Yes, it is!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

My Children Are Funny Creatures

My children never cease to humor me, even during some of the most frustrating times with them.  This past weekend was Easter weekend.  Saturday night, I put together a Easter baskets for my kids.  Nothing fancy.  Just a small chocolate bunny, some jelly beans, marshmallow bunnies, and some marshmallow eggs in each of them.  I put the jelly beans and chocolate marshmallow eggs in those colorful plastic eggs.  They each also got some small gifts.  Jackie got a butterfly magnet kit and Ben got some new cars and a boat.  The boat was and still is a hit with Ben.  He carries it everywhere with him.  And he is still sleeping with it.  I knew Jackie did not like chocolate so I got her a white bunny.  And I knew neither of my kids like the marshmallow candies but they were just fillers to sort of make the baskets... Easter-y?  I just don't get into giving my kids big gifts on Easter. I also don't make a big deal about the Easter bunny although my kids do talk about it and apparently believe in it. 
So, Jackie got up early on Sunday morning and was the first to notice her Easter basket.  The first words out of her mouth after she looked in the basket?  That dumb, old bunny brought me chocolate and jelly beans.  Sorry kiddo, there was an ulterior motive there.  I like chocolate covered eggs and bunnies.  Heheh.  Jackie just cracks me up with the things she says.  Well, most of the time.
I say "most of the time" because of what happened a few days prior to Easter.  Two weeks ago, Jackie had a meltdown during her physical therapy session and she just would not let it go.  It actually started over something petty that had occurred before we arrived to her appointment.  The therapist tried everything to get Jackie to cooperate to no avail.  Finally, the therapist decided that she wouldn't be able to work with Jackie that day because Jackie was beyond inconsolable.  I felt terrible for Julie because she loves Jackie and has worked with Jackie since she was 9 months old.  But this was not the first time this occurred.  Jackie became even more angry and screamed at Julie.  It was not good.  At all.  The next day, Jackie said that she was ready to apologize.  We tried to call Julie but couldn't get ahold of her that day.  We tried again a few days before Easter.  I gave Jackie the phone and I heard her telling Julie about her red note that she got from school.  Then she told Julie about her goose egg on her forehead that she got from falling at Target.  I was listening for Jackie to apologize until I suddenly heard Jackie's voice change slightly as she told Julie that her "voice makes you sound ugly."  Oh. My. Gee.  I immediately demanded the phone from Jackie and I could hear Julie laughing.  I profusely apologized for Jackie.  Julie just said that "we know Jackie, she's just being Jackie.  We always knew she was a saucy little girl from day 1."  Uh huh.  Sure, but I still don't know where Jackie gets this stuff.  I don't talk like that to others so I know Jackie didn't learn that from me.  I was flabbergasted, to say the least. 
Yesterday, I explained to Jackie that I was going to be away on a trip this coming weekend.  Of course, Jackie's first question was whether I would be going with her.  I told her no and neither was Daddy or Ben.  She asked me why I was going.  I explained to her that I was going with a bunch of other women and that I would be gone for 2 nights. And that there would be no children there.  Jackie pressed me again and asked why and where I was going.  Hmm. So I told her that I was going away so that I could come back and be a better mother.  She then told me to come back as a "better mother than anyone."  Okay, kiddo.  Sure.
This afternoon, I waited on my front porch while I looked for Jackie's bus turn into our neighborhood.  The bus stop is right at the corner of my next door neighbor's yard.  Since it was raining, I ran to the bus stop and Jackie immediately ran under the unbrella.  As I turned around to walk back to our house, I saw Ben coming toward us, on his little 4-wheeler ride-on.  In the pouring rain.  After I told him to stay on the porch while I got Jackie.  (He can see the bus stop from the porch.)  So I told Ben to turn around and go back.  Ben just rode right past us right to the corner where the bus had already stopped. (Ben loves to greet Jackie at the bus stop.) I told Ben, again, to bring his toy and come home.  He looked at me, the pointed toward where the bus drove off.  I then realized that Ben still had not see Jackie under the umbrella.  So, I lifted the umbrella a bit and showed Ben that Jackie was already off the bus.  He then said "oh" and turned around to come back home.  He continued to ride his toy.  In the still-pouring rain.  And he took his grand time. Sigh.  I kept prodding Ben to pick up the toy and just walk to the porch.  But no, he continued to ride in the rain until he was able to park it safely on the porch.  Apparently, Ben doesn't mind riding in the rain.  And his daddy would be proud as I'm guessing this is a sure sign of a future dirt bike rider.  Um, no. In the meantime, I'm quite certain that my neighbors are probably thinking that I'm a swell mom for allowing her little 3-year old to ride his toy in the pouring rain.  Sigh again. But that's my funny boy!
Tonight, as I was trying to get the kids to wind down and pick up and put away their stuff and get ready for bed, they just kept bouncing off the walls.  And not listening to me.  And begging for more food (I don't feed them enough).  Finally, I just lost it and started yelling at them.  And I wasn't nice.  At. All.  Having a messy house and kids (& hubby) who feel it is their duty to make it even messier really makes me cranky.  So I lost it.  Finally Jackie piped up and said, "Mommy, you need to go away this weekend so you can come back and be a better mother."  Uh huh.  Thanks again, kid.  And thanks to her dad who quipped at the dinner table earlier in the evening that he hopes I enjoy the break this weekend because I must really need it.  You really think so, dear?  I wonder who needs the break from whom more?  Oh, and sorry for snapping at you before dinner.  Heheheh.
So, as I tucked my kids into bed tonight, I told them how sorry I was for losing it with them and yelling at them the way I did.  Jackie hugged me tight and told me that she hopes that I come back as a better mother this weekend so that when she asks to go to the toy store, I will say "yes" and then when she picks out a toy that she wants, I will say "yes" again.  Yeah, Little Girl, I see what your motivation is.  The answer is still "NO." I'm just mean like that.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Provocative Clothing In Sacred Buildings

Before I get on my soapbox on this topic, I understand that the Bible says to "come as you are."  I am not often judgmental and I wouldn't apply this to a new visitor but when I see a regular attendee to church, I can't help but wonder.  Today for example, I noticed a picture of somebody that I know wearing a very revealing dress for church.  And it was posted on Facebook.  One of the first comments by another friend of this person was "you wore that to church? Wow, you're going to make a brother stumble."  The response?  "well, they all looked and they tripped over their feet. Haha."  As non-judgmental as I tried to be about it, I couldn't help but think how immature.  This girl is married.  In fact, her husband commented "come as you are not show all you got."  Hmm. Apparently, he doesn't approve but she must not care.  She'll do whatever she darn well pleases. 
After seeing this, I couldn't help but post this status on Facebook, especially on what, to many people, is a sacred holiday: "Call me prude but I believe that there is a time and place for dressing revealingly sexy and a church is NOT one of those places."  I was afraid, at first, that I would get flamed.  Surprisingly, all the responses I received were supportive.  It was interesting and fun to read the responses from my friends.  And it inspired me to write this entry, especially because this involves a very good friend back home and I know she is hurting deeply for her son mentioned above.
Now I'll get on my soapbox.  First, I am appalled to see the number of young people, and I mean as young as 7-8 years old, posting on Facebook, pictures of themselves (especially girls) in less than desirable positions and outfits.  What is the motivation there?  And what is it with little girl pants/shorts that have "cute" or "sweet" or even "sexy" on the butt.  Yes, I've seen little girl shorts that have "sexy" written on the butt.  Believe or not.  And no way is my daughter going to wear that at 6 years of age or as long as she is under my roof.  Daisy duke shorts on young girls bother me, too.  Do they even understand the purpose of Daisy Duke shorts?  
Another thing that I've been appalled at is what is being worn to prom in these past couple of years.  Again, I try to not be judgmental but I just cannot understand how parents are allowing their teenage girls (who are still legally children, by the way, until they turn 18) to wear such revealing dresses to prom.  I mean dresses that have a slit down the front way past the cleavage, dresses with no backs and very little in front (like just a strip connecting the top of the dress to the bottom), and dresses that might as well be made from bandaids with the amount of material (or lack thereof) that is used to make said dresses.  I cannot believe some of the pictures that I've seen posted on Facebook that show dresses that look like they were made to be worn at brothel.  Sorry for such a vivid description but I admit that I find the trend disturbing.  Where is the dignity? Why do some teen girls find it necessary to dress so provocatively for a prom?  And why do parents allow it?  I am aware that most schools have a dress code.  Does it not apply to prom, too?  I guess not.  Now I'm not talking about spaghetti straps or strapless dresses or tops.  I'm okay with that although I personally don't prefer to wear strapless tops.  I don't need to enhance my chest more than what is already there.  
I was told that there is a local boutique that refuses to order such revealing prom dresses.  Good for them.  Maybe it will get my business one day.  I personally find it trashy when I see such young girls dressed in provocative clothing.  
Now I'll talk about church.  I go to church with my family.   I'm not a religious person and I don't consider myself to be a strong Christian person.  I'm just a regular person who goes to church with her family.  But I still find it disturbing to see young people and even regular attendees dress in clothing that I would consider to be disrespectful in such a sacred place.  I haven't see it so much in our current church, thankfully, but I have seen plenty of it in other churches.  I can't help but shake my head at this.  Are they trying to catch a boy?  Again, what is the real motivation here?  Whatever it is, parents need to step up and take a stand.  My daughter (and my son) will be required to show respect in places that command respect and that includes wearing proper clothing.  I'll never forget my former pastor in Florida (now tragically deceased) who took a stand from the pulpit when he spoke against allowing our little girls to dress something like Brittney Spears.  I'm sure a lot of parents took offense at that.  Not me, though, and that was before my little girl came into our family.
Government buildings also deserve respect in regard to clothing.  I'll never forget a couple of years ago when I went to the DMV where I encountered a very distracting (or rather, disturbing) sight. I was waiting next to another couple for our numbers to be called.  Suddenly, this woman came strutting in wearing stripper stiletto heels (literally) and a pink outfit.  I'm not sure what the purpose of this outfit was (maybe I was actually in denial) but it definitely did not belong there.  The woman was definitely a spectacle as evidenced by the raised eyebrows and nervous glances coming from the people around me. The top part consisted of a top and some sort of jacket.  I'm not even sure I would have called it that.  Whatever it was, it was quite revealing.  But that was mild compared to the bottom part.  I don't even know why the woman bothered with the bottom part of the outfit.  You literally could see part of her buttocks.  Yes! Her buttocks.  She was wearing some sort of fishnet stockings underneath.  I recently told somebody about this incident and they did not believe me when I described the outfit.  But incredibly, it is true.  And the woman made sure that I was not the only one who noticed her.  The entire building noticed her and the room became very quiet as she strutted across the very front of the room to find herself a seat.  
There is also a reason for showing respectful clothing in courthouses.  Which would make a better impression?  Pants that hang almost to the ground with underwear fully exposed?  Or the business casual outfit?  It should be common knowledge that the person who is more professionally dressed commands more respect than the dude with the pants halfway down the legs and underwear exposed.  Part of the problem in today's society is due to lack of respect.  Lack of respect for self and lack of respect for others. 
Go ahead, call me old-fashioned or prude. Personally, I've always been modest and therefore, my clothing tends to be more on the conservative side.  But, for me, it has nothing to do with religion.  I'm not even religious.  It has everything to do with showing self-respect, showing respect for others, and especially showing respect for sacred places such as churches and government buildings. 

The Tragedy (or Tragedies) of Driving Under the Influence

This is a topic that has been on my mind for some time, especially during this past week when one of our Whiteside students was killed in an accident that was a result of driving under the influence.  I'll get to that in a moment. 
I'm not ashamed any longer to admit that I grew up in an alcoholic home.  I remember as a child having to ride with my drunk dad.  I remember him coming home reeking of alcohol.  I remember the violence that came after my dad fueled up with alcohol.  I grew up terrified of alcohol.  For a long time, I couldn't even stand the smell of alcohol, mainly beer, without feeling nauseated.  Being around alcohol used to scare me.  I am thankful for that as it probably prevented me from following in my dad's footsteps.  I've never even tried illegal drugs. I have been a designated driver in the past because people knew of my drinking (or non-drinking) history.  I admit that I now enjoy the occasional glass of wine or mixed drink but I know my limit is no more than one drink. Having said all that, I have no tolerance for drivers who take the wheel knowing all too well the risks involved, not only to themselves but especially to innocent victims. 
My family's pastor was nearly killed in an accident last October.  He was involved in a 5-car crash which began with a drunk driver.  Pastor B suffered numerous injuries, including serious head injuries.  And to make matters worse, Pastor B is insulin dependent diabetic.  In case you don't know, those who suffer with diabetes often experience slower healing from injuries.  Since the accident, Pastor B has dealt with many ramifications as a result of the injuries he suffered in the accident.  As tragic as the accident, one good thing came out of it.  With all of the injuries Pastor B suffered, he underwent several medical tests/x-rays and during one of those procedures, a tumor was discovered on one of the kidneys which was subsequently removed.    As I mentioned in the previous post, Pastor B preached this morning from his chair.  The reason for that is because Pastor B has been having some problems with one of his feet which requires him to keep it elevated just about all of the time.  Hopefully, he will experience complete healing soon.  And that the drunk driver will pay the consequences very soon after being free to walk since the accident. 
A week ago this past Friday, a serious accident occurred in our community.  The accident claimed the life of a beautiful 12-year old girl, Amari, an only child to her mother.  It was so preventable just as the case involving Pastor B was preventable.  In this case, the other drive swerved into the car Amari was riding in.  Amari survived the crash only to succumb to bleeding during emergency surgery.  I was heartbroken after reading that Amari was a fellow Whiteside School warrior.  She was beautiful, polite, and well-liked by her teachers and fellow students.  Her life was ended all too soon all because a young man, high on heroin, decided to get behind the wheel while he was under the influence.  A preventable situation.  And a very sad outcome.  I was pleased to read that young man was arrested within a couple of days of the accident.  Too bad that didn't happen in the case of Pastor B, who nearly lost his own life to a drunk driver.  Here it is, just a little over a week later and I couldn't help but remember this beautiful life cut too short.  I can not imagine the pain that Amari's mother must be experiencing having to bury her only child and then celebrate Easter, all in one week.  I just cannot imagine.  I don't want to imagine.  To hear about the loss of this beautiful girl has affected me.  I don't know if it's because I am also a Whiteside parent or if it's just because I am a mother.  Here is a link to the story. RIP Amari.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Great Easter Day

Today was one of the best days with my family in quite some time.  Even though the weather was dreary and Tim was cooped up in our room studying, it was a nice day.  Well, maybe with one exception when Ben clobbered Jackie on her back with his toy boat.  Ben had to serve in time-out as well as the boat. 
We went to church this morning as a family.  The choir did a great job with the special music and the pastor preached louder than I've ever heard him preach.  Even if he was sitting down the entire time. (I'll have to explain that in a bit). Jackie looked beautiful in her dress and Ben looked handsome.  I had a new dress picked out for Jackie but last night, she decided that she wanted to wear the same dress that she wore for her preschool graduation a year ago.  That was fine with me as she was still able to fit into it.
After church, we came home and enjoyed a light lunch together.  I then started to prepare for dinner.  I realize turkey is not a traditional Easter dinner but that's what I chose.  We rarely eat ham and we don't eat lamb so turkey it was.  Tim, being the humorist that he is, quipped at dinnertime that if there was stuffing in the turkey, then he would have thought we were sitting for a Thanksgiving meal.  Hahaha, he thinks he's funny and I must admit that it was kind of funny.  But in a sense, it was a Thanksgiving meal.  At Easter.  I am so thankful that amidst all these devastating storms that we've experienced this past week and even though our fence was destroyed, my family is safe and whole. 
At dinner, Tim shared that when Jackie woke up this morning and looked through her Easter basket, she commented that that the dumb, old bunny brought her jelly beans and chocolate.  Believe it or not, the girl does not like chocolate.  Or jelly beans.  This child of mine just cracks me up.  And I had a feeling that she would not be happy to see the jelly beans or the chocolate.  I had an ulterior motive when I put that stuff in her basket.  Uh-huh, I enjoy those chocolate marshmallow eggs.  But seriously, she got more than that in her basket.  There were those cute, purple peeps, a couple of small toys, and she got a butterfly magnet painting kit.  I don't believe in going all out at Easter time.  A basket with some treats and a small gift is good in my opinion.  I don't want my children to expect something every time there is some sort of holiday.  Ben got candy, too, along with a couple of new cars and a plastic boat.  The boat is a hit and in fact, it is in bed with Ben right now.  The thing cost just a dollar at Walmart (and believe it or not, it says on the bottom that it was made in the USA.  Woohoo, no China crap).  But Ben has been carrying it around all day.  He filled the bathroom sink up several times today just to see the boat float.  He is so cute.  And so funny. 
All in all, as wet as it was outside, it was a good day with my family.  Jackie and I ended the evening by watching the movie "Marley and Me." Of course, I bawled my eyes out at the end.  It was a good movie but the book was much better.  And I'll never forget reading the book just a couple of weeks after our beloved dog, Buffy, died five years ago this month.  I still miss Buffy.
I'm so thankful for such a nice day with my family today.  I love my kids so much and I couldn't help but hold them even closer today after thinking about the local mother who lost her beautiful 12-year old daughter just one weekend ago. I just cannot imagine how difficult it would be to bury a child and then celebrate Easter in the same week.  Once again, I am reminded that we must cherish our loved ones even in the midst of difficulty, as difficult as that may be. 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Egg Decorating Success

I am ashamed to admit that I had never decorated Easter eggs with my children.  Until today, that is.  Since we don't often eat eggs, I didn't see any reason for dyeing eggs.  And?  I just didn't want the mess.  I've never been one for messy situations, especially with my children.  In fact, I finally started allowing Jackie to play with Play-Doh after she had her foot surgery over a year ago.  Can you believe that?  Play-Doh is just messy.  It gets everywhere.  And it really bothers me when the colors get mixed up with each other.  I don't know why.  One would think that I am a neat freak.  Well, I used to be.  Marriage helped to break that control.  When Jackie came along, I was so lucky that she was a little neat freak, too.  Things had to be in their place or she was not happy.  It was good in a way but bad in other ways.  It was almost as if Jackie was already a perfectionist and she wasn't even 2 years old. 
Then Ben came along.  Then he started crawling and getting into things and making messes.  Big messes.  That would upset Jackie.  Fast forward to today, she has actually become my messy child.  I don't know what happened.  Her room is an atrocious mess.  I just have to close the door. 
My house is a constant mess, too, no thanks to my children whose main goal in life right now is to destroy every single square inch of my home.  No amount of yelling or even bribery helps. 
So, dyeing eggs these past several years did not appeal to me.  I just did not need that additional mess.  But this week, I decided that I needed to do something different and fun with the kids.  I bought this egg dye spinner which ended up being a huge fail.  After I exchanged that at the store for something else, I set up everything at the table again and gathered the kids at the table.  They were so excited to color eggs.  The kids had fun and there was minimal fussing at each other.  And I even dyed a few myself.  I actually enjoyed doing that with my kids.  The eggs aren't beautiful by any means but they are fun and colorful. I survived and I'm looking forward to doing it again next year. 

I told Jackie that now we have to eat the eggs all week.  Her response?  "Eewwww, no way!"  So now, what to do with almost 2 dozen colored eggs?  Any takers?

Piece of Crap

Earlier in the week, I bought a spinner to dye eggs.  I thought it would be a fun thing to do with the kids.  I had never dyed Easter eggs with my children before so I was looking forward to something new with my kids.  So this afternoon,  I got everything set up and gathered the kids at the table.  Jackie decided that she wanted to start with the pink color.  I followed the instructions on the box. I put the egg in the spinner, added several drops of the color as per instructions, then pushed the top down to start the spinner. Fail!  The spinner kept getting stuck.  At first, I thought perhaps the egg was too big for the spinner so we tried another egg.  Fail again.  The spinner kept sticking. It would spin but barely.  I decided that it was more trouble than it was worth so I put everything back in the box and decided to take it back to Walmart to exchange with a different kit.  I took Jackie to Walmart with me where we waited in the long line at customer service.  You know how they want to know the reason for return?  Well, before the CSR even asked, I just told her that the spinner was a piece of crap and that it wouldn't spin right.  I just figured that the CSR would write "defective" on the slip but I watched, with humor, as she wrote my exact words, "piece of crap."  I started to chuckle and the lady behind laughed as well.  Perhaps next time, I'll just say it's "defective."  It just sounds a little more... couth.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Storm Damage and Other

We had quite a storm tonight.  Even though the news was predicting severe weather, I decided to go get my Zumba workout in tonight.  As I drove toward the Y, I noticed the sky was starting to look more ominous.  But I continued on hoping that the storm would bypass us.  Halfway through the Zumba class, the announcement came over the PA system to evacuate to the locker rooms immediately.  The tornado warnings were going off.  Of course, I was a little nervous but I knew that we were safe inside that locker room.  A little while after the alarms started going off, we started to hear the heavy rain and the hail.  I was thankful that I drove the 4-Runner tonight instead of my newer Honda which was safe in the garage at home.  After about a half hour, we were finally given the all clear to leave the locker rooms.  I waited for the rain and lightening to slow down before I headed back home. 
Once I got home, I saw the kids were still up and not even ready for bed.  I had left instructions for their daddy to please, at least, have the kids dressed for bed before I got home.  Apparently, I'm superwoman who can multi-task with no problem.  Apparently, I have a superman who cannot multi-task.  Grrr.  This really does irritate me when I come home just before 9pm to kids who are not even close to being ready for bed.  I am trying to be patient because I know that Tim is trying to finish up his MBA studies.  But could he not take 5-10 minutes to at least make sure the kids get dressed for bed and brush their teeth?  I don't feel like I should have to give up my fitness class.  After all, he gets to spend full Saturdays at the dirt bike club.  Just like dirt biking is Tim's outlet, the gym is my outlet.  I'm not quitting. Okay, let me get off my soapbox for a moment.
Sometime after I finally got the kids into bed, I let the dogs out into what I thought was my fenced back yard.  It had stopped raining by this time although it was still very windy.  I gave the dogs 10-15 minutes to do their business before I called them in through the garage door.  Dugan came immediately.  But Lucy?  I called her several times to no avail.  So, I finally came back into the house and walked out the back door to see where Lucy was hiding in the back yard.  That's when I noticed we no longer had an intact fence.  Every single side of the fence was affected.  One side is completely down.  The opposite side is still up but barely with one section actually detached.  The very back of the fence has several panels completely down.  Just the far corners are intact.  I took a better look and it appears the posts have snapped at the very bottom.  Well, Tim came out to find out what was going on and he immediately got all stressed out and started complaining about that and everything else.  I'll get to that more in a moment.  Me?  For some reason, I was not stressed out until the mister got me stressed out.  I was just so thankful that my family was safe and that our house (at least from what I could see in the darkness) wasn't damaged.  It could have been so much worse. I was so grateful that we did not suffer the damage that my childhood home suffered just this past weekend. (see here).  I finally did find Lucy hanging out in the front yard.  About the fence, Tim got all aggravated and wouldn't let it go.  I decided I had enough of it and told him that I was going to Walmart to get a couple of tie-outs for the dogs so they wouldn't run off out of the yard.  Ugh.  I understand that it is stressful to worry about the financial part of the damage but gee, realize that it could have been worse.  It's just a fence.  It's not a life or death event.  Our children our safe.  Our house is safe.  Okay.  So I start to leave to head out to Walmart and I notice that our mailbox is laying on the ground. Dismantled.  Oh boy.  I'm not telling Tim about that.  I decided to just buy another mailbox and stick it out there myself tomorrow during the day.  I'm used to doing things on my own, anyway.
This post brings me to another topic.  This blog has evolved into a therapeutic tool in a sense over the past couple of years.  I've debated about making it private with access by password only.  But I have decided to keep it public for now, mostly as a way to reach out to others with common interests.  It has been really cool to hear from so many others who deal with many of the same things that I have struggled with such as special needs kids, self esteem, bullying, spiritual issues, etc.  It has been a great tool of healing for me.  So, what I am going to write about next is something that I have been struggling with for the past few months.  I don't expect sympathy nor do I expect criticism.  If you feel the need to offer any words of criticism, don't bother.  Encouragement?  Sure, I can use encouragement.  I'm just at a loss lately.
Okay, here goes.  Tonight's events have inspired me to open up about what I've been struggling with these last couple of months.  I used to be a happily married woman.  Well, for the most part.  I remember early in my marriage, I did often get annoyed when Tim would wait until the last moment about his plans for the next day.  When we were still living in Florida, Tim was a member of a motorcycle club.  The club participated in various activities including fun runs, charity runs, barbecues, etc.  I would occasionally join Tim at these events but being a biker chick just was not my thing.  I really tried but I didn't really feel comfortable on the bike or even hanging around the heavy drinkers from the club.  After a few times of Tim springing his plans on me at the last moment, I told him that I would like to know, in advance, what his plans were so that I could make plans of my own.  It worked.  Sometimes.  I finally just had to get used to that about Tim and it got to where it didn't bother me anymore.  Well, most of the time.  I just started making my own plans without Tim.
Over the years, even though I have tried to get used to Tim's ways, I still have difficulty just letting it go and letting Tim be Tim.  And it has become a stressful thing to be married to him.  Especially lately. I tried to be a good wife by being a "submissive" wife and just going along with everything.  It seems like I don't have any good ideas about anything from what movie we should see to how I should arrange my flowers in the front yard.  I finally quit going to movie theaters because no matter what movie I would suggest, Tim would always shoot my idea down.  I just finally let him make most of the decisions about movies.  The same about restaurants. In fact, a couple of years ago on Mother's Day, we were heading to Olive Garden where I wanted to go but right before we arrived, Tim decided that we should just go to this local barbecue place.  Okay.  It's Mother's Day so it's his choice.  Like a good wife, I just kept quiet about it.  And Tim couldn't figure out what was wrong with me when I became quiet. And he wonders why I never want to make the decision about where we should dine out.  Well, this year, I made the decision where to dine out for my birthday and then for my birthday.  And surprisingly, he didn't balk at either choice.  So, it's not always bad.  But it's more bad than good lately.
Tim has this very pessimistic attitude about him.  He always has as long as I've known him.  And when I married him, I thought I could live with it. It's been difficult to live with it, unfortunately.  This pessimism really affects me and causes me to be somewhat depressed and negative.  It doesn't matter what it is, Tim finds something to be pessimistic about.  If his dirt bike doesn't start, his response? "Why doesn't anything ever work out for me?" or "Nothing ever works out for me." or "Just leave it to me to mess up."  That's just an example. I've tried to  encourage him.  But my words just go through one ear and out the other.  I just waste my breath. 
I don't enjoy going to amusement parks with Tim (unless it's Holiday World) because all he does is complain about the crowds, the parking, etc.  I should say that I am proud of his attitude when we took the kids to Disney a couple of years ago.  But, I think it was because he got a stern warning from me beforehand.  Perhaps I should do that again. I even let Tim know that I was proud of how he kept his attitude in check. 
Another source of contention is Tim's attention problems.  I firmly believe that he has ADD. From the things Tim has brought up about his school years, I believe Tim has likely had this problem since childhood. However, the quality of his work has not been affected by it.  He is very good at concentrating at work and when he's working on his dirt bikes.  But, Tim has difficulty studying and he has difficulty remembering instructions that I leave for him. He gets distracted very easily. He loses things very easily and he breaks things very easily.  When he opens a package of something, say M&Ms, he doesn't neatly tear the bag open.  He downright destroys the bag.  I find that very annoying because then the stuff gets everywhere. And guess who cleans it up?  Certainly not him. No matter how often I ask him to close cabinet doors, I still often find them wide open just waiting for somebody to bonk their head and collapse.  Tim is also known for leaving his shoes where somebody will trip over them.  He is also known for putting his laundry away while the empty basket just sits in the middle of the room waiting to be tripped on.  I can't tell you how many times I have had to assist him in finding lost keys or something else of importance.  And guess who always finds them?  Certainly not him.  For years, as annoyed as I would get with these behaviors, I did find humor in them.  Now that we have children, there have been times when I wondered if I could trust Tim alone with our children because he does get distracted so easily.  There have been some incidents but, so far, my children are still alive.  Thankfully.  Tim refuses to take anything that could help him.  He scoffs at my suggestions to write himself notes to help him remember certain things.  He scoffs at a lot of my suggestions and it gets downright annoying. 
Tim and I are also not on the same page when it comes to raising our children.  I often feel like a single parent because I am the primary caretaker who makes sure that everyone's needs are met and who runs the kids to all of their appointments.  It's no wonder that my kids would rather be with me ALL the time, even when they think I don't love them.  When Tim gets frustrated or angry with the kids, he is much more aggressive with them.  Tim thinks I fill the kids up with junk all day because they often won't eat dinner.  That really pisses me off because it is quite the opposite.  Sure the kids get a snack when they get home from school but I do limit what I give them.  However, they have been known to sneak something out of the pantry or refrigerator and hide. It really annoys me when Tim wrongly assumes that I'm feeding the kids whatever they want.  I'm the main parent here.  He has no idea what I'm dealing with.  I deal with 2 very strong-willed children who both have medical needs that keep me busy with all the appointments. I make sure the bills are paid.  I make sure everyone is clothed adequately.  I do it all.  I am superwoman.  By the way, my rule for dinner for the kids is that they have the choice between eating with a treat afterward or no eating dinner with nothing for the rest of the evening.  So, phooey on Tim.  He's the one who feels sorry enough for the kids when they don't eat (but still complain of hunger) and then ask me if he can make them a pbj sandwich.  Well, he used to.  I have to give him credit because he hasn't fallen for that in a few months.
This probably sounds rambling but I just wrote freely as the thoughts came.  What I wrote is just the tip of the iceberg. I've been frustrated for some time.  Maybe I'm being too hard about Tim.  After all, he is trying to finish up his MBA.  But, if he can find time to go do his dirt bike thing every other weekend or so, then he should be able to spend time trying to figure out how to be a happy person.  Or perhaps he should stop coming home from work and immediately fall into bed as I prepare dinner while the kids fight and destroy my house.  And yes, I've asked him before if he could take just 2 of those days to help with the kids instead of retreating to his room while I prepare dinner.  He does it a couple of times and then falls right back into his old habits.  It really does get old.
I know Tim takes me for granted. He used to be really bad about leaving dirty dinner dishes on the table for me to clean up.  Or cleaning up after him, period.  I finally put a stop to that a few years ago.  The rule in this household is that you clean up after yourself.  I'm known for leaving dishes, glasses, utensils on the table that weren't mine.  Yah, I'm just mean like that. 
I really don't believe he is happy and that in turn tends to make me less happy.  We don't fight but I know our marriage is a mess right now.  We're not on the same page about anything.  I've gotten to where I quit trying to encourage Tim.  I've become more bold and have told him to be quiet and quit complaining.  The pessimistic attitude is very annoying and bothersome to me.  I know, that's not being a good "submissive" wife.  I've dealt with this long enough. I know I'm not happy and I'm pretty certain that he isn't happy. 
I hate that I no longer feel like encouraging Tim, helping him, or even being around him.  I admit that I enjoy doing things without him.  It's less stressful when I can take my time doing whatever and not have to worry about whether Tim's getting bored.  He paces when he gets bored and I find that very annoying.  I wish I could say that I would rather be with my husband anywhere.  But that simply is not the case, unfortunately.  I just can't take the constant pessimistic attitude.  I feel more relaxed when I go somewhere without him most of the time.
I enjoy encouraging people.  I don't know why.  I was rarely encouraged as a youth.  In fact, I was a misfit and a social outcast. Coming from a very dysfunctional home only made matters worse.  But I do enjoy encouraging others.  And it feels good when others encourage me.  I want to be able to encourage Tim again and to have him be more receptive of my encouragement instead of rebuff me. As distressed as I am about this marriage, divorce simply is not an option.  So don't worry. When I said those vows, I truly meant them.  Beside, I seriously doubt that Tim can function without me around.  I also have to consider my children.  Tim may not be the best father right now but I have hope that when he is finished with that MBA, that Tim will invest more time into his family and do things that are fun for the kids, not just for himself.  I want more than anything for my kids to experience a father/son, father/daughter relationship unlike what I had (or lacked).  My daughter's relationship with her daddy is especially important to me because I often longed for a strong bond with a father as a little girl and even as a young person.  I just hope that by the time Tim finally has the time (I mean QUALITY time) for her that the damage is not irreparable.
I know this post turned into a rant of sorts but I can't say enough how thankful I am that my family, my home, and my pets are all safe despite the damage that we incurred around our property. The fence and the mailbox can be replaced but a life cannot.  Sure, it's going to cost us a lot of money and possibly cost us our family vacation we were planning but the lives of my children (and Tim, of course) are priceless.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Red Note Day

When I picked up Jackie from school today, I noticed immediately that she had on some pants that did not belong to her.  Apparently, Jackie had a wet accident during the day so she had to wear these high-water pants that the school had written "WS" on every corner possible.  Being that I was not about to take Jackie to her piano lesson wearing that, I hurried Jackie to the car so we could go home for a clothing change.  As soon as Jackie got settled in the car, she broke the news to me that she got a red note.  What?! Oh no, not again.  Jackie received one other red letter earlier in the school year.  See here for that story.  As soon as I arrived home for Jackie to change clothes, I looked in Jackie's folder and sure enough, there was a red note.  After I read it, I couldn't help but laugh at the absurdity of receiving a this note telling me to explain the rules of school and then I have to sign and send back to school.  All because Jackie cut her hair during class.  And attached to the note was a little bag with a lock of the lopped hair.  I asked Jackie why she cut her hair when she just had it cut this past Saturday.  Her reason?  There was a long piece that kept getting into her face.  So, she took the liberty to lop it off herself.  Of course, it was such a small amount that she more than likely would have gotten away with it had it not been for a tattle-tale student.  So, Jackie got a red note and she had to sit by herself for time-out against the cabinets.  Jackie didn't seem too upset about the red letter, unlike the other red letter she received. I'm sure she understood how silly it was.

Since, according to the note, I must talk to my child about the problem so she will follow school rules, I told Jackie that she is not allowed to cut her own hair at school, or even at home, even if there is a strand that is bothering her.  I then told her that it's the school rule that she must ask her teacher for help the next time her hair is bothering her.  Hehehe. While I'm explaining these "rules" to Jackie, I am just about to burst with laughter at the absurdity of it all.  When Jackie's dad came home, Jackie told him about the red letter.  Apparently, it wasn't making sense because Tim looked over at me with a raised brow.  So, I showed the letter and the lock of hair to him.  He laughed, too.
Since I'm talking about my funny child, I should share about my other funny child.  This morning after I got Jackie sent off to school, I got Ben ready for school and fed.  I decided to slap on some make-up before I took Ben to school.  As I was applying mascara, I happened to glance down to see Ben applying my eyeliner.  To his cheek.  I told Ben to follow me to the hall bathroom so I could wash his face off.  After I made a quick detour to the kitchen, I turned around to see Ben wearing my eyeglasses.  The boy always cracks me up with his antics. Doesn't he look handsome with my glasses on?  If you look close enough, you can even see some of the eyeliner on the top part of his left cheek. 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Oh, The Horror!

I almost became a Walmart mom tonight.  You know, one of THOSE moms. 
The evening started out okay when I took Jackie with me to shop for her friend's birthday present.  First, we went to Lowe's to buy some plants and soil.  It quickly became apparent that Jackie was hopped up on the sugar that was served to her at her friend's house where she played before I took her shopping.  She kept walking away from me or lagging behind me as I walked the aisles in the garden department.  She grabbed things off of shelves.  She begged me to buy her the Dora the Explorer garden gloves.  Then she would sing. Loudly.  Then she recited random stuff.  Loudly.  She even got lost once but I found her in the middle of the next aisle.  Crying.  And she promptly told me that I walked away from her.  Grrr, yeah right, kid.   Whose kid are you anyway? Certainly, not mine. She did everything short of climbing the store shelves.
Our next stop was Walmart to look for the birthday present and card and to look at more garden stuff. On the way over there, Jackie kept repeating a couple of words crudely. Ugh, if only I had not promised this shopping trip for the birthday present.  Can you say embarrassment?
We got the Walmart and right away, Jackie started picking up random stuff and begging me to buy it for her.  Even begging for stuff that had no relevance for her.  It was really becoming annoying.  Then while I stopped to look at bathroom rugs, Jackie walked away from me but thankfully she returned quickly.  I reminded Jackie that she was to stay close by me or we would have to leave.  In a quick moment, Jackie walked away again.  Ugh! Now I'm really becoming annoyed.  When I looked in the next aisle and saw no sign of Jackie, I began to panic a little before a nice lady came around the corner and asked if I was looking for my daughter.  She then told me that an employee found Jackie alone and was walking her toward the front of the store at the very moment to page me.  Oh. My. Noooo!  I had to get up there before my name was blasted over the PA system. How mortally embarrassing that would be!
I started to run around the next corner toward the front of the store and to my relief, there was Jackie standing with a nice Walmart employee talking to the Walmart greeter. Whew! Saved from mortal embarrassment just in the nick of time. Jackie noticed me right away and broke into a sheepish grin.   I didn't even say a word.  I just sternly motioned for Jackie to come to over to where I was standing.  "But Mommy, I just wanted to look at something and that lady took me away."  Uh huh. I sternly reminded Jackie that she must not walk away from like that again.  The nice employee even gently reminded Jackie that she needed to stay with her mommy so that she doesn't get lost.  Then Jackie again told me that she just wanted to look at something.  Yeah right kid, did you not learn a lesson just a half hour ago at Lowe's? 
I don't know what was up with Jackie but she was totally off her rocker tonight. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

I Am So Excited!

I recently found a friend from high school on Facebook.  This is a friend who was a true friend to me in school. And one of the few people who accepted me despite my very unpopular status as a student. Unfortunately, I lost touch with her when I left that high school before my sophomore year.  But, I never forgot about her.
Charlotte was a true jewel.  I first met her in my Algebra class, a subject which Charlotte really struggled with. Charlotte often looked to me for help in that class and I was glad to be of help even though, at first, I couldn't understand why she always asked me for help.  I mean, why didn't she ask somebody else who was more important.   I can laugh about this now (and hopefully she can, too), but I remember a couple of times getting really annoyed and frustrated with Charlotte because I just could not understand why she couldn't get it.  I mean, what was so hard about Algebra?  This is sort of getting off topic but this also brings back another painful memory of being bullied.  I enjoyed Algebra and excelled at it.  And the teacher was awesome.  I'll never forget her name, Mrs. Kropinack.  Mrs. Kropinack surprised me at the end of the school year at an assembly by awarding me a High Academic achievement certificate for her class.  When she called my name, I'll never forget how the other students booed and hissed.  They hated me. But I'll never forget Mrs. Kropinack's response.  One could tell by her face that she was angry about the disrespect and the auditorium became very quiet.  I was embarrassed, though, and hoped that I was never called up for anything like that again.   It was so humiliating.
Because Charlotte looked up to me for help in Algebra class, we developed a really good friendship, one of the only real friendships that I had anywhere. She invited me to her house and I loved hanging out with her and her friends. They seemed to truly care about me.   I expected to be back-stabbed but it never occurred.  They really were my friends.  IHaving been bullied at school, I was a socially awkward kid but Charlotte didn't seem to mind.  She was so much fun to be with and it got me out of my severely dysfunctional home.  It didn't matter to Charlotte that I was ugly, socially inept, unpopular, didn't dress nicely, had Coke bottle-thick glasses.  She made me feel like I had some worth.  Charlotte was a great friend to me and I was so sorry when I moved away and lost touch with her.  I have never forgotten her and would occasionally wonder over the years where she was and what she was up to.  I even tried looking Charlotte up online to no avail.
Recently, Charlotte's name popped up on Facebook as somebody I may know.  I took a closer look and realized that it definitely was the Charlotte that I knew from high school.  Wow!  It's been well over 20 years since the last time I had contact with her.  So, I sent her a message. I was ecstatic that she responded back that she remembered me. Her note to me nearly had me in tears with joy. I was so happy to be back in touch with somebody who meant so much to me during my high school years.  
So this evening, I was finally able to talk to Charlotte this evening for a few minutes while on my way to Zumba.  Charlotte shared how much it meant to her that I helped her through Algebra.  And how fun it was when we and her friends hung out.  We were not party girls but we still had fun together.  That means so much to me to know that I had an impact on somebody even when I felt worthless.  Charlotte shared how she told her kids about me when one of her children struggled with Algebra.  She never forgot about me.  I can't tell you how much that means to me.  I am beyond excited that Charlotte and I have resumed our friendship.  And I can't wait to talk to her again this weekend. 
You know, Facebook has been good in many ways.  Until recently, I had not had any contact with anybody from my school years in North Carolina.  I didn't have close friends, I just didn't matter to anyone.  But in the past couple of years, I have received friend requests from a handful of people whom I least expected to hear from and it has been cathartic in a way.  These are people who have apologized either for themselves or for what was done to me.  And because of Facebook, I have been able to forgive and I have developed good relationships with those people.  It's been somewhat of a healing process for me.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

My Boy Needs Help

I'm starting to get a little worried about my boy.  He seems to have a fetish with all things girly.  This morning, I woke up to him standing at the side of my bed.  When I started to get out of bed, I saw Ben pull my bra out from beneath his pajamas.  Now I usually can't see a thing until I get my glasses on or contacts in but I clearly saw my son just pull my bra out of his pajamas.  When I asked him what he was doing, he just looked at me, shrugged his shoulders with his hands out, then walked off out of my bedroom.  Hmm.  Never a dull moment in this house.  And that is not the first time that he has tried to wear my bra.  That boy certainly keeps my life interesting.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

April Fool Recap

I know this is a late update.  It was a busy weekend. 
I got a lot of people on April Fool Day.  It was fun.  After my prank on Tim, I texted several of my friends to tell them that my dog has gonorrhea.  I nearly wet my pants from laughing at all the different responses that I received.  And every time I looked over at my dog, Lucy, I would laugh more.  With a little guilt. Poor dog.  And thankfully, she was oblivious to it all.  Otherwise, she may have been a tad embarrassed.  Then maybe not, since her nickname is Dumb Dog.
Later that afternoon, I told hubby about my prank with the doggy gonorrhea.  He laughed.  Then he asked if Lucy had it.  Um, no Dear.  Did you not learn from my prank that morning?  What a tool.  Or perhaps a fool?

PS. I do love my family.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Got Him Good

Last night, I was thinking of a good way to get Tim good today.  And I wanted it to have something to do with his beloved bikes.  He has a Suzuki dirtbike and a KTM dirtbike. He also has a Harley Davidson.  But the dirtbikes are his favorites.  If I had planned it better, I would have enlisted somebody's help to move one of the dirtbikes and hide it somewhere and then just wait for Tim to notice the missing bike.  He would have freaked out. Well, he would have done more than that.  And Tim doesn't get freaked out often.  Since I didn't have time to put that plan together, I decided that I would just wake Tim this morning and excitedly tell him that one of the bikes is missing.  I could just imagine Tim sitting straight in bed and immediately running out into the garage with me.  Thankfully, Tim wears clothes to bed because in this case, I don't think he would have even taken time to get dressed before running out to find the thief.  That's how much those bikes mean to him.  And me?  I wouldn't have been able to keep a straight face so I would have had to hide in a closet or in the basement.
As luck would have it, though, Tim was up early this morning (even on his day off!).  So, I had to come up with another idea.  Bingo! I thought of one right away.  Now I just had to make sure that Tim didn't go into the garage before I left to take Ben to school.  I got Jackie up and ready for school.  After I got her onto the bus, I proceeded to get Ben ready for school.  For a few moments, I thought my plan was derailed after Ben went into a major tantrum that lasted at least 15 minutes, making us late for school.  But after I got Ben calmed enough to get him into the car, I quickly ran back inside and from the hallway I asked Tim if he sold his KTM.  Tim flew out of the recliner at record speed and and started running toward the garage.  Meanwhile, I had already made my way back into the garage.  Tim nearly yanked off the door leading to the garage.  He believed me!  I turned around and noticed a huge look of relief on Tim's face after he saw that his beloved KTM was actually safe.  He then looked around the garage to make sure his other precious bikes were safe, too.  Me?  Well, I just acted innocent and nonchalantly got into the car to take Ben to school.  Even if I did try to say something to Tim, I wouldn't have been able to with the laughter that I was stifling.   Yeah, I'm evil like that.  And Tim just turned around and walked back into the house without a word.  I knew I got Tim good. After I returned back home, he admitted that I got him good.  Haha.
Next up?  Hmm, I may list the boat on  Anyone want a boat?
Or perhaps, I should take the dog to the vet and come back with news that the dog has gonorrhea.  I know of somebody who did that one year.  Only it was the cat had syphilis.  And her husband believed it! Now that was classic.