Monday, March 31, 2008

A Little of This...A Little of That...

Let's give you updates in chronological order. If my brain will work that well.

Last Thursday:
Wow. This was a bomb out of the blue. Pokemon Boy was home sick. I decided to take him to the doctor because he had a fever a few days earlier and his neck had been stiff for days. I figured it was because he slept in my bed on one of my thick pillows. But let's rule out meningitis before we chalk it up to thick pillows. The doc concurred that it was a spasming neck muscle and sent us home with instructions for ibuprofen and heating pads.

I got back to my office to see my laptop screen blinking like a Christmas tree. Apparently, while I was out discussing pillows and meningitis, Corporate Pawns R Us was busy laying people off in my division. The sky was falling in real time and the instant message traffic was insane. Names were flying, some actually laid off, some not. Numbers were being tossed around: everything from 30 to 300. I felt sick. My former boss pinged me to tell me, yes, layoffs were happening but she had no names. They hadn't really let her in on the juicy details.

At the end of the day, I think about 30-ish people were let go. It spanned the gambit from vice presidents to admin assistants. From new people to 25 yr + veterans. It was insane and at times seemed rather random. My personal manager in Hartford was cut. Quite a few people I know were cut. It was an emotional day all around.

Somehow I made the cut. And I have been told that I was originally on the cut list. If I had stayed with my old project (I was on loan to another project for 6 months), I would have been let go. But the VP in charge of the project I'm currently on wanted to keep me so I'm now permanently over in his area. Still not sure of my exact position. But I have a job. So "having a job" is a title and position I can live with.

File that one under "God totally rocks and not just once in a while!"

We all returned to work in duck-and-cover mode. But no more layoffs were forthcoming. At least not this month. However, the major reorg we all knew was coming came. Some of us - like me - knew we were going over to entirely different organizations and managers, etc. But to others, it was a shock. So yet another day pretty much shot with everyone instant messaging the latest information they'd heard.

That night, I took the boys to their dad's house for the weekend. They didn't want to go because there is more fun stuff here (ie - cable TV, computers, whatever else they could think up). They went. Mom wanted space to watch bad TV at loud volumes while doing laundry, picking up toys and trying to make my house look like it wasn't currently occupied by the armed forces.

This was the day we were telling the boys their dad is moving back to Boston. This is the day I will someday win an Oscar for. See, I had to sit there while their dad told them he's leaving. I had to appear supportive for their sake - not of their dad's decision but to be there for whatever reaction they were going to have. I have to kind of keep a blank poker face because, inside, I want to just stand up and scream at the man for even entertaining the idea of leaving his children. I would move to a different state and leave my yah: NEVER. So it is unfathomable to me. Anyway, he told them while I tried to look unbiased. I'm pretty sure I had on my stony stare which is anything but unbiased. But it was the best I could do.

So he told them. Lil' Bro sitting on my lap said, "You're moving?" Lame-O: "Yes." Lil' Bro: "To Boston?" Lame-O: "Yes." Lil' Bro turns to me and says, "Mommy? {dramatic pause} Can we go to the Ossin Chillren's Moozeeyum?" Yes, when your four year old world is turned upside down, by all means, we should go to the Austin Children's Museum.

Pokemon Boy, on the other hand, got it. Full force. He cried. He cried and cried and cried. It made me want to vomit. There's crying that makes a mom come running. Someone has fallen or removed a limb with a chain saw. But then there is crying where you know their heart has been shattered. They understand the situation is beyond their control. They hate it. But they can't change it. And they hate that part even more. He was heart broken. He cried for a good half hour. Maybe more. It was awful. So did Lame-O. For him, I had no sympathy. Cry, mister. Cry rivers. Just don't expect a supportive pat on the shoulder from me.

Well, after Pokemon Boy was able to pull it together, his eyes looked like he had suffered chemical burns. We had suspected he had a sty or maybe pink eye. If you could have seen him, you would have thought he had rubbed Ajax in his eyes. So no Children's Museum today. No, today's field trip will be a family visit to the urgent care center.

One trip to the urgent care center and a dose of antibiotics later, we were all pretty hungry. We had lunch somewhere. I don't really remember where. Then we took the boys to a playground. While they played, future ex (Lame-O) and I had quite a few talks. I told him exactly what I thought of parents that leave their children without some kind of life-or-death reason. He gave me his reasons which to me (and I can promise, most of you) were completely lame and selfish and I was more than happy to share that editorial stance with him. His counselor told him to make his decision and not to feel guilty. He unfortunately is taking that out of context and using that as his carte blanche to just not feel any guilt at all. I can promise him it won't work. He will feel guilt. People reap what they sow. It's a fact of life. It's a law woven into the very fabric of the universe. Call it what ever name you want. But it happens. I don't envy his reaping when it comes.

At 2:30am, I received a phone call from future ex. Lil' Bro had thrown up in future ex's bed. He didn't have any clean sheets. Pokemon Boy was still asleep on the clean side. (Insert long silence on my end here.) I'm still not exactly sure what I was supposed to do about it. But apparently Lil' Bro had wanted to call me. Most parents I know would have told him he could call mommy in the morning. But I think future ex was in out-of-practice parent panic mode and called hoping I'd guide him through the how-to of dealing with a puking kid in the middle of the night. *sigh*

So with pukey-fevery-4-yr-old and double-pink-eye-7-yr-old, I was solo at church. I figured it was good for future ex to have some quality REALISTIC parenting time with the boys in light of his pending departure from the day to day.

After church, I picked up the boys and headed home. We had a pretty mellow day at home. After the boys' bed time, I finally did my taxes. God rocked the refund thing and I was very happy.

At work, not much going on. All of the managers were meeting with their managers and trying to figure out which game pieces went into which board game. I still have no idea if I'm part of Parchisi or part of Hi-Ho Cherrio. I have a job. So I'm cool with where ever they put me.

Lil' Bro still had fevers most of the day. He'll stay home again tomorrow. Pokemon Boy's eyes are better. He'll go to school tomorrow.

I fly up to Boston tomorrow for 2 days of meetings. I won't have much time to see people. But I'm hoping to see my wonderful inner circle tomorrow night. And I'm planning on seeing a band on Wed night that contains two of my favorite men in Boston. And I will be having dinner with the awesome chicks from my old project on Thur night. Then I'll fly home on Fri morning. I plan to be dead to the world all of Friday night and Saturday morning.

So there's your update. Remind me to tell you about a long lost friend that just reappeared out of the ether. I think we've just rekindled a friendship that will be way better and stronger than it was when we left it back in the early 90's. It's a cool story. Can't wait to tell you.


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Who Doesn't Love Queen Latifa?

That's a rhetorical question.

I love the Queen. Latifa, that is. Liz is great but Ms. Latifa seems more like someone who would hang with me and mine.

Tonight I was tired. I was just wanting a movie to make me smile. I flipped through all the Showtime channels. Saw III? Pass. All the other movies didn't do it for me either. But then at 9:00 came 'Last Holiday' with our lovely Ms. Latifa. And Gerard Depardieu. Love him. And LL Cool J. His videos scare me but he seems very fun and down to earth.

I have to tell you, it's been a while since a movie has made me smile and really feel good. It's a silly premise but it really is fun. And the Queen makes it look normal to trust in and talk to God. Actually, the way she looks up and has little private chats with him in front of people is pretty much what I do all the time.

Anyway, I highly recommend this movie. It's the old "live life to its fullest" message. But I think a few of us could use a reminder of that.

And yes this one has been out for a while. But have you seen it? Go rent it. Or go see when it's on Showtime again. There you go. That's my movie recommendation. Take it while it lasts because I rarely see movies. Go. Go on, now. Go see it.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Pix of The Fambly Visit and Easter

The Fambly Visit:
Goodness I'm tired. I stayed up late with Lil Sis Mom and her hubby almost every night they were here. I am totally amazed that we had 3 adults, 5 kids and a 3 month old baby all under one roof and had a great time. It was controlled chaos. The kind that would surely drive certain people insane. I loved it. My boys loved it. Seemingly, all of Lil Sis Mom's family loved it. A good time was had by all. And there was much rejoicing.

I'll share some pix with you. I'd love to put way more on here but I think it would be over kill. So I tried to give everyone some face time here. And now the hard part: coming up with non-identifying clever little tags for everyone. I'll do my best.

This one...I love this one. This is a shot of the 4 oldest kids. My boys and Lil Sis Mom's two oldest girls. My 13 yr old niece is the only one I could get to take a normal picture. If you only knew my birth-father and my sister, this picture would prove nature over nurture.

Oh my goodness. This is my tiniest niece. She's 3 months old. She has 2 middle names - the 2nd of which is my name. I love that. Especially given that I have 10 siblings and this is the first time anyone dared saddle their child with any part of my name. But seriously, is this not one of the cutest babies you've ever seen? She's an amazing kid. My mom said she looks very much like I did at her age. Big ol' melon head and all. Lucky girl.

This is Lil Sis Mom and me. It's blurry but the best shot of the two of us where we weren't making stupid faces. I wikkid luv huh!

I love this shot of my sis and her oldest girl. My birth father used to call her Little Czechoslovakia - a joke that got very old because her name is actually a different country. I don't think he ever tired of that joke. He was sadly alone in that. HA!

Here is a collage of Pokemon Boy and my 9 yr old niece. They got on wonderfully. She tossed a few sighs around when he wouldn't stop talking about Pokemon or wouldn't give her some space. But over all, they really clicked. And as you can see, the goofy gene is strong in both of them.

Here is my 3 yr old niece and Lil' Bro. Seriously, she is all sorts of cute and full of attitude. I have a huge soft spot for her because A) she gives amazing hugs, B) she constantly tells you "Ah lahk yeeoo!" and C) she thinks I'm hysterical. Truth be told, she had me at C. I was pretty impressed at how well Lil' Bro and Lil' Miss Attitude got along. Sharing was at a maximum with very few melt downs. Very cute. I mean, way too stinkin' cute!

Here's another one that I threw in because their faces were just too adorable. That's Lil' Miss Attitude, Pokemon Boy and Lil' Bro.

Here's the obligatory "Parents Adoring Small Baby" shot. I kept getting the oddest shots of these two. One would look great and the other would look half in the bag or what not. So I said, "OK, just look at the baby like you like her or something," and I got this shot. That's my new brother-in-law. He rocks. I'm always happy to meet Christian men who think marriage is serious business and wives aren't disposable.

Today was Easter and my mom's birthday. Future ex accompanied the boys and me to church. It's still such an awkward thing for him. Between the shame he feels and the protective feelings some people have for me, it's not exactly a giant open love fest. But there are always people in my church who still like the good parts in future ex that they know still exist. My pastor just loves him. Genuinely. So does his wife. The music director's wife, too. It really is hard. Yah, they're Christians, but they're human. It's hard to step off the line of people who want to woop that boy some sense, you know? Yah. I know you do.

The sermon was really cool. I'm having trouble getting my brain to function. But the pastor was going through all the places in the bible where Jesus claimed to be God. Of course, the English translations don't have the words, "I am God." But he gave the background on terms like Son of Man (read the prophecy of Daniel) and "Lord" (ie - "I Am" or Yahweh or Jehovah). Then he pointed out places where Jesus referred to himself in these terms. Also, there are places where certain translations have Jesus answering "I am he" but the actual translation shows him saying, "I Am." Oh there is way more to it than I'm blundering through here. But it was really cool. I was glad future ex got to hear it. If nothing else, he can now understand why I think Jesus is so important. He may not agree but now he might see why I draw the line at certain humor where I do. Or why certain irreverent flippant statements by unthinking people can make me shake my head or actually get really mad.

Anyway, church rocked. The worship team seemed tuned in to God. It was the first time I sang with future ex there where I wasn't self conscious. I said, hey man, this is the day that is most profound for my beliefs. I'm worshipping!!! One of my friends also joined on backing vocals. She wasn't sure about doing it but I said, just stand up here with me and worship. And sing whatever you want to. No one will care. She has a fantastic voice and it went great! When she knew a song, I'd hang back and just supplement her vocals. When I knew it more, I'd let 'er rip, as usual. And two of the songs we both knew well so we were able to harmonize (which I love!). It was good worship!

Anyway, after church, we dropped future ex home and headed up to my parents' house. Big Sis and Tall Guy were there with my extremely handsome nephew Sid.

I had crock potted a brisket and mom made the rest. And what a "the rest" it was! Rolls, green beans w/ almonds, baked potatoes, salad, corn, peach cobbler...seriously, I'm still in the elastic waisted pants.

My mom gave the boys Easter gift bags. Here are two shots of them using their giant bubble wands.

And here's a cute blurry shot of me and Lil' Bro.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Meine Schwester Ist Hier!!

Yeeee-HA! One of my "little" sisters is here from Ooooooooooo-OAK-lahoma. Sorry. Bad musical reference that only my deceased birth-father finds funny. This is my half-sister by my birth-father (everyone get out your 492 page pocket guide to my totally weird family orchard and turn to page 216). She rocks. She looks like me (which always thrills me, as a kid adopted into the most rockin' family to which I have no physical resemblance). But more evident is the shared genetic flaw we mutually inherited from our birth-father. I refer to, of course, the complete and utter dork-a-rama gene. We are both incurable idiots. Dorks to the bone. We think the most inane things are hysterical. Most frequently, chicken clucking but done very slowly. Very hard to explain. We both like to think of ourselves as extremely clever in the humor factor. But in all reality, we're just both total morons. Much to our collective children's chagrin.

Anyway, I haven't seen her since our birth-father died in 2002. I had only met one of her two daughters at the time. Now she's here with those two daughters, a new hubby, a new step-daughter and a new wee peanut of a daughter. My house is full. My boys are overrun with girls and are loving it. My parents have dropped by very quickly to say hi - it was bed time and the baby was having a melt down and two girls were in the tub and I just didn't time telling them to come very well. My Big Sis stopped by yesterday, along with The Tall Guy. She's met Little Sis Mom before but it was probably in 1996 or so. So that was very cool. The Tall Guy and New Bro-In-Law got on famously. Cut from similar cloths.

Anyway, I'm loving it. I probably won't give a good picture post until they've left. I wish I could do a live podcast so you could see us in action together. My church met them all on Sunday and it seemed to be a mutual love fest. I saw a couple of amused looks at how similarly goofball-ish we both are.

So, pictures to come later. I promise.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

My Parents: Rockin' The 30th Wedding Anniversary

I'm a bit late posting this. I blame society. Society made me what I am! (*lame Repo Man reference for any of you born that long ago.)

On Tuesday, my parents rocked out their 30th wedding anniversary in true style. By taking my two spring-break house-bound kids for the afternoon and then totally forgetting it was their anniversary until I called to discuss their anniversary dinner. Which we didn't do that night because mom had already popped pizzas in the oven and started salads.

Now, being the good daughter that I am, I told mom that this was unacceptable and she needed to celebrate her anniversary. Which apparently didn't hold any weight with her. She kept my boys for the evening and sent me on my way to my church small group meeting. I was told I needed it. Hmmm. Mom is usually right. Unfortunately, it took me the better part of my 42 years to really own up to this fact. I did go get them a gorgeous vase full of flowers before I left for small group. But still, it felt rather lame.

Let me tell you a bit about why 30 years of marriage is a miracle for my parents. For those family members that know my 5 siblings and me, you already understand the miracle. For those of you that have this very mistaken notion that I'm some sort of wonderful, kind-hearted, unselfish Christian girl...I am that on my good days. I am very far from that on my not so good days.

In 1978, my parents got married. We were like some kind of Brady Bunch on acid. I wish I could dig up a picture. Wait. I have to try. My giant blocks of wood for shoes ALONE are worth the effort. One second. I'll be right back.

Here's the guys. From closest to farthest we have Peter, Greg, Bobby and Mike. (*Names have been changed to amuse the blogger.)

Here's the goylz. From closest to farthest we have Cindy, Jan, Marsha and Carol. (*Again, names have been changed because it amuses me to think of myself as clever.)

Dudes, you seriously can't see the blocks of wood I have riveted to my feet. Ok, actually the white straps of leather were ACTUALLY riveted to the blocks of wood. Notice the dainty footwear of the times sported by my mom and sisters. I, however, have the feet of Fred Flintstone or Barny Rubble. They're very short and very wide. They don't generally make dainty footwear for female hobbits. No. They fashion "shoes" from straps of leather, rivets and blocks of wood.

Enough of the shoes. Check the hair we all sported. I was rockin' the Sabrina Duncan/Kate Jackson cut. Granted, it was probably more like Toni Tennille from the Captain and Tennille. But since I was convinced at the time that Kate Jackson was my birth mother (by the sheer fact that I had her hair cut), I always made sure I played the smart Angel with my friends.

Wow, could I digress any more?

Those pictures rock, do they not?

Look, I'll get back on point. In 1978, nobody knew about blended families. People really thought it would work like the Brady Bunch. Maybe if you marry when your kids are all between the ages of zero and 3, sure. Maybe if the other spouses are deceased...maybe. That didn't seem to help our family. But when you try to blend a family of 6 kids of the ages 12, 14, 14, 16, 19 and 19? Those are not exactly prime ages for flexibility and adapting to change. They are, however, prime ages for large volcanic explosions and years of events that could fill many books. Thankfully, none of my siblings or I are wanting to recount those events in any public forum.

The two oldest moved out as soon as they could. The remaining four made life as unbearable for each other and our parents as 4 teenagers possibly could. How our family has retained any semblance of "family" or friendship is truly a testimony to God and his handiwork.

My parents weren't perfect. There weren't a plethora of books on how to make a blended family of teenagers work. They didn't have a clue about the major life issues that would hit many of their kids. And us kids were in the same boat but on the kid end of the spectrum. We were adolescents. Pretty much the most narcissistic age on the planet. We had needs and the rest of the world be damned. Oh it was just a recipe for disaster.

To their credit, my parents prayed hard and enlisted their friends and family to do the same. I can't speak for the rest of my siblings. But I made my dad's life miserable for a good 6 to 8 years. I have no doubt that man wanted to walk on more than one occasion. But he stayed. They toughed it out. They toughed out a parent life that no parent should have to endure. And it didn't stop once we all reached our 20s and realized what idiots we were. No, we just found more grown up idiocies to indulge in.

In this world where people bail on marriages in any number of ways for any number of tiny ripples in their perception of perfection, my parents are freaking rocks. My siblings and I might have problems with some of their methods. But being a parent now and knowing that I will literally do anything to keep my kids safe? I can't really blame them. But they never bailed on the marriage. They probably would have had every right in the eyes of society. That fickle society that tells you at every turn, if it's hard, toss it. Get a new one! That blended family - everyone knew it would fail. We can't blame them for tossing in the towel. No way. My parents took the sacrament of marriage seriously. They took the charge of parenting these 6 miscreants seriously. God gave them that charge. And they haven't given up on any one of us yet. Or our kids.

I'm just barely hinting at the surface of a ginormous iceberg. I will never write about all of the crap our family went through. I'm sure mom shared some with her sisters. I'm not sure who dad talked to. And I'm sure all 6 of us kids have shared our very biased views with any number of friends. But none of those confidantes lived it. Being the youngest of the six, I stayed in that house the longest. My Big Sis and I stayed long enough for my "step-dad" to become "dad".

And it's these same parents that weathered a familial storm with 6 unwilling kids who have run to bail each of us six kids out. Over and over again. Year after year. The most recent time being their move here to Texas to rescue me after my marriage failed.

The next time I let a man into my life, he better have the resolve of my parents. He better be ready to live up to that standard. Because most of the married couples breaking up because it got "hard"? They don't KNOW from hard.

My parents freakin' ROCK, yo.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Pokemon Boy And The Sub - An Update

Back in February, I posted about how Pokemon Boy was having anxiety at school due to a long-term sub. I thought I'd let you know how that went.

After two weeks of almost daily notes home, I spoke to one of my wonderful friends at church who is a teacher. I wanted to talk to the sub but I dread being one of those mothers who acts like her child is entitled to do whatever he wants. I didn't want to come off as one of those in-your-face parents who thinks their precious little prince or princess should get preferential treatment. I didn't want to choose the wrong words, offend her and then let Pokemon Boy reap the results of that kind of confrontation. Gah! I was also going to wait a bit more to see if it corrected itself.

My wonderful and wise teaching friend listened to me, talked with me and ended up giving me great advice. Don't wait. Talk to her tomorrow. Choose my words carefully so I present myself as a partner and not an adversary. I also told her how I don't like waving the Tourette's flag. I don't like to just say, "Well, he has Tourette's..." as if that should excuse any actions on his part. Like I keep saying, his Tourette's is still very mild. I think the obsessive compulsive tendencies manifest in attention problems. At times, he focuses SO intently on things, you can't reach him. I mean, I've seen him read something and then I call his name. He'll look my way but I can tell he's not there - his mind is still on the book. He'll look right at me and I'll talk to him. But no reply. It's a zone-out kind of thing. It's very different from when he purposely tunes me out (as all kids do to their parents). I had a gut feeling that this was the main cause of his problems with the teacher.

Anyway, the next day was the Friday of her second week with Pokemon Boy's class. He cried that morning. He didn't want to go to school. He saw himself as a "bad student" and therefore shouldn't be in school. Can you imagine? At seven, he thinks he's not worthy of attending school with everyone else. It just KILLED me to have to reassure him that things will get better and force him to go to the bus. He left the house all red faced and puffy-eyed. I prayed a lot.

I called the teacher and asked when I could meet with her - phone or in person - her call. She took the time right there to talk to me. She sounded very competent and very much like she cared. That made me feel good. I told her I was concerned because Pokemon Boy had gone a full year with one note home. I told her I wanted to understand why he suddenly had 6 notes home in two weeks. She told me the examples of things that had caused the notes home. They were all things related to her having to tell him things multiple times. I get that. I know how frustrating that is. But in my head, I was thinking, ok...why did the main teacher not have a problem with it? We talked a bit and I told her I have the same problems with him at home. I told her that I have trouble determining when he's tuning me out and when it's just his intense focusing issues. Then I had to ask - "They told you he has Tourette's, right?" Nope. They hadn't. I imagine the teacher left suddenly due to contractions or who knows. It happens. So I told her his diagnosis and how it manifests, etc. She sounded very surprised but I think it made things make sense for her. So she said she would try to assess his actions differently - trying to look at him with this new knowledge. I told her I didn't expect her to excuse all of his actions. I told her that he will be a kid sometimes and will act out or tune her out, etc. I think it really made things make sense for her. When we had started talking, she just seemed to be so confused by the fact that he is such an excellent student, so very eager to please and so well behaved. She just couldn't understand why he would just ignore her so often. Now it made more sense.

Since that talk, he has had smiley faces every day. And he has been happy and not afraid to go to school.

I am so thankful to that woman for taking the time to really talk and listen. I'm so glad she was willing to open her mind to the possibility that Pokemon Boy wasn't doing these things to slight her. I am so thankful to my teacher friend for advising me and giving me the right approach. And I'm thankful to God for listening to my prayers and fixing the situation!

I think all this summer, I will be praying hard for Pokemon Boy's next teacher. The schools here are amazing. But you do get the odd teacher here or there that has just checked out or can't deal with anything other than "normal" students. God has provided three amazing teachers that have gone the extra mile for Pokemon Boy. I will ask for that trend to continue in the next school year.

Friday, March 07, 2008

A Meme Because I Wanna Be Light

I've been too verbose lately. I'm losing my best reader (me) due to the length of my recent posts. I want to keep it light today. I'll post about deeper thoughts another time. So here's a post that will make you think I have entirely too much time on my hands.

Here's a meme I've seen and probably done before. But I like it. I grabbed it from HRH Sarakastic. Here's how it works:

1. You link back to the person who tagged you.
2. Post these rules on your blog.
3. Share six unimportant things about yourself.
4. Tag six random people at the end of your entry.
5. Let the tagged people know by leaving a comment on their blogs.

ONE: Today, I ate a burrito the size of a small woodland creature. No...probably bigger. It was definitely bigger than your average squirrel. I told my friend at work it was about the size of her small dog. It was big. It was yummy. It had carnitas, black beans, rice, guac, pico, cheese & lettuce in it. It made me happy. I didn't finish it. Did I mention it was huge?

TWO: I want one of those Kohler showers I recently saw on TV. The kind of shower rich people get when they get rich enough to think things like, "Damn the environment, I'm showering in 952 gallons of water a second!"

THREE: I've begun to find that foreign films are really worth sitting through. And I don't just mean the ones that win foreign film awards at the Oscars. I find that surfing through movie channels late at night has rewarded me with gems that aren't recycled action B movies from the 80's. Last night, I watched something from Spain. A few nights ago, something from China. A week or two ago, a wonderful love story from Japan. Fun stuff.

FOUR: I love glasses. I am secretly thrilled that my aging eyes are failing me. I have 2 gorgeous pair already. If I ever hit a lottery, I promise you that the Filipino in me will finally come out. I will make up for the shoes I don't have with a collection of glasses that will rival anything you can imagine. *Note to self: I need to get out more.

FIVE: I know it goes against what The Media informs me I should like? But um...this repulses me:

SIX: THIS, however, does NOT:

I will cop out here and tag anyone who feels like doing this. It's cold and my mouse hand is freezing. I'm going to bed.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

God Rockin' The Prayer Requests (Again)

So much to blog about. So little time. Remind me to get back on main subject and tell you guys about what's up with Pokemon Boy lately. His anxiety issues have been wreaking havoc lately. But we're attacking it with prayer. Hopefully, by the time I can actually post fully on it, God will have it all under wraps already.

Here's the thing that has me thrilled at the moment: God rocks. I think I've established this fact pretty solidly throughout this here blog thang.

So that plane ticket fiasco I last posted about. Yah, that was fun. I mean, it was stressful to deal with. But financially, it really put me behind the eight ball. As I mentioned last time, I attacked it with prayer. I talked to God about it. I admitted my own hand in getting my finances to such a precarious place that a $630 extra ticket would so derail me. Yes, I know. $630 to us mortals is a lot. But let me tell you, in the not-so-distant past, I had my savings padded enough to handle that and still leave some savings in place. I get a little giddy when the coffers are full. I tend to spoil myself a bit too much at those times. I use all sorts of excuses from wanting to spoil my boys to the old "I've been through soooo much I deserve it" kind of crap. So part of my trouble was my own doing.

Blah blah blah. Bottom line, I was in the red and was facing some late payments and possibly not being able to dig myself out of some increasing debt very easily. It's the kind of place I've worked hard for years to keep from being. It's the kind of place I've been terrified of being as a single mom - afraid that would become the norm.

Blah blah blah again. Sorry.

So anyway, I've been asking God lately to get me solid financially. I don't mean a huge lottery or anything. I just asked for wisdom in spending (which he gives but I keep ignoring). I've asked for some financial windfalls. I leave it to him to decide what that might look like. I've also been asking for the same thing for another dear single mom friend of mine. We've been rather trying to lift the same prayers up for each other.

Last week, I got my rating at work for the 2007 work year. If you've been here a while, you know that 2007 will pretty much go down in my permanent memory as a pretty rough ride. I held down three different job descriptions in my company - all under different managers. The last one I said yes to on the same day that my marriage officially exploded. I wasn't exactly stellar employee material last year. Add to that that I had 3 different managers - only one of which actually knew what I was worth - my chances at getting a good rating were slim to none. They rate us from zero (meaning you better start looking elsewhere) to a 5 (meaning you rock and a whole lot of people think so). I'm used to consistently getting 3s & 4s. I've gotten a 5 twice. Last week, I got a two. It was the usual rhetoric about I'm new to the position and need more training and experience. And it's true. So I understand my rating. It blows. But I understand it.

There was a time that if you got a 1 or a 2, you didn't get a bonus. I have gotten a bonus every year for I don't know how long. I try not to bank on it because, if you do and you don't get one? That's scary. When I got that 2, I thought, well, if I even GET a bonus, it'll be small. So I was trying to pat myself on the back and give the old "buck up girl," speech. I mean, even if they only toss me a $5 bill, it's $5 I didn't have the day before.

Yesterday, my boss who barely knows me called to tell me my bonus amount. I'd have to look for sure. But I'm pretty sure it's about the same amount as I got last year when I was rated a 3. And that is NOT a complaint! I have no idea what other people expect for bonuses. I'm one of those retarded Pollyannas that is totally thrilled with anything that is over $500. And this was well over $500!! She was telling me my amount and putting a positive spin on it - almost as if she was expecting me to be annoyed by the amount. At one point, she stopped and said, "Is this alright?" I was like...YAH! Are you kidding?! I'm thrilled. Like I said, I have no idea what other professionals think is a good amount. But God came through for me. In my book? This is huge.

So I have been thanking God over and over. I don't know why I'm always so amazed when he comes through in such a tangible way. But I have enough to give a big ol' chunk to my church. I can pad my savings with another big ol' chunk. I can toss some into the boys' 529 funds. I can cover summer day-care for Pokemon Boy. I can pay off all the money I spent flying to the funeral and all that extra ticket fiasco. It's mind blowing.

I will forever appreciate the people who taught me to pray. Trish, you're one of them. Sometimes I'm formal. But mostly, I talk to God. I tell him all my troubles. I've stopped being embarrassed about the "little things". I've stopped boxing my huge God into the tiny limits of my imagination. I pray very specifically. And other times, I open it up for his interpretation. I pray big. I pray often. I ask for his blessings: health, finances, love, you name it. I ask for it. I thank him constantly. Especially for all of the friends and family I have. For all of the people that I know have lifted me and my boys up in prayer. For those that haven't given up on praying for future ex.

Once again, God is rockin' the prayer requests. He's good like that.