies.
  • Called Darling's 21-year-old cousin and probably woke her up at 11am when we were eating breakfast (don't worry, we skipped lunch. We had to, we ate ourselves silly at the diner.) and went to see her about three blocks away. She has a nice, brand-new apartment with three roommates, none of whom where there this weekend. We had a lovely visit and she asked me to fill out a questionnaire for one of her classes. That was funny.
  • After leaving Cousin's house we went to get poochy so she wasn't alone for so long. Then we drove to the other side of the mountain and went to Belleville. We stopped and saw Grandmom, went to the winery and the little Amish/Mennonite grocer and browsed. Went back to the cabin after driving around the valley a little bit. Darling took a nap, I pampered myself and shaved, did my eyebrows, played around with mascara and even put on makeup to go out to dinner! WOOOO! That happens once a year.
  • We went out to this great place in State College called Mario and Luigi's. Cousin's mother and father have eaten there and they have great taste. Plus, the place had a fairly awesome wine list so we knew we'd like it. We had a lovely dinner. Darling had a veal dish and I had a chicken in a white wine sauce and asparagus. I also had wedding soup. We skipped dessert but had coffee. Well, almost skipped dessert...
  • We went to the creamery after dinner. It was about 8 pm at this point. They built a brand new building about two blocks from the original creamery. Same ole ice cream, brand-spanking-new building. Plenty of seating inside for cold nights and even more seating outside for warm days (can't wait for this summer!).
  • Went back to the cabin. We thought we'd build a fire and leave the lights out and be all romantic and stuff. But we never got that far. We let the dog out and ummm, errrr, Got to know each other in the biblical sense. Alot. Then we went to bed early and never built the fire.
  • Sunday morning we woke up early. Well, Darling woke up early and wanted to go get MORE food. I wasn't terribly hungry but needed a cup of tea and he needed coffee. Plus, I could tell he wanted to go home and see the kids. So, we went to get breakfast at about 7:30, sans showers. We did NOT eat ourselves silly, I had french toast and fruit with tea, darling had blueberry whole-grain pancakes. It was a nice, fairly light breakfast. Then we took the long, winding dirt roads over the mountains and drove through bear meadow and a few other very secluded and peaceful places, one of them is our favorite area up there called Alan Seeger park. Nothing but giant evergreens, a fantastic smell and peaceful quiet. Beautiful.
  • We went back to the camp, packed in twenty minutes and headed home! Of course, Shadow moped the whole way, I know she didn't want to leave. We didn't either. Kinda.
  • Arrived home and had lunch, sister-who-watched-Bugaboo for most of the weekend left. We tried to unpack and get a few things done until we had to pick up Bug Boy at my brother's house. Darling disappeared into thin air when he was supposed to be changing his oil and fixing his flat tire. I found him cutting up an iron beam with a torch (don't ask) and basically read him the riot act. Uh, HEELLLOOOO!!!! We just got home! Help me out a little here! I knew he missed his garage, so I gave him a little slack and asked him (rather kindly) to get a shower so we could go to my brother's and have dinner and get my kid back.
  • Went to brother's, had a nice, simple dinner and went home. They spoiled him rotten, gave him all the foods he can't have (dairy, more dairy, and even more dairy. Oh, and chocolate for every meal) and let him play non-stop video games. He has been one miserable bugger since getting home. Crying, meltdowns, the works. And Bugaboo hasn't been very nice, either.
That's it in a nutshell. We scurried around like crazy this morning because Darling and I retired shortly after the kids. We packed no lunches, got no clothes out. He even forgot to say goodbye to the kids this morning and they were NOT happy about it. It just reminded me of why we have those evening routines in the first place. It was not my fault. It was his, he came upstairs at 9 when I was in bed and wanted to, um, you know. Get jiggy with it. So we did. And while it was fun and all, I am guessing we should have taken the time to get everything done quickly. But I can tell you with great certainty that we will tonight!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Happy Anniversary To Me

Yesterday was our tenth anniversary.

Awwwwwww! How romantic!

And we celebrated this particularly exciting milestone in our marriage adventure by doing the ultimately romantic thing: Darling made an appointment for the car to have an oil change. At 6:30 last night. On his way home from work.

Yup. He is one romantic guy. Never a dull moment around here.

In fairness we ARE going away this weekend. My awesome sisters are taking care of Bugaboo. So, when Darling finally did arrive last evening the kids were in jammies, he shoveled down some food and we put them to bed. Alone at last! Except Survivor was on (is favorite show) and I went to our room to fold hours of laundry while watching those crazy bat people on Extreme Makeover and Dr. 90210. "Ohhh! Our house is a palatial mansion! It is too big! My nose is crooked! I'm 60 and want 20-year-old boobs!" Don't ask me what makes me watch that stuff. Makes me feel better about myself, I guess. I'd never get any of that done, except maybe Zoom whitening. My teeth have always been yellow.

Moving right along.

I celebrated yesterday by getting my teeth cleaned at the dentist. I asked about the teeth whitening. And since I turned down Darling's offer for a new anniversary band (white gold with sapphires and diamonds around the band, like a fancy wedding band. My wedding band does not fit, since the kids were born. ) I thought, hmmmm....perhaps I could get my teeth whitened instead.

Sidenote: Yes, I am crazy. I even hinted for the past three years that for our tenth anniversary I'd like a new ring with diamonds and sapphires. And when he asked me to go out and look at rings I told him it was a frivolous purchase, impractical and could think of ten ways to spend our money better. Like zoom whitening for my yellow teeth. Except I didn't tell him that because I wasn't thinking about it at the time. I was thinking about Bugaboo and taking him to a specialist that Insurance doesn't cover. Or putting a down payment on a newer car. Or Christmas. get the idea.

In a few hours we will be driving like a bat out of Hades to our family cabin. No phone,no cars, no luxury (just kidding, but can you name that tune?). No tv, though. And it will be divine. I will miss the kids terribly. But I know we need this to preserve our sanity. I just hope that when I come home they do not go bonkers on me for leaving them for three days!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Thirteen things that I have on my mind today

  1. How can we get Bugaboo to change his eating habits? He is getting calories and protein, and apparently enough fat. But he is low in iron, folate, B vitamins, you name it. Hmmm...
  2. I gotta pack so we can go on our little romantic getaway this weekend.
  3. My incredible sisters are bending over backwards to help out with Bugaboo this weekend so that he could stay in his own home and be comfy and not get totally thrown off. They know how much I need it and I am in tears thinking about how awesome they are!
  4. Bugaboo is gone for eight hours a day and I miss him sooooo much. It is killing me, but I know he is getting what he needs.
  5. Bug Boy is doing great in Kindergarten and is so much happier than he has been in the past! His anxiety is decreasing and he is more assertive. Now, if only we can work on the control freak issues.
  6. I want to clean up a little in here so my sisters have clean sheets and a clean toilet.
  7. Bugaboo has to have a gastric emptying scan and they said he has to drink/bring milk. He doesn't drink it. He hates it. So how do we get this test done? Can I teach him to drink milk?
  8. Darling's car is going. As in, breaking down slowly. Do we dump $1,000 into a $3,000 car or purchase a new/newer one? We dont' want a car payment, we are finally comfortable with our finances and are living within our means. Adding a payment would make things much tighter.
  9. I haven't been to the gym in ten days, and it shows. I feel sluggish and my tummy feels yucky. I am trying to keep up with it around here, but we've had so many doctor's appts the past few weeks. Grrr...
  10. Now that Bugaboo is in school so much I should have more time to do things around here, right? So why am I still scrambling? Sounds like I need to revamp routines so I can get in what I need to. Right now I am kinda making it up as I go along. And the floors are filthy, even though the rest of the house is straightened up fairly well.
  11. I am finding that I am becoming more and more of an introvert, if that is possible. For the first time in my life I am PREFERRING to spend time with myself, rather than fill it with friends, tv, etc. I actually take myself out to breakfast and lunch once in a while, and just sit and eat and ponder. It feels great. And, I like it quiet in my house now. I used to HATE silence. I still miss my kids terribly but I am learning to enjoy the solitude. It does NOT last long and I can get so much done in those hours.
  12. I know that I will not have any more children but it still hurts. I should be happy that I am fortunate enough to have these two rays of sunshine, yet I find myself wishing I could have that third baby. The one I always dreamed would complete my family. I am happy, don't get me wrong. But if there is some way I could go back and fix what went wrong with both labors so that I don't bleed nearly to death, I would. You know, 'cause bleeding to death in childbirth is bad and all.
  13. I have the support of my friends and family. I have friends that are doing what I do, with special needs children and without, without any help from grandparents, aunts, uncles or cousins. They have themselves for support and that is it. I cannot imagine having to raise my children without the support I have. I cannot even believe that people raise children like Bugaboo as a single parent. It is difficult enough with a dedicated husband and close family. I am one lucky momma.