Monday, December 31, 2007

An Unsolicicted, Unwanted Blast from the Past

So today, on the cusp of the new year, I received a mysterious e-mail. It was from a girl that I haven't talked to - or thought about - in over 20 years. Growing up, she was my neighbor, sort of the required friend. We never really had a lot in common. She was beautiful, blonde, preppy and painfully shy. I was the mousy, nearly invisible, bookish, smart rebel. I wasn't in to Bryan Adams and she couldn't stand the Ramones - enough said, right?
Her mother was my worst nightmare. Imagine June Cleaver on uppers and you have the idea. Plus she was the super nosy neighbor into everyone's business whether you wanted her to be or not. I guess since my parents got divorced and I lived for some time with my dad, I became her "pet" project - much to my perpetual dismay.
Highschool wasn't a highlight of my life - it isn't a period that I ever want to revisit or God -forbid relive. It's like that video from Iron Maiden - "Wasted Years". High school was my wasted years. I feel sorry for people who view that time of their lives as their prime. Not me. I'm at my best and mostly happiest right now. There really aren't too many people from that time in my life that i would care to reacquaint myself with or give them the obligatory 20 year update on what a success my life is. I could give a damn what they think, you know?
So imagine my horror to receive the 20 year reunion e-mail today. And from my former neighbor of ALL people. This is the girl who was little more than a blonde lemming who didn't even invite me to swim in - MY OWN POOL- with her preppy friends. I'm going to get right on that 20 year reunion thing..... yeah.....

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Big Changes in the New Year

I don't know about everyone else, but it so hard for me to believe that another year has passed by. It seemed like 2007 dragged by in the beginning, but the end of the year has just flown. Anyone else feel that way?
I wish that I could say that I am looking forward to the new year ahead, but with my husband gone so much of the time, it's hard to find things to look forward to. I guess those rare moments we can be together are one thing. At least he will be here for New Years, which is more than I can say for last year.
Anyhow, with the new year upon us, I plan on making some big personal changes, not the least of which will be diet and exercise related. I'd like to lose 30 pounds this year, but I am keeping that quiet so that it's a personal goal and I don't feel the pressure of living up to anyone's expectations but my own. I can't remember when the last time my husband told me he thought I looked beautiful was. How sad is that?It would be so nice to have him look at me and see that spark in his eye. We love one another, but sometimes I wish that newness - you know the look of lust that you have when your relationship is new? I wish that was still there.
I am also paying off all my credit card debt. No more debt. I want to be able to pay my credit cards off in full at the end of every month. I want to be more financially responsible and actually start saving for my future, and for my children's future.
In the long run, I guess I have high hopes for 2008 as far as personal growth, I just don't expect much on the happiness front. How good can it be when my husband is going to be gone 200+ days out of 365?
I hope that the rest of you have a happy, healthy new year!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

I Used to Think....

that Strep Throat were the two most feared words in the English language. My oldest daughter seemed to get it at the drop of a hat. Finally they took her tonsils and adnoids out and it seemed that my nightmare was over. For a while anyway.....

Now, the most feared word in the English language is----- (can you feel the suspense building??) CROUP! Yes, my youngest has Croup. I hate the barking cough, the rattle that is so scary to listen to while they try to breathe. It's just downright scary.

The best thing about Croup? Well, there really isn't a whole lot you can do for it. Of course there is the tried and true steam bath. Today my doctor recommended opening her window tonight to let the cold air in. HELLO??? We live in Connecticut. That is SO not happening. What is this guy thinking? So he suggested that we take her for a ride in the car with the window down. I would tell you that I still think he was crazy but you know what? It genuinely seemed to help.

So now she is sleeping with the humidifier running. I hope that will be enough to ward of the yucky, nasty sounding mess but, being a realist, I am planning on going to bed early.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Sometimes Kids Do the Darndest Things...

Yesterday I was at my keyboarding happily typing away on my latest project. My youngest was asleep, my husband was asleep. No, it wasn't the middle of the night, in fact, it was the middle of the day - go figure. But hey, who can argue with free, quiet time to write?
At any rate my oldest arrives home from school. She quietly eats her after school snack and then comes upstairs. Uh-oh. This is it - the end of my writing zen. She said, " Mom, do you think that you could come and help me with something important?" Well, that leaves no room for no, so of course I tell her that I will gladly help. The keyboard gets a much needed rest and if it could, my computer would have breathed a sigh of relief.
So I go into my daughters room and ask her what it is that she needs help with. She said, " Well you know mom, I've been thinking..." ( Alarm bells begin ringing...) " I have so many wonderful things and some children have nothing. Especially at this time of year, it makes me so sad. Do you think that you could help me clean out some of my things and we could donate them?" What?? Where is my child? Oh wait - there she is, looking at me in earnest with those big green eyes of hers. In that moment I am so proud of her.
Of course I tell her I will help. We calmly and concisely go through all her stuffed animals and she chooses over half to "make new friends". She hugs and kisses each one and asks me to reaffirm that they will all go to good and loving homes - no one will poke their beaded eyes or anything like that. I duly nod and affirm that they will.
Then we move on the games, the polly pockets, and so many other things. She carefully selects those things that are nice but that she doesn't play with anymore. I went downstairs - got two boxes and we boxed it all up together. When we are done, she looks at me and says, " I hope that this will help bring a Christmas smile to children who might not otherwise have one..." and in that moment, just like the Grinch, my heart "grew three sizes that day."

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Why I Need SO Much More Than Calgon

Honestly, with my children lately it seems like I could use a years' supply of Calgon. What is it about the holidays that bring out the best and worst in all our children?

My daughters are both such beautiful people - inside and outside. Usually they are so loving with one another, but the excitement of the holidays brings out the worst in everyone and sadly, my children are no exception. They seem to bicker over every little thing, yell at one another and speak harshly. I look at them and wonder where my sweet little girls have gone.

Sometimes I feel like I could be yelling at concert level decibels and still not be heard. I hate yelling. I have tried speaking in a more quiet manner, using consequences etc.... but right now none of it seems to work. I guess just in all honestly nothing in my life seems to be working.

The good news is at least the furnance is fixed. The guy from the oil company thinks ( or I should say thought) that I'm an oversensitize fruit ... but hey. He came out to fix the furnace. I was explaining to him the noise that it was making. SO he calmly turns on the burner and says, " Is that it? Is that the noise that it is making?" HELLO?? No, that's not the noise it's making, I GET that furnaces make a noise when they start up, I may be female but I'm not a complete idiot when it comes to machinery. I wanted to hit him over the head with my screwdrivers and yell, " I fixed my refrigerator you know..."

Anyhow, as if on cue, the furnace starting making the noise that I was actually talking about. He rolls his eyes and says, " Oh yeah, that's not normal." Guess what? A piece of carbon had made it's way onto the nozzle so that the oil wasn't lighting right away. Guess I'm not such an oversensitized fruit after all. Ok, so maybe I am, but I certainly felt vindicated where the repairman was concerned.

Now if only my children were so easy to fix. I'm off to shovel the driveway. AGAIN. CALGON, can you just send a delivery truck? You know the equivalent of an oil tanker to my house? I'll be outside shoveling.....

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Furnace Repair, No e-mail, one black tooth and a patrdidge in a pear tree....

It's been one of those weeks. First of all my furnace has been making a terrible noise for some time now. I fret about it because I am overly sensitive to sound, especially anything to do with the heat or the pipes. The other day my furnace actually vibrated. Yeah. Not good. We have a maintenance plan so they are coming out to check it tomorrow. My oil guy says it sounds like it might be a problem with the pressure gage. Cross your fingers because that is easily fixed and covered by my maintenance agreement.

I haven't had any e-mail from my husband since Sunday so I don't know what is up with that. I woke up SUnday morning thinking I hit the mother load - 3 e-mails! Two of them were for our daughters. Sweet but not really helpful if you know what I mean.

Finally, Kaylee has had a wiggly tooth for about three weeks now. I mean, it has been ready to come out any minute now, but she has nursed it along. The end result is that her tooth was hanging on by a thread and turning black. Yuck. I had to take her to the dentist to have it removed. It cost me almost $50 out of pocket but SO worth it! If you could have seen that horrible thing in my beautiful baby's face. It was terrible. Fortunately, it's gone now and she is feeling much better. She actually enjoyed dinner tonight because she was able to chew!

I'm not really interested in the partridge or the pear tree ( we actually have one in our backyard.) Getting through the holiday without a major disaster - yeah, that's what I'm talking about.

I'm Bushed!!!

I was so incredibly tired last night that I fell asleep without sleep aides for the first time in over two weeks . It felt good to have a natural, deep sleep. I even had a dream, not that I can remember anything specific about it, only that I dreamed.

Last night was the kids Christmas party for the boat. I have to say that considering we threw it together in two weeks time, I think it was a resounding success! We had cookies to decorate, ornaments to paint, cards to make, a christmas list for santa, gifts to make for daddy, and of course, a visit from the big man himself - complete with books for all! It was great! My daughters had a wonderful time and the look on my Emily's face when Santa called her to receive her book was just priceless!!

Kaylee, my oldest, actually took Santa a handful of cookies as he was leaving - "for the road"! She cracks me up! I was up to my eyeballs in fabric paint for most of the night. We did reindeers on t-shirts for Daddy by using foot and handprints. They really came out cute! My daughters did a pillowcase as I'm sure my hubby wouldn't be wearing his reindeer on the boat, but probably will use the pillow case.

I also got some great candid shots of all the children just having a good time. To see their faces light up with joy during such a hard time for them means so much! My daughters take it really hard when their daddy is gone. They know that life goes on and that he will come home, but like me, they miss him something fierce! I was actually so busy painting last night, that for a while, I forgot my own cares and worries. For all the grumbling and everything I did about putting the party together on such short notice, I'm really glad that I was invovled.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

From the Thrill of Victory to the Agony of stay at home motherdom

Today was just one of those days. Emotionally I was all over the page: ecstatic, angry, sad, proud, discouraged, lonely and frustrated. I'm sure there are a few that I missed.....
I heard from my husband today. His crew got an excellent on their latest evaluation which is just HUGE. I am so excited about it and so proud of him. When something like this goes so well, it almost makes the time away meaningful somehow. I know it was such a tremendous relief for him and now, hopefully, he will be able to enjoy our family and our holiday time together.
On the downside... my daughters. My goodness, I have no idea what is with them today. If I didn't know better I would think that some changelings came in the middle of the night and took my children. They were both so miserable and full of drama today. It seems liked the entire morning was one big constant battle over a game, a barbie, a snack, who sat where.... in short, they argued over everything and it is making me CRAZY.
My dad used to have a friend that he played poker with while he was in Korea. Anyhow, one day Slav ( the friend) asked my dad for a loan. My dad said, " Slav, what's the money for?" to which Slav replies, " My wife needs a vacation from my kids..." Oh boy can I relate to how she must have felt. I love my children but today, I could really use a vacation.
When they argue and bicker like that, I feel like such a failure as a mother. Almost like they haven't heard a word I said. Then my oldest daughter said the word " damn" today and that made me feel like shit. I know she got that from me, my cursing just gets awful when their father is gone. I really need to work on it. So, today thrilled for my husband.... devastated over my own short comings as a mom. Ever have that kind of day??

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Some Thoughts On Firsts

My friend Tanya runs one of my favorite groups on Cafemom, it's called Soul Journey. Anyhow, a couple of days ago, she wrote a post about powerful first that happen in our lives and she wanted us to share. Tonight I wanted to share some firsts from my life that changed everything.

I can remember the first time I told him that I loved him. I had to do it in a letter. As usual, the words just wouldn't come any other way. He was my best friend. He had been for over three years and I was scared. You know, butterflies in the stomach, sweaty palms, and feeling like you are going to barf any minute scared. I was worried that he didn't feel the same way. I was concerned that by telling him how I felt, it would change our friendship forever and not for the better.

It all started with a song. Everyone that is important to me in my life has a song. Weird, I know but true. He asked what his song was. It's Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses by U2. He asked me to explain, which I did in the letter. Here are some words from the song, for those who may not know it:
You're dangerous 'cause you're honest
You're dangerous, you don't know what you want
Well you left my heart empty as a vacant lot
For any spirit to haunt

You're an accident waiting to happen
You're a piece of glass left in a beach
Well, you tell me things I know you're not supposed to
Then you leave me just out of reach

Who's gonna ride your wild horses?
Who's gonna drown in your blue sea?
Who's gonna ride your wild horses?
Who's gonna fall at the foot of thee?

Well you stole it 'cause I needed the cash
And you killed it 'cause I wanted revenge
Well you lied to me 'cause I asked you to
Baby, can we still be friends?

Anyhow, I was the one who fell at his feet. I prostrated myself with words finally telling him how I felt and I waited breathlessly, hopelessly for his response, agonizing over whether I had done the right thing.

We went to the mall. I thought that had to be the kiss of death. He wanted to buy a shirt. So we went and got the shirt. We spent hours driving around, talking about everything and nothing all the while ignoring the elephant in the car so to speak. Finally, he mentioned the letter. " I read your letter", he said. He leaned over took my hand, looked into my eyes with those brown eyes of his and said, " I love you too." That night we had our first kiss. I will never forget it. It was on the beach. "You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth" by Meatloaf was playing. That kiss was full of hope, promise, dreams, the future.... With that kiss, my life began. It was like being reborn.

From that day to this, my love for my husband has never wavered, never faltered. Yes, we have our arguments, disappointments, disagreements, but through it all he remains my twin flame, my other self. It's wonderful to think about these precious moments and reflect on them in my heart. I can never get those firsts back, but I think of the others that we have had, and still others yet to come.

All can be traced back to these. Sorry to wax poetic tonight, but he is weighing so heavily on my heart today. Wherever you are my darling Robert, I love you with all my heart, and I always will.

Monday, December 3, 2007

All I Want for Christmas is..... A Power Generator??

I have come to the conclusion that I have a compulsive/obsessive personality disorder. I worry over anything and everything - and I don't just worry - I really do obsess about things. Every time I hear water running in my house it causes a major disturbance. The other day I was in my downstairs bathroom and I could hear water. It sounded like it was in the walls and I was freaking out! I started looking everywhere for the water... only to discover that it was my coffee maker. Yeah. That's a little over the top, isn't it??
So when my mom and my step dad were here, they asked me what my emergency plan for losing power in the winter was. We have no fireplace ( they aren't viewed as efficient here) so there is no other way to get heat. I had never given it a thought to be honest. I mean, in the year that I have lived here, we may have lost power for a total of 30 minutes and that is really stretching it! So I hadn't worried about that, until they brought it up. One ice -storm, no heat, broken pipes everywhere.... you get the imagery, I'm sure.
So today, we actually lost power for about three hours. No big deal. It was 48 degrees out so I wasn't too worried. Ok, that's a total lie. I was panicked beyond all reason, but I held it together. Still, what if it had been the middle of the night? And colder? And my pipes burst? ( Can you tell that broken pipe is a trauma that I will probably never recover from??) So this year, I'm asking Santa for a power generator that will run my heater in the event of an outage. Am I totally insane? Probably. But if it takes one thing of my to worry about list - so be it. Of course it will just add new worries like what if the generator blows up? What if I can't start the damn thing? What if noxious fumes kill us all while we sleep? Honestly I could go on for hours but what's the point? If I die from noxious fumes, at least my pipes probably wont' freeze.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

The search for words....

Have you ever gone so long without writing that you suddenly find you have nothing to say? That's the way I've been feeling lately. It's almost as if the ability to write, if not used every day, becomes a clogged bit of machinery -simply to tired and rusty to continue. So today, I make a point to search for the words and find something to say. Without the ability to write, I fear I would also lose myself entirely.

My sister in law told me a story recently that I guess best encapsulates this fear from me. Her mother in law is living with them now. She is elderly and sadly suffering from a very bad case of Alzheimers. I am told that her symptoms are always bad but she seems to get more disorientated at night. At any rate the idea of forgetting my loved ones was my greatest fear until I heard of something worse. Kay, the woman I am speaking of, has Alzheimers so bad that she is even forgetting the meaning of words. It isn't bad enough that she doesn't realize that my brother in law is her son, she no longer understands what the word son means.

I can't imagine living in a world without words. I can't fathom having to search through the void to find their meaning. All my life the words have been my friend. They have been there to comfort me when no one else could. I write to express myself and clean the cobwebs out so to speak. If I ever lost that ability, my life would truly be over.

In those moments that I want to tell people how I really feel - especially when the emotion is difficult or intense - my tongue gets thick and my words won't come. I have no other option but to write them down. My fingers don't have an issue getting the words out when my tongue refuses to work. My fingers fly across the keyboard getting all those powerful emotions out. But if they had to struggle to remember the meaning of the words... that for me is the equivalent of Dante's worst level of hell - frozen, impotent and forgotten.