February 24, 2010

I get around

I could only do so many posts in a row starting with the letter "S"!

I am in Dallas now - Irving to be precise. I have more work travel in March though I did bow out of a trip to D.C. because I felt like it was too much plus I have my darn school paper due soon. I don't mind traveling at all, I actually enjoy it. The only part I don't enjoy is leaving the kids and sometimes their having to miss things like a practice or event. They're good kids and have many privileges so I think they'll be okay. We'll see what their therapy bill looks like in the future. I was seated in first class today next to a nice gentleman from TX. He works in an oil field in Minot, North Dakota. I didn't know there was oil there! I guess it's huge and people who had farmed the land for years are now getting six figure paychecks - monthly. I'm glad someone is. We exchanged stories about some of the places we've traveled. Turns out he lived in New Mexico for awhile and went to grade school in the same town where my mom lived several years ago (Placitas). He'd even heard of this amazing outdoor spa my mom took me to called Ojo Caliente. I'm thinking not many people can say they've soaked in arsenic! Well, off to dinner. I bowed out of a whirlyball invitation - I am challenged enough without adding driving while trying to shoot a whiffleball to my list of humiliations - I don't get around THAT much.

February 20, 2010


This describes how I feel and the economy. Warning: it's me Debbie Downer again.

I just looked up our home value for "fun" and it's gone down $120k since we bought our house four years ago. We owe almost exactly what it's worth! I cried a little. How is this possible? When will things turn around? What will it take? Is it another stimulus package? Is it something else? I don't know. What I do know is that I bear some responsibility in the current financial crisis. I am guilty of living beyond my means. Did you know that as of 2007 it would take the average American household 240 years of savings to pay back what they owe on their homes, cars, credit cards and all other debts, large or small. Holy shit! My stomach is upset.

February 19, 2010

Sweet Home Alabama

I just returned home from a whirlwind work trip to Birmingham, AL. I didn't see much since I was only there from 11pm last night to 3pm today, but I liked what I saw. I stayed at this hotel - very nice! Did you know the northern part of AL includes the tail end of the Smoky/Appalachian Mountains?

February 17, 2010


Have you ever noticed that relationships go through "seasons"? Summer - the passion of new love or making up. The breeziness of fall where it's still warm with a slight chill in the air - something's gnawing at you but you know this too shall pass. The bitter cold of winter with cruel words, lonely aches and burning tears. The warmth of spring - hope springs eternal and you feel like anything is possible together. I'm not suggesting this is a sequential cycle - that you must have a winter or that each season lasts beyond a few moments or days at a time. I've just noticed in my own marriage there's a tide that ebbs and flows and sometimes these are more pronounced than others. We are very definitely in a long winter season at my home - literally and figuratively. I often feel like I am walking uphill alone with a freezing wind trying to push me down.

I have a sheet posted on my wall at work. I don't recall where I got this - I typed it up from some source and it hangs above my phone for me to ponder whenever I have a few moments.

Secrets to a Healthy Realtionship
author unknown

I can only change me
You alone are responsible for your own happiness
Smile - share your happiness with others
Communicate - be straightforward and direct, saying what you mean
Keep an open mind - trust other's have your best interests at heart
Listen - seek to understand another's point of view
Be thoughtful - reach a conclusion after considering choices
Be tactful - remember the way you say something can be more significant than what you say
Stress is a choice - choose your response
Don't blame - be personally accountable, asking "what can I do to make a difference?"
Don't hold grudges - don't let past negative experiences or disagreements interfere with the present ("kitchen sinking")
Forgive - don't punish for past actions

So in this winter season, I am mindful that changes are not always bad though they are changes nonetheless which can be discomforting. And I try to take the "high road" - with hubby and myself - using these secrets as my guide.

February 15, 2010

Sassy Sixteen

Where has the time gone? It's impossible that you are sixteen today! It seems like I blinked and you grew from two to seven, blink again to eleven and now out of nowhere you are sixteen. My heart can't take it - I'm in total denial.

You were the absolute best baby save for a couple early days when your tummy was so upset you cried violently for hours. We thought you had colic and I thought I'd made a horrible mistake - I wasn't motherhood material. Thank goodness for soy formula. You were the easiest kid - I totally lucked out - happy and sweet 99.9% of the time. Seriously. You loved your Sami cat - she slept wrapped around your head and you'd drag her all over the house. When you started eating solid food, for some reason you kept trying to stick it in your ears. Very frustrating, not to mention very messy! You didn't start walking until 15 months - in no hurry to get to the next stage. You were bald until age two and instead of terrible twos you had moody threes. Every now and then you'd wake up on the wrong side of the bed and be very quiet with a sourpuss face for most of the day.

Speaking of waking up, it was not your forte until your little brother arrived. I used to start waking you up at least a half hour before we had to be out the door. I'd begin with a lilting "rise and shine". A few minutes later I'd turn on some music. A little more time and the lights came on. If you weren't up after that, you'd get one more cheery, "good morning sunshine" before I had to pull the covers back and drag you out.

At age two you had a terrible accident. In a split second you moved a gate, opened the sliding glass door and fell approximately 11 feet from our second story onto the concrete patio below. I remember screaming. And then one neighbor ran to call 911 and another neighbor jumped over their fence to hold you down. You actually tried to get up. We went to Children's Hospital and it was the worst few hours of my life. I couldn't imagine a good outcome. By the grace of God, you had two hairline skull fractures, a helluva swollen/black eye and some nasty scrapes. You could fit a golf ball under your eyelid it was so swollen. Poor baby. You were back to "normal" within a week, like nothing had ever happened. We had your hearing, vision and everything else checked - no residual effects. It was a miracle. You've had several accidents since - all relatively minor and we kind of expect them at this point. You're such a klutz.

You were very excited to become a big sister; however, you were really hoping for a girl. Until just a couple of years ago you were very motherly towards Chunky. Now you two fight like ... siblings. He knows how to push your buttons like no other.

You can be cautious one minute and fearless the next. After first grade, you insisted on attending a week-long summer camp 2.5 hours north even though you didn't know a single soul. You did this for three years and then decided it wasn't for you because you didn't know anyone. You had lots of friends - you liked everyone, but no one in particular for several years and then one day you and AB were inseparable. Then it was Miguel. Now it's Sprinkle. You are a wonderful friend, even when your friends aren't wonderful to you.

You love fashion, makeup, music and volleyball. For awhile you were into Jennifer Garner. I think you've watched every episode of Alias ten times. You've been into Gwen Stefani for some time now and of course the ever present Twilight saga. This is your room -

Though we have disagreements once in awhile, you've never had a big teen blow-out or said that you hated me (though I'm sure you think it). Now that I've typed this, it will probably happen.

I think you will work with children in some capacity - you have a tremendous amount of empathy without letting the feelings consume you. I am thinking a teacher or OT/PT. You're a good student, organized (ahem, most of the time though judging by the photos above you should clean your room!), hard worker and an absolute joy (most of the time :)
We love you - happy sweet 16!
1st Communion - 2002

Dad's fishing buddy

Tybee Island, Georgia

Last day of school 2005

8th grade graduation - 2008
First day of high school

February 11, 2010


We had a date with the orthopedic hand specialist the other day. The good news is he considers the type of injury Sassy has as a ligament tear rather than a fracture. The small piece of bone that bent back with the ligament will recover along with the ligament and the recovery time is shorter than for a fracture. Yeah - only out of volleyball for two weeks instead of six.

February 8, 2010

Snow Piles

For the record, I'm tired of snow. I totally get why people move away from this arctic tundra we call home. I love our change of seasons and summer is THE best, but winter just sucks. Perhaps if I was into hockey, skiing, skating or bobsledding I might feel differently. I don't. We've had 100 million inches of snow this winter, 99 of it over the past couple of days. This is as far as I got with the snowthrower - it's even protesting!

February 6, 2010

It's that time of year again

Remember last year's Sno-Daze dance? Evidently I spelled the name of the event incorrectly last year. Who knew?

I took Sassy and Sprinkle grocery shopping earlier today so they I could buy fixins to make dinner for their beaus (beaus they asked, what does that mean?). They made spaghetti with sausage, salad, garlic bread and virgin mimosas. I offered individual chocolate lava cakes I had in the freezer for dessert and they begrudgingly took my offer. Their attitude reminds me of the two-year old stage - I do it myself!

Almost the same cast of characters as last year, except for the change in Sassy's boyfriend (Steven - 8 months strong now) and minus one girlfriend who didn't want to feel like a fifth wheel. Please note: the shoes got an upgrade this year.

February 5, 2010

Accident Prone

Thursday nights are crazy around here. Chunky has Science Club after school until 4:45 and basketball practice 6-7:15, then Sassy has volleyball practice 7:30-9:45. It's a lot of running. Thursdays are typically drive-thru dinner nights, but I had made a big dinner Wednesday so we had leftovers (balsamic flank steak, cheesy potatoes and green beans - yum!). Things were going as smoothly as possible - we were also experiencing a small rain/snow storm which makes driving oh so much fun - until I received a text at 7:39. I may have broken my finger. God bless Sassy, she is very accident prone. She had a terrible fall from our second story at two years old and only suffered two hairline skull fractures (thank the Lord), has had at least two sets of stitches - one above her eye, broken her wrist (a less than 10.0 landing following a jump off the neighbor's swingset) and a sprained ankle. I'm not even mentioning all the falls, bumps, bruises, etc. that seem to occur on a weekly basis. I picked her up promptly and saw that her right pinky was indeed very swollen and red (though the color was likely due to the 10 gallon bag of ice on her finger). I called Chunky to let him know I needed to bring Sassy to the Dr - there's an Urgent Care 5 minutes from the house - so he should just go to bed and we'd be home soon. He called just as we were about to pull in the UC lot to say someone had played ding-dong-ditch on him. So I turned around to pick him up and saw zero footprints in the snow leading up to the front door. hmmmm, can you say drama boy? When we finally made it back to the UC it was 10:09 and they close at 10:00. I really did not want to go to the hospital ER, but it's just too early in the year to receive the bad mother of the year award. I hate hospitals and such - anywhere there's sick people. Exceptions are made for extreme cases and visting loved ones of course. My luck this was extreme and since the hospital was only 2 miles down the road, off we went. I prayed we wouldn't be in the vicinity of anyone with H1N1 or other nasty catchy stuff. We got in right away - didn't even sit in the waiting room. Cute triage nurse (male), cute x-ray tech (male) and VERY cute ER Dr (male). Sassy now wants to be a Dr or at least work in a hospital! The Dr said she had a small break and would have to wear a splint for 6 weeks. He also said the broken bone was protruding slightly into the adjacent joint so she would need to see an orthopedic hand specialist to monitor the healing process. We made it home by 11:00pm so it was a whirlwind. Let's look on the upside - there will be less volleyball posts for the next 6 weeks :)

February 2, 2010

Happy Groundhound Day

Yes, I know it's technically Groundhog Day, but this is what I typed and I decided to go with it. You see, I have a mild case ahem of OCD and am concerned about repeating titles, unless I'm posting a series (see Take it Off Tuesday, NYC trip or Summer Journal Entry). Even then, I must number them to differentiate. So, since Groundhog day is an annual "event" I decided to stick with my freakishly odd title and save Groundhog for a future post title. I have just told you so much about myself. If someone reading this is a mental health professional, please leave your info in the comment section - I obviously need help.

I should be working - as in work work. I am over-my-head busy and am practicing displacement behavior by blogging this very post. I am totally psyched about the premier episode for the final season of Lost tonight. I am completely addicted to that show. I really can't watch any new shows - I simply must whittle down my viewing repetoire - so I hope ABC doesn't put anything good in its place. If they replace it with a reality series, I'm all good. I've decided I can't stand those shows. I'm even giving up Dancing With The Stars - it has run its course.

Speaking of Groundhog Day, what day would you want to repeat over and over again? I initially thought the day of my kids' births, but there was some degree of pain involved (though Chunky arrived 10 minutes after I got on the delivery table). There are two periods of my adult life that I consider "magical" and would repeat in a heartbeat. The first is when Sassy was about two years old and she joined me on my daily commute. I enrolled her in a day care center near my work 20+ miles from home following the close of her cheap and fantabulous home day care (mom wanted to go back to school and make something of herself, go figure). We spent at least 40 minutes together each way chatting or singing along to a Winnie the Pooh cassette tape (yes I'm THAT old). Hubby traveled for work a lot back then and Sassy and I would have theme nights - one night we'd dance for hours to salsa or some other music, another we'd play in the tub and eat messy foods like popscicles, etc. It was awesome. I miss that kid. Such a cute little girl. The second period I'd live over and over is right after Chunky was born. I loved that kid - still do, but it was a deep lust back then - and he was the perfect snuggler. I could only afford to take 8 weeks off from work and I took advantage of every moment. Sassy was in Kindergarten and my MIL would take her each morning and then Chunky and I would snuggle all day before we picked up Sassy from school. Then we'd all come home to eat, dance, play, laugh and Chunky and I would snuggle some more. It was wonderful. Where did the time go?!