Friday, June 27, 2008

What Have We Done?

In our quest to teach the little cherubs the value of a dollar, hard work and earning your money, I believe that Mr. P and I have created monsters (See June 17 post regarding "THE LIST").  

You see, Cherub 1 and 2 have decided that making money is a good thing.  No, not a good thing, a great thing.  As Mr. P and I thought that 2 days in, there would be cajoling, threatening, screaming and yelling to get the items on the list completed, we find ourselves in the predicament of not having to do any of the above and going broke in the process.  

While Cherub #1 is outside mowing, whacking, tilling, thatching and hosing down, Cherub #2 is inside scrubbing, spraying, spritzing and disinfecting - EVERY. DAY.  Each chore has a monetary value and the cherubs have realized that the more they do, the more they make.  We now officially have our own little 2-man Chain Gang going on.  When realizing that the list in their own home is completed until next week, they call the Maternal Grandparents to see what can be done to make some money there.  Of course, Maternal Grandparents are always happy to see the cherubs and will even create chores for them to do, just to have the pleasure of their company, so off they go to make more money (outrageous amounts at that) to stick in their wallets.  

I realized how bad things were, when yesterday, Cherub #1 and #2 decided they wanted to go to Wendy's for lunch and they had to treat me, because after dishing out their weekly pay, I had exactly $1.34 left in my own wallet.  So while Mr. P and I are quite happy that the ultimate lesson of the value of hard work and money is definitely being learning, we still have to ask ourselves, "What have we done?  Have we created Monsters?"  Yet still, for the sake of "The Lesson" we continue to dish out the dough for the chores completed on each cherub's list.  

Well, I need to go now, I have a few appointments - one to get a new job, one to cash in our stocks and one to remortgage the house - so we can afford to pay the cherubs next week.   :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Ode To My Credit

My credit I find

Is quite a big mess
With easy reporting
I haven't been blessed

The creditors you see
In reporting they fail
I call and I write
To the same NO AVAIL

They have me mixed up
With my mom and Joe Schmoe
I ask them to fix it
They always say "NO"

I have disputed by phone
By fax and by mail
The response is "Still Pending"
They're as slow as a snail

My name they've got wrong
My birth date is too
My social is different
Can you have 2?

"Please dear creditors"
I pleadingly say
"Fix my records
Fix them today"

"We can't do that now"
They always reply
"Have to look into it
It may be a lie"

It seems to be
That I'm me I can't prove
I'm tired and cranky
I think I should move

So I sit and I wait
For credit that's right
Meanwhile I worry
Through day and through night

"It will get fixed . . .
Eventually" they say
"When" I reply
"When you're old and gray"

Sunday, June 22, 2008

And The Moral Is . . .

A friend sent me this email yesterday.  I absolutely love the moral of the story.

Apparently a bear was walking across this bridge and two cars came by and scared it into jumping over the edge.  He somehow catches himself on the ledge and pulls himself to safety. 

 Authorities decided that there was nothing they could do that night, so they came back the next morning to find the bear fast asleep on the ledge. 

They set up a net under the bridge and tranquilize the bear.  He falls into the net and is lowered to the ground.

The bear proceeds to wake up, shake it off and walks out of the net.

Moral Of the Story:

When you find yourself in a predicament and you don't know what to do


This is a true story.  Check It Out at this link.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Shout Out

It is definitely past time for me to give a big old shout out to Eldest Niece and Nephew and Bro-In-Law #1.  

Mr. P is the youngest of 4 boys.  And yes, his mother is still "relatively" sane.  Anyway, Oldest Bro and his 2 amazing children (That would be my Beloved Eldest Niece and Nephew) have been SSOOOOO good to us this year, that I felt it was past time to give them a little Kudos and a big I LOVE YOU GUYS!

When Mr. P first came home from the hospital, because of logistical issues (see living with an invalid post) he had to move in with them.  Because JP and Miss Samantha were still in school, I wanted to keep our lives as normal as possible and although we made the trek to Bro-In-Law's house daily, we slept here.  Mr. P was still taking MANY, MANY medications for his various and sundry injuries, still couldn't get out of bed and make it to the commode (and I mean commode, not bathroom) on his own, and basically needed the 24/7 care that an infant needs. Hence, Kudos to Bro-In-Law #1 and his children.  They were the 3 that provided him such diligent care.  

You see, while I sat and fretted over Mr. P by day, it was these three wonderful people that kept us fed and nourished, carted cherished bambinos back and forth from here to there, ran errands, and acted as our personal concierge, doctors, nurses and medication dispensers for Mr. P by night.  Beloved Eldest Niece and Nephew would set their alarm clocks for every four hours during the night and arise to bring Mr. P his bevy of pills and make sure he was alive and relatively comfortable.  Only to have to arise again at daybreak to head off to their own daily lives of school and work.  They would come home in the afternoon and Beloved Eldest Nephew would put aside his own agenda to head off to my home to pick up cherished bambinos while Beloved Eldest Niece and Bro-In-Law would give me a break and take over the task of catering to Mr. P.  

Also,  as Mr. P is slowly healing, Bro-In-Law has definitely picked up the slack in my own home.  All the things that Mr. P used to do and fix, now fall on the shoulders of Bro-In-Law #1.  He arrives and without complaint does whatever menial job needs to be done and then proceeds to cook us all dinner.  What's better than that?  Not to mention, that quite frequently, the three of them will call or show up to take cherished bambinos off on some adventure, "Just Because".  Case in point - Last night, on the first night of summer for bambinos, they showed up, told bambinos to pack their bags and off they went, giving Mr. P and I the night to ourselves.  I could get really used to this!  

Well, just wanted to let them and all who read this (Yes, all 2 of you) know, I LOVE YOU GUYS and wouldn't have gotten through the last 6 months without you.  THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!  

So there you have it - yet again, realizing that I am truly blessed with some of the most exceptional relatives someone could ask for.  Thank you.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Proper Dress Required

Miss Samantha graduated today.  She stood proudly with Me, Mr. P, Maternal and Paternal Grandparents in attendance.  Then, as many of the other children left with loving parents, she got a swift kiss on the head, a murmured "Have a Great Day, I'll see you after school," and off we went.  

It's not that I'm not proud of my daughter.  But . . . first of all, she graduated from fifth grade.  FIFTH GRADE!  What is that about?  When I was in school, it was High School and College. And maybe the occasional eighth grade graduation.  Now we seem to graduate from every grade there is.  Also, I had to take Mr. P to work, and aren't I going to have enough fun-filled days with my children this summer - which starts Friday for them?  So, yet again, Mr. P and I get the "Parents of the Year" award. You know, for leaving Miss Samantha looking longingly after us as we drove away.  

As much as I sit and gripe about the fact that I think graduating from fifth grade is ridiculous.  I would, however, like to mention here that it was still in fact - A GRADUATION!  Do parents not know this?  Were they raised in barns?  Are they aware that there is a certain protocol for special events?  I bring this up because, in a linen skirt and cotton blouse, I STILL looked like I was attending the wedding of the year compared to everyone else.  

The clothing choices ranged from absurd, to dirty, to completely void of any and all sense of appropriateness at all.  Most of those who were in attendance chose for the more casual look of ripped jeans or dirty shorts with the raggedy T-shirt.  Fortunately though, the weather was not stifling enough to permit the all time favorite of WIFE-BEATER.  I think that this would have been more than I could bear.  

I would like to send my town a memo.  DRESS FOR THE OCCASION PEOPLE!  Usually, as I may or may not be over or underdressed for a certain occasion, there are always others at such events wearing similar formal or casual-wear.  In my town, however, I have found that I am ALWAYS overdressed for any and everything we attend (Except for the psuedo-designer-wearing-wannabes - You know the ones, head to toe knockoff Gucci, Prada, Fendi - - Shall I go on?)  Not that I mind knockoffs, but a little goes a long way people.  

I could attend a graduation, celebration, choral concert or anything else the schools or town may be hosting, on any given evening, and with me in a thong and Mr. P in nothing but a bow-tie, we would STILL probably be overdressed!  Is it me?  Is it my town?  Does anyone have any sense of appropriate clothing these days?  Should I be living back in the 1950s, 40s, 30s, whatever, whenever?  Please let me know if I am not staying with the times, am I living in the wrong decade?  

I am by far a casual person, I wear very casual clothes every day - to work, shopping, running errands and for the parties and cookouts we regularly attend.  But, come on, does it kill someone to throw on a decent pair of slacks or a nice dress or skirt for something like a GRADUATION?  I would think NOT!

If anyone out there is reading this and I am truly wrong and out of my ever-loving tree, please let me know.  I certainly want to be able to keep up with the changing times.   I just wonder, if this is how we dress now, what is to come for the next generation?  Will people be showing up to every special occasion in their underwear - old, ripped ones at that!?  Please, I beseech thee, tell me if I'm crazy.  Well, don't tell me I'm crazy, we already know that is quite the possibility, but let me know if my expectations of "Proper Dress Required" are flawed.  I look forward to the input. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

2 More Days Left . . .

Could it really be true?  Are there ONLY 2 more days left until cherished bambinos are released from the lovely educational system and returned to my tender-loving arms for 11 weeks of major quality time?  

I say quality time, because the aforementioned bambinos have decided that we are spending the entire summer together.  They WILL NOT even consider Summer Camp this year.  I have broached every kind of day camp, sleep over camp, 2 - 4 hour camp, daily activities, day trips, join a sports program, spend time with your friends speech, and maybe you could spend some time with your grandparents plan.  

I have gotten excited over every activity I have seen in print, on TV, over the internet or received by mail.  I have begged, pleaded, demanded and threatened.  All to no avail.  Bambino 1 and 2 want no part of it.  They want to stay home and spend time with me.  Let me hear it - a resounding "OOHH, HOW NICE" - NO, I say, Not Nice - I cannot possibly spend 24 hours, 7 days a week as the one man entertainment center for cherished bambinos!  I have things to do, I have places to go, I have people to see (well, not really) but I. Must. Go. To. Work.  Maybe not to actually work, but how will Mr. P survive without his chauffeur service into the office every day?  I have explained this circumstance to my lovely brood and told them that mom really needs to go to work every day.  Yes, this brought on quite the robust round of laughter, from everyone, dear hubby included.  

So, in defeat, last night, Mr. P and I sat down and made The List.  The List includes chores for which there will be no monetary gain, chores that an allowance will be provided for (necessary deductions to made when and if any of the chores are not done) and what we lovingly refer to as "The Extra Jobs".  The Extra Jobs consist of little weekly jobs that no one wants to do, bigger weekly jobs that still no one wants to do, and the HUGE Once in a Lifetime Jobs that will pay REALLY, REALLY well (ie. sanding and painting the garage doors and trim).  

So as the bambinos tuck themselves in for the next 2 nights, dreaming of lazy summer days and lounging with mom.  Mom can still tuck herself in for slumber with the last laugh . . .

Oh yes, dear children, we will be home together this summer.  But while I float dreamily around the pool. . . You will be taking care of THE LIST!  Happy Summer!

Just Madras

While stalking one of my favorite blogs, Grosgrain Garage,  read about a new online shop she discovered.  

Right up my alley - Just Madras - I may just have to buy one of everything!  


Monday, June 16, 2008

Lesson Learned . . . OR WAS IT?

Well, we spent the weekend without eldest child.  He was unceremoniously dumped at grandparents to get moving, earn some money to pay for the broken cell phone in previous post, and hopefully learn a valuable lesson in the process. 

As we pulled out of the driveway, we could see him, shovel in hand, gazing at the 10 yards of mulch that he had approximately 48 hours to move and spread to the liking of Maternal Grandparents.  Like 2 giggling school-children, Mr. P and I couldn't have been happier. Comments flew - Laughter erupted -  Celebrations transpired . . . "That'll teach him", "He'll sleep well tonight . . . if he doesn't hurt too much", "Hee, hee, hee, hee", "It's going to take him forever", more"Hee, hee, hee, hee", "Maybe he'll finally learn how hard you need to work to make a little money."

OH, HOW WRONG WE WERE!  You see, Mimi and Papa love their grandchildren - and when I use the term love, it can actually be used interchangeably with any of the following:  cherish, treasure, dote on, are smitten with, hold dear, and/or COMPLETELY SPOIL!  

Eldest child's weekend of learning lessons went a little something like this.  
Yes, he did shovel, rake, spread and move mulch for much of the 48 hours.  
However, not only did he get paid a VERY healthy sum for this job, but when rake was not in hand, he was treated to the following. . .    
1. A trip to the Verizon store to get aforementioned cell phone fixed 
Not only did Eldest child get phone fixed - it was replaced - FREE OF CHARGE, he also acquired a new drop/shatterproof shield for said cell phone -  AGAIN, FREE OF CHARGE! Because he might drop the phone, even with the shatterproof case, his lovely grandmother thought he needed a hip holster and purchased that for him too.
2. Dinner at a new steakhouse - Please Note:  This is eldest child's favorite meal
3. Subway Sandwiches for Lunch - Also a favorite
4.  A trip to the bookstore for a few books he's been looking to purchase (Yes, lovely grandmother purchased these too!)
5.  A trip to Cold Stone Ice Cream with dear old granddad
6. And to top it all off - we later discovered that Maternal Grandparents actually helped the child with the mulch.  (In his defense, he did most of the work and all of the HARD work, but still . . . )

When confronted with the fact that this was done to teach eldest child a lesson, Maternal Grandparents seemed to suddenly lose the ability to communicate in any language, including English, and any and all comments regarding our angst were completely ignored.  

It comes to mind that somewhere in our past, Mr. P and I have been told that apparently grandparents really just don't need to follow the rules, can pretty much do what they want with the grandchildren and then once they have been completely spoiled, coddled and reprogrammed to be void of any and all lessons mom and dad have painstakingly taught, returned to rightful owners.  

So, the question is . . . Was the lesson learned?   

I give that question a resounding YES!   
 "How could a lesson be learned?"  You ask .  . .    
Simply put, Mr. P and I have finally learned, that next time Maternal Grandparents need something done, we will happily move in with them for a weekend of a little work and lot of ultimate spoilage and leave eldest child home to parent youngest child and maybe, just maybe, he'll learn how hard life can really be.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Update To: Any Gift Ideas Out There?

In yet again another perusal of new blogs, found another one that makes me smile.  Check out this blog,  SIMPLYNUTMEG.COM, especially her post "Filch It Friday:  What Dad's Really Want For Father's Day" (June 6 post).  Thinking one of these ideas might just be the easiest way to go.   BEWARE:  MATURE READERS ONLY!  

Tell Me Again . . .

Mr. P and I have this frequent conversation.  It goes a little something like this - "So, tell me again why we had children."  "For the tax write-off and the occasional incentive."  "Oh".

Don't get me wrong, I adore my children.  I live and would die for them.  Unfortunately, it did not take them long to figure this out.  As far as they are concerned, I was put on this earth to service their every need and whim.  As a dear friend says, "My children's main vocabulary consists of, 'I want, I need, Where is, Go get' ".  

To be quite honest, there are definitely days that I would like to cart them down to the local IRS center, dump them on the doorstep and tell our lovely government that I am done and they can keep their lousy incentives.

My eldest child is usually a really good kid.  He's easy, funny, laid-back, and tends to go with the flow.  That is to say, when things are suiting his agenda.  The youngest cherub does everything with the energy of a nuclear missile.  She loves fully, plays hard, gives generously and always lets you know where she's at.  She also fights vigorously, holds a grudge, and needs to be bigger or better or right - ALL THE TIME.  When describing youngest child, we usually use terms and phrases that consist of "her terms, her time, her way" and "bigger, better, more"  But, I will save her story for later.

Recently, eldest child's cell phone broke.  It wouldn't charge.  And because of his supreme status as being close to a Divine Being (in his world) God Forbid he not be able to have instant contact at all times with his peeps - they have such important issues to discuss in Middle School (I wonder if saving the world ever comes up?), it needed to get fixed NOW!    He  has asked numerous times over the past week or so if I would take him to Verizon to see if we can get it fixed.  Usually, this would not be such an imposition for me, however, this is the third time and second phone later in the last few months that we have had this conversation.  My typical response to this request has been to say, "We will go this week" and the very next day, down to the Verizon store we trek.  Unfortunately for eldest child, I actually had important things in my own life to take care of that kept getting in the way of his agenda.  

Apparently, last night, he had reached wits end with me (the actual plug on the phone that the charger goes into fell out and he could no longer jimmy-rig it to work).  As Mr. P and I were settling into bed for the night, eldest child marched into our room and demanded that we take care of this issue before we head out for our weekend jaunt.  After trying to reason with him that our time schedule would not allow for this, he made the declaration that he would not be joining us, as he couldn't possibly leave town without his phone.  "That is fine," Mr. P replied.  "You can spend the weekend spreading the mulch your grandfather asked you to do about three weeks ago instead.  That way, you can earn the money to pay for the replacement of your phone." (And maybe learn a little responsibility too)  Surprisingly, he said, "Fine," called his grandfather and then marched off in a huff to his room.  

Mr. P and I looked at each other.  Me, perplexed and saddened by our argument, Mr. P satisfied that we had won this small battle.  "This is good, he can earn the money to pay for it himself, and will have to go a weekend without contact with his peeps, and maybe learn a lesson in the process."  

So needless to say, Mr. P, myself and littlest child will head out this afternoon sans eldest son for our weekend trip.  And as much as I am glad that he is taking the initiative to honor his commitment to his grandfather, and as glad as I am that he will learn the value of hard work for pay, and as glad as I am that I did not cave in to his whim -  I still wonder . . .  "Why do I feel so guilty?"

This is definitely one of those times that I would happily punch in the local IRS address on my little navigation system and drop Cherub #1 on the doorstep with the exclamation, "I am confused, I am harried, I am done!"  

But alas, this is not in the cards for me today, or any other day, because no matter how angry, hurt or guilty I feel, it does not take me long to remember the love and joy that both my babies can bring me.  And, really, I suppose that is what far outweighs the rest.  And, that, I suppose, is why we had children.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Any Gift Ideas Out There?

Father's Day is just around the corner.  As usual, I thought it was NEXT Sunday, not this Sunday and have yet to even consider gifts.  Let's see, I know what Mr. P wants, but the new I-phone doesn't come out until July 11.  How do I know this, because I thought the Apple sight said June 11 and rushed to the nearest store to wait for it to open this morning.  As I sat in the parking lot - ALONE - I was thinking, "Wow, it's unbelievable that more people aren't rushing over for this grand new invention."  Silly me, I was literally a month early.  After being told this by the store personnel, they watched me bop out with a "See you next month!"  Yes, just another group of people perplexed by me. 

Dad-In-Law and Dad aren't so easy.  I have NO IDEA what to get either of them.  

Fortunately, dear old dad would be happy with a slap on the back and a Scotch, but alas, that would not go over so well with Darling Mother.  It is Father's Day, you know, it is a special occasion!  If you read my earlier post, you know that Darling Mother will not let it pass without the appropriate acknowledgment.  Which brings me back to - WHAT THE HELL DO I GET HIM?!  I have a really good start - before Sunday, I plan to run out to get a card . . . . . . . . .  then I'm completely lost.  Any ideas for a guy who has everything? And really wants nothing?  We've gone the golf card route, the hobby shop route, the clothing route, the tie route, the fancy new device to clean-your-grill route, I even gave him a hand-painted wineglass for his birthday. Just what a man's man wants, right?  HELP!!!!!!

Dad-In-Law is just as difficult.  He probably isn't even aware that Father's Day is this weekend.  He's just happy puttering around his summer house finding things to fix.  We've given tools, gadgets for the weather, gadgets for the boat, gadgets to fix other gadgets and quite frankly, I can't think of any other gadgets that exist for him to use.  Need help on this one too.  

Sometimes I wish parents were like our children.  Throw some cash or a VISA Gift Card in a card and call it a day.  You'd think they hit the jackpot.  Wonder what Dad or Dad-In-Law would do if they opened a card with $25 tucked inside.  You want to see confusion on someone's face?  Well, hoping for ideas if anyone out there has any, but hurry, there are only 3 1/2 shopping days left! :)

Monday, June 9, 2008

I Need Help

In my perusal of many, many blogs, I have seen quite a few that mention the fact that blogging is cheaper than Psychotherapy.  As I most certainly agree with this, I wonder if blogging is actually just another insane thing I need to add to my list of things I need Psychotherapy for.  

I have only been blogging for a couple of weeks and I believe that I am truly addicted.  I think of it A LOT - I wonder if I have any kind of readership at all, I wonder what I will write about next and I actually had a dream about blogging the other night.  I am truly a complete bag of nuts!  

True to form, I entered the world of blogging with my full OCD mentality in overdrive - Have to have it perfect - Have to have it done in one sitting - etc, etc, etc.  Although I can honestly say that I most definitely humor myself, if not anyone else, I question my ability to do anything fully without overkill.  

The funny thing about my OCD tendencies is that by nature I am a completely disorganized person.  As I age, I find that I become more and more obsessive-compulsive, but not really in the true definition of the term (I am OCD about the strangest things).  Even funnier is the fact that because I obsessively try to become more organized and by nature am not, I tend to spend most days just pissing myself off. 

I decided this morning that I am not going to be this way with my blog.  I will write about whatever catches my fancy in the moment and I will not care if people read it.  As most other bloggers say, It is really just for myself anyway - you know - cheaper than therapy and a place to vent.  

Or . . . . . . . . . 

I can continue to yell at family and friends because they have not been the good sales representatives I expected, pushing everyone they know to read my hilarious musings.  

I don't know - yelling at family and friends just seems like SSOOOOO much more fun.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Miss Samantha's Adventure

Yesterday, Miss Samantha had a field trip.  Strange to have a field trip on a Saturday, I know.  Miss Samantha is a school bus safety.  For those of you who don't know what this is, it is when the children are hired to help the bus monitors.  The safeties are to help keep the other children seated and quiet and also to help them cross in front of the bus safely at their bus stops without actually getting hit by inattentive motorists.  Knowing my daughter so well, and the fact that her nickname at home is "Cyclone Mary",  I wonder if the bus company is making a wise decision by depending on her to be attentive enough to put the safety of the younger children in her hands. :)  The actual requirements for the job are to be in fourth or fifth grade.  Because it is such a coveted position of envy, the grueling process of applying for this job consists of your name being pulled out of a hat. :)

I digress.  So she has this field trip as a Thank You Gift from the Bus Drivers and Monitors.  They took them to some park with a pool, rock climbing wall and many other things for the adventurous group to do.  Friday night, Miss Samantha spent her time packing as if she were going on a week-long Safari.  We had extra clothing (not one set, but a few different choices to satisfy her fashion state of mind at the time of changing, I guess), enough snacks to feed both school buses filled with children should they break down and have to spend a month waiting to safely arrive home, her towel, money, drinks to quench her thirst on the bus ride (as she may collapse from dehydration on the 45 minute ride), and not only an EXTRA LARGE bottle of Sunscreen, but one of bug spray as well.  Satisfied that little Miss Survivalist was all set for the coming adventure, she happily went off to bed.

6:00 yesterday morning, she was up and ready to go.  We had to be at the bus for 7:30.  After carefully reviewing her packing, we loaded into the car and set off for her adventure.  As she was getting on the bus, bodybag in hand, we went over the "Remember to wear your sunscreen, Be Good, Behave, Be Careful . . . " rules of thumb.  "I got it mom, I'm good to go!"  "Well, OK then, have a great time - See you at 5:30".

5:30 pm - the buses roll into the lot.  Many frazzled and bedraggled looking Bus Drivers and Monitors alight first, then come the children.  As I am searching for my daughter, I see many other tired and tanned children come off the bus.  Then, I see her, I need to do a double-take.  Could this lobster red, welt-ridden, disheveled child possible be the same one I sent on the bus this morning with her survival kit?  "What happened?"  I ask, "Didn't you use your sunscreen?"  "Put it on in the bus on the way there."  Apparently, the word RE-APPLY is not in her vocabulary.  "Didn't you use the bug spray?"  "Oh, that leaked all over the bag on the way there, there was none left."  "Why is your bag so dirty?  Did you store it in a hole?"  "Oh, I don't know, someone opened all the lockers and threw the bags on the ground, you might need to wash it." - YOU THINK??  

So home we came.  Samantha sore, tired and bitten to a pulp, but happy.  Mom totally perplexed and wondering how it is that Miss Samantha can become so disheveled and dirty so easily and quickly (and really just not care).  Especially after being so prepared.  

Well, I guess if you judge a book by the cover, her trip was a HUGE Success.  And the only thing that really counts is that my littlest child really had a blast!

Friday, June 6, 2008

World's Worst Relative

It has been brought to my attention recently, that I just may possibly be the world's worst relative.  You see, considering that my family only consists of myself and an older sis, you would think that it wouldn't be too hard to keep track of the goings on in her everyday life.  

Mom and Dad are the types of people that are always there for you.  NO MATTER WHAT!  They are always a phone call away and willing to help.  Mom, in particular, is the type of woman that not only remembers birthdays and anniversaries, but any and all infinitesimal special occasions anyone she may have possibly crossed paths with, at any point in her lifetime, may have.  From family members, to the lady she spoke to once at the grocery store.  She always has something fitting for the occasion, whether it be some amazing super-gift or a small token or card.  

Dear older sis is an apple that does not fall far from the tree in this manner.  Although she is busy raising 3 beautiful little cherubs, running her household, working and volunteering here and there and keeping track of the sports, hubby's schedule, the dog and all other aspects of their daily lives, on any and all occasions that may arise for myself, my children or Mr. P there is always at least, the phone call.

Me?  Well, I miss birthdays, (if I do happen to remember them, I usually have one child's mixed up with another's date) forget to call on holidays, have no idea when she got married, and in general go VERY long periods of time without calling.  Case in point - my eldest niece had a birthday 2 weeks ago.  I was very proud of myself because I did order her present before the actual date.  However, as things go, her present is still sitting on a chair in the office of my home as I continually forget to package it up and send it on its way.  

A few months back, while watching the news I heard about a tornado that hit the area around where she lived.  So I called and when I got no answer, I got very concerned.  My response to my worry was to call Mom and Dad and make them handle it.  Of course, they did.  The following day, I found out that the tornado was not even near where they live.  But at least I was trying to pay attention.  I bring this up because yesterday, I found out that where dear older sis lives actually DID get hit by tornadoes and some pretty nasty weather.  Apparently, she and youngest cherub had to take cover with the dog while her other 2 where put in lock down at the local schools.  Not to mention, that poor hubby was at a meeting in which I hear the building he was in got hit pretty hard.  And did I call?  Did I even know?  Of course not, because I was sitting happily at my computer blogging.  So here, today, I would like to make a formal public apology to dear older sis and her family.  I'M SORRY!  I am glad that you are all safe and sound.  

Regardless of my forgetfulness, thoughtlessness and downright self absorption, the thing that most amazes me about dear older sis and her family is that no matter how many times I forget special occasions or am late with a gift,  and no matter how many times I don't call, email or write, they still love me.  Those 3 little cherubs are part of my biggest fan club.  I am always greeted with happiness, excitement and true unconditional love.  

So although I may be the world's worst relative, I can honestly say that I am absolutely, positively blessed to have the world's best relatives to call my own.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Update on Mr. P

So Mr. P had his doctor's visit today.  For the first time in almost 5 months, we actually got some good news.  Oh where, oh where to begin?  First off his hip is doing great.  It is almost completely healed!  His transverse processes are also doing very well.  The one that was hanging is almost fully healed and the other 2 (the ones he completely severed) have miraculously begun to start fusing themselves back onto his spine.  Can you imagine?!  His fibula is starting to heal nicely, there has been significant bone re-growth - Oh the miracles of modern medicine (Remember the bone stimulator I mentioned in an earlier post?)  and the many pieces of his ankle are also starting to come together slowly.  

The only thing that was not wonderful news is that his tibia does not seem to want to mend.  The doc mentioned that he could go in, re-break the fibula and try to force the sections of the tibia together by removing some of the many screws holding Mr. P together.  The problem is that the chunks of bone missing in his leg are so large, it will take many, many months for the bone in these areas to come together again.  After much debate, we all decided that re-breaking the wonderful Mr. P after he has come so far just isn't an option.  So we are left with his slow and painful recovery once again.  

Other than that and the fact that the nerves and muscle damage are taking quite a bit of time to heal, Mr. P is upbeat and doing well.  He has graduated from the crutches and actually is using a cane today.  He has graduated yet again - from toddlerhood to old age.  I must admit that the cane may possibly become a large source of friction between me and Mr. P.  He tends to take sheer pleasure in hooking it around people and dragging them about.  Oh well, at least he still has his sense of humor.  

I leave you today, for once, on an upbeat and positive note.  


No Sleep For The Weary

It is 2:30 a.m.   While the rest of my family are sleeping soundly, all snug in their beds, I am yet again up and wide awake. I have had this crazy habit of waking up at the same time every night for a while now. About 2:00 a.m. I wake up and can't get back to sleep. I have been doing this for so long, that I actually forgot what it is like to get a full night of restful slumber. No matter what I do, it's the same thing every night. Going to bed early doesn't help. Going to bed late doesn't help. Sleeping aids don't help. And even my old trusty standby - Benedryl - doesn't help, although it is working out quite well for my allergies.

A while back, I was so tired during the day that I was taking a 2 - 4 hour nap every afternoon.  I tried to stop this, thinking that was the reason I couldn't sleep at night, but no matter how hard I tried, by 2:00 p.m. (must be my bewitching hour) I wouldn't be able to keep my eyes open.  

I saw my doc.  After a check-up, some tests and lots of blood work that all came back normal, she thought I might suffer from depression.  Although I am not a huge fan of medicating, when she prescribed Zoloft, I figured it was worth a shot.  After about a month of living in a bliss filled, zombie-like state (which isn't such a bad thing, NOTHING bothered me - I mean AT ALL)  she decided it wasn't depression.   She couldn't figure it out.  I got MANY recommendations from family and friends.  Some pretty crazy, some not so crazy.  Finally, I did a 2 day sleep study.  Sleep for 2 days?  Whenever I want?  Sounds heavenly, doesn't it?  Not so much.  

Ironically, I was diagnosed with Narcolepsy.  You know, that disorder when you fall asleep in the middle of random things?  I'm still not so sure this is what I have, but at this point, I was willing to try anything.  So, after many trial and error periods of different medications, all of which did not help, my sleep doc and I decided to regroup.

My biggest concern was 2-fold.  I didn't want to take anything that would hinder my waking in the middle of the night if one of the kiddies absolutely needed me and I just wanted to be able to make it through an entire day without crashing mid-afternoon (After all, this is when we have homework and daily chores and making supper - all the lovely things that go with the suburban homelife).  Enter Adderall XR.  

Usually used in people who have ADHD to help them reach a state of calm and focus, it supposedly has the reverse effect on those of us who don't have it.  The doc thought the extended release formula might help me make it through the day.  I can happily say, I rarely take long naps anymore.  Don't get me wrong, about 2:00 p.m. I am still tired, but not so I absolutely have to sleep.  I can at least plug on through my afternoon and evening in a somewhat coherent, if not focused manner.  

I was sure that cutting out the nap would be the fix for my late night habit.  No such luck. I still wake up every night and I still can't get back to sleep most nights.  So, I have decided to put my regular nightly ritual to good use.  I get quite a bit done.  

In those few hours, some of the things I have accomplished are as follows:  
I have cleaned my entire house (Am no longer allowed to vacuum at 3:00 a.m. - this apparently disturbs those who are not awake)
I have bleached every ceiling fan in the house (Oddly enough, we have quite a few - I did not realize that we actually have a least 1 fan per room, if not 2)
I have gotten ALL the laundry in the house washed, dried and folded (Sometimes, if I'm feeling lucky, I even put it away in everyone's rooms) - and let me tell you, this is no small feat - we have A LOT of laundry.  
I have cleaned out the garage, the basement and our storage area
I have polished the gas grill and hosed down the back deck's sitting area
And now I can blog

After reading the above, I wonder if my time would be spent more wisely trying to figure out why I am such a complete bag of nuts?  Well, even as nutty as all this is, there is something to be said about the feeling of accomplishment.  Even if it's in the wee hours of the morning.  

I hope that someday, my sleep will magically return to its normal patterns.  Or maybe not even normal, but at least regular and nightly.  But until then,  I will continue with my ritual awakenings and I will continue to hope I can make it through each next day and I will continue to hope that this whole Adderall thing is not forever and I will continue to find things to occupy my racing mind.

It's 3:10 a.m. and I'm sure I can find something to clean.

Until Later . . . . . . . . . . . 

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Being a True New Englander

What does it mean to be a true New Englander?  Some say that it is when you have been born and bred and lived your whole life here.  Some say it is the enjoyment of the change of seasons. Still others say it is all about the attitude.  Many New Englanders are found to be cold, distant and antisocial.  

I guess if it is being born and bred here, then by definition I am a true New Englander.  I also guess that I have a somewhat distant personality :)  I like my small social group and oftentimes find it difficult to let new people in.  I am not antisocial, but definitely gravitate to small gatherings, quiet dinners and who and what I know rather than large parties or events full of people I have yet to meet.  I do not find it difficult to make conversation with new people, but instinctively prefer to stay within the comfort zone of those I love and trust.  

But if being a true New Englander is about the seasons, then I am MOST DEFINITELY NOT one.  I despise the cold, cringe when it snows, dislike the rain and can't stand the changing of seasons.  I absolutely adore the hot and steamy summer months.  It can never be too warm for me.  One of my favorite pastimes is to bask in the radiance of a hot summer sun only to leisurely move next to the fire pit to keep warm as the setting sun goes down on a summer's night.  I don't particularly mind the autumn season, but the cold nights do get to be a bit cumbersome.  In RI, to exist peacefully during our autumn months means having a wardrobe consisting of every type of warm to cold weather fashion.  On a single day it will go from sweltering heat during the day to unbearable cold that same evening.

Winters can be truly grueling.  Usually, about mid-November that "bone cold" sets in and remains with me until June 1.  It seems that for those 6 or 7 months I truly cannot get warm. My muscles ache, my joints seize up and my bones feel like those of an 80 year old woman.

Spring does not exist in this world.  I don't care what people say.  In lovely New England we go from snow and cold to rain and cold to blistering heat.  There is no in-between.  From the end of March to the beginning of June the only truly happy creatures in Rhode Island are the ducks. Mr. P's famous saying this time of year is "It's a good day to be a duck".  

Alas, my griping and groaning goes unheeded.  Mr. P, Miss Samantha and JP all love the changing of the seasons.  They love the winter snow and ice and will stay outside in the bone-chilling cold and blizzard conditions until their feet fall off due to hypothermia.  Occasionally they will venture in for the hot cocoa by a roaring fire for a few minutes, just to run back out to continue frolicking in the cold.  Me?  I watch them from the window in the warmth of my home and wonder how long it will take for me to sort, dry and put away the many accoutrements of winter garb.  

They love the foliage in the autumn.  They see amazing blasts of color and continually look for new shades of reds, golds and purples on the trees.  They see beauty in the cascades of falling leaves and stare in awe as the colors change before their very eyes.  Me?  I see dead leaves that will just make for more work for Mr. P to rake up.

The Spring is all about hope, fun and promise for my dear hubby and children.  They are looking forward to opening the pool, riding ATV's on the trail behind our house, and starting new adventures in the outdoors.  It is also a time of bringing out the bikes and skateboards and basketballs.  Rain or shine they are out there whooping up the good times of a new season.  Me?  Again, as Miss Pessimistic, I see rain that makes my hair frizzy, trees blooming that make my allergies flare up and mud being traipsed through my newly cleaned home.  

Finally, after months of waiting and hoping, the ONLY season I truly love arrives!  Summer is my time.  I spend most days outdoors enjoying the weather along with my family.  They are truly happy that mom has finally joined them in their love of being outdoors.  We share joy in the leisurely days and company filled nights.  We are together.  We are family.  We are one. They have learned to treasure these times, because they all know that in a short 3 months, they will once again be on their own and mom will be tucked safely inside watching their adventures from the window.  

As for being a true New Englander?  I guess I am one.  Other than the change of seasons that I most certainly do not love, I have been born and bred here and admittedly have the whole attitude thing down pat.  

So when the time comes, and Mr. P and I finally retire quietly to my dream island in the sun, I can honestly and truly tell those I meet, "Yes, I am a New Englander."

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

New Blog to Read

Just found this blog today -  thinkinfyou    If you are a mom - a MUST read.  She is funny and ingenious.  Actually added her to the list of blogs I stalk - but I actually left a comment on this one.  :)   Glad I checked out her site, you will be too.

Too Much Quality Time?

If you read my profile, you all know that I work for my darling hubby, Mr. P.  Usually, I go into work 2 or 3 days a week, do some bookkeeping and all the other things that need to get done that no one else will do and call it a week.  However, since Mr. P's big accident (see May 28 post) we have pretty much been attached at the hip.  

Because of his injuries, Mr. P has a difficult time driving (as well as sitting, sleeping and walking) and that means that added to my titles of wife and co-worker, I have added chauffeur, secretary, maid and personal fetcher of things. 

Mr. P needs to go to physical therapy twice (soon to be three times) a week.  This is usually at 8:30 am (remember, I used to work only 2 or 3 days a week, which meant I could sleep in - OH, NOT ANYMORE!)  So, our usual midweek day goes as follows - Up, showered, pot of coffee and ready to go by 7:00 am - this gives me an hour to coax Mr. P out of bed, get him set up with his lovely shower stool, lay out his clothes, find the fixings for his bandages, gather my belongings and his, pack the car and pull it up to the front door and get him to his physical therapist on time.  

I used to find a comfy chair, bring a good book and call it some quality alone time during his sessions.  Quite recently, his therapist has decided that I don't deserve any alone time and has put me to work.  Apparently, I am now a physical therapy assistant.  My new position of PT Assistant consisted of playing catch with my husband for 20 minutes yesterday while the lovely Julia (his PT) attended to other patients.  This would not be such an onerous task if not for the following 2 things:

1. I spend 24 hours, 7 days a week with the wonderful Mr. P already

2. I was actually getting a paycheck for being a PT Assistant.  
But alas, there is no money to be made by me in this new position.  
No, I actually have the pleasure of PAYING for this privilege.  You know, the good old co-pay for insurance.

After our invigorating 60 minute workout, off to work we go.  While in the car, Mr. P hooks himself up to his Bone Stimulator that I mentioned in my earlier post and it takes just about the right amount of time for it to do its thing on the drive from therapy to the office.  

I need to state here that I have always valued my commute to and from work.  I love the silence and being alone with my thoughts and just the privilege of a small period of time, if only 20 minutes, without husband or children or anyone needing something from me.   But as of January 20, 2008, this pleasurable commute has become but a mere memory.  Mr. chatterbox sings, talks, makes noises, and plays the annoying Punch Buggy Game.  I'm sure if you have children, you know this game.  Arriving at work, bruised and battered (because I ALWAYS lose the punch buggy game) we get Mr. P into his office.  

One good thing about work is that as soon as we get there, our loyal Studio Manager, Toni, takes over for me and I do get a small reprieve from the tenuous job of catering to Mr. P.  The problem  with this is that a lot of the time, by 11:00 am, I have run out of things to do.  This is where surfing the net, shopping, and chatting with co-workers rears its ugly head.  In other words, I waste A LOT of time.  I think about all the things I could and should be doing.  At home, running errands, etc.  Instead, as the glorified babysitter, I sit and wait for the time when Mr. P will run out of steam and need to go home.  For the most part, this is usually by 2:00 pm. Back in the car and home we go.  Another VERY LONG commute as we revert back to the talking, singing, noisemaking and again, the wonderful punch buggy game.  

As Mr. P makes slow progress in his recovery, I am proud to announce that he has resumed the daily task of making supper.  He is an amazing cook and it is somewhat comical to watch him tool around in his wheelchair balancing his supplies on his lap, the armrest and whatever other available surfaces he can find and reach.  Again, the only problem with this scenario is, if he can't reach it, he yells for me.  I have resigned myself to the fact that although I do not have to actually prepare and cook the supper, I still have to be available to perform the duties of "fetcher of things".  Hence, my new official perch on the barstool at the counter awaiting instruction.  

After supper, Mr. P is tired.  After all, it has been a long and grueling day for him, if not productive.  Remember, reconstructed left leg, broken right hip and a broken back.  It is usually about 7:00 pm at this point and if we wait much longer, Mr. P will not be able to navigate his way upstairs to bed.  Once he is settled, back downstairs to do dishes, sweep the floor, finish the laundry and yell out to the kids (wherever they may be) to lock up when they come in for the night.  Back upstairs to FINALLY get some relaxation, I am counting on Mr. P being deep in his blissful sleep by this point. 

As I lay down to settle in for the night I recall the days of independence, solitude and having time for me.  I wonder if there is such a thing as too much quality time for a married couple, but quickly count my blessings, as I could be like many others out there who are truly alone and crave companionship.  Too much quality time?  Definitely so.  Preferable to being always alone and lonely?  Definitely so.  So I look forward to the day when Mr. P is back on his feet - figuratively and literally, but until then I will continue to be the wife, the co-worker, the secretary, the maid, the chauffeur, and the personal fetcher of things.

Monday, June 2, 2008

World's Shortest Personality Test

I have the patience of a flea.  So when I discovered the new world's shortest personality test on BLOGTHINGS, it was right up my alley.  Here's what it had to say about me.

In case you can't read the fine print - It says, "You are pure, moral, and adaptable.  You tend to blend into your surroundings.  Shy on the outside, you're outspoken to your friends.  You believe that you live a virtuous life . . .  And you tend to judge others with a harsh eye.  As a result, people tend to crave your approval."

Makes me sound like quite the catch, huh?  I guess that most of it is quite true.  Mr. P keeps telling me that I have to be a little less critical of the world around me, only not in words quite so kind.  

I truly can't help it if my moral character is so much more advanced than the rest of the world's :) and I would like for all of humankind to live up to the high expectations I have.  OK, OK, back to reality.  I do however, quite enjoy that everyone around me thinks so highly of me that they absolutely MUST have my approval.  What a joke.  I can't even get my kids to agree to a simple request like, "Please brush your teeth."  Seeking my approval?  I think NOT!  

Well, I guess that is how it goes when you are looking for your psychological profile online.  

My take?  If you've got some time on your hands, definitely check out the site.  Fun tests and quirky results.   A little bit of something for everyone.