Thursday, January 29, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Facebook is fun, but the novelty has worn a bit thin already. There are only so many virtual gifts you can send your friends, only so many interesting, clever things you can post in your "status" box before it all starts seeming a bit . . . silly. Blogging, though? That's my true love :)
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
This morning was no different. I got him up at 6, the usual time. Forty-five minutes later I go into his room and he's still not even dressed. I was pissed, so I yelled at him. He then takes it out on Joey and starts bickering with him, and next thing I know, they're taking turns coming at me and tattling on each other. Kevin ended up telling Joey to "shut up" this morning. Which is NOT acceptable, that language. So I let Kevin have it again, about his language. But he never takes responsibility, it's always someone else's fault (this is a trait I am convinced he inherited from his father - his actual, biological father - which makes it even more difficult for me to swallow, because, really? I can hardly bear the thought of Kevin being anything like him). An hour after I originally got him up out of bed, he finally saunters into the kitchen for breakfast, in a bad mood, with a big ol' attitude. He and I start going at it again, and finally he starts screaming at me and calls me "STUPID!" It was then that I lost it. I let my hand fly and smacked him (it landed on his arm I believe).
And right away visions of my own mother came to my head. This was NOT the kind of parent I set out to be. And granted, I don't let my hand fly like that very often, and I certainly don't beat the crap out of my kids like she did or verbally berate them. But this isn't about my mother. It's about me, and how big a failure I feel like now. For losing my temper like that. For losing perspective. For losing control. For alienating my kid, even just a little bit.
And he's only 12. I suspect it's only going to get worse, these episodes. He's got all these hormones churning through him. He's trying to figure out who he is and where he's going. He's stuck in some pergatory between child and adult and sometimes has a hard time figuring out how to deal with that. I know. I remember. My memories of being 12 . . . and beyond . . . are not pleasant ones.
He later came to me and apologized for calling me "stupid." I told him that not only is name-calling anyone unacceptable, but saying "stupid" is no better than saying "retarded." He started crying then. It's very, very unsettling to see your 12-year-old son cry.
I need to do better with this kid.
Monday, January 26, 2009
Sunday, January 25, 2009
If there were a God, wasn't it Him who created the hole in the first place?
This woman is very nice, she really is. And although I don't share her religious views, I respect that she's very fervent in her beliefs (which I already knew, before this day). She insisted on buying my coffee, which was very kind and sweet and thoughtful. But I couldn't help wondering - and have been wondering ever since - would she still have wanted to buy my coffee if I were as open about my (non-)beliefs as she is about her beliefs? Would she still talk to me like an old friend every time we run into each other?
I guess I'm cynical, because I suspect the answer would be no. But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I should have more faith in people.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
I, Joseph M., and now that I am president for the next 4 years, we shall make the Unidet States of Amairica a better country. Parents take good care of your children. Lawyers make fair laws. Teachers, teach good. Princiballs, be good school owners. We must also be healthy. Tonight you should try to dream that junk dosen't even exist. Also, never take drugs that are bad. Bad emergencys like fires, you need to know these rules.
1. never go outside when the air is bad.
2. never go near a fire.
3. never touch a real in danger fire.
If bad guys ever-
And that's as far as he got. I don't know about you, but I can't wait to see what comes next.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
I'm scared, though, that it's too good. I'm scared that something really, really bad is going to happen to make it all go away.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Some friends had organized a play date at the park and I decided to take the kids (as in, all six of them, as there is no school today) and head over. The morning did not go well. I was already in a foul mood from lack of sleep, and the kids seemed to have their whining in high gear. It was an ordeal just getting everyone out the door.
So we get to the park and right away, DOGS. Daisy starts screaming and crying hysterically, like she does. I am already thinking we should just turn right around and head back home because I just can't deal with this today. But the boys see their friends and run off, and I'm stuck there. I'll spare the play-by-play, but suffice to say that we were there for an hour, and Daisy was hysterical THE. ENTIRE. TIME. I mean, screaming, crying, snot and drool running down her face, trembling, on the verge of throwing up/passing out hysterical.
If one more well-meaning person says something to me along the lines of "This is what she needs, to see that the dog isn't going to hurt her," I swear to god I will start screaming hysterically myself. I know people mean well. I know people don't realize the extent of this issue. But let me set the record straight: Daisy encounters dogs ALL THE TIME. Like, daily. We walk to and from school to pick Joey up, and not a day goes by that we don't encounter dogs on the walk there, on the walk back, and on the school grounds (which is a whole other issue - people insisting on bringing their dogs to school even though there is a city ordinance prohibiting dogs on school grounds, and a totally wishy-washy, ineffective principal who can't seem to keep this ordinance enforced on his school grounds). We encounter dogs every single time we go to the park. This is NOT a matter of Daisy just not having enough exposure to dogs. This has been an issue for over TWO YEARS, and despite all the constant exposure she has to dogs, the problem has, if anything, gotten worse.
One friend actually said to me today, "Have you ever considered having her see a doctor about this?" Okay, first off, wow, I just can't imagine saying something like that to someone. Secondly, yes, we have. We've talked to our pediatrician. We've talked to the school psychologist. Both are of the opinion that we should just downplay it all when she gets like that and in time, as she matures, she will learn how to cope better, even if she never outgrows the actual fear. Honestly, I resent the hell out people assuming that we're just not dealing with this issue. We are dealing with it. I can do without the unsolicited advice. I know people mean well, but these comments only raise my stress level over the whole thing.
As for Daisy, I am having a really, really tough time being patient with her about her fears. I know that I should be able to reach deep inside myself and find some well of compassion, but I think with the hundreds of hysterical episodes like this that we've had to deal with with her, that well has run dry. So I find myself losing my temper with her instead of comforting her, which I'm sure doesn't help matters.
And honestly, I am sick to death of . . . people . . . stubbornly insisting that their dogs belong in any and every place that people belong. I know that dogs are allowed at parks, but holy shit, if you see a hysterical kid who is clearly terrified of your dog, yield to the child's right to be there. After all, the effing playground was built for kids - not dogs.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
So here's what I did today:
Took Annabelle to dance (Daisy is sick). Walked a couple of miles with Kevin. Got my nails done and a pedicure. Went to Target. Ate Chinese food. Fed children various meals. Did laundry. Tidied up the house.
Logged on to Facebook about 13 times (including from my iPhone while I was getting my nails done). Blogged.
And now I'm calling it a day.
Friday, January 16, 2009
Just what I need - one more think to keep me hooked up to this computer.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
So last week when Steve the psycho was supposed to deliver milk, I left a note out for him saying thanks for everything but we're cancelling service, please just leave a bill. Which he did. And I mailed the payment to him that day, because I didn't want that hanging over my head.
But as expected, he didn't take our leaving him laying down. He started calling. I was lucky enough to miss his first call. He left a voice mail message, which I didn't return. Really, why should I? I told him we were cancelling, what more discussion does there need to be? He called a couple more times, and seeing his name on the caller ID, I didn't answer. Then Kevin was on the phone with a friend, and this guy calls on the other line and Kevin answers. And hands the phone to me. When I realize who it is, I stare daggers at Kevin. Steve lays the guilt on thick. " . . . exceptional service for all these years. , ." blah blah blah. I tell him it's not personal, I'm sorry, but we've made our decision. He keeps talking. I finally have to cut him off and tell him I have someone waiting on the other line. He calls back later that evening. He talks to Michael, who tells him he's calling at a bad time. He calls again today. And again. I don't answer because I see his name on the caller ID. Then he gets tricky on us and figures out what we're doing. He calls from a number that just shows up as "Private Caller" on the caller ID. (Is that effing psycho or what??) Michael answers the phone and spends about 10 minutes explaining to this guy that we've made our decision, please stop calling. He called a total of EIGHT times.
All I know is that he knows where we live, he's pissed at us, and he seems a little . . . ummm . . . out there?
I'm pretty sure Joey is oblivious to all this.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
So we plan to hit the pavement again on Friday. Woot!
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Kevin comes home from school. He's got a pretty heavy homework load this year, and I feel for him, I really do. But right away the game starts. He stalls. He finds any and every reason in the world to not get started on his homework. I have to get on his case over and over to get started on his homework. I hate it. I've never been one of those "helicopter moms" and I don't want to be one. I don't want to, nor do I think I should have to, babysit my kids through their homework. I am here to consult with if they need assistance (although, unfortunately, the type of homework help Kevin usually needs is along the lines of algebra which, come on folks, I took about 30 years ago and have never used since and don't remember at all), but I do not feel it is my job to hold their hands while they do their homework. So, as I said, Kevin stalls and stalls until I finally have to holler at him, so he finally gets started, but even then will break away from it every few minutes because he needs a snack, he wants to say hi to Finn, he has to go to the bathroom, yada yada yada. So it ends up taking him hours to get his homework done, and then he's in a crappy mood because his entire afternoon is shot and now it's too late to go ride his skateboard or hang out with his friend Daniel.
Around 4:00 usually I round the girls up for bath time (yes, I bathe them late in the afternoon before dinner; it just seems to be the best time to do it). By the time I get them out of the tub, the official Witching Hour has started. Kevin is likely still not done with his homework and copping a total attitude. The girls are whining for dinner, which they will continue to do for the next hour +, until I get dinner on the table. Finn is cranky. I'm tired and frazzled. Kevin takes his frustration out on Joey and the two of them start into arguing, so I'm breaking things up between them while simultaneously trying to deal with Finn while simultaneously trying to get dinner made while simultaneously listening to the girls whine and trying to keep my head from exploding. And there's inevitably some mishap thrown in for good measure: Lilah might pee on the floor, or someone else might suffer some minor but urgent injury and start howling and screaming "MMMMMOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!", or something gets spilled, or whatever. Always something though. And then Michael might call or text me saying he's going to be a little late! By this time I just want to cry - either that, or lock myself in the bathroom and start drinking . . . (I kid). I finally get dinner on the table and usually at least half of the kids announce that they don't like it and won't eat it. All that effort and that's what I get. I should just feed them freaking chicken nuggets and mac and cheese every single night of the week - that's all they really want anyway.
On Tuesdays the kids are required to do a good bedroom-straightening because the housekeeper comes on Wednesdays and can't very well vaccuum and dust their rooms with all their stuff laying around. It's always a huge battle to get the boys to clean up their room, and inevitably when they say they've finished the job I go in there and have to actually finish picking up myself because their idea of cleaning up and mine are two very different ideas. Tonight after all the other crap that went on this afternoon, I had had it and when I went in their room at bedtime and saw that Joey's idea of cleaning up his stuff meant piling it all on top of his dresser, I lost my temper and went and grabbed a grocery bag and dumped everything from the top of his dresser into the bag and walked out with him crying and howling over it.
I feel bad. I hate for any of us to go to bed unhappy. I'm sure I could have handled that better. Another less than stellar mom moment.
And tomorrow we get to do it all over again.
Monday, January 12, 2009
So today I ran into a neighbor with whom I'm friendly as I was on my way out the door. She had her little boy in a jogging stroller and was on her way home from what looked like a nice vigorous walk. We got to talking and have agreed to start meeting a couple times a week to power walk together. I think this is just what I need: a buddy for company and motivation. So we are going to start this coming Wednesday morning. Yayy!
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Today Kevin, my oldest baby, turned 12 years old. Sometimes it seems as though an entire lifetime has passed since the night I held that tiny baby in my arms for the first time. It's hard to reconcile that little baby with the adolescent he is today.
Somtimes I feel like it's all passed us by too quickly . . . I had all these plans, things I was going to do for and with Kevin when he was a little boy, and suddenly I blinked and he wasn't a little boy anymore. It's bittersweet. He's a good kid, growing more and more independent all the time, which says we're doing our job as parents - preparing him for the world at large. But sometimes I really, really miss that sweet little boy who would show up at the side of my bed in the middle of the night and say "Mommy, I want to snuggle with you."
Now we have to make a decision in the next couple of weeks as to whether they should participate in the big June recital. From all the paperwork I got today, it appears that it's a pretty big deal. I'm honestly not sure if they are up for something like that, though. I don't want to invest all the time and money into costumes and rehearsals only to have them refuse to participate in front of what's sure to be a large audience. We shall see. In the meantime, they're taking the classes which seem to be plenty of fun for them :)
Friday, January 9, 2009
In no particular order:
1. Mochas from Starbucks
2. Martinis . . . the fancy kind: caramel apple, lemon drop, watermelon, etc.
4. Mammaries - as in breast feeding ;)
6. Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream
8. Maui . . . paradise! I hope we get back there someday.
9. MONEY!! Who doesn't like some moolah?
10. Milk . . . mmmmmm, a nice cold glass of milk hits the spot.
Okay, so if you want to play, leave me a comment telling me one of your favorite M things and I'll assign you a letter :)
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Reason, Season and Lifetime
People always come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.
When you figure out which it is, you know exactly what to do.
When someone is in your life for a REASON,
it is usually to meet a need you have expressed outwardly or inwardly.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty,
or to provide you with guidance and support,
to aid you physically, emotionally, or even spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend to you, and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to be.
Then, without any wrong doing on your part or at an inconvenient time,
this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die. Sometimes they just walk away.
Sometimes they act up or out and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done.
The prayer you sent up has been answered and it is now time to move on.
When people come into your life for a SEASON,
it is because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn.
They may bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season.
And like Spring turns to Summer and Summer to Fall,
the season eventually ends.
LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons;
those things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person/people (anyway);
and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas in your life.
It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.
Thank you for being part of my life.
I think it's meant to be inspirational. I'm not sure I agree with all of it (if someone else comes into my life for a REASON, does that necessarily mean that, likewise, I came into their life for a REASON? Really, the essay makes it all seem to revolve around ME - or whomever is reading it . . . but I digress), but it's a good springboard for me to write about my observations about friendships/relationships that have been floating around in my head for a while.
One of the hardest things I have learned in life (so far) is that it is truely a very rare relationship that is a lifelong one. The vast majority of people who come into your life will exit it at some point down the road. A friendship that lasts a lifetime probably only happens once or twice in a lifetime. That's been my observation/experience, anyway.
For me, I guess I have friends of different levels. There are the acquaintances - people I generally like but really don't know all that well and don't have any intention of getting to know - or allowing them to get to know me - better than on a superficial level. There are friends - the ones who I do know pretty well, and who know me pretty well, who share at least some of the same views as I do, whose company I enjoy and whom I spend time with socially, and whom I know I could count on in a time of need. Then there are the best friends - the ones who know me to my core and accept me nonetheless, who are such a part of the fabric of my life that I can't imagine them not being there, those who I want to text/call/email for every silly little thing that happens throughout my day.
I have lots of acquaintances, and that's cool. I even have a pretty large circle of friends, and I'm happy with the level of friendship we share. As for best friends, though . . . Michael's probably it for me. This isn't meant to be a sappy-sweet-pukey tribute to my husband, it's just the way it is. At this point in my life, I don't have a girlfriend with whom I'm that close - someone who gets me, someone who invests as much in the relationship as I do, someone with whom I want to share every little thing. Michael's the only person in my life at this point who fits that bill, and the only one I know will be a positive force in my life until one of us dies. And really, I'm okay with that. I'm not lonely, I'm not being cynical - this is just a truth of life.
I've had best girlfriends - the ones you spend hours on the phone with, the ones with whom you share the deepest, darkest parts of yourself. And they're great, those relationships. But as I started out saying, I have found that the vast majority of relationships are not lifelong relationships. It's rare that what initially brings two people together in friendship is enough to sustain a lifelong relationship.
Friendships end for a variety of reasons, in a myriad of ways. Sometimes they just fade away quietly . . . one day you realize it's been months since you talked to that person . . . and you don't even really miss them. Sometimes they end very dramatically, with harsh words and tears and hurting. Those endings you grieve. Some sputter and start and stop until you finally realize it's just not going where you had hoped it would go, and you either accept it for what it is, or say goodbye without a word.
Anyway, it's interesting, because I've experienced all three of these scenarios just in the past 6 months. And, of course, many times over my life.
This really wasn't meant to be a downer post, just my observations.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
I am so pleased with this! I never dreamed that a 2-year-old - at least one of mine! - could be potty trained!
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Today, I never even got dressed. I kept meaning to, and it just never happened. I think I realized around 3:30 that I was still wearing what I wore to bed last night and by then I thought, "Screw it, what's the point?" So it was a jammie day. The most exciting thing I did today? I found a grocery list application for my iPhone. Wowza.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot. Winter break is officially over and the kids go back to school tomorrow - at least the four older ones do. Phew. Actually winter break went pretty well. The wet, muddy days were hardest because the kids couldn't go outside to play, but we found things to do inside and it wasn't until the last couple of days that we were all really getting on each other's nerves. Still, everyone except Kevin is excited about going back to school.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
One word: freaking nightmare. Okay, that's two words. Remember how I thought Daisy might be starting to get over some of her phobias? Ha! Apparently all elevators are not created equal, because she FREAKED every time we had to get on an elevator at the mall today (which was no less than five times). Hysterical screaming, shaking, crying, the whole bit. And of course we never got onto an empty elevator, it was always with witnesses. Plus, Daisy's hysteria rubbed off on Annabelle, and she was crying too. Then we got to a point where it was clear that if we didn't find a restroom, Annabelle was going to let loose in Macy's. Well, don't forget that public restrooms is another item on Daisy's list of Things I'm Terrified Of. But no matter, it had to be done. So we find a restroom and I have to physically force the two of them into the largest stall I could find (along with Finn who was in the stroller). Both girls are crying and screaming. I'm surprised that nobody called security, because I'm sure it looked/sounded like I was dragging them into the stall to beat the crap out of them (which by that time, believe me, seemed very tempting). Even though Annabelle was dancing around and hopping from foot to foot to keep from wetting her pants, I had to force her onto the toilet where she screamed and cried the entire time. I didn't even try to make Daisy sit on the toilet - I'm sure she would have passed out from terror.
After the bathroom ordeal, I marched them all out to the truck and headed home. I am still in a foul mood over that nightmare. Michael and I are supposed to go out to dinner tonight, and I don't think he even wants to be around me.
Oh, and Macy's didn't have children's raincoats or umbrellas either. It's freaking January and we've already had plenty of rain. WTF?
Friday, January 2, 2009
At dinner tonight he started in with the obnoxiousness and I finally looked at him very sternly, after having told him to stop a number of times, and said, "You're getting a little too big for your britches."
He looked at me in all seriousness and said, "What's a britch?"
It was hard to keep a straight face with that one ;)
Santa brought the girls a brand new, big, beautiful doll house for Christmas. So I put the word out to my mommy friends that their old, much smaller doll house was up for grabs. I got a taker right away, and she came over this afternoon to take it off our hands. Daisy wanted to know why I was giving her old doll house away, and I told her that another little girl was going to take it since Daisy and her sisters got a new one for Christmas. She wasn't too happy with my unilateral decision to purge one of HER possessions.
A little while after my friend picked up the old doll house, I was holding Finn and Daisy said to me, "Are you going to give him away?"
Daisy: "Are you going to give him away?"
Me: "Who, Finn? No, of course not!"
Daisy: "Why not?"
Me: "Because he's my baby, that's why not."
Daisy: "Well, you gave away MY doll house!" (Picture her standing with hands on hips in a decidedly snotty manner.)