Saturday, April 30, 2005

Then and Now

I don't think that anything hit me as hard as looking at my grades from when I attended school during the first half of 2002.

Sometimes I try to pass off what was going on at that time of my life as 'nothing', or just another phase...but looking at my grades...yeah...that was a bad time.

Bad enough that I couldn't concentrate on much of anything. And it wasn't just my experience with Mike...but working full time and supporting 5 people [including Mike]...while pregnant. And working for a man who was nothing short of malicious. This was a man who when he found out I was [unmarried] and pregnant did everything he could to discredit my work in a company I had hoped to have a career with.

Yes...I have to pray about that one, because I don't feel an inkling of forgiveness for that man. Not one bit. are my grades, and you can see the downward spiral. I look back on my life and I can quite honestly say that it was at this point I was the farthest I could be from God without actually committing suicide. Everyone has thier own personal hell...and here was mine, and it began with rape.

I wish that I could tell women, teenagers, girls, that it doesn't have to get that bad. And if it does...there is hope...even when we don't believe that we are deserving of that hope. I had pretty much given up on myself...deeming that I had made the bed, so lie in it--this was my punishment. I didn't believe that anything would change, and I would remain where I was.

Then somehow...broken to a just that may or may not know that point, but I do, and I don't want to visit it again. But I was broken to that point, where something snapped. I could have quite possibly gone mad. Or maybe I did...but just enough to be open, and lucid, and crazy, and free, and wild enough...just let me hear his voice but for me, it wasn't just a voice, it was a chorus, and melody mixed with sunshine on a clear summer day. Blue skies, and Blue eyes.

God knew. Summer 2002. He waited until I was at that point.

Take a look at me now...Winter 2005. I owe it all to God.

Winter 2002
Course ID /Course Title /Grade
ACC211 /Prin Acctg I /W
MGT228 /Women In Mgt /B+
MGT320 /Hum Res Mgt/ B

Spring 2002
Course ID/ Course Title/ Grade
ACC211 /Prin Acctg I/ W
MGT220 /Small Bus Mgt/ F
MGT325 /Pur Mat Mgt /W

Summer 2002
Course ID /Course Title /Grade
ACC211 /Prin Acctg I /C-
HIS144 /20th Century /World W
MGT220 /Small Bus Mgt/ W

Winter 2005
Course ID /Course Title /Grade
ACCT112 /Accounting Foundations II /B
ENGL211 /Professional Writing /B+
MATH120/ College Mathematics /B+
MATH320/ Introduction to Statistics /A-
MGMT321/ Organizational Behavior /A-

Fountain of Youth: Tea

I have just figured out why I have been so dead tired the past few days...

I have a caffeine dependency. Nice.

Yesterday morning I didn't get to have my usual 'morning tea'...same with today.

The result? I feel as though I have been hit by a truck.

Okay, maybe not that bad...but it really does suck because I have this morning 'thing' now...and I hate having a 'thing' I have to do in order to feel human.

This and so many other things are making me realize that I am getting older. I don't want to think about that though. I'll just make myself some tea and bask in the youthful glow of my husband.

Girly Girl Lash Curl

Okay, I admit that I like the color pink, and that I enjoy buying make-up for the mere fact that it makes me 'feel' pretty. And yes I AM willing to spend a few extra dollars on a good skin care product for my face...because well...I don't want to look 80 when I am 50.

Today I sat for 8 hours at a Mary Kay seminar, in which make-up artist Robert Jones imparted knowledge and wisdom on application techniques, new colors and all sorts of other information about Mary Kay cosmetics.

It was very interesting, save for the fact that I was VERY tired. Getting up at 5:30 in the morning is hard. Especially since I am out of practice on the whole 'getting up early' days.

I am having mixed feelings about starting a Mary Kay business. I know that it has great potential to be very lucrative...but right now I am not feeling very motivated by making money. In fact...I am feeling the least materialistic than I have ever felt in my life.

I'm glad that I was able to go for free...I am sure that I will be able to use the information that he gave. And certainly, if I do start selling Mary Kay it is beneficial information.

So, today I listened and took notes, learning some really cool tips on about cosmetics. But I wasn't inclined to 'buy the book'...yet... though, I will admit there are A LOT of good make up tips in the book, things women SHOULD know.

However, I WAS enchanted by the heated eyelash curler that the speaker was selling...yes I bought one.

It's a HEATED eyelash curler. How neat is that?

So what? I am a girl...I like curly eyelashes. Sue me.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Wasabi Attack Continued

Okay...I laughed..because he was asking for more wasabi peas not 3 minutes later...

And then the hilarity continues...because not 10 minutes after THAT...he is throwing water on his face and crying because he got wasabi powder in his eyes.

Ok, yes I know it is painful...but I didn't know that wasabi peas could be so entertaining.

Wasabi Attack

I am not sure exactly what to husband is convulsing because he decided to put a handful of wasabi peas in his mouth...

I'm torn between laughing...and getting him some water...

More later.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

...and then there is the light

...and the affirmation that prayer REALLY works. Abi's bike was returned today.

Random Acts of Rotteness

Sometimes I am completely unenthralled with human beings. While many people are trying to make their lives better, there are those that are trying to drag those people down.

Tonight I felt some of my baser emotions towards humanity as I realized that my daughter's bike had been stolen.

Not only did they steal it while I was in my own dining room...with windows open and the sliding glass door open...but they stole it while my s.t.u.p.i.d. dog just sat and watched them do it.

That's right Roxy, you have severely failed in your doggie duties of letting us know when the baddies are stealing our stuff. I mean...crap dog...friggin s.o.m.e.t.h.i.n.g. No, she just watches. Nice. I'll probably be murdered in my bed and she would just look at the offender and beg for a doggy snack. The 'cute' factor is not really cutting it right now. So much for feeling 'safer' because we have a dog.

I'm still a bit mad about the whole thing. Her bike wasn't cheap, and it was the only birthday present that she received from us this year. This sucks.

On the other hand it was just a bike, and I am sure that there are worse things that could happen. But it still sucks, because I am not going to be able to buy her a new bike...and I was so happy to have bought it for her in the first place...especially since money is so tight.

There goes my hope of going bike riding with my kids on the trails this summer, this alone burns me to no end...because it isn't just a bike it was a symbol of my intent to spend time doing fun things with the kids this summer before they left for New Jersey.

...yes...there is always someone out there ready to bring us down...and make things difficult, unpleasant or just plain horrible for another human being.

Seriously, what did we ever do to them? N.O.T.H.I.N.G.

And then I go around and think of the area that we are living in...but nevermind about that.

Sometimes it seems that for every random act of kindness, there are 10 random acts of rotteness being can a person keep up with those odds?

A LOT of prayer.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Things that were said...

Zac: Kimi you are lopsided...[In reference to Kimi's habit of doing a one-cheek moon because her pull-up doesn't fit right]


Caleb: I love this game...I want to marry it....[In reference to Knights of the Old Republic II Sith Lords]


Kimi: Chad is my toy....[In reference to my 250+ lb cousin whom she absolutely adores]


Abi: You can ground me...[In reference to the fact that her bike was stolen because she forgot to lock it up, and she was trying to divert the wrath of mom]


Kassi: I am so base...[In reference to the fact that I just squeaked in front of company]

Yes people, we ARE a normal family.

Warning Adult Content: Mickey Mouse Mug

There are some things that I know about myself that will probably never change. For instance, I am adamant that no one uses my Mickey Mouse mug. It is mine. I put ice cream in it. I have had it for over 17 years and I do not want to take the chance that it slips through someone’s fingers and shatters into a million pieces thus destroying the one and only cool gift that my step grandparents ever gave me.

It is a reminder of how terribly bankrupt of kindness and compassion that the Weber matriarch had for me.

My retaliation: Enjoy ice cream [my favorite dessert] out of this mug until the day I die. Why? Because it makes me defiantly happy. So don’t touch the Mickey Mouse mug.

I am equally possessive of my Bogan Lane mug, but for completely different reasons…and I drink tea out of that one-it’s a happy comfort thing.

The other thing that will most certainly never change is my complete and utter distaste for pornography. Even the name ‘porn’ is ugly. There is no way to sucker it down; I just do not like it. In fact I loathe it. I have had too many bad experiences in my life revolving around porn that I do not see anything to appreciate about its existence.

Okay, that may seem somewhat prudish to some people, but honestly…why? Okay, don’t answer that…I really don’t want my blog to be a discussion on the redeemable attributes of pornography. You won’t convince me, don’t try. I’ll just delete your responses if you do.

At any rate, that said…I have also been rather cringed about going to adult stores. If you need to ask why, simply think of being subjected to having all of your intimate insecurities exploited to the point that you are a blathering idiot who rams their car into a pole because someone who has maliciously abused you is now dumping you.

Instead of a car accident, I should have had a party. Suffice it to say, in that regard I have been horribly taken advantage of, and simply did not trust or want to be around anything that would trigger those feelings ever again. Adult toy stores included.

But I am not a prude. In fact…I would venture to say that Christians, who have a pretty good grasp on what God expects of a healthy marriage, are exact opposite of prudes WITH THEIR SPOUSE.

After finding this out my comfort level on sexual topics increased a thousand fold. So I figured…I’m married to a Christian man who is faithful and does not want to force me to do things I don’t like, and who doesn’t like porn…let’s have fun!! Yippee!

One thing to note…there is NOTHING WRONG with having fun WITH YOUR SPOUSE. And Christians…KNOW this. It’s a secret…but I’m sharing. I learned this by talking with a 25 year old virgin. She is waiting for her husband…something that I wish I did. But it was so cool because she is excited about sharing all of that with one person, and buying all the accessories that a healthy, playful love-life entails.

I came to the realization that waiting does not necessitate being a prude. In fact…it can mean quite the opposite. I think that is a message that today’s youth REALLY should be told. They think that marriage means having no fun in the bedroom, when it could mean that marriage means freedom in the bedroom—with someone you love, trust, and who is SAFE.

Instead we have it backwards…everyone is trying to get the fun stuff “in”…so that when they are married they can “settle down”…it's really sad actually.

So since my theme of late is facing fears…we got someone to watch the kids while we went out to an adult store to explore. And just so everyone is clear…this is my husband’s first time entering one of these places.

I wish I could write about how he walked around the store flexing his arms in some attempt to remain manly while women perused about looking at toys and lingerie; actually asking if he was the only guy in the store.

I wish I could write about the expression that Caleb had on his face while the lady behind the counter explained [in great detail] e.x.a.c.t.l.y. how to use cooling crème.

I wish I could write about the over animated laughter that emitted from inside him whenever I pointed “interesting” things out, and how he, being who he is, made jokes because that is what he does when he is unsure of what else to do.

And I wish I could write about how he tried to remain aloof, in a very endearing and loveable way.

More importantly I wish I could write about how this is the first time in my life that I have been in the presence of this type of product and not felt extremely uncomfortable, vulnerable and demoralized. And that is because I was with my husband…who loves me, and who I trust won’t hurt me.

And isn’t that what really matters?

Okay, I actually AM writing about those things, and because there will probably be certain repercussions for such a post, I will let him use my Mickey Mouse mug for ice cream...

Inspired by April Sky

Oh glorious sunshine
However brief
You never cease
To provide relief
Your tempting gaze
Through dappled leaves
Budding on the cold marked trees
Squint my eyes
to bear your stare
And pray the clouds subside
April gray please go away
I want to go outside and play

Tuesday, April 26, 2005


I loved the movie "Garden State". I enjoy depictions of "normal" life, real people, experiences that are so simple that anyone can relate.

I can't explain it any better than that. "Garden State" was a good movie.

The Supportive Wife

Lately we have been having some real bad arguments about whether or not I am being supportive of him and his interests.

I know that I am trying to be supportive, though right now I am getting the message that he would rather me tell him "no" that he can't do the things that he wants.

Maybe because the things that he wants to do has very little, if nothing to do with our family, or us as a couple. I honestly cannot name one time in which we have pursued an activity purely for the reason that I like it.
Most of our activities revolve around what he likes to do.

Or, maybe because whenever he is asked to be a part of something, that something isn't to include me or the children.


Well, I have been supportive. I haven't told him "no" he can't be in a LARP or participate in a play, or be in an independent film, or whatever else he wants to do. I've not given him a hard time about it, and have given him room to make his own decision about how he wants to spend his time.

And quite frankly, I have filled my head and my time with other things to do while he pursues his activities...regardless of how much time he is spending away from us..chasing something that I cannot see.

Yes, I do feel left out.

Yes, I wish that we could figure something out that we could do together as a family...and not cost an arm and a leg--that interests ALL of us.

But for now, I am going to wait...and let him figure out what he wants. Because regardless of he believes it or not, I AM NOT MAD that he is involved in all of these solo projects. I know that this is who he is...someone who cannot say "no". Someone who wants to be involved.

I just wish that he would realize that when he accuses me of not being supportive of his endeavors...he is wrong. Because no matter where he finds himself, when it comes right down to it...I'm always here.

Today he told me reality is boring.

And I feel sorry for him that he would feel that way. I have found reality to be much more exciting and fulfilling than anything make believe.

So once again, tonight I find myself at home alone with the kids. And while I would have taken them bowling I don't exactly have the cash for it. So, we are here...and he is at a play rehearsal. That's okay. I'll make some tea and play some Uno with the kids. But part of me wishes that he were home...enjoying reality with me.

Life Line

If you look closely, you can see the umbilical cord.

SMP: Memory Bracelets

Okay, Mother's Day is coming up and I am going doing my part as a mommy to remind all of you to do something special for your mom, grandmom, wife, whatever...a person who has given birth who means the most to you.

My friend Beth, whom I have known since the first grade, has a great gift idea...a memory bracelet. She gave me one as a wedding present, but they can be given for just about any occasion, and most certainly Mother's Day.

Check it out...and get in touch with her. I am sure that the special woman in your life will cherish this just as much as I do...and yes, I totally wish I had thought of this first:

Milestones in Reading

At one point in time I was staunchly loyal to a certain genre of books. I loved horror fiction, just about any author would do...but my main favorite was Stephen King.

I still like his stories, and will visit them from time to time...just for that old familiarity.

However, there was a time in which I went YEARS without picking up a book and reading just for the pleasure of it until 7 months ago.

I suppose that with my unemployed state I must have somehow decided that I should start reading again...especially if I intend to write I have.

I'm not sure how many books I have read since October, but I do know that the subject matter has been fairly diverse, and this is something that I had always told myself I would do, but never did...until recently.

I had always contemplated reading something new, something different, but never taking that step to invest my time and attention to something that I might not like...and for someone who does not have a lot of time [or energy], it was too much of an investment.

Now I find myself reading books by authors I had never heard of before. I recently finished The Time Traveler's the waiting I have Memoirs of a Geisha, Cloud Atlas, and When the Emperor was Divine. I have learned that it is best for me to have a variety to choose from...and see where my mood takes me.

I have also learned that reading has increased my vocabulary, and strengthened how I think and express myself. I actually used the word "laborious" in sentence today.

It's like soaking up rain after a long drought. I wonder how much different I would have been had I been more dedicated to reading during the off season of my life...

I've hit a personal milestone, and that makes me if I can just traverse my insecurities.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Sleep is Not Overrated

Last night I turned in my last paper for Statistics. I had to put together a case study...which why I sent out a survey to my friends and prayed that I would get enough response.

Unfortunately last night a storm hit and I wasn't able to finish the paper...not to the standards that I had hoped anyway...and it was due at midnight, no exceptions.

Regardless, I opened the web page for my classes to check my grades, just to see.

Organizational Behavior: A-
Statistics: A-

Today I will go to the campus and sign up for my Spring/ Summer courses...I'll find out my start date...

but for now...I can sleep.


Abi: Mom why is it when I can't do something right I say that I am stupid?

Me: I don't know Abi...because you aren't stupid.

Abi: I mean, I know my numbers to tell time, I am getting better at math, I can write a whole story if I think about it and I can draw pictures and paint.

Me: I know, you are very talented.

Abi: I can even have a spoon stick to my nose without holding on to it...and I can touch my nose with my tongue!

Me: See! You have talents I don't fact you are much more talented than I am. I always knew you would be.

Abi: What are you talking about? You have talents.

Me: I do? What talents do I have?

Abi: Being a mom.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Global Warming

Sadly, this photo that I took also depicts my mood today.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Friday Night Snapshots


Abi decided that she wanted to use some of her birthday money to treat the entire family to Stone Cold Creamery ice cream. She and I took the boys' orders and drove there last night...on the way there this was said:

Abi: Mom I wish that people in our family had 6 fingers on each hand.

Me: Well, we would have to have special gloves made.

Abi: Yes, but then we would be able to count to twelve with our fingers.

Me: Yes...that's true.

Abi: It would be like having two pinky's...the extra one would be right here...


After dinner Caleb reinforced my theory on his one track mind. If he knows that there is dessert, he will fixate until he snaps and can't hold off any longer. I have witnesses:

Him: I want my ice cream.

Her: You just barely finished swallowing that last bite of pizza...

Him: So what! I'm a man, I need food.


After watching Finding Neverland:

Him: He should have just taken his wife with him...why didn't he take his wife with him?

Her: I don't know...I guess that is just the way it is sometimes.


Watching visually beautiful movies makes me have weird artsy dreams:

"I need some classical-style music...I want to share a dance with you that I created"

"Okay...what's it called?"

"I call it "music box" move your arms gracefully in different poses and involves a lot of spinning"

THE ALARM BLARES...Saturday morning is here...I feel dizzy.


Friday, April 22, 2005

Small Increments

...big distractions.

I didn't even make a dent in my Statistics homework today...however I HAVE started going through my clothes closet and began the thinning out process.

I have too many clothes that I just don't wear. It seems such a waste, but I may as well give them up to someone who will use them instead of holding on to them like some sort of idolterous clothes hording freak.

But it takes time.

Because I like my clothes...and I don't want to be inclined to buy more.

So...I decided to tackle the process in phases:

Phase 1 was a preliminary combing through the clothes to pick out what I don't wear [or like any longer] and putting it into a pile.

Phase 2 will be the same thing, except with more scrutiny.

Phase 3 [which is the final phase] will be going through and picking out clothes that I like, but I haven't worn in YEARS...

In the end I intend to only have a few outfits that suit me.

simplify simplify simplify

Why am I driven to do such a drastic overhaul of my clothes?

1. I am afraid of Statistics
2. I hate doing laundry

One Down One To Go

I just finished my Organizational Behavior class. Final exam over. Now I have to finish up my work for Statistics...

Soon next semester will begin and I will have to try and focus through good weather. Thankfully today, as I cruch numbers the weather has been thankfully dreary and cold. No distractions allowed.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

So Happy Togetherrr....

Chick -n- Hand

The dynamic duo are together once again. They have been enjoying thier stay at Chez Gilbert so far. Their adventures being numerous. I was able to get them to stand still just long enough to snap this photo. Afterwards, they began to frolic and cavort about in the daisies.

By their fruits ye shall know them....

It always amazes me the level of intolerance people display in the name of liberalism.

Many of my friends are liberals, or are on the fence leaning towards liberalism. Whereas, myself and my husband are conservatives. Break it down, they are Democrats, we are Republicans. It makes for interesting get togethers.

My belief is that Democrat or Republican, both sides have a lot to be embarrassed about in regards to supporting their own particular candidates when it comes time to vote. This is because people are human, no one is perfect. You just need to filter through the crap to find the core belief system of the individual so that you can sleep at night knowing that you didn't just put Saddam Hussein in charge of the big red button.

At any rate, I am Republican, because that is how I can sleep at night. Knowing that the person I have put in charge of the country believes that it is inherently wrong to murdalize little babies.

Nevermind the fact that the issues of little babies being murdered has gone to the back burner so far that it is almost a non issue, and in fact abortion rates have risen since our dear president has been in office.

But at least HE the person isn't for it. But that is only one issue...but an issue that is gravely important to me. And being that this is America, and I am allowed my eat it.

...anyway, my husband and I try to avoid the topic of politics with our friends as much as possible.

We also try to avoid the topic of religion...which I am finding more and more ludicrous as time progresses, because Caleb and I have some strong feelings about these topics...and it would make sense that we would gravitate towards people of like mind...but we haven't so far.

So avoidance is the game plan. And something that is growing exceedingly more difficult as time goes on.

Why? Becuase many of our friends are not only liberal but outspoken on such topics.

Which to me is perfectly fine. I enjoy hearing their thoughts about world issues, and what they believe is right or wrong. IT DOESN'T BOTHER ME. Is what I am saying.

That is the beauty of America...we are each allowed our own opinion...heck we can make up our own religion without persecution if we why can't my friends air their political views in my living room?
And believe me, they do.

However...I am amazed that the same consideration is not afforded to me and my husband. And that DOES bother me.

This has come up as problematic more than one time during the course of our friendships. And it never fails...whenever either Caleb or I pipe up and speak our opinion it turns into a lynching. Seriously. Grand generalities are being slung around, and then awkward silence, and then on to what we had originally gathered together for...which was NOT to talk about politics or religion.

For was stated last night, in my living room that Clinton is a Christian.

Albeit, my reaction wasn't very diplomatic [I laughed]...but I hey, it is my opinion that Clinton, at least during his presidential term, was NOT a Christian. He may have reevaluated his values since his term, but I would venture to say that the Clinton that the world knew from 1993-2001 was indeed not Christian.

Now, lets get all up in arms about that. Let's make those grand generalities...

"So what you are saying is that Liberals can't be Christians"


" what you are saying is that only REPBULICANS can be Christian"

Okay, let's look at what I really said. I said...CLINTON IS NOT A CHRISTIAN.

Unless you are doing anagrams, jumbling my words will not automatically come up with "Liberals are not Christian".

Even if you are doing an anagram of what I comes up with something like AN ANARCHISTIC LI SNOT TOWN...but definitely not
"Liberals aren't Christian". I am quite sure that there are many liberals who are Christian.

But I will clarify something...just because a person CLAIMS it doesnt' make it so.

I mean...if that were the case, then I guess B.J.'s really don't count.
Which is why today's youth is doing oral sex instead of full on intercourse because well...B.J.'s don't count...right? Thank you Mr. Clinton for using MTV as your political forum.

Anyway, my point is that I have a bit of a problem with public figures crying out that they are Christian...when in fact their actions show otherwise. It is confusing to the rest of us on what Christianity is all about. Because Christianity isn't about doing what you want, it is about doing the right thing according to God. And I don't believe as a Christian or otherwise that Clinton was doing the right thing.

Now...then for most liberals, they will jump in and start bashing Bush. Well...if CLINTON wasn't a Christian...then neither is BUSH. we are changing the subject. I thought we were talking about Clinton's claim to we are playing tit for tat now. Ok.

Well...your opinion that Bush is not a Christian doesn't enflame me nearly as much as my opion that Clinton is not a Christian.

It is OK. You can say that in front of me. Not because I don't have a witty come back...I didn't realize that we were making this personal. But because I doesn't BOTHER ME. Maybe Bush is or maybe Bush isn't. That is between Bush and God. Just as is Clinton's affiliation to Christianity is between Clinton and God.

So, why did I say that about Clinton? Because it worries me that people can take for face value that another person is Christian, defend it adamantly, and ignore the individuals actual works.

I know people who are not in the public eye who say that they are Christian...and who are the most unforgiving, judgemental, and hypocrital people I have ever met. They do not display kindness, honor, integrity, love, gentleness, forgiveness...or any of what God wants from his children.

You will know them by their works. Identifying a person as a Christian and judging are two different things.

I just have to wonder why it is...friends...when introduced to an opinion different that your react with such intolerance, instead of listening...and learning? What enflames you about a person who has a different opinion than your own? I thought that intolerance was a prime identifier of conservatives. However, it looks as though intolerance is rampant in everyone...

Which is probably why, regardless of political alignment, we have the friends that we do. There are truths that run much deeper than whether you are Republican or Democrat. Friendships CAN bridge politics, just as long as everyone in the room is willing.

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matt 7:15-23)

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Childhood Homeless

My husband is losing his first home. The home he grew up in is being sold. The home that his mother died in will no longer be available to him to visit whenever he wants. And until last night I didn't really grasp what this meant to him.

I have tried consoling him with the reality that the house is just a thing, and that no one can take the memories that he has away from him.

But I realize now that no matter what memories he will retain, it will not be the same as being able to walk the halls of his childhood home and relive what he once knew by seeing and feeling.

Maybe because the house I grew up in no longer exists--it was torn down to make room for the big ugly GM plant that has overtaken Silver Bell Rd, I did not really understand, but as I gave it more thought, I understand his sorrow much better...though the progression to my childhood home's disappearance was slower and much more systematic.

And as I thought back on my own tumultuous memories, I remembered when the announcement came that they were going to put the GM plant across the street from our house...taking away the corn fields and the little airport. I remember the sound of cessna's in the afternoon being replaced by huge lumbering trucks, and the squeak of their brakes as they entered the large gated entrance with their supplies.

I remember the tiny dirt road becoming a 5 laned paved monster, completely unsafe for bike riding. But that was a long time ago, and now the house doesn't even exist.

Not that it was much of a house. It was falling apart from the inside out. I hated living there. I was ashamed to bring my friends inside as it displayed our apparent poverty. It didn't matter how clean the house was, it was still depressing and dark inside.

But it was where I lived. Where I learned to fear the dark. Where I learned to distrust grown ups. It is where I lost a dog, a kitten and a bunny-all died tragically. Where I received most of my wounds, physically and emotionally, and at times was my prison.

It was also the place where I learned to ride my bike. Appreciate the smell of lilacs and the taste of fresh raspberries off the bush. It was the place where I had a tree to climb, and hiding spots in the barns where I wasn't suppose to go.

It was where I was educated by Stephen King in the hot summer heat up in the un air conditioned attic. Where no one could find me reading away the summer days, devouring the forbidden knowledge on those pages.

My first boyfriend carved our names in the window pane of the shed, and he rode his bike 10 miles to my house to leave love notes taped to my window for me to find in the morning when I woke up to go to school--

For 11 years my bus stop was at that address. An address I can barely recall.

For as much as I wanted to get away from that place, and never claim it as my own, I now wish that I could go there and show my children where I grew up...maybe then they would have a better understanding of why I am so adamant about taking care of what we have, and keeping our living space clean.

And even if they didn't get that message, at least they could see where their mother spent her summer days when she was their age. Catching baby frogs, finding salamandars in the sand box, or looking for antique treasures in the barns.

The house was gone by the time I moved back to Michigan. In fact it was demolished the summer before I returned. I went back to that spot, and it was strange seeing just the trees there, without the house and the barns that I had been my childhood bane and joy, and the subject of many of my adult nightmares.

Not too long ago I shared with a friend one of my favorite childhood memories of how hot air balloons would land on our property, because we had enough clear open acreage. I would run out to the balloon as it touched down, waving and laughing. I loved balloon season, I still do.

I wouldn't have that memory had it not been for that shabby white farmhouse and the land that stretched out around it.

So tonight I decided that we should go take photos of his house, and various things inside of it, like the curtains that his mother made, or the blue and white tiles around the kitchen sink. Because some day those things will not be there. And he may forget those little details that as a child he took for granted.

However, I am positive that he will not forget the many good memories that he has from that place. Memories of Lesters, and Legos...of yelling insults at his brother from the front porch or his mom caring for him when he was sick...and sewing for him when he became interested in re enactment events...

...and the many other things that he has told me about. Those stories are still alive inside of him. Ready to be retold, relived and reloved whenever he wants.

My opportunity for salvaging such memorabelia is long gone, I'll have to reseort to rummaging through old photos to see if any of them are of my childhood home. And hopefully someday I will be able to talk about my childhood with much more fondness than I have been able to in past years.

Childhood homes are a hard thing to lose. But somehow they manage to live on in your imagination...taking on a glamour of their own the older that you become...regardless of how shabby or depressing they once were...maybe that is because no matter what your childhood was, good or bad,it is something that you can never get back.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Confessions of a Mary Kay user.

Well, I still don't know what the heck I am doing, but just like when God kept knocking at my door...sometimes persistence means something.

So, it may be time to revisit my interest in selling Mary Kay. At the very least I could just earn some extra spending money for myself so that I do not feel like I am leaching off of Caleb.

Not that he makes me feel that way, but I am a worker...and I don't like "feeling" lazy.

I like that it is flexible. I like that there is no pressure. I like the fact that the person who would be 'recruiting' me established. Most of all I like the fact that it is a faith-based business.

Despite all of the negative connotations associated with Mary Kay, the bottom line is that I am a closet Mary Kay user-and yes I used to sell Mary Kay 10 years ago. It may be time to come out and admit my faithfulness to a skin care line that actually works for me regardless if it's creator has big hair.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Spreading the Gloom

"The player who has had the worst day goes first." - Rules of Gloom

I always love it when I stumble onto something unique.

I came across a card game, quite by accident, that I decided may be interesting enough to warrant a purchase...

I had to order it because I haven't seen it in stores yet.

The game is called Gloom.

If you are into card games, and you like roleplaying...and you have a dark sense of humor...this may be the diversion you have been looking for.

Just Not Ready

When potty training has become stressful to the point of tears, it is time to realize that the child is just not ready. I think that the saddest part has nothing to do with the fact that we will still have to purchase diapers and wet wipes for an undetermined amount of time, but the sympathetic looks that other people give us, or worse their "helpful-snide" comments, because our three year old still wears diapers.

Why should I succumb to what other people "think" is the right age for potty training and in doing so push her into an activity that she is just not ready to understand and accept?

My daughter can put together puzzles that are rated for children much older than her...she can draw faces with all the facial parts in the right place, she can color inside the lines...I know adults who can't even do that.

She counts to five, and she recognizes colors. She likes to take showers, and she loves to shop for shoes [I'm not kidding].

She shows empathy towards other living things, and she is fiercely protective of what she loves.

But because she wears a diaper, she is somehow defective and everything that she HAS accomplished in her three short years is null and void.

Already she is subjected to society's view of the norm. She feels the pressure, I feel the pressure...and it sucks.

So, I'm tired of it.

I'm tired of the "MY child does this" game...

Because in the end...does it really matter if your kid can poop in the toilet at the age of 3 if he or she has no ability to recognize when another person is hurt? Or worse, doesn't care that they have caused another person to hurt...

Already at this tender age we develop them with a sense of "look what I did!" rather than "how can I help you?"

What is even more sad, for some people potty training is the biggest accomplishment that they will ever have.

Summer is Calling

This morning I contacted my student advisor, and I was given some unfortunate news. I will not be graduating in August as I had originally thought. I was informed that I still need to take one more class, which is not available in the Spring/Summer, once again my degree is pushed back another few months.

However, on the up side, I decided to switch one of my Spring/Summer classes to the Fall, along with the extra class that I had just learned about. This frees up my schedule for the Spring/ Summer session a tiny at least I will be feeling some slight relief from the homework crunch.

Unfortunately, my student advisor also informed me that no, she can't just mark in my records that I have already taken Corporate Finance and it will just be between me and her.


Saturday, April 16, 2005

Overcoming fears culinary style.

I have this irrational fear of sharks, and the ocean. Okay, it isn't that irrational unless you consider the fact that I live pretty far inland...and my imagination can get the better of me while in a chlorinated pool.

I am taking steps to overcome my steps.

And while I am not at the point where I can boldly [insanely] pronounce that I will spend $5000 in order to put myself in a flimsy metal cage and dunk myself into salt water to wait for a Great White to swim by...I CAN now go to a marina and see the shark tank and my stomach just might growl.

Last night we went out on a date. I picked out the entertainment, stand up comedy at the Comedy Showcase to see Alonzo Bodden [Winner of Last Comic Standing 3].

And he picked out where we were going for dinner, The Real Seafood Company [a high end seafood restaurant].

It was a special thing, because we had reservations for BOTH. I felt so grown up and blah blah blah-di blah.

We hadn't been to The Real Seafood Company in quite a while, in fact a friends birthday party marks the only time we went, and even then we shared a dinner because it was THAT expensive. However, tonight Caleb informed me that I could pick whatever I wanted in celebration of his new job.

The menu wasn't like going to Red Lobster [gag] where everything is pretty status quo...there wasn't the usual fried shrimp or baked cod. I was pretty unsure of what I was going to get, because I didn't recognize any of the dishes.

Then I took a gander up at Friday night's specials...and I see "MAKO SHARK, charbroiled, blackened, or grilled"...oooh...

I am the sort of person who would try just about anything [food wise] once as long as it is prepared well--I lived in Japan, I am no stranger to weird food and eating what I cannot pronounce. So, I threw caution to the wind and ordered the shark.

While we waited for our dinners, we dove into some really good mussels and clams steamed in white wine. All the while I was a bit worried that I wouldn't like the shark. I am kind of picky about seafood...I don't like fish with red tastes too fishy. And shark is considered a 'red meat'.

Caleb ordered swordfish, and when our dinners arrived I was presented with a nice big piece of grilled shark, and it wasn't red as I had feared it would be. Apparently 'red meat' has nothing to do with the color.

It was an interesting dinner. As I ate the shark I started to think about my fear of sharks...while not completely unfounded, may be a bit on the extreme.

With eat declious bite I took [because shark meat literally melts in your mouth] I was reminded that sharks, while great hunters in the oceans, are not at the top of the food chain. I mean, I don't see any sharks coming up on land to hunt humans, [Thank I mean that THANK GOD].

So, long as I am staying out of their territory, I can be relatively assured that no shark is going to come get fact, I would have to venture to say that more sharks are eaten by humans than vice versa. So...MAYBE a shark has more to fear of me, than the other way around.

Aside from all that...sharks from what I understand don't actually hunt humans. They attack because they are hungry, or mistake us for their own natural prey.

However, here I am eating a shark quite literally on purpose because it is on a menu. And it's good.

So take that you sharks...I'm on land, and YOU are quite tasty with butter and lemon...let's see you step foot in MY area of effect.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Deja Vu-Curses-Predestination, Oh MY!

Ever since I was very little I have experienced episodes of "deja vu".

The reason this occurs is because I have dreams in which I am places I have never been, only to find myself there in real life at some point later on.

For example, when I was living in Japan, I used to have reoccurring dreams about a very old house with a widow's watch. I dreamed that it was in a neighborhood with similar such old houses, however this one was haunted...and for many nights this house haunted my dreams.

I would dream that I was riding my bike through the neighborhood trying to find my way home, but hopelessly lost. The neighborhood ended at a playground that was surrounded by a large open I would turn back and there would loom this house in front of me.

The next thing I would know, I was inside the house climbing a set of stairs to the utmost reaches of the house to a small room. All along with the sense of being accompanied by something unseen. Then the screaming and glass breaking would start.

The dream itself was disturbing, and I often wondered about this house that I dreamt about....

And then I moved back to Michigan after 8 years of being away. I was driving to my aunt's house for the first time. I had never drove there before, because before I left I was 18 and hadn't gone to my aunt's house in quite some time.

As I drove down the road I glanced to my left and there it was. The house that I had been dreaming [having nightmares] about for a few years prior to my move back "home".

Needless to say I was shocked and amazed, and a bit elated that the dream wasn't just a crazy nightmare, but that the house, widow's peak and all really exists.

**time warp**

When I was very young, I had a reoccurring dream that my mother pushed me out the door of a moving car...

At some point, I actually almost did fall out of a moving car, because I was bouncing around and the door opened. I remember looking at the back wheel as I dangled from the door holding on to the seatbelt for dear life...I obviously survived the experience.

**current day**

Three nights ago, I had another of my reoccuring dreams...the one where my teeth fall out of my head. This usually occurs in the dream right before I am suppose to do something important and public.

Well, this time there was a teeth turned to a black brittle substance and crumbled out of my head, I remember the feel of swishing my crumbled teeth around in my mouth just before spitting it was gritty.

Anyway, on Wednesday night I shared this dream with a group of friends and my husband, as we were all gathered around sharing our recent dreams.

Afterwards, I can't remember exactly what Caleb said, but it was sarcastic about how my dream was telling me I should brush my teeth more often because my teeth are going to turn black...[by the way, I brush them more than twice a day thankyouverymuch] I countered back at him ...[quite vehemently]

"No, that's what is going to happen to you"...and I pointed at him.

So tonight, Caleb was complaining that his tooth hurt...and then he left to visit with his friends and when he came home he informs me that his tooth split in half....

So...I don't know much about curses or hexes, but I think that I need to be a little more careful when I point my finger...

Seriously though...I thought about this, and the fact that I often have dreams like this that seem like little windows revealing bits and blurbs of what may come.

I wrestled with this a bit, because I don't actually believe in hocus pocus, until I came to a realization--which you can take as truth or no.

I believe that God has everything planned out for me...and for everyone as far as that is if everything is already planned, why couldn't people receive glimpses into future events?...It's already there waiting to happen.

Maybe my brain is just wired with the desire to know, or maybe when I say don't accept a wooden horse as a peace should listen.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

I like you too

My three year old daughter has learned the word "like" very fact the first time I heard her say it was when I took her on a bike ride this past Sunday.

We had ridden down a small hill and she exclaimed "I LIKE IT".. "WHOO HOO"!

Every day since has been peppered with her letting me know what she likes.

"I like cookies Ma Ma"

"I like raisins Ma Ma"

"I like candy Ma Ma"

It tickles me that she has learned this expression, because it is the first time she has expressed her feeling in words for the things that make her happy.

I know perfectly well that she likes raisins and cookies. But now she tells me.

I find it interesting that she says "like" instead of "love" since she knows how to say the word "love"...she knows how to say it because I say it to her and she repeats back to me that she loves me too. And to be sure it is always very endearing when your child tells you that they love you.

However...I wonder if she really knows what love is? I mean, me as an adult...I hardly understand it. Therefore, there has always been a distinct difference between "love" and "like"...and me personally, I prefer "like".

Maybe because it takes extra effort to like someone. Liking them means that you want to be in their presence because they make you smile inside. Whereas is much deeper and more complex. Love isn't a simple thing. And in my experiences doesn't bring simple joys, and often brings tears. Like doesn't hurt. Love does.

Today my three year old daughter who tells me that she likes bike rides, raisins, candy, and cookies said: "I like you Ma Ma".

And while the first time that she repeated back to me that she loves me is a cherished moment...this unprovoked exclamation means much more...maybe because I know that she knows what she is saying.

She knows what she likes...and she likes me.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Sometimes ya feel like a nut, sometimes ya don't....

If ever there was proof of my craziness, here it is. I have been agonizing over whether or not I should work, and whether or not I should start a daycare here with Kimi...

I have yet to come up with a concrete decision...and perhaps that is because I don't really want to do either full time.

I don't want to have a daycare here...this is where I live. I have already experienced what it is like to do full time daycare in my home...and believe me it isn't a picnic. No matter what I have to be here, during the day all freedom at all. And since the work is in my home, there is no getting away from it.

So, my other option is to work outside the home...but then everything here goes to crap...and well, we can't have that. Besides, I am not at all thrilled about putting Kimi in daycare again if I can at all help it.

Then my third option is to not work [earn money] at all...

If you know me at all, then you know that this would drive me just as crazy as the first two options. I mean, I am getting my degree in Business do the math.

Anyway, I have recently stumbled upon a FOURTH option...[I know I know...I even amaze myself]

Fourth option is to work PART TIME...earn some money, and when school starts up...I can run a latch key in my home. That isn't really a daycare, but it allows for some extra money, and I get to work with kids, as well as be a "safe house" in my community...which is more what I want anyway.

As for Kimi...once she is potty trained, I can get her signed up for pre school...

I know God has it all worked out for me, I just need to be patient...and sometimes in my eyes "patience" translates to "dragging my feet"...

At any rate, I haven't had any motivation whatsoever to start the daycare thingy full force...mainly because it is going to take a considerable financial investment to start...especially if I go the full time route, for small children.


If I just keep it to latch key or kindergarteners...then I wouldn't be too very taxed...and if I wanted to watch smaller children Kimi's age, then I could just have a "play group" scenario. Or just take part timers.

I feel I can breathe again...because there are so MANY options now...

Well, it is funny because I intended to convert the "office space" into a daycare room...and I have been wanting to get moving on that for a while...

Well...I was in turmoil because I wanted to/needed to start the process...because it is a pretty big project. This morning I decided that I needed an "out". Meaning, what if I move all this stuff and I don't open up a daycare...then it came to me.

Caleb and I have been going rounds over how much "hobby" stuff he has...and no space to put it in. Books, re enactment stuff, painting stuff..etc etc. I can make the office into a hobby room/ play room for the kids. Then I could keep the toys out of my living room...[which if you know me at all, you know I am totally OCD about toys in the living room]. For goodness sakes we spend over $1000 a month so that the kids have a room to themselves...keep your toys in your rooms.

Anyway...I am really feeling much better about things right now as I am typing on the computer that has been moved to a "writing area" that I have designated for myself in the living room...right next to the fireplace, which opens up to a nice big window that looks upon a wonderful big tree. I love trees. There are even flowers [daisies my favorite] on the table. How charming and quaint.

The rest of the house looks as though Hurricane Charlie passed through...but I am going to play the mommy card and wait until Zac and Abi get home to help me with the rest.

Monday, April 11, 2005

How to Tick Me Off

Yell at the child for having and accident in her pants...when I have specifically told you numerous times that you cannot do that because it can set her potty training progress back by weeks or even months.

Yes..that's right we want her to be in fear for her life and NEVER tell us that she has gone poop.


Life is full of enough struggles without me making them up for myself...I seem to have a very hard time with exclusivity.

I find it very frustrating when friends start creating exclusive inner circles amongst each other...barring others from their activities.

I guess I am just the type of person that if you are my friend you are invited...

...or maybe I just don't like to be the one that is excluded.

Either way, when friendships and activities start to resemble that of elementary school playgrounds, I tend to bow out altogether. Playgrounds are places where people get hurt, and I am not sure who came up with that name "Play Ground"...but they were wrong.

Perhaps this is what happens when one is never picked to be on the team for's not MY fault I was slow and uncoordinated.

Kickball easily transitions into dating...once again never picked...I was an extremely late bloomer. I think that I was the only person still playing with Barbies at age 13..[dare I say 14]...and while I had some friends, I was not popular.

I tended to be somewhat of a loner, and the friends that I did have understood my need for complete silliness. My teachers didn't understand me AT ALL...and my parents, well, I never let them know me.

Dating has now transitioned into gaming groups, going out to dinner, or the movies, card games and etc...sometimes I am invited, sometimes not. And when I find out that I am not, I am transported back to my feelings of inadequacy as a child left out.

I want to shake my fists and shout "hey what about me?"...or "hey whats wrong with me?"...always searching for acceptance in an unaccepting world. But instead, I turtle and go into my shell...where it is safe and cozy, and I have all of my books and writing implements...I even have a Barbie or two.

It amaze myself sometimes in regards to the company I keep...some of which are unforgivingly unaccepting of others.

I have always been ultra sensitive to this...and have always been affected by the very thought of hurting another person out of unprovoked malice...

Suffice it to say, that a lot of people really don't know me...they only see the shell...

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Ephemeral Fragility

"Ma Ma...a pider!" Kimi exclaims.

I look to her and then what she is pointing at on the cement patio of our town home. She has found a fly, not yet able to use its wings after the long winter. It is scrambling around trying to avoid Kimi's prodding.

"yes Kimi, you found a fly...that isn't a spider sweetie."

I turn my attention back to putting her bike seat together that I had purchased earlier. I was determined to get it done as to not waste the day...since it took me going to three stores before finding the dang thing...

Kimi continued to poke at the fly.

The next moment Kimi is crying. Big salty tears rolling down her round cheeks.

"Ma Maaa...pider hurt...pider hurt!"

She is upset and sitting down and lookng at her shoe in horror.

The fly is squashed.

Her little face is in such turmoil. She is genuinely upset that she smooshed it.

I don't laugh as I flick the dead fly from the bottom of her shoe with a stick.

"Kimi, if you don't want to hurt the fly, you can't stomp on it" as I kiss away her tears.

"It's okay baby, just be careful. Bugs are smaller than you and you can hurt them."

"Okay Ma Ma."

She gets up and toddles off to chase the birds that are poking around the ground underneath the big tree, because like the fly, they bring her joy.

She has learned something new, something profound. It was her first lesson about the fragility of life. Given her response and her ability to feel so deeply for another living thing, even as lowly as a fly...I am humbled.

How to Piss Me Off

Walk all over my clean clothes pile with YOUR SHOES ON.

Friday, April 08, 2005

help home has been overtaken by prepubescent and pixie stix are everywhere...normally i only deal with two...there are seven...

i am not sure if i will survive...

if i don't post anything in three for help...



Today I am cleaning house...

Actually I am getting everything in order. Making what is wrong, or off kilter right again. Today I am getting car insurance because it lapsed a few days ago...

...we are getting a tire for Caleb's car [finally]...

...I am getting my homework done before the weekend [okay that might be ambitious]...

...I am hosting the last birthday party of the Birthday Party Cycle...

...I am checking into what it will take to petition the court for Kimi's adoption.

Today is April 8, and we have been married for 6 months.

It's Spring...and the sky is blue...I've got a lot to you?

**on a side note, I am currently reading The Time Traveler's Wife. Oh my goodness is it good. I started reading it yesterday morning, I am half way through...

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Scraps of Paper

My husband has a habit of emptying his pockets and leaving whatever bits of paper and string that were in them laying on the dresser, or night tables in our room.

Once I asked him if he was the sort of child that would put his treasures in his pockets for his mom to find while sorting laundry...he said yes. I wasn't very surprised.

Therefore, from time to time I go around finding these little piles and sort through them, throwing away whatever isn't important. This morning I found a pile of papers teetering on the edge of the dresser, so I began sorting.

I haven't gone through scraps of paper with any other motive than to get rid of the clutter in a long time.

This is because previous to my relationship with my husband, scraps of paper meant clues to putting together a rather ugly puzzle of deception and betrayal. A puzzle that I HAD to put together or else I would have probably gone crazy because that is what happens when I know someone is lying to me...I'm like a bloodhound on the trail of a scent, I won't stop until I find the source. I became rather good at sleuthing actually...

At any rate, I don't really give much thought to scraps of paper any longer...

Caleb is not the other guy who had lied to me over and over...hence habit of snooping not needed, all is good.

However, this morning I was met with the same sinking sensation when one stumbles upon something inadvertently and is reminded of those dark times or yore....

There I am, sorting, when I happen upon a tightly folded scrap of paper.

As I unfolded it, revealing the content, the floor seemed to fall out from under me making my stomach do a flip flop.

I am in disbelief over this discovery...not sure what I will say when he returns home from work.

Does this mean that everything he has said is a lie...he claims that he loves the way that I make it. couldn't be...but how will he explain why he is in possession of another woman's pulled pork recipe???

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Little Bear

You are twelve years old today my son. What a long time we have been together. I remember my pregnancy with you was not always easy. I hated the smell and taste of chicken. We lived in Hawaii, and so it was hot all year round. I carried my bulky body with you inside me through that heat.

I remember having been fired that summer because I am Caucasian. But it didn't matter, I was going to have a baby.

My 21st birthday came and went. And while the people around me laughed and became silly, you and I remained sober. I think that was my first experience of not drinking at a party and I was able to see how ridiculous it was. Thank you for that.

After you were born I was told that you would need to wear leg braces for 4 months because your hips were dislocated. I remember seeing you in those little leg braces to keep your legs in place. I wish that I had kept them...because they were so small, and you are so big now.

I remember your first best friend. We were living in Idaho. His name is Anthony, and we have photos of him. You two were inseparable when you were 4 years old. You missed him dreadfully when we moved to Japan, and I felt horrible for it.

Sometimes I wonder if we can get in touch with that family again so that you can talk to Anthony about everything that you have experienced since that parting. That was the first time you lost a friend because of a move.
You have lost many friends this way.

The cake dish that I will put your birthday cake on was given to me by Anthony's mother.

When we lived in Japan one of our Japanese neighbors peed on your foot. He was probably 5 or 6 years old. But I didn't care--he made you cry, and I was going to seek justice. I brought you over to his mother's house and broke the language barrier and "told" them what their son had done. She knew what I was trying to say, and became mortified...apologizing profusely to you and to me.

I want you to know that I will always be there for you, and stick up for you...even if it means pantomiming to a Japanese woman that her son peed on your foot.

When we came back to Michigan it was just you, me and Abi at first. I wish that it would have stayed that way for a long time, but it didn't...and I am so sincerely sorry that my insecurities brought a person into your life that told you that it was not okay to cry. It is okay to cry. Don't ever believe that it isn't.

When we were on our own...I expected a lot of you. You are the oldest. You are a boy. You had to be reliable, responsible and strong. I was once told that a 10 year old boy has no business doing the laundry, and my immediate reaction was that a 21 year old man has no business not knowing how to do his own laundry...

I still stand by that thought, and I do not regret teaching you how to be an independent individual. This is because someday, you will want to be on your own. I know that at least you can cook and clean for yourself if you should ever need to. It is my responsibility as a parent to teach you those skills.

Regardless, I will always be willing to wash your clothes and cook you dinner if you want me to. I know that someday I will ask to do those things for you, just to get you to visit me.

I know that our relationship isn't always perfect. But I am so happy that you know that you can come to me with anything. I am thankful for our talks, and that when you need to tell me something you don't seem to have any reservations about it. I know about your friends, and the girls that you like. I know about your heartbreaks and your heartaches--as well as your triumphs.

I am glad that when I become upset with you, I can tell you that I am sorry...and you forgive me, and I will do the same for you.

I think that if you know nothing else about me, it is that I am not perfect...but I love you like I have loved no one else in the world. You are the only boy in my life that has not broke my heart...

I see you growing up and taking your steps towards independence. I see you with your friends, and I am proud that who you are with them, is who you are with me. I am proud that you can be the same boy wherever you are, and whoever you are with.

I know that you are growing up...and someday you will leave this childhood and transition to a time where there will be more days that we fight than get along.

And after that you will be a man...and someday a husband and a father...but those times have not arrived yet...when they do, know that I will be here for you to ask advice about women, just as I have been here for you to ask advice about girls.

I will always be on your side, I will also be honest and fair...but I will never be perfect. However, if you get into trouble or if you are hurt, I will pantomime if you need me to.

Thankfully, I don't have to think that far ahead...

Today you are only 12 years old.

Today we still celebrate your childhood.

Today, you still dance with me to silly songs, in front of people...

Someday I will need to let you go...never comepletely...someday...but not today.

Happy Birthday Zachary-I love you!

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

One of my worst...

…memories is having to change cloth diapers.

My mother used cloth diapers for my younger brothers and sister. I was eleven when the first one was born, so old enough to change diapers. This would have probably not been so bad had I been able to wad up the offensive object [the diaper not the baby] and throw it away.

However, because my mother used cloth diapers, and a stipulation of the diaper service is that you could not return diapers to them for sanitization with anything “solid” in them, when you changed a diaper you had to remove the solid stuff. This meant dunking the offensive object [again the diaper not the baby] into the toilet several times until said solid stuff was mostly gone.

Needless to say, I used disposable diapers for my children.

Today, I was brought back to that vividly horrible memory of cloth diaper dunking when my youngest soiled in her not so absorbent training panties.
So once again, I had to dunk said offensive object [the panties not my daughter] into the toilet to remove the solid stuff…the back of my throat still tastes sour.

I hate cloth diapers. I hate not so absorbent training panties. And most of all…I hate potty training.

Day 2 of Potty Training and the score is…

Kimi - 1
Mom - 0

This is a vacation?

Somehow making oneself into a tempting, helpless, dangly morsel for a huge hungry creature with rows of fangs, doesn't sound at all vacation-like.

...someone really needs to discuss the use of visual graphics with their marketing director...

I personally am not sold by looking down the maw of a great white shark.

One of my favorite....

...memories is of cooking dinners for the single Air Force and Navy guys who were far away from home during the holidays...
[you know who you are]

It is probably one of the very reasons why I love to cook and host dinners. The positive comments on my home cooked meals [regardless of how good they actually were] prompted me to continue cooking, and improving on recipes.

I still like to cook for people, and considered to go to culinary arts school so that I could become better. But practicality takes first place, culinary arts school is a thing to pursue...later. Besides, my children and husband love my cooking. [nevermind the creamy chicken soup fiasco]

I won't let Caleb into the kitchen any longer when I cook dinner, but he is the master baker in our family. Sure I can bake a cake...from a mix. But when Caleb bakes a cake from the mix, it tastes home made. I don't know how he does it.

Her: My cake looks like a brick...and it isn't very spongy.

Him: Yep.

Her: Grrrrrr.


Her: What did you do to the pasta shells?

Him: I baked them just like the directions said.

Her: Why are they all dried and brown?

Him: I don't know.

Her: You forgot to put water in the dish.

Him: They taste fine...see? *crunch crunch*

Her: That's not the point, the point is that the integral part of cooking pasta is putting the pasta in water...

Him: Well fine don't eat then...*crunch crunch*

Her: Fine!


He has his kitchen strengths, I have mine.

Spaghetti Bake

This recipe has become quite popular with my family...

What is needed:

9X13 glass dish
1/2 box thin spaghetti noodles [or whatever noodles you like]
2 cans or jars pre-made traditional spaghetti sauce
1 1lb mild Italian sausage [without casing]/ [or ground hamburger, ground turkey]
1 tbsp minced garlic
½ diced onion or 2 tsp dried minced onions
1 tsp Italian seasoning
2 [or more] cups mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Brown the meat until done. Drain fat and rinse. Place the meat, Italian seasonings, garlic, and onion into the fry pan on medium heat. Mix and let sizzle for 2-3 minutes [or until it smells yummy]
Put meat and pre-made spaghetti sauce in a sauce pan on low heat.
Boil noodles.
Once the noodles are done, drain and then put into the 9X13 glass dish.
Pour spaghetti sauce mixture over the noodles. Mix well.
Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over top of the spaghetti and sauce until desired cheesiness is achieved.
Place in the oven uncovered for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is completely melted.

The makes about 10 servings depending on how hungry your family is. We make one dish and for a family of 5 that is 2 dinners. The leftovers for this dish are just as good, if not better. Also this recipe can be cut in half.

I serve this with garlic bread and a small Italian salad—everyone is happy.

Italian Salad recipe:

Julienne lettuce, grape tomatoes, diced cucumber and Italian dressing [to taste]-mix well, chill for 5 minutes then serve.

A great dessert to have afterwards is Italian ice, or lemon sorbet.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Scrapbooking Madness...

I finished my grandmas scrapbook...wait..scratch that.

I STARTED and finished my grandma's scrapbook.

8 hours. Scrapbooking. Until 3AM. Non stop. First time ever. Not sure if I was really breathing.

It was like I got into the "zen-zone" of scrapbooking. Does that make me a fanatic? No...come on now. I'm not going to turn into one of THOSE.

On the other hand...I've decided that I don't want to do anything for 8 hours straight except SLEEP--ever again.

{inner voice:--but it was good}

Birthday Madness....

I am currently in the aftermath of having hosted two birthdays this weekend--yet still in the birthday cycle. I do this to myself every year. That is probably because all of my children were born in March and April...about 4 weeks apart in total.

I was fortunate enough to plan two of my children...just not smart enough to plan when I would have them. This has led to some interesting and stressful experiences.

My downfall is that I want each child to have their own special day. So, on their birthday, we have a nice dinner and whatever dessert they would like. It doesn't have to be cake...candles stick into just about everything.

Next, I want the kids to celebrate their birthdays with the families. So, that entails a birthday party with Caleb's side of the family and then my side of the family.

Then, I want the kids to have a birthday party with our close friends. They spend a lot of time with our children, and are considered "aunts" and "uncles".

Last, the kids are allowed to have a birthday party with thier own friends from school...a few friends over for cake and ice cream and maybe a trip to the indoor pool.

Well...this pretty much means that I have to have 8 birthday events within a span of 4 weeks.

I know it is ridiculous...but it happens every year.
And why do I do this?
Because I absolutely hated the fact that my birthday was always combined with Christmas and my mother's birthday.

It sucked.

My day was never really "special" never failed, I always received the birthday-Christmas presents. Worse made when I had to wait for the present until Christmas for whatever reason...why have a birthday at all?

Oh, my birthday experiences have been less than glorious...though they have gotten better as Caleb has learned from others mistakes-I graciously told him the stories, so that he could avoid such scenarios as blowing off my birthday completely.

I've even gone as far as giving him lessons in gift giving--it IS a skill and not an innate ability--trust me.

At any rate, it has been asked of me "why not just have one birthday"?...I have tried this as well. The craziness isn't any better...whether I smoosh it all into one event or into 8 smaller bites. Besides, our place is much too small to accomodate all those people...and since my prenatal planning didn't include having a child in the summer time, it's not like we can sit outside and hang out.

Besides, If I smoosh it all into one event, we have the dilemma of the shared could have separated them ALL...which would mean putting on 14 events...

3 children
3 my family
+3 Caleb family
+3 our friend events
+3 regular birthdays
+2 their friend events
14 (!)

...I don't think that I am mentally prepared to ponder having 14 birthday parties so lets just skip over that...

Well, I've knocked out 6 birthday events so far...only 2 more to go.

Poor Zac, by the time we get to his birthday, which is the last of the cycle...I feel like handing him some cash and telling to just get whatever he wants...

I'm not kidding...I actually considered changing their birthdates. Is that possible? For instance, how wonderful would it be to just have it at the beach...

My desire to give them each a special day of their own recognized by all that love them is being overridden by my desire to not bake another cake.

The good news is that I am officially ready to start eating healthy again.

So you see the secret of my dieting success for the summer slimdown is not dedication and no is simply the fact that by the time mid April rolls around I HATE CAKE.

By the by...Caleb has informed me that he thinks if we have a baby in October or November that they will feel left out that their birthday isn't with the others...

I don't know how to respond to that...


Friday, April 01, 2005

Big Day!!

Monday is the day. Monday is the BIG DAY!

Kimi and I will be embarking on the adventure of potty training. Okay, I've tried to potty train her for the past year...but I suck.

So, I've been doing some reading and figuring out what would work best in order to accomplish this great task.

First, we have to stop yelling at her or telling her she smells horrible. I know that sound mean...but it has come to that point several times, more times than I can count, because of the sheer f.r.u.s.t.r.a.t.i.o.n. of trying to get a 2.5 year old to cooperate and just poop in the toilet.

I guess having my children close to 5 years apart each renders me useless in the department of relying on past experiences. For some reason I just can't remember it being this difficult. Maybe I was a better mom back then. Or maybe I just blocked it out of my memory. I don't know.

Or maybe that this particular brand of child is much more stubborn...I would agree with that just for the fact that she is a girl...and don't let anyone fool you...girls are HARDER to raise than boys. Caleb and I both agree..."no more girls"...[I just know God is going to have a field day with this one--so I've picked out a girl name as well...for whenever the blessed event occurs]

Well...forget all that...Monday is the day. Kimi has finally come to the point where she tells me if she has gone to the bathroom. She no longer hides and lies about it--which is good. That means she is comfortable telling me. Yay!! Of course, she WILL NOT tell Caleb. Maybe it is because he makes faces and screams like a girl when faced with having to change a poopy diaper...

So...Monday is the day! Why do I keep saying that? Because if I'm excited she will be too! And boy am I excited. doesn't take much to rile me anymore, but the prospect of my three year old pooping and peeing in the toilet is the highlight of my life right now.

Well, today I went out to Meijer [the multi-million-dollar-time draining-bank account-drying-mogul of the universe]...and invested [and I DO mean invested $$] in Kimi's potty training endeavor. So she is hooked up.

Seriously, I spent half a c-note on ensuring that my three year old's butt is happily planted on a toilet seat and not sitting in a soggy diaper.

So I brought all the equipment home and showed her the goods. I informed her that Monday is Potty Training which she seemed excited. I will leave the box closed and all the packages unwrapped until bright and early Monday morning when we will have an unveiling ceremony. Then...let the games begin.

Apparently, I am suppose to feed her lots of juice and fruit to help get her used to "going" on the potty chair. I am already NOT looking forward to cleaning up an accident in the completly unabsorbant panties that I had to purchase so that she could "feel" the wetness.

Okay, yes I'm being a bit more graphic than I intended...but if I have to go through this SO DO YOU!! That's the price of reading this far down on the page.

I am honestly looking forward to Monday. It will be a day to remember. I was going to start today, but well...I thought it might be a bad omen to start her potty training on April Fool's Day...and I need all the good vibes I can get.

**on a side note, I am currently putting together my grandma's scrapbook and hosting two birthday parties this weekend...nevermind that I still haven't finished my homework. Did I mention my sinus headache? And the fact that I just want to lay down and sleep? No...I see okay, go back to your own life...thank goodness I still have some Reeses peanut butter eggs left from that awesome Easter basket...