Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Texas Love Trish

Well, over at Trish's blog, you can read about how today is her book's official release date. Most of us fans have already pre-ordered or found stores that had them early. I just finished my copy last night (minus 32 pages that some machine must have dropped somewhere). I will write a whole post later about how I adored it and can't wait for the sequel that picks up where she was teaching the SEEK class I joined in 2005 (I kid).

But for now, if you want to read something poignant, funny, touching and filled with hope on many different levels, please think about getting Trish's book, 'He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not: A Memoir of Finding Faith, Hope, and Happily Ever After.'

I'll give you my college drop-out book report later.


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Quick Update

Hmmm...blogged a week ago. What in the world did I do all week? I worked, I know that. Nothing is standing out at the moment. Until last Thursday, that is.

In my lifetime, I thought I had experienced migraines. I have had headaches in the past that were excruciating. I would have to put things over my eyes to block out all light. Sound drove me nuts. I thought that was what people called a migraine.

Here's the confessional part (and bare with me because I will apologize in the end):

Because my "migraines" had been totally survivable, albeit annoying, I assumed all these people that talked about how migraines put them in a completely non-functional state where slow torture seemed preferable - I assumed they were all just wusses and mellow dramatic. I was like, yah, that headache sucked and I really don't want to have them often. But come ON. I could still function! It wasn't as bad as some of the surgeries I've had. I've taken way worse pain than that in my lifetime.

I was stupid. I was ignorant and arrogant all wrapped up in one self righteous snotty package. And I beg the forgiveness of anyone who has ever experienced a real migraine. And for all the people that I judged incorrectly in the past? I got mine. Oh did I get mine.

Last Thursday, I woke up with a sort of nagging sinus headache. Usually when I have one of these, I let it go and it often goes away with the passing of the day. But it got worse. So I popped a decongestant which usually makes the more tenacious sinus headaches go away. But it got worse. So I popped a couple of ibuprofen which usually does the trick. But it got worse.

By the time Pokemon Boy got home from school (around 3pm), I was in agony. But still about like the worst of the previous "migraines" I had experienced. I could take it but I was going to be whiny. At one point, I stopped working, rubbed my head and said, " feels like my head is going to explode." At which point, Pokemon Boy became very concerned with whether that could really happen or not. And I mean REALLY concerned. It took some effort to convince him that it's just a saying and not really possible.

However, within about 30 minutes, I was starting to wonder, Could it be possible? Because let me tell you, it really felt like it. The pain had escalated to a level I have never experienced. Even the worst one I had experienced to that point back in January (at the start of some weird bug I had for a week) hadn't gotten this bad.

I couldn't talk. Just the effort of talking in a normal tone made me feel like I'd pass out. Movement of any kind sent me reeling. Laying down hurt because ANY touch on my face, neck or scalp felt like agony. I couldn't stand or sit up straight because I felt like I might pass out any minute. But couldn't lay down either. Finally, I looked at the clock and realized I had to drive to pick up Lil' Bro at preschool soon. That wasn't going to happen. I could barely open my eyes from the pain. I knew I wouldn't be able to drive, walk into the school, get Lil' Bro, drive back, etc. I just kept thinking, "I feel like I'm going to black out or die or something!"

I called my mom and just barely made myself audible. "Mom...I need help!" I can't imagine what she thought. I don't call like that. I don't ask for help like that. Because I'm usually asking for something like babysitting or can you pick up some milk for me. I told her what was going on and that it felt like I had poison in my stomach and Lil' Bro was still at school. She was on her way in a flash.

When mom walked in, I had been kneeling in front of the porcelain throne, willing my stomach to empty whatever poison was in there. Nothing. At one point, the pulsating pressure in my head and neck made me seriously consider the possibility that I'd be blowing some major artery any second. I was wondering if the violence of throwing up might not make me pass out from the force and pain. Getting up and calling "I'm up here" made me feel like passing out.

Mom walked into my room to find me pacing, frantically rubbing my head or stomach or I'm not sure what I was doing. I just knew I felt like I was going to explode. Fortunately, I made it back to the porcelain throne before said explosion began. Poor mom kept bringing me cool wet cloth after cool wet cloth to wipe down my face and neck as my body purged anything it could find - and then some. Later, my mom told Pokemon Boy that I had thrown up so hard, my toenails came out. [We have to remember that these figures of speech are taken quite literally by him. It took a bit of explaining.]

The violence and force of that very prolonged event really did make me think my head would explode. Finally, I was just in so much pain, I got in bed and just didn't care that putting my head on a pillow was agony. My body couldn't stay upright any more. I kind of passed out into a fitful half sleep. Eventually, I think my body just shut down and I actually slept. Mom went and got Lil' Bro from school. Pokemon Boy suggested they go to her house. But she was too concerned I might need her. Man, no matter how old your baby gets, you still kick into mom mode when you need to.

Two and a half hours later, I awoke. No headache and rather hungry. But very fragile. I ate half a bowl of chicken noodle soup (mom fixed it). I drank ginger ale (mom brought it with her). I went to bed when the boys did. Mom pretty much took care of everything. Have I mentioned that I adore my parents? I have? Ok.

The next day, I felt the same pseudo-sinus-headache thing. So I went to the doctor. He said it sounded like classic migraine. "Really? Migraines are THAT bad????" Yes, he said. And in that simple yes, I heard "Yes you judgemental idiot. What do you think all of those people you know and love have been talking about all these years?!" He gave me literature on migraines, some samples of some migraine meds, a referral for a just-in-case MRI brain scan, and sent me home with instructions to get enough sleep.

I took the sample because the "sinus headache" was already progressing. I knew I wouldn't survive a replay. It seemed to work - I didn't feel like it went away - like with other headaches. It really felt like the medicine squashed it. It was still there but squashed underneath some giant something or other.

All weekend, I felt rather punky and tentative. Except Sunday. So I thought I was fine. But Monday, I felt the lurking symptoms. I didn't take meds just to see if it was sinus or not. I hate to risk the migraine but I do kind of need to learn the difference between the signs of a looming sinus and migraine.

I went for my MRI on Monday afternoon. It wasn't at all as scary as some morbid doom and gloomers would have liked me to believe. The "tunnel" they put you in isn't all that long. If you're not claustrophobic, it's no big deal. The MRI machine is INCREDIBLY loud (you can hear a sample here). The earplugs didn't really block out enough of the din. And I had to make sure I took out all my piercings and left all my jewelry at home. I was in the actual machine for 20 minutes. My old boss told me it went so quick because they probably couldn't find a brain. HA!

I doubt they'll find anything abnormal. I was freaked before the test - amazing how all the fear and what-if scenarios attack right before something like that. But I put it all in God's hands. I asked him not to let anything happen to me for my boys' sakes. They need one stable parent.

Anyway, that was my last few days. I still feel a bit funky. But I haven't taken any meds today and haven't had any issues.

Oh I do love a good bunch of mellow drama!!!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Don't Pick the Right Guy

I thought I'd share this thought with you because A) it's poignant in my own life, B) it should be poignant to any woman thinking about having a relationship with any man and C) it will plug my friend's book.

So yesterday I was at church. One of my favorite friends there is a single girl (as in, never been married). I don't remember what started the conversation. Oh, I think I was talking about whether I'll ever trust that a man can actually love and value a woman in a way that requires him to toss his selfishness (yes, I'm momentarily jaded & cynical). She is in her early 30s and said something like she gets scared as she gets older. "I'm afraid of picking the wrong guy!" she said. "So don't," I said. She just looked at me like, "Huh?" "Don't pick any guy. Let God pick him." I could hear just how trite and cliche I sounded. Like some self righteous idiot suggesting something like, "Just stop sinning," to a career criminal. But something in me told me to keep going. I'm pretty sure it wasn't me - it was God giving me the thoughts.

I said, look, I picked a guy. I picked this guy and said, "Ok God, please make this the right guy. Make him The One!" And God looked skeptical and started to explain something. But I just shushed him and said, "God...I said make THIS guy the one for me. Make him the perfect husband for me." Like, this is the one I want, God. Work it out, will yah? I tell this much better in person because there are hand gestures and certain phrases that don't translate into type. But the reality is, for years, I asked God to make future ex The One. And God kept trying to tell me something - probably trying to tell me that he wasn't The One and maybe why. But each time, I'd hold up my hand and go on pining and waiting.

Eventually, I got tired of waiting for God to make future ex The One. So I took matters into my own hands. I asked him to marry me. And since no one better was around, and I was nice and had a good job and seemed pretty ok, he said sure, why not. Everyone we knew was thrilled. Including me. But in the back of my mind, I knew I had settled on the one point I said I never would. I married a non-Christian. Not that marrying a Christian guarantees anything. But it gives you a better common starting point. You'd hope. But that's a whole other post.

When I got married, I see a certain image in my head. I see God going *sigh* and throwing up his hands a little. Like, I tried to tell her! But God being the wonderful loving father (read: dad) that he is, he saw that I took my marriage vows and whole marriage very seriously. He saw that I really wanted to make this work. And I think he honored it. I imagine him going, "Ok I'll bless this union because you love me and are taking this seriously. But I can't make any promises for this guy. I mean, he's got free will and all that." He gave us a lot of fun happy years. And he blessed us with two gorgeous, perfect boys.

Well, the current situation speaks for itself. I married a man *I* chose. And not blindly. I'm not kidding when I tell you that I begged God to make him The One. I knew he wasn't what I should have waited for. But I got scared. I was 30. How would I be able to start from scratch and find a new one. Notice how I was wondering how I'D do all that?

So I told my beautiful special friend, "Don't pick the right guy. Ask God to pick him for you. And then trust that God will pick someone way better than you could. He knows what you want. But more - he knows what you need. He'll bring him. Just ask him."

It's not the kind of conversation I would normally have. But I'll tell you, this little wake up call I call Divorce? The hard lessons I'm learning shouldn't remain locked up in some dank corner of my mind. And do you know what is illustrating the lesson I just talked about here? Trish's new book. And I'm not saying that just to plug Trish's book. I'm saying that because I'm reading it and thinking - oh for the love of Pete! She's lived it, too! Just like me. Just like every woman out there. But she writes about it very well. And makes me laugh at the same time. Her book illustrates how things go when WE do the picking. And how things go when we ask GOD to do the picking.

Don't pick the right guy. Ask God to pick him for you.

Friday, April 18, 2008

I Got Trish. In Hahd Covah!

To use the Boston vernacular: WIKKID YAH!

Pokemon Boy - in his wisdom - wanted to go to Barnes & Nobles today. He wanted to get some Pokemon books. Imagine that. So off we went. I love letting them pick books. It's like taking a kid to a vegetable stand and saying, "I'll buy you anything you want, kid."

Pokemon Boy's first selection was The Essential Calvin & Hobbes. Only after reading a bunch of that did he remember he cared about Pokemon. So there's hope yet! He and Lil' Bro each picked a Pokemon book. Lil' Bro also picked out a board book about fish. And I picked him a collection of puppy stories.

As we were heading to the cash register, suddenly it dawned on me. This is APRIL! Trish's book should be IN STORES!!! I did an abrupt about face and, to the boys' dismay, headed to the Book Dude Behind The Kiosk. Book Dude looked up the book for me. Ryan...Trish. "Ah," he says. "It's over in Christian and Inspirational." Appropriate, thinks me. As I know it is both.

I'm giddy with dorkiness as he takes me over there. We pass a huge man pondering bibles and there they are. Tons of them. Christian books. Inspirational books. But I was looking for the one book that was both! He stood in front of all the books with author's names starting in the beginning of the alphabet. Me: "They're sorted by author?" (He nods) Me again: "Alphabetically, right?" (He nods and keeps looking) I start moving a bit to my right. I may have dropped out of college but I'm pretty sure R comes after the J's and M's. He sees me move my gaze and asks, "What was the author's name again?" I'm thinking, "Don't you KNOW WHO I'M LOOKING FOR? She's funny. She's cute. She has an impossibly wonderful husband and an even more impossibly blended breed dog. She can't boil water but she can testify with humor, grace and humility!!! Come ON man! It's Trish RYAN!!" But all I say is, "Ryan," to which he grunts and moves over to search with me.

And there it is. In the R's. Just where this college drop out would have filed her. And I was right. Her book was Christian AND inspirational. And it had the most butt-kickin' cover in the entire section. Honestly. For someone like me who pretty much sticks to just one genre of book? If I was walking by a table laden with earnest and lovely book covers, this one would make me stop and look again. And I have to say this one would also make me pick it up. And unless it promises to have tales of King Arthur or Robin Hood, that's not my usual mode of operation. So yah, you got the lemming's attention. Tell whoever put that cover together, "Good job, yo." (I'm so street)

At the checkout counter, I was giddy with the thrill that can only come by buying a friend's book in a national book store chain. Especially since there was more than one copy hidden in the back or holding up the rickety table in the employee break room. No. This was an honest to goodness, real BOOK. And my friend wrote it. I wanted to tell the checkout clerk. But, while I could guarantee you that he and I would have bonded over our shared love of all things myth, fantasy and science fiction, I doubt he would have been at all interested in the fact that I was so incredibly thrilled with this one particular purchase. So I shut up. And commented on how I liked his name. And, this being Texas, we struck up a conversation in which I learned he had trouble pronouncing his own name due to the unique shape of his jaw. I love Texas.

In the car, the boys busied themselves with their new books. So I turned on the A.C. and pulled out Trish. Oh yah. I got Trish! In hard cover! Or, as they'd say in Boston, in hahd covah. Wikkid yah. I wanted to read the whole thing right there. But, as it was approaching dinner time, I doubted my boys would sit there for that many hours. Those darn kids and their need to eat! So I tried to call Trish. But being a true celebrity author, she ignored my call. Which is probably good. Because she was probably doing something important and didn't need to hear me squealing my geekish glee over the phone. So I did the next best thing. I called Jane and left her a message about how I just got Trish's book and isn't that just the bomb and I'm a dork and I love you and bye. Then, I took a picture of her book on my car seat and sent it to Trish's phone. Because I'm a dork. Have I mentioned that?

And I have to show you the receipt. This is very blurry because it was taken on my cell phone. But Trish, did you know that the title of your book, when abbreviated on a receipt is "He Loves me, He Loves Me"? Coincidence? I think not. I've met the hubby. He really DOES love her.

Well, this evening at my parents' house, I'm pretty sure I was officially rude. We were all sitting around talking after dinner. I picked up the book and started reading it. I hadn't meant to. I was just going to glance at the first chapter. Then, about 10 pages in, I realized I was totally ignoring my parents, my Big Sis, her Tall Hubby, my aunt visiting from New Mexico and - worst of all - my nephew, the adorable dog Sid! Why did Trish have to be so entertaining and engaging in the first page! I mean, her opening disclaimer was the clincher. I made my parents and sister and aunt all read the book jacket and the disclaimer saying, "If you read her disclaimer, you'll get a feel for her humor." They did. They all think she's cute, clever, pretty, sweet...I can't remember all of the other sweet sickly adjectives they used.

I do have to protest that there were no chapters entitled, "How L.y.n.e.t.t.e rocked 2005 for me" or anything of that ilk. A bit disappointing. But I'll still give it a chance.

So I just had to come gush to people who I knew would pretend to care. And also so Trish would see that I purchased her book. Now her people can see one tiny little dot on the sales map way down here in the friendly state. I plan to buy more copies and hand them out to all of my friends and family down here. You will have your own Texas chapter of the 'Trish Rocks' fan club. I am the president. Sorry. I called it first. Make your own chapter.

I'm off to read.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

More Proof That God's Gotchyer Back

Yes, as a fallible human, I love when God comes through in really cool tangible ways. I'll give you a couple of recent things that you skeptics can chalk up to luck and good timing. But I know different.

If you recall, back in February, I had a lovely little lesson in why you should always call to cancel a ticket. That set me back quite a bit of cash. I freaked for a short bit and then gave it over to God. Or tried. In my prayer to him, I was specific. I just said, ok, I screwed up here. Please find the money from somewhere to pay this ticket and all of my other obligations. Just somehow make my money go farther.

I think I blogged about how I was astounded to not only pay all my bills but to have some left over. Then God rocked the whole bonus-I-didn't-think-I'd-get thing. That took care of summer camp for Pokemon Boy, some lawyer payments, some credit card debt and padding my savings. Oh yah - and I got to give a big huge chunk to my church! That was so fun.

Then I did my taxes. I'm married filing separately. If you've done that, you know you get nailed. But I happily found out I qualify for head of household. Which gives me a better tax standing than filing separately. And I actually got money BACK! Over $1000! I was just dumb founded. So I socked more away into savings. And wrote another check to my church.

Now let me just comment on why giving actual money to my church thrills me so much. When I found them in 2005, I was new to the area. New to having a huge mortgage and various house costs and bills. I had just bought all the start up furniture and large equipment you need to maintain a house and yard. I had no money. Plus, the hubby wasn't too keen on throwing money away (ie - giving it to a church). So I tossed a bit of cash in here or there. Not much. In talking to my pastor about my feeling crummy about not giving what I wanted, he told me there are other ways to tithe. Like giving your time to the church. Which I was already doing - food service, worship team and teaching. I was like, YAY! That's awesome. And felt much better.

But it always gnawed at me that I wanted to give money to the church. And that I was financially able to but didn't feel comfortable going against the hubby's sentiments. So I told God, ok, I'm going to start donating the food for food service to the church. It will be part of my tithe. It will be small. So please accept it and help me to increase it. Over the weeks, the food service increased from small $20-$30 amounts. Hubby wasn't thrilled. Well, after hubby became "future ex", and after I was done wallowing in the pits of depression, I remember coming to a realization one day: I am solely in control of all of my finances! I can give whatever I want to God!

Yah, well, hold on cowgirl. I was also a newly single mom. I was suddenly paying for child care and lawn care and thought more expenses were coming. I was terrified I was going to lose my house and who knows what. I was freaking out. But I said, ok God, I'm going to keep doing the food service. I just need you to figure it all out and help me be able to do it. At that point, I stopped paying attention to the food service grocery bill. I'd just tell them to ring it up and I'd pay for it with my own groceries and didn't freak. As I started putting the receipt in the collection plate with the food service sub-total circled...I noticed that - little by little - it was getting bigger. And somehow, I was still paying all of my obligations. I started giving a monthly support amount to KLOVE, too. Which was something that made former hubby scowl. So that also makes me happy - that I can do it freely now.

So I've been tithing but not with an actual percentage. And not with checks or cash. So to be able to actually get these windfalls and write checks for 10% or more? That totally ROCKS my socks! Yes. I'm a dork. But it thrills me.

That's where God has been growing my tithing experience. Any time I get tight or scared financially, I give it over to God. I ask him to help the money show up and help me make it. And he does.

Now here are the most recent examples:

I have a wonderful friend who owns a house up in Boston. Their bathroom (the only one) fell apart the other day. They were told they'd have to strip it down to the studs and redo it all. To the tune of like $15K. So here are two wonderful people with a little boy who now have to somehow come up with $15K. They had been working hard at sending extra into their mortgage payments to build up equity. She was trying to cut back on work hours to spend more time with her cute kid. It all looked like it was about to blow up in her face. So we were IMing about this and I said, ok, let's ask God to handle this. He'll fix your bathroom without derailing your plans. I mean, God knows what you're trying to do and I'm sure he's on your side to raise your son yourself! So right there, I asked God to somehow find them the money. And in a way that would be so very obviously from him. I IM'd her that I had prayed for her and like a minute later she types, Oh my goodness! Just got off the phone with hubby. The contractor just gave us a new estimate that is $5K less than the last time!!!! Coincidence? Luck? I think NOT. We were both blown away. I believe her exact words were "God is freaking me out!" I love it!

Then last night I paid my bills for mid month. And the checking account got very slim. Ouch. I didn't want to touch the savings I've been working to pad. That is still earmarked for summer camp and other things. Not to mention, I'd like a padding in case I'm laid off, etc. But I moved a couple hundred from savings over to checking and wasn't too happy about it. But oh well.

This morning, I get a letter from my mortgage bank. I opened it and tossed it in a "to be filed" pile. But later, I looked at it because it was an escrow breakdown and I wanted to see if I needed to pad my escrow. Then I notice a note in small print saying "These calculations indicate the projected escrow balance will be more than the allowable low point. The resulting surplus is attached." Yah, at the bottom is a check for over $500!!! AND...get this...the minimum monthly payment amount went down by about $50.

I'm telling you, pray specifically. Pray big. Pray believing God cares about the little things as well as the big things. Don't let guilt stop you from asking him for help. I could write a whole BOOK on how he has taken care of the little things all through 2007 and still this year.

Yup. More proof that God's gotchyer back.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Tics and Stuff

I've been meaning to post about this for a while. What with the title of my blog being Tourette's Mom and all.

Pokemon Boy - if you recall - has Tourette's. Mild. Blessedly mild. Thank you God! I'm still not worried about it. I suppose I could be since he's approaching 8 and most kids are diagnosed around 8 or 9 because that's when it progresses to a severe enough point for people to stop writing it off as just twitchy kids or something. But I'm not. God's got it. And God's given us a great medical/therapy team.


Lately, Pokemon Boy has been very tic-y. Still mild. A fact that was driven home hugely this weekend when we were in a local sandwich shop with a kid that looked to be about 13 and had very severe TS. But though Pokemon Boy's tics are all mild, they are many. Usually he has one or two. I will probably not be able to remember all of them right now as he's not right here with me. But here's an attempt at a list of currently active tics:

1) A new eye thing. This is like if you scowl every so slightly and then very slowly let your eyes drift upward and then to being crossed. Does that make sense? I can't even do it if I try. I can't get my eyes to "drift" into being crossed. But I've watched him do it and then they pop right back to normal. I'm not even sure if he knows he's doing it.

2) A new noise. I was just trying to do it to describe it to you and I can't get it quite right. It's another tongue clucking thing. It's usually quite a few in succession. And it's on and off for quite a long time. I think he does it with his mouth closed sometimes, too.

3) Stammering. This is an extremely eloquent kid. Has been since before he walked. But lately, he's stammering almost as if trying to talk under duress. I keep saying, "Slow down and just let it come out." He usually can but rarely without repeating a few phrases in each sentence.

4) Touching. I've noticed a few things where he touches his own hands or feet here or there. I can't tell if it's really a tic or allergy related or what. But it's repetitive enough to make me think it's a tic.

5) Restlessness. He's very antsy. It's the stuff I usually see when he's unsure of his surroundings or if we visit a new doctor or something. The first time his psychiatrist met him, she said his initial can't-sit-still-ness made her think ADHD. But she dismissed that idea very quickly. But I notice he's up, he's down, he's pacing, he's moving, he's all over the place.

That's the stuff I can think of. I think there are a few more verbal tics I've heard recently but I can't recall what.

I've also noticed that all of this is coinciding with the news that his dad is leaving soon. I have no idea if that's really what's going on or what. But I can tell his mind is going a mile a minute. The other night, after a particularly bad day on my part, he was telling me he was sorry for my aggravation during the day. I said, oh honey, you don't have to be sorry because I was in a crappy mood. But he said he just felt bad that I had felt aggravated (he used that word). I thanked him. He left the room and came back to tell me that he liked spending time with me. He told me that daddy gets more aggravated with them more often than I do. It was said with a lot of tenderness and sadness. But obviously, the man is very much on his mind.

Today, we were all home. We had a very sleepless night due to allergies and both boys having nightmares or night terrors. When I woke up at 6:15am, I tried to wake Pokemon Boy. Nigh impossible. And I felt like I had been run over with a hippo. So I decided to let us all sleep in and take him in late to school.

Being the wonderfully irresponsible lazy mother that I am, I let them both stay home from school and I canned work. We all looked like we were hung over. I still feel like it. They recovered somewhat, after staying indoors away from allergens all day.

Well, after lunch, I told the boys I was running to the mailbox. We have community mailboxes in each 'hood. Mine is right around the corner, within earshot but not eye shot of the house. Both boys were mired in their respective activity and heard me announce my departure. Well, at the mailbox, my next door neighbor pulled up and we got to talking (us two divorcees). I was probably out there like 5 or 10 minutes. Suddenly, we heard the weirdest sound. It was either an animal in distress or some sort of weird guttural cry. I knew instantly who it was. I ran around the corner and found both boys in the front yard. Pokemon Boy was crying and on the verge of panic. Lil' Bro seemed totally ok but he was clearly freaked out that his big brother was upset. I ran over and started comforting him. He hadn't known where I was. "But I told you I was going to the mailbox." Yes, but I didn't come right back so he didn't know where I was. It totally broke my heart.

So I vowed to him that, if I step out for some quick little neighborhood errand, I will do it and return immediately. I will only stop to talk within eye shot of the house. Better yet, maybe ask them to walk to my yard.

Over the last few days, if I get annoyed or frustrated, both boys are lightening quick to offer apologies. Even if they aren't the cause of my annoyance. It's really sad to hear. I don't really understand how to undo that. They are carrying some fear here. Tonight, Lil' Bro wouldn't stand still for pajama time. I snapped at him (but not horribly) and he reacted as if I had just screamed at him. I said, "Honey, I just want you to stand still. I'm not yelling." His reply flabbergasted me. "I just don't ever want you to kill me." Um...what? What in the WORLD?!

All I can think is, the security of their world has been frayed. And some very serious fraying is happening right now. That's all I can think. I stopped both boys, made them sit and look at me. I said, "Let me tell you a few things that will NEVER happen: One: I will NEVER stop loving you. Ever. It's not possible. Two: I will never hurt you or kill you. It's not possible. It will NEVER happen. Do you understand?" Lil' Bro then said, "And free?" "And three: I will ALWAYS love you," at which time Lil' Bro threw his arms around my neck and hugged me. And to which Pokemon Boy replied, "Um mom, you said you were going to name things that will never happen!" *sigh* I can't win!

I'll leave you with some cute pix. Last night, Pokemon Boy was showering in my shower and Lil' Bro was bathing in my big garden tub. I took a bunch of silly pictures but promised Pokemon Boy that no nudies would be shared with the public. But I think he'd approve of these three shots.

Lil' Bro and the obligatory Bath Time Mohawk

Classic Pokemon Boy

Classic (Dorky) Me

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Slow Down There, Yenta!

One of the perils of being in the midst of a divorce and having lots of people who love you is, inevitably, someone (or multiple someones) will start eyeing potential matches for you. This is only natural. I am sure I have been as guilty as most.

But lets look at a few facts here folks.

A) I am not legally divorced. Rather important, this.
B) I am in no way desiring another relationship in this century. I'm sure this will change. I am assured by all concerned (and most not concerned) that this will change. Great. But for now? I don't want to have to think that hard.

That's pretty much all I have at the moment. But if you look at both of those, yah, they're rather strong arguments for everyone backing OFF this whole Yenta-matchmaking thing. Or for you Jane Austen lovers, stop being Emma - or whoever the big matchmaker is of her writings.

Now all of that is said with great affection and quite a lot of humor. Oh, I'm serious enough about the sentiments. But I do laugh when I say it. And here are the two most recent stories that explain why:

Story #1: My Dad -
Mom told me this story while we were driving back home from some fast food joint. I was in the way-back of their family van.

Mom & dad needed a water softener dude to come check their water softener. He did his thing and they all got to talking. He was about my age, according to my mom. So they're chatting and suddenly dad says something to the effect of, "Well, we have a daughter that's going through a divorce and we're looking for a husband for her." My mom said her head snapped to and she was like, "WHAH???!" But rather than suddenly remembering a roast in the oven and running in fear, the guy got all serious and looked rather thoughtful for a moment. After which he said, "Well, I do have this one friend. He's 52," to which my mother quickly replied, "That's too old!" Ha! Good ol' mom. The guy assured her that he's a "young 52" and works out at the gym a lot. Yah, that's what I want. Some guy who likes going to the gym. Because I'm sure he'll totally be into a 42 yr old house-frau that works from home and gets about 30 minutes a year of good aerobic exercise. I'd have better luck with the Michelin Tire Man. And I could share his clothes.

Anyway, mom needed to get priorities straight. She told him that her daughter's number one criteria for a man is that he is a very Godly man. The guy said, "Well, he's gone to church with us a few times but I don't think you'd call him 'Godly'."

I told dad that if he gets ideas like that again to just give the potential guy the business card of my church. If he's serious, he can start attending my church.

Good gravy!

Story #2: Well Intentioned Small Group Friend -
Last Tuesday, I was relating the above story to my small group. We were all having the appropriate roar of laughter because everyone there knows my dad. And if you know him and can picture him saying all of that, it's just that much more of a hoot! So we're all laughing and one of my small group friends (and co-worship band member) says, "Well, I've actually had someone in mind for you for a while. But I figure you need more time." I nearly fell over laughing. I told him to give me at least a decade.


So apparently, everyone but me is looking around for potential partners for me. Good grief. I'm not even done shedding the first monkey from my back. You really want to saddle me with another?

It's all very sweet and funny to me. I'm sure my desire for a life of being single will start to fade eventually. But seriously folks, let me get the legalities of the first debacle behind me before I start planning another.

Wouldn't it be a hoot, though? I mean if that's how God finds my next man? One of these wacky friends or family members doing one of these crazy things? It wouldn't surprise me in the least. And it sure would be fitting.

But for now, I'm enjoying working on just me and God.

So back off, Yenta.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Is There a 12 Step Program For Sudoku?

Hello. My name is L.y.n.e.t.t.e. And I'm a Sudoku addict. I have a problem. Or do I? I love sudoku. And when I say "love," I mean like, if sudoku were a God-loving Christian man, I'd totally marry it.

I had seen it for years and thought it was a trendy thing people did to make themselves look smart. I thought it was all math and stuff. Which means I should love it. But being the nonconformist that I am (read "lemming"), I shunned sudoku. I later found out it has nothing to do with math. It's all patterns and sequences. You can replace the 1 through 9 with A through whatever the 9th letter of the alphabet is. Either way, I thought I was too cool to be caught up in such a silly trend. Oh the arrogance of youth. Or the arrogance of...well...last year some time.


I don't really remember how it started. I think I was just bored. I tried just a little one. A 4x4 puzzle. I mean, I just wanted to see what it was like. Who knew that would be my gateway puzzle! Pretty soon, the 4x4 wasn't enough. I needed more! Next thing I knew, I was doing simple 9x9's. Sure I started with the easy ones. Beginner level. I could quit any time I wanted. I just didn't want to. I'd look for them in news papers. I started picking up magazines I never read just to see if they had a sudoku in the back. I was hooked. Finally I just accepted my addiction. I went to Barnes & Noble. The big one down by Lowes and PetSmart. They had a whole subsection in the games section. I mean, come on! What was I supposed to do?! Yah. I bought one. But not just one of those piddly ones on that cheap not-quite-newspaper print paper. No. I got the mammoth colossal one. With 300 puzzles in it.

I put the date on them when I complete them. And I put things like "Yikes!" or "Ouch!" if I messed up and had to resort to the solution in the back. I've been a hard core sudoku junkie now since September 2007. And I won't apologize! [insert maniacal laughter with Norma Desmond facial expressions here]

But I think I need help now. Tonight, I Google'd "free online sudoku". I know. It's a sickness. I found my fix. But the thing about the online games? You can't keep your little notes on what might go in which square! You can't write in pencil and erase it from your monitor screen. Trust me. I tried. So you have to really think hard. And they time you. Those sick twisted people! But I finally completed one with no errors and they told me 96% of everyone else who tried this level was better than me. Oh yes, they taunt me, those dealers of free online sudoku! They mock me and draw me into their web of evil. The black hole of free time. Time that could have been my house before my two aunts show up tomorrow.

Evil evil sequential pattern game makers!

I blame society.

Monday, April 07, 2008

It Came Without Warning

*The following post will have strange punctuation interspersed in certain words to avoid getting sicko hits from search engines. Enjoy my attempt at subterfuge.*

Dude. Seriously. I think they should schedule time for The Talk. Like, as soon as the kid is born, you get a schedule. It has things like, "Will walk for first time," and "Will utter first intelligible word," so you can plan and be ready for some of the bigger ones. But you know, like around the age of...oh...10 or 12 or 47, you can schedule The Talk. So you can plan for it. So you can have some rehearsed sound bites that don't include, " uh...heh heh..." like some giggling 8th grader telling his little brother The Facts.

I don't even know how it happened. I didn't even see it coming. I'm sitting here wondering how it even came about. I can't remember the sequence of conversation that precipitated The Talk. But I was sitting here at the computer, having just gone to the website of my son's future school. Lil' Bro was on the guest bed in my office, being a ghost under the blue floral sheets. And next to the Blue Floral Ghost was Pokemon Boy, hanging over the edge of the bed, upside down, feet in the air, chatting away. I believe the boys were discussing the possibilities of Lil' Bro marrying Pokemon Boy's future principal, having seen her picture on the website and uttering "Ooooohhhh...priddy!"

Oh it's all coming back. So Lil' Bro starts saying how he's going to marry Pokemon Boy's future principal. Pokemon Boy wisely points out the disparate age difference. Lil' Bro is undeterred. Pokemon Boy says, "Besides, she has a husband." "She does?" I ask. "Well, she has a job. Everyone who has a job is married." Very interesting information, this. Apparently, as soon as my divorce is finalized, I will lose my job. They continue on with their debate. I'm pretty sure that Lil' Bro is still pretty set on marrying the future principal. Because, according to his four year old logic, he will be RICH. I didn't turn to look, but the way that he said "rich" makes me think he was rubbing his hands together and making a very "mwah ha ha ha" face. Pokemon Boy said, "You'll be rich?" Lil' Bro explained, "Well, if I marry her, I will get money from her and I will be rich!" [I am thinking that my future ex had a very similar conversation with some of his friends way back in 1996. But I digress.]

But in pointing out that not all working people have to be married, somehow that got Pokemon Boy on the subject of, "Well, you have to be married to have kids." Yes, well, you'd like to think so. And being the oh so open and honest mom that I am, I opened this topic for further discussion. Because I'm also oh so stupid. Did I mention that? So I explained that not all people that have kids are married. I told him that, ideally, yes, it's best to be married when you have kids because raising kids is really a job that takes two people to help each other. That point was lost on Pokemon Boy who was already fixated on the first part of my statement. "But wait," asks he. "Don't you need an e.g.g from the woman and a s.p.e.r.m from the man?" True. But you don't have to be married to have that happen. "So you can use a stranger's s.p.e.r.m?" This is the point at which I realized I had unwittingly entered into The Talk. There was no backing out now. And all points of travel from here on in lead to just one thing: the robot from Lost In Space flailing all limbs and yelling, "Danger! Danger Will Robinson!!"

I go on to explain how some people don't always get married but live together. And being the morally upright idiot that I am, I very lamely attempt to throw in my bit about how that's not ideal and is fraught with risk but he wasn't even listening. His mind was still churning on the whole e.g.g and s.p.e.r.m issue. I think he was ok with accepting that unmarried couples might procreate. But...

"So how does the s.p.e.r.m get together with the e.g.g anyway?"

[Insert frozen smile combined with deer in the headlights look here]

My tact with delicate subjects and my boys has always been to present it as fact. Or more as matter of fact. Don't treat it as taboo. Don't treat it as dirty. Just explain things as if I was explaining dinosaurs or how to split the atom or something. And that works when they're asking simple questions like "Where does the baby grow?" that you can answer with very vague words like "womb" or "baby growing sack" or something. You toss a benign sounding word at them and they're bored and moving on to spread even more Pokemon cards around the house because they just realized there was still a spot of carpet visible to the naked eye.

But I knew I was about to try to totally vague and benign my way through a very delicate subject. I was going to try to describe The Act with words such as may be found in a two year old's board book. Yah. Good luck with that. Let me know how that works out for you, will you?

I won't put the whole conversation here because the punctuation to keep perverts from getting here would make it unreadable. But I described the act very blandly, trying to keep my poker face steady. But Pokemon Boy has - as he tells it - a super ectoplasmic mind. Which he uses to convey "I'm wikkid smart." So he asked all the questions you'd expect someone to ask. I mean, if you try to tell an electrical engineer that you built a robot out of some metal and wires, you think they'll settle for that? Exactly.

So while Blue Floral Ghost entertained himself by getting more and more entwined in the guest bed sheets, I had this monumental conversation with Pokemon Boy. It was so hard not to laugh. It was just so completely out of a sit-com.

I shudder to think of the counseling my boys will need when I'm done raising them.

Dude. Seriously. It came without warning.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

I Am Dork: Hear Me Roar

Today was nothing to blog home about. Meetings from 9am to 6pm. A working lunch. Bio-breaks (ie - let's all go loose our bladders) were given out grudgingly. A great group of people to work with. But even great groups of people can be too much when you saddle them with terms like "work session" and other pithy corporate catch phrases.

I took pictures of a bunch of them. But figured I didn't get any kind of release forms signed allowing me to shoot their images across the ether. So you will just have to use your imagination to picture Classy Leader Lady, Funny Facilitator Guy, Wikkid Smart Guy #1 and Wikkid Smart Guy #2, Quiet Smart Girl On Crutches, Funny Lady With Attitude and, yours truly: Comic Relief At End Of Table Girl.

Although, you don't have to use your imagination for me. Here are some shots to keep you happy. Because I can hear you all clamoring for more pictures of ME!!!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

An April Fool in Boston

The eagle has landed. I got into Boston almost 2 hrs after my original arrival time. No worries. Delays in beautiful Cincinnati. Nice airport, that.

I'm fighting off a cold so I'm not visiting my pregnant friend or Kristen and her family as originally planned. Don't need to share that kind of love.

Here are some shots from my hotel. I love the Radisson. Every single room has a balcony. First thing I did was go onto mine. Love it. Here are three shots from my 12th floor room. [I can't seem to make this picture any wider. The shots are from 5:54pm, 6:33pm & 7:22pm.]

Here's a shot of my room. You can see my lovely balcony view out the sliding door. And I had American Idol on the TV. (Right now, I'm watching one of my favorite shows, Gene Simmons Family Jewels.)

And here I am chillin'. I'm sitting at my computer desk with my feet up on my giant king sized Sleep Number bed. Traveling is good.

I'm heading to bed now. Then to meetings all day tomorrow. Hopefully I'll have time to take some shots of something interesting enough to blog about.

Wish you were here.