June 30, 2006

Happy Fourth of July

I am off to Michigan for the week to see my grandma. I can't wait to see her and some of my friends, but I'm not looking forward to J's emo teenaged attitude crap and being stuffed in a car with another child who becomes a bundle of nerves every time we go anywhere. She's 13 and stayed up half the night with the runs because we are going to see grandma, whom we see every year.

Oh. My. Goodnits.

I wonder what she'll be like when we go to Disney World. Woo hoo.

This year we travel with a pooch. This should be fun. Four kids, 16, 13, 12, and 6, plus a puppy. Did I mention that the husband has ADD, the 16 year old has ADHD and teen-itis, and the 13 year old has ADHD/Tourette Syndrome and a touch of OCD. (That means she'll look at the clock every 5 minutes, count every thing anyone eats, and touch everything four times.

It's a good thing I don't drink.

Have a great holiday weekend and thanks to all that have served this country.

I need a new camera badly, my current digital was dropped during a hail storm so half of the time the pictures are terrible. Sorry about the quality. I'll try to get some pictures of my trip and I leave you with two pictures of my two babies.

j and vin2

J and vin

June 29, 2006

A Long Dark Winter

I don't feel like writing. I don't feel like anything but blah. I've gotten your emails. I am sorry to be such a schlup, but I'm far too mean to return emails lately. I know updates are wanted, but I'm just not into it. My impulse to write comes at the most inconvenient times, when the voice and the words can easily flow from my mind, heart, or pen, yet the opportunity to do so isn't there. And I couldn't be bothered.

This winter sucked. I know I'll get emails. For whatever reason, some of my christian peers who read my blog think suck is an inappropriate word and I'm not lady like. Some of them like to send me nasty emails, judging me. Which they're often very good at. I am who I am, and that is that. It didn't stink, it sucked royal ash. This year was the first year I've attempted to home school all three out of four children and I felt like I had no idea what I was doing. Or like they have ever paid attention in a class in their entire lives.

In retrospect, I can see that trials and tribulations work torwards building my patience; my faith; my compassion. My furrowed brow. But the winter was long and dark. And it sucked.

I can see more clearly now. I can see light. But, only most recently. I don't feel as though I'm looking at the world with cataracts. Maybe I had a touch of the winter blues. Maybe I had mental blocks. Emotional blocks. Spiritual blocks. Not enough money. Not enough time. Not enough patience.

Not enough of me.

I felt lost. I lost myself somewhere. I had the big D word again. I realized that I'm like so many other women, moms especially, that seem to fade away into a sea of snotty tissues and sports schedules. This time the depression crept up very slowly. Like the Colorado river carving a canyon into my very being soul. Slowly, bits of myself just fell away, first so inconspciously that I noticed nothing, until all of a sudden there was this massive black hole that is my normal quick- witted, sure-footed self.

Then the thoughts start coming. The ones that good moms aren't supposed to think. Or good wives. Like how do you put into words that you love your children with the very fiber of your being, but sometimes you don't like them? Or that you can't figure out how you've managed to stay married as long as you have without drinking every night. Logically I know it's their behavior I don't like, but it seemed I had less paitence for them then I should have. At some point, even though my senses tell me that the fruits of my labor will come later, I want to act like a two year old and scream, I WANT IT NOW!

When do children step out of their own selfishness for once to see how others matter first, how their inactions or laziness affect others; that the world doesn't indeed revolve around them.

To hell with Martha Stewart's good thing list.

Eating dinner without listening to bickering, jokes about wet farts, or theories about who has the dirtiest undewear. Its a good thing.

Not having to share your drink with backwashing children. Its a good thing.

Actually getting to be alone with your husband more then twice a month. Its a good thing.

Not being woken up night after night because your child doesn't know that bedtime actually means they're supposed to be in bed. Their bed. Now that's a good thing.

I got so sick and tired of the arguing and drama that I thought I might actually excel better at tolerating Chinese water torture over spending even five minutes in a room with these kids. That makes me sad, and not the S.A.D said.

Where's my joy? I used to be Desparate to be a Housewife. This winter I just felt desparate. Desparate for something else. And before I get the emails expounding on how I must have some secret unrepentant sin, lingering unforgiveness or discontent, that's not the case. And there's no major drama or some family secret. If there was, I'd let you send me to Dr. Phil, I promise.

(I could use the free weekend getaway and makeover.)

I'd want to spend a whole Saturday in my room at times, watching the same movies over and over. Just being away from everyone. Away from it all. The weight started creeping on, the thoughts kept coming, the memories of things best forgotten poured out like searing lava leaving a sting in my heart.

Depression sucks. Being cooped up sucks. I felt cooped up all winter and I was.

I've probably missed a lot of oppurtunities to serve God and be a blessing to my family because I've been so miserable. Is this all there is? Is being a mom enough of a ministry? Why is it that, if I want nothing more to be a good wife and mom, and be home with my children, do I feel so unhappy in my house? How can I want all of this, yet often feel so discontent with my domestic life? Why do I feel like there's something more.

And why is it lately I can't handle the sadness. In two years our family has lost three grandparents and one uncle. My friends have suffered. They have lost parents; aunts and uncles; brothers. One of my best friends lost a brother last year to what appears to be suicide or an accidental overdose. Another one of my good friends just tragically lost a brother to suicide. My other good friend has suffered many losses lately and even now is with her family after losing her mother-in-law. I have another friend who has had such deep depression she's wanted to leave this life, leaving behind two beautiful kids. I can't imagine that pain. I feel like I can't tune any of it out. It feels like I'm rapidly downloading data that my hard drive can't hold.

Like, did you know that a large portion of the world's chocolate comes from child labor; even worse, children who are slaves on the Ivory Coast are often forced to work long hours chopping down cacao beans with machetes. If that wasn't a horrendous thought for a chocolate lover, consider that many banana plantations use child labor as well.

Just try to enjoy a banana split now.

Those are not the thoughts of a healthy mind.

I just seem so sensitive to the injustice in my world. I've always been aware of my place as a global citizen, but I've felt so helpless these last few months. I want to do more with my life what. I want to make a difference and leave a legacy. But I spend most of my days cleaning up poop and boogers off the walls.

I'm so annoyed that I haven't taken care of myself. As woman, I always hear the warnings about how important it is to take care of myself, but it seems more like an ironic joke then a reality. Sort of like when doctors put you on bed rest when you have a two year old. And they went to school for like eight years? Are they going to loan me their nanny?

Dr. Numbduts: Why haven't you been taking it easy like I ordered?

Huh? What? Oh, you mean you were serious. I'll take it easy when I can unbirth my other children and stuff them back into my crotch. That might take awhile because my 16 year old is six feet tall and my twelve year old is afraid of small, dark places.

For the last few months I've felt trapped. Lost. Cornered. I'm not old, but I'm not young either, and what do I have to show for it? A basement full of primary colored plastic toys and cat pee stains. A List of To Dos as long as the Mississippi, left unchecked. A mouthful full of would'ves, should'ves, could'ves?

As I write this my 16 year old insists on acting like he's six. God forbid I should get to sit down for a few minutes without using the fire extinguisher or faking a cellphone call to the North Pole. To insist that he do something productive or stay on task for I don't know, say more than four minutes, would be completely unreasonable because his brain cells have shrunk. It's like constant pandemonium around here with their arguing. When you're depressed, every noise hurts, and I can go from o to beast in 2.3 seconds.

I've pondered on anything I'd do differently this year. I've thought about how I'll watch for the early signs more closely if next year comes. And I've thought about anything that might have been missing.


June 23, 2006

The Honeymoon is Over

So we're still in love with Vinny. He's everything we ever wanted in a puppy. It's like we've waited for just him. It's not about the money we saved for him. It's knowing he's the best guy for us. But the honeymoon feeling of all is happiness-giggles-and-glee at the ***** house is over.

We just got a letter dated yesterday from the management of our townhomes and the tone didn't sound good. Something about, "it has come to our attention that you recently brought a puppy into your home, blah, blah, blah."

The dog came a week early, so we had and still have, every intention on filling out a proper pet agreement and handing over yet even more cash for a pet deposit. They already knew we were getting him. This letter came from the boss of our manager and she's never that friendly. Our manager has been out sick for a month or more and she was always very amicable so this is other lady is a real kick in the pants. The woman filling in for the manager of our units is the mom of J's best friend. She feels bad about this.

We will pay the money tomorrow and get everything filled out, but we can't neuter a dog that's only almost 8 weeks old. Not vet would do that and even though humane societies will do it as young as 12 weeks, I'm not taking a chance on messing up his development or physical health. Basically the letter states that we need to remove the dog immediately and comply with the pet agreement and make the deposit or else face eviction. Ugh. Sigh. Why is it almost something?

We're not giving up this dog obviously, so I'm just going to bail to Michigan for a few weeks before I figure out straighten it out with the usual person in charge. We're looking to buy a house now anyways, but we're in a lease which doesn't end until March.Will just have to pay to break it. I certainly don't want to be evicted, but perhaps God's telling us to move sooner then later? We were planning on buying a house next year; now we need to look around.

Hopefully this woman will be reasonable. I'm not sure what her deal is, whether we brought in a dog without permission first (a long time ago we were told we could have one if we paid the deposit and paid a pet rent, but she doesn't work on the premises) or that she's just upset because she's learned many tenants have had dogs without ever even reporting them. It sucks that us responsible pet owners are being bothered because a few try to hide pets. That's how the assistant here feels too. I just found out that the guy across from me has a BIG dog and I've NEVER EVER seen him be walked, he must be messing in the basement. It annoys me to no end that she's not spending her time dealing with someone like him.

Rules are rules though, so we'd never avoid having the proper paperwork, we've been good tenants for way too long. Six long years. Not that being a good tenant is bad, just being here that long has been. :o)

Whose life is so sad and pathetic they had to call that woman that doesn't even work here to let her know we have a tiny dog. How sad.

***Update, since we did leave for vacation, the woman that works here informed her the dog left and now the lady seems to have chilled out even though he's back. One of the men that works here has a big lab, his wife has brought him over to play with Vinny, she adores him and Sophie is so gentle and funny running Sylvester over to Vinnny.

June 21, 2006

Our new baby is here

After waiting year before deciding to get a Boston, we ended up getting a male. A few weeks ago when I was at my friends for a yard sale we were having, J and LiL' J were helping with the pups. Both boys got attached to the same male. LiL' J wanted to name him Calvin after his best friend. Any time we think about getting a new pet, LiL' J wants to name him Calvin. His African Dwarf frog that died was named Calvin.

No more animals named Calvin please.

Logically, I started calling him Vinny instead. OK, maybe Vinny isn't such an obvious replacement for Calvin, but it made sense at the time. I really don't think I had planned on calling him Vinny forever, but it sort of stuck. My friend called about a week ago to say that a few people were calling about the puppies and she wanted to make sure she knew which male we wanted. I told her it was the one without the black spot on its penis. Now, before you think I'm a freak I have to tell you a story about LiL' J.

When we were at their house I caught LiL' J picking each puppy up ever so gently and examining its crotch. I was about to ask him if we needed to discuss the differences between girl parts and boy parts.

Me: "Squishy, what are you doing?"

Squishy: "I'm looking for my puppy."

Me: "Oh, well, um, why are you looking at their crotches though?"

Squishy: "Pecause I'm looking for the one without the black spot on its penis. That one's mine."

Me: "Ahhh, OK, I see. That makes sense."

So there you have it. We chose the boy without the black spot on its penis. I feel bad for puppies with black spots on their penis. They are picked last.

Look at these faces.

J and new friend

I can't tell which is more adorable. LiL' J has been counting down the days until "Vinny" was ready to come home. My friend called yesterday to ask if we wanted to pick the puppy up today, which is a bit earlier then we thought we'd get him. Of course we couldn't say no. His crate, bed, toys, and supplies have been waiting for a couple of weeks. Since we're leaving for Michigan the week of the 4th, it's good to have him home earlier to work on the house breaking.

Here's J, he's been as excited as everyone.

J and J with Vin

Here's the last two puppies.

Vinny's Siblings

The one with the collar is spoken for, the girl with the white tipped ears is still waiting for a home. That's the one the girls and I had originally wanted. I had a hard time not taking her home. She's just so sweet. She's the chubbiest of all and has the sweetest face. They all do, but she would have been a pampered baby girl around here. I think Vinny's personality is a great fit for us though and if we can only afford one, what can we do? We hae to do the best for the little guy we have!

We're all definately in puppy love now. It's shameful. We have joined the club of dog owners that unabashedly post pictures of their dog, talk about them like they are children, and parade them around to neighbors, friends, family, and anyone else that loves a puppy. Plus the dog is a good learning experience for the kids. I think we'll have some new inspiration for research. Ha! They are so gentle and careful and watch to make sure the cats don't bother him.

I have denied many things, but I've never said we weren't nerds.

June 14, 2006

Pardon Me

Pardon me, while I figure out who I am lately.

Pardon me, while I try to figure out my place in this life, when so often lately I question what I'm really doing.

Wow, I managed to write something. That felt good. I'm actually opening my eyes these days. For a girl whose blog is titled A Girl in Metamorphosis, I have truly went through about three months of major change. It has left me both terrified, sad, happy, hopeful, nostalgic, grateful, uncertain, and fatter. My heart and mind is all over the place. But, I'm feeling alive again; I'm feeling like scales have been removed from my eyes-I feel like I'm on the precipice of something totally transforming in my life that I can't explain.

Gotta love feel good hormones.

June 08, 2006

Violence in the Laundry Room

This is what I get for trying to do laundry.


See, there's no point to washing. Every fresh clean load of laundry is quickly replaced with more dirty clothes. Then there's the violence.

I wish I could tell you that I received this bruise due to some gnarly accident where I sound cool and brave, but no, I just tripped over a laundry basket that was hidden by a mound of....well, dirty laundry.

So this is what I get. And it really hurts. It hurts more then showing a picture of my white, pasty, unshaven leg for all to see. Don't think I'm being a baby either, because even though it looks gross, it looked much worse a few days ago. It was practically black and I have a tiny little abrasion.

I suppose I now at least have a good reason for unshaven legs in June.