Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday Follies and Gossip

Today was field day at the kids' school, and I went in to help out in Josie's class. They really didn't need help, as it turned out, so I just kind of tagged along and hung out with them until lunchtime. It was fun to watch the kids, although the boys have reached that uber-competitive stage where they don't want to let the girls do anything, which caused some tears on the girls' side a few times. The got to do a lot of different things, like kickball, baseball, sponge-tag (where they threw wet sponges at each other, a wonderful feeling on a 90-degree day). It was also a good time to talk to the morning teacher, who I rarely see.

I found out that Ms. Miller, the old teacher for the class, will not be rehired next year, and is planning on moving out of state. Good luck to her on finding another job after being fired, especially since I'm pretty sure she was relocated on purpose from her other school across town to this one. It turns out that the morning teacher, Ms. G, will be taking that position full-time next year, and she told me that when I get my paperwork for being a substitute to give her my phone number, and she'll call me whenever she's planning on being out. That made me feel really good, and I still smile whenever I think about it. In my last profession, contract administrator for a government contractor, there was almost *no* encouragement. It was an all-women department, headed by an over-ambitious woman who was the youngest department manager in the company, and it was pretty much all backstabbing, all the time. Whenever you did something well, you could always expect to have someone cut you down soon after, or more often, someone in a slightly higher position to take credit for it, and I spent a lot of time feeling angry and depressed. The potential of having a job in a place where maybe that doesn't happen, at least not all the time, is almost overwhelmingly joyous to me. Having three people that actually work there tell me that they think I'll do great, and one even offer to make sure I get a foot in the door, is more encouragement than I got in my entire professional life until now. That makes me think, maybe it wasn't just *me* all those years - maybe it really *was* the competitive environment that totally sucked. We were always pitted against each other, always having to justify our jobs, all the departments were always crapping on one another... ugh. There would be no amount of money in the WORLD that would make me go back to that.

OK, OK, I know... time get off the computer. It never fails - the minute I sit down, there's always a kid trotting over to stare at me.

Some of my kids are hairier than others.

Disconnecting my intenet connection with your head is a little much, don't you think??


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Scary Things

Scary Thing #1

Patrick had his graduation ceremony from kindergarten today.

It was adorable. The weather held off, and Patrick's feet held up. The entire kindergarten walked to a neighborhood park, sang a few songs, and had a little ceremony, followed by a picnic lunch, playing, and cake. I stayed until just before it was time for cake, and then had to leave in order to make it to Josie's class in time for my last reading / help session there.

I spent most of the time in Josie's class, as I have the last few days I've gone in, working with Trey on reading and worksheets. He's improved a lot this year, but still isn't anywhere near grade level. I found out recently that he's ADD (which I had suspected all along), but doesn't get his medicine on a reliable basis, which is why I would sometimes see him focused and ready to go and other times he would be almost literally flopping all over the place. Sigh. A lot of the other children I've been reading with have made huge jumps, though, and I'm so proud and excited for them. I definitely can't take a lot of credit, but I think I can take a little, and just watching them progress was so fun.

Which leads me to Scary Thing #2...

I completed my substitute teacher application online today. Patrick and Josie's teachers have both agreed to give me a reference, and I believe the woman in charge of the MOPS program will do the third one I need. After that, I'll have to get a TB test, and then my package will be done and they'll consider me. I'm pretty sure I'll get accepted, since I think they take almost anyone with a pulse that can prove they don't actually just EAT the children, but I'm not worried that I *won't* be accepted.

I'm scared that I will.

I haven't worked outside the house, other than a year-long stint as a proposal consultant, which I did from home, since before Patrick was born. By the time school starts, that will be SEVEN YEARS, people. That means I have been OUT of the workforce as long as I was IN it. That is enough time to build up a very robust fear of a) working and b) having to associate with other people for eight hour straight.

What if I do a terrible job? I've seen what can happen in a classroom when the person in charge isn't up to the task. Not only would I be doing a poor job, but I would be humiliated in front of my kids' school. How awful.

On the other hand, I think I might like it, and I've been told by both kids' teachers that I'll do a great job at it. I never feel bored when I'm there, and I'm hopeful that it will be fun, or at least interesting, and not terribly intimidating. I mean, if I hate it, I can stop. We're staying afloat financially at the moment, but it's usually pretty tight. If I start working again, we might actually be able to make some progress on paying off our credit cards, once and for all. Or, at least, not be stressed out so much when big things come along. At least this will give me a flexible schedule, and I'll be off when the kids are, automatically.

*deep breath*

I'm excited, and scared. Having the kids get bigger, and facing what to do with yourself next, is scary, but maybe I'll start to remember who I am, this person who signs her name with something other than Mommy. I'm nervous to even really admit that I'm excited, in case it all goes to hell in a Prada handbag.

(But I am.)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Patrick is home with hand, foot and mouth. He actually must have had it last week, when he was seeming much more teary than normal, but never had a fever or anything. I do remember him saying at one point that his thumb hurt, but didn't think anything of it. Well, over the weekend, he started to complain that the soles of his feet were hurting him. I couldn't figure out what on earth he was talking about, until I noticed a few small patches of redness on his heels. They weren't spots yet, per se, but that's what gave me the idea to look at his hands, which were peeling slightly on the palms. Sigh. Yesterday the spots were more visable, and today they're even more so. The poor kid, he's OK when he's full of Tylenol, but when he's not, he literally crawls around on the floor rather than walk on his poor feet! I was torn about sending him to school today, because he's fine otherwise, but he practically threw a fit this morning about getting out of bed, and I knew the Tylenol wouldn't kick in before it was time to leave, and since it's raining they're not going to be able to do splash day at school anyway (which was already postponed from yesterday), so I decided to let him stay home again, with the promise that he wouldn't give me a problem about going tomorrow.

BUT, tomorrow is kindergarten promotion celebration day, and the kids are supposed to walk to a local park for lunch, play, and a ceremony. Parents are supposed to meet them there at the park with their lunches, but there's no way he's going to be able to walk that far on those feet. I mean, the Tylenol is good, but it would probably make it a lot worse later. I guess what I'll probably do is just keep him him home with me until it's time to go to the park, and drive us both over there, and then bring him home with me when it's over? I don't know what the school would say about that. Maybe I'll have to bring him to school in the morning, and then pick him up and drive him to the park, and then drive him back to the school. I guess I'd better contact his teacher and find out. Argh.

Josie has some spots on her midsection, too, although her feet and hands appear to be fine so far. She's gone to school, since she feels OK, and also because I'm pretty sure her teacher is the one who started this whole thing, so the other kids in her class have already been exposed, anyway. The afternoon teacher's twins had HFM a short time ago, and I'll bet anything she carried it into the school and that's where Josie got it, and then brought it home to Patrick. She's had it a few times before, and each time with fewer spots, so I'm hoping that this will be all she gets of it. I have a personal theory that HFM is the actual culprit a lot of the time when adults have a cold, because the seceral times that I've gotten it from the kids it's gotten lighter and lighter until I have very few spots, but still felt pretty crappy. I'm hoping that I won't get it this time, since if I do, I'll be feeling crappy right at the time I'm supposed to take Josie and her friend to Hershey next week.

The other 'invalid' of the day is Delilah, who just got home from her Appointment where, as AndreAnna put it yesterday when she was talking about her puppy, Phoebe, they reworked some of her Lady Bits. I put it in quotes, because she feels WAY TOO GOOD. Whatever that pain med is, it removes almost all her pain, so she feels just fine. This is a HUGE problem, because she's not supposed to jump on furniture, play with Baci, or run around. Needless to say, the second I saw her in the waiting room, she started jumping all around, and the first thing she did when she got home was jump on the couch and try to play wi th Baci, who is delighted that his puppy is home. ARGH. You know, if I'm supposed to keep her quiet because she's sick, it would be helpful if she actually FELT bad!! So, I think I'm not going to give her quite as much of the pain med as they prescribed, because I think that it's important for her to feel a *little* off. Otherwise, I'm going to have to tie them both to me, and we'll all be tied to the house.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Grocery Roundup, May 26th

It's been awhile since I did one of these! Actually, it's been awhile since I've been on a big shopping trip, too - about three weeks. The last time I went, I decided to visit the grocery store I used to go to, the one that has all the organic sections and lovely millions of choices. Yeah. It took me over two hours and I spent almost double what I usually do. Not good. So, variety may be the spice of life, but apparently I like the spices a little too much. Back to my regular store it was.

Also, after a major printer breakdown (don't ever buy an Epson printer, people - it wasn't even a year old and refused to recognize new printer cartridges, a problem that people all over the internet are now complaining about) and a new purchase, I can finally print online coupons again! Hooray! There's a pretty good treasure trove of them out there, too, this month, not all cleaning supplies and razors like the circulars have had. Also, their coupons don't vanish just because it's a holiday weekend. I have never understood what's up with that, but I know it's always been that way, because I can remember my grandmother complaining about it when I was a kid. Argh.

This trip's totals:

Items purchased: 108
Coupons Used: 22
Coupon Savings: $20.15
Register Coupons: $2.65
Store Card Savings: $31.78

Total Spent: $267.86
Total Saved: $54.58
Percent Saved: 17%

Gas Points Earned: $.50 off per gallon

While I was at the register, I saw a new Consumer Reports magazine (or at least, it's new to me) called ShopSmart, and it's cover article is 'Monster Coupon Deals - How to Save Big On Food, Housewares, Clothing and More'. It has several suggestions, some more realistic than others, but also gives websites for online circular savings, email alert savings, and big coupon sites. I haven't read the whole magazine yet, but it looks like it might have some other good articles in it, too.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Weekend So Far, in Photos!

Yesterday morning, our side yard, where my failed garden resided last year, was a tangled jungle. After mowing, regrading, ground fabric-covering, mulching, picnic table relocation and gazebo building, nine hours later, it looked like this:

Ta-Da! Party tent!

Plus, gratuitous photos, since I've been working so hard on the house lately....

Plus, just as a reminder, when working on the garden, WATCH WHERE YOU STICK YOUR HANDS!!!
That's right, there are wasps building a nest in my favorite plant pot!!!! AAGGHHH!!! I barely escaped with my life, I tell you. I was thisclose to putting my hand in there with a new plant. Run AWAY!!!! Back into the loverly 12x12 round gazebo!!!! Where it's safe!!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Endings, Part 1

I just finished my last volunteer session in Patrick's kindergarten class.

School ends two weeks from today, and they're winding down. This morning, I was giving math assessment tests to the kids, one by one. I was depressed by how many kids really struggled with things, and also by how poorly put together the state test was. It wasn't in kindergarten language, and it was REALLY long - eighteen questions!!! What K student can possibly sit still for eighteen questions, unless they breeze through?! Children ended up feeling done with the whole experience after about five minutes, which was fine for the few kids who had no problems, but for the children who had to think about each question, they were mentally done before they were even two-thirds of the way through, and by the last few questions were just randomly pointing at answers. It's frustrating that the kids have to do all this crap when the people formulating the tests obviously don't spend time with young children. It would have been a lot better to have ten questions over two segments of tests on two days, rather than a big glob all at once.

I feel melancholy. Not only will I no longer be doing something I have enjoyed, but the kids are all so much bigger! Their faces have all changed, and their way of relating to each other has even changed. Patrick is doing so much better maturity-wise, and even got to participate in the quarterly good behavior award party the school has for kids who don't have to flip their color card/move their behavior indicator clip more than twice in the quarter. Also, he's progressed to a Level O instruction in reading, which is a fourth grade level. He breezed through the math test today, and was the only one to get all the answers right. I'm so proud of him!

But.... but.... oh, he's getting so big. With every accomplishment, along with the pride comes a little sadness, too. My baby is getting big. The end of kindergarten is the end of little kid.

He's ready.

I'm not so sure I am.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Thanks, and No Thanks

An embarassingly long time ago, CK gave me this super-cool, much loved (and probably just as much undeserved) award!!!

The recipient of this award is recognized for the following:

1) The Blogger manifests exemplary attitude, respecting the nuances that pervades amongst different cultures and beliefs.

2) The Blog contents inspire; strives to encourage, and offers solutions.

3) There is a clear purpose at the Blog; one that fosters a better understanding on Social, Political, Economic, the Arts, Culture, Sciences, and Beliefs.

4) The Blog is refreshing and creative.

5) The Blogger promotes friendship and positive thinking.

Along with (this rather intimidatingly long list of) rules:

The Blogger who receives this award will need to perform the following steps:

1) Create a Post with a mention and link to the person who presented the Noblesse Oblige Award.

2) The Award Conditions must be displayed at the Post.

3) Write a short article about what the Blog has thus far achieved – preferably citing one or more older posts to support.

4) The Blogger must present the Noblesse Oblige Award in concurrence with the Award conditions.

5) Blogger must display the Award at any location at the Blog.

noblesse oblige means--the moral obligation of those of high birth, powerful social position, etc., to act with honor, kindliness, generosity, etc.

WOW! This isn't one of those 'you're cool' awards, I actually have to try and PROVE IT to the rest of you!!! I think I've achieved sublime perfection in journalism, with ethereal wit and humor, and have brought together the masses, regardless of difference in backgrounds, in one small, yet apparently noblesse, blog. TA DA!

(Whew, can you imagine if I was really like that?!!? Holy crap, I'd be stoned for sure, and not in a good way!)

Seriously, I just try and write what I feel and think about my daily life, and I'm thrilled that some wonderful people have hopped by for the ride. :) Ohm, ohm, ohm.

I'm passing this along to AndreAnna, my-old-friend-who-probably-already-has-it Swistle, Clueless But Hopeful Mama, Stimey, Erin at MO Mommy, and Not Your Aunt Bea!



Now for the No, Thanks portion of our programming.

My in-laws have been trying to get us to go on vacation with the entire family to a lake in NH for years now. They've gone twice before since we've gotten married, and each time something has happened, like the first time our car died and we had to buy a new one on the spot. The second time, Patrick was a little baby. This time, DH's company has cut everyone's PTO by over a week, AND DH has used up a whole week already on surgery, plus there will be another surgery this fall, so that means we'll be lucky to see him at Christmas, never mind for a whole week in NH. Add this to my overwhelming desire NOT to spend an entire week in a house with so many people and babies, and the close proximity to where my mother is, which would make it pretty mandatory that I visit her, and my answer is HELL NO. Plus, I would have to live with Kathy and Shawn for the week, and that would just stress me the hell out, especially when I'd have to wear a bathing suit, and he has point-blank called me fat before.

(Aside: they ignored Josie's birthday. AGAIN. They actually called my other sil, Jen, to tell her that they weren't coming, since the family shindig was at her house, but DIDN'T CALL JOSIE. This time, Josie noticed, and asked why they never call her. NICE. You would think after my POINTING OUT last week that they never show up for stuff, and aren't involved, and them ADMITTING IT, they would make more of an effort, but NO!!!!!!! *fume* They told her that it was because they were having an issue with a tenant, and because it's too much trouble to deal with the babies when they get off schedule. It's called a PHONE, people.)

When the ILs were up for Mother's Day briefly, they pulled DH and I aside and said that they'd like us to fly up for the first weekend of the trip, since 'flights are cheap now", and then they'd keep the kids with them for the rest of the week while we came back home. Um, let me think... four plane tickets plus renting a car plus boarding the dogs for four days plus letting my 10yo and 6yo boy fight all the way back down the eastern seaboard while my 70yo fil is driving.... hmmmm..... UM, NO. NO, NO, NO. I admit, the idea was a little attractive, because initially when we were trying to figure out how it could work, we thought that maybe DH would go alone with the kids, and I would stay here for the weekend, eliminating the cost of the fourth ticket and the dog boarding, and that would be AWESOME, but, I just can't imagine it. Josie on her own would be one thing. Her going would be fine, really, but there's no way I'd let Patrick do something like that. You have to watch him every second lately, and at a house on a lake, I wouldn't put it past him to decide to take a midnight swim. Plus, he'd be living with Shawn, and with his temper, I can see how Patrick would push his buttons immediately and repeatedly. I would worry about it the whole time. I could let Josie go, I suppose, but there's no one there for her to play with, since she's the only cousin her age, and the only other girl is 2, so I think after a couple of days the charm would wear off. It was pretty much a no-brainer for us to refuse, really.

DH told his mom yesterday at the gathering for Josie's b-day, and she actually said, 'well, maybe someday you'll be able to let them go for awhile.' !!!!! He replied that she could have them anytime she wanted at her house, and she didn't see what the difference was! Um, only about A THOUSAND MILES!!! If one of them broke another arm (God forbid), I would be there before they were even seen in the ER, versus the entire day's worth of travel it would take me to get to their house on the lake. Sheesh, woman! His family is loony, I swear.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Ten Years Ago

Ten years ago today, I became Mommy.

My Swee-T Pea,

You are SO not washing my hair!

You are the light of my life. Your eyes, and pink cheeks, and laugh captivated me from day 1.

At 25, I had no idea what I was getting into. We weren't even married a year when you were born, just before our first anniversary. Your temper was something to see!!! But so was your joy.

I love your laugh, your beautiful dimples that you got from your daddy, and your quick smile.

Flower Pea

Silly or serious, you are the most lovely little girl in the world to me.

America's Next Top Model-in-Training

Hey, a bunny's gotta eat.

More than that, though, I love your beauty on the inside. You honestly care about others, and are always willing to help, to step in and do what needs to be done to make something right. You are fair, and don't base your thoughts or opinions on what others say, traits which I am both proud and a little in awe of in a person so young.

You are both artistically talented and intellectually gifted. You fill my heart and our home with music.

Knock 'em dead, baby!

I am so impressed by all you have achieved, and so very excited to see what you will do next. I love that we are able to relate on an increasingly personal level, as snarky people as well as parent-child, and I look forward to when you are grown, and to having someone as wonderful as you for my best friend.

Happy birthday, my sweet, and many, many more.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Catch-Ups, and I Win!

The field trip to Annapolis went very well. There were a lot of adults, so each person only had two children under their supervision. Thankfully, Josie's friends are all very well-behaved, and the girl that came with us was particularly so, so it was an easy day in that regard. I really think, though, that 'educational' field trips like these are largely wasted on kids this age. I seriously doubt that any of them will be able to remember a thing they heard on the tour of the Naval Academy, or the State House, other than that there were people from the Academy that were very successful in sports, and John Paul Jones was buried floating in alcohol inside his casket. I know that none of them learned a thing on the boat ride, since you couldn't hear the announcer over the squealing of the *THREE* seperate school's fourth grades that were booked for that particular time on board. I was proud that our kids behaved themselves from our school, because the other schools' kids were constantly running up and down the little stairs and flying all over the place. I think trips like the zoo, and outdoor things where they have a more tactile experience would be more appropriate at this age. They just don't have the maturity to listen and learn about things like the state senate, which are pretty abstract to them at this age, in a large group field trip setting. Still, it was a nice day, and being with Josie made the whole thing worth it. She was so thrilled that I was there, and we curled up together on the ride home and dozed on the bus. It was really, really sweet.

I'm extra-glad I went, because tomorrow is her TENTH birthday! I like that I've been able to spend a lot of time with her this week, since it's really a big milestone birthday. Tomorrow her class is going on another, much shorter field trip, to the local art museum, which is also having an exhibit of local student art from all grades. After we get back, I'll hand out cake balls (yes, I jumped on the bandwagon, and actually will have made about 50 by the time I'm done, since there's a party for the kids' choir tonight and I'm bringing some there, too, as well as a few to the little family gathering we're having for her on Sunday - might as well do it all at once and get it done, right?) and juice, and then Josie's friend Hannah will come home with us for a sleepover.

The photos from Patrick's baseball team arrived in the mail today. My sweet baby, I wish I could have watched him play out the season! Look at how handsome he is, with his daddy!!!

His trip to the zoo went really well, too. Apparently, he almost gave the chaperones a coronary from trying to supress their hysteria when he announced that 'hey, this monitor lizard is giving a piggyback ride to that one!!!!!' All the adults about broke their necks racing over to gawk at the little 'sack race'.

DH is doing really well. He decided to take off the rest of the week, because driving was still uncomfortable, and he had a low-grade fever until today. It's been really convenient having him home, too, now that he's able to do some things, since I've been so busy with various field trips and cake balls and doctors and luncheons and stuff.

I found out today at the Thank You luncheon for the school volunteers that I'm one of the top five school volunteers for the year! I got a beautiful hanging petunia, and they're putting up a plaque with the five peoples' names on them, AND we're having our pictures in the paper. Had I known about that last part, I might have dressed up a little more! But, you know, I WON something, sort of, so... STILL! :)

And, just because...

Monday, May 11, 2009

DH's surgery went fine. He's doing really well, and has been getting around a lot better than he did after his last operation. Incidentally, the surgeon also found a cyst near his colon that he thinks is nothing, just a result of some diverticulitis he's had at some point. They're going to biopsy it anyway, just to be sure, but it didn't sound like anything to really think much about. Tomorrow will be his last day off from work, and he'll get plenty of rest with all of us being away on field trips and whatnot.

Mother's Day here was pretty quiet. DH told me a few days before that he had thought the gazebo I ordered a little while ago on clearance was meant to be my mother's day gift, so he hadn't gotten me anything, and he hadn't had time to take the kids out to get me anything, either. Patrick forgot that it was this Sunday at all until I mentioned it towards the end of the day. Josie remembered, though, and gave me a pinch pot she made and painted, as well as a little fabric dolly she sewed with floss. They're so sweet, and I love them. Other than that, I mowed the lawn and did some yard work.

By mid-day yesterday, my heart was acting funky, skipping a beat about once a minute and then thudding back into a rhythm. It's still doing it somewhat today, but not as bad, which is good, because tomorrow is the big field trip to Annapolis with Josie's class. I read online that the irregular heartbeat can be the result of electrolyte imbalance, which actually makes some sense, since I did a lot, lot, lot of yard work this weekend, and have been very busy in general. Plus, I have my period, and was really stressed out last week with the email issues and DH's surgery. So, I think it was like the perfect storm of problems to knock my body out of whack. I went out and got some Gatorade, and took a nap today, and didn't do much other than vacuum the house and play video games with Patrick after school. I have a regular doctor's appointment this Thursday, anyway, as a new patient, so if it's still going on by then, I'll at least have the doctor to talk to about it. I've had this happen before, although it's never gone on quite so long.

This is such a busy time of year, this downhill slide to summer. End-of-year luncheons, field trips, parties, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. The kids are done on June 3rd, and I'm really looking forward to just taking it easy and not having to haul everyone out of bed for the daily marathon to the school on time. I always feel like an ox pulling everyone else along behind me like logs on chains. Having nothing in particular to do will be weird, but welcome. At least for a little while!

Friday, May 8, 2009

I Probably Shouldn't Laugh At This, But...

OMG!!!! Have you all heard what Kindle calls our president (who, BTW, I voted for and love, so don't send me hate mail)?!?!

Are you ready??!

Black Alabama!!!!!!



That is the funniest thing I have ever heard!!! I have burst out laughing every time I've heard it all. day. long. One, it's just too terrible. I mean, of all the crazy, ridiculous, one-in-a-million translations to mess up, it would be one where the thing will read news aloud while basically calling the first black president Aunt Jemimah. It could have come out with so many other things, like Baroque Oboe Ma, which would have at least a classy, rennaisance ring to it, maybe insinuating he was somehow related to YoYo Ma, but NO. It called him THAT.

Second, I can't help but picture Al Sharpton's and Jesse Jackson's faces when they heard it. Jesse's probably been giving one of his fast-flying proclaimation-constipation-situation speeches all day to anyone who could listen, over-enunciating fifteen words that all simultaneously rhyme in a row, and I can imagine Al just plain falling off his chair. He cracked me up when he ran for office last, and we loved to listen to him at the debates, because while we actually agreed with many things he said, his theatrical manner of saying them was just flat-out hysterical. I could totally see him spewing his morning coffee all over the room, and then running outside in his boxers, waving his paper and hollering at the neighborhood. Just thinking about their potential reaction makes me giggle.

Finally, I'll bet he thinks it's a little funny, too. I mean, he's so smart, and seems to have a good sense of humor, so I can't imagine that he cares. Besides, think of all the people who just blew $400 on a new Kindle, and now have to dive to cover the thing up every time it tells them the news!!!! AND, who was the guy who had to tell the president that this new gizmo was now calling him Black Alabama?! I'll bet he totally had a load in his pants before he broached THAT little goodie!

Oh, seriously, that is just TOO FUNNY. It's wrong, but that's what makes it so hilarious!!!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Mama Mia, Mea Culpa!

The in-laws APOLOGIZED.

This has never, ever happened before. He has said some unpleasant things about me in the past (like that I'm fat), and while I know he's later felt bad about it, hasn't apologized. He wrote a full email, as long as the one before it, explaining why he had said what he did, and that he was sorry. The only string he still pulled was that he said it was that he knows that their family hasn't been there for us like we have been there for them, but that it's unfortunate that I've apparently been keeping track of how often they are present for us, and that he hopes that we never need the support they have needed. That was a low blow, since I spoke specifically about every event, not just the ones since Ryan was killed, but I'm letting that slide since the rest of it was so unusual.

That having been said, now that I know for sure that this huge pot of anger is simmering under the surface, looking for an outlet, I will be more aware in the future, and more cautious of them. We saw it recently at Easter when he snapped at the kids who got near the babies, who are now 6mo old, but this was really telling. I know he seems to be sorry for it afterwards, but in the moment he's pretty hot. I would not have wanted to be there in person when he saw my email, and I definitely wouldn't have wanted the kids there.

DH had his second of three hernia surgeries today, but unlike the last one, today's was laproscopic, so he's doing really a lot better. The doctor also cleaned up some adhesions he'd developed from his scar on his last operation, and took out a cyst that he found near his colon, which he thinks is probably due to some diverticulitis or something. He said that they're going to biopsy it, but that it looked benign to him, so I'm not really going to think about it until we get the results. There's no point in worrying, and actually, if this would get the insurance company to allow him to have colonoscopies before age 50, it would make me feel better, anyway.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Brother- and Sister-In-Law For Sale, CHEAP

Actually, I will PAY you to take them away.

I forwarded my friends an email that I got the other day that had photos of marbles and other ball shapes showing the relative size of the Earth to other planets in our galaxy, our galaxy's planets to our sun, our sun to other suns, and our universe to other universes. The photos were really cool, and Josie loved them. So, I forwarded the email on.

The email had some writing down at the bottom about how now that you've seen these images, how big are your problems in relation, and there was some tagline at the bottom about how big is your God, because it came from a guy on the choir. I didn't really think twice about forwarding it on to people, because it was cool, and all the people in the family have been involved at one time or another with NASA or a similar government agency.

Today, I got an email from my BIL and SIL, Kathy and Shawn, in response. I thought, oh, cool, we never hear from them (as I have said before about them). yeah. No.

It started with that we are stupid for believing anything of the sort, that we are sheep who do not think rationally. Two screens later, after similar comments, it ended with this:

"BTW - If this offends you, that's unfortunate. I've often found when people discuss religion, the more they're interested in relating their views, the less interested they are in hearing someone else's.

If you want to keep in touch, we're game and I won't judge. I don't have to understand your beliefs any more than you need to understand mine. It's up to you if you can deal with that. We're fine either way.

Have a nice day.

Shawn & Kathy (yes, we both read it before sending it.)"

These are the people that I made those carseat covers for. The ones who never show up at family events, but always expect people to come to theirs. I responded by asking if that's what they really meant, that they would be fine with not talking again over an EMAIL, and if after twelve years, that's what they really thought of me and our family.

I have gotten no response.

I know they are looking for somewhere to dump whatever anger they feel over their loss of Ryan, and I was a convenient place to do so, since I sent them an email, but a simple 'we don't like forwards' would have sufficed. Ranting about how we're stupid and can take them or leave them, and then telling me to have a nice day, was grossly inappropriate. It tells me that all they have inside is anger and hatred, and that I need to adjust my expectations accordingly. The way Shawn snapped at our kids the last time we saw them, and his angry outbursts at other times as well, and now this, point to the fact that he is not someone I feel like having around me or my children. It's not like they acknowledge our family birthdays or anniversaries, anyway.

If they do not write back and give some reason, some apology, I will never have anything to do with them again. I know they are family, and I have tried all these years to maintain a relationship with them, but this is, seriously, IT. All I did was send them photos, for chrissakes, and I even said at the top of the forward that the email was great pictures. ARGH. We have never, ever discussed anything to do with religion with them, not even once. We don't talk about it outside church, unless we're with other people that go there. For the sake of my MIL, I will suck it up at holidays, should they ever decide to attend, but that's it. I'm done. There's no point in me continually putting forth efforts when the one time they send me an email longer than two words, it's this.
Busy busy busy!!!!

May is always a crazy time for us. Literally, within six weeks, we have to buy presents for almost everyone in the entire extended family. It starts May 2, with my SIL Jen's birthday (this year I'm taking her to a beading class where we'll make a necklace and bracelet like Josie and I did a few months ago), then continues with Mother's Day, Josie's birthday, our anniversary, DH's mother's birthday, and Father's Day. We usually have sent cards and small gifts to the other moms in our family, but this year I think we'll just do ecards for everyone but our own mothers, because we're pretty tight right now since we also have to have the hot tub repaired (the previous owners didn't wire it correctly, so the heater is blown, and the guy kind of helped it limp along last season but it's totally overheating now every time we turn the thing on), and Delilah has her spaying appointment this month, too. Both of those things will run us about $350 or so. Plus, life insurance is due this month, technically, to the tune of $520, but we always put that off until the last minute of the 30 day grace period in June. Thankfully, there's always a three-paycheck month floating around the beginning of the summer, so some years we've put off paying some bills until then. This year, it's in July, so, sorry utility company, but you're probably going to have to wait until then for your June payments.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to start substitute teaching next year to bring in some badly-needed extra money. That means I will probably no longer do MOPS, but I'm OK with that, I think. I don't know, since we have that organ, I kind of feel obligated to do a lot whether I want to or not, so maybe I'll still do it. Still, even two days a week of subbing would be an extra $130 or so a week.

Also, this is teacher appreciation week, and I'm on the PTA committee to make that happen, and since of course not many people volunteered, those of us that did are buried. Yesterday, I made a huge poster for the teachers with a place to post the cards the kids are being encouraged to make, and made eight or ten dozen cookies (although a bunch did get eaten) to bring in today for Tea and Cookie Day. Before I deliver them, I have to swing by the store and get some tea. Then I'll go to Josie's class for reading, and then to Patrick's class to help with ice cream making. Tomorrow I have MOPS, and then Thurs I'm helping set up the ice cream party for the teachers before heading to the hospital to wait for DH to get out of surgery. Actually, I think all I have to do is put a sign on the refridgerator and stick some soda cans in the teacher's inboxes with stickers on them that read 'you're our idols!' (the theme is American Idol). Friday, miraculously, I have nothing planned.

Oh, and the cable guy is supposed to come today, because our upstairs TV isn't getting it at all anymore. When I called, the woman said, 'sounds like you have something hooked up wrong'. Now, please tell me how this could have POSSIBLY happened, since THEY hook the cable up, and it was done A YEAR AGO. Um, Bueller? What a dumb thing to say. She then proceeded to tell me that the techs don't make appointments, but will just call a half hour before they show up. Okey-dokey. They have a TWELVE HOUR WINDOW. I started laughing, and said that she has a really crappy job, telling people that, and she kind of laughed and said that they get free medication in addition to free cable. That's not such a bad deal, really.

Oh, a postscript from yesterday - my friend kind of came to his senses and apologized in a much, much nicer email that came late yesterday. That was a big relief.