Monday, December 31, 2007
May your New Years celebrations be Happy and SAFE! I generally do not go out but prefer to spend my NYE's at home. This year, will be spent with the neighbors. I usually have a large party. I opted not to this year and chose a small gathering of neighbors only.
It's been a difficult year. I was struck when I realized that '07 began with 15 Radiation treatments after surgery remove a large Sarcoma from my leg. I had Dr appointments every week and spent a good chunk of my time seeing Dr's either at the University of Chicago or Alexian Brothers to get poked, prodded, stuck with needles, X-rayed and zapped. Starting in Feb and lasting through July, I endured 3 day a week physical terrorist sessions so I could regain use of my leg and learn how to manage Lymphedema. Such is the life of a cancer patient. Surprisingly, it is now a blur in my memory as I see my Oncologist at the U of C every 3 months and have a Medical Oncologist at Alexian keep an eye on my scans. Physically, I feel great! I sleep well, eat well, have great energy and have managed to stave off every darn cold and stomach flu my kids have brought home. In January 07, I signed up to volunteer for Relay for Life. I worked on the Survivor committee and it was fun and I really needed to talk to other survivors. The internet is filled with information for cancer patients on death and dying. I needed information on how to go on living and learn how to deal with the uncertainty that comes with such a diagnosis. As a survivor, I will not put a darn thing on hold for any reason anymore. Finances will always be an issue but I'm not putting off that new car I need, the house repairs or graduate school. Money is just money. I'm all signed up for Relay this year and would like to add more Sarcoma related causes to my volunteer list. Since there aren't that many of us, we get the short straw on the research stick and really need some new therapies. I think that would be a great cause for me to undertake starting with getting the word out and then taking it from there.
I turned 40 this year, a milestone birthday. I was feeling pretty old until I went to a birthday party for an old family friend and was mistaken for a child in college. YAY!!
I went on one date this whole year. Didn't pan out to be anything but a fun 2 hours and that was OK. I decided that this is a direction that I don't really need to take with my life. I have 3 kids, a full time job, a part time job, friends, family and hobbies. My life is pretty full, hectic, kinda sucky with the cancer stuff sometimes, but not bad. I have an ex husband who finally did the kind thing and left us alone instead of terrorizing us and an ex boyfriend who is a psycho nutjob from Hell. He challenges every fiber of being as I'm torn between wanting to be a good person and wanting to rip the smug expression off his big mug and see him suffer! The angel/The devil... I guess there is one in each of us.
The summer brought three beer festivals, Barrington, Madison Wis, and Racine. A good time was had by all at each. It brought my sons graduation from 8th grade party which set records as the party that drained the sarcophagus sized cooler of beer and lasted until almost 4am. I went to bed long before the last guest left. We spent a neato week at our cabin in Wisconsin and little Emily got a taste of her first county fair complete with homemade lemonade, funnel cake, carousel and lots and lots of horses, pigs, cows, sheep, chickens, bunnies.... She had a great time. So did I.
Thus here it is the end of the year. My one year scan wasn't 100% clean as there was a 4-6mm nodule in my left lung. I'm hoping it was simple inflammation from my allergies or leftover from my cold. I'm due to re-scan in a couple weeks. If it's gone or no growth, there is nothing to do. If there is, it means more surgery for me. Pray for a good outcome. I really hated being in the hospital! 10 days of just lying there nearly made me crazier and being in pain just stinks. My Onco told me not to put anything on hold despite the news so I'm heeding his advice. I'm ending 07 on a good note doing exactly what I want to do.
Celebrate! Here's to my 08 being spent paying if forward, getting into Grad school to be that therapist I've always wanted to be, working towards a cure for Sarcoma and all cancers and being a success at AT&T plus all the great times with friends and family.
Friday, December 28, 2007
Hot Crab and Shrimp dip with crackers and bread for dipping
Raw veggies with Dill or Ranch dip
Shrimp Cocktail, fresh from Ultra Foods
Pre celebratory beverage of choice. I chose beer or should I say, Joe did. He chose for me a Microbrew called Downtown Brown.
Spring Spinach salad. Nice and basic Spinach salad with fresh raspberries, walnuts, onions and a homemade poppyseed dressing.
Shrimp with Tarragon sauce served on Jasmine rice and a bed of wilted spinach. It was pretty good but it needed a little more lemon juice. If I make it again, I'll make a note of it.
2 bottles of chilled white wine.
Home made cookies
Some desserts my boss sent
This is a once a year thing. I'm no gourmand but on those rare occasions I decide to make dinner, I cook something nice. My children any other time of the year, live on 101 ways to make Mac and Cheese though I have been known to make a roast something now and then with some sort of marinade, glaze or sauce.
After cleanup and the arrival of the grandparentals, Santa came. Emily was all about her packages. She ripped through like Hurricane Katrina and when there were no more boxes left, she started on everyone elses.
I got my son a cell phone. Yes, I caved, OK! But I did make it clear to him that if he downloads anything that costs me money, he will be paying for it and if he texts himself to oblivion, he'll be paying for that too. Yes, I have a cell phone and it's a rather nice one, a nice Motorola Razr phone that came with an instruction book 2 inches thick on all the bells and whistles attached to the phone. It takes pictures. I can surf the net. I can play games, set up alarms and I'm sure it can fix the sink and clean my house. I don't care. I want it to a) make a call b) receive a call. I use about 10 minutes a month, 60 during the months my friend Ron calls and I had about 4000 rollover minutes prior to giving Kris the phone. I think I'm now down to 2. But he loves it and when he opened it up, I loved the look of disbelief. Cass got a digital camera and she's been such a pain in the ass with it, I'm ready to hit her with it. She has taken 100 pictures .....of HERSELF. Look mom, here I am smiling. Here I am looking sad. Here I am looking scared. Here you are right after you woke up with your hair all over and that dead "where's the coffee?" look But she loves it so what can I say? Emily got a little set of stainless steel cookware and a set of little plastic dishes plus some My Little Ponies and associated accessories. It seems Santa forgot to bring some food to cook in her little cookware but Emily is industrious. She is just frying up the little ponies. We've had Pony Tetrazzini, pony surprise, pony AuGratin...
We've been eating ponies all week.
Now it is back to work.
I hope your Christmases were just as nice!
Monday, December 24, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Angels in Indiana
In September 1960, I woke up one morning with six hungry babies and just 75 cents in my pocket. Their father was gone.
The boys ranged from three months to seven years; their sister was two. Their Dad had never been much more than a presence they feared. Whenever they heard his tires crunch on the gravel driveway they would scramble to hide under their beds. He did manage to leave 15 dollars a week to buy groceries. Now that he had decided to leave, there would be no more beatings, but no food either. If there was a welfare system in effect in southern Indiana at that time, I certainly knew nothing about it.
I scrubbed the kids until they looked brand new and then put on my best homemade dress. I loaded them into the rusty old 51 Chevy and drove off to find a job. The seven of us went to every factory, store and restaurant in our small town. No luck.
The kids stayed, crammed into the car and tried to be quiet while I tried to convince whomever would listen that I was willing to learn or do anything had to have a job.
Still no luck. The last place we went to, just a few miles out of town, was an old Root Beer Barrel drive-in that had been converted to a truck stop. It was called the Big Wheel. An old lady named Granny owned the place and she peeked out of the window from time to time at all those kids. She needed someone on the graveyard shift, 11 at night until seven in the morning. She paid 65 cents an hour and I could start that night.
I raced home and called the teenager down the street that baby-sat for people. I bargained with her to come and sleep on my sofa for a dollar a night. She could arrive with her pajamas on and the kids would already be asleep. This seemed like a good arrangement to her, so we made a deal.
That night when and the little ones and I knelt to say our prayers we all thanked God for finding Mommy a job. And so I started at the Big Wheel.
When I got home in the mornings I woke the baby-sitter up and sent her home with one dollar of my tip money-fully half of what I averaged every night.
As the weeks went by, heating bills added another strain to my meager wage. The tires on the old Chevy had the consistency of penny balloons and began to leak. I had to fill them with air on the way to work and again every morning before I could go home.
One bleak fall morning, I dragged myself to the car to go home and found four tires in the back seat. New tires! There was no note, no nothing, just those beautiful brand new tires. Had angels taken up residence in Indiana? I wondered.
I made a deal with the owner of the local service station. In exchange for his mounting the new tires, I would clean up his office. I remember it took me a lot longer to scrub his floor than it did for him to do the tires.
I was now working six nights instead of five and it still wasn't enough. Christmas was coming and I knew there would be no money for toys for the kids. I found a can of red paint and started repairing and painting some old toys. Then I hid them in the basement so there would be something for Santa to deliver on Christmas morning. Clothes were a worry too. I was sewing patches on top of patches on the boys pants and soon they would be too far gone to repair.
On Christmas Eve the usual customers were drinking coffee in the Big Wheel. These were the truckers, Les, Frank, and Jim, and a state trooper named Joe. A few musicians were hanging around after a gig at the Legion and were dropping nickels in the pinball machine. The regulars all just sat around and talked through the wee hours of the morning and then left to get home before the sun came up.
When it was time for me to go home at seven o'clock on Christmas morning I hurried to the car. I was hoping the kids wouldn't wake up before I managed to get home and get the presents from the basement and place them under the tree. (We had cut down a small cedar tree by the side of the road down by the dump.) It was still dark and I couldn't see much, but there appeared to be some dark shadows in the car, or was that just a trick of the night? Something certainly looked different, but it was hard to tell what.
When I reached the car I peered warily into one of the side windows. Then my jaw dropped in amazement. My old battered Chevy was full-full to the top with boxes of all shapes and sizes. I quickly opened the driver's side door, scrambled inside and kneeled in the front facing the back seat.
Reaching back, I pulled off the lid of the top box. Inside was a whole case of little blue jeans, sizes 2-10! I looked inside another box: It was full of shirts to go with the jeans. Then I peeked inside some of the other boxes: There were candy and nuts and bananas and bags of groceries. There was an enormous ham for baking, and canned vegetables and potatoes.
There was pudding and Jell-O and cookies, pie filling and flour. There was a whole bag of laundry supplies and cleaning items. And there were five toy trucks and one beautiful little doll.
As I drove back through empty streets as the sun slowly rose on the most amazing Christmas Day of my life, I was sobbing with gratitude. And I will never forget the joy on the faces of my little ones that precious morning.
Yes, there were angels in Indiana that long-ago December. And they all hung out at the Big Wheel truck stop.
I BELIEVE IN ANGELS! They live next door, around the corner, work in your office, patrol your neighborhood, call you at midnight to hear you laugh and listen to you cry, teach your children, and you see them everyday without even knowing it!
I didn't write the above. It's been passed to me several times in my email and I don't know whether it's really true or not and I don't care.
Last year, around this time of year, I received a Christmas card in the mail. I opened it up and to my surprise, $250 fell out into my lap. The card was signed "Friends who care." I have no idea who sent it and no one has fessed up to it but I kept the card and donated some of the cash to the Sarcoma Alliance, some to the American Cancer Society and the rest went for our holiday dinner. I've never forgotten it and one of the things hardest about receiving that envelope is that I couldn't thank who sent it and tell them what receiving it meant to me at one of the lower points in my life. I'm a cancer survivor, diagnosed last year. I survived treatments and a long and involved surgery and that's usually something I don't like talking about here because I deal with it so much in my normal life. The card itself, anonymously signed was gift enough. Today, a package came in the regular mail. Since I had everything I ordered online, I had no idea what this package was or who it came from. When I opened the package, there were gift cards and gift bags for all three of my children and for me with a note. This time the perps signed it, a long list of 25 -30 names who all pitched in and sent me and my kids a little extra for the holiday. To my Co-workers at AT&T, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you for that. And since I can't send you all something for Christmas, I am vowing to pay it forward.
I got into a discussion a few weeks ago with a close friend of the family about Christianity and would God damn a non-Christian to Hell. She said "Yes" I vehemently disagreed. Not all of the folks who signed their names on this package were Christian. Jesus said, Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me" That implies that Jesus is in all of us, the Jew, the Hindu, the Muslim, and the atheists. Regardless of your religion, if a Non-Christian helps a Christian wouldn't it stand to reason that based on Jesus's words, he is doing unto Him? Is that not the "Way" to the Father? Are we not all capable of being Earthly angels? They really are all around us, there when we don't expect them, and always on time.
To my friends, have a Merry Christmas, a Happy and Blessed New Year, and Pay it Forward in everything you do.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Thus concludes my rendition today of, "I really had nothing to talk about"
Tonight, Kris has his band concert. Other than the Labor Day parade, I have not seen his band perform at all so I am looking forward to it.
Monday, December 17, 2007
First, he asked to speak to Emily. I handed Em the phone. She spoke with him for 1 min, handed me the phone and walked away.
First off, he said, I'm not calling to start a fight. I didn't come on Sun because you never let me have her back to back days. I told him that wasn't true as he had her T-day, the day after T-day and the following Sat all day. He said, well last year you didn't. I was going to say something along the lines of "you had a Christmas party last year on your b-day and didn't ask for visitation." But, I didn't. I said nothing.
You shouldn't have called my parents. I'm the dad. She's my daughter, not theirs. I said, "I needed someone quick and close. I was not in a position to spend too much time on the dilemma." He lives 40 miles from here. He said I'm in (xx suburb close to you) on weekends with "new enabler". Then he went on to say how much he loves his daughter and how much he would love extra time and how much he misses her during the week and how he wants me to take him to court so he can fight for overnight visits because he and dummy have a new room for her all set up and they would love it and how he plans on being engaged by this time next year and there should be no problems with Em spending time at new dummy's house because it will be their house and I need to be a better communicator and please stop talking to his mom because she twists things for her own benefit because she loves drama and just causes trouble. I should be talking to him only because he's the dad. In other words, don't talk to mom because she keeps blowing through my bull and he needs to be able to control me too.
The part that made me cringe the most was the part where he said that he and I need to talk more because he's not going anywhere and will always want to be a part of his daughters life and we need to raise her together and I am not doing my part because I don't talk to him, how he wishes me well, how he worried so much when I was going through my treatments because Em needed and deserved her mom, how he never says anything negative about me to anyone (that's an outright lie) and how he has nothing but the utmost respect for me and doesn't understand why I don't like him (oh let me count the ways) and I should respect him because he's the daddy and I should let bygones be bygones despite (I think he said this) "my leftover feelings for him", and it would be nice if I called him back sometime to talk when he (rarely) calls my cell phone. I told him if he has something to say, leave a voice message. That will do. He said, well most can be handled by a VM but we need to work on raising her together. We're both her parents and she needs both of us.
Oh yadda yadda!
When I didn't say anything he said, "you have absolutely NOTHING to say?" I said, "no"
I remember this rhetoric after court in 06. I remember how convincing he was. I remember falling for it. I remember being reminded right quick how full of sh-- he is. The sad thing is, once again during this call, I felt that again. Maybe he really has changed.. But, I took 5 and thought it through.
1) Him asking to talk to Emily at the beginning was a bait. He told his family on T-day that I never let him talk to the child when he calls. He calls once a month maybe and usually doesn't ask to speak with her when he does call. He was LOOKING to start something. I wouldn't be surprised if the new enabler was in the room with him.
2) When he mentioned his impending engagement to the last GF and overnight visits, I reacted. I suspect, he was expecting the same reaction and a fight. He mentioned it once along with the new room. He had a room set up in the old GF's townhome last year. He spent a good 10 min talking about how he wanted to buy her a ring and how they were all ready for D3 to come spend the night. SSDGF. It was a hot button then, why wouldn't it be now?
3) He kept raising his voice to tell me that he didn't call to yell and scream. I wasn't yelling. I said little. I certainly wasn't screaming. When he asked if I had anything to say, he was hoping I would so he could pounce.
I often wonder how this low contact will reflect on me in court. I tried the co-parent, let's be friends thing when he duped me the first time. It resulted in a lot of drama I didn't need and a lot of needless hurt on my part. Not again. EM goes on her visits and she comes home. Fostering the relationship by telling her what a great guy he is, no, I don't do that. I never will. But I've never interfered either and usually plan activities when I know she's going to be away. It gives me some ME time which I never have.
The smartest thing the devil ever did was convince the world he didn't exist.
I often feel guilty because I dislike him so much and I don't really want to carry around a lot of dislike. I absolutely do not want this person back. I frankly find him repulsive and sometimes it's difficult to look at him because all I see is one very ugly person standing there. I do still feel angry because he gets away with it and keeps finding these people to take care of him and take care of Em for him and it's just the injustice of it all. The boy is a toxin. Sometimes I do wonder if Satan walks this Earth as Brian. The idea of talking with him makes me cringe. I put up with him for Emily. As the old saying goes, "Some people are like Slinkies - not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you see one tumble down the stairs." Both times he fell off my stoop, well....I had one whopping grin. I know. I'm going to Hell. But, I'm Catholic and according to the born again dude, I'm going there anyhow so why not smile?
Who's your slinkie?
Sunday, December 16, 2007
It is now Sunday. I was put on the schedule at Wal-mart from 9-1 yesterday and 7:30-4:30pm today. I woke up at 5:30 to make my shift. It snowed last night and the temp dropped about 250 degrees overnight. Kris used my keys to get at my driveway salt and misplaced them so that he and I were running all over the house trying to find them at 6:45 this morning. My car was freezing and covered in snow and I haven't had nearly enough coffee today. That place is a 3 ring circus. I am checking. There was nothing but a steady stream of people from the time I clocked in to the time I left with very little break. My back is sore. My legs are sore and I'll be hearing the beeping of that register in my sleep. What is it? Christmas or something? I checked out lots of toys, candy, grocery, dog treats, cat treats, chips, boxes that weighed a ton. All I can say is, Thank God, I don't do this every day. To make matters worse, B didn't pick Em up this morning and I thought he was. It wouldn't have been that inconvenient but the kids had plans to see their grandpa today and go shopping. I am absolutely not supposed to have my cell phone at the register but I had it on vibrate in my pocket. The kids called oodles of times and I couldn't answer the phone. I handled the situation on my lunch and one break in the afternoon. When I got home, I was so happy to see the huge mess the kids left for me. Right now, I'm trying to decide if I want to yell at them or scream at them. GRRRRR.. So now, ow. I am finally sitting. I think I'll wash floors tomorrow. The kids can handle the rest.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Cassie got a little penguin for her birthday that says a word when you press its little wing or flipper or whatever you call what penguins have. On Monday, Cassie ran up to me and said "I figured out what I'm going to name him!" "Oh?" says I, "What?" "DOUCHE!" she says. Kristopher nearly choked on his water and I was trying hard not to laugh. I said, "um Cass. Maybe you want to think of a different name." She said "but he says "Douch" when I press his wing/flipper." I said, "I doubt that." She couldn't understand why we were busting a gut laughing at her. The penguin actually says "Fish" when you squeeze him. And after I explained to her what "Douche" actually means, she huffed off to her room. She did actually change the name. And she now has her own container of Vagisil...err Vaseline.
The difference between the Catholic Bible and the Protestant Bible is the addition of the Apocrypha and a longer version of the Book of Esther and the addition of one or two other Old Testament Books. During the Big Schism, Martin Luther chose to omit these. In any case, there are many translations of the Bible. 250 people can read the same passage and come up with 250 meanings. A religion teacher in high school, told us to glean at least the essence of what is being said. Look for the larger meaning and don't focus too much on words. It's the actions of Jesus we need to pay more attention to. In everything you do, ask what would Jesus do? How would He handle it?
I ponder religion often. Most would find that surprising because I don't really go to church but I don't call myself a non-practicing Catholic. I have a relationship with the Almighty. It may not be traditional but it is mine. I'm sure there are plenty who go to Church and spend that time thinking about lawn mowing, that nap they're going to take when they get home and whose big idea 7:30am Mass is?
Our all Christmas song station stinks. I have been listening to it because Emily loves it. Their Playlist:
Mel Torme - The Christmas Song followed by the Nat King Cole version one hour later, followed by the Musak version the hour after that and so on until every one who has ever sang it or played it, has been represented.
Silver Bells by Anne Murray, followed by Bing Crosby..followed by...
It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Andy Williams every hour because we just can't have too much of THAT song.
Santa Baby by Madonna and then for a real treat, they'll play the Eartha Kitt version a couple hours later.
Can't have too much Rudolf the Rednosed Reindeer, Frosty and Holly Jolly Christmas. Everytime I turn on the station, I hear one of these in the 15 minutes I am forced to listen to this station.
There's nothing like any Christmas music sung by Barbara Streisand or Neil Diamond.
Do You Hear What I Hear by Whitney Houston and Johnny Mathis and sometimes the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Andy Williams and....
OH BOY! The Trans Siberian Orchestra! SOMETHING DIFFERENT!
Santa Claus is Coming To Town by one of the billions of artists who has recorded it.
It just really grates my cheese. This one baffles me. Twice I've heard Dan Fogelberg's "Another Auld Lang Syne" which mentions Christmas Eve in one line. There's barely anything religious. Yes, sometimes they throw something in like JOy to the World or God Rest Ye Merry Gentlman but that's after at least 4 hours of Gene Autry Rudolf followed by Burl Ives Rudolf followed by the immortal song that EVERYONE has on their sing along list "Suzy Snowflake." Where is "Mary Did you Know?" Where is the Halleluiah Chorus? No, lets listen to Merry Christmas Darling sung by Karen Carpenter and follow that up with Silver and Gold. GAH!
I played my favorites on the piano today. For Emily, I shall continue to cringe and listen to another rendition of "Winter Wonderland".
To the Lite, you really need more than a 10 song playlist. End of gripe. HO HO HO.
I think I'll make that my friggin Christmas Wish.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
I survived my daughters sleepless over though I'm not sure Cass did. She's home sick with a sore throat and temp today. I have sent her to bed with some herbal tea. Emily is so thrilled that someone is here sharing her morning boredom, she has spent her time bugging Cass and not me. YAY! Outside it is dripping and slippery. Since Saturday, rain and ice has plagued my little world. I went to Menard's to grab some salt for the driveway. Kris dumped 20 lbs onto the driveway to no avail. On the driveway is frozen salt. On Sunday morning, I got up and out, chipped ice off my car and risked my life to get donuts for the posse of girls downstairs. That's love I tell ya.
I'd like to vent about something that chaps my hide. As I get older, it bugs me every time I hear it and I hear it at least 3 times a year especially around the Christmas season. I am Catholic! I have been Catholic my whole life though I'll admit I am terrible about going to church. As a child, I went to church practically every week at school and then with the family on Saturday nights. I went to Catholic grade school. I went to Catholic High School. I studied Religion formally and not formally. I know the basics. Though I couldn't match anyone quote for quote, I am well versed in the teachings of Jesus and what He wanted of me. That's right, the teachings of JESUS. So why the heck do I hear every year that Catholics are not CHRISTIANS?? I would like to set the record straight. Catholics ARE INDEED followers of Christ. We are the ORIGINAL followers of Christ. The Catholic Church was established/founded by St. Peter the Apostle. We were Christian when Christian wasn't cool. Yes, I know all about the history of the Catholic church. The Brothers and Sisters didn't gloss over the corruption that occurred in the Church oh what..1000 years ago!! Yes, there are some bad Priests but please Mr. Pentacostal et al, you are not immune to corruption of your own. The Catholic church is big and is a great target. Most of the Fathers, Sisters and Brothers I dealt with lived an ascetic life and were good role models. It is unfair and wrong to bash an entire Religion for the actions of a few idiots.
When I was in college, I worked with a small town girl who's dad was a preacher or big wig in the church of the Pentacostal persuasion. The first thing she asked me was, "What religion are you?" I said I was Catholic. The FIRST THING she said was..."Oh, I'm sorry. You're going to Hell!" Uh excuse me?? Where in the world does anyone get off making that determination? "Judge not lest ye be judged" "Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord." <------- two quotes I do know. She then went on to list a list of grievances she had with Catholics and though I hate discussing these things, I felt it necessary to defend my faith. And again yesterday, I had to convince a Southern Baptist close family friend that I was indeed a Christian just like they were. Oh No, only SOME Catholics are Christians, she said. "No," said I, "we all are. " I'd like to say that no one faith owns Jesus. As a Catholic school girl, I was taught we all are brothers and sisters. Jesus was sent here for everyone, the Muslims, the Jews, the sinners and the righteous. Jesus was born of humble beginnings. Jesus' spent his time teaching. He spent his time with the sinners and the outcasts of society and proclaimed that God wanted them too. God wants us all. God wants the Jews with Him. He wants the Hindus. He wants the Buddhists, Muslims and the African bushman. He wants the sinners as much as He wants the Righteous. If we are to take anything from the teachings of Jesus, it is that. In all faiths is that message. We are all ONE. We are all facets of God. Among the Christian faiths, there are differences in semantics that is all. THe core is that we are all followers of Christ and it is Christ that we as Christians have found our path to God. I've heard that others seem to think that Catholics have a different Bible. HUH? When Catholics need a new Bible, the probably go to the same Christian book store as their Methodist neighbor and get one. The Abbey Press and other specifically Catholic stores sell what they call a Catholic Bible and I honestly couldnt' tell you what the difference is. There is a new Testament and an Old Testament with the same Noah, the same Moses and the same Jesus.
1) As a Catholic, we revere Mary. Yes, as a child I prayed the Hail Mary like any Catholic child. But we did not see Mary as God. We saw her as someone worthy of respect. She was chosen by God to do something so important, raise Jesus. Mary didn't have to. She could have said "NO". Mary didn't. She risked being stoned to death as was the law for those that were with child without a husband. On the same plane, we revere Joseph. He took Mary anyway. He as well could have told God no. When your Father wants you to raise His Son, that is well... a very large undertaking. Obviously, they did a good job. Jesus was a good son and a good Jew. When you think of Mary, you think of the ultimate Mother. Sometimes, there are things you want to discuss with Mom and not Dad. Thus, we Catholics sometimes talk to Mary as well. Her benevolent apparitions have appeared at Lourdes and Guadalupe. She has also appeared in Egypt and in Yugoslavia to children and adults. (the jury is still out on whether she really appeared on that tortilla or underpass in Chicago but...) Because of her appearance to St. Juan Diego, Christianity has flourished in Latin America. The water at Lourdes has resulted in so far, 65 certified miracles. Many more uncertified ones.
2) We are NOT icon worshippers. Catholic churches are well decorated with religious depictions but please, we were never worshipping the idols. That's just ludicrous. Our depictions are Art that stems out of reverence, not idolatry.
3) Yes, we believe in Transfiguration. When we take the Eucharist, we believe that it is Jesus' literally and figuratively.
4) We believe in works. Practice what you preach. If you are a follower of Christ, you will do his works.
5) We do not believe that abortion is just the expelling of a few needless cells. We respect life in all its forms.
6) We do not view the Pope and our clergy as "Infallible." If the Pope says something "infallible", he will note that before he speaks. He does not do that willy nilly. To declare something infallible requires much soul searching and would require taking much responsibility. I don't think there has been an infallible statement in my lifetime.
Nowhere in my teaching as a Catholic was I ever told we were RIGHT and all the other faiths were WRONG. We were never told to go out and tell people that disagree that they are going to Hell. WE were never taught to be exclusionary. We were never told that we alone own Jesus and his teachings. I frankly have no idea who is going to Heaven and who is going to Hell and it is not my place to make that determination. God loves all His people whether their path to him is through Jesus, Muhammed, the Buddha, Krishna, Judaism etc. God is complex and if we are in His image we are as well. I believe God knows us and speaks to us in language we understand. If there is more than one way to fry an egg, there just has to be more than one way to Him. The right Religion is whatever religion brings you closest to Him and of course does not harm another. And for God's sake, Catholics are CHRISTIANS.
EDIT TO ADD: My views are solely my own. Jesus may be my way but I don't think there is any harm in questioning and talking and debating and accepting that my way is not his way or her way nor is it my place to decide which way an individual chooses to go. The Bible is full of choices. Mary made a choice. Jesus made a choice. Neither was obligated or forced by God to do anything.
I was taught to question. To think things through and to look for answers. I don't think that makes me less Christian or even less Catholic.
Here is an example of what I'm talking about: http://www.born-again-christian.info/catholics.htm
This person is seriously MISINFORMED. I, of course, am not offended by what he wrote here. I am saying that whoever wrote this is seriously guilty of some very Un-Christian behavior and some largely erroneous assertions about the Catholic church and he therefore made a judgement that is not his to make. I did a Google search on "Are Catholics Christian" and came upon some very creative answers. One woman said Catholics were guilty of Crucifying Christ because Pontias Pilate was a Roman. Roman Centurian vs. Roman Catholic..get it? I had a very hearty laugh with that one.
Saturday, December 08, 2007
I bought beer for me and Nikki and Joe who will be helping to supervise the chaos. It is time for me to get off this computer and start my daily list of chores. I took yesterday off, left the house at 12:30 and did not return until 11pm. Then, I went next door and had a beer with my neighbor, Diane, got home at 1:30am, took a shower, fell asleep at 2:30 and was up 5 hours later to get Em out the door with Brian who of course was 1/2 hour late because he was at a Christmas party last night. Typical! But if I hadn't set the alarm and slept late, he would have been right on time. I can't stand that guy!
I need some good Mojo.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
When I got home, Emily was all excited because it was snowing and she wanted to go out right then and build a snowman. She spent a lot of time at the window watching the snow. So did I. Though I usually find snow annoying, I was struck by the quiet as I got out of the car and stood there for a bit just noticing how peaceful it was outside. It looked really pretty over our outside lighted deer family, the garland on the railings and the trees. The trees were frosted..very nice. And then reality struck yesterday when I had to go outside and shovel all 6 inches plus what the snow plow threw on the end of my driveway. Magic over.
It was Cassie's birthday yesterday. She is now an official annoying teenager. I gave her a purse with some makeup, (mascara and some eye shadow, a lip balm, and a $50 gift card to her favorite store. I put a $100 in the little wallet in there which was a cash gift from relatives. She asked for Tacos to eat and I bought a small birthday cake. She spent the evening putting her pens and pencils, bus pass etc. into her new purse.
Monday, December 03, 2007
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? I HATE WRAPPING!!! It's one of the pains of Christmas. I buy the wrapping paper and spend the night before the Day, sucking down wine while I fight with the damn paper. After losing the scissors, pen, and tape ten times in a pile of wrapping drippings then trying to figure out how to make the paper that I cut too short, fit on the box, I get about two hours of sleep and my presents look like crap! Gift bags!! GIFT BAGS FOR EVERYONE!!
2. Real tree or artificial? FAKE! I like my fake pipe cleaner tree. No dry needles, no fire hazzard, easy clean up and it pays for itself in 3 years.
3. When do you put up the tree? I do not. I make my brother do it so it's usually whenever the stupid Illini aren't playing and he's sober. This year, it was Thanksgiving Day.
4. When do you take the tree down? Infinity, Effinity....the Feast of the three wise men.
5. Do you like eggnog? yes, especially with a shot of rum.
6. Favorite gift received as a child? There were two: my Barbie townhouse that my brother sat on 5 hours after Christmas and bent the cardboard support so it was more like the Barbie townhome post San Francisco Earthquake and this little green record player I got when I was six.
7. Do you have a Nativity scene? Yes, it's a nice one and it's been in the box for the past three years because it's expensive, difficult to put together and my three year old and two cats have no scruples.
8. Hardest person to buy for? My dad because he has every fricking thing. My sister is a close second for the same reason.
9. Easiest person to buy for? Emily. Just order the toy section in the Wishbook.
10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Uhh whatever I get at the Bowling grab bag, some perfume (don't wear it) Turtle neck sweater (don't wear those either. I feel like I'm choking)
11. Mail or email Christmas cards? Christmas cards??
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Holiday Inn. I have no idea why.
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Well, every year I intend to buy a little throughout the year and every year I start around the week before Thanksgiving, put it all on credit cards and have it paid off sometime around the following July.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Does giving it the Goodwill count?
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Cookies, chocolate, beer, wine, beer, shrimp, beer shrimp, champagne...
16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Lots of little colored lights on a NON PRELIT TREE inside! White lights outside.
17.Favorite Christmas song? The Halleluiah Chorus by Haydn. God was truly with him when he wrote that. It gives me chills. (It came to my attention that it was Handel that wrote this not Haydn. I knew that! What was I thinking??? I apologize for the misinformation.)
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Sit at home on my ass and drink beer in my jammies.
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeers? Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, Dasher, Dancer, Vixen and um..uh... Guess not and RUDOLF does not count! Which one am I'm missing dammit??
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? A beanie baby Ostrich. Ask my brother.
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Eve. We're freaks.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Let me count the ways, STARTING WITH WRAPPING PRESENTS! No parking, crowds, going into debt...
But, if we all watch the South Park episode with Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo, we all learn that we spend too much time listening to the Politically correct media gripe about Christmas and all that's wrong with it, that sometimes we forget what's right with it. So screw saying Happy Holidays. It's MERRY CHRISTMAS!
And to my Jewish friends, Happy Chanukkah. I know that starts Wednesday!
Saturday, December 01, 2007
Walmart called today apologizing. I was initially confused but the HR person said that there was a miscommunication between her and management and I should not have been put on the schedule. She said, we'd like to have you back if you want to give us a second chance. But they were modifying my role to cashier so there will be no lifting, bending and running around. This position allows for more flexibility in scheduling which is a good thing. Cool with me. I'm supposed to go in and discuss a start date and a training schedule. I guess the hiring practices of the largest retailer aren't as disorganized as I thought and I wasn't the dummy who missed something in the orientation.
My GRE studying has gone better. I am starting to at least score better than 60% percent on the Math portion. Verbally, I'm a lot stronger but I am a woman and we're known for garrulousness (<------ GRE Study word) The first practice test I took, I scored 330 out of 800 on the practice Math. Now, I know how to add. I know how to multiply and I know how to divide. I can even add fractions! But um, apparently I'm deficient in figuring out how fast Pump A and Pump B can clear out a basin of water together if there is a thunderstorm looming and approaching at 30mph and Pump B has a hair line crack and Pump A's operator had to take a Union enforced lunch break. I'm working on that though. Now what was that Quadratic equation again?
Em has been better or I've been handling her better. Last weekend, my work laptop died and I had to ship it back to the Laptop service center to get it fixed, which resulted in me being absolutely BORED to tears at work all week. I modified my personal laptop to accommodate a few of the applications I use in my daily grind but my Dell has issues and it's slow so most of my day was spent rebooting and clearing blue screens of death. Anyway, I needed a password reset to access my online version of Outlook. Called our helpless desk in Denver and spoke to a woman. Em was home with me all week because Grace was on vacation. The week before Thanksgiving, I was going crazy with her. She was rotten and I just didn't have time for it. So, while I was talking to this woman about my password, Em started screaming to get out of her crib. The woman asked how old she was. I said, oh, she's 31/2 and capable of getting out of the crib herself. She just doesn't want to. She's got some behavioral issues. The woman said, OHHHH! Well, do you mind if I make some suggestions? Sure, says I. I am ready to accept any advice that will help me with the child. Turns out her son has ADHD. Some of her advice really really helped to diffuse some of the temper and the meltdowns. I'm not perfect with her and sometimes I lose it but it was a much better week. I guess God was looking after me. I spoke with someone I needed to speak with at the time I needed it. It's funny how that works. I was never one to believe in cooincidence.
Midwest Winter has hit. It's really blech outside. I left the house to run and errand and it took around 45 minutes to drive 7 miles. Stupid snow. Stupid ice. Stupid Winter. This just means the stupid locks are going to be stupid frozen on my stupid car and I have to use the stupid ice scraper on the stupid window.
Stupid Stupid Stupid...
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Kris kicked his ear infection but has been complaining of stomach aches on and off for the past two weeks. He was fine on Thanksgiving. The day after T-day, I let him go to the movies with a friend. The day after, he was complaining that a hamburger he ate at the mall didn't agree with him but was in decent spirits. Sunday, he was on the couch with a low grade temp and he took many trips to the bathroom. Yesterday, he came home from school and said he felt tired. We took his temp and he had a low grade fever of about 99. He ate dinner and an hour after dinner, said it didn't agree with him and he threw up. From that point on, he was throwing up every 5-10 minutes. I sent him to bed. I went to bed and slept an hour. Around 1am, he woke me up and said he couldn't stop throwing up. It was awful. His stomach wouldn't handle water. It wouldn't even tolerate his own saliva. Around 2:30, I called the hospital and they recommended I page the Dr. on call at my Dr's office. I did that prepared to take Kris to the ER if need be. The Dr. never called back. Luckily, Kris stopped throwing up around 4am. At 6am he woke me up to say he was able to take a sip of water. HOORAY! He's resting now but has a temp of a 100. I'm allowing him only fluids right now which he's not griping about. His stomach still hurts from all the puking but he says, the nausea he's been feeling on and off since Saturday morning is gone. I hope this is a step in the right direction for him.
Em is out for the day so I have some peace and quiet.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
The weekend before Thanksgiving I had shopping to try and get to, carpet cleaning, kids, driving, housework, this and that.. I went into Wally World for a few hours Sat afternoon to do some of those online courses they wanted done. I had maybe 15 or 18 to do before they put me on the schedule and each one took about 20 minutes. If I didn't pass, I had to go through the whole damn thing over again without the option to skip ahead. BLAH! I did three hours worth and ran home. Of course the kids hadn't started on the house. The place was a disaster! My daughter may have picked up one piece of clothing from her floor. My son probably accomplished a few messages on Myspace and little else. Em was running around unclothed. Chaos, mass hysteria....Spent Saturday night cleaning and getting the wash started. Sunday, I decided I would clean the carpet just one more time before the holiday spills, ribbon filled cat yak, spilled beer, food, chocolate etc. etc. Moved all the furniture and got the LR ready for the tree which I hadn't bought yet. Got done at 7. My back hurt. My legs hurt. But the LR looked nice and everything was arranged for the tree. Monday, spent all day on the phone working an expedite for one of our holiday dependent customers. Couldn't get Em to daycare. She was a pain in the butt all day waiting until I was on the phone with my boss and others to raise a fuss and be difficult. Unfortunately, I couldn't take her to Grace's becasue I had conference calls every hour with the team to discuss the expedites. I grew hundreds of gray hairs that day but we got the equipment out despite the obstacles. Kris had a trumpet lesson. I needed to get dinner on the stove. Em was yanking my arm because she wanted to play her "pickle chips" game (pixelchicks.com) Cass was griping about her day. Had to go to the store after dinner to get dry goods. Did that. Forgot cat litter. Got home at 8:30. Gave Em a bath. Attempted to sit down and relax but that was futile. I cheered when all kids were in bed and I could enjoy some me time. "Me time." HA HA.. My me time consisted of me falling asleep. Tuesday, more of the same. Had siding replaced last week so there were workers here pounding on the walls for 4 days. Scads of old siding was all over the lawn and the mailman couldn't get to the front door. Received notice that they returned a registered letter to the Post Office for that reason. Great! Now I have to go get the letter AND the damn tree and shop for Thanksgiving. To top it all off, a couple carpet guys called to schedule estimates. Scheduled carpet guy one for Wed morning. Carpet guy two was scheduled for this past Monday. Grocery shopped. Forgot the cat litter AGAIN. Hauled $150 worth of groceries into the house. Went to the post office to pick up the registered letter. Was told that it wasn't back yet from the carrier. Told to come back Wed. Made dinner. Bath for Em. Study with Cassie for her Science test. Kicked Kristpher off Myspace. Cleaned kitchen. Studied a little for the GRE. Ran around until end of the day and collapsed with the kids. Wednesday, worked, left to run an errand at the courthouse. My morning carpet estimate didn't happen. I thought I'd pick up the registered mail, go into Walmart and do more courses, and when Joe came home, get the tree from Menards when Joe returned home that night and before Black Friday. As I was driving back from the Post Office, the carpet installer called and said he was 10 minutes from my house. UGH!! Ran home and abandoned Wal-mart since it was just courses. Figured I'd get the tree after dinner. When I got home, message from Joe that he wouldn't be in that night. UGH! Kris was whining he wanted to go to a movie. Cass was whining she wanted to go to a friends. I exploded! The kids eyes were like saucers. Kris called his friend and said mom is freaking out. I need to stay home and help. Cass pouted but went and started cleaning the LR for the next day. House is still a disaster. I don't have the damn tree. It's snowing and crappy outside. WAHHHH!! Got my estimate. Went out in the crap with Kris and picked out a tree and hauled that 100lb sucker home. Spent the evening cleaning, then lived in a state of vegetation for the next few days. We got the holiday decorations up and I finally remembered the cat litter. The poop that my cat took in one of the bedrooms was a good reminder. MOLLLY!!!
Over the weekend, my work laptop died. I modified my home PC to access some of my work apps but I've been bored and feeling guilty and totally useless just sitting here. Went into Wal-mart Monday night to finish more courses. Ran into one of the managers who needed to clock me in. When we tried, the badge didn't work. To make a long story short, they put me on the schedule for this past weekend and noone told me. As far as I knew, I wasn't done with my courses yet. Well, he said, Didn't you get a handwritten schedule? Umm.. no one handed me one or discussed one with me. Oh.. well, you better call HR in the morning and explain to her. Well that's a load of crap! I felt so stupid and so humiliated. Not only did I not receive any communication from the department supervisor that they put me on the schedule, no one called when I didn't show up. If they had, I would have scooted out the door and apologized profusely for my ignorance and they wouldn't have wasted all that money on training me. In addition, they would have someone now and not 3weeks from now but hey, I'm not a manager so what do I know. I guess it's better to assume the employee blew you off. So much for their "Respect for Individual" clause. I hadn't been trained on the position. Tossing a brand spanking new employee in a job without introducing them to their supervisor, discussing hours, and explaining the position when the busiest shopping weekend of the year is looming, is normal there? I dunno. I haven't been able to reach to the HR person yet. I can't wait to have that conversation. I do know that I have decided that I'm not pleading for that job back. I'll take the Christmas season, enjoy it and revisit part time employment after the holidays.
Oh, Cass had a bloody nose yesterday. She gets them often during the Winter because of the dry air. I toldher to look in the medicine cabinet for the Vaseline. A little later she came back and said, "Mom, we don't have any Vagisil." Uh Say what?? You know, Vagisil.. what you told me to find. Well LOL!! That cracked me up. No honey, I said VASELINE.
Have a better week than me.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
It has been brought to my attention that my old fake tree is starting to go the way of the Charlie Brown tree. It all started with two kittens and has ended with a rambunctious, defiant, toddler. So the thing has a few gaps but whatever, if it's a new tree I need, what the heck. Most people really like the real tree thing. Not I. $20 bux, gotta haul the thing myself, deal with a fire hazzard, and pick needles out of the carpet until the following Thanksgiving. That is just NOT for me. I'm lazy. I want a fake tree and I want a fake tree that is NOT PRE-LIT. Some Christmas tree manufacturer was bloody brilliant!! The Pre-lit trees just scream, HEY! I'm LAZY but they also scream HEY! I really wanna go broke buying new Christmas Trees. My dad bought a nice, expensive Pre-lit that lasted about 3 Christmases. Then a light burned out and when one went out, THEY ALL WENT OUT thus totally erradicating the total coolness of not having to take 20 minutes and string their own lights but, did create the need for a new 400 dollar tree. The best laid plans, I tell ya.... So, I have searched Loews, Home Depot, Menard's and Sears and all they seem to be advertising are the Pre-lit online anyway. Like I said, I'm lazy. This now means I now have to actually go to the damn store..the second thing at Christmas that is such a pain to me! Unless it's a bookstore or liquor store, I never darken a store doorstep from the week before Christmas until the last holiday sale sometime in January. Hello online shopping delivered compliments of my brown shirted UPS Santa. Goodbye parking problems, crowds, pushing and shoving and having to actually leave the house, drive in the cold and walk from BFI to the front door of the shopping mall. The things I do for my kids. At least I don't have anymore kittens.
Monday, November 12, 2007
My sense of humor lately is very compromised. I know they say being a mom is the toughest job you'll ever love but I really really think that sometimes that is the biggest load of crapola ever spouted. Kristopher likes to make smoothies. He KNOWS he is not supposed to because he makes a mess and doesn't clean it up and it requires the use of an appliance that I'm not 100% sure I trust him with. Tonight, after giving Emster a bath and helping Cass study for her history test, I finished up washing some supper dishes and noticed a glass that smelled remarkably like Smoothie. GRRRRRRR! The blender was kinda washed, kinda..but he left drips of smoothie on the counter illustrating yet again why I generally don't allow to make himself anything in the kitchen. So, I asked him under whose permission he made himself that smoothie and HE LIED TO ME and told me he NEVER touched the strawberries or the blender. Really Kris, do I have STUPID branded in my forehead??? I said, evidence one, half rinsed out cup. Evidence 2, drips on the counter. Evidence 3, spoon that smells a whole heck of a lot like strawberry. "Ok but I only took a few strawberries." TO THE MOON, KRIS!
Cass, there are a bunch of dishes under your bed. Do you mind telling me how they got there? "I don't know." She says! ........OH PLEASE!!
We have strict rules about eating in the Living Room and the Basement. Yesterday, after Kristopher "cleaned", I went downstairs and inspected and found at least 10 empty juice box wrappers crammed behind the DVD player, in the toybox, in the video cabinet, under the couch, behind the couch, in my piano bench, under the sink in the bathroom and in various places in my sons room. Of course neither of the kids drank them. I keep forgetting we have those dish stealing, juice box drinking gnomes. Currently, 5 forks and 5 spoons are missing. I have no idea where they are. Found one under the sink in the downstairs bathroom. My guess is they are with Jimmy Hoffa.
Perhaps working at Wal-Mart with crabby disgruntled holiday shoppers will be easier than dealing with my children and I get paid for that.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Kristopher had a nasty cold. A trip to the Dr. 2 weeks ago revealed a nice double ear infection. Got him on the antibiotics. Then I got the nasty cold and spent 4 days with a 102 temp and a headache. Believe me, I was quite the crabass. To make matters worse, Emily was absolutely atrocious the few days I was laid up and I was ready to trade her in for a puppy. On the fifth day, the fever broke but I still had a cough which finally has gone away leaving me with the same crappy allergies I've had since May. Kris still has his ear infection even after his 10 days of antibiotics so we are trying a different antibiotic. While we're on the subject of Kristopher, an envelope from his school arrived last week. Inside was a lovely letter from the assistant principal informing me of a disciplinary action taken because my son stood up in the middle of his first period class and told a classmate to "fuck off." OY!!! I could only bang my head on a wall. To make matters worse for my son, he lied to me. He told me he stayed after school to practice for his Jazz band tryout. Actually, he was serving a detention. GROUNDED. When his mid semester grades arrived a few days later..... we'll just say he might be off grounding by the time he is 30. I would like the universe to explain to me how in the world my son, with a mom who majored in English, a grandma who was an English teacher, an Uncle who teaches English, an Aunt who majored in English and a Great Aunt who majored in English can get a C- in ENGLISH?????? Well mom, I boffed the test on "The Odyssey" Uh HUh! Next time number one son, try opening the book and reading it!!! His MYSPACE and Guitar Hero time is now severely limited.
Problem number two is Emily. Everyone that knows me and knows Em, also knows she has always been difficult. As a baby, she cried and cried constantly. I thought at the time it was Colic. I'm beginning to think Emily just has an inability to calm herself. As a toddler, she has issues with changes and transitions and not just the big changes, the little ones. Mr. Monk lives in my house. The past couple months, she has become increasingly more difficult to deal with. Every day is a battle. When the weather got colder, I had to dress her in long pants, socks and shoes and a jacket. She absolutely REFUSED to wear the jacket and kicked so I couldn't put on the shoes. She just couldn't understand that the weather wasn't warm anymore and flip flops and shorts can't be worn anymore. I put her in the jacket and attempted to haul her to the car. She plopped down on the ground screaming. I picked her screaming little self up and tried to put her in her car seat. She stiffened so I couldn't buckle it. After a 30 minute all out, drag out tantrum, she finally calmed down enough for me to get her buckled in. And so it goes, every day, to daycare, from daycare, at home...it's endless. Today, after it took Kris and me to get her dressed, me to hold her and him to put her shoes and socks on, I was in tears. She screamed all the way to Grace's house. True to form, she screamed all the way home as well and Grace's daughter had to help me get Em into the car. I feel like such a failure. I can't get this child to do anything. I can't take her anywhere because the minute I take her out in public, she acts up and I spend so much time shushing her, I don't enjoy myself and neither does anyone in the near vicinity. A couple weeks ago, I took the kids to a nice restaurant for dinner. Em was good for about 30 minutes but I could tell she was building up to a big finish. She had to go the bathroom. This restaurant was small and there was just one bathroom. Emily insisted on going herself but I wouldn't let her and went in the bathroom with her. She literally threw herself on the ground and started screaming. Then she refused to go the bathroom. I took her back to the table and went to the bathroom myself. While I was in there, I heard a scream and what sounded like glass breaking. Emily wanted to play with the salt shaker. She started tossing salt around, so Kris and Cass took it away from her. Emily kicked the table and all the glasses of water tumbled over and spilled on the floor. Emily dove under the table to hide from me. That was it. I had had it. Took her to the car and gave her an "attitude adjustment" I was so embarrassed! I apologized profusely to the staff. And this is what it is like all the time. I discussed this with my family Dr and she is referring me to a Child Development Specialist. I know toddlers have tantrums but I also can tell that my child's behavior is well outside the realm of normal. I just don't know what to do about it. I'm hoping that this person gives me some guidance before Emily grows up to be like the other half of her DNA. That leaves Cassie who is her little angsty self but the easiest of my kids to deal with at the moment. Her biggest concern is what is on sale at Kohl's. She's doing great in school and other than the fact that she doesn't do a great job on chores and we're still finding leftover kleenex, candy wrappers, and cookie crumbs in her room, there hasn't been a whole lot to be concerned about with her.....YET.
More gray hairs...plucking daily.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
So, back in September, he tells me he can't take Emily on visits until after 12 on Sundays just for October. He has drill he says, for the Stickney volunteer FD. Well, OK. I marked it on my schedule. It amazes me he even got that. He has asthma but because he hasn't had an attack for 2 years, decided to omit that from his application. NEVERMIND, that people MIGHT count on him to save their lives, it's all about how he looks to others. OOOO..I"m a Fireman. Aren't I cool? Today is Sunday. Today the doorbell rings at 9am. Cassie pads downstairs and says, it's "Emily's dummy dad's name here". She opens the door and I said, "What are you doing here? You're a little early aren't you?" Mind you, Em had just gone potty and Em can't go potty without removing every shred of clothing so there she is running around naked saying "I wanna stay wif you mommy. I wanna stay wif you!" Idiot says, "Oh, didn't I tell you? I decided to blow off drill this morning." If he had told me, do you think I would have asked him what he was doing there? "Oh" he says, "I told my dad. Nyuk Nyuk!" "ARGH!! YOUR DAD IS NOT ME!!" He's standing there looking all smug. I took Em into my room and scrambled to find socks, underwear, and something for her to wear. I got her dressed, grabbed a pair of PJ's and her blankie, shoved them into a backpack and started working on her shoes. Over a month ago, I alerted Brian that two weeks child support was missing. I went through the records and gave him the missing weeks plus the number in Carol Stream to the state disbursement unit. I did all the research. All he had to do was call the number. My guess is, he lost the weeks and the numbers and has had his head up his butt for so long, he forgot. Since that was a month ago, I asked him what he found out. He said "My company sent the money. It came out of my check so it's out of my hands." I asked if he called the Child Support Division. He said all they gave him were 800 numbers. I said "Then call them." So he went off about how it came out of his check. As far as he's concerned he paid it. It's not his problem and I guess Kathy is just out of luck. I said a judge would consider that arrearage. He said he doubted it since the money came out of his check. But, I said, I notified you of an issue and you refuse to resolve it. He said whatever and took Emily and left. Em gave me a huge hug and she walked off with him looking like she was going to the guillotine. I told him if he pulls "SHIT" like this again, Emily would not be going with him. He said, WHATEVER and left.
Yes State of IL, this is definitely in Emily's best interest. Everyones life is MUCH better now. My kids love it when Brian threatens to kabosh vacations. They love it when he acts like an ass to me. None of us can stand him so we do try to make some merriment out the situation. My brother says he looks like an overgrown Barney Rubble. So, sometimes we call him Barney. There are times I feel like putting his name on "Dontdatehimgirl" but I figure someone, somewhere down the line will do it for me. Now that he's not dating little cop girl anymore, perhaps she'll do it or upload his picture and send it to the dating police.
I guess my biggest issue is, he always gets away with it. Girls let him move in with them, drive their car, and spend their money. He uses them like toilet paper and they are gone when they either start to catch on or he has moved on to the next victim. Every relationship he participates in benefits him in some way. With the one he cheated on me with, he got a job. Her daddy owned the electric company he was working for. That resulted in an Apprenticeship for Brian. An Apprenticeship usually takes years to achieve. He did it in a year. Coincidence? I think not. So, after two years, daddy's girl is gone. Onto the next one. Whoever that was, I do not know. Didn't last too long. After court, he was sickly sweet and nice to ME. Hmm, what did I have to offer? Emily of course, and he was 10G's in arrears. Wouldn't it be nice if Kathy forgot the arrearage. Kathy didn't. :) Now, I'm the witch on wheels. Then there was his neighbors wife. Don't think that got too far. Her husband was none too happy about that. Finally, there was cop girl. That relationship got him a neato car to drive and a place to hang his hat. Since neighbors husband was probably shooting him daggers, he wanted out of his parents place right quick. He meets cop girl and two weeks later, he's moved into her place. New GF has a townhome. Brian needs a place to bring Emily and I'm sure he's moving his stuff in as we speak. Apartments are expensive. He has no money and he's impulsive. There ya have it, another soft place to land. Another unsuspecting victim. The cycle continues. I would just love to see one whap with the Karma stick, just ONE. I feel like a terrible person for wishing that it happens soon. Sometimes Justice is just too slow.
Here's a game someone sent me. Go ahead and blow off a bit of your work day.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Ya'all weren't with me on my blatant opposition to the smoking ban. But, you all said, "SMOKING IS SO BAD FOR YOU and your smoke *cough cough* is making me sick! We could all DIIIIIEEEE" I would like to clarify that I am an EX smoker nor am I PRO cigarette. I would prefer that my children not make the choice to smoke someday but if if toking a smoke is the worst thing they ever do, I will consider myself a successful parent. I told ya'all that if you allow the ban and high taxation of cigarettes, sooner or later the government will ban something YOU like. We don't want to open that box, I said, business owners in America should have the choice as to how they want to run their own business. We, as Americans, should have the choice whether we want to patronize that business or go elsewhere. Is that not Capitalism? As a volunteer for the American Cancer Society, I took issue with them when they spouted that employees have no choice. Pardon me but they do. Thank you Mr. Big Brother ACS and Government but as a former Restaurant Manager, I can tell you that 80% of service industry workers smoke and do worse. I can also tell you that on every city block, there is a food establishment of some kind. Turnover is high in the service industry. Those people are finding work somewhere. Do we really need the government to take control of those choices? Do we want the Government telling us how to live? Apparently those of you in my state said, YES. PLEASE MR. GOVERNMENT! SAVE US FROM OURSELVES! WE'RE OBVIOUSLY TOO DUMB! So folks, thanks to you we now have a proposed BOTTLED WATER BAN!!! Cook County is thinking about banning the sale of bottled water. Not only are they banning it, they are admonishing anyone who buys it calling them perpetrators of Global Warming and dental caries (No flouride in BOTTLED water) and FOR THE CHILDREN (God, I hate that phrase) we must STOP this travesty before it's too late and all your kids drown in a pool of salt water with the polar bears and have bad teeth.
I am seething at this. Of all things, bottled water has now entered the axis of evil along with the smokes, the beer and the cigars. Shame on you all for buying such an evil product. SHAME SHAME SHAME You should all hang your heads for what you have done to America's children. Now, all you evil bottled water drinkers are killing us all too. How does that feel? I can't wait to see the coroners report and hear the statistics of how many people are dying from Second Hand Bottled Water! But we must do this for the children folks. We must squelch your right to free speech with PC rules. We must curb your terrible smoking, water drinking, McDonald's eating ways. We must make sure there are no trans fats in your fries because we all know evil restaurant establishments make you eat the bad food. We must do this all because our children are SUFFERING!! YES..THERE THEY ARE. America's children are suffering and we need to put freedom and our parenting in a box and let the Government raise our children for us. Let me make a prediction that in the coming years, if you all don't speak up, that there will be more bans on twinkies, gum (bad for teeth..global warming..blah blah blah), extraordinary taxes on any food not considered "healthy", limitations on speech, limitations on how a parent can discipline a child, neighbor tattling on neighbor, more ridiculous lawsuits and censorship.
For anyone that hasn't read Orwell's "1984", I urge you to. Newspeak, Big Brother, Children telling authorities on their parents, we see examples of this every day in the news. Al Sharpton wanting to make using the "N" word a hate crime, a child that was asked pointed questions about her parents including details on how much they drink and their system of discipline then had the DCFS called on them as a result, socialized medicine, the banning of the Chief at the U of I, a lawsuit filed by a neighbor against a man in CA for smoking in his own backyard and she smelled it (HORRORS!), carseats until your children are 80lbs, seatbelt laws.. It's wrong. People, I have a really good idea. Mind your own business. If you don't want to be in a smokey bar, go to the one that doesn't allow it. If you don't want to eat a Big Mac, don't go to McD's but don't impose how you live on others because chances are, someone in Govt thinks you're wrong too. Before anyone gets all rattled, I'm not speaking of murder, child abuse and dire circumstances. I'm talking about your right to live your life and manage it on your own with your own, good or bad choices. Mistakes are how we learn. Autonomy as a human being is important to your emotional health.
In the meantime, I think you can make tons of money buying and redistributing cigarettes from Russia, importing bottled water from across county lines and having your own tobacco plants. What do you think?
******END OF SOAPBOX******
Friday, October 05, 2007
Last night, I watched a bit of the Cubs game. Why I put myself through such self abuse, I really don't know. I'm a long time Cubs fan. The first time I sat through a game and made a conscious effort to pay attention, I was about 12. Hermann Franks was manager. Jack "Hey Hey" Brickhouse was announcer. Oddly enough, the first baseball game I ever attended was at Comiskey: The Sox vs Someone or other. I was 6 and couldn't tell Home Plate from a Home Run. I was also bored .... to.... tears and asked question upon question throughout the whole game. If I wasn't about 6 years old, I'm sure the guy and his son sitting in front of us, would have made me a permanent part of the infield. I remember a grand slam during that game which didn't faze me an iota. I was so ready to go home. So, after that game, I left thinking baseball was well, BORING and had no interest in it until puberty when I noticed that the men looked pretty darn good in those tight pants. Yes, embarrassing to say, I started watching baseball because I had a crush on the Cubs second baseman and no it wasn't Ryno at the time. I started watching every chance I got and then the unthinkable happened! The Cubs traded my second baseman to, of all teams, the White Sox. My dad came home laughed at me and said, who is your team now? I said, GO CUBBIES!! I was hooked as a Cub fan. If adolescent hormones couldn't break that bond, nothing could. Here I am 20 some years later, still going through that agony.
I am no fair weather fan. When I was watching, Bobby Bonds was playing first base. Some guy named Junior Kennedy was at Short and some handlebar mustached dude with about a 10. ERA, named Dick Tidrow, may have been their best pitcher. They had no pitching. They had no fielding and they had no fans. My mother took us on Tuesdays, Ladies Day. We paid about 5 bucks to sit in the grandstand and usually that 5 bucks bought us our own section. There were a few people in the bleachers and a few in the box seats behind Home Plate. The camera men were so skilled at finding pockets of people that you would think Wrigley was jammed with people. There was no one. We moved up to the $$ seats (15 dollars) and no one said a word.
It was pretty much par for the course that the Cubs were going to lose. We celebrated every victory and if they lost, well it was the Cubs. It was what we as fans came to expect. It was comfortable like an old shoe, an old shoe with holes in it maybe but an old shoe nonetheless. Our world series consisted of fighting the Mets to stay out of the basement position. .333 win average for the year was par for the course. .500 was UNTHINKABLE. We dreamed about being in contention. We never expected it would ever happen. I related to my Cubs as I went through teen years. I guess they reminded me of me, struggling along, the underdog, lots of angst, a loser. Then there was 1984 and my Cubs were never the same again. All of the sudden, Cubs fans came out of closets, basements, ceilings and Comiskey field. I watched them clinch the Division against the Pittsburg Pirates and it was the most exciting part of my Senior Year. I was revved. This was going to be THE YEAR! IT had been ages. I listed to the story about the goat and the jinx and the gypsy curse. I looked forward to the playoffs. CLeared the family TV so I could watch. Who would have thunk the Gypsy curse would have been Steve Garvey? The Cubs were clobbered. I was heart broken. Then there was 1989. It would be different. They were going to do it this time!! They were clobbered. I was heartbroken again. I lost track of my Cubs for a time, a long time. Tickets that were oh so plentiful in the early 80's were hard to come by. I didn't really have time to watch the games but kept an ear to the news to see how they were doing. Then there was 2003. I decided to risk it. I watched the playoffs. The Cubs were leading 3-1. 3-1!! Odds were on our side. We were going to WIN THAT SERIES and this was going to be OUR YEAR! FINALLY! But as soon as I started thinking that, I caught myself. These are the Cubs we're talking about and memories of 84 and 89 ran through my brain. I saw Moses Alou go for that ball. I saw the Shortstop in that game baubble something routine. I saw my old Cubs right there. The team I knew and loved once again playing in such a way that my sons Little League team may have beaten them. And Bartman, poor Bartman was the new goat so I guess now we can say we let a Goat into Wrigley after all. And I was heartbroken again.
So, here it is 2007. The Cubs won their Division and failed to show up to the playoffs since they are now 0-2. Can they pull it off and win 3 straight at Wrigley? Odds are no and I don't even dare hope. There's a part of me that wishes that it will all go back to the way it was in the 70's and 80's. My team was a loser but I could count on that. Victories were surprises and losses were expected. It was safe. It's often said that a person who is abused everyday is psychologically better off than a person who is abused some days. Why? because the person who is abused everyday, knows what to expect and when to expect it. Am I saying being a Cubs fan these days is like being an abused child? In a way, yes! Battered and beaten, we eat a ton of crow. Since 1984, my Cubs aren't my Cubs anymore. But I'll watch this weekend while I practice saying "Wait until next year!"
Monday, October 01, 2007
"If you have received this message, your son/daughter was not prepared to begin class today, either by not having the literature book or not being on task after class began.
Students who do not have materials to participate in class will miss out on the class lesson.
Mrs. Kris's English Teacher "
I did have to arrange a meeting with another of Kris's teachers because my son is getting a D+, yes...a D+!! in one of his classes and a C+ in BAND!!! For the love of pete, all he has to do is show up to Band and he gets an A! So, here's the story: A couple weeks ago, Kris informed me on Sept 13th that the band was to appear at an NIU football game on the 15th. Well that just didn't work out. He had to be at the high school at 5:30am. I had an open house at the University I'm applying to, guests in town, tickets for an event and no one to pick him up from school at 7:30 in the evening. That's OK mom, he said, just write a note explaining that we already have plans for the day which he had me write at 5:30AM the following morning. So, guess what my little Einstein DIDN'T turn in to the teacher. Yes, that's right! That 5:30am note is still sitting in his notebook and Kris gets a big 0 for the gig. Double GAH!! Kicked him in the ass for that one and of course get a ton of static about how none of it is HIS fault. Now, I would love to hear how it isn't his fault because I really need a laugh today. But, I shut him up before he stuck his Reebok in his teenage mouth. He huffed downstairs where Cassie was playing PS2 and for the first time in his life was too pissed at me to hound her. An hour later he comes upstairs and asks me if he can go to his buddy's house for an hour which I ok'd as long as he practiced trumpet and studied for quiz after dinner. Off to work I go, and at 5:10, right as I'm about to leave to get Em from daycare, I get am IM from coworker and from a vendor which I told him I'd have to take on my cell on the way to get the baby. At that very moment, Cassie, sweet innocent Cassie, comes trouncing upstairs wanting to leave to go on a bike ride to nowhere in particular. No, I say. I'm about to leave. I don't want you riding around the neighborhood while I'm gone. WELL YOU LET KRIS LEAVE!! IT'S NOT FAIR!! I DIDN'T GET TO DO ANYTHING YESTERDAY (her fault but another story)!! As, I was running out the door because I was late to get the baby, had no idea what to make for dinner and needed to call a vendor back on an expedite, Cassie was screaming at me and then threw a pen at the door when I left which I reamed her for. If I hadn't have been in a hurry, she'd have a permanent shoe print her butt right now. She lucked out. Nevertheless, while I was on the phone with the vendor, Cass called seven, yes SEVEN TIMES and left 3 messages about how unfair it was.. TRIPLE GAH!!!
So now it's after dinner. THe kitchen is still a mess. The dishwasher is still not emptied out. My son hasn't practiced trumpet OR studied for his quiz. The baby got blue popsicle all over everything. Cassie has given me grief because I wouldn't let her open a cheesecake thingy I bought. The baby needs a bath. I need to study words for the GRE and it's the end of the day and don't feel like it. I wish in my next life I come back as a spoiled housecat. Molly is sitting here, not a care in the world.
I hear screaming. Time to go before the blood flows.
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Too much out happened to catch everyone up on why the long absence. We'll just say there was an interruption in my life and everything changed and I'm still trying to get used to it. That said, I turned 40 yesterday. They say it's a milestone, well at least AT&T did when they congratulated me on my milestone birthday and then added an "Oh by the way, we're raising the cost of your life insurance policy. You'll see the added deduction on your next paycheck." Thanks Guys! Got such a warm fuzzy from that. AT&T and it's death star logo *sigh* just melts my heart with their caring. And thanks to my brother and sister, outside was a nice sign announcing my midlife blues to my friends and neighbors along with 30 wooden beer stein thingys. But, the neighbors had a laugh and laughs are worth a fortune. Now, I am debating how I should show my midlife crisis to the world. I'm too broke for a Porche and a 22 year old. Perhaps a haircut and a bottle of hair dye would do just fine. So, here's to a new decade! If anyone wants to donate the Porche and the 22 year old, I'll take it!