Friday, May 30, 2008
*I slept a whopping total of four hours last night. Those four hours were not consecutive, and some parts of them were spent on the bathroom floor hoping that steam from the shower would help Grant to stop coughing and to breathe a little easier.
*Connor was bawling that his ear hurt. hmmm, oh, yeah, remember that fever from a few days ago? Now, I'm catching on...
*I cleaned out the refrigerator
*I had a laser hair removal appt - if you haven't done this, I recommend it, but OMG does it hurt LIKE HELL!
*My mouth is in pain from the dental work I had done yesterday.
*The doc prescribed stuff for the boys. I dropped scrips off at 2:15pm. At 4:50pm the pharmacy realized that they couldn't decipher one of the scrips and faxed the offices (why not JUST CALL???) surprise - already gone home. DUH! No meds for you, MaryB!
*Go to Central Market to get sushi for boys and myoplex bars for me. Forget it was Friday - Burgers and Bock. Look at all adorable, fun people as I wait for a parking place for like 25 minutes. Feel like loser when I see everyone on the patio living it up with the live band whilst I get take out sushi in my workout wear. THEN, most all sushi was gone!
*Leave Central Market with NO Dorothea's potato chip goat cheese! (trust me! Sounds crazy, but is De-lish!)
*Mow lawn. This a real PITA since the Texas State Utilities Commission and Atmos (Assmost as we are currently referring to them here) are taking their sweet time redoing all the gas lines on our street. Almost fall into 15 ft deep hole they have dug in my yard.
*Delicately handle a WAY weird text message from neighbor. (Nervous tummy x 100,000!)
*The only good parts - Watching the 2nd half of August Rush with the boys, and seeing Rich's number on my caller ID for the first time in weeks! One more two-way run of the Orient and then he is on his way home!
This was NOT how I envisioned the beginning of our summer vacation!
I will find something happy and uplifting to say tomorrow. Hope you all had fun for me this Friday night!
This is only interesting because I have had had a post languishing in my drafts folder titled, "A Walking Dichotomy." It was about my mother. My mom is also a chemist. However, unlike me, she actually DOES SOMETHING, for monetary gain, involving the chemistry. She flies all over the freaking planet putting her mad chemistry skills to use working on military aircraft and whatnot. In the past few years she has actually flown out to aircraft carriers while they were at sea. I think she has more tailhook catches than my husband. HOWEVER, WHAT WAS SHE DOING in the back of the C-2 on the way to the carrier????? Smocking baby dresses! And, knowing her, she probably baked the pilot some brownies that she made from scratch after she milked a cow and made her own butter to make said brownies.
So, genetics or coincidence? In all seriousness, I guess I have to answer that it is nurture not nature. I give huge props to my parents who never believed in putting people in a "box." You can be girly and feminine while still being wicked smart in "a man's field." You can be a straight, male hairdresser. You could be a really short basketball player. Stereotypes weren't recognized in our house. I hope this is one thing that I am able to successfully convey to another generation.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
My needs/wants were...
VOLUME! VOLUME! VOLUME! I was blessed with length, but age is stealing the volume! I want my Scarlett O'Hara fringe back!
NO clumps! I HATE HATE HATE Dallas lashes! (A girl should NOT look like she has mega-hold styling gel in her lashes!)
NO flaking or smudging at all, until I took it off
So, the choice I'll be sticking with for a while is Lancome Cils Booster layered under Cover Girl Lash Blast. ( I think the Lash Blast's secret weapon is the rubber brush - you can add layer upon layer and it will STILL look like natural fringey lashes!)
Don''t forget to curl first!
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Had to publish this to ease my insane obsessing that you all think I am a total dork after seeing those pictures!
First things first, I must think of something to call Ms. Therapist because therapist is too creepily formal. How about ShrinkyDink? An ode to arts and crafts of the 70s and 80s.
So, in "visiting" with ShrinkyDink, I may have discovered my personal "WHY" of blogging. This "WHY" question seems to be a prevalent blog topic, and I, not really one to contemplate the "why's" of things, never understood the prevalence. (Could I use a few more quotation marks? Is the quotation mark going to replace the ellipsis as my favorite punctuation mark?)
It seems that "pickings are slim" for friends here in Cowtown. (again with the quotation marks - but it is a quote of exactly what she said!) Yes, I have social acquaintances and such, but only one real friend and she likes to accuse me of being OC and anorexic which is getting OLD. The SAHMs here seem to like to participate in the big game of Competitive Parenting. A game in which I refuse to play. I am used to having a non-judgemental, open-minded, fun, and worldly bunch of girls. They were(are!) self confident, accomplished women who didn't need to hide behind their children or tear other people down to make themselves seem bigger. 'Round these here parts, it seems, all those types work outside the home. Thus, I am left seemingly alone to deal with those who choose to compete and live vicariously through their children. Ugh!
Eureka!!! This must be why I blog! So, if you are a real life friend 'o mine from one locale or another, you should be honored. Apparently I blog because I miss your smart and witty repartee!
Professional Advice from ShrinkyDink: Keep blogging or I will lean more and more on poor 'ol Rich who will be all, "Ugh! Woman! Space!! Please! Can't Breathe!"
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Well, it's NOT away from your husband, 11 hours with no electricity in the Texas heat, trying to dose out some meds for your child who has a 104 degree fever by candlelight. Oh, and the day started with a phone call from school to bring one of the boys a uniform because, apparently, free dress passes cannot be used on days with awards assembly.
Yeah, that pretty much sucked.
It can only get better from here, right? Thank goodness I've got Destin and Santa Fe looming in my future.
2 college graduations
1 set of wings
9 sets of moving trucks and boxes
3 pregnancies (you didn't really think I was putting my Michelin Man pictures in here did you?)
6 too many friends lost
1 boy who learned to love Cajun food
1 girl who learned to love the mountains and the American West
2,000,000 political debates
Too many deployments
Never enough joyous homecomings!
infinite = the number of times I would choose you all over again.
EDITED TO ADD.... 1 romantic getaway
This is ENTIRELY insufficient.
SOOOOO, here is your anniversary present!!!!!!! (Hurry home to collect!)
Let's make it 2! (for now!)
Sunday, May 25, 2008
I am going to tell you how to enjoy cleaning your kitchen.
1. Pour yourself a lovely glass of red wine.
Recommended by moi -
2. Preferably in a beautiful glass. Go ahead - use the crystal - what are you saving it for?
3. Light a favorite candle - this one is my all-time, bar none, MOST FAVORITE EVER!
4. Rotate Etta James, Diana Krall, Norah Jones, Miles Davis, and maybe even a little Buble on your playlist.
5. Chinese Water Torture could be endured with this regimen, so something as mundane as cleaning the kitchen becomes downright enjoyable.
6. One downside - by the time you are finished, you are feeling like a hot and sultry version of June Cleaver and are terribly disappointed to remember that your handsome husband is not coming home. To avert this possible bursting of your mellow mood I suggest pouring another glass of wine and visualizing all the presents he is buying you.
Friday, May 23, 2008
Today on the way home from taking the kids to school Kid Kraddick in the morning (OMG! They are HILARIOUS!) was counting down the top 10 Graduation/Class songs of all time. They played clips of them all. Those songs could make you cry at any given moment. Damn those songs! Especially Time of your Life by Greenday.
But then I almost drove off the side of the road laughing when I remembered that my high school boyfriend's class song was There's a Tear in My Beer by Hank Williams, Jr.. Gotta love Catholic High!
Do all those sappy graduation songs and this time of year make you wistful and melancholy? Is it just me? What songs make your eyes a little misty? Tell me! Make me feel less like an aging, emotional freak wishing to reclaim my youth!
Thursday, May 22, 2008
So, Rach, without further ado...
"That is a point of view I haven't considered. I'll have to give it some prayerful consideration and get back to you."
Use it carefully and wisely once you have perfected your delivery. Let me know how it works for you. Tell me some stories of "deer in the headlights" looks you leave in your wake.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Exactly what is any different about my drink of choice and your margaritas? Except for like about 5 bazillion calories?
*Hey Tessie, Does this rule also apply to beverages? Can I get that in writing?
To steal a phrase from Tessie, I am WICKED PISSED! My boys go to Catholic school, okay? NOT private school. They are NOT the same thing! BTW, I have nothing against private schools either. Here is a list of things people have said to to me in the past. In real life, I usually pull out my pocket phrase* of, "Well, schools are like shoes and the same one doesn't fit everybody." In purple are things I'd like to say, but rarely do.
- "Don't you think it is irresponsible to spend all that money on elementary school?" Excuse me, is that ANY of your business, and do you even know how much my tuition bill is at our school or how much money we do or do not make?
- "How do you plan to fund their college education? Wouldn't that be a better plan for your money?" Well, maybe - except that I have like five good reasons to disagree with you. What I do not have is either the time or inclination to explain them to you.
- "You know, you are only hurting them in the long run. They will go crazy when you let them out into the real world. You have to stop sheltering them!" Funny thing that - I have like 13 years of Catholic schooling under my belt and have yet to go crazy. The percentage of kids I graduated from grade school or high school with that "went crazy" is NO different than the percentage that "go crazy" in general. Honestly, I'm one of the more well adjusted people I know.
- "People who think they are too good for public school piss me off!" (yes, someone at the park actually said that to me directly after asking me where my kids go to school!)" I have absolutely no words for this one except to say that all three of my boys have better manners than that jerk! No, I do not think I am "too good" for public school. I do, however, think I am "too good" to bother talking to you any further!
- "All of my friends who went to private school were afraid of black people." (OH AND AND AND the person who said this one to me didn't use the word black people - think of a really nasty slur - that's what SHE said!) Tolerance and acceptance is taught at home - not at school. Frankly, I think the Catholic church does a much better job backing up what we teach at home than the average Texan I meet around here. (Sorry for the sweeping generalization here, but really...the racism here blows. my. mind.) One of my proudest moments as a parent was the time that one of my nieces asked her mom if a black girl could marry a white boy. My oldest was there and looked at her like she had nine heads and said, "well, they're both people, right?"
- "Why would you send your children to a school that is not overseen by the state? Is there any accountability without the state tests?" TAKS or FCAT and the like? Teacher pay and bonuses tied to the results? Are you kidding me? Putting those teachers in an impossible situation where you tie their hands to a test and impede their ability to do what they do best? you know, TEACH! You think this is a GOOD idea? You know who oversees my kids school? ME! That's the hell who!
- "Do you realize that you are hurting my children by not sending your kids to public school? I mean you are taking money out of my children's school system!" WTF????? No you dumb ass - I'm helping you. My tax money gets collected and spent just like everyone else's! I'm actually paying money into a system I'm not using which actually BENEFITS you. Do the math!
Oh my gosh, there are SOO many more I could tell you about, but these are some of the highlights. Just to be very, very clear. I have no doubt that the children of my friends who are in the local elem. school are getting a very good education. I'm just saying it is not the choice for us, and I do NOT understand why people feel that it is appropriate to comment, judge, or lecture me about it. I would never do this to anyone about any of their life choices.
I'm looking back and realizing that I did not exactly explain myself very well about how Catholic school is NOT the same as private school. It would take me pages and pages to try to explain this. I will try to cover this in tomorrow's post though. It is a subject near and dear to my heart. And, if you have any questions about Catholic education, feel free to ask. There seem to be a lot of misperceptions out there and I would like to clear them up so I can stop dodging the "Where do your kids go to school?" question like a slick politician.
###DISCLAIMER### Do not take the poor writing on this blog as evidence of shitty Catholic education. I simply refuse to obsess and edit what I write here the way I do everything else. There has to be an end to my OCD and I say it is at this blog. I spew, I spellcheck, I publish. The end. If you ask my children they will tellyou that Iam actually the grammar Nazi. If 12 yrs of Catholic school grammar don't drill it into you, I assure you that 4 semesters of Latin definitely will!
*pocket phrases are phrases that I use verbatim, in a practiced, friendly tone, when I can feel the inside spool reeling up to unleash on someone. I have several that I can rely on to get me out of almost any situation before I lose it and say things I shouldn't. Maybe I should post them. They are so, so useful, but only if you practice them! You have to be willing to talk to yourself in the mirror...
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Let me start by saying that I probably should not participate in her poll because I am not really an "age cohort" like she was looking for. In my head I am, but in reality...notsomuch. That disclaimer aside, Ill answer that I exercise anywhere from 3 to 6 times per week. What do I do? Hmmm, well, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the treadmill which, apparently, is odd. (odd in that I HATE to run outside, but love to run on the treadmill) I love the hum and whir. It is downright hypnotic. I love that. I try to mix it up with the bike and the wave though to avoid that muscle memory/body efficiency thing I hear about. Now, when I was a good little gym rat before the BFL days, I did cardio on Mondays, floor (kick yo ass) Pilates on Tuesdays, Cardio on Wednesdays, a class called Muscle Mix on Thursdays (think Body Pump if you are familiar with that), and Fridays was the "true ballerina" Pilates. Saturday was either cardio at the gym or a good hour long walk in the neighborhood which they call RXXXX Hills for reason! These hills will tone your rear with a quickness! That all changed when Grant started speech therapy. I still made it to the gym sometimes, but the schedule never left a long enough period of time for me to get in a good workout and have time to be showered and presentable. Then, Rich and I started Body for Life and that fell apart for similar reasons. I am thankful that I have been able to stick with some of it though because I no longer fear the free weights. Right now, the end of the school year is kicking my ass and I have not really exercised in like two and a half weeks. I, however, feel like I haven't sat still once. I cant even sit long enough to blog!
Now, here is the tangent that is going to get poo flung at me....In thinking about all the excuses for not exercising I know that the top of everyone's list is "the kids." I get that. Totally. And, everyone thinks that they will get back to the gym and start taking care of themselves when the kids are old enough to go to school. Well, I am older than pretty much all of the people I consider my "blog friends." So I read a lot of comments about people with babies and toddlers. I know what it is like to be a SAHM to small children. You are exhausted mentally and physically a lot of the time. Believe me, I know. (The Evil Queen can vouch for me that when my older two were that age I had a husband who left for weeks and months at a time sometimes with no notice.) Here is what I am going to tell you SAHM of small children....YOU HAVE IT BACKWARDS! NOW is the time you can take care of yourself. Assuming of course that you can find/afford a gym with daycare. OR you can push toddlers in the stroller or join Stroller Strides. Because here is the thing guys...your days are full of childcare and housekeeping BUT, BUT BUT, your schedule is your own to make! YOU choose when to be places, you choose what you are going to do in a day, and you can choose to just throw in the towel some days. Well, when the kids start school that shit is over! They have to be at school on time, they have to be picked up they have homework, they have soccer, tennis, band, detention.. they have Science Fair and History Fair. They have friends. They have meet the teacher night, and spring musicals. Somewhere in there you have to feed them and call out their spelling words and check their math and help them understand dangling participles. And, you can't decide to put this stuff off until tomorrow or whatever. The school and teams, and crap make the schedules. Your life works itself AROUND those schedules. You don't make the rules about time anymore. And, I can hear you all now in your heads saying, "Well, MaryB, you chose this, you let them do all that stuff!" NOPE! My kids are limited to ONE structured activity other than school at a time. And still, just the school will kill you.
So what I'm saying is this - Enjoy your freedom. Make your own schedule. Be the boss. And, if you are so inclined exercise NOW, because if you think it will be easier when they finally go to school, you're wrong. Evidence - I lose about 7 lbs every summer! Because my time is my own. I MAKE the rules about how I use it. OR, possibly, 7 lbs evaporates because I live in the hottest dame place EVER! Did I mention my car thermometer read 102 effing degrees today! It is not even June!
You think this is pissy??? Just wait til tomorrow!
OMG - do I over think things or what?
Saturday, May 17, 2008
At our old school back in Florida this was taken care of so nicely. The PTO sent out letters to every family telling them to forego the gifts and to send in any amount of money. The PTO then distributed it proportionally among teachers, aids, and all the staff. You could send in as much or as little as you wanted and no one knew how much you sent. Then your name was signed to a very nice card that was attached to all the teacher's and staff's "bonuses," which were fairly substantial. Much, much better system if you ask me! WHY OH WHY do we not do that here???
In the end, I'm asking for your help! I need fresh ideas. I've used up all of my good ones. I considered starting a Pandora for them. I think this would be especially nice for Jamie's teacher who is a cancer survivor. I could get her the pink ribbon charm since proceeds from those charms go to the Komen foundation...and the kid charms that go to the end childhood hunger program....I DON'T KNOW! HELP A GIRL OUT HERE!
Friday, May 16, 2008
Oh, and let's just remember that he will be based out of our old duty station. I hated it there by the time I left, but seven years later I have nostalgic memories of the good times and of THE FOOD! What do you want to bet that the man will be eating at one of my old favs on our anniversary??? Or dancing and playing shuffleboard at the O-club until they throw everybody out?? Actually, it is likely that he will be doing a lot of humanitarian type missions given the tragedies on that side of the world. That actually makes the separation much more bearable. If I can hold down the home front while he does that, then I feel like I have done at least a little, indirect something to help those people who need so much help right now.
I am off to wallow in my inexcusably pathetic, lonely self-pity now.
Hey you! If you are reading this, I'm sure a multitude of new dishes from China Pete's and gifts from Osan might ease my pain!
Monday, May 12, 2008
Connor pipes in at this point...
"Don't bother reading it. I know how all the letters go. First dad writes,'Dear Marybeth, I love you. Will you marry me?' Then she writes, 'Dear Rich, No.' 'Dear MaryBeth, Please, please, please, please, please?' 'Dear Rich, Maybe.' 'Dear MaryBeth, pleeeeeaaaase???' 'Dear Rich, I guess so.' "
I love that kid. You can't buy that kind of loyalty and admiration. I think I'll buy him a present tomorrow. I wonder what he would like, you know, just in case that kind of loyalty CAN be bought. Just kidding, of course.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
I took Grant and his future bride, Olivia, to McDonald's after picking them up from pre-school to get ice cream and play until time to pick up the big kids at school. It was a nice day and all was well until time to leave the play place. Grant had eaten pretty much all of his ice cream. When I told them it was time to go, Grant ran over to eat any still-frozen bites of ice cream left in his cup. Then, I sent him to put on his socks and shoes. As he went to do so he noticed that I was heading to the trash can with his ice cream cup. He freaked the heck out! I let him take one drink of the melted ice cream and then firmly told him it was time to go, and that there was NO WAY he was taking that melted ice cream in the car. So, I threw it away. The ensuing drama was RI-DIC-U-LOUS! He was still whining and being generally pissy when we got home with the big kids. I reminded him of the rule in our house. The rule is: you may cry or whine all you like, but you must do it in your room so that we do not have to hear it. you may rejoin the family in the public spaces when you can be pleasant. This particular day he chose to take advantage of the whine and moan all you want portion of the deal. After the first hour, I saw him open his door and peak his head out.
I said, "You'd better not step one foot out of that room until you can be nice!"
He retreated back into his room. By the time I was back in the kitchen I realized he had resumed the seemingly incessant mantra of, " I waaaaa mmmyyy iiice creeeaaam baaaack!!"
So, I looked back down the hallway and saw him lying on the floor with his waist in the door frame, his top half in the hallway, and his bottom half in his room. (You see where this is going, yes?)
I said, "I told you that you had better stay in that room until you can be nice!"
He replied, "My feet are still in my room!" (Refer to my earlier instruction) Little smart ass!
However, he had followed the letter of the law if not the spirit, and so I chose not to fight a battle I didn't have the energy to win. (One of my cardinal rules of parenting!) I returned to helping Connor with his homework in the kitchen. A while later I realized it was quiet. I peered down the hallway to find this.
Would you believe he resumed his antics even when he woke up? And well into the evening after Rich's return home? What the heck got into him? Anyway, once he got himself under control, we reminded him that he would most assuredly NOT be getting ice cream any time in the near future. His tolerance for this part of the punishment was put to the test earlier than expected. Saturday night found me with a van equipped with a spare tire after a flat. All tires stores closed. Husband out of town per usual for all problems. It had been a very, very long day. So, I did what any pathetic, tired mom would do. Took them all to McD's for dinner. I must have looked especially haggard because one of the employees brought all the kids ice cream cones.
Grant told her, " I can't have one. I was ugly to my mom last time. I'm in trouble."
He patiently waited, without one single tiny complaint, while his brothers ate their cones. I was SO VERY PROUD of him. We went home and he never mentioned it. Then, while tucking him into bed, he asked me, "Mommy, I'm sorry I was bad when I wanted my ice cream back. I wasn't ugly today and I didn't cry when Jamie and Connor got ice cream. Can I have one next time?"
Yes, Grant, I think you can.
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
I'm off to a long day of appointments and meetings (did I mention I do NOT have a paying job?? WTH?), but I have a quick question for those of you who do get paid for your genius, or who are just techie geeks. My schedule and Rich's schedule are just getting nuttier all the time and with the whole PTO gig, his two flying jobs, the kids' activities, and remodeling the house...the time has come for me to upgrade to a smart phone. You know, one that will yell at me, "Hey you big ditz!! You are supposed to be somewhere RIGHT NOW!" I have been using a Palm Zire for a while and Rich has been using a Treo for quite some time, so we are used to the Palm OS and just assumed that we would both get Centros and then both sync of the same Palm desktop so that we would both have all of the same info and each other's scheds. HOWEVER, the (very very cute) salesman at the Sprint store did a hard sell on the Blackberry Pearl. A hard enough sell that these two Palm followers are re-thinking their plan. So, seeing as how more than half of you who visit around here are gainfully employed, and all of you are obviously uber-hip and smart, I'm seeking your opinions! Just keep in mind that I'm not trying to start up a multi-national conglomerate and that the Centro comes in pink, the Blackberry in red.
BONUS TEXAS FUNNY -
The man who just finished building our fence wore a straw cowboy hat, chain-smoked Marlboros, and wore cowboy boots with his jeans tucked into them. And, for a week straight the only thing he ever called me was, "Little Lady." AND, about half the times that he called me this he would tip the front of his hat!!! HI-LAR-I-OUS!!!!