Thursday, May 25, 2006

I had the strangest dream...

I sailed away to China on a little rowboat to find you and you said you had to get your laundry clean. What does that mean?

But seriously. I had a dream Monday night that I had my gallbladder removal surgery and when I went home, I had no scars or marks of any sort and I didn't feel better. I kept trying to tell people that they hadn't operated on me and were scamming everyone, but they all kept trying to convince me that it wasn't that bad and if you looked really hard you could see a mark. What does that mean? Well, my mom thinks it was my worry that having the surgery wouldn't make me feel any better. I think she's on to something there.

And then this morning I had a dream that I was waking up from surgery and fighting and struggling while they were finishing. And then the next time I woke up I was laying in a strange room with strangers all around me and I'd just had surgery. What does that mean? That second part there was true. I don't think the thrashing while under part was true (they'd tell me, right?).

So I'm short one gallbladder. I don't miss it. My stomach feels like I've been bashed repeated with a lead pipe, but other than that (other than that?) I'm pretty good. And pretty doped up on the Lortabs, I suppose too.

Monday, May 22, 2006

How things change...

When I was in school, the day the teachers started taking down classroom decorations and boxing up books and things was the greatest day of the year (well, up there, at any rate). I was (am) one of those weird kids who loved - LOVED - the first day of school. It was so full of anticipation, a clean slate. I just found it so exciting. However, that doesn't mean that I wasn't also one of those kids who counted down to the last day, even if it was with a measure of sadness.

Today, T's teachers were taking down the decorations. I immediately got a tear in my eye. I was so very sad to see this year of preschool end. Next fall kindergarten begins and it's a whole new world. Here kindergarten is all day, every day and mandatory. I know it's ridiculous and I never understood it before I had kids, but I can't stand the thought of losing him to school. In a very short time, he's going to be at school more hours than he's with me in a day. And that makes me sad. G will be in preschool two days a week. For some reason, I'm not so sad. I'm a little concerned about how she'll do, but not hurting at the idea of not being her main influence. Maybe it's because she'll only be gone five hours a week. Maybe it's because she's my second child. Maybe it's because she just seems to need more stimulation than she gets at home.

Makes me think about how differently each child is parented due to nothing more than their birth order. Makes me think about me and my sister and brother. I'm the oldest. I don't remember my mother being upset at my leaving for school. But I think that's part of the mark of good parenting - letting your child take that next step with your support no matter how you feel about it.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

A few of my crushes...

Since I'm such a tv addict, I think most of them are tv related. Surprise, surprise. Some are normal, some are...a little offbeat.

David Boreanaz (Angel, sigh. He's even cute and sexy on Bones, now that I've gotten into it)
George Eads (Nick Stokes of CSI - though not with the bad hair from parts of this past season. Ew)
Vincent D'Onofrio (like in L&O: Criminal Intent, not Men In Black or anything)
Adam Savage (you know, Mythbusters? Smart, funny, a little dorky, but that's what I like)
Alton Brown (Good Eats - so smart, so funny, that's what gets me)
Wayne Brady (someone whose musical knowledge is vaster than mine and he can sing in tune. And the funny. How could I forget the funny?)

A few philosophical questions...

Is it wasteful to pour extra shampoo to try to get rid of your old bottle when you have a brand spanking new one just waiting on the edge of the tub? Or to throw out the extra conditioner still in the bottle when you've finished with the matching shampoo and your next shampoo is a different kind? Is there any point to switching brands of shampoo every time? Why do I do it every time?

Is it neurotic to only eat M&M's in groups of four? (Wait, don't answer that. And don't point out the similarities to T's four obsession.) They all must match - like four red or blue (actually, that's not true. I won't eat the blue ones, I save them for DH). In a pinch, I can do two red and two yellow or a similar combination. And know that I'm not claiming they taste different. I'm perfectly aware that the candy coating tastes the same. Now, Skittles, there's a big difference. I group them into colors. Then I not the number in the smallest pile and eat the remainder of the others to make them equal. Then eat in order. Order may be varied in a turn (like it may go red, orange, purple, then orange, purple, red), but one of each must be consumed in a turn.

I have some weird food things. Like I have to leave a bite of something on my plate. I can't help myself. Although there are some foods that I love enough not to do that. But I always leave a bite of a burger (usually just bread that I won't eat without meat left on it).

Okay, I have to stop now. I'm freaking myself out. I try to blame my son's obsessive tendencies on DH, but now I'm wondering a little.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

My grandma loves me...

My grandmother picked this up for me at a yard sale. It's vintage, it's dessert-related, it's baking-related. It's me. How awesome is this?

I don't know if I love the cake carrier part the best, the vintage - and how much do I love that box? - part the best, or the fact that my grandma knew I would love it the best. Wait. It's probably that one. Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 15, 2006

Scrapbooking, from a different point of view...

I came into scrapbooking via my desperate love for paper. In my pre-scrapping days, I would just entertain myself for...well, minutes, but that's long for me, by cruising the notebook aisle at Target, maybe cave and buy a new journal or pen. I love to sew and crochet also, so I was always in Jo-Ann's or Michael's and couldn't help but peek at the scrapbooking aisles. I even bought paper, though in those days, it was just to decorate my poems and things. Finally, I had the revelation that between my love for photos, journaling and paper, I think this scrapbooking thing might not be as hard as it seems from the outside (something I tell anyone who admires my books and then goes on to say they could never do it).

So I just sort of found my own way. Read the magazines, checked out the galleries at Two Peas, found things I liked and that worked for me and things that didn't. I had my system. Sort photos into categories then file in my "need to scrap" photo album. With my new digital cameras, I've been taking so many pictures that I just can't scrap them all. I'm okay with that. I've been putting them photo albums and making page kits for the ones I really like and want to do something with.

I recently bought both editions of Cathy Zielske's Clean and Simple Scrapbooking. The first one I got in January, I think and the second as soon as it came out. And from those books came the idea to journal first. And in my true writing style, not just the same old story, year after year ("T loved the zoo. His favorite animal was the polar bear. etc." That's cool and all - it's how I do most of my event pages. But one of my goals in scrapbooking it to tell the stories my way without my needing to be there, so my writing voice is kind of necessary). I tried that Friday night, my first night scrapping in a few months. What a fun way to scrapbook. I felt so much less pressure to organize my photos on the page to get everything in. I had the important thing - the journaling - already taken care of. Everything else just flowed.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Grey's Anatomy. Why do I not watch this show?

Seriously. I loved it. Too bad tonight (and tomorrow night, apparently) is the season finale. I watched like the first three episodes and then got distracted, possibly by its timeslot rival Crossing Jordan (which I'm annoyed with for the constant Woody/Jordan will they/won't they? thing). So I know a tiny bit of the background (like the Derek/Meredith/Addison triangle thing - or is it a square now, with the vet dude? Is he really in the picture? Regulars want to help me out?). I was glued to the tv for the whole show. I think I'll even watch tomorrow night. Maybe next year too. If I remember that I liked it. I might not. My long-term memory's a little shaky and selective. I knew the names of T's preschool classmates after one class, but I can't remember if I paid the phone bill last month (I really need to check on that).

Friday, May 12, 2006

My favorite television shows...a list

Shows that are part of my weekly ritual. In other words, watch or DVR and watch the next available free moment.

  • Scrubs
  • e.r.
  • American Idol
  • Medium
  • CSI
  • My Name Is Earl
  • That 70s Show
  • Crossing Jordan

Shows that I will watch just about anytime I'm bored and find them on a flip-through:

  • Antiques Roadshow
  • Sell That House
  • Good Eats
  • MythBusters
  • Unwrapped
  • What Not To Wear
  • Bones
  • House
  • House Hunters

Shows I miss and wish were still on with new episodes:

  • Friends
  • Quantum Leap
  • Angel
  • Felicity
Yesterday, I let G have McDonald's for lunch. Just G because T was at a friend's house for a playdate and S doesn't eat people food yet (not that she's not a person, but you know, baby food and all). Oh, she loves fries though. Is no one immune to McDonald's fries? I don't even eat fast food (Chick-Fil-A the sole exception), but I can't resist a McDonald's french fry. T didn't have fast food of any sort until the day I broke my ankle. He was 20 months old.

So the only reason for this and for my typically not letting them have fast food unless we're travelling is that I myself DO NOT LIKE fast food. I don't not eat it for health reasons or anything so upstanding. I just don't like it. And I'm a very picky eater. I can't force myself to eat something I don't like. DH can do that. I don't get it. I don't ban anything (well, you know, the really bad stuff goes without saying) from my house or from my kids. Of course they're only five, three and ten months so this has not been field-tested, but I think banning things just gives those things an allure they wouldn't have if not banned. This is how I was raised for the most part, and I was never a rule-breaker. Watch my kids turn around and raise holy hell.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Rainy days and...Thursdays?

It's raining. And I'm oddly energetic. I've cleaned my dining area, my bedroom, the laudry area and the steps (big clutter area, so actually a bigger job than it sounds). What's up with that? I'm one of the laziest housekeepers I know. Most of it's because I have clutter that I just don't know what to do with. I keep moving things around from one area to another hoping I'll figure out where something belongs and it will mysteriously have a place.

This is kind of weird, but my photography is actually making me a better housekeeper. As I want to take more and more pictures and be able to either set up a backdrop or not, I want to keep my house cleaner. Sometimes I want to take pictures of DH and the kids playing and just look at the mess around them and don't even pick up my camera. And other times, I want to get out the backdrop system I have to set up a mini photo shoot with the kids and there's no room to open it up. And it's not that big.

I sit and watch Tom and the kids play and am always struck by how fleeting these moments are. I think about getting my camera out to create a permanent record of this moment and hope that by doing so I might be able to keep this feeling in me at the same time - this wonder and appreciation and just utter joy. I have days when that feeling is greater than my embarassment at my poor housekeeping skills.

Right now I'm trying the SHE system. It's not working so well. I think I got too generic with my cards, so I don't feel like I can move any ever. Maybe I need to make them more specific so I can feel accomplished. Get out of bed. (Check) Pee. (Check) Put on bra. (check) Put on shirt. (check) See how much I got done today? I mean that's four cards and I haven't even put on my pants. What a day!

I told DH about my intentions to start this. He laughed. Now, don't go getting all mad at his lack of support. He laughes because he knows. This will be one more thing I've tried to organize myself that will probably fail. Flylady? No good. I've tried bins, drawers, file folders. I'm just not organized by nature, so I have a hard time fighting that. My mom's the same way. In fact, so's my grandmom. It's genetic. Or learned. Whatever. Either way, I'm not escaping it.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Parental accord...

Generally speaking, my DH and I are of like minds when it comes to parenting. We're old school, kids in line, parents aren't friends kind of parents. We're not worried about their psyches being damaged by having to obey rules or whatever. Basically, we're hardasses. And our kids are well-behaved (mostly), creative, polite intelligent young people. Wouldn't you love to have DH as YOUR teacher? Actually, he's pretty easy-going until you make him mad. His students seem to respect that.

Another basic tenet of our parenting is that we support each other. Mom says no, Dad says no too. Dad decides a punishment, Mom doesn't go back and change it at all - not to make it easier or harder. End of story. No questioning the other parent (in front of the kids at least).

I begin with all of this because we had an incident the other night where I had to mentally restrain myself from breaking this cardinal rule of our parenting. On Monday night, DH said no one is getting dessert. Not because of any misbehavior. Our children are not fat - in fact, they're quite scrawny. He just banned dessert because he doesn't like that they expect it and ask for it after lunch and dinner everyday. I'm at fault there. I like my dessert. And I started, accidently, the ritual of having dessert. I don't see a problem with it. If he wanted to get rid of a dessert time, I'm willing to forego lunch dessert (which is usually fruit or fruit snacks anyway). Or if there were some infraction related to dinner or the time period immediately preceding, going without dessert would be an appropriate punishment, IMO. DH declared no desserts out of the blue.

So in solidarity, the kids went without dessert. And no harm came to them. But you better believe that the second they were in bed, I was having dessert. Cupcakes, in fact (see yesterday's post). You know, maybe it's not such a bad thing to try to break that habit.

Tuesday, May 9, 2006


Why is that you only want to do something once you're told you can't? Human nature, I suppose. That whole forbidden fruit thing. Well, in preparation for the big gallbladder-ectomy, I have to have some bloodwork done. And I need to fast for 12 hours beforehand. No big deal. I don't like to eat in the morning anyway. So I was going to have it done today because DH is home and could keep the kids so I didn't have to drag them to the lab with me. Then I figure out when I needed to stop eating. If was going at 8 this morning, I'd have to stop eating after 8 last night. Um, give up my "no kids allowed" dessert? I don't think so. So maybe after 9. Not like I get out of the house to go anywhere before nine, right?

I was starving last night. I wanted to eat everything. Stuff I don't even like. I was ravenous. I'm not normally like that. I will make a confession here that goes no further than this blog. Understood? I ate all four leftover cupcakes from T's birthday party at school. In ten minutes. Why? Because I knew that after nine, I couldn't eat anything else and if they were there, I would want them. How pathetic is that?

This morning, I was again hungry. What? I'm never hungry before one p.m. Never. Why am I so hungry? And coffee. Well, I can never go without coffee, but I thought for one day, I'd be okay. It taunted me. I could feel the caffeine headache start. I opened the refrigerator to get drinks for the kids. My coffee creamer stared me down. And I admit it. I'm weak. It won. I drank the coffee. I had a bowl of cereal. I'll just get the freaking test done on Saturday.

Sunday, May 7, 2006

We are gathered here today...

Actually it was Friday night. We went to the wedding of my cousin. Gorgeous location, picture perfect wedding (at least to me, the casual observer - there could have been chaos behind the scenes and I wouldn't have realized). As always, weddings, especially those on the water, remind me of my own wedding. Eight years ago in June. I graduated from college and got married three weeks later. Sounds like such a throwback cliché, doesn't it? But we were young and in love and people in my family (my mom's family) seem to marry young. Eight years, three kids and two states later, we're still there. And I think we realize that marriage isn't always stars and sunshine - and that's okay. A few clouds now and then make the sun seem brighter, in my opinion.

In general, I think the danger of marrying young is that most people still have a lot of growing to do, which isn't itself a problem, as long as you make an effort to grow together. And I do think it requires an effort at times. Marriage requires a little work, a little soul searching and sharing. I suppose you could also argue that when you marry young, you might be a bit naive about the whole marriage thing. Not the sex part. The living with another person part. Even if you've had a roommate, living with a spouse is different. You're not just sharing space, you're sharing your lives.

Now, me and my husband? We're, as my mother put it when I told her we were getting married, two very strong-minded people. We've always been who we are. Is because we're Leos? I don't know. That makes for two very much want to be in control people. I generally think we take turns being in charge - or letting the other person think he's in charge.

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Truth and consequences...

I have this weird thing where I have to tell the truth. Okay, maybe that's not so weird, but I'm almost compulsive about it. That should not be taken to mean that I tell the whole truth, but I can phrase things in such a way that I'm never lying. I think it's a trait learned from being a receptionist. "I'm sorry, Mr. Smith isn't at his desk, may I direct you to his voicemail." When Mr. Smith is in front of me telling me no way does he want to talk to this person. See? I didn't lie. Now, ask me a yes or no question and I have a much harder time. Not much wiggle room in yes or no. In that case, I tend to just babble around the question so that it never gets noticed that I never answered it.

Can you just imagine how much fun it must be to be married to me? My poor guy. I do feel bad for him sometimes. Especially in our strange relationship. It's a good one, don't get me wrong, but not always traditional. I'm the mom, housewife, all that good traditional bullshit, yes, but I'm also unemotional, detached and non-communicative. My DH is the breadwinner, the trash-taker-outer, the home repair guy, but he's a sensitive guy - he cries, he talks about his feelings openly and honestly. Freaks me out. I do not talk about feelings. Ew. I might write about them (which I've started to do - write him little notes because that's how I express myself. He wants me to tell him how I feel, but that's hard for me, so the notes is a compromise).

Of course, at the same time, he's strong-willed and stubborn. So am I. We're also both Leos, which are supposed to always want to dominate. Makes for an interesting relationship. I say that we generally take turns being the dominant one and it's only when we're both in the mood to be that one that we have arguments. Or when I've bottled up all my emotions so well that they just explode. Then too. But for the most part, a lot of good comes out of our arguments, thoughtfulness and introspection and renewed concern for the other. We're on one of those upswings right now. I feel all giddy in love again. It's way cool.

May days...

I love May. It's one of my very favorite months. Kind of interesting since I was born in July and most people pick their birth month as their favorite. But July is generally too freaking hot. I love the other aspects of it, but not nearly as much as I love May. Everything is green and vibrant, the weather is almost perfect, not too hot, not too cold. What more could you ask for?

PLUS, I celebrate mothers in May. For me, May is the month my own mother was born in, the month the whole country celebrates mothers and the month I myself became a mother. My baby boy is turning five on Saturday. I'm thinking of course, as I do every year, of the year he was born, what I was doing five years ago today. It was my second to last day of work and I started having intermittent contractions that didn't go away until T was born at 2 a.m. on Sunday. It sounds worse than it was.

Becoming a mother was a strange thing for me. I had the baby blues, I realize in retrospect, but I didn't immediately bond with my baby. And as much as I adore him now, it's hard for me to even contemplate that I didn't instantly love this little creature more than anything in the world. Prior to having a child, I thought I would undergo some bizarre change the moment I gave birth. I was going to be a Mother. Mothers were completely different people than regular old females. I envisioned myself changing so drastically that I wouldn't know me anymore.

Obviously, that was kind of stupid. I'm still me. I'm not even all that different, although there are some necessary changes, the least of which is the havoc wreaked on my body by bearing and nursing three children. But realizing that I was still fundementally me brought me to an incredible realization - mothers were so much more than that. My own mother was suddenly a person, my grandmother, the other mothers I saw on the street or the playground - they were all more than just mothers. We might discuss our children exclusively, but lurking in my head is the thought that they are just like me.