28 December 2009

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

It's a couple of days after Christmas. The dudes are stuffed full of various partially hydrogenated oils and all manner of other kinds of junk food, spoiled rotten by various family members who spend too much on them, and sleep deprived. I'm exhausted and coming down with....something, and Matt is in Spokane. Another successful Christmas break.

We had a great time in the chaos of the holidays. We got to see B for a short time while he was home on leave (another story for another day) and we spent Christmas Eve at the in-laws' house with 62 of our nearest and dearest. And that's just HIS family. We opened our gifts at home and went to Columbus to hang out with my family and spent the weekend. Well, the dudes and I did, because Matt had to go to work. First stop? Bermuda. Is it wrong that I took a kind of evil pleasure in the fact that it was "too cold" to go to the beach? (60 degrees) Or that it was Boxing Day and nothing was open?

ANYWAY. Had a great time with friends and family, and so glad to be back home cleaning up and doing laundry. No big plans for the next couple of days, just hang out and decompress.

We actually still have the rest of the week to go, Christmas Break is not over yet. And neither is the Christmas season. Not really. We still celebrate for two more weeks, until Epiphany. It's not over just because He was born. That's only the beginning.

It started snowing last night and has continued, off and on today. It looks so pretty, so....Christmasy. So I'm leaving my Christmas tree and decorations up for a while longer, to remember that it isn't over yet. And I don't think I want it to be over. The crazy hustlebustle, yes, I'm ready for that to be over. But taking time to remember and celebrate the birth of our Savior....that's pretty cool too.

14 December 2009

That's odd

I just cruised by to re-read yesterday's post, and happened to notice ALL of my ads, are for spyware to catch a cheating spouse, or a lawyer to help you unload a cheating spouse, or a life coach to help you forgive a cheating spouse. I am not the sharpest tool in the shed, but I noticed a pattern there....jumped right out at me.

Just thought it was a bit odd.

That is all.

13 December 2009

There's a lesson here somewhere

Today was supposed to be a low-key, quiet, even lazy day. All I had on the agenda was teaching my preschool PSR class at church at 10:00. My friend came over to watch the dudes for me, and brought her dudes...all the dudes are great pals. Piece of cake.

So I taught my class, stopped for milk and a spur-of-the-moment video rental, and came home. All excited for my lazy afternoon of sweatpants, finishing the Christmas tree, and rented movies. I told the kids that we weren't going anywhere for the rest of the day and we were going to be L-A-Z-Y. And the oldest mutt looked at me with sad eyes and said, "So we're not going to the concert tonight?"


Oh yeah! Christmas in Warren County! Where the St F children's choir (of which oldest mutt is a member) is singing! Tonight!

There went my lazy afternoon. Now we had to rush to finish lunch, the tree, showers, dinner, and getting dressed up in concert attire. Meaning a tie for him. He doesn't like ties. And the poor guy looked like he was wearing his dad's tie...I was afraid it was too long on him, although more than one of my friends assured me he looked very handsome.

In the midst of the rushing, I went down to the basement to put away the totes that we keep the Christmas stuff in, and noticed a lot of small colorful fibers in the carpet, that are not supposed to be there. Not part of the pattern. It's beige carpet, there is no pattern. I asked the dudes what it was, and it was apparently all that was left of my silly sombrero hat, that oldest dude and his friend had decided to shred because it was "part of their game." Shredded. An. Item. That. Did. Not. Belong. To. Them.

I don't care about the sombrero....got it at a party a year or so ago, and didn't throw it away. The kids found it and wanted to play with it, so it was in the basement. I DO care that they were perfectly ok with destroying something that did not belong to them, and I DO care about the giant mess they made, and didn't feel compelled to clean up. So I made the oldest dude clean it up. By himself. By the time I saw the mess, his accomplice was long gone. There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth over the size of the job, and I honestly felt kind of bad making him do it all. But....there is a lesson to be learned in that mess. Don't let your friends encourage you to do something you know is wrong and/or destructive. Don't let your friends leave without helping to clean up the mess they've helped make. And failing those two things, don't let your mom stumble across said mess when she's rushing around trying to get 47 other things done....tell her about it. Or better yet, clean it up without being asked. Or told. Or yelled at. How many times does a child need to hear things before they start to become ingrained, even a little? Rhetorical question....no one knows the answer, because there is no answer. Adam and Eve are still waiting for their kids to figure it out.

I'm glad we went to the concert. The music was beautiful and really got me feeling the Christmas spirit. The kids sounded wonderful. We only made it through about half of it though, because the littlest dude was getting very whiny and wanted to go home, and it was kind of late for a school night. But it was really, really nice.

That mountain of laundry that I was avoiding the other day, has sadly not disappeared, in spite of my fervent wishing and resourceful avoidance. Have I ever mentioned how much I hate folding laundry? Maybe I'll watch Twilight while I fold.

11 December 2009


No sooner did I type that last sentence, and go downstairs to play trains with the littlest dude, than the phone rang and guess who it was? The UC advisor! How bout that?! I have an appointment Monday morning to bring her some papers she needs to certify before I can talk to the Veterans Assistance people. But it doesn't take very long and is just a step in the checklist.

Am working my way towards committing to running a full marathon in 2010. Right now I'm sort of on the fence, wanting to do it so that I can say I conquered the challenge. But very afraid. It's a LOT of miles and I'm intimidated.

So I'll probably be writing quite a bit about wrestling with it, and ultimately, about the training process. I ran 13.1 twice, and I found that after about 5-6 miles, it's about 90% mental. I'm betting that is the case with 26.2. Shoot, it's already messing with my head and IF I run it, it's almost a full year away.

Anyway. Back to my regularly scheduled day. And the mountain of laundry I'm desperately trying to avoid folding.


Tiger is a serial cheater. I take back my previous defense. I still don't think the world at large necessarily has the RIGHT to know all this stuff, but I can no longer raise the argument that maybe it was a one-time thing, a big mistake.

Shame on Tiger Woods.

And on Mark Sanford too...I read this morning that his wife filed for divorce. I have a huge amount of respect for how she handled the public side of that mess. She's a smart, classy woman that Mark Sanford will regret cheating on for the rest of his days. He said he wanted to reconcile out of one side of his mouth while calling his mistress his "soul-mate" out of the other. You got to make up your mind Governor! And what a fine example you've set for your four sons! Jenny Sanford will come out stronger on the other side. I respect the fact that she drew firm boundaries and stuck to them, as far as what she was willing to do. I respect that she didn't blast him publicly, and that she publicly stated that she was willing to forgive and work her marriage out. I respect that she gave him a chance when many other wives wouldn't have and now that he's shown he's not willing to give up his mistress for his family, I respect that she is walking away with her head held high. She did exactly what she said she was going to do.

I wish my advisor from school would call me back so I can file my VA paperwork.

09 December 2009

So interesting

To me, anyway.

A couple of posts ago, I talked a little about questions about my faith. My faith is absolutely part of who I am...it's more than that actually. It is the core of who I am. Am I still human, and do I still make mistakes and do and say things I wish I hadn't? Of course. But still....at my core, I am a child of God.

Last night, the hubs and I went to Mass for Feast of the Immaculate Conception, mercifully without the kids. L was kind enough to keep them corralled so we could go alone. And they had already attended Mass at school. I catch myself at Mass with a wandering mind sometimes...ok, fairly regularly...but I do catch it and bring myself back to the here and now.

Anyway, no sooner did I post the questions that were in my head, than God started showing me things in my life and in the world around me. Does He read my blog, d'ya think?

As I was listening to the readings and singing hymns (I do really love how they sing the Responsorial now!) I just looked at Mary. During the consecration, I was watching Father bless the bread and the wine, and this feeling just kind of came over me, and I had the re-realization that I was part of something sacred. In the Prayers of the Faithful, part of one of the prayers was the phrase, "that all of us gathered here acknowledge that we have found favor with God, and respond with fidelity."

Found favor with God.

Doesn't get any better than that. And just in time to answer the questions I had so recently voiced. Hmm. Pretty cool.

03 December 2009

I just want to complain today

The title should suffice as a warning.

I have apparently failed as a mother, to teach my children to do what they are asked, when they are asked to. And I have failed on a grand scale to teach them to pick up after themselves. Their bedtime is supposed to be 8. Dinner, some TV or reading or play time, showers, pajamas, prayers, bed. Without fail, it is past 9 by the time they are horizontal. I hate yelling and yet that's all I seem to do. It's all they seem to respond to. I've tried asking nicely, I've tried making it a game, I've tried telling them without being particularly nice or funny, I've tried every dang thing I've read in Parents magazine. What really gets them moving, is to turn up the volume. I HATE that. And, I don't want them to look back on their growing up years and think, Jeez, all Mom ever did was yell. Yelling makes me feel bad and I don't like their faces when I yell. They look scared of me and I don't want that.

Cleaning up after themselves...oy. Where do I even start? I know I'm hardly the only parent who deals with any of this and I know there are a bunch of kids who are worse than mine in that respect. But I also know what mine are capable of, in many more areas than cleaning up I might add, and I don't like to see them constantly trying to weasel out of things. Things they should be doing without question, without whining, without being asked or told 43 times. My friend K lent me a book I'm going to have to go buy, I think. It's called "Have A New Kid By Friday." I really liked some of the suggestions in it and I want to reread it.

The husband is gone....again. I know it's his job and I know that him going to work enables me to stay at home and whine about how he's always gone. I get that. Reference the title of this post. It's one of those days.

He's on his way home. He left Tuesday and will get home around midnight tonight. He went to Atlantic City for a two day training course that isn't technically required. It's a requirement if he wants to keep an additional duty, a facet of his job that is important to him, and it honestly is to me too. But it's not required. So he went to Atlantic City and didn't get paid, isn't getting reimbursed for the hotel (a suite, of course) or the meals or anything. He called, all excited, to tell me about the training and the stuff he got to do, and I'm sure I sounded less than enthusiastic....which I was. I was irritated that he was gone having a good time, while I was at home, yelling at the kids every day, running them to the dentist and basketball practice while trying to figure out a decent dinner and remember to let the dog out. I want to go away and have fun too.

I'm up to my eyeballs. I'm so freaking done with school....I am getting to where I hate being in school. And I've got too far to go, to be this grumpy about it. I need to hang onto the motivation for another 5 quarters. I'm trying but man, I'm sick of it.

Getting antsy about getting the VA paperwork submitted in time to pay for winter quarter. Tired of worrying about money. Not strong enough to hand it over to God and just stop worrying. It sounds so simple, I wish I could figure out how to do that....just hand it over and let it go.

And one last thing. L's complaints about her job are getting old. She works 5-6 hours a night, 4 nights a week, then 5-6 hours one day a week. She gets up around 3 in the afternoon, says how tired she is, and lays back down to take a nap before going to work. I'll give her that working nights sucks. Been there, done that. It's tough. But a 25, maybe 30 hour workweek isn't such a hardship. She's got it pretty dang good right now and I'm concerned for her that when the gravy train pulls into the station, she's really not going to know what to do.

That'll probably do for one night. Most of the time I'm not this grumpy and whiny. I am well accustomed to the routine, or lack thereof, in our lives because of his work schedule. I get that I am the one who provides the day to day care and feeding, and the consistency. And I don't complain about, inwardly or outwardly. I'm grateful that I can complain about school because at least that means I'm still going.

I'm just tired, I feel overwhelmed today for some reason, and I want to complain. Thanks for listening.

02 December 2009

People in glass houses

really shouldn't throw stones.

I try not to get all sucked into celebrity tabloid trash stuff, but how can you help knowing all about Tiger Woods' drama recently? It's all over everything.

I don't know if he was cheating. I don't really care, honestly. I can't get over how hateful people are in general though....it's like they were just waiting for him to stumble, so they could kick him when he's down. People are calling him every name in the book, hoping Elin takes him to the cleaners, saying he deserved for her to beat him to death with his own golf club...I mean, holy crap. Evil.

First of all, it isn't any of anyone's business. Why do we, the public, feel justified and entitled to dig through Tiger Woods' garbage to find out about him? Why do we demand to know what he was doing out at 2:30? What if, just for the sake of argument, his wife was pregnant and wanted some Rocky Road ice cream? Or what if one of their kids were sick and they had run out of baby Tylenol? What business is it of anyone's? Why does he have to explain anything? And even if he was cheating, and he'd had huge fight with his wife and she smashed his window to keep him from leaving the house, SO WHAT? WHAT BUSINESS IS IT OF OURS?

People love to watch other people screw up and make mistakes. It makes us feel better about our own miserable lives, I guess. It's kind of sick, and kind of the dark underbelly of human nature, to enjoy other people's struggles. Does it make you feel superior, to know that someone famous has made a mistake that you haven't? Or one that you're not willing to admit to during a press conference?

Honestly, I guess none of these columnists or bloggers (!) or idiots commenting on a news story has ever made any mistakes. I wouldn't take any bets on whether they've ever cheated. Yet they're perfectly content and feel justified in excoriating Tiger Woods. For being human and making mistakes. He's made his apologies, now let him go home and try to work it out, and leave him and his family alone! Not that I condone cheating, not at all, but what right does any of us have to hold his feet to the fire? The only person who has a right to do that is the wronged party which, if in fact he has cheated, is his wife. Who are these other vultures?

All these self-righteous women who scream that Elin should take him to the cleaners, take him for every dime he's worth and never look back....holy cow, such anger and bitterness! Cheating, while it certainly is devastating, does not have to be a deal breaker. If the cheater is not willing to change their behavior and work to change the environment in the marriage, well, then, it IS a deal breaker. Serial cheating will kill it for sure. But hear me out here....there is a whole other possibility. Maybe it could have been a mistake...something that got out of hand and went too far too fast....again, I'm not condoning. Just saying that someone who has cheated should not necessarily be next in line for the lynch mob.

Statistics, while they can be bent to conform to any point you want to make, generally tell us that a lot of people cheat. And a lot of people immediately call the lawyer, which in turn contributes to that 50+% divorce rate. I will never in a million years believe that it is totally one sided though....it takes two to create an atmosphere where one or both are vulnerable to it. That's a hard truth to accept, and yet it is true. If you are happy and content in your marriage, even if you have girls throwing themselves at you naked, you're going to want to get home to your wife. If something is missing, you're going to be more likely to stray.

The bottom line is that if there are problems in a marriage, they should be addressed between the partners before it comes to a crossroads and a decision to pursue the short-term, feel-good ego boost. And the bottom line where Tiger Woods is concerned is, let the man go home and ask forgiveness, and work it out in peace. Leave him be. He doesn't owe you any explanations or apologies.