Friday, October 31, 2008

Thanks DyFUNctional Mom! I've been "BOO'd"

It's like this:

There's rule on this, but I'm filing motions and getting ready to have 50 16 year olds show up for a party tonight and trying to get my parents over to my in-law's for a visit and maybe make a pie before then b/c My MIL loves apple pie and can't make it anymore. I'm thinking I'm out of time, but hey you never know....

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wednesday Keester Update

I am happy to report that the scale continues to move down in the right direction. Yippeee! I am hoping to continue to behave despite a house full of good food, party food, cake cake cake I love cake gimmee gimmee cake and ice cream (those evil Christmas people have the Peppermint ice cream out already and it's only OCTOBER how am I supposed to resist that, huh?) and I must eat candy corn while it is available. Sigh. This diet stuff is not easy.

I did play 90 minutes of soccer again on Sunday, but once again that is all that I did. When will I ever get back on my treadmill in earnest? I do not know.

The next 2 weeks will be full of dinners and travels and junk. If I can just not gain any weight, that will be a blessing.

Mom and Dad are here, and Mom says I don't look like I gained any weight. Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE my mother? Yeah, she Rocks. Hard. Oh and if she thought I was chubby, yes she would tell me. Honestly? I think my hair was so bad today she couldn't focus on anything else. My mom is one of those 50's original girls who always always has perfect hair. Always. I swear she wakes up with perfect hair. Sadly, none of her three daughters quite measures up....

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Good the Bad and the Bitchy

Only Tuesday but it feels like Friday - lots of goings on here in Casa De Next Door with the Big Sweet Sixteen/Halloween party Friday night! Tonight we cleaned, vacuumed, dusted (!), washed floors, decorated, and generally made the place presentable for the Grandparents who are arriving tomorrow. So that's the Good.

The Bad: Woke up with a stomach-achy fluey kind of thingy and felt like throwing up all day. Apparently this is going around the office. My Secretary was up all night with it. Yum. So I went home early. Leaving behind a LOT of work. So that's the Bad.

And then I get home to not 1 dog, not 2 dogs, but 3 THREE Dogs. What's this? Dumb Runaway Dog (DRD) is at my house again? I know Ex is going away next week and I had to jump through hoops and ask my Parents to stay so that we could both be away at the same time, but huh? Tonight? Night-before-the-Parents-arrive here? WHy??? And Son says, "Oh Dad's going to Korea tomorrow - so we're keeping DRD." Huh? out of the country? Tomorrow? I have an extra dog through the weekend when I have not only my parents and 50 kids but my brother and sister-in-law? Does this strike anyone as a little too much? No asking, just letting the kids spring it on me without so much as a heads up? When he knew darn well that my parents were coming and that I was having a party for the kids Friday and that my brother & wife are coming for the weekend? And that is the Bitchy. Yep, I was preeeeeety ticked off that he would just assume I would keep HIS DOG through all this.

Well of course I will. It's the Kids' dog too. But IT's Not My Dog! NO It Isn't. So I sent a rather nasty email to Ex about going out of the country and how letting me know might be a good thing - you know, in case of emergency with the kids I'll know he's not generally available. And You Know, courtesy to give me heads up if I'm going to watch YOUR dog in MY house. OH yes I did. I threw it at him.

So Am I a bitch? Too much over the top? No big deal that he's dumping his dog on me?

Sunday, October 26, 2008


I cannot believe that 16 years ago, I gave birth to the two most perfect children in the they are through the years. (Can you count the matching outfits?! At least they do NOT have rhyming or alliterative first names)

Christmas 1992 - 7 weeks

Back in the Day when Grandmother made us all dress up for Christmas dinner. Those poor baby necks look just slightly uncomfortable....those are 2 tired parents....

University Reunion with Mom - 7 months old 1993

I was the only classmate at my 5th year college reunion with babies. And you were too cute for words, needless to say....

Christmas 1993 - 14 months

Still waiting for Son's hair to come in - while Mom was still sporting her 80's do in the 90's....

Christmas 1994 - 2 years old

Yet another year of matching outfits at 2. How fun and easy it was to dress you back then

I told all about this in a post below...

First Day of School - 4YO - Spain

I remember the days in Spain where the children dressed so beautifully every day. And every morning Daughter would come out and say in her tiny little voice, "Brother Am I beautiful?" And Son would answer in all sincerity, "Oh you are so beautiful. Am I handsome?" and Daughter would answer with equal conviction, "OH yes, you are soooo handsome." and off to school we all walked, hand in hand.

Easter 1997 4 1/2 Spain
Why yes that IS a boy's shirt with a peter pan collar and embroidery on the front. The Boys in Spain dressed very nicely.

Disney June 1997 - 4 1/2 years

The children who saw every single Disney movie in spanish and English were sooooo excited to go to Disney that Daughter, jumping around on the plane, slashed Daddy's cornea with the "flight emergency card" before we even took off. Daddy spent the 4 day "vacation" in and out of emergency clinics and in the dark hotel room while I tooled around Disney, by myself, with 2 very excited 4 YO's. We had fun and made due. Signs of futures to come? Who knew..

The Season that Started it all - 1998
She gave up t-ball, picked up soccer, and has never looked back...

The Hippy Hop Kindergarten 1998

Yep we were cool hippy dudes. Used the self-timer in the camera so they could later appreciate the lengths their mom would go to for "theme parties." I love my kids!

Easter 1999

No I don't know how much their uncle bribed them to get them to pose for this....

Cousin's Wedding October 1999 - 7 years old

The Jr. Bridesmaid and Ring Bearer of the wedding, you stole the show...

Mom's Law School Graduation 2001
Hat Head on Mom never felt so good....

State Champs - 2003 - 11 Years old
Mr. Tough guy, center on the Pop Warner State Championship Football Team. What a year.

Last Day 7th Grade - 2005

Losing the baby-faces and becoming teenagers...

The 8th Grade Dance Spring 2006

That's his "girlfriend" (was) on the left and his Sister on the right in yellow. The Ex-girlfriend was then and is still Daughter's best friend!

First Day of School SJC 9th Grade - 2006 nearly 14 YO

Son had to run next door and ask Pop how to tie a tie, Daughter lamented the skirt, the itchy shirt, the socks. We read the rule book so many times on proper attire. Clearly that stuff is just for Freshmen (see, e.g. Junior Year first day)!!!!

The Regimental Ball (it's a military school folks) Freshmen year 2006

Ah yes, sometimes we can still get them all dressed up. This was Son's first lesson in "men get a new $30 tie, girls get a new $200 dress. That's fair." Son wore the same suit to Reg that he had worn to Homecoming just 6 weeks earlier. But did anyone notice? Probably not. Change the shirt, change the tie = new suit. Daughter, however, did not wear her Homecoming Dress (a $20 bargain at Filene's basement and a short cocktail dress) to the Reg Ball. Oh no, for that we had to go to the Jessica McClintock Store. Uh-huh yes we did...and she snagged the dress right down the front at the dance, thereby ensuring it would be worn exactly once....sigh....

First Day 10th Grade 2006

The Grandparents' 50th Anniversary Cruise June 2007

Yes, Perspective is everything. For them, "the best time of our life." For me, "the cruise from hell" just 4 days before the Beginning of the End. So why did I go? For moments like the one, right here. The Grandparents with their 5 beloved grandchildren. Just 7 months later Mother would fall down the stairs and our lives would all change forever. But for one perfect moment, all was right and beautiful with the world....and that was worth pasting on a smile and sharing a room with a man who hated me. (BTW, Daughter is on the far right in Yellow.)

Christmas Baking 2007 - 15 YO

Daughter and her new Puppy Lorelai July 2008

That smile says it all.

First Day of School Junior Year 2008

Illegal shoes on Boy, untucked shirt on Girl, Son's collar not buttoned, tie loose, illegal socks under illegal pants. ...sigh....They have Upperclassmen Attitude for sure.

Happy Sweet 16 my dear, sweet children. May life continue to bless you. I wish you enough....

Friday, October 24, 2008

What a difference a Day makes

Don't ask me why I'm posting this from work at 1 a.m. Something about a pretrial order due and then deposition preparation and a trip to the midwest tomorrow. Oh but wait - there was the Associates' happy hour in between and the obligatory stop to say thanks to the outgoing chairwoman and chatting with friends and trading gossip and political info. Then back at the office a chat with BossMan and diving into the depths of the job, and relationships, and how lucky he is to have the wonderful relationship he has with his wife (she really rocks) and talk about clients and friends and family and futures. And then talk about some of our cases. And 2 hours go by and I still haven't gathered in triplicate the docs I need for my deposition tomorrow.

So here I am.

But First, I wanted to say what a difference a Day Makes. Last night on my way home, equally ridiculously late, Kenny Rogers came on the radio, "Through the Years." And stupid me, I didn't turn it off. Nope. I let it play. And of course cried like a stupid girl b/c that's how it was supposed to be but that's not how it is.

This morning dawned brightly and clearly. I put on my Big Girl Suit for a Big Girl Meeting with a certain Important Regulatory Body of the US Government. Feeling like a Big Girl Lawyer, particularly after Tuesday's Big Girl Argument in Federal District Court in which I pretty much beat up on the other side and had fun doing so, I was ready to rock. Anyway, on the drive in I put my iPod on shuffle, after loading up songs last night from old old CDs I finally loaded into my library. And what comes on? Gene Kelly and Singin' In the Rain. One of my alltime Favorite movies. And as I drive through the streets of DC I can see him splashing and dancing and enjoying life. And I thank God that I have a job I Love. I have a family that is awesome. I have a Special BF who gets me even though I don't know why he gets me. And Life Is Good.

And then a really old, well not really old, but old Christian Song comes on from my days of leading the children's choir when I listened to Christian CDs all the time (and liked myself a lot more in some ways): Phillips Craig and Dean "Blessing in the Thorn"

I read about a man of God
Who gloried in his weakness
And I wish that I could be
More like Him and less like me
Am I to blame for what I'm not
Or is pain the way God teaches me to grow
I need to know
When does the thorn become a blessing
When does the pain become a friend
When does the weakness make me stronger
When does my faith make me whole again
I want to feel His arms around me
In the middle of my raging storm
So that I can see the blessing in the thorn
I've heard it said the strength of Christ
Is perfect in my weakness
And the more that I go through
The more I prove the promise true
His love will go to any length
And reaches even now to where I am
But tell me once again
Lord, I have to ask You
On the cross You suffered through
Was there a time You ever doubted
What You already knew.
And I am reminded that the pain I feel - the pain of last night, the pain of some things I face daily, they are all a blessing. They are all what I need to be experiencing right now in order to Grow. And that I need to remember to turn to God in these times and He will help me through. It has been a long time since that turning to Him has been second nature. And I miss that in my life. And today, I feel very blessed indeed.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wednesday Update - Keester

It's Wednesday for a few more minutes and I have a "keester" update. My mom doesn't like when I say the word A$$. So it's all about the keester (Or is it kiester? I really don't know and I'm too lazy to google it).

I have actually been much better behaved. Taking cottage cheese to work, doing my situps and spot exercises nearly every day. I played 90 minutes of soccer Sunday, but failed to run any other day. I have dropped maybe a pound or two. I have resisted lots of treats and eaten salads when out with the kids. There just might be hope for me....

It's quick post wednesday b/c I have spent hours on Sunday's post. What's Sunday you ask??? Well, you'll just have to wait and see. But it's a pretty darn big day around here....

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

PromptTuesday - Trippin - Barcelona

San Diego Momma has this great Prompt Tuesday thing she does every tuesday to encourage writing and fun. I have done it once or twice, but I usually forget. But today thanks to Cheri's great post at Blog This Mom! I remembered ! So here's my Trippin post: (Basic prompt below:)

For today’s
PROMPTuesday, I ask that you write about a trip or an excursion that left you changed in some way. Did you conquer a fear on your trip? Learn something about yourself? Learn something about another person? Break up? Get together? Consider hospital time for the largest walking blister this side of Manhattan?

Back in 1995 we lived in Spain with Ex's job. The kids were nearly 3. Having moved a lot around the US with his job, we had learned to make the most of wherever we lived and see the sights. When we lived in Michigan for a year near Benton Harbor, we made sure we day tripped to Chicago and Holland and did a weekend up at Mackinaw. So a 2 year stint in Spain was a chance to travel around the country. Nearly every weekend we loaded up the Volvo Wagon and headed off somewhere.

One weekend we had the bright idea to go for a long weekend to Barcelona - 8 hours away - and we went with friends. They had 1 small child, too. And an even brighter idea: one night we'll go out and leave the twins with them and then the next night they'd go out and we'd watch the kids. We were very good friends - sounded great.

1995 - pre cell phones people...

So they say we should go first. And we do - have a great dinner, see the sights (amazing how fast you can go when you're not dragging 3 year olds around!), contemplate going "clubbing." But something is bothering me - and I'm not usually 'that kind of mom" who can't leave her kids. But something deep down is telling me to call the hotel. Ex won't hear of it. Says I'm being paranoid. But he knew I wasn't like that normally. But he still wouldn't let me call. Eventually, I convince him I'm "tired" and we go back to the hotel.

Where I find my Son's leg 3 times it's normal size and he's whimpering. Which he has been doing for hours. Because they went to a playground and he decided after 10 trips of sliding down the slide the right way, he would run down the slide. My friends panicked but couldn't catch him. When he hit bottom, his left leg went out from under him sideways.

We wait til morning to go to the hospital, figuring an emergency room overnight in a foreign country is not a good idea. We speak decent Spanish, but in Barcelona, they speak Catalan - like a cross between French and Spanish. Which we do not speak. But we're getting enough to figure out they're talking about cutting my baby boy's leg open for some reason. OH no no no. So we hop in an ambulance and go to the children's hospital, the one we didn't know existed until that moment.

And at least we get a Spanish speaking doctor who, thankfully is NOT talking about surgery. Nope. Just a month long stay in the hospital while he has his leg suspended in traction. Why?
He snapped his little femur. That big bone in the upper thigh. And the only way to fix it is traction. no no no we live 8 hours to the west. We need to go home. Ex needs to go to work. Daughter is too young to be in Hospital visiting her brother and Son is required to have 24 hour a day family care and I am just one mommy in a foreign country.

Tears. Big Fat Tears.

Ex? He is a rock. A friggin' rock. He figures it all out. Realizes his company has an office in Barcelona, sets up daycare for Daughter for the short term in Barcelona since she's not allowed in the Hospital, his Company gets us an apartment, his coworkers send books and toys from all over the states. My family sends a big-ass package of books and toys and games. People send money to cover the cost of a month in the hospital. His mother flies over to stay with me and takes turns in the Hospital. Ex takes Daughter back to our apartment where she is cared for by our Spanish friends during the day. The whole town makes cards. It was at that moment I realized that although I could handle the day to day stuff and do it well, in a crisis, he was a Rock and I wondered how I could ever live without him. Prior to the accident, we had had years of trouble (I'm pretty sure our troubles started the day after the honeymoon, but we stuck it out for 20 years anyway). We were fighting a LOT in spain. But after that? I realized what an amazing man he could be. And fell a little bit in love with him.

Somewhere deep inside of him I believe that Man still lives, under the depression, under the beaten down state of his health and job and family and unfulfilled dreams. Somewhere I am convinced there is an amazing Man who solves problems and copes with trauma like a Rock. And I miss him.

Son stayed in the hospital for a month, never once complaining. Then he went "home" in a 1/2 body cast for a month. 1 week after the cast came off, we flew home to the US for Christmas, where we rushed him to an orthopedic specialist who marveled at how the child didn't re-break his leg b/c they took the cast off too early. But he healed fine, runs fast, both legs are equal. And he never did run down a slide ever again. And Our American Friends who were traumatized by the episode? I tried to convince them it was not their fault. I know they were more vigilant than I would've been - he was just being a little 3YO boy.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Playing Tag

I have once again been tagged (actually double-tagged b/c I am slow...) because for some reason people seem to want to know random things about me. And I am happy to oblige. This one comes from the Jason Show (laughter amid difficult times - genius) and Big Hair Envy - how could this Girl Next Door who was stuck in the 80's for so long not totally dig a blog with a name like that?!!

Here's the deal:

1. My whole life I've tried to learn to raise 1 eyebrow. My sis-in-law can and it's quite intimidating. My BFF in high school could and tormented me with it. Now Daughter does it to me. So. Not. Fair.

2. I like to eat my food separately. don't mix stuff up. This includes my hot fudge sundae - scoop off the sprinkles, then eat the whipped cream then the fudge then the ice cream. And those cottage cheese mixables with the yummy sugary "fruit" topping? Yeah first I eat the cottage cheese (which is another weird fact that I LOVE the stuff) and then the "fruit" topping.

3. I am a master procrastinator. How long will it take me to do something? As long as you give me, plus 1 minute.

4. I am a sucker for trite, sappy, romantic things, even those that are commercially driven. Flowers will get you on my good side and all will be forgiven. Add chocolate and you own me... but forget Valentine's day and you will forever have a black mark on your record that cannot be expunged.

5. I love to mush up candy corn in my mouth and make it into a disgusting syrupy paste before swallowing. I learned this in law school from a classmate when I thought that just candy corn alone was nirvana.

6. I know when I am drunk because I can't feel my teeth.

7. I like to sleep diagonally or sideways on the bed (which is why I require a king sized bed).

Now the hard part - tagging people. Different people. I haven't had time to read much lately and have been struggling with posting. Forgive me if I don't tell you why I'm tagging these folks - just go check them out for yourself!

Hula Girl at Heart

ChiTown Girl

karen at For the Love of Pete

Sugee Andersyn


Laurie at Three Dog Blog

Katy at Whatever

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Say Hi To Freddie Adu

No No, not that boy above. That's my very good friend from waaaay back when, Broccoli. He sometimes disguises himself and posts a comment as "Brock." But I have always known him as Broccoli. We'll call him B for short today. B and I go back to college - when we went to different colleges 10 hours away from each other, but shared a college service club called Circle K (Kiwanis when you're old, Key Club in High School). We hit it off from the first day at the first convention - hell I think the first 5 minutes we were stealing grapes from each other and plotting good times. As I recall he kept me from getting arrested that night....something about policemen and too many people in our hotel room having a very good time with loud music and underage drinking. Or something. Memory is a little fuzzy...

Some of my fondest memories of B are when he would drive all the way down to my beloved university just to watch me play soccer. OK maybe I had a cute roommate, too. But he would come cheer me on, loudly. In fact, he gave me one of my many many nicknames: Gomer. My initials were "MER" and he'd yell GO! MER! See, not so hideous. Anyway, I should've known then that B was a huuuuuge soccer fan. Here I thought he just liked me (as a friend) (and my roommate as more). Nope. Turns out he's a soccer fanatic. I mean FANatic.

Now he travels around the world, literally, following World Cup Soccer. When the USA teams come to town and his cronies and fellow world-travelers get together, he calls me to join them. And if I can, I do. This past weekend, I could and I did. And the photo above? THAT is how a FANatic goes to a world cup game.

So I dressed in Red White and Blue, painted a flag on my face (and was quite popular with the other fans as I shared my face-painting-talents with them but alas B did his own face), wore the sacred Ugly eagle shirt thanks Todd) and yelled my head off. We scored seats right down front on about the 30 yard line. To Watch the Men's National team beat the platanos out of Cuba. 6-1.

We hoisted a Giant American flag after every goal, threw it over our heads and fanned it out til it covered our entire section. (I think you might catch this on ESPN repeats. It's awesome). We cheered and threw streamers and yelled at the Cubans, "Defect! Defect! DefectDefectDefect!" (and 2 did before the game). And when we had 5 goals, the girls next to me and I yelled, "We Want Six! We Want Six!" (Say it out loud people before you read on or you won't get it....) and the guard in front of us ran up to us with a big smile on his face - and we said, "SIX SIX with our six fingers up. "ooooooh" He said, "I thought you said SEX and was going to help you out." Funny.

And I got on TV a couple times with my painted-face friends for yelling our heads off and cheering (OK and being a total media whore and begging to be put on camera)

After the game, the Men's team was very appreciative of the crazy rowdy people in "Sam's Army" or the "American Outlaws" [my fan club] or the "Screamin' Eagles" or ,,,um I think B is in another fan club. So they came over to say hi.

But only Freddie, the heartthrob of all girls soccer players, came to shake hands with all the fans. And Hold Babies and such.

Yep, that's none other than Freddie Adu and Baby Max - the world's Youngest Media Whore at 4 months. He made it on ESPN3 with Freddie! I just met Max and his parents at the pre-game party with B. his dad, Andy Gustavson has written a book about traveling the world with the Men's world cup team - I think it was about their trip to Korea. Very Cool People. Who else would pull a Michael Jackson with his baby, dangling him out over the stands as Bait for Freddie?

Yeah that's me in my ugly shirt (it's polyester and the front has an ugly mad eagle on it) with my messy hair trying to take a photo with my cell phone. I did get a good one of Max and Freddie with my cell. Then some awesome people next to us after the game said, "Hey we got your photo with the baby and Freddie. Can we email you?" And me, ever the lawyer with a business card at the ready, whipped out a card and gave it to them. And sure enough, they emailed the photos.

Soccer Fans Rock. USA! USA! USA! USA! Yeah, soccer is fun. Especially with good friends, old and new. But especially OLD.

Monday, October 13, 2008

This is My Day

As this day almost ends, I sometimes wonder how I survived it at all. And the fact that I feel this way and that I did survive it makes it a "typical" day here in Casa De Next Door (um maybe that's Casa Al Lado?) Anyway. Here's what Mrs. G and her Day In the Life have Inspired

Being a Monday we should've been up and out of bed early....

BUT because my kids go to Catholic school, they have this federal holiday off. (What's that you say? Separation of church and state? Um. We forgot. )

So I caught a little bit of shut-eye - after getting up at 6am to let out this little dog who somehow ended up sleeping in my bed instead of Daughter's.....

But she does understand that she belongs to a teenager, so after a quick trip out, she quickly went back to bed and to sleep until 730 a.m. I am in heaven having slept so long...

730 both dogs (who spent the night crammed in a corner of my king sized bed on top of me -what is that all about?!) got fed and went out again.

And I must get up why (other than feeding hungry dogs)? To take Son to this evil house of pain...

Evil you ask? Oh yes, evil in my mind. So many cool things to make unless you are craft-challenged and then it's just a giant box of temptation and even if you can get the lid off, you know you can never partake because anything you attempt will come out looking like a boathouse in New Orleans post-Katrina.

But Son and Daughter have been assigned a totally cool project for scholars' class to make a "flag" for a classmate - something they can "raise" when they want to say something, besides raising their hand. And it has to be a personal thing. Son has been assigned one of the least-liked and least-popular kids in class. And I am proud of him for rising to the occasion and planning a kick-butt project. But the project scares me b/c I have NO IDEA how to do what he envisions - a stage (because she's into theater) with a curtain (purple or blue b/c they are her favorite colors) on a string and when you open it, her initials/name appears. Hmmm. $50 and 1 hour later, I drop him off at a friend's house with a bag of wood and supplies where he will trade his hard yard labor in exchange for the sewing gifts of the mom and the carpentry gifts of the dad.

Then I go back home to google directions to the game Daughter has today - school game on her day off. Go Figure. But Lorelai wants to help...

I get the whole directions thingy figured out, load up the car leaving doggy behind and we are off, 75 miles due south, to the game.

We stop about 3/4 of the way there for a really mediocre lunch that we wait over 30 minutes crabcakes were good, but the girls didn't think much of their sandwiches which bites b/c they have to play a soccer game and I just have to watch. Oh well.

Finally 3 hours after takeoff, we land at the field...
Where Daughter, as one of the co-Captains, gathers for the coin toss. (girl on the far right #5)

Let the games begin...

Oh and we score so many goals they take out the "regular" goalie (my "other" Daughter, V) and put in this new goalie, the one they put in when they want the other team to score (not kidding)
Hey wait, that's Daughter! Yes it is, but only for 5 minutes, so no goal.

We run off the field, tell coachie no Bear Bryant speeches today, we must get back to home in time for the Flute Lesson! Hurry Hurry Hurry...

Oh but we MUST stop on our way home at Rita's for Ice we do BUT THEY ARE CLOSED FOR THE SEASON HOW DARE THEY!.

So we find a gas station with ice cream bars, and that will have to do. The girls get ice cream. I get water. (My Ass Project is ON people!).
I drive home at 80...get stuck on the off ramp behind two "gentlemen" who decide to get out of their cars for a little road rage adventure. I pick up the phone to dial 911, but decide to go around them over the curb when it appears it will end quickly without pain or destruction....

The stop on the ramp pushes us for time. We skid to a stop in the driveway, Daughter grabs flute and music, I grab dogs for a "ride" b/c they have been alone for 6 hours.

Bolt out of driveway to flute. On way to flute (10 minutes) Friend V asks, "Does Lorelai still get carsick? Because she's acting funny"

QUICK roll down the windows! Yuck. too late. Good thing she's little....and only hit Daughter's flip flop. Pour remaining soccer water over flip flop and towel off, run into flute, drop dogs back home, drop V back home, go pick up Son and check on project. ....

Are you for real? Holy cow. It Works. And it's beautiful. I am very proud of him for sucking it up. Drop Son at home, tell him to go Next Door and get Dumb Runaway Dog (DRD) who we are keeping for the week while Ex is out of town. Yes and then there were THREE.... (DRD is the one in front with the fur shaved off her front left side....)

Run back to flute to get Daughter. Read for 2 minutes until Daughter comes out...go back home. Feed dogs. Sister calls while I try to throw together some Paninis for dinner b/c it's now 830 pm and the kids haven't eaten. And they have projects to finish, and other stuff to do...

Make dinner. Get called to fix printer that will only print in black and white. Spend 45 minutes trouble shooting and decide it is over my head. Plan B - color paper with crayons like the olden days. Spend 45 minutes uploading photos from the day to send to Soccer Team ...corral dogs and keep happy in the meantime, trying to make sure DRD and Lorelai do not pee in the house or chew things or take food off counters...

Finally finally finally have 30 minutes to myself to blog about MY DAY.

Whew, need to go to bed - oops after I wash Soccer Uniform b/c they have ANOTHER game tomorrow...away...but this time she's taking the BUS....

Welcome to Chaos Central. And I only have 2 kids. I will never understand some of the folks out there with 6 and 9 kids!!!! how do they do it?!

A Day In The Life (Another Mrs. G great Idea!)

Today we're to post a "day in the life." Because my sunday got out of control, my posting will be done Monday Night, as usual. Taking photos as you read this - please come back tonight for my Mrs. G Post!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Thanks for the Obvious


It's official - I have gained a lot of weight. Went for my rather overdue annual physical today. Yes, I am having avoidance issues. So the Dr. (a woman) says, "You've gained 10 pounds since your last physical. Not that you're fat, but wanted to make sure you knew that." OH GEE THANKS - NOPE IT DIDN'T OCCUR TO ME THAT THE ROLL OF SKIN HANGING OVER MY JEANS OR THE MYRIAD OF CLOTHES IN MY CLOSET THAT REQUIRE A CROW BAR TO GET THEM OVER MY BUTT HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH MY WEIGHT GAIN.

10 pounds when you're only 5' 4" is a lot.

Thanks Dr. Nice way to start the weekend.

My Ass Project '08 starts for REAL on Monday (see side bar). (Broccoli is in town for the weekend for World Cup Qualifying Match and there will be much beer and food consumed. And Yes I have a feeling the alcohol and food consumption might have something to do with my weight gain.....)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

It was Not A Date - and my Ass ( I broke the ThighMaster)

Thanks to all of you who helped me figure out if I were being paranoid or if my kids were right. With your advice, a precautionary email, and some other well-advised tactics, the dinner with my Sunday School "Friend" was just fine thank-you-very-much.

It was too late to invite others. I already tried co-ercing the kids to join me but 1) it's dad's week 2) Daughter had Wind Ensemble and 3) Son said "OVer my dead body will I go." so not such a plan to bring them. Plan B? An email: "Gee too bad we didn't think to invite the other Sunday School teachers - then we could have all enjoyed learning more about each other and shared some ideas - well, maybe next time!" And Part 2 of Plan B: Captain strategically calls during dinner....

SO we had a lovely dinner, we DID talk about Sunday School and shared some ideas and solved some "how should we handle this rowdy kid" problems AND got to know each other a little better. AND he knows I have a BF. I think I have a new friend. No Hard Feelings. Whew.

And my Ass? Growing nicely. This week I managed to 1) work instead of play soccer 2) notice people jogging and think "Gee I have the urge to do that" which is a positive sign; 3) do a few hundred sit-ups 4) break my 1980's thigh master while attempting to tone my massive thighs.

So Broccoli is coming to watch the World Cup Qualifier against Cuba. We will tailgate and drink waaaaay too much beer and have fun (and watch Son run in his Cross Country Match) so, um, my ass project begins for real next week.

Pay no attention to the fact that I have said this previously. This time I Mean It. Really. Uh-huh...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Pure Sweet Bliss

Today for the first time since we lived in Spain 12 years ago and help of the kind I am currently experiencing was $20 for 4 hours, I have experienced Nirvana. Bliss.

Chalk it up to the excellence of living Alone and Making my OWN decisions....

Today, the Housecleaners/maids/helpers - call them what you want - they showed up. And as I am typing/blogging/quasi working-from-home- my house is becoming blissfully CLEAN.

Why yes I have worked ridiculous hours for the last 7 years and never had any housekeeping help. I was not allowed to. Ex would not hear of it. We fought about it - I even said, "FINE if you won't hire help and want to clean instead of spending time with the kids, you clean and I'll pay YOU." He actually did pick up most of the slack. But I was miserable with a dirty house (not messy - we are pretty neat people. But worse - DIRTY). Oh and folks out there? We could afford it - while not "rich" we certainly had excess income although we were never certain exactly how it all magically disappeared every month. (Um wait, kids, boat, cars, tuition, mortgage, yep that about says it all)

I have paid the kids - mostly Daughter - at various times to clean the house. And she's pretty good. But not really reliable, particularly with her full school/activities schedule.

So the other night when I was really cleaning off my desk, I came upon the cell phone number of people my neighbors use, and I. Called. Them. And They Are Here. Cleaning. Chatting. Being wonderful. I think I am In Love.

For now I am only hiring them 1x a month. The kids are only here every other week. We can vacuum and clean in between. And if I need them 2x a month, we'll try that.

Seriously, I didn't know having help could feel this good. Almost makes working 16 hours yesterday worth it....

And as Dear Abby used to say, "Confidential to Broccoli": When you come this weekend, you'll get to sleep in a clean house - Please take time to NOTICE! Haha.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Am I being Stupid? Or are my Kids Over-reacting?

OK I need some weigh in from the masses here, PLEASE before I do something stupid. Or embarrassing.

I teach Sunday School with Daughter and Son - I've got the 2nd-3rd graders with Son, Daughter moved up (with some of our kids from last year) to the 4th/5th graders. It's a lot of fun and sometimes we successfully hold their attention long enough to teach them something. On a bad day we provide good crowd control and minimize physical assaults.

Mr. J teaches the 4th/5th graders with Daughter. He taught last year, too. (and maybe before that I don't know). He's a laid back, quiet, kind of quirky guy. A couple weeks ago he sent out an email asking for suggestions on corralling the rather boisterous boys in his group (I was not sorry to see them move up....). He admitted to having zero disciplinary skills. I fired back a suggestion for "catching them doing something good" that I used to use in my children's choir at the Baptist church years ago. (Oh yeah, I've been lots of variations of Christian - another post for another day....)

So he emails me back "Hey Sunday-School-Buddy" a request to catch some coffee or food somewhere sometime. Sounded good to me - the kids and I haven't really "found" our social niche in this church. We kind of float in and float out each Sunday. We are buried in high school activities, homework and work and haven't made time for church life outside of church, if you know what I mean.

SO what do you think of this? I think he's just a quirky guy who teaches Sunday school who wants to grab coffee and chat. My kids think he's a slightly strange man who is after something more. I have no idea how old he is - I'm guessing around my age. he could be a few years younger. I don't really know anything about him other than he seems totally devoted to the Sunday school program, he's always there, everyone seems to like him, and he has a goofy sense of humor.

Am I being an idiot here? Am I setting myself up for a problem? (I have a BF! Friend/Captain wouldn't be pleased if this were a date! And in fact I ran this by the Captain and he thinks it's nothing - so I'm not hiding anything). Or are my kids messing with my head?!


Sunday, October 5, 2008

A few Days of Bliss and an A-Ha moment...

As you know from the Dumb Runaway Dog story, below, Ex was out of town for a few days this week. Why does that matter? hmmm. Yes, why exactly does that matter?

Because while he was gone, there was peace and tranquility in my life.

Ok not really, but I did have a sense of peace that is not there on a daily basis when he is there.

Why you ask? Therein lies the $64,000 question: WHY DOES THAT MATTER?

And the fact that I do feel differently when he's home than when he's not suddenly hits me and I begin to see why so many people think it's just a little odd that we live next door to each other.

Somehow, when he's not there, he's not there. It's easier to forget. And maybe I'm still wallowing through the "forgetting" stage, because the remembering hurts too much. Or pisses me off too much, depending on what I'm remembering.

And maybe the feelings I have of pissiness and ugliness towards him explain why he experiences the same when he sees me. Maybe it explains why he was not at all grateful for me taking care of his dog. Maybe it explains why he runs back in the house if he starts to go out back with his Dumb Runaway Dog and sees me out back with my dogs. Maybe it explains why when I walked over to deliver the medical records from the emergency room vet clinic, he snatched them out of my hand without saying a word to me. Not even thanks. Maybe it explains why when I send him emails about the kids, he answers with as few words as humanly possible.

It shouldn't matter if we live next door or in the next block or the next town or the next state. It shouldn't but it does.

And I'm going to admit it: I hate living next door to him. Not that he does anything nefarious. I just don't like the vibe....

Friday, October 3, 2008

Missed the Darned Debates - and Lots of other things this week...

So what happened to "Prompt Tuesday" and maybe an Ass Wednesday and somethin'somethin' Thursday and how the hell did I miss the Debate I really wanted to Watch? LIFE happened, something like this:

  • Monday night received unexpected response from opposing party in litigation, dialing up the pressure by a week. All the crazy hours I thought I'd be working NEXT week? All the Experts I lined up for Next week? HA add them to this week
  • Remember that you're the only associate paying attention to another case that has a filing (or three) due ....OOPS this week. Friday. Tuesday morning get help immediately on that
  • Kids in tow this week
  • Attend Daughter's Soccer Game Tuesday way the hell over in another state. Take Daughter to dinner, lose it with coach who makes the mommies and daddies walk over to the field to individually claim child after the game. This means walking around the gravel track in my heels and dodging warm-up soccer balls in the next game in my heels to claim a daughter who is old enough to drive and who leaves other games and practices when dismissed. No, he wouldn't allow them to point us out (he knows us all) in the stands across the field as we all waved at him and said, "Let My People Go." Nope, we had to go over individually. What are they, 5? Oh but Coach let the girls who were not leaving with parents (who would be taking the bus home after the Varsity game) walk across the 6 lane highway to go to Panera for dinner. I know because they came in behind us about 10 minutes later. Let Daughter drive home - around the famed "beltway" into a hail storm with swirling clouds approaching. Cannot see white lines. Daughter declares it "cool." I wonder if I am not insane letting her drive until I realize her eyesight is tons better than mine so probably better she's driving in the dark, driving hailstorm than blind momma.
  • Wednesday, driving frantically late to get Son from Cross Country practice, get unbelievably calm yet urgent call from Daughter reporting that Ex's Dog has been hit by a car while Ex is out of town, no one is around, she's going to get in the car with a stranger to go to the Doggy Hospital and can I meet her there please? then CLICK hang up. Can't get her to answer her phone. Call every neighbor, no one is home. Call a couple friends and tell story and they agree: Call 911 and report abducted Daughter. 911 puts me on hold. Then 911 tells me to pull over and wait "somewhere" for a police officer to come take my statement. "UH CAN YOU MEET ME at the doggy hospital in the event she shows up there?!" "NO we have to meet you now." OK thanks but no thanks I'm going to go find my Daughter. FINALLY Daughter calls me - didn't have her phone, left it in house when she ran out chasing runaway dog as 2 other dogs followed suit. Ex's dog going to live, but likely needs surgery on broken leg. Call Ex after diagnosis, volunteer to stay home next day from frantic job to watch Dumb Runaway Dog. Ex. not particularly thankful or communicative. DRD must go to vet next day anyway to stay. So much of a story here.
  • Spend 14 hours Thursday frantically writing motions, doing research, making calls, while watching Dogs and juggling Life. Realize haven't posted or read blogs in days. Realize it is nearly 2 a.m. I have missed debates and I should go to bed....but first I have one more project to finish before morning.


At least I have a job in this "economy" so I am not really complaining!!!!!!!