Saturday, September 30, 2006

Am I alone here?

Am I the only person in the world who didn't realize that Fergie from the Black-eyed Peas was once the little blonde girl on Kids Incorporated (BEST. Kids'. Show. EVER)?

I knew Martika went on to fame (for a little while anyway) and I knew the two who played sisters (Fergie and Renee something) were in Wild Orchid together 5-10 years ago, but I had no clue that the chick with the Black-eyed Peas was sweet little Stacy from Kids Incorporated.

I only realized it recently when I happened to come across an article about her in a magazine at the gym.

Granted, I don't really listen to the BEP, but you'd think I would know such a basic thing. Alan-ASS Morisette was once on You Can't Do That on Television. Tori Amos was in a cornflake commercial. Baby Spice was a child model. These are things you just know regardless of whether or not you listen to the music.

I just feel like I've been so utterly clueless.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Tag, I'm it and I'm weird.

YES (fist pump), Tiffany tagged me.

Submitted for your reading pleasure are 5 Weird Things About Me

1. I can crack my ankles. It's an odd party trick and it freaks dh out. Years of dancing left me with strange ankles and toes. All I have to do is roll my feet and my ankles crack. My toes crack too if I just scrunch them up. Funny thing is, I can't crack my knuckles nor can I stand the sound of it when other people do. I have no problem with the noise my ankles and toes make, though.

2. I do not like going into a store if no one else is in there. I have no clue what's up with that, but I always get freaked out if I'm the only one there. It's not so much that I think I'm being watched by the employees (although sometimes, I am). It's just that I don't like to be the only one. Dh thinks I'm strange for that. Hell, I think I'm strange, but it's part of my "Secretly I'm timid" thing.

3. As a child, I was terrified that the Peculiar Purple Pieman of Purcupine Peak was going to appear in my bedroom window. I don't know why he would be there, but I had nightmares of his face popping up in my window. Dude, that guy is creepy as hell to begin with, but when you imagine him suddenly popping up with that scowl and that annoying "Rat a tat tat" thing he used to say, it's damn near enough to make a 4-year-old wet herself.

4. I am one of the heretics who eats Oreos like a normal human being. After years of taking them apart to lick out the cream and leave the cookies, I now just keep the cookie in one piece and take a bite. Yes, I know it's wrong, but I do it anyway. Although, I do try to eat around it so that I get the most cream possible in the last bite. Does that have any redeeming value?

5. My ability to speak/understand foreign languages increases based on the amount of alcohol I've consumed. Apparently, this isn't all that strange. I had friends in college who reported the same phenomenon. Ask me something in French and I'll stumble over my response. Give me a glass or two of wine, though, and I'm fluent as can be. I'll respond without having to give it a second thought. Hmm...should we give all high school foreign language students a swig of something strong before we force them to take one of those anxiety-inducing oral exams? I don't know that it would have helped my language skills back in the day, but it sure as hell would have made my obnoxious French teacher more bearable. :-)

And now I need to tag 5 people. Hmm...I'll e-mail/comment you all personally to be sure you're aware, but I'm gonna say Kamrin, Chris at Squeaky Weasel, dh, Giselle, and Jessi. Now go forth and share your weirdness with us all. If you feel comfortable with it, I'll link back to you.

And hey, huge thanks are extended to Tiffany for tagging me. You rock! :-) FTR, go visit her blog. It's there on the left. Click the link to Sharp Edge. Then again, maybe I shouldn't be near anything remotely sharp given my recent track record. :-)

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Either I really hate myself or knives just adore me.

Over the weekend, I helped with the kids' Rosh Hashanah service. A friend was asked to lead it and he asked for my help. Part of that help was cutting up apples (we eat apples and honey on Rosh Hashanah in hopes of a sweet new year). I've used the Pampered Chef apple cutting thing (which I highly recommend), so I was sorely out of practice when it came to using a knife for the task. Add to the fact that the rabbi's wife gave me the great big giant Friday the 13th quasi-machete type knife. Yeah, you see where this is going.

I cut my left pointer finger. It's not bad at all. It's more of a papercut than anything else, but it bothered me for quite a while.

Today, I cut up some chicken. I picked up the knife and had it aiming toward me. I actually thought, "This is a bad idea," but apparently, I have (unjustified) faith in myself.

Well, again, you see where this is going. I cut the same finger. The new cut is less than an inch below the last one. Oy!

This one bled like crazy and HURT. Again, it's not bad, just annoying.

So yeah, I cut myself with knives twice in one week. Both times on the exact same finger.

Wait, what's the definition of insanity? Isn't it something like "Repeating the same behavior and expecting different results." Oh hell. Should I start building my tinfoil hat now? Probably not. I bet the sharp edges on the box would attack me.

Creating and Cat Power

I have the urge to create. Problem is, I don't know what exactly. My desk is completely cluttered with things I intend to use on creative endeavors (along with random paperwork), but I have no clue what to make. I have a collection of beads here that I planned to use on a gift for my niece years ago--two houses and a divorce ago (my sister's not mine. No, I haven't been keeping secrets).

Then again, I could do something completely digital and just print it out. Far less mess that way, but it won't use up this mean stash.

Today, I headed over to Jen Caputo's blog and I saw her 2 page layout under the "Just tickled" entry. It's awesome. That gave me some inspiration.

Problem is, I need to get the kids in bed before I can work on anything. :::sigh:::

Oh and file this under "odd." While at Jen's blog, I noticed she scrapped Cat Power. The vast majority of folks in the world have never heard of Cat Power. I, on the other hand, adore her. Right after I noticed that, I headed into the guest room in search of something (never did find it and so I have since forgotten what it was anyway). While there, I found the "You Are Free" CD by none other than Cat Power. I've never actually listened to that one, though. So out of the room it came and it's sitting here beside me waiting for the kids to go to sleep so I can grove to it while creating something.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Insanity and pictures

My parents are gone. They left today. Insert cricket noises here.

They were immensely helpful. They were baffling. They were insanity invoking. They were trying. They are gone.

I love my parents. I just love them better from a distance.

The very best news of all is that I got a picture of dh. Most of you have no idea just how amazing that is. Remember, I haven't seen my husband in five months. At the gym a few weeks back, I chatted with one woman about our husbands' weights. At one point, I had to say, "But I haven't seen him in four months, so I'm not sure what he weighs now." She couldn't understand why I hadn't seen him (um...Dude, this is a military town. You shouldn't be all that shocked). Most people realize deployments suck, but there are things they often just don't think about. As they climb into bed next to their husbands at night, they don't realize that we go months without ever getting a glimpse of our spouses.

FTR, I happen to think dh looks awfully hot in the picture. Of course I always think he does, but he really does look good in the picture. I'm not talking about "oh how sweet," good or "cute cuddly kitten" good. I'm talking about " Ranting at length about being sexually deprived for your freedom" good.

I have so much more to write about, but I should have been in bed hours ago. I'll give you all the news that's fit to print (or more precisely, blog) at a later date.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

On Rosh Hashanah it is written. On Yom Kippur, it is sealed.

Rosh Hashanah has ended. This is my favorite of the religious holidays. Purim is my favorite for fun, but this is my favorite for religious significance.

In 2001, Rosh Hashanah fell just days after September 11th. I openly wept during that service. Ever since then, I get teary during certain portions of the service.

This tore at my heart back then and still does even today:

"We pause in terror before the human deed; The cloud of annihilation, the concentrations for death, The cruelly casual way of each to each. But in the stillness of this hour We find our way from darkness into light." (Gates of Repentance pg 118)

Today was no different. I found myself unable to finish reading aloud in several places. Here's one of the responses that choked me up because it made me think of dh:

"Holy is the sacrifice made for those we love; precious the pains they take for us." (pg 180)

as did this:

"Avinu, Malkeinu (our Father, our King), make an end to sickness, war, and famine." (190).

I choked on the word, "War." I have for the past 4 years.

Another portion that continues to resonate with me five years later is this:

"We pray for all who hold positions of leadership and responsibility in our national life. Let Your blessing rest upon them, and make them responsive to Your will, so that our nation may be to the world an example of justice and compassion.

Deepen our love for our country and our desire to serve it. Strengthen our power of self-sacrifice for our nation's welfare. Teach us to uphold its good name by our own right conduct.

Cause us to see clearly that the well being of our nation is in the hands of all its citizens: imbue us with zeal for the cause of liberty in our own land and in all lands; and help us always to keep our homes safe from affliction, strife, and war. Amen
." (Gates of Repentance, Prayer For Our Nation and Its Rulers pgs 218-219)

Sorry to beat you over the head with the prayer book, but I always get reflective during the High Holidays. I'm doing it even more so with dh gone.

And so, on this Rosh Hashanah, I'll leave you all with another bit of wisdom from Gates of Repentence:

As we turn from thoughts of death to tasks of life, may we, like those who came before us, be builders of G-d's kingdom, a world of justice and joy.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Another WTF mom moment

I know I still need to tell you all the Target story, but unfortunately, there's not enough time right now. There is, however, enough time to share this little ditty with you:

On Monday, I happened to walk past the bathroom where I saw my mother and both of my daughters staring at the toilet. Further inspection showed it was about to over-flow. They all just stood there. I understand the kindergarteners not knowing what to do, but my mom? Come on! Mind you, a plunger is literally 2 feet away from her in plain view.

Then mom makes the brilliant announcement, "Back up. It might over-flow."

What she didn't realize was that IT HAD BEEN OVERFLOWING.

I bit back curses, grabbed the plunger, and fixed the problem.

WTF is wrong with my mom? Why the hell did she just stand there? She never grabbed the plunger. She never called for me. She never called for my dad. Even when I walked in to see why the three of them were gazing into the toilet bowl, she never said a word.


How many more days of this?

Monday, September 18, 2006

Very brief update

I love my husband. I miss him like crazy.

That is all.

No, really, that's all I have to say.

I'm about to head to bed alone and that always makes me think of him longingly (to be honest, lots of random things make me think of him longingly). I just thought I'd share that bit of information with you all.

As you were.

Save me from my mother.

We planned on buying a new lawn mower while my parents are out. So today, after we all went out for lunch, my mother suggests we head to Home Depot. I reminded her that my father and I need to go by ourselves because we need to put the seats down in the van. Mom then insists we'll go and buy paint instead. I tell her I think that's a waste because dad and I will still have to go back later.

Then mom got huffy. If you know my mom, you know EXACTLY what I mean. If you don't, there are just no words to explain it. Mom gets moody and irrational at times. And no, you can't blame it on "the change." She's 70. She went through "the change" when I was still in grade school.

I finally got her to tell me she wanted to get out of the house. So I suggested we go to the mall instead because the kids could play at the playground there and we would be out of the house. She turned up her nose at the idea and then sighed the sigh of a martyr and said in an acidic tone, "Just take me back. I'll take the girls out in the yard."

It was blatantly obvious that that was the last thing she wanted, but she just has to be the martyr. She's the queen of the guilt trip.

I was both baffled and furious. She tried to put the blame on me. It was my fault. I offered to go to the mall instead of wasting time. How is it MY fault? There's no sense in trying to understand it. This is my mom we're talking about. Guilt, she has down. Common sense, that's an entirely different story.

This is going to be a LONG visit.

I have a story to tell you all about being left in the bathroom at Target for half an hour with the baby and a pantsless child, but that's another story for another day.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

G-d bless the internet.

I was randomly inspired to write. Yes, I'm writing again. Pick your jaw up off the floor. It hasn't really been that long since I last wrote anything. Okay, yeah, maybe it has been a while. Shock of all shocks, I'm actually writing fiction. I honestly don't remember when the last time was that I wrote anything ficticious. I've mainly written articles over the past few years. I'm pleasantly surprised to find fiction flowing from my fingertips.

I wrote a line that sounded familiar. It was similar to a line from a song. I could hear a small portion of the song along with a few notes in my head. I knew it was a 10,000 Maniacs song, but that's all I knew.

I googled, "10,000 Maniacs lyrics," and scanned through a few songs with no luck. This was driving me crazy. I'm the type of person who has an obsessive personality to begin with, but when you add my desire (no NEED) to have the answer, you get one frustrated woman. So I googled "10,000 Maniacs, " along with the portion of the line I remembered, ("just by feel." ). G-d bless the internet. I found my song.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

The parents are coming. The parents are coming.

My parents will be arriving shortly. I may not have much time to blog with them around, but I promise I'll be back.

And Kamrin, I'm trying to find an answer to the question you posed (re: What can the average person do to show military members they care/appreciate them?). Let me ask around some and then I'll post a response here.

Friday, September 15, 2006

The Ground Truth

There's a new film available on DVD about veterans and PTSD. I'm fascinated. I plan to buy a copy.

I got this e-mail today and I had to share:

We wanted to share the following letter from Joyce and Kevin Lucey which they wrote following a screening "The Ground Truth" in Boston. After their letter is a review of the movie from the Boston Globe. For more information about where the movie is showing this weekend, go to

You can also order a dvd of the film at

In peace and solidarity
Charley Richardson and Nancy Lessin
for MFSO

The following letter is from Military Families Speak Out members Kevin and Joyce Lucey. Kevin and Joyce’s son, Cpl. Jeffrey Lucey, served in the Marine Reserves during the invasion of Iraq in spring and summer, 2003. He began showing symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder within six months of his return from Iraq. On June 22, 2004 his father found him hanging by a garden hose from the rafters in their basement.

Last night we had the honor and privilege of attending a screening of The Ground Truth in Boston, Massachusetts with several other members of Military Families Speak Out.

We are sure that each of us experienced the film in our own individual ways.

We would like to take just a moment to describe our experiences and reactions.

Watching The Ground Truth immersed us in all the realities of our son Jeffrey's story. At various points - as with the veterans in this film - we felt ourselves once again overwhelmed with the swirling chaos of frustration, anxiety, helplessness, powerlessness, anger, fear and darkness.

We watched as so many veterans became shrouded with the belief that no one else understands ... that no one cares ... that somehow they no longer felt connected or belonged in the world from which they left to go to War.

Having experienced all this to some degree, our minds flashed back to Jeffrey; our hearts embraced each and every veteran - many whom we have had the honor and privilege to meet personally.

To any who reads this, we can only ask you to see this film - not only with your eyes but also with your heart. We pray that you will understand how each number reported is so much more than a number - that number is a breathing, living American who is someone's son, daughter; father, mother; brother, sister; grandson, granddaughter; friend, neighbor - all with dreams, hopes, loves which for many have been shattered by the true ugly realities of war. They and their loved ones are left with broken dreams, broken spirits, broken lives,... Please though keep in mind the other casualties not officially counted, not officially acknowledged as our son and so many others.

This film, The Ground Truth, also brings to light another issue...that the people of this nation must force this and future administrations and governments to keep their word to the troops - that they will give the troops the best of care for answering their country's call to arms. For if we don't act, is it possible that we have become complicit - that we, like our government, have abandoned our troops once they have served their purpose, shattering what their lives could have been.

Regretfully, this has much too often been the case. It is time to shed the patriotic trappings of ribbons and car magnets. We all must step up and demand that our troops be given the best of care in this the world's greatest nation. It is not only owed to them; it is our legal and moral obligation.

We have lost our veteran..our son. We have no vested interest - it will make no difference to our son, for he now lies at Island Pond Cemetery. This should have never been.

We commit ourselves once more to bringing our troops home now from this war of choice! Let there be no more senseless tragedies like the stories of Jeff, Alex, Casey, Seth, Sherwood, Michael, TJ, Jason, Philip, Jeremy and all the other heroes - known or unknown, counted or uncounted. Let it truly be the legacy of our troops - especially of the fallen - that their fellow troops return home safely now and, once home, that they are given the best of care.

Proud parents of Jeffrey Michael Lucey

'The Ground Truth' hurts, but it's necessary
By Ty Burr, Globe Staff | September 15, 2006

There are two moments in ``The Ground Truth" when the film's unforgiving spotlight suddenly shines out at the audience sitting in the dark. One is when former US Army specialist Robert Acosta, maimed in the leg and minus a hand, tells of conversations with civilians since his return to the States.

``How'd you lose your hand?" someone will ask. ``The war." ``What war?" ``Iraq." Pause. ``That still going on?"

The other sound bite is less damning, more of a personal challenge, and it comes when ex- US Army Reserve specialist Aidan Delgado simply says, ``Americans want to honor vets with yellow stickers rather than listening to them."

``The Ground Truth" listens. Directed by Patricia Foulkrod but really written by the men and women whose tours of duty it describes, this short, sharp documentary is not about George Bush or left/right politics or 9/11. It's not even really about the war in Iraq. It's about the US soldiers who are fighting that war: why they went, what they saw, how they feel when they come back.

Of all the recent films on the subject -- and they have been many and worthy -- this may be the most necessary to audiences at home. ``The Ground Truth" is the documentary any American with an opinion on our involvement in Iraq owes it to his or her conscience to see.

Foulkrod interviews more than a dozen veterans and structures the film chronologically. We hear why they enlisted -- Kelly Dougherty wanted help paying for school, Acosta wanted a future, Rob Sarra saw ``Top Gun" in eighth grade and fell in love with the military. The hypocrisies of the recruiting machinery are explored, as are the calculated humiliations of basic training; there's nothing particularly new here, although your heart may sink when someone recalls a march cadence about ``killing babies."

The purpose is to build ``a sustained desire to kill," in the words of one of the soldiers, and ``The Ground Truth" does offer the insight that video simulations have greatly increased training efficiency in the years since W orld W ar II and Vietnam. ``The software has changed dramatically," says one expert, which to one of the vets translates as ``You've seen the movie: You pull the trigger, the man drops."

Then they're shipped to Iraq, where the relevant contrasting quote would be one vet's muttered ``When you have to put a bullet in a woman and the woman's pregnant, it messes with you." This section is the core of ``The Ground Truth," and it is scalding. The video footage Foulkrod has gathered from in-country grips you from the start, and the violence is pitiless toward aggressors and victims on both sides. We watch an aerial heat-vision shot of a street crowd of Iraqis bombed into jelly, while an off-camera soldier says in shock and awe, ``Oh, dude."

``The Ground Truth" depicts a chaotic, undersupported American presence while giving the lie to assertions that Iraqi civilian deaths are minimal. ``You don't go to war in a country and not go to war with its people," says former US Marine Charles Anderson. Others talk of being shot at by unseen gunmen and taking out every local in sight in response. ``It works; it's efficient," says ex-Marine corporal Sean Huze. In the most harrowing anecdote, Sarra describes shooting an approaching woman and only afterward finding the white flag in her hand. No one wins: The woman loses her life, Sarra loses his soul.

In the film's final third, Foulkrod brings her warriors, mangled in mind and body, home to a country that doesn't want to know. The ex-soldiers speak eloquently of their battles with inner demons while wives, girlfriends, and family members talk of being on the outside of people they once knew intimately. The parents of Marine Reservist Jeffrey Lucey describe the changes in their son, who returned from Iraq in late 2003 and hung himself six months later. On his bed he left the dog tags of two unarmed Iraqi soldiers he said he had shot.

``As Vietnam was Agent Orange, this war will be psychological injury," says one voice here, and the fractures of post-traumatic stress disorder are everywhere in evidence -- except to the Department of Defense, which labels it a ``personality disorder" or a symptom of bipolarity. The film's indignation only rises as the men and women describe the Veteran Administration's bureaucratic stonewalling and denial. When Jimmy Massey, a 12-year Marine Corps veteran, expressed regret for killing people in Iraq, he was labeled a conscientious objector by a VA psychiatrist.

``The Ground Truth" is straightforward filmmaking, and it has no interest in art. Foulkrod gussies up her format with a few montages set to tunes by the Roots and Mos Def, but they're not needed. At a mere 74 minutes, the film is epic in scope and in dismay. The implicit challenge, of course, is to its audience: How do you feel about this? What, if anything, are you going to do about it? Hug a veteran? Buy another ribbon magnet for the minivan? Something more?

You could pretend that what ``The Ground Truth" shows and tells doesn't exist, but the film makes it extremely difficult. ``There is nothing honorable about what we did," says a returned National Guardsman. The issue isn't that some veterans feel that way. The issue is that even one does.

Ty Burr can be reached at

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Happy Happy Joy Joy (numero uno)

One of the many articles I read at the gym included the suggestion of keeping a "Joy Journal."

Hold on. Hop on the OT bus with me for just a moment. I swear we'll be back quickly.

Has anyone out there ever met anyone named Joy who actually was? I swear every one I've known has been the complete and utter opposite. I suppose it's like naming a child Chastity or Faith. It's done with the best of intentions, but Chastity will wind up pregnant before she's out of high school (or at least with an STD). Faith will undoubtedly turn out to be an atheist. Naming a child Joy condemns not the child, but the people around said child to a life of misery. Why is that an evil grin on my face? I do believe it is.

Okay, back from my tangent and back to the journal. I liked the idea. Instead of hauling all three "darlings" to the Dollar Tree in search of a journal only to find myself yelling at the elder two to keep their hands off (Why oh why must they touch EVERYTHING at that store?) while moving the youngest back and forth between the cart and the sling, I figured I'd just share my thankful/happy moments with you all. I'd like to do it every day, but I'm not putting any money on that.

Here are the things in my life that make me happy:

  1. We just got digital cable for $2 less per month than what we had.
  2. Since dh is deployed, a local lawn care company is taking care of our lawn (not mowing, though) for free for one full year (and oh boy does it need it. They probably saved us thousands of dollars)
  3. I have fabulous friends who not only alerted me to the existence of GreenCare for Troops, but even filled out the application for me.
  4. The lovely folks at my cell phone company gave me a $50 credit on a bill that was 4 times what we usually pay (all my fault).
  5. I only got that credit because I have brilliant friends. The aforementioned fabulous friend of lawncare fame is the same one who suggested I try calling the phone company to see what they could do.
  6. I'm down 16 lbs.
  7. I worked up the nerve to force myself to use the freaky-looking machines at the gym.
  8. "You ought to be thankful, a whole heaping lot, For the places and people you're lucky you're not." (Dr. Seuss, "Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?") I'm SO lucky I'm not some of the women at the gym. One bragged about her breast implants, another has been to 5 funerals in 2 weeks, and yet another, after complaining loudly about how awful her husband is and how she doesn't love him at all, announced "As soon as the kids are older, I'm divorcing his ass." That leads us to my next happiness inspiring thought.
  9. I adore my husband. It's not always sunshine and lollipops, but we both love each other very much and we're very much committed to making our marriage work.
  10. I don't fit into any of my size 8's anymore and some of my size 6s are too big.
  11. I ate at a friend's house tonight, so we had good food that was neither overly fattening nor expensive.
  12. All of the kids fell asleep on the way home, so no nagging over bedtime.
  13. I've actually gotten to do some scrapbooking lately.
  14. My parents come to visit on Saturday which means I will get to see an honest-to-goodness movie in a real theatre with no children present (Little Miss Sunshine, here I come).
  15. I'm very happy to find that I could sit here and do this all evening. I'll spare you my huge list, but I just keep thinking up more things for which to be thankful.

I just realized

I entered my current weight (BELOW pre-pregnancy weight even though I've been eating out like crazy and I wasn't able to get to the gym for 3 days in a row) into my weight chart and found I've lost 16.2 pounds (I started losing some before I joined the gym). That's close to 20 lbs.

I'm stunned.

I'm stunned and THRILLED.

I still have about 20 lbs more to lose, but hey, that's 1/2 of what I had to lose just a few months ago.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Second chances are best served with Chinese and coffee.

That friend who added to my stress level called me last night to ask for my help. Her husband is leading the children's Rosh Hashanah service and they wanted my help planning it. We haven't spoken since the homeschool conversation, so I was a bit gunshy, but I wanted to help. So I agreed to get together.

Well, she took me out to lunch while her husband watched all the kids. We got good Chinese at a new place I've wanted to try. I got iced coffee (I live for iced coffee). She paid. When we got back to the house, she made me more iced coffee (which was AMAZING). We wound up staying there all day. There was much fun had by all. We left after 7 and at that point, all 3 kids fell asleep in the car on the way home. WOO HOO.

We may have a new kitten. This friend is cat-sitting an ADORABLE 7-week-old long-haired grey kitten for a friend. That friend is apparently allergic. She may be too allergic to keep the cat. If that's the case, the kitten is ours. She adores us. This cat attacks the other kids, but she loves my kids and she fawned all over me. Four times she fell asleep on my diaper bag. She curled up in my lap and fell asleep several times. The cat's owner really wants to keep her, but if she can't, we get yet another one.

Today was a pretty good day. The girls were very excited to get back to Sunday school. I got to hang out with friends all day. The kids stayed occupied all day. I got good Chinese and lots of coffee. Can't ask for much more than that.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Adventures in organized sports

Ours was a brief adventure. The girls went to 2 practices. They were the youngest ones on the team. They were completely clueless and just asking for a bonk on the head (they weren't paying attention AT ALL out there).

The cost is phenomenal and it's a bigger commitment then I realized. They would have to practice at least twice a week, sometimes 3, plus they'd have at least game a week in addition to practices. And every practice and game are planned either during The Boy's nap or after his bedtime. The two practices we went to were a hassle with him. I can't imagine doing that 3-4 times a week.

We're gonna plan on playing around with them to help them learn the basics (silly me sent my kids to practice thinking they'd learn the sport there. Instead, I find a bunch of 5 and 6-year-olds who are apparently training for the freaking Olympics. There's no time to actually teach two kids the game when everyone else on the team already excells at it). We'll try again next year.

The girls did say they had fun, though. I'm all about introducing them to new and diverse experiences, so hey, good for them.

A visit from the random bus
(inspired by yesterday's post)

"If I'm not for myself, who will be for me? If I'm only for myself, what am I? If not now, if not now when?"--Hillel

Friday, September 08, 2006

Why I'm willing to put up with all this

Yeah, we've had issues fairly recently, but I'm reminded of one of the reasons I'm willing to schlep through PTSD again if need be.

The short anonymous version of the story is that someone did the right thing and is being harassed for it. My husband stood up for that person even though it was not easy for him to do so and it may cause him problems. He basically said that he knows he did the right thing and he doesn't care about the fall-out (although his version involved cursing).

And that is one of the reasons why I list dh among my heroes. Now it just has him listed with no explanation, but it actually used to also an explanation about how he's willing to stand up for what he believes is right even when it's not the popular opinion. And that's another reason I love him. He proved me right. :-)

If more men were like my dh, this world would be a hell of a lot better.

Just for the record, I must say, I ADORE MY HUSBAND.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Note to self

When dh is away, don’t watch the Primetime special about the babies born after Sept. 11th to fathers who died in the attacks.

Bad idea. Awful idea. Horrible tears streaming down the face trying not to make that really annoying cry squeak idea.

Those little faces that often look strikingly like the fathers they will never know just tear you apart. To hear these tiny voices speak about death and destruction is just awful. Sweet cheerful little voices sing, "A plane hit the building where my daddy worked and he died." At 4 years old, they know far too much about death, but at the same time, there's so very much they can't grasp. As parents, we try to protect our children from evil. These children will never know a world without evil because that's precisely what tore their families, their very identities apart.

Tomorrow marks the anniversary of the last time I peed on a stick and was disappointed before I got pregnant with the twins. We had been trying for a little while with no luck. Every month my cycle was a few days later. On September 8, my husband was in another state, I was alone, I was late, and I was so hopeful. I wound up horribly disappointed and bleeding (just an hour or so after a test had the nerve to only show me only one line).

I was still bleeding when the towers fell. Suddenly I was thrilled that I wasn't pregnant with all the uncertainty in the world. Only a few days later, though, I would find myself absolutely desperate to be pregnant. I didn't know where they would send my husband. I didn't know how long he'd be gone if he went. I didn't know if he'd come home. I didn't know if we'd have another chance.

I didn't know we'd get pregnant just about 3 weeks later. There was so much I didn't know. There was so much the entire world didn't know. And that scared the hell out of me.

My therapist broke up with me.

Lots of stuff has happened. I'll write more on it tomorrow, but for today, I wanted to recap my last therapist session. "Last," not only as in "previous," but also as in "final." She told me today she doesn't want to see me again. I don't need to. She says I'm more than fine. She actually said, "You're amazing."

Blink. Blink.


I got there a little late (more on that in another post) and of course, this is the one time she wasn't running late. We discussed some stuff from last time and some stuff that has happened with dh. She acknowledged that dh really is making an effort and she pointed out several times how much better things are. She reminded me of what I need to do. We talked a bit about other issues. She says they'll always be issues and they'll always affect me, but if I can recognize that and move on, I'll be fine. She pointed out that I've been doing exactly that on my own for years. I raised my issues with the kids. I'm not being the type of parent I want to be. I filled out a survey recently that asked if you'd make a good mother. My honest answer was that I'm not nearly as good as I thought I'd be. She really didn't give me too many tools to deal with that, but she reminded me that my kids are right on track and advanced developmentally (they came with me last week) and in a sense, she gave me permission to stand back when they need it and change plans when the need arises. She also pointed out some things she was impressed about that the kids did/didn't do.

At the end of the session (which ended early), she said I'm doing great. She said she definitely sees me going back to school in the future (I want my PhD) because I am so research-oriented. She said that serves me well. She said she definitely sees dh and me working through this, although she pointed out we may have more to deal with when he comes home. That's no surprise. I have 3 sessions left that my insurance will cover and she suggests saving them for sessions together once he comes home. I mentioned some of my volunteer work and she was impressed that I do a lot. All I kept thinking about that was, "My friends do three times what I do." She said I seem very competent and as though I can handle things that are thrown at me. Then she seriously said, "You're amazing." Woah! If I didn't have to pick my jaw up off the floor, I would have been happy dancing like crazy. It is, however, physically impossible to happy dance while your jaw is on the floor.

So today was a fabulous day. Lots more happened. Some of it is good, some really good, some scary. I'll write more later. But I'm very grateful for the propping up. I'm the type who didn't get much praise and still doesn't and so I'm thrilled to get it from everywhere and anywhere. Yes, I am a praise whore and I'm not afraid to admit it. :-)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Thank you, Sir, may I have another?

After I filed a police report about the stolen lawnmower, I called someone to jump-start dh's car (which has a dead battery). The rep from our insurance company was absolutely lovely (I highly recomend Geico. They've been fabulous). She got someone here within 10 minutes. He got the car started...and then the car died.

He suspects it's the alternator. He said it could be a bad battery, but he doubts it. I, however, don't. So when my parents come to visit next week, my dad's buying and installing a new battery for me. If that doesn't work, my insurance will pay to have it towed to a mechanic or I can just pay a friend's husband to work on the alternator.

Of course, that will be on top of having to pay for a new lawnmower.

Pardon me while I growl.

Give me my lawnmower back, bitch!

Someone stole the lawnmower.

Someone stole the NEW lawnmower.

Someone stole the new lawnmower out of our fenced in back yard.

Someone stole the new lawnmower that I needed to MOW THE FREAKING LAWN by myself since my husband is deployed right out from our back yard.

Someone needs to be beaten!

I’m sure whoever took it has one of those happy yellow ribbons on their car (or their parents’ car) too. SONOFABITCH! That is NOT how we support our troops. Stealing shit from their back yard is not supporting them. My husband joined the military because he believes in the ideals freedom and is willing to protect it. Some asshat abused that freedom by coming into our home and taking our property.

And so I repeat, SONOFABITCH!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

(in my best Bob Barker voice) September, come on down

It's September. August is over. Another month gone. Another month closer to dh. I can live with that. According to my countdown on the bottom of this page, there are 83 days left until dh's expected homecoming. When I stop to think about it, that seems far too long. So I try not to stop and think about it.

There is, however, a faint glimmer of hope that he could be home as soon as early November (that countdown is set for November 25th with the fear that it would be more like early December). Please cross EVERYTHING and say any and every prayer you know that could help make that a reality.

When things are bad between us, I can't see how I can survive another week alone much less a few more months. When they're good, though, I still think it's lonely to be stuck here without dh, but it's bearable. Days are lighter. Time moves faster. Things have been pretty good lately (yesterday was a bad day, but we all have bad days. Plus it ended on a good note). So while I still hate it, I can deal with it.

Although, if there's anyone out there who happens to have that particular super power that makes time go by faster, I'd appreciate you kicking that into over-drive just until November. If you can do that, I will repay you--in chocolate.

Positive spins and secret crushes

Now for the more positive aspects of my life. I read an article yesterday about how you need to focus on the positive in order to lead a happier life and overcome your fears.

That article started with the story of a woman who is absolutely terrified to speak in public. Upon reading that, I thought to myself, "I must be pretty amazing in that regard." I'm an odd mix. "Secretly I'm timid." There are times I don't want to go into a different situation or meet new people. I have this intense desire to be outgoing, but often times I'm just too timid to do it. Although, when it comes to speaking in public, I'm in my element. When I was in school, I was always the one who volunteered to go first for oral reports. I would live on stage if I could. Sure I get nervous, but I'm very comfortable speaking in public and in all honesty, I do so love to be the center of attention. :-)

I know that comfort is rare. My father is the friendliest person I know. There are no strangers to him, only friends he has yet to meet. A walk around the block with him takes two hours because he must stop and talk to everyone along the way. Yet my father refused to give speeches at my wedding or any of my siblings'. My mother tried to force him to make a speech at my sweet 16 party (yes, I'm one of those people) and he absolutely could not do it. He got the microphone in his hand, he stuttered, he turned red, and he handed the microphone off saying he just couldn't do it.

So, hey, I think it's pretty cool that I can do that with ease and I think in turn, I'm pretty cool. :-)

Another thing the article focused on was positive spin. Instead of saying, "I can't do XYZ," point out what you can do.

I tried looking at my body in that regard. There are lots of things I still can't wear. I don't know if I'll ever get back into my size 2 jeans, but when dh left, I was in a 10. Now I'm in some 8s, but mainly 6s. Before you rant about how that's so tiny, please remember I'm very short and I'm still 20 lbs over where I should be. I don't want to be model-thin. I just want to be healthy and I'm not at a healthy weight yet.

Some parts of my body may still be way too big for my liking, but I discovered recently that all my working out has given me back my calves. I've always been immensely proud of my calves. I was a dancer and had the calves to prove it. I didn't realize I lost them until I saw a recent picture my sister took. And there, low and behold, were those calves I do so adore. They're back. Woo hoo! I realize that picture looks awkward. I was sitting down with one out and one bent. Plus all identifying features have been cropped out, so it looks particularly strange. Sorry about that. Ignore the oddity of it and just celebrate the calves. :-)

I just recently changed my routine around a little. So I'll wait and see if that makes a difference. Until then, I'll be happy that I can now do 40 minutes on the elliptical machines. I've been doing an hour of cardio (instead of the suggested half hour) for the past few weeks. I usually do most of it on the bike and some on the elliptical. I realized I burn nearly twice as many calories on the elliptical, though, so this week, I did 40 minutes on that a few times. My first day at the gym, I thought I was going to die after 3 minutes on that machine. I didn't set foot on it again for weeks after that. I can now up the incline all the way and turn the intensity all the way up for 40 minutes.

I'm trying to keep my attention on what I can do now. I'm trying to focus my energy on working to do more rather than wallowing in the negative.

Now pardon me while I take a break from that to make a confession. My name is Reiza-Mara and I have a crush. I've never been one to fall for celebrities. When all my friends were absolutely in love with Patrick Swayze during the days of Dirty Dancing, I very much was not. I was the ONLY female in my class (teachers included) who was not gushing over him. It's very rare when I "fall" for a celebrity. So this is a big deal.

I have two new secret crushes. One is Gideon Yago. That's not so new. I've always been impressed by his work, but I only recently learned that #1. He's Jewish and #2. He has done far more than I ever realized. He actually spoke here a few months ago, but I wasn't able to go since I had nowhere to leave the kids. Everything about him plus the new-found facial hair has turned him into prime crush material.

This next one really is a secret. I haven't told anyone about this at all. My other secret crush is Evangeline Lilly. Watching her on Ellen, I was impressed with how cute, sweet, and down to earth she seemed. Lost doesn't do her justice. Nor do any of those stock photos that try to paint her as this gorgeous sex-pot. I thought she was absolutely GORGEOUS during her interview with Ellen. No, I don't "walk that path," but I can appreciate a beautiful woman. And so, Evangeline Lilly is yet another of my (no longer) secret crushes.

"I can't stand myself. I can't stand my life. I can't stand in these six-inch heels anymore."

Title is from the Comeandgetit version of Liz Phair's Hurricane Cindy. That song (although not neccesarily that line, but I do so love that part) pretty much sums up my mood for yesterday.

I had another therapist appointment on Thursday. It left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Something came up Wednesday evening with dh and a woman with which he works. It really wasn't anything at all and I wrote to dh about it. He wrote back. I understood it. I wasn't bothered. I brought the situation up with the therapist just to see if she thought I handled it well. She said I did, but then she told me she was worried about the situation. Even when I wrote to dh, I was bothered by something he did/didn't do. I was never concerned about his relationship with this woman. I went to the appointment feeling pretty good. Things with dh have been SO much better lately. I left the appointment feeling pretty mixed up.

I went to the gym yesterday and I just wound up with too much time with my own thoughts. The t.v. there is always on and Evangeline Lilly was on an old episode of Ellen (more on that in another post). At first, I marvelled at how CUTE she is. She was far cuter there than she ever is on Lost.

Then it hit me--she's younger than I am. I'm not at all concerned about age. If anything, I wish I was older. One of my sisters cried when she turned 30. I can't even imagine that. Anyway, I sat there, pedaling my heart out on the bike looking at this gorgeous skinny woman. Why are there always mirrors everywhere at gyms? Mine is no different, so I saw the contrast between myself and this gorgeous woman on t.v. I plummeted head first into feeling sorry for myself.

From the title song:

Put it on the stereo and play
All my life I've wanted them to say
A few things about me
I feel beautiful today
Lovely, I feel beautiful

I just don't feel attractive. I'm not getting the feedback I hoped for. So I continued to wander through the abyss that is my mind. It lead me to MySpace. You see, a few months ago, I got a random message from some guy I don't know. He was from my area. I think he was about 22. This was the message, "It's too bad you're married because you're gorgeous." I kept it for a while, then I felt guilty, so I deleted it. I never had any plans of responding to him (WTF need do I have for a 22 year old boy?), but I've never heard anything like that before. In all honesty, I can count on one hand the number of times dh has complimented my appearance. I've never been called, "Gorgeous" before.

Of course, that comment was made about a picture of me back when I was a size 1 (yes, I seriously did fit into a 1 a few years back. Actually, I had a pair of size 0 jeans, but they were always a bit snug. And no, I was not sickly thin. Yes, this was after having twins. I was thinner AFTER having the twins than I ever was before). So as I worked out in front of yet another mirror; I was disgusted at myself for being this size, I was let down that dh doesn't usually say anything about my appearance and I was mad at the world because I bust my butt at the gym all the time and I'm not seeing the results I want.

Lots of other little things happened that just piled on top of my existing mood. I just was not a happy camper.

Then dh called last night. I felt MUCH better about the "situation" with that woman. That relieved a lot of the stress. Still dealing with the size/appearance issues, but I feel like I can be a lot more productive about it now. I'll post more about that later. And I think after that phone call, I now need two hands to count the number of times he has complimented my appearance. In all honesty, I would like more than that, but hey, it's more than I had yesterday and while "more" may not be "insane amounts of gushing praise," it's still more. I can deal with that.

Friday, September 01, 2006

"We can't have them up there gallavanting like kangaroos."

No real reason for the subject. It's a line from Mary Poppins. I just watched that with the girls tonight. We're having a slumber party of our own. We're sleeping on the playroom floor, eating popcorn, and watching movies.

Well, we were. One girl is asleep (she fell asleep in my arms. That's something she hasn't done in the longest time. It was very sweet). The other is doing everything in her power to avoid sleep.

When I hopped on after the movie to check my mail, I found a message from Blogger saying the problems should be fixed and I should now have access to my blog. Low and behold, I do.


Lots to say, but I want to get back to the kids (at least the one who's still awake). The briefest of brief versions is this: Started seeing a counselor. Got great feedback and lots of ideas from her. Have since spoken to dh. We've been talking and e-mailing. Things are much better. I had a difficult day, but it's a long story. So I'll leave you with the promise of more details later.

The gym is closed through Monday, so I should have plenty of time to catch you all up on my goings on.

Yay. It's good to be back (in more ways than one).