Thursday, July 26, 2007

Crispy Critter

I am SO sunburned. And of course, it's a farmer tan-ish burn, on my arms up to the short-sleeve mark, a V-neckline shape on my chest, and my face. I am totally screwed for sleeveless for a while.

Got the burn during our day at Funtown/Splashtown on Monday. We had a total blast. Left the house at 8, drove the just-about-two-hours to Saco, got a great parking space right next to the entrance, and proceeded to spend almost TEN HOURS there. The kids were having such a great time that they forgot to get hungry for lunch, and didn't slow down even for a snack until about four-thirty. We finally rolled out of there at almost eight and just went to McD's (which was much better financially, as a tiny little dish of Dippin' Dots ice cream was four freakin' dollars).

I went on a bunch of rides, nearly as many as the kids (not including Splashtown, where I hid under the umbrellas, although apparently I did not take into consideration the reflection from all those pools). My favorite has always been the Astrosphere, which is a scrambler ride in a dome with a lightshow. I accidentally went on the Flying Trapeze (the big swings), which I forgot that I hated because the little chair leans backwards, making me feel like I'm about to fall out. Also loved the Thunder Bolt (see elsewhere as the Flying Bobs), the Tilt-a-Whirl, Flying Teacups, Bumper Boats, Bumper Cars, and the Grand Prix Racers. Went on other stuff, too, but those were my favorites. Fun!

In startling (to me) news, Mark went off to go on some of the "big" water slides, and HOOKED UP WITH GIRLS!! TWICE!!!! Apparently on those rides, they'll pack you into the multi-person rafts until it's full, so while they were waiting, this pack of girls asked Mark if he was with anyone, and when he said no, they said, well you have to go with someone, so I guess you're with us. And these were OLDER girls....THIRTEEN!!! Mark said they were "hot," too.

I actually witnessed the other girls that he met. He had been gone forever, and I wandered over in the hopes of maybe catching a picture of him exiting the chute. Waited, waited, and then looked over and saw him a fair distance off, with a towel and a girl! He introduced her as "Grace," and said that they were looking for Marissa and the Ainsleys (there were two). And away they went again.

A little later he came back (this time with Marissa) and asked if they could all go back into Funtown together. And I actually said okay. (surprised myself there) We met back up at the Dragon's Descent at five.

Well, gotta get ready for my MRI this morning, but here are a few pictures. mk

Ned and I referred to this as the Flintstone walk. This is how the girls carried this thing everywhere.

Mark tells me that he is ready for his driver's license based on driving this.

I think *I* would feel more secure with him in THIS.

Or even this.

Kira was concentrating so hard on this that she forgot to smile. I don't think she realized that the thing was on a track. :D

Practicing her princess wave.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Rambling, July 20th edition

Kira had a notebook that she was carrying around this evening, writing down everything Mark was saying or doing. (one entry was "Shacks head"....she couldn't remember what she had written down, and I tried all kinds of combinations, including "shark's head" before I figured out it was "shakes head.")

Mark was scoffing at this, saying that she would never be a real author if she was writing boring things like that down. (At which point I mentioned people who wrote "Day in the Life of...." kinds of stories, and if he ever became famous, she could totally print that. heh heh) Mark squeaked out, "She can't do that! I was talking about Cleoandotherhotgirls!" At which point I just started laughing. :D


Earlier today, I was trying to get Mark to unload/reload the dishwasher, and he was just not as motivated to do it as I was for him to do it (which is understandable, naturally, but I still wanted it done). He was all, "WHY do I have to do it??" So I threw my head back and cried, "Because I want something CLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

The kids just looked at me for a moment in, I think, some kind of awe. Mark walked over, patted me on the head, walked out to the kitchen, and came back with a plate. Which was clean. I gave him my most withering mom-stare, he laughed and went back out and did the dishwasher.


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows comes out in about three hours. Kira gets picked up tomorrow morning at 7:30, and after that I'm taking Mark with me to go pick up our book. Mark is very concerned that they will be out of copies by then. (we did not pre-order.)

We have, by the way, made the pledge NOT to reveal the ending or secrets of the book to others.


I found out yesterday that British English does not always put ending punctuation inside quotation marks. I also learned that periods are referred to as "full stops." <== note American punctuation there. British punctuation would have been, "full stops". And in a blatant flaunting of the "American progressive" versus "British traditional" stereotypes, both versions of English originally used the same version, which the American English retained, but the British style moved away from in favor of punctuating according to sense. (Meaning, if it made sense or was a part of the quotation, the punctuation would be within the quotation marks.)


Actually, calling periods "full stops" sounds pretty appropriate to me. Goodness knows MY period means a full stop!


I decided this morning I needed to get my hair cut. Called the salon and I have an appointment for tomorrow morning. My mom was ripped 'cause she's been trying for several days to get a morning appointment with that same stylist and the earliest she was able to get in is next Friday. I just got lucky. heh heh.


I had to schedule an MRI for my ankle (had the followup appointment at the orthopaedist today, and she told me that she is "at a loss" to explain why it is not healing correctly--yeah, 'cause THAT'S what I want to hear from my doctor...that one and she also said, "It's a mystery." Real confidence builders.). Anyway, the office called for me and were able to get an appointment for next Thursday, when usually they're booked up for weeks. (More luck. Although now I have to reschedule with Kristen, 'cause it's going to overlap on times. need to remember to call her on that one.)


I'm meeting an old high school classmate for dinner tomorrow night. He found me through, and then found my blog, and commented and we got emailing. It'll be really nice to catch up. He's been doing things that sound fascinating. I'm a little worried that I'll bore him to tears. (okay, I'm *more* than a little worried about that.) But, it'll be nice to get out and be around someone new. I'm wondering how long we can go without doing the "so do you know what so-and-so is up to these days" thing.


At the doctor's appointment yesterday, we decided to switch my antidepressant. I'm stopping the Prozac for a week and then starting Celexa. I'll be starting it just before I go to Boston for the weekend, so I'm really, REALLY hoping not to have any bad side effects the first few days. That would just suck, huh?


OK, gotta run. Need to tuck kids in. Have to get up early again tomorrow, Kira's leaving at 7:30. My hair appointment is at 9:30. Hope it turns out well. She only had a half-hour available, so she's going to cut it but not style it, which actually works out better for me, because it's less money. The next week or so is gonna be pretty pricey for me between dinner out, Funtown/Splashtown on Tuesday (my seven year old has to pay full adult price because she is over 48 inches tall...WTF?), Boston next weekend, mortgage due....

Running. mk

Saturday, July 14, 2007

More Ocean!

Went out boating yesterday....out on the ocean twice in one season! Yay! We had a blast. We put in at Camden, went out to Islesboro and anchored for lunch, then headed over to Rockland Harbor to check out the Windjammer Parade of Sails. Found Brenda, of course. Mark yelled over to her to see if she had any cookies, and she yelled back, "What? You want me to toss my cookies?!" and when she came back with a package of them, she counted off to three and simultaneously threw the cookies to Mark while everyone went "BLEEEEHHHHH" over the side. Then another buzz by, she was wearing a pirate captain's costume and came surging over the rail shouting "ARRRRRRR!" Definitely one of my favorite people. She flies an Elmo flag on her boat. (along with the Jolly Roger)

The kids had such a good time. Mark had been in a nasty mood because he had forgotten that we were going, and had wanted to bike over to a friend's house, but he perked up considerably. He was sitting in the back of the boat, and we hit a LOT of big waves that splashed over and completely soaked him from head to toe. I laughed. A lot.

Each of the kids got a chance to drive the boat, which they really enjoyed. Kira and Angel went down below during a lot of the traversing from harbor to harbor, and they were rolling around on the cushions while we hit waves and they bounced all over the place. There was much hysterical shrieking and laughter.

Mark collected some seawater in an empty Sierra Mist bottle, and announced that he was going to do a science experiment of turning salt water into fresh water. He's planning to write up all of his results and turn it in to the science teacher in the fall. Cool kid.

Anyway. Fantastic day, beginning to end. Very relaxing. Of course, I took pictures. :D Here are some:

The Angelique. I was very taken by the color of the sails. Beautiful boat.

The Isaac H. Evans.

The Evans passing the Rockland Breakwater.


Osprey nest in Rockport Harbor. There were two, actually, but I only took pictures of this one. There was also one where we anchored in Isleboro, at the top of a very tall pine tree.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Can I Play Ostrich Now?

Any one of these things would have been enough for me to rate this a bad day:

* Kira woke up today with her eyes crusted shut. Pinkeye. Drops 4 times a day.

* Was informed that within 30 days I must be transferred to a new therapist.

* The only appointment Kira could get today to look at her eyes was during my P/T for my ankle. So Mom took her.

* During P/T, two months after injury, ankle still not healing correctly. Therapist has put a Mulligan taping on to see if that helps any. I go back to the orthopaedist next week.

* Two and a half hours after I called doctor's office to request refill, went in to pharmacy to pick it up and they still had not received call with prescription. Means another trip to town for me to pick it up tomorrow. And no meds today. And I've been putting it off for a little bit until I worked myself up to make the call to the doctor's office.

* Picked up Kira's prescription (at a different pharmacy, naturally--nothing can be simple) to find out that because we had not gotten a "prior authorization" from Kira's PCP (instead, went to her eye doctor, go figure), MaineCare would not cover the prescription and I would have to pay cash price until I could call her PCP and get a PA filed and then go back in a couple days and get refund from pharmacy. This is, of course, after they got done mistaking me for D, whose insurance the kids are under. Much explaining that the kids are under stepmother's primary insurance and my secondary insurance, and that cost for kids' prescriptions cannot be taken out of D's paycheck, as she does not like that.

* Called pediatrician's office to find out that Kira's PCP (and apparently entire staff) is on vacation until Monday.

* Got kids home tonight after they spent the rest of the day at camp with my parents (and I, frankly, avoided people for the rest of the day), and Kira lifted her shirt to show me a godawful rash on her back. And her chest. And along her hairline. I am praying it is heat rash. I called my folks as I was on maxoverload and they turned around and came to my house (had barely left camp) and took a look at it for me, calmed me down some before I completely freaked out, and calmed Kira down, too, as she was catching my freak.

* Speaking of freak, found out that while my dad and Mark were mowing my lawn, Dad told Mark to move the van. My 12-year-old moved the van. By himself. Behind the wheel of a car, with the ignition on and the car in gear. To his credit, he did not hit anything in the fifteen feet he rolled the vehicle forward. To my dad's credit, he was wise enough to not allow Mark to drive the van in reverse when it needed to be moved back. To my credit, I actually remained calm when I was told these things. [this was not actually one of the things that contributed to a bad day, I just had to mention it.]

So. Needless to say, I will be very, VERY glad when today is over. Which it is almost. I need to tuck kids into bed and then I will be free to go to bed myself and get this day behind me.

Tomorrow am supposed to go out boating with kids to see the Windjammer Parade. Hope Kira's rash is better, else might be missing that to go get it checked out.

G'night. Wish me better luck for tomorrow. mk

The State of Maine Sucks **

Rule #1 in dealing with a borderline personality: DO. NOT. ABANDON.

Borderlines are hypersensitive to real or imagined abandonment. One of the first things a therapist will have to do when treating a borderline is establish trust, which is difficult at best with a client who is expecting you to bail at any moment.

Kristen, who has been my therapist for the last seven months, has been working wonderfully towards this end. In our first appointment, nearly my first question was whether she would be sticking around. My prior therapist, Ed, who has achieved near sainthood in my head, was forced to end our therapy because of health issues that required him to end his private practice. Devastated, I was NOT interested in working up a level of trust with someone who was going to just leave me again. Kristen assured me that she wasn't going anywhere.

WELL. The State of Maine has apparently had something to say about that one. They have recently set some incredible budget cuts to the mental health field, which has led to someone at Kristen's level of licensing to not be eligible for reimbursement from state-funded health care, which I receive. And so, Kristen was forced to tell me in today's session that she will no longer be allowed to treat me. Effective in 30 days.

In addition to that, Kristen might be losing her job altogether, as she will not be bringing in state-funded income to the mental-health center. She'll find out on Monday.

This SUCKS. BIG TIME. One, because I really don't want Kristen to lose her job (there will be 25 people cut from MCMHC because of this great state budget cut). And two (and frankly, much more important to me), because dammit, I don't want to lose Kristen. It really bites to build up a relationship with a therapist, finally get to a point where you have established a level of trust where you might be able to deal with some real issues, and then get blindsided like this.

Once-a-friggin-again, I am losing my therapist through no error of my own. It is completely and totally out of my control, there is nothing I can do or say to stop it, and I HATE ITHATEITHATEIT.

I can't even begin to go into it all now (partly because I am more than a little buzzed, and yes, it is not quite 4pm, and I realize that alcohol was probably not the healthiest solution to this problem, but I have had a VERY bad day so shut up). I will work on absorbing this over the next day or so and hopefully have something more coherent to say. Definitely, this will be hitting my book.

But for now. More vodka. (kids are with grandparents. thank god.) mk


p.s. Birthday was relatively uneventful. Did some shopping with Ro, but ended up having to return most of it for wrong size. mk

**Note: I said the State of Maine sucks. By this, of course, I mean the GOVERNMENT of the State of Maine. Maine itself, the geographical state, kicks ass, and I love it. mk

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Break Out the Streamers

Happy Birthday to MEEEEE
Happy Birthday to MEEEEE
Happy BIRTHday MARKIRA......
Happy Birthday to MEEEEEEEEEEEEEE....

You may now applaud and send accolades and other expressions of love. mk

Saturday, July 07, 2007

I Don't FEEL This Old

OK, people....birthday tomorrow...turning 36. Where the HELL did all that time go? I remember when my freakin' MOTHER was 36 (and that was OLD). This is just WRONG, WRONG, WRONG.

I need presents. That is the only thing that will console me. mk

File Under: So Glad It Doesn't Happen To Me Anymore

Kids were with X and they stopped at Movie Gallery so D could run in to pick up a movie while everyone else waits in the van. A, the 2-year-old, who is "fully potty trained" (isn't that special) says to her dad, "Daddy, I gotta go potty." X asks her to hold on for just a minute. There is silence. Then:

"It's okay, Daddy. I peed."

Friday, July 06, 2007

Sunshine & Fresh Air Exhaust Me

Does anybody have any explanation for that? Seriously. Fresh air is exhausting. I *always* come home totally drained of all energy, with a desperate need (NEED! not just desire) to fall into bed immediately.

We spent the last few days at camp. Went on Tuesday afternoon, hung out for a few minutes until I took Mark to a friend's for an overnight, then Kira and I spent the night at camp. That night we got to sleep upstairs in the big camp, so it was a good bed. Wednesday (the 4th), I picked Mark up in the morning and the whole family (us, my parents, and my sister) spent the entire day and overnight at camp. It was really great. The kids went swimming, Kira biked (Mark doesn't have a bike at camp yet), Mark kayaked, Kira jumped off the float and swam around without her life jacket...and then swam from the float to *shore* without her life jacket...TWICE. (My mom was right there in an

After dinner my cousin Jeff and his family came, everyone had strawberry shortcake and hung out and talked until it was close to time for fireworks. Someone down the road had picked up a *ton* of fireworks (which are illegal in Maine without a license, except sparklers--but these were aallllllllll sparklers...yeah....really really BIG sparklers.)

Someway or another Mark ended up in the inflatable kayak in the lake, and I was in the canoe with my sister and Kira. We tied up at the float for the show. It was pretty awesome. The best part for me was watching the (sparklers) explode in the night sky and seeing the reflection of light on my children in front of me. It was really gorgeous, and very memorable. There was much clapping, whistling and screaming of approval from all the spectators, on and off the water. Very fun.

That night sleeping arrangements were less satisfactory. My parents got the big bed upstairs, of course, and my sister got the pullout couch downstairs in the big camp. Mark slept (alone!) in the middle camp on one of the couches. Kira got the twin bed in the bunkhouse, and she wanted me near her, so I slept on the iron futon that was perpendicular to the bed. Now, if I had CHOSEN, I would not have been able to *find* a more uncomfortable place to sleep, including the ground outside. So I got little-to-no sleep, and none of it was of any quality.

Yesterday morning, when we got home, I was totally and completely wiped out. The kids were exhausted as well (and naturally, neither of them would admit it), and they were still going with their dad that day to go to the camp his wife's parents rent each year for the week. They'll be home tonight, and I can only imagine how overtired they must be at this point. We need a few days' downtime to recuperate from all this fun! I got a three-hour nap yesterday right after they left, and I went to bed at about 7:30, so I'm a little bit better today, but could still use some recharge time.

Still and all, it's been a good week. 54 days left of vacation, too! yay! mk

p.s. Thanks, Jenny, I need now to show everyone the Harry Potter puppet show. mk

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Satan Is Keeping My Kids Out Of Summer Camp

Mark's gone to summer camp at Fair Haven the last two years. He's had a blast, and of course he wants to go again. This year, Kira is old enough to go, too. So a couple of weeks ago, I filled out the registration forms, signed a couple of checks for the deposit, and sent it out in the mail. I wanted them to go the week of July 8 (originally there was a dentist appointment the week of the 15th, but now it's rescheduled, so they *could* actually go that week if need be). Anyway, I've been waiting for confirmation that they're booked for the week.

And waiting.

Well, it's less than a week left now, and I've gotten a little panicky that I haven't heard. So I called the camp, and got someone in the office, who looked it up and said that she didn't see the kids in the computer, but that the registration person was out right now and she would have her call me back. That was over two hours ago. I don't wait well. I'm considering calling back.

In the meantime, I'm getting a little grumpy about the "lost" registration. This will actually be the third year running that there has been an "issue" with the camp. The first year, I sent the entire amount of money at the time I sent in the registration. The church then awarded Mark a scholarship, which was sent directly to the camp. It took an entire year to track down that overpayment. So last year, when I sent in the registration, I wrote a note of explanation and just shorted the deposit by the amount that was overpaid the year before. And now this year, the kids' registrations have apparently not arrived at the camp at all.

I *did* enclose a note with it, asking that both kids be scheduled together, and listing my preferences for which weeks, in case the first choice was not available. Maybe it's just a matter of the registration person setting aside the package to deal with later and misplacing it. Maybe.

OR. For some reason, the Dana Carvey skit "The Church Lady" keeps popping in my head..."Could it be....could it be...SATAN?!?!" Depending on your religion, the idea of Satan interfering with a Christian camp registration is very real. In some religions, Satan's got his hand in just about everything, trying to trip you up on your path to God. There *are* no coincidences, no mistakes, no bad or good luck; it's all a battle for your soul.

OR, it could be God using this incident to stretch me out of my comfort level. I want very badly for my kids to go to camp; I have not received confirmation; therefore, I must use the telephone to straighten it out. I must initiate contact with someone (which I hate) and work out a conflict (which I really hate). I can't bury myself in my house and keep under the radar.

However, I really can't see the logic of either of these. I can't see where Satan can really be bothered to mess with the mail. And I can't see God doing it, either. Really, don't both of them have, um, more important things to do?

I'm curious what other people think. Do you think God and/or Satan are really that intricately involved in your day-to-day existence? Do you see messages in the mess-ups in life?

And for those who believe in signs, how on earth do you know how to read them? I mean, do you look at this as Satan trying to interfere with bringing my children closer to God? Or do you look at it as God trying to say that this isn't the path he wants me to take? Maybe He wants Mark to attend BYC (which he had the opportunity to do, except that it conflicted with Fair Haven)? Maybe He doesn't want them to go to camp at all? Maybe I'm supposed to keep them with me for some reason yet to be seen?

Well, it remains to be seen how this will all turn out. I'll keep ya posted. mk
Got hold of someone...turns out, kids won't be going to camp this year. They couldn't get enough staffing to open both sides of the lake, so they're having only half as many kids, all on one side, and they were all booked up for our available weeks. They had been holding off to see if they could work it out somehow. Bummer. Mark doesn't want to do BYC either, so we'll just give Fair Haven a go next year. mk