Wednesday, January 28, 2004

here I am, again

I know I should be in bed, but I'm here anyway. Why is that, again?

Too much stuff going on. More arguments with DD, I don't know what is going through that child's head these days. She was crying during her bath, telling DH that her leg really hurt. There were no scrapes or bruises or anything, no apparent reason for it to hurt. She hasn't fallen recently, or twisted it, nothing like that. For several minutes she really kicked up a fuss about it.

Finally, though, she admitted to DH that she was faking! He caught her laughing and smiling when supposedly her leg was hurting and she had been crying just seconds previously...we talked to her quite sternly about this, as it's not the first time this has happened. She complains about being sick or in pain, and only cops to lying about it when I say she'll have to go to the doctor.

I wonder, is she really in pain, and just doesn't want to go to the doctor? She has a cousin (first) with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, and given all the health problems I have, it's not unreasonable to think she may have some of the same conditions, including RA.

Or does she just want attention? Lately all her bids for attention have been so negative. I try to remember to notice her in a kind way several times throughout the day, but it's never enough. She always has to do something to make me annoyed! Expert button pusher, she is...

Still, this fake illness thing has got to stop. I can envision that one day she'll have a stomach ache and we'll blow it off and then her appendix will burst.

At least DS2 wasn't a bear today. Although he was over using the potty this evening! I told him straight out: "I'm sick of changing diapers and I want it to end. I know you're not ready to give them up. So, here's the deal: I don't mind changing peepee diapers, but I don't see any reason I should ever have to change a poopy diaper again." Then I left him in the bathroom on his own (on the potty) and after a couple of minutes, he went! Now, he's done this many, many times, so he knows he can do it. He was just being stubborn about it earlier. But now that he knows I'm not going to make him pee in the potty (yet), he's cool with it. For now, anyway. !

DS1 was only a slight pest because he's got a naggy little cough. Every 30 seconds, I swear it was "cough, cough, cough". I asked him if maybe he could put a little effort into those coughs and clear things up and give us all a break? He tried. We got a whole 2 minutes without a cough, then! Enough to make me insane. An you know he rarely covers his mouth! I'm living in germ central!

Did some fun work today. That was cool, but have to get down to more nitty-gritty... tomorrow.

DS1 will be SEVEN on Thursday. I can't believe it!

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

procrastination must be contagious

Or is it just this place, none of us ever want to leave?

I could be cleaning up the kitchen. I should be baking, I never got to it last night. Then of course I have paying work to do, too, but I just had a work phone call about some stuff and there's nothing pressing for this precise moment...

Well, last night I fell asleep on the couch in front of the TV at about 10:30, woke up at 11:15 and got ready for bed and fell into it, and slept until 8! Still feel sleepy today, though. (yawn)

Next week, I have a HIDA scan scheduled for Tuesday, DS1 has early release on Wed, Thurs I have a thyroid ultrasound, and Friday I have my endoscopy. Yikes. Expensive week. I wonder how much of all that my insurance will cover? I have no idea. I am already starting to feel sorry for myself, having to deal with all that crap. Eh, I'm not feeling that bad, really, but if it is my gallbladder it will be very good to find out now before it gets worse!

More later, I'm sure...

Monday, January 26, 2004

what was that NY's resolution again? + 2 good things

Well, we're coming to the end of January and I think I've kept my New Year's resolution to be in bed before midnight exactly once. That is so pathetic.

Last night I was up until (hanging my head in shame) oh, around... 3:30. Eeep. However, I did some kick-butt work and am really pleased with it. And today I wasn't even that zombie-like! Hee.

Saw the G/E doc today. He was younger than me! I have hit "that age", I suppose. Hee, again. It was great because my mom stayed home with the kids, so I was able to focus on why I was there and giving him my complex history and eveyrthing. He ordered a bunch of lab tests, some kind of scan, and an EDG or is EGD? Endoscopy. Whee! He thinks that celiac is by no means out of the question, and when I brought it up, he said, "Certainly, certainly, we'll check for that." He also thinks the chronic pain is gallbladder... I know 2 folks who have had their gallbladders out with no complications, so if that's what it is, I'll be just as happy to be rid of it.

Now I just have to wait for test results to come back and see what's going on. In the meantime, he put me on Prilosec (I think, it's one of the acid blockers) and fiber to help with the other problems I'm having. Should be interesting.

I made an awesome dinner tonight, a seafood soup (recipe coming soon) with my variations on Sherri's flatbread (soy-free). I know my poor Mom really appreciated having the awesome soup to help her cold. I was freezing all day (temps dropped a bit here again, it's where it's supposed to be again), and the soup just hit the spot. It's wonderful how just a nice meal can help pick up your spirits... Oh, I had DH pickup up Burger King for the kids since they all hate soup! Their loss. (Hee, again)

DS1 was home from school today, he got sick this morning right after he got up, pretty much. Then he got sick again about an hour or two later, and that was it -- he has been fine the rest of the day. When I got home from the dr's, the place was trashed. They had taken out about 6 different things with multiple parts (dominoes, Lego dinosaurs, Hungry Hungry Hippos...) Yikes! I told them they needed to clean up and they all got snippy with me, so I sent them upstairs. I did end up cleaning it all up for them (bad mom! bad mom!) but then I revoked all TV privileges for the rest of the day as a consequence. Hee! I am evil.

I don't care, it was easier than yelling at them to get them to put all that stuff away, and there was a consequence which they may actually remember later. Well, I can hope, right?

Tonight, a little baking, I must must MUST have "snackies" or else I eat garbage and feel lousy. I can only eat so much cheese! I think I'll make the LC chocolate cake... hmmm or go back to the "not bread pudding" because everyone loves it... decisions, decisions!

Oh, and that NY's resolution thing? Tonight, for sure!

Edited to add:
Two really nice things happened to me today, and it's really good to write things like that down before they are forgotten...

First, and most astonishing: My new doctor asked me if I had had any children. Now, that's a pretty standard question, but I was literally stunned. You mean he couldn't tell by looking at me that I have kids? You mean the word "MOM" isn't tattooed in 3-inch letters on my forehead? You mean my dress, demeanor, and expression don't spell out clearly, "Not only is this woman a mother, she is coming to the end of 7 years of diaper duty!"

So, I was stunned, but pleased. Because I had managed to present myself to someone new who asked me about my health issues, of course, but also about my writing, my school, and the Red Sox' chances this year now that they have Shilling. We didn't talk about the kids, except to acknowledge their existence. Which was right, because I wasn't there for my kids, I was there for me, and I accomplished what needed to get done.

Hey, I'm not just my kids' mom! Cool.

Second: I was puttering around in the kitchen making dinner and my mom asked me, "What did you pay for those pants?" (I'm wearing the new pants today!) I told her, $30. I wondered, where is she going with this? She's thrifty, but $30 on a nice pair of pants is pretty reasonable. I didn't think she was going to be disapproving but I was still curious about where this was leading. Then she said, "You should have bought 2 pair. They look really nice on you." I love my Mom.

off to work

I can't believe I was immobilized on the couch watching "Zorro the Gay Blade" until 11PM. It's like my brain refused to budge. The movie is so campy it's ridiculous. But, that's the point, I suppose. I liked it better when I was younger and less grouchy. But still I had to watch the whole thing. I think it was perhaps to see George Hamilton in all his outrageous "Bunny" Zorro outfits.

Now I have to get to work... hee!

Sunday, January 25, 2004

doing what must be done

After a couple of hours with the girls over coffee, I had some retail therapy at the Gap... 3 tops and a really nice pair of trousers for only $55. I really needed the tops because all of my old long-sleeve tops are just that, old and stretched out and stained and falling apart. I have sworn off wearing icky clothes unless I myself am feeling icky... I've found so often that wearing bad clothes puts me in a bad mood. So it was fun to pick up clothes that fit and look nice. I so deseperately needed the pants, too. I realized that I have 2 pairs of jeans and 2 pairs of yoga pants, and 1 pair of rayon flow-y patterned pants, and that was it. There are times when I don't want to wear jeans or yoga pants or those rayon ones, which are pretty but on the casual side. I have been watching too much "What Not To Wear" and I had straight-leg pants envy... lucky me, I found some that fit for only $30.

One thing that's weird is that post-pregnancy and starting this WOE, I actually can find pants that fit. I was never able to do that in the past, always had a "back shelf" that made it impossible to find pants that fit in the waist. One thing that helps is the lower rise style now, but also that my butt is more in proportion to the rest of me!

I had bought a bunch of pullover sweaters from Coldwater Creek back in the early fall. I got XS because they seem to run big there (or maybe it is just me), but they are just too big. I think it is that the weight of the rib is heavier than I expected. At any rate, I don't like the way they fit or feel on me (although they are a nice cotton). They are cut for someone who actually has a chest. Not me! I didn't pay much for them so it doesn't bother me too much, I should've just got one and then ordered more... oh well.

So that shopping gave me enough of a boost so that when I got home I actually put away the laundry, dusted, and cleaned the three bathrooms. There is other stuff to be done but that is the stuff that should've been done days ago, it's good to finally just do it! I don't know why I go into avoidance mode from time to time, I wish I did, because then maybe I could figure out how to get out of it.

I have to do some work-work today, itching to do that now, but I'm wondering if I can get away with it. DH is dozing on the couch while the kids are watching their new Hot Wheels movie (DS1 asked for it for his birthday, so I bought it as an early present). It's not as bad as I thought it would be, but I haven't actually watched it, just seen bits and pieces. The soundtrack is pretty decent rock'n'roll. That's one thing about these toy-videos, they usually have pretty good music. All the Barbie ones use classical/ballet, which is wonderful...

Coffee today was typical... one of the girls is a bit on the competitive side and things can get a bit rowdy, with everyone talking at the same time. I found myself sitting back and listening, although trying to encourage one friend who has a 2.5 year old who is driving her nuts... he's a lot like my DS1 was at that age, and it really takes a lot out of you, dealing with a kid like that. As I was leaving I realized that I never mentioned my new job to any of them, and barely talked about the contractor work on the new room, nor did I get a chance to mention that I talked this week to an old friend of ours who now lives in VA. It wasn't worth it to try and fight for the "conversation space". no big deal.

Still, it did make me miss that friend in VA. When I get together with these girls, it can be hard because for the most part it is very superficial. There are a couple I am closer to, but generally I am not open with my heart with them, we are just not that close. Certainly not in the group... you never know where what you say may end up with that crowd! They are not bad people by any stretch, and individually (for the most part) they are easy to take, but in the group... I don't know. It's fun to get out but mainly I look forward to the time away from the house on my own.

Saturday, January 24, 2004

unexpectedly refreshed

Today started off a bit rough as I was up "stupid late" again last night, and slept in till 9. That wouldn't be so bad except DD was up from about 3AM to 4AM crying, whining, sniffling, refusing to blow her nose and generally being a PITA because she slept on her arm funny and it fell asleep. As far as I know, no one has ever died of pins-and-needles, but you would never know that from witnessing the performance DD put on. And since it started about one and a half hours after I finally got to sleep, I really did not appreciate it...

Lots of all-over pain today, joints &muscles & gut... the weather continues damp and rainy, that's not helping. After my dr's appointment on Monday I'm cutting out gluten completely hope that will help.

So. DD was invited to a birthday party for a classmate at Makutu's Island (formely Playhouse Disney). It was very loud and she had a lot of fun. I could go on at great length about her interactions with one of her classmates, but not now... I'm still milling over what to do about it. Blech.

The party was fine except it was very noisy and I was on my feet the whole time so now my back is feeling horrible. I finally got DD out of there at about 2PM, and came home and put the ribs on the grill. After 45 minutes or so I throw them in the oven to steam. They make a great dinner on Saturdays because DH doesn't need to do anything to them while I'm at church.

So, went to Mass with Mom and I was feeling so exhausted, like I could just fall asleep. I just rested and sang while I was there, and let the peaceful air just penetrate me. The choir sang a beautiful 4-part harmony after communion, it was absolutely gorgeous, uplifting in every way. I realized when we left the church that I was feeling much better, just being away from home and in an atmosphere of no stress, no children needing attention, even though it was only for an hour.

Came home, finished making dinner -- cornbread and coleslaw -- and we had a really nice meal, all the kids like this dinner and do not hassle us about having to eat. It made such a big difference! Even though there are toys all over the place I'm still not feeling so frazzled.

I did pray today for God to help me see the path before me clearly, and to help me to take the best care of my family while I'm on it... sometimes I do feel stretched-too-thin, and I was starting to get that feeling, but for now it seems to have dissipated.

Of course, I still haven't done my housework, but who's keeping score? :P

Tomorrow, coffee with the girls in the morning and I'll do some work, too. And maybe do the housework, finally. I can't imagine that I used to let things go for 3 or 4 weeks at a time... now after only a week I'm about ready to scream! I think that's a good indicator of how out-of-it I was during my depression. I honestly didn't notice how nasty stuff would get. Scary.

DH is getting the kids ready for bed. I'm looking forward to a nice quiet evening with him!

Friday, January 23, 2004

scratchy throat blues

Did you ever find yourself "locked" into a situation and realize that you should just back out and try a different approach, but couldn't? That was me, several times today... I just feel as if I am constantly butting heads with the kids these days.

Right now we're trying to get them to pick up all the toys strewn all over the family room, before shipping them off to bed. I'm not going to do it tonight, I've done it every other night this week and it's just ridiculous. There's no reason why they can't do this task. Fortunately DH is cracking the whip, so they're actually picking up...

Sometimes I complain so much I get tired of listening to myself.

The contractors are doing a beautiful job. The new wall is all framed and sheetrocked. Our bedroom's dimensions are changed considerably, but it is still a very big room. It's actually nice to have a wall now, before we had a big open space leading into the study. It made it difficult to arrange the furniture. Now we won't have that problem. The room should be done by the end of next week, I think. One very good thing is that the carpet is in such good shape that we don't need to buy any new floor covering at all, which is saving us a whole bunch of money. We're also having the contractor bid on some other small jobs for us which will just make life a little easier, and now we most likely won't have to come up with much extra money at all for those jobs. Yay!

I had a productive phone meeting with the developers I'm working wtih today. They were really psyched as I had discovered a bug, but we were very quickly able to reproduce it. Fortunately, it's something that will be relatively easy to fix. I have about 3 hours of writing up to do, don't know whether it will be today or tomorrow... workworkwork but it feels good.

Not enough time in the day. Going to see the G/E doc on Monday so I must get my thoughts in order for that.... busy weekend ahead!

I do wish this postnasal drip would quit... my throat has been icky all day, and I don't really know what to do about it. I don't think it will get worse because it has been holding steady at this annoying level for about 3 days now. Blech. Makes me want to crawl in bed with a hot toddy and pray that the high alcohol content will kill all the germs... too bad it doesn't work that way!

Thursday, January 22, 2004

too busy.

The job has started and I really am squished for time, mostly because I spent like an hour on the phone with an old girlfriend tonight... it was wonderful but I'm feeling a bit "Eeek!" now... so far the work is going well, though. That's cool.

The contractors continue to be wonderful. They are especially great around the kids, for which I am truly grateful.

Mom made her amazing meatloaf (LC, of course) for dinner tonight, and I immediately realized this would make a perfect column topic! They're just falling into my lap!

Still feeling tired, but I don't think it's because of too much running around, although maybe it is... I think it would definitely help if I could just stay curled up with a book somewhere for like three straight days, and sleep whenever I wanted, as long as I wanted... but that's not going to happen. At least not anytime soon.

The thing is, the level of running around is pretty constant. Before the holidays, it was worse. And I know before my surgery, I wasn't as fatigued as I am now. I actually felt pretty darn good before the surgery. Maybe I'm still feeling lingering effects of that, I suppose that shouldn't be surprising.

The other thing is that I have been doing more writing, which I love, but does take something out of me. And the last thing is that the kids have been absolutely brutal lately, taking turns pushing my buttons, pushing back on every limit, over-reacting to any minor negative turn, you name it. That is what is really draining me these days. I need a vacation from them! Or, at least from their extreme behavior.

I think it's just a bad confluence of developmental stages. Lord, I hope so, and I hope they grow out of them quickly.

Today I found out that the preschool plans I made for DS2 for next year won't work, since the class I had planned to enroll him in doesn't exist! So much for that. So I'm looking into other options, including the preschool at the Child Study Lab at ASU, which may work well if I take a course or two... I'm thinking this is another way that God is showing me what path I should take... I have ideas about how things will go, but I keep finding that my path is turning a different way...

This will take some research but will probably be decided by the end of February. I think this is amazing, because what, 6 weeks, 8 weeks ago? I had no clue where my life was going, and now I feel like I'm finally moving... if only I can keep up with myself!

things that make you go hmmmm

Everyday I come in and here and complain about how tired I am. Seriously, I've been doing this for a little over a month and I think I mention that exhaustion/tiredness/fatigue/ whatever you want to call it -- in every single entry.

I didn't really think it was that bad, but if it's bad enough for me to write about it every day then maybe I should do something about it? Sheesh.

I'm not going to censor myself, though, as this is a good tool for helping me keep track of how I'm feeling (physically). I need to be able to discuss trends in pain and fatigue with my doctors so they can treat me. It would be stupid of me at this point to go into my endo's in a few weeks and say, "I'm fine" when I have all this accumulated evidence that I'm not fine.

Yes, I stay up late -- I think I've only kept my NY's resolution once -- but it's not like I get up so early. Most days I don't wake up before 8. I almost always get at least 7 hours, many days, 8. I'd venture to say that most days I get close to 8 hours sleep. I shouldn't be feeling this dead on that much sleep.

Today, it f'in' rained off and on all day here -- if I wanted this kind of weather, I'd live in Seattle, thankyouverymuch -- so my hands and feet and hips and shoulders are all killing me, the worst day in ages. Hmmm. Maybe I'll take some ibuprofen before bed. That will probably help, you think! Sometimes I'm so stupid.

Worked almost 3 hours today. Way cool. Tomorrow, housework! Ick. But it must be done. ttfn

Wednesday, January 21, 2004


Lots of running around with the kids today. Talked to half of my siblings today (1 sister, 2 brothers), there's a lot going on in the family, some good, some not-so-good... it's still nice to hear from folks, whatever is going on.

The contractors started today and they are OUTSTANDING. They were so neat and careful, and were great about my little ones watching (they were not underfoot)... I'm really encouraged by how well it went today. They cut the door and started the demolition of the wall. It's going to look really nice when it's through. We discussed putting wood floors down in the new room rather than replacing the carpet. The contractor thinks it will cost about the same, so we'll go with it, most likely. We'll have to wait for the final cost estimate to be sure.

I made omelettes for dinner. I just didn't want the same old stuff, but everything that I really wanted (Sherri's Flat Bread, for instance) needed one or more ingredients that I did not have. I'm out of cream cheese. (ARG!) And tomatoes. More shopping tomorrow -- Sam's club, where I will get cream cheese. And tomatoes! Among other things, of course...

DS2 is making good progress with the potty these days. Tonight I bribed him with a dum-dum lollipop, with absolutely no shame or guilt. If I can get him to use the potty with those things, I will. My 2 older kids were impervious to bribes, but they trained easily because I let them run around with bare bottoms, at which point they learned very quickly. DS2 positively freaks out if I take off his pants, so that's not an option with him. So I may go with the lollipops. I would really like to not have to buy diapers (except for overnights) ever again, and I have about 3/4s of a big carton left, it should be enough to get us through a few weeks of training. I'm being ridiculously optimistic, I know, but I have been changing diapers non-stop for SEVEN YEARS and I am just so over it, ya know?

Have more work to do tonight but I'm unsure I have any energy left for it... have at least 3 more great column ideas but again, lack the energy to crank them out. Some day.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

I'm officially employed

Today, everything happened at the same time, pretty much.

A little before 11, DS2 announced that he wanted to put his poopy in the potty. Those of you who have little ones understand how momentous this type of announcement is. Unfortunately, he had already put it in his diaper, which I didn't realize until I was taking it off of him so he could sit on the potty! That was OK, except that while I was cleaning him up, the phone rang, and ...

It was my new boss! We had already re-scheduled the phone meeting for 11. EEK! I'm with a poopy-bottomed toddler and trying to juggle the phone... I just told him about it immediatel (in the most general terms... 'I'm dealing with potty issues"... ) he has young kids too and so he does sympathize. Plus, he knows i'm working from home and this is my environment. We spent a few minutes waiting for an email to get to me, then he rang off to set up the conference call. Within about 3 minutes of that call coming in, the doorbell rang, and...

It was the contractor! I had to leave him in my Mom's capable hands while I escaped to the patio (about 68 degrees, sunny, beautiful breeze, birds singing) and we reviewed our project outline document for about a half-hour. DS2 could not shut up, he was so excited about the contractor coming over, so I just had to run away, and since the contractor was working upstairs, I had to go somewhere... out the door!

By the time I got off the phone, I should've been leaving to get DD from school, but I spent about 10 minutes with the contractor answering some of his questions, and then dashed to get DD ... only 15 minutes late, and no one seemed upset by it, least of all her. DS2 accompanied me on both trips today, still in his pj's, and happy to just sit in the car. This morning he was ticked he couldn't get out and play, but I can't let him out if he has no shoes on! This afternoon, he was cool with it, he just likes either being with me or riding in the car, or both!

Now I'm going to have to get to work, and so I don't expect to be around here as much as I have been recently. But who knows, I may be just the same, or even more, if I feel the need to decompress! I'm psyched about this job starting, though.

Time to get to it!

Monday, January 19, 2004

What will tomorrow hold?

I was supposed to get more info on my freelance job today, but it still hasn't shown up. And since it's now practically 11PM on the East Coast, where my boss is located, I somehow kinda think I'm not going to hear from him today. Last time we spoke, he scheduled a teleconference (I always like to call them phone meetings) with me and his regular project status meeting, to "introduce" me to the developers I'll be working with. That's at 9:30, so that means I can't be late bringing DD to school or I'll miss the call! ... gotta be good tonight and get to bed at a decent hour so I can get up and be on time!

Didn't hear from the contractor today, so I have no idea if he's coming tomorrow or not -- most likely not. Kind of annoyed he didn't call to let me know his status.

After this morning's grumpy entry, things went pretty well. Ordered Domino's for the kids for lunch and I had some, too (my stomach is not happy with that decision, but I figure if I'm going to eat wheat & gluten it might as well be pizza). We were going to go out to eat, but DD refused to even entertain the idea of going anywhere other than Mimi's Cafe, so I just said, forget it, we'll eat at home.

Then we went out to the Discount Card & Party Store which is right next to the new Fry's we have. Mom was happy, she got to buy all her postcards and Valentine's Day cards. The kids enjoyed looking at all the cool stuff they have in that store, and they each got a free helium balloon (the nice ones, too, not the little cheapie ones). Then we went into Fry's for a bunch of different things, and DS2 was such a pill! He whined the whole time we were in there, I swear... the only one who did not hassle me today was DS1.

I was so frazzled when we got home from that shopping trip that I just stuck my nose in the computer after we got home and didn't look up until it was time to make dinner... dinner, cleanup, reading with the kids, actually got them in bed before 8:30 which is a miracle... whew!

I hope I have better dreams tonight.

shoot me now

ahhh... no it's too quiet, now that you mention it

Boy, do I feel lousy, but that is nothing new for these days.

I am making an effort to eat some wheat every day because I'm seeing the g/e doc on the 26th, and if I really do have celiac, I want there to be some antibodies floating around! And I do feel crummy... I know I would feel better if I cut out the wheat, but I need to get this diagnosis... sounds stupid, huh? But I know that the test won't work unless I'm actually eating gluten, so there ya go.

I'm still down from my experience yesterday with my friend. I had horrible dreams last night... I need to shake off this funk! Time to get going, should do something with the kids today, they spent all weekend in their pj's (not that they minded that in the least!)

I'm off, I'm sure I'll be in here later to complain more !


I spent 7 hours today helping my friend write a rebuttal to pages and pages of absolute dreck, written about her by her sister, as they try and settle her father's Estate. We ended up with an 11 page document.

Do you have any idea how exhausting it is to go, paragraph by paragraph, through family history, some of it painful, and through lies and allegations, all of them despicable, for 7 hours? This was killing me, I cannot imagine the havoc it wreaked on my poor friend.

She held up pretty well, actually, mostly because I just wouldn't let her get to into any one thing. I tried to keep it moving -- she would start getting involved in a painful story, and I would cut her short and say, "That doesn't matter now, we have to answer this with facts -- " and I kept her busy finding letters and dates and names and addresses.

I feel that we did a good job of providing a lot of information and evidence to show that her sister is insane, psychotic, and not to be trusted, without ever actually using any of those terms. There was no character assassination, just-the-facts, ma'am. I hope her lawyer makes something of it and they make some progress in settling the Estate, because my friend has been dealing with this crap since her father died in July of 2002! It is way too stressful on her.

I do wish she would come here. She has a weight problem, too, and could really use a support system.

A word of thanks to my Mom, who didn't mind being stuck in the house again all day (or if she did, she didn't mention it to me), and who cooked a really nice dinner for us all. Fortunately for me, I'd thought ahead last night and took out a pork roast to defrost, so all the thinking about it was already done.

Back in my own life, I was grumpy with the kids all evening, and then shooed them off when my older brother called to gloat about the Patriots and decry the abject failure of the Eagles. Still, it was a pretty down day. You can't not be affected by doing work like that all day. I just hope that my friend can start moving on now that this huge task is behind her.

Saturday, January 17, 2004

where did today go?

I actually got up early but did nothing for several hours except toodle around on the computer here & elsewhere...

The tire place called and said they were replacing the 2 front tires -- no charge. One of the tires was defective, but they replaced them both (I think that has something to do with tread wear and having it be even). I have been driving around with defective tires since September! Yikes! And I always have the kids with me, we zip around the highways every week... all I can say is Thank God the bad tire didn't blow out on us. Very scary thought. *whew*

Seriously, I did nothing today. Oh, wait, I fixed DD's necklace that DS2 had pulled apart. I had to get out some pliers because the links were too tiny for me to hold onto... but that took all of 5 minutes. I know I must've done something else, but what?

The car was finally ready just before 4, so DH and I dashed over to get it, so I could be in home in time to get Mom and go to Mass. Afterwards we went up to TJ's for some staples, then got home, didn't get dinner on the table until 7 but no one seemed to mind... DD was banned from snacks after 2pm today and actually ate her dinner although she did cry about having to eat 3 green beans.

I know one thing that has me off today is that I'm in a lot of pain again... I had to get up to take ibuprofen because I couldn't sleep this morning. Seriously, I'm never out of bed before 7:45 if I can help it, but I woke up at 7 and my hands were just throbbing.

Contractor called and he won't be able to start until Tues or Wed-- that's fine with me. More time to get my act together (as if).

Friday, January 16, 2004

the miracle of ibuprofen

After my earlier post, I finally found the ibuprofen after rummaging through two cabinets, and popped a couple... then I finally vaccuumed my disgusting family room and kitchen floors.. they were so gross, it was getting on my last nerve.

Then I put the coffee table back where it was supposed to be... DH had moved the sofa back after we put away the Christmas tree (I think that was just a week ago! OMG, I can't believe it was just last week!), but the coffee table was still off to the side, and the living room looked odd. So I got out the "magic sliders" and moved that sucker myself. It is huge and heavy, esp with all the books on the shelf it has! Magic sliders rule.

Then I went upstairs and tackled the study. I did not want to spend all weekend on it, and I made amazing progress. I have a huge pile of stuff to donate to charity. I suppose I could have a garage sale but I am just not into that, it is not my thing. If I know anyone who can use the stuff I no longer need or use, I'm always happy to give it to them. I wish I knew someone that could really use a crib and a pack-and-play, because now we really need to get rid of them because the boys will be sharing a room, so the crib has to go! But I don't know anyone, so I will call BirthRight and see if they can tell me who to give them to... other stuff, like clothes and books, will just go to Goodwill.

I always feel simply glorious after I do a "purge" like this, it's so wonderfully freeing to disentangle from the material goods that weigh me down. If I were single, I'd have a tiny studio apartment with a kick-ass kitchen with a breakfast bar, one wall of bookcases for my treasured volumes, DVDs, and CDs, a computer with high-speed internet access, a comfortable chair, a TV (with TiVO of course), and big four-poster bed with curtains I could draw to shut out the rest of the room. I would probably have one box of Christmas decorations, too. But that's it... somehow, I don't think I'll ever attain that nirvanic state!

So, the room is empty now except for one small bookcase still full of books, and the paintings on the walls. Not sure what I'm going to do with those. I have this huge oil painting that I love but everyone else in the family hates... maybe I'll sell it on ebay? Hmmm. Packing and shipping the thing would be an enormous expense in and of itself. In a previous life I had a lot of modern art, which is just not DH's thing. He's into watercolors and seascapes, landscapes. Since I love those things too, this is not a problem, except that I have to figure out how (or if) to store the art that is now up in what used to be my office.

The service center called about the vibration the van was getting at highway speeds. They checked the alignment and everything they could think of, and came to the conclusion that there is "interior tread separation" on one of the tires, and that's what's causing the vibration. So I had to pick up DH, go get the van at the Honda Service Center, then take it over to Big O for the guys there to check out the tires. Now, these tires are not too old. The back tires I got last May, the front tires in either August or September. I also bought a special warranty from them, so I'm pretty sure we're looking at two new tires, hopefully for little or no money. It kind of freaked me out because the Honda guys said it was not safe to drive the way it is now, and of course I have been driving around with that vibration for months now. Seriously. I even brought it back to Big O in the fall, and they rebalanced the wheels which seemed to help, but did not eliminate the vibration. Hopefully we'll get it back early tomorrow so the whole day is not disrupted... it is such a PITA having to drop DH off at work, and pick him up, I feel like I am spending my life behind the wheel.

Had at least 3 run-ins with DD today, wherein she totally wigged out over something inconsequential. She wanted to play a particular computer game and couldn't find it; I was upstairs, changing bed linens. I told her she could keep looking, play another game, or wait for me to finish my chores. Instead, she came upstairs, followed me around, berated me for not helping her, burst into tears because she couldn't find even though she looked really, really hard, and in general totally over-reacted. It was ridiculous.

Later, after I'd finished the vaccuuming and she had thrown pillows and things all over, I told her to pick that stuff up and put it away. This house is arranged to make it easy to put stuff and keep it neat; there is a place for everything, and nothing is hard to get to. I told her, "If you leave stuff on the floor, I'll just put it in the trash," to which she replied (this is a verbatim quote) "The only thing in this house that should be trashed is YOU!"

I told her she was being mean and disrespectful. I asked her how she would feel if I said that to her, and she said, "Happy!" So stubborn. I'm still trying to think of a good consequence for her disrespect.

Oh, and of course, for about the 19th straight day, she didn't want to eat what I made for dinner. The rest of us had leftover Chinese food from yesterday, but since she didn't eat it yesterday, I just made her some plain turkey cutlet and bread and butter. She still made a huge fuss about it. It's really infuriating, too, because she says "my stomach hurts" and gets all teary-eyed. As soon as she's excused from the table, she's miraculously cured. I don't want to dismiss the idea that she really is sick, but it's getting harder and harder for me to accept this act, night after night. I have decided to ban afternoon snacks for her entirely until she stops this behavior. It's ridiculous, she never eats a vegetable because "I'm too full" or "my tummy hurts" or something. She's so skinny that I do worry about her eating enough, but of course all she wants to eat is sweets!

At least, today, she didn't make me lose my temper with her, which has happened so many times in the past. I keep praying she'll get out of this phase, soon...

In more pleasant news, DH is scheduling a fancy dinner out for us and his business partner and his partner. This may be horridly stereotyped, but I have to say, partying with gay men is a blast. We always have so much fun with them (even though we have to avoid politics completely!), and one nice dinner written off as "corporate entertainment" is certainly reasonable.

I have too many column ideas running through my head, I have to just pick one! Off to see if I can bang another one out...

play now, pay later

I'm a hurting puppy today.

My back hurts, my hands are freaking killing me, and the muscles in my thighs keep seizing up. I think I am either coming down with something (boo hiss), or I'm having the worst flare I've had in ages.

I'm pretty sure that my back woes (mid back muscles, lower back feels all compressed in the spine) are because I have carried my kids around a few times this week. Not a lot, like last night carrying DS2 up to bed, and Wednesday hauling DD out of the mall. But that's a lot more than I have been doing. I haven't really carried them at all since about August when I first found out I would need the surgery. I rarely even picked them up for months, and only recently (mid-December) started picking up DS2 to go in the shopping cart again.

It really sucks not to be able to carry them without feeling like this afterwards. They are not big: DD only weighs about 34 lbs in spite of the fact she's 5. DS2 is probably approaching 30 lbs. I could see having a problem if they were really big kids, but they're not!

I need to try out the Vioxx my rheumatologist gave me but I'm waiting until after I see the G-E dr on the 26th. I've been having stomach woes and I don't want any new medications interfering with what's going on there. It's only another week or so now, so I'll be able to hang on...

Cranked out another column last night, that makes 4 done so far! I over-write SO MUCH it's pathetic. I spend 30 minutes writing and 2 hours editing... don't laugh. 500 words is enough to tell a good story but not enough to be as long-winded as I tend to be! It's great discipline for me, though.

Now I'm going to take some ibuprofen, then finish making up the kids' beds with clean linens... it never ends, does it?

Thursday, January 15, 2004

sweet & sour

I was reading some books to DS2 this evening before bed. He got up to get a book, and DD snuck in and stole his seat beside me on the couch. Of course, it being the end of the day and all, DS2 freaked out and got very upset: "That's my seat! That's my seat," trying to push DD off the couch... so I snuggled him up in my lap and we read the last book.

Then he was just looking so snuggly that even though he is way too big to be cradled in my arms, I did it anyway, and sang to him. We started with "Rock-a-bye Baby", and then did "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star". He was yawning and rubbing his eyes and I literally watched those little eyelids getting heavier and heavier. I asked him, "What next?" He said, "Winnie the Pooh", so I did that (I actually do know the words, we've watched it so often.) Then I broke out the big guns (don't laugh), "The Twelve Days of Christmas" -- he totally, completely loves that song. When I got to the 10th day I brought him upstairs to get a goodnight kiss from DH, and then just finished the 12th day as I was tucking him in. He snuggled right down on his pillow and went right to sleep... for one (possibly last) time, he was my little baby again. ***sigh***

That's the sweet and I'm savoring it, while at the same time wondering what I can do about the "sour", namely DD's utter and complete disrespect of me these days. It could be worse, she's only 5, so I have a lot of time to work with her, but man -- it just gets OLD. Seems like every day lately, if I ever say "no" to her about anything, she completely freaks out and over-reacts. For example, I wanted to go pick up DS1 at school today without taking her and DS2 along, and she just freaked out, yelling and screaming at me, going into the entire "I hate you" routine, including the "you never let me do anything!" corollary.

Sheesh. I'm a pretty strict mom, it's true, but at this age what that amounts to is putting away the toys she takes out, putting her clothes in the hamper, and clearing her place after meals. She has no "chores" to speak of. She expects to be waited on hand and foot, and argues with me nearly everyday about putting on her socks: "I can't get them right!" I firmly believe that kids should be taught to do things for themselves, but she fights me on this tooth & nail. I don't think it's unrealistic to expect a 5-year-old to be able to put on her socks and velcro strap shoes. I can see pulling this routine if I was denying her a birthday party or a long-promised treat, but the stuff she is reacting to this way is just ridiculous.

Well, I'm going to stick to my guns and enjoy the sweet moments, and hope that this phase with DD is a short one and will blow over quickly.


I've stayed up late the past 2 nights and now it is totally catching up to me. I'm just beat, and feel like I've been hit by a truck. Consequently, I'm in sweats (well, technically, yoga pants, but really, what's the difference?) and probably look like hell... so be it. I'm just taking it easy today after way too much running around and the late nights.

DS2 didn't want to get dressed today, either, so he's still in pj's. Not a big deal. Once in a while, you just need to lie around the house and not do anything. That's today... although I do need to vaccuum desperately. Don't know if I will or not, ! I did manage to clean off the counter (always a herculean task if left more than one or 2 days, the thing accumulates stuff from all points of the galaxy.)

DH is home from work, not well. I checked on him a little while ago, he is sleeping but felt a little warm. It could just be from sleeping (I love that sleep-warm feeling), but he could also be running a fever, as he was complaining of body aches. He really must be miserable to have come home from work. He never does that. Of course, he has been up late the past 2 nights watching "Gangs of New York" (ick), so maybe it's just that catching up with him. I do hope he doesn't have the stomach thing that we all got. I was hoping he'd been spared.

My "boss" called me this afternoon to talk about how to proceed with the freelance project. I'm going to participate in a phone meeting (oh, excuse me "teleconference" early next week to "meet" the developers I'll be working with. For. You know what I mean. So I guess I'm employed.

We'll see how it goes. Doubts are starting to creep in as they always do with me. I have (or had in the past) a major case of "imposter syndrome", where I don't think I'm capable of doing whatever is that I'm doing. You know, like I'm really faking it, and sooner or later someone is going to figure that out and expose me as the fraud I am.

I know exactly why this happens. I also, objectively, know it's bullshit. But I still get these feelings from time to time. I have to beat myself over the head with my real, actual accomplishments, reviews and professional recommendations that are nothing to sneeze at. As for the writing... I've a substantial body of work now and I know I can do it. So why the doubts?

I'm sure because it's new and out of my comfort zone. No matter, I'll deal, it will quickly become not-new and part of the "zone".

I put together another column last night. I'm suddenly inspired to crank them out before I get too busy with the freelance project. I need to let it sit for a day or two and revisit it, but I was really pleased with it last night when I finished. Of course that was at 1 AM when my judgement may have been somewhat impaired -- hence the waiting period and planned review!

OK, I have some time before I need to pick up DS1 at school, so I think I'll try and go knock off another one.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

a better day

Just as busy today, but DS2 was way less obnoxious and that made all the difference.

DS1 left a door open on the van last night, so the battery was dead and I needed to call my neighbor for a jump-start. I'm so thankful he was home... he came over with his 2 little ones, and I held onto his screaming DD (15 months) while he got everything set up. The whole thing only took about 5 minutes but it was an inconvenience for him. It's nice to have nice neighbors!

So then we took DD to school and went for a drive, taking the long route to Joanne's craft store to make sure the battery got charged up. I bought some yarn for more mitten/hat/scarf projects. Then we went to Border's and got DS2 his cookie before story time... that point marked the distinct change in his behavior, he has been back to what we call "Personality A". He even did all the songs and dances during story time! That was a first, after going for 5 months now...

The rest of the day was a blur of picking up DD from a bday party at Build-a-Bear Workshop (she had a blast, fussed about having to leave the mall) and a late afternoon trip to Trader Joe's, cooking dinner with Mom... I have no idea where the time has gone.

Oh, wait -- I've been in here responding to PMs and journal entries and the occasional odd post! I'm definitely going to have to watch it in here, this place is like entering a time warp!

I read Lora's latest journal entry and of course had to add my own reply. I sat there like an idiot for literally 15 minutes trying to figure out what to say, and completely failed to come up with anything coherent. So I just gave up and went short with my sentiments, but I wanted to say something about my feelings here where it's OK to be a goober if I can't put the right words together...

I'm accutely aware of how Lora has re-arranged her life to make all this possible. I've made monetary donations to LCL, but not nearly enough in terms of "value received". This may seem tangential, but bear with me: I subscribe to the Writer's Weekly ezine, edited by Angela Adair Hoy (I strongly recommend this to any aspiring writers out there: Writer's Weekly), and I've learned a tremendous amount about writing from Angela. One of her strongest admonitions to new writers is never, ever write for free, "for exposure". She has editorialized, compellingly, on the subject several times, and I agree with her 100%.

Yet, I am about to launch a column in LCL Magazine, a gig which pays no cash. Why am I doing this? Because I can. I can write, and one of the best ways I can contribute to LCL is by adding content. It's not "the least I can do" to show my appreciation for what I get from this site, it's the best I can do. I would never be able to make a cash donation to LCL equal to the "value" of my columns, because I'm not earning anything at all right now. I am producing, though, and I'm happy to contribute some of that production to LCL Magazine.

Things are in a nascent stage right now, and I'm looking forward to see how they change and grow. Whenever I can help, I will.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Mom & Kid Woes

Another pheonomenally busy day, with a high frazzle factor thanks to DS2, in the throes of becoming THREE!

Lord, deliver me from 3-year-olds that say things like, "I'm going to give you 10 spanks!" Or, "I'm going to break all the trees into little pieces!" You've got to admire the kid's vocabulary and elocution, but the sentiments could use some work.

Usual school ferrying, blah blah blah. DD and DS1 had dentist appointments this afternoon; left DS2 home with Gramma and a bunch of programs on the TiVO. I picked up DS1 at school, had him & DD eat their snack in the car on the way there. Brushed teeth at the dentist's office in the few minutes we had before the hygenist called us back.

Both of them did really well, especially DS1, who needed some scraping. I had been dreading that appointment for him, because he has a sensitive gag reflex and not very good muscle control over his mouth/lips, so there was potential for difficulty. But he did super, even the hygenist remarked on how well he did, so that was good. DS1 even did his math homework while DD was getting her teeth cleaned! How great is that?

So I was in a good a mood until I walked into the house and could smell DS2. You guessed it, he pooped, and "wouldn't let" Gramma change his diaper. The array of emotions that went through me when presented with this situation was astounding, but I mostly ignored them (and let them sort themselves out) while I got busy and cleaned him up (and now he has a rash on his butt!), and then cleaned up the quart of water that spilled out of DS1's water bottle when his backpack fell on the floor, and then cleaned up DD's muddy shoes and socks, which she had destroyed at school earlier in the day. Then I went upstairs and cleaned the 2 bathrooms up there, because I was so flummoxed I needed the time alone.

OK, so here's what I was thinking:
What is wrong with my mother that she will let a kid hang out in a poopy diaper for over half an hour? I'm not exaggerating, the smell filled the entire downstairs of the house.

I know, she didn't want to antagonize DS2 further, because he has been very offputting to her, not wanting her to do anything. But, c'mon, he's not even 3 yet, he stinks, and it's not a good thing to leave a kid in a dirty diaper like that! At a certain point, what the kid wants is irrelevant, and this is one of those times.

The only thing I said to her was, "Mom, if this ever happens again, you've got to change him. He has a rash now. "(she looked abashed) "I know he'll scream, but then you could put Scooby-doo or something on the TV for him, to distract him, and he would settle down eventually."

Seriously, why did I need to explain this to her? I felt like I was dealing with a teenage babysitter who had never had to deal with a situation like this before, which is so far from the truth... I'm the youngest of seven, my mom has 14 grandchildren (I think, too lazy to tote them all up now), and 2 great-grandchildren now, and has decades of experience in dealing with babies, toddlers, and children of all ages.

I know that she's most comfortable with little babies, and she's trying hard not to take DS2's tantrums and negativity towards her personally, but I'm sure it hurts her. But one of the reasons that DS2 is still so stand-offish is that she does nothing to engage him. She doesn't offer to take him for walks, or read to him, or even sit and watch his TV shows with him. She rarely interacts with the kids at all, so far, this trip. It could be that she's still peaked from that stomach virus, but I'm not so sure that's what it is.

During her last trip, I was pretty much out of it the entire time she was here. I had just had my surgery and did a lot of sleeping and resting and let her do most of the cooking and other things. Honestly, I didn't notice whether or not she interacted with the kids back in November, so I can't tell if this is a recent change or not. It could just be a change because the kids are older and she really dotes on the babies.

Now I'm back to normal and we have fallen into our old routines, where she and I share dinner duties and she has taken over the laundry. Today, when I was cleaning up the water-bottle mess, she helped Lucas do his spelling homework, reading him the words and checking his spelling. That was great, but really it's the first thing I've seen her do with him, since she got here...

I'm not complaining. I'm concerned. I've noticed when she is making a salad or something that she often leans on the counter, as if she didn't have the energy to stand up. She has told me that she still gets out of breath often. At Mass last weekend, she didn't say any of the prayers out loud. Perhaps the most disturbing thing she told me was that, before Christmas, she "prayed just to survive each day," !!! It seems as if she is regretting even having the triple bypass she had last spring. It makes me very sad and worried for her.

At the same time, though, I need to have a very clear picture of what she can and can't handle, or what she simply won't deal with, with respect to the kids. If she's not going to override DS2 to change his diaper, then the reality is, I can't leave DS2 with her. The older 2 kids are more self-sufficient and I'm sure she'd be fine with them, but she has to be willing to take a stronger tack with the little guy. If she doesn't feel as if she is physically capable of that, I need to know! I don't want to burden her with responsibilties that she doesn't feel capable of, and I don't want to leave the kids with someone who can't care for them.

The main problem is, I don't know how to bring this up to her. I don't want to hurt her feelings or make her feel as if she is a disappointment to me or that she is letting me down. She needs to be honest with herself and with me about what she can do, and what she will do or wants to do... Of course it could be that she just let the dirty diaper issue go today because she just didn't want to deal with it. I can see that... I don't agree with it, but I can see it.

I'm having such a hard time wrapping my head around why this happened... perhaps other folks will think I'm making too much of this situation, the "mountain out of the molehill" thing. But I don't think I'm blowing it out of proportion.

I am going to have to find a way to bring this up with my Mom.

Monday, January 12, 2004

taking the path laid before me

Today was an odd day, especially in here at TLC. There seemed to be an an air of unrest, but when I really stepped back from it, there were really only a very few disgruntled souls, and everyone else was just responding to them.

I don't care if there are "cliques" here, because I don't see 'em. I was lousy at that stuff in high school and refuse to go back there. As I posted in a comment somewhere around here, I just read what I want and post a reply or comment when I feel like it. Some days I just read. Some things leave me speechless with sorry, some inspire me, some make me laugh -- I admit I rarely post just to say, "Wow", or "I'm sorry", or "Congratulations!" Maybe I 'should', but that's not me. I also have a thing about not joining in "Happy Birthday" threads. Maybe I'm a jerk, I don't know, but... that's just me and I don't see any compelling (or even middling-sensible) reason to change.

So, about the path thingy... when I first started journaling here, I was agonizing over a Big Life Decision: stick with writing, or go for teaching. So I just decide to wait it out and see what came up. A few weeks go by, and one of my dear friends calls me to see if I can do some freelance tech writing for a friend of hers. Around that same time, I got off my butt and sent an email off to LCL Magazine about contributing an ongoing column.

So I heard back from friend-of-friend, and also from LCL Magazine, and it looks like those things are both "go", which makes me glad I didn't start to pursue the teaching thing, because I would have no time or energy to write! Now, of course, I have no energy (or time) to study for the teaching thing, but perhaps I will after the freelance job is finished (it's only supposed to be about 6 weeks.)

I find it very interesting that when I stopped fretting about things and let Life Decide For Me, that this is the decision that was made, the one that feels the "rightest" for now, and is certainly the most comfortable for me. Some other time I might be challenging myself on that "comfort" aspect, thinking I have become too comfortable and therefore complacent, but for right now, I'm not. There's no need to. What I'm doing now fits my life and responsibilities.


kidlet frustrations

DS2 is stuck to me like a barnicle as I type this. It has actually been a very busy morning, but I have other stuff I'd like to do now, and I can't because he doesn't want to get off my lap.

For some reason, he is just not bonding with my Mom this time around. She has been here a week, and he wants absolutely nothing to do with her. He cries in the mornings if she pours him his juice, never mind letting her make his breakfast. This really sucks. It would have been very helpful for me this morning if he would let her do these things -- I overslept but still needed to take a shower, so of course DD was late to school.

We all survived, as usual. !

After dropping off DD we went to Trader Joe's and to Sam's Club, just picked up a few things at each store. It's a lot of driving around, though. Got home and put groceries away and then it's time to get DD again... and then the cat decides to poop on the carpet: BAD CAT! So I was a little late picking up DD, since I had to clean up after the cat.

I went by myself, DS2 had said he would stay home with Gramma. I was psyched, off I went. Come home and as soon as I get in the garage I can hear him screaming in the laundry room. Gramma says he did that the entire time I was gone. I would feel bad for the kid but this is ridiculous. I asked him if he wanted to go with me or stay, he wanted to stay. I told him I was going, he didn't move. Then after I leave, he freaks out. Of course he's not yet 3 but still, I did give the kid 3 chances to come with me and he ignored me. Frustrating.

Got an email from Rob at LCL Mag and they like my column idea so it looks like I'll be contributing. I can't wait to see what feedback I get. A bit nervous but not as bad as I thought I would be about it.

I do have to get to work on that freelance project, though! I'm still fighting off that underlying feeling of fatigue... slept 8 full hours last night and would've hoped that would help, but it didn't.

Oh, and the contractor is starting next Monday on the upstairs bedroom project! YIPPEE!

Sunday, January 11, 2004

busy day

Slept in till 9:15 today, which I did not intend to do as I knew it would be busy. I wanted to do some baking and clean up the bathroom before my friend arrived, and that just didn't happen... oh well.

I made us all a big breakfast, which we finished a little after 10, then I dashed up to the market to get milk and a few veggies, then I threw together a pot of chili to simmer all day on the stove. My friend arrived just as I was giving the bathroom a once-over with cleaning wipes! hehehe

We had a nice visit, catching up -- I haven't seen her something like 6 years, but she looks just the same. She had some questions about LC because I had left my almond flour out (for the baking) on the counter, and later with lunch I was drinking a Thin Ice -- on sale for $3.99 a six pack! Unheard of! I have to go get more. I really like that stuff a lot.

The kids were great during her visit, which was nice. She was repeatedly impressed with how well they get along and how they play on their own. It was rather remarkable, there wasn't any whining the entire she was here, which was probably about 3-3.5 hours. For lunch, I threw some frozen wings on the grill and we had celery and carrots and ranch with that... I kept offering other things and she kept declining. Wonder if it was me or her? I'm not about to start worrying about that, she has known me long enough to be honest if she really wanted something she could ask (although I offered everything I could think of for her to drink, and she just wanted water, which of course is cool).

After she left, I kind of veg'd for a while, then I made the "not bread pudding" from the forum again (I swear, it's half gone already, the kids love it), and a cranberry-coconut quick bread in my silicone bundt pan. By then, of course, i should've been making dinner... ended up defrosting a steak for my mom & the kids to share, DH & I just had the chili. Yum. And of course we have a huge vat of it to look forward to eating. I need to find some canned baby corn so I can make some corn bread to eat with it, though! I was missing that sorely tonight.

This week is looking like a typical busy week, the 2 older ones have dentist appointments on Tuesday, and DD has a birthday party on Wednesday at Build-A-Bear (I wonder how much we'll end up spending there? She has Christmas money still, so I'm not worried, she may as well spend it there as anywhere else.)

I still don't feel as if we are back in the swing of the school schedule, it will take a while to get there... the kids did get in bed by 8:30 tonight and seem to have settled right down, which is key. They really need their sleep or they are just zombies, if there is such a thing as grumpy zombies? Let's just say they don't function as well. At least this weekend they did eat very well, which also helps.

I wish DS1 liked this coffeecake/bread pudding/whatever as much as the other 2 do. It has great protein and fats in it, it would make a great breakfast or lunch if only he would eat it! *sigh* He doesn't like any of my LC baking, but he doesn't like non-LC baking either (f.ex, he won't eat blueberry muffins). He really doesn't even like cake, mostly just eating the frosting. one thing he does really like is brownies (but not Atkins, ! Those were... not for us, let me say. I know some folks who like them a lot.)

Enough for now, I'm just rambling, but I still do have that "muffled" feeling and a general underpinning of fatigue. I hope it lets up!

Saturday, January 10, 2004


That's how I've been feeling all day today -- like I'm wrapped in a blanket of fuzziness. I don't feel in the least bit "sharp" or even awake.

Still, I managed to clean up the kitchen island, which had about 3 or 4 days' worth of stuff accumulated on it, you can only imagine it! And, I finally cleaned out the hall bookcase (threw out something like 8 old phone books) and now I have room for all my cookbooks, sheet music, and craft books that were piled haphazardly on top of it. AND I finally cleaned out the plastic chest-of-drawers that I got at Target before school started last year (the 2002-2003 school year), with 3 drawers, one for each kid's work... it was still full of last year's school work! So I chucked most of it, and was able to put away all this year's schoolwork, which had been piled haphazardly all over my desk.

If you are imagining that my house was just a series of haphazard piles, you would be right! It's amazing what the prospect of company will inspire me to do. I mean, I've had friends and my in-laws and now my Mom here, and I didn't mind them seeing my piles of papers and whatnut. For some reason I wanted it all gone, gone, gone before my old colleague gets here.

I need to bake, as I am rapidly eating my way through the last of the chocoloate peanut butter zucchini bread in the freezer. I don't feel like moving, though, so I doubt I'll do it tonight. I do need to take the meat for the chili out of the freezer, though... maybe I'll just leave all the cooking till tomorrow. It's not like anyone's expecting anything.

The house is suspiciously quiet. DH is watching the Patriots on the big TV here in the family room. Mom has disappeared into her room to read or knit or whatever. I'm here on the puter in the family room. The kids are all upstairs watching Star Wars Episode I (ick, but their choice), each with a big bowl of popcorn, on the kinda big TV in our bedroom. I spread out the neat sheet (waterproof blue blanket thing) on the carpet in front of the TV and threatened with dire things if they trash the room.

So, DH is watching football in peace (he gave the kids their baths before dinner, when Mom & I were at church -- he's so smart!), I'm typing away here, and the kids are enjoying the special treat of watching the TV from Mommy & Daddy's room AND popcorn, and each has their own bowl, too! Are we terrible, or what ? Hey, it's the playoffs!

Now I'm realizing I have a little sinus pressure. Maybe I'm coming down with something, that's why I feel so out of it... oh well, I'll just have to wait and see. I'm already taking like a pound of Vit C every day, I can't possibly up it!

Yesterday, Brian Boucher of the Coyotes' broke an amazing record by posting his 5th consecutive shutout. When you consider that 2 months ago the guy wasn't even practicing with the team (he was the 2nd backup goalie), it's even more amazing. I saw the interview with him after the game last night and he just is the nicest guy. It's really nice to see such deserving people do so well.

I hope for selfish reasons that they stay on top of the game because DH just bought tickets for us to go to the Dallas Stars game on Jan 31... hope DS2 is more comfortable around his Gramma by then. He's being fussy and not letting her do anything for him if I am around. I think it might be because last time she was here I went for my surgery, so I was away at the hospital, and then I was out of commission for a while. He may be worried the same thing is going to happen. We also think he's growing because he's been eating like a truck driver, !
You know what? I'm not even going to think about it now! As I like to say, "I'll jump off that bridge when I come to it."

The thing that keeps me upbeat after the holidays is planning our summer vacation. I started today by just looking at the calendar and mapping out some dates. I need to talk to my friend in VA and see when she will be home and her kids out of school, I'd really like to visit her this year... I need to be healthy to pull it off, though! I'm just going to plan on it, and make sure that it happens. I just have to hang on for, what, 5 more months? I'm actually feeling pretty good except for the getting-tired-easily thing. I'll bring it up with my endo when I see her in February, but I doubt she'll adjust my meds. It doesn't feel like that kind of thing. I guess we'll have to see.

slug mode

This always happens: I have a really busy & productive day, and the next day I can barely move.

I'm still in my pj's. I did make breakfast for the 2 little ones (DS1 was off at his baseball game with DH), and cleaned up. Also, cleaned up after the cat after she pooped on the carpet near where the Christmas tree was -- she's annoyed that I took it down.

So, it's not like I haven't done anything, it's just that I don't feel like doing anything, and I have more cooking and cleaning to do, plus church this afternoon. I just want to go back to bed! However, I have to get out of this mood because I am having company tomorrow and I don't want the house to be a pit, and I do want there to be something to eat while she's here!

I'm happy because my sis is here and hopeful that this WOE will be helpful to her & her DD.

OK, family is clamoring for me, gotta run, more later I'm sure!

Friday, January 09, 2004

hope, fear, irritation, exhaustion

Well, that was annoying -- I had typed in about a page and hit some bad key combination and *poof*, it disappeared. Harumph.

It was a very long day today. I de-Christmas'd the entire house, mostly because I don't want to have to deal with it tomorrow! I took down all the outside lights and left them for DH to pack up and put away as he sees fit. Since he is the one who puts them up, I don't think that's so bad of me. Especially since I did everything else, except put the ornament boxes back out in the garage. I can't easily reach the shelves they go on, anyway, and it would be a disaster of epic proportions if they got dropped. I would seriously cry if my beauties got smashed.

Usually I get a little down when I put away all the Christmas stuff, today I just felt... numb, I guess. It was time to take them down. I'm not really ready for them to go away this year, but I know it's time. I think maybe I'm having some weird hormonal stuff, sort of a delayed post-hysterectomy thing. Or it could just be seasonal blues, I don't know. But I do know I've been pretty emotional and awful lately about picking fights with DH. Maybe it's just because I'm tired.

The "irritation" part of above comes from the DH conversation about DS1's report card. He got all A's except a B in math; first quarter he got all A's. His teacher marked the grade with the comment, "very self-motivated, works independently." To me, that means he is working ahead on his own and is doing well, even if his grade did drop from an A to B. He's not having anyone hold his hand to get it, which I think is tremendous. Since I do his homework with him every day, I know that he really "gets" all the concepts they are covering. In fact, I rarely help him with his homework, I just look it over when he is finished. I think it's pretty darn cool that a first grader can sit down and do his homework all by himself. So, anyway -- DH says, I want to look over his work and see if we can find ways to improve it, or find a solution or something like that. I assure DH that DS1 doesn't have a problem with math. Then we start going around in circles, well, there must be a problem because he got a B -- yes, but he's working on his own now -- why did he get the B, anyway? -- probably because he got more wrong answers on his tests or work sheets -- blah blah blah.

During all this I found myself getting increasingly pissed off at DH. Finally I realized it's because I work with the kid every day, I talk to his teacher nearly every day when I pick him up and she always tells me if there is anything like a problem, I look at all his work that he brings home -- and I am 100% sure that there is no "problem" here, there isn't anything that requires a "solution" or "improvement". The kid "gets" math. Maybe his lower grade reflects the fact that he missed some days this quarter, I don't know. But I'm certainly not worried about it. I say all this to DH, and he still says, "Yes, well, that's what you think, but I still want to look over his papers and see if I can find anything..." and I want to scream.

The guy totally does not get that he is dissing me. So I lay it out for him in those terms: This is my job, and it's like you're my supervisor coming in and saying you're going to have review all my past work (when you've never said anything previously), because productivity has fallen a smidge. Of course he gets all PO'd about the "supervisor" thing because he doesn't think he's my boss (neither do I, but I was trying to use an illustrative example)...

Finally, I just gave up on it. There is something going on with me where I am all of a sudden sensitive to crap like this when I don't need to be. DH has never, ever criticized my parenting ability and I don't know why I'm taking this personally the way I am. It's so STUPID. I hate it and I know it's stupid and yet at the same time, I can't seem to make myself shup up and just not go there with him... which makes me think it's hormones, because that was the biggest characteristic of my PMS-induced craziness: I knew I was being (slightly) insane, but I couldn't control it. ****. I hate being this way. I hope I settle down soon.

The hope & fear parts of the title up there are regarding a freelance job which I seem to have landed just from knowing the right people. One of my dearest friends recommended me to a lifelong friend of hers who is starting up a little software company, and they need a tech writer with discretion. So, the guy called me today (almost immediately after I got an email from my friend saying she wasn't sure when he would call me, !) and we talked for at least 20 minutes, half-hour about his company and requirements.

Honestly, it's an interesting product and I know I can do it. So, why am I so terrified? Up sides: most of the work needs to get done in the next 6 weeks, which is great because my Mom is here and she can help out with stuff that I tend to blow off when I'm busy, like cooking or laundry... plus just having another adult around the kids is always great. I'm also psyched about making a little cash, too, although who knows how much it will turn out to be. Another big plus... having the work under my belt and a reference!

Yet, the fear remains: what if I can't do it? It has been over 4 years since I worked with software types. Does my brain still work? Obviously, since I was able to converse intelligently about the product with the guy. Still, I don't want to let him down, I don't want to let my friend down. I don't really think I will, but there is that nagging feeling underneath everything, "Who do you think you are? You're not really a writer!" Which is such crap because no matter what else I've ever done, I've always been a writer! I love it when I can smack my inner doubts back into submission, and this one is pretty ludicrous and weak but it's still there.

Of course, I'm also terrified that I'm overextended already, because before my DF called me with this potential job, I had sent email to LCL magazine, and I heard back from Rob that they liked my column idea... still, writing for LCL is the least I can do to help support this amazing community, plus it is a subject that is so easy for me...

Well, DH is home from his night out with the boys, so I'm off now. This will be a busy weekend, an old friend from work whom I haven't seen in years is in town on business, and she's coming over on Sunday. We'll catch up and watch football. It should be fun, but I want to make a batch of chili and do some baking tomorrow before she comes. Not to mention clean the house a bit -- just vaccuum and the bathrooms, dust, nothing major.

And put away the laundry... I swear, I really wish there was a laundry fairy !

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Is Mercury Retrograde?

That could explain all the bad karma/negative energy we have been dealing with lately.

I just told DH I feel like it's 2AM. I'm wiped out. I'm sure he is, too -- difficult time with DS1 at baseball practice.

DS1 has a history of "going off", getting upset over things and over-reacting, and then taking way too long to get settled back down. He was the toddler who could scream and carry on for an hour and half, all by himself, in his playpen... took me too long to realize that he literally could not control himself, he didn't know how. Several counseling sessions and many books later, I've learned some skills to help him learn to moderate his responses and cope with the world, but sometimes he still just wigs out. Happened with DH today, and it just lasted forever, so when they finally got home I ended up spending another 20 minutes helping him to understand what happened and how to deal better next time.

His new thing is that some little thing will go wrong (often only in his imagination) and from there, it's the END OF THE WORLD! Nobody likes him, he's got no friends, the family doesn't love him anymore, blah blah blah. It would be funny if it's weren't so sad to see this little guy, almost 7, really talking himself into this completely bleak outlook on literaly EVERYTHING. So, today's lesson: you make a mistake, you fix it, and MOVE ON. Let's hope it sticks. A big part of today's problem was sheer exhaustion. First week back at school after vacation, and not enough sleep, since we're still working out the kinks in the "getting to bed on time" thing.

Sometimes, I feel like the lamest mom in the world... so lame I can't get my kids in bed on time... but I do the best I can, and that's all I can do. Some days I do get the kids in bed on time, and then they are up giggling and getting a drink of water and using the bathroom and whatnot -- it's out of my hands, really, unless I tie them to their beds! Not an option, but one I have considered. I don't waste time on guilt but I do get frustrated!

So, I may get a job, ! One of my best friends, whom I used to work with back at Oracle, called last night asking if I might be interested in doing some free-lance work for another friend of hers. I sent off a bunch of links for him to look at, we'll see if anything comes of it. Since it would be 100% telecommuting, it sounds possible, but since at this point I don't know anything about the scope of the projects or the nature of the actual work, I'll just have to wait and see. It was great hearing from my friend and catching up on all her news.

Then my sister called today, and she and her younger DD are going to go on South Beach, so we chatted LC a bit and I sent her the link to the 3-minute chocolate cake on the forum, and some other LC info & stuff. I was kind of surprised when she said I was -- now I can't remember the exact word, but it might have been "militant", because I cheat ALL THE TIME, really. You're looking at the chocolate queen, the real (very good) stuff. Of course I don't eat it by the pound, a piece here & there -- in strict moderation, it doesn't affect me, so it's OK.

I do think I probably WAS militant when I first saw the LC light. I tend to be rather, um, forceful and ... well, opinionated. Yes, I believe the term "know it all" would have my picture next to it in the dictionary... at least a 1998 edition would. As I get older I look back on my earlier behaviors and cringe at how obnoxious I've been. I realize now that everyone has to find their own way, as I'm constantly telling the kids: the only person you can control is YOURSELF... the less you try to control others, the happier your life will be. And, since the only person you can control is yourself, if you have a problem, it's YOUR responsibility to deal with it... can't wait for someone to come along and "fix" you, or whatever your problem is.

I honestly hope their lives are easier than mine has been (or at least, was, until I met DH). So many years I spent struggling, and it took me way too long to learn that lesson.

Mom has definitely turned the corner on the stomach virus, thank God. *whew*

I'm so tired of butting heads with my kids these days. Maybe it's because Gramma just arrived, or school just started, or vacation is over, but whatever the heck it is, I am DONE with it. I had major rows with DD (she wouldn't put on her socks! She's five, and makes a big deal that she "can't" put on her socks! Give me a f***ing break!), at least 2 major rows with DS2, and then there was DS1's meltdown with DH. I need a vacation. I just had a vacation, but I need another one!

So, today, January 8, 2004 is the 20th anniversary of my first marriage. Creepy. Glad I got out of that one.

In spite of all my whining here, I do realize what a blessed life I have, especially when I think of where I was, back in my previous marriage and subsequent relationships.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004


My mom came down with the evil stomach virus last night around midnight. While the kids and I had nastiness for only a few hours, she's still extremely unwell and it's going on 18 hours now. I'm concerned because she is having trouble ingesting anything, and she's a diabetic (not insulin-dependent, fortunately); she's also on medications (I'm not sure which) following her triple by-pass in the spring... I just know that not eating or drinking is wreaking more than the usual havoc on her body, on top of the damage the illness is doing.

Of course, being a mom herself, all she says is, "Don't worry about me." At least she has been able to sleep, which is the best thing in these circumstances.

Today, DS1 had a half-day (first Wednesday, every month), so we all went out to lunch at Chili's (I had a salad and their chipotle blue cheese bacon burger, no bun -- mmmmm), then I took the kids to Toys 'R' Us to spend some of their Christmas bucks. DS1 got a "micropet" for Christmas and the other 2 really loved them, so they each got a new micropet, and each also got a neopet, which is the larger size version. It took me about 20 minutes to get them all out of the packaging when we got home, but then they went off and played with them, for like an hour, which is just amazing.

After Toys'R'Us we went to Borders (of course, they are in the same plaza), and I had a sf mochaberry coffee -- which I think may have been regular because I'm feeling jittery. DS2 reached an important potty milestone by using the toilet at Border's! I admit, I bribed him -- he wanted a stuffed Hedwig (he really is cute) and I told him he could have it if he went in the toilet instead of his diaper, and he did! Is that the light at the end of the diaper tunnel I'm seeing there? Lord, I hope so!

In other frazzling events, when I got to DD's preschool, she was out on the playground, up in the climber -- NOT in the classroom where she was supposed to be waiting for me, until I signed her out. I frankly told her teacher I was very upset about it. It's highly unlikely that anyone there would ever let my DD out of there with anyone other than me or DH, as we have been going there for years, it's a tiny community, and everyone knows us, but still, the principal remains: she's not supposed to be out of her teacher's supervision until I sign her out. To say I was livid was an understatement.

Yes, I talked to DD about it, she should have known better, but then again, she's 5. Does anyone trust a 5yo to her own devices in an essentially public place? I certainly don't. She shouldn't have gone outside, but her teacher should not have allowed it.

Well, DH is home and I should get some dinner on the table. I'm sure I'll be back later to rant some more!

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Maybe if I type some more, my hands will warm up?

Hasn't worked so far!

Yesterday was massively busy but all went well, kids' first day back at school, getting the van in & out of the shop (grrrr, more later), and picking up Mom at the airport.

Today I got to be a little more lazy than usual, as DH had an appointment this morning and so took both DS1 and DD to school, which was a nice break.

Haven't done much, really, and I'm freezing for no good reason, except maybe I need to eat? Hmmm. That's a possibility.

Anyway, things are going well. It's just as well I haven't been writing because I would just be doing more bitching about a certain friend... not that anyone here even knows who she is, but I can't get over the feeling that I shouldn't be gossiping like that, even in my journal! Talk about over-active guilt tendencies!

Still, what do you say about someone who just comes right out and says (of a family she is friends with), "I wish the kids looked more like their father, it's too bad they look just like their mother. She is so ugly!" ? I mean, what can you say? It's hopeless.

I am very happy that my fruitcake got the "Mom Seal of Approval", which really means a lot to me, as she has been making the real (amazingly, awesomely delicious) thing for years.

Still have yet to get to bed BEFORE midnight, last it was 12:15 just because I dawdled in my getting-ready-for-bed routine. The night before was something similar. I started about 11:30. Honestly, it shouldn't take me 45 minutes to get ready for bed, I don't really do all that much (brush, floss, put in my retainer, Express-daily-facial, moisturizer, toilet). I just need to stop dilly-dallying around!

Oh well, even though I've yet to meet my resolution, I'm still going to keep trying.

Sunday, January 04, 2004


Today was literally a blah day, I didn't do anything except occasionally pick up after the kids. I woke up with a mid-range fever and just feel yucky. Fortunately my stomach seems to have settled down but I still don't have any appetite. Today I've had a 16-oz Diet Ice Botanical, a huge cup of apple-cranberry herb tea, and two poached eggs on a piece of whole wheat toast. I'm thinking about eating something else but I don't know what. I'm definitely going to have another cup of tea, that really seemed to help.

I think the most productive thing I did today was respond to few journal entries here... it's so hard to see others living through things I went through myself, years ago!

DS1 is all upset about going back to school tomorrow. He really has loved being home and playing with all his new toys. He just had a major tantrum insisting that "nobody likes me at school," which is patent nonsense. But I can see that part of him honestly believes it, so I have to point out to him the actual facts that show that people do like him at school. I am very sensitive to his moods this way, since he has been depressed before.(It is quite disturbing when your 5 year old tells you "I wish I was dead," and really understands what that means ) I don't think this is anything major, just him being a cranky first grader. But I do have to watch it, because if it continues, I'm going to need some help with him.

One thing's for sure, he is a little home body. He is perfectly content to spend all day at home, playing with his brother and sister. But he was also wildly happy the day we went visiting, and when our friends came to our house, too.

Tomorrow, I must be better and hope I will be, after sleeping so much today and another good night's sleep. We have so much going on -- dropping off the car, getting my mom from the airport, and various school-ferrying to do. Plus DS1 has R.E. at 5PM, so that's an extra trip right there. At least Mom will be here then and so can stay with the 2 little ones, and that will help a lot.

Well, I suppose I should go eat something...

Saturday, January 03, 2004

peace & quiet, finally

Today was kind of a drifting along, do-nothing day, but then again, it really wasn't. The morning was easy. DF called about 12:30 to say she would come over after she gave her kids some lunch, and they got here a little after 2, which is exactly when I expected them. The advance notice gave me time to pick up a bit, stash anything remotely resembling food so her DS2 wouldn't grab it, and clean the downstairs bathroom.

For the 2nd day in a row, the kids played together really well. The younger ones enjoyed picking (or pulling, I should say) lemons and oranges off our tree -- I sent DF home with 2 dozen of each, I'd say, and there are still tons more on the trees! DS1 wanted fresh juice with his snack, and I said OK, but I declined to let the kids juice their own. I just didn't have the patience for it today. DF's littlest absolutely loved our mini-trampoline, he had such fun crawling up on in it, sitting there, and kind of bouncing himself or being bounced by his mom. He really is a cutie. My DS2 was stuck to me like glue whenever I went near the baby. There was definitely some jealousy going on there.

DF was wiped out when she got here because her trainer worked her out for an extra half-hour because her next appointment was late... OMG, I would've been falling over! I don't think I could even do a half-hour, much less an hour and a half! It's good DF is doing that for herself, she has major problems with body image and I know this is helping her a lot. She carries a lot of weight in her legs and it really bothers her, but you know, there's only so much you can do to combat genetics, and ain't none of us getting any younger. Still, she looks great and has three times the energy I do (or perhaps she just spends her energy differently, I dunno).

She told me she enjoyed coming over here and just being able to zone for a couple of hours. If she were at home, she'd have to be picking up toys or cleaning up something else or doing some other chore... it made me realize that I've arranged my life to have a lot of leisure/computer time built in. Not everyday, obviously, and I have more on days like today when I'm not driving anyone to or from school or activities. But I do have time, usually, at least twice a day, to sit and read here for an hour or so. It's really important to me, so I make the time for it. Everything else still seems to get done, so I'm not worried about it, either!

Among the best moments of today: DS1 read an entire page of Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire, which is pretty darn amazing considering he is in FIRST GRADE! I had to help him with some words (minute as in "tiny", not a time measurement, and some others), but he just astounded me. I mean, he breezed over "ordinary" as if he reads it all the time. And he just takes it in stride. I swear he must read when I'm not looking, because it's like a leaps-and-bounds thing. He has always "got" it, but now he's just accelerating at this amazing rate. I know I'm a good example, I'm always reading, either here at the computer, or the newspaper, or magazines, or books... there are literally books in every room in this house, (except the bathrooms! ) and I need some new bookcases because I'm running out of places to put them neatly. What I really need are new kitchen bookcases. My old ones were cheap-o and fell apart. I'd like to get nice maple (or maple-looking veneer) ones to match the cabinets we have. That would be cool, and I could put the stacks of books that are cluttering up the hall away! I'm not nearly as bad as a lot of other people I know, but I do love books and they are one thing I will probably always have around me.

Moment of shame: I totally picked a fight with DH over the driving-home-last-night thing. Totally stupid. I love that DH has a pager that accepts text messages, though, because as soon as I got off the phone with him I sent him an "I'm sorry" message... a quick look at the calendar reminded me that, yes, this is my ovulation time, which is when any PMS-type insanity usually peaks. Sometimes I do go "right 'round the bend", my brain makes things up or sees things that aren't there, behaviorially... I hate that. At least I can tell, in retrospect, that's what happened. It's amazing how easy it is to do that, when you're feeling a little bad about yourself, everyone else's actions take on all these unintended meanings! Lord love DH, he emailed me back, "It's OK. I still love you." Which is exactly what I needed to hear!

So... getting back into the routine, read a million books to the kids tonight before bed, that was really nice, except DS2 always, always wants "one more book, Mommy!" and would keep me up reading to him all night. Finally, I just have to say no, that's enough. Tonight I actually carried him upstairs, screaming. About mid-way up the stairs I told him, "Stop screaming or I'm going to drop you. I don't need you screaming in my ear when I'm carrying you." ... and he stopped! He really has great self-control for such a little guy, probably because I honestly do not put up with much sh*t from any of them, and we use the words, "control yourself" pretty frequently. DD tries hardest (and irritates me the most) with the tantrums/bad behavior, which I just don't get -- it doesn't work, so why bother? She's 5, she should get that by now... ah well, in time she'll understand. I hope. I know from personal observations and talking to friends that I am a pretty hard-ass mom, but I wouldn't change anything! I do indulge my kids in somethings (those weekly trips to the cafe at Borders, for example), but in the important things -- respect, responsibility, self-control, proper expression, courtesy -- they are wonderful.

Spending a bit more time around other kids these past 2 days has made me appreciate my own kids' verbal skills all the more. At one point today, DS2 kept giving me these huge bear hugs, sitting on my lap, facing me. I finally asked him, "What are you doing?!?!?" and he said, with this huge grin on his face, completely clearly, "I'm trying to squish you!" It was so funny. I mean, the kids is not yet three and his average sentence has at least 5 words in it. When DH came home, DS2 informed him that, "I'm using my money to buy a blue doggie, Daddy." Of course DH is mystified, so I have to explain that DS1 was playing with his Christmas-present micropet puppy, and DS2 really wants one, too, so I said he could buy one with his Christmas money. Not only does DS2 get all those concepts -- the micropet belongs to DS1, he can get his own, he got money for Christmas, he can use the money to buy one -- he has already picked out which one he wants from the pictures on the back of the other one's package! And, he immediately stopped screaming for DS1's puppy as soon as I told him we could go shopping some other time and buy him one! That was a relief!

I'm sounding like one of those tedious Christmas letters I was complaining about the other day, aren't I? Oh well. This isn't exactly intended for public consumption and certainly isn't being xeroxed and sent off to everyone I know! (Excuses, excuses...)

The Coyotes, unbelievably, beat Dallas 6 to 0 in Dallas, and have now scored 10 goals (won yesterday 4-0 in LA) without giving up any. Why couldn't I have seen that team play? Well, if they keep this up, when they get back in town, DH and I will try to score some (cheaper) tix and catch another game!

Tonight, I will go to bed before midnight!
(Yeah, riiiight....)


My stomach feels like an acid pool, which is exactly the way I felt when I came down with a stomach virus back in November. I really hope I don't come down with it. The timing is not good -- Monday, the kids go back to school, and my mom is flying in. Also, we need to drop off the van to get the alignment fixed. So there's a lot going on, and I can't afford to be dragging myself around.

I'm hoping I'm just miserable because I didn't get enough sleep. DD and DS2 are wiped out but keeping everything down, so I have fingers crossed that we've turned at least one corner of this illness. And so far DS1 seems as spunky as ever. I don't want to jinx anything, but it sure would be nice if he could skip this round of illness.

I'm also freezing, even though I'm in 3 layers, including a turtleneck and a sweatshirt. Definitely need some sleep. Or possibly an increase in my thyroid meds, since I've been freezing a lot lately, but sleep is a lot easier to come by. I don't see my endo again until February. I'll just have to bundle up (it's ridiculous, too, it's at least 70 degrees in here!)

for the 2nd night in a row

I've got all of DD's bedding going in the laundry now. Poor thing, she kept waking up feeling like she was going to puke and then finally did. She managed to get some of it into her 'bucket' but also on her pjs, her bed, her comforter... it wouldn't surprise me if some had hit the floor, too, but I'm too exhausted to go into that.

Gotta run, I hear something upstairs that does not sound good!