Feeds RSS
Feeds RSS

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Still not so much in the Christmas Spirit

I thought by now I would be all excited about seeing the kids on Christmas morning, drooling over everything that "he" brought. I'm not. I had hoped that wrapping the gifts and opening another tab in the Christmas countdown calendar would make me feel all Christmasy. It didn't.

I think it's a combination of things, really. I've been sick for a while and they can't see to pinpoint the cause. It's really wearing me out, whatever it is. I barely have enough energy for the most important things each day.

My parents are going through a divorce that is already ugly (well, it was ugly for years before they finally decided to put an end to the madness).

Doug's family is simply a mess and now they're taking it out on us. He had a nice chat with his mother on Sunday (his birthday) and she informed him that she was sick of him acting like he was too good for everyone because we decided not to drive down there for Christmas (however, they were invited here).

A good friend started chemo this month for Lymphoma, which really puts things into perspective.

We're having more behavioral problems with Charlie and we've run out of ideas for helping him. His anger is getting worse and I feel like we're part of the problem, but I can't figure out exactly what we're doing to cause it.

Work has been really crazy and, well, interesting. We'll just leave it at that.

And we're having this horrible potty battle with Elizabeth. It was her idea to start potty training, but now she doesn't want to do it, which would be fine with me, except that the diapers are now giving her the worst diaper rash I've ever seen. Think completely raw skin ALL over (not just the hiney part). Doug doesn't like to put her in underwear during the day because then he has to be vigilant about making her go to the bathroom, which he doesn't care for. So I get the pleasure of hearing her scream bloody murder when I try to bathe her and wash the "area".

So, it's not the most festive of holiday seasons. I'm trying, though, to muster up the excitement for the kids. It really is about the kids anyway.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Acting Debut

They practiced for weeks. He learned 3 different parts before the settled on who would play what. He wouldn't tell us anything during the weeks leading up to the big day. And then it was time.

As parents, grandparents, and siblings packed into the church's All-Purpose room, we awaited the highly anticipated performance. Charlie was among the first 2 kids to come out. He sat in a chair on stage in the cutest little costume. He was a "visitor". He took his job very seriously, with a huge smile, waving and giving us the thumbs up the entire time. It was finally time for his big part. He stood up and pointed to Bethlehem. Then sat back down.

Well, no wonder he has been bored the last few weeks in school. While everyone else had parts where they walked up on the stage and did stuff, Charlie had to sit on stage and do nothing. For Charlie, this is no small task. I'm not saying his part was any smaller than the rest, but they surely did not pick the best part for him. Apparently, he was supposed to be a shepherd, but the kid who originally was playing the visitor couldn't sit still. So they picked Charlie to do that part instead. Have they met my son? I was stunned when I saw him sitting like a little angel up on stage. Not getting up and running around. Not trying to talk to everyone. Not sticking his hands in his pants (he gets that from his father, by the way). Just sitting there, so sweet and innocent. Aside from the goofy faces he was making, he was actually following direction like a champ! He'll probably learn to regret that, however. Now I know he can sit still for 30 minutes.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

How to stay sane through the holidays

The holidays can be a wonderful time filled with family and friends, good food and gifts, memories and laughs. Sometimes, though, the holidays mean living through the freak show you are legally bound to call your family. So, if you fall into the latter category, here are some tips to stay sane through the madness.

1. Keep a well-stocked liquor cabinet. You will surely need this to unwind after a gruesome get together that includes pregnant swinger cousins, a weed smoking aunt, and a sister who doesn't think it's her responsibility to watch over her own children.

2. Have lots of chocolate on hand. This will mask the pain when your mom threatens to come and take your 2-year-old's furniture from her bedroom just to 'stick it' to your dad. Yea...that'll get him.

3. Have a code word with the one you love. This code word will come in handy when you just can't take another story from your husband's cousin about how hard it is to be a single parent and how she never thought she'd be divorced, even though you saw it coming a mile away, and you need to get outta there.

4. Be yourself and have fun. You're never going to please everybody. Someone will always feel that you wronged them in some way. You might as well have some fun while you're at it.

I hope these tips serve you as well as they have served me. Whether you love your family or simply put up with them, have a great holiday season. And remember, you can't spell 'families' without 'lies'.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A good indication that it's going to be a bad day

I just had a pretty lengthy blog post written when my Internet Explorer crashed. Apparently the "autosave" feature in blogger is not functioning properly because only 1 word was still there when I got IE back up and running. I may rewrite it later, but for now, I'm just stewing. Surely a great day lies ahead (said with dripping sarcasm).

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Ho Ho...Oh Whatever

I can't put my finger on the why, but I am so not in the holiday spirit this year. It's odd though, because this is the first year we've been invited to holiday parties outside of our families. We even hosted my company's holiday party this past weekend. I'm even trying to pull together a last minute cookie exchange with the neighbors. But my heart isn't really there.

For example, last year, I went way overboard with gifts for the kids. They're 5 and 2, so Christmas is a big deal for them. I was all into the buying and the wrapping and didn't care how much I was spending (that particular feeling went away by January when the kids had stopped playing with any toy brought by Santa). But I was happy to do it because it just felt so good.

This year, not so much. We scaled way back on the gifts, partly because Charlie needs to learn that he can't simply get everything he wants. This problem is somewhat our fault and somewhat the fault of all his grandparents, but we know we have to nip it in the bud. The other part of why we pared down the list is because it just doesn't sit well with me to spend hundreds of dollars (on a gift for ANYONE) in the name of a holiday. Doesn't anyone remember what Christmas is actually supposed to be about? In my little corner of the world, that answer is a resounding NO.

I don't want to teach my kids that we have to go into debt to satisfy the selfish wants of others for Christmas. Granted, I love seeing my kids' excited faces on Christmas morning as they tear away the wrappings to find the toy they've longed for all year. But in my kids' cases, these things will be things they've only craved for about 2 weeks, when I finally told Doug that we need to stop buying things because it's almost Christmas! It's not his fault; he loves to see Charlie's face when he receives a new CARS car or Star Wars figure. He gets SO excited. But I say, enough is enough.

So this year, I hope my Bah Humbugs aren't loud enough to sadden anyone else's Christmas celebrations. Maybe it's another symptom of the phantom illness. Who knows? In any event, this year, just call me Scrooge.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Is it just me?

Wednesday, I went to a new doctor. It was an initial visit that was supposed to take up to 2 hours, but I had no idea why so long. I was stunned to hear the reception staff (there were probably 6 of them at the front desk) discussing other patients, by name, completely in earshot. While I'm not a huge fan of HIPAA, nor do I care if my particular health information stays private (if you really want to know about it, you've got way too much time on your hands and will probably be very disappointed), I thought this was very odd given the laws. But I brushed it off. So I go back to the room with the nurse. She leaves the door hanging wide open while she asks me many questions about my history. Again, this really didn't bother me, I thought it was strange. Whatever.

So the doctor comes in. In this particular office, there are 3 doctors. Two are American and one is some kind of foreign with a heavy accent. The odds must have been against me because I get the very difficult to understand foreign doctor. It was a struggle the entire time to figure out what he was asking me. And he had to perform a slew of tests that involved him asking me to do different things. He had to repeat himself many times. This was very frustrating, but not as frustrating as what came next.

The doctor was in the middle of asking me a question when his cell phone rings. He answered the phone and left the room for 10 minutes!!! When he came back, he didn't say, "Boo" about it! I was so angry! Then he tells me to get undressed and put the robe on, blah blah blah. He said he'd be back in a minute. He went into the room next door and proceeds to make a phone call. He came back 20 minutes later!! Does he honestly think it takes me that long to get undressed? I doubt it; I guess he's into multitasking. Anyone who knows me well knows I can appreciate that and, in fact, encourage that. But when I'm scared, frustrated, freezing cold, and in the middle of my initial visit with a new doctor, I would think he'd be a little more respectful of my time.

The girl who took my blood must have been new. It took at least a half hour to get my blood drawn. Dang. It's never taken that long. And I'm still hurting from it.

Overall, a pretty disappointing experience. What is it with some doctors today? Is it just me? Am I the only one who expects a little more from these insanely paid doctors? I think not!