Thursday, January 31, 2008

So Much Rattling Around

I have so much rattling around in my head right now and I need to get it out. This post may not make a whole lot of sense. I'm positive it will be quite disjointed, but better my blog post than my brain.

Let's see.

I'm thinking about buying this shirt, only with red letters for leukemia. Wondering if I can wear it to church.
I had a dream about my friend J last night. It was interesting. We were at church at our knitting group (not that J ever went to one of those, she was in the hospital). In my dream, J was there. The thing is, the rest of us knew she was dead and shouldn't be there, but no one wanted to say anything or look at her too long for fear that she'd go away. But I couldn't help but just soak up the sight of her and didn't want to look away.

On the topic of loss, my brother sent me a link last week. My reaction to it surprised me. This is a satellite photo of where I went to school (2-9th grade). This picture means nothing to anyone reading this, but it makes me misty. All of the buildings north of the football field are where I spent several years of my young life.

Here's what it looks like now. All of it. Probably not the football field.
No, there wasn't a localized natural disaster in East Texas that you didn't hear about. Apparently, "they" decided to demolish all of the buildings. I don't know where the current Elementary and Middle Schools are. I don't know why the decision was made to tear these down. Asbestos?

Anyway, it made me a little teary eyed to see these. The guy who took them took before and after pictures and has about 1,000 on flickr. There were some interior shots - lockers, bulletin boards, etc. It's not like I was ever going to return to these buildings, but I guess they just felt like part of me. Odd?

A few weeks ago we found out that Sparkle's Godmother, Elastigirl, will not be continuing her journey toward becoming a priest. At least not in this diocese. She had interviews with the powers that be in December. The purpose of the interviews was to make the decision whether to approve her to continue in the ordination process. Are you ready? "They" (there "they" are again) decided that "they" did not perceive a call to the ministry in her. Anyone and everyone who knows her is stunned by this news, because her call is crystal clear to anyone with a brain (even if it's swizzled at times). Sadly, even though a lot of us thought things had changed in our diocese, I suspect that "they" are getting "call to the ministry" confused with "penis". That's all I have to say about that.

On a lighter note, somehow a friend of mine talked me into being in a very short play at church. It's called Body Talk. I'm the bladder. Yes, the bladder. It's basically about parts of a body fighting with each other; comparing them to the Body of Christ. I think I have the least lines, but most of them are snarky. Just hope I don't pass out. I don't like getting up in front of people. Adrenaline makes me dizzy. I'm sure it'll be fine. What better place to take a risk? The main reason I'm doing it is that I don't want my girls to have that same fear. If they take after their father, they definitely will not be afraid. Right now they certainly don't have any fear. I'm just trying to do my part.

OK. Breathing more slowly now. Brain slowing down. Thanks for making it to the end of the post.

Monday, January 21, 2008

These Are the Days of Our Lives

So far, the soap opera hasn't amounted to a whole heck of a lot.

I talked to Twinkle over hot chocolate last week about how sometimes people can tell us things that aren't necessarily true. I told her that, for the most part, if someone starts a sentence by saying that "so-and-so said x about you", that as a general rule she shouldn't believe it. Period.

If the other person insists, that's OK. But unless she hears it straight from "so-and-so" it probably isn't true.

Then we come to the times that we hear it straight out of the horse's mouth. For this, we talked about teasing. Twinkle is actually familiar with this and used to call it "cheesing" as in, "Mom, are you just cheesing?" So, I have reminded her that people tease a lot.

We also talked about people just messing with her - like GND moving her sticks because it got a reaction. I said to her, "You know how sometimes you'll take a toy from Sparkle just to make her whine?" She kind of looked at me like, "How do I answer that? Do I admit...." So, I continued and told her that it was the same kind of thing. The best way to deal with it was to ignore it and not give them the reaction that they want.

This is easier said than done, of course. Why just today Sparkle was sprinkling milk onto her tray then rubbing her hands in it and then putting her hands in her hair. Why not? Have you SEEN what she can make Mom do when she does that? It's lots of fun.

As is usually the case when I'm trying to help Twinkle understand something, I'm reminded of lessons I need to remember as well.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Here's a Question

Why do you think that Sparkle, when she sees my naked chest says the same word that she says for bottle?

I did not breastfeed this child. She was found when she was 10 days old. After that, I'm pretty certain she wasn't breastfed. Before that, who can say?

Why does she associate my chest with food?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

And So It Begins

I need opinions. I'll take opinions from anyone who has children, or anyone who has ever been a child.

I need to explain to Twinkle that she shouldn't believe everything people tell her (other than me and Mr. Swizzle, of course).

A little background:

Twinkle and the Girl Next Door (GND) have become pretty good friends. They play together often and we carpool with them for school two days/week. GND is 2 years older than Twinkle. She's been getting under my skin lately.

Example #1:
Twinkle, being who she is, collects things. Sticks, rocks, leaves, etc. She had put a couple of sticks on our front porch a week or two ago. Monday, when the girls got home from school they were playing a bit in the driveway while I talked to GND's mom. Suddenly I hear Twinkle whining and yelling, "no, don't do that!" Twinkle is my drama girl, so it sounded like her usual over-reacting. GND was walking away from Twinkle, carrying her precious sticks to throw them into the grass. GND's mom told her not to do that, and GND responded, "I'm afraid she's going to poke my eyes with them. She's swinging them around." My first thought was "Why are you standing close to her if she's swinging sticks?" What I said was, "Twinkle, don't swing the sticks. GND please put them back where they were." OK. Resume talking to GND's mom while watching the girls on the porch. Twinkle lovingly caresses her sticks, puts them where they "belong" and walks away. When she's about 5 feet away, with her back to GND, GND picks up the sticks and starts toward the yard. Twinkle turns around and starts yelling again. GND again says, "I'm afraid she's going to poke my eyes with them. She's swinging them around."

Ahem. I said, "GND, she wasn't close to them and she wasn't holding them. Please put them back. Twinkle, it's time for us to go inside."

Example #2:
Usually when we get to the school in the mornings, we are about 5 minutes early. We spend this time parked in the lot waiting for the doors to open. Twinkle and GND are allowed to unbuckle and walk around in the van. While doing this, they usually play with Sparkle a bit, who is still strapped in her seat. Often, GND will say in a loud enough voice to be sure I hear, "Twinkle, don't ______ Sparkle. She doesn't like that." Fill in the blank: tickle, blow raspberries at, get in her face, whatever. Today, she told Twinkle not to blow on Sparkle (which S likes, by the way) because she was blowing germs on her. It just seems like she's trying to get Twinkle in trouble with me. So, I ignore it.

As we pulled up for them to get out today, GND says, "Twinkle, I see you everyday at recess." Twinkle says, "I know. AF (another friend from across the street) talks about me." "Yeah," GND says. "She says you eat everything." (??? huh) She continues, "Yeah. She says she thinks you eat everything. You eat your chair. You're going to eat Sparkle. You eat sticks." (WTF? Eat Sparkle?) Twinkle says, "I do not. Tell her I don't do that!" As GND started to get out of the van I said, "Twinkle, she doesn't really think that." Twinkle said, "Yes she does!" I said, "Did you hear her say that with your own ears?" She said, "No. But GND told me!" With a kiss as she was about to get out, I said, "That doesn't make it true."

All of this has me thinking. Hmmm. GND went to Public School last year, but only half of the year because the girls in her class were mean to her. This year, the previously mentioned AF and other girls in her class at the homeschool school are mean to her. Hmmmm. What's the common denominator? I've started wondering if they are actually mean, or if she's made that up. If they ARE mean, is there something she does to them first?

GND's mom says that GND loves playing with Twinkle, because the girls her own age are not nice and the younger kids are. AF's mom says that GND doesn't like to play with AF anymore, because she can't boss AF around like she used to.

UGH!! It's a grammar school soap opera!

Sorry this post is so long. I just had to get it out.

I don't want anything I tell Twinkle to get back to GND or her mother as, "MY mom says you're a liar." I need to be careful, but I wonder what other things GND has told Twinkle.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Who Knew?

Who knew that there would be more than one up-side to Mr. Swizzle doing laundry?

Last...let's say March...our washing machine stopped working all the time. The delicate cycle didn't agitate. The other cycles didn't seem to want to spin at the end. At the time, Mr. Swizzle said, "call a repairman."

I, being who I am, never quite got around to that. Then we went to China in May to bring Sparkle home and the rest between then and now is a blur. I've just been going in after each load of laundry and pressing the "spin only" button. Two minutes later the clothes have been spun and I put them into the dryer.

While Mr. Swizzle was home over Christmas, he did a lot of laundry. That alone is quite a bonus. But, somewhere around load 2561, Mr. Swizzle decided to get online and check out those new fangled front loading washers. He, being Mr. Swizzle, did a lot of research and narrowed down his choices to one or two and announced that we did, indeed, need a new washing machine. After all, ours is 18 years old and who knew if it could be repaired?

So, last week Mr. Swizzle went to the Sears outlet store and picked out a front loading washing machine with a few scratches on it. It was delivered Monday.

Monday was also our 19th wedding anniversary. And, as Mr. Swizzle said, nothing quite says "Happy 19th Anniversary" like a new washing machine!

The funny thing is, it's quite mesmerizing. Twinkle wants to sit and watch it through the clear door when I start a new load. I've also discovered that I can close the laundry room door and sit on the floor in front of the washer and have quite a Zen moment all to myself for at least a couple of minutes until someone figures out where I am.

Ah, it's the little things that keep us sane.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

What Do Your Friends Do For You?

Hmmmm. I don't mean that the way you're thinking.

I mean deep down, what do you get out of your friendships?

I tell you what (yes, I'm from Texas) I've been thinking a lot about this lately.

Earlier this week, my friend Elastigirl came over. Now, if you don't know Elastigirl, let me assure you that she actually is a superhero. I've never met anyone with a) so much energy and 2) such a great heart. She will do anything for you.

Elastigirl is Sparkle's Godmother. Before Sparkle was baptized, I was talking to her about having people over afterward, etc. She casually asked if I needed any help with food. I told her I hadn't even started thinking about it and she said, "let me do it." Not help. DO it. She did the shopping, brought over all the food, had everything planned out and said, "this is fun." Just the CONCEPT of me having to do everything she did for me for that one event makes me light-headed and a bit nauseous.

Tuesday when she came over, she brought lunch and Christmas presents for me and the girls. She had already taken her older son to school in the Big City and led the chapel at our church's school. While here, she had Sparkle on her lap while she was eating. She didn't think twice about Sparkle reaching over and picking up food off of her plate and gnawing on it.

But all of this isn't what Elastigirl does for me. Elastigirl makes me realize what a person can do if she only puts her mind to it, and she's been through some crap in her short 40 years. She also makes me ponder what kind of friend I am to others. (Not to mention how high-strung I am with my kids, but that's another post or ten.) Just ask the Duchess. I really suck at returning phone calls. Heck, sometimes I suck at even answering the phone!

I'm not putting all of this out there to brown nose Elastigirl or to have others say, "oh, you're a great friend." I'm just thinking. What do I do for others? What do I need to work on? I'll never be Elastigirl, but I wouldn't mind, every now and then, to be really proud of something that I can do for a friend.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Have You Seen THIS?

OK. Really. I know. A post with just a link in it is no fun. But really. Click the link. WTF?

How I Spent My Christmas Vacation

Hey, it's 2008. What will THIS year bring? No babies, I can tell you that much.

Christmas was fun. Everyone got along. We didn't go anywhere. And I mean, even 30 minutes away to my brother's house. Everyone came here. That made things easier and, I think, less stressful.

Mr. Swizzle's mom gave us Best Buy gift cards. Now, usually if Mr. Swizzle is going to buy anything electronic, he's not going to Best Buy. He'll find some great deal on-line (and then get his credit card number stolen, but that's another story). So, it was actually quite an adventure trying to figure out how to spend these gift cards. Rough, I know.

Anyway, Mr. Swizzle decided to spend his on Rock Band for the PS3. For those of you not familiar with Rock Band, maybe you've heard of Guitar Hero? It's another video game that comes with a guitar and you play notes that pop up on the screen in the form of colored blocks that correspond to buttons on the guitar. Well, Rock Band is the same thing, except it also comes with a microphone and drums. It's lots of fun.

I decided that I was going to use my card for a Nintendo DS Lite. You know, for the brain games. Oddly, every Best Buy in a 20 mile radius is sold out. And they are sold out online. Hmmm. But Target had them. In pink. But my gift card was for Best Buy....quite a dilemma. What would YOU do?

Well, I bought a color printer at Best Buy and a couple of DS games. Then I went to Target and got the DS. Of course.

Getting a color printer should have been obvious from the beginning. Mainly because Mr. Swizzle doesn't see a point in having one and didn't want to buy one. BUT, once I decided that I was going to use my card for one, he DID want to do all the research he could and buy the best one.

All in all, it was a good Christmas for so many reasons. Not just getting to be frivolous with our gift cards, but spending time with family without feeling stressed. Getting together with friends. And having Mr. Swizzle home for a whole 2 weeks and not being ready for him to go back to work! Imagine....