Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I Am A Daisy

Katrina at Southern Suds and Lather provided a link to a website where you can take a quiz and determine what type of flower you are.

I am happy to report that I am a daisy! (I'm sure the quiz has very adequate test validity!)

Take the test for yourself and see what type of flower you are here.

The Office

There's nothing like guests in from out of town to make you finish a decorating project. We finally finished my hubby's office.

Here are the before pics.....(embarrassing, I know!)

And here are the after pics.....

Now you want me to come over and decorate your office, don't you?

p.s. the Wrigley Field picture was not my idea.
p.p.s. Blogger hates me. I know it. I can't get these pics to set up the way I want them too. Arggg!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Photo Meme

Crystal over at My Family Gossip has tagged me for a Photo Meme. The original version is over at I Invented Motherhood. The rule is that you answer the questions using a photo from the first page of Google Images.
Here are my answers---
1. Age at next birthday

2. Place I'd like to travel

3. Favorite object

4. Favorite food

5. Favorite animal

6. Favorite color

7. First job

8. College major

9. Bad habit

10. My first name

Anyone else tempted to play around with images? and curse your blogger account at the same time? hmm...tempting....yes?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Hillary for President

Last night my hubby and I were discussing the upcoming primary election. We were discussing the merits of both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton--the only two candidates either of us have seriously considered.

And then it hit me.

Our girls could grow up in a world where a woman could become the president. The President of the United States.

I hadn't thought about it that way before. I plan to vote for Hillary because I believe she is the most able to "get the job done." She's the most able to pull it off in Washington. She's smarter than sin, tougher than tough, and has the political intelligence and savvy to make things happen. She's got my vote because she has what it takes.

I hadn't been thinking about the fact that she's a girl. A grown-up girl, now a woman. A girl that was told as a kid that she could do anything she wanted to do. That she could become anything she wanted to become.

When I was a girl, I was told that a girl who worked hard enough could do anything she wanted to do. Anything.

But it isn't true. You can graduate at the top of your class at Yale or Harvard. You can take the best internships, work your tail off, succeed at everything you'd ever done, and still, you'd make 70% of what a man in a similar position would make. That statistic is still true today.

And you certainly couldn't become the President. Not the President of the United States of America. Home of the brave, land of the free. Equality for all and all that B.S.

Let's face reality. Class and race matter. Gender matters. We don't like to believe it, but it does. How many people, underlying it all, don't plan to vote for Hillary because she's, as they claim, a b.i.t.c.h? Because she's assertive, intelligent, and achievement-oriented? Because she's not soft around the edges? Because she's not maternal? Give me a f---ing break. How many presidents have we had that were giving and maternal and soft? Like anyone can do anything of substance in this nation without being assertive, intelligent, and achievement-oriented?

But if we elect Hillary Clinton, our girls, my girls, all of the girls of this nation, can grow up in a country where a woman can be the President. The President. The President of the United States of America.

A woman.

That song and dance we were taught as little girls would be true. We could be anything we wanted to be. We could even be the President.

If that doesn't solidify my choice for President, I don't know what does.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Frantic Family

It's been a week since I've posted. The problem? Mary Alice describes it as Frantic Family Syndrome. I like the term very much and I've started sharing it with others as a way to describe what our family, and me in particular, is experiencing at the moment.

I was foolish to take on this nursing course that I'm taking. Foolish to add it when my hubby is still working as much as he is, my youngest is still only in school half-days, and when I'm as involved as I am in other things---my kids' school, our neighborhood, etc.

Next semester, I'm not taking any classes. I've recently decided that it just doesn't make sense, not when doing so makes our family in such a state of constant rushing craziness. We're always running late. The grocery shopping isn't getting done so we're eating a lot more convenience food and spending a lot more money. I'm skipping the gym in order to spend time studying. I'm chronically behind on the laundry which I cannot stand. I have no time to blog which I really can't stand, and well, I'm just wondering.....why?

If I were a single mom it might be a different story. But I have choices. I do not have to work. My husband makes enough money to comfortably support us and he's happy to have me holding down the fort if that's what I'm happy doing. I do not have to go back to school. If I was turning 41 next month (and I am!) and didn't yet have my bachelor's, I could see sort of frantically wanting to complete my schooling, but I already have a bachelors and a masters. I don't need to do this!

Unless, of course, I want to. If I'm passionate and motivated, then by all means, I should be following my dream. But right now, honestly, it's just not worth the hassle. And next year, I'm praying things will be calmer around here. First of all, my hubby will have hopefully landed that awesome job (or a similar one) which will allow him to be around more. Secondly, J will be in school full time---which (a) means I won't have to worry about childcare for her on the afternoons when I have class, and (b) means that I won't have to be commuting to their school three times each and every day. Not to mention the fact that this is my last semester to enjoy her in the afternoons. Sigh.

So there you have it. Convinced. Not taking classes next semester. Period. Glad we got that over with.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Danny's Song

Disclaimer: This post will remind you of those days, lounging on the floor in your family room, your body snuggled into that orange shag carpeting, pouring over the album lyrics to your favorite song, ooogling to your best girlfriend on the phone, about how the song lyrics so describe your teenage crush.

My husband and I have been together since the dawn of time. Literally since January of 1986. It all started so innocently. We had the world at our fingertips. We were young and in love. We got married in June of 1993.

"Now I smile and face the girl who shares my name. Now I'm through with the game. This boy will never be the same. And even though we ain't got money, I'm so in love with you honey, everything will bring a chain of love. And in the morning when I rise, you bring a tear of joy to my eyes and tell me, everything is gonna be alright."

In 1995, we made a decision that changed our lives. Since then, Dan's life has not really "been his own." That is to say, in order to follow his dream of becoming a doctor, he had to succumb, for 12 friggin' years, to the demands and requirements of someone else---teachers, preceptors, bosses. Those have been the years of medical school, residency, and now, a service obligation for a scholarship he received in medical school.

During these years, we had our babies.

"Now I see a family where there once was none. Now we've just begun. Yeah, we're gonna fly to the sun. And even though we ain't got money, I'm so in love with you honey, everything will bring a chain of love. And in the morning when I rise, you bring a tear of joy to my eyes and tell me, everything is gonna be alright."

An ongoing issue for us has been the amount of time this man works. He works a LOT. This week, for example, a typical week, he's putting in 90+ hours at work, not including his commute which is an hour each way. Some weeks are worse. Some are better, but not by much. He hasn't had a full weekend off since early August. And he won't have another one until late December.

The position he has now has been crazy. There is always a shortage of docs and there's always more work to be done. On Thursday, for example, my DH called me and told me he's been "asked" to be on three new committees. Three. At once. Additional work. Probably somewhere around 6 additional hours per month. Might not sound like a lot to some, but when you already work as much as he does, it's asking a lot. And he hates meetings. Despises them.

We argued. I insisted that he decline these lovely offers for additional work. He talked about how he really felt he had to accept and that really, it wouldn't be much additional work. I countered that he'd have less time for (a) family, (b) exercise, (c) sleep. The man gets no sleep! It was not a nice conversation.

We've argued about these same things many times. We've cried. We've yelled. We've loved. It's not been easy. But soon his service obligation will be over and he will be a "free agent." He'll be able to select a job on his own terms. There are a lot of decisions to be made. But the bottom line is always the same. We need more time together as a family. He needs to be home more. We want this badly. Very badly.

Later in the day after we had argued about his new committee responsibilities, he called me to tell me he was sorry we had argued and that he had some good news. He had a potential new job offer. He has to wait 8 months before he could take it, until the end of his service obligation, and I don't want to jinx it by talking about it, but let's just say it would let us stay put in this town we love, it'd be doing something he really loves, with the same benefits, more money, and for a guaranteed 7 shifts per month.

Seven shifts per month! That is still approximately 48 hours a week, but trust me, this is like never working compared to what he does right now. And for more money? And the same benefits? It's like a dream!

It was like he had called to tell me, "Everything is gonna be alright."

Afterwards, in the car (damn that satellite radio), I heard Danny's Song. At the time, I didn't know it was titled Danny's Song, which is pretty awesomely coincidental since my DH's name is Danny. And of course, I cried. What else is new?

"You bring a tear of joy to my eyes and tell me, everything is gonna be alright."

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Catching Up

Sometimes I feel like the friend who calls you and says, "Oh man, I'm late for my period. I hope I'm not pregnant." And then you never get a chance to call her and say, "Well, did you get your period yet?"

That is, I tell you things about my life, and then we have no chance to follow-up later. So, I'm doing that here.

(1) I've temporarily given up my quest for places to live in Chicago. I'm not feeling very homesick at the moment. Plus, DH has a potential job offer right here, an awesome job offer. Keep your fingers crossed, pray for us, all that jazz, please! We're going to Chicago for Christmas though, so my thoughts on staying put may change. We'll see.

(2) I still believe my friend was having an affair. I have good sources who have confirmed that she was. I am confident it is no longer happening because the guy in question moved to another state. She still has not told me the truth and I'm still very uncomfortable around her.

(3) O is doing much better in school. We've met with absolutely everyone at her school---counselor, OT, special ed director, both teachers, etc., and have developed a reward system to shape her behavior at school. It totally works! She seems to be thriving. You can read about that here, here, and here.

(4) Things are still not any better with the person who let us down as told about in this post. I've decided to move on and am relying on others for the support our family needs. This is easier said than done for my DH for reasons I will not specify here so he is still having a tough time with it.

(5) The worst day of my husband's career is still an ongoing issue. The mother of the stillborn child has chosen to sue the hospital where my dh works. Apparently, she had gone in on the weekend between her prenatal visits with a fever. My DH saw her on two consecutive Thursdays and in between she went into the ER complaining of a fever and was seen by a different physician. That night, her baby had a heartbeat. That was the last time her baby was known to be alive. Was there something the hospital staff could have done? We do not know. Now it is time for the attorneys to decide. Fortunately, my DH is not named in the lawsuit.

(6) I have solidified my choice for president. It was really a pretty easy decision and the way I have been leaning all along. I choose Hillary. I believe she has the best chance of getting it done in Washington. Obama is a bit too inexperienced and not quite politically astute enough to get the job done were he to be elected. He'd make an excellent VP and I wonder if either of their egos would allow that to happen? hmm.

(7) My class is going well. So far I have received an A on every exam despite having to memorize things like this, and having to overcome some serious obstacles like this.

(8) We still haven't purchased an iPod, but I have reason to believe Santa might be generous this year. You can read about my desire to have one here, and here.

(9) We took J to the doctor because her Poopy Mondays had begun to extend into other days of the week. The pediatrician believes J is suffering from constipation and of course wanted to prescribe medication. Ugh. Doctors! Fortunately, my DH, also a doctor, quickly suggested to her that we start with some diet changes first. Duh. The pediatrician agreed and now we're adding flax seed oil to everything and eating a lot of beans!

(10) I still have not figured out the problem with my Dyson. I have considered taking Marie's advice and forwarding my post to Dyson with the hope that they would send me a new one. I have yet to do that. I tried cleaning it as Mrs G. suggested but with no better luck. I am still loving the Bissell however and have since scrubbed every stitch of carpet in this place. My carpets are gorgeous! but not thanks to my precious Dyson. Sigh.

I think that catches us up. Let me know if there are things you are wondering about that I haven't addressed.

p.s. In case you were wondering, I'm not pregnant!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Ovarian Cancer

Another cop out from yours truly. But still. This is a very important message and I was moved to link to it here.

Please go over to Derfwad Manor and read Mrs. G's post on ovarian cancer. It could save your life. Or your sister's. Or your mom's. Or any other woman in your life.

Plus, I love her final comment---"Mrs. G. wants all her readers and their mothers, sisters, friends, to trust their intuitions, question their doctors, demand respect and, most of all, be well."

Well said, Mrs. G!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Garage Sale

My kids are pack rats. Ridiculous pack rats. They hate to get rid of anything. It can be 12 sizes too small. It can be torn to bits. It can be missing essential pieces. It can be something they haven't played with in years, and they do not want to get rid of it. O especially. She is terrible. I find what I would describe as bits of paper stuffed into the crannies of her room. She considers them treasures. It's hell on earth for a clean freak like myself, a person who regularly needs, needs, to purge.

I'm telling you. This is the longest we've ever lived in one place---2 years. Having moved every one to two years since I was 18 and am now 40, I am accustomed to cleaning out the closets very regularly. There's nary a dust bunny in hiding around here. I gave him away to Goodwill before he was even born.

So one day we decide, against my better judgement, to hold a garage sale. Stuff is piling up in the garage and instead of donating it all to Goodwill, my normal approach, we figure we'll try to get a little extra cash for it all because there's some good stuff in there---a baby jogger, baby backpack carriers, stuff like that, expensive stuff.

We decide to hold this garage sale early--very early in the morning before the kids wake up. We are blessed with children who sleep in when allowed to do so. We open up shop at 6:00am. We sell a host of stuff. The wooden highchair goes. Both baby backpack carriers go. The double jog stroller goes. Tons of baby clothes, cloth diapers, toys, it all goes. Some of the household crap goes too.

Then, around 8:00 am, the kids wake up. They charge outside and see what we're up to. Fortunately, most of the stuff has already gone. Unfortunately, only the crappy stuff remains--the stuffed animals, the Happy Meal toys, the stuff we really wanted to get rid of.

The girls freak. Literally freak out. They both start crying hysterically and grabbing their possessions and hauling it all back into the house. We mostly let them since we're still dealing with potential customers. But they are very upset. Very.

I pause for a moment to ponder what it must feel like to wake up and realize that someone is selling a bunch of your stuff without you knowing about it. Hmm. Probably wouldn't feel too nice.

The next day I realize the girls are playing a little too quietly and go to check on them. On their train table they have set out a bunch of stuff they hauled out of MY closet. My stuff. Out of my closet. My closet is off-limits without permission and they know it.

Me: "Girls! What are you doing?!"

Girls: "We're having a garage sale."

They're selling off my stuff.

I can't help but laugh.

Way to get back at mom!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Guilty....Once Again

Our new routine is that O's alarm clock goes off 10 minutes before she needs to get into the shower. We do this intentionally so that we can get 10 minutes of snuggle time in my bed before we need to get up.

As we snuggle in bed early this morning, O says the sweetest things to me.

As she says them, I alternate between....

saying to myself, "Remember this conversation so you can blog about it," and

saying to her, "Honey, please. Shhh. We only have a few more minutes to sleep."

And now, do I remember the conversation? No, I don't.

I only remember how I shushed her when I should have been enjoying her.

Enjoying her, dammit. It's going by so quickly. I should be enjoying her.

Why can't I remember that? I alternate between trying to remember so I can blog about it? and shushing her so I can sleep an extra 10 minutes? Are either of these good goals or intentions? No, they are not. Did I even acheive either of them anyway? No, I did not.

This is so pathetic I can't stand it.


Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Funniest Post

I am totally coping out here, but instead of writing my own post today, I'm sending you over to Bermuda Bluez.

This stuff is funny with a capital F.

I am seriously up at 2:43 am laughing so loud that I am going to wake up my family! I am crying all over my keyboard!

Check it out here.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Disappointing Dyson

I can't even believe I'm saying this because I love my Dyson.

I love my Dyson.

But we had an accident today and I realized my baby, my precious Dyson, wasn't adequately doing it's job.

The accident is pretty sick to describe so let's just say that it involved a dog that stole too much Halloween candy combined with this same dog accidentally getting locked into J's bedroom.

Yes, that. Gross.

I've been wanting one for awhile, so this morning, I bought myself a Bissell rug shampooer. It set me back $300 and it took me 80 minutes to put the damn thing together, but oh man, it was worth it.

It works amazingly well. Scrub, scrub, scrub. Suck, suck, suck and the next thing I know, the carpet is smelling and looking gorgeously clean. But the water contained inside that machine, oh my stars, gag reflex starting, it was disgusting. And we're not just talking about the uhm, dog's contribution. We're talking that water was filthy. Solid black. Plus, it contained a ton of dog hair, carpet fuzz, and who knows what else.

Why wasn't my Dyson picking this stuff up? or at least most of it? I had just vacuumed yesterday. Yet this black stuff, this fuzz, and hair, this was all sitting in my carpets?

Dyson, sweet Dyson, why have you let me down like this?


Thursday, November 1, 2007

Philanthropy Thursday

A former 2nd grader at our school has passed away.

Her name was Gema. She was in 2nd grade at our school last year and in April was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor.

This year, had she been well enough to attend school, she would have been in 3rd grade. She was a dear, sweet little girl with two older brothers who also attended our school. When she was diagnosed, the whole family moved to a larger city nearby so that she could receive better treatment for her cancer. She and her brothers were pulled from school. Our entire school prayed for her and her family.

Tuesday, she died.

She was 8 years old.

Not that it makes much difference, but today we donated to her family's account, The Gema Chavez Charitable Fund, so that her parents may better afford the funeral services.

Today, our principal said this when telling us about Gema's death---

"Life on earth with our family and friends is very precious. Please unconditionally love one another each and every moment, for we never know when we will no longer have the opportunity to be together."

I cannot think of a more important message.