Thursday, April 23, 2009

Time for a new computer...etcetera

It's been a while since my last post (sounds like the beginning of confession, lol. And I'm not Catholic. lol).
First my printer gave up.
Then my computer wouldn't turn on, or rather stay on for more than a few seconds. Occasionally I can get it to work, but these "episodes" have become more frequent. I called my computer guru (everyone should have one!) and he said it sounds like the power source inside my computer. It's an old computer--seven or eight years now, so it's probably time to get another one anyway.
Now I have to do a bunch of research on which computer is best for me. I've started to consider a Mac vs another PC. Mainly because I've heard it's really easy to upload and edit videos on a Mac. But my guru clearly recommends another PC. We'll see. And since I need a printer too, I want to get an "all in one" printer, fax, scanner. Space is a consideration since I don't have much space on my desk, the way it's configured. Hopefully it will all look pretty once it's set up. :)

Easter breakfast at my parent's

T with his Easter egg hunt goodiesAs for updates~
Easter: We pretended Easter breakfast was on Saturday so T and I could attend my mom's special Easter breakfast and have an egg hunt in the backyard. T was the only seeker that day, but he had fun. And mom got to provide yet another Easter basket breakfast with lots of goodies and a little surprise for T: A mancala game. Then T and I went to a birthday party for 3 girls turning 6 years old. It was a "grand ball" theme and the kids were encouraged to dress up as princes and princesses. There were a LOT of beautiful princesses!! And the boys got into it to. T had a burgundy towel pinned around his neck, a regal looking necklace and, of course, a crown. Didn't last long but it was good for an entrance. There was an amazing guy doing balloon animals, an egg hunt (lots more candy and money too!) and a great big jump house. I was standing outside of it, watching the kids run around and making sure no one got hurt. I looked to my right momentarily and all of sudden...POW! I got clocked in the eye brow by the flying cranium of four year old boy through the side wall of the jumpy. I fell to the ground, while the four-year old kept on running! T ran to me to see if I was OK. I was tearing up and trying to get my composure back before anyone noticed. As soon as T saw my face, he announce to all in the jumpy, "SHE'S CRYING!". Sheeeesh. Shhhhhh. Don't tell everyone. I'm fine. Well, then he spied cake and off he went to get a piece before it was gone. I made my way through the backyard crowd of parents and kids to the bathroom to check out my wound. But was occupied. Well, I thought, "no one looked at me weirdly, so I'm sure it's fine." But after a few more minutes, the comments were coming, "My God, what did you do you your EYE?" OK, now I had to look. Yep. An egg. I had myself a very colorful egg on top of my left eye brow. Fitting for Easter weekend, huh? After icing it with frozen corn, I felt much better, but the damage was done. And for the next week, I had the most beautiful shades of purple over and under my eye.

Watching jumpers moments before the big "ka-pow"

My sisters S and D and myself at Easter dinner For Easter Sunday, my youngest sister, D, stuck her neck out and invited everyone to come for an early prime rib dinner. Seeing how everyone is not speaking to my dad, it was a risk to get everyone together. The day was a powder keg waiting to be ignited...and it almost was. Dad almost didn't come due to continued fighting with my siblings and mom. My sister, S, canceled last minute but was pressured to come by D (she let her know that it wasn't cool to cancel last minute and she was upset about her doing this repeatedly). But everyone (aside from my brother who refused to come) kept their cool and no fights broke out. I played a LOT of basketball "horse" and "pig" with T to while the time and keep the mood elevated. Plus, it gave a focal point for something to look at for those not wanting to talk all day. At least that was my thinking....
Last Saturday, I went to Picnic Day at UC Davis. I've gone to this event since I was 2 years old. I love the whole atmosphere of the university, the excellent parade and all the events throughout the day. And after we're tired of milling around the campus, we all go to the next town and have a BBQ at my friend's home. They live on a 20 acre farm and it's a great place for kids to play and explore. There's all kinds of animals, a pond and space to run and play. T was pretty terrified of the dogs (they have 3, including a 3 legged dog) but he learned that if you don't run, they won't chase you. I love going there and Picnic Day assures I visit at least once a year, but I hope to get back that way by the end of summer. It's a kids paradise and I really do need to nurture old and dear friendships better.

Watching the UC Davis Picnic Day Parade
The house on the farm, a rammed earth home, designed and built by M and family
Life long friends--myself and M, and also "Mom" on the farm

Fun in the shower after muddying up in the pond

Mom went with me and we all had a great time, but Dad was pretty upset that Mom left the house for a couple of days without much explanation as to why. Dad was continuously angry at Mom for various things and she needed a break. So she ran to my house for a couple of days to get away. By the time we were driving back from Davis (and didn't tell Dad we were going--a whole 'nother fight would have broken out) he had called multiple times wondering what was going on, and where were we...) Talk about stress. Now we were going to have to lie about where we were and get our story straight. Lying...just begets more lying. I hate it. But I hate fighting more.
I phoned him as soon as we got home to let him know we were home safe (but fibbed about exactly where we had been). But it was clear that the time had come to have a serious conversation between Mom and Dad. For years they have tried to get me to be their mediator and I've refused. But now I feel I had no choice. They are not getting the counseling they need. Mom refused to go. And it's getting so uncomfortable for me and my siblings... I figured I couldn't make it any worse.
I hired a babysitter for T and I went over to my parents home. I sat down and laid the ground rules: no personal attacks or name calling. One person speaks, the other listens. The other person speaks, the first person listens. Then, time for rebuttal. It went pretty well. There were tears (mom's) and apologies (dad's). They talked for 3 hours before I had to end it (my babysitter was told I'd be only 2 hours!). Clearly, my parents want to say married (each said so) and just as clearly there has been very poor to no effective communication between the two of them. There might be a glimmer of hope that things can get better. But it's just a glimmer. A lot depends on how much compromise will be coming from both sides. I think I'll buy a marriage counseling self-help book. And I just found a great 6 week session given by their health insurance on Couples Communication. Perfect.
So, life goes on. And soon, I'll be buying a new computer! How's that for a segue! Not. Oh well. I'll work on that.

T playing Tball

T is still going to Tae Kwon Do 3 times a week. He loves it. But he's got a lot to learn. He has very little coordination and he tends to wander off with his concentration. But heck. He's only 5--that's bound to get better. He can now almost do a real push-up and is getting pretty good at the punching sequences. Tball is still in full swing and we have games every Saturday morning until mid June. The coaches are so excellent--there are 3 fathers that have lots of great skills to pass on and are so patient with the kids. They are all getting so much better, week by week.

I'm doing so well for T in getting him plugged in and active, but am failing with myself. I have to find a way to get a regular workout out in. I wish I could swim with the local Master's group, but that just doesn't fit in to my life the way it is. I can't leave the house in the early morning and I can't swim at 6 PM since I need to get T and make dinner every weekday. I could do weekend workouts, but if I can't get to the pool at least once in the week, I won't ever get past the beginner "I'm in so much pain" stage. Plus, I don't want to take those weekend hours away from T. (I know... excuses, excuses...) If I could just drag myself out of bed at 6 AM, then I could do a video workout while T is still asleep. But so far, I haven't found the energy to do that. I also am tempted to join the YMCA. It's nearby and I've found that quite a few of the kindergärtners families are joined. That way T would find others that he knows while playing at the pool or in the child care (while I get in a workout!). I just have to figure out if I can afford it for the long term. Working out at home would be cheaper.

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