Wednesday, February 28, 2007

On A Lighter Note

You may remember my previous post about carpooling. Well, it's working out quite well. In fact, on Monday, which was a very long day, Twinkle was able to go home with her carpooling friend while Hubby and I were at the hospital with his family. It was very nice, and convenient, that our carpooling buds had nothing at all scheduled on Monday afternoon and the mother said Twinkle could stay there as long as need be.

When we left the hospital around 5:00, I called to let her know we were on our way, even though it would be about an hour before we got there. She said the kids were hungry and could she go ahead and feed Twinkle some mac n cheese? No problem with me! She loves mac n cheese. Then I heard her say something about chicken, and as I was about to say "Twinkle doesn't eat chicken, we're vegetarians", I realized she was talking about packing up a dinner for Hubby and me so we wouldn't have to worry about it when we got home.

I was so touched by this, I didn't have the heart to tell her that we don't eat chicken. I mean, obviously, this is a pretty casual acquaintance although we trust each other with the lives of our children on a daily basis. But, we don't know each other THAT well. So I think that made it even more touching that she was making us dinner.

I arrived to pick up Twinkle and this woman has a big basket into which she put a big dish with a WHOLE roasted chicken in it (that actually smelled great), a container with salad in it, a container with more mac n cheese for Twinkle and a loaf of bread. Now I use the term "mac n cheese" loosely here. It wasn't Kraft. It was rigatoni with melted cheese all over it.

I actually thought to myself, "Maybe I COULD eat chicken". Sure it's been about 17 years since I've eaten any kind of animal meat, but that's how touched I was. I couldn't bear to just throw it out. Did I mention it was a WHOLE chicken?!

When I got home, I called my neighbor to see if they wanted a chicken. She wasn't there, but called me back later and I took the newly bagged chicken over to her. She said it'd be great for Tuesday night because they would be busy all day and she wouldn't have time to fix a decent dinner. So, everything worked out.

Now, I'm trying to figure out how/when/if to tell my carpooling buddy that we're vegetarians.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Oh, What We Humans Are Capable Of

What a week. And it's TUESDAY!

Yesterday morning, Hubby's mom called to say that his uncle was in the hospital. He's been battling cancer for a couple of years. He'd undergone chemo and gotten rid of it. Then... it came back with a vengeance.

This weekend he went to the hospital with a fever. When Hubby's mom called, she said that he was on life support and they were taking him off of it. He was comatose and there was nothing we could do. OK. So Hubby went to work. Don't get me started on that.

Hubby's sister called around 11:30 and said that everything MIL said wasn't entirely true. Uncle J was opening his eyes every now and then and clearly understanding what people said to him. The "taking him off life support" was actually the fact that they were not giving him another dose of the medication that was keeping his blood pressure up with the knowledge that when it worked its way out of his system, his blood pressure would drop and everything else would begin to fail.

Hubby and I headed to the hospital and got there about 1 and stayed through the afternoon. His uncle held on until this morning at 1:00.

What makes it especially hard is the bond that Twinkle felt with him. Last year at Uncle J's 60th birthday, Twinkle told everyone that he was her "GREAT Uncle". Then she asked to sit beside him at dinner (without mom and dad). She was thrilled! She was so well behaved and talked to him all night. She truly loved her "great" uncle J.

Last night we told Twinkle that Great Uncle J was very sick. She asked if he was going to die. I didn't want to lie and say no. And I didn't just want to say Yes. So, I lied and said that we didn't know, but that he might. She burst into tears and said that she didn't want him to die. When she went to bed, she cried a little again and prayed for Jesus to make him well.

I'm not sure how I'm going to tell her that he died. I usually just blurt things like that out. I feel the need to be straight up with her. We're planning to take her to the funeral. She's almost 6. I want to shield her from all that sadness, but I want her to know it's OK to grieve. We grown ups don't know all of the answers. Sometimes we bawl our heads off. And that's OK. I don't think she's too young to be a part of all of this, and I think she'd feel left out if we didn't include her. She needs to grieve this loss in her life. She needs to see that that's OK. She needs to hear happy stories about Uncle J and know that he'll always be a part of us.

Now, if I could just learn those things myself.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Twinkle's Pearls

"Mom, my brain has a 100 brains inside it."

"Twinkle, don't worry about your father. Just buckle your seatbelt." T: "Mom, I do worry about Daddy." (Don't we all).

"Do you know why I was crying? Because I'm tired." Finally she's coming around to my way of thinking.

"Mom, I've changed my mind. I don't like melted cheese."

"I can feel my bladder."(with hands on abdomen) Great.

"What's inside a uvula?" um....

"I got ashed."

"I don't want her to be my babysitter. She always tells me no." Hmm, too much like mom?

"My brain is smoking red. My brain has steam coming out of its ears!"

"I can play Princess Monopoly by myself because I have 2 hands."

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Blog Obsession

I seriously cannot believe that I haven't posted for almost a week. I haven't been blogging for long, but I have this odd feeling when I don't blog. I need to get on here and type, and I don't know why!

It could be that this blog, whether I realize it or not, actually fulfills the purpose that I put at the top of the page near the title - to get thoughts that are bumping around in my head out. It could be that I feel the need to communicate with the 2 or 3 people I've never met that may stop in here to see what's going on.

I mean, really, today I'm posting about posting. Oy. If you've stayed with me this long, thanks!

I read several blogs on any given day when I should be doing something quotidian (that's my big word for the day) like laundry or dishes or maybe even planning dinner. There are a lot of great writers (check that column on the right) that can make anything sound funny or interesting or even make me think. Some days, I have something funny to say. Some days, like today, I'm feeling less eloquent so I'm posting about posting. Even if there is nothing humorous to report from my life, I still need to get on here and post.

So, bear with me. Maybe Twinkle will do something that I'll need to tell the world (of 3) about, maybe not. But I need to put thoughts out on "paper" just to have some equilibrium. Who knew?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Twinkle's Fascination

Yesterday was library day at school for Twinkle. She brought home The Human Body , which we perused all afternoon. T: "Look! It's a heart!", "Those are lungs", "Look at the skull" and so on. It was really cool that she thought everything was so interesting.

We got further into the book. T: "What's that?" Me: "That's a bladder. That holds tee-tee. When it gets really full, that's when you feel like you have to go to the bathroom." T: "Where's the poop?" Me: "That would be on this page with the intestines." So we read about what happens to food after you swallow it. I'm thinking, "This is fun." I totally understand her fascination with what's going on in her body that she can't see.

T: "What's that?" Me: "Uh. That would be a testicle." I knew we were getting to "those pages", so I just went full steam ahead. T: "What's inside there?" Me: "Sperm", pointing to a picture. She points to various other parts making me read the names written beside them. We talked about how boys and girls are different. She has a little boy friend that she's know since birth and she's seen his nether regions, so she knows about that difference. We looked at the girl pictures, too. I showed her where the baby actually is when a baby is "in a mommy's tummy". She saw drawings of full term babies. T: "Look that baby is about to come out". She didn't question where or how it was coming out, so I just chose not to address that. And then we moved on to something else. No big deal for her. I was glad Hubby wasn't home.

I told Hubby when he called what we were talking about. He was glad he wasn't home, too.

I've never thought about how to explain things to Twinkle. Obviously at 5, we're not getting very detailed. But, as we were going through the book, I suddenly realized the opportunity to be able to talk about boy parts and girl parts as normally and calmly as we were talking about lungs and hearts and what is "in there". My mom probably would have tried to end the book early.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Time? What is Time?

I recently heard a story on NPR about time. It was pretty interesting. Turns out, now that I've looked it up online, it was originally from February 2005 even though I heard in this past December.

One part I found interesting was a discussion about clocks becoming common place. Apparently (stick with me) before railroads were widespread, there wasn't really standardized time around the country or even around town.

Que? Just because it was 10:00 in, say Town Hall, didn't mean it was 10:00 at the post office or the bank. At the bank, it could be 10:10. At the post office? 10:05. And the next town down the road? Forget about it. I can't imagine living in a world not time-regulated.

Hubby, on the other hand, apparently LIVES in a world that is not time-regulated. I have been married to this man over 18 years, and have yet to come to terms with his genetic predisposition to disregard time. He even joked today that his family is determined to constantly test time until they can prove their way is the right way.

All day today has been a test. I got up to briefly run up to the church to reset between the God-doesn't-really-get-up-that-early service, and the second service of the day. I really was there for about 20 minutes, just to clean up. I got a double take or two from individuals not used to seeing me at that time of day. My plan was to actually go back and attend service at 11:00. Long story short, didn't happen. There is actually a non-time related reason that I won't go into.

Anyway, being the true pagans that we are, the whole family got cleaned and dressed so that I could go back to the church AFTER the 11:00 service to clean up again AND go to lunch with some friends. I know, it's twisted. Anyway, I said "we need to leave at x time". Apparently, Hubby is totally unfamiliar with any phrase that could possibly have the word "o'clock" in it. I won't even go into the fact that I have to get 2 people ready while he only has himself.

Deep breath. I won't go further into all the annoyance I experienced. I JUST don't get it! I think my main complaint is that it's just rude. If I say to you, we need to leave at 10:45, don't treat that as a suggestion. Yes, I was very close to just leaving, but he was so close to being ready - and the girl slowed me down. UGH.

Later in the afternoon, Twinkle went to her first Libby Lu party. We had to be back at 5:45 to pick her up - so why not leave the Starbucks that is 5-7 minutes away depending on traffic AT 5:45?! True, we did have to stand around for 5-10 minutes while they changed out of their "street" clothes into their actual normal clothes. But we almost missed them all dressed up. He actually expected me to sit in Starbucks and have a calm, unstressed conversation without watching the clock "Can't you just relax and chat?" Yeah, can't you just respect my OCD with respect to time and NOT pass your disregard on to our child?

Let me just put the cherry on top of this sundae and say that Hubby actually gets annoyed and short with Twinkle when she dawdles and has no concept of time. Yeah. That makes sense. I have NO idea where she could possibly get that!

Yes, there are times when I could stress less, and I recognize those times and try to re-group. If I just pulled a leaving time out of thin air, OK, loosen the bone Wilma. There have been times that I've tried to be overly calm and laid back and just let things happen by Hubby time. It's really hard and we're always late and I end up annoyed anyway. I really am working to not stress over time, but what can I do? Sometimes, we actually have to be somewhere ON TIME. And I am apparently the only one in the house who can read a clock.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Ever Have One of Those Days?

I guess the better question would be, ever NOT have one of those days? I just need to get the past half hour out.

Around 4:45 this afternoon, I decided to (finally) clean up the kitchen. Twinkle asked if she could help me with the dishes. She was quite the helper. She really was very helpful. Until she just started getting under foot. You know, she'd put the cups and forks, etc into the dishwasher one at a time (deep breath). I really try to not get annoyed or frustrated when she wants to help so badly and I just want to get it done. I was doing great. Really I was. Then she just started not doing much of anything but being in the way. So, I told her thanks for all the help and she could go play a nickjr game. Off she goes.

Well, not really. She decided she'd rather play with the dog - whether the dog wanted to or not. She's running around, calling the dog, throwing herself on the ground (I don't know why) and generally trying to get the dog to play. The dog would rather go outside to play, and isn't all that interested in being jumped on by the 5 year old.

Then Hubby calls. He's on his way home. Did I mention I was actually scrubbing a pan to try to get eggs off of it? And the girl's acting nuts? And the eggs (that Hubby managed to stick to the pan) won't come off? And.... Yes the fact that he stuck the eggs to the pan DOES mean that he cooked breakfast on, say, Tuesday, but those things were stuck like glue.

So, Hubby gets slightly annoyed when I say I don't know what we're having for dinner and start naming every possible thing we could eat.

OK, get off the phone with Hubby. Continue scrubbing pan. Twinkle has finally gone into the office and closed the doors (with the dog in there) and started playing a computer game. Finally I can scrub this pan in peace.

"mom, mom, mom" Sigh. "What is it dear?" (actually I don't think it sounded that nice) T:"The dog threw up in the office". SIGH. The only room on the first floor with carpet.

OK, Thanks. I just needed to get that all off my chest. I'm going to go have some whiskey now, though I usually try to wait until Hubby gets home.

AND... he's home

Thursday, February 8, 2007

My Child Is Not a Monkey!

We had our family interview yesterday at the school Twinkle will attend next year. We found out how she did on her test that she took a couple of weeks ago. She did really well. We're so proud of her for focusing and doing her best during the 2 hours that she was there.

Now that she's been accepted, I have to get my brain around home-schooling her for 2 days a week starting next Fall. I'm anxious about it, but I really think we can do whatever we put our minds to. It's less intimidating than full home schooling because the school sets the curriculum and structures the lessons so that we have certain things to do on the days that she is home. She'll have to actually listen to me on those days, which could be the thing we struggle with the most. Actually, she's getting better in that area. And she does have 7 more months of maturing, etc. before we begin this.

Tuesday, I had a teacher conference with Twinkle's current teacher. It went well with her using words like "enthusiastic", "animated", "passion", "eager to express herself" (doesn't that sound better than "talks non-stop"?) Her teacher did say that sometimes when they are doing work in class, Twinkle has to be separated away from the other children. Apparently, even if Twinkle sits next to a child that isn't a "talker", that child becomes a talker. Hey, she breaks down barriers of shyness, what can I say?

In "other child" news, I've mentioned very little on this blog about our adopting from China. Mostly because I have a blog about that for friends and family to keep up with our progress and I want to kind of keep the two separate. Having said that, once our new little one is home, she will be added to the daily subject matter on this blog. Also, when there is exciting news on that front, it's hard to keep it from bleeding over into everything.

The exciting news is this: We've been in the process of adopting since February 2005. We are now, finally, about a month away from getting our referral. A referral is the packet of information that the Chinese government sends us assigning us a child (including cute little pictures). About 2 months after that, we travel to China for 2 weeks to bring her home. I'm so excited to finally be to this part of the process, but at the same time, I'm scared to death. I'm finally getting a handle on ONE child. And let's face it, I don't really have a firm grasp on that handle most of the time.

Life is about to get interesting.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

What WILL We Do?!

I awoke this morning to another lovely day of Twinkle not having school because of teacher conferences. She got to "sleep in", so she didn't get up until 7:30. Whee. I was actually already up and downstairs. This caused Twinkle to play one of her favorite games where stuffed animals coming flying into the room with no apparent explanation for how they got there. You know, 5 year olds - not that stealthy. But, it's fun to pretend.

When she finally came downstairs, she informed me that on the news (on the TV in my room) they were talking about Easy Bake Ovens. The Easy Bake Oven that Santa brought Twinkle not 2 months ago. I had just seen it on . CNN, where the headline is "Nearly 1 million toy ovens recalled" and the sub-headline is actually, are you ready? - "DANGER ZONES - KEEPING YOUR FAMILY SAFE", yes in all CAPS. Twinkle proceeds to tell me that 5 children burned their fingers on their Easy Bake Ovens. I asked her how they did that. She said "They stuck their fingers in it!" Me: "And what did you learn from that?" T: "Don't stick your fingers in it. But, I already knew that!". Then we exchanged a "people are SO stupid" look. I don't know where she gets it. So, "nearly 1 million" (minus one) Easy Bake Ovens are being retro-fitted with some kind of kit to keep idiots from sticking their fingers in it. Hey, don't stick your head in a real oven either. My oven needs a retro-fit kit.

We wonder why kids can't take responsibility for their actions today; why they don't get that when they do x (OK, not literally "do X" - but maybe), then y may happen. Now we have a toy for ages 8 and up that cooks food being recalled because kids could get their fingers stuck and burned if they stick them inside the oven?

It's a crazy world. Somebody ought to sell tickets.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Judging Mothers

I find it interesting that there are so many stories lately of mothers judging other mothers. Ol' What's-her-name on that show did some "profound" reporting about mothers who sip wine while the kiddies play together. Is this OK?! [insert ominous music].

I've seen several posts on the subject and I don't want to sound like a broken record. Pretty much everyone has said "can't we all just get along?" Why do mothers feel the need to find something about other mothers to complain about? Is it all about making oneself feel better as a mother? Are we all so unsure of ourselves that we at least need one thing that we can say "well, at least I don't do THAT." I may lock my child in a closet, but at least I don't sip wine in front of him. I may yell at my kids when they get on my nerves, but at least I don't give them bags of glass to play with.

Just yesterday, I was leaving Old Navy. I looked out the window to the car next to me and watched a woman light up a cigarette. OK, not something I do, but smoke 'em if you got 'em. Then she turned sideways - showing her pregnant belly. Now, my first reaction was to beat her senseless. OK, just kidding. But, I did think "OMG, what the hell?" Yes, I think we can all point to research saying that she really shouldn't do that. But, how many of us know someone 20 -30 years older than ourselves who smoked and drank through their whole pregnancies and their 30 year old children are fine. I'm certainly not encouraging fetal alcohol syndrome, but I do know several women who've said such things to me.

Is it ever ok to judge and react? Probably. Child abuse going on in the line in front of you at the Qwik-E-Mart jumps to mind. Do you get out of the car and give the pregnant smoker a piece of your mind knowing what she'll tell you to do with it? What about the mom feeding the 1 year old a Snickers? What about a big greasy McD hamburger? What about.....

Everyone has something that gets under their skin and annoys the snot out of them. I think we all feel like the world is going to hell and we feel powerless to do anything about it. If only mothers didn't sip wine in front of their children, the world would be a better place? Not likely. If only that person would listen to MY point of view...

I think as mothers we ARE insecure. No one is sure what exactly they are doing. We are just trying to get through one day at a time without too much stress and trauma. I know I survived my childhood - and my mother was a thrower. That's why I move like a cat now :) Mothers should be helping each other out in the day to day survival of raising children. Not looking for ways to prove superiority. Imagine having that kind of support system, wine or not, that you didn't feel like your every move was being judged by the other females around you.