Saturday, December 26, 2009

it was a merry christmas

wednesday the kids and i and my nephew went to my mom's house to bake cookies w/ her and my sister and her kids. for the most part it went fine. i had to shake my head (mentally) when we walked in because, although she's the one who offered to host this baking event, my mom's kitchen/dining room was a wreck. not only was it unorganized in that we had to dig through drawers for measuring spoons, cups and bowls to mix stuff in but the dining room table was piled w/ crap and the floor had obviously not been swept or mopped for awhile. really??? there are two adults living there, why the mess? and in the den? coffee cups, full ashtrays and a bowl of at least two-day old half-eaten salsa. (this was all still in place when we went back on christmas day).

my sister did little baking, complaining her back hurt. the kids decorated some cookies and then, aside from the girl, they were off playing in their own world. one of them locked the door to the garage (it's not been a garage since my parents bought the house 18 yrs ago, it's a finished room that now holds their junk overflow. the kids use it as a club house). so the door is locked and of course my mom has no idea where the key is. the girl came to the rescue by removing the hinges and we took the door off the frame. i think she might have the skills needed to be a cat burglar : )

for the most part there was no tension. no mention of any family strife. my dad did piss me off once. he came home from work around the time we were starting to wind down. i was dipping cake balls at the time. in his typical negative fashion he had to comment. something about how bad for you those were (this from a man who's belly rivals santa's) and how i could take them to a nursing home and kill all the residents. he said this as he's making his second or third drink. i turned to him and said, well, they aren't any worse for you than what you've got in that glass. (i might have mumbled asshole in my brain.)

moving on.

christmas eve was wonderful. everyone always comes to our house christmas eve to open gifts from the families. the hubs had cooked a yummy pork roast, i made the sides. once everyone got in and situated the hubs and i went to our room to get our gifts and he changed into his santa suit : ) he let all of the kids sit on his lap, except puddin' who really is not into people dressed up as anything. he was so sweet. no one could ever know how much that meant to me. i know he wasn't thrilled to have the family here given the recent drama. but he was gracious and played santa and all was well.

after everyone left we all opened christmas pajamas, relaxed for a little bit and then the kids went to bed. now "santa" could begin wrapping their gifts. even though neither of my kids believe in santa any more, we still pretend.

christmas morning they woke us up at FOUR A.M.!!!!! 4am!!! wow. i hope they grow out of that soon. everyone got a lot of great, great presents but the best gift i got was something the hubs had fretted over for weeks, worried that it wouldn't arrive in time. it came christmas eve.

you know how i've been on a coloring book quest? well, he'd searched high and low for coloring books (because i got a huge new box of crayons too!) and couldn't find any. he got on ebay and not only found me a christmas coloring book (no activities in it thank you) but? the coolest thing? it is from 1968, the year i was born. how fucking awesome is that???? i cried. that's probably one of the sweetest gifts i've ever gotten. and in 1968 it cost 10 cents. lol. i debated about whether to actually color in it...but that didn't last long. i've colored three pages already.

it really was a merry christmas.

Monday, December 21, 2009

timing is everything

i think i had more of the christmas spirit a week ago than i do now. i am tense. i am anxious and i don't know why. i'm a bit sad, thinking of our losses this year. thinking of my brother-in-laws sons, who are about the ages of my kids, not having their dad for christmas. sad, thinking my grandma won't be here on christmas eve, even though she never seemed to enjoy her gifts.

i have been baking like i think i'm a food network star or something. baking for god's sake. i made cranberry scones today. i don't know why i thought scones were so fabulous. maybe mine just weren't. they're ok, but i thought they'd be yummier.

the snow is still here, though melting. i really have loved it though.

i think i'm a bit overwhelmed by the gifts we've bought the kids and each other (though of course i have no idea what i'm getting and i don't think the hubs knows what he's getting) and i sort of feel guilty/greedy/materialistic. i hate that. normally i'm really not materialistic at all.

why was i more in the spirit of things last week and not this week, when the holiday is days away? i need a little christmas, right this very minute.

Friday, December 18, 2009

our first snow of 2009

accumulation on our patio table
i'm so excited! it's our first snow of the year. snow isn't common for us. ice, sleet, yes. snow, no. my kids have probably had three good snows since they were born, one when my oldest was about 3 yrs old, the second about 4 years ago and one this past year. i love snow! the only thing better would be actual snow on christmas day.




video



Thursday, December 17, 2009

help me make it through the night

...i don't care what's right or wrong? i won't think about tomorrow. something something...help me make it through the night." this is a horrible, horrible country/western song from my 70s childhood--i'm sure my parents have this album somewhere, charlie pride? no idea. for some bizarre reason when i was trying to think of a clever title for this post this song jumped into the front of my brain and charlie pride's voice screamed at me to type it. i might be possessed.

ok, so, i survived yesterday (made it through the night) thanks to a couple of things.

first, in a very uncharacteristic move, i started baking w/ christmas music in the background. the girl helped some when she got home from school. i baked four mini-loaves of banana bread, a double batch of snickerdoodles and another batch of cakeballs. the girl is taking the cakeballs to school and i think i'm sending baked goods as teachers gifts in w/ the boy.

second, sexual healing. i haven't talked about it much and haven't been keeping score on the sidebar for a while, but, holy crap, sexual healing really does make you feel better. (now the song strokin' just popped into my head. thank you clarence carter. i'll be strokin' to the east, strokin to the west....).

third, my sister called and apologized to my brother. while he is still angry i think he will calm down and take into account that she actually called and tried to explain and apologized sincerely. i have no doubt that perhaps after christmas my brother will have to lighten his baggage load some, which will involve unloading some of it at my parents' feet. granted, they deserve to be carrying 95% of our loads, but at least whatever will happen will wait until after christmas. in my usual passive/aggressiveness i sat this one out mostly. i spoke w/ both my mom and sis yesterday, but the conversations were not about this email issue and i basically acted like nothing had happened. i could hear the nervousness in my mom's voice, worried that i would bring up the elephant in the corner. i will be baking cookies, w/ my sister and her kids at my mom's on wednesday. i will bring my nephew, gameboy, since bro/sil will be working. part of me is looking at this cookie baking thing as my charity work for the year--voluntarily spending that amount of time w/ my sis/mom.

fourth, a wee bit of herbal essence (not shampoo) goes a long way to a good night's sleep.

fifth, the hubs took today off to be w/ me. not because of what's been going on these last couple of days, but because we haven't had any us time in forever. he's been (and will be) busy w/ the job lately and won't be able to take off a lot of time at christmas--like maybe one day off during the kids upcoming two-week break. today, at least until around 3pm, the day is ours.

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in un-related news, two of the jobs i've applied for recently have me a tad excited. i've lost count of how many resumes i've sent out, most of them w/out any hope of actually getting the job. but these two--one for a local monthly city mag and another for a new newspaper starting up next month, have me hopeful. i am qualified for either job, both seem interesting. it's been less than a week since i sent in my resumes so i don't look to hear anything before christmas either way. i'm crossing my fingers.

yesterday i had a mini-post-coital dream. you know how when the sex has been so awesome and your whole body has just turned to jello and you skirt around that edge of falling into an almost drunken sleep? you are semi-aware of what's going on but if you had 10 more minutes you'd be dead asleep? well, during that time i had this dream that i went to work for this cute little bakery that just popped up on our main street this week. i need to visit this place. it doesn't look like something our little town would have. it looks like a cake boss type of place, it looks like a charm city cakes type of place, though much, much smaller. anyway, i had this vision of me working there, perhaps doing odds and ends at first, grunt work or whatever people who don't really know how to bake do in a bakery, sort of like an apprentice. the owner would teach me to bake. yeah, that was my mini-dream. of course this dream came after (ha, it was a post-coital dream, get it) my marathon baking session so that might have had something to do w/ it.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

dear family

as we're sitting here, days away from christmas, we are now stewing in some very bitter angry juices. i don't know if other families go through this like we do. there is so much hurt and anger toward each other, simmering underneath our day to day facades, and when it bubbles to the surface, as it always does, it is never good.

we've been down this road many, many times over the years. everyone holds their tongue for a while and then some how someone drops a match, it catches a pile of leaves on fire and the next thing you know the whole damn house burns down. again. it's like we're pyromaniacs.

none of us are perfect. all of us get our feelings hurt. some of us carry hurt around with us for decades, like a worn out old suitcase that we occasionally open quickly to stuff something else in. all of us have a bag. some are long, some are full, they're all tattered and torn. we've each found our own ways to carry these loads but for the most part we do it in silence as we're a very passive agressive bunch.

we've been saddled with these loads for so long that sometimes we actually forget about them, they've become such a part of us. then, if we start getting too close to each other our bags get in the way, a zipper pops on one and the next thing you know all of the insides are swarming together in a pile we can't quite understand.

i think it is time to realize that we will never be the family each of us wanted. it is the expectations we have that are killing us. there are things you should be able to expect from your family--support, love, protection, understanding, loyalty--and for whatever reason, in our family, all of those things have not always been there. maybe love, love might be the only constant, because, even if we don't like each other there is love. we may not always show it or feel it, but i suppose it is always there.

i can't control any of you. i can't make you feel something you don't or do something you don't want to do. i also cannot make myself feel something i don't feel. i am getting very tired of carrying my bag, though honestly i don't know how to let it go.

i don't really understand what it is exactly that we are striving for. we're reaching for some illusive ideal of what family is, because god knows we've never had a picture perfect, hallmark card rendition of family. i don't think anyone does. we are what we are. we keep trying and failing to be something we aren't so maybe it's time we just live with what we are. we are a dysfunctional family. our rule of thumb should be to contain that as much as possible.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

vent update

to update my post from earlier today:

when my sister responded to the first email about the sleepover at my mom's she made the mistake of responding to all--which includes my brother, the hubs, mom and my sil. my bro and sil are not her fb friends so they hadn't yet seen the post she made about people being two-faced. this afternoon my sil called wondering what was up w/ my sister and her email. she was irritated.

when the hubs and i talked about it, he got irritated. a little while ago my bro called me and he was irritated. oy vey. before i had really thought about it i some how invited my sis and her kids over to make cookies one day next week. i had a moment of weakness. i felt sorry for her.

i am so conflicted about this whole thing. i wish she and my mom would just leave things alone. i will never have the relationships w/ them that they want. they will never have the relationships w/ my kids that they want.

the devil's advocate in me is saying, ok, she wants our kids to be close, she wants to be my friend. how would i feel if i wanted to be someone's friend and they didn't want to be mine? that would hurt. i don't want to be cruel to my mom or my sister and really and truly, though from time to time i get really pissed at the things they do or say, mostly i just feel sorry for them. but does that mean i should MAKE myself be their friend? MAKE myself spend time w/ them? i don't really think that's fair either.

i like the distance between us. i like that i don't see them that often. w/ all of the family birthdays and holidays and the random dinner or cookout, that's plenty of togetherness for me. they want more. i think that they think we (we being me, the hubs, my bro/sil) get together all the time (which we don't) and that we are purposely being mean in excluding them. i don't think they realize, or will ever see, that part of the reason we did become so close is because when my sister was going through the worst of her problems we were the only family each other had.

my sister is trying to play this card of caring so much for her kids and wanting them to be close to their cousins. frankly, and i know this is ugly and harsh, but, i don't like her daughter. sadly it's not even her fault i don't like her--it's just her personality. she is very much like my mom and sister, needs to be the center of attention, whiny. it's sad and horrible of me i know. my nephew? the wild boy? love him. he's funny, has an outgoing personality and he's just in his own little kindergarten world. he's all boy. and the new baby--well, he doesn't really have a personality yet. the point is, she's never cared about her kids' well-being or involvement w/ anyone before because she was always up my mom's ass. they are peas in a pod those two. they were all about one another and when they got sick of each other and are trying to pull apart and latch on to someone else they're realizing that nobody waited around for them, instead they moved on. and, it is not like my sister ever calls and says, hey, let's get the kids together to play this weekend or let's go to a movie, etc. not that i'd want to, but she acts like she's been working at something she hasn't been and then gets pissed because she's ended up empty handed.

the hubs says it's a trade off--her kids got the grandparents (my folks) and our kids got cousins and an aunt and uncle. frankly my kids got the better end of that deal.

so--here we are, christmas is next week, everyone is upset, i've committed myself to a day of baking w/ her and the kids and i hate it. i understand why the hubs and bro are so pissed but i hate it for their sake that they are because i don't want it to ruin or overshadow their christmas. and to top it all off--the entire family is coming to our house for christmas eve.

a pre-holiday vent

holy hell. sometimes i wish i had the luxury of picking who i'm related to. i marvel at families, though i think they are few and far between, that get along.

if you've been reading for any amount of time you know that i am not best friends w/ my sister or my parents but that i am very, very close to my brother and sil. i am not rude to my parents or sister. i do not go out of my way to be hateful or mean to them. i just do my thing and they do their thing.

my mom has been desperately trying to get the girl to spend the night w/ her and so far we've either made up an excuse or really already did have plans.

yesterday my mom sends out an email asking if all of the grandkids can spend the night w/ her this friday. as soon as i read it i knew the shit was going to hit the fan in some way. i know my bro/sil have plans that night because it's their anniversary. the boy has plans that night because he's going to a bday party and i knew good and well the girl didn't want to go over there by herself so i said the hubs and i were taking her out that night. no response from my mom. i am sure she is pouting and whining to my aunts, why me? i'm trying so hard to interact and they just keep pushing me away. i can hear her now.

though i knew something would come of this i was a bit surprised that the one who verbalized that her panties are in a wad is my sister. first she makes some snide comment on her fb page about people being two-faced, this after she left a comment on our christmas party pics from this weekend (no, she wasn't and never has been invited). then she sends an email in response to my mom's email about the sleepover. she basically said that she's sorry our kids can't come to mom's and spend the night w/ her kids, since that's the only time they get to spend the night (insinuating that i have my other niece/nephew spend the night here all the time, which is totally false) w/ their cousins and that she hopes in the next couple of weeks we will be able to make time for our kids to hang out together. holy fucking hell.

ok, i am immediately defensive and upset by this. i have come to the point where i do not hate my sister any more, i do not flat out hate her. nor do i feel any general animosity towards her. i just don't like her. we do not click. she is not a person i would choose as a friend if we were not related. i don't want to just "hang out" w/ her. i especially do not want to hang out w/ her and her husband because really dude? enough time has fucking gone by that you could speak once in a while.

i think my sister is deluded, like my mom, into thinking we are one big fucking walton's family and that all of our kids will be besties and we will be besties, etc. even if things were TOTALLY different and i felt TOTALLY different towards her the age differences in our kids is becoming more obvious. my girl is 12 and in 7th grade--she does not enjoy the same activities as my 10 yr old, 4th grade niece. my boy is 10 and in 4th grade--big difference between him and my nephew in kindgergarten.

granted, i realize that my kids are closer to my brother's kids because we, as a family are closer to them, but that relationship has been in the making for a long time. and, before there was an ever an issue between us we were friends. although my brother and i didn't get along great as kids (he IS 6 yrs younger than me) once i was in college and out of the house and then back again, i think we started the foundation for the friendship we have now. i never had that w/ my sister.

part of me does feel guilty. part of me does feel sorry for her. i can't rewrite history. i can't create a relationship that isn't there. fuck.

i feel like after the holidays i just want to sit down w/ my mom and sister and say look, i appreciate the efforts you are making towards my kids and i will not put up roadblocks against your efforts, but you have to realize you are not going to overcome decades of neglect in a few months. as for me? i love you both because we are family. sister, i can appreciate that you are trying to mature and change your life and yes, i do see where you have been successful in that so far. you haven't had an episode in years, you seem to have your shit together somewhat now. but guess what? just because you got married that doesn't mean i want to be your best friend. it's just not happening.

of course i will never have these conversations because i am a wuss. i am passive/aggressive to the millionth degree. and, while part of me would relish in telling my mom--ha, see, this is what you get for being a fucked up parent/grandparent, another part of me couldn't be that cruel. i don't want to be cruel to either of them, but seriously? this poor me guilt crap from them has got to fucking stop or i am going to explode.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

lights, santa, action!

we've had a whirlwind weekend that kicked off thursday night w/ the boy's christmas program at school. he played a pretty awesome snowman and broke out some fierce dancing moves. i was going to share the video but neither fb nor blogger seems to want me to upload videos today. friday night we took our annual drive through a local festival of lights. i seriously hope i can get the video feature to work because i have a funny one to share from that trip.

saturday night we had our christmas party and it was a blast. we missed a few friends who couldn't make it this year, some due to just having a baby and others due to their football team playing and losing a game : ( they were missed.

the hubs wowed me yet again by dressing up as santa claus for our party. i cannot even begin to tell you how much this excited and delighted me. a few weeks ago when we were out and about and saw a santa suit in a store he off-handidly said, hey, i should dress up as santa for the party. i jumped on it excitedly. come to find out he wasn't really serious, but, he did it. i LOVED it. i love that he does stuff like that for me, knowing how happy it makes me, when he probably really didn't want to.

we had lots of yummy food, though i still have cake balls left over. my bro and i had a little nerf gun battle throughout the night, which was pretty damn funny, even though he totally creamed me. at some point we broke out the scattergories game and after a few rounds and the crowd had thinned out some i learned what teabagging was! ha. if you haven't played scattergories the gist of it is you roll a die w/ letters on it and whatever the letter is you have to come up w/ a word that starts w/ that letter for different categories on your card. our letter was t and the category was fads--i wrote down teabagging. i had heard of it of course but didn't know what it was. the boy was playing w/ us (yeah, good parenting on my part there huh?) and the girl was in the den, heard the term and googled it! nice. so now we ALL know what teabagging is.

the boy couldn't resist trying on the santa suit today. i must say, he looks cute as a button.

and here's my special santa, dressed and ready to go. god i love this man!



Thursday, December 10, 2009

gearing up for a party

somewhere along the way it became a bit of a thing, (dare i call it a tradition?) for us to have a christmas party for friends (the only family that has ever included is my bro/sil). in the beginning it was a small core of people, basically my three closest friends and their significant others. two of those original people, sweet t (should i call you mrs. sweet t now?) and famous beth, still come, though now sweet t will be sporting a nice newly wedded hubby : )

i think when the group was smaller the party was more intimate (duh) and also intimate (as in boobs may or may not have been flashed, people may or may not have had sex in my bathroom and we may or may not have played "scrip" scrabble (a drunk's slurred strip). as i recall there was also some puking (and it wasn't always just me).

now the group has grown and i think when i counted all the bodies for this one it was about 20 or so, that included kids. also--when our kids were younger we used to ship them off to my folks' house for the night. but, times have changed, relationships have changed and i don't really feel comfortable doing that any more. maybe that's why i quit showing my tatas at our parties too : )

the last couple of years we've done an ornament exchange thing--bring an ornament and pick a number and you get to unwrap someone else's ornament or steal one that's been unwrapped. this is always fun and when i sent out the invites this year i didn't include it because times are tough and that's just one more thing to spend money on. now i kinda wish i had, but, we'll still have fun.

and--these games, as suggested by my perverted hubs, WILL NOT be played this saturday night.

1. trim the christmas bush--one of my friends has just become an esthetician (skin care, wraps, waxing, etc.) so the hubs suggested she bring her wax and each of us women take turns getting the bush/tush waxed. the men will stand outside the door and try to figure out who their partner is by the screams from inside. NO!!! he said this was a win/win for the guys.

2. x-rated memory--there are two versions to this one. the first (remember these are the hubs' ideas) is for the girls to take pictures of their who-has. the guy has to pick out which one he came with. (roflmao. ok, THAT is too funny, which one he CAME with). he said if any guy picked more than one or picked one that wasn't his he'd get his ass kicked. the second version is everyone takes a pic of their junk and then you match them up, like in the kids' game, memory.

neither of these games would work because we do have single people at our party--although---if we seeded the party w/ MORE single people perhaps i could become a match maker! LOL

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

all thanks to bea

bea over at this wonderful crazy life is an awesome baker, at least as far as i can tell from pictures and she introduced me to cake balls. i'd never heard of such a thing until i saw it on her blog. so, today the kids and i tried making them as we prepare for our christmas party this weekend. omg! i am SO not a baker or good in the kitchen and these were easy, fun and yummy! i'm going to try a different combo tomorrow. also, if you haven't checked out bea's blog you should. she's an ER nurse, mother of two incredibly cute little girls and she tells it like it is.the girl and the boy crumbled up the cake. they could not get over the fact that they were called cake BALLS. there might have been some scatological references while they were crumbling the cake and mixing in the frosting. poo, turd and BALLS were said repeatedly w/ lots of giggling.
rolled balls before they took their yummy chocolate bath.



tada!!

cats and appreciation

this pic of jasper (aka lil jasper, raspy, tubby, jazzy) kills me. the cats, especially him, love to sit on any homework/paperwork that is being done, as cats are wont to do. he was helping the girl w/ her math homework and had to text his peeps for some help.

last october when the hubs and kids picked me up from work with this scrawny (then) kitten in the car i was a tad bit miffed because we already had two cats and two dogs and i really wasn't trying to start a menagerie. he was a bit skittish as a kitten, rescued as he was from being stuck underneath a fence. a year later he's packed on a few pounds and he's quite a character. he makes funny noises. he's curious and adventurous. until a few months ago he really wasn't a people cat in that he didn't want to be held or come and sit on your lap. the girl is making it her mission to change this by cuddling him every chance she gets. he now sleeps w/ her, much to her cat's chagrin (princess meow meow). since the girl has devoted most of her attention/affection to jasper, meow has become my cat and sits w/ me quite a bit in the evenings. last year when the hubs brought him home he had an idea that my cat wouldn't be around much longer, and he was right. it's been a year this month that rebel died. though i still miss him, i'm glad we have jasper.

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sometimes, when schedules get busy and life seems like there's always one more worry or one more thing to be done, you forget to be appreciative. i'm not just talking about being grateful for your circumstances, because they could always be worse, or grateful for your children or friends, but i'm talking about the hubs. while my day is filled w/ mostly mundane endeavors he's going through a pretty busy/rough time at work lately plus he's doing a lot of the shuttling the boy to karate. it used to be rare for us to have one on one time w/ our kids, but the hubs taking the boy to karate gives the girl and i time together and vice versa when i take the boy. however, this leaves little time for us, as a couple. sometime next week he's going to take a day off and hang out w/ me before the kids get out for christmas break, although the girl gets home at 2pm so we'll have to pack our fun into 6 hours : ) i think this is incredibly sweet because, with the way work is going right now, he really can't take off a lot of days for christmas, when the kids and i will be home together.

and, i really don't think i show it enough or tell him enough, how much i'm grateful for all that he does. it's stressful enough being the only breadwinner right now, but he juggles the finances with incredible skill. he's the one who stresses over the money, he makes it all work. and, when he sees me stressing out about it he totally takes one for the team and finds something positive to cling to. he finds hope and has a plan when it seems like there's no way either could exist.

Monday, December 7, 2009

orchestra, karate and the dilemma resurfaces

thursday night was the girl's orchestra christmas concert and she did great. the hubs took the boy to karate, which was supposed to be over at 6:45, the girl's concert started at 7:00. my mom came to watch and we were sitting in the bleachers waiting for the hubs and boy to show up. the girl kept watching the door. they were late, missed her playing and i could tell, even from across the gym, that she was upset. about half-way through the guys came to sit w/ me on the bleachers. i told the hubs he was going to have to lie to the girl and say it was so crowded that he couldn't get through the doorway (which is sort of true) but that he was in the hall and could hear her part of the concert. afterwards, walking to the car, the girl burst into tears thinking they'd missed hearing her. i think the hubs was a bit stunned that she was so upset by the possibility, so, though he didn't want to lie, he did and swore the boy to secrecy (punishable by harsh punishment if he told) and said he heard her from the hallway. she was appeased.

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friday night the boy got his orange belt in karate. he's really zipped through these first three belts, his goal was to have the orange by christmas. i think the girl feels a bit overshadowed by this whole karate business, even though we told her she could take it too if she wanted.

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saturday night we went to my aunt and uncle's christmas party and all was well. nobody got trashed, no family drama was created. sometime during the party my mom asked the girl, again, if she'd like to help her with a christmas craft project. the girl said sure. sunday my mom emailed me, asking if the girl could spend the night friday and work on the project saturday. we asked the girl what she wanted to do. she wants to work on the project, but not spend the night. so we decided friday night will be the night we go out looking at christmas lights. i told my mom about our lights outing and said the girl could come over saturday during the day to work on the project. now she's asked if the girl can spend the night saturday. we're having a christmas party saturday so i said no. however, i have no doubt she will keep asking until we have to tell her something. is she really, that obtuse that she just doesn't get it? i told the girl we are behind her, whatever her decision is. i asked why she doesn't want to spend the night. she said because even though she realizes maw-maw is trying to be more involved now, she also knows it's because dad had a talk w/ her. neither of us said anything to our kids about this. the girl just knows. soon we will run out of excuses and will have to tell my mom something.

Friday, December 4, 2009

decorating advice....i need it

this summer i painted the hallway and haven't yet re-hung the pictures that were hanging there. this morning i laid them all out on the bed and was starting to figure out which i'd put back. there is one long expanse of wall and we had family pictures hanging there. the frames are all different sizes and finishes. most are pictures of the kids at various ages along w a pic or two of the hubs and i, each of our parents and a couple grandparents.

option one is to rehang the family pictures, but not all of them because i don't want such a cluttered look. if i go w/ this option i'm going to paint all the frames black.

option two is to take about three pieces of art and frame and hang them. i have a picture i did and several from each kid that are currently gathering dust under my bed because we don't have anywhere else to put them.

after i had the art idea i looked around the house and realized that we don't really have family pictures hanging around. we have two digital frames full of pics and the fridge has several pics on it, but otherwise no.

what are your thoughts on the hallway? do you go for more family pics hanging around or other wall decor?

here comes the judge

although i would like to think i'm not, i am very judgemental. i am not racist or bigoted or intolerant. well, i am intolerant when it comes to people making decisions or taking actions that i deem stupid, retarded or not very well thought out.

through the years i've talked about my sister, how we aren't close, how she's done some incredibly stupid things and has made, in my opinion, horrendous life choices. when she got married two years ago (one or two? i can't remember) i was not excited, i didn't think it was a good decision. she barely knew the guy. he didn't (and still does not) speak much english. i was not excited earlier this year when, knowing that she was unemployed and already supporting two kids, they tried and succeeded in getting pregnant and had a baby. don't get me wrong, of course i love my nephew, but i don't think it was a good decision to have a third child given their cramped living quarters and financial condition.

with all of that said, i can see that my sister is trying. she is trying to be a better parent, trying to sever the noose-like ties she's had to our mom...she's trying. she has handled her life much differently than i would have liked for her to, but, it's HER life and not mine.

this week we have just found out that one of my cousins is pregnant. she is my sister's age and her life choices have not been stellar either. about 4-5 years ago she met a guy online and in less than a year they married. it is not the online part that gets me because i know there are people who meet online and live happily ever after and i also know that it is more common now, etc. and i'm not even necessarily knocking the short engagement--ok, well, i guess i just don't understand it and cannot comprehend doing that myself. i also know people who have had a short courtship and are still happily together. but, the guy she married was...awful. jobless, controlling, lived w/ his parents, who also were controlling. it was just ugly. a couple years into the marriage she got pregnant and shortly there after filed for divorce. it was/is an incredibly ugly divorce/custody battle that has dragged on forever.

about 2-3 weeks ago this cousin, who, bless her heart, really is not the smartest of my relatives, announces on fb that she's married again. it is ironic because my mom/aunts pride themselves on being this "close knit" matriarch family system and my aunts found out on fb the same way we did. what is even more bizarre is that she met this guy online before she met her ex online and i guess they have been friends for awhile? i don't know. but she's only met him in person 2-3 times before they went to the justice of the peace and got married. she told her parents AFTER THE FACT. yep--close knit family. now? 2-3 weeks later? she's pregnant, though i have not heard this "officially" and by officially i mean my mom has not told me. we only found out because my cousin emailed the hubs and told him. so, since i haven't heard the official word i emailed my mom this morning and asked if she's heard this cousin was pregnant. we'll see what happens.

i know this is a long rambling story but i guess i'm trying to work through being judgemental. i find it hard to get excited for people who make choices i think are poor. i should be happy for my cousin, but all i can do is shake my head and say holy crap why did she have another baby?

i don't want to look down my nose at my cousin and my sister. it is not their fault that they got the short end of the family brain stick and therefore have made craptastic life decisions. i think that is the crux of it....i am prejudiced against stupid people.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

decking the halls

yes, despite the fact that i am against penguins at christmas, i have many a penguin decoration. oh, and that other ornament? yeah, me and the hubs--our first christmas ornament : ) the santa below is one the kids made this year.





our den christmas tree and the outside frosty.








our nativity scene. a friend brought this back from israel for us several years ago.



our stockings, hung by the chimney w/ care. we have about a million stockings. we got these last year during the holiday sales. we each got our initials, however, i just realized this year that for the hubs and i we got d and m for dad and mom. except, the hubs' name starts w/ m so it looks like everyone has their name letter and then me, w/ a d.










<----the outside lights. this is the first time in about five years we've had the icicle lights up.



this is little jasper, curled up in the girl's blanket.
















<---here's jasper checking out the christmas decorations.














<---here's a before picture, w/ the girl searching for jasper.










saving tatas

can we talk about boobs for a minute? breasts? ta tas? i am fond of mine, though admittedly they are no longer located as high on my chest as i'd like nor are they as firm as i envision they should be. however, they are a sensitive duo and often serve as my on switch for certain recreational activities.

recently a bloggy friend had a bit of a scare w/ her's. thankfully she is ok, there is no cancer, but she will have to continue w/ checkups and this does run in her family.

i have personally known three people who've had breast cancer and i think i probably have a lot of misconceptions about it, mostly because of what i've heard in the media.

although i do self-exams randomly, i am not really worried that i'll get it because no women in my family have had it. i think that's a stupid assumption on my part. i wonder when i should talk to the girl about doing self-exams?

i also am under the assumption that if caught early it's ok. if they find a lump (any cancerous lump for that matter) that that is good, early detection leads to early treatment and that's good. i think that also is probably not always the case.

one of my friends found a lump and did nothing for a long time. by the time she did go to the doctor it has started spreading. and then it got into her lymph nodes and spread faster and about two years after she found that lump she died of brain cancer.

my other two friends who've had it are actually a couple. one woman ended up getting a double mastectomy and has been in remission for years. the other one had a partial mastectomy and reconstructive surgery and also has been in remission for years.

obviously if push came to shove i'd rather lose a boob than my life. but i think it would be incredibly difficult to deal with losing a boob or both boobs.

for those of you w/ daughters (older daughters) when did you start talking to them about self-exams?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

do the humpty dance

the powers that be say it is hump day. hmm. ok.

it is pouring rain here this morning, which means i will drive the girl to school because seriously, who wants to stand out in the cold pouring rain waiting on the school bus? not me.

i am being incredibly presumptuous w/ this post because i'm sharing a recipe. omfg. me!? sharing a recipe. to be fair i don't think anyone came right out and asked me for it, but a few of you said it sounded interesting : ) ha.

pineapple casserole

2 15 oz cans pineapple chunks
1 cup sugar
6 tbls flour
2 cups shredded cheese
4 oz ritz crackers (smooshed. and i don't know what 4 oz is so i think i put a sleeve in)
1/2 cup melted butter

Drain pineapple reserving 1/2 cup of the juice. Place pineapple in baking dish. Sprinkle w/ mixture of flour and sugar. Pour the juice on top. Sprinkle w/ cheese/cracker crumbs. Drizzle w/ the butter. Bake for 30 mins at 350degrees.

i may or may not use more cheese.

if anyone perfects this, let me know.

it is a rainy, chilly, wednesday morning and i got up at 6am and i don't like it. you'd think by now i would get used to getting up this early, but, i haven't.

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did i tell you we saw blindside? it was an incredible story. sandra bullock did a great, believable job. i had my doubts at first, w/ the southern accent and all. but she pulled it off. time mcgraw didn't do too shabby either. i will not give the story away, though it is based on a true story, a recent true story no less, but it is not the tear jerker i anticipated. seeing the previews i thought i'd be bawling about 5 minutes in and not be able to stop. but, it isn't like that. the story captivates you, the characters draw you in and help you feel like part of their family. it's like you are sitting around their family dinner table and they're telling you a story. there are some moments that pull on your heart strings and there are some that will make you laugh out loud. if you haven't seen it--go. it's worth it. i walked out of there filled w/ hope. even if only momentarily.

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the girl just informed me that retardo dog (aka keely, the wiley escaped artist australian shepherd) ate the rest of a can of mixed nuts that were sitting on the end table out of retribution for me (under vet orders) telling everyone to cut out the table scrap and chip feeding of the dogs. the black lab is about 20 lbs overweight so i've directed the no snack rule. even though keely is not overweight, she is missing out on the snacks too. i think she just got bored.

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my aunt and uncle (the ones moving to arizona after the first of the year) are having a christmas party this weekend. they've had these before and we've always gone. they are pretty sedate for the most part---except for the fact that my uncle and dad make the cussing i do here on the blog look like child's play. anywho---apparently this will be their last hoorah or is it hurrah? before moving so it may get wild. out of hand. drunken. my sil joked that she'd keep all the kids and i should be the designated driver for my bro and the hubs. i think throwing those two in the mix, drinking, w/ my dad in the mix, drinking would be like lighting a short fuse on a bomb. i'm not sure i want to do that.

...ok, mom's chauffeur service is needed. i think i am starting to see why parents get excited when their kids can drive themselves.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

dear so and so

dear son,
i think perhaps you have confused us w/ millionaires. i realize this is the first year you've admitted that you no longer believe in that big fat guy in the red and white suit, but dude, do you really think we're going to buy you a $299 karate body dummy to spar with? i applaud your commitment to your new found interest, really, i do, you are serious and hard working, but, i am not buying an ass load of karate stuff for christmas. you should also know you are not getting a $250 replica wwe championship belt. i hope you will be happy with a nerf gun and crayons.
love,
your unemployed (that means i don't have a job in case you've forgotten) mom

dear daughter,
please stop growing now. i liked it better when i bought you clothes and shoes at the beginning of the school year (4 months ago) and they fit pretty much all year. i estimate if we have to buy bras and shoes every four months you will end up a very well endowed young woman who can never find a decent pair of shoes. especially since you are drawn to heels.
love,
your short mom who has jeans older than you

dear santa,
i know my children no longer believe in you, but i still do. this year for christmas i want some new fuzzy slippers, a giant box of crayons and a cool coloring book, like some of these, a gift certificate for a mani and pedi (and maybe some waxing), a starbucks gift card and this new train cd.
love,
a constant believer

dear potential employers,
i realize you must be incredibly busy since you have jobs. i realize that i am but one of a plethora of people who have applied for that job you just posted on the internet. you misspelled proof reading by the way. i understand that because so many people are jobless right now you probably have the best pool of talent to draw from and you are sitting on your hands to keep from clapping with glee. i just have one small request--if indeed you are not going to bother to even call me in for an interview will you just shoot me a quick email saying thanks but no thanks? hell, you can send me a form letter for that matter. just let me know not to hold out hope that i'll be hearing from you. thanks.
sincerely,
desperately seeking a job