Sunday, June 27, 2010

Seriously, who does this?

So, as most of my regular readers know, it is once again that time when my MIL graces us with her presence. I was starting to think that maybe, just maybe her visit wouldn't be SO bad this year. Oh how wrong I was...
So apparently, two days before coming here, she was supposed to go to her dentist and have a crown fixed on her tooth. Her entire bottom bridge is being held together by super glue and one tooth and crown is gone completely. Instead of taking care of this, she didn't bother to show up for her dentist appointment and now, guess what? Her face is swollen and her tooth is infected. What a shock. And now, we are looking at emergency action, which my husband and I will be out of pocket for, to fix this. Sigh. It truly never ends.
I don't mind when "shit happens". I get it, that's life. What I don't like is when preventable shit happens that people just didn't take care of when they were supposed to, thus making it someone else's problem. Not ok. 13 days and counting.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Aromatherapy and the Search for Quan

Have you ever noticed how certain smells can make you happy or bring back happy memories? I am a very scent driven person. I think if I couldn't smell my food, I wouldn't want to eat it. Making something smell delicious is half the battle when cooking.

I also like to change my perfume scent with the seasons of the year. I don't understand women who wear nothing but Chanel No. 5 all their lives. I like Chanel, don't get me wrong, but No. 5 smells like old lady to me. I prefer Coco or Chance. My favorite scent to wear lately is Light Blue by Dolce and Gabanna - it's citrusy - very light and full of summer. I also like Sunflowers, another summery scent.

Certain scents trigger memories - like the smell of new mown grass and honeysuckle always reminds me of home when I was a little girl. My husband smells like sunshine and salt water.

Believe it or not fresh laundry always makes me happy too, not just because I have successfully climbed Mount Washmore ( hey, I do have a family of four!) but because everything smells so fresh and clean. It's a wonderful feeling.

Today I am going to mop my floors. Clean wood always gives me that fresh feeling too. A clean slate - what a wonderful feeling!

I love to burn candles. I guess my favorite scent on the planet is Lilacs. It reminds me of my Dad - he had wild lilacs all around his house and they remind me of my brother because they were his favorite flower. Lilacs - so purple and fresh. I think Heaven must smell like Lilacs.

Is there a smell that makes you feel happy or brings back positive memories from your life? I think I am off to burn some Yankee Candle Lilac and Lemon and think of happier times.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Doomsday Approaches

There is no search for Quan this week, I'm too busy treading water just trying to stay afloat. My Mother in law arrives today - for 18 days. I'm already counting down.

I hope that this visit will be unlike her others, but I am preparing for the usual whirling dervish of drama and trips to the pharmacy. Ugh. I've been lethargic lately in preparations for her visit. I just can't get excited about it because every time I do, something horrific happens.

I've been trying to think about my Dad and the way that he raised me. I know that he would want me to be the best person that I can and that would include my behavior toward my mother in law. I hope that I won't let him down. I really try to be forgiving and understanding, but when she is here, I always have this elevated fight or flight feeling.

I am making plans to maximize the amount of time away from the house that I can possibly get. I need my space and some peace and quiet, neither of which are in long supply while she is around.

I love my husband, but I haven't really been connecting with him either. Father's day, memories of my Dad, this upcoming visit, it's all been swirling around in my head and leaves me feeling like I just need to get some air - some space - OUT!!!

A year ago, I spent my last father's day with my Dad. I miss him very much, still, every day. Sometimes I still dial his phone number. I hate that I wasn't there when he died, but I am glad that I was able to spend so much time with him prior to his going into the hospital.

I remember the day after Father's day last year, it was about ten o'clock at night and he was taking a shower. I heard him fall and immediately asked him if he needed help. I found him naked, face down on the floor, unable to find the strength to get himself up. My father, a man who was stronger than a sherman tank and invincible in my eyes, was as helpless as any of my babies had been. It broke my heart to see him like that, and worse, it broke his that I did. I will never forget that night. We came up with some strategies to help him so that it wouldn't happen again, but that moment has stayed with me.

I guess I never realized how adrift I would feel without him. He was my conscience and now I can only hear the things he used to say.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Gratitude and the Search for Quan

Gratitude is an absolutely essential part of being truly happy. After all, if we experience no sense of wonder, no appreciation for all the bountiful gifts in our life, happiness is almost impossible. A few years ago, my daughter and I started a Gratitude journal for the month of November. We picked one thing every day to be grateful for. Then, on Thanksgiving, we shared our journals with one another. This was such a beautiful, positive experience in both of our lives that it is a tradition our entire family continues.

When my husband was deployed, I used to have trouble sleeping. I found myself laying awake thinking over and over about all the things that could go wrong in my life. Maybe the roof will leak, maybe another pipe will break, what if the children get hurt, what if my bronchitis comes back? On and on the worries went until my anxiety played like a record player every night in my head. Then, I remembered my deep, untroubled sleep from my childhood. What was different? Was it really the responsibilities that were different? Or was there something I did as I child that I had somehow lost along the way?

When I was a child, I used to talk to God every night. About various things, my life, my family... whatever came to mind. Somewhere along the way, I lost that. So, I made a point to spend some time every night listing all the things that I had to be grateful for. There are SO many.
I have a wonderful husband who loves me and who I adore. We have an amazing life together in a beautiful home, with two beautiful, charming and intelligent little girls.
I have a mother who loves me and a father that loved me. I have wonderful friends who I know would be there for me if I really needed them.
I live in a safe corner of the world. I love what I do.
If you really think about it, there is a whole world to be grateful for. I look out into my yard and sometimes I see a little red fox that lives in the woods across the way. I am so grateful that I live on such a beautiful planet, so full of various life and that I get to experience that for even a day. I love the sun on my face, the wind in my hair, the smell of my flowers in bloom. All of these things are such a gift.

My mother always taught me to find something every day that brought me joy, even if it was something small. What a tremendous gift she gave me! A few years ago, when my pipe burst, I was up late at night with the technician while he fixed it. I kept saying to him, "I'm so glad that I was home when this happened, it could have been so much worse! I'm so lucky that my friend could be here with me so I wouldn't go through it alone while my husband is deployed. I'm glad that this only happened in my garage and not the kitchen." Etc.... He laughed at me and said that he had never met anyone so grateful for having something like this happen. It was a compliment really.

So if today you are looking for the happiness in your life, as we all do...remember all the wonderful things you have to be grateful for. Start small and go from there. Believe me, there is so much!

Gratitude - it is the wave.....

Friday, June 11, 2010

In Law Troubles?

My Mother in law descends on me in less than two weeks. It would be a tremendous understatement to say that I am not looking forward to her visit. Those of you that know me, or have been reading my blog for a while will understand. For those of you that don't. here is a brief synopsis. Apparently my MIL has cleaned up her act since the last time she was here, gotten her self off most of the mind altering prescription drugs that she was on, and I have been cautiously optimistic. Then I remember, that every time she comes, I get cautiously optimistic. THIS time things will be different, THIS time she will actually be a good grandmother, THIS time my children, my husband and I will all enjoy her visit. THIS time, I won't have to drive her to the pharmacy every other day. Yep, THIS time.....
However, then I am reminded that the definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again expecting a different result. SO THIS time, I'm preparing for the worst with no hope for the best. It dawned on me that like me, some of you probably also have in law problems, too. If so, please share some ways that you cope when your in laws descend on your family.
Right now I am planning book club, two mom's night out, actively trying to book Tastefully simple parties while she is here all to limit my exposure. Any other suggestions are so greatly appreciated. Lots of Baileys and wine is the standard, by the way so I have the alcohol escape covered - and note to self - I don't usually drink. What the hell does that tell you? HELP!