Friday, April 30, 2010


This is my last night of mandatory writing for a while. If I get my tattoo finished Sunday, I plan to post about that, but there will likely be no post tomorrow. This is good, since I will be cleaning and cooking all day tomorrow and will have a house full of people tomorrow night. I am a crazy person.

I really don't know what to write about. I was thinking about a post to explore why I don't fit in at church. Then I was thinking about a post that recaps the month or one about how I am not qualified to be a mother. Or a post about how I used to be a better writer than I am now. Those things will have to wait.

I just read this article about sleep positions. Studies are so interesting to me. I almost failed statistics in college (damn you, stats and what you did to my GPA!), but I think I'm at least a little 'common sense' smart. I often question studies and why the researchers decided to conduct them the way they did. Just this week while watching an episode of 'Mythbusters' where the team was trying to determine if cursing made something less painful, I was reminded of this. They did a test where the subjects had to hold their hand and forearm in a vat of ice water until they could no longer stand the pain. The first time they said random, pre-selected, non-swear words. The second time they let loose with expletives. Of course, they were all able to withstand the freezing pain better the second time, thus supposedly proving that swearing somehow lessens pain.

However, I would argue they haven't actually proven swearing helps you deal with pain unless they had switched between swearing or not-swearing first. Sometimes, when you know the level of pain you are actually going to experience you are better able to brace for it. When I had the original tattoo on my side, I was completely unprepared for how much worse it would hurt than the one on my back. I could barely catch my breath. Yet, when I had it added to, and then later retouched, I was much better able to tolerate the pain because I knew what to expect.

So, when I read the sleep study and found that as a 'Freefall' sleeper, I should be "brash, outgoing, and are very uncomfortable with criticism," I wondered how they came to this conclusion. They have the "very uncomfortable with criticism" part correct. But... seriously? What kind of person likes criticism? The brash and outgoing part is completely not me. I am far too concerned about the consequences of my actions to be brash and far to tied to the glasses-wearing bookworm in my head to be outgoing. I wish I had more information on how they conducted this study!

I really have little else to say about this, other than I dislike being pigeonholed based on how people think I should be or act or react. I'm a person, not a study. A person who needs to be a better person and better mother and better writer, but I'm doing the best I can. Is that ever enough?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Almost There

As I was pulling in the parking lot this morning, I noticed a gaggle of geese blocking off some good spaces. It was really all I could do to keep myself from mowing them down. It would have been in self-defense. Really.

Why am I bringing this up? Oh... right. Because I'm getting ready to write another post about tattoos and I thought maybe if you wanted to read something else you could read this instead: one of my favorite posts.

Starting this past Wednesday night, I began a marathon extended weekend of craziness. Dinner with my sister's family that night, swim lessons tonight, family night at church tomorrow night, Gap Party Saturday, and........ getting my tattoo finished Sunday! I think.

I've thought I was getting this tattoo twice before. I'm trying to be optimistic that this is actually going to happen. I really, really can't wait till it's finished. You know what else I can't wait to be finished? This week. And this month. *sigh*

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Third-of-Life Crisis, Perhaps?

I'm writing this post without any regard for the few people who may end up reading it. It is likely that tomorrow morning I will wake up with and be gripped with writer's remorse. Of course, by then it will be too late. This will be out there and someone may have already read it. And judged me. Ay-yi-yi.

Today I hit a wall. I finally managed to make myself finish some things I really needed to do at work. I accomplished something and felt pretty good about it for about twenty minutes. Then as I was driving home all these things just started stacking up in my mind until they became too precarious and toppled over.

I just sat there, examining all the pieces and didn't even know what to do with them. No, my life is not in shambles. I'm just having a serious self-esteem crisis. There is absolutely no good reason for this. Maybe it is just one of those things that keeps my vanity in check. Maybe it a third-of-life crisis. I really don't know. All I know is that I just wanted to break down and cry.

In attempt to salvage what is left of my pride, I won't go into all the details. Let's just say that all the contributing factors taken individually would not have caused this episode. I usually don't care if people just stop talking to me for no reason or do things (probably completely on accident) that make it seem like they don't care at all about something that means a lot to me. Clearly though, all of these things stacking one on top of the other, put a big chink in my armor. That is unpleasant.

I'm really not sure what there is to do about any of this. I'll be fine after a while. Eventually some of these things will fade away and be replaced in my head with other things that don't make me feel like I can't make anything turn out right. I think now would be a good time for me to go to bed and dream that will happen soon.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Swimming Lessons

A lot of times I feel overwhelmed by all the stuff we have going on. That bad part is, compared to a lot of people, we don't have that much going on. Sure, we have two kids and we each have a job and various other activities throughout the weeks. But our kids don't play sports or do cub scouts or take music lessons. We haven't been having to run the kids around to lots of extra-curricular activities.

That is about to change. We signed the boys up for swimming lessons and they start this week. Way back I wrote this post that explains how I feel about swimming and these are lessons where parents have to be in the pool. So in addition to me not liking swimming, we now have a regular activity to run the boys to every week. Yay.

I think it is fitting that swimming lessons are our first foray into kid activities. I am not naive. I know this is only the tip of the iceberg. Even though we will limit the number of activities they do once they start school, it will still be non-stop running. I'm excited to see what the boys will want to do as they grow up, but I think for Ryan and I it will feel a lot like trying to keep our heads above water.

Monday, April 26, 2010


This is about the time in the trying to write every day when I get discouraged that I am trying to write so frequently and only a few people ever read what I write. Believe me, I love that several of my friends make an effort to read whatever I manage to type out, but sadly for them most of what I write about and is stuff I've already discussed with them. My posts are just crazy recaps of things I've already said out loud or hashed out over instant message.

I know there are many ways to increase blog traffic, such as participating in certain posts on certain days and linking back to the original blog. There are many other similar ways to do this, but none of them seem very "me." I've never really been much of a joiner. I really just want people to read my blog because it's witty and interesting.

I realize it would help if my blog were actually witty and interesting, but in my mind I get points for trying.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Not Sure

I'm not really sure what I was thinking saying that I would write every day. I think I've taken more "breaks" this month than anything... writing way too many single-paragraph posts because I can't come up with anything decent. Real life just gets too consuming sometimes. There is laundry to fold and dishes to wash and carpet to vacuum. There are conversations to have and friends to see and kids to raise. Oh. And my full-time job.

Many days it is really difficult for me to make myself focus enough to write down all these things I need to write about. And on the days I make myself really write, the result is often disappointing to me when I go back and re-read. I don't really know what to do about this. But at least this post is more than one paragraph.

It's Settled

About a week ago I sort of read this article about a girl who had decided to take on a different adventure every week for one year. I only sort of read it because it was a very long and not particularly interesting article. I read the first paragraph, skimmed the next few, and lost interest. Aren't you glad to be reading this? Me boring you with a blog about a boring article? Stay with me for a minute. (Or don't. I'm going to finish this post either way.)

So, back here I wrote that I was going to find something of importance to do. And all week I've been trying to think of what organization I can work with or where I can volunteer and sometimes take the boys too. Then something reminded me of that article I sorta read and I thought maybe I could do something similar, only with volunteering. And maybe do every month instead of every week since volunteering usually requires some amount of planning and I do have a full time job and two kids who are my sole responsibility on the weekends.

But once a month doesn't quite seem like enough. So I've decided that each week for at least the next six months, I am going to do something to help someone. Although I'd like for at least one of those weeks each month to be volunteering, it doesn't have to be volunteering with a group or organization. It just has to be something that helps someone else and is outside my normal realm of responsibilities. In fact, unless it is some crazy, out-of-the-ordinary circumstance, helping Ryan or either of the boys won't count.

So there it is. At least one time each week I will go out of my way to do something to help someone else. And yes, I mean more than just holding the door for someone or telling someone they have something stuck in their teeth. This has to be something I go out of my way to do. I know at first it will take some planning, but I am hoping that as my goal becomes more present in my thoughts, I will notice opportunities and be able to do fill my requirement without spending too much time on the planning part. I'd rather use the time for the executing part.

I will try to post from time to time some of the things I do. I already have in mind what I am going to do this coming week. I can't really give many details, but I know of someone who probably needs some help but who would probably never ask me. So I'm going to surprise her and help her anyway. I'm guessing that at some point this whole idea is going to be a huge challenge for me, but tonight I'm feeling really good about it. Let's try to go with the whole feeling-good-about-it thing for as long as we can, shall we? I think this may be just what I need to kick the last remnants of my Seasonal Affective Disorder/career issues and get on with my life.

Friday, April 23, 2010


There are some times that I struggle with my faith identity. Then there are other times, when I am full-on embarrassed to call myself a "Christian". There are times when I just want to make up a term for what I am because I've heard too many "Christian" stories that make me feel like I want nothing at all to do with anything that is even remotely considered "Christian." I hate to say it, but sometimes I just feel so anti-Christian.

I really, honestly do not get it. Someone told me recently that they heard someone praying for something bad to happen to someone they thought had wronged them. I've read stories about so-called "Christians" handing out tracts that state if a woman is raped it is her own fault for wearing clothes that tempted a man. I've heard personal accounts of people being treated with disdain and disrespect by people in their lives simply for not being "Christian."

Of course, I know that the danger with most organized religion is that it can attract extremists who go completely their own way and disregard the real message. We see this in many beliefs, not just Christianity. I think that most reasonable people could agree that the majority of a group should not be blamed for the extremist views or actions of a small minority who claim to be part of that group.

But I'm not really talking about extremism here. I'm talking about much more common behaviors. Recently a local mother apparently staged her own abduction, setting off panic and causing hundreds of well-meaning people to give up their own time to help find her. The police and FBI also spent time and resources trying to locate her. Turns out, she faked the whole thing to run off to Florida with her lover.

I'm guessing she probably had undiagnosed PPD or some other issue that clouded her judgement. These kinds of issues are real and serious and can cause anything from mild depressive symptoms to unexplained behavior. But upon discovery of what happened, many people were posting things on Facebook saying how great God is and what a miracle it is that she was found safe. Really?? Is it a miracle that a lady goes crazy, abandons her child, causes worry to her family and her community, all to run away? I just fail to see how that is a miracle.

I guess what I'm really wondering about is the common language and actions often associated with "Christians." This habit of saying things are miracles when, if you really examine what happened, they are more of a tragedy than anything. Or this idea of treating people differently based on their beliefs. I personally don't think we can hold other people who do not claim to be "Christian" to the same standards I think "Christians" should hold themselves. But the "Christian" way seems to be to judge people for their actions and hold it against them based on Christian beliefs, regardless of the person's own views. Then there is the matter of expecting other "Christians" to keep up a certain appearance, regardless of what they are actually experiencing in their own life. All of these things make no sense to me and seem to cause more harm than good.

Please understand that I am not trying to judge here. I know it is not my place to dictate how other people express their faith. I also know that my own thoughts and behaviors do not always live up to what I say I believe. But what I am trying to do is express something I struggle with. Something I don't understand.

I read in the Bible about the way we are supposed to treat people, but much of what I read doesn't seem to match up with "Christian" tradition. I guess for myself, I just want to make sure that the way I'm acting and the things I'm saying are not just some "Christian" response or rhetoric. I don't want to misrepresent what my faith actually stands for by using popular lingo or a learned response that has no foundation other than it's how I've seen others respond.

In the case of this "missing" mother, I do have compassion for her. I am sad that whatever was going on in her life led her to make the choices she made. I sincerely hope she gets the help that she needs. I can agree that we should still show her compassion and forgiveness, but I do not think that there is anything miraculous about what happened. And, at least for me, this was a reminder to watch the things I say and think of the impact they have on others.... "Christian" or not.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Taking a Break

I'm taking a break tonight. This week has been weird and strange and I'm going to sit here on the couch and watch a movie. I am not going to try to come up with something interesting or something witty. I'm just going to veg and relax. Tomorrow is Friday. And then time off of work. I'm really looking forward to the weekend. And I am hoping to have a few good posts too.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

In Case We Needed More Proof

Just one more thing on the long list of things why I am not a normal mom. There are only a few moms who take their kids to Luke's school who make eye contact with me. There are only two or three moms who will carry on a conversation with me. I am fine with this, as I only have to go there once a week when I drop him off on the way to work on Tuesdays. I'm the mom who shows up there, all dressed for work, while most of the other moms are wearing workout clothes. I really don't care what the other mom's wear. I think people should dress appropriate to their lives and activities.

Yesterday I took the day off work to chaperon Luke's class field trip to the Children's Museum, despite that I only had one week's notice. I was looking forward to spending the time with Luke and watching him with his classmates. I was not, however, looking forward to standing by awkwardly with the other parents, especially since the two moms I have befriended were not attending.

Turns out, my reservations proved true. Okay, so I did find a few people to talk to.... the grandmother of one little girl, the au pair of another, and the dad of another. But there were several parents who I just wanted to slap. When I am not working or going out, I do not dress up. I try to dress appropriate to my life and activities. I was wearing distressed (read: ripped) jeans, a vintage-looking Green Bay Packers t-shirt, and chucks. That is appropriate clothing for attending a children's museum with 21 kids.

I'm pretty sure most of the other moms wouldn't be caught dead in what I was wearing, but who cares? Well... apparently one mom. She walked up next to me in her polo shirt, khaki pants, and loafers and gave me a once-over followed by a dirty look. Whatever. I just tried to avoid being near her the rest of the morning.

But.... Wouldn't you know that I would somehow get stuck sitting next to her at lunch! She acted like I didn't exist, even when her kid pushed all his trash over into where I was eating and then proceeded to throw his wet wipe on me after he wiped his hands and the table and the arms of the girl next to him with it. She grabbed it off my arm without apologizing or telling her kid to apologize and just told him not to throw things. What is wrong with people?

I really do not care if people like me or not. I do not consider life to be a popularity contest. I have plenty of friends so if I don't get along with you or you don't like me, it's really okay. Live and let live, right? But what I really hate is when someone purposely is rude for no good reason or acts like someone else doesn't deserve common courtesy. She was telling her kid to use manners with the girl next to him and her mom, so I know it wasn't that she didn't know about manners.

Sure, I don't really know why that lady gave me the dirty look and treated me that way. Maybe it was how I was dressed, but maybe she hates tattoos. Maybe she hates it that we both have a 4-year-old and I could pass for 20 years old. Maybe she hates the Green Bay Packers. Whatever the reason, it's sad that she is teaching her kid that it is okay to treat some people with manners while treating other people like they don't exist.

I'm glad that Luke is too young to notice that his mom is an outcast amongst moms. And I'm glad that I'm doing my best to teach him that we treat other people with respect and courtesy, regarless of how similar to or different from us they are. Even people who wear khakis and loafers. ;)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Maybe Someday I Will Write a Good Post

Today I took Luke to the Children's Museum on his class field trip. Then I went to Lowe's to but plants, came home, folded laundry, ate dinner, planted the garden, and folded more laundry. I'm so exhausted.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Fake Important

Lately I have been feeling so discontent. My job is... not important in the grand scheme of things. Sure, it is important for me to do well at my job, but it is not an important job. I sit at a desk all day trying to resolve problems that are just the tip of the iceberg of the issues that need to be addressed. Everyone acts as though what I do is the most urgent thing ever, but once my reports are produced, the urgency fades and people move on to other things. It's all fake important.

I have got to find something of actual importance to do. I'm not sure what and I'm not sure how, but I just feel like I need to do something that is not my job that is important. Sure, I know that taking care of my kids is important, but I mean something outside my family. Something that shifts my focus. I really meant what I said about living creatively. But time is passing and I'm still treading water.

This weekend I am going to find something to do. I'm going to figure out something that I can to so I'm not just thinking about how I spend much of my time doing something that is fake important.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


In case I haven't mentioned it enough times, I'll say it again. I love summertime. And I love summertime weather no matter what the season. What I don't like are bugs. I'm not one of those girls who screams and gets on a chair if I see an ant, but I prefer for bugs to stay outside. One of the bad things about summer is that you are outside more frequently and the doors are opened a lot more frequently and bugs just tend to get inside a lot more.

The worst of the bugs that get inside are ticks. Unlike other bugs that wait outside on the porch and fly in when the door opens a crack, tick come in on your skin. Ticks are also dangerous and can give you a serious illness. And they are so tiny and can crawl on you without you feeling it. Tonight the boys and I went for a walk. Just a walk up the road, not out in the woods. At the time I'm writing this I have now found four ticks. I found one on each of the boys and one on myself before their bedtime. About ten minutes ago, I found another one crawling on my neck.

My skin is crawling. I hate that feeling. It's like when you hear people talk about head lice and your head starts itching. Only this is worse, because I did actually find two of the things crawling on my skin! I guess it's time to go out and stock up on some serious DEET-filled, deep-woods OFF! and spray us all down with it whenever we go outside. And we might all have to shave our heads, just to be on the safe side.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

World's Weirdest Mom

I've decided I must be some freak of nature. I really seriously LOVE my kids, but I have no idea how I've made it through the first years of their lives. I know this means nothing coming from me, but my kids are smart. And they are funny. My kids say things like, "Look on the news, Mom. Everything is damaged" and "Look, Owen. This is the part where he finds himself in Paris." They are three and almost five. I think they are amazing people. However, they still drive me completely insane. Some days bedtime really cannot come soon enough.

Most of the moms I know love babies. Love them. Babies are like crack to them and they either want to have more of their own or they want to be around them all the time. I've had two babies. I managed to survive the sleepless nights, the times when they would scream for what seemed like hours for no determinable reason, and the never knowing what the freak they needed but trying to pretend like I did. I do not love babies. I loved my babies and I love my new nephew. That is pretty much the extent of my affection for babies.

Now that my kids are older, I still have no idea what to do with them. Oh, I've read the books and I get the magazines. I seriously doubt the authors of said books or contributors to said magazines have ever actually met a child. Distract a kid from a tantrum? Are you serious? Sure, maybe one time out of ten the freak-out is not so serious and you just happen to have some super-cool distraction and you can avoid a full-blown scene. That means that the nine other times, no matter what you try, your kid is going to have a melt down. And you will too. On the inside, at least.

I've also tried talking to other parents and asking for strategies. And you know what I've found? Most other parents are also in trial and error mode, just like me. More error, really, but hey... we're all trying. The ones who really seem to have it all figured out probably have so many children that they run their household more like a military boarding school than a family. Whatever works, right?

I really don't have a point here. Just venting over the frustration that I have these two little people in my life, for whom I am mostly responsible, and I have no idea what to do with them. Other than love them and pray they turn out okay.

And pray that those two things end up being enough.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Come on Eileen

It's so funny how songs you don't even like can just stick with you and bring up memories at the oddest times. Tonight I was at happy hour with some friends. The place was really loud so I couldn't hear the music.... until I walked into the ladies room. The speakers in the ladies room were screaming the song "Come on Eileen."

"Come on Eileen, well I swear (what he means) At this moment you mean EV-ER-Y-THING!!....."

Ah, memories. Every single time I hear that song, I'm nineteen again and it's 12 AM and I'm closing at work and trying to finish my tasks while that song is blaring out of the dish washing area. Blaring over and over and over again because whoever is washing dishes gets to choose the music and my friend and co-worker who I closed with a lot at that time always chose that song. I can still see her, soap suds clinging to her forearms, carrying the heavy chili crocks out to put them away while singing under her breath.

The place I worked starting my senior year of high school and on breaks all the way through college was the same place most of my friends worked. Some of my favorite memories from those days were from work. It adds another layer to your friendship to work late, side-by-side, commiserating about lousy tips and annoying customers while mopping and scrubbing crocks. And my friends all having a certain song or band or radio station they always liked to listen to just added another layer to the memories. Whether it was Barenaked Ladies, Aerosmith, "Mickey," or 103.9 The Edge (before Pizza Hut sued them and they became "The X"), I will always associate that music with those friends and that job and those times. And that is not a bad thing, even if I can't stand "Come on Eileen."

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Please Don't Leave

Today was my perfect day weather-wise. Eighty-three degrees, sunny, slight breeze, not too humid. Even though it was a work day, I got to stay at home thanks to this nasty cough. I sat outside on the back porch all day. *huge sigh of contentment* If only we could have these days on the weekend. That would be perfect. Of course, by the weekend the highs will only be in the mid-fifties. If only wishing for this perfect weather to stay could make it so.

Perfect, summery weather..... please don't leave!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


In case I haven't mentioned it, I'm sick. And miserable. When you feel awful and you can't sleep, it is really difficult to be cheerful. Or happy. But tonight, I was able to spend some time helping my sister and her husband with a little bit of work. They are in the process of a full kitchen remodel. Of course, for most of it, Ryan, the boys and I have been sick and no help to them whatsoever. It was so nice to finally get over there and lend a hand, even if it was only for a little while. I certainly wish we could have done more and I hope there are some more things we can help them with before they are done.

Just to rewind a bit, Ryan and I owe my sister and her husband about a hundred-million hours of help. They were still dating when we were building our house and they were over here almost every single day helping with whatever we were working on. They tiled floors. They painted walls. They painted trim. They tiled our entire shower. When they weren't helping with the actual building process, Tiffiny (or both of them) were watched Luke for us. Did I mention I was pregnant with Owen at the time? They also made sure I didn't over-do it by making sure I rested and didn't try to do stuff pregnant people shouldn't be doing. See what I mean?

Of course, both of them just act like it was something they did and no big deal at all, even though we might still be trying to build this house if not for their help. Whenever I mention something about us 'owing' them, they just brush it off like they didn't give up a couple months of all their free time to help us however they could. That is just how they are.

We have them over for dinner once a week (when we aren't sick) and they've sometimes said things like we are even because we feed them. But we don't have them over for dinner to try to pay them back. We have them over for dinner to spend time with them. We still owe them.

So, even though I still don't feel good from this stupid bronchitis and this nasty cough, I have to say that it made me happy to spend some time this evening sanding some cabinets and making a tiny dent in the amount of help we owe Tiff and Scott. Getting help is wonderful. Being able to help back... makes you feel good. Even if you still have a cough.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I Heart Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations

I've really got nothin'. I am now on prescription cough meds that do not seem to be working. But, I did get to watch my very favorite show tonight. Well, at least it is my very favorite show when I watch it. Anthony Bourdain is so funny and sarcastic and he says whatever he is thinking without caring how wrong it sounds. And there is food. Food that looks really good (mostly). And there are lots of really cool places that I want to visit.

You should totally watch his show.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Sick of Sickness

I don't think I can do any more of these write every day months. Every time I do, I get sick. And when I am sick, I have no inspiration for writing. I have some topics I would like to write about, but I can't develop them into a good post because that would require me to be able to focus.

All week last week I was home sick with a cold. It began on Easter Sunday. I had the sore throat and the sneezing and the sinus stuff and a little bit of a cough, but not this kind of cough. I started feeling better on Thursday. By Saturday night I started having coughing fits.

Right now, my abs and my sides are hurt so bad from coughing all the time that I just want to cry. My throat is raw. I mean, seriously? I just want to stay in bed all day. Only that will do me no good. All I will do is cough and cough and cough and not be able to sleep.

I would really like to sleep.

No Motivation Today

I know I should have written a post for today after I put the boys to bed. Instead, I folded a mountain of laundry, cleaned the disaster that was my kitchen and living room, and fell asleep on the couch watching Food Network. Sunday night. Monday eve. Bleh. I really need a time machine so I can skip back (or ahead) to Friday night.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Today I did something completely un-'me'. I took an entire day for something I wanted to do.... all by myself. I have this thing where I am always thinking about other people. Believe me, I do not mean that in an I'm-completely-selfless-and-a-great-person kind of way. I screw up all the time. I let people down. Far too often, I fail to follow-up or follow-thru. What I mean by always thinking about other people is that there are few things I do, with the exception of the typical everyday minutiae, that do not involve giving consideration to at least one other person. This is certainly not a bad thing. Such is life when you are a wife/mother/daughter/sister/friend/employee.

What I did today was foreign to me that I actually had to make myself stick to it. I went to get my tattoo worked on without anyone else accompanying me. Every other time I've been tattooed, I've had at least one friend with me. It is so fun to make a whole day of it with a friend or some friends, to share that time and that experience, and to all come away with your own piece of permanent art. So being alone was a little weird at first, but I'm so glad I did it. I had almost three hours of time to just drive, listen to music, think, pray, and observe all the crazy drivers. I am friends with my tattoo artist, but he gets easily absorbed in his work so even my time at the shop left me with a lot of time inside my own head.

My tattoo isn't finished yet and my arm is throbbing, but I feel strangely relaxed. I know this will not be a frequent occurrence in the future, but I need to try to make time to do something like this once or twice a year. To do something all alone, away from my house, to take some time to regroup. I love the times I get to spend going on a date with my husband sans kids and (most of) the times I spend with just my kids and the times I spend with friends. Yet I realized that somehow in all that planning of special times with other people, I was counting those times as my "me" time. Today I remembered that it is okay to take some "me" time for only me.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Too Excited To Blog

Tomorrow is the day! I'm FINALLY getting my tattoo finished! I've been walking around for a month, with just an outline, looking like someone took an ink pen to my arm. After tomorrow (fingers crossed) I will have a beautiful magnolia on my arm and all will be right in the world. Okay, so perhaps that is overstating it a tiny bit, but I will feel like my arm looks the way it should.

And that will be amazing. I hope.

If I can just get rid of this pesky cough...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A Few Things I've Learned

I know I sound like a broken record. I know my blog is terrible right now. But I am sick and all hopped up on all these meds so it really is all I can do to stay awake and type for a little while. I am going to type a few things I've learned over the past few days and then I am going to end this post and hope for some better material tomorrow.

1. Working from home when you are sick is way better than going to the office. You still have to do your job and you still have to deal with most of the same issues, but you don't have to get up as early and you can wear jeans instead of dress pants. Bonus, you don't completely irritate your co-workers by coughing and sneezing all over the place and possibly infecting them.

2. The bonus they give you for being a manager is probably not worth it. Sure, if you don't mind having to work a minimum of twelve hours per day and being available to anyone 24/7.... then maybe it is. But I want my time to be my time. If it is not Monday thru Friday, 8AM to 5PM and I have not agreed to assist in some urgent effort, please leave me the heck alone. I'm busy with my life.

3. My husband is a better mother than me. I have always known this at some level, but this week of working at home and working extra while he took care of the kids and the house and made delicious dinners just confirmed it.

4. Do not attempt yoga while you can only breathe through your mouth. It is unpleasant at best. Trying to do yoga while breathing thru your mouth and swallowing sinus drainage will make you feel ill and off-balance. Trust me on this one and don't try it.

5. The more you are looking forward to something, the longer it takes to get here. Yes, that is just a rephrasing of the old 'A watched pot never boils' but it is true. I want my tattoo finished so bad I can taste it. But it seems like Saturday will never get here. *sigh*

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Oh My

I'm filling in for my boss at work this week. This was not exactly voluntary, although I will keep any additional comments about it to myself since this is not an anonymous blog. I will, however, say that I am out. I'm spent. For whatever reason, nothing urgent seems to be needed prior to 4PM. I went the entire day today without a one-off request, and then just before 4PM..... BAM! Here ya go: a 645-line spreadsheet shows up in my inbox, accompanied by a phone call telling me how urgent it is that I update 2 to 4 fields on each line showing something for my department. Yeah, it's already past due. And needed today.


So, even though I was going to try to avoid whiny, complaining blog posts about my life.... I just finished two hours of working on that spreadsheet and have no idea if it is accurate. And it is after 10PM here. And I'm still sick. This is all I have left. Go me.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Medicine Cocktails

Every time I get sick, I try to put off taking medicine for as long as possible. I will take aspirin to help me get through the days, but I try to keep it limited to that. I read somewhere that taking all that cough and cold medicine can actually extend the time you experience symptoms as opposed to taking nothing or just regular aspirin. The explanation for this was possibly that your body doesn't fight off the symptoms because you have the medicine suppressing them. That, or it was the companies producing the meds can somehow keep you sick longer so you need to buy and use more of their products. I don't remember. It's really not important. I read that years ago and have since believed it to be true.

For the first few days of a cold or flu, when it's not so unbearable, I take my aspirin and manage. Inevitably, I become so miserable that I raid the medicine cabinet. And, no matter how many boxes and bottles I stocked up on the last time I was sick, I never have anything that says it will treat all the symptoms I have and nothing more. I either have to take something that is intended to treat every symptom a person could possibly have when sick, including bloodshot eyes and recurring hiccups... or I have to cobble together some sort of strange cocktail of several, single-symptom syrups and pills.

I realize this is probably not advisable, but what is a girl supposed to do? I can't breathe through my nose, my eyes are burning, I have that terrible cough where my breath catches in my throat almost every time I exhale and sparks a coughing fit, and my throat hurts so badly that I want to rip it out of my neck (because, you know, that would hurt less). I cannot possibly be the only person who has had a cold or flu with these symptoms, but you wouldn't know that by examining the medicine aisle. All I want is a decongestant with a cough suppressant and pain killer. I do not need an antihistamine. I do not need something for chest congestion.

I am not a pharmacist. I do not know what the long-term effects could be from me mixing cough syrup with aspirin and sudafed. Maybe I shouldn't be doing that. Maybe I shouldn't be taking meds at all, as it will just make me sick longer. Maybe I should take the week off work and stay in bed, but that really is not an option for me. All I can do is hope this feeling like my head is filled with helium goes away when I finally get better and stop downing medicine cocktails.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Sea Foam Green Couch

There are some things I remember from growing up almost as though I watched them happen and took pictures in my head. I remember them in a series of snapshots that I can flip through and linger over. Sure, some of these snapshots are not ones I want to review too often, but thankfully most of them are good.

My dad worked a lot when I was growing up. Most nights he would come home late, well after my mom, sisters, and I had eaten dinner. He would sit in a dining room chair, and unlace his Red Wing steel-toe work boots. My sisters and I would clamor to talk to him, to stand in his boots, to tell him what happened during the day. My mom would heat up his dinner and he would eat while we climbed on and around him. I'm sure he would have liked nothing more than to just take a shower and go to bed, but he listened and talked to us and then tucked us in for the night.

Except on nights when there were thunderstorms. My dad loves thunderstorms. On nights when there were thunderstorms, we would all pile on the ancient, boxy, sea foam green couch my parents inherited from somewhere and watch the storm. Our house was tiny, but had the perfect setup for storm watching. One of the rooms was a long, narrow, breezeway/enclosed porch-type room with floor-to-ceiling Jalousie windows all along one wall. The green couch faced the windows, as that was the only way the couch would fit in the narrow room and still allow for foot traffic.

We would crank all the windows open far enough that we could experience the sounds of the storm, yet not so far that rain would blow in. All the lights would be turned off, then we'd jump on the couch and wait. There was some wiggling, squirming, jockeying for seats, but once we all caught a glimpse of the backyard illuminated by the lightning, we'd forget whose leg was touching her foot and just watch. I really don't remember what else was said, but I do remember vividly what everything out those windows looked like in the electric-blue-white flashes of light on those nights. And I remember how it felt to be kind of afraid of the storm, but also so incredibly comforted by the nearness of my family. I have a special file in my head for the snapshots of those nights.

Luke has been talking for days about how my family used to watch storms when I was little. I'm pretty sure I didn't tell him, so I guess my mom or dad has some snapshots of those nights too. Tonight we finally had a big thunderstorm and he went around turning off all the lights and asked if we could sit on the couch together and watch. Let's just say I added some new snapshots to my collection. Luke and Owen all snuggled up next to us, their profiles illuminated in the flashes, making some new storm watching memories. Minus the sea foam green couch.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


floun·der [ flówndər ] (past and past participle floun·dered, present participle floun·der·ing, 3rd person present singular floun·ders)

intransitive verb

1. make uncontrolled movements: to make clumsy uncontrolled movements while trying to regain balance or move forwards

2. hesitate in confusion: to act in a way that shows confusion or a lack of purpose

3. be in serious difficulty: to have serious problems and be close to failing

I've been thinking a lot about my issues. The ones I've posted and the ones I haven't. This morning as I was rolling all this around in my skull, all I could think is "Why are you floundering like this?" I mean, seriously. I have a lot of excuses, but no good ones. I've got to pull it together.

Only I can't. This is what happens when I try to figure everything out on my own. When I try to do things my way. When I try to make things work the way I want them to. When I try to make people respond the way I want. When I want what I want and I want, want, want.

Then I get distracted and I think it's all about me. Only it isn't. There are so many other things I should be doing. There are so many other things that should have my focus. I'm not sure how to get from here to there. There where I am focusing on the right things. There where I'm not floundering. But I think I'm starting to see to where I should refocus.

He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters.
-Psalm 18:16

Saturday, April 3, 2010


Dominoes falling.
Heard, yet unseen.
Sunlight concealed
by invisible clouds.
without cause.

Friday, April 2, 2010

How can I reclaim it?

Foolish, how was I so careless
Pawning off my treasure, the envy of an heiress
Now my dollars are crumbled in my pocket
How can I reclaim it?
What if someone's got it?
- A Fine Frenzy

I'm pretty sure I have forgotten how to write. Lost my ability, pawned it off, had it stolen.... something. I've lost count of the number of time in the past month I sat down in front of a Blogger post box or with a pen in my head, wanting to write, and.... nothing.

I have lots of excuses. Winter. Coldness. Illness. Work. Stress. Only I've gone through more difficult times and haven't experienced writer's block at this level. No idea.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


I was hoping for some surge of inspiration to suddenly hit me today since it is the first day of April and I am supposed to have something to write for every day this month. Well... that didn't happen. So now I'm going to post this cheat post of things I love and things I hate and maybe tomorrow I will have something more worth reading.

I love when I wake up thinking I overslept only to realize it's the weekend and I don't have to get out of bed till the boys wake up.
I hate when the boys wake up super-early on the weekend when I could have slept in.

I love getting all warm and cozy under a blanket on the couch and watching a movie.
I hate when the movie is over and I have to get up and I'm even more cold than I was before.

I love when a public restroom has seat covers so I don't have to 'hover.'
I hate when those stupid self-flush toilets flush down the cover as soon as I put it on because the sensor is set wrong.

I love, love, love when we have the first Summertime day of the year and it is warm enough to open the windows and walk around barefoot at home without being even a little bit cold.
I hate when those days are just teasers and give way to cold, rainy springtime weather.

I love when I have something fascinating to write about and I sit down to write it and it all comes together.
I hate when something like this post is all I can come up with.