Wednesday, December 31, 2008
As my husband and I lay in bed this morning, we began to chat about where everything would GO. Like as in the Christmas decor I just packed up, and the boxing arena we so carefully put together. Or the clothes I have in the spare closet, and the boxes full of camping gear we have artfully accumulated with very little cash. I don't think either of us are quite ready yet to say goodbye to these "things", and my husband and I talked about how difficult it would be to take a tiny new baby camping. It will be at least 2010 before we get out the tent again.
Everyone tells me, the money and space will just exist when we need it and not to worry. But the list of necessities makes my stomach flutter. We have not even purchased our fold out bed yet- which is really the only option we can think of for overnight guests... namely my Mother who, if and when I do deliver this child, we will so desperately need.
Or the SUV my husband insists I have, even though to me it sounds extraneous. Because I drive like crap and Winter here can be difficult without four wheel drive.
I am not worried per say. I know babies can be raised without all the financial extras and turn out just fine. I know that millions of folks have babies without four wheel drive, and my Mom can surely sleep on the couch or blow up mattress. But these are the things that will bring us peace when we bring a baby into this world.
I have my 13 week ultrasound on January 5th. And because of the holidays and Doctor schedules, not only will I have ONE ultrasound, I will have TWO. One with my "regular" doctor, and then another with my "specialist", and no matter how hard I tried to schedule them at least a week apart, or even a few days, neither of them would budge. So...sigh.... it's TWO in ONE day.
Either way, I guess this means I will be "doubly" confident as we enter into our 14th week of the safety or our baby. As we bring in the New Year this evening, I will have a lot to think about. Including many what ifs and maybes. But it's all good. I am sure my biggest concern will end up being that I don't split out of my pants.
Friday, December 26, 2008
As my husband and I approached my brother's house, I clapped my hands and gleefully exclamined, " I can't WAIT to see everyone today!". And while as soon as I said it I felt slightly like a four year old, it was completely true. I knew there would be a fire roaring, music playing joyfully in the background. A plethura of decadent food choices. Presents beyond any sort of humbleness, and of course, the pleasant and laugh filled cadence of my family socializing together.
I had chosen gifts for my neices and nephews carefully. I anticipated the excitement they would have in opening ALL of thier gifts, but it gives me such pleasure in watching them be happy about something I personally have chosen. I desperately don't want to be like Aunt Jenny from the Brady Bunch.
It was a scream to watch the four oldest children sit together at thier own table, dining on thier own Christmas day feasts. Nary an egg was eaten as I saw them walk gingerly to the kitchen for more chocolate chip cookies, than to me, seemed humanly possible. And while thier table conversations were short lived on any one subject, they did seem to create "stocking" banter for at least one solid minute.
My favorite moment of all was when my five year old nephew gave my husband a gift all on his own. Granted, it is a plastic eagle head, but my husband actually loved it. Like as in put it out the second we got home last night. He stood behind his Mom as Billy unwrapped it, and I actually saw him hold his breath. And the whole thing was just so sweet I wanted to cry. Because he demonstrated not only his love, but his incredible thoughtfulness and sincerity.
In addition, my family, being mostly some form or other of type "A's"- which is where I sometimes fail them all, has it all down to a very enjoyable science. Arrive, eat a traditional egg casserole breakfast ( and who knew that my self-proclaimed "horrible cook" SIL would turn into a baking afficionado overnight and produce such spectactularness as a pumpkin roll and sticky buns? DELICIOUS. Both. ) Open gifts. Take a break. Open more gifts. Take another break. Stop. Eat again. Relax.
Towards the latter part of the day, I noticed my husband was nowhere to be found. And come to think of it, my niece and brother were also MIA. I found them in the back family room, rocking out to Rock Band. And who would have thought? My husband found a new talent in drumming, my brother the guitar, and my niece... a vocalist? Let me just say now, there is NO ONE in our family, aside from my mother, that can carry even the slightest of tunes. Finding a willing participant to play lead singer, and undoubtedly making a complete ass out of themselves is hard to come by in my family. But the desire to play Rock Band seemed to have an interesting affect, overshadowing any thoughts of ass-making or self-esteem issues. Many a family member, some of whom I have not heard so much as hum, were doing thier best to belt it out for the love of the game. Amazing what technology can do.
After almost twelve hours of celebrating together, which even surprised myself, the little ones needed to go to bed, as did we. My husband warmed up the car and loaded in all the gifts ( being pregnant does have some advantages) and after saying goodbye no less than three times, we slowly drove away, not wanting the perfect day to fade away.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Yesterday was the first time I got the chance to tune in. And because our DVD player is a piece of crap, and it skips, I ended up accidently holding positions for much longer than I should have. Not realizing that I would be holding it forever unless I manually fast-forwarded it. As a result, my arms are killing me. Today I will tuck the DVD remote in my sports bra for when I realize ten minutes have passed and my leg is shaking in pain.
While on the subject of pregnancy, I must say, I understand weird things happen. I have decided to have a blase approach and do my best to not give in to to whims of exhaustion, aches and pains and of course, feelings of vomitous disgustous. And even as my skin transforms into ailen like patches here and there, I am accepting. But seriously, when I awoke in pain last night due to a searing shot in my ear, I admit, I can longer conceal my gross out. The pimple on my EAR? has given me the creeps. I dont' GET pimples on my ear. I didn't even really think my ear had pores. I know it's just the beginning. But YUCK.
In other news, I am conflicted over the in-law Christmas Eve party. When I asked what I could bring I did not get a response. My husband then went to bat for me and demanded I be told what to bring. My husband then told me, "Bring whatever you want". Huh?
My family is organization station. I am not used to such a vast wonderland of food creation possibilties. While some would flourish in these conditions, I feel like it is a set up.
I nearly created a fight with my husband, demanding he tell me a dessert he would eat. His casual tone irritated me as I explained, " I want at least ONE PERSON to EAT WHAT I MAKE". OH! okay, he says, make apple cobbler then. And if things follow tradition as I suspect they may, he will be full from dinner and see me coming with the "dessert", and look like a deer in headlights with Twilight Zone squawks in the back ground. "NO!" he will think, "I am FULL, I don't WANT THAT! My wife will be so pissed if I don't eat it and tell her it's good. Fake smile fake smile, I would LOVE a piece honey! It looks delicious!" and I will smile and hand him his plate.
When it's time to leave I will look at my slaved over pathetic dessert and see the one chunk cut out of it. My MIL will try to usher me out the door with it, but I will refuse. "NO! YOU keep it, really!" and I will walk out to the car empty handed and be irritated that I didn't just "get an assignment that would have been eaten" when I initially asked. It is an effort in futility.
Overall, Christmas vacation is off to a good start. Today I am going on a girl's day to the movies and then out to a bar. I am slightly concerned about the bar, as one lady doesn't drink and me and the other girl are pregnant. I am not sure why we are even going there. However, it will be good to get out of the house with the girl's, even if we can only pretend to sip on cocktails.
Needless to say, I have had a difficult time picking out a Chirstmas gift for her.
I might also add, it would not be SO so difficult if I wasn't knee deep in budget land and could spend whatever I wanted on the perfect gift, but life being what it is prevents that.
After mulling it over and checking out her bridal registries for "gifts NOT purchased", I opted for a lower grade, and might I add, much more affordable, yet nice, throw, that would compliment thier new bedroom.
And as I trimmed my own tree and happened across a very beautiful, yet sentimental ornament that commemorated my own very first Christmas with MY betrothed, nearly bringing me to tears, decided I would throw in a very first Christmas ornament for them as well.
And since the new bride just traipsed off to Hawaii to honymoon, and I didn't get the chance to deliver my perfect, yet affordable gift, it sat in waiting for thier return.
So it does not surprise me, after talking to her sister, that not only did the bride purchase such a throw for her new husband as a Christmas present, she herself had already purchased and GIVEN a much NICER very first Christmas ornament to her sister.
SO suddenly my gift fell flat. I stood in the return line at Target yesterday, considering what I would get her now, but nothing came to mind.
I have perused the internet for ideas and unless I want to spend sixty bucks- which is almost double my budget, there is little to be found. I considered Omaha steaks, as they both love to eat and cook, however the gift card I would purchase would not cover the costs of the perfect set of four steaks, not even the on-sale lowest grade cheapies. Somehow that does not strike me as a "nice" gift.
I have until January 3 to make a decision. If all else fails, they will receive a gift card to a local restuarant, but being that she is my best friend, I was hoping to think of something a little more... thoughtful.
In any case, she will hear this story when I give her whatever it is I give her so she will know that my FIRST time around I was right on the money.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
And because I still have much to do today, I have not much time to write. I will leave you with this question...
What in the world is Lisa Kudrow doing in a Nintendo DS commercial making Kung Pao chicken? The first time I saw I waited with bated breath for the punch line, and when I didn't hear one, I figured I didn't pay close enough attention. After seeing it at least ten more times since, I have come to the frightening conclusion that she is as serious about that chicken making as a child making a Santa list.
Hollywood must be a very difficult place to be.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
It all started when I woke several times in the night to aching boulders on my chest. The first night I shrugged it off as being a bad case of PMS. After the third night, at 2 am, I rifled through my bathroom drawers until finding a First Response test. I don't think I have ever seen a line number two show up so quickly. I sat on the couch for the next four hours- like a deer in headlights. When I heard my husband rolling around in the bed, showing his first signs of morning life, I ran to him and gave him my news. He thought the test was wrong.
After getting some medical verification and the onslaught of initial "You are 35 or over" appointments, it started to become slightly real.
I will spare all of the gory details, but two very significant events have since occurred, already marking this as a pregnancy to never forget.
The first was a rather horrid trip to get a date identifying ultrasound. Being that this was not planned, there had been some confusion as to "dates" and what not. Below is a copy and pasted e-mail I sent to my Mother, post-trauma describing the "experience".
The girl was a trainee from a local community college. Very nice, obviously very green. She took her time but also wouldn't let Billy in. She did the tummy ultrasound first, then had me pee so she could do the internal. It took her forever. She forgot to adjsut the stirrups so after 30 min. my legs started to shake. I asked her if it was almost over... she said yeah- so i decided to tough it out. She couldn't find my ovaries- since it took her so long my bladder was filling up again. Eventually- her supervisor Alex came in. He bitched her out for taking too long and said the reason she was having trouble was because it was on the wrong setting. He then took over. He was very gruff with the girl, explaining what she did wrong. I kept winking at her and giving her sympathetic looks. She told me I could ask my questions now... so I asked him if I would walk out of there today knowing if the baby was alive or not. He then started in on this long-winded story ( they placed the screen so I could not see anything) and said my dr. would call me in 2/3 days... I was like.. 2 or 3 DAYS? he interrupted me and yelled, "LET ME FINISH". I then was annyoed because here I am, laying there with my legs up, exhausted and worried. I snapped. I said, "You know what, I am losing my patience here, I just want to know what I am going to find out today." He mumbled a sorry and carried on with his arrogance. A few minutes later the ."trainee told him my husband was waiting outside. His response? "How special." I almost started crying. I was now laying there for over 45 minutes- no knowledge yet, vulnerable, and upset. Billy came in then and he did nothing to cover my crotch from the door- which had the ultrasound machine in it- so Billy walks in to see me like that and the guy made no eye contact with him. I was so embarrased.
The guy did nothing to make sure I was comfortable in any way. He took any specialness out of the situation and made me so upset. He waited until the very last minute to show me the screen and by then I was so pissed I just wanted out of there. It was terrible.
I went home and wrote a letter immediately to the hospital. They usually are so awesome there. Anyway- it was nothing like it was supposed to be. The good news is that I am six weeks along and the heart was beating. Oh yeah- the tech also said, "Well, you CAN see the heart beating but you wouldn't have last week, you are barely pregnant at six weeks"... and that was my " information".
The hopsital sent me an apology letter and a prescription for the infection I recieved from the 30 minutes of mutilation. Thanks. At any rate, I then recieved a report from the doctor suggesting there was something "wrong" with my uterus. Uh. Gross? I hate that word anyway- and now it's getting tossed around constantly. Not to mention, in case you haven't seen Baby Mama- the number one comedy of the year, it's the same "issue" Tina Fey had. So now I am infected, scared, and devasted. As well as feeling like my whole pregnancy is now a complete joke.
After a visit to the specialist some good news was eventually confirmed. The shape of my..ugh..sorry...UTERUS... is not going to be too much of an issue here after all. Some. But not major. I have heard the words "stitches"... "bed rest"... and "C-section" tossed around quite a bit. Trying to pretend that is not happening.
Either way I suppose I am around 9 weeks. Early to be talking about it, but in case you don't know this about me, I am not one to keep it to myself. Because regardless of what happens, I will want to talk about it, write about it, and garner support. So it's all for the best to just reveal.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Until today, that is. I have one final doctor appointment today at 10:30. The news so far has been nothing but promising and with each passing appointment ( FOUR in the last week), my confidence has catapulted itself almost to the point of "no worries at all". Thank God. And since the appointment is at 10:30, I decided, as a gift to myself, to spend the afternoon NOT going back to work, but instead, perusing the shopping mall to tackle my Christmas lists.
I have chosen an outdoor mall. Probably not ideal for eight degree weather, but the sparse crowds mixed with my "plan", not to mention it's proximity to my doctor, should make the outing fruitful. I am planning on wearing TWO pairs of pants, three shirts and a stocking cap. I have already googled the layout of the mall and pairing it with my Christmas lists have managed to come up with a plan of attack, complete with coffee breaks, bathroom breaks, and pit stops at the car to unload. Did I mention I will not DON the extra thick gear until AFTER my appointment? I would not want to risk an "I weigh a lot melt down" so have even decided to "pack a bag" to carry INTO the doctor's office and will not gear up until after the dreaded weigh in. Thinking ahead my friends, just thinking ahead.
Overall, I am finally feeling at peace. When December 1 rolled around, just a few short days ago, my life felt up in the air. I resigned myself to avoiding all things Christmas and wasn't even bothered by the Thanksgiving decor still covering the nooks and crannies of my house. But with each passing appointment, and the good news began to warm my soul and soften my hardened and scared heart, I began to hear myself humming jingle bells softly to myself. Last night, at 9:30, while driving home from my night class, I heard myself belting out at top long, along with the radio, Joy to the World. I knew the tides had finally turned.
Tomorrow, when my husband will be gone for several hours on an outing with a friend, I plan to transform our Fall leaf laden home into a Winter wonderland, fake tree and all. When my husband gets home, I envision sipping cocoa and listening quietly to my Bing Crosby Christmas CD while the twinkling lights of the tress illuminate the background. In reality, we will order a pizza while my husband watches UFC, and drinks a beer and I read books about psyhcogical torment. But still, it will be "normal" which is what I am really going for.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
We have done a good job in filling in the blanks and have become satisified with our lifestyle.
But a few weeks ago, there was some news from the female doctor about some "stuff". This "stuff" is very serious and out of left field. We have been coping and processing. We have been going to the doctor and I have three more appointments next week. It is slightly consuming and I am having a difficult time of not letting it get to me. It's hard to "forget about something for a while" when a large chunk of your free time is spent sitting in a waiting room. Flipping through crappy old health magazines and trying not to stare at the other patients waiting, equally as confused and thrown off.
I wish I could publish blogs about it, but at this point, I think I better keep it hush hush, at least until Wednesday, when I am going to see a specialist. I will know more. And I won't feel as if I am being too negative, or too hopeful. If I keep it hush hush, I feel I can stay removed from the truth, which is trying it's very best to upset my equilibrium. And while I have been writing about the experiences, I am keeping them to myself. I don't want certain people to read about it before I can talk about it with them in person. They may be offended, or unnecessarily upset.
It has occurred to me lately how precious our lives are. It dawned on me that until we got the news a few weeks ago, my husband and I were very happy, yet didn't stop to realize it. Life was good. Our jobs as a teacher and a public works employee, while not lucrative, are stable in the rocky economy. Our home is slowly but surely getting upgraded and fixed up to our liking. Our goals and dreams have just enough crossover to keep us connected yet just enough distance to give us space to grow as individuals. We have hit a pleasant rhythm in our marriage and life is good.
And perhaps it still is. We are both ultimately fine. But this recent "diagnosis" could change everything. Maybe for the better in the end, but also maybe for the worse. I am praying that God continue to show me that not only does everything happen for a reason, but that it happen in a way that I understand what that reason is. And sooner rather than later. I feel He has His hand in this. I am doing my best to not worry and fret about the future.
Since it's all very female and new and precarious, my husband and I are still working on making peace with it, therefore it's not the kind of thing we are ready to tell people in everyday conversation, particularly a holiday. When asked, lately, what I have been up to, I have found myself speechless for the first time in a long time. I think in my head, "You don't really want to know what I have been up to." and then hear myself say out loud out of desperation, "OH! Nothing! Really, not much at all," but really my life has been consumed and if I opened the floodgates I don't think I could stop talking about it.
In the meantime I am thankful I have my job and my supportive family and all of the other distractions that are keeping me from over thinking the possibilities and quite frankly, going nuts.
I know in the end everything will be okay. Our lives will realign and we will eventually barely remember this chapter in time. But for now, we are living it. Trying to be strong and mature and stable. Taking things one day at a time and waiting for the next appointment for more clarification.
*** Update: Everything is going to be fine!! Yeah!! Thanks for your thoughts and prayers!***
Friday, November 28, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
I had always looked forward to owning my own place so I could look over paint chips tirelessly and create a vision that would awe my guests into asking." what color IS this? I LOVE it!"
Not so much.
We had three things against us. Time, money and the kitchen tile.
The tile in our kitchen is blue. Yes, blue. And since you can see the kitchen from the living room/dining room, we had what we call a decorator's dilemma on our hands. I priced out tile immediately. And then after seeing the totals began to swiftly work with the blue. That's right, easy does it, match the blue.
So we ended up with khaki paint. In our living room. It's like swimming in cesspool of bad eighties pants. Our couches just mere slabs of brown boat shoe. I tried to lighten things up with some oranges and greens, throw pillows- candles- art work, you name it. But it's still khaki. And I can no longer stand it.
So I have decided to do some painting. And after perusing a varity of web sites, like Benjamin Moore, Restoration Hardware, and Pottery Barn for ideas and color schemes, I find I am stuck with painting only one wall burnt orange.
And now I realize what I was up against when I was forced to make my original rash and hurried decision. That flippin BLUE TILE. It's ruining everything.
In the larger scheme of things, it's not so bad. It's paint color on the wall. But with the housing market crashing around us, I have begun to accept the fact that we are going to be residents of this hear blue-kitchen-tiled, one-bedroom, two-bath, one-boxing-arena condo for a long time. And I want to make it ours in a way that really reflects our tastes. Soooo isn't going to happen.
And based on our budget and some other "stuff" going on, tile on the kitchen floor is of low..low... LOW priority. So burnt orange it is people. Burnt orange straight from the mid-nineties. Right here in my very own living room.
At least it won't be so boring.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
After climbing into so many layers of clothes I could barely move my arms, we loaded up the car. We needed to hit an ATM, and then the requisite-before-any-hour-or-more-long-drive stop at Dunkin Donuts. Which is literally across the street from our house. And I had to pee already. And then mid-stream I remembered we didn't bring the cooler. So now we neeeded to head back home again.
With the cooler in tow and steaming cups of joe and cash in our pockets we finally headed out. At 7:45.
After the hour long drive, wherein I asked my husband to be patient with me if I missed, we pulled into the sparse lot. The sounds of dogs and shotguns amid the rows of corn and marshy fields set the stage for our adventure.
The check in lodge was about as inviting as they come. With coffee on, two roaring fireplaces, free donuts, and ample sitting room. A myriad of men stood anxiously around joking quietly, as only men do at 8 am before a hunt. They eyed me cautiously. Wondering if I would be hunting as well.
Our guide, Alberto, saddled with his dog, called out to us. It was time. We zipped up our coats and grabbed our guns. We adorned ourselves with Day-Glo orange and loaded our pockets with shells. I was getting nervous.
Before we entered the field Billy starting asking Alberto some standard questions while the Brittany Spaniel ran circles around us. Alberto explained we would walk on either side of him and when the dog found a pheasant to flush he would tell us, since the dog was not a pointer. In other words, he told us to keep ourselves at the ready, safety's off and guns cocked and loaded. This was the big time!
We set out and it was easy going. While nervous, I felt safe. The ground we traversed was mowed and the dog, guide and Billy were easy to hear and see. Alberto then stopped in his tracks. "He found something... he found something... get ready!" We stopped and waited. A bird flew out and Billy and I shot at the same time. Feathers spewed into the air and the bird in flight landed like a rock on the ground. The dog ran and got it and brought it back to Alberto. Alberto stuffed the dead bird into his vest pocket.
We set out again after catching our breath and placing how it felt to shoot the bird down. Which I must say was good. Really good. The dog took off and we began to creep along again. Before Alberto could warn us, the dog came running back with a bird in his mouth. "Oops", said Alberto regarding his over-eager hound, " I will throw it up so you can shoot it."
He tossed it in my direction and as it flew off I aimed slowly and pulled the trigger. Bam! I got it. I really got it! Again the dog retrieved the bird and brought it back to the guide. Not sure if you could really call that hunting. But it sure felt like it.
As we progressed along, the terrain became much more difficult, we climbed through marshes, forests, trees, and six foot tall grass. The ground was hilly, rocky, and uneven. The guns became heavy as we pulled our thick, wet and mud-laden shoes out of the ground and over thick branches. It was exhasting.
The guide, sensing my weariness, offered to carry my gun for me. Not wanting to be a wimpy girl, I declined. After a couple of hours of this, and with increasingly longer and more frequent breaks, we decided to call it a day. We ended up with five birds in total. Billy taking claim to the majority.
We headed back to the lodge for some warming free beer while our guide cleaned and packaged our birds for us. After paying, we tiredly headed back to the car, feeling strong, successful, and hungry.When we got home, all previous thoughts of cooking fresh pheasant immediately withered in comparison to my need for a bath and a nap. So in the freezer they sit, waiting for some time spent on recipes.com and a stomach that feels up for it.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
With a fresh start on our Saturday, we headed out to the gun range, stopping to pick up a friend of Billy's on the way. The front of the shop was filled with a wide variety of guns and gun gadgets. Second amendment posters and army knives. I felt uncomfortable in my baby blue Cub's hat and New Balance tennis shoes, but quickly got over it when I spied several other females in similar attire. We paid upfront for our stall rentals and paper targets and were ushered to the waiting area, which was comprised of a picnic table and an old soda machine. From which I purchased a 75 cent Diet Coke. When some stalls opened and our ears and eyes were fully covered, off we went to assemble and shoot.
Billy had me go first, so he could provide the proper tutelage. I thought I did okay on the targets, but the thrill of shooting was, as usual, more exhilerating than my ability mattered. Billy then went, and I was more than impressed. He kept getting Bullseyes and I felt a mixture of pride and jealousy. More than that, I was impressed with his manor. Confident, safe, and methodical. He would never hurry to forego safety.
While he continued to shoot with his friend I became bored, so went back to the waiting area to read. I was stared at once or twice but ignored the questioning looks, I didn't care what they thought, my book was too good. Who wouldn't want to read about elective mutism anyway?
As we left, a trio of odd balls came in that made Larry, Larry and Darryl look refined. I kept trying to hide my face behind Billy's shoulder just enough so my stares wouldn't be caught. But the combination of military regalia and loud over-talking about gun details and the oddly thick and dirty coke bottle glasses, mixed with ill fitting clothes made me feel hincky. We left quickly but overall had a great time.
Saturday night we had two parties. TWO PARTIES! We stopped by my friend's bi-annual chocolate and cheese party. The beatiful open fire place home and the Frank Sinatra and the chocolatey martinis made it hard to not get comfortable and have a great time. Besides, they were my friends, so of COURSE I was having fun. And right as the party was climaxing we made our exit to get on to the next party. A 25th birthday party at.... Dave and Busters.
It was a bust alright.
The crowd was mixed between gangsta teen, upset five year olds, and twenty-somethings on the prowl. The loud noises and flashing lights could have given anyone a seizure. And while I really did want to play enough Ski ball to win a gigantic stuffed pink panda, I could see the anxiety in my husband's face mounting. And as soon as he ordered a beer he said, "This isn't really my kind of place". Like I didn't know that the second we walked in the door. We stayed long enough to order the birthday boy his 40 ounce beer and for my husband to finish his normal-sized one and we bolted.
It's too bad we didn't hit the parties in reverse, but the ages of the party hosts would have made that nearly impossible, unless we wanted to pre-party with the twenty-somethings and then later helped clean up the empty chocolate mousse cups while Frank began to skip on the CD player.
After such a rough night ( we were home by eleven ) we had to sleep in. So by eight AM things began to finally yawn awake around here. I convinced my husband to watch Failure to Lauch with me ( thank God at least Matthew M. was in it ) and downed a pot of coffee with the new Cinnamon Bun cream ( which is good, but really, I was just hurrying through to get to my fresh bottle of the delicious and seasonal Pumpkin Spice).
By mid-day we were eating at my MIL's, which is great because not only is the food delicious ( she's a native Greek! ) this also means I didn't have to cook. We made our Thanksgiving plans and somehow I wound up with the pumpkin pies. Not that I don't think I can do it, or mind, really, but I have made so few in my life that I question my ability to make the perfect pie as the meal pinnacle for all the in-laws. The PRESSURE! If you think I am not getting at least three frozen back-ups you are nuts.
With time on our hands we headed to Wal-mart to pick up our hunting licenses for the big hunt next weekend. The man waiting on us, or actually as it turned out, the man we were waiting on, was an immigrant from South Africa. I was fascinated. He told us he lived in a mansion with a company car ( thanks to Hewlett Packard), two swimming pools and two and half acres. We didn't get to what sort of house he has here but he did say he moved here because of the crime, well that and his Grandson and feels compelled to remind his daughter of this frequently. He also told us that he and his wife, even after forty-two years of marriage will start out on a beatuiful day and for no reason get into a fight. Forty-two years!! He said, with exasperation and surprise. He made the experience a great one.
So end over end, the weekend went. A good mixture of activity and now it's Sunday night and I know I will be restless when I try to sleep tonight, because it's Sunday night and that is what happens when I try to capture the relaxed feeling I have had all weekend, but find my thoughts slipping into those of work.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
In reality, I have never liked the stage. I have opted to be somewhat of a loner. I am as vain as I can stand and I could barely accept the attention I received at my wedding, which was all of thirty people. So this dream career as a movie star is really outside my comfort zone. Except for the wealth part. And really, I don't want to be RICH rich, just rich enough to not be in any debt.
Fame is different. Because, really, there are thousands of ways you can BE famous. I think being a famous writer would result in some kind of neurosis. All those NPR interviews. Thick stressing of silly words, "I DO, I DO, feel so DEEPLY of the CHARACTER'S connection to cake BATTER, as the metaphor for LIFE is so SO conslusive!". No thanks.
Fame for sports would be okay, I suppose. But then you would always be... dirty. It's a respectable kind of fame. It takes hard work and dedication. But then what would be the point if you only ever wore yoga pants or tennis skirts? To me, part of the "trade-off" to fame is the wardrobe and the red carpet and the jewels and all that sparkly pink stuff. So famous athlete would never do.
Fame for TV or Movies is just too lonely. Those Hollywood types, even the ones that are just in the "inspiring to be" stage, seem to be so driven and self-motivated, that they can hardly stand to be truly supportive of each other without stepping into a private bathroom and bitching out thier manager for not letting THEM know about the once availabe-but-now-filled role the "friend" got. And then let's not even get INTO the 'ole career is on the decline business. The celebrity has-been reality shows. Because if you are like me when one of those shows is on you sit around and say to yourself, who IS that? And WHY are they doing this awful show?
I don't even let myself consider famous singer or dancer. Those talents are as far away from me as Jupiter. I sing like a tone-deaf man and I dance, well.... I dance like a small town white girl who forgot her rhythm "back at the barn". If you think Elaine is bad, you should see me after four beers and some Euro-tech comes pounding in. Clear the floor ladies and gentlemen, or you MAY get hurt. And oh yeah, my lack of talent has NEVER stopped me from busting down a groove. When people stare I give them my personal catch phrase, " Dancing is a celebration of life, not a competition". And then I give them one of my signature hip-twirl moves, arms above my head, and knees knocked and cocked at an angle only a pretzel maker could have envisioned.
The bottom line is, I don't really think I am cut out for fame. Fortune, maybe, but fame, no way.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
And it's not the Fall weather, or the suggestion of imminent snow, or the switch to a warmer and cozier and fat-hiding wardrobe as much as it is "The Christmas List".
In my family, the siblings draw names. And because there are many busy working Mom's and a hint of type A personality, the "LISTS" are due by Thanksgiving. And you must submit a list because it's a rule in our family. Or you will be forced to receive something "OFF-list"... and that leads to a cluster-fudge of receipts and returns and frowns on the happiest day of the year, as you enviously leer at the person next you smiling and enjoying a gift they actually wanted.
I am not sure HOW the due date came to be, exactly, although I am guessing it has something to do with a barrage of friendly-with-a-hint-of-impatience e-mail reminders sent out by, well, you know who you are.
And so with one eye on the calendar, I have stepped up the perusal of random shopping sites. Carefully saving my list of possibilities under my Favorites until I decide I officially want it. Where it is then cautiously copied and pasted onto my "List".
And I have found something glorious. Truly glorious. The Staxx ring. SO cute. SO wearable. SO diverse! And you can buy all sorts of parts and kits and colors.
And I can't wait to see the others' lists either. To see what has been pumping up THEIR jam lately.
Being a special education US History teacher during an election has not made any of this easier. Kids spouting off at the mouth in an UN-educated fashion mimicking parents.
Kids trying to understand the issues and really only caring about the drinking age and abortion rights. Neither of which have any real bearing on my presidential choice.
Kids arguing the merits of having a first black president and what that will mean.
Don't get me wrong, as I recognize my roll is to educate. And I really do try to lead discussions that are thought provoking and two-sided and unbiased.
But it will be pure bliss when I step into my little ballot booth and punch in those choices which are completley mine. Without explanation.
Because sometimes regardless of my efforts, students come from where they come from and no amount of class discussion or eye-opening video or enthusiastic mock election can change attitudes instilled in children since they were born.
During the last election I actually had one of my students say, "Our governemnt sucks, my uncle had to weight EIGHT YEARS to get his section 8."
Yep. Shore did! He did say that! My response? "It only take four to get a degree, so that seemed like a collossal waste of time!"
Either way, I cannot wait to get back to my regular scheduled programming. Because even the SNL skits are starting to get boring.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Wednesday night was similar to Tuesday. And my husband asked me what seemed to be stressing me out. I didn't know. Couldn't put my finger on it.
Thursday after school I was meeting my friend Sonja and her five week old baby at a Dunkin Donuts a few suburbs away, and then joining forces with her to make the trek to go and visit our friend on hospice.
We had heard a variety of teary-eyed reports about what to expect. But nothing can prepare you or prevent you from your feelings of seeing your friend laying in a bed, so sick and so... barely there.
She was lucid and intermittently joined into the casual conversations, generally led by her husband, who has seemed to master the art of comforting those who walk into his home to well wish his wife he so obviously deeply loves. Cards and pictures and flowers covered the room, dripped from the walls and were stuffed onto the dresser.
On several ocassions he would ask her if she remembered some detail of an experience they had shared. A type of fish they ate. A name of a resort. An actor in a movie. And each time my friend would smile and give him the answer he sought. I almost cried every time as I wondered what he would do, or how he would remember these details later, when she was gone. How frustrated he might be to not be able to bounce those tiny, seemingly unimportant bits of trivia off of her. But we all know, these things are important. They are the ties that bind us into our relationships. The experiences of creating memories that we share just between ourselves.
When it was time to go, I hesitated. She looked at me and smiled and said, "Have a good school year and take care." And how do you respond to that?
I took her shrunken hand in mine and kissed her and told her to stay comfortable and that I loved her. She loves me too. I had to quickly walk out. I didn't want her family see me shed a tear. I felt like they would think I had no idea what it was like to be them.
When I got back into my own car, I tried to follow my horrible mapquest directions to Jen's house. I had pre-planned a trip to see my niece and nephew, knowing it would cheer me after such a painful goodbye.
And my distress and darkness of the night and bad directions and no GPS system left me in a tangled mess. I was incredibly lost. In every way. When I finally got to the house it was past the kids' bedtimes. I disrupted the evening and got the kids' all riled up.
Eventually I sat with my brother and Jen and had a beer. Finally having a chance to let the evening absorb.
And now I am still not sleeping any better.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Is it even worse to admit that this particular night, in which I am ambushed by parental concern, are two of the worst of my school year?
It is a rather odd meeting of the minds anyway. Half the time you come in with pre-conceived ideas. And I too, come in with pre-coneived ideas, about what you are like. What you are going to say. How you are going to defend or offend your child.
And the last time I met with parents I had a horrible experience. Truly horrible. It's definitely time to think about hiring a babysitter for your little ones. Just saying. And really, while I don't expect you to shower and primp, I do expect your general person to be in decent smelling order. You should probably keep one eye on the clock, because ten minutes really is a short time, and NO... I don't want to shop with you OR have coffee with you or UGH.... have dinner by your place some night to "talk further". Oh- yeah- and go ahead and brush your teeth for me. That is a plus. And in case anyone has found me at my NEW school, let's just say this all happened at my old school. Because voicing my opinion on that isn't really worth losing my job. Need I not remind you that as a teacher, my soul DOES belong to the state, first and foremost.
And now that I am ranting, I need to bring up that having a label means that there is something about you that is outstanding. Some say special. Regardless.
And changing the name of what the state has labeled you every few years so you don't get too comfortable with the term is an effort in futility. Because if you are super duper small and used to be a midget, and then you were a dwarf, and now you a little person, you are still really short. And really, changing the name of that doesn't make you taller. Or give you the right to stare down the offender who used LAST years term, like "midget"- as if they just threatened to jab you with a weapon and toss you into an alley. It's not like that.
So if you come to my table, I mean if you DID come to my table in the past, I will speak( I mean spoke) openly and honestly. No sugar coating. I call it like I see it. Sorry if it hurts. I don't mean to hurt you. Really. But I am over the lolly-gagging around what your child is and is not.
And for the record. IF your child is thinking about becoming a professional football player, I suggest he go ahead and go out for the team and get suited up or call a family roundtable about "other" career options. Because at five two and 90 pounds, I was thinking more like dressage jocky. Just saying.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
She told me to join Facebook. Becuase it's fun. And addicting. Which I suppose it just might be. IF you are given all of the early warning labels. Sound warning horn here. Enter strobes.
I didn't know it would be like contacting everyone I went to high school with, then college with, then worked a myriad of jobs with, and then went to church with in one foul swoop. Like a high school reunion on crack.
And while I can see that once the early onslaught of "friend contacts" calms down it could be fun. But I couldn't sleep last night. I tossed and turned and awoke violently several times from dreams that included people I haven't talked to in years. For a reason. Except for one lovely dream which didn't have certain people per say, but encompassed the overall... feeling..if you will. That was the one that entailed me pulling handful after handful of dirty hair out of my clogged bathtub drain.
Now don't get me wrong. The people who have contacted me thus far, have made me smile. Remembering all of the fun times we shared or their quirky personality or even a confidance. Some people you love dearly but time and distance and circumstance causes a seperation.
But others, well others, you simply manage to extract from your every day communication because you would just rather not be burdened.
And quite frankly some of those relationships ended because I straight up said so for valid reasons and I needed to "weed my garden" of just that... the weeds. Life is too short to spend it with people who don't appreciate us fully, or even partially, no?
Maybe I should just write under my information "section" that if you have had the same problem for ten-plus years and have done nothing about it OR you have never heard yourself say you are sorry, please don't contact me to be your friend. Because seeing your face everyday, even in a thumbnail, makes me nauseous.
Chances are these people feel the same way about me and will not even attempt to contact me... but I DO have my pointer finger at the ready- to deny! the friend contact if necassary with one little push of the key.
Friday, October 24, 2008
For example, one of my students has Pica. Which means he will eat just about anything. Like tacks, or staples or his plastic binder. Loan him a pen? Forget about it. Give him paper? It's gone. He gives a whole new meaning to the saying "I ate my homework". Oh wait... that's dog.
But I love this kid, and we joke about his eating of "stuff" and we laugh together, because what else are you suppsed to do? And when we played a trick on the other students and had him jump up and down and had the teaching aide shake a box of paper clips so it seemed like all the metal was jangling in his tummy, it went down in history as one of our favorite moments in all of time. Because he can't control the Pica and so he must learn to laugh about it. Or else he will become a murderer just because he can't quit sucking on his Algebra book.
At any rate, one thing about most high school boys that is universal is the onset of puberty. And all of the "things" that "grow" from it.
And in my classroom I have had my fair share of what some guys refer to as the NRB ( No Reason Boner ) and believe me when I say I do my best to turn a blind eye.
But at the moment I have a student that tends to be... "going through puberty without control" and it's making me feel a little on the hinky side. Becuase I can tell a kid he needs to shower when he really stinks. I can tell a girl that her shirt reveals too much boob fat and needs to cover herself. I can even tell the pica eater to "stay away from my paper clips"... but I dont' dare confront the boy with the... risen appendage... with anything.
So this boy keeps "getting himself into this situation" and then standing in the middle of the room by the half-wall room divider. Hiding "certain parts" of his body. Which is inappropriate- as in CLASS IS STARTING. And I am GIVING A LESSON. But I just can't say it. Because I don't really know what it's like. And frankly, I don't want to know anything more about it.
I asked my husband about it and he informed that this is sorta normal at certain ages. And the wearing of baggy pants might help. And that I should leave him alone.
But when your classroom is all about structure and then the Boner Boy is over against the half-wall rubbing it out, what is the female teacher to do... when already the boy is ostracized for a myriad of other eccentricities. Because honestly, at this point in the game, if you made it into my classroom? You are most likely already on the "outside", if you will. So the "group" confrontation would be beyond humiliation. And there sure as hell ain't going to be no "private confrontation" between me and a boy and his... grody thingy.
So I am hoping this phase passes by sooner rather than later.
That being said, I have had a busy week. At least in my world "busy", which means my computer sucked and I committed to going to the high school play and I had dinner with friends ( which is a whole OTHER blog-worthy story) and some other super duper boring crap.
But some people around here have made a decision.
And somewhere between the corn-maze, wherein my husband decided at the petting zoo we should seriously consider raising Pygmy Goats, and the Miscarriage, where I seriously considered raising a child.. ( I can joke about this people... I am the who missed carrying my child!) we opted for a "tweener".
Which is the phase between goat and human. Dog. Miniature Pinscher Dog. A little tiny yapper that needs adorable sweaters and can hunt prey. The breed sounds like a perfect combo between my husband and myself. Oh yeah, and our condo association. Because that is starting to qualify as the third party in our family making decisions.
Which is weird, because I can have a baby... which could grow to be 150 plus pounds, but I can't have a dog that grows past what, 22 pounds?
At any rate- for anyone that thinks they have a "better dog idea", please don't. We have done our research. We have taken at least five "which dog suits you best" quizzes and this adorable little bee-yatch is what is going to happen. And we are most likely going to be getting just that. A bitch. Man, nothing like using an appropriate swear. Because when you talk to dog breeders they throw the "B-word" around like a gyno saying the Va-j-j word. And I know I should grow up, but seriously? I always stifle a giggle like a girl hearing her papa fart in church.
Anyway- it's Miniature Pinscher around here folks. Come June, I will actually be busy because me and the "Pin" are going shopping.
PS- after the "husband" reviewed my blog- he clarified the dog would be a "dude-dog honey, and you are NOT taking him shopping"...
I say we will see.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
"Why, yes!! " I exclaimed with reckless abandon. "Umm, Billy, do you have a dollar? Will you give her a dollar?"
"Ahoy my friend, take a right to get to the end".
Saturday, October 18, 2008
It all started last night with the "big night out"... DAMN those mini crab cakes! They got my sugar and fat free palate all stirred up with emotion. And then today when I woke up and weighed myself I saw that the scale was reading one of the lowest numbers I have, I mean HAD, seen in a long time.
And excitedly, to stay on course, I followed one of the Weight Watcher commandments and ate a sandwich before going to the bridal shower at Maggiano's today- so I would feel satiated and not overeat. Ha ha... satiated my ass! Apparently this person has never been to a bridal shower at Maggiano's.
The bread came. I skipped the butter. Score one for lean me!
The chopped salad came, along with the spinach one, and fried calamari and the bruschetta. I loaded on the salad and bruschetta- and blew off the fried stuff. Scores are tied.
THEN came the lasagna, the cream sauce pasta, some... what was the healthy thing I blew off again? Oh yeah- somewhere among the pasta there lingered some fish. But I feasted heavily on the pasta-particularly the lasagna. Hmmm, let's check the score now... oh yeah...? How about I am down. WAY down.
So by the time the cheesecake came and landed squarely in front of my plate, I knew it was a complete blow out. Bite after delicious bite it went down. Gulp. I couldn't even see straight it was so good. I was like a crack addict, knocking the other well-dressed ladies aside and spilling waters to get dibs on some seconds.
As I lumbered to my car I thought may pants my explode right off of me. Leaving decayed shreds of black cotton schrapnel on windshields everywhere. This walk, while precarious, and thankfully incident free, would be what is henceforth refererred to as my exercise for the day.
Then there were the goody bags. And believe it or not, the smell emanating from the bag tantalized me so much that I actually opened it, because by now I am a complete sugar whore. And I managed to devour an entire coconut brownie on the car ride home.... even though my poor tummy was screaming for my sweat pants, a break, and a couch.
And in the truest of Lori fashion, I decided to say screw it... and ordered up some deep dish sausage pizza for dinner. Oh - and a side salad. To keep it lean and healthy. If that isn't the joke of the frickin day. I mean what kind of facade is that? A SIDE salad?
Did I hear someone mutter the words "addictive personality"? Just be thankful that your fingers were nowhere NEAR my mouth today.
*To spare myself any further humiliation, there will not be any pictures in this post.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
And after spending the weekend in the Wisconsin Northwoods, I am feeling pretty tough. (Well, sort of tough. Not exactly tough enough to sport my Bear's t-shirt deep in Packer land. I took it off after I brushed my teeth but before I walked outside.) And those baseball guys are just lame to me now.
But anyway- I like what football season means. Chili. Sunday papers. Cozy sweatshirts and oddly enough.. baseball hats with football logos. Jeans and relaxing Sunday afternoons.
Here in the midwest, I have always lived under the assumption that school was "off" for the summer so the kids could help on the farm. And you could plant AND harvest the crops in the interim of the school break. Meaning when school started back up, it was cool out. Or at least not HOT.
But not now!
There are still 70 plus degree days. I am scouring my closet for short sleeved Fall shades of summer style shirts. I am staring out the window dreaming of the beach while finishing up the first quarter of school, and it's October! I am unable to wear any Bear's clothes because they are dark and long-sleeved and it's hot. There are no cozy Football Sundays because we have our sliding doors open and I hear the airplanes. There is no chili because I would still rather be eating ice cream.
So please, Mr. Baseball God. Make it end soon. Leave me and my Fall weather and my coolish football season alone.
Thanks very much.