Friday, July 30, 2004
What do I find comfort in?
I was thinking about that as I sat slowly rocking in the glider this afternoon. I holding my son who has just awakened from an afternoon nap. We sat quietly together for about 10 minutes. I had my legs on the ottoman. His bottom rested on my lap. His head rested on my left shoulder with his face away from me. He sucked contentedly on his pacifier with his left arm laying across my chest. His little hand came up next to my right ear and his fingers casually rubbed the tips of my hair. There was a sense of calm and a sense that that moment was just what he needed. I must need it too because I look forward to that few minutes each day.
I had another odd moment of peace today. There I stood next to the ironing board pressing my husband's button-down shirt. As I continued to spray starch and smooth out the wrinkles with each shirt I found that my mind was settled. My thoughts weren't racing endlessly from one topic to another. I wasn't making lists in my mind of what I needed to accomplish this weekend. I was focused on getting each shirt pressed as neatly as possible. I even have a specific order that I go through as I iron each shirt. The collar gets done first, then the shoulder areas, the cuffs come next, followed by the sleeves, and the body of the shirt gets done last. Each shirt goes through the same process. Then each shirt is buttoned up the same way. The second, fourth, and sixth buttons get done along with the collar. I think my mind finds a sense of comfort in the process. Each step is precise. I don't have to think about a lot of miscellaneous junk.
I must go through to a meditative state when I iron like I used to when I would run. I'm sure that other runners know what I'm talking about. Your mind goes blank. I would concentrate on my breathing. In-in-out. In-in-out. I would listen to my feet pounding against the ground. I would think about keeping my head up instead of looking at the ground as I swung my arms in a controlled manner. I'd look straight ahead like I was on a mission. I would run on a few busy streets and I never noticed the cars whizzing by me. It was like I was in a bubble. Writing this makes me think about how much I miss running and how I felt when I did it. That sense of quiet. That sense of accomplishment. That sense of comfort. Maybe I should get back into it?
What do you find comfort in? A song? A hug? A caramel macchiato? You might find like I did that comforting moments can be the smallest moments in your day but they do uplift your spirits in that snipet of time.
Thursday, July 29, 2004
Watching my children interact with each other is both beautiful and irritating. My daughter is on the verge of being four and my son is a very strong 18 month old.
When is it irritating? It's irritating when one wants to do whatever the other is doing and there's only ONE of that particular toy/book/block/whatever. Always a recipe for some sort of altercation -- generally kicking or hitting. It's irritating when my daughter throws items into her room because "It's my FAVORITE...." I know it's because she'd rather not have her little brother touch what she considers to be HERS. It's irritating when I'm working on the computer and they clamor onto my neatly made bed and toss all the blankets, pillows, and sheets off. It's irritating when they both want me to hold them at the same time. It's irritating when I've set down art supplies for them both and they want to draw on the SAME area of paper. It doesn't matter if I've given them separate sheets of paper or if I've put brown wrap that's about 2 ft x 2ft on the floor.
When is it beautiful? It's beautiful when I see them run to each other and hug so tightly that they loose their balance. Then I can hear my daughter trying to fall just so saying "I've got you. I've got you" to her baby brother and making sure he doesn't bump his head. It's beautiful when I watch them screaming like banshees while they run back and forth from the front door to the far bathroom doorway with HUGE smiles on their faces. It's their version of bump-n-chase. It's beautiful when we leave the house and my daughter holds my son's hand and they walk together to the edge of the parking area. It's beautiful when my son falls down my daughter will sometimes run to him and help him up and hug him and say "You're okay, you're okay" It's beautiful when we're in the car and I hand a snack bag to my daughter and she hands my son some if he reaches out to her. It's beautiful when they wrestle on the floor with each other giggling hysterically. It's beautiful when my daughter blows soap bubbles outside so that my son can chase and pop them. It's beautiful when she runs around looking for his sippy when she hears him coughing. It's beautiful when I'm busy and I tell her to check if her brother has a poopy diaper and she grabs him and sniffs his bottom!!!
I have to remind myself that I can't intervene each time the two are interacting with each other. They have to find their own balance in their relationship. But it's difficult when they grunt or cry at each other in frustration. When they start swinging or kicking at each other too. Oy! I guess I also have to find the balance as to when to come between them. Find the balance...find the balance....
Tuesday, July 27, 2004
Okay, nobody else in my household watches this stuff or seems to care so you all get to hear my comments on some of my current favorite summer shows. HA!
Family Plots - This is a hysterical show - even though it's basically situated in a mortuary. What's crazy is that I've driven by that particular mortuary and didn't even notice it. Now how did this family all end up at that mortuary? That's my basic question. I'm thinking that Shonna got there first and then gradually her two sisters and father got into the business. They've never really mentioned it but the family members definitely seem like they're originally from New York or some other east coast location. I can't stand Emily's husband - he seems like a jerk. Now I wonder where Emily takes her son to school that she has to drive SO far to get him there every school day. The break up between Melissa & Rick is fascinating. They were engaged two years and never moved in together? I never would have figured those two were even together. I find it interesting that Chuck & the girls' Mom both live in the same apartment building even though they're divorced and have an up and down relationship. What's funny is that the Mom's apartment is nicely decorated and then Chuck's looks like it's just a bedroom. But I do enjoy watching this show!!!
Airline - The folks they end up showing on here are too funny. Don't these people know they're going to be on tv? Most of them act like jerks thinking the airline needs to cater to them. People who show up right when the plane is supposed to take off are NOT getting on the plane. You're supposed to be there BEFORE the plane is scheduled to take off so that they can get everyone in and get the doors closed and all that. Then there are the folks who've had WAY too much alcohol. They think they're not intoxicated but their drawled speak and slow movements give it away. One memorable moment that I do recall is the lady and her 2nd husband who were dropping off her kids at the airport so they could spend the holidays with their father. The lady wanted to be able to have them all go down to the plane but the regulations were that only one parent was allowed to walk the kids. She kept on saying "But we want to be able to say good-bye since we won't see them for the holidays." Well if she'd stop running off at the mouth she could have been saying good-bye (or her current hubby could have been) and then one of them could have sent the kids off at the gateway. But NO...she had to waste time complaining up a storm! Oy!
Newlyweds - Jessica continues to baffle me. The things she says are ditzy but she's definitely making an impression on folks. She's got a Pizza Hut deal now based upon her "Buffalo Wings" comment. Most men over 30 years old now know who she is. She's recognized WAY more than she used to be -- it seems that she's outshining her hubby Nick though. I wonder how he feels about that? But he is definitely a nice man. I can't believe he puts up with all her complaining and being needy though. I mean, she doesn't know how to do laundry, she doesn't know how to clean, she doesn't know how to cook, and she doesn't take one minute to try to keep her clothes (pricey stuff too) clean and organized.
The Ashlee Simpson Show - I was offended last week when the morning guy,Clayton Morris, on The Daily Buzz (WB) said that he thought that Ashlee got "the short end of the gene pool" in her family. Well, she ain't Jessica! She's a younger more edgy person than her sister! Just because she doesn't have big boobs and dyed her hair dark doesn't mean she's not amazingly beautiful in her own right. I thought it was WRONG, WRONG, WRONG for Clayton to say that! Anyway, Ashlee is a little ditzy but she's young. Now how does she afford to live in that apartment? Oh yeah, she is on 7th Heaven! But then how are all her friends in that building? But I do like the songs she's written. I enjoy the fact that her style is very different from her sister. What concerns me that she thinks she needs to go on a diet? WHY? She's tiny! Someone better straighten her out before she becomes another Mary-Kate!
The Amazing Race - LOVE this season! I'm sad that the father/daughter team are out of the game. They lost due to one small error - not making sure they had their tickets before they left the ticket counter. Now if they hadn't been buying tickets for that other team than they would have been concentrating on what they were doing and not lost. I do NOT like Brandon and Nicole. They said they waited for Charla & Mirna but they did not! Liars! The cousins got sucked into the fact that the couple were Christians "God fearing" as Mirna called them. But that doesn't mean they are the best team to create an alliance with! Brandon & Nicole were looking out for themselves. I'm glad that the cousins are doing well. I don't care for the brothers either. Why they had to call Mirna a "bitch"...I don't know. The cousins got to the airline ticket counter first - fair & square! I thought it was too hysterical when the brother couldn't find the white chocolate center. Served them right to get last place!
Designed to Sell - $2000 and a week or so to get a place ready to sell. Now are most of the sellers doing "For Sale by Owner"? I would think this would be the case since the show holds the Open House for the sellers. I just enjoy watching these people's homes get a facelift. People live in their homes and just get used to how they look. It takes a fresh eye to make you see what things need to be changed. The objection I do have with this show is the $2k budget. They've got THREE skilled helpers doing most of the difficult work (electrical, carpentry, drywall) for the homeowners. For regular folks to get that kind of help would cost a lot more money...but how much more? So that's what I find to be unrealistic about the show...that you get these changes done with only $2000.
Sell this House - This is the show that HGTV copied to get Designed to Sell. Whereas Designed to Sell uses skilled laborers, Sell this House uses only the homeowners to get things straightened out. So it's more realistic of what homeowners can do to prepare to sell their home. This show really is more focused on freshening up the rooms with paint and moving furniture with "less is more" mantra echoing. I learned that you can take down wallpaper with clothing softener! Who knew? You still have to score the wallpaper but you take a sponge with the softener and just spread it all over and then scrap the wallpaper once it's loosened the paper. Additionally, this show films homes from all over so you get a variety of home styles and a variety of home issues.
So did you notice the trend? There are no comedies or dramas in the bunch. It's all reality based stuff. But I can only do certain reality shows. No Big Brother or the Bachelor for me! That's too much plain nastiness going on. I mean, people not being nice to others so they can WIN! Win, win, win! I know the Amazing Race is about winning but it's also about seeing how folks handle the traveling, handle each other, and about us viewers seeing parts of the world! Anyway, don't be surprised if you see more posts about my shows. Maybe it'll be a weekly thing...hmmm....
Monday, July 26, 2004
My immediate family....I've got 3 sisters. Yes! My dad ended up with four daughters and no sons. I guess his Y sperm just weren't fast enough! Ha! I'm the 3rd daughter out of the bunch. My oldest sister is almost 4 years older than me, my second sister is 28 months older than me, and my younger sister came in 12 years after me. That's right...TWELVE years after me. I was in seventh grade when my Mom got pregnant. How embarrassing is that? What's even more embarrassing that my best friend's MOm, who lived next door, was pregnant too (about 3 months ahead of my Mom)! So our two Moms with their pregnant tummies would be out between the houses chatting it up while us teenagers were outside.
Both my folks are still alive and still married to each other. They've been living in the same community for the last 30+ years. They're currently in their 3rd house in this community and have lived in it for about 20 years now. I'm trying to get them to move out here because the standard of living is lower than where they're living now. My Dad is retired and my Mom is still working but will be retiring soon. Living here would allow them to live comfortably and not have to worry about money. But I think they're going to follow my younger sister wherever she decides to live. Oy! My Mom is an energetic and kind lady. I could only dream of growing up to be like her. Growing up my Dad was the most strict person alive. I guess he thought he had to be with only daughters. He treated us like we were boys. We helped him with mowing the lawn, building a brick fence, planting trees and shrubs, and any other kind of yardwork he could think of. He didn't let us watch more than an hour of cartoons on Saturday mornings. He's let us watching any kind of sports on tv in the afternoons with him though -- track and boxing were his favorites. He's mellowed out with age but still shows his crabby side to my Mom and us girls. He adores the kids though and never shows them his icky side.
But having my younger sister was the best thing that could have happened to my parents. She's good to have around for us older sisters too because she keeps us "hip" to what's happening, you know? She's just finishing up her path through college and is looking for a job. She's currently interning at a place and hopes to make some good contacts so she can get the inside scoop on a job. She's still living with my folks & working that angle for ALL it's worth. She doesn't pay rent. She doesn't pay for food. Good deal, eh? But I do adore my younger sister. She's very generous with her time and with anything she has. She's good with all her nieces and nephews. When we have family get-togethers she's the one outside with all the kids playing with them. ALL the kids gravitate to her because she'll play board games or video games with them. This allows the rest of us to just hang out and talk so she's wonderful. I'm very close to her. She calls me at least once a week to talk. Usually she'll call when something interesting happens in her life. Sometimes it's a bother because it's usually about a boy but I'm just glad she feels that she can call me whenever to talk.
Now my second sister is a great lady. She is married and has three children of her own. She is the most like my Mom. Generous, kind, gentle, and pleasant with everyone around her. She's the steady middle child. When she was little she'd play quietly alone and not bother anyone. In high school, she was the ultimately female jock. She played volleyball, field hockey, and track. She lettered in all of these sports the first time she got into them. So not only is she kind but she's also tough as nails! She's one that never says NO to folks when they need a favor. Actually, both she and her hubby are that way. They live about 40 minutes away from my parents and about 20 minutes from my BILs parents, so they've got family close by. My parents have never had to help her with anything once she got married. They always rely on her when they need any kind of help.
Then there's my oldest sister who now lives in Florida. My oldest sister is what I'd call the "wild card" of our family. She ran away from home when she was 16 years old and soon married the guy she ran off with. The two are still married! She's been married for about 30+ years now and has three daughters and one granddaughter. Yes, she's continued the X-chromosome family trend. Her girls have all graduated from high school...so they're a lot older than the other kids in the family. They've always lived far away from us so she brought up her kids without much family interaction. Of all my sisters, she is the one I relate to the least. I never know what's going on her mind because she doesn't express herself to me (or to any of us really). She keeps herself to herself. I find that kind of sad because I know my other sisters SO well. But that's the way my oldest sister has wanted it and that's the way it is.
As for me? I'm married and have two kids. The Princess was born in 2000 and my Bear was born in 2003. We've lived in Arizona since 1996. The Hubs immediately family all live here so when we got married I knew we'd end up here. We live a couple hours drive from the Hubs' family and about 6 hours drive from my family.
Well that's a basic synopsis of me and my family. I'll write another entry on how I met and married my hubby along with how the kids came along. Hope you enjoy!
Princess/Prin: My daughter (13 years old)
Bear: My son (11 years old)
Mom and Dad: Enough said
EX-MIL and EX-FIL: The EX-Hubs parents (duh!)
Sis#1: My oldest sister who is 4 years older than me (also the black sheep of the family)
Rambo: Sis#1's husband
Tea: Sis#1 and Rambo's oldest daughter
Annie: Tea's daughter
Jane: Sis#1 and Rambo's middle daughter
Ray: Sis#1 and Rambo's youngest daughter
Sis#2: My older sister who is 28 months older than me
Jello: Sis#2's husband who I adore
Mickey: Sis#2 and Jello's oldest son
Kay: Sis#2 and Jello's middle daughter
Theo: Sis#2 and Jello's youngest son
LilSis: My younger sister who is 12 years younger than me
Shorty: LilSis husband
Alex: LilSis daughter
1. I was not born in the United States
2. I lived in Southern California about 25 years
3. I lived in the same suburb for about 23 years
4. I lived in Phoenix for 8 years
5. I now live in San Diego
6. If money was no object, I'd chose to live in Del Mar, CA
7. I had my first boyfriend in the 7th grade
8. I had my second boyfriend after I graduated from college!
9. I'm a work-a-holic
10. I'm a type-A personality
11. I've mainly worked in the field of accounting
12. For two years I did consulting and traveled between 50%-100% of the time (I racked up miles like there was no tomorrow!)
13. I am currently
14. I would work full-time if my parents lived close by
15. I love keeping a calendar of events so I know what's going on for the day/week/month/year
16. Each family member has a designated highlight color so we know who's got what for the day by just glancing at the date
17. I met my husband in 1993
18. I got engaged in 1995
19. I married in 1996
20. I had a miscarriage in Nov 1999
21. I had my Princess in Sep 2000
22. I had my Bear in Jan 2003
23. I was a size 2/4 when I met my husband
24. I am now a size 6/8--and I think I'm chunky! Yes....distorted self impression! That's me!
25. I gained about 55 pounds when I was pregnant with my Princess
26. I gained about 30 pounds when I had my Bear
27. I ended up with two Cesareans even though I tried for a vaginal both times
28. I can crack my knuckles, neck, ankles, and toes
29. I like to sleep on my right side
30. I snore when I'm really tired (or pregnant)
31. I don't let my kids watch Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, or Cartoon Network
32. I like to use lavender scented soap on the kids--makes them smell wonderful!
33. I like to take out the trash every night
34. I always put on my right shoe/sock/sandal on first
35. I always pull my parking brake all the way up when I get to my destination
36. I cannot drive a manual transmission
37. I'm terrible at backing up my car--never had the knack for it
38. I always lock my doors right when I get into the car
39. I never let my fuel tank get less than 1/4 full
40. My dream car is a Toyota Prius
45. I love to eat pumpkin scones from Starbucks all year round
46. I love clothes from the Gap & Lands' End -- I'm a t-shirt & jeans kind of girl
47. I hate going to the mall
48. Favorite reality shows:
49. Favorite Home shows:
50. Favorite Dramas:
51. Favorite Movies: When Harry Met Sally, Armageddon, Starship Troopers, You've Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle, Miss Congeniality, Princess Diaries
So do you feel you know me a little better? I'm weird, huh?
Sunday, July 25, 2004
On one day....
There was an article in either "Parents" or "Parenting" magazine about how Moms live with fantasy lives in their heads because they don't have a real outlet to express their deepest thoughts. Sounds like me! I can't talk to my sisters because they're far way. I can't talk to my ILs because they don't care. I can't talk to the kids because they don't understand. I can't talk to my hubby because he doesn't listen or seem to care what I talk about. He doesn't seem like he wants to have conversations with me. When he comes home he'll read the paper immediately after dinner--rather than wait until the kids are in bed. He'll sit & watch "Wild Discovery" while he's eating--rather than sit/stand with us in the kitchen. Why can't he eat with us in the kitchen, play with the kdis until bedtime, take a shower, & then sit & relax with me...& talk & read the paper? Too hard? The other day he told me he'd be home by 5:30pm. Well, he didn't appear until after 6pm. By the time he appeared I had fed the kids, cleaned them up, washed the dishes & highchair, & swept the floor. They were both playing when he came in. He didn't even bother to call to tell me he'd be so late. When he "cleans" after dinner he'll wash the dishes & thinks he's done a great job. What about wiping off the counters & placemats with cleanser? What about rinsing out the dish bucket & sink? Oy! It makes me wonder if he realies the difference betwen when he cleans versus when I clean up.
A week later...
I find it odd that my life is what it is. I feel like a fraction of the person I used to be. I've just got me here to support & amuse myself. No real girlfriends to hang out with. I can only talk about the small details of my day & my hubby is not interested in hearing anything about that. He could live his days not talking to anyone. But me? I need human/adult interaction! You cannot imagine how lonely I feel. How isolated I am. No wonder I bitch about the small things in my life. I've got nothing to do but ponder on those things. I've got nothing to look forward to. No time away from my life. The daily grind of being home with the kids & no one to really talk to. You know what? It makes me want to scream at the top of my lungs....but if I start to scream I fear that I won't be able to stop. So I scream silently in my head for fear of becoming crazy or appearing crazy. How pathetic & sad does that sound? I used to be ALIVE. I mean, I had a bunch of friends. I was physically in shape. I had a good job. I had a quiet yet fun existence. But now? No one hears me. No one cares to hear me. I have no allies near me. I'm fat. I'm lonely. My heart is sad. These are the thoughts that women keep inside their heads. I wander aimlessly through my days in hopes of finding....finding what? Someone to truly care about me. Some understanding. Hope....
My husband sure doesn't seem interested in hearing about what I'm thinking lately. All he cares about is if he's got clean clothes to wear and something to eat. He doesn't seem to care that he's not nurturing our relationship. He is so distant. He's one of those that doesn't need to talk to a soul all day long. But me? I need adult interaction! I need to talk to someone! Maybe that's why I'm so friendly with folks when the kids and I are out and about. I'm craving adult conversation. My husband doesn't seem to get it! Being at home with a 3 and 1 year old can make anyone want time with adults.
Let me say that I never aspired to be a Mom. I didn't! I'll admit it. I never thought I'd be married...let alone have two children. I thought I'd be one of those single overworked professionals. I come from a workaholic family so that was fine with me. I was a touchy feely kid. I'm a typical Type-A personality. It was good for me in the business world too. I was straight forward and direct. I got the job done. When I was working I had tons of friends at work too. Yes, I did my work but I made time to nurture friendships. I would gladly befriend anyone who tried their best at work. For those who didn't pull their weight??? They'd better not have to work with me!
But now I'm a Mom and I try to keep my kids happy. They're at that age when the older one doesn't want to have anything to do with the younger one. Every day there's some hitting and crying and kicking and pulling. But then there's the hugging and the cuddling and the kissing. It's up and down every day. And I try to keep an even keel which is difficult. So when my hubby comes home I want to chat. But what have I got to chat about? The kids... the errands we've done... the food we've eaten... nothing exciting! But he could at least try to be interested in what I've got to say. Shouldn't he?