Monday, July 31, 2006

July 31 2006

OK, checking various assorted countdown calendars I have going here....30 days left of summer vacation, 11 days until my Women of Faith conference in Connecticut, 14 days until Christmas Clutter Countdown kickoff, and 147 days until Christmas.

We have really done nothing spectacular with our summer vacation. I'm still up in the air as to whether this is a good thing, or a bad thing. On the one hand, with such a wonderful block of free days given, it seems a shame not to do *something* spectacular and memorable with them. (*cough* trip to Korea BM *cough*) On the other, isn't a wonderful block of free days in which you can do not much, memorable in itself? I do know that my kids will look back on their summers, with days and days spent at my parents' camp, swimming, jumping off the float, exploring around, with great fondness, as I look back on *my* childhood days at the various camps and cottages I had access to as a child. I try to think of these experiences, in which there are no formal activities, no schedules, as a gift to my children that will sustain them when we are on the fifteenth day in a row eating whatever we can scrounge out of the refrigerator in the three minutes we have between Girl Scouts, school reports, and whatever sport I'm running across the county to.

The kids go with their dad for a week starting next Wednesday. X's wife's brother is getting married, and the kids are going to be in the wedding party, as flower girl and junior groomsman. X, however, is *not* in the wedding party. I find this odd.

I also found odd that X's wife was picking up the kids early on Saturday to take them with her to *her* family reunion, which X was not even going the time I discovered that he wasn't going, I had already said yes, and didn't really feel I could gracefully retract permission, but the visitation the kids have is with *HIM*...I'm not fond of the idea of giving up 8 hours of summer Saturday time with my kids so they can go be with *her* family?? Not that I'm not grateful that she and her family like my kids. I know, it could be worse, she could hate them, they could hate her, yada yada yada. I still think it's a bit much, how her parents go to my kids' concerts, Mark's baseball games (her sister, too!)....her mother wanted to drop an Easter basket off at my house because she was disappointed she wouldn't see my kids on Easter. Note the MY MY MY MY MY kids!!!!!!!!!! Oh, I am such a selfish person. I AM glad that my children are so loved. But I feel more than a little possessive.

And don't even get me started when Kira says that D. is "kind of her mom, too." NO SHE IS NOT. NO NO NONONONONONO (let me stamp my feet here!). Now, I would welcome a stepmother's point of view here, but in my opinion, D's role as stepmother is pretty much just that of a glorified babysitter. Able to watch my kids, but not able to make any "real" decisions without permission from an actual parent or guardian (meaning NOT HER). I feel distinct boundaries that I do not want her to cross. Pick out some clothes for my kids to wear at her house, ask them to do chores? Sure. Tell my kids what happens when someone dies, or explain sex? Don't even think about it, you're crossing the line there.

OK, somewhere I have gone off on a rant I had no intention to succumb to. I'm gonna stop now and go think happy thoughts.

Maybe thoughts about Christmas. It's only 147 days away, you know.

Friday, July 28, 2006

July 28, 2006

Oh my, a small burst of energy. I'm definitely cleaning out the fridge and going to the dump. (although I also just got sick, so maybe that will be the extent of it)

17 days until the Christmas Clutter Countdown begins (a group of which I am a moderator--my official title is "Chief Elf"). (and, for any who care, it's 150 days until Christmas)

OK, I am off to pay bills. Once kids have finished breakfast, I can get going on the trash thing.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

July 27, 2006

Kenneth & co. went home this morning, and I have spent the entire day in my pajamas.

I have no *reason* to be this wiped out, but I discovered long ago that my body doesn't have any sense of reason anyway, it just does what it wants. And right now, it wants to be exhausted. Even though I've been getting a fair amount of sleep, and have not been doing anything particularly strenuous lately. But the body doesn't care. It wants more rest.

The visit went well. Kira and Kristin (who is 7.5) had a fantastic time together. They had three sleepovers in the nine days K&Co were here (one at my house, two nights in a row at my parents'). They did a lot of scootering at my parents', and both of them have lower legs that are pretty much nothing but a bruise. Kira also managed somehow to shred a hole in the toe of her Hello Kitty mock-Crocs, and got blisters on the top *and* bottom of her big toe...her feet are a wreck. She hasn't been able to wear sneakers in days. But boy are the two of them happy together. (see pic, that's Kira on the right--this is earlier in the day of the shoe-shred, when we were at the ocean)

Not much else to say right now (or, more correctly, there's plenty to talk about, but I'm too tired to expend the effort). So I'll be back.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Bath Mat

So I'm at my parents' house this afternoon, having dropped my car off at the mechanic to have the brakes fixed (boy, I'm glad Mom & Dad have all those cars...I just borrow one of theirs until mine is done). They are madly cleaning in preparation for Kenneth & co. arriving tomorrow, and Mom has just gotten back from picking up a new bath mat.

She's checking out how it looks in the downstairs bathroom, and she's really liking the color, although it's much darker than she usually gets for a mat. She calls my dad in to look, and he decides he doesn't like the color. My mother gets this long-suffering look on her face (the one that says, I've been working my a$$ off on this house and I'm near the end of my rope and you're saying WHAT?!?!?!?!) and says she'll take it back, then.

Dad, recognizing that Mom is near burnout and company hasn't even arrived yet, is quick with a (truly sincere) response:

"NO! Don't take it back! Keep it! I have no taste!"

July 18 2006

I had an interesting (and very symbolic) dream last night.

First, right before I went to sleep, I received a phone call letting me know that on Saturday Make-a-Wish is fulfilling a wish for my friends Jim & Lisa's son Jacob (Jim, and his kids Jacob & Kayla, all have thyroid cancer), which is to give him a two-person sailboat. It's top-secret that we're all going to be there, even Jim & Lisa don't know about it.

So here's the dream:

I'm going to visit Donald (my grandfather, who has esophogeal cancer) at his house. He's not there, so I go down to the harbor to the building he's in. It's a small concrete building, one room, with huge windows that show the ocean and a small door on the right (when you are looking out) that leads out to a walkway with metal railing right over the ocean) There are waves breaking right next to the building, we are standing outside by the railing watching them. I see a really big wave building up, and know that it is going to wash over the railing, so I go inside. (I'm with a couple of people, but can't remember who they were) Sure enough, the waves wash over the railing, and we're all knee-deep in water (the door to the building was open). But at least I don't wash back out to sea. The waves keep getting bigger and bigger, and now we're all inside. As the waves grow and grow, and keep washing into the building, we run over and lean against the door and get it closed. Then a monster wave comes up and it's covering the entire building and all we see out the window is water as the wave crests up OVER the building and breaks behind it. The building is entirely submerged in ocean.

Eventually the waves subside and then I am walking down Willow St. with Tena (who called last night) and we are talking about the wish-fulfillment ceremony (which I promised to be at, by 1:15, even though they won't be there until 3) and I was also trying to talk about the big waves, but she's not listening. Just then Jim and Lisa come out of their house (which we had just walked past) where they had been signing all kinds of documents about the boat, and they see us. I cover by saying to Tena that I have an appointment with my dad and need to pick him up at my parents' house in about five minutes and need to go. (and abandon her to explain what *she's* doing in the neighborhood--my parents live two streets over--she lives in Owls Head.)

{grrr...Kira keeps bugging me, and I'm losing the thread of the dream...forgetting big chunks of it, but I have most of the basics, I think}

So the appointment has something to do with Donald, and somehow or other it ends up taking hours and hours and I miss the ceremony, even though I had some important part to it, and was also supposed to bring food, which I *did* manage to send. And someone named Mary called and desperately needed a recipe that I had for a pear dish so that she could make it for the ceremony, and I said I would get it and while I was looking for it our phones got disconnected and I didn't know which Mary it was to call her back. So I grabbed the church directory and was trying to figure out who it was by process of elimination. I had just decided which Mary it must be when my mother came out and was telling me that my sister had just bought a house and I needed to help them with it.

So we went to the house and it was this big old wreck. I was up on the second floor and there was no glass in the windows and I was trying to explain to Lynn that it was a big mistake and the house was falling down around her. So I went out one of the second-floor windows with a rope and broke the window frame and rappelled down the face of the house to the ground [which is interesting becaue I am terrified of heights] and looked up and she had missed the whole thing, so my parents wanted me to do it over. But I had to get back to my old bedroom in my parents' house because there were things, hanging on a big circular walkway that was wrapped around the outside of the room, that I had to find. They were gifts, the largest of which Guelda was trying to say was from her, but I knew that my mother had gotten them all. I had just found the last one (which involved some tricky maneuvering around this major drop-off where the walkway was missing a wide chunk) and now went to call Mary to give her the darn pear recipe and couldn't get through on the phone (which it didn't really matter anyway, since the ceremony was over and I had missed it all).

(I can't quite remember how it ended.)

Anyway. Lots of symbolism in there, huh?

Well, now that I've spent entirely too much time writing this down instead of doing other things (like helping Kira wrap the present for Zeb's pool party which is in an hour and a half, and we still have to go to camp and get her bathing suit and we're still in our pajamas). I've gotta get going. My house also needs a lot of work and I would love to be getting that taken care of instead of going to this darn party, which is being held at *the* most prominent couple in Hope's house (although they won't be there, they are away on vacation and Zeb's mom, who is my parent's doctor's daughter, and from a bit of money herself, is housesitting)....Willow called last night to tell me that they are doing work on the main road that leads to Ann & Rick's house, but it's okay because there is an alternate route, a back driveway to the house. [holy cow, they have TWO driveways to the HOUSE? And this driveway is a mile long] I asked if she had a cell number in case I couldn't find it, and she said no, but that there were housekeepers (housekeeperS!?!?!?!, emphasis on plural) and gave me the number there. Oh, and the bathroom in the poolhouse is out of order. (Willow refered to staying at Rick and Ann's as the "lap of luxury." I guess MAYBE. I knew they were an influential and VERY involved couple in the community, but I had no idea....I am VERY VERY intimidated now.)

OK, I have definitely rambled incoherently long enough. I am going to get dressed, at least. And switch the laundry. And find the darn wrapping paper. And some tape, since Kira has used up the entire roll I just got out last week. (I think a good Christmas present for her this year will be one of those multi-rolls of scotch tape, all for herself)


Sunday, July 16, 2006

July 16, 2006

Mark had a wonderful time at camp (no surprise there). He lost a pair of jeans, a pair of shorts, a shirt, who knows how many socks, and a towel. He also broke his glasses in half. He passed his swim test and so was able to swim out to the "flot" instead of having to stay in the "crib". His cabin won a week-long competition and were dubbed "East Haven's Elite" with FairHaven T-shirts that say that on the back. :D He didn't take a single shower all week. He only used $4 of the $12 I put on credit for the camp store (he got to keep the $8). They camped outside one night and were telling scary stories, including about the "chupacabra" (which they edited so that it could drain the blood of a counselor in 25 seconds, and a camper in 22), and apparently five boys got so scared they went home. Further stories about the chupacabra were forbidden, but they talked about them anyway. (MarkS wouldn't go out to the bathroom alone and asked Mark to go with him, but Mark said no way) Mark somehow missed being in the cabin picture, which was really cool with all the boys dressed up in cowboy hats and bandanas and printed in sepia tones. He was the "tetherball champion." More stories continue to trickle in.

So. Summer camp was a success. He was cranky as heck yesterday, and tomorrow he goes to Luka's dad's family's camp for an overnight party with "the guys" before Luka moves to South Africa next month. (I got the pictures printed up from Mark's birthday party last month & framed for Mark to give Luka...all the boys together) With all this constant activity, he has got to be running on empty. I can only imagine the meltdown that is coming with him, from total exhaustion. I'm going to try to head it off, but it may not be possible.

Speaking of meltdowns, I absolutely melted yesterday. I got some funky kind of heat exhaustion or something, and just got totally sick. Ended up coming home from camp (before strawberry shortcake!!!) and went directly up to my room, which is the only one in the house right now with air conditioning. It was nice and cold in my room, but I could not cool down, even with cold compresses and a VERY cold shower. I finally just collapsed asleep about 7pm and slept until 7am this morning. Felt a lot better. I NEED to get the air conditioner put in downstairs. Don't know when that'll get done, but it is really important for my level of functioning. I had a hard time again today. Got home about 3 from running around and just FLED to my bedroom. I'm out now ('cause the kids are due home any second and I also had to get the pictures printed), and it's better, but still hot. I have to get Mark's laundry finished up, too. Mary (MarkS's mom) is picking him up about 8:10 tomorrow morning to take both boys to Luka's dad's house. Gotta have the sleeping bag dry by then!

OK, I'm gonna go try to get something accomplished. (short doses of activity, followed by longer periods of recovery)

Friday, July 14, 2006

July 14, 2006

Well, I still haven't made it to the grocery store. Mark comes home tomorrow. Kira and I had a major battle of wills that ended with a huge bruise on my arm where she clawed me, a small garbage bag of toys that she has to earn back, and a clean kid-kitchen area. It was pretty nasty for awhile there, but we've gotten past it, and she is rather cheerful now, oddly enough.

Next week is going to be busy. Kenneth & company (meaning Kenneth, his wife Ginnie, and their two kids, Kaitlyn & Kristin) arrive on Wednesday. The kids go with X tomorrow night, come home Sunday night, Monday morning Mark is gone for another overnight party for his friend Luka (oh SHOOT--I have to print some pictures for him and get them framed--need to make big note to self). Kira has a pool party on Tuesday. Supposedly while Kenneth & Co. are here, Kristin is coming for at least one, and possibly two overnights. I am NOT ready yet. Just can't pull my act together.

Well, at least Kira's room is not covered with a pile of clothes. I finally got her summer clothes located in her drawers. Had to empty two drawers of sweaters and pullovers, etc, which are now piled up on top of her armoire (sigh), but you can see her room again.

I don't know WHEN I'm going to be able to get the stupid computer desk out of my upper hallway. I should have INSISTED the thing go out when we put the new desk in Mark's room. But no, I caved to Dad's "why don't we just leave it here for a minute." I knew the thing would just sit there forever, making a mess of my hallway. Grrrrrrrr.

Well, it's not heavy. Maybe I'll see if Mark can help me move it. We'll stick it outside with a "free" sign.

OK. I need to get something pulled together for dinner. Then I think we'll play some more Lego Star Wars. We are kicking TAIL on this thing, considering this is my first real foray into the land of PS2. Mark will be amazed. (and jealous) Heh heh heh.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Miss Mousie, Miss Mousie

I live in the country. This necessitates a certain level of comfort with cohabitating with critters. In particular, mice.

Now, I am not usually frightened at the sight or sound of mice. I understand that I am about a thousand times bigger than they are, that they are more scared of me than I am of them, etc. etc. I have watched mice run across the floors in my house. I have listened to them crawling through the walls. I am aware that they are a fact of country life to some degree. However.

I was out in the kitchen getting the dishwasher ready to run. Yesterday I emptied the trash, and I wanted to wash the top of the trash can, so I had it on the floor by the sink. Never got 'round to washing it, so it was still there. To get under the sink to get the Cascade, I had to move it. When I did, a critter ran out from under it. I mean, I was about four inches from the thing.

So I yelled. More correctly, I made a noise somewhere between a yell and a moan: "uuuuuUUUUUUUuuuuuuuHHHHHHHHHHH" and started dancing around the kitchen while the mouse skittered around the corner. I stopped dancing, and then I saw it peeking back out to see if it could come back. So I started stomping really loud while looking around for something to hit it with. (didn't see anything handy) Then I climbed up on the washing machine so it wouldn't get me. (I'm pretty sure this was my reason....I don't remember actually thinking much about it, just getting my butt up there.)

When I started stomping the mouse decided to vacate until a later time, so it headed across the dining room and under the hutch, where there is a gap between the floor and the wall (I really need to get that fixed. soon. very, VERY soon.).

Meanwhile, Kira appears in the doorway between the dining room and the living room, and looks in to see me perched up on the washing machine. Now comes the part I am not proud to admit. (well, I'm not too proud of any of this, really, but this next part is REALLY bad.)

I had Kira come in and get me.

She stomped loudly across the dining room floor, grabbed her little kid-size mop, and guarded me while I finished getting the dishwasher ready to run and got the hell out of there.

NOT one of my better Mom-moments.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

"The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft agley..."**

Well. The overnight at camp ain't happening. Neither is tomorrow's birthday party.

Kira has had not one, but TWO *major* meltdowns today on me. Not sure exactly what triggered them, but they were doozies. One was at my parents' house. The other one *started* at my parents' house, continued on through the 15-minute drive home, temporarily abated but then kicked back into high gear and ended up exhausting us both. She's got a small scratch on her cheek now that she got somehow in the car when I put her in the back seat (she was thrashing around so hard, I'm surprised all she got was that tiny scratch....I actually had to engage the child-safety lock on the back seat to keep her from throwing herself out of the car). About the only thing that differed between her fits with me and the ones that X has described is that she didn't throw anything or hit anyone. She *did* kick the back of my seat in the car, but stopped when I pulled the car over, got out, opened the back seat, put my face right next to her, and told her to CUT.....IT.....OUT.

Anyway. So I cancelled going to camp, and also took away tomorrow's party (which is actually a relief to me). She was more devastated about not going to camp.

I didn't get to do my grocery shopping, though. Maybe tomorrow.

**quote from Robert Burns' "To a Mouse"

July 11, 2006

Kira is madly packing. We are going to spend the night at camp tonight. First I have to do a little cleaning here, then we have to go to town to get a birthday present for her friend for tomorrow's party, then a little grocery shopping. I don't know how patient Kira will be with all that, she's eager to get swimming. :D

Yesterday we painted the deck table, a nice deep red called "fleur-de-lys". It turned out great. Love it. How I got the table was, when we went to pick up Mom & Dad's refrigerator, the woman gave me a kitchen table. It's a great table. So I brought it home, cut 8" off the legs, painted it, and now it's a deck table. Image

Jonas wrote me an email last night. He was thanking me for the e-card I sent on our birthday (which, of course, he forgot that we share). He said he hoped I enjoyed the present he sent, which should get him off the hook. (What present?) Poor guy blew out his knee two weeks ago, he's hobbling around like the old man he claims he is. (he's one year older than my 35)

Kira and I are doing fantastic on Lego Star Wars. Mark will be impressed with how far we got while he's at camp. (which I'm sure he's enjoying immensely) I'm gonna suffer a little bit of withdrawal today, not being able to play it. ;)

OK, I need to get Kira under control before she packs the entire house for our overnight.


Monday, July 10, 2006

July 10, 2006

Kira was playing with some guys she made out of Legos, she had about six or seven guys going at once, playing out all the parts. I was half listening, something about a commander who had the key that would start the ship that would rescue everyone....blah blah blah...when suddenly I hear her say, in a big dramatic voice, "And now, for the grand finale, we're going to SAVE YOU!"

That just cracked me up. Oh my chicken!

Camp Songs

In honor of Mark's week at summer camp, here are a couple of camp songs. Enjoy!

Camp Granada (of course!!)

Hello Muddah, hello Faddah,
Here I am at Camp Granada.
Camp is very entertaining,
And they say we'll have some fun if it stops raining.

I went hiking with Joe Spivey,
He developed poison ivy.
You remember Leonard Skinner,
He got Ptomaine poisoning last night after dinner.

All the counsellors hate the waiters,
And the lake has alligators.
And the head coach wants no sissies,
So he reads to us from something called Ulysses.

Now I don't want this should scare ya',
But my bunkmate has Malaria.
You remember Jeffery Hardy,
They're about to organize a searching party.

Take me home, oh Muddah, Faddah,
Take me home, I hate Granada.
Don't leave me here where
I might get eaten by a bear.

Take me home,
I promise I will not make noise,
or mess the house with other boys,
Oh please don't make me stay,
I've been here one whole day...

Dearest Muddah, Darling Faddah,
How's my precious little bruddah?
Let me come home if you miss me,
I would even let Aunt Bertha hug and kiss me!

Wait a minute, it's stopped hailing,
Guys are swimming, Guys are sailing!
Playing baseball, gee that's bettah,
Muddah, Faddah kindly disregard this lettah!!!

The 12 Days of Summer Camp (tune of 12 Days of Christmas)

On the first day of Summer Camp,
My leader said to me,
Be careful of poison ivy.

2nd day Clean out the lats and
3rd day Don't chew gum.
4th Don't throw up!
5th Where's your hat?
6th Time for inspection.
7th Take out the garbage.
8th Eat your oatmeal.
9th Where's my repellant?
10th Drop that snake.
11th Not another seance.
12th Where are your parents?

Sunday, July 09, 2006

July 9, 2006

Overall fantastic day yesterday. I made it across the pond. It was actually not that bad, I could see myself doing that fairly frequently...what great exercise!!! I'm not sore today at all, either. Mark made it, too...he wanted to do it again later, but I wouldn't let him. (do NOT want the kid to burn out on this)

The movie was good. Ice cream after with the kids was awesome....we were standing under a big shady tree trying to race the melting ice cream....I dripped peppermint stick with chocolate jimmies on my feet. :D

Kimmie came last night and had presents....a gorgeous coral-colored lace cross-over tank top, and some oval multi-drop earrings that look great with it (I'm wearing both to church this morning). She also has a necklace that she's having made with a pearl she got in Las Vegas, but it wasn't ready in time. I was stunned by all the spoiling (but very happy).

Mom & Dad gave me a couple of really great pottery planters, an Olmec Colossal Head reproduction (5" tall), and some $$ to get something just for me. I am *not* allowed to use it for food, kids, or anything non-fun. :D

And the kids gave me tons of homemade cards, little books they'd written & illustrated, and a terrific day spent with them, which was the absolute best.

The only bad part of the day was when X came to pick up Kira. (Mark, you'll recall, is going to summer camp today and so stayed with me.) She went absolutely hysterical about not wanting to go with him, shrieking and crying and refusing to get in the car, then pushing her arms against the door trying to stop him from closing it, and pummeling him while he was driving, screaming that he had to take her back to Mommy's RIGHT NOW (I got the joy of hearing this via cell speakerphone). She eventually did calm down after they got to his house (she called me), but holy cow. He has got to hate this. (I'm not thrilled either) Not fun.

I have to


(later) Wow. My brain completely shorted out for awhile there, didn't it? I was starting to say (before the phone rang and I forgot I was even in the middle of writing it's probably about six hours later) that I have to iron on Mark's nametags before I take him to camp this afternoon. I have now done that job. I was putting it off and putting it off, I have no idea why. It's not like it was a difficult job, or particularly timeconsuming, or even that I was dreading it that much. I just kept not getting to it. Classic procrastination, of which I am all to frequently "victim" to. Gotta work on that. Later. ;)

Right now the pizza is warmed up, Mark and I are going to scoff some down and maybe play a half-hour of Lego Star Wars before we get in the car (WHICH is already packed), pick up his buddy MarkS & mom Mary, throw a little gas in the tank and head to Fairhaven. Hope Mary doesn't cry or anything when she leaves MarkS. *I* won't cry because a) I've done this before and b) I just don't cry. It's a weird thing of mine (I should probably put it on my Strange But True list.....hmmm...another time.


Saturday, July 08, 2006

July 8, 2006

Y'know, the coolest thing you can hear one of your kids say is "I am so proud of myself!" And I got to hear BOTH of my kids say that yesterday.

Kira is doing great on her swimming! She has suddenly taken off like a rocket with it. Yesterday she was doing a lot of swimming, INCLUDING: some "distance" swimming--from our dock over halfway to the next dock; she also swam out to the float (with her life jacket on) but then took it off and was swimming "laps" around the float without it. (My dad was out there with her) She's doing so wonderful! And she said she was really proud of herself. That was so cool.

But MARK, Mark AMAZED me yesterday. My parents and I were talking, and one year ago Mark was barely swimming. (Easy to remember because this time last year when he went to summer camp he failed the swim test) Yesterday this is what Mark did: swam from the dock to the float to the NEIGHBOR's dock back to the float and back to the dock---without stopping. THEN....THEN he swam from our dock ACROSS THE POND AND BACK with only a three-minute rest across the pond. (the pond is probably about 150 yards across at that point--my dad spotted him in a kayak) Then when he got back he swam seven laps from the dock to the float and back (the only reason he stopped is 'cause I made him). THEN he went out on the float and jumped off for about an hour. And the only reason he came in at that point was to eat.

He's a bit sore today, but he says it's fine. And he and I are planning to swim across the pond together later. (Dad's going to spot us in a canoe) I've only swum across the pond once before, and that was when I was much, MUCH younger...probably 20.

And today....sigh....I am 35. Mark made me a card, and part of it had a cartoon person wailing "Where have the years gone?" yeah, no kidding.

Well, I'm supposed to be not noticing that the kids are making breakfast for me. (Just like I "didn't notice" that after I sent the kids to bed last night Kira sneaked into Mark's room and they were making cards for me....and I "didn't notice" when I went to give final kisses goodnight when I finally went to bed, that Mark was still awake and was working on some project that he stashed under his covers...and I "didn't notice" when he did a commando-sneak into my bedroom when he thought I was sleeping to leave the card and a comic that he created, on my bedside, I don't notice much, huh?) So I'm going to go up and get dressed etc. We are going to see Pirates of the Carribean 2 this afternoon, yay! That should be fun. Then after that, the cross-pond swim. Hope I make it. It would be pathetic if my 11-year-old made it and *I* needed saving. :D


Thursday, July 06, 2006

July 6, 2006

Well, Bobby died. Dad and David were with him all day yesterday, all night (except for a couple hours' sleep in the car) and all day today. There wasn't any significant change, and it looked like it could take a really long time, so they decided to go home for a bit. Less than a half-hour later, they weren't even out of Portland yet, and the call came that he had passed. I feel so badly for Dad, and Aunt Doris, and the others who were close to Bobby. I myself hadn't seen him for many years, so it is not affecting me so deeply, and my kids had never met him at all. (there was an odd rift in that portion of the family when I was a teenager, which I won't get into.)


Mark went over to his friend MarkS's house this afternoon/evening, and Kira and I had a taste of the mom-daughter time we'll have all next week while Mark's at summer camp. We watched a movie, and made French toast for dinner, I tried my first double-french-braid on her hair (it came out great, we're going to do it again tomorrow), and then I had her show me how to play Lego Star Wars on the Playstation2. I am NOT good at video games, never have been, but this one was pretty fun. We ended up playing it for almost 2 hours (Mark came home for the last 45 minutes or so--he was stunned that *I* was playing, but he got right into it, trying to direct us around--it was actually more fun when Kira and I were blundering through cluelessly, although we progressed much farther with Mark's help).


Saturday the kids and I are going to see Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man's Chest. It's my birthday, so my ticket will be free. I think it's an ideal way of spending my birthday, seeing a movie with my kids, followed by Dorman's ice cream (yummmmm). My friend Kimmie called today and is coming to Maine for the weekend (her grandmother lives in Lincolnville), so I invited her to go with us (if she wakes up on time, lol--I told her we'd leave without her).


Found out today that MarkS. is going to Fairhaven this next week also...his mother made extra effort to get him there the same week that Mark is. While I know Mark's pretty psyched that his best friend will be there, I'm a little disappointed because a major part of the idea of summer camp (IMO) is the broadening of horizons and trying new things. I hope he doesn't end up spending every minute with MarkS. (I sound awful, don't I? There are only 6 boys in Mark's class at school, and I would just love for him to be able to experience new people on his own--and he had such an incredible time last year.....oh, I need to shut up and stop worrying.) Also, now we're going to carpool, which really does make sense that both of us don't have to drive the whole way (and I do know where it is). But now it feels like a little special part of the trip, a "just me n Mark" part, is gone.

Oh, I feel so SELFISH even thinking these things! But, but (there's always a "but") Mark is 11....there isn't much time left for there to *be* special things with his mom before he's grown, and being able to give him a week at summer camp just feels like such a precious thing.

Well, what is, is. We'll see how it turns out.

Off I go.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Strange But True

Saw this idea on another blog and liked the idea....I, too, will add on as I think of more things.

1. I am allergic to aloe.
2. My lucky number is 13.
3. I truly love math.
4. I love math so much I got a degree in it.
5. There is no practical use for the type of math degree I got.
6. I am afraid of monsters.
7. But I love horror movies, as long as I don't watch them alone.
8. I cannot sink, no matter how hard I try. I couldn't sink even when I was dead skinny. I think it has something to do with my terror of drowning. My psychological fear has somehow transmuted itself into a physical ability. (Hey, does that make me an X-Man or something?)
9. I claimed I was addicted to carbs for years before I had ever heard of Atkins.
10. I am still addicted to carbs.

Will add more periodically.

July 5, 2006

First off, I did not end up with a fabulous haircut. In fact, I really don't like it much. But there isn't much I can see to do to fix it, so I'll just be patient and it will grow out and I'll do something different. I shoulda left it alone. :)

Today has been an emotionally full day. It didn't start out that way. I got up fairly early, got showered etc & headed to the folks' house to help Dad get the old refrigerator off the back porch and to the dump. Well, that didn't happen today. Dad's cousin Bobby had a severe stroke and is currently in Maine Med. Dad had to go to Damariscotta to pick up his other cousin David and then go to Portland to talk with the doctors. (Dad has POA & stuff, his aunt is experiencing some issues with senility) So he gets there and the doctor basically lays it out that there is some "aggressive" treatment they could do that could possibly kill him and didn't necessarily mean he would ever be in anything but a vegetative state, or they could just let him go. He is currently in a nonresponsive state and apparently there has been some severe damage. Bobby had some severe medical problems in childhood, including polio, and they never thought he would live past 20, so it's been amazing he has lived to his (late 50s? 60s? I don't know if he's older or younger than my father, who is 63). Well, my dad didn't really want to be the one to make that decision if my aunt was at all able, so he drove *back* to Damariscotta to discuss it with her, and she and Dad and David all decided not to continue with life-support. Then Dad and David drove *back* to Maine Med.

So that's where Dad is now. Basically, waiting for Bobby to die.

As a mom, I can't imagine anything more painful than to have to make a decision to allow your child to die. Whenever I even start to think along those lines of "what if," I have to shove that thought as far away as I can. I pray to God every day that I will never have to be so strong as to lose one of my children. I honestly don't believe I could survive it.



The other part of the emotionally trying day is that X called. Apparently Kira had another one of her super-meltdowns at his house with D. this morning. D. ended up (all of this is according to X, mind you) having to lock herself in the bathroom in order to call X to tell him what was going on, while Kira threw things at the bathroom door trying to break it in. She was also "attacking" Mark, the baby, and D. I'm not sure exactly what was supposed to have triggered this. I *do* know that I have a message on my machine from 8:30 this morning, from Kira, where she sounds cute (and calm) and said she was just calling to say good morning and she loved me. So somewhere AFTER 8:30 she turned into Miss Hyde. X was saying that he thought he might have to take her to a behaviour specialist. Now, mind you, she is *not* having these severe meltdowns at my house. She is also doing a lot of "I don't want to go, Mommy, I'll miss you too much" and then getting to X's and crying so hysterically that he has to promise her that she can call me before she'll calm down.

X is saying that it might be getting to the point soon where he doesn't want to have her spend the night. And of course, if *she* doesn't spend the night, *Mark* doesn't spend the night. X and his sister had that crap happen with them, where his dad ended up not bringing his sister to his house because of conflicts, and their relationship has never recovered. I won't have that. He can have both kids or neither.

I know Kira loves her dad (she does say she misses him when she's here, but she doesn't go all hysterical or anything). She loves D. I think she loves the baby, although A. *definitely* has put Kira's nose out of joint (and I actually think that's the problem). I think at this point Kira has gotten herself into a mess she can't pull herself out of. X and D., trying to head off these things, crack down on her pretty hard, but I think it is backfiring on them and actually provokes the temper tantrums.

The funny thing is that I think X thinks I am a bad parent *because* Kira doesn't have these at my house. He thinks I let the kids do whatever they want and just give in to them on everything, so Kira never has to have a tantrum. Of course, the exact opposite is true, I don't think I let the kids get away with anything, and there are so many things I don't let them do that they do frequently at their dad's house. I do, however, handle Kira's temper a little differently. I try to understand where she's coming from, so I can help her calm down. I don't GIVE IN on whatever she's freaking on, but I know from personal experience that once she gets started on these tempers, they quickly spin way out of her ability to control. I have to help her get control of herself first, then we can deal with whatever triggered it. And it has to be done firmly and calmly. X thinks he can order her to stop and she can just stop.

Anyway, this is not meant to be a diatribe of X's shortcomings as a disciplinarian. (Even though it seems like lately a visit can't happen without a phone call to me to calm her down...that must eat him alive knowing that I can calm her but he can't).

Oh, and my grandfather went to Augusta today to get set up for his radiation which starts Monday. Dad was supposed to drive him, but the Bobby thing came up, so my Aunt Dianna (who arrived yesterday from Florida for a two-week visit) went with him, although she can't drive in Maine because "the roads are too winding"--it makes her dizzy. I think that's hysterical, the woman's FROM Maine. But anyway. So she kept my grandfather company while he drove himself. Sigh.

More another time, this has gotten lengthy.