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Monday, September 29, 2008


So I'm getting nervous about our trip. I know people travel every day, but we don't. Doug and I haven't flown in 7 years (since our honeymoon) and we haven't even been on vacation in 3 years. I was nervous when I was just Doug and I, but it gets more complicated when we have 2 little kids.

For example, we're almost all packed, but what if we forget something important? I get that we're going to Florida and not some other planet where they won't be able to sell us anything we need, but to have to pay for something we forgot just doesn't fly with me. There's a lot of pressure for me to remember everything for everyone (and if you think this responsibility doesn't all fall onto the mother, you're sorely mistaken). Don't get me wrong, Doug is very good with this kind of stuff, but he's already sick of me talking about planning and packing, so he's probably not going to be the best help.

Then there's my in-laws. I'm beginning to wonder why we thought it was a good idea to have them come along. I have done a lot of planning to make sure the kids get to see what they want to see without having to stand in line all day (therefore, missing some things). However, my in-laws are so not about planning things. They'd rather just play it by ear, which is fine for them, but I have a bad feeling it's going to cause some tension. While I realize they can go do their own thing, they're also going to want to see the kids enjoying the rides. And this will put the kids in the middle as well because they're going to want to hang out with them.

Finally, and here's my big worry, I worry that something will happen...to the kids. Like getting lost or getting hurt. Heck, Doug and I lost each other in Target yesterday!!! We've discussed with Charlie what to do if he ever finds himself lost, but will he remember? Who knows! I feel a little better that we have 4 adults to 2 kids, but the possibility still exists for something to go wrong. I know it's unlikely, but it's still in the back of my mind.

While it seems I'm over-worrying, I really am very excited. I think we all need a vacation right now and I'm going to make sure we have a great time!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Are we there yet?

We are Disney bound next week (in exactly 10 days, to be precise, but who's counting)! And I can honestly say, after a grueling summer at work, that I am SO looking forward to leaving my work (both work work and housework) behind for a week. And what's even more exciting is that I will be turning 30 while we're there!!! And then when we get home, our son will turn 5. So lots of happiness going on around here in the next month. I think we're all ready for a huge dose of overloaded happiness as only Disney can do.

We will be going with my in-laws, which I'm hoping turns out to be more helpful than burdensome. With them, it could really go either way, but I think they'll be good. I know there will be a few rifts, though, because I'm a planner and the in-laws like to fly by the seat of their pants. When Doug and I went for our honeymoon in 2001, we didn't have any real plans in place. No dining reservations, nothing. It was nice, but my thought was, with kids, a little planning is needed. There are many things they want to ride and I'm sure they don't want to stand in line all day only to be able to actually get on 3 rides. But I've decided that if they don't like it, we can always split up. No harm no foul.

That's all for today. I have begun the "final countdown" (thanks Charlie for reminding me by singing this song every day)!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Losing Your Temperature

Last night, my 4-year-old told me that we needed to have a talk. He was very concerned about his 2-year-old sister wasting electricity. She just learned that if she stands on a step stool, she's tall enough to turn the light on and off. She prefers to turn them on and this drives my son nuts because he doesn't like waste. So we discussed that.

I then apologized for losing my temper earlier. He said, "That's OK, mommy. I lose my temperature a lot! Maybe we should talk about that next." He proceeded to educate me on what I should do the next time I lose my temperature and why the rules for losing your temperature are different for him.

This conversation was a real eye-opener for me. I'm glad we talked because now I will probably think of him, very seriously, sitting on the step stool in his jammies telling me how not to lose my temperature.

I hope this story made you smile :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Flying the friendly skies

Recently, a friend of mine flew from Philadelphia to Orlando. She had an interesting encounter while on the flight. Her boyfriend had the window seat, she had the middle, and a very large woman was sitting in the aisle seat right next to her. The woman was so large, she took up her own seat and half of my friend's seat. This forced my friend to sit halfway on her boyfriend's seat, making the 2 of them very uncomfortable. Not to mention all arm rests had to be kept up to accommodate this situation. At one point, my friend tried to put her seat back, which involves a button on the side of the armrest. She literally had to reach behind the woman's back/shoulder to get to this button and the woman had the audacity to flash her a dirty look. SHE was annoyed? Did she not see the inconvenience she was causing to the other people in her row?

My friend and her boyfriend decided to suffer through it and not to say anything to her or the flight attendants as it was a full flight and there was, most likely, nothing that could be done. My friend, being the nice person she is, also figured it would probably hurt the woman's feelings and would do more harm than good. When she returned home from her trip, she decided a letter to the airline was in order. After all, she had paid for a full seat, not the half seat she ended up getting. She did not ask for a refund of any kind (although she may be hoping for one), but merely felt the need to voice her opinions to the airline. The airline has not yet responded.

Hearing this story made me think. Should a person who takes up more than 1 seat have to pay for more than 1 seat? I think so. Should a person who only gets half a seat be required to pay for a whole seat? I think not. I will be flying in a few weeks and if this were to happen to me, I would be livid, especially since we will be travelling with small children. The way I see it, it's not about discrimination, but about what's fair. It's not fair that my friend and her boyfriend, who paid the same amount of money for their seats as this woman did, had to endure an uncomfortable 2 hour flight, while this woman was totally comfortable taking up a seat and a half. Disgraceful.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Why is it so hard to make friends as an adult?

I am constantly asking myself this question. Maybe this isn't an issue for most people, but it's certainly an area in my life where I am lacking. I may be at a disadvantage because I don't remember ever really developing social skills as a kid. I was painfully shy and for that reason, most people thought I was snobby and just didn't want to be friends. This couldn't have been farther from the truth. I desperately yearned for friendship, but just couldn't figure it all out. I suppose that's still true for me.

I've gone through most of my life without any strong friendships. I had a horrible friendship in high school that involved emotional and mental "abuse", which I stuck around for because I didn't feel I had any other options. Now, as I near 30 (and when I say near, I mean in 3 weeks), I find myself without any close girlfriends. I keep reading that having close friendships is an important part of a healthy life; this makes me feel even worse.

It's not that I don't try. Believe me, I do. It just seems that women my age aren't looking for one more person in their lives. People kept saying that once my kids started school, this would all change. But he's been in preschool for 2 years and nothing. I seem to be shunned because I work. All the stay-at-home moms get together during the school week with the kids. Well, I can't do that because I have to work. I try to set things up in the evenings and on the weekends, but that doesn't work for them because their husbands are home then and they want to spend time with them. I'm not saying I blame them, it's just hard to mix a working mother with a SAHM. And where I live, there seems to be a shortage of working moms.

I'm not trying to turn this into a pity party. I'm just trying to figure out why this seems so easy for some gals and so tough for others. I know women who have tons of friends. They have someone they can call in any situation. If they need to go out and have fun, they have a friend to call on. If they need someone to watch their kids in a pinch, they have another friend perfect for that. If they need a shoulder to cry on, there's someone for that as well. And so on, and so on. I do have my husband, and he is great in most situations. But that is very different than having a real girlfriend.

I look at my husband and his friends and wonder what it's like. He has a few VERY close friends. They've been friends since high school and are tighter than ever. They talk often and even though some live very far away and some have crazy jobs, they always find the time for each other. (On a side note, I also tried to befriend these wives at one time. Although I am the youngest of the group, we are all about the same age. This approach did not work either; they all seemed to be too busy with the people they already had in their lives. Sure we all get together as a group from time to time and the guys go do their thing and the girls sit and talk, but it's one of those forced sort of talks. Not natural like you'd have with a friend.)

So, I continue on my search for real, true friendship.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Things that make you think

Recently, friends of ours lived through an extremely traumatic event and then witnessed a miracle. I won't go into details because I received the information by a 3rd party who heard it from another 3rd party, but the gist of the story is that their baby wandered into the pool, was under water for a minute until they noticed she was there, and was brought back to life. The miracle is made even sweeter by the fact that the doctors say there was not a single shred of damage done.

I had a very difficult time digesting this story. Even though this "horror story had a happy ending", as the father told a friend, I was deeply disturbed. I couldn't help but think how sick I would feel if I had lived through something so traumatic. I hate to admit it, but my first thoughts were harshly judgmental (this is a side effect of growing up with an extremely judgmental mother. I am constantly trying to better myself in this area, however, sometimes I screw up). I then immediately said to myself, "How dare you!" This was an accident that could have happened to anyone. In an instant, anything can happen to anyone.

I cannot pinpoint exactly why, but this bittersweet story has left a scar on my heart. Maybe it's because I have to leave my own kids each day, for what feels like days on end, and not know each moment what they are doing or where they are. While my husband is more than capable of caring for the kids and should get the dad of the year award, I can't help but feel like a bad mom because I'm not there. I've always felt a little pang of this in the past, but after hearing this horrific story, I feel it on a higher level.

I will close by saying that I hope this family does not dwell on the bad part of the story, but on the very happy ending. Life is so precious and short. I hope I think of this story every time I start taking something for granted.

"Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment." -- Buddha

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Well good morning to you too!

Maybe I have my facts wrong. Maybe the laws are different in the different towns, cities, and states on this one. But aren't bicyclists supposed to "share the road"? I had an interesting experience with a high school kid on a bike the other day while I was waiting for the bus. My bus stop is right on a sidewalk. So naturally, I stand on that sidewalk while I wait patiently for my bus. I always stand closer to the road than the yard because, well, that's where I'll need to get onto the bus. Seems quite logical to me (but then, who am I?). So, Monday, I'm standing there, in the same place I stand every day looking in the direction my bus will hopefully soon be coming. All of a sudden behind me I hear someone say something, but I can't quite hear what they said. So I turn toward the voice and see this kid on a bike coming right for me! Now, I haven't moved since I planted myself in that spot 5 minutes ago, but for some reason, this kid thinks I should move, I assume because I happen to be on the right side of the sidewalk. He has plenty of room to the left of the sidewalk, but he doesn't seem to think that makes sense. Instead, he heads right for me, without even slowing down, I might add. So my first instinct is to move more to the right (closer to the curb/street) into the grassy area between the sidewalk and the curb, which I guess was his first instinct too because he about brushed me with the bike as he passed me, screaming "Whoa!" like he was surprised that this happened. I apologized, even though I did nothing wrong (I do that all the time...one of my many flaws).

I couldn't believe this kid! He was going fast enough that he had to have been hauling down that sidewalk for some distance, which means he had to have seen me standing there, not moving and not looking in that direction. How could he not know this was going to happen? Maybe it's because he's a kid and was thinking about other things, like asking Lafonda to the Homecoming dance or how that big zit on his chin was going to ruin him, who knows! But for heaven's sake, pay attention! If he would have hit me, I would have been seriously injured because he was going so fast. And let's not forget the fact that I believe that bikers are supposed to ride in the street, I'll bet for this very reason!

At least no one was hurt, but damn. You know how you're supposed to do one thing a day that scares you? Well, that was mine on Monday.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

So, it's been a while...

I know it's been a while since I've updated. I've been...well, I don't really have any excuse except that I've been tired. Yes, I said tired. Exhausted, really. I was recently diagnosed with Hypothyroidism in May (although I knew this had to be the case since January, it took the doctors a while longer to figure it out. Great health care system we have, huh?) and I've been sleeping through every spare minute of every day. So I'm finally on some medication and I've cut back on some other activities I normally do in my free time so that I can update my blog.

Not much is going on around here. The kids are more at each other's throats than ever. I'm really hoping that Charlie starting school again on Tuesday helps this issue. I think the problem is that Elizabeth has finally learned to fight back when she thinks she is being wronged, which is pretty much all the time. I'm sure this is just a phase, but it's tough. I know, I know, I have it easy because Doug stays home with the kids 40 hours a week, but I deal with it at night and on the weekends. But I have found that red wine in their sippy cups with dinner helps. Just kidding...but it does help when I drink a glass! I am more relaxed and I respond better. They like this and it seems to work for me. Not to mention all of the other health benefits of red wine.

We also found out that Doug has some nasty fungus on his feet. Gross. I think that's really all I have to say about that.

So we have preschool orientation tomorrow evening, so I'm excited that I get to be Crazy Psycho Mom for a night. It saddens me that I cannot do this on a daily basis like those Stay At Home Moms I deeply envy. But on this particular night every year, I am always there, asking all the questions I know will come up throughout the year that my husband will undoubtedly "forget" to ask (even though I will mention them 182 times, not in a nagging way, of course). I get to meet all of the other moms for the second time (I met them all last year at this time too) and they will all scowl at me because we're not a "normal" family with a father who works 80 hours a week so that his wife can stay at home with the kids and pop bon-bons all day, um, I mean tend to the kids and household. Nope, we're freaks because mom goes to work every day and dad does the bon-bon thing. Thank goodness I only have to survive 1 night of horrible mommy guilt from the "other" mothers (as if I don't have enough of this from my own self).

Stay tuned...I plan to start another blog of product reviews and great deals I stumble upon. I just have to think of a name for it...