Saturday, December 31, 2005

Mom Bragging

Ok, so I have a million things I need to write, and the only one that I have the time for right now is this: My son seems to have, overnight, turned into a completely new boy.

In the last three or four days he has begun to say about 10 new words, he's demonstrated new physical skills that he never had before, and as far as social skills, he's become quite expressive in ways that he never has before. Those of you with children can smile and remember back when your children went through certain stages and how proud you were of them. It's incredible, amazing, and beautiful, isn't it?

I'll get to the serious stuff eventually. There's plenty of it, but I'm still digesting it. Right now, all I can think of is how great it is to be home. Never thought I'd miss this shitheap so much. :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

2 am

This has always been the witching hour for me. It's like my internal clock has a built in alarm and no snooze button. 2am and I'm wide awake. I should be trying to get all the sleep that I can. I mean, in less than 12 hours I'll have my feet planted firmly on Memphis soil, and we all know that there'll be little sleeping going on then.

Between my own personal quirks, and the upset of J-man's routines, it's going to be a whirlwind of a trip... hardly a vacation at all.

And Jonas is getting sick again. I guess it's his time of year to shine. I called the pediatrician's office yesterday to see if they'd renew his meds but they insisted on seeing him again. However, with it being the day after a holiday, they were also closing early, and by the time I weasled my way out of work, it was too late. Go figure. So we'll suffer through, and if he gets incredibly bad, I guess we'll shell out the big bucks to see a doctor in Memphis. I think the quack I used to see as a kid is still in practice. That guy let me go twelve years with nearly constant strep throat and never once thought that maybe removing my tonsils would be of benefit. Got them out when I was 14, haven't had it since.

But I'm sure he can diagnose an ear infection/sinus infection and refill already prescribed meds, right?

And really, I'm worrying about the small stuff. It's just that last year, after our trip to Memphis, is when Jonas came down with all the crap that landed him in the hospital and all those tests and needles. Ugh. Don't ever want to do that again. Don't ever want to see my son so sick.

I think about Erin and all she's going through with Nova, and I pray every day that his battle has a happy ending. I couldn't imagine the thought of my own child facing such difficult surgeries, or the potential for losing him. She's a stronger woman than I could ever be. I guess, when faced with something like that, you just become stronger because it's all you can do. There's no option. But still... I don't know if I could do it. Not once, much less twice. So I send her my prayers and my thoughts, since really that's all I can do. It seems so trite, doesn't it?

The suitcases are packed, sitting by the door. Just need to throw the last minute stuff in there. There's always the last minute stuff, isn't there? Not just stuff like the toothbrush and the cell phone charger, either. Stuff that you totally forgot, or didn't realize you'd need until the last possible second. And I know that the minute we get on the interstate and we're on our way to the airport I'll realize that there's something incredibly important still sitting here on my desk. That's always the way it works.

I'm an obsessive packer. Not so much for myself as I am for Jonas. It's not like we're going to some foreign third-world country, for God's sake. There's a Wal-Mart on every streetcorner in America. I'm sure I can buy anything I've forgotten, but I have this huge fear of forgetting something. I guess it's just the fact that you're away from everything normal, and your whole routine is shot. I'm not a set in stone person, but every person has their comfort zone and their routine, and it's going to be interesting to see how this goes.

For god's sake, we're hurricane people, we should know how to live like nomads, shouldn't we? And we do, so why am I obsessing?

But I'm just rambling because I don't know what else to do. It's late... or early, depending on how you look at things. It's cold in here, and I can't sleep and there's really nothing going on in the cobwebbed attic of my little temple.

So I'll stop wasting your time, and I'll wish you a Happy New Year and tell you all that I love you, and wish you nothing but the best. And providing I survive the next 5 days, I'll talk to you all real soon.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Holy Crap!

Who let the freaky aliens out?

We had a great Christmas, and hope you did the same. But, as the old saying goes, all good things must come to and end.

(and isn't it a cute one?)

Merry Christmas, y'all!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Christmas Eve

I can't believe that it's already Christmas! This year has come and gone so quickly, hasn't it?

I've got so many things to try and get done in the next couple of days, and so many people to try and see.

I was really worried that this holiday would be a total fiasco with having to try and divide our time between my family and Wil's, but things seem to be working themselves out well. Apparently, Wil's family, and most hispanic families, celebrate more on Christmas Eve than they do on Christmas. That works perfectly because my family doesn't really do much on Christmas eve. So we're having dinner with them tonight. And in the morning it'll be all about Santa at my parents with the kids getting more gifts than any children could possibly need.

Jonas, of course, still doesn't get the whole christmas thing, but he thinks the tree is pretty, and is starting to recognize different carols. It's cute to watch him dance with the singing snowman at Grannys. And I think that once he watches Steven open a few gifts, he'll be digging that as well. Right now they're just pretty nuissances under the tree that he isn't allowed to touch.

This will be the last year that Steven believes in Santa. He's already questioning his validity. But we have a town not far from here called "Christmas" and every year a little old lady that lives there writes a special note to the kids, printed on cute Christmas-y paper, and they're sent out with a postmark from "santa's workshop: Christmas Florida." All you have to do is fax them the child's name and address. She even pays the postage. I had one sent to him, and it really sealed the deal this year. He still believes! He still carries that letter around and reads it to anyone who listens. How many kids actually get a letter from santa, afterall?!

So tonight we'll stuff ourselves on pasteles and pernil and in the mrning we'll over-indulge in gift giving. Then it's back to work on Monday for me. Wil is off and will stay home with Jonas while I work. I'm hoping that I'll be able to get out of there early because I haven't even begun packing our suitcases and we leave Tuesday morning for Memphis.

I'm looking forward to seeing all of our family soon. It's far too long between visits, honestly. But at the same time, I feel like we just don't have enough time to see all the people we want to see. Between Mom's family, Dad's, and my step-mom's. There's a LOT of folks to visit. Plus my dad wants us to take a trip about three hours north to see the property they just bought and visit extended family out there. It's a lot to pack into four days. Especially while toting around a toddler who's slow to warm and needs some sort of normalcy in his schedule.

Hopefully having Aaron and Steven around will help keep him happy. Other kids are a good thing, I think.

But I'm stressed about the fact that I won't be able to spend as much time as I'd like with any one family member. I mean, how do you pack everything into four days without hurting some feelings? It's just too much. I wish there was more time. It's not going to feel like a vacation at all.

But I'm not going to sit here and whine. Hell, I still have all of Jonas' presents to wrap, and I just realized that I forgot to pick up the bottle of wine that goes in the wine bottle cover I finished knitting for Heidi and Tom. Ugh. So many loose ends.

But I got the cover done, which I was uncertain I'd be able to do, and actually finished with enough time to knit up a little mouse for my sister's cat. It's so cute! I stuffed it with catnip, and since they knit up really fast (a couple of hours, even with interruptions and with my lack of experience) that I think I'll try and make a couple more for some of my friends kitties. Besides, the only thing else that I have to knit that's really pressing are a couple of baby gifts, but I don't have the yarn to do them yet, nor the budget just now. Besides, I've got lots of time to get those done, and these little mice are great for using up some of the scrap yarn I have laying around right now.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Hippie peace loving black-foot anti-violence mama

Ok, so I admit it, I probably subscribe to a very unusual style of parenting. I believe in allowing my son to experience life on his own terms, barring those things that are physically harmful. I believe in co-sleeping, hands-on, type of bonding. I believe that it's nearly impossible to spoil a child with your attention and affection. I can't tell you how many times I've been told "Put that baby down, he'll never learn to walk!" or "If you let him sleep in your bed, he'll never learn to fall asleep on his own." Amazingly, his motor skills are above average, and at naptime he has no trouble laying down with his pillow and dozing off without me.

My other major belief is that physical punishment should never be an option and is never a solution to any sort of problem. I just don't think that striking a child, even judiciously teaches anything other than fear and aggression. I'm not saying that I'll never, ever, ever spank Jonas in his lifetime, but dammit, it better be a really good reason, and it better be a well thought out spanking. Even then, I just can't see myself ever raising my hand to him. It's just not right.

I know, there are a lot of folks that were spanked as children who have turned out ok, but I just think that it's an old-school and counter-productive behavior that displays lack of control on the parents part. How often can one say that they've spanked their child out of love and not because they simply were too angry to do anything else? And what does it teach the child about handling their own anger?

Ok, with that being said, I'll get to my point.

Jonas is in monkey mode lately, intent on climbing every climbable surface. Sure, there are lots of things a baby shouldn't climb. For instance, on Friday at school he learned that he shouldn't try to climb the slide without supervision. Where the supervision was is a whole other post.

Today, at Abuela's he decided that the glass coffee table would make a fun climbing surface. Ok, yes, I agree, not the greatest choice of surfaces. I certainly wouldn't let him climb on any glass top surfaces in my home, either. But Abuelo's solution to this problem was to threaten him with his belt, actually even swatted him on the hand with it, in my presence! (ok, so it was light, even made Jonas laugh, and certainly inflicting no pain whatsoever)

Deep breath, Angie.

Number one: my son has no concept of what a belt is for, other than holding up pants, so there's no fear there.

Number two: Don't ever try to instill fear tactics in my curious toddler's mind. If that's the only way that you can find to control him, and obviously it didn't work since he simply laughed and climbed back up, then you have no business watching him.

Number three: Don't ever take it upon yourself to dole out physical punishment to a child that is not your own flesh and blood. If you want to hit your own children, that's your call, but never, ever, ever, EVER strike my son, even with a feather, unless you clear it with me first.

Number four: If ever a belt, or any object is waved threateningly at my child again, you will no longer have the right to visit with him at all.

I'm sorry, I know that they're my husband's parents. I know that they mean well. I know that children need discipline, and I know that my son can be testy, to say the least. But none of those things are excuse enough for me. Never will be.

Now my delimma is going to be confronting them about it in a way that is diplomatic and non-judgemental. I can barely communicate with them at all considering we speak different languages. Just getting across things like feeding instructions is a challenge, much less a dissertation in the child-rearing practices of a new-age hippie mother. And I know that Wil is going to be less than useful in this particular debate.

Even before Jonas was born we came to agree that we totally disagreed in our child-rearing views. Wil believes in spanking. Well reasoned spanking and only for extreme circumstances. We spent many hours debating this and never were able to see eye to eye, but I did make him promise me this: If ever he feels that Jonas needs to be spanked then he is to separate himself from the situation for ten minutes and then determine whether he still feels that physical punishment is the best solution. I can guarantee that after a cooling off period it's either going to be a well reasoned spanking, or none at all.

So, I'm not saying that my way is the only right way in the world to raise a kid. I'm not saying that any of you that choose to spank are wrong. They are your children and as long as you're not crossing that filament-thin line into abuse, you can do as you please. BUT NOT WITH MY CHILD!

And I've probably blown this whole thing way out of proportion, but it really unnerved me to think that a man of his age could possibly think that a 16 month old baby could "need" a spanking. Hell, it's as simple as picking him up and taking him into the other room. Or distract him with a curt "no" and an appropriate toy.

P.S. Babies can't tell cardboard boxes from glass-top tables. Don't expect him to be conscious of material value just yet.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


That's my husband's name today: Asshole. Sometimes he hurts me so deeply, and I don't even know if he realizes it.

I had asked him last night if his mother would like to watch Jonas today. They usually do on Tuesdays so that I can get caught up on housework, etc. but I don't like to just assume that they don't have any other plans.

So I asked him last night and didn't really get an answer, even though I know he spoke with them for over an hour. So I asked him again this morning, and still didn't get an answer. So, as he was getting ready to leave, I asked him again and he said something to the effect of "I heard you the first time, I was just ignoring you."

Maybe it's just because I'm sick, or tired, or female, or whatever, but for some reason, that hurt more than you can imagine. I mean, no one likes to be ignored for any reason, especially when it's something that, to you, is important. But to be ignored and disrespected all in one breath?

I'm not usually one of those sensitive little teary girls, but I have to admit, I spent the next couple of minutes fighting back tears. I don't think it had so much to do with this particular conversation as it did the fact that it brought with is some acute awareness of how not right things are between us.

To call this a relationship would be a stretch. About the only thing we still have in common are a checkbook and a child. There's no conversation, no intimacy, nothing. And I guess it never hit me really, that we weren't working, until I realized exactly how important I was in the grand scheme of his day. Ignored. Like a fly buzzing around his head. Ignored.

So I was going christmas shopping this morning to get his present, but now I'm rethinking the ridiculous amount I was getting ready to spend. But that's not the christmas spirit, is it? We give because we love from our souls, not because someone has been good to us all year long, right?

C'mon help me justify this. Maybe I just need coffee. Maybe it's these meds. Maybe these are all excuses created so that I can ignore the writing on the wall.

Merry fucking Christmas. I'm calling off the holidays.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Momma Bear

Momma Bear is pissed. Her little cub is all bruised and scratched. Look, I'm a realistic person. I know that accidents happen. Especially with a curious 16 month old. No, I don't expect him to go through life without a single bump or bruise. But what I do expect is due care, and a phonecall when due care doesn't seem to pan out.

Dropped the munchkin off at school this morning. He was actually in a really good mood. Didn't throw his usual fit or anything. I left him breakfast, and a jacket and figured those people I pay to take care of him would have the sense enough to apply both at the proper times.

Apparently I over-estimated my licensed child-neglectors.

I picked him up this afternoon, his forehead one big scrape, his nose purple and swollen, even his upper lip puffy. What the fuck?! The teacher on duty informs me that he fell off the slide while playing outside.

Ok, accidents happen. I'm not so mad that he fell, but just what was he doing playing on a slide without proper supervision? And why wasn't I called to inform me? And why isn't there an accident report filled out for me?

So I gather my bruised babe, and go to collect his things. His paperwork informs me that they fed him something other than the breakfast I provided. Ok, no big deal, just meant that they had to deal with the explosive diarrhea caused by the antibiotics when I had provided something that would have been much gentler on his tummy.

His pacifier is missing in action. Wouldn't be a big deal either, if they didn't lose it every single day. I mean, come one, those things are like $5 a pop. If you're not going to give it to him, just put it in his cubby. Believe me, he needs it in the car on the way home. It makes for a much more peaceful hour commute.

So bruised, fed the wrong stuff, no binky. What else?

Oh yes, jacket. I distinctly remember leaving a jacket this morning. It was green, had his initials on the tag. Hung it right on the hook in his classroom.

"He had a jacket?"

"Yes, did he not have it on while he was outside?"

"No, he didn't have a jacket."

"So he was outside in the cold with no jacket even though he's still on antibiotics, AND he fell off the slide while not being properly supervised, and there was no accident report filed?"

"Ummm, maybe you need to talk to his teacher, I just fill in in the afternoon."

"Yeah, you see, that's the problem. His teacher isn't here when I drop him off in the morning, and she's not here when I pick him up in the afternoon. I don't even knwo her name or what she looks like. I've never spoken to her, and obviously, she doesn't seem to have a firm grasp on her job. Nevermnd, I'll talk to Liz."

So the conversation with the owner went a little better, but it did little to unruffle my feathers. I just don't get it.

At my job we take care of hundreds of dogs and cats on a daily basis, we bring the back from the brink of death, we give them routine care. If they get dirty we bathe them, we feed them according to directions left, we supervise them, and if they get hurt, we bring it to the right person's attention. And we're not licensed. We didn't go to school for our profession. Heck, half of the kennel staff barely has a high-school education, but we take better care of those damn animals than they do my son.

So, venting aside. I'm torn between searching for a new daycare with a more trained and professional staff, and leaving Jonas where he is simply because he's so slow to warm and disrupting his routine might be more detrimental than the neglectful care he seems to receive.

What's a momma bear to do?

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Final Days

We're down to those last frenzied days of christmas/holiday shopping, and it just dawned on me this morning that I had completely forgotten one of the most important people in my life. Heidi. Jesus, how do you forget your best friend? The person who's been there for you in every way since you were 14?! Ugh! So I did some last minute shopping this morning.

I hate the pressure of buying things last minute. Especially when you're not really sure what it is you're looking for. Eith all of my other gifts I had a plan. I knew what I wanted, I could compare prices, make good decisions. But those last minute gifts kill you. You're in such a panic to get something... anything... that you end up blowing your budget.

And what did I end up with? Nothing special. I got her an organizer for her scrapbooking stuff, some supplies to go with it. I know, not the kind of heartfelt thoughtful gift that I best friend usually gives, but it's all I could come up with. Besides, she's the one that got me turned on to scrapbooking, so there's at least some sort of connection there.

And she's always so good at picking out the perfect stuff for me. Last year she did this really neat collage of Jonas pictures in a shadow-box sort of frame. It was so special! And I feel so cheesy not doing something more... warm, I guess. But I just don't have the time for lots of homemade gifts, nor the creativity.

I was working on a knitted wine bottle cover that was going to be for my mom, but if I finish it before christmas, maybe I'll personalize it for Heidi and give it to her instead. I could maybe embroider her initials on it or something. She'd appreciate that, with a nice bottle of wine and a some wine glass charms. Not expensive, but thoughtful. We'll see. That thing isn't going to knit itself, and lord knows if I'll have the time to finish it off.

I got my uncle taken care of today, too. Just a tshirt and a fleece jacket. But that's enough. He's one of those easy to shop for people that's truly appreciative of anything you give him. It's nice to have one or two of those on your list.

And I wish there was something more I could do for my brother and his wife, but we've sort of come to an agreement that we aren't really buying anything this year. Just the kids.

So, unless someone else pops up that I totally flaked on, I shouldn't have to go back out into the madness at the stores. Now I've just got to wrap, and start thinking about suitcases to pack.

The tree is up, and lit, and decorated. It's starting to look like christmas here... at least a half-assed version of it.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

No thanks

Jonas wanted nothing at all to do with Santa this year. I guess it's just a phase he's going through. Doesn't like strangers.

Granny and Daddy Dave took him to a Christmas party along with Steven and one of Steven's friends today while I was at work. They said he had a good time, other than the fact that he didn't like the fat man in the red suit. Steven, on the other hand, had no qualms about jumping up in his lap and asking for the world.

Jonas preferred the cupcakes and just hanging out with his family. Don't the boys look cute in their matching sweaters?

Anyway, we're home now. J's conked out from his busy day. The lump on his head has faded to a dull yellow bruise. Almost unnoticeable unless you're looking for it.

And here I sit, bored, trying to get myself into the Christmas spirit when really, I'm in no mood for carols and lights and trees. Don't know why, exactly, I just can't seem to get in the mood. I've got the majority of my shopping done, which is an improvement over most years. But my tree just came in from the shed this afternoon, and it's still in the box.

Ugh. Seems stupid to put it up, only to take it down. But if I don't go do it right now, I'll never get in the mood. So, it's off to put up the tree, fix me some coffee, and try to relax a little.

Happy Holidays, Y'all.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Sick Babies and Grout

That's what my weekend was filled with.

Jonas is sick... still. Seems to be that time of year. I'm hoping we don't have a repat of last year with all of our hospital visits and tests. Right now it looks like just your run of the mill winter cold type thing, but poor baby! His eyes are all crusted shut, and the nose, it's like a little green faucet. Nice, eh?

Oh, I could go on. I could tell you about the explosive diarrhea that had us running from a restaraunt table Saturday evening, and ended in laundering an entire wardrobe of his, and my, clothes, a carseat, a can of lysol and some upholstry cleaner for my car. But why get all graphic. Those of you with kids have all had similar experiences once or twice, I'm sure. Those of you that don't: you're fortunate in that respect. I don't think we'll be welcomed back to that particular eatery any time soon.

I did manage to finish getting my tile grouted yesterday. I've got the open wounds on my hands to prove it. Grout and my skin don't agree with one another, apparently. Yes, I wore gloves Laura, but they just got heavy and kept sliding off, so I gave up on them. I'll heal, and we have a shower again, so I'm not complaining. Ok, well, I've got to wait until next week to put the sealer on, and THEN we'll have a shower, but we're that much closer. And once I get all the drywall seams taken care of that aren't in the shower, and I get a fresh coat of paint in there, maybe we can finally get down to business on that refinance and I can have money in my bank account again. As far as I can figure, we're about $1000 in the hole on the bathroom project. That's more than twice what I had set aside. So from now on, whatever estimate I come up with for a project, I'll double.

And the projects: they just keep piling up. Found out over the weekend that apparently both the kitchen sink and the guest bathroom sink have been leaking. Looks like we'll be replacing cabinets and plumbing that weren't originally slated for repair. And that's going to take away from some of the wanted-but-not-urgent things, like my expanded laundry room and my porch. But that's ok.

You see, we've sort of been given the inside scoop on a new development that's going to start in February. Apparently, from our rather reliable source, they're going to start selling the homes/lots for around $160,000. Every week after opening they'll go up by $2000. If this turns out to be true, we're jumping in. Why not, when older, smaller homes in not as wonderful areas are going for $40-60,000 more? And we'd have city water, sidewalks, streetlights and backyards for our son. I'm no fan of cookie-cutter neighborhoods that look like they belong in an Edward Scissorhands sort of movie, but I think it's ideal for J-man, and they seem rather popular because that's what everyone is buying. So, if nothing else, the resale on it will be huge when we can't take it anymore. The first phase of this same development, which started about 3 years ago, is now selling for nearly half a million. Good lord! Could you imagine paying that much for a 3-4 bedroom house on a quarter acre lot? Me neither.

So we've got the moving bug up our asses again. We'll see. We've got a lot to do before then.

Ok, so weekend's over. I'm working six days this week, and I haven't hardly made a dent in my holiday shopping. And we haven't even taken the tree out of the shed! Ugh! Maybe it'll be an Easter tree? But I'm not overly stressed about it, really. Sometimes you just have to take life as it comes. Tomorrow I'll start my day in the pediatrician's office with my sick little boy, and finish off my day with eight or nine hours of reception hell. But Wednesday, barring any other catastrophe, I'm hitting the stores. (Just saying that gives me the creeps)

Ok, so off to scrounge some dinner, get my son into bed, and maybe start a new knitting project.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Bad Mommy

Ok, I've officially won the Bad Mommy of the Year Award.

I'd like to sit here and write some gracious acceptance speech and dress up in a fancy gown and thank God and my family for bestowing me with the talent and ability to perform such wonderous things, but I'm still a little freaked about the whole thing. And yes, I do suppose such things happen to everyone. As a matter of fact I've had that confirmed by several former Mom of the Years in the past few days.

Thursday morning, bleary eyed, uncaffienated, I did my usual across town commute to drop Jonas off at Abuelas before the sun ever bothered getting it's sorry ass out of bed.

When I got to their house, it was raining. One of those annoying windy cold blowing rains, so Abuela had me pull into the garage instead of unloading a sleepy J-man in the rain and running to the front door.

How kind.

So I turned my car back on and pulled the required five feet forward into the safety of the garage, turned the ignition back off, leaving the keys dangling, as always, from the steering column. You see, I have one of those fancy cars that has the impossible to lock yourself out safety features, so leaving the keys inside has sort of become a routine when dropping J off in the mornings. Just doesn't make sense to take them out, lose them in the house, and then have to spend 30 minutes looking for them.

You all see where this is going, don't you?

For those who don't, apparently my never lock yourself out safety feature is one of the many operations on my car that is on the fritz because in the time it took me to shut my door and turn around to open J's door, the dreaded click was heard, and like the gates of Fort Knox, all four locks came crashing down in unison.


So there's my baby, safely strapped into his carseat, and locked inside the car.

Of course, no mother can truly accept that their child is locked inside without actually trying each and every door twice. And by the third round, and lots of shaking and giggling of handles, I resigned myself to the fact that he truly was trapped.

Now, this doesn't sound like such a big deal until you know that we lost the spare set of keys well over two years ago and have never bothered replacing them.

Ok, so the old coat-hanger trick, right? No dice. Even if I knew what I was doing with a damn coat hanger wedged down inside the inner workings of my door, the new locks don't allow for such things. But dammit, I tried.

And just as I was putting cell phone to ear with the dreaded three numbers typed into the keypad, I remembered that Saturns come with what they snootily call a "valet key". I always thought that was a rather useless thing. I mean, how often does someone who drives a Saturn end up somewhere where there's a valet? And even if so, do you truly remember to give the valet the special "valet key" or do you just hand over your keychain?

Ok, so I call the sleeping husband, who then, in amazingly un-Wil-like fashion, not only finds the magic key, but makes it across town in the freezing rain in a car with no heater, in his underwear, in less than 15 minutes. Jeez, if only I could get the trash taken out with such speed and urgency!

So, after about 20 minutes of having to watch him scream and anguish about why I wasn't taking him out of the dark car, and why I was standing there making stupid monkey faces in the window, I was able to safely extract my son from the evil tupperware jaws of my defective car. And I held him as if I had just rescued him from a sinking ship rather than a top of the line carseat, and I never, ever wanted to set him down again. All before 7:00 am.

Ugh. And the week only got better from there.

In other news. I'm supposed to go to my friends baby shower tomorrow, but I think I'm going to call out. I've got this lingering cold/cough thing that I can't seem to shake. Had it all week. Jonas and Wil have it, too. My pregnant friend is in a high-risk situation with her baby, and the last thing I want to do is be responsible for getting her sick when her body is already being taxed to the limit. I know it's a pretty long-shot that I would actually infect her, especially if I didn't get too close, but I couldn't live with the guilt if she were to catch this crap. So I will graciously stay away and drop her gifts off at her job or something.

My office Christmas party is Sunday. I wonder if I can get away with the same excuse for that one? It's not that I don't like a party, it's just that, well, if I'm going to party, I'd rather do it somewhere other than my boss's house where all my stupid drunken loose-lipped comments won't reflect in my yearly review. That, and, well ok, I really don't like a party at all. I've made leaps and bounds in my social skills over the past few years, but I still don't like the forced casual chit-chat crap, and I always feel like a bit of an outsider, not belonging to any one group or the other.

So I think that, if I can get away with it and still maintain employment, I'll pass.
Besides, I've got a tree to drag out of the shed, and lights to string, and stockings to hang, not to mention grout to finish, laundry to wash, floors to sweep, and a vacuum to try and repair. Oh yeah, and I work in the morning. Ugh. Enough for one weekend.

In other news, I talked with my brother tonight. I seriously wish we lived closer together. There's something about him that always brings me back to center. Maybe it's just because he's so damn level-headed. Whatever it is, I miss it.

I explained to him the tension going on between Mom and I and Dad and the rest of the family, and the whole damn Christmas fiasco, and he reassured me that everything would work out. He helped me map out a plan to keep everyone happy, and we even laid out plans to maximize our time together. Etc. And that's why I love him so much. He's always so damn rational, even when I'm totally emotional. And he can be rational and sympathetic all in the same breath. God bless big brothers. He's looked out for me all my life.

What a huge weight off my chest.

So things are looking ok. Granny and Daddy Dave are helping me fund a better Christmas for my son, and the adults are at an agreement that we just AREN'T doing gifts this year. We're getting together, and dammit, that's enough. Besides, gifts are all about the kids, right?

All things work out in the end. So says the worst mommy in the world.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

A buttload of pictures

A cute cat guarding her prized fish.

A new hiding place for the J-man.

Aaah, new furniture! I refrained from posting pics of the couch and loveseat since, well, they look just like the chair, only larger.

Yay! New tile. I know, it doesn't look all that exciting, but if you'd been without your shower for more than six months, you'd be happy about it too. It'll look better once the grout is in, I promise.

Jonas's little hat. I finished the main part today, and now just need to move on to the earflaps and ties. Shouldn't take long at all.

Thanks Mike!

Thanks to Mikey for letting me know that such a thing really does exist! Now I know exactly what to get my parents for christmas! Thermometer


Blogger's been a bitch the past coupld of days. I guess that's what you can expect from a free service, or any service for that matter.

Wow, where do I begin with the events of the past few days? And really, there's not all that much, it just feels like a world of things going on... pressing down on me... crushing me. In reality, it's mostly good and not that big of a deal. It's just weird how the cosmo tends to leave you in a state of stasis for so long, only to throw everything at you at once.

The Memphis scenario: We're going again. I know, I feel like the boy who cried wolf or something. But we're going, for sure, tickets purchased. It's going to be a weird trip, though. After my Friday rant, I spent two days fuming, and just otherwise getting over the fact that my Mom was being so damn petty and cheap. And I know that a big part of the underlying reason has to do with my husband. You see, we are a southern family. And you see, my husband is not exactly a fair-skinned southern gentleman, although he is from a place even further south than we are. So I get the impression that he's somewhat of an embarrassment to the family. It's never been said in so many words, but it's just the vibe I pick up. If I were coming alone, the ticket would have been bought a long time ago. It's the fact that Wil was coming, too, that made it a problem.

So, I got over the whole Mom issue. I've just come to accept in my life that she's a control freak who operates via guilt trip. But this time, she didn't win, and I know she's fuming.

My Dad sprung for the tickets. They are bought and sitting here on my desk. My trip is a couple of days shorter than originally planned, but that'll give Wil and I a few days at home to enjoy each other's company alone before going back to the old grind. Or maybe we'll do something crazy like take off to the keys for a couple of nights. Wouldn't that be fun?

Anyway. Since dad bought, it seems only right that I adjust my loyalties to lean more toward his side of the family, right? So, for the first time in my life, I'll be spending my trip in a hotel rather than at my mother's house. But you know, I don't feel bad about it. I think it'll make everything a lot easier. And I plan on spending more time with my grandparents than I usually do. Every time I've ever gone home for a visit I've always felt obligated to spend the majority of my time with my mom. I mean, she's MOM right? BUt I don't feel that way anymore. It's scarily liberating to sort of cut this tie, and I have to thank her for it, because, throughout all these years I've always just let her win the battles, figuring they're not worth fighting. But now she made it easy for me, and I feel like a bigger person for it.

Ok, on to the next item on my list...

Christmas shopping:

I've pretty much gat the kids taken care of, and I spent a whole lot less than I ever imagined for three kids. Yeah, there's a few more things I'd like to get J-man, but I can probably do that for less than $100, and with all the stuff I've already bought, I'm only out about $60. Wahoo, Christmas on the cheap! But I still managed to get them all things that I think they'll enjoy.

Now on to the adults. They're always more difficult than the kids. Why is that? I always thought Christmas gifts were more for the children anyway.

So I've got to buy for my dad and step-mom, my sisters and brother, my mom, I suppose, and if we still have something left, something for the grandparents. Oh yeah, and something for Wil.

My dad and step-mom are avid cooks, and I know that on Thanksgiving they were complaining that they didn't have a properly operating digital meat thermometer. If I can find one cool enough, that would make a perfect gift for them, and not too budget busting. Wouldn't it be nice if they made one that had a remote pager thing that paged you when the meat had reached it's perfect temp? Heh, I might have something there. See, I could get rich! :)

I want to get my oldest sister something girlie this year. Working in construction, she always seems to get tools and stuff, which are cool, but I want her to know that I still recognize her as the beautiful woman she is.

My little sis... well, since she reads this, I guess I can't even drop any hints, but I know that there are lots of things she's in need of, and will be in need of very soon. We'll see.

My brother is the one I'm struggling with. I know his style and taste, but anything he might want, he probably already has. And his wife is getting a gift card to her favorite yarn store. She's a huge knitting enthusiast, so I know it's a gift she'll appreciate, and she won't have to worry about lugging something big and bulky home from Tennessee.

So that's christmas shopping.


I've got the tile guys here finishing off my bathroom. I can't wait to see the final result. And they were kind enough not to smack me upside the head for the mess I created in there. They were even kind enough to tell me that I didn't do a bad job on the part I had started. I think they were just being kind. And since they're friends of my parents, they're giving me a great price for all the work they're doing. Good guys. They're probably going to do my stucco work once we're refinanced, as well. Yay! Progress!

My new furniture is supposed to be delivered today, too. So I've got my day cut out for me. I can't wait for my furniture to get here. It's like early Christmas at my house! We've waited so long for this. We've never owned a single piece of furniture that wasn't a hand-me-down. It feels so good to have something new. And we got it for quite a bargain. Less than a thousand dollars for a sofa, loveseat and chair. Sweet.

Jonas is at Abuela's today, so that he's not trying to help with the tile, and I'm sitting here, in my very empty livingroom, just hanging out and trying to find something to do.

So yes, there's a lot going on, but for once in my life, I feel somewhat ahead of the game.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Fuck it

Pardon my french, but there seems to be no other words to express the way I'm feeling right now.

The Christmas trip is off now. Not going. I'm over it. I guess I won't get to see my grandfather until he's being planted in the ground. All over a couple hundred bucks that we don't have and the cheapness of other people.

Jesus, I'm so over it at this point that I don't even have the words. What-fucking-ever. I swear, if I had a grand to spend on tickets I'd be there now, but I don't, and that's that. I can't change our financial situation, and I can't go that far into debt for any reason. I just can't. Not if I want to keep a roof over our heads and food in my son's belly.

And it's fucked up that some stupid family bullshit between the two sides has to have anything to do with it when I'm truly wanting to go to see both sides, not one more than the other. But whatever. Like I said, there's nothing I can do, and anger isn't worth the time of day or the energy given to it.

But right now, I'm ashamed of the fact that I've spent all these years trying my hardest to keep family bonds held together only to be disillusioned again and again. I'm done.

Done. And if ever I change my mind, I give each and every one of you permission to bitch-slap me right across the face.