Friday, December 28, 2007

Doing It Every Day???

As if NaPoBloMo wasn't bad enough (and I will tell you from experience that it was tough to post every day for 30 days)...it seems that there are people who have decided that they want to post every day for a year. They will get a pass on February 29th but are committed to posting the other 365 days in 2008.

Are these people nuts????

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

An Open Letter

Dear Cashier At The Grocery Store Today,

I understand that you are unhappy that you had to work on Christmas Day. Evidently getting triple your salary was not enough for you to 'fake' being in the holiday mood. Instead, you decided to spread your Christmas bah humbug to those of us foolish enough to walk through your check out line.

How about next year you do everyone a favor either call in sick, or sign up to be Scrooge in a local play.

A now grouchy customer

Monday, December 24, 2007

I Held It Together

Have you ever been so extraordinarily exhausted that you cannot think straight, or hold it together for even one more minute? That is how I've been feeling. I guess the stress of my mom having the stomach flu...followed by DH having the stomach flu...followed by Elle having the stomach flu...followed by me not being allowed to have the stomach flu because after all, I am the mom, was just too much for me.

Friday Elle and Sport started their two week vacation from school (yippee...no homework for two weeks...no packing lunches in the morning...did I mention no homework?) I guess with everything winding down, my resistance just gave up. In the morning, I offered to take Elle and Sport to see a movie. Sport then invited his friend, and his friends sister (who happens to go to school with Elle). So I was committed to going...but as the day progressed, I started to feel nauseous. However, I promised that I would take them to see a movie, so I wasn't about to let myself feel sick.

Managed to hold it together to sit throught an afternoon showing of "Nation.al Treas.ure". The kids sat 4 rows in front of me which allowed me to sit by myself, snuggled under my down jacket and fight off nausea throughout the movie. The good news is that we all enjoyed the movie...and I never got 'sick' in the theater.

I've slept for the last three days, and am still recovering. Boy oh boy did I need that sleep!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A 180 Degree Turn

Elle is taking a chorus class at her school, and last night was their performance. There were two things that Elle told me, while on the way to the concert that should have served as red flag warnings, and had I heeded the warnings, I would have turned the car around and driven her straight home. But I didn't, hence this post.

It all started on the long, arduous, 1/2 mile car trip to Elle's school. (We would have walked, but it was pouring...and those of us who ever watched The Wizard of Oz, knows what happens when you get wet...so we drove). Elle turns to me and says "Don't expect me to do any of the dance moves...they're dumb!" and "Don't sit in the first row. You can sit in the second row, but I don't want anyone I know in the first row."

Red Flag alert! Red Flag alert! Warning! Warning!

I had a moment of thinking "Uh, oh." Then chose to ignore it. After all, Elle has been so sweet lately, I thought for sure that we were done with the "Evil Elle". What a fool I was!

Of course she didn't want me in the first row. She did not want to see the look of horror, embarrassment and anger on my face as she chose to stand on the risers, with her hair covering 1/2 of her face, and not move at all...while all of the other students were moving in unison. One lone body on the top right of the riser just standing there while everyone else moved to the left and the right, then raised their hands and nodded their heads, and did a boat-load of choreographed moves. One lone student drawing attention to herself by not moving.

At first I was concerned that Elle was not feeling well. After all, she had thrown up Saturday night on the top floor landing. (thank you so much for missing the bathroom tile by ten feet). I was worried that maybe her stomach was bothering her and she was feeling too sick to move with the rest of the students...poor thing.

But then I watched her demeanor between songs. She smiled at one of the girls standing in her row and did not seem to be in distress at all. My concern turned to embarrassment...not for me, but for her. She looked absolutely stupid up there. Standing out like a sore thumb. Not moving other than to make sure that her hair was covering 1/2 of her face. I was embarrassed for her that her friends and acquaintences at school would see her up there and figure that she was some kind of 'freak'. My heart felt for her.

And then, my embarrassment for her turned to anger. As the concert continued, I realized that I was angry at Elle for disrespecting her chorus teacher, the other students in the chorus, and the audience. She wasn't sick. She wasn't scared. She was being defiant. She was purposely sabotaging the performance.

I don't know what that was all about. I asked her, after the concert, what her behavior was all about...her response was..."I don't know".

Which leaves me here, the morning after, wondering what, as her parent, I am supposed to do.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

What A Wonderful World

In the spirit of the season... (I love this song)




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Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Lunch Is Over

Survived DH's family coming over for lunch and a holiday celebration. Having gotten to a place of not caring, I was surprisingly relaxed.

O.K. not totally relaxed, because someone (that would be me) had to get the table and chairs set up. Get out the table cloth, dishes, platters, utensils...buy the food, make some food. Buy the presents and wrap the presents. Well you get the idea. Even though it was DH's family I ended up with all of the work.

Having had an exhausting two weeks, part of me was too tired to care. I did what needed to be done, but I certainly didn't look for any judgemental looks going between his family members. They could have all been shuddering at how 'lived-in' my house is, and I was just too damn tired to notice.

This was a first for me. I tend to want everything to be perfect, and I work myself into a tizzy. Bitchy, grouchy, grumpy (and whatever other seven little guys names you can come up with) usually describe my mood pre-company. Tired, listless, not stressing or caring, are adjectives that described me yesterday.

Turned out, I had a good time. Turned out, I believe they all had a good time too. Turned out even if they didn't have a good time, I chose not to care enough to pick up on their unspoken displeasure or judgements.

I'm guessing that next year, they will choose to have the lunch at one of their houses. Works for me:~)

Friday, December 14, 2007

I'm Learning

Tomorrow DH's family is coming over for lunch. A few weeks ago I was totally and completely stressed about their impending visit.

Today I am so beyond tired that I really don't give a damn. If they don't like my run down kitchen, clutter, and flooring that has electrical tape on it to keep it down (we're looking for flooring ideas), then they don't have to come over again:~)

How's that for progress!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Happy Birthday DH...and Amber (the dog)

Today is my DH's birthday. It is also our dog, Ambers, birthday too!

Lucky Amber gets to hang around the house. Lay (or is that lie) in the sun. Run around outside and bark at squirrels and other dogs. Go in the car. Go for a walk in the park. I think that Amber will have a wonderful day.

DH, on the other hand, had to go to work today. What's with that? I think that no matter what you do, you should be given your birthday off...with pay. Unfortunately his employer has other ideas.

I need to go pick up a special 'treat' for Amber...and Elle and I will go and get DH his gifts this afternoon (I would have gotten them this weekend, but 'stuff' with my mom, got in the way).

To my DH, and my doggie...Happy, Happy December 12th birthday to you both:~)

Monday, December 10, 2007

He's The Man

After a week of depressing posts, I decided to lighten it up a bit. With out further ado, I give to you...'He's the Man"






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Sunday, December 9, 2007

The Week That's Been

Warning...this post is one big whinefest. Proceed at your own caution!

This has not been a very good week. Last Saturday, my cousin Frank died. Then Friday, after I picked the kids up from school, I came home and my mother was on the sofa sleeping. After a while, when she still hadn't woken up, I woke her up to say 'hi' and she was quite lethargic, and told me that she had been throwing up. Which she had done...all over herself, the sofa, and the floor. Turns out she was 'open both ends' and didn't realize it.

Rather than go into the details, I will just say that I called Joan and we (mom, Joan , and I) spent 4 hours in the Emergency room (per a nurses suggestion). At some point, I bought adult diapers. (which didn't work by the way). The ER MD gave mom a prescription for anti nausea medication, but nothing for the diarrhea.

Yesterday was Sports championship soccer game (which his team lost) and I didn't want to miss the game so Joan came over to be with mom while I was gone. Joan decided to call a pharmacist, give the pharmacist a list of mom's medications, and see if there was something that we could give mom to stop her from 'going'. The pharmacist made a recommendation of a product which I picked up on the way home. This product, so far, has seemed to do the trick. I am hoping that mom doesn't end up with the opposite problem.

One of the things I noticed, and I know that Deb from A Tired Mummy totally understands, is that when someone has diminished cognitive capacity, as in the case of my mother, and they try to be helpful, they end up just making a bigger mess.

I am exhausted beyond belief. Today Sport has basketball picture day and a game. While DH takes Sport to his basketball stuff, I will hang with mom and keep an eye on her. I am praying that it was just a 24 hour bug and that she will be back to her old self today. Oh and did I mention, I have company coming over tonight? Thank goodness it's my family and not DH's family...but still, I need to move a table, set both tables...well you know the drill. sigh

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Happy Birthday...Sport!

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Today is Ten's eleventh birthday. I guess that means I can't really call him Ten anymore. Let's see, his soccer team has a championship game today. He has a basketball game tomorrow, and he just finished "Fall ball" baseball. I guess that means that a good name for him would be "Sport". I ran the name by Ten and Elle and they both liked it...so Sport it is!

I cannot believe that it was eleven years ago today that he was born. I loved him from the moment that he was conceived. I knew that he would definitely be my last child, and I treasured each and every moment of his babyhood, toddlerhood, and childhood. O.K., maybe not every moment...I sure didn't treasure the sleepless nights, but overall as Sport passed each milestone, I remember thinking "This is the last time I will have a baby/toddler/child doing xy or z".

Sport is an amazing young man. He has personality... lots and lots of personality. He loves to talk...and talk and talk and talk. He's loving and cuddly, and he possesses good values (honesty being the first one that comes to mind). He's an all around great kid.

So Sport, on your eleventh birthday I want you to know that I love you, I love your smiles, and I love your sense of humor. I am so grateful to be your mom, and I look forward to watching you grow into the man that you will become.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Moving through Grief

I think that it is possible to not really know somebody until after they die. The task of breaking down that which constituted someones life often reveals things that they compartmentalized, or kept secret while they were living. Without going into details (I'll leave those to Joan and Ina) there are bits of information, that we have learned about Frank, that have helped remind us that he was not a saint.

His death, and it's aftermath have made me think about and focus on just how open our lives become, once we have died. It makes me wonder what 'secrets' I have that my loved ones would uncover if I died (not that I am planning on dying anytime soon). I don't think I have any earth-shattering secrets, I'm the kind of person who tends to be open and honest about myself. (I'm just not confrontational). So I don't think that anyone would be shocked with anything they would learn.

But, if I were to die suddenly, I think after the initial shock, everyone who was left behind would curse me with every breath that they take. I think that they would feel intense anger they would have to sift through all of my excessive papers and clutter. They would moan and groan about how disorganized I really was, and how angry they felt because they would be left with the daunting task of throwing out my cr*p. Sure, they would remember the good things about me, but they would spend quite a bit of time and energy holding on to the anger.

The good news is that if everyone was angry at me and all my clutter, it might help them get over their sadness more quickly. It might help them transition away from the profound sadness and grief to a place of acceptance.

I think that is what has happened with Frank. There are so many details and so much 'stuff' and drama to deal with, that the raw pain and sadness are being pushed aside. I'm hoping the grief doesn't push back.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Grief

It amazes me the impact that grief can have on a person. There are many things that can cause grief, but ultimately it comes from the profound feeling of loss. I am no stranger to grief having lived through it's stages many times. Yet intellectualizing grief doesn't stop the experiencing of it.

Yesterday, my cousin Frank died. Suddenly and unexpectedly. There was no time to prepare for this news, no time to slowly ease my way into wrapping my mind around it, BAM...it was a done deal, and suddenly I had to deal with it...or not.

When my sister told me that Frank had died, I felt absolutely nothing. There was Joan crying and sobbing on the phone and there was me, a cold hearted b*tch feeling absolutely nothing. I know what I was feeling was shock and disbelief. I kept waiting for Joan to tell me it was all a mistake. My mind, my heart, my soul were not ready to absorb the information that my cousin Frank, the man who told such engaging stories, and who made everyone laugh, was gone.

I managed to tell DH that Frank had died, and I was as cool as a cucumber as I told him. It wasn't until I stepped into the shower that I felt the first wave of sadness wash over me, and finally the tears flowed freely.

When someone dies, there are a lot of details to take care of. One of those details was to tell my mother that her beloved nephew was dead. Both Joan and Ina wanted to be with me when I told my mother. Fortunately my mom doesn't come out for breakfast until about 10am, which gave both Joan and Ina plenty of time to get to my house. My moms reaction, was to be expected...shock, disbelief, then tears...lots and lots of tears.

The real bummer for my mother was that as different people came over throughout the day, and they spoke of Franks death, the news of his death was new for her. It didn't matter that I had written all of the details on a piece of paper for her...she would forget, then learn all over again that he had died...and each time she learned of his death was like the first time. Finally last night Franks death moved from no memory to a temporary memory. We'll see what this morning brings for her.

I'm not really sure what, if anything I should do about reminding my mother about Frank's death until the funeral. We really don't know when that will be, since he wants to be cremated and then the ashes will need to be flown out to California from Georgia. Somehow I want to help prepare my mother for the service, so that she can move through the stages of grief. Realistically, once the funeral is over she will not give Frank another thought, unless someone brings him up. Subconsciously she may miss his phone calls but his absence will not be a part of her reality. However, her world will become just a little bit smaller without his phone calls, and the joy that they brought to her.

This saddens me as we start to muddle our way through the five stages of grief.

Rest In Peace

Early this morning, I received a call from my sister informing me that our first cousin, Frank had just died. Joan had received a call from our cousin Ina . Frank was Ina's brother. Frank was only 61 years old. Way too young to die.

To say that we were all surprised, would be an understatement. Ina spoke with the coroner and was told that Frank died of a massive heart attack. He had been living in Georgia for the past few years. Joan, Ina and Frank's, son Brian, are leaving tomorrow morning to fly to Georgia so that they can: make arrangements for his body to be shipped back to California, take care of cleaning out his apartment, his office, and basically to take care of anything else that can be taken care of while they are there.

Frank was my mother's favorite. He called my mother about once a week, just to see how she was doing, and to make her laugh. And boy oh boy did he make her laugh. When Frank was on the phone with my mom, she would giggle and guffaw at the bawdry way that he would speak to her. And while my mother would soon forget that he had called, while she was on the phone with him she was animated and full of joy.

Although my mother won't remember that he has died, and while she won't consciously think to herself that he hasn't called in a while, the laughter and love that he sent through the phone lines will be missed.


I love you Frank...Rest In Peace.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Mission Accomplished

There have been times in my life when I have started something, become discouraged, distracted, or I realized it just wasn't for me.. and I quit. There have been other times in my life where I have been willing, determined, and able to see something through to the end...and I have.

I wasn't sure what would happen with NaBloPoMo. I knew when I signed up to participate and posted it on my blog, that if I decided to quit people would know about it (not necessarily care one way or the other, but they would know that I was a quitter). I 'encouraged' my sister, Joan to sign up too, figuring (correctly as it turned out) that if I started to become overwhelmed with the committment, or discouraged with my own lack of creativity, I would be able to turn to her for support and ideas.

It turned out that there were days when my mind just drew a blank. On those days I would call my sister, and she was there for me, offering encouragement, and sometimes an idea or two, to get me through the block in my brain.

I don't know how much I've helped Joan, but I want Joan to know that I really appreciate having her for a sister. So thanks Joan...together we survived NaBloPoMo...or is that Nipomoblomo?