5.30.2008

Roark the Professional Snowboarder

Roark visited with the orthopedic surgeon this morning. Nice guy. Apparently his kids go to our pediatrician…small world.

The doctor said that it is hard to see breaks in the growth plate until they start to heal, so he has put Roark in a boot for a few weeks, and then they will x-ray it again. When they took off the splint, his foot was all bruised, so the doctor said that something is definitely wrong, but he cannot say if it is torn ligaments or a break…regardless, he said he treats both the same way. Seeing that, it doesn’t really matter what is wrong in my opinion.

So, they outfitted him with a Wee-Walker boot, that looks a lot like a snowboarding boot to me. Hopefully the boot will work better than the splint/cast thing he had on, because this morning before we went to the doctor Roark was crying about his foot hurting. I imagine that is because we are incapable of keeping him immobile and the splint didn’t do a very good job of keeping his foot safe. We will see though.

5.27.2008

Three things are sad about this:


1. This is a picture of Roark's foot. He hurt it yesterday when he was repeatedly jumping off of playground equipment at a park near our home. The last jump ended in a fall, followed by crying, an afternoon of refusing to walk on it and a morning of limping.

2. Today is Roark and Cole's birthday. And he spent it visiting the doctor for a probable broken growth plate in his foot.

3. The foot that is wrapped up in the picture here - IS THE WRONG FOOT. They casted/splinted the wrong foot. We had to go back and have it redone in the evening.

5.24.2008

Champagne Supernova

As predicted, Todd took one look at the computer and fixed iTunes (and he arrived with flowers - smart man). Which makes me happy...but what in the hell is wrong with me that all of that technology baffles me these days? I used to fix stuff FOR A LIVING! How does all of that aptitude for the things in the magic boxes just up and disappear? And yes, I realize that by calling it a magic box, I am revealing just how long it has been since I could fix a computer. Still...baffling.

Right now, Saturday morning at 10:00 am, I am sitting at the computer, eating a bagel, listening to Oasis while doing nothing. There are no kids in the house. I have no errands to run. There is nothing that I HAVE to do. I must say that it is everything I hoped it would be.


Yesterday was a pretty rough one for me. I don't know if I am getting a bug or just stressed out, but I spent the day in such a foggy haze of sleepiness, and then the evening sick, sick, sick. I felt a bit better by bedtime, but had a fitful night of sleep full of really strange dreams. I hate days and nights like that. They really make the rest of the weekend feel like catch-up to just feel normal.

This weekend we are headed out for a few days to spend time with family. We are invading Todd's dad and step-mom for a few days, and should have a blast. The boys love Nana and Papa and are looking forward to swimming, playing at the park, and just hanging out with them. We are looking forward to all of those things too...and hopefully we will sneak away one evening for dinner out. Not sure where, but I am pushing for sushi.

And that is it for the weekend plans. What about you?

5.23.2008

Is Yesterday Tomorrow Today

Write down all the things that you'd like to say

I want people I love to know that I love them. I want those that have meant something to me even in a small way throughout my life to know.


Write down all the things that you'd like to change

Welfare, poverty, punishment / prison system, evil in the world.


Write down all the places you'd like to stay

Austin, Texas for a long, long time; in a house on the beach for a week all by myself with no TV, Internet, phone, or people.


Write down all the things that you'd like to be

Photographer, Travel reviewer, Landscaper, Construction Worker, Librarian



Write down all the things that you don't believe

God, devil, karma, global warming



Write down all the places you'd like to see

Ice castle in Switzerland, Everest base camp, Turtle Island, New Zealand


Write down anything that you want

I want to feel like being a good parent comes easy to me…to have everlasting patience. I want to grow old gracefully and NOT claw and scratch my way through to the olden years. I want to accept those things which I cannot change and focus on the happy parts of life. I want to be everyone’s best friend. I want a long, happy, wonderful life. I want my husband and kids to have the same.

5.21.2008

You Can Leave Your Hat On

The girls gave me some bath and body stuff for Mother’s Day. And I LOVE bath and body stuff. I do. I am not a huge fan of body spritz…because I wear perfume and hate the idea of mixing smells, so I was not thrilled about that one thing…but today I sprayed some on, because that is what parents do. We pretend that we love everything our kids give us. And do you know what? That stuff, and I almost choke as I am typing this, had GLITTER IN IT. I took one look at myself and realized that I was the embodiment of a stripper who had not had time to wash off the glitter after her shift.

I took ANOTHER shower. And do you know what? They take the staying power of that glitter VERY SERIOUSLY. It didn’t budge. Either that or there were layers of the stuff and I only skimmed the surface. Regardless, I actually have a day job (apparently in ADDITION to my night job) so I had to quit trying to do away with the glitter and go to work.

As documented here, this is not the first time that this has happened to me.

I have already had one suspicious run-in with a guy in the coffee room. He simply stood there openly staring at me. And, well…I am not that cute, so I knew it was the glitter that had his attention. I wanted to tell him that NO, he could not have tickets to the show tonight. But I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

5.20.2008

This boom box needs batteries

I have not really embraced the whole return-to-running thing lately. In fact, I have been doing anything to avoid exercising, however after spending more time than I am going to admit looking at celebrity train wreck photos of cellulite-ridden thighs, I decided it was more than past time to head out for a run. I located my iPod shuffle and stopped by our computer on the way out the door in order to see what was on it, and possibly load some new music.

The computer was off…which seemed odd, since we hardly ever re-boot it. I turned it on and waited while Vista (slowest OS to boot EVER) loaded. I then opened iTunes, only to have it scream at me that the iTunes library could not be located. I glanced at the external hard drive, which was on and the little green blinky light appeared to be blinking. That is the extend of my knowledge of all things technical anymore. So I proceeded to close and open iTunes 20 billion times, because it may *just start working* at any moment.

I tried rebooting. I tried disconnecting and reconnecting the hard drive. I tried relocating the library. I opened iTunes with the shift key down so it would keep asking me where the damn music files were. And then, it started working. Sort of. I got it pointed to the library, and the music showed up. That was MILES ahead of where I started. I then plugged in the shuffle and cleared the old music off. Stupid move, by the way. Don’t ever remove the old music until you are sure that you are really looking at music files on your hard drive, and not just little ghosts of music files…empty husks which used to hold real music…because then you will be left with NOTHING ON YOUR SHUFFLE AND YOU WILL HAVE TO GO RUNNING WITH AN IPOD THE SIZE OF NEW YORK. You might even pull your shoulder from the weight of it.

After rendering my shuffle useless, I tried to put more music on it, only to have each of the damn files in iTunes show up with an exclamation point! beside them. This roughly translates to “yo, dude…you done fucked iTunes up but good!” After staring at the screen for a while, willing it to spontaneously combust, I grabbed the worlds biggest iPod and went running. Sort of.

I think by the time I actually made it out the door, I had expended any extra energy that I had. As I headed out, a leaf blew off of our tree..and I swear that I saw that same leaf blow right on past me ½ way through my run. While a squirrel laughed at me. It was that wonderful. I ran about 25 minutes in the 96 degree heat and then promptly wanted to die. It was neither fun, nor energizing. And? iTunes is still freaking broken.

I will bet you that Todd will take one look at it, punch a total of 4 buttons on the keyboard, roll his eyes at me and declare it fixed. God, I hate technology. And running. A lot.

5.18.2008

Cassie Prom, 2008



Peace and Quiet. And cats.

Todd left a while ago for Orlando (the bastard). The boys are at church (you couldn’t DRAG me to a church) with their Grammy. Brittany is sleeping (home late last night after a date – of which I DON’T want to know the details). And Cassie is at a friend’s house sleeping after being up all night for Prom. It is very, very quiet here right now, and I hate to admit that I kind of like it, and hope the boys get home late.

I still have grocery shopping to do, which means I have to make a grocery list, which means I have to figure out what we are going to eat all week…and well…I am just not feelin’ it – so that will have to wait. Although, how long would it take to buy 3 jars of jelly, a giant jar of peanut butter, 4 gallons of milk, and 4 bags of bread?

Did you know that the boys are going to be 3 in less than 2 weeks? I am having a hard time figuring out how 1) that happened so quickly and 2) took so long to happen. Isn’t that the oddest thing? It feels like they have been part of my life forever, and yet at the same time feels like they were born only yesterday. Time is a tricky little liar sometimes.

Todd and I have come to the conclusion that we are completely burnt out on work these days and are in need of a future vacation to ease the stress. Nothing too fancy – the boys will go with us, but the girls will not. We don’t want to go too far away, because then it gets expensive. So we are looking at a long weekend somewhere, unless we can suck it up and save money, which I am highly doubtful of. The work is endless and there is no break in sight. Taking a few days off and staying home NEVER works out. I am always hunted down by THE MAN and forced to work anyway – so we have to actually leave the area to get a real break. Ideas?

I hate cats. We have 2 of them. Anybody want 2 cats?

5.16.2008

Comfortably Numb

I am wiped out. This was a hell of a week. I swear yesterday was Monday. It is like one long working nightmare. And I just don’t even know what I accomplished. It is simply…gone. I would start waxing on about how next week will be BETTER, MORE IMPROVED, 25% LESS SALT, or something like that – but we all know that next week would just show up and kick my ass more, so I am not even going to go there.

I decided last night that I need a vacation about every 3 weeks. 3 weeks on, 1 week off. I think that might work for me.

Todd is going out of town next week – leaving Sunday morning. So that will be fun. I just love single parent life. I foresee a lot of peanut butter and jelly for dinner next week. And many trips to the duck pond.

5.15.2008

Move on the Horizon

Todd and I have wanted to move to Austin for a very long time. It is where we want the boys to go to school. We have very good friends there with kids that are close to the boys' age, and we love the area, the attitude, the land, the hills - pretty much everything about it. Not long ago, I decided that sitting around waiting to move, to finally be where we wanted was starting to make less and less sense. So, we have been discussing moving, even though my job is sort of here, and the girls are here.

Cassie goes to school in the fall, and she is really the one of the two girls that hangs out around the house at all. Brittany has her own agenda and spends as much time with friends, away from here, as possible. I am her running-around-buddy. I am her sounding board. I am her never-ending-supply of money. But her interest does not continue much past that. And really, that is ok. She is a teenager. I was one once and I doubt I was any more interested in hanging out with my mom than Brittany is with me.

Then there is the issue with her dad and our strained relationship. I pay him a HUGE amount of money every month to take care of the girls, pay for whatever they need, etc. He pisses this money away - his wife not working - and continues to stick me with additional expenses whenever he gets the chance (read: Cassie's College). I don't argue, because in the end it is for my girls. But the reality is that I am being taken advantage of continuously...financially and emotionally.

This, coupled with our strong desire to move, has encouraged me to push for the move sooner rather than later. And by sooner I mean "as soon as possible". Which could mean 3 months, or could mean over a year. We have a lot of work to get done on this house (general upkeep things, recarpet, painting, landscaping, etc) and then we have to sell it for a profit. That should be fun. So we told the girls that we are moving as soon as possible, explained the most likely time-frame (a year) and then...well all hell sort of broke loose.

Cassie took it fine. She is leaving anyway. So on vacations she flies to Austin instead of Dallas...big deal, right? Brittany on the other hand, well, she seemed upset at first, then was OK with it. We will still see her on our designated weekends (1st, 3rd, and 5th of month) along with 45 days in the summer, every other major holiday, every other spring break, etc. The only thing changing is I won't see her on Wednesday nights - when we move. She will be able to bring a friend sometimes...and I think she will like the flight - it is about 30-45 minutes total, and more exciting than a trip home from school.

It has not settled quite how I thought it would though. I had a pretty horrible argument with Brittany this morning related to this. We were headed to her friend's house to pick her up for school, something we do many mornings when I am taking Brittany. On the way there, I noticed a LOT of houses for sale. I mentioned this to her friend when she got in the car...and asked why everyone is selling.

Brittany : Everyones' parents must be moving away to Austin and leaving their kids here
Me: I am sure they will still see a lot of their kids
Brittany: Not as much as if they staid in Plano
Me: Perhaps if those kids had chosen to live with the other parent when they had the opportunity they wouldn't be so upset.
Brittany: Perhaps if their mom had not abandoned them when they were in 2nd grade they wouldn't have had to choose.
Me: Your father wanted to drag you into court and make you choose a parent - in 2nd grade. I was not going to have any part of that. It was insane. You were too young to make that kind of decision. When you were old enough, I gave you that opportunity - twice. Paid for lawyers - twice. And you decided both times not to change where you lived.
Brittany: Whatever.

That was the end of speaking for the rest of the trip. Wonderful. After dropping her off, I cried the rest of the way to work. Thank god I was too busy to think much about it. I was so mad, so frustrated, felt so guilty.

Tonight I thought a lot about the discussion / argument. And you know what? I don't have any regrets about what I have done in the past - the decisions I made with the girls. Their dad made it clear he didn't love me, didn't want to be with me. I decided I didn't want that kind of life...so I left. I wanted to preserve as much of the girls' stability as I could without dragging them into a court battle. Their dad - well, he just wanted to win. And he made it clear that he would fight until his very rich parents ran out of money. I refused to make them choose parents or be part of that mess...so I accepted joint custody with their dad being the primary residence.

When they were older, they told me they didn't want to stay there anymore so we talked to a lawyer. They decided not to change anything, and backed off, only to want to talk to one again a year later - which I again jumped into, only to have them back off a second time. This is when I decided that we needed to keep things as they are - mostly for my sanity. It was too hard on my emotionally and financially to keep hopping on that roller coaster.

I would do the same thing again.

It was when I realized this that I sent Brittany the following message: First, a move is pretty far off. Let's not get upset about it yet. We will be able to find ways to make it better for all of us...but for now, I am still here. I love you Brittany.

I don't know if things are better now, but she is talking to me. She apologized. But I doubt her feelings have changed. This whole divorce thing - well it just goes on sucking long after the initial shock is over.

5.14.2008

Hell in a handbasket

This is pretty funny.

5.13.2008

Living Cliche

It has been a good year.

No, I don't think that it is the end of the calendar year. I am not totally delusional.

I have pictures of the boys on my desk at home. These are the same pictures that Todd brought up to me in the hospital. The pictures I stared at, reciting all four kids names over and over and over, when I was as close to not being here anymore as I have ever been. I look at those pictures every day and I remember how this time last year I was headed into a ridiculously horrible state of health (with all the almost dying and stuff). And I guess it is kind of nice to be alive, to look back and see how lucky I am to still be here, how lucky I was to get at least one more year with my family and friends.

These things change you, I think. All of the difficult things we go through, I mean. They make me stronger, give me reason to be grateful to someone / something bigger than me. They make me realize just how great life is.

If I was going to talk about work (which I am not), I would tell you that...

I work for a really big company. And today it was announced that we are being bought by another really big company. I am thinking this means that we can now be unorganized in a really huge way...

5.12.2008

Proof I Was There

We had a picture taken of us at the game by some crack-pots who think we didn't spend enough money out there already... you can see it here. In the picture from left to right is Cole, Roark is behind him, and then me, followed by a random toddler I have never seen before in my life - followed by a giant horse-man who freaked the boys out. Enjoy.

5.11.2008

Baseball

The game was fun last night, although I spent more time either freaking out because I was afraid Roark and Cole would tumble to their deaths from our very high nose bleed seats or I was in the kid section watching them hit balls (which they LOVED). But for me it was great.

We got to see my dad (actually Todd's dad, but I would not love him more if we were biologically connected) and Vivian (his wife, and my very good friend) and the boys loved being able to talk to their Nana and Papa.

Yes - the drive was long. Yes - gas and parking were crazy expensive. Yes - we had pretty bad seats...but we were all there together and it was fun to spend time with the girls, the boys, Todd, Dad and Viv. It was a pefect night. Oh - and it was over 90 degrees. It was wonderful.

5.10.2008

Hey, Batter Batter!

We are going to a Rangers game tonight. The boys are are excited. Todd is excited. I doubt the girls are excited, and I am, well, indifferent. I am happy to see my dad and Vivian. I am glad we are all spending time as a family. And I even am glad we are going to a game - but it is an hour away, starting at 7:00pm, tickets are expensive, parking is expensive, gas prices are insane.

When did I get so old that I care about time, or tickets, or gas? When did I cross over to this person who would prefer to stay here, read to the boys at 8:00, throw in a movie and be a vegetable until bedtime? When did I stop getting excited about a night out with the family? Perhaps it is just a lack of excitement about the actual baseball.

A critic once characterized baseball as six minutes of action crammed into two-and-one-half hours. ~Ray Fitzgerald, in Boston Glove, 1970

5.09.2008

Bad Boys Remix

The neighbor is STILL in jail. I cannot imagine on what charges - but it must be pretty ugly. Everyone in the neighborhood is bonding over this - talking to each other when we normally all stick to our own business. It is very very strange.

5.08.2008

Bad Boys, Bad Boys, Whatcha' Gonna Do?

As I was reading to the boys tonight, Todd noticed a fire truck in front of our house. So we went about the normal bedtime ritual ignoring things that were none of our business.

Oh! What? You don’t believe me? Rightfully so… We took the boys outside so that they could worship at the place of all things fire and police related. Well that, and to gawk at the neighbors. You can never get enough gawking in you know.

The neighbors have had a rocky few months. They were separated for a while and I believe they have filed for divorce, however fights over property and money have left them like two stubborn Zaks refusing to budge until the courts make them. This has led to a bit of animosity on the home front, which has translated into what appears to be domestic abuse. We had heard of one other visit from the police to their house, but were not around to witness it. Tonight they were sporting one fire truck, one paramedic truck, and two police cars. They really know how to have a party.

As we were standing in the front trying to see if everyone was ok, the lady called me over and asked me to take her to the 24 hour clinic to get a cut stitched up. The paramedics said it needed to be looked at, and so I agreed. She seemed a little off, quite paranoid and in a hurry to leave so I went and got the car. By the time I had the car pulled around front she was being questioned by the police. She handed me her purse and told me not to let anyone have it. Odd. I then went and waited by the paramedics while she and her family were questioned.

The scene was something that will most likely show up on Cops at some point. Man outside with beer belly and no shirt. Daughter standing in the lawn crying. Son running around trying to figure out what to do. Dog running around crazy. People slamming doors, screaming. A lady with blood all over her too-big shirt, eyes glassy.

In the end, I didn’t take her anywhere. She was arrested and taken away in a lovely little police car, all the while yelling at her soon to be ex-husband that she was pressing charges. I gave her purse to her step-son, and took the boys back inside to finish reading books. What a trip.

5.07.2008

Earectomy

Oh my ear..my ear...my ear. What to say about it really? It is a pain. In my head. I would really like it removed. Do they do that somewhere? I would like to sign up for an earectomy.

I was referred to another ear specialist because my current doctor does not handle complex ear reconstruction, which I guess she thinks I need. So I went to the new clown earlier this week. He didn't look at the records she sent. He didn't look at the CD with the CT Scan on it. He didn't really do much of anything except take out the tube (without any anesthetic - will KILL him for that) and tell me to come back in three weeks. No - I am not kidding.

Now, my ear has been bleeding for three days, is still leaking and smelling like wet dog. Yes, I am sexy.

Today I was at the point where I was going to just quit with the doctors, because they are useless. However my husband wanted me to see one more - one his doctor recommended. So I am going to. But first, I am collecting all of my medical records for the past few years that have anything to do with my ear...so that I can show the whole ugly picture and hopefully get some relief.

In the process of getting the medical records, I had to go back down to the hospital where I spent last summer - which I hated... but I picked up some scans of my head and neck that they did when I was on the vent. The report states that there is possible concern about the mastoid being infected at that time, and the radiologist urged the doctor (in his report) to investigate further. Which they did not. Interesting no? Idiots.

So I have a few more images and reports to gather and then we will see what this next guy says. Then? I am going to cut it off myself. I pierced my own ears when I was little - I think I can handle it.

5.05.2008

Don't Worry, 'Bout a Thing

Something happened today and although I want to write about it, I simply can’t. Not the details anyway. I don’t really want to document it to be read again and again, and I don’t want to make more of it than what it was. I also don’t want to hurt anyone that may read this… What I can do is describe the emotion that this event sparked in me.

Have you ever had a child or pet run away from you, headed directly into traffic? That feeling of terror, of loss – do you remember that? Or perhaps witnessed a friend doing something dangerous...where you know there is little you can do? And you secretly, and quickly, hope for a miracle that you will be able to stop them? That is the feeling I had today – the one where you stop breathing and your heart stops beating, and seconds later you want to throw up.

Everything is ok. There was no “traffic accident” and there were no victims…but the possibility that something horrible could have happened still lingers. This evening I kissed my kids more than normal, watched each expressions more intently, and listened to their conversation closer than I have in a long, long time. Thank god they are ok.

Colorblind

I am covered in skin
No one gets to come in

- Counting Crows, Colorblind


There are very few people that I confide in. I have always been this way – private…solitary…introspective. In high school I only had a few close friends. As an adult, I have even fewer.

I don’t know why I am like this, but I am. I am not a shy person, but I am a private person when it comes to what is in my heart.

My writing, the way I am here – that is the exception to keeping my thoughts and feelings to myself. I suppose that is one of the main reasons that I like having this space. I can share deeply private things with people, without having to “own” those things. Does that make sense? It is a way to come out of my shell a bit, without having to do it face-to-face with someone and then regret it the next day, like a one-night-stand gone bad.

It is a strange dynamic – this writing publicly to people I don’t know about things that are so personal and private. I have “met” people through writing that I feel so close to, yet I have never actually met them face to face. And these people know some of the most intimate details of my life. It is so bizarre. I am afraid to sit down with most people and share mundane details about my day and yet I will write here about all kinds of things: sex, religion, politics, children, finances. I wouldn’t discuss most of those things with my closest friends yet they are all here for the world to read.

How broken am I?

5.01.2008

God as Propaganda

My faith in God, in a god, is something that I have for a long time had trouble explaining. I think that this is because I have not really figured out exactly what I do believe. It is terribly difficult to explain something that you don’t understand. Don’t you agree?

I was raised (after a variety of religious ventures) as a Pentecostal girl in an overly exuberant (and strict) church. It was a radical, crazy-ass church, believing in laying on of hands, speaking in tongues, shouting, clapping, fainting, and raising hands during song and prayer. At the time I don’t think any of it bothered me. It simply…was. And in all honesty the biggest attraction to me at the church was the youth group. I had built some solid friendships (and crushes) in my years there, and that was thing that took me back night after night, week after week, month after month. It wasn’t God.

I remember wondering if the “casting out of demons” thing was real, if the bible stories were all absolutely and positively word-for-word real, and if all of the hype around a second coming and the end of the world (happening soon in a city near you) was all that they painted it to be. I had doubts and concerns about some of the things they taught – but it didn’t really materialize into any more than that. After all, I had boys to chase, and church was the best place to do that.

After we left the church and I was able to start figuring out what I believed in, I began questioning many of the fundamental beliefs of my religious background. I had always been a bit skeptical, and separating myself from it continued to feed that skepticism. I began to think that perhaps the bible, although based on real events is really a book of stories passed down from generation to generation and eventually documented. I began to think the possibility existed that not everything in that book was going to come to pass in the way it was scripted. I began to wonder if perhaps we were all just taking that a little too seriously, or literally, or something along those lines. And I began to feel ridiculous for thinking THAT religion was the ONLY religion that God would honor.

Over the years I have spent more time thinking about what I believe than I would like to admit to anyone. And I don’t know why. Why is it important to believe in anything beyond what we have right here in front of us? Why does there have to be an afterlife, a god, a bad guy? I don’t know…but I still think about it a lot. And although I have spent countless hours thinking about, talking about, writing about what I truly believe, I think it all boils down to this: I believe what my mother told me to believe because that is what kids do. And they own those beliefs for the rest of their lives. How lame is that? I fiddle with other ideas of religion and gods and lack of either, and in the end I still kind of harbor a belief in most of the propaganda thrown at me all those years back. But I am still pretty sure you won't find me in a church of my own accord ever again.


Math - not my thing

Cassie and I are at Chilis - she is studying for an algebra test and is forcing me to 1) pay attention and 2) help her. Have I ever mentioned how deep my hate for Algebra runs? As deep as the Mohorovicic in case you are wondering...

I am wishing that 1) I still drank - which would make this much more fun (get a problem wrong...DRINK!) and 2) that I didn't have to go back to work after this because - well, see 1) above.