Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Six Years

It'll be six years tomorrow since we lost Grandaddy. Technically, it was leap year, so the 29th. How exactly do you mark someone's passing when the day only exists every so often?

I miss him.

Plain Jane

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Monday, February 27, 2006


We're well on our way to refi land! Looks like, after all of our bills are paid off, we'll be getting a check for around $20,000. That's more money than we've ever had in our hands at one time. Of course, most of that is claimed in the way of house repairs, but there will be enough left for me to register for my medical transcription course. And because we won't have nearly as many bills, since we'll have no credit card debt, or car payments to make, we'll be in a better place financially. So much so that I'll be able to quit my job and focus on school and, most importantly, being Jonas's mommy.

It's such a relief, after all this time of struggling to get by, to know that we're going to be ok, and all the guilt of leaving J for 12 hour stretches at a time in the care of someone else is nearly over. I'll work until I'm registered and until they find my replacement, but after that I'm free!

It's not so much that I hate my job. There are some aspects of it that I love, and I work with a group of pretty great people. Sure, there are a few that make it miserable, but I'll miss most of them.

Doing the math the other night we realized that without my paycheck, and with the decrease in money going out each month, we'll be in about the same position we're in now with me working. Add into that the cost of daycare and the gas I use commuting across town and back, and the fact that my income puts us in a higher tax bracket, and it's actually advantageous for me to stay home.

Eventually, once I complete my course, I'll work again. It'll be at least six or nine months from now, but transcription is something I can do from home, in my off-hours.

Finally, for the first time in nearly two years, I feel like I can breathe again.

Saturday, February 25, 2006


Little Nova opened his eyes for the first time today!

I couldn't possibly be any happier.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Cows: Destroyers of the Planet

On the way home from work today, listening to the radio, a commercial came on for a product called "Flatucow". It's a product to reduce gassiness in your bovine companions. Now, I had no idea that this was a problem, but the commercial was so damn funny that I nearly had to pull over and regain my composure. I just knew that it had to be a hose. So, of course, I had to come home and do some research. While I was unable to find an actual site for this particular product, (I suppose the cattle-raisers of the world don't do a whole lot of internet surfing) I did find this interesting article.

Who knew... Cows are destroying our planet!

Great news!

There's nothing like waking up to great news this early in the morning! I'm hardly awake, so I'll let Erin tell you all about it.

Thank you all for your prayers and thoughts.

And with that, it's off to work for me.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Winding Down

My off work time is nearly over now. Just trying to enjoy my evening before I have to get back into the routine in the morning. It's weird, having my days off in the middle of the week. I mean, it's sort of nice because I can get my stuff done while the rest of the world is at work, but it makes it difficult to get ready to go back when the rest of the world is preparing for the weekend.

The inspector came this morning. I really stressed way too much over it. I mean, yeah, he came, he looked around, he took some pictures, but for the most part, he didn't pay much attention to detail. Heck, he didn't even question whether the air conditioner worked. I thought that would be a major part of the ordeal, especially since I have the dead give away of a window unit protruding from my livingroom window. But nope. Not a single question. And as far as the bathroom goes, he didn't even pull back the curtain to check the shower. Heck, I could have refinanced with the gaping hole and he would have been none the wiser.

According to him, he'll have the info submitted to the lenders by tomorrow afternoon, which means that we may have this whole refi thing over and done before the end of the month. That's a good thing since interest rates are doing nothing but going up. Ugh. But nothing the market is doing could be worse than our current rate, which I won't even mention, lest you guys all fall out of your chairs. It's the price you pay for poor credit, I suppose. But we've worked hard at fixing all the ugly stuff, and according to Pat, the lady doing our mortgage for us, we've done a really good job. We should be able to go with a prime lender, no problems. Hooray!

Jonas took a good long nap this afternoon after refusing to sleep last night. It had to catch up to him sooner or later, but he fought it, only giving in after tossing and turning for nearly 45 minutes. After nap we ran out to pick up a few necessities. You'd think I would have remembered them yesterday while I was out, but I was in a whole different mindset yesterday that obviously didn't include baby wipes, milk, or toilet paper.

So now we're well stocked, and good to go for the next week or so.

And I totally forgot to go pick up my re-sized wedding band today. Oh well, I haven't worn it in more than two years, one more day isn't going to make much of a difference, I suppose.

Ok, so it's time to go get dinner started- just a simple stir-fry and some white rice. I'm not in the mood for anything heavy and I'm thinking that Jonas might even eat it. He likes chinese food.

And finally, just as a cute kid sort of thing to share: Jonas is in love with Mr. Potatohead right now- he calls him simply "Ta-to"- but he can't get to top off the bucket-o-parts by himself, so every time he wants to play with him, he drags the bucket over to me, sets it down and does the hot potato dance. Too cute! I'll try to catch him in the act sooner or later. He's camera shy lately.


I worked my booty off today around the house. You know, there are some days when you get a lot accomplished, and at the end of the day you can sit back and feel proud of everything you did. It's not been that sort of day at all.

I started by pulling out the washer and dryer and cleaning all the junk that seems to accumulate there. It's amazing what you can find behind your appliances! Besides the regular fuzzies and household gunk, I also found three name tags, a pack of batteries, and a large plank of wood. (?) As if things like that just migrate on their own. No idea how the wood got there. To my knowledge we haven't had anything even remotely lumberish in the laundry in the past 8 years. Go figure. But I took the opportunity to change the dryer vent while I was back there. The old one was, well, old, and crushed to the point that I questioned it's usefulness.

That done, I moved to the far end of the house and began cleaning my way out. Showers, toilets, mirrors, floors, all got the scrub-down. From the newly, not quite finished master bath, into the bedroom, out to the livingroom, the kitchen, the hall bath, J's room, it all got dusted, wiped, organized, de-cluttered. I even scrubbed down the front porch and moved a few of J's outdoor toys there.

Once the general cleaning was done, I decided that wasn't enough, and besides, earlier in the day, I realized that we had purchased the wrong hardware for the bathroom. Instead of just the handle and vanity plate parts, we had picked up an entire assembly, and it seemed silly to pay almost $70 for the inside guts when all we needed was the outside stuff, so I went to the store to exchange it.

I got the parts I needed, plus a few extra pieces, just in case. And I also picked up a new toilet seat for the hall bathroom, a new lamp for the office/livingroom, one of those over-the-toilet bathroom organizer things for the finished master, and some drawer organizers for the kitchen. All that for under $100- not bad.

As a side note- you CANNOT find a beige toilet seat in this town. We've looked in three different stores over the past couple of weeks, and while the display shows that they cary them, they're out of stock. Everyone must have beige crappers with broken seats around here. So, when I came across one... yes, one and only one, at Wal-Mart, I didn't think twice about picking it up. Sure, it's one of those soft squishy ones that I can't stand, but hey, it's beige, and it ain't broken.

So I get home with my purchases, and I go about setting them to use. First order of business- the lamp. Easy enough. Screw together, add lightbulb, plug in, and voila! Light over the desk. I'm feeling rather accomplished. Next is the kitchen drawers which receive a de-cluttering in the way of weeding out a set of silverware and replacing of the dividers. Much better!

Then I go and install the toilet seat. I'm on a roll here! I get the old seat off, the broken, wrong color seat, and cerimoniously chuck it in the trash outside, get the new one screwed on, drop the top, and realize that the genius stock boy used a box cutter to open the crate, leaving a three inch long gash on the top of my seat. Great... so I can dig the broken one out of the trash and re-attach it, or I can have a new, damaged one that won't leave you kiltering dangerously to the left. Or I can take the new one back to the store and get another one that's the wrong color. And suddenly I realize why there happened to be ONE in stock. All the other savvy Wal-Mart shoppers must have actually inspected their toilet seats before purchasing them! Stupid me.

So the new torn seat stays, at least until there are more in stock. And no, I'm not cheap enough to use this seat and then return it. It will join it's broken mate in the trash. Funny how something so small can ruin your entire day.

After the toilet seat incident, I moved on to assembling the organizer thingy. It's not exactly what I was looking for, but it'll do, and it gives us the storage that we need in there. Ok, so it's butt-ugly, but again, it's functional, and wasn't very expensive, so I don't feel too bad about it. It's certainly an improvement over the one that was in there before.

So after finishing all of that, I went and got my son, only to be told that he just woke up from his nap at 5:30. ARG! Why do grandparents let kids take naps that late?! I needed to finish up the bathroom, so I was counting on J to fall asleep at his usual time.

As a side note: My sister was supposed to come over with her drill to help install the shower handle, but did a no call, no show on me. I could sit here and rant about how unreliable she is, etc. It's just her nature to be this way. Honestly, I knew better than to count on her, and it's my fault for not just doing it myself.

Wil came home from work around 8, no hello, no "Wow! The house looks great!" None of that. Just came in, said hi to Jonas, sulked at the fact that there wasn't any dinner, and then flopped down in his chair. I'm used to it, I guess. It's not that I was looking for the home-maker of the year award or anything, just acknowledge the fact that I've done so much work.

So J and I cuddled up on the couch with a book, and Wil sat at the computer, and we ignored each other like we're so good at, until he started picking cat hair off th eback of the couch. Ok, no big deal really, but for some reason it really irked me- as if he were silently saying, "You missed a spot!"

I barked at him about how I'd spent two hours on the floors today, and if he insisted on brushing off cat hair, the least he could do was make an effort to throw it away. He mumbled something and scurried off to the bedroom.

Jonas finally crashed at 11:30- I went to work on the bathroom, finished installing the hardware just a moment ago, and now it looks all pretty and finished and all- but the water won't turn on. I can't figure it out! Sure, I'm no plumber, but I can properly install a shower handle, I think. It swivels, goes up and down, left and right, does all the things a good shower knob is supposed to do, and yet, no water. Not even a trickle. I give up.

My inspection is in 8 hours, and I guess I'll just have to hope that he doesn't actually test it's functionality. I'm probably getting myself all worked up over nothing, though. I mean, the last guy that did an inspection just sort of wandered around with a measuring tape, wrote a few things down, acted afraid of the dog, and left. So why am I stressing out about this one so much? We're not even looking to get full value at re-fi. We just want to take out a little equity to pay some debts and do some repairs. Frankly, even in the condition the house is in, it's well worth more than we're looking to mortgage. Heck, just the lot the house sits on is worth more than the original mortgage. I guess I just need to take a couple of deep breaths and stop worrying, eh?

My head is throbbing. One of those killer, light-sensitive, hurts into your teeth sort of headaches. Probably just a side-effect of all the cleaners I've used today. At least, that's my good excuse.

And through all of this, I'm nervously and anxiously awaiting news from Erin. I'm going by the whole "no news is good news" cliche and assuming that everything went well and that little Nova is in recovery and doing as good as a baby can do after major surgery. My prayers are with them tonight, as they have been since his birth.

With that, I'm done rambling, and I'm off to bed for the time that I can get. Goodnight y'all.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

For Erin and Nova

Stolen from the other Erin, with permission, of course. Thanks Erin.

Prayers please!

I am aware that most of you that read here also know Erin, therefore you also know that her son, Nova is having major heart surgery today. Whether you know her or not, I'm asking you all to send your thoughts and prayers their way today.

If you'd like to know more about little Nova, or his Mommy, you can read herePoetic Acceptance or here Nova's Heart

Sunday, February 19, 2006

On plumbing

After a night-long battle with either food poisoning or some sort of stomach flu, we are spending a quiet day at home today. Really, I feel fine, but why push it?

Yesterday we went and bought the last stuff we needed for the bathroom project. One step closer to being done! I've already informed them that we're ready for inspection, so I need to get my butt in gear and get it finished, but I need to borrow my sister's drill in order to mount the hardware, and, well, I don't feel ok about inviting her over if I'm contagious. So I'll borrow a drill tomorrow on my lunch, and I'll finish it off after J's asleep tomorrow night.

The last time I decided to replace shower hardware it was in a friend's house. I was living there temporarily when Wil and I first started dating. She was a sweet lady in the process of a divorce, raising four boys on her own. I lived rent free in return for helping with dinners, laundry, homework, etc. Not long after I moved in, one of the kids became gravely ill with encephalitis, which required her to spend most of her time in Orlando at the children's hospital with him. I stayed with the other three.

The master bedroom shower had been on the fritz since before I moved in. It would turn only the cold water on, and even in Florida a cold shower in January is not a fun experience. So I went out and bought and installed the proper replacement parts and they seemed to work just fine when I tested the shower. No leaking around the knob, warm water. I was a regular handy-woman!

So about 2 am, after getting the last of the dishes put away, and the last laundry folded, off to the shower I went, so enthused at the fact that, for the first time since November I was going to be taking a shower in a strictly girlie environment. No tub toys, no little boy underwear flung in the corner. Just me, and a nice warm shower! All mine.

I turned the water on, waited for a nice steam to build, and into heaven I stepped, but just as soon as I had the shampoo in my hair, all rich and lathered, I heard a "chink!" and the whole assembly came shooting off the wall, followed by a geyser of water which quickly turned ice cold. Awww, hell.

The water pressure was too strong to wrangle the handle back on, and without the handle I couldn't shut the water off. So here I am, wet, naked, soapy, trying to hold an icy flood back with my hand. After hearing my shouting, Wil came running in, managed to pin the shower curtain to the four corners with his hands and feet to hold the water in the shower, while I threw on some clothes and tore across the house looking for the emergency shut off valve and trying not to wake the kids.

Finally, I realized that even if I couldn't find the shutoff for the bathroom, certainly there was a shut off at the street. How else does the water company come and shut you off when you don't pay your bill? So I ran to the road, in nothing but a t-shirt, in 20 degree weather, soaking wet, opened the little cover and plunged my arm elbow deep into the darkness, reaching for the handle. Instead I came up with a fire ant mound and several years worth of spider webs. But, dammit! I got the water turned off. So now, covered in ant bites and my arm throbbing, I went back inside to a house with no water, to find Wil standing there, soaked and shivering himself, in a bathroom ankle-deep with freezing water.

I swore at that moment to never try handy-man work again. However, we did get everything reassembled, and to my knowledge, it never gave them any trouble again.

Now do you see why I've dragged my butt on finishing this bathroom? At the very least, I'm waiting on some warmer weather. :)

Thursday, February 16, 2006


After my five-day vacation from work, I'm back to the usual 5 am routine today. Usually I'm in a pretty sour mood at this hour, sulking over the fact that I'm awake at all, much less dressed and ready for work, but today I'm trying my hardest to have a good attitude about it.

Nothing's changed. I still hate my job, still hate the whole personal drama that goes along with it. I can't stand some people's laziness and the fact that a select few of us are in charge of picking up all the slack. It often seems that it's not about how well you do your job, but how far up someone else's ass you can bury your nose. I'm no ass-kisser. Not my style, nor is it my work ethic. I do my job, I do it pretty well, and if you can't recognize me for that, then it's your loss really.

But as I said, I'm trying to keep the positive attitude today. I'm thinking of work as simply a temporary situation while I figure out the rest of my life. "This is not permanent." has become my mantra. No, not permanent at all. Perhaps another six months, maybe eight. So, walking through that door this morning and knowing in my heart that it's coming to an end, it's comforting in a nervous gut sort of way. Kind of like Christmas Eve when you were a kid, waiting for Santa to deliver the goods. You knew something great was coming, you just weren't sure exactly what.

Anyway, time to get the J-man dressed and finish packing his bag. We've got places to be.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

I don't do movies

Last night, as a Valentine's treat for my hubby, we ordered in Chinese and rented a movie off of Pay per View. Now, just so you know, I don't do movies- never.

So with the kid snoozing peacefully, we cuddle up on the couch for War of the Worlds. (save your money, folks) And if you haven't seen it, stop here, lest I ruin your cinematic experience.

Ten minutes into it, all the power is out, the cars are dead, heck, even Tom's watch and cell phone have stopped working, but miraculously, someone's camcorder is recording the attack of the big menacing machine thing.

I scratch my head, hit pause, say "Umm, honey, can you explain that to me."



"Dammit, Woman! We should have rented Robots!"

I giggle and press play. My job is done.

Did I mention that I don't do movies?

P.S. It's almost 7:30 in the morning, and Jonas is STILL sleeping. This may be a personal record, and proof positive that my current work schedule is bad for him. No child's routine should have to include waking up at 5:30 am.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


I've been doing some thinking lately. Thinking on the more important things in life- like who I am, who I want to be, what I want to do.

You see, I've never been one of those fortunate people that seems to be born with a purpose or a desire to do on particular thing. Nor am I one of those people that is particularly good at any one thing. Sure, there are a lot of things that I can do, but nothing that I am passionate about. So, when it comes to careers and futures and stuff like that, I'm totally lost. I've never sat down and thought about finances, or retirements, or any of that stuff. I just sort of figure that when the time comes a plan will emerge. It's the way I've operated all my life. And while things have been tight most of the time, we've always made it through. I'm ok with that. I don't need a neat little nest-egg to feel secure. But I'm starting to feel like it's a downfall. I mean, it's not all about me anymore, is it? I've got a family to think about.

Ok, so I'm approaching 30, I have a kid, a dead end career that I'm less than enthused about, what am I going to do with myself? I can't say that I know for sure, but I feel like it's time that I start making some changes and some decisions in my life.

I talk a big game a lot of the time, but to be honest, I'm not much of an activist. I'm perfectly content with what little I have, and I find that frustrating. Lack of motivation.

But there's one thing that I'm sure of and it's this: I can't continue on doing what I'm doing now. I work three, sometimes four days a week, and I'm miserable every single one of them. I hate dropping my son off before the sun rises in the morning, only to pick him up in time for a bath and a good-night kiss. It's just not enough. And I know that I'm not alone in this situation, and that I'm actually very fortunate in the fact that we can make ends meet with my part time salary. But it's not good enough. At the rate we're going, we'll be living in this little house forever, with this broken down car, depending on my parents for leftovers in order to stretch the food budget. I don't like it.

So I've got a renewed desire to change. I'm still ironing out the details, and I don't know if it'll even work out, but I'm ready to give it a shot. Change is not something that comes easily for me. I prefer the comfort of familiarity. I mean, yeah, things may be tight, but at least I know exactly what I'm looking at every month.

But I want more time with my son. I want quality time with him. Time that I'm not exhausted, or trying to catch up on the things that got ignored the previous day due to work. There's got to be something out there, it's just going to take creativity on my part to find exactly what works.

So today, once little man wakes up from his nap, we're going to go buy the final parts and pieces for our shower, and by god, we're going to finish it. And then I'm calling for the inspection and we're getting the re-fi in the works. No more dragging our feet. It's time to jump in head-first and get this thing moving. Complacency just isn't an option any more.

You do believe me, don't you?

That's My Boy!

Monday, February 13, 2006

A stay home kind of day

Jonas and I are going to spend a day at home together today, despite what the rest of the world thinks we should do. You see, Jonas doesn't tolerate many antibiotics well, and the current one seems to be no exception. As a matter of fact, this makes the last one seem like a breeze. Poor kid... we've changed no less than 30 diapers in the last 24 hours. He's all sore and raw and I can only imagine how it must hurt to have that much diaper rash, despite all the creams and sprays and lotions we've used.

And I can't make myself drop him off at school. I mean, yeah, they have that whole two-poop-policy, which he would surpass in the first half-hour, but I just couldn't send him off where he's going to be uncomfortable all day, and where they're just not going to understand how sore and sensitive his cracked, red little hiney is.

I can't take him to Abuela's today because she's not feeling well, either. Besides that, her and Wil got into a big argument over the weekend about, well, everything, really. And even if she was well today, I don't think she'd watch him, just on principle, you know.

So I'm calling in, and I'm calling the pediatrician. I've already stopped giving him the medicine, but we've had no improvement- not to mention I've stopped an antibiotic mid-way through the prescribed time, which means that his ear infection is probably still festering.

Happy Monday to you all. :)

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Obligatory weekend post

I was going to write this really great post with the title "Thank God for Parents" which tied together several threads of my life right now, but after the day I've had today, I'm just too damn exhausted to put forth the effort. So you're just going to have to settle for this blathering crap instead. Sorry.

So today Jonas felt like it was Christmas all over again. Between a couple of goodies that Granny and Daddy Dave picked up for him over the past week, and the Christmas presents that finally arrived from our Memphis trip, he was in heaven, playing with each one of them, and then neatly putting most of them back away again. So cute. I hope that's a habit that sticks with him.

So, the coolest thing in his possession right now is the new toy Granny picked up for him. You see, my son likes things with, for lack of a better term, mechanisms. He likes tedious little things that occupy him, and he likes manipulating them. This new toy is a two foot or so tall tower that looks sort of like a little bird house. It's all wood, with rounded edges to avoid the inevitable bonks to the forehead, and it has many little doors on three of it's four sides. The odd side has shapes cut out. Each door has a different type of lock on it. Some of them are like buckles, one is a slide bolt, another is a clasp like you'd see on a purse. Inside each door is a hollowed out shape. And inside the house there are 24 little wooden carved blocks in various shapes to fit into those hollowed out spots. It's the coolest damn shape sorter I've ever seen, and it's just so sturdy and neat. This is one of those toys that will be around for a very long time.

Can you tell that I'm impressed? Perhaps even more than the kiddo.

This afternoon we went by the jewelry store and dropped off my wedding ring to get resized. It's been nearly two years since I've been able to wear it. First because of the swelling in my hands during pregnancy, and then because of all of my weight loss. I'm having to size it down three sizes! It's pretty amazing, really. But I think it'll feel good to have it back again. I'm not a big jewelry person, but I often feel naked without my ring. I mean, everyone who matters anyway knows that I'm married, but still, you get those looks from some people... that "young unwed mother" look. Whatever. It's really not that big of a deal, I suppose.

Jonas napped in the car, so Wil ran into the electronics megastore, and I sat with J and worked on my knitting. You know, I'm probably about 1/3 of the way through the shawl, and I sort of took a step back from it today and realized that I don't much care for the yarn I'm using. You'd think I'd have figured that out before now, right? So Wil, being the ever-supportive husband and all, suggested that I take a break from it, and stop by the store to see if I could find something else I'd prefer. Good man.

When J woke up we stopped at Olive Garden for lunch. We had a gift certificate to use up, so we ate more than we usually would, even ordering Jonas his very own dinner. Usually we don't bother with that since he's such a fussy eater, but we knew from past experience that he really loves their spaghetti sauce. He nearly cleaned his plate, which is much more than I can say for myself. But that's ok, I have mine for lunch tomorrow. :)

Just a side-note. Have you ever left your waiter a pity tip? Tried to make up for the fact that you can tell he's trying his hardest, even though he totally sucks? The poor kid that waited on us today must have been incredibly new to the whole world of serving. For starters, he barely knew the menu, he was totally disorganized and had trouble keeping his three tables straight, and to top it off, he dumped an entire tray of drinks in the lap of the unsuspecting lady behind us. I honestly thought he was going to cry.

But he was pleasant, even if nervous, and he really was trying, and he got our orders right, even if the wait was a little longer than usual. So we gave him a little extra. I hope it made his day a little easier. Sometimes we all need a little understanding, ya know?

After lunch we went by the craft store so I could look at yarn. A good friend of ours works as a manager there, so we hung around and visited for a while, and she fed Jonas nearly an entire bag full of cookies. For some reason he really took to her, even though he hasn't seen her since he was just a tiny infant. I guess it's the grandmother in her.

She used to work with us at Best Buy all those years ago, and for the longest time she was like a mother to Wil. Sweet old Cuban lady. We've sort of drifted apart over the years, but manage to pop back in every now and then to sort of reconnect. She was closer to Daril than Wil and I were, too. Today she revealed to us that what actually killed Daril was an infection from a wound on his chest. Everyone thinks his boyfriend did it.

I know that they had arguments a lot- sometimes heated arguments, but I had no idea that he was physically abusive towards him. According to her, Daril was covered in bruises, and this big open wound, which he claimed he got in a bar fight. Daril was the last person that would have ever been involved in any sort of fight. It just wasn't his nature. The first sign of trouble and he turned into a total girl. There's just no way that adds up. So now, not only am I sad over the loss of a friend, guilty because I didn't spend as much time with him as I could have/should have, but I'm also angry as hell at the idea that 1. he was being abused and 2. in essence, he was murdered.

But that's enough of that, I suppose.

So I found some yarn that I think I like better, and I'm going to start on a brand spankin new shawl tonight. Of course, I'm not going to go ripping out the old one just yet. I'm sure that I can finish it and find it a home, even if it's not with the mom in-law.

And with this post reaching garganutan length, I suppose I'll stop here and leave you with a couple of pictures from today.

Here's the kiddo with his new toy

And this is him "sharing" MY haagen-daz java icecream with the dog. Hard to be mad at them when they're using good manners, I suppose.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Totally Selfish

Wil starts a new position at his job today. Instead of being a delivery tech, he's going to be to guy that goes all around the county doing oxygen concentrator maintenance and check-ups. He'll still be on the road a considerable amount of time, but it's a more set schedule.

This is great news for him, considering all of the lifting that he won't have to do anymore, and the fact that he won't be on-call anymore, except in rare circumstances when someone else is out sick, etc. I know it's a relief for him, and knowing that he'll be home at a decent hour every night is nice, but I can't help but worry about the fact that he won't be pulling the hellacious amounts of overtime that we've become so accustomed to.

I know it sounds incredibly selfish, especially since I'm only working part-time now. But I don't know if we can make the bills if you take out 20 hours of his salary at overtime rates. It's just a little scary. But he's worked hard for the past year, putting in sometimes 70 hours a week on the road, and I can only imagine how exhausting that is for him.

On the up-side, we'll be able to spend more time together in the evenings, and Wil even thinks that he'll be able to enroll in some evening classes. All good things that will benefit us in the long run. But for now I've got to figure out how to survive on about $500 less a month. Man, just when things were starting to get comfortable again.

But if we get the re-fi done soon enough, we'll have much less going out every month in the way of bills. We'll be consolidating a bunch of credit card debt as well as my car loan into the mortgage, meaning we'll be eliminating about $400-500 in payments for a mortgage increase of about $200. I'm not that great at math, but that sounds like a pretty good deal, eh?
Part of our monthly savings will go into a savings account to go towards our future downpayment on a new home. The rest will probably get squandered on stuff we think we need. That's the American way, isn't it?

Holy Spots, Batman!

After a long night of high fevers and overall misery, Jonas woke up covered in little red splotches all over his face. Chickenpox! My mind screamed, but somewhere from the mommy archive came the realization that he's been vaccinated against that particular childhood inevitablity. So it was off to the doctor's office for us.

My pediatrician's office has a walk-in hour first thing in the morning, and it works beautifully. We were in and out in under half an hour. The diagnosis: an ear infection (again) and some sort of virus that is apparently making it's way through all the daycares in town. Dr. Wynn said he's seen at least 12 kids with the same thing in the past few days.

So, other than looking a little funny, it's nothing major and just has to run it's course. He did prescribe an antibiotic for his ear infection, though, that cost $30 even with insurance coverage! Ugh! The pharmaceutical business is making a killing on this stuff. But what choice do you have?

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


My son is infatuated with dump trucks. They've been coming and going all morning and afternoon, delivering fill to the lot next door. Every time he hears one he goes running to the kitchen so that I can heft him up onto the kitchen counter so he can watch them through the little window above the sink. He claps and cheers as they back into their positions, and nearly comes out of his skin with excitement as the dirt comes pouring out. Of course, the best part of all is the big loud BANG as the tailgate- if that's what you call the back of a dump truck- comes crashing shut.

This has been the only good part of today.

Poor kid woke us up at about 4:30 this morning with a fever. Of course, we have no Motrin or Tylenol in the house. That would be too smart of a thing for us to do. So off to the pharmacy Wil did go, only to come home with the wrong stuff. Never send a man to the pharmacy to get ANYTHING. So back to the pharmacy Wil did go. And on the second try he got it right.

Jonas has been up ever since. Cranky, whiny, and just plain miserable, but with no obvious signs of a particular illness. Sure, he's snotty and all, but he's always snotty. It's hard to tell sometimes whether it's just allergies or something more.

He may just be teething. That's the great parent excuse for every mystery ailment, isn't it? Teething. It's the PMS of childhood.

A letter came in the mail yesterday from the mortgage company. Our interest rate is increasing once again. It's robbery, the amount of interest they're charging us on this house! Up until now, I've been working solo on getting ready for our re-finance, and it's been going incredibly slow because of it. But last night, after reading the new rate, Wil was ready to take on the world to get things done. So maybe, just maybe, he'll finish off the bathroom this weekend and start helping me do all the other little things we need to get done. Funny how my nagging and whining and asking for his help got me nowhere, but hit him in the wallet and I get almost instant results. Typical man.

Anyway, I'm coming along slowly on my shawl, and starting to consider yarns for a couple of baby blankets I need to start here soon. The shawl is beautiful, but I can't wait to start something that's a little less pattern intensive and mind-numbing. It's fun watching the little candle flames come together with each row, but it's also hard for me to work on with J-man around because you have to be so careful and focused.

Anyway, I'll leave you with a picture of J-man watching the trucks this morning. Forgive the state of the kitchen. It's early, ok?

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Random Sunday Rambles

I saw this on someone else's blog, and I just couldn't help but link to it. Too damn funny. Sick Knitting With the mood I'm in right now, this may be my next project! Everyone needs a little something twisted in their lives, right?

I'm trying to figure out if I know any horror movie fans that might appreciate this. I don't think that I do, though.

It's been a pretty wasted weekend. I worked yesterday morning, and when I got home Wil and I were apparently on different wave-lenghts. We just couldn't mesh and anything said came across as insulting or rude. So we went or separate ways for the day. In other words, he went back to sleep and I did the housework and then went to visit the parents.

This seems to be a routine with us, and I'm so sick of it. We just can't seem to agree on our weekends... or any time, really. It's not that we argue or fight or anything like that, we just sort of co-exist and do our own things. I've had roommates with more in common than I seem to have with my hubby lately.

I'm not complaining ABOUT him necessarily, I just don't know if I'm sure what to do to create some common ground between us. You'd think that Jonas would be enough, right?

A little known secret: He's terrified of his son. I mean, sure, he can do the wrestle and tickle part of being a dad, but on days when he's home with him alone for a few hours- usually every other Saturday- he doesn't have a clue what to do. He doesn't know what to feed him, how to dress him, what games he likes to play, etc. I could make excuses and say that it's because he works all the time and is never home to get to know J's routines, and he does work a lot. But he's home on the weekends, and maintains that same distance from him. That, much more than the distance between him and me, really bugs me.

Begin new subject:

I picked up an old book of poetry last night. Just a little collection about the size of a chap-book that I picked up a few years ago for it's light reading appeal. There's some decent stuff in there, but I couldn't help but notice that there seemed to be a lot of, and when I say a lot, I mean like nearly every other, poems that were based on someone else's poetry or writing. Now, I don't think this is entirely bad. I mean, there are tons of incredible and inspiring poems out there. But the thing I don't like is reading somene's poem that was "inspired" by someone else's which is really just a hodge-podge re-arrangement of the inspiring poems lines and thoughts, offering nothing original or enlightening.

It's one thing to reference someone else's work, or to attempt to write in their style, but what I read last night was dangerously close to plagiarism. Leaves me wondering what editors are thinking when they choose this crap. Or do they even think at all? Is getting published more of just who you know and what kind of luck you have sort of thing?

Anyway, I wanted to also talk about Mike's post about knowing yourself, but I'm out of time, according to J-man. Maybe later.

Hope y'all are having a good weekend, and happy super bowl! Eat lots of good food and enjoy those expensive commercials that you'll be watching for the next year!:)

Friday, February 03, 2006

The Ferry

Hmmm... strange coincidence or just plain untapped psychic ability that I've had a ferry on my mind for over a week and todays big news story is a sunken ferry?

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Poems for Daril

If you've never read Mark Doty, here's your chance. Much of his work centers around the loss of his long-time partner to AIDS. I'm finding his work both comforting, painful, and appropriate today.

The Embrace



Is it possible that local anesthetic causes migranes? Ever since I had my tooth worked on this morning my head has been splitting. I tried convincing myself that it was caffeine deprivation, but two cups of coffee later, it's just as sharp and achy. Radiating out from the right side of my jaw and flaring out across the entire side of my head. It really sucks.

But worse is the realization that I've got about two grand worth of mouth work that needs to be done, and that's WITH insurance. Cripes! Dentures sound pretty good right now.

The dentist tells me that I should be a bone donor, jokingly, because I have so much jawbone that he can't even get a needle into the right place to deliver the anesthetic. So essentially, I got numbed in all the wrong places, and sat through the drilling and filling still feeling every bit of it.

And he wonders why I haven't come to visit in three years!

Seriously, though, he's a good dentist. I like him a lot, and he does good work. He can't help it if I have a retarded bone structure.

In more somber news, I found out today that my rear neighbor/ex-boss/friend passed away December 27th. Goes to show how observant I am. I guess I just figured that our routines didn't mesh anymore when I stopped seeing his car in the driveway, etc. I've written about him before, I think. Sweetest guy you could ever know. Would go out of his way to help you, if he could. He had an infectious girly little laugh and beautiful white teeth. He wore way too much jewelry, drove his rainbow stickered car proudly, and made no qualms about his sexual preference. Yet, no matter how much of a flamer he could be, he could also be incredibly tame when it was required.

I knew he was dying. Knew it years ago, and although he never said it, and no one ever told us, we knew it was AIDS. He fought it for as long as he could, I suppose. The body can only handle so much.

The last time we talked, he was so thin that the shadows caught in the hollows of his cheeks. I hugged him, he felt awkward in my arms, as if human touch was something he'd forgotten. I can't imagine what it's like to be dying from a disease that makes everyone afraid of you. As if AIDS could simply jump from his skin and cause an epidemic. I told him that I wasn't afraid of him, that if he needed anything, I was right across the canal, just holler. He invited us to come over and barbecue, have a beer. It was just formality. We knew then that he didn't have long. That was almost a year ago.

But still, I can't help but feel guilty for the fact that, although I could probably throw a rock through his bedroom window from where I sit right now, I never took the time to stop by and just say hi, or maybe drop dinner off, or offer to pick up groceries. And now he's gone. More than a month in the grave, and I'm just now realizing that I'm too late.

Choose your battles

Jonas is growing up. It's something that I'm incredibly proud of, and at the same I sort of miss the tiny little baby that once was.

Last night marked another milestone in our lives together. You see, not once in his life has he gone to bed by himself, or slept alone throughout the entire night. We've been working on introducing him to the idea of it for the last couple of months, but we're taking it slowly. I don't want him to feel like we're "kicking him out" of our bed. But I do think that he's old enough now to find the security of sleeping alone.

So I began our bedtime routine last night- bath, brushing teeth, diaper and jammies, milk, and off to bed, but on the way to the bedroom Jonas stopped, toddled over to his port-a-crib instead and gave it a little tug as if to say "I want to sleep here, Mommy." So I pulled it out of the corner, fluffed his pillow, placed him in, dimmed the lights and got the hell out of dodge.

He did it! He went to sleep on his own, in his own bed (or at least some variation of it! AND... he slept the entire night. Didn't wake once! OF course, I tossed all night worried that he might wake, or that he might be cold. But those are normal Mommy things, I suppose.

The above picture is him, all crashed out, sideways. No idea why he prefers to sleep that way, all crowded into the corner, on top of the pillow, but hey, whatever works. I think it has to do with daycare naptime and those little mats they sleep on. Maybe he thinks his pillow is his mat?

So hopefully this will become his new routine. I know that this is boring reading for most of you, but hey, it's a huge event in our house.

This morning when he woke up, we showered him in admiration for being such a big boy. He was proud of himself, for sure.

The latest battle in our house is food. Jonas is a pretty picky eater most of the time. This morning, rather than fight him, I decided I'd fool him a little. So I tossed a container of mango yogurt, a bit of orange juice, some frozen strawberries adn raspberries and a frozen banana into the blender and viola! A healthy breakfast and no fuss from the kid! He loves anything that's sipped through a straw, and he especially loves icecream, so in his mind he was having the best of both worlds.

Anyway, off to the dentist now. Y'all have a great day.