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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Wineaux

A vendor delivering wine bottles got a little clumsy during his delivery into our building (think he's drinking the wine he's delivering? Nooooooo.). Some of the bottles spilled and broke in the first floor lobby. I started riding down the elevator to leave the building and I could smell the wine. My nose started to twitch like a K-9 crack sniffer looking for his next fix. And when I got off the elevator, it took every part of my brain to restrain myself, so that I wouldn't drop to the floor and lick the wine off the floor.

Crispy Treats

We all went to the grocery store the other day. I had a list of six things I needed to get. Milk, cereal, ice cream, bananas, avocados, allergy medicine. I ended up with a grocery cart FULL of food, and we spent about $168. HOW does this happen?!?

The good news is that we made these when we got home. And they were warm and gooey and yummy.

Friday, May 30, 2008

It's My Job and I'll Quit if I Want To

I quit today. Technically, I gave advanced notice that I would be quitting on Friday, June 13th. Friday the 13th. Hmmmm, bad luck for them, good luck for me!

All day the seconds were ticking by so slowly. I could hear them teasing me, threatening to start going backwards any moment. I'm pretty sure time stood still at least twice today.

Then, at 4 p.m., Crazy Ex Boss came in and started visiting with everyone and I started to sweat. Listen lady, you're cramping my style, kind of trying to quit here? She left and I picked up the phone to call Female Boss.

Then a co-worker walks back to her desk and the two of them and a couple of other girls start chatting and laughing. HELL-OOOO!!! Can't everyone see that I am BURSTING with news? Get the hell out of here! It's Friday afternoon, don't you have somewhere to be? Like, I don't know, GO HOME. Finally they leave and I think I'm free.

THEN, Quiet Boss starts fussing about how he can't find something and Female Boss is making him look for it himself, blah blah. He's hanging all around my desk asking me for stuff. I'm like, LISTEN, GO TO YOUR ROOM AND CLOSE THE DOOR. I'LL BE WITH YOU IN A MINUTE! He calms down a little and goes into his office.

I FINALLY get to call Female Boss into Boss Man's office (Boss Man was out for the day). She comes in and asks what is going on. I tell her that I am giving her my letter of resignation and hand her the letter I had ready in an envelope. It was the biggest relief. I had a killer headache all day and I knew exactly why. As soon as I told her the headache went away.

Up next: HER REACTION. I wasn't sure if she was going to mask the feelings and be like Oh yes, I KNEW this was coming, because that would so be something she would say. OR, I thought I might be looking at the business end of a hissy fit.

I got neither reaction. She was very surprised, as anyone would be in her position. I doubt many employers expect their employees to quit when their husbands just got laid off. She asked about what I was going to do and said she did not blame me at all and what a wonderful opportunity, blah blah. Then it was awkward. Because I wanted to jump up and do The Happy Dance and sing "The Wicked Witch is Dead" and she wanted to keep sitting there in awe. She was blocking my way to the door so I was kind of stuck. I just sat there while she took it in. She eventually got up.

Once I escaped Boss Man's office, I went into Quiet Boss' office and closed the door. I told him and here is his reaction, with no expression, no emotions in his eyes: "Oh. I'm sorry." Uh, no you dumbass, I'M quitting YOU. You aren't letting me go. I'm leaving. Because of you. Well, not just because of you, but you sure as heck didn't help matters any. What a robot. Okay, see you later FUSSY.

I told HR (that's Human Resources, not an actual person), and then I left! I have not smiled this much in about TWO YEARS. And I wasn't blogging back then. So to my blogging world I say this: WATCH OUT, because you have not seen what happy looks like. You will want to hit me with the Super Sad Stick and tell me that I must drink decaf because I'm going to be all high energy, talking about birds chirping, puppies panting, general disgusting positive sentiment.

And I would like to introduce you to someone: The Real Me. Enjoy.

Giving Notice

I’m giving my two week notice to Female Boss around 4:15 today. I’m still excited, but now I’m starting to get nervous!

P.S. WHY is time standing still!!!

One Time You Broke My Rib

Hunny Bear, you broke my rib.

Yes it's true. When you were about eighteen months old, you and I were at home, rough housing on the floor. I was lying on the ground and your were lying next to me so that we made a "T" shape and your feet were at my ribcage. You pulled your feet up to your chest and then just let go. You kicked me so hard I didn't know what hit me. My side hurt in a way it never had before.

I don't really remember the rest of the events but I was in a lot of pain, then I made the mistake of picking up a friends' child, heard a crack, and then I really learned what pain was. I ended up going to urgent care where X-Rays were taken and because of where the break was it was not visible on the films. But the doctor got a kick out of studying the film, touching my ribs where they were broken while I screamed in agony, and then repeating because he was in disbelief that he could not see something this painful on his X-Rays.

They gave me this wrap thing, told me not to lift you or anything that weighed more than a small rock, and sent me home with prescription pain killers. It was a super tough recovery, considering I was a stay at home mom, Daddy worked lots of overtime, and we had no help from friends or family.

Eventually I healed. About two or three years later I had a very severe winter cold and I sneezed and coughed so much that it broke again. It did not take as long to heal that time around, but it was just as painful.

The moral of this story: Drink a lot of milk. Daddy still drinks milk and he has never broken a bone.

Also, I can tell you when it's going to rain because I can feel it in my rib.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

True Friends

The Man and I have one set of true friends. I'd like to introduce to you Salty and Mrs. Kitty. No, they are no imaginary friends, although, hey you guys, they do sound like imaginary friend names. Do you know how I know they are true friends? Here is why:

Before having ever met me, they bought us a Wii because we were all out here in California and they found one and mailed it to us.

They visited our house and stayed a week with us even though they had never met me before.

They still wanted to be friends with us after that week.

Not only do they still want to be friends with us, they want to MOVE across the country and live one town over from us.

They are the only people I know in real life who read my blog (I think) and they still think that moving their lives over here is a good idea.

Pretty exceptional people. The Man is leaving for four days next month to help them move/drive across six (large) states. Two weeks later we are taking a trip to Disneyland together. And I am nothing but excited.

I Feel Like Skipping

I am free. SO FREE!!! I’m quitting my job. Finally. You know I’ve wanted to quit, and I wanted to find my passion before I started something new. But I was also considering working for my dad and finding my passion along the way since his thing may not last forever. So that is the route I am taking.

He offered the job to The Man. Because he knew The Man didn’t have work and wanted to offer it to him first. The Man does not want to do it. He is doing something else for my dad and he likes that. The Man said, Why don’t you hire your daughter? This would be perfect for her. My dad said he was concerned about health insurance, money, and stability. So I wrote him an e-mail that basically said: Dear Dad. I Love You. Please Hire Me.

My dad responded and said that it was more than just logic involved, also an “emotional strain.” He also said, Who taught you to argue like that? Your mother was a terrible influence on you (my dad is the one who taught me to argue). He said I wouldn’t have to wait longer than Friday (tomorrow), and that he was going to propose a fleece and referred me to the Book of Judges.

JUDGES 6:37-40 “37 ‘Look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.’ 38 And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew—a bowlful of water. 39 Then Gideon said to God, ‘Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece. This time make the fleece dry and the ground covered with dew.’ 40 That night God did so. Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered with dew.”

That all happened on Tuesday. And I was fine with it. I didn’t stress about it, which is SO unlike me. Typically I’m so excited about the possibility of something that I start to plan the furniture layout of my office or picture what I’ll wear on my first day. On that day, though, I was totally at peace. I barely even thought about it for the next two days.

Today I left for lunch. I took a key to a tenant. I almost never leave the office for lunch. Lately it is because I don’t have a car with me at the office, but even when I do have a car, like I did today, I don’t normally go anywhere. I like to stay holed up at my desk all day and pretend the world around me does not exist.

I called my mom about something, also a rarity. Not as rare as going out for lunch, but I usually e-mail her if I can. While I was talking to her she said that Dad was on his way home from a meeting and he was in meetings all day yesterday, and she said he said okay. Okay? Like, I can quit my job?!? FOR REAL?!? I almost screamed. But I thought that my scare my tenant. I got off the phone with my mom and called my dad. He said that the thing he wanted to happen before he hired me (his “fleece”) had not happened yet, but that something else fell into his lap, completely out of the blue, and that, my friends, is how God works.

So I get to quit my job. I am so a happy camper right now. I’m giving my notice tomorrow. They aren’t going to know what hit them. I have to restrain myself from giving notice right now and/or acting too happy. I’m going to work for my dad as long as he needs me, try to find my passion along the way, and come out the other end a more complete person, who knows what she wants and is ready to start doing what she loves for the REST OF HER LIFE.

I'm off to draft my letter of resignation. Who am I kidding? I wrote it on Tuesday.

Crazy With A Capital “C”

Due to the NEXT round of layoffs, I have to deal with a person who I have never had to deal with in all my ten years of working here. I never WANTED to deal with her. Because she’s a loon. An eccentric-loopy-mad type loon who actually belong in a loony bin. But that’s just my opinion. Let’s take a look and see what you think.

First off, she doesn’t wash her hands after using the restroom. I’m sure many (disgusting) people do this, but I don’t see those people’s hand washing habits and therefore can live in denial, pretending that’s just not true. Also, if I weren’t a hand washer, if someone was in the restroom at the same time as me, I would at least rinse my hands under the water so as to APPEAR TO CONFORM to this ridiculous socially acceptable behavior that is hand washing. But she doesn’t. I flat out have NEVER seen her wash her hands. Ever. I have my theories as to why she doesn’t (see loony comment above).

She hums. Everywhere she goes. I know what you’re thinking, Oh, come on, humming isn’t that bad. What song is she humming, you naively ask, Perhaps a catchy tune from the radio? There’s no song. Just whatever is in her head. There is no song in any of the humming.

She dresses strangely. And not like the lady who works on the third floor who got off the fashion train in the fifties and is still wearing her strand of pears and dusty blue pumps every day. And not funky like my friend Jo who wears outlandish colors and trendy accessories. Keep in mind that we have a semi-professional attire guideline that most everyone adheres to. And I’m no svelte model, but this chick is overweight and hasn’t changed the way she dresses since the weight gain. At least I acknowledge my weight gain and dress appropriately and professionally. Let me try to describe HER look from head to toe:

Head: Unruly dark brown hair with a touch of red. The color is actually okay, but the hair itself looks like it hasn’t been brushed since 1981. No makeup, no hair product, no trying.
Shirt: A short sleeved, crumpled tee. With a rainbow and birds on it, maybe even a theme park logo (i.e., Six Flags 2003).
Bottoms: A pencil skirt (with the tee tucked into it). And it’s hiked up to just under her bust.
Legs: Nylons. Always nylons. Even if she is wearing jeans, tennis shoes, or sandals. Always nylons. *shivers in horror*
Feet: You get a selection: tennis shoes (yes, even with the skirt), gaudy silver or gold ballet flats, OR (my favorite) clear plastic “sandals” with a strap across the top of the foot and the base of the shoe and heel are clear also and, wait for it…THEY LIGHT UP. Like red flashing lights on little kid super hero sneakers. I AM NOT JOKING.

Her teenage daughter got an infection from getting her ear pierced and had to have surgery on it and almost lost her whole ear. Probably because her mom went to the bathroom, didn’t wash her hands, and then said, Come here, honey. Let me pierce your ear with this dirty needle I found on the ground behind the toilet.

She flies to work. In a plane, not with her arms, although if she could I’m sure she’d try it. She got her pilot’s license and bought a plane. She lives on some land somewhere fairly close and flies to the nearest airport, where she keeps her car overnight, then drives into town. She works, drives back to the airport, and flies home. I don’t know what her salary is like or what her husband does for a living, but with the price of CAR gas right now, I’m thinking that PLANE gas isn’t a much better deal, and that she probably uses more in plane gas to fly here than she would to drive in or MAYBE work from home and put us all out of our misery.

I caught her walking around the office the other day with her hands up in the air, staring at the ceiling, and humming. If that doesn’t have “if someone doesn’t put me in a straight jacket right now I’m going to jump off the roof” written all over it, I DON’T KNOW WHAT DOES. I do know that she makes me feel better about myself because I figure I’m a little insane, but SHE is crazy. Actual, certifiably, crazy.

And now, she is dealing with OUR MONEY. She’s not even in accounting! She’s in sales. So she can add the number of houses sold in a community really well, but I’m thinking that adding the hundreds of thousands of dollars we collect in rent each month is going to be different. Especially since the number of houses we’ve sold in the last six months is ZERO. And I have to touch the same papers that she has touched. Knowing what I know about her bathroom habits. This does not bode well for my own hand washing habit that has died down a lot in the last year. I’m not looking forward to going through soap and lotion like they’re going out of style. Again.

I'm Quitting My Job!!!

More details later but I just HAD to put it in writing!!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Look At Me, I’m Growing

I gave a friend advice on how to deal with her friend. My friend believes in the “fatal flaw” style of friendship. It’s a wonder she and I are still friends with each other. Anyway, she came to me about her friend and I told her:

“This seems like an over the top friendly e-mail. You might just have to take her word for it and if she says she's fine, then believe she is fine. Yes she said she felt abandoned. Maybe she did that day and maybe she's over it now. Try to be nice to her, you might see that she's being genuine, and your feelings might change. If not, you can be done with her after her wedding.

Look at me, I'm becoming a big softy. Is that going to be my fatal flaw - no longer a hard ass?!?”

Her response:

“HELLO! What happened to my friend??? You softy!!!

Remember ......I liked you because you are mean. LOL

Okay, I'll give her a shot and see how things are between us in person. Seriously, I was reading your email and thought........"I can't believe she's saying this?" LMAO”

My response:

“Two years in therapy will do that to you. Look at me; I'm growing.

Ha! Okay, here's the hard ass answer if you really need it:

She is being TOTALLY fake. Kick her ass out of your wedding. In fact, don't let her come to the wedding at all. Tell her off and then never speak to her again and tell everyone you know what a bitch she is. And, what night are you free? We'll slash her tires while she's sleeping.

Seriously, though. If you are going to see how things are in person, you can't be LOOKING for her to act weird. You could read weird into anything if you were trying to. You have to truly act as if everything is okay and let her respond naturally.”

Her response:

“Ok ok.....I will do my best.

But, seriously that will be hard for me. hahaha

I don't believe she wrote me back and I didn't get it. Not buying that one...
I seriously think she was mad, but after the last email I sent, she decided to drop it and be nice to me. Cuz she is totally singing a different tune than before.

Man.....I am such a bitch. OK OK......try to let it go~!!!!!!!”

Me again:

“I don't believe she wrote you back either. And I think she was mad but has gotten over it since then. I know it will be hard, but give it your best shot. That's all you can do and if it doesn't work then you don't have to be friends with her. And then I'll hate her with you.”

The best part? I REALLY MEAN IT. I’m not just saying those things. I don’t even know this chick, and I’m defending her actions towards my friend. Wow. I made myself speechless.

Neither Of Us Will Win

Pioneer Woman is giving away two Zune packages. When I started typing my comment, there weren't quite 6,000 entries yet, but by the time I posted my comment I was one of the 6,000th commentors. We have at a maximum (minimum? I don't know), a one in three thousand chance of winning. So I might as well share the contest with the six other people who read my blog, five if you don't include The Man, who won't enter the contest anyway. My chances of winning won't diminish that much by telling you about it, and chances are you've already entered the contest.

The Source Of All My Powers

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Dear Quiet Boss. I Hate You.

Don’t you dare ask me to stop everything I am doing and insist that I work on something “very important” for the meeting we are having at 10 a.m. with CEO Boss and then NOT EVEN BRING MY WORK into the meeting. “Oh, we’re working on it; we’ll get the numbers to you this week.” This week?!? THIS WEEK MY A$$. I rushed this morning to get you that information. You should have freaking used it. Punk.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Soccer Party

The Boy had his soccer party on Wednesday. All the kids got a medal, a trophy, and some cake! Last year we had our cake lady (who is freaking AWESOME, I love you Jan) do a cake like this:



It was pretty self explanatory. This year we wanted to be different, so we had this cake:



Less self-explanatory. The cake lady and a few other people asked us what on earth this was for?!? Our team was called The Hammers.

We had a great team this year. The Boy played with all his heart (most days), we were so happy to see friends return from last year who wanted to be on our team, and we liked meeting new friends. And Lucy is the bomb because she was on a team of ALL BOYS. Not an easy task.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Attempt to Find My Passion v.1.1

With all of that information, where do I go? I once considered being like a “Jack of all Trades” – I thought a cute name for it would be “Jill of all Trades” – but from what I read everywhere, finding a smaller niche is more lucrative. Ideas might include:

Personal Assistant
Administrative Assistant (for what type of company? unknown)
Closet Organizer/Home Organization
Photographer
Event Planner
General Contractor
House Cleaner
Personal Fitness Trainer

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I Just Don't Care

When I complain about my job, people want to know what makes it so bad. Besides the fact that the environment is just doom and gloom lately, there are The Bosses.

I’ve discussed Female Boss before. And actually, she found someone else to pick on (poor soul), and I think she feels bad for me that The Man was laid off. She’s okay…for now.

Quiet Boss, on the other hand. It’s like he is trying to drive me insane. I get so angry with him that I don’t even CARE if he just saw me roll my eyes at him, or that I angrily snap at him. In fact, he makes me angrier because I think he thinks I’m joking. But I’m not. DO YOU HEAR THAT, QUIET BOSS?!? I REALLY DON’T LIKE YOU. I AM ACTUALLY ROLLING MY EYES AT YOU.

Why, you ask? What on earth could he possibly do to annoy a person so much? Thank you for asking! I will tell you.

Scenario A: I have been in property management for ten years, commercial management for three and a half years. HE has been in commercial property management for ONE year. Being in property management, we deal with compliance issues. He asked me, “Is this sign in compliance?” References Exhibit A.

My reply: “No.”
Quiet Boss: “Why?”
Me: “Because it’s plastic. That material is not allowed.”
Quiet Boss: “Where does it say that?”
Me: “In this document (pulls document FROM HIS HAND and holds up document).”
Quiet Boss: “Can you show me where it says that?”
Me, sighing heavily and rolling eyes: “Fine.”

Now hold on. I must say a few things. The first is that I KNOW WHAT THE HELL I’M TALKING ABOUT, OKAY? STOP QUESTIONING ME AND LEAVE ME ALONE so I can go write blog posts. Second, doesn’t it sound like he has not looked through the document himself, or if he did look through it, he couldn’t find the section that mentions plastic? Okay then, moving on.

I find the section about plastic and show it to him. Here is what he says, “Oh, so you think this section applies to our situation, too?” TOO?!? That means that he looked through the document, FOUND the section he was looking for, and instead of just showing me the section and saying, “Hey, is this what this means?” WE HAVE TO GO THROUGH ALL THIS $&!%. That is a complete inefficient waste of time and it makes me want to take the document and paper cut his throat with it.

Scenario B: Our accounting program is stupid. It only performs one function for us and it doesn’t even do that accurately. It cannot perform any other functions, forcing us to do those things manually. Upon request from Female Boss AND Quiet Boss, I have researched, reviewed, compared, and reported many other accounting systems. Quiet Boss has yet to review them. It’s been about ten months since I gave it to him. He knows that our current program is temperamental and that even the makers of the program could not answer his questions on what it will do.

Quiet Boss: “If you do A and B on our accounting program, will I get this result?”
Me: “I don’t know.”
Quiet Boss: “But if you do this on the accounting program, will this number show up in this column?”
Me: “I don’t know.”
Quiet Boss: “Let me clarify. If you put this number here and this number there and press Submit, what will happen?”
Me: “If you don’t leave me the &@%$ alone, I’m going to put my fist through the monitor and then shove it up your @$$.”

IT DOESN’T MATTER HOW MANY DIFFERENT WAYS YOU ASK ME, our accounting system SUCKS and the answer is going to be THE SAME EVERY TIME. If you don’t like it, review the damn information I gave you ten months ago and get us something better.

Between not liking my job, being in a terribly depressing work environment, wanting to work for my dad, or ANYWHERE else for that matter, wishing I could stay home with The Man and The Boy every day, I no longer care. I don’t care about my job. I don’t care if I’m rude or unprofessional to my bosses. I don’t care if the work is done correctly. Heck, I don’t even care if it gets done at all.

It’s not challenging me anyway. Wait, I take that back. It is challenging me to not kill anyone.

I know it’s not a good place to be. It’s not a nice thing to treat my work this way. But I don’t know what else to do. Because, really, it’s all I can do to keep from sitting at my desk all day and bawling my eyes out from 8 to 5.

Leap of Faith

Yesterday was the first day in his entire five years of life that The Boy stayed with The Man’s parents all by himself. Not because they aren’t good people, or they live far away, but because they never respected our wishes regarding one issue.

We would ask them over and over to do one thing (or NOT do one thing actually), and they flat out refused. They recently moved out of their old, yucky house, and they moved into an old, clean and fresh-smelling, LEASED house. Where there are rules that you have to live by, or you don’t get to keep living there and would then be homeless. Do I like that they don’t love our family enough to not do what we ask when we ask it, but to only do it when a stranger who controls the roof over their head? No. This is a sore point for me so I am not going to discuss it any further here because it’s not the point of this post (and I feel my blood starting to boil…okay, deeeeeeeeep breath).

What IS the point of this post is that I was a little (okay, a lot) freaked out that we had no other alternative than to let The Boy stay with The In-Laws by himself. But he was safe and had a lot of fun and after babysitting time was over, The Mother-In-Law made lunch for The Boy and The Man.

This all happened yesterday and I wasn’t stressing about it yesterday. At all. I was actually at peace about it. Maybe because I was more focused on this. Plus, I figure The Man turned out waaaaaaaaay better than I did, so it has to be better than letting my parents watch them. Which they do. A lot. Maybe I should start freaking out about that. Or at least saving for his own therapy sessions.

Toner on the Pants

We all know a pregnant lady’s hormones are anything but stable. Therefore, her behavior can be erratic at times.

I experienced said erratic behavior during my pregnancy. One time. Okay, maybe a few times. But let me tell you about this one time.

At our office, I was the go to girl for everything. A word document is not formatting properly, the copier is jammed with paper, and the coffee maker isn’t making a full pot of coffee. Come ask me was the standard response.

Normally, I relish this feeling of importance, as though they could certainly not live without me. Who would fix their problems? People pleasing issues much?

I get a call (from two cubicles over), Hi, my printer needs new toner can you come help me? Already I’m a bit peeved; can’t you at least TRY to switch the flipping toner cartridges yourself first? Yes, fine, I’ll be right there. I walk over, open the new toner box, pull out the new toner cartridge and set it down. I retrieve the old toner cartridge from the printer, pick up the new cartridge, set it in the printer, close the lid, and she’s good to go. As I am putting the old cartridge into the box, I notice a black smudge on my khaki capris. Correction: on my MATERNITY khaki capris.

That was enough to send me spiraling into a paroxysm. Maternity clothes were expensive, and I did not purchase a lot of maternity clothes because I knew they were only going to be worn for a short period of time. I went into my co-pregnant co-workers cubicle and began to wail. How could this happen to me? Why couldn’t she change her own damn toner? It’s not that hard! I do EVERYTHING IN THIS OFFICE!!! My co-worker comforted me and I eventually calmed down.

I washed the pants and the black smudge faded, but the stain never fully came out. They weren’t even my favorite item of maternity clothing. And after we decided that we weren’t going to have any more children I gave all of my maternity clothes away to various pregnant friends.

But I am still saddened when I think of those capris. They were just never the same after that incident.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Therapy

The Man and I had an appointment with our therapist (we’ll call him PS) last night. Our normal schedule is to see him about once every four weeks. Our last appointment with PS was April 2nd. Two days before The Man was laid off. When The Man told me he was laid off, I really wanted to make an appointment sooner than our four week appointment. I didn’t, because I didn’t want to be a melodramatic patient who overreacts to situations. I wanted to deal with the situation on my own, or at least try. The Man didn’t seem bothered by it (something I still don’t understand for the life of me), so I should be able to get over it fairly quickly, right?

A couple of days before our scheduled appointment, I received a call from PS. He needs to reschedule. Fine, we reschedule, and it will be six and a half weeks since the last time we saw him.

I trust The Man. It took a long time for me to really trust him. I don’t trust anyone else the way I trust him. I trust PS, a person I have only known for two years, almost as much as I trust The Man. I don’t trust anyone else in this entire world half as much as I trust these two people. So when something happens in my life, these are the two people I depend on to help me get through it.

Although I trust The Man and I know he loves me more than anyone else in the world, he doesn’t always understand me. And I don’t always understand him. But PS understands both of us, and he explains me to The Man in a way The Man can comprehend and he explains The Man to me in a way that I can comprehend. So when The Man and I don’t see eye to eye, PS can usually help us figure it out.

I don’t like change. And not in the normal “I don’t like change” baloney that everyone says at least once in their life. I hate change. With all my heart. It does not feel safe to me. I experienced so much change as a child. An unhealthy amount of out of my control change, with nothing stable to hold on to. I was not taught to cope with change, just forced to do it. So I developed compulsive behaviors as a defense mechanism because those felt safe. Washing my hands, counting, touching objects in a certain way, rigid routines. Obviously, I didn’t realize WHY I was doing this. I actually just came to that realization last night. I never knew why I did those things, only that I eventually felt bound to those things instead of in control of them.

Shortly after we started to see PS, he helped me get my life back and I am no longer tied to these compulsions. Obviously I still have certain routines, as does everyone, but they do not define my day. I didn’t think they would ever go away, but it actually didn’t take nearly as long as I thought it would to break those habits, some of which I had been doing for a good twenty-five years. For that I am forever grateful to PS. However, I no longer have those “safe” obsessions to lean on when change occurs in my life.

With no obsession my world feels really out of control. The Man doesn’t have a job; he’s gone on an interview in a completely different line of work. Those are the two major things, but because I don’t have something stable to rely on, all of the little changes seem magnified. I feel like the small changes are pointing at me and laughing, as if to say, “Let’s see how she handles this one. Ha!”

Small things, like getting an unemployment notice back that states I missed a box on the original form; the fact that I missed a box on the original form – that is so unlike me; The Boy not going to school anymore; getting new furniture in our house; having the company who interviewed The Man postpone the second interview; The Man is taking over all of my normal chores like laundry, cleaning, etc. (which is certainly a positive change, but a change nonetheless!). All of those things feel like giant, unmanageable situations. When, intellectually, I know they are not.

PS suggested finding a “tree” – something unchanging that I can always go back to when things in life are changing. His tree is the Bible verse Joshua 1:9: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

I like that verse, but I don’t know yet if it’s my tree. I like the idea of a Bible verse being my tree. Because The Bible doesn’t change.

I mentioned a little over a month ago that I didn’t like my new bed. It’s a little better now. I sleep fine on it but I don’t feel like it’s mine yet. PS encouraged me to think of something that would make it feel like mine. I think The Man, The Boy and I are going to write our names on the back of the headboard and on the back of the dresser. Just in the corner, small letters, “Daddy,” “The Boy,” and “Mommy.” And then I think I’m going to lie on the bed and look through my Bible until I find my tree. That will make the bed my bed, if I find my tree on it.

And if I chose the verse from Joshua, or another verse from that book, I can call it my Joshua Tree.

If it were my choice, here is how I would love to handle change – don’t have any change. This could be achieved by staying in bed, hidden under the covers all day, every day. No moving from the bed ever. Or getting someone to commit me to a mental institution, where I would happily sit in a plain room, staring at the wall, strapped into a straight jacket, rocking back and forth all day. I’m serious. Those two options actually sound APPEALING to me. Since I have chosen to be a mom and a wife, those options are not available to me. Consequently, I have to force myself to function properly even though my brain is screaming for me to STOP! GO BACK TO BED! DO AND SAY CRAZY THINGS SO THAT YOU DON’T HAVE TO DEAL WITH REALITY EVER AGAIN. YES, that will fix everything.

Next appointment: three weeks. Although I think I have made huge strides in a positive direction in the last two years, it’s obvious that I still have a long journey before my mental health is restored. My hope is that one day my brain will not be fighting me. That I will prefer life over crawling into a hole. Then I can be a good example for The Boy, and prepare him for changes that come in his life.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Delay

The Man called to follow up with the company who interviewed him last month. They originally said he would hear from them anytime between the middle of May and the beginning of June. Not wanting to appear desperate, he did not call right on the 15th of May. Wanting to appear interested and responsible, The Man followed up with the company today. I think he did the right thing to wait a few days, even though I was like CALL ME AS SOON AS YOU TALK TO THEM AND DON’T FORGET TO TELL THEM THAT WE’LL ACCEPT PAYMENT IN PENNIES IF IT MEANS YOU HAVE A JOB!!!

They informed him that he is still in the running as a candidate for the job. However, they said that the meeting with the corporate office (based in the UK) has been postponed until the middle of June.

The Good News:

1. The Boy is not going to day care, which will give us about $750 extra each month. And it will give The Boy and The Man a lot of quality video game time together.

2. I think we are going to pay off our car, which will give us $435 extra each month. And I’m told our insurance may go down if we own our car? I’ll have to look into that.

3. He still has plenty of time to collect unemployment (it lasts like a year or something).

4. We have our stimulus check to help out a little bit.

5. He can work for my dad until he gets a new job, which is flexible and has the potential to pay A LOT.

6. I’m pretty sure I can get my doctor to double my antidepressant/anti-anxiety medication.

The Bad News:

1. More time passing until he has a steady paycheck, digging into our (almost non-existent to begin with) savings, diminishing the chances that we go to Disneyland this year.

2. You’d think that by saving $1,185 a month The Man could stay home. But he can’t. We would have to cut out both cell phones, all cable and internet, therapy, life insurance, send The Boy to public school, and finish paying off some debt we have. As luxurious as those things sound, it is currently not an option to give up any of them. Maybe as we get more desperate our perspective will change.

3. When The Man has to go on appointments while working for my dad, the only option is for my in-laws to watch The Boy, which is going to require a LEAP OF FAITH on my part. And perhaps tripling the previously mentioned medication (see Item #6 above).

The Man says he is still looking for a job. The more time that passes, the more I am discouraged by the fact that there are just no jobs out there right now.

Last year around this time, I started looking for work in the Bay Area. Without even trying, I can pretty much double my income by working over there. Everyone (aka my parents) told me, Oh the commute sucks, you’ll get tired of it, don’t do it. I went on a couple of interviews, was offered one job, but turned it down because I didn’t feel any chemistry with the company.

When we decided where we were going to send The Boy to kindergarten, I liked that it was right down the street from my office. I knew that this would be a big transition in our lives (read: *sniff* my life *tears*), and I wanted to be close by for the transition. So I stopped looking for a new job.

Now that The Man is not working, I wonder if I should start looking for another job again. If I made as much as I see being offered on job web sites, The Man wouldn’t have to work, The Boy could go to the private school we want to send him to. The Man could be at home with him in the afternoon, and he would be close by if The Boy needed anything. I just wonder; at what expense? To be gone for fifteen hours a day instead of the ten hours that I’m already away from him? To be far away – what if something terrible happens? To miss special activities because I work so far away? But The Man could be there. I don’t know.

Then there is the option of working for my dad. I’m not going to write out loud or say out loud what his expectations are. Let’s just say that he is VERY optimistic about our future, and I could potentially start working for him in the middle of July. Right now though, that doesn’t seem like weeks away; it feels like DECADES away.

Our pastor gave a message at church on Sunday and what I got from it was that we need to trust God. Do you think He’s trying to tell me something? Maybe I should listen. Because I hear He’ll get through to you one way or another. But I don’t know how to make my heart trust someone else 100%. My brain doesn’t work like that, I think understandably so. Especially Someone I have never seen. My brain tries to tell my heart, Okay, we’re going to trust Him. It’s okay. It’s in His hands. Then my heart feels like an exposed, gaping wound, so I immediately shut it back up because I don’t want it to get hurt. It is safe behind my protective barrier, where I only let in what I know it can take.

I want to know all of the answers RIGHT NOW. Even if they aren’t going to happen right now, I want to know what will happen. That would make my decision making process so much easier.

Working Like a Team

I didn’t get a very peaceful shower yesterday, which actually did not bother me, probably because I normally do get to take peaceful showers.

The Boy wanted to watch Phineas and Ferb OnDemand in my bed while I took a shower. I knew it would only take about 15 minutes for him to watch it and only ten of those minutes I would actually be in the shower. So I put the cable on Disney Channel for after the show was over. All he had to do was press “Exit” on the remote after his show was over and then he could watch Disney. That’s it. ONE button.

Ten minutes into my shower, he comes in and says that the Disney Channel is not on. I ask him to go tell me what the yellow numbers on the cable box say. He goes and checks and then comes back and says “820.” What? Disney Channel is 54, how did it get to 820? Okay, so I tell him to go get the remote. He brings it to me and I show him “Last” and tell him to press that, which takes you to the last channel you were watching. He presses it and then comes back. It’s not on Disney Channel. I ask him to check the yellow numbers on the cable box again. As he is walking out to do that he says, “Okay, but Mom, the numbers are blue not yellow.” Wait a minute…the blue numbers are on our alarm clock. So 820 was the time, NOT the channel. I call him back in and tell him that’s the clock, please check the yellow numbers on the black box NEXT to the clock. He says it says “55.” In my head I’m thinking that means that when he his “Last” the last channel it was on was 55, but when I turned it on before the shower I switched from ESPN (32) to Disney (54) so how it ever got on 55 is beyond me. I ask him to bring me the remote again. I show him to push the “Channel” button down one. He comes back in and says YES! It is on Disney Channel. Okay, dude, go watch it. He goes out and I feel a sense of satisfaction. I am VERY proud of The Boy and myself for working together like a team. Then he comes back into the bathroom. “I can’t hear it.” Okay, bring me the black remote, which is different from the remote we have been using. He brings me one of two black remotes. Is this it? No, bring the other one. He brings the other remote and I show him the “Volume” button and tell him to press the plus on it a few times, but DON’T make it go over the number 15 because that is too loud. Okay. He goes off to adjust his volume and again I’m like, yes, we are awesome. He comes back in and says the screen went fuzzy and made a loud sound. I asked him which button he pushed and he showed me the volume button but it is right next to the channel button and I’m thinking that he changed the television channel. Which is near impossible for ME to fix when I’m standing right there, so there is no way I am going to be able to talk him through it. I tell him sorry but he can’t watch it now. He says, “It’s okay, Mom. I turned it off and I’m going to go read books in my room.” And that’s where I found him when I was done getting ready.

All of that effort for no return on the television; but huge return on a ridiculous story and for The Boy to read books on his own. It was really precious to see him sitting on the floor next to his bookcase with a pile of books he pulled out on the floor. I felt 100% content when I opened the door and saw him.

Extreme Not Paying Attention

The Boy has turned not paying attention into a sport. An extreme sport. He could win in the Olympic event of Not Paying Attention.

Sometimes he’s in a zone watching television and fails to realize that we are speaking to him. I get that. Sometimes he is off in La-La Land and fails to see the corner of the car door and runs right into it. I even get that. But those are just Bronze Medal worthy examples compared to what he did yesterday.

I was in the shower and he comes in and says he has to go potty. I hear him lift the lid and I hear him flush and then he leaves. A few second later he comes in and says he needs to change his shorts because they are wet. I peeked out of the shower and said, “How did they get wet?” I saw that the crotch area was soaked and I said, “Didn’t you just go potty? Where were you sitting when this happened?” He said he wasn’t sitting anywhere and assured me nothing in my bedroom or his bedroom was wet (I checked later and nothing was wet). He said he didn’t know how this happened because he just went potty in the toilet. I asked him if he forgot to pull down his shorts before he went potty. He thought for a second and then said yes. So he basically just stood in front of the toilet and peed in his shorts! And he didn’t even realize it until after he flushed, left the bathroom, and who knows what else he did before he’s like, Oh! My shorts are sopping wet and it’s a LITTLE uncomfortable. Seriously, dude, what the heck are you thinking about?!?

THAT is Gold Medal material.

Word Play

Real Word: Marbles
The Boy's Word: Narbles

Real Word: Good Grief
The Boy's Word: Great Grief

Real Word: Evolve
The Boy's Word: Revolve

Real Word: I don't care
The Boy's Word: I don't matter

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Mislead

I REALLY appreciate the well wishes and encouragement of those reading my blog and commenting. However, I need to clear up a little misunderstanding. I started to chronicle my pregnancy at the beginning of April. A pregnancy that occurred six years ago. The Boy is five now and we are not having any more children. Ever. I am simply writing about the things that were important to me so that one day The Boy can read about a time before he existed.

Thank you so much for your comments; I really do appreciate them. But I want to be clear that I am not pregnant.

Friday, May 16, 2008

WonderWalk

The Boy participated in his first Walk A Thon. It was so much fun. His teachers talked about how some babies are born too small and so we are walking to help the doctors help those babies so they can be big and strong like us.

Before we went, The Boy asked if the sick babies were going to be there. We said no they have to stay in the hospital. He thought maybe their parents would come. I love this precious view into his compassionate heart.

Please note in this first picture that the girls line is on the right side and the boys line is on the left side. Also note: The Boy has the bravest teachers I have EVER met.






Thank you so much to everyone who donated to his walk.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Pregnancy Pictures

Here is the very sacred sonogram (spelling?) picture I mentioned.


And a picture of my tummy. It is incredible that my tummy stuck out like that for real. This picture almost looks fake to me.

Proof

I was so dying to have those scones that I tried to make them again the next night. It worked. And they were yummy. Here is proof. Actually, these pictures aren't proof that they taste good. Because the other ones looked just like this except for they tasted like a volcanic science experiment IN MY MOUTH. So you'll just have to trust me. And you can also ask The Man. Because he ate the rest of them.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Attempt to Find My Passion v.1.0

Here we go (continue reading at your own risk of being terribly bored and/or waking up to find your forehead attached to your keyboard):

First Thing’s First

First I have to decide what I want. If I could do anything in the whole wide world, what would it be? That is where I really get stuck. Some people have a passion for one thing. I do not. I like many things, but I’m not sure I am passionate about any of them. Here are my ideas, totally dreaming here:

Organization. I can organize anything, and I love to do it. Closets, pantries, paperwork, magazines, DVDs, CDs, etc. And I can set up a system that suits your needs so that you can be most efficient in your work/home life.

Creativity. I like being creative, although I am not sure how good I am. I can scrapbook your photos, or perhaps organize your photos to make them easier for you to scrapbook. I like to write/blog, take pictures, and I’d like to try painting although I have never done it before (unless you count finger painting).

Planning. I love to plan. Birthday parties, vacations, fundraisers, you name it. Because of my ability to organize and my love for creativity, whatever I’m planning is a big hit.

Projects. I love to see a space in a different way and turn it into something else. The unfortunate part about this is that at our house, we cannot afford to do any projects. In my head, our kitchen is an incredible Moroccan cookery, and our bedroom is a modern romantic escape. It’s too bad really that nobody else can see it!

Administration. I enjoy serving others. It brings me great joy for someone to ask me to do something and I come back to them with the task completed. It gives me even greater pleasure if it involves a challenge. I have the chance to research something, figure it out, and present the work back to them completed and with new information for them to use.

Assistance. I love making others’ lives easier. If I could be a personal assistant, I think it would be the most exhilarating experience. Doing things that I don’t mind doing (i.e., grocery shopping – for someone else mind you, pick up dry cleaning, walk dogs, etc.), I am creating more time for someone else to enjoy their free time. What a gift, and getting paid on top of it? That’s just icing on the cake.

Cleaning. Not just vacuuming and dusting. We are talking down on the floor with a toothbrush, getting the grime out. It is so satisfying to know that every single square inch is cleaned. I swear I’m not a meth addict.

Fitness. Although I don’t currently make time for exercise, once I get into the habit of it, I really enjoy it. And I’d love to inspire others to have the same motivation and live healthier lives.

What Is My Passion?

I want to find what I am passionate about. I want to know myself well enough to know what I truly love with all of my heart and then do something about it. Something so that I can do what I love EVERY DAY. I don’t want to wait until I retire to do what I enjoy. I want to do it now!

I am hoping that by talking myself through this I can perhaps help someone else with their situation. Also, I want The Boy to see that we break tradition at our house. We don’t want to live by what is generally accepted by society; trudge to a 9 to 5 you hate just to put food on the table. I also want him to see that his mommy IS ACTUALLY A RISK TAKER.

I don’t want to quit this job because I don’t like it and go to some random job I found on CareerBuilder. I want to think this through. Otherwise I might as well have kept working here. I need to know what I want to do “when I grow up” before I start making any changes.

Bump In The Road #1: If I give two weeks’ notice today, and The Man doesn’t have another job by then, we will have ZERO income. If I quit my job, I am not eligible for unemployment. $1400 a month in The Man’s unemployment isn’t going to get us very far in life.

Bump In The Road #2: Therefore, I would have to find another job before I quit this job. Jobs aren’t being handed out left and right around here. I’m an admin, which is a pretty common job and currently on CareerBuilder, there is ONE job in this area for an admin. One. That is seriously scary. Not even six months ago when I would look for a job, there were millions (okay, maybe fifty) of admin positions being advertised on CareerBuilder (I don’t get paid for mentioning their name, but the way I’m throwing it around on this post, I wish they did).

I read this article on Dumb Little Man about being ready for a career transition. Most of us are unable to prepare for such a switch because it was either not our choice to be entering the job market or were not prepared to be offered a promotion at our current job.

I have an advantage in that (I think) my employer is going to be keeping me around for awhile (unless they find my blog, then I’m fired for sure). I am the one who will be initiating any changes. So there is no urgency. The negative aspect of that is that there is no sense of urgency. I am relatively “comfortable” if you will. They say nobody likes change. I am one of those people; therefore, I have not been actively trying to figure out what I want in a job, even though I don’t enjoy my time spent here. I want to get started on the process so that I can take steps in the right direction myself, before I am possibly forced into an urgent situation.

And so begins my attempt to find my passion.

Pottery Barn

Of course after we found out we were pregnant we started shopping for everything baby. I was totally worried that we wouldn’t have any baby showers (mostly because of how my parents responded) and wanted to buy everything in sight. We ended up purchasing a gorgeous antique oak set from Goore's.

Side note: Before I was pregnant, or even married for that matter, I had purchased enough clothes to fit into a fifty gallon Rubbermaid tub. Any time I found baby clothes on sale at Gap, Old Navy, Gymboree, anywhere, I bought them. I tried to stay neutral, but I did buy some boy clothes and some girl clothes. The girl clothes I either sold on eBay or gave to friends who had girls. It was nice to have that stash because it was all stuff I liked and I bought different sizes, and it gave me one less thing for me to worry about knowing that my baby would be fully clothed for the first two years of his life.

Anyway, we venture into Pottery Barn Kids one weekend and I see this book. This is awesome, I have to get it and track my pregnancy. I start looking through it and notice that it tracks your pregnancy by each day. I think to myself, I wonder how many days I’ll be pregnant? I flip to the back and I am amazed to see that I will be pregnant for TWO HUNDRED AND EIGHTY DAYS. That is a lot of days. I sit down in one of their rocking chairs and start to cry uncontrollably. The Man is at a loss. Honey, what’s wrong? I blubber, I’m going to be pregnant for two hundred and eighty days! It’s never going to end. I’m never going to have this baby. The Man tries to reason with me. Yes, Love, that is nine months. How long did you think it was? I was probably already four months along at this point so I was almost half way done but the number just seemed daunting to me at that point.

A store employee comes over and asks if I am okay. I can only imagine what a sight I must be – a pregnant woman, sitting with a book in her lap on one of their rocking chairs, bawling. The Man assured me that this is a sight they have seen before. After all, I can’t be the only pregnant woman who has come into Pottery Barn Kids. And if other pregnant women go into Pottery Barn Kids, then other pregnant women have certainly cried in Pottery Barn Kids.

I still bought the book and I’m glad I did.

Super Hero

The Man killed a spider for me and I said he was my hero. The Boy asked if he was my hero, too. Of course I say YES! His reply? “Super.”

The Boy Who Knows EVERYTHING

I thought it would take longer before I was a Stupid Parent. I thought The Boy would at least be a tween, and maybe even a teen, before he started knowing more than me. We must have a genius on our hands, because he is only five and already he is more intelligent than The Man and I put together.

The Boy: “Mom, what’s 4 plus 4?”
Me: “8.”
The Boy: “No, it’s 44.”

The Boy: “Dad, how much does this cost?”
The Man: “Thirty dollars.”
The Boy: “No, it’s twenty-five dollars.”

And I can only imagine that Einstein would be able to follow this logic, because it is completely beyond my comprehension:

“So when we go to the baseball game there are bad guys but there aren’t really bad guys and then if we win we don’t really win but we win and there are fireworks after the game and I used to be scared of fireworks but now I’m not scared I just don’t like them because they are loud but they aren’t really loud because they are far away but they aren’t really far away.”

WHY Won’t My Kid Eat?

I mean I know my cooking isn’t that great, but come on!

Seriously, The Boy is not interested in eating and I really don’t know what to do. Can ANYONE help me?

I have received two reports now from his school that in the afternoon he comes to a teacher, in tears and clutching his stomach saying that his tummy hurts. We think it is because he is very picky with his food and chooses not to eat many of the items he is served for lunch and is therefore STARVING in the afternoon. They serve a small snack in the afternoon, but a) it’s probably not enough, and b) he is probably hungry way before they serve it.

I honestly don’t know what to do about it. The kid doesn’t eat a single “healthy” thing. He used to eat a ton of great food when he ate baby food. Recently he is giving up eating stuff he has eaten forever, like applesauce. He eats ZERO vegetables and the only fruit he eats is apples with peanut butter to dip them in. His diet consists of meat (all of which we must refer to as chicken because if I say it’s steak he won’t touch it even though he likes steak if I call it chicken), cheese (which comes out NASTY on the other end because he is lactose intolerant), lactose free milk, certain kinds of juice, breads (i.e., tortillas, crackers, graham crackers, cheez-its), peanut butter, olives. I think that is really it (The Man can add more if he can think of anything).

He also takes a multi-vitamin in case anyone thinks that’s helping.

The Man and I decided that our philosophy is to serve him all of the food we eat and let him decide what to eat. Sometimes I modify it, like I didn’t put artichoke in his rice the other night because I knew he wouldn’t eat it, but that there would be a chance he would eat plain rice (he didn’t). Also, we try to let him tell us when he is full instead of forcing him to eat everything on his plate.

I can’t decide if he doesn’t like food, or if he is too interested in play time to be bothered with eating.

I don’t want food to be a struggle for us and I want him to grow up with a healthy attitude towards food. When I was growing up, we had to eat whatever our parents deemed enough from our plate to be considered a “good” dinner if we wanted dessert, even if we said we were full. And we would have dessert every night. I don’t think having dessert every night is healthy and we don’t do that at our house now. My body was raised to stuff itself and then have something sweet. So my brain doesn’t really feel “full” after a meal until I eat something sweet. Not a healthy trigger.

I was recently told that “kids don’t know what’s best for them and you should force him to take at least one bite of everything on his plate.” This advice doesn’t come from a trusted source, but coupled with the events at school, I am more sensitive to the issue and question our beliefs on how to feed him.

The school thing frustrates me. Why doesn’t he remember, Oh yeah when I don’t eat lunch my tummy hurts later? and then eat appropriately? Is he not old enough to be aware of those types of consequences?

Should I just continue what I am doing? Or is there something else I could do?

I Guess I Am Smart After All

Based on this study, it’s a wonder anyone has friends in this world. I was protecting myself by not pursuing friendships for awhile there. Then I go into therapy and I am encouraged to look past the “fatal flaw” – you know, in order to be the best version of myself that I can be. Then I get burned right away by two people. I’d rather be a slightly less than the best version of myself if it means I’m not getting screwed over on a regular basis.

Here are my favorite parts of the article (basically, the entire article):

“Given how irritating other people sometimes are, it's surprising how many of us are eternal optimists about forming new relationships.”

“Once we perceive a dissimilarity [aka the fatal flaw], it’s all downhill from there. Even traits we might have liked, or been neutral about before, now get the thumbs down.”

“It gets worse. In a fourth study using a similar approach to those above the researchers found that our dislike for others cascades. This means that if we see a dissimilar (and therefore unlikable) trait early on in our relationship with another, this tends to negatively affect the way we perceive the rest of their traits. So, once we perceive a dissimilarity, it's all downhill from there. Even traits we might have liked, or been neutral about before, now get the thumbs down.”

“Considering the results of this study it's a wonder we bother trying to make friends after the first few disappointments. The fact that we do is probably a result of an unrealistic level of optimism about how much we will expect to like others. This is confirmed by the study's finding that the vast majority of people expect that more knowledge about others will lead to liking.”

“And occasionally we do actually meet people who turn out to be similar to us, who end up as our close friends or even partners. It's these relationship hits that we tend to remember when meeting someone new rather than all the times we were disappointed.”

I guess I can thank my perpetually pessimistic way of thinking for saving me from remembering the good friends and instead focusing on the bad “friends.” This article is more proof to myself that I am a smart person, since apparently most people are unaware and have a blind level of optimism when meeting new people.

Hooray for me?

My New Blog

I love my new blog design! It’s from Be Design. If you want a blog makeover, go over there and check out her work. It’s really impressive.

AND, RIGHT NOW, Beth is offering 50% off orders received by Thursday (TOMORROW). It’s quite the deal.

Thank you so much Beth for my new design.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Powder VS. Soda

Last night I made a FANTASTIC dinner. Rice with this artichoke mixture, chicken and onions sautéed (that’s right, I know a big cooking term) in white wine. Yum. It was really very tasty and if I think that then it was deserving of some sort of cooking award because I don’t like anything I make even if a million other people like it and eat it.

Apparently that dinner was the maximum capacity my brain could handle on the cooking front. Because then I thought, I am in the mood for this blueberry scone recipe I have been dying to make. I mix everything up just like the recipe says. One particular ingredient I think, “Wow that seems like a lot of this ingredient.” So I checked the recipe two or three times. Tablespoons? Yes, tablespoons! 1 ¾? Yes, 1 ¾! Baking soda? Yes, baking soda!

Pull those suckers out of the oven. Mmmm, they smell SO good. I couldn’t wait for them to cool off so I picked a piece off the top and blew on it to cool it off. Pop it in my mouth…tastes yummy! Wait. Nope, it’s okay. Wait. No, it’s not good. Why does it taste all bitter as I swallow it? Maybe it was just that piece. Take another bite. A bigger bite. Uh, no, it’s the entire thing. What could it be? I check the recipe AGAIN.

Um, yeah, it said baking POWDER. NOT soda. I looked at that damn recipe, read “baking powder,” went into the pantry and pulled out the baking soda. Then I compared the two words from the box and from the recipe (because, you see, I have made this mistake before), and I read them to be the same. Like I have some kind of ingredient dyslexia. What. The. Heck.

The entire batch is in the garbage and I felt like an idiot for the rest of the evening. And I had a little heartburn because it is probably not good for your stomach to eat that much baking soda.

The Man has agreed to be my “cooking spotter” from now on. I will get out all of the ingredients, pre-measure them, set them next to the recipe, and he will come in and review everything before I get started.

Be Awesome

Beth and her friend have started a blog design business. Go check out the site and some of the designs here.

Beth is offering FIFTY PERCENT OFF of ALL blog makeover orders received by Thursday, May 15th. Hurry on over and place your order!

Photobucket

Photo Contest

Savvy Daddy chose these ten finalists for his photo contest. Go check them out and vote for your favorite.

(My favorite is Photo #2. I honestly don’t know those people or anything, I’m just saying.)

Bird’s Nest

Do you think birds share trees for their nests? Or do you think each tree is like a home? One bird family per tree please.

Perhaps each type of bird (i.e., blue bird, sparrow, etc.) has a different answer to that question. Some kinds of birds share trees and others don’t?

I could probably research this on the internet, but right now I’m just wondering.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Telling The Parents

We now have official confirmation from the doctor AND the ultrasound tech that we are in fact pregnant. It’s time to tell the parents.

I thought my parents were going to be ecstatic when we told them. We had been married for almost three years. We both had great jobs. The Man and I took them to lunch near my office and gave them a present. They opened the present. It was a baby bib that said “My Grandparents Love Me.” We were grinning from ear to ear. My dad says, “Does this mean what we think it means?” “YES! We’re pregnant!” is our eager reply.

My mom says: “Well, don’t expect us to be your day care.”

I’m dead serious. That is what she said. No need to wonder anymore why I’m in therapy, okay? It is well deserved, hard earned therapy.

I would like to mention that my (loser) brother knocked up a girl OUT OF WEDLOCK, the baby was born prematurely and with health problems because the girl couldn’t be bothered with taking care of herself (you know, stop drinking and smoking, stop doing drugs, go to the doctor), they were planning to keep the baby (they didn’t, they gave it up for adoption THANK GOD), and yet my parents appeared to be much more supportive of that behavior. F@&#!

Anyway, No Mom, we don’t expect you to be our baby-sitter. Okay, yeah, now let’s be happy! Pfffffffft.

Moving on.

The Man’s parents gave me more of the response I was hoping to get from my parents. At least I got it from somewhere.

We told them on Father’s Day. We were at The Man’s dad’s dad’s (The Man’s grandpa) house. We gave Grandpa a Great-Grandpa card and we gave The Man’s dad a Grandpa card. It was perfect. Dad opened his card first and was like, “Oh I think you got the cards mixed up. This is a Grandpa card.” But The Man’s mom got it right away. She totally ran across the room to me and hugged me and squealed and cried. And everyone else is like, What? What is going on? The Man explained and everyone was thrilled.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Eyelashes

I have mentioned them three times before and now they are making their debut.

Chink

I love things that are not perfect. I love a vase with a chunk of porcelain chipped out because it was dropped. Or a crystal clear drinking glass with a lump in it where the glass isn't even. Those are what make the items unique and what gives them character.

People are like that and I love people's flaws. I talk about being crazy and abnormal, but I really like those things about me. It's what makes me who I am and it's why The Man loves me. Also, living in the reality of that fact makes it easier to raise The Boy and it makes us better parents. Yes, Hunny Bear, we are not perfect, but let's accept that and continue to work on those imperfections so that we can be the best imperfect version of ourselves.

The Boy has a freckle behind his right ear. Freckles aren't necessarily an "flaw," but he doesn't have very many and I love that I know this mark on him.

The Man is a confidence maniac, aka HE HAS A GIANT EGO. But I like his ego (Darling, I need you to stop reading now lest your very large head get even larger). I like that he is confident because I have really low self esteem so we balance each other. He brings me up and I bring him down (that doesn't sound nice, but really it's just keeping him in check). If we both had pitiful personalities, I don't think we would be very much fun. It would go like this:

Me: "I feel stupid."
The Man: "I feel stupid, too."
Me: "You are stupid."
The Man: "So are you."

Who wants to have THAT at their party?!? Nobody. I am thankful that it goes like this instead:

Me: "I'm fat."
The Man: "No you aren't. You're hot."
Me: "Thanks babe! So are you."
The Man: "I know."

This flaw that he has actually makes me laugh and gives me a higher sense of worth. Why would this guy who thinks he is awesome spend all this time with me if I weren't at least a little bit awesome?

The windshield of our car has two chinks in it. I think we got them about a year apart and I have prayed so hard that they would not spider across the glass. Not because I don't want to spend the money replacing the windshield (I don't), but because I love those two chinks. Every time I see them I remember how valuable something can be even though it is slightly damaged. The glass still serves us with the need we have to protect us from the outside elements as we drive. It doesn't have to be flawless to do it's job, and neither do we.

Mommy

Mother's Day is hard for me. Maybe because I don't really feel like a Mom. When someone wishes me Happy Mother's Day, I feel like that saying should be reserved for grown up, serious mommies. Not me. I am silly with The Boy, I lose my temper with him, and I don't make him eat fruits and vegetables. Someone should be giving me lessons today; not congratulating me for attempting in vain to pass as a mother.

Also, Mother's Day reminds me that I am not close with my mother. We are closer these days than in years past, but I am still reserved around her. She has hurt me deeply and I would say my heart has forgiven her but I surely have not forgotten. And I fear the way she has hurt me is what will eventually distance my son from me. My mother is judgmental and covertly finds ways to convey disappointment in many areas of my life (and everyone else's life too). So I refrain from sharing with her and my father for fear of rejection from them. We all know that I am outspoken, so much so that it probably affects my friendships. Will this trait one day alienate me from The Boy? I am terrified of that and it is my dream to one day find balance between my brain and my mouth if only to preserve our relationship.

Feelings were not openly discussed or encouraged when I was growing up. It is difficult for me to openly tell my mom how much I appreciate her. I read a blog post recently (I'm sorry I don't remember where it was from or I would totally give it credit here), and it said that a mom was seeing her grown daughter love her child and wishing that she could hold her daughter that way again. That seems so foreign to me; does my mother feel like that? I may never know and that makes me sad.

Not to appear high and mighty, I have not been the perfect daughter either. So more guilt sets in as I remember all of the terrible things I did as a daughter and realize that no Mother's Day gift could ever make up for my behavior.

I have loved my day today. The Man and The Boy have shown me their love. They took me to breakfast where I wanted to go, The Boy took a nap, and The Boy gave me a "VERY speshul" card with flower seeds in it and a fan that he colored at school. He was so proud and excited to give me my present. I felt loved. And even though it feels odd being wished Happy Mother's Day, I did have a good day being a Mommy.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Only Child

The Boy is an only child. Before we had him, The Man and I thought we would have three kids. He was an only child and I didn’t really like that – I have no brother-in-law or sister-in-law and our kid would never have an aunt or uncle or cousins from The Man’s side of the family.

I had (have) a brother and I definitely did (do) not like that. I speak of him in the past tense because we have not spoken in nearly nine years and even then it was stilted and unwanted conversation. I don’t really count him as part of our family anymore. THIS is a story for another day. The point is that I did not like having one brother.

I grew up with lots of aunts, uncles and cousins and I loved it so I am sad that we are not able to provide The Boy with that kind of environment. By having three children I felt we could create a greater opportunity for him to provide his future family with that type of atmosphere if he so chose.

We were naïve, but we thought it would be great to have two boys and a girl, the girl in the middle. We had names picked out for each of them, decided how each one would look physically, what kind of personalities they would have, and what they would be when they grew up.

Then we had The Boy, a.k.a. THE NUCLEAR BOMB. Oh my gosh we didn’t know what we were doing with this baby. He very near killed both of us and our marriage. I’m not blaming our marriage problems on him and I’m sure that even if we had been more prepared or never had him at all that we would have come across these problems eventually. But The Boy was the catalyst.

We both agreed very soon after he was born that we would NOT BE HAVING MORE CHILDREN. Everyone said, Oh when are you going to have another one?, You’ll change your mind, and my personal favorite, You’ll forget about all of this. YEAH RIGHT. I’ll forget about my near death experience due to sleep deprivation and being on the verge of the ruination of my marriage? I don’t think so.

Neither of us has changed our mind. Sure, I’ve seen babies and said, Honey I want another baby and those times would continue for up to a couple of weeks. I would eventually come to my senses and realize that I truly did not want to have my own baby; really I just wanted to hold and smell someone else’s baby and then give it back. There’s a big difference.

Then I read this, and I wonder if we are doing the right thing.

The Man is very strong and independent and I wouldn’t say that he is close to his parents or that he relies on them for anything. He likes them, sure. This is going to sound very harsh, but I don’t think it is going to be too hard on him when they die. Yes, he will be saddened by their death, but he will rely on my support to get him through whatever tough times and then I think he will be okay. I don’t feel that he would be better off if he had a sibling to share with him in the grieving.

It will be more difficult on me when my parents die than it will be for The Man when his parents die. I will heavily depend on The Man to help me through those times. Since my brother and I are not close, I am not any better off to have a sibling in this situation. We will not be sharing in the mourning.

My dad’s family, who provided all the aunts, uncles, and cousins, are no longer close. There was an event that destroyed everything, and we no longer spend time with them. I miss it greatly and I often wish those relationships could be restored.

I don't know if I am shielding my son from the pain and heartache that families can bring upon each other. Perhaps because he will never be familiar with what it is like to be part of a large family, he will not know what he is potentially missing out on. I do know what is being missed, since I did experience the joys of being part of a large family. If I had never been part of that family, maybe I wouldn’t feel any void or longing for those types of relationships.

And for now, The Boy seems satisfied to remain the center of attention, the only grandchild on both sides. He has never asked for a sibling. I can only hope that he will be blessed with strength like The Man’s and the support of a loving wife to get him through life’s trials when we are no longer available to him. Until then, I hope that we will always remain a solid family unit.

Ultrasound

We were sent for our scheduled ultrasound. We didn’t know for sure when we had conceived and this was going to give us an idea of our due date. Based on what we had told my OB, he had given us a date of January 27, 2003.

We told the ultrasound tech that we did not want to know the sex of the baby. We wanted it to be a surprise. I don’t know why I was so adamant about that, but I really did not want to know. The two girls at my office who were pregnant both knew they were having boys and I just didn’t want to know. When my aunt was pregnant with my cousin eighteen years ago, she didn’t find out what she was having and I gave her a really hard time about it. “Why aren’t you finding out? I want to know what it is!” She said that if God wanted us to find out, He would have put a window in place of our belly button. “I’m going to find out what I’m having when I have babies. I wouldn’t be able to wait.” was my defiant reply. I was eleven.

The tech puts that cold, gooey gel on my tummy and presses the thingie (that is the technical term for it) on the gel. We can hear the heartbeat again and we see the blob moving around. She measures a few things like the head to get an idea of how old the blob was. She takes a few pictures and prints them out for us. I cherished those pictures. In one picture in particular, the blob is waving at us. That one was my favorite and I put it in a frame that had this Bible verse on it: “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.” Jeremiah 1:5. I lost the rest of the sonogram pictures. I was devastated. I thought I remembered putting them in a book and I think I gave the book to my brother. He denies that they were in the book. I don’t know if I believe him, but it doesn’t really matter. The point is that they are nowhere to be found, so I treasure the one that I have.

It was really incredible for The Man and me to see the little life that was growing inside of me.

The ultrasound tech gave us a new due date – January 15, 2003.

Brownie Blunder

I am a smart person. I have not always believe that, and it took The Man and our therapist a VERY long time to convince me that there is a shred of truth to this, and sometimes I still don’t believe it. Especially when I cook.

Cooking does not come naturally to me. I have learned to appreciate it, but some days I do not enjoy it. Cooking does not make me feel smart. Because I don’t care for it that much, I don’t take care in doing it properly. I don’t check to make sure I have all of the ingredients before I start, I don’t read all of the instructions when I am cooking. This makes for food that does not taste very good. In fact, it tastes terrible.

The Man finds this endearing. I find it to be stupid. And I still do it. Maybe that’s called crazy. Isn’t there a saying that crazy means doing the same things over and over again and expecting a different result? Yup, that’s me. So I’m crazy, not stupid.

One example of a cooking blunder:

The Man and I were newlyweds, it was a lovely spring morning, and I decided it would be delightful if I made some brownies for my new husband. I pulled out a cookbook and found a brownie recipe and started making my special brownies (that makes them sound like they had pot in them but I assure you they did not), filled with love (do you hear the music amplifying, the birds twittering? Ahhhhh.). Two eggs, the recipe calls for. I open the refrigerator and pull out the last two eggs. I crack the first egg and the white and yolk I expect to see oozing out are non-existent. No, this is a hard boiled egg. Bummer. Can’t make brownies without eggs. What do I do? Search on the trusty internet. Yes I did. What did my internet findings suggest? Go ahead, use the hard boiled eggs. Just mash them up very finely and add more water. Cool! I proceeded, adding the water my friend, the internet, suggested. I mixed up the batter, which looked like brownies. I poured them in a pan, popped them in the oven and about fifty minutes later I pulled them out. I impatiently waited for them to cool. After cutting them, I served a man sized piece to my husband, who was blissfully unaware of my oversight. He smiles adoringly at me as he takes his first unsuspecting bite. His face quickly turns from a smile to a frown and he spits out the brownies in disgust. What could be wrong with them, I frantically wondered. After all, they looked like brownies. They smelled like brownies. I go into the kitchen and pick up a piece to taste for myself. They even felt like brownies all warm and moist. I took a bite.

They tasted like hard boiled eggs.

That is a nasty surprise when you are expecting creamy, chocolaty goodness.

And there is a good lesson that what you find on the internet is not always true.

It also may have been the first example The Man saw of what it meant to love someone “for worse” and “in sickness.”

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Does Anyone Know What This Is?



There is this pink thing on one of my cutting boards. I don't know what it is. It doesn't come out when I run it through the dishwasher. It seems to be growing. Is it mold? Do you think I should throw out this cutting board?

Soccer

The Man coaches The Boy's soccer team. Last year we did not win a single game. The Boy scored all of the goals the entire season (four goals total, three goals in one game). We are doing better this year.

I love how the kids a clump together around the ball and the huddle just moves around the field. We literally made a goal this way. The huddle just scooted into the net. I didn't know ten kids could fit into the net. But they can.


Birthday Bash

I never did post pictures of the surprise from my birthday. It was all The Boy's idea. He doesn't like asparagus, but he does like to laugh about asparagus. He told The Man that he wanted to use asparagus on a cake instead of candles.

Parking

"If the "new or expectant mom" parking spot is open I take it. My son is 2. I figure the term "new mom" is a relative term. I can still consider myself as a new mom if I want."

I read this on the True Mom Confessions site and I think those signs she's talking about should be expanded to included mothers of children under the age of five. I was going to say that it should only be for mothers of young children but then I remembered what it was like to waddle down the parking lot aisle and it truly would have been nice to be able to have reserved parking near the front of the store when I was eight months pregnant (they didn’t have this reserved parking thing when I was pregnant. Heck, they didn’t even have a Babies R Us in town when I was pregnant. Gosh I’m old.). It is also VERY difficult to lug those baby carriers around. But I’m thinking of this Mom who sent in her comment.

Her son is two. Which means he may or may not be sleeping through the night. He may or may not be going through that phase where whenever she is not grasping his tiny little hand he takes off running in any direction. He may or may not be a wiggly toddler who does not like to be put in his car seat. He may or may not be the only child. Which means Mom is probably tired, frantically running after her baby in the parking lot, desperately trying to convince him that the ride home is very short and wouldn’t he please sit still in his seat for ONE SECOND so Mommy can buckle him in, and God help her if she has any other rascals. So I think it’s okay that she parks in the reserved parking spaces up front. I think it’s acceptable as long as she has to tote around anyone under the age of five.

Living On Severance: Day ???

The severance comes to an end on May 15th. That is in nine days. From today. Nine. Days. That is really scary. Technically, we have our “stimulus” check, but we were originally intending to use it for the purpose of stimulating the economy by going to Disneyland. I honestly do not see that happening right now. That would mean that The Man would have to find a job paying equal or more than what he was making at his last job in the next NINE DAYS (no pressure honey).

I hate this whole thing because I am trying very hard to be an understanding wife and not a controlling wife, or just a controlling person in general. Because that is my nature – to control everything. So it is very difficult for me not to search all job sites a million times a day and go over our budget a million times a day and constantly think about services that we could live without in order to save money. It is difficult for me to not ask The Man every day, Did you find any jobs today? Did you look for jobs other than architecture or music? Because I don’t care where the money is coming from and why shouldn’t you look for jobs at McDonald’s or Lady Footlocker if it means you will be getting a paycheck? I forget that I hate my job so much and I would never wish for anyone (well, maybe my worst enemy), especially not The Man, to hate their job as much as I hate mine. And that is what a job at McDonald’s or Lady Footlocker would be for him – a yucky job that he hates. And that’s just not fair.

I also hate that it is so tense of a time that when The Man says “I’m going to do X.” and then he doesn’t do X and I ask him, “Hey are you still going to do X?” his response is, “Did you just CALL ME LAZY?” Because in a normal situation that would not be his response. And in a normal situation if that was his response I would reply, “Are you CRAZY?” But I can’t yell back at him because I know he’s stressed out just like I am and that kind of response would be completely unproductive. So I am thinking about these things before I respond. I have seen the fruits of my labor though because we haven’t had nearly as many fights about this topic as I thought we would have. Look at us; we’re growing.

Do you know what would be nice? Is if in the next nine days we could figure out how to make the world stop revolving around money. Can you guys work on that for me? Thanks.

Baby's Heartbeat

Since we were not planning to be pregnant, I was totally unprepared for the process of pregnancy. Normally, I research the heck out of everything until I know all possible scenarios before I do anything. “Not a risk taker, eh?” you say. I would respond with, “Uh, yeah I am. Sometimes, I totally squeeze the toothpaste from the middle.” So there.

The Man and I went to the doctor’s office for the first visit. (P.S. I LOVE my OBGYN. Even if he thought I was crazy, he never showed it. He answered ALL of my questions, and I had a lot. Pages sometimes.) I’m all excited. We’re having a baby, hooray! The doctor pulls out this little box and pulls a stick thing out of the box and puts the stick thing on my belly. He pushes it around until this sound starts coming out of the box. It sounds like this ba-bum, ba-bum, ba-bum. I realize that it’s the heartbeat and I start to weep. Not actual crying, but weeping. I lay there, totally content hearing my baby’s heartbeat, so overwhelmed with joy that tears came out of my eyes. There really WAS a baby in there. A real life was growing inside of ME. I was too non-special of a person to be blessed by something this huge. And then, I was truly excited. And scared. And worried. And happy. And unqualified. And inexperienced. And cherished. I was truly a mom.