Tuesday, August 26, 2008

It gave me a warm feeling inside

Today I went to pick up the kids like any other day. It was 'club' day so I got them at 4pm (versus 2:45pm). The Bear is in the "Cooking Club" and the Princess is in the "Art Club". They are both LOVING it.

I peeked in the Princess room to let her know I was there so she could wrap things up. I then headed out back to where I knew the Bear's group would be. After this group finishes "cooking", they head out to the playground and run around. The group consists of kindergarten through second graders and they LOVE to run around.

Anyway, the Bear was preoccupied, so I sat with the teacher for a few minutes. It was Ms. M -- the Princess' current 3rd grade teacher. Ms. M just moved up to the 3rd grade this year after teaching the kindergarten classes for about 4 years. So this is the second time around for the Princess with Ms. M, who is a fabulous lady. So she knows me and the Princess....and is now getting to know the Bear.

Ms. M: You know what?
Ms. M:
Your kids are so....[grasping for words]
Ms. M:
No. Not that. They're so self-assured.
You think?
Ms. M:
Yes. When other kids are not listening or getting into things, your kids aren't phased by it. They just continue with what they're doing.
Ms. M:
Yes. It's refreshing. You and your husband must make them feel so secure and give them lots of encouragement at home.
We try our best.

So I got a compliment! From a teacher! But I think it's really that my kids are just good kids. They both love learning. It's them. Not me. But it was nice to hear some positive feedback on them. My little ones.

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Dressing up and being goofy

It's only August and my kids are already getting riled up about Halloween. Yes. HALLOWEEN!

Yesterday, we received a catalog filled with costumes. I've asked the kids to select their two most favorite costumes.

My son has looked through that catalog a couple times. He has let me know that he wants to be either the Black Power Ranger (versus the Red Power Ranger from last year) OR Zorro.

My daughter? She's looked at it at least a dozen times. And she's changed her mind about a dozen times. Yes. She's very wishy-washy about what exactly she wants to be. A couple things she's selected are a witch, Batgirl, and the latest choice is a cowgirl. I'm sure she'll change her mind a few more times. It's just so funny though. She keeps coming up to me with the catalog and pointing out costumes. She can't decide. Typical girl!

Who knows what she'll end up being once October rolls around...

Monday, August 18, 2008

Making me shake my head

Here's a conversation that happened this morning.

Hubs: Babe? You want the boxtop on that?
Of course I do.

I stand still and spin around the kitchen looking for a box that has a boxtop. I'm confused because I don't see a box that would have a boxtop. The Hubs notices my twirling about and points.

Hubs: THAT box. Right THERE! [in an irritated voice]

I look to where he's pointing. It's a cereal box. Okay. It's a brand that does NOT have a boxtop. Y'all know that only certain ceral manufacturers put a boxtop label on top. This brand -- the big K -- does not.

I grab the box. It's empty. And I look at the top of the box. Then I throw the box into our recycle bin.

Me: [I walk away and mumble to myself] It's called a boxtop because it's on TOP of the box. It's easy to see. And obviously that box didn't have one.

Passive aggressive. Yes. Frustrated. Yes.

I mean, he's got 20-20 vision. I mean, he's got an MBA. He couldn't look at the top of the box and see that there was no boxtop on the container? He took the time to take out internal bag from the box and throw that in the trash. He couldn't take that extra second to check for the boxtop?


After that he got ready for work and didn't talk to me. Huh? What? Whatever!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

No kicking and fighting to mention

Alas....there were no fights that I need to let you know about at the shower. None.

I'm wondering if the Hubs called his Mom/Sister to make sure they didn't say anything around me. Hmmm... I don't want to ask him about it but he might have called them.

It was a nice event. It started late though. My FIL was picking up the food (by himself) and arrived about 1/2 after the party started. Now why my FIL was alone to pick up a ton of food? I don't know. But we all milled around and talked. The kids and the Hubs hung out during that time because they were going to head out with my BIL and my FIL to some game place. This gave my MIL time to introduce the kids around to all the ladies at the party.

I caught up with the Hubs' aunts (from my FIL's side of the clan). Found out what was happening with the Hubs' younger cousin. She's a chiropractor and is a very nice girl. I had a nice discussion with my SIL's (the pregnant one & married-in one) SIL. Touched base with my MIL's childhood friend, whose son is a professional wrestler. Did you notice I talked to a bunch of people and NOT to my SIL or MIL? Strategic avoidance?

The kids, the Hubs, my BIL and FIL showed up soon after the festivities were over. They ate some of the leftovers from lunch (enchiladas, tacos, refried beans, rice, etc). The kids, of course, spotted the cupcakes straight away. It was too funny. They both ended up with either blue or green lips because of the frosting. Too cute.

I started cleaning after the kids got situated with food. I can't help it. I'm not the host, but I didn't want her to have to clean-up everything on her own. I just started grabbing plastic cups, dumping their contents, and putting them into the trash. I then went around and checked for "warm" soda cans, dumping those, and throwing those in recycle. I picked up abandoned plates and dumped those. By this time, the hostess (best friend of my pregnant SIL) was emptying the trashcans. When she left to take the bags outside, I relined her trashcans. Then I put all the leftover food onto one counter and helped a couple ladies make takeaway plates. Yes. I tried to do my part. Cleaning up after a party is NOT the most enjoyable task. And I know that I accept any help -- especially those folks that just clean up rather than waiting to be asked to help.

Here's my one snarky bit...My MIL did help clean up. She had my FIL empty out the two coolers that she had brought. She had him empty those and put them into their truck. She wanted to be sure she remembered those because she borrowed those from her work. And she kept on repeating this as my FIL did everything. My MIL did not lift a finger. She didn't help clean anything else other than those two coolers. And she was one of the co-hosts of the party.

Anyway, I survived the party without starting a brawl. The kids had fun at the video-archade place with their Grandpa and Uncle (and their Daddy). My pregnant SIL got a ton of stuff for her little bundle of joy. It was a good day. Fun for all.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A lesson learned

As he walked away from her, she wanted to yell at the top of her voice.

I love you! Don’t be mad. I do love you.

But the words didn’t come out. The words repeated in her head. She silently screamed the words to herself in her mind. Over and over again.

I love you. Don’t be mad. I do love you.

He couldn’t hear her silent screams. He couldn’t feel her pain. He couldn’t feel that she was dying inside. He felt pain of his own. The pain of being rejected. He continued to walk away. Angry at her. Angry at her rejection.

All she wanted was to feel safe. With him. To be safe in his arms. He was her first real love. But that was over. She had ended it. And now they were both dealing with her decision. Her decision to end their relationship.

The two had only officially been a couple for 4 months. But they were interested in each other for over a year before they made it official. They made each other happy just being together. They were private about showing their affection. In a crowd, they’d stand close together. They wouldn’t fawn over each other. She was so painfully shy. Holding hands. Talking. Laughing. They loved to laugh together.

But then it was over. Like a flash in his eyes. And she knew she’d hurt him. But she only did it because she wanted more for him. He was a popular guy. She knew other girls were interested in him. She wanted him find someone who could be with him more. Go out at night. Hang out after school. Someone who wasn’t shy to show their affection in front of others. He deserved more than what she could give him.

What solidified the decision for her was what happened at home. The drama in her own home.

You see, the day before her older sister had run away from home. Her sister also took some of the Christmas gifts they’d all received the month before. Her sister had run away with her boyfriend and taken the family’s extra car with her.

So this was the main reason for the breakup. Her sister had run away with her boyfriend. Her parents were understandably upset. How much more traumatized would her parents be if they found out that she had a boyfriend? She didn’t want to find out. Also, she knew that her father would be even MORE strict because of her sister. She’d NEVER get to see him.

Therefore, she felt that she was doing what was best for everyone around her. Alleviating any undue stress her relationship would cause her parents in their already tension-filled home. Freeing the boy she loved from being bound to her so that he could find someone else. She felt like she was being a good person by what she was doing. She was keeping the peace. She was taking the burden of being unhappy upon herself. So that no one else would get hurt. Granted, he was hurt now. But he could find someone else easily.

His anger lingered for some time. And she couldn’t escape him. They had a class together. Thankfully, they didn’t have assigned seats so they weren’t trapped next to each other. But she was always within hearing distance. She could hear the angry words he spoke to one of his buddies. She stayed still. Never saying an unkind word back to him. Trying to keep to herself. One day it was all too much in that class. She could feel the emotions begin to bubble over. Luckily, the teacher excused her. And she made it to the bathroom and cried. And cried. Hot tears of pain. Angry tears. Lonely tears. Then she composed herself and walked back into class and quietly sat down.

Her parents searched. No matter where they looked, the parents couldn’t find their daughter or the boyfriend. Her father tightened the rules. Her mother was depressed and having migraines and cried a million tears. It was like walking on pins and needles at home. And she had let go of the best thing in her life.

Her heart would break a little each time she saw him. Because she knew how much she’d hurt him. And because she still loved him. The love that she felt was locked up inside her. Keeping her warm. Keeping her strong. Helping her remember of those few golden months of pure happiness. Moments that she couldn’t get back to. But only cherish in her mind.

Time did march on. Her sister reappeared for a moment over a year and a half after she left. Her sister came back with her boyfriend, who was now her husband, and their baby. They had selfishly left and started their lives. Yes. Time did march on.

And the girl? Nothing was ever the same for her and that boy. The two ended up being cordial with each other. They never returned to any kind of close relationship, though she yearned for it dearly. Yes. She still loved him through it all. Remember her love for him was locked deep inside her heart.

But she did learn from the experience. That she could make tough decisions, even at the expense of her own happiness. She learned that she could make sacrifices in her life to make the lives of others easier. Even when they didn’t realize she was doing it. She turned into the good girl. Smiling. Laughing. Living within the rules. Trying not to be selfish. Keeping her dreams within the realm of reality. Never really reaching for those stars.

And her hope? Is that her children will never have to sacrifice their dreams. She’ll do whatever it takes so that they don’t have to do what she did. That THEY will always reach for the stars.

This makes me sad for all involved

The County Attorney's office wants to try a 14-year-old boy, accused of abusing his infant son, as an adult. 14-year-old boy is facing several child abuse charges.

According to court records, 14-year-old boy told authorities he shook the 7-week-old baby and struck the baby's head on a car seat handle, causing two skull fractures.

The infant had been at his maternal grandmother's home, where his 14-year-old mother lives. Local police said the baby boy was at home with his mom and dad when he reportedly became unresponsive.

Police said medical treatment revealed the boy had sustained non-accidental old and new fractures. Detectives learned that the baby was in the immediate care of his father, while his mother was tending to household tasks. Both parents denied knowing about previous injuries, but police say an extensive investigation revealed that his dad had caused them.

14-year-old boy has been charged with five counts of child abuse. There is no word on the condition of the baby. Relatives say the baby will be placed in a foster home upon release from the hospital.


I can't believe that this happened. But it did. This baby's parents are both 14-years-old. Where the heck were the parents of the two 14-year-olds when this happened? Where? And why is the baby going to be placed in foster care rather than being taken care of by family? The comment was given by relatives so I don't see why they care take care of the baby. [shaking head] This kind of thing really confuses me. Why do people have babies when they obviously can't take care of them? PROVIDE a safe place for them? Give the babies a good life? Make decisions for their baby instead of thinking only of themselvs? Makes me confused...totally confused.

Ba-boom, boom, boom...

Last night when the Hubs and I decided to go to bed, we checked the weather channel. We had just heard some thunder rumbling and wanted to see if the storm was headed our way. Uh...yeah...

Supposedly the storm would have hail up to 3/4" in diameter with gusts reaching up to 60 mph. What? Where? How much?

Thankfully, I think we got the rim of the storm. But gad-zooks! We so got our share of the lightening and thunder along with a bit of rain. It was kind of humid and muggy all yesterday so for it to finally rain will hopefully bring some relief.

Anyway, trying to fall asleep with the intermittent thunder was quite a feat. But I did it. What I was anxious about was if the kids woke up due to the thunder. You know that feeling? Like you want to be fully capable of comforting their fear? But no. Neither one woke up. AT. ALL.

Me? I did end up waking up in that drowsy stupor a handful of times, but was able to fall back asleep. That didn't prevent me from waking up at 4:30am though. Yes. 4:30 in the freaking morning.I went up and checked on the kids. The Princess was snoring away. The Bear was at the edge of his bed with his legs hanging off. I rolled him back into the middle.

What're you doing here?
I'm just rolling you back in bed.

The kid fell right back to sleep in the next breath. Kids. Go figure.

And here I am at 5:36am writing an entry. Ho-hum! The Hubs should be getting out of bed soon. I'll be able to make some noise in the kitchen and get my coffee then. I don't like to muck around in the kitchen when he's sleeping. Our room is about 15 feet from the kitchen, so the noise travels. Yes. Even when the door is closed.

Anyway, what do you have planned for today? I've got work. But I do plan on making the Princess a 'hot' lunch this morning. Ravioli! She'll also be getting some spinach & shredded cheese with Italian dressing to complete her lunch. Then there's the strawberries & granola bar for her snacks. Yummy, yummy in the tummy! The Bear? He likes to just have a sandwich. He only wants the basics. Nothing fancy or complicated. By the way, the Lock-n-Locks are working fantastic. The kids don't have any problems with them.


UPDATED @ 6:15am --- the storm last night definitely cooled us down. It's currently only 71 degrees. And the high today will only be 94 degrees! [doing the happy dance] Yes. That's cooler for us. When I was getting into my car in the garage yesterday at 2:30pm to pick up the kids from school, my car said it was 97 degrees. INSIDE MY CAR that was INSIDE my GARAGE! So for it to only be 94 degrees today? It's a big deal. Cooler weather might just be around the corner. Cooler. Yes. That would be a welcome relief. A high of 75? THAT would be fabulous!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Forced family fun


This Saturday is a Baby Shower. A baby shower for one of my SIL's. Not the Hubs' sister. It's the Hubs' brother's wife. A married-in gal. Someone just like me. I adore her not just because she's a married-in like me. I adore her because she's a wonderful lady.

When my BIL and my SIL got married, they told everyone they did not want a family. They've been married about 5 years now? And they are expecting a baby in October. Yes. People do change their minds sometimes about having kids.

Anyway, this Saturday is their baby shower. I RSVP'd about 4 weeks ago and put "4" down. That would be me. The Hubs. The Princess. The Bear. I thought it was a family event. I found out this weekend that it's only for the girls. That means me and the Princess. Uh, what? When the Princess found out the Bear and the Hubs would be going out to a kids' activity place (with video games and stuff), she did NOT want to go to the shower. She wants to do some fun stuff with her Daddy and her brother. [sigh] So? This leaves me alone. Alone to attend the baby shower.


So I am going to be all by myself at the shower. The only people I'll know is my BIL's wife, my MIL, and my SIL. I know that my BIL's wife is going to be surrounded by all her family and her friends. I'll only know my MIL and my SIL. If I play my cards right I can avoid them. But DANG IT! [sigh]

If my SIL starts making crude remarks about my BIL's wife, then I'm going to call her on it. My SIL always makes her opinions known. Even when she's never been the same type of situation. What am I going to be prepared for?

Wow. She really got fat!

Negative stuff about my BIL's wife and how she looks during her pregnancy. I know that my SIL and my MIL talked about how big I got during my first prenancy. I gained like 55 pounds with my first. Only about 30 with my second. But I did get big with the Princess. Why? Because I ate a lot. But it's my business. And I know that they talked about me. How? Because they talk about EVERY SINGLE family member who has been pregnant. Seriously.

So if I hear any of that on Saturday? I'm going to call my SIL on it.

When YOU become pregnant, if that ever happens, then we'll see how your body reacts to being pregnant.

When YOU become a parent, then you tell me what your opinion is on the matter.

I told the Hubs that I was going to do this if I heard his sister or his Mom say nasty things. I just can't take it anymore. Can't. So this forced bit of family fun may turn into a REALITY check for them. A sense of release for me. I can't wait now!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Got a package in the mail

The UPS delivery guy dropped off my 1st order of Lock-n-Lock containers yesterday. The sizes are exactly what I was hoping for. I got a variety pack that has two containers in 3 different rectangular sized configurations. The two larger configurations have pull-out dividers. I’ll able to pack more variety into the kids’ lunches. I know that the Princess is looking forward to using these containers.

Do you see the divided sections in the photo? Her cold stuff and room temperature stuff can all be put into the same container. Todays lunch consists of: whole wheat crackers, sliced cheese, roast beef, mustard packet (from restaurant), nectarines, grapes, and some blue corn chips. Then, she’ll have a drinking yogurt and granola bar for her two snacks. YUM!

I’m planning on making some pasta salad this weekend, so I’ll probably include that on Monday. Then I know she likes carrots & spinach, so those will make an appearance. I’ll add a grape tomatoes into that bit in the hopes that she’ll just eat them. She’s not a fan of tomatoes, even though she adores spaghetti sauce and pizza sauce. Anyone else have a kid like this? But what I heard about this brand of containers is that they don't leak if you've got more liquidy stuff like sauces (for spaghetti) or dressing (Italian/Ranch).

Now what am I going to do about her hot lunches? I’m going to continue to use the wide-mouth thermos. This week she’s taken leftover lasagna and spaghetti/meatballs to school. I got some pre-made ravioli, so those will get tested next week. When it starts to get really cold, I’ll add some soup into the rotation. I know that she likes steamed rice with fried slices of Spam, but I’m not sure if she wants to have that for lunch. I’ll ask her. Yes. She likes Spam. People, she’s half Filipino so odds are she does.

Oh yeah? Did you happen to see the new Lock-n-Lock kids’ containers that were on QVC? It was a 4-pack of containers with a water bottle in either blue or pink. Each container has 5 sections – kind of in the shape of those much larger school lunch trays. Very cutesy, don't you think?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

You'd think I'd be posting more...

TI mean seriously. You think I would be posting more now that both kids are in school. But NO! I've been tackling huge projects at work. Cleaning up messes that previous employees created by not following proper steps. Creating ad hoc reports for people who need to research. Changing instructions because "someone" wants steps modified. OY!

So I've been out of touch...but you're not out of my mind. I dream about the 'free' time I was supposed to have when the kids got into school. But alas, that dream has yet to come into fruition. [sigh]

And what's crazy? Is that I kind of got some pushback from the higher ups about my timesheet from last month. Do they realize how MUCH I did last month? Seriously pisses me off that they'd question it. If they want to know the details of what I did? I've got the lists of the tasks I accomplished. The accounts I added. The accounts I updated. The accounts I archived. I am doing my job. How about they focus on the other people that aren't doing theirs? I can name two that are holding me up from doing what I need to do. [sigh yet again] But I'm not a tattle-tale, so they're going to have to figure this out for themselves.

This month? I am going to be anal about keeping a summary list of the tasks I'm completing. Last night I actually created a spreadsheet. I'll be able to log in the number of hours I'm spending on each basic task. HA! They want details? They are going to get the freaking details.

But y'all? Even though I've been crazy busy, I've been able to cook up some nice dinners this week. Yummy stuff. I'm trying to make some healthier meals. I've created some nice salads too. And the Bear? He totally loves spinach with Italian dressing. The Princess loves the crunchy carrots in conjunction with the spinach. The Hubs? Not so much of a salad person, but he did pick off some leaves off my plate. Tiny steps. tiny. steps. Tonight? I've got all my meatloaf supplies ready (recipe courtesy of Mandajuice). It'll be yummy tonight and yummy tomorrow for lunch.

And how has YOUR week been? Busy? Crazy?

Monday, August 4, 2008

The first day of many...

We survived the first day of school!

The kids got ready lickety-split. I thought they'd drag like molasses, but no... We woke them at 6am and they were dressed, fed, and clean by 6:30am. HUH? That's what I was thinking. So we kicked back for a bit. Relaxed and all. School started at 8am.

I was able to take a ton of before school photos. Then I dropped them off at their classrooms. I was gone by 8:45am.

Afterwards? They were still all smiles. Yes. It was a good day to start school.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

What I got the kids for school

Before school starts each year, I get my daughter a new backpack. For the past 3 years, each new backpack has lasted the entire school year.

A simple feat? No. It's an amazing accomplishment really. You parents of elementary school kids know the ABUSE that these backpacks go through. A backpack is something every school-aged kid uses 5 days a week. Thrown in a heap on the ground. Dragged through dirt. Keeping their papers safe and sound in the rain (and snow if you're in a cold climate). A very essential piece of 'equipment'.

When the Princess started school, I opted to buy a basic backpack from my favorite online merchant. It outlasted the lunchbox I purchased from a local store. I actually had to replace the lunchbox twice while the backpack continued through the year. Sturdy thing it was. The Princess continued to use it through summer for the 2 weeks of daycamp. She actually could have used it for the start of 1st grade, but we started that school year with another new one.

So as we begin the start of 3rd for the Princess and kindergarten for the Bear, I purchased new packs. I again purchased items from that same merchant. This year? I got the kids a lighter model. Apparently, this pack is 15% lighter than the basic backpack they sell. And with my little ones? I might as well get ones that weigh less. What I like is that there are TWO side mesh pockets for water bottles or other easy access snacks. And the front has bungy cords where the kids can slip their jackets into. NICE features. Some might say that these backpacks are expensive. But in my own experience these last and last. I'd rather purchase one sturdy backpack that lasts 9.5 months than have to replace it two times during the schoolyear. You know? More environmentally friendly I'd say.

My next tiny environmental move is to purchase some small reusable plastic containers. Yes. They're plastic, but they're sturdy. If I used those little zip bags every day for the kids' food then I'd have a TON of guilt. But with these tiny reusable containers I'll have less guilt. I was going to purchase those Bento boxes but I didn't feel the need to go that route. The containers I found will suffice. I've got 6 square-shaped sandwich boxes and about 6 smaller containers. All I need to do each night is wash these out and repack them in the morning.

I know that the Princess will be interested in different foods other than sandwiches. So I'm going to pack her almonds, peanuts, grapes, strawberries, nectarines, cheese slices, cheese sticks, crackers, yogurt -- basically homemade lunchables. She loves variety and this way I can pack stuff knowing it's not going to leak out. I'm sure the Bear will opt for a safe sandwich (cheese or PB&J) every day with Sun chips & fruit. The containers will make sure his stuff doesn't get smashed and soggy. YEAH!

And of course we've already got our reusable water bottles. We've been using these for at least 4 years. Of course, the kids have SIGG bottles versus the hard plastic bottles. The Hubs and I still use the hard plastic ones though. No sense in getting rid of them. We only use them when we go out for a long walk during the summer or if we're traveling.

Now are you getting ready for school? Have you put any thought into how YOU are going to make small changes? Choices that are more environmentally friendly?

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Keeping our heads down

Today we're staying inside the house pretty much all day. We're hiding out.


Yes. The entire family is hiding out.


Because the Neighbor-Across-The-Street (NATS) is having a party. A big party. His 50th birthday party. It's an island themed party with foo-foo-fruity drinks and island inspired food. NATS invited his entire family AND the entire neighborhood. He invited over 120 people! And it's an invitation that we declined. By the time I looked at the E-VITE online, there were 70 people that were going to attend the party. Needless to say, our family said we would not be attending.

You see, the party is happening at NATS house, which is less than 2300 square feet. And the backyard is now mainly taken up by the pool that they put in this year. I mean, there's maybe 10% of the backyard that isn't taken up by the pool and equipment. And I've been to NATS house when there's no one there...and people it's chock full of furniture. And two nervous dogs. I have no idea HOW those 70+ people are going to fit in that house.

And me? I don't like crowded places. I don't. So that's why the kids, the Hubs, and I are keeping a low profile today. Watching movies. Coloring. Just being together.