Friday, June 29, 2007

This Blog Has Not Yet Been Rated...Oh Wait...Yes It Has...

I got this fun link from Stacy. And I have to laugh at my rating.

Online Dating

According to this rating site, this is why I have an NC-17 rating:

This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words:
  • pain (14x)
  • puke (13x)
  • crap (9x)
  • hell (7x)
  • hurt (4x)
  • kill (3x)
  • drugs (2x)
  • crack (1x)
Context (or lack there of) is everything!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Tags Are Fun

I'm tired of complaining about the idiot formerly known as my husband. And the wonderful The Boy and his Lil Bro are doing just fine. So I'm taking my cousin Kendra's tag on.

First memory - very vague dream-like scenes of hospital hallways and operating rooms. I have no idea how old I was. But that all started at 7 months so who knows.

First real kiss - "Real"? I haven't a clue.

First love - Hmmm...there were lots of times I was convinced I was in love. I'd have to was probably my highschool drummer. From there, a theme emerged in my life.

First crush - Timothy Gregg or Robby Wolfe. Not sure.

First thing you think in the morning - "Why can't my boys sleep IN?!"

First book you remember loving - These little kid story books about bible stories. I still have them. They're probably close to 40 yrs old now and my boys love them.

First pet - Lexi, a dachshund.

First question you'll ask in heaven - Well, I'll have way too many. Like my cousin answered, I have a feeling I'll be a bit too busy worshiping my God to ask any.

First thing you think of when you hear the word vacation - Summer trips driving from New England to visit family in Texas and New Mexico as a kid. Those drives ROCKED.

First best friend - My sister, Big Sis. And she still is my best friend.

Last time you dressed up - Goodness. I didn't even really dress up for the last wedding I went to in 2005. I honestly couldn't tell you.

Last thing you ate - Honeycomb cereal.

Last CD you bought - Mercy Me or Big Daddy Weave. Not sure.

Last good book you read - Guns, Germs & Steel. I'm waiting for Trish's now!!

Last time you cried - within the last 2 days. I'm trying to stop wasting it on him, though.

Last time you told someone you loved them - a couple of hours ago, told The Boy over and over while I held him at the doctor's office. He fell asleep in my lap while we waited for lab results.

Last really funny thing you did - I haven't the foggiest. It's kind of a regular occurrence. I tend to make people laugh out loud on conference calls with inappropriate jokes via IM at work.

Last thing you watched on TV - Tom & Jerry (it's on right now)

I tag anyone who feels like sharing!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

In a Word...

Beck didn't tag me but I'm taking it anyway. I'm stealing her one-word answer meme....

1 Where is your cell phone? pocket
2 Relationship? gonzo
3 Your hair? help!
4 Work? ignoring
5 Your sister? downtown
6 Your favorite things? sons
7 Your dream last night? NyQuil
8 Your favorite drink? Coke
9 Your dream car? Beetle
10 The room you're in? kitchen
11 Your shoes? off
12 Your fears? nonexistent
13 What do you want to be in 10 years? happy
14 Who did you hang out with this weekend? sons
15 What are you not good at? tuba
16 Muffins? mmmmmm
17 Wish-list item? lottery
18 Where you grew up? everywhere
19 The last thing you did? counseling
20 What are you wearing? clothes
21 What are you not wearing? thong
22 Your pet? dead
23 Your computer? wee
24 Your life? blessed
25 Your mood? tired
26 Missing? mom
27 What are you thinking about? work
28 Your car? green
29 Your kitchen? tiled
30 Your summer? gorgeous
31 Your favorite color? green
32 Last time you laughed? yesterday
33 Last time you cried? today
34 School? yuck
35 Love? always
36 Tag? everyone

There you go.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Mellon or Baby? YOU Decide.

Oh...and this is ME at 5 months old in 1966.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Honoring My Fathers

That title sounds like something that would be uttered in a Cecil B DeMille movie staring Chuck Heston as a member of Israel. But it's about my three fathers.

I am one blessed woman. I have had three father-type figures in my life. Four, if you count my birth-step-dad, Bruce. But I will concentrate on the three that had the main impact on my life here.

Sam is the first dad I ever knew. He is the dad I think of as my "real dad". He is technically my adoptive father. But saying it like that makes it sound like he was just some stand in, temporary guy. The term "adoptive" whatever has always annoyed me because - to me - it lessens the importance of my dad's role in my life. I call him "Sam" here just to differentiate in this post. But he was "Dad". And he was until the day he died in 1977 (10 days shy of my 12th birthday).

Sam is the one that helped pull all of my loose teeth. He's the one that let me and my sister ride sitting one on each foot while he tried to walk around the kitchen. He was an IBM engineer that was a freaking genius. He was so handsome - I thought he looked like Lee Majors and Elvis, but handsomer. He's the one that worked his butt off to provide an amazing life for my mom, my 3 siblings and me. He was someone that almost everyone at our church looked to as an example of a real Christian and what a real father and husband looked like.

I once asked him what he was going to do when I brought my first boyfriend home (I must have seen something on TV that triggered this question). He sat and thought for a moment. Then he said, "Well, I'll probably just ask him a few questions while I clean my shotguns." I could not WAIT to drag home some poor unsuspecting boy for that inquiry!! Unfortunately, it never happened.

Sam was my daddy. My dad. The dad of my formative years. He and my mom gave me the solid foundation in God that carried me through my own stupidity. He and my mom are a large part of who I am because of the absolute unconditional love they provided from age 3 months to age 12.

Hal is the second dad I ever knew. He became my step-dad in 1978. I refused to call him anything relatively close to the words dad or father. He was "Hal" and I made him very miserable for many years. But let me tell you about Hal. He stuck with my mom and their Brady-Bunch-on-acid family through thick and thin. I'm sure he wanted to bolt more than once. But he never bailed on us. And he stuck with me through some pretty awful stuff. He earned the title of "dad". And I am totally comfortable introducing people to my dad, Hal.

Hal and I don't see eye to eye on religion or politics. We politely try to avoid it. Well, I try to avoid it. He would love to push my buttons on politics. But he's nice and doesn't any more. But where we don't agree - I have HUGE respect for the man. He and my mom walk their talk. I may not like it all but I have to give him huge props for his integrity and sticking to his beliefs. And he loves my mom like crazy. She was just here taking care of me for seven weeks. It was so hard for him to be apart from her but he made the sacrifice for his "baby" - me!

Hal and I have been through the ringer together. He got me as a daughter just as I hit puberty. Throw a bunch of teenagers into a mixed family like that, shake, and stand back to watch the explosions. He did his best. And as a teenager, I made sure to let him know that his best sucked. I have spent the last couple of decades of my life calling my parents to tell them what an idiot I was back then and how I see now that I would do anything - ANYthing - to keep my kids safe. So all the things I thought he had done out of pure meanness, I now see he was trying to save my life.

Fortunately, Hal has a great sense of forgiveness for me. And he understands that I was just being a teenager and dealing with pain and a horrible situation in the only way I knew how. He gave me away at my wedding in 1996 and now he'd like to camp out on my porch with a shotgun to keep future ex away. HA! (For the record: that's a joke)

Dean's real name is Simeon (pronounced "Si-mun", not "Simm-ee-un"). Dean (or Dino - as he introduced himself) was my birth-father. His genes - along with those of my birth-mom April - doomed me to have a huge head, a short stocky body, a great head of thick hair and a great voice. He also gave me all my dark hair. A fact for which I punched him in the arm when I first met him in 1986.

My birth-mom found Dean for me after she found me in 1985. He was without boundaries and overwhelming. And I mean that in a loving way. The man embodied love. So much so that you could smother easily if he loved you. At his funeral in 2002, his brother described him as "summer". And I have to agree that fits. He was perpetual brightness. He was funny and could stretch a yarn like no one else. It often embarrassed the hell out of me and my half-sister. But now that he's gone, man, I miss it.

Dean was a goofball with an amazing voice. His speaking voice was low and should have been on the radio. His singing voice was amazing. He loved people completely and without bounds. I used to say he had a heart the size of Texas. But now that I live here, I know that's too small. His heart was huge. His siblings tell stories of how - when they lived in the Philippines as kids - they lived in a really nice house. I believe it was gated somehow - maybe an armed services compound of some kind? But he would go to the fence and chat with all the poor kids on the other side. Sometimes, he'd literally take his clothes off to hand through to the poor kids - much to the annoyance of his family. But that's Dean. He'd have hardly anything in the bank but he'd send it to anyone that needed it.

Dean died way too young in 2002. He got to meet The Boy on his first birthday in July 2001. I wish he could see The Boy now. The Boy has his personality - no social boundaries. Loves completely. Absolute goofiness. Has compassion and concern for everyone in his life. Sings amazingly well. Dean would puke with pride.

These are the wonderful fathers in my life. I have been blessed beyond measure to know them all. I thank God that he brought each one into my life. They all gave me SO much.

I love you - all of my wonderful dads!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Let the Farting Begin!

Now there's a classy header.

Ok. We ate some of the chili. And either I have a magic stock pot that replenishes whatever you take out or I made 952 gallons of the stuff and we didn't even make a DENT. I had 2 servings. Mr. Neighbor had at least 2. Mrs. Neighbor had 1. Neighbor Boy had...I think one...possibly two. Neighbor Girl (also known as Her Royal Highness of Drama) didn't have any - along with my boys. They all had hot dogs (gasp!). The Boy used to love my chili. He'd look like an extra in a horror movie after a bowl of it. Lil Bro was the same. Then one day they announced they didn't like it. More for me and The Neighbors.

Seriously, I have enough to feed the rest of the 'hood tomorrow! Two other neighbors bailed at the last minute so they'll get theirs delivered tomorrow. Maybe I'll just go around knocking on doors with little disposable plastic containers full of chili. Whoever is home (and isn't afraid to open the door) will win a container full of farts. I mean CHILI.

It was good. And since I haven't been eating much, my stomach is wondering just what I've done to it. I've been eating very little servings of everything (I wish it was a lifestyle change but it's nerves). So I had 2 huge bowls of chili, 2 flour tortillas, lots of cheddar and a Coke. Yah...I look pregnant right now. My bloated stomach is happy and horrified all at the same time. And I can sit here blogging and belching all I want! Ain't I just a dainty friggin' FLOWAH!!! (read that last in my best Boston townie accent)

So that's the best part of my day. Work was work. Snooze-a-rama. Future ex called to talk to the boys and I stupidly chatted with him. Yes Wyatt, you can smack me upside the head at church on Sunday. Actually, the short chats lately have been ok. He's dealt with quite a bit of my venting - which helps me. Doesn't help him much but who cares. Tonight it upset me. Don't know why. I told him how the approaching Father's Day is annoying the daylights out of me. All the commercials showing these wonderfully perfect fathers that would never cheat on their wives or abandon their families. Makes me want to chuck whatever is in my hand at my TV. If it didn't cost 9 million dollars (an exaggeration), I might do it. But I don't have another 9 million (another exaggeration) to replace it when I go all Elvis on my TV. I told him that I just don't think he deserves the day this year. It's not for guys who leave their families like this. He said the approaching holiday is ripping his heart out. Well, good. It should.

And here is where the Cybil in me gets nutty. So the angry betrayed me is glad that he knows he shouldn't participate in that day. And that seeing it marked on the calendar at his girl thing's house for her kids upsets him. But the stupid long-suffering me who was his best friend for 16 years...that's the one that hurts about it, too. Not just for him. But for my boys and me. What will my boys do this Sunday when all the kids come into worship from Sunday school with their homemade gifts? While all the other kids are running to dad to present their wares...what will my boys do? I have to ask my pastor's wife about this. And it makes me SO sad.

The worst part is...I told The Boy today that he can call daddy on Sunday. And he said, "Do you think he'll be crying because it's Father's Day?" I was like...oh man. Knowing future ex, yah, he will. And The Boy is all worried about it. My sensitive little man is so worried about how this whole divorce thing is affecting poor dad. All the time. It's so sweet but the incongruity of it makes me want to puke. I get the sense that he thinks dad is the victim here. And I want to scream, "Don't you see? He left ALL OF US for some woman he BARELY KNOWS!!!" But I can't put that kind of crap on a beautiful little six year old.

So on Father's Day, I will try not to let the idiot formerly known as my husband ruin the whole day. And I will post something for you all so you can see how blessed I've been to have three fathers in my life. We can all concentrate on them. Which reminds me...I need to dig up some pictures of them for you guys.

Thanks for letting me rant.

Happy Friday.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

My Entire House Smells of Chili!

Oh yes. The whole house. It's in every pore! I should walk outside for like 10 minutes just so I can walk in and be overwhelmed by the pure yumminess of the smell when it hits me.

I live in Texas and have the audacity to make what I call chili. I was informed by one of my former Boston small group members that you don't put BEANS in chili. He then warned me not to go down to Texas servin' this up as "chili". Then he ate a bowl of my meatless 4 bean chili and he shut the hell UP. Pshyeah! And let me tell you, I'm livin' down here with native Texans. And native Louisianna-ites (what do you call them?). Two of my close friends are from Texas and their parents are from Mexico. You think that scared me off? No sirree BOB! I made up some of my meatless 4 bean chili and invited them all over. I gave them my caveat of my timid New England pal's warning. And then they sat down and ate. Then they had seconds. Most of the guys had thirds.

So Texans might not put beans in their chili. But I do. And I have a huge-mungous stock pot full of it right now. Just sitting on the stove. Cooling down to a temperature that won't make my whole fridge sweat when I put it in there. After it's had a whole day for all the spices, garlic, onions, and 3 different kinds of peppers to permeate the whole thing...there will be gorging. Oh yes. We will gorge ourselves on my break-all-the-rules chili. Complete with flour tortillas, Colby cheddar and sour cream. And there will be much rejoicing.

And farting. I used 3 HUGE cloves of elephant garlic. When it was all cut up into large chunks, I estimated it to be equal to about 12 cloves of regular garlic. Oh yes, there WILL be farting.

Want some? Y'all come on over!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Random Updates

I should be in bed. But in stead, I'm up typing to you - those wonderful people out there in the dark! That reminds me...must watch Sunset Boulevard soon...

So let's see. I have been battling incredible loneliness. Which is weird to say because I'm surrounded by two adorable sons, a wonderful church body and lots of caring neighbors. And it's annoying to say because it's the male intimacy I'm missing. Not the whole sex thing. Just having someone there who has your back no matter what. Someone to watch TV with. Someone to spoon with in the dark. Someone who loves you. I'm annoyed that I miss that. Especially since everything is still so new, I probably won't trust anything male on two legs for quite some time. Lovely. Not sleeping well due to this. Well, this and the fact that, now that there is no other adult in the house, I'm totally hearing every little creak and groan of the house - amplified. I hate fear.

Ok, let's get away from the gloomy crap.

The Boy is still adorable and is really into learning everything about dinosaurs he can get his brain around. And I do mean EVERYthing. He has started deciphering the Latin (or other) roots of all of the dinosaur names. He informs me of these periodically. Raptor means thief. That's the only one I can remember at the moment. I think God took all of my short-term memory and gave it to my sons. But The Boy is now interested in learning Latin. So I'll be surfing soon, looking for a website to give him the basics. Yes, every kid entering the 2nd grade should have a good foundation of Latin for all those Magic Treehouse and Junie B June books.

Lil Bro is fighting a lovely cough and seems to have shared it with me. His cough hits when he goes to sleep or wakes up. Basically, any time he shifts from horizontal to vertical, all the crap in his lungs moves around and his lungs go, "Oh yah, we're full. Let's purge this crap." He has this violent cough that turns to gagging which leads to puking. It's so much fun. I have to get him to a doctor so they can give me a cough suppressant that will actually suppress a cough.

I have no day care for Li Bro this week so it seems I'll be working from the kitchen table again and Lil Bro will be stuck in front of way too much TV. Lovely, that. My neighbor is offering to help but she has her own kids and life that need attention. But she'll help. She's wonderful.

This wonderful neighbor took me out on Saturday night - one day back from her family vacation to Hawaii. Her hubby watched the boys. She took me to dinner. Then we went to a local huge mall and went to Victoria's Secret. Now, normally, anyone suggesting I accompany them to that store would get my eyes rolling and a huge list of why portly chicks like me hate that place. And you have to see my friend. She's gorgeous and very thin. But I love her and she needed a bra and hey, I just lost 20 pounds since March on this lovely divorce diet I'm on. So what the hell. Portly chicks need bras too. Especially since I haven't worn anything other than sports bras for the last two decades (oh man, I can't wait to see the Google hits I get for THAT little confession). I mean, losing 20 pounds - whether it's my divorce diet or Trish's little foray into food poisoning - is worth celebrating. So I treated myself to a brightly colored striped bra. It rocks. It cracks me up because my body is like, "What is this thing with which you bind me so?!" But I wore it to church. My little secret with God. Look God! I got a fancy new bra to wear for you! Ok...that's bordering on something. Not sure what. But definitely walking a line.

Speaking of church (great segue, eh?)...

Today, I sang with the worship team at my church for the first time. Fear not: the bra was discretely covered by normal clothing. I was supposed to sing last week but the boys were gastric volcanoes. So today was my first time. I sang backups alone. In rehearsal, I sang backups with a pal. And it felt much safer to be able to hide behind her experience. But today, it was just me and the boys and God. It went great. I was so nervous before hand. I wanted to just puke. Before church, whoever is there gets together and prays for the day's service. So I prayed that God would take away the nerves and just let me concentrate on worshiping him. God is nice and he not only likes Ellesappelle but me, too. He calmed my nerves and helped me to just focus on the worship. And all of the songs our song leader chose were so much fun to sing. If I could score a gig singing backups for the rest of my life, I'd be so stinkin' happy. I LOVE harmonies. Love them. I put them where they have never been before. Used to drive our music director in Boston Rock Opera nuts. But I digress. So today's singing went well and made me immensely happy.

After church, we headed to my sister's house and she and her hubby had a big Sunday dinner for us. Ham, home-made mac & cheese and tater tots. MMMMM! I haven't been sleeping well lately so ended up snoring on her couch. So she ushered my boys upstairs and played pirates and other silly games with them while I slept. Have I ever mentioned that my sister totally ROCKS? And so does her husband. I keep telling him that I'm so glad my boys have him in their lives. He is a great male role model for them.

This is really a very non linear post. Very dull. But just thought I'd let you all know what's up. And to tell my pals who just had a baby recently that I missed them at church today and I hope they're getting enough sleep. And to pet their dachshunds for me.

You're all wonderful. sleep...

Friday, June 08, 2007

Stolen Meme

I stole this meme from Beck, Stacy, and Ellesappelle. I loved their answers so thought I'd bore you with mine.

1. Go back to first or early post. How would you describe your voice back in those early days?Who were you writing to? What was your sense of audience (if any) back then?
The first post that is still on my blog is a goofy picture of me. That is very me. To post something goofy of myself to set the tone and let you know what to expect. The first posts I actually had on this blog were the beginning of a path of weight loss I was going to undertake. I am a 41 yr old mom of two who has a sedentary job and I have expanded accordingly. I cannot stand feeling unhealthy. I cannot stand the myriad of physical problems (and mine were minor) that begin when you get fat. I once read something in a doctor's office that started out something like "At five foot two and 150 pounds, Mary was obese." I nearly fell off my chair with indignant rage. I was 5'3" at the time and probably around 180 lbs. And I have never even approached obesity. I was overweight, surely. But I hate crap like that that makes a 150 pound woman feel obese! Please! I would LOVE to be 150 again. It was a good weight for me. I have big bones and muscle like there's no tomorrow. I don't look as freakish as it sounds. But 150 looks good on some women (ie - ME!). Wow. I have totally digressed here. But I started this blog as a way to hold myself accountable to an audience of my family and friends. To not just TALK about losing weight but to track my success and failure in a semi-public arena. I had no delusions that anyone beyond them would read it. And I wrote accordingly. I was very candid about my disgust with my weight and my desire to change it. I was very realistic in knowing it would be a roller coaster of a trip.

2. Do you remember when you received your first comment?
I don't really. And I have deleted all the original weight-tracking crap. So I have no idea who the first comment was. It was probably my cousin Kendra or my wonderful pal Trish. Or my birth-mom April. Or one of my other cousins Diane or Katrina. I'm not sure. I remember feeling dopey for kvetching about being fat on the internet.

3. Can you point to a stage where you began to feel that your blog might be part of a conversation? Where you might be part of a larger community of interacting writers?
This blog's direction all changed in August of 2006 when The Boy was diagnosed with Tourette's Syndrome. My fat be damned. I had more important things to vent. And I figured the word Tourette's might bring some other people in my situation along to read. So I started writing to the other parents who might have just found out their child had TS. I stayed true to that until my divorce began. Oh lucky you!!

It stayed pretty much just with my close family & friends (the few I shared the link with). The first time I ventured off my own site, or that of Trish, was when she sent us all to Darlene's site when Mark was almost killed. That was the first time I commented on a stranger's site. I was nervous to do it. But felt compelled to support Darlene. And man, I'm so glad I did!

I think the first outsider who ventured over and left a comment was...hmmm...It might have been Stacy. I remember whoever it was found me through Trish's site. Since then, I got more brave and commented out to people I found on other's people's sites. If I found them funny or interesting or touching, I commented. And now I'm part of this wacky bunch of amazing women bloggers! Who'd a thunk it?

I remember being very hesitant to comment on anyone's blogs - especially those Illustrious Lofty Writers I was checking out through Trish's blog. But you've all been really wonderful to me even though I read Asimov and Eddings and haven't read many of the books on the Illustrious Lofty Writers' Reading List. (hee hee)

4. Do you think that this sense of audience or community might have affected the way you began to write?
Absolutely. I initially wrote in a very non-identifying way. Using really "God-ish" words is not my style. Sharing how I deal with God is not my style either. That's all very new. I was hesitant to put that out where people who knew me (the former girl with a truck-driver's vocabulary and former female bouncer and former rock singer, etc) might see it and think, What? SHE'S a Christian?! HA! But it's how I was approaching The Boy's Tourette's. I am going to doctors. But I am not letting them have the final say. I have recently learned to pray big. I have let God be The Boy's primary physician. And He has guided me to the most amazing array of psychiatrists, pediatricians and play therapists you've ever met! I eventually lost my inhibitions about posting my "God-ish" lingo. You all made it very safe feeling to be the real me here. So I talk how I am. And I talk how I think. And it's not always perfect. It's real. So I don't really worry about what I say now (except not to slam the idiot formerly known as my husband by name due to the pending divorce and how lawyers love to find things like that on the internet to use against you).

So that's it. My blogging meme. And I'd just like to give a quick shout out to a relatively new blog-reader that I know reads this often. This is for my baby sister Brooke:
Buh-gaaaaaawwwwwwwwwk. WERT! Ber-dikah-dikah-dikah-DER! Lerdits.

Thank you all and have a wonderful Friday.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Ain't They Just a Laugh Riot

Interesting little men, my boys.

So today, Lil Bro went to our neighbor's. When we got there, I asked him to tell the mom what he agreed to do at the end of the day. "Pick up!" he proudly announced. Mm hmm. Sure you will. He lucked out. They didn't tear the play room apart. Mostly outdoor stuff today.

Lil Bro did announce - on quite a few occasions today - "I want to do what I want to do!" It's the most eloquent I've heard him. I don't really know where this is coming from except he's been getting healthy doses of not-being-spoiled from my mom and from this neighbor. They are both of the school of you-can-do-it-so-don't-even-try-to-sucker-me-into-doing-it-for-you. I am of that school, too. However, I see these kids every day and tend to forget that they've been growing up right in front of me and they're not helpless little babies any more. That and the fact that it's usually MUCH faster for me to just do whatever it is so we can get on with dinner, getting out the door, getting to bed, whatever it is. So I have also joined the just-do-it team. And I imagine that is where Lil Bro is getting this attitude. He doesn't WANT to do this stuff.

Ladies, if recent experience has taught me anything? It has taught me that boys (and by "boys" I mean the entire male gender) will not choose to grow up on their own. Yes, that's a hugely gross exaggeration. Unfortunately, I have way too many boys and men in my life that prove my theorem. The exceptions are too far and few between and not in my life at the moment so sue me.

So point #1 for today is: Lil Bro has an attitude. Any of you that know me are now saying, "And this surprises me why?"

Our next topic - if you'll turn to page 623 in your hymnals - is The Boy and his night time waking that seems to have recently resumed. I had a nice talk with The Boy's counselor today (I think I mentioned that he is seeing a Christian play therapist on a weekly basis - initially to deal with the whole divorce issue). Mr. Counselor-We-Love said that The Boy is doing really well (yeah). And that he's an exceptional child (yeah again). We want to get him into some kind of accelerated program when we think he's ready for the testing (probably mid-2nd grade). He said that The Boy has been rather tight lipped about the divorce thing so far. We don't think it's so much a denial thing - although it could be. But it could be more that The Boy is used to getting the majority of his emotional assurances from me. So the loss is there but not quite as severe as Lil Bro's feeling of loss (since Lil Bro was pretty much 24/7 with daddy). We are thinking that we will see more changes in his emotions on the subject as time passes and as he has more interactions with future ex. And future ex is coming to The Boy's birthday party in July. Much to the joy of THe Boy and the dismay of most everyone else down here. Oh well. It's not MY party so...

But I told Mr. Counselor-We-Love that The Boy has had a few episodes of waking up in the middle of the night - all freaked out, heart pounding, anxious, crying, not making sense. Last night, he had one of these things. He came in to my room, eyes open, talking, crying, not making sense. I got him to go to the bathroom and assumed he was awake since he responded to me saying, "Why don't you go pee," by going pee. And in the bathroom, thankfully. But when he came back out, he was crying, totally panicked, heart pounding and talking about how the blanket was way over there (gesturing to way over on the other side of my room). I got him into my bed and he kept saying that over and over. I said things like, you're ok, I'm here, [The Boy], you're not making much sense, can you explain what you mean? Things you say to someone who is awake and engaged. Well, at one point, he must have fully come awake because he suddenly calmed down a tiny bit - enough to say, "Oh sorry I'm crying mom." I assured him it was ok and asked again what he meant about the blanket. He couldn't remember. But then he said, "Can you find a kid for me?" What do you mean a kid? "A kid to come in the kid section with me." I thought for a bit and realized he meant the shallow part of the pool during YMCA camp (he can't swim). So I asked if that's what he meant. He said "Yah. Or maybe could you come? It would just be nice to have a parent there." Ugh. I would LOVE to go there. I would LOVE to have him with me all day. I would love to have him home where he wants to be. I mean, he enjoys the camp. But The Boy loves to be with family. He loves to be home. I think it will ultimately be fine. He loves being with other kids. He'll adjust. But oh man, made me want to just scream at how all of this is being done to everyone without their wanting it.

So point #2 for today is...well, that was a lot about The Boy. So my point #2 for today is the same as yesterday: The Boy rocks.

Oh and my mom went back to VA today (insert gnashing of teeth here). I had a bit of a freaky day. I mean, now it's real. I'm doing this alone - well, on the human level, I mean. Obviously God has my back. But it scares me. How will I find time to do all of this? Will the money last? Can I do this without constantly losing my cool at the boys?

Your answers are a resounding yes. I just wish you all lived in my neighborhood so I could run to your doors and hear it in person and then get an in-person dose of each of you. How fun would that be? I could get previews of Trish & Stacy's books. I could eat way too much of Beck's baking. I could talk about biking with Jen (because if I tried to keep up with her on a bike, I'd have a heart attack). Jane could show me her jewelry and I could beg her to paint some old crappy piece of furniture and she'd make it look like some amazingly expensive piece I found in the cool section of Austin. Wanda could bake me those wonderful cookies. I could sit and talk with Darlene and Angela for hours. I could polish Sarakastic's tiara collection. Kristen, Kendra, Beck, Jane and I could take our kids on little outings together or let them just run wild, screaming in the back yard.

Ok that's it. You all have to move to Austin. Get on that, will you? We'll start our little commune of incredibly wonderful women. People will travel from all over the world to join our little commune.

I'm losing my mind. I must go to bed. But get moving down/over here. Let's go!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

And Can I Just Say....

The Boy rocks. Have I ever mentioned that? Oh I have? Well I'm saying it again. The Boy rocks.
I've been watching his Tourette's to see if it made an appearance when school ended in May. Also wondering if tics would increase since future ex left. The interesting thing is, I saw no increase in tics when future ex left. If anything, things rather calmed down. His anxieties are still there. But not as great. He is under much less pressure without future ex around. I'm not saying future ex was a bad dad. He was actually an amazing primary care giver - before he rather checked out to start talking to his girl thing on the phone all day. Before that, he rocked. I never had to worry about the kids when I traveled or went out. But he had high expectations for The Boy. The Boy is incredibly smart. And I think some people - including his own parents - have mistakenly translated that to mean that he should also be incredibly mature. Not so. He's six - almost seven. And he acts like it. He's loud, silly, impulsive - typical six yr old. Future ex had trouble with the spontaneous exuberance of both kids. And other issues. I won't go into it. Suffice to say (after droning on and on) that this house is a bit more relaxed since future ex left.

So no increase in tics because dad left. Cool.

Since school let out in May, the boredom didn't really hit for a while. But once the first week of being home all day lost its appeal, I noticed more verbal tics appearing. Like right now. I'm sitting here typing while the boys watch Tom & Jerry. And from the couch behind me, I hear that familiar little "Hmm...hmm..." sound. It's very punctuated. Not like your drawing it out in thought. I think I've described it before as the kind of "hmm" you give when you're listening to someone tell a story and you're periodically letting them know you're listening and you find it interesting. Also, the low little...I guess it's almost like a...what would I call it. I guess it's like a little dog whine? Does that make sense? Like the sound a human makes when imitating a dog begging? But it's very low volume and low pitched in his throat. Hardly audible. I also noticed an increase in the excessive blinking.

So that tells me that boredom has hit. Thankfully, this week began his daily foray into the YMCA summer "camp". Which is odd because it's at an elementary school. My three year old was very disappointed that there were no tents in the woods when we went to pick him up. But it's keeping The Boy engaged and interacting with kids his age. As opposed to the entire day he would spend researching dinosaurs on the computer, if I let him. Seriously, you should try to stump him with a question about dinosaurs. The kid is a veritable sponge of knowledge when it's a subject he loves. And man - he LOVES him some dinosaurs. I actually need to find him a site that teaches Latin roots. He's learning so many already from the dinosaur names. He wants to know more. I'm thinking he will be one of those rare 2nd graders that can decipher medical journals. I don't know. We'll see.

But The Boy is doing pretty well. I get glowing reports every day from the YMCA counselors that The Boy is "so sweet" and such a wonderful kid. I love that. I have to hang on to these memories in case his teen years are the complete opposite.

Meanwhile, Lil Bro is doing well. He's been visiting a neighbor's house this week for day care. She has an adorable daughter who is about 6 months older than Lil Bro. They play well together. But my boys have a bit of a problem when it's time to clean up. I blame my own impatience - I tend to get mad and just send them on to whatever they need to do while I pick up their toys for them. Not good. So my neighbor told him that he can come back tomorrow if he'll help pick up the toys. Took a good 10 minutes of negotiations to get him to grudgingly agree.

My kids rock, though. Did I mention that?

Monday, June 04, 2007

Update on The Boys - Sans Puke

Well, today is The Boy's first day at summer camp. Something I hated as a kid so I had a dread of having to send him to one. Thankfully, many of my friends had great experiences with summer camps so I chalked my experience up to "not the norm" and got him signed up. He was so excited. Which helped me a lot. His Tourette's (oh yah, isn't that what this blog is about anyway?) can shove that anxiety out there at the strangest times and hold it back at others. I never quite know which will happen when.

This morning, we got up at the unsavory hour of 5:45am - this after a couple of weeks of sleeping in until one of the boys came to wake me - usually around 7:30 or 8:00. But The Boy didn't complain and was a trouper about it all. Jenkneebee will be glad to know that my morning with The Boy represents about 98% of my experience with my kids (as opposed to that 2% of puking or other unfun events that make you rethink having kids). He ate his whole breakfast of peaches, grapes & Cheerios. We cuddled on the couch for 10 minutes (my favorite part of any morning). We got him dressed and brushed his teeth and made it to the camp 5 minutes early.

I took him in to do my usual checking-for-scary-people mom thing that I do. The counselors seemed non-homicidal, which is always a plus. They also told me that the whole getting up before the sun thing is totally unnecessary. I can bring him as late as I want and pick him up as early as I want. Sure I'm paying for 7am to 6pm. But now I know we can sleep in and bring him in around 9am - when more normal humans are beginning to function. And I'm glad I can pick him up any time, too. 6pm is just too late for me. I'd probably be having hallucinations from The-Boy-withdrawal by that time.

Lil Bro is none to happy at being left home "alone" today. Granted, he's got 100% of grandma all to himself. But he wants The Boy around. And he wants The Boy to play with him. And he wants to follow The Boy everywhere. But alas, the camp doesn't take unpotty-trained 3 yr olds. And The Boy needed some time without Lil Bro (as he announced on several occasions over this past weekend). I had lined up a neighbor to watch Lil Bro this week. But yesterday's puke-fest (yes, I know I promised "sans puke" but oh well) hit Lil Bro a bit later in the day. I am one of those seemingly rare parents that feels like a sick kid should NOT be sent to share the virus with every other kid on the planet. [Yes, I realize that the reality of work schedules makes this a necessary evil for many parents who don't have the luxury of working out of their house. But still - when Sarakastic rules the world, I will be asking her to implement strategies whereby employers are required to help their employees keep illnesses contained. Like, provide more days off than the ridiculously scant 2.5 we tend to get these days. Or pay for in-home nurse-nanny type people to come watch the kids. And digression is over.] So Lil Bro will have his play dates starting tomorrow.

Wow. I'm really out there today.

I want to share with you some thoughts that were shared with me today. I was lamenting to two very wonderful people today about how I'm having trouble with the split personality that seems to be required to go through a divorce. I love him and hate him. I want to punch him in the neck and I want him back. I want to see him fall flat on his face but that just doesn't jive with the positive loving person I try to be. I want everything he touches to fail until he does right by me (I love that line in 'The Color Purple') but I want him to find God. I'm finding it hard to pray for him and to pray for God to take the anger and vengeance.

So two wonderful people who have - sadly - walked this path gave me different yet similar advice today. Thought I'd share some.

This is from one of my beautiful and talented sisters:
[Future ex is] “acting” like such a nice guy. Okay? Obviously he’s not! So, stop asking how he can do this or that. He can and he did. Period. It’s done and now you need to focus on your boys and your spiritual well-being. Not the hows or whys. Trust me, it’s a pointless endeavor. I spent many hours..check that…WASTED many hours with the questions. I know what it is to obsess over the “others”. You are doing great. I know this to be true. It’s never easy, even if the relationship is already sour. Hurt is hurt. Plain and simple...But, justice will be served in due course...things will always be in the favor of those who trust in God, Nettie. Be nervous, but don’t worry. New stuff is always weird. We’re good at weird, though.

This is from a very wise and beautiful friend of mine:
Here's a slice of unsolicited advice regarding pulling out of the anger towards [future ex]: stop praying for him for awhile. To move through the anger, there needs to be (or so I've heard) a time where you actually realize just how pissed at him you are, how utterly unacceptable his behavior was/is, and how much his choices disgust you. It's hard to do that if you're praying for God to help him, win his heart, etc. What happened for me was when I stopped praying for my ex to be okay and started admitting how not okay he was, it gave me the distance I needed to move from angry and terrified to an odd sort of "Thank God I'm not still in the middle of that" (with several months of general numbness in between). God knows where [future ex] is - let Him handle things for awhile. And as much as it feels like the anger could just take you over forever, I've found that the opposite is true - if you leave it on low simmer, it will keep on endlessly. But if you let it happen, it burns off after awhile and you actually have room for new feelings - and hope for the future.

I am immensely blessed with wonderful people who seem to understand exactly what I'm feeling and going through. I hate that anyone has had to have this experience. But I'm very encouraged in the fact that both of the above wonderful women have wonderful, loving, Christian husbands right now. It's one of many reasons I refuse to become one of those bitter, man-hating, divorced women.

Today's post is a bit all over the place. But these were things I just wanted to share.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Goin' Solo (almost) on the Puke Patrol

Last night (or should I say this morning), I awoke to the wonderful strains of "MOM!" It's the kind of night time call that gets you up and halfway down the hallway before you even realize you're out of bed. I arrived in The Boy's room to find him puking in his bed. Experience led me to wait it out a bit. How many of you have had a kid held at arm's length, rushing to the bathroom, just to have the gastric volcano erupt in the middle of the hallway. So once I sensed a break in the eruptions, I said, "Ok, you ready?" and grabbed him and ran. We made it to the bathroom - hallway unscathed! It was messy. But far less messy than other episodes that resembled battle scenes from 'Braveheart'.

I got him emptied out, cleaned up and changed and into my bed. By then, my mom had joined the team (oh what will I do when she leaves this coming Thursday!!!). Between us, we got the bathroom cleaned up, his bed stripped, everything loaded in the washing machine, everything wiped down with a bleach solution...we were exhausted.

I spent the rest of the early morning barely sleeping. Every turn, snort, loud breath - it all woke me, ready for round two. Fortunately, round two never came. Well, not from The Boy, anyway.

This morning, The Boy held down ice water and then half a banana. Since then, he's had some applesauce & bread. So we're doing good.

Alas, during breakfast, Lil Bro came and sat on my lap at the breakfast table. He has a bit of a cough. Unfortunately for me, one of the coughs turned into round two. Fortunately for me, my kitchen floor is completely tiled and washable. Yeah tile! So mom and I got Lil Bro emptied out, cleaned up and changed. He seems fine now (this is about 2 hrs later). He wants to go outside to play of course. I, however, haven't even puked and feel like crawling back in bed for the whole day.

I had to call 3 people at church to have one person bring all the food I usually bring (I bring the bagels, cream cheese, strawberries, apples, bananas & table clothes), to tell the music director I wouldn't be singing backups in the worship team today and to have the teaching coordinator get someone to take my spot teaching the infants & toddlers today. I hate missing church. I love going there. I wish we could have church every day. I'm such a dork.

I'm just praying this doesn't hit my mom. She's scheduled to fly home on Thursday. She has to get back to dad - he is missing her something terrible. And they have to get their house sold & packed up in order to move back HERE! Yeah!

I took Thur & Fri off last week to line up summer camp & after school care for the fall (for The Boy) and day care for Lil Bro. I have Lil Bro's summer covered but have to find something for fall. And honestly, I'm hemorrhaging money. I know my pals back in Boston would puke at the cheap rates I'm dealing with. But even down here it's insanity. I spoke to future ex and gave him the price tag I just shelled out for JUST the summer. He lamely said something about this new job he's lining up and how he'll help out soon. Yah. Thanks for the sentiment. But you're going to make a REALLY small salary in BOSTON. And somehow, you'll need to afford an apartment (and the divorce decree will make sure it's an apartment ALONE) and those don't run cheap in Boston. I just honestly have no clue how this man thinks his "long distance daddy" thing will work. I am - for all intents and purposes - doing this alone.

And while I lay there in bed last night, fearing every noise coming from the little boy next to me, I thought. And thought. And begged God to take away this anger. It does me NO good. And I won't seek vengeance in all of the loverly ways I imagine it in the wee hours. Because I'm better than that. But oh wouldn't it be FUN to live out a few of the imaginings...

In some ways, I wish life were like the movies. I wish the future ex could say something completely stupid and I could just totally swing from the hip and lay him out cold with a right hook to the jaw. But the movies never show the law suits that follow those entertaining scenes of indignant rage.

Anyway, my last 12 hrs of puke patrol with my mom made me realize, after Thursday? It's all me and God. So last night I asked God to please please PLEASE give me the patience I'll need. And that he give me the strength to do the 40+ hrs a week at work AND the mommying AND the housecleaning AND the lawn care AND somehow find some me time. Honestly, when I start listing it like that, that little imaginary sucker punch scene replays over and over in my head. Future ex is lucky I'm 1600 miles away and not fodder for Jerry Springer.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Faulty Face Recognition Software

Ok - this on cracks me up. JenKneeBee poked my vanity. I tried this face recognition software to see who it thinks my high school portrait (circa 1983, ladies) looks like. The think that cracks me up, I don't think ANY of these ladies looks like me. Like I told Jen, I used an old photo. Now I think I might just go use a current one. Hmmmmm...

Here's one with a more recent picture. This one totally cracks me up!!! Look at the guys I supposedly look like!!