Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Day After

So, Christmas has come and gone.  Santa can rest for the the better part of a year.  It is the one time of year, maybe the one day even, when even the overly rambunctious of children seem a little less so.  Though kids are beyond excited, it's the good kind of excited, vs. just being excitable.  It is nice to have a day when no one is really in time out and the kids share without being told, even if it is only for a little while.  Sugar highs and lovely silence of the crash that follows, that is the sound of Christmas.

The house is a mess, and probably will be for about another day or so.  The toys that were too much work to go through yesterday will be first on the list today.  Time stretches on with softer edges and the hope is that it stays that way for awhile.  A bit of peace is easily shared.  A smile is like a cold, quite contagious.  Memories are made in moments and, on days like Christmas, it is the good ones that are easy to hold on to.

Here's hoping that the good always outweighs the bad and not so glorious moments fade into yesterdays forgotten.  Merry Christmas

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Baby Steps

My now four month old got his first tooth at three months.  This is especially weird to me since none of my other three had any teeth before seven months and usually only had about four teeth at a year.  The baby just cut a second tooth two days ago.  Needless to say he is chewing everything.  Well, I'm breastfeeding.  I'm actually doing better with him than with any of my others.  Usually by now he'd be on more formula than breast milk, but he only gets a bottle when necessary, which is about 8oz. every couple of weeks.  Anyway, he has taken to chewing on me.  I'm not sure if you are familiar with the fact that new baby teeth are like little mini razors.  So, he clamps down and I scream.  I don't mean to scream. I sure don't want to scream.  Yet, invariably, I do.  Then, the little stinker thinks it's funny and laughs at me with a huge grin. Well, grinning makes him bite harder.  I am so torn between having him bite the suckers right off in an attempt to keep breastfeeding him, and just giving up completely due to the immense pain and bleeding tata's. 

Oh, I had him on a quilt on the floor today.  We were playing and he fell asleep, so I let him keep on napping.  I heard him babble a little while later and not only had the child rolled over onto his belly, but he was off the quilt and about 8ft away from where he was.  I have no clue how he got there.  I'm thinking he just rolled there, even though this would be his first and thus far only true rolling experience.  Yet, I can't imagine that he inchwormed his way across the room.  Tomorrow, I will put him back there and we shall see how he gets about. 

My nephew walked before he crawled.  I never knew that was possible, but at seven months he was running around and climbing on things like a little monkey.  It freaked me out.  He was so tiny and he would get into everything.  My second boy crawled at eight months, the earliest of my other three.  But none of them walked before a year.  I really am not looking forward to this little guy being mobile by the spring.  Still, how cute is that!

It's About That Time

I don't mind being alone.  I never have.  Being alone is peaceful and relaxing.  No pressure, no noise, nothing to impede the process of just existing.  Every now and then, I think it is a requirement for sanity.  I'm not one to turn down alone time, especially since it happens so rarely.  Now, however, I find myself in the unwelcome state of loneliness.  I am not alone, not by far.  Responsibility and duties and chores and life itself still rolls along.  Nothing has changed.  Yet, both the air and my heart seem heavy. 

It is so much more than Hubby being out of town for a week, and then not home much when he is in town.  It's his job.  I am well aware of its requirements.  Maybe, it's the fact that I have done Christmas all by myself this year.  Alone, just me, no help, no real input, four kids, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, oh and the pets.  But that alone doesn't really bother me either.  Don't misunderstand me, I'm not depressed or longing for more of anything in particular.  I'm just lonely.  Everyone is busy this time of year.  I haven't had a second to just be.  Who knows when the last time I hung out was.  Life has changed more than I thought with the baby.  It is just different that I expected, even though I really didn't think I had any expectations.   

What to do, what to do?  This isn't really something that some alone time with Hubby would fix.  It isn't that kind of loneliness.  I'm not reclusive by nature.  I enjoy the company of others.  Yet, outside of parent/teacher conferences, I haven't really had any adult contact for what seems like weeks.  It's not really true, but that is definitely how if feels.  Boy, I love this time of year, truly I do.  However, half a day on Christmas Eve and all of Christmas Day, just to leave the following day, doesn't make me happy.  I won't see my family this year.  My good friend and the only neighbor I really talk to is moving next week.  My best friend is going on an extended vacation the day after Christmas. I am spending what is usually the best part of the year alone. 

Okay, not ALONE, with my kids.  I am grateful to spend all this time with them, but Lord they are a rambunctious bunch.  It is easier and much less stressful when there is someone here, even for a couple of hours, to help.  I also get a bit sad for my Hubby when he is gone so much.  He misses all the smiles and belly laughs.  He's gone for so much of the good stuff that it breaks my heart a little. 

On a much brighter note, it finally feels like Christmas.  I had all my grown up decorations up for a little while now, but it didn't feel like Christmas.  Today, I came across all my childrens' decorations.  Now the walls are adorned with construction paper stockings and santa hats, paper plate and pasta wreaths, glittered snowflakes, and my favorite our "family tree".  When my oldest was 6, and my second was 7 months, Hubby was out of town, as usual, and we passed the time making some decorations.  So we cut out and glittered some snowflakes.  Then he gathered the angular tiny scraps and asked me if we could make something with them.  I asked him what he would like to make, but he couldn't really think of anything.  So I asked him what his favorite part of the season was.  He told me it was the Christmas tree, because it always makes him smile.  So he drew pencil outline of a Christmas tree on a piece of white construction paper and I filled it in lightly with glue.  He has such a good time dropping all of the green and red scraps of paper on the tree.  When it was dry, we took more glue and added dots for ornaments and outlined the tree and added glitter in all different colors.  His eyes grew bright and he showered me with love and said it was beautiful.  He couldn't wait to show his Daddy our family tree.  He called it that because we made it as a family, even though his brother sat in the high chair and ate cheerios the whole time.  It has been six Christmases that that tree has adorned our house.  It is always placed well out of reach of the little ones and in a room far from the real Christmas tree.  It makes me smile whenever I see it.  This year, it is on the end of a row of high cabinets that separate our kitchen and dining room.  It is the very first thing I see when I come inside.  It always makes me truly happy, and fills my heart with love.

It's funny how that story seems to have pushed that lonely feeling right out of my heart.  There is no melancholy residue, just warmth and an overwhelming desire to squeeze my little munchkins, but they're sleeping so I'll have to wait until morning.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Sickness and Shopping, or Does shopping make you sick?

There is something about holding a sick child that takes your mind off of whatever used to seem important.

It was cold this afternoon, and it began to rain.  The kids were bundled up and incessantly asking me questions about why it is so cold when yesterday they were in shorts.  After picking the boys up and lugging them to guitar practice, I decided to drag them into the dollar store.  Why?  Because the dollar store is across the street from guitar practice and both are about 15 miles away from home and I didn't want to make an extra trip.  Besides, the kids love picking out little dodads for their cousins.  If we all had to buy real gifts from our kids to the cousins, we'd go broke as my sister and I each have four children.  So, the dollar store it is.  This way, they feel like they got them gifts all by themselves.

I'm always a little shocked and amused by the things they pick.  My 5yr old picked out a whole fairy ensemble for my 9yr old neice, but alas, it only came in toddler sizes.  He was very disappointed because he knew that she was a fairy princess and she NEEDED to have it.  My four year old was too busy to give much of an opinion on anything.  He was smacking patrons with wrapping paper like a sword and jabbing it in his eye because he had to walk while using it as a telescope despite my continual warnings. 

People would see us coming and walk around the store rather than pass us in the tiny constricted aisles.  My incessant ramblings made me feel like a crazy cart lady.  "Get that out of your eye. Please put that down.  No you can't have that and stop touching everything.  Inside voices.  Inside voices.  INSIDE VOICES, please.  Why must you try to squeeze past the cart when I'm trying to turn? I told you I'd run you over if you kept jumping in front of the cart.  We are not buying a costume for the neighbors dog.  Because that dog tries to eat you whenever you walk by.  No he is not a nice doggie.  No he will not like you better if you buy him a toy.  Stop blocking the aisle and let your brother pass.  He is too allowed.  Because I said he was.  You don't have to like me, but you do have to keep it down.  Use your inside voice.  Who do you think you're talking to like that.  Oh, I thought so.  Alright! ONE, TWO...good.  Now that I have your attention.  I expect you all to behave.  Stop touching everything, and I am not here to buy things for you. We are here to get Christmas gifts for your cousins.  No, I am not giving your cousins wrapping paper, but it would be nice if they could unwrap their presents.  Don't you like it when you have something to unwrap.  Okay.  be nice or we'll go home and you can tell your cousins why they have no gifts from you.  As for you (speaking to the oldest), getting them all riled up is not helping me.  If they get in trouble for acting like you, then you're the one who'll be in real trouble when we get home"......and so on.

Yup, that was us.  I was that Mom.  What can I say, it happens.  They were just excited and they weren't really screaming, just loud.  Most of my mantra was more like grumbling to myself while shopping for little junks.  Anyway, back to the car in the cold, cold sprinkles that twinkled in like stars in the streetlamps, according to the 4yr old.  By the time we got home they were asleep and the rest of the evening went on without any further grumbling on my part.  By the time dinner was ready, my 4yr old was burning up.  He was so hot, that it almost hurt me to touch him.  His skin was turning red.  As I made him eat a couple of bites of chicken so that I could give him his medicine, I held the thermometer in place.  The poor kid was not at all happy.  After his medicine, he was crying and begging for loves (hugs and kisses).  I sat in the rocking chair holding him like a baby.  He was hot and it was making me sweat.  His fever wasn't getting better and I was minutes from taking him to the hospital.  Then, he looked at me for a long while and smiled a little smile with that twinkle in his eye.  I felt his forehead, his ears, his arms and his hands.  They were barely warm.  It went down as fast as it rose.  I felt better and Hubby carried him to bed and tucked him in.  I left the dishes undone, the presents unwrapped, and the decorations still only half finished and went to feed the baby and pass out. 

His fever has not yet returned, and I hope it doesn't.  So much for cold rain, and they didn't even really get wet.  Tomorrow, or whenever I'm up to it, we will all wrap the gifts they bought.  They love to wrap, so they can wrap until their hearts' content.  They wrap the gifts from them, and then I am free to wrap the gifts from Hubby and I in peace.  I can better handle their over exuberant loud nature at home than in public.  Though, I must say, there is nothing more heartwarming than that twinkle in the eyes of a child.  The awe that is evident in every fiber of their being when they see the hints of Christmas.  Even the crappiest of lights haphazardly strewn about someones yard, yields squeals of delight that make your heart dance a little.

Unfortunately, the way colds are passed around this family, I'm due to be sick for Christmas, as usual.  I am armed with Vitamin C, GermX, and Lysol.  I am ready for battle.  Oh, and I still haven't finished making my garland.  At this rate, I'll be done by New Year's. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Is it beginning to feel a lot like Christmas?

Well, we went and got a tree.  The boys ran around like little monkeys and the baby slept the whole time.  Admittedly, I was dreading the experience, which really is not like me.  Once we get there and I am surrounded by pines and take a deep breath, ahhhh it's Christmas.  So, I was enjoying the twinkle in the boys' eyes and decided that I will go ahead and make whatever I can with the boughs we got that night.  I hadn't seen the oldest that excited for awhile.  It's funny, we usually take a very long time to pick a tree.  But this year, the second tree we looked at, we bought.  I would have liked to look for a fatter tree, but as it sits there in the stand, waiting to be adorned, it is settling into a chubby tree after all.  It really is a full, symmetrical lovely tree.  It's as perfect a tree as I've ever had. Plus, it smells like Christmas. 

So, at least I'm trying to get in the spirit of things.  Of course today, when I was all prepared to get the house ready to have Christmas move in, wouldn't you know it, the baby had to feed every time I had a minute to try to move things around and prep the area.  I guess tomorrow will be the day, since today wasn't, and that's is fine with me. 

After everyone went to sleep, I decided to begin sewing the puff quilt that I'm making the baby.  I've had it cut for weeks, I just need a few more backing squares.  Tonight, I decided that if I don't get rolling, the thing will never get made.  I have finished one of the three colors.  They are all sewn and waiting to be stuffed.  I went to start on the next color, but the tension was all off and I wasn't in the mood.  I have a feeling that despite my best math, this quilt is going to be bigger than I expected.  At least he can grow into it.  I'll probably use it more as a play mat than an actual blanket.  I picked the fabric with my 4 year old.  It is in hues of green and yellow with red and orange accents.  One fabric is animals, one is dinosaurs and two are mottled in green and yellow.  It sounds horrible, but it is very cute.  Perhaps I'll post a picture when it is finished.  It all depends on how it turns out, haha.  I think that he wants a blanket for himself, but I bought the last of the dinosaur fabric and they haven't had any in since.  Who knows, maybe I'll make him a big one for his birthday.  Thank goodness it isn't until September. 

Now, I'm here again in the middle of the night, too tired to work and too wired to sleep.  This is the limbo in which I seem to exist most often.  This is when I think of all that needs to be done and wonder why I haven't had a stress induced heart attack years ago.  I was just informed that the boys want to make their own cookies for Santa.  It sounds innocent enough.  But I know, all too well, that the 4 year old and the 5 year old don't always play nice.  I can just envision multicolor royal icing everywhere and crumbled cookies strewn about.  Okay, they aren't really that bad, but they sure can zap my patience in a blink and I sure can suck the joy out things when that happens.  Maybe we'll make easy cookies this weekend and see how it goes, kind of like a test drive.  Usually, I assign each child a different job in the processes, but we will see how it goes with them actually trying to work together.  I feel many little speeches coming on. 

Anyway, I've seen enough Christmas movies in the past two days to make me not ever turn on the TV until after New Year's.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Take It or Leave It

Try as I might to be like Martha Stewart or June Cleaver, I am just not that kind of mom.  I am messy and disorganized, but not disgustingly so.  I have good intentions, but sometimes my food just ain't pretty.  Let's face it, so long as it tastes good, who cares?  I do enjoy cooking, and even it is not perfect, I will cook as long as the effort is appreciated.  Maybe it's petty, but if you complain about my cooking on more than an occasional basis, then it will taste like the festering resentment that I will be cooking it with.  Not so appetizing, but true.  I suppose love is a magic ingredient in food, and resentment is it's evil twin.

I am not the one who would ever enjoy people just stopping by.  I don't appreciate it and find it more rude than flattering. I'm sure this is because I am not the neatest of people and the house is always in some stage of being cleaned.  Sometimes it's the laundry that is out in its assembly line before getting put away, and sometimes I don't have time to do the breakfast or lunch dishes until I'm making dinner.  So, a phone call, even from down the street, isn't too much to ask.  Since I don't like it done to me, I don't do it to others. The only people allowed to just drop in are those who I know love me despite my messy house and screaming kids.  Once you're that close to me, I've got nothing to hide, sucks for you, haha.  Then again, if you have the nerve to be one of those pestering people, then you should be forced to sit in the middle of my chaotic life for that amount of time and pretend to be me and see how far you get with your chores before all the kids get home and the insanity ensues.  Scratch that, if you handled it better than me, I'd feel like crap.  Just call first people, is all I'm saying.

I keep telling myself that if I had more time during the day that I could get things done.  Somehow, I just don't believe that.  I used to when I was younger.  However, as my old age is settling in on me, I've noticed that the free time I do have I tend to horde.   Would you rather finish the laundry than take a long hot bath if you had the rare opportunity for one?  I have to schedule time for Hubby to come home a little early in order to grab an extra twenty minutes to keep the grays at bay.  If I need to basically make an appointment for that, then I really do not have much time to pamper anyone, much less myself.  So, after a long hard day of chasing four kids I am usually so exhausted that pass out as soon as I go horizontal, but only after at least an hour of mind-numbing veg-out time.  If I don't give myself time to slow down my mind, I can't sleep at all.  And it's not the productive kind of sleeplessness where I can actually get things done.  It's more like my body can't move, but my mind is racing incessantly almost to the point of making me nauseous.  So, when I have an accidental extra fifteen minutes or so, you could probably find me piled up with kids taking a nap.  This way, if the move, I'm up.  Yes, I do feel lazy taking those few minutes every so often, but I am a very strong believer in "if Mom's not happy, no one is".  That's not to say that I purposely make my family miserable when I'm in a bad mood.  But who wants to cook and clean and yada yada yada when you're cranky and unappreciated.  Okay, maybe not completely unappreciated, but underappreciated anyway.  Again, I am not that girl.  I do, however, give fair warning to any and all who cross my path.  Then it's their own fault if they choose to ignore it.  I mean if I ask you if you put a new bag in the can when you took out the garbage and you said "yes", then I expect there to be a bag in the can.  Usually, I'll show you the bagless can and stand there while you insert said bag.  On my cranky days, you will find the can full of all the garbage that I intended to put in the bag.  Then, if you don't notice and the garbage gets full, I expect it to be put in a bag and the can hosed and sanitized and the surrounding area swept up and the garbage emptied from around the house....... in other words, sucks for you.  Heed the warnings people!

It's a good thing that I'm usually easy to get along with and I don't hold grudges.  I also bend over backwards for those that I care about, so I'm not too evil after all.  Though, I did come across this little ditty on the web a bit ago, it made me laugh:
Girls Are Evil

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Slow Start

It's 50 degrees and raining, for two days now.  For most of the country this isn't so bad, but for FL it is FREEZING with the strong winds and rain.  It wouldn't be so bad but for the rain.  It's like a monsoon and everything is practically flooded.  Yet, my chickens stand out in the cold rain instead in the sheltered part of the  pen.  Hmmm.  I always thought that it was turkeys that weren't so bright.  I'm afraid I'll go out there and they'd have caught pneumonia and keeled over.  Not exactly the kind of Christmas opener one would hope for.  There are quite a few craft/Holiday fairs and parades this weekend, or should I say was.  Most have been canceled or postponed until further notice.  There is one small fair that has been moved inside.  I'm not so sure if it would be a good idea to drag my brood through a bunch of vendors crammed in a small space.  We'll see if the rain lets up. 

I'm still recovering from Thanksgiving with my family.  It was very nice, yet highly stressful as was the drive home with four kids.  To my surprise I'm about 2/3 of the way through my Christmas shopping and it was mostly stress free.  Procrastination on my family's part made us lose some really great cyber-deals, but other than that, so far so good.  I had planned to drag out my stores of Christmas stuff, but with the weather being what it is, I am completely unmotivated. 

Usually I make all my garland and wreaths from actual pine boughs.  I love doing it.  It is peaceful and the kids are mesmerized by the transformation from twigs to Christmas.  But again, I am just not feeling it yet.  I'll probably make all the wreaths, the four for our house inside and out and then a few as gifts for my friends.  They always seem to appreciate the effort.  I hand make the wreaths, bows, and whatever else.  I have this tree that has very long lasting berries in the winter, no clue what it is.  This lets me use natural embellishments on my wreaths and garlands.  Though I'm allergic to holly (mildly), we have several bushes that just will not die.  They are stubborn little buggers, but they make for nice embellishments as well.  Last year, I even made a wreath out of the holly.  It stays green and shiny for a very long time, but it was more trouble that it was worth with my swollen purple hands and all.  Anyway, I think I'll pull out my case of artificial garland and start to decorate that instead.  I usually use it on my outside railings, but if I double it up and use my fancy ribbon, maybe I'll substitute it for the real thing this year.  It doesn't smell as nice, but it'll be fine. 

We're a bit late getting our tree this year. Perhaps I'll get into things when that is up and twinkling at me.  For now, it is cold and raining.  On goes the Christmas music and out comes the ribbon.  We'll see how quickly things change.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Family Day with the Turkey or Turkey Day with the Family

So, I spent Thanksgiving Eve at my Mom's.  I spent 12 hours baking 20 pies from scratch.  I feel like I ran a marathon.  The family just adored the new baby, and he's crazy for my Mom.  I met my niece's boyfriend.  She's as close to a daughter as I'll ever have, and I couldn't love her more if she was mine. 

It's funny, she was just over a year old when I met my husband (she'll be 18 in January, but I refuse to be old enough to have her actually be that age, so I am still in denial).  She would always tell me that she wanted a boyfriend just like her Uncle.  I thought it was the cutest thing.  Back to the boyfriend, I looked at him and couldn't help but chuckle.  Being the embarrassing Aunt that I am (why should I treat her any different than my sons? I embarrass everyone equally), I told her boyfriend that story.  To my surprise, he said with a smile, "Y'know,I've actually heard that story".  Now, it wasn't rude at all.  He said it with a twinkle in his eye because apparently he is the boyfriend she always wanted, not like the losers before.  Yes, he is really tall and very kind-hearted, just like her uncle.  They have the same way about them, so much so that after my hubby met him, even he noticed the similarity.  Yeah, I love him, but that man doesn't really pick up on things too quickly, so it really is that obvious.  My niece is so proud of the fact that she found one of her own.  Now, I have to have a talk with him about Easter Baskets.

Y'see, Hubby, back in the day, would make me an Easter basket every year.  He would make these wonderfully elaborate baskets filled with all of my favorite things.  He would like the baskets with fabric and put lace around the edges.  He would even make the bows by hand and even separate the good jelly beans so that i would only have the orange ones(they're the only ones I really like).  He was wonderfully romantic.  Of course my niece saw all of this from the first basket on down.  With every basket or wonderful anything she would tell me that she couldn't wait to grow up and get a boyfriend just like that. 

She has been kind of stuck to my hubby since she was little.  Even so, it still shocks me little to see how he is with her.  When she was 14, she came to stay with us for a week or so.  He took her to the grocery store and came home fairly pissed off.  He announced that he is never going shopping with her again.  I thought that she might have had a hormonal freak out moment.  Nope.  Apparently all the boys from 11 to old and pervy followed her around the store.  She is wonderfully oblivious to such things.  Thank God.  Hubby had to stand vigil in his puffed out super hero stance to ward off the toothless losers that I live near.

Oh, did I mention that this girl is a Beauty Queen and ridiculously smart?  Yeah, she's the girl that we all hated in high school.  It wasn't until I saw her cry that I realized that those girls always knew they were hated.  She is the nicest girl, very honest and not malicious at all.  There are some really mean, jealous girls out there.  I was happy to hate from afar in high school, but nowadays, these chicks take it to a whole new level.  But she's stronger and more resilient for it.

Then, last night when Hubby realized that she found her guy just like him, (after not so discretely grilling him for awhile), he gave me that look.  That look that said, she's all grown up.  That look that said she's outgrown her dream of Prince Charming for a real life prince.  That look that said, "she doesn't need me anymore".  I think she must have seen that look too, because just then, my big giant girl gave him a hug and said "I love you Uncle", and was on her way with her very own prince.  At 6'4" my giant teddy bear can scare the crap out of just about anyone. If they only knew how soft he really is.

I love that he loves my family, well, most of them anyway.  I'm really close to my obnoxious kin and love them for what they are, all crazy included. 


Sunday, November 22, 2009

My List of Thanks

Now that I'm going "home" for Thanksgiving, I need to prepare for our around the table verbal list of things we are thankful for.  I don't know why this is always so uncomfortable for me.  Of course I'm thankful for the usual things, my husband, my family (extensions included), our health and so on and so forth.  I just can't stand being generic about things, especially since everyone says variations of the same things.  So here is a partial list of things that I am truly thankful for.  It's partial because I'm sure I could sit here until Christmas naming all the little things.  I'm sure that in posting this, I'm just as lame as everyone else with their lists of thanks, but here it is anyway.
 I am thankful for:
  • The days I don't have to cook dinner
  • The rare mornings that I get to sleep an extra half hour
  • Unexpected hugs from my oldest (who is "too old" for such things)
  • The look in my husband's eye when he comes home and sees me taking something out of the oven or dryer. (I love the look, the "goose", not so much)
  • My chickens.  Watching the kids get eggs and chase the escapees just makes me laugh.
  • Delightful internet friends who know just when to crack me up
  • My second family
  • Movie night with kids piled up on us making a mess with the popcorn
  • The oldest playing guitar.  It gives me goosebumps every time I hear him.
  • The baby now sleeping for a 5hr stretch, or I'd never have time to visit the computer.
  • For the times when Hubby knows I've had a day, and comes home with something sweet just for me.
  • Fresh baked bread (I'm still struggling with baking a perfect loaf, but it smells so good)
  • That people want my pies for gifts, It feels good and makes for a frugal Christmas.
  • The silly smiles that fill this house with love and make it a home
Though I'm sure I'll be one here before Thanksgiving, I hope your holiday is filled with laughter, love, and lots of really good food.

Friday, November 20, 2009

All Kids Are Not Created Equal

I've been a bit obsessed and freakish about trying to make things equal between my four boys.  Recently, my emotional side came to the realization that my logical side was right.  I have spent so much time trying to make sure that each boy had my undivided attention for a little each day.  This is time that is separate from homework time and clean up time.  It is just Mommy time.  Trying to make sure that each child doesn't feel less loved than the other or doesn't feel left out, has left me pretty darned pooped and emotionally depleted.  Each one is different and special because of it.  Different people have different needs.  They have always shown me when they need more from me and in what areas.  Instead of trying to force them into my daily plan, I have decided to let them dictate their needs to me, well somewhat anyway.

My oldest was an only child until he was six.  He is sensitive and quiet and very bright.  He understood that when his two little brothers were babies they needed a lot of attention.  We were finally getting into a good comfort zone as the youngest got a bit older and wouldn't ya know it I got pregnant again.  It took me a long time to realize how torn he was between being happy and feeling like it would mean even less time with me.  Now, since the middle two go to bed an hour and a half before him, we have plenty of time to catch up or read together or whatever.  He is great with just knowing that I'm there, even if he chooses to spend his free time doing fun things instead.  So as far as time goes, he's covered.

I was more worried about my second born.  I got pregnant with number 3 when he was only six months old. He has never really had me to himself.  I have tried to squeeze in special time with him to make up for that.  The thing is, it isn't like with my first who was used to having me all to himself.  Number 2 is happy to get love and really seems to enjoy the time I spend with him helping with his homework.  It seems to be enough for him.  He has enough of my time to feel important and when he needs more he comes and spends time with me rocking the new baby and telling me about his day. It's funny, if I ask about his day he never has much to say.  He only talks when he's in the mood to.

Number three is my little mushball.  He is very sensitive.  With the older two in school this year, he has me mostly to himself all day.  He is happy to help with the baby when he can.  He sits with me for awhile after the baby's morning feeding and he just snuggles.  The days we're running all over town and he skips his daily snuggle, he tries to squeeze it in later and it is hard for him to understand that I can't just stop helping with the homework, or stop cooking dinner just to snuggle.  Those are the times my heart breaks a little.  How do you tell your kid that you don't have time for love.  Anyway, I'll usually let him stay up an extra ten or fifteen minutes just rocking him in the rocking chair.  That seems to do the job.

Having a 3mo old that is breastfed makes it very obvious that kids of different ages are not at all equal.  The baby relies on parents for everything, so they take priority(for the most part) and we work around that with the others.  Letting the bigger ones help me with baby tasks has helped them bond with the little one and though it may take a bit longer, it is awfully sweet to watch how gentle they can be.  I think that settling into this perspective will ease some of my late afternoon stress.  Unfortunately, it is all too easy to feel like an inadequate parent over things that the kids barely notice.  All I know is that if I'm less stressed, the whole house feels a bit lighter and you can't beat that.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Home for the Holidays

I have finally settled on a decision about Thanksgiving.  We will be driving 5hrs to see my family.  I suppose we should probably go visit all my husband's siblings too, but I'm the designated pie maker and will be tethered to the kitchen all day on Wed.  So, if hubby wants to take the 4 boys to visit his family, more power to him.  I really do not foresee that happening though. 

There is this burgeoning feeling of foreboding.  My family is, well, quirky.  There are a lot of us and tension tends to be heightened during the holidays.  I'm hoping that next week will be fabulous, peaceful (to a certain degree) and happy.  I will be doing my best to foster warm and fuzzies in my kids, so that they don't get so frustrated.  It's a little hard for the boys to be over there.  My sister and her kids live with my Mom, so, the cousins have all grown up there. When they start to argue, like kids do, the cousins are quick to make them feel like outsiders and mine end up running to Grandma for reassurance that of course she loves them just as much as the cousins even though they live far away. 

There's always a chance that everything will go smoothly.  I will be praying for that.  There is nothing worse than seeing your little ones with their hearts broken.  Then again, there will be pie and pie can fix just about anything.  We might have to start before Thursday though.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Unexpected Happy

Even though Hubby had over a month to develop a presentation for our oldest son's school, I still found myself trying to get it all done yesterday for today's event.  Talk about last minute.  The weird thing is, I really didn't mind.  I thoroughly enjoyed the whole process.  I was up until 2 a.m. doing last minute changes and additions to the slide show and going over all the other visual aids he was to bring, but I was happy to do it.  It gave me an excuse to ignore my "chores" and do grown up things for a few hours.  I felt needed and helpful and it was a nice change. 

Don't get me wrong, I love staying home with my kids, but after awhile it can wear on you.  Everyone needs a bit of a change every now and then.  The best part about this is that Hubby actually had a good time speaking at our son's school.  He spoke to three different classes and realized that he had enough stuff to speak for hours.  I warned him that would happen, but who am I?  So, Bun #1 is happy and proud because, I must say, his Dad's job is really cool and now everyone knows it.  Hubby is happy, because as much as he knew it would suck, it didn't.  Then there is me, I am thrilled to have had a part in this and it feels really good to still be needed and to know that I can do something well that Dad can't.  Yup, today is feeling pretty darned good.  Maybe I'll try to bake bread again.  Must look for a better recipe.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

You Are Not Me

It is only human to expect others to handle situations, as would you.  However, being that sometimes even you surprise yourself, aren’t you just setting yourself up for more disappointment?

People shouldn’t be thrust into the parameters of those who see them.  I suppose it’s that whole “do unto others” thing.  But just because you do unto them doesn’t mean anyone else will.  Should you change?  The simple answer is, no.  Just see people for what they are and not what or who you want them to be.

Perhaps your time is better spent trying to be the person you wish you were (kinder, more patient, more forgiving), instead of wishing others were different than how they are.  Don’t love them any less because they are not perfect.  Just don’t expect them to act outside themselves.  Take them as they are.

We are who we are.  If you don’t like it, focus on bettering those parts you find particularly dissatisfying. 

Nuggets of inspiration or impossible ideals; I suppose time will show who will emerge from behind the walls of shelter.  Funny how those walls that were built to keep you safe from harm seem to let all the old pain fester as there is no way for it to escape.

We are who we are, aren't we?

Okay, so last summer I was at a crossroads in my life, well not really in my life but within myself.  I began journaling again after a very long hiatus.  Yesterday, I dropped that first journal while cleaning and it flopped open to the entry below.  I was amazed at how putting thoughts on paper helped to ease my mind.


When you spend your life doing what needs to be done, what you think ought to be done, you end up resenting what put you there even if it was all your decision in the first place.

You lose yourself in the mundane tasks of the every day. You become unrecognizable. Those around you come to know this “you” that isn’t, really. So then, what happens when you choose to leave so-called responsibilities unattended? Do people try to understand, or do they just put you on Xanax to conform to the you that never was? Do they still love you when you barely resemble the person they thought they knew? Do you still love them as much even though their ideal is what initially caged you? If they really love you, won’t they stick around for the ride? How much stress is too much? Is it worth finding your way back to you if it costs you your family? What are acceptable losses? Why should anything be lost?

It seems that in realizing how far you’ve grown away form the real you (though you’ve kinda been you this whole time) the journey home keeps taking you farther away from those you love.

Could it be that being who they needed you to be fulfilled you in some way? Now that you don’t need to be that person, do they still need you? Will they understand? Will they leave? Can you live your life surrounded by people disappointed in you, people who no longer get you? What if they can no longer stand by you? What if they just want you to be whom they wanted, even though you no longer resemble that person? In theory, wouldn’t getting back to you, the real you make for a happier home life, a happier hubby, a better example for happier kids? Something that is good for them is good for you, so why not vice versa? It’s your turn to be good to yourself. Wouldn’t they all enjoy a happier you, even if you’re not exactly who you used to be?

Trust them. Trust that they love you as you love them and that they would rather live a life with you altered than without you at all. Though “trust” is a big word, don’t let it scare you. You have faith. So have some faith in them, they love you always.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Humble and Happy

I should not feel guilty.  There truly is nothing to feel guilty for.  So then why do I still harbor guilt?  See, it is my innate nature to feel guilt.  It has always been that way.  I would prefer that things be different, but it is a process and something I will be working on for a long time.  Anyway, it seems that with everyone going through hard times right now, I would be the only one around me who is trying to see the glass as still half full.  Now, I'm not a perpetual optimist, I just don't really see how dwelling on everything that we no longer have, or can no longer do will help any.

So, I received a string of phone calls and talked to half a dozen loved ones.  Usually, people are too busy to be bothered with calls more than 10 min.  But I was on the phone for almost five hours.  Yeah, I got nothing done yesterday, but at least I was there when they needed me.  I was the shoulder for the world, or so it seemed.  Usually, I'm alright with that.  Really, I am.  But as I was listening to my loved ones cry and vent and continue to stress out through these trying times, all I could do was listen.  I don't know any more than anyone else about what the economy is going to do next, or when more jobs will become available.  Yesterday was spent listening to them and encouraging them.  I listed things that they could see positively.  I reminded them that their kids are safe and healthy.  I don't have much money to offer them, after all, I too am struggling, but I did offer a beloved chicken or two if they ever need it, free babysitting is always available as well.  Just because the parents can't afford a night on the town, doesn't mean they can't have some alone time at home.

As I gently reminded them about all the things they still had, and how Christmas is not about expensive presents, I was reminding myself as well.  This is where the guilt comes in.  As I felt their pain, mine was lifted.  As I told them about all the good things in their lives, I was reminded of all the good things in mine.  I hung up the phone yesterday and prayed that they can see the good in their lives, because the bad could swallow them whole.  So I have guilt for feeling happy and thankful while they seem so miserable at the moment.  I can't very well thank them for uplifting me, even though I did not know that it was exactly what I needed.

The Holidays mean so much to so many people.  Unfortunately, there are many who subconsciously equate gifts with love.  I would much rather have someone bring me a loaf of fresh baked bread and spend some time.  For months, I've been talking to my children about "less is more".   I've began feigning excitement at the thought of them making gifts for the grown-ups.  Funny thing is, I'm actually getting excited about it now.  They are making lists of things that they want to try to make, and even if I help them most of the way, if it is feasible, then we will try.  I'm happy to be getting away from the commercialism of the Holidays and of life in general.  There has been increasing amounts of pressure and stress surrounding Christmas.  How do we out do the year before.  It's not spoken, but the feeling is there.  Now, it is obvious that this is not going to be the most prosperous Holiday.  We will all do what we can and focus on people instead of things.

I am grateful for my children's health and happiness.  They can find joy in nothing and everything and I hope every day to absorb some of that fascination with the world.  People are so afraid of letting their kids down, but it takes an awful lot to do just that.  The only way to do that is to not try.  We can't give up hoping things will get better and we can't dwell on how bad things have gotten.  Things can always be worse, and perception can make things feel a lot better.  Kids take on the views of their parents.  Even stubborn kids eventually hop on board.  Last Christmas, we put up our decorations, and I thought it was all lovely.  Then, while watching the movie Elf, the kids went nuts to see the store full of paper snowflake's.  So, of course, we spent the rest of that afternoon making what seemed like hundreds of paper snowflakes.  They loved it.  Even my oldest, who really didn't want to be bothered, got excited as he volunteered to put them up all over the house.  They didn't let me take those things down until long after the Christmas tree was gone.  Wouldn't you know, that a few days ago it was my oldest who asked me if we could make more paper snowflakes this year.  Of course, my answer was a teary-eyed "we sure can".  They boy actually did a little jig.

Yeah, I think that everything will be fine so long as we make the best of it.  Humble and Happy, it's a good place to start.

Monday, November 9, 2009

What to do?

Just this side of feeling overwhelmed, and just that side of bliss is an odd place to be.  There is so much looming on the horizon.  Siblings going through their muddled journey and friends pulling for attention often seem too much to handle.  Being a wife and mother, that tends to take priority to all other roles until, of course, there is a crisis.  I don't know if I should be glad or offended that due to sheer distance, I'm out of the loop by at least a few days.  By the time I get the info, everything is old news.  Should I feel less important because I'm not the first one called, or should I be thankful that they fill me in once the main drama dies down a bit?

All I know is that the Holidays are on the horizon and I have no real plans.  Should I take my kids (incl. an infant) 5 hours down to the rest of the family?  The house is crowded and no one really gets along to well.  The stress of the day doesn't subside until the dinner is over.  By then, we're just usually to tired to argue and so we are content to just be.  However, it would be the first time they get to see the baby, but right now that seems like the only plus.  On the other hand, we could have a perfectly nice Thanksgiving at home with just us.  We did it last year and there wasn't much stress.  I even had the house all cleaned and the kids in bed by their regular bedtime.  Yup, last year I even got to hang out Thanksgiving night with a friend I hadn't seen in years.  The whole day was just lovely.  I know that just because last year was nice doesn't mean that this year will also be virtually stress free. There is also a third option.  A good friend of the family has invited us for Thanksgiving again.  We've gone in years past, and it would be nice to visit and spend time with my other family.  I'm just not sure that I want to leave my family drama for someone else's.  Oh, what to do, what to do?

I've decided not to worry about it for now.  Things will fall into place.  My kids are fine with whatever we choose.  They are happy to just have turkey and a stack of homemade pies. 

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

Well, to get to my pen apparently. 

Today we inherited a chicken.  Well, not really.  Our two smallest chickens tunnel out on a regular basis.  It has become routine for my 4yr old to go to the pen with me and walk the chicken to the door so I can let her in.  Though, sometimes he gets feisty and chases her down and catches her.  He gets so proud of himself.  This is an easy task as the chickens never go more than two feet away from the pen.  Which makes me wonder why the bother to escape in the first place.

Anyway, today, we set out for our normal routine and as my son was walking around the pen wrangling the chickens, I noticed that there were three and one of them was very large.  I couldn't remember if we had one that looked like that.  I counted my chickens twice and they were all there.  We had someones rouge chicken.  The thing about it is that the closest chickens to us are across the street and down the way.  Not far for us bipeds but a good trek for a chicken, even a big chicken.  This chicken got along well with my two escape artists and went into the pen with them.  Since this is my first batch of chickens ever, I had no idea what to expect.

My roosters had not issues with this new chicken in fact, out of 14 chickens only two of them bothered with her.  Unfortunately, my cutest chicken, one that had never bothered anyone, turned queen B****.  Once she noticed this new bird she pecked at it and squawked at it.  This new chicken was easily three times the size of Cinnamon, but she was so sweet that she would not fight back.  I took this new bird to the side and fed her and made sure she got water, and for awhile none of the chickens bothered her.  But when I went back out there later the poor thing was huddled behind the cage in there in an attempt to escape Cinnamon's wrath. 

So when the middle school bus let out, I asked the boy who lives at the closest chicken house if he was missing a chicken.  He said "No, but yours escaped and was running around the bus stop this morning".  No, mine don't leave the perimeter of the pen.  Anyway, he came to take a look and thought it was his chicken so I let him take her.  I'll find out later if it is in fact his.  It should be, there are no other chickens around here.  But if it isn't, I think I want her back.  She was such a nice chicken.  Unfortunately, I'll never look at little Cinnamon the same way again.

On a different note, our smallest rooster has an attitude problem.  He's taken to attacking my son when he goes in and cares for the birds.  He's rough with the hens too, even though most are twice his size.  He drew blood from my son's leg yesterday.  I think I'm done with him.  He'll make good chicken soup.  I think he's of the black skinned variety.  He's a mixed breed rooster, but has black shanks and five hairy toes.  I've never dresses a chicken, ever.  Not looking forward to it.  I'll be putting this off as much as possible, but if he doesn't settle down, he has got to go: (

How Much Is Too Much?

I remember when Middle School was a world away from home, when I could do anything and my parents only knew what I let them know.  Now with technology paving the way, I am forced to keep daily tabs on my son's grades and other miscellaneous hoo ha's. 

The sad thing is that if I don't, I get emails during class time informing me that my kid isn't paying attention.  Ya think?  He's eleven and lazy like every other eleven year old.  Why would a teacher take time away from teaching to let me know such nonsense?  I can see emailing me for particularly bad behavior or if he's failing, or emailing or calling after school.  But to contact parents regularly about a behavior that they obviously find annoying but is not at all effecting his grade, come on.  There has to be some rules, some standard to follow.  I have a teacher emailing me about three times a week and another that I never hear from, regardless of how he's doing. Sometimes, ignorance really is bliss.  He got a B in that class that he "never pays attention" in btw. 

I am the type of person that would rather know everything about everything than be kept in the dark, so the fact that this bothers me means it's pretty bad.  I can't believe that my kid is the only one who they email home about and with each teacher having an average of 100 students, I can't believe that this nonsense makes the list of things to write home about.  I'd hate to see the emails the disruptive or failing kids get.

I'd like to know what you think about it.  How much is too much?  After all, this isn't an all or nothing situation. 

Friday, November 6, 2009

Reflections in Miniature

When you spend so much time trying to train the little ones to be who you want them to be, why do they only pick up you're bad habits?  I've come to realize the more I try to instill good habits and whatnot into my children, in an attempt to make their lives easier, the more they start sounding like me on a bad day.  Now, I don't go cursing my kids out or anything, but they sure are getting to be snotty little buggers.  Okay, sometimes they're cute, embarrassing but cute. 

Case in point, I took my four year old to my five year old's school Halloween parade. After we saw him and the younger realized that we weren't leaving, he dramatically put his hand on his forehead and announced to the world, "That's it I have had enough"!  Yeah, all the parents looked at me, some of them with knowing smiles and some just shocked.  Yeah, like they never get exasperated with their little brats. 

Anyway, you never know how many bad little habits you have until you see them reflected 100x a day in miniature.  And nothing pisses you of more than seeing how annoying you can be to others, since you sound just like them.  Well, that's how it is in my case anyway.  If you want to feel good about yourself, don't have kids.  If you plan on raising perfect little saints, give up now.  My mantra has become "They're lucky they're cute".  Lord knows it's saved them on many occasion.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Rise and Shine

Oh to be awakened by the sound of chirping birds and the warmth of sunshine on my cheek.  Today, shrill cries from the four year old, followed by the five year old cursing him out (nice, I know) woke me just in time to see both of them pummeling the eleven year old, who was so annoyed that he smashed their lego robot, which fueled the fire that drove the beating to the next level.  Whew, all this before the alarm even went off.  Why couldn't my kids inherit my love of sleep?  So after a morning scolding and a rush to make sure they are all fed, clothed, and had brushed their teeth, it felt like something was missing.  Bingo!  I didn't have the bun on my boob.

Last night my not quite three month old son (yes, all boys) slept a lot.  I was wondering when the four feedings at night would slow down.  He finished eating at about 10 last night.  At 3:46 this morning I rolled over and was abruptly awakened by the severity of pain in my tata's.  They were gigantic rocks.  I looked over at bun and he was sound asleep.  Knowing he would be up soon, I couldn't be bothered pumping.  So I hung out online for awhile.  Bored (which never happens online), I went back to the room.  He was asleep sucking on his fist and I took this as my queue.  I fed him and put him back in his crib.  The boy never woke up.  He missed his 6:30 feeding too.  It is now 8:30 and he is just now getting up.  He must have known this morning would be chaos and didn't want any part of it, haha.
I long for the lazy mornings that I so easily took for granted.  If I could escape for the weekend with Hubby, I think all I would do is sleep, oh and eat out.  Not quite worth the price of a hotel room, or is it....hmmmm.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

By Definition

Is it horrible that I thoroughly enjoy other people's messy homes?  I will never claim to be a good housekeeper.  My house is well lived-in, and always seems messy to me.  There are six of us and three cats, so I will always have laundry to do, dishes to clean, and a floor that has stuff on it, whether it be toys, paper, or who knows what.  Though I do my best to keep on top of things, they still can get away from me every once in awhile (or a little more often, but who's counting). 

The days I make it over to a friend or neighbor's house and see their messes, I can't help but smile when my mess all of a sudden looks minimal.  It is always nice to know that I'm not the worst housekeeper out there.  I suppose if I changed my personal definition of "clean", then I wouldn't mind my mess so much.  Maybe it's that I always have the intention to tackle things, but life happens and cleaning is not really that important in the grand scheme of things.  Now, I'm not saying my house is completely disgusting and should be condemned.  I have a bunch of small children, so I do have some standards.  But I don't vacuum every day, and I don't really care. 

So, I was at a friend's house the other day.  I love her dearly, but she's has a house full of people and four dogs and yet her house was always better kept than mine.  I always felt a bit inadequate when I would get home from her house and look at the tasks still awaiting my attention.  But this time I went over there and it was complete chaos.  I helped her catch up, because it is easier to deal with other peoples mess than it is my own (who knows why).  It was nice to know that perfect really isn't and that me and my mess are perfectly acceptable and the only one who it bothers is me, and occasionally hubby, but he could help if it truly gets on his nerves;o)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sleep Aid

It's just after 5 a.m. and I can hear my 5yr old laughing in his sleep.  There are no other sounds, other than the clickety-clack of the keys as I type.  The sky is dark and the air is cool.  My heart is warmed by his laughter and mumbles of a "silly face".  Suddenly, I think I can sleep.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Eggs Are Beautiful

Living in the closest thing to the country that I ever have, I spent the last six years trying to convince my Hubby that since we are zoned for animals, we should at least get some chickens.  Now, after hatching and growing a dozen or so from eggs, I thought I was in over my head. Seven months after the endeavor began, we have been feeding them with no output.  Today, we, really I, was rewarded with one tiny, light brown and perfect egg. I was so excited that I took a picture or three and emailed them to my husband, who promptly called me and with all sincerity said, "I bet you're really excited".  Little did he know that that one little egg could somehow lift my spirits, that I did not even know were a bit down.  Yeah, apparently he gets lucky when I'm happy.  Talk about unforeseen circumstances, hahaha.

Oh, the white one is a store bought Grade A large for comparison.  Woo Hoo!  We have eggs, well, egg.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Enter the Nothing

Old sounds of memories ring through the mind.  Wonder what pulls them to the surface.  Wonder why they linger.  Trading time for reminiscing.  Pulled to the present with a bang, just to float back at the first moment of peace. Warm hearts relax the soul and all urgency subsides.  Good things past lead to smiles present.  Patience grows from nothing, from the distant feeling the tickles the heart.  Intangibles can be a wonderful thing.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Little Dreams

Daydreams.  What a nice break for a minute.  Doing dishes, looking out the window, dreaming of whatever comes to mind.  Not an escape from reality.  Reality is joy and conflict and happiness and all things.  Yet, in the middle of the afternoon, deep in the daily grind, the thought of blue skies and a cool breeze can bring a smile to the face that just moments ago reflected the boredom that was.  A minute to relax.  A minute to breath and it's back to the usual.  Only this time, it might look a bit brighter for the break.  The smile infects the soul and is contagious.  It is a good thing. 

Mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, fixer of all things broken, doctor, nurse, tutor, chef, and maid.  So many shoes to fill in a day, an hour, every minute.  It is a lot when you think about it, and there will never be enough time.  Take each day as it comes.  Though being all things at all times can wear on you, you only have to be who you are and the rest just kind of falls into place.  Though there is always room for improvement, I don't know if we can ever truly be who we wish we were.  Everyone I know wishes they could be their own version of perfect, the perfect wife, mother, lover, or friend.  We are all but human, and as such, we are perfect enough.  All else can be forgiven.

Hair, do I know you?

It's the first time in about four months that I attempted to straighten my locks.  Whatever the reasons, I've been unable to find the time or inclination to be bothered.  So, while on the phone and rushing to get ready, I decided to try and get the job done.  My hair was acutely atrocious, so no harm no foul. Admittedly, it was a half-assed job.  However, it was enough to make me remember why I ever bothered to pull out the flat-iron to begin with.  My hair looks much more healthy straight, except for the ends of course.  More than that, hubby came home and ran his fingers through it.  He hasn't attempted that for a long time.  So, I guess it might be worth the trouble.  Hubby likes it, and it makes me feel good, or at least better, about my hair. 

Usually, I'm not all about looks.  I've grown out of the stage where I had to live in a full face of make-up.  I can't help but wonder if it has something to do with where I live.  Make-up isn't really important in these parts.  Then again, neither is dental hygiene.  Anyway, I think that I'll begin to form a routine again, as best I can around a newborn and four year old.  I could try to squeeze some time after my two oldest are off to school in the morning.  It wouldn't kill me to take an interest in things, more than I have been.  Being sleep deprived really changes one's perception about what really matters.

I was looking at my slightly thinning, yet amazingly shiny (must be the products) locks and it was nice to see something not looking like crap.  I was transfixed on my dead ends.  Looking and the smooth shaft growing into the tiny v's at the very end of the hair, well, it got me thinking.  Everything looks perfect except for that one flaw.  The one tiny problem that could ruin the whole thing.  How many things in life do we see that way?  Everything looks good, your friends are true and loyal.  Then, one tiny mistake, one fatal flaw, and then the friendship is questioned in its entirety, or a marriage teeters on the edge not knowing which way it will fall because the foundation was eternally cracked due to one tiny imperfection.  Nothing is ever what it seems, not really.  Happiness is only happy because it is believed to be so.  When something, however minuscule, changes that perception ever so slightly, then what happens to the happy.  Is it gone, never to return? Does it change along with each revelation.  Can people or situations ever just be what they are?  I don't think so. I mean, how can they be.  I know what I am, yet sometimes even I surprise myself.  So, if I can still do that, then how can anyone else really know me.  Yes, loved ones  love you good, bad, and ugly.  But do they really know you?  I know who and what I believe my hubby to be.  Does that mean that he will never prove me wrong?  Of course it doesn't.  But he proves me right on a regular basis and that is good enough for me.  Unfortunately, all the good can be outweighed by one bad, one really bad. 

Let's hope that life brings good surprises and that the curves in the road just make for a more interesting journey. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Welcome Fall

Sitting out on the swing in the cool evening breeze, I listened to the sounds of the world.  I heard my roosters crow and the hens cluck.  They were loving the breeze after the long hot summer.  Though they have yet to yield a single egg, I enjoy them.  They are quite funny, and it makes this place feel like home.  My cat was stalking the chickens outside of their pen.  Though safe inside, the would gather opposite the kitty, and you could tell that he could feel his power as he watched them squirm from his gaze.  It's like my own little savanna.  The butterflies were out in force late afternoon.  So many different ones.  They must be lured by my weed garden flowers being carried on the wind.  I saw the largest one I had ever seen.  It was black with blue splotches and was at least as big as my open hand.  So beautiful is nature.  The mosquito are hiding in the chill and the crickets are sleeping.  The frogs that were so plentiful just days ago seemed to have run from the cold as well.  It was lovely. 

All About a Plan

I'm thinking that I should schedule my daily activities.  I've been home for years, and with the birth of my last, will bee home for a few more to come.  I'm good with that.  There's nothing like watching and helping kids grow.  Of course, no one tells you that spending so much time with them could lead you to blame yourself for any signs of unwanted behavior.  Ah, but that's a blog for another day.  I've been so far behind on things around here that I feel bogged down every time I open my eyes.  Sometimes I get a lot of things done, others not a darn thing.  So, in a serious attempt to regulate my daily output and eventually make my life a bit easier, I think that a schedule would do me good.  It definitely can't hurt.  Who knows, maybe I'll get a chance to do all things I would like to do with my kids.  Because right now, I feel like everything good is on hold because I have so many chores to do. 

Since the boys must get up at 7:15, then I shall get up at least at 7.  This would be regardless if hubby gets up or not.  Usually he does the mornings (mostly, I still get them ready) and I do everything else.  I must say, I love not having to walk anyone to the bus stop in the morning.  Anyway, I will start with the kitchen, and move to laundry.  My goal is to have everything washed and dried or at least 2 loads a day by lunch.  Then, in the afternoon, between errands and the boys getting home, I will put the clothes away and unload the dishwasher and tackle the living and family rooms.  The floors will have to wait until the kids are in bed, otherwise they just get dirty right away anyway.  This is my plan.  Perhaps I'll start slowly.  I'm not going to beat myself up too badly if I don't get some stuff done.  I have a bunch of kiddies and things happen.  But it is a plan and I feel better about having it.  Now, maybe with my new found hope I can tackle my personal pigsty and go back to living in a real home.

A girl can dream.

Monday, October 19, 2009

It Would Be Heaven

I've been known to bake the hell out of pies and cakes and other deliciously sweet concoctions.  However, I am yeast challenged.  I  try about four or five times a year to bake bread from scratch, no machines.  I have managed to make a decent dinner roll, and that's about it.  I can't even bake  biscuits from scratch, they just don' turn out right.  I can live with canned biscuits.  It won't kill me, since there are some that are quite tastey.  Oh, but the bread.  I have always loved the smell of fresh-baked bread. 

My family was never much of a baking family.  They can cook, for sure, but it was my extremely large and ever-growing sweet tooth that fueled my love of baking.  The first time I had homemade bread I was sleeping at a friend's house.  I was in high school, if you can believe it.  I think I'm the only one I know that never had homemade bread.  It was amazing.  I ate the whole thing, and I wasn't the least bit embarrassed.  They were amazed at how thrilled and excited I was over the bread.  Since then, it has been my mission to bake at least one loaf of delicious bread.  Okay, maybe I got a little more into it once I had kids.  I would love to be that Mom.  You know, the one that makes things from scratch.  Like I said, I'm good with desserts, but I'm all about the bread.  Yeah, I could never do Atkins. 

Unfortunately, I get so emotional about the prospect of delicious bread that when it doesn't turn out right, I don't bake anything for awhile.  Hence, only trying to bake bread a handful of times a year.  I have decided that today is the day.  I have cleared my mind and opened myself to all possibilities.  I think that I have been going into my trials with a specific outcome in mind.  In the past, I've turned out a few loaves that other people have enjoyed, but they were nowhere near what I intended.  Thus, I was again highly unsatisfied.  Now, I think I will just see what happens.  They always smell great, but some aren't as crusty or soft or light or whatever that I wanted.

Maybe I should take one recipe and just rework it until I get a result that I find satisfactory.  I just might have to try once a week.  Every day is a little hard for me, since I get so emotionally invested in my baking.  It's funny, I never have a problem if I bake a lopsided cake, or if I forget to brush a pie crust.  I suppose in desserts, I don't really care so long as it tastes good.  But with bread I look to be perfect.  Though I am aware that will never happen.  It would be wonderful if one day I could have to varieties of bread that I can bake consistently well, one for dinner and a softer, less crusty one for breakfast.  For now, I will be happy with just one that I can enjoy.

I'm all stocked up with flour and yeast.  Wish me luck!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Too Tired to Sleep

Does anyone else sit alone in the darkness, body too tired to move, yet mind speeding through a lifetime?  With thoughts whizzing past at an annoyingly attention-grabbing rate.  I have found sleep to be elusive.  This, in itself, is not new to me.  However, with my latest boy, I am worn out and actually long for sleep.  Now, unfortunately,  I find myself drawn to the computer at 3 a.m. when the little one has, once again, been fed and is resting.  Any normal Mom would try to pass out.  Yet, no matter how drained I may be, my mind won't let me sleep.  It would be different if I could nap with him during the day, but with four young kids, there is no napping.  So I find myself guiltily enjoying the silence of the night, wishing it would spread its tendrils through to sunrise, unbroken in its beauty. 

Thursday, October 15, 2009

'Tis the Season

A little rain and a 12 degree drop in temperature has made people a little loopy.  It has been hot and steamy around here for awhile, but what else is new?  Now this cooling rain has meant that people want to be outside a little more.  I thought I'd get a break.  Not so lucky.  So this rain has awakened the sleeping lime green devils in my yard and all across the neighborhood.  Little tree frogs have taken over the world.  These little guys, that range from tiny to about an inch long, are everywhere.  It's like one of the seven plagues.  I wouldn't care if I was at all normal about this sort of thing, but in my old age I've developed a fear of frogs.  Okay, just to clarify, I was all about frogs as a kid.  Then, while in high school, I saw a native toad in my German Shepard's food dish.  It took up the whole entire dish.  I was mortified as I had to feed the dog that night.  My father, showing no mercy, stood out there and yelled at me to pick up the bowl and dump the toad out.  The toad barked at me and in very slow motion climbed out of the bowl and attempted to chase me.  It wasn't hard to do as I was frozen to that spot watching the frog come closer to me.  Finally, I screamed refused to ever feed that dog again.  The big toads can still stop me from entering my house if I must cross one in order to do so.

Now, on my own terms I can pick one of the tiny ones up if I must.  At least the tree frogs are sort of cute by comparison, so I can definitely swat them off the car door to get in.  However, when my young ones realized that I wasn't joking about this punctuated dislike for these critters, they decided it would be funny to peg me with them.  They would take turns throwing frogs at me. It wasn't like it was raining frogs.  One would throw one and watch me try to get out of the way while screaming like I was being stabbed.  Then, after the fit of laughter began to settle, another would try his hand.  So, every 90 seconds or so I was dodging a froggy.  I tried to seem upset for the frogs and made a stink about it in a vain attempt to deflect my obvious freak out.  Boy, those kids don't know just how close I came to wetting myself in a sobbing fit of hysteria.  Thank goodness for hubby.  He came out of the shed and after being amused for about five minutes he distracted them long enough for me to run in the house and lock myself into the bathroom for a long hot cleansing shower.  I had to scrub the frog off, even though they never really touched me.  I'm a loon.  I know.  How embarrassing is this story.  What the heck am I thinking?

Pressure Cooker

Lately, I have been under pressure to bake cookies on a regular basis.  I do love to bake, but only when I'm caught up on everything else and have the time to dedicate to love filled yummies.  Knowing my love for baking, hubby came home awhile ago with a very large cookie book.  He and the kids went through every page with ooh's and ahh's over the various types of deliciousness that I would soon be making for them.  Like a good wifey and Mom, I made a new variety of cookie that very night.  Then a couple of days later, the pressure began.  I was reminded, ever so cleverly, about how if I made a different cookie every night, It would take me through the New Year to go through them all.  Now, when I glance at the book, I am no longer motivated.  I love to bake, because I find it calming and it works as a wonderful reward when I feel like me or the kids or hubby has accomplished something (like actually finishing and putting away all the laundry).  Now that I am constantly asked why I don't make cookies, and am reminded of how long it will take me to make all those cookies, well, I don't want to make any gosh-darned cookies. 

I know that the actual pressure is not intentional.  The boys just want goodies.  But for me, it has turned into a another sign of my growing inadequacies.  Now, usually, I can talk myself into thinking that whatever I get around to is just fine.  I don't pretend to be perfect and my family doesn't expect me to be.  Then, here comes the book.  It was a lovely gesture and everyone was excited.  It felt great to have them all looking forward to me baking for them.  But now, I feel like I have to be June Cleaver.  With the family sharing and rotating a bad cold, I can barely keep up with keeping them hydrated and tending to their symptoms much less housework, meals, groceries, and those gosh-darned cookies.  Also, being told that maybe fresh baked cookies will help with a speedy recovery is NOT helping. 

Perhaps, when everyone is on the tail end of this bug, and the milk won't cause more booger woes, then I may be motivated, once again, after I catch up on everything else first of course.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Price of Happy

Seems to be that daily stress is the killer of all joy.  Self-induced pressure is the destroyer of life.  In the grand scheme of things, who cares if dinner is a little late or if the floors are clean?  Not me, that's for sure.  It's a shame that annoying sounds of others' unhappiness has to leach into its surroundings.  It taints everything within earshot.  A shrill scream from an angry child and it's like an electric shock to the brain that closes off all the receptors to peace.  Blood pressure rises instantaneously.  Spouses and other loved ones can induce the same reaction.  Apparently, the more you care the easier it is to be miserable.  But by the same means is the road to extreme joy.  How nice it would be to have the latter without the former.  Unfortunately, one must open their heart and soul in order to allow the happy in and in doing so, everything else has a chance to enter too. 

I suppose without the sadness or misery or stress, then the joy wouldn't be so superfluous, and isn't that what we are all ultimately looking for, a love and joy to overflow our hearts.  Why oh why must it be so closely intertwined with the dark side?  I'll take the happy where I can get it, and if that means that I can't always be happy, that it must be tempered with everything else, then so be it.

My Little Little

Little hands and little feet
Little eyes for you to meet
Little fingers, little toes
Little miracle, watch him grow

Little face and toothless smile
Little peace for a little while
Little socks and little shoes
Lots of love for little you

Monday, October 5, 2009

If You Have Nothing Nice to Say.......

Time and time again it is clear that negativity reinforces the unwanted, whether it be bad people or bad behavior.  Haven't people heard of "you catch more flies with sugar than vinegar"?  It is almost to the point where I believe that people try to be curt, or downright mean.  There need be no provocation for the outlash.  It is a sad state of affairs when you're given the stink-eye for asking for the time.  It takes two seconds to look and tell you, and much longer to yell in passing "time to get a f-ing watch dude".  It would be nicer just to walk past and never look back.  

Anyway, episodes like that have helped to foster a society of people who don't even look at each other in the grocery store.  There used to be a time when everyone you passed smiled and waved "hello", even if you did not know them.  Now, you look at someone and it's the beginning of a confrontation.  Why?  Is a smile so threatening as to warrant an attack?  Is the recession making people more violent?  No, of course not.  I suppose when we are taught to look out for ourselves, there is an unspoken rule that others just don't matter.  it's not something that is outright taught.  However, it seems to be a very sad consequence of how society has "progressed". 

What gets me is the fact that I am still the kind of person to smile at someone who dares to look at me.  I still say "good morning" to strangers and speak to people wherever I go.  No, I'm not one of those annoying people who tell you their life story in an elevator.  But I will smile and nod hello, and if you happen to be wearing killer shoes, I'll tell you how fab they are.  If you happen to have no teeth and smell like a sewer, then I'll just leave it at a nod and a smile and quietly get off on the next floor just to escape the possibility of the stink sticking to me.  Again, I will not be the one to look you in the eye and say, "have some pride and take a f-ing shower dude".  

Sugar over vinegar all the way.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

My Life My Own

Trudging through time.  Trying to figure out the exact moment that led to a very specific reaction twenty years later.  Does it matter.  There is so much time wasted trying to find the origins.  Though a sense of understanding is a wonderful thing, it is what is going on now that is the issue.  How can tracing events long past, stop the pain that was caused just this morning?  It does help you, but does it help them.  Does it matter to the ones that have been stomped on and pushed away?  Will it make a difference, or help keep someone close to you, when you realize that your past effects your future?  It is the same for all of us.  Of course, some cases are much more tragic than others, but that doesn't mean that the reactions aren't the same. 

As adults, I'm all for figuring yourself out.  What I don't get is how so many people blame their past for all their problems.  There are too many people out there with severe tragedies somewhere behind them, and even without therapy, they've grown into caring, thoughtful, responsible adults.  So, if that can happen all on its own, how can so many still blame the past for their future even though it has yet to occur.

For myself, I have a need to know why I am the way I am.  However, if I make regrettable decisions, they are mine.  The good ones are mine as well, yet it is rare to take credit for that.  No one is forced to hurt the feelings of others.  Though the road is often difficult, the past doesn't have to follow you wherever you may go.  It will never be forgotten, nor should it be.  The past is part of who you are.  It is something to be accepted and then dismissed.  Take the lessons learned and try to move forward.  The more people you encounter, the more people who you touch, the further removed from the past you become.

It can be the most difficult task to let something go.  More often it is the bad things that tend to linger in the heart and mind.  So long as we can find a way to push them to the corners and lose them in the shadows, we can move on.  There will always come a time when these memories seek the sun, but few and far between is so much better than being in the forefront daily.

Acceptance and responsibility lead the road to a better you.  It's a rough road, but at the end lies freedom and respect.  I'd say it's worth the journey.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Warm-Gooey Center

Admittedly, I write better when I am less than happy, whether that be annoyed, hurt, angry, sad or anything else.  I suppose it is because I write to free my soul and rid my mind of useless things that outweigh the good.  Hmmm... why is it that guilty and frustration sink to the pit of your gut, yet happiness floats.  Since it floats, it also more easily floats away.  Of course, that's not to say that I am not a happy person by nature.  I just don't tend to write happy things.  Maybe that comes off as bitter.  But I'm not, not at all.  While recently perusing my page at, I came across the poem found below.  Instantly, I was reminded of all that is wonderful in life in general and in my life in particular.  Everyone has their own sense of things. Happiness is judged differently by each individual.  This is colored by circumstance, emotion, and perception among countless other factors.  Though what makes us happy varies greatly, happiness is just that, happiness.  Once achieved, it is a wonderful thing.  Now, if only it wasn't so fleeting.

So Very Thankful

Don't want to cry
But it can't be helped
All semblance of control is lost
Memories are overwhelming
The good is amazing
Blessings duly counted
So far away from a planned path
Guided by the unknown to the present
Gifted in so many ways
What is lacking is irrelevant
It is all in the mind
There is much love in this place
There is just enough of everything
Warm and happy
Never alone and endless "sugars"
Not perfect, never perfect
But perfect enough for me

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

To Each His Own

In this day and age, things have gone to far.  People are afraid to just speak their minds.  Everyone is so easily offended.  Now if you say anything it is slander.  The world had become so litigious that the vast majority of people live life in CYA mode.  For those who do not yet know, that means Cover Your Ass.  It is each man or woman for themselves in a society who is trying to push community as an idea and a lifestyle.  It's either one or the other.  How can it be that no one can be trusted with the simplest task, yet now there is supposed to be a greater good that brings us all together to hold hands and sing Kum Bah Yah. 

I say make up your mind.  Either you take people at their word or they aren't worth a damn.  Distrust breeds the untrustworthy.  I'm not saying that we should share our most personal anything with everyone we meet.  Not at all.  It's no one's business.  However, if we can't borrow a cup of sugar from our neighbor, then are they really a neighbor or just a stranger who lives nearby.  And if that is the state of things, then how are we as a society supposed to harbor a sense of community if we can't be bothered knowing our neighbors. 

Don't get me wrong, around here I would really rather not interact with most of those people who dwell by my side.  But here, there are large chunks of land separating people.  There are also more farm animals than humans in the area, so it's a little weird to talk about community.  Here, the larger area is still  fairly small, and sometimes people will still wave when you drive down the street.  But mostly, people keep to themselves and those they know really well.  If you weren't born here, then you aren't worth a crap.  At least that's how they make you feel.  Doesn't bother me one bit.  I do find it odd that in regular suburbia, there was more "community" than there is here in this small town.  I thought that small towns were famous for...whatever. 

How do we foster a sense of unity, of true communal spirit to better ourselves as a whole, in a world that teaches that individuals are out to get you and each man for himself.  If the individuals that make up the community are untrustworthy then as a whole they shouldn't be trusted either.  Makes sense to me anyway.

I am Stonehenge

Looking down the barrel at the firing squad.  A jumble of people thrown together to forge some semblance of authority.  Halfwits and maroons across the board.  Hurling negativity, like it will turn all sparkly with the revelation that no one is perfect.  Yet, perfection is not sought.  It is up to each person to do their own job and not seek its completion by others.  Bashing the youth as they stare them down, their condescension burning in the souls of the clueless.

It is just beyond me how an inquisition of this magnitude was assembled for something so seemingly trivial.  Then, it is supposed to have been up to me to "fix" things.  These people got the wrong gal, especially since I don't believe that there is anything broken.  It was almost laughable to see their expressions when I so graciously reminded  them that what they were asking of me was still under their job description.

Seriously, we all have enough to manage throughout the day.  Did they actually expect that a show of force would bully me into submission.  They could think or say what they want, but that doesn't mean that I'm going to lie down and let them stomp on me with a smile.  It will take more than their boldfaced intimidation tactics to knock me down.  Do people actually cower to them?  They must, or they wouldn't keep trying to assert their assumed superiority.

Boy, if they think they are going to call me in there on a regular basis, they are in for quite the fight.  Once is more than enough for me.  Perhaps they should focus on solutions instead of bombarding people with all the minuscule "problems" that really aren't even worth the time of mentioning.  Talk about being focused on the wrong thing.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Net is Calling

There's just something about the internet.  It's like a drug.  It lures you in and grabs hold.  It calls you in the middle of the night, for no other reason than to sit in its ethereal glow and ponder nothing.  There is a certain beauty in the way that it can call you from your slumber just to see if someone in fact reached out to you through cyberspace.  Email, twitter, blogs it's all the same.  Some know you in substance and some just in theory.  People form ideas about who you are based on what you put out there.  Yet, there are those who are honest and the words they choose to represent themselves are a true reflection unbeknownst to them, and there are those who choose their words so carefully as to surgically remove any resemblance to their real selves.

Personally, I find it tiresome to try to pretend to be something or someone just have strangers think that you are better than you are.  Nope, here my mood is always naked and my heart is on my sleeve.  My mind is running rampant about nothing and everything at the same time.  I'm not crazy or on meds, I'm just me.  Boring?  To some I'm sure, and to others not so much. 

Having said that, I am also a coward to a certain degree.  I am free, here and in the few other forums that I have made a slight presence, only because I am anonymous.  I could be anyone. I could be you.  There have been those few that have made enough of an impression that I have chosen to share my real life with them.  After all, connections can be made without the luxury of proximity.  But if I had to share all of myself with the world through the internet, I don't think I would share at all.

I wonder if I am afraid of being judged by those who dwell beside me in my humble real-life world.  Who knows?  All those who matter to me know I'm on here.  I think it is the freedom that I enjoy.  The release of all that could turn evil if left to fester in my mind.  Okay, maybe that was a bit much.  But it is easier to get through the day when I'm not holding onto a lot of nothing that is taking up space that I'd rather fill with belly laughs and bear hugs.


The time is now, I suppose.  When better?  Change is a good thing.  It can even be tangible freedom.  The question is, how can one make changes for the better that are embedded in the fiber of ones being rather than something that one has to continually ponder in order to effect.  Forced change is temporary. 

The need to be better drives, though admittedly more slowly than I would like.  There is always room for improvement.  Can't help but wonder why it is so much easier to see our own faults than to notice fault in another.  It is almost automatic to place blame squarely on my own shoulders, yet, I freely give credit to everyone else.  Logically speaking, it is impossible to be responsible for everyone's everything.  So, therefore, I am obviously not responsible for every bad decision that those around me make, only for my own.  Which again, I readily take the blame for.

So, back to the question of how to make changes.  It's easy to change the idea of something, but to make it habit is more difficult a task.  I need to exercise more patience when dealing with, well...everything.  Yet, when the sea of life is moving calmly, then it is easy to find patience.  When rough seas prevail, then I tend to lose my mind.  Not really, but I definitely am not who I would prefer to be in those situations.  There is only so much of me to go around.  It is difficult to want to be who everyone needs at the moment they need it and be entrenched in the things that need to be done to keep everything else running smoothly.

Is this a problem that plagues all Moms, or just the over-analytical types like myself?  Anyway, if I start to think about everything I wish I could be to my kids, my husband, myself, I just might have a breakdown.  We can only be who we are.  Yet, I believe that change can happen.  Now, if only I could find a nice and easy way to make little changes to push me down the road to the bigger ones.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Day After

Like water off a ducks back, the smile returns.  The next day all is well, as if it never happened.  There is no denial, but there is also no dwelling.  A lesson I wish I could learn as I continue to ponder things incessantly.  Resilient and strong in spite fear.  Quiet and hopeful and grateful for a good day.  I am at ease in the knowledge that despite appearances, he is truly stronger than I could hope to be. 

Fall of the Innocent

Bad things happen to good people.  By the same token, good things happen to bad people.  This doesn't mean that the world is wholly unjust.  Is it the luck of the draw?  Perhaps, at times, it just may be.  No one can control everything, no matter how much they try.

A soft spoken child trying to make friends at an age where everyone is a jerk is just a tragedy in slow motion.  How do you teach a kid to reach out and make an effort when everything he does proves to him that other children can't always be trusted.  To have a conversation that is innocent, overheard and taken as twisted facts is enough to make every single day be dreaded.  How is there justice in three kids concocting a story and reporting it to the school "just to see what would happen", ending up with an innocent child being suspended from classes.  No wonder he feels like he can't do anything right.  I don't know how to fix it.  Maybe it's just something that he needs to go through.  Maybe the experience will make him stronger.  Unfortunately,  he hasn't had any positive ones yet. 

There is nothing like seeing your kid, shy and brilliant, be broken down by a bunch savvy kids who don't know the meaning of respect, kids who undoubtedly grow to be brilliant con men, or lawyers.  And in the middle of all of this, I get told off several times by the Principal because I had the nerve to ask questions.  I also got told off for pointing out that the man didn't bother to speak to any of the kids that were actually sitting close to him, just the ones who came to the office with their stories of BS. 

I know that no one is perfect, including my kids.  However, I do know my child, and on his worst day this isn't him.  Everyone they forced us to speak to before allowing his return to classes, had no concerns about him.  Let me just say that there were no threats of violence to others, there were no weapons, there was nothing but a conversation that was innocent enough between my kid and another one.  Then bits and pieces were screamed around the bus and a story put together that had nothing to do with anything.  So, the kid gets sent home for talking to his friend.  This doesn't help the fact that he's shy and barely talks to anyone on the bus as it is.  After this, I wouldn't blame him if he never said another word on that bus. 

I'm still trying to figure out the protocol to reprimand this Principal who, in refusing to answer my questions, led me to believe that it would be some time before the kid could return.  Yet, the next day after being interviewed for two hours they said he could go back to class right then.  Unfortunately, I did not bring any of his books because I was told it wasn't an option.  This has resulted in an unexcused absence and missing grades for the day.  All this, for talking to his friend. 

Why can't people just mind their own business.  I now realize why so many people around here have decided to home school their kids.  I'm a hair's breadth away from that decision myself.

Tomorrow will be a better day.  No school.