Thursday, June 28, 2007

Blah ...

I'm feeling quite blah today. And really, I am feeling a bit blue and a lot anxious.
Everything is heightened by the fact that I haven't had a decent bedtime in far too long. So I'm also quite tired.
This weekend we will have two parties to go to. And they are both family functions. And I think I should be excited - getting to see aunts, uncles, cousins, etc, etc. Really it should be fun. But it's not. It has my stomach all in knots and twisted up and feeling icky. Because this family really is perfect. Oh, no, I know they are not. I know they each have problems. But my biggest problem is they aren't shared, they aren't talked about. Children wear their best outfits and don't get them dirty. They are quiet and polite at all times. Everyone has wonderful marriages, money is never tight, the house is perfectly cleaned and kept up. No one talks about not knowing what to make for dinner, or about whining children, or how they get mad at their spouses. Nope. Because everyone is perfect and wonderful and happy. And frankly, me and my troops are not perfect!
Now, I love my family dearly and my kids are pretty well behaved. But they are kids. Sometimes they forget to say please or they whine for another cookie. And then adults all gasp. And I feel embarrassed and I get upset with the kids. And I get upset at myself because obviously if I were simply a better mother this wouldn't have happened. And then dh gets mad at me because he says I hold the kids to higher standards when we around this side of the family. And it isn't that fun.
But I want it to be fun. I want to talk and catch up and hug and let the kids run around and not worry about the stupid little things that could happen. After all, they really are only little. But most of all, I want everyone to stop pretending they are perfect and nothing goes wrong for them. Because it's not natural. And it's not like I want everyone to stand around and moan and complain and whine either - I don't want a sad party, I just want to be able to relax and not be so paranoid.
I'm going to try to relax myself this weekend. I'm going to talk about how wonderful and perfect my kids are, but also mention that baby boy tired me out. And how M whines, but she is getting better, and although I love my dh, he really does work too many hours and I miss him, and that A wants to spend too much time on the computer so sometimes I have to kick her off of it. And how I just love my new house, but now that we have bought it money is tight. And I'm doing pretty good, but a bit tired because there just aren't enough hours in the day. Because my life is pretty darn good people. But we are not perfect. I am not perfect. The kids are not perfect. Nor do I want them to grow up thinking they have to be held to this unreachable standard and the only way to get it is to go to a party and pretend like things are perfect.
And maybe on Sunday I will be back to tell you how splendidly wonderful the weekend was. And how if I don't walk into the party already tense and on egg shells I was able to relax enough to really enjoy myself! And that would be wonderful and awesome. Because I do like my big family a lot. And they are truly all very nice and caring people. And I want to enjoy them for that side of them instead of worrying that I might not look perfect!

Clutter ...

My house has a lot of clutter. Mind you, most of it is artfully hidden (in boxes behind doors that company should never open or above the garage or tucked in the corner of the laundry room). Most of the clutter is hidden, and yet, lately, it has been taunting me.
Clutter has never bothered me before. And now, all of a sudden, I feel compelled to go through it all, toss part of it, give the most of it away and only keep a few things. I never get this urge. But for the last two weeks, it's all I can think of. Strange really. And I have a few projects with deadlines. But once those are done and over with, I am taking a break from all other projects. And I think I'm going to tackle some boxes and some clutter and get rid of as much as possible.
But it's a farce really. Because I think (and I could be reaching here) my mind feels very cluttered lately. But I don't want to tackle it. I don't want to think. I don't want to ask myself the tough questions nor do I want to answer them. So I think trying to clean out my boxes is really an excuse to procrastinate and avoid. Which, although, wouldn't be healthy to do forever, really, I don't think a few weeks will hurt. Maybe by then I'll be ready .... and in the meantime, my clutter-hating-husband will sure appreciate any and all efforts I make to get rid of the clutter.

Monday, June 25, 2007

So many ...

thoughts floating around in this brain of mine, that I don't even know where to begin truth be told. All I do is think about things and "write" blog entries in my head. I think of tons each day. Then I sit at the computer and wham. All of a sudden my mind is blank. Or I change my mind about sharing something I should share, or the kids interrupt and my thoughts leave, or it's so late I'm too tired to think ... stuff like that. And for the life of me, I can't think of anything worthwhile to say. ::sigh::
Anyway, here now, I present to you, random thoughts/updates/etc from my much too tired brain ...

  • dh and I both have a print out to track our spending. We have to know how we are spending to create a budget. So we'll start now and look it all over at the end of July and figure out how to tighten things up and what we can eliminate. We already have a few ideas of ways we can save (ie I will go to the local goodwill for clothes for the kids and only go to other stores should we not find anything there)
  • I have (sadly) a lot of hatred in my heart for one person. She has hurt me, stung me, upset me, caused problems for me far too many times. I have decided that I can not talk to her about this at this time but that I can not also be around her either (because frankly I doubt she will change her behavior until I let her know just how hurtful it is and that's not a step I am willing to take at this point). Lest you think I'm innocent in all of this. I am not. I have done things to hurt her. My biggest contribution is the gossiping I do and also I probably am too sensitive to the things she says now (always assuming her goal is to hurt, criticize or make me look like a complete @$$ as many times as possible. Probably she only does that half the time (okay, really that was a joke!)). For now I will avoid her at all costs, get my half of the issue together and then decide if it's worth it to try and mend things or not ...
  • What made me think about all this was the sermon on Sunday was about conflict and how to fix it. And the whole time the pastor talked, her name was in my head. Like God was saying FIX THIS NOW. And I really felt like the pastor was just talking straight to me and I was supposed to really listen and get something out of it. And I really wanted to. But I'm not ready to confront yet.
  • I have been highly strung lately. The stress is starting to gang up on me. I am also currently in the process of biting off more than I can chew. As soon as all commitments currently in progress are finished, I will have to say no more often. Or say yes but tame down what I do (i.e. if I need to bring cookies somewhere, it's okay to buy store cookies. I do not need to bake them from scratch and then meticulously decorate each and everyone to perfection. That just is not necessary at all!)
  • This week I need to make a bunch of chocolate and whip out a handmade item for a baby shower that is Sunday. This is an example of the over-boardness I was referring to above. I should have bought the chocolate and the gift (although the truth is that making it is much cheaper and given our current budget, I really did do the most financially feasible way)
  • I am supposed to have a scrapbooking night at my house tomorrow. I forgot about it until someone rsvp'd me today that they were coming. Although, really, that is only one rsvp and if it's just her then I'll be fine. She's awesome and won't expect a completely and totally clean house with 52 choices of snacks to have. And probably if even 1-2 more people decide to show up, I'll be fine. I will, however, be in trouble if say 5 more people decide to come. Because I don't have the table space for that many people to scrapbook.
  • My dd has golf tomorrow morning. It starts at time before we usually wake up. Which means little man will be quite crabby for most of the day. We were invited to also go swimming. Which would be nice, except I'll have a crabby little man and he isn't a fan of the water oh so much these days. And I want to go socialize with everyone, I just don't want to chase a screaming, crabby, afraid of the water but wanting to grab the toys that are floating in the pool and so he stands too close to the edge to try to reach them and might almost fall in a few times toddler around the pool. And yes, we have tried it before. And yes both times I left in a huff with a crying toddler and two unhappy girls who didn't want to leave the pool and their friends because of their baby brother.
  • I have one more coke left in the fridge and that is all. I puposefully did not buy anymore. I need to stop drinking it. And when it is the house, I drink too much. Plus, coke is kind of expensive. Almost no stores ever put it on sale anymore. So I need to stop drinking it for money and health reasons. Although, tomorrow, knowing I have company coming over that likes coke, I'll probably pick up another 12 pack and extend my need to stop drinking it for a few days (then I might make dh hide most of those cans so they are on hand but I can't access them). I know, I know. It's so sad. I don't mean to drink it. I just like it. And when it's here it's what I pick. But I've been drinking a lot and I'm in the habit. Once I break the habit, it can be around and I'll be okay. But I think I need to go cold turkey to get there.It's so sad to me that this is how I feel about coke ... although I could think that about things that are much worse and coke is my only vice really. So it's not that bad, and at least I don't drink like 5 cans or anything like that a day. Really, it's just 2 (okay 3 on a bad day) but it would be better if I was drinking 2 or 3 a week instead of a day.
And that concludes this rambling list. I really should skedattle off to bed now.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Little Bits ...

This is how I feel like most of my tasks are accomplished - I do a little here, a little there. It seems I'm always trying to finish things in between lots of interruptions, distractions, or getting side-tracked.
And mostly that's okay. I feel like I am a wife/mom first and the cleaner, cooker, baker, laundry-doer, sewer, knitter, reading secondly .... however, some days I just really crave the time and ability to start something and completely finish it.
Truly, I clean a lot each and every day, but my entire house is never "cleaned" at the same time. For instance, yesterday I vacuumed half the downstairs and today I got the other half. Now, my house isn't that big and certainly doing the entire first floor wouldn't be hard. But we have to pick up everything from the floor. And my son's favorite thing to do these days is dump back everywhere. Boxes of train tracks, legos, blocks, puzzle pieces, movies - they are everywhere. I have him "help" pick-up as much as possible. But frankly he's slow and easily distracted. If I can get him to pick up a handful, that's a great achievement.
We don't have a playroom. The bedrooms aren't large so we can't keep toys confined to them. So we have toys spread out. I try to keep them in the basement and only bring up a few things at a time. But my kids are all very mobile and move toys between floors very easily. But just once I want to clean the entire house from top to bottom. I bet even if it were just me doing it it wouldn't even take 4 hours tops. But it seems like while I'm cleaning the living room they are messing up the front room. When I clean the front room they are eating lunch and so the dining area gets messy. While I take care of lunch dishes, the living room gets messy.
And this extends beyond cleaning. I can't even sit and knit an entire row of a project. I remember when I used to be able to complete rows each day. Now I can complete some stitches! And laundry, my goal is only one load a day. If I can get two done that's a big bonus. I used to run 4 and 5 loads through a day!
And I am so sad to see my little man changing from a baby to a toddler (okay, so he really did that already and my husband says he going from toddler to preschooler, he's still 1 and I'm not ready to speed him up that quickly!) part of me looks forward to when he is 4 or 5. To a time when he can sit and entertain himself or play in the backyard without constant supervision. To a time when he can do more chores and help out and to a time where he won't dump out 5 boxes of toys just because he can. (of course I know at 5 he will probably dump out boxes of toys but hopefully by then it will be to play with what was inside for more than, you know, 32 seconds).
And yet, I know there is a day where I will want this time in my life back. Where I will miss it and mourn it and tear up when I think about how wonderful and grand these days of having such young children around were.

And yet some how in the midst of wanting them to age faster but being so sad that they are growing up, what I am really struggling with is trying to sit back and enjoy what I have right now in front of. To think of only today and not be sad for yesterday or anxious for what tomorrow brings. Because they do grow so quickly. And they change so much. And I don't want my memories of their childhood to be the wishes of being able to be in a different stage (whether ahead or behind where we really are) but to love and enjoy the moment with them now.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Stuff ...

I've started an "101 in 1001" list. You can find it here.
I'm up to number 51 and out of ideas. ROFL! I suppose at least I made it halfway though!

My friend should be having a baby any minute now. Well, her ob's said she has to go into labor on her own by Friday am or they are doing a repeat c-section. She wants a v-bac so badly though, so I have my fingers crossed that in the next 24 hours she will go into labor on her own. Lots of irregular contractions - some painful some not. I figure that is a good sign for her, but she has an appointment tomorrow evening to check things out. She is going to try to convince the doc to induce her if things have been in fact happening, but my guess is the docs won't want to do it. I told her today I was praying that God would give her a sense of peace this week and that no matter what happened (vbac or c-section) that both and her and new baby would be healthy, but if He could, vbac would be nice! I think she liked that prayer, or maybe I just hope that she does. I'm secretly hoping she goes into labor tonight or tomorrow night because maybe they might call me and I can go and be there? Which, well, people, I think that would be one of the neatest experiences of my life - to see a new baby being born (while not being consumed by labor pains!).

Anyway, my sister (who is 16) came over tonight. I have to say, I got in touch with my giggly, immature, crazy girl side tonight and it was fun! I don't have those sorts of moments very often, so it was a nice break from the everyday routine. Although I had work I wanted to do tonight that I didn't get down from all our goofing off, but I think it was worth it!

Anyway, that about sums up things from here.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Thinking ...

Yes, it can be quite dangerous whenever I think, I know. But I have been in fact thinking today about these lists called 101 Things to do in 1001 Days.
It sounds fun, sounds like a challenge, and more importantly, it sounds like something that is manageable.

If you go to the link up above, you can click on other lists. People have been making these lists since 2/9/2003! Wow. So I'm starting to think that maybe I should make a list too. However, as I've explained before, although I have a knack for creating gorgeous lists, I do have trouble following up on them. But this seems like a good challenge to partake in.

Hmmm .. I will have to mentally put a list together and see where it takes me!

I just joined ...

a Bloggy Bible Study!
Want to join in with me? Go here. So far there are 3 of us. I know we'd love to have more people participate if possible. But it sounded interesting to me so I signed up! I figured this would be a nice direction to head now that I have read the entire Bible!~

Here is the sBloggy Bible Study page. I am not sure if it is a public blog, so if you can't pull it up, well, it's private then! But if it's public, look around and maybe you'll want to join in the fun?

Sharing ...

Saw this article first at The Lilting House and it caught my eye, so I wanted to share it!

San Francisco Chronicle

Let children be children

Is your 5-year-old stressed out because so much is expected?

Sunday, June 3, 2007

I was watching one of my second-grade girls try unsuccessfully to tie her shoes the other day, and I thought, "This is a person who is supposed to be learning plural possessives?" I think not.

We've just finished test time again in the schools of California. The mad frenzy of testing infects everyone from second grade through high school. Because of the rigors and threats of No Child Left Behind, schools are desperate to increase their scores. As the requirements become more stringent, we have completely lost sight of the children taking these tests.

For 30 years as a teacher of primary kids, I have operated on the Any Fool Can See principle. And any fool can see that the spread between what is developmentally appropriate for 7- and 8-year-old children and what is demanded of them on these tests is widening. A lot of what used to be in the first-grade curriculum is now taught in kindergarten. Is your 5-year-old stressed out? Perhaps this is why.

Primary-grade children have only the most tenuous grasp on how the world works. Having been alive only seven or eight years, they have not figured out that in California there is a definite wet and dry season. They live in high expectation that it will snow in the Bay Area in the winter. They reasonably conclude, based on their limited experience with words, that a thesaurus must be a dinosaur. When asked to name some of the planets after he heard the word Earth, one of my boys confidently replied, "Mars, Saturn, Mercury, Jupiter and Canada!" to which a girl replied, "No, no, no, you gotta go way far outer than that."

Research has shown that it takes approximately 24 repetitions of a new concept to imprint on a young brain. The aforementioned plural possessives come up twice in the curriculum, yet they are supposed to know it when they see it. This is folly.

Currently, 2 1/2 uninterrupted hours are supposed to be devoted to language arts and reading every morning. I ask you, what adult could sustain an interest in one subject for that long? Yet the two reading series adopted by the state for elementary education require that much time be devoted to reading in the expectation that the scores will shoot up eventually. Show me a 7-year-old who has that kind of concentration. Show me a 64-year-old teacher who has it. Not I.

The result of this has been a decline in math scores at our school, because the emphasis is on getting them to read and there isn't enough time to fit in a proper curriculum. Early math education should rely heavily on messing about with concrete materials of measurements, mass, volume and length, and discovering basic principles through play.

There is no time for this. The teaching of art is all but a subversive activity. Teachers whisper, "I taught art today!" as if they would be reported to the Reading Police for stealing time from the reading curriculum, which is what they did.

It is also First Communion time in second grade. Yes, I teach in a public school, but First Communion happens in second grade, and it is a big deal, the subject of much discussion in the classroom. The children are excited.

A few months back one of my girls exclaimed, "Jeez, I have a lot to do after school today, Teacher. I gotta do my homework, go to baseball practice and get baptized." I laughed to myself at the priorities of this little to-do list, so symbolic of the life of one second-grader. But there was a much larger issue here. What is happening to their souls? You may ask, what business it is of the schools what is happening to the souls of these little children?

I will tell you. Any fool can see that those setting the standards for testing of primary-grade children haven't been around any actual children in a long time. The difference between what one can reasonably expect an 8-year-old to know and what is merely a party trick grows exponentially on these state tests.

Meanwhile, children who know they are bright and can read well are proved wrong time and again because of the structure of these tests. Teachers spend inordinate amounts of time trying to teach the children to be careful of the quirky tricks of the tests when they should be simply teaching how to get on in the world.

Twenty years ago, I had a conference with a parent, a Sikh, whose child was brilliant. I was prepared to show him all her academic work, but he brushed it aside and said, "Yes, yes, I know she is quite smart, but I want to know how her soul is developing."

The present emphasis on testing and test scores is sucking the soul out of the primary school experience for both teachers and children. So much time is spent on testing and measuring reading speed that the children are losing the joy that comes but once in their lifetime, the happy messiness of paint, clay, Tinkertoys and jumping rope, the quiet discovery of a shiny new book of interest to them, the wonders of a magnifying glass. The teachers around them, under constant pressure to raise those test scores, radiate urgency and pressure. Their smiles are grim. They are not enjoying their jobs.

Our children need parents and teachers who, like Hamlet, know a hawk from a hand saw, who know foolishness when they see it and are strong enough to defend these small souls from the onslaught of escalating developmentally inappropriate claptrap. The great unspoken secret of primary school is that a lot of what is going on is arrant nonsense, and it's getting worse. Any fool can see.

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

A lot late ...

Mama2dibs tagged me a VERY long time ago - as in May 5 she tagged me!

So, I'm doing the better late than never thing here and finally getting around to playing.

Here are the rules: Each player starts with 7 random facts/habits about themselves. People who are tagged need to write on their own blog about their seven things, as well as these rules. You need to choose 7 people to get tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them that they have been tagged and to read your blog!

Okay, 7 random facts about me ....

1. I LOVE the shows The 4400 and Monk and Psych. Actually, I watch a lot of the USA channel because I really do like their shows.

2. I have about a 2 degree comfort zone. I do believe it's about 77/78 degrees - any less and I'm cold and any higher and I'm hot. And I'm never just a little hot or cold, I'm either on fire or freezing. We don't always keep our thermostat at those numbers (although we are more likely to in the summer) and so dh often makes fun of me for how many times a day I put on a sweater, take off a sweater, cuddle under a blanket, through all blankets off, etc, etc. Although he has mentioned if I'm this sensitive now, how bad will menopause be for me.

3. I secretly want a boob job. I think mine are too big. But I will never do it because I'm terrified of surgery and all that goes with it.

4. I'm messy. My dh is not messy. In this house it's him being annoyed with me for leaving things out. When we go out I often here wives complain about their husbands being too messy and I don't get it at all. My dh is pretty anal about stuff like that. In fact, I think he's too anal and would prefer him to back off a bit LOL!

5. I love baking but hate cooking. Yeah, I wish I never had to cook. Ever. But I don't necessarily enjoy eating out either. I wish I could eat at home but not have to cook ever. And since dh and I do not have the money to higher a personal chef, I do cook - but not well!

6. I have a hard time sleeping when dh is not home. And he's not home now, hence I'm up too late on the computer!

7. Cicadas are currently in our area. However, they aren't specifically where we live. So dh just came home and brought me some from where he was so that hte kids nad I could see them!

And there are my 7 things. And I won't tag anyone specifically but if you are reading this and you want to play, let me know so I can come visit!

Happy Father's Day

My husband truly is a wonderful father. And he really did deserve a great father's day.
The truth though, is I completely forgot it was Father's Day. I didn't plan anything with the kids for him this past week. We didn't make him a present or buy him a present or make him some cards or plan extra-special activities for him.
:::hanging head in shame:::
Worse than that? Last weekend was our anniversary - forgot that too.
Part of the reason is he was one that day and gone for most of the week. That not everyone in our family was calling me to deliver good news over the last week, that I was trying to just survive each day last week and didn't really look ahead on the calendar, and that I just plain forgot.
He has assured me that it is okay and I did run to Target today to buy him 2 movies he was just saying a few weeks ago he wished we have. Each girl was able to give him one. But I still feel like scum. Well, I only feel like half scum - he forgot our anniversary and I only remember tonight it was last weekend when I was telling someone how long we've been married. It's now 8 years and not 7. He's not home and I don't think he even noticed we passed it up either.
It feels so sad to me. But I know he loves me deeply and I know I love him deeply and really, as he put it, today is a Hallmark Holiday, designed to get people to spend money. But I still wish we had remembered and had done something special for him. Although, truly, wasn't letting him go away for a week with the guys to relax, unwind and spend time in nature doing all sorts of things he thinks is fun that you probably couldn't pay me to do - I think that is pretty special right? Right. Well, for this year, it will have to do and I guess next year I will have to do something better ....

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Answered prayers ...

All I have wanted for most of this week is for my dh to be home again.
Today he called. They left early. He will be home between 10 and 11 tonight!!!
I am SOOOO happy he will be home tonight ... of course that leaves me wondering why they pulled out of the water so early and I hope that it isn't because of something bad. He couldn't talk much when he called, it was basically a hi-I'll-be-home-tonight-just-wanted-to-give-you-a-heads-up-and-we-can-catch-up-then-bye kind of call.

In other, much more serious news, I spoke to my 7 year old today about what was going on. Mostly because she noticed a certain someone wasn't around and asked me where he was. I have grappled all week about do I tell her this person is in jail or not. And I wasn't quite sure. But when she asked me today, I had a hard time thinking about a cover story. Which probably I should have planned a head, but I did not. So, I took a deep breath and told her "He has not been around because, well, dear, he is in jail right now. He's made some mistakes and unfortunately they were big enough that he had to go to jail." And she looked at me in shock, then burst into tears. She was just crying and crying. At that moment I regretted telling her, thinking why I didn't just say he was in camp or something.
So I asked her to tell me what she was thinking in her head. She told me she couldn't tell me. I let her cry a bit more and then told her that whatever she was thinking, she could tell me and I wouldn't get mad at her. Still she wouldn't share. So I told her when I found out I felt mad sad that he was there, and also mad at him for doing it, and so confused and then worried about him and all sorts of other things. She told me that was what she was thinking too - that she was so sad for him but she wanted to call him and yell at him and ask him why he did that! I think that was natural and I told her that was okay to feel that way. And then she started crying again and told me she was worried he might starve. Huh? I thought - starve? At which point she told me that in jail you don't get to eat except maybe a bit of bread and water and how you get locked up in a little room and can't ever come out. So we had a little bit of a talk about how he does get to eat and he can come out of his room, and we could even visit him, and he can call people sometimes. That made her feel better, but she wanted to know why he hasn't called us. And so I told her I would be visiting him tomorrow and I could ask him to call her if she wanted to talk to him and if she wanted to go visit him, she could (but just not tomorrow) and she was very nervous about all of that. She wanted me to tell her what she was allowed to say so I told her she could say whatever was in her heart and she could even ask him why he did what he did and there were no rules.

We came home and she made him a card for me to take tomorrow that says
"I miss you *** ***
I want you to know I LOVE YOU *** ***
God love you *** ***
I'm praying every night"

(the *** *** are where she wrote his name)

Really, I told her that she wrote the most perfect thing ever and I'm sure he would love to get that card from her.

Then she asked me to tell him that she wishes she could be there to hold his hand because she knows he probably needs a lot of help and love right now.

Again, I told her that was the most perfect thing to say.

Then I told her to not talk about to the younger kids (including middle child here and some other cousins because they didn't know and they were probably too young to need to know, blah, blah. She promised not to tell them but wanted me to tell her again why she couldn't talk about it. And so I told her that the other kids were too young and that I wasn't sure that I should have even told her as stronger as she reacted to it. At which point she looked at me and said "That is why God made you my mom. Because some people would have told me a lie about where he is right now, but you didn't. You knew I needed to know this and so you told me."
At which point, I didn't regret telling her. And I know she is only 7, but sometimes I cry at how wonderfully sweet and sensitive she is and really and truly, I am so amazed that she is my daughter. And I get to have her in my life and I get to see her sweetness and kindness and it just blows me away.

And yes, as I thought about that earlier I did cry - tears of joy and thankfulness for her and tears of sadness for the person who tonight is sitting in a jail, isolated from his family.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Today ...

Today was a bit less depressing.
I started out very much on edge. And Little Man either read my signals or was just on edge himself (although I'd bet he picked up on my anxiety) and he was a bear this am. And it didn't help that we had 7 other kids running around aside from him and that due to having lots of company over that were basically children I was frantically trying to clean just a bit because frankly my house looked like a tornado went through it. So we had a rough morning really.

And one of the extra children here is a neighbor and after lunch she asked if we could walk and get ice cream. I explained to her I didn't know where any ice cream was so the answer was no. But she persisted and promised she could get us there. And finally I just caved in, got all the kids ready and off we set to walk - because I can't fit 8 kids plus myself in the car without breaking a lot or rules! Now, I have to say we made it to the ice cream store (which also has a whole lot of other things and I can't wait to go back and really look round the store but it was hard to do with our large party)! And everyone liked the ice cream. She, however, took us the long way to this particular store. Mostly because they are walking their dog and this is the route her family does take to get it (yes, her mom and I chatted afterwards) but it is not the fastest way to do it. And after we finally made it home we had walked a total of 2 miles - which to those who exercise a bit this probably doesn't seem like much, but people, I had lots of kids (okay, truthfully 2 of them were teenager which made it better, but I also had Little Man and two 4-year-olds, two 7-year-olds, one 8-year-old, and then the two teens). I am surprised we made it - although the 4 year olds were asking to be carried towards the end, but made it despite no one picking them up! So 2 miles was not easy. The entire trip took over an hour and half. However, it was a blessing. That 2 miles of walking and pushing the stroller and trying to keep the 7&8's from not getting too far ahead and not letting the 4's get too far behind and the 2 teenagers who wanted to go by themselves and not with all of us, and then getting that wonderful ice cream and seeing that cute little store, and realizing I could get us home by a much shorter route, and making it home without losing anyone, anyone getting hurt and no one crying someone made me feel pretty good again. And I think the exercise potion helped me a lot as well.

And now, I'm pretty sure I know what I will do. Well, okay, I know what I will do with half the situation. And I will probably (and hopefully) do it Friday. Meaning when dh comes home the problem will have come up, it will be on the way to be resolved and I won't be upset about it anymore. The other half of the problem, well, it's not so simple. I can't do anything about it right now because I have discovered I am SO completely full of anger and disappointment and just so emotional about it that I need to step back. Get a grip. Re-assess what the situation is and then think about a realistic plan of attack. Because right now, I want to pick up the phone call and scream at someone and say a lot of things that I know would merely be hurtful, upsetting and make things worse . But I am (thankfully) able to understand that without picking up the phone and having to regret it later. I also don't think it's meant to be a problem I deal with alone. I think my dh has to be a part of it. But, were he here now, he'd only hear my whining, complaining, etc, etc and not be much help because he would focus on getting me calmed down and that would be that, kwim?

But dh will be home soon - I am more than half-way through him being gone and I can't wait for Saturday. And I don't know how single moms do it or people who have to be separated for much longer time periods. Because I miss him and the kids miss him and I can not wait for him to be home!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Let me just rename this blog ...

to be the place where you go when you want to feel a little bit sad.
Grandpa (the same one we were living with previously) is not doing well. He is probably on his way or hopefully already at the hospital as I type. Although, even though he admitted he felt just awful, he said he wouldn't go. Hopefully they were able to convince him that he really should. We stopped by their house and frankly he doesn't look so good - so prayers for him would be nice as well.

On better news, well, maybe - I have extra kids for the second night in a row. Last night I had 3 extra kids. Tonight I have the same three extras plus 2 more. Now, you might be thinking I finally went crazy. Here I was so worried I wouldn't be handle my three kids while dh was gone and now I'm having extra kids here? Actually, it's been fun and the kids have all behaved quite well. So it's not so bad. And if nothing else, it's making the time fly by ... only 5 days until I get to see dh again. And that's a very good thing.

Sad and lonely and about 100 other emotions ...

That about sums it up right now.
I want my dh home and I want him home right now.
Some family stuff is going on. And I just don't want to deal with it. However, by not dealing with it, things will probably get really worse and I'm not exactly sure how to deal with it. If I ever needed him home to talk to, to see what he sees in all of this, to get his reaction - it's now. And he is in the middle of freaking nowhere - no cell phone connection, no way to contact him or talk to him.
And this sucks.
And I'm so sad and lonely and mad and upset and confused and hurt and angry and yet I want to help, I want to make things better and I don't know how. And I'm not sure if it's even worth it to start now. Part of me is just thinking it will be like this forever, no matter what I try to do to fix it, so why even bother? But it's eating me up and it's killing me and I think it is a problem that needs to be dealt with. In fact, I've only been saying for about 5 years it should be dealt with. But hey, what do I know? I was told to let it go, it will get better eventually - if I'm just patient, or even if we said something it would fall on deaf ears so why bother.
I'll tell you why we should bother - because it's a problem for me. Even if it's not a problem for some others, aren't I important as well? Aren't my feelings equally valid? And based on what other comments I have been told lately, it's a problem on the other side of the fence, even though they haven't brought it up either @@

All that aside, I have a family member in trouble. Who has been in trouble for quite awhile. Who, although not out of high school, is in jail for the second time this year. And he needs your prayers and your thoughts. And his family needs your thoughts and prayers. I don't think this is easy for anyone right now. Because it feels like a big mess right now and I know there are quite a few people (myself included) who aren't sure what to think or sure how to react or what we should do, etc, etc. So please send out some prayers for J and the family. Thanks all

Sunday, June 10, 2007

So far ...

so good!
We all woke up, ate, showered and I managed to bath all three kids before we had to leave to go to a birthday party! However, I didn't get to any of the laundry I was hoping to run today.
The birthday party was good - all the kids ran around like mad there and the girls were able to be in a pool. It dawned on me today that really it isn't so hard to have all three kids out because for the most part, the girls have a pretty good understanding of what's okay and what is not okay. They also know boundaries so if we are at someone's house, they don't dash out of the yard. The oldest can certainly get her own food when it's time to eat and the 4 year old just needs minimal help really. Not only that, but my 7 year old is a super helper! She helped her sister get into her swimsuit as I chased Little Man. So really I just had to really keep an eye on Little Man and so the party was actually a lot of fun. Because, truthfully, I really thought I would not be able to relax one bit the entire time, but the truth is I was to a certain degree.

Also today I had a profound conversation with my 7 year old - which I might share later. But don't want to retype here. I can say that I am deeply impressed with her and so very proud of her. And if she can still believe in 10 years what she believes today, I will have one very wonderful daughter on my hands. I am beaming with pride.

Also, if I may brag a bit here - she woke up and unloaded most of the dishwasher for me! When I woke up (yes, you read that right, she was awake before me) she asked me to go unload the dishwasher right away because we didn't have enough clean dishes. At which point I told her I knew we had plenty of clean dishes and I needed a minute to wake up before I do anything. Poor thing looked at me and said "okay mom, the truth is I have a surprise for you in the dishwasher and I want you to find it now!" I was thinking she put a picture in there for me and lo and behold it was 90% put away already! I just gave her a big hug and told her thank you. She told me that even though daddy wasn't here this week she was going to be a big helper to me so I wouldn't have to do it all by myself. Seriously, does my kid rock or what? Yeah, I think she rocks!!

Friday, June 08, 2007

I'm back ...

again tonight!
I bet I'll do that a lot over the next few days ;-)
Little Man woke up after falling asleep about 2 hours too early and decided he wanted to play! So he's sitting at the table, eating a snack, and even though it's 11:30pm at night and we have a party to go to tomorrow and a busy morning to get ready for it all - he shows NO sign of falling back asleep. I'm giving him until midnight, then we are both going to my room and I'm sleeping and he can do what he wants to LOL!!

So, I have a point being back here - people who read this blog - yes, all 5 of you out there! please PLEASE I need tips on how to be more frugal and how to save money and how to not spend as much. Every little bit will help. We are getting close to spending more than we make each month. It is a bit scary.

I'm thinking we will stop our cable service, although apparently we signed up under a promo and dh said it might cost more to cut than to keep it - seriously, that is so wrong, but if that is the rule, we should have read it when we signed up.

So here is where it stands so far:
*The kids and I will not be buying pool passes this summer - which is a bummer, but I did buy a whole 7 dollar sprinkler the other day and so far all kids love it.
*Today we walked to the store which does several things - 1) gives us exercise 2) didn't drive the car which saved money for gas and money for wear and tear 3) stops frivolous spending because, I can only fit so much in the stroller and so I was able to buy to pretty much all I went for (although I did spend 2.00 to buy raisins for the kids as a snack LOL!) The best part is the kids were able to keep up and so I know we can do this more often.
*I don't buy movies/books/cd's - we get them all from the library.
*I will only spend profits from my store for any more craft things I buy which I know will go a long way to helping.
*I already make menus so I do shop from a list instead of just randomly grabbing things.
*We do cloth diapers half the time.
*I use almost no paper products otherwise - I clean with rags and I have lots of dishcloths, we don't use paper plates/cups so we aren't buying those items constantly. (I want to add here, the rags, dishcloths, etc, don't even add one extra load of laundry a week because one weeks supply fits in with all the towels pretty easily!)
*Speaking of towels, we do not wash our towels after only one use. Frankly, we are pretty clean after the shower and so I don't think they get dirty after each use. But, I know that they do need to be washed and so usually do it weekly (obviously I will clean them more frequently should they need to be though!).
*Everyone gets one cup a day to use. I know what you are thinking - but my kids drink water 90% of the time. No need to wash 6 cups a day that were filled with water and nothing else.
*We are stingy with our air conditioner during the summer - but not to the point where everyone is melting!
*We use rechargeable batteries - and especially with all the kids toys we own that need batteries, this is a HUGE saver for us.

But it seems like my list is full of really little things and frankly, not enough of them!

Problem areas:
*I spend too much on the kids clothes though.
*When purchasing "extras" I never spend a big amount. It's not like I go out and spend 200 at one time. HOWEVER, I buy 5 dollars here, 10 dollars there, 20 there, another 15 there and it adds up so quickly, but my mind doesn't add it up because I think it's only 20 extra dollars. I need to track those little extras to see where I stand for the month instead of thinking of it as how much for the day!
*Not that I buy a lot of toys for the kids, but I need to buy NO MORE toys for them. They have enough. They have too much! No more. I think we have enough arts and crafts, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, dolls, cars, trucks, books to provide enough for a dozen children. We need to use what they own already much more. They have tons of games, but we play with them infrequently.
*Although I plan my meals and buy the ingredients accordingly, I don't always follow the plan. And have had to toss food that has gone bad in my fridge because of it. This is probably my worst offense. I bet we have to toss at least one major thing a week (i.e. Tuesday we had to dispose of almost a pound of roast beef and a chunk of ham :X) That doesn't include the little things - like 1/4 head of lettuce that has gone bad or the last few celery sticks. It really is terrible. I need to follow my plan much better and/or stick things in the freezer the second I know I won't cook it that week AND do a better job of planning meals that will utilize the things in the fridge when I go shopping.
*Speaking of, I need some no stove/oven recipes. Especially for summer - the stove heats our house a LOT and when the temps outside are already high, I don't need to add any more heat inside. Although dh did finally buy a grill (he got a gift card for his birthday - we used no cash for this purchase!) and so I hope to learn how to grill and use it well this summer!
*We are a very electronic oriented house. We own 4 computers and too many times all 4 are running. Cell phones are charging, digital cameras are charging, tv is on, radio is on in our room, cd player is on in my kids room, etc, etc. We need to be more conscious of what is on and when. And I am trying hard to remember to unplug cords when the product connected to them is not in use (which is good on our electric bill and I've also heard is good for the environment!).

Any more suggestions or internet? I know somewhere there is a wealth of information out there. But to just google search it - the results are overwhelming frankly! I don't want 1,385,265,048,361 sites to search through - half of which do not apply to me! So please help me, give me tips, point me in the right direction.

Thanks bunches!


I have a huge case of the blahs right now. And it doesn't help that dh left today. Until next Saturday. Which seems overwhelming and daunting to me.
Although, the next week we will be busy indeed so I might not even have too much time to miss him. But truth be told, nights when he isn't here just suck.
I'm sure I'll make it through the days okay - it's just after the kids are in bed that I get extra sad and lonely.
And now, the kids are asleep and only I am awake right now. And I hate this time of night. And I miss my hubby. And tonight is only the first night that he is gone. Ugh.

Anyway, I really don't know what else to say. I miss my dh. I really do.

Well, last night I finished reading my Bible. So I read the entire thing in 88 days (which is good as my goal was 90). I suppose I could create an entire week's worth of entries about that, but I can't really think now. I will say I'm glad I did it and it was very interesting to do it. I might even do it again in a few years.

I suppose that is all for now. I will stop rambling here and try to find some way to entertain myself!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

A note to those who report the news

Dear News Reporter,

Paris Hilton is not news. It is entertainment news, yes. But frankly I could care less how much time she was in jail. I could care less if she got good behavior or not.
Yes, it does suck that she got to go home early and frankly, I do believe it was because she has money. But really, it sucks. Let's all say that and move on.
Please please move on! There are IMNSHO much more pressing news that I would like to hear about. And frankly if the trend to report celebrity news as actual real news keeps up, I will not watch your news programs anymore. This included, but is not limited to the topic Anna Nicole Smith's baby, Paris Hilton, Jennifer Aniston, Brad Pitt, and a whole host of other celebrities. Yes, it is entertaining to hear about who has a new boy/girlfriend, or who is getting married or who is splitting up. But it is exactly what I said: entertaining. And thus it belongs on an entertainment news show, of which there are more than enough on my channel line-up to keep me up-to-date should I want to be.

Thank you,

BTW: the EEG results are in and they are completely normal. Which leaves me feeling better and dh scratching his head and wondering what to do next.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

No Results!

We can't get results today. The doctor is not in one office we know of nor is he in the other office we know of.
Now, tomorrow he will be in one office and his nurse will be in the other - both of whom can give us the results. And I know it's only one day more, but I had it in my head that today we would find out. And now we can't and so I am bummed. Oh well. I suppose I can probably assume that the results must be normal or maybe someone would have contacted us already? But tomorrow I will see for sure - I hope!

Anyway, today is just another ho-hum day around here. Soon the kids will be shuffled to another house to play while I get my annual exam. And, as I'm sure you can tell, I'm thrilled to be getting that exam today - although seeing as sarcasm is hard to read over the internet, I will tell you, that was an extremely sarcastic remark. I am not at all one bit excited to do this but know it must be done.

Also trying to knock out laundry today and get the house cleaned. I think we will be out all day tomorrow and then tomorrow night is our last evening with dh before he goes and I don't want to worry about the house when I need to be spending time with him!

Truly it is just another ho-hum day around here. But it's nice to have some ho-hum days. Better than running around with our heads cut off or than having to travel downtown to the hospital again! LOL!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The EEG.

Yesterday was my dd's EEG.
I have to tell you, I wasn't a bit worried about it. After all, when the doctor told us to get it, it really was just to double check although he didn't think anything would show up on it. I think it was really just to 100% rule out things that he didn't think were a problem anyway.
And then yesterday we got there - to the big children's hospital. And it hit me. My daughter was getting an EEG. I'm not sure I know any other children who have gotten one. This isn't a routine test. Most kids will not be sent for an EEG. Most kids don't need to have their brains checked out like this. And I started to get a bit nervous. I suppose it could be because we were only allowed 4 hours of sleep the night before. So being tired doesn't help the frame of mind.

I have to interject here to say she did fabulous. She stayed up late without a fuss and woke up extremely early without any problems. I was more crabby when the alarm went off than she was! Dh went in for the actual EEG with her - only one of us could go. And he said she followed directions beautifully and did everything she was supposed to do. So she did a good job of it. And I shouldn't be worried, but ...

on the way home, dh and I were talking about it. He told me we could call the doctor in 2 days to get the results. I commented that hopefully we'd get some good ones back and he asked me what I thought good would be. Of course, hearing her brain is working just fine would be good results! Right? Well, then he mentioned that frankly he was hoping they would find something so at last we would know what was going on with her. Then he told me he thinks she is regressing and know that she's at the age where academics come into play he is noticing things that have him quite worried.
Huh? Excuse me? No, he did not just throw all that out there like that. Because let me tell you - through everything we've been through for her, he's the one saying "Well, yeah she's quirky but I don't think it's anything to worry about like you do." As a matter of fact, when we first went to see the neurologist, he didn't think it was even necessary, but did it mostly because I think he thought the neuro would tell me my dd was fine and within norm ranges and that would be the end of it.

But now, now it has all changed. He sees it now too. And he thinks it's getting worse. And he is very concerned about her and everything going on. And on one hand I want to scream "See! I told you so! I told you so! But you didn't believe me and now HA! I was right the whole time!" but the other half of me is saying "No, no, you don't see it. And you are the one who makes me feel better and really gives me hope that I'm being too paranoid and that everything is okay and I need that back because it gives me hope."

And so now I wait. I wait for the results of the EEG. And if they show nothing, then where do we go next? And if they show something, something bigger than what we expected, what do we do? Hopefully by tomorrow night I will have some answers. Except I'm not really sure anymore what answers I am hoping to get.