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Monday, April 14, 2008

The best sound in the world

The best sound that you will ever hear is that of your own children laughing. This occurred to me tonight as I was on my hands and knees cleaning up another massacre, ahem, I mean dinner mess. There I am, in my own world picking corn up off the floor and I realize that my kids are belly laughing at each other in the playroom. I almost cried, right there, with a hand full of corn. For me, it was like the whole world stopped and it was just me sitting there listening to them laugh in the next room. And they had no idea that I was listening so intently to them, which made it even better. This is one of the things that make me love being a mom. I know they will not always be each other's best friend and that right now it's only really out of necessity because they're too young to have any other friends, but I am going to enjoy it while I can. They just make it so darn easy!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Run Forest!

One of my goals for 2008 is to run a 5k. I don't know why I came up with this particular goal, but now I'm really serious about it. I even found this website that tells you how to go from the "couch to 5k". That sounded about right. I jogged last summer for exercise, but in November, it just got too dang cold for me to be out there. And I don't feel like I get a workout on a treadmill. It could be that our treadmill is about 30 years old, but that's all we have, so it's just not working for me. So I went all winter without even exercising at all. So I pretty much consider myself a beginner again. I was up to 3 miles last year and a 5k is only 3.1 miles, so I figure this isn't a huge stretch. I don't expect to do well; in fact, I expect to come in dead last, but I don't even care. At least I will have done it.

So I was finally able to get out yesterday morning and I was even able to wear a short sleeved shirt because it was so nice. Even at 6:30am, it was pretty warm for April. I jogged about .2 mile and walked the rest of the way. I felt like such a loser! Today I got out, though it was chilly and I had to wear a jacket, I managed. I probably jogged close to a mile and then walked the rest of the way. So I'm going in the right direction at least. According to the website, tomorrow is supposed to be my resting day, thank heavens! My legs hurt so bad (the good hurt, like when you have gotten a good workout). My muscles are probably in shock right now, wondering what the heck is going on. But that's OK. They'll get used to it soon. I predict by next weekend, they'll get over it. I just hope the weather stays nice enough to get out. I really can't go back to that treadmill. I've nearly fallen off of that thing numerous times. True story!

Saturday, April 12, 2008


Can you honestly say you like your in-laws? I can, but they are definitely frustrating sometimes. My husband and I grew up in very different ways. I grew up in a small town where nothing ever happened. I was very sheltered from the world in general. Kathie always portrayed the family as wealthy, however, I don't know if this was really just a front (they could have been in major debt for all I know). I went to Catholic school all my life and was pretty much just a status symbol to Kathie, as were my 2 brothers. Everything was a show for her. So we all had to be dressed to the nine, extremely clean, and well behaved 24/7. I wasn't allowed to get dirty or go into certain rooms in the house. As I watch my own kids grow from babies to independent kids, I am realizing that the way I grew up was very strange. How could any mother not let their kids play in the dirt? Or smash cake all over their face at their first birthday? But I digress...My husband grew up in a rough city without tons of money. He had to fight kids in order to play in his neighborhood. He went to city schools and the stories he tells me just astound me. I get sick and think I could never send my kids to a school like that (I don't care what I had to do to get the money to move out of a school district like that). So, like I said, very different childhoods.

So I can understand the way my in-laws are and I try very hard to be open to their opinions, beliefs, and actions. After all, life would be very boring if everyone was the same, right? But sometimes they make it very difficult. They live about 25 minutes away from us and about 10 minutes away from my husband's sister. His sister, as a bit of background, is pretty much a train wreck at this point. She has twin 3-year-old girls to her ex-husband (this would be ex-husband #2). The reason he's an ex is because she was seeing some other guy behind his back. So after they divorced, she got pregnant by this other guy (who, by the way, has a wife a child and his wife is pregnant). I'm convinced she tried to get pregnant, but I really have no proof...doesn't really matter anyway. So she thinks this new guy is going to leave his wife and marry her. But he didn't. No, instead, he started beating her up (in front of the children, no less). She stayed with him for a while, but finally left him. He's currently trying to get 50% custody of their child and doesn't pay child support. So now she's a single mother of 3 kids and makes probably $12/hour. She always complains about how she can't afford anything. However, she always gets a large tax return ($8000 last year) and ALWAYS does something stupid with it. Last year, she bought herself a diamond ring ($2000) and bought a pool that she is now trying to sell because of all of the work that is involved. This year she took her new boyfriend to Vegas. Hello? I'm thinking maybe you should buy food or pay your gas bill or something smart at least!

So I guess my in-laws feel sorry for her or something because they are ALWAYS saying how hard she has it and how tough it is for her. Um, excuse me? Did she not bring these things on herself? OK, she definitely didn't deserve to get hit, but everything else she pretty much could have predicted if she had just used her brain! My in-laws run over to her house every time she calls. Literally. Every time. They have given her tons of money and groceries. They babysit for her constantly. She only has them every other weekend, but she still seems to drop them off at my in-laws when she does have them. I just don't get it. They only come to see us about once a month (because it's just so far...yea, 25 minutes is crazy!) and they normally stay 2 hours max. They were here today and literally stayed for 2 hours. They made up some excuse as to why they had to leave, but we saw right through it. Doug's sister had called about 30 minutes before they "had to leave". We knew what was going on.

It saddens me. Not for me or even Doug, but for our kids. They don't understand why they hardly ever see their grandparents; they just know they don't see them that often. But they could see them so much more if the in-laws would just fix their priorities a little. If that were my daughter screwing up her life like that, I would cut her off, both financially and in the way of babysitting. If she were forced to go to the stinking grocery store by herself with her kids, she would do it. But she won't, and hasn't...ever. She has never gone ANYWHERE with those kids by herself. She calls my mother-in-law or my father-in-law. The one time they actually said no because they were out to dinner with friends, she had the audacity to be mad at them. What? They do have their own lives! But she has become so dependent on them (and they have been enabling her) that she literally thinks she's entitled. But they keep giving in to it. And none of them will listen to reason. It baffles me.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Life...and death

Do you ever think about what will happen to those in your life after you die? I've been thinking about this a lot lately. Not that I'm planning to check out any time soon, but I've been "sick" for a while and I feel like it's getting worse day by day. I don't know exactly what is making me ill, and I hope to find out at my appointment next week, but I know something is just not right. I'm exhausted 100% of the time, my hair is falling out, my brain is not functioning properly (I've been making way more mistakes than usual and tonight I even had trouble reading a story to my son), and now I have something in the back of my throat that feels like a lump. It's very painful to swallow and it just feels like "something" is there. It's definitely not just a sore throat you get when you are sick; this is different.

It would be quite ironic if I ended up with some type of cancer. I mean, Kathie (the person who calls herself my mom) spent 30 years drinking, smoking, and sitting out in the sun. I have done everything to keep myself healthy like staying out of the sun (except for those 3 months in the tanning booth before my wedding), I rarely drink, I've never inhaled anything (except the nasty second-hand smoke that smokers somehow think they're entitled to blow in my face), I eat pretty healthy, and I exercise regularly. So, I think it would be pretty unfair for me to get cancer instead of her. Not that I would wish the disease on anyone, and not saying that I even have it, but if I find out I do, I will be pretty bitter.

It's hard for me to think about my kids growing up without me. I know my husband would do an utterly stellar job raising them and I would rest easy knowing he is there for them. But it's hard for kids to have only one parent. I wish there was a way for people to communicate with those they love after they depart. If there was, I would talk to them all day, every day after I'm gone. I'd probably keep giving my husband a hard time from the grave as well. That's the only way he'll know it's actually me!

Life is funny. One minute, you're living like you have a hundred years to do everything and say everything you want. You take your time getting these things done because you think you can. But then one day, you fear that might not be the case and you finally realize there is some truth to the saying, "Live each day as if it were your last". This is where I think I am right now. Even though I really have no proof of anything and this may very well end up being something very simple and easy to fix, I still have this nagging feeling that I better start living...for real living. I want to be sure that no matter how this turns out, I have no regrets and everyone knows what I need them to know. It's not going to be easy, but then again, what in life really is?