Thursday, November 11, 2010


I know.
I've been lost. Well, not lost.
Silent. Here in bloggy world.

For the past couple months I've just found it easier to check in to FB and read, with occasional comments than to post on my blog. I don't have a lap top. I don't use my cell phone for anythingmore than phoning, but I am getting entering the world of texting. Finally.
But still, when I find the words to type, I'm not near my computer. Or I just don't have the energy to do it at the same time that the creative juices flow.

I am doing fine. Just wanted to let the 5 people that check here know. I'll get back as soon. That's my intention.
I'm thinking of you and will continue visit with your blogs and throw comments out in support.

Friday, August 20, 2010

From the Mountains, to the Valleys and Back Home

Back and skating right along.
The camping trip was lovely. It was a bummer than my mom couldn't come due to her illness, but I kept in contact on the cell phone every couple days and she was feeling so much better after a few days of rest. In fact, she said she had a burst of energy once the house was empty and started cleaning like a mad woman. Good for her. It helps her feel better to make her home clean and the quiet time without my dad aggravating her about what time she needs to wake up, or any other little thing that gets to her...well, let's say it was a peaceful and productive week of rest for her.
The weather was great but I would have voted for a little more heat. The nights were really cold but the sleeping bags were toasty most of the time. I just kept an extra blanket nearby, just in case. And wore my socks to bed. Aww, we're tent campers. It's all good. Actually it was just T and I (with the dog) in our tent. Dad slept in the VW Vanagon.
Suzy did excellent as a camping dog. I brought the crate and she slept in that without a peep. There were a few nights where the raccoons were nosing around the campsite, but Suzy was nice and quiet. Of course, she was tethered 100% of the time. It's the rule for dogs anyway, but especially needed for my run-away opportunist. After just one day, she was the color of mud, and happy to be there. Dirt don't hurt and she rolled in the fine, dusty dirt all day. Oh well. You just have to get used to it or it will drive you crazy. Thank goodness for the nearby lake. That's where most of the dirt comes off of us--as we swim to the far buoys and back. No showers up there and no hot water either. Well, that's not totally true. You can take a shower near the General Store, but you need to have your quarters ready. The showers are pretty dilapidated and run down, but if you can look past all that, you'll feel nice and clean and your hair will smell good for a couple of days for your efforts. Me, I decided to save my quarters, put my hair in a pony tail, and just put up with the dirt until we got back home. The layers of dirt and sunscreen add to the depth of a golden tan, so there's that added bonus. I hiked around the lake (about a 5 mile moderate hike) trying to catch up to my son and some others that took off about an hour before me. Suzy didn't know what the heck I was trying to do but she kept up nicely as long as she could. I was trekking at a fast-ish pace in order to find my son, but I never did run into them. By the time I was about 3/4 done, I went to trudge on but then there was a 9 pound weight dragging at the end of the leash. Suzy was done, in no uncertain terms. She was laid out with all four legs pointing in different directions and her big brown eyes looking up at me. I tried to coax her, but it was no good. She was pooped. So I scooped her up and walked with her in my arms for a little while. She perked up pretty quickly and made it the rest of the way without any trouble. It was frustrating though, that I never found the group I was looking for. Apparently they had taken a lunch break and went towards the inlet river to swim in some pools of water.
I wanted to hike with T all around the lake (since he had only done the hike 1/2 way there and walked the same side of the lake back) so 2 days later, when my sister and her husband and son came up for the weekend, we all set off together. And Suzy too. T wasn't as fast a hiker as I thought he'd be. I mean, normally he's got so much energy, but he just kept whining about how tired he was and slow poking along. What?? You're 7! And you have tons of energy! Now get up there and catch up with your cousin (he's 9 years old)! It wasn't a lot of fun nagging him to get going and keep up. But after we stopped for a bit to explore some of the river and boulders, he was able to do better and hung out mostly with he cousin and uncle. Weirdly, Suzy conked out at the same place she did 2 days before. I guess we know where her limits are for hiking. Still, I was quite proud of her and T too.
I wondered why the heck he didn't have the energy to buzz around like he usually does.
And then days later I realized: his asthma. He was wheezing most mornings and evenings, so I had him use his inhalers mostly twice a day. But since he doesn't ever complain about being out of breath, I didn't put that piece of the puzzle together until later. The dust from the dirt, plus the daily campfires are probably what led to the trouble. And maybe an allergy to some sort of pollen up in the mountain. I was like that with asthma and allergies up at Pinecrest as a kid. Since we've been back he hasn't been nearly as wheezy and coughing.
Overall, T had an EXCELLENT time playing with the other kids, exploring the forest and playing games (lots of bicycling around and playing badminton).
T and the other kids earned a Junior Forest Rangers rank, by attending some fun nature presentations, doing a nature hike (and collecting cool things to make a collage), and doing a rubbing of some leaves to make some really cool pictures. They got a gold pin and a very official certificate too. We all learned about water conservation too and sang songs about evaporation, condensation, precipitation, and conservation!
This year T did the clay project again too. Last year he made a really neat raccoon. This year the project was a deer. T made his an adult male deer so he could put in little antlers later (with some manzanita bush twigs). After he created it and painted it, they ladies took it and will fire it in their oven in town. Then they'll send it in the US Post. It's a really cool reminder of that day--about 2 weeks after getting back to the routine of regular life. Some of the deer looked more like giraffes with their long necks, and some were posed taking a nice long drink from an imagined lake (not sure they intended it that way!) but T's is standing tall, with big ears and a handsome tail too. It was hard to let him do it by himself. I kept wanting to help him and give him pointers but he kept swatting me away like the irritating gnat that I was. I forced myself to sit on my hands and keep quiet while he worked his artistry. It will be fun to see how the deer turned out and I'll be proud, no matter what.
In the outside amphitheatre we went to see "Despicable Me". They play movies 4 days a week. It's a fun thing to go to the movies under the stars--but it does get cold sitting on that hard bench in the dark for 2+ hours. T had a great time and LOVED the movie (and me too). Well, OK, there was a little whining about not getting popcorn to eat, but I wasn't willing to stand in that line and pay $6 for a bag. Call me cheap. Coincidentally we bought the Nintendo DS game with the same name for some new entertainment for T on the ride up to Pinecrest. Now the characters have more dimension and meaning after seeing the movie. At least to me. I don't know if T really cares. He just likes to play a good game!
At the end of 8 days, we were ready to come back home. Suddenly T seems so much bigger and more filled out. Must be that mountain air!
T was sad to leave but excited to start 2nd grade!

Boo. Time is passing too quickly.

Friday, August 6, 2010


Well, it's crunch time to try and get everything packed for camping. I've arranged for a neighbor to house sit so that's one thing off my mind.
This is our annual camping trip to our favorite place and T has been looking forward to it for the last few months. Another 401 family is coming too, so T will have plenty of kids to play with and he's really gotten into fishing and the lake has plenty-o-trout to be caught!
It's a little tough to find the time to get all the packing and shopping done since I've had to work every day this week due to extra days at work, but what's really made it much tougher is that my parents have been pretty sick with some mean virus. It's times like this that I realize how much I depend on them to do the stuff I would have to do, if I didn't have them in my life. Thank GOD for my parents. I will try harder to show appreciation more often for all they do for T and me. The nasty virus started with T and myself and when my parents got it, they had the worst of symptoms. My mom is usually the one who suffers most with any given illness. I have no idea why that happens since she's mostly a healthy person otherwise. She's still no where near in good enough shape to make the trip with us, which is killing her. It was only yesterday that she could fathom standing upright for more than a few minutes. She's coughing and moaning in pain and gets dizzy easily. The doctor said it's just something she has to ride out but gave her plenty of medication to help with the symptoms. It doesn't help much.
I certainly won't have as much fun there without her. I have a feeling she is planning to pull it together and drag herself into my car. She's a very stubborn woman. It will really surprise me if she lets us go without her. And if she does, I bet she'll drive herself up there in a few days. Or maybe not. She really is quite sick and there's not much worse than being really sick while camping--no amenities and no health care nearby. Plus, there's something about the altitude that makes it worse. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out this week.
Suzy will be coming with us. We have a nice tether that she will be on ALWAYS, the little escape artist! I think I'll also place our campsite info on her collar--just in case.
I haven't written about this before, because it really does need pictures from before and after to do the story properly, but I had my backyard done and it's 99% finished!! It's SO pretty. I still have some electrical stuff to do, once the lanterns arrive in the mail. Plus a shade sail to hoist and then, voila! I promise to give a full story/pictorial as soon as I can. Money is really tight now that I spent it all on the backyard, so I have to wait a bit longer for that new computer that will allow my pictures to be uploaded.
I hope this trip is all we've worked it up to be.
Should be lots of fun.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Her name is...

Suzy! (our dog, that is.)
It was hard to come to a final decision. I wanted Ally (for the Alameda County Fair where we found her), or Elly, or Molly. Seems like a dog with brown eyes goes well with the name Molly. Besides, when I was growing up we had a dog named Suzy--she was a miniature poodle too, but all black. To me, "Suzy" should be a black poodle. But T was set with Suzy and he never wavered. I still think she looks like a Molly, but I wanted T to feel some ownership for our new dog, so I gave in. I bought a name tag for her with our contact information, so it's official.
And good thing about getting a name tag! She's an escape artist and does NOT COME WHEN I CALL HER. OMG. She innocently came close to me as I was carrying things out the front door and then, like a shot! She was on the run! She looked back briefly as I tried to catch her and she took off even faster!! Across a busy street full of fast moving cars and I could just SEE her go splat in front of me (but no cars at the moment she crossed, thank goodness!). The more I went after her, the more she ran. So I stopped and just crouched on the sidewalk, asking her to come to me. No luck. I felt so helpless.
Fortunately, the 15 year old kid across the street was out washing his mom's car and he ran after her when I did. He calmly positioned himself on the other side of her and when she paused to sniff something, he grabbed her.
Whew!! Almost had a dead dog, just one week after adopting her.
I was pissed. It was like I got kicked in the chest.
She actually looked at me and ran away faster! Away from me. The one that rescued her and loved her and paid money I didn't have to be sure she was well and comfortable, and belonged.
Suzy knew she was in trouble and gave me those puppy eyes all evening. I didn't show her any love. I couldn't. I was mad. I took it personally, stupid as that sounds.
But after a few hours, I got over it. She gave me the look that seemed to say, "I'm so sorry. Please cuddle me." How can a person deny such a cute little thing with such a request?
I have some serious training to do with her. And I'm sure she doesn't really understand where she belongs just yet. Who knows what her life was like last month? Or last year? It's weird not having any history on her other than knowing she was a stray that no one picked up at the shelter.
Last Tuesday, the little cough she had turned into a huge cough. It sounded like she wanted to bring up a fur ball, or maybe a lung. It was horrible. So I took her to the vet the next day (My birthday--birthday sucked. Let's just look forward to next year.) and spent 3 hours there getting her worked up and treated. They thought it was "Kennel Cough" that progressed a bit. More antibiotics of a different type and some more monitoring. She was fine after a few days of medication (we have to finish a full 14 days to be sure it's licked). And then came the bill: $300.
Sheesh! That's $650 so far for this newest family member. I wish I could add her to my health insurance plan! Hopefully we are over any effects of her living in a shelter and she'll stay healthy.
T is still over the moon with happiness with our doggie.
The cat...that's another matter.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Gilroy Gardens Horticultural Attractions

Last week I took vacation days to be with T (and give my parents a break). We didn't really go anywhere. I'd originally planned to spend 3 days in the Tahoe area at my friend's condo, but with T getting a nasty cough that turned into a bad asthma episode with sinusitis, I decided it was best to stick closer to home. He's doing much better now, but let me just say that the few days we took the prednisone tablets were challenging! The side effects of that drug are icky! He was so hyper and badly behaved! So much so, that I asked he be delayed for his Tae Kwon Do testing for his next belt so he might have a chance to show "self control" and think more clearly, 'cause self control--if there was ANY chance of that--was not going to be possible on testing day. Although T was pretty upset at not getting the chance to test with the others, he aced it the next week and now proudly wears his new green belt.
Wednesday we went with a school friend (a girl in his 1st grade class who also does Tae Kwon Do with T) to Gilroy Gardens. It was a beautiful amusement park, geared mostly to kids under the age of about 10. But the reason that Mr. Bonfante created it was to showcase his gardens and have a place for the 19 specially grafted Sycamore trees created by Axel Erlandson, a farmer and nature lover, in the 1920's. Erlandson took this grafting trick with him to his grave and his work has not been able to be replicated by anyone before or since. The trees were abandoned and nearly died but Michael Bonfante bought them and was able to transport them from Hilmar, California to Gilroy successfully.
The park was beautiful to walk through and small enough that you could easily see everything in an afternoon. Most of the rides were for small children and a few were more for kids T's age. He's afraid of roller coasters (that's my boy!) and wildly spinning rides, so he steered clear of that, but his favorite ride was "the Mushroom". It was a huge mushroom (most rides have a garden theme) with individual seats hanging from the edge of the mushroom cap. Then they lift the riders off the ground and go 'round and 'round. It even tilts giving a different sense of flying through the air. It's a common carnival type of ride. T loved it so much he got me to agree to ride it.
About 60 seconds into the ride, I wished it was over, and then I couldn't shake the nausea and headache that I got and was quietly miserable with it until late that evening. Ugg. I guess I'm just a sensitive kind of chick.
Overall, I was happy to see the park. It was on my to-do list for a few years but I don't think we'll be back. T will outgrow the rides shortly and for the money I'd rather go to Great America amusement/theme park (just 10 minutes drive away). That's on the list for next year.
But that's not the News.
We spent a few days at the community pool. That was fun. Mostly we played ball or Marco-Polo, but I was able to get T to practice his freestyle and backstroke and he actually wanted to do it. I'd tried to get him to practice before, but he would always do about 4 strokes and find something better to do. I think it was just a matter of giving tons of positive reinforcement on what he was doing right, instead of pointing out what he needed to change or work on (which is what I tended to do before). And why not? That method seems to work best for most people, doesn't it? :) Isn't there a song like that, "Accentuate the positive..."
Pretty soon he was doing his best to swim the whole 25 yard length and getting stronger and better with each effort. Yay.
That's not the real News either.
Last Saturday my mom, T and I went to the County Fair. I love going to the fair for all the fun to be had for kids. I tried to get another boy to go with us but we were unlucky in recruiting anyone. Bummer.
As soon as we arrived, we found the ticket booth for a wrist band pass for all the rides. One look at the selection and I knew I was not going to ride at all. They are all "throw-up inducing rides" and I'm not having any of that! But T was excited at all the prospects. Once inside the fair though he didn't seem like he could stomach the topsy turvy, brain slushing kind of rides either. It didn't help that it was at least 100 degrees on that black top surface. He rode the most benign ride he could find and checked out a maze/house of mirrors before he was done.
Great. I just spent $28 for 2 rides. Lesson learned.
Then we ducked into a big air-conditioned building to check out all the stuff for sale. LOTS of cool things to make life easier (new fangled iron board cover to make ironing a breeze. Yes, we bought one-- I need all the help I can get!), costume jewelry, comfy beds, super-duper pots and pans. Even a sale on teeth whitening--done right there on the premises with a glowing blue light and everything. Mom wanted to spend more time in there than T was ready to tolerate, so we decided to split up and meet later. T and I went towards the back of the fair grounds and found more rides. Some were the same as the entrance but all were displayed on a grassy ground which made the heat WAY more tolerable. Suddenly the rides looked more appealing and T was ready to try the "swing" ride and a few others too. His favorite was still that "mushroom" ride but he also went on the Giant Slide about 100 times! Just the stair case up to the top would be enough to slow me down after about 10 times. He was running on adrenaline, I think.
Along our travels discovering all there was to do and see (and before the Giant Slide), we came across a dog show. They were amazing with their tricks and abilities. As we watched, we noticed a tent off to the side with a whole bunch of dogs. We made our way there and T was immediately begging for a dog. "Pleeeez Mama, can we get a dog??? Please, please, pleeeeeez?" The display was to showcase dogs for adoption, rescued from the "E list" (euthanasia) from shelters in our state. There were some beautiful dogs too! I can't imagine there were no takers for these gorgeous, well behaved doggies! With the heat and all these strangers hands coming to touch and cuddle them from all directions, each one of the dogs were so calm and accepting of the attention. If I were one of those dogs I would have cowered in a far corner. Near a fan. They had fans and water misters going but still. It was miserably hot. Certainly oppressively hot if covered in fur.
Somehow I was able to continue walking past all the dogs, with T nearly dragging on my legs to say yes to a dog. Any dog.
But the second time we past by, with my mom in tow, we spotted a cutie in one of the rescue worker's lap. A little dog with curly white hair. I had to ask a bit about her. T was excited to see me pause with some interest. We asked to hold her but were immediately warned that they had just received her from a shelter the day before and to picture "the after" images rather than the way she was today. She did kind of smell and had a cough (common with shelter dogs) but nothing that put me off. I could totally see the way she'd clean up. She was A D O R A B L E.
I think I walked around with her and held her for about 45 minutes. Not sure what to do. T was cuddling her between rides. My mom was in love with the dog already. I couldn't come to a clear decision.
And then a woman walked up to us with her family and said, "There she is! We've come back to adopt her. We have another dog at home and she's going to be it's buddy." Then I see the rescue worker walking the grounds looking for me and the doggie.
Suddenly I felt a pain in my chest.
I wanted her.
But here was this lady who said she was here earlier and SHE wanted her too.
I spoke with the rescue lady and explained that we had an uncomfortable situation here with both of us wanting this dog. I kept holding her, figuring possession is 9/10th of the law. :)
As I spoke to the Rescue worker, she asked me about my family and my home and the other woman stood back about 20 feet. After a while the lady yelled over, "Are you going to take her or not?"
And I say "Yes." Oh Lord. I said it out loud. I'm going to be a dog owner.
She walked off in a huff.
I looked at the Rescue worker and I said, "I feel bad."
She quickly said, "Don't. I spoke with her earlier and I didn't get a sense she was the right owner for this dog. You seem like a much better match."
Really?? Well alright then.
So I filled out the paper work and the plan is they would bring her to their vet to be spayed and then I could take her home. Their headquarters are about an hour's drive from my home, so I'll pick her up on Saturday (work days and traffic make it near impossible to do it any earlier.
T was crushed that we couldn't take her home right away. But he was SOOO excited to finally have a dog for his very own. I wish I could post pictures in this post but, as you might remember, my computer is old and I might not be able to upload it. I'll try later. You really gotta see her cute little face.
It's a good thing we have a few days before we get her home. I have nothing for a dog, so we went shopping and got all the necessary stuff--crate, leash, collar, food, food/water bowls, comfy bed and some toys. Boy, oh, boy is my cat going to be surprised. :O
I'm pretty sure Hans (my cat) will balk at the newest member of our family, but I'm hoping after a few months they might be friends. Hans could use a buddy after all this time alone. At least I hope he thinks so. Eventually.
So THAT'S the News! We have a new dog!!! Now we get to name her.
T wants Bailey, but I'm voting for Ally (from the Alameda County Fair), or Elly (just sounds cute). We'll see. We're making a list.
Hard as it was, I was not ready for a dog just yet. Our backyard isn't ready and I'm not sure I can handle it on top of other responsibilities. But I also knew that I had planned for a dog at some point. I grew up with always having a dog and I think it's an important part of childhood. Plus it seems to really help T feel less alone as an only-child (judging on how he behaves and the pure joy he gushes when he plays with my parent's new puppy Lucy).

Thursday, July 1, 2010

My boy is SEVEN!

Seven. It seems SO much older than six. Six is so close to five. And when you're five, you're still in kindergarten and that's just one step from preschool. But seven. That's like...almost 10. Yikes. He's growing up too fast! And he's so tall that most people think he's older than he really is. I should have chosen a really short sperm donor so he could be small child for longer. Hee hee. Not really. I'm quite happy with the choice and how it's all turned out.
T's birthday was on June 17, which fell on a Thursday this year. His day always comes after the school year finishes so he never gets to do the cupcake or classroom celebrations that most of the other kids do. But this year he was in "Splash" camp at our local YMCA. The camp only lasted one week but by Thursday he was feeling pretty comfortable and had gotten to know most of this group, so when I showed up (zipped over there on my lunch break from work) with 36 cupcakes, he was the most popular kid there! He was so happy to see me and hand out the cupcakes. I even got hugs and kisses--right there in front of all the kids and camp leaders. I'm so glad he hasn't hit that phase where he's embarrassed to be seen with me yet, let alone give hugs or kisses. I'm sure it will come, so I relish these moments while there here.
He started his birthday with my waking him up with a Happy Birthday song and a piece of cake with a big ol' "7" candle burning on top. He wished out loud
"I wish that it could be my birthday everyday!"
Then he got to open my gift for him: a Nintendo DSi. He started playing with it right away, even though he'd never touched one before. This younger generation has no fear of electronic gadgets and he was quickly mastering a few games on the preloaded "Brain Age". (a Costco find. LOVE that Brain Age is educational!). I also bought an extra game but kept that gift for his birthday party (A Toy Story 3 game).
After Splash camp we went over to Oma and Opa's house and they presented him with his gift--a shiny RED Mongoose bike. Red is his favorite color and even though the bike is a tiny bit big for him, it won't be long before his legs are too long for it. Then we all went out for Round Table Pizza! It was a really nice birthday and T seemed to be enjoying all the events that focused on him.
Oh who are we kidding? 99% of any given day's events are focused on him. Oh well. That's what happens with only-kids. They get all the attention or become very good at demanding it. :)
Then on Saturday, we had a birthday party at the local bowling ally. I was very nervous about this one. I'd sent out my first evite invitations about 2 weeks before the event. But 3 days before the party, there was only ONE RSVP. I had invited 9 of his friends from school, plus both my sister's families. I didn't even bother with my brother--I didn't think he'd come (and true to expectations, he never called to wish T happy birthday or give any card/gift). One sister didn't want to come because she "didn't think it would be fun hanging out with a bunch of 7-year olds." Excuse me??? She is the mother of 3 kids (ages 18, 16 and 14) and I have gone to ALL birthday parties regardless of their ages, gift in hand and ready to party. To be fair, a few weeks before T's birthday, I flirted with the idea of having 2 parties (one for the family and one for T's friends) but as time went on I realized I had way too much on my plate (bodily pains, backyard project and lack of potential projected funds) to give 2 parties. She was going to opt for the "family party". But I didn't call her ahead of time to let her know there would only be one party. I called her several times to see if she'd change her mind. But no. She just kept insisting that I should really reconsider and have another party too for just family members. They didn't come.
At least my other sister, her husband and their son came. Even though they had plans to leave on a camping trip for the week. I asked her to come and that it would mean a lot. And she delayed her trip by one day to make T's party. I was very appreciative of that. Two days before the party I scrambled to find alternate email addresses to be sure that the boys I'd invited even GOT the invitation. Some had received them but not answered and others didn't check or had summer plans and couldn't make it. But in the end we had 8 kids bowling and 8 parents hanging out and cheering on the bowlers. They bowled with bumpers which is WAY more fun. It's kinda like billiards. You can use those bumpers to ricochet the ball this way and that and get more pins knocked down. They had a blast! T was high-fiving with his friends with whatever they scored and all the kids were supportive of one another. Even when one kid started crying because he had the lowest score and just couldn't get that ball to knock down very many pins. He is the most cerebral 7 year old you might come across. His vocabulary is way beyond the average kid and it frustrated him that he couldn't will the ball to do what he wanted. When he gave up and cried to his mom, the other boys in his lane asked if they could bowl for him. T got a few spares on his behalf (heck, he got to bowl more times!) and brought up his friend's score and then the tears dried up and he jumped right back in. I loved that they all rallied and helped each other, because most of the time, it's not like that. Boys are SO competitive. At least mine is. Maybe they are growing up. Or it was just an unusual and lovely moment. Either way, it made me feel really good.
Then we all had pizza and soda and T opened up his presents. Some of his gifts were a remote control car that climbs on walls and ceilings (wow!), a beach towel and ball, $20 gift card for Toys R Us (he bought Wii Ski game), a book on Constellations and a Science/Physics project (gotta still open it and figure that one out), and Wii Mario Galaxy II game. The bowling alley also gave him a real bowling pin and a permanent marker so each of his friends could sign it. It's like a really cool memento of the day and it looks great in his room.
Later that day, Oma, Opa, T and I all went to the movies to see Karate Kid. I really wanted to see Toy Story 3, but T was more excited about Karate Kid. It was a really good show and we all enjoyed it. We rarely go to the movies and dad usually falls asleep. But he stayed awake and the experience was so fun we made plans to do it again the next weekend to see the new Toy Story in 3D! Cool.
And now I have a seven year old son. Wow.

**Addendum: Saw the movie last Saturday and Story Story 3 in 3D is a super movie! And the 3D experience was not annoying or scary. We never felt the need to remove our glasses. But there was one scary part in the movie but T held it together has he held my hand and the toys escaped what appeared to be almost certain death. Whew.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mother's Day Memories

I had a FANTASTIC Mother's Day! I know it's way past, but it was note worthy and so I had to put down my memories so they're properly documented.

6:53: T wakes up, comes into my bed with me and covers me with kisses all over my face, hands and arms and wishes me Happy Mother's Day. Aww.
He could hardly wait to present me with the gifts he had ready.
He went into the back bedroom and brought out a card and a present all wrapped up, walking with the most adorable sense of proudness all over his face.
**History: my mother went out with T a few days earlier to help him prepare for Mother's Day. When at the card shop, standing in front of a gazillion cards, Mom instructed him to look for the card he wanted to get for me. He told her, quite matter of factly, "No, Oma. I'm going to pick THREE cards. Then, I'll read them and I'll pick the best one."
Oma said, "Oh, I don't know about that. Look at ALL THESE CARDS. Maybe you should read a few more to be sure you get just the right one."
T: "No Oma. Just three."
True to his word, he chose 3 cards, read them and picked the one he wanted. That's a man for ya. I would have taken at least 30 minutes to read a bunch of cards in search for the perfect one and then still waffle over which one was the one I wanted to give.

I read the card. It was the MOST AWESOME card I could have hoped to get from my dear son. Wow. Blew me away.
I don't have the card in front of me now, but I remember the words and sentiment were about how grateful he was to have a mother like me.
Gee whiz. I got all teary and he wiped the tear away and patted my arm.

Then I unwrapped the present. It was a beautiful 5 x 7 inch silver frame with a smiling picture of T inside it. It was perfect and I placed it on my bed side table. We both beamed at each other. But only for a moment, because he quickly disappeared again to get something else. I could hear him struggling in the back bedroom. Said it was heavy, but...he...could...get it.
He came around the corner of the door with 3 big yellow Gerbera daisy plants. The sight of him carrying them with his big grin above the flowers, was a sight I won't forget. So proud was he at what he'd chosen for me.

Later, we were playing catch with our mitts and a tennis ball. Out of the blue he said, "I like my life with you in it."
I told him "Oh my gosh, T. Thank you. I remember my life before you were in it and I have to say I TOTALLY like my life better with YOU in it."
We had a moment.

Big beautiful sigh.

Friday, June 18, 2010

I'm OK.

I'm so sorry to have lapsed for so long. I just felt a bit over whelmed with all the little things lately that I couldn't find the energy to write about stuff. Maybe overwhelmed is the wrong word. I can't think of a word less strong than that, but maybe you get my drift. Here's some bullets of the stuff swirling in and around my head:

  • The backyard project, getting the design done, collecting multiple bids, stressing over the cost of it all.
  • Took out an Equity Line of Credit, and got a $10,000 lump of cash to start the back yard project, but then didn't like the way it felt like a second loan and started searching for a better option.
  • Opted for refinancing my current home loan and got a much better interest rate and pulled out $35,000 for the backyard project and, hopefully something left over to get a fancy, fast new computer. Now I'll pay off the line of credit and let it sit available in case of dire need--and that better not happen.
  • Collecting all information for the refinance.
  • Ordering my big fat beautiful fountain to be place in the backyard. Just arrived today--it's SO awesome!
  • Organizing my son's 7th birthday party.
  • Stressing over the fact that no one RSVP'd. Well, one person did, but what about the other 9?? After re-doing the evite 4 times to get current email addresses and also phoning people, I find out today (party's tomorrow) there will be 9 kids, 10 adults. Whew.
  • Stressing over having one or two parties: one for the kids and one for the family. But then deciding it was too much energy AND money to have 2 parties. Decision: one party at the bowling ally (T's choice). But my sister and her family are not coming. Said, it doesn't sound like fun hanging around a bunch of 7 year olds." Wanted to opt for the "family" party and still asking me to reconsider organizing that. Don't even want to start with giving any guilt trips to her over the last 18 years of my going to all her kids parties.
  • Pain! Pain in my left hip so severe I would certainly sign up for hip replacement. Thinking it's arthritis and then I sneezed and the pain was so bad in the hip--arthritis doesn't act like that! Go back to the doctor. Get no where. Pain been bugging daily me since February. Accupuncture no help.
  • Now having pain in mid/low back like muscle spasms. Life not feeling too good. Not able to walk or do what I need to do. What now?? Motrin or Tylenol not helpful.
  • See new chiropractor, which was also a mom in my old "mom's group" when T was a baby. First visit last week.
  • Pain different a few days after the adjustment and treatment (laser, ultrasound, massage and adjustments).
  • 5 days after chiropractor visit I can barely walk due to hip pain and the bilateral back spasm has moved into one small area in my left rib cage. Can't talk well, due to pain with pressing air out of my lungs to speak.
  • Next day, doing much better. No idea why.
  • Next day, even better. Dare to day I have no pain at all. Had to call my mom and tell her because it was cause for celebration. Weird. Hopeful the chiropractor stuff is the conduit to this good fortune. I don't want the pain to go away all by itself to reappear later just because. Mysterious weirdness this pain has turned out to be so far.
  • Realized this hip/sciatic type pain has been with me on and off for the last 4 or 5 years and is the reason I stopped running and racing. I like to live in denial and just push on. It's easier. To a point. I've reached the point.
  • Rib pain is back today. Very painful with deep breathing and twisting. Was told by chiro "a rib was pushed out". She pushed it back yesterday. ^%$%&*#$!!! That hurt. Getting the feeling today that what I really have is fractured rib. Not much to be done. Just wait and heal.
  • Stressing over the cost of chiropractic. No insurance coverage for it, but regular insurance not doing anything to help with the pains or discover the cause of the pains. Got a discount for being a friend. But still. Money. I wish I had more of it.
  • Can I make my new mortgage payments and still save for vacations that I want to take next year and in years to come?? Time will tell. My vacation/fun money fund has been raked over so many times there is very little in it at present. Must work on that.
  • Infection in my eye. Specifically in the lower lid hair follicle. Someone called it a "sty". Now eye is very puffy and red/purple underneath. Like I needed something new to make me feel old. Never went to a clinic. I don't want antibiotics. Surely it will work it's way out. After a week of festering, it's looking like I'm at the end of it. Threw away old waterproof mascara I'd used a few days before the infection. It was only 3-4 years old, I think.
  • Must clean the house. Toilets need scrubbing. Who's gonna do it?? Me.
  • Had carpets and furniture steam cleaned last week. Looks SO much better. No more little boy pee and kitty hair ball/vomit stains. Carpets are so so soft now.
  • Hot water drips like a sieve under the kitchen sink. Turned off hot water unless I need to run the dishwasher--and then I'm ready with a catch bucket and towels. Will deal with this and find a plumber after the backyard stuff gets underway.
  • Drippy faucet in master bathroom. Sheesh! What IS it with the plumbing problems?? Front hose bib also leaking. Slow drip, so again, I'll put this on the back burner until I can find a reputable plumber. Hopefully it's just as easy as replacing a washer.

That's enough for now....

I hope to post soon on getting past some of the stuff sitting on my shoulders.

But I'm not complaining. I'm just listing what I'm struggling with today.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Words, Crime and Punishment

Last Saturday we went to my sister's home for a double birthday party. My nieces became 14 and 16 years old and my! How beautiful they are becoming as they a starting to resemble the adults they'll soon be.
It was a potluck style dinner party and very relaxed. The whole family showed up, but unfortunately, none of their school friends came. The 14 year old (the one that had a very bad year last year due to bullying and other issues) invited a few of her friends over a few nights earlier for a "kick it". I'd never heard of that before, but I'm old and not up on the newest lingo for anything a teenager would want to do. A "kick it" is apparently a small gathering of friends but very relaxed--just chips and dip, maybe all watch TV together. But no big "party" type thing.
But no one showed up. Ouch. So sad.
Well, actually one did show up but at 10:30PM. Come on. Is that the time to show up to a friend's house?? In my day (did I just say that?) you didn't even call past 9PM, let alone knock on the door. Somehow we've forgotten to teach the younger generation about proper social behavior. Where is Miss Manners? We need her--in grade school, middle AND high school. Stopping now. I'm feeling reeeally old.
But this family celebration went really well. The girls asked only for money and they both received just over $250 each. Not too bad a booty! But T was a bit of pain. He kept touching , poking and being a general pest to Opa (who allows it and often encourages it) and then his cousins. He tries to play with them, but they have to play the way he wants to play. Then he just gets loud and the maniacal laugh he produces doesn't help things. He would knock on the girl's door and want to be part of the action, but when you're a teenage girl, playing with an energetic 6 year old isn't what you want to do. There was no other "kids" to play with and he felt shut out. So he received a few "time outs" for being too loud and generally not listening to what I'd asked him to do.
All seemed better after J (his 9 year old cousin) showed up. Now he had a boy closer to he age to play with--although they often don't get along too well either, since he likes to pal around with the 18 year old cousin. And you know what they say...2 is company, 3 is a crowd. So T usually gets teased and made the butt of jokes or just excluded all together. It hurts to see it all. I wish they were all closer in age, but there's nothing I can do about that.
Towards the end of the evening, the guys had all congregated in the backyard around a camp-fire and the women were all in the kitchen (so typical, huh?) and my dad said I should go check things in the backyard because T was being punished for saying a bad word. Dad felt sorry for him, but didn't intervene (which would have caused all KINDS of problems), so--Thanks Dad, for that.
I went back and saw my son sitting away from the fire on the bench with a solemn look on his face. I smiled but didn't go to him right away. None of the guys said anything to me, so I waited a bit. Soon, T waved me over and started to twist his fingers in my hair as he recounted how he "forgot it was a bad word and I said a bad word and I didn't mean to, but I said it and now I have to sit here, can I get out? I told him saying bad words is not acceptable and that he'd have to stay in the Naughty Spot until Uncle Mike says he can get out.
T and I had just had this discussion 2 days ago. He has been flirting with the power of those "bad words". He'll say "jack ass" and then "But no Mama. That's just a donkey so it's OK to say that." Or "shet" (I' m not telling him how to really spell it) and "Oh Fuckey".
Whaaaaat? Whatdidyousay????
T, that's a very, very bad word (I did't tell him the root bad word but he got the message, or so I thought). You cannot say those bad words ever.
(BTW, I very rarely swear. I try to reserve it for when I reeeally need it--that way it has a nice punctuation on the feelings of the moment. And nice shock value, sometimes. )
Not the "I" word (idiot), "S" work (shup up, shit), "H" word (hell) or "F word. "Oh." But you could see that the mere power of these words was intoxicating and the potential use or accidental utterance could be very exciting.
So he said the "F" word, clear as day (according to my brother in laws). The men were shocked and he was instructed as to what a bad thing it was and T was to sit on the naughty bench until enough time had passed to make it feel like a just punishment. After a short while I heard T laughing it up in the backyard again.
Actually, I was glad that it happened. T has tons of admiration and respect for his uncles and when they say something it tends to have more effect than if I were to tell him. Maybe we won't have too many "whoops" moments with bad words in the nearer future.
We all left with full bellies and good memories.
Even T. (He recovers pretty quick.)

Thursday, April 29, 2010


Well, the trip to my friend's farm will be postponed a bit longer. We'd initially made soft plans for the 8th, but I have to cover a Saturday shift at work and so it will be pushed out longer. Hopefully the 15, but my sister's birthday is the 14th so there is a big chance that I'll be expected to go to her house that day for family celebrations for her. We'll see. There is a small chance that we'll do a two-fer and celebrate her birthday with a Mother's Day thing. That would be great--more time to schedule other weekend adventures.
This Saturday we're going to my other sister's home to celebrate her girls' birthdays (J turns 16 and M is 14). Their birthdays are 2 weeks apart so most of the time they suffer and celebrate it all together. This year all they want is money. Ugg. I hate giving money. It feels so impersonal. Plus I know the 14 year old will spend it on a freaking-expensive cell phone so she can continue to text 1000+ times a day to who knows who. (She's hijacked her mothers ever since hers dropped in the toilet.) I really don't like the lack of social graces in this newer generation and knowledge about how to interact with people in "real" time, face to face. (God, I sound old and out of touch.) They don't get to learn how to have a conversation, superficial or otherwise. At least that's my explanation as to why my nieces and nephews rarely attempt to converse with me when there's a family gathering or even just call on the phone and chat. Plus, I'm fearful of cyber bullying for my nieces. The 14 year old has been targeted a number of times on my*space and who knows what the subject of those texts are about. No good, most of the time, I bet. Or at least a good percentage of the time. Am I being pessimistic? Maybe. Or maybe the fact that I just saw a blurb on the Today show about a young girl who hanged herself due to mean kids bullying her with texts and what ever other cyber stuff is out there to potentially use to exploit and batter young innocents.
It all scares me so. Some kids can be so mean. What is it about the human race that allows such.....well....meanness?
We gotta connect more. Understand more. TALK more, instead of putting up a cyberwall and depersonalizing everyone out there.
Oops. Tangent.
Well, I hope to post soon on spending the day in a perfect place, playing and feeding little lambs. I want to go to an old-fashioned happy place.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

I'm Going To DO it!

I've decided that I have to take action and get going on exercise.
I've mulled the idea around long enough and now I'm ready.
I'm going to buy that 12 DVD series that Tony Horton puts out and get myself in shape. I hope he's as fun to watch on disc #12 as he is on disc #1.
I'll take before, during and after photos, but honestly, I don't know if I'll be brave enough to post them. We'll see.
First step: Find the web site (or wait for the info-mercial again) and order the DVDs.
If I follow the instructions and wake up extra early most of the time and put a good faith effort in, by the time we go camping at the Lake in August I'll be able to wear the swimsuit of my CHOICE! Wouldn't that be a dream?

Friday, April 16, 2010

It goes to show you...

Things usually work out, often even better than originally planned. ;)
I phoned my friend about my being such a nitwit and forgetting to arrange my work schedule to accommodate our coming for Picnic Day. I left a message--she was, no doubt, very busy getting her house ready for the big BBQ. She phoned me back a few hours later and said, "Hey, that sounds like something I would do!" I suddenly didn't feel so stupid and like I'd found some camaraderie and even more common ground with her. Nice.
She said she was disappointed....she now has 29 of the cutest lambs ever. So we made plans for our coming over next weekend. Some of them need to be bottle fed and T will get to help. Neat-O! We won't have the UC campus events or a parade but we will have way more time to actually visit and catch up (since there is no busyness with a huge party for a bunch of people I barely know). Now I get way more face time with her. She said she would try to get her brother, his family and her parents to come over too. Tooooo perfect!! Now we just have to pray the weather stays as perfect as it is right now.
I'm loving the way this turned out.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Can't get it together yet

Drat. Drat. Drat!
I totally forgot that I work this Saturday! It's April 17, the day of Picnic day at UC Davis. I've been going there just about every year since I was 2. It's kind of a parent's day for university students and their families and they show case each department with lots of cool things to do and see on campus. They also have a large veterinarian school so there are lots of animals too. Plus a super cool parade with the school band and so many enthusiastic groups from the school and those that live in and around town. The friend that I generally spend my time with used to live in Davis but now has about 20 acres outside of town and always hosts a big BBQ. It's just great for kids with a pond to swim in, animals to play with (including 9 new baby lambs this year) and lots of room to run. So many photo opportunities! For some odd reason I only get up to visit her on Picnic Day, making it especially important to get up there and catch up with my long time friend.
But no.
I totally forgot to inform my work and make the switches I could have made to get the day free to go. And now it's too late (I tried.) and so my son won't have the chance to enjoy all that there is to do up there.
I even spoke to my friend just 2 weeks ago and told her I was going to be there and was looking forward to it. UGGGGG. Now I have to call her and tell her what a nitwit I was. I'll reschedule and come up another day, but her brother won't be there (with his kids that are near the same age as T), nor any of the rest of her family (grown and away at school), not to mention, no parade and other fun stuff. But we'll still get to hang at the farm with the animals. He won't care about visiting with my friend, but that's as good as I can make it this year.
Grrrr. It won't be the same without all the rest of the kids to play with.
Other things that add to the anxiety/bad mommy feelings of this week:
1. Didn't plan any away/vacation time with T during his Spring break week. Seems like all the other families in my neighborhood remembered.
2. Forgot to bring snacks for the kids last Saturday and it was reported that the kids were so sad and HUNGRY. Ouch. But I get to redeem myself today. (Mom is bringing the snacks to the game today since I'm working--but I did remember to buy them!)
3. Forgot to go the bank at my appointed time to sign yet another paper that had to be notarized for the equity line of credit.
4. Forgot my contact lens (yes, lens--I only wear one) at my parents this morning. (Been staying at my parents part of this week so they can watch T while I work.) And forgot to bring home the gallon of milk I bought and stored in my parent's fridge. Not a big deal but adds to the list of forgetting stuff.

I wish things would go a little more smoothly. Obviously, I need a better way to organize myself. I'll get it together soon...

On a brighter side, T made me a beautiful picture yesterday and placed it on the foot of the stairs with a small chocolate (dark! my favorite!). I wish I could post a picture of it, but it had a big heart at the center, with "I love Mama", "I miss you", written all over it. It was quite colorful. And he was so proud to present it to me.
As I was putting him to bed last night (again, we chose to watch TV, this time "Minute to Win It", a new game show--he loves any game.) He really seemed to love the game show and what the contestants were doing. So it was after 9PM before he got to bed. As we were laying there, he said, "You know what Mama? I'm so lucky. Whenever Oma has to watch me and when you're late from work and she gives me a bath and then she brings me to bed at seven-sixty or seven-fifty (not worked out exactly the time stuff yet) and she reads books with me because it's not so late at night and we have time to read. I really like that."
I smiled and agreed that he sure was lucky.
But you know what I was thinking?
Two things:
1. Oh! Bad mama for assuming he wanted to do what I wanted to do: watch some lame TV show--eating up all the time we could have for book reading (and special memories for us both).
2. How cool that he really likes to read stories rather than stay up late to watch TV. Of course, I knew reading was the right thing to do for him/us but I love that he actually prefers to be with me (or Oma/Opa) and read stories together.
That makes it easy. I have to break some bad habits (TV vegetation) and spend our evenings together, by really BEING together. I can vegetate AFTER he goes to bed.
So many little ways I can improve......little things that collectively are quite big.
(I'll stop whining soon. I swear.)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I'm feeling down today.
I can't explain exactly why.
It's after 1PM, I haven't moved beyond my robe and slippers. I've been moping around the house, trying to find the purpose and direction for my day. It's Spring break this week from school, so T is off all week. He whined enough about having to go to CDC (on school site day care) that my mom and dad offered to watch him instead of the dreaded CDC. I'm not sure why he loathes it so. He says there are "big kids" that bother him. The T that I know stands up for himself and never hesitates to tell someone what he thinks. But maybe when I'm not with him, he's a different kid. He claims to be shy. I can see glimpses of it occasionally, but mostly I would never use the word "shy" to describe him. But I want him to know that I really listen to him and take what he says seriously. It really seems to bother him to go to CDC, even for a few hours, so I took my parents offer and he'll go there Wednesday-Saturday. I work this Saturday, so that's why I can lounge and mope around at home today.
Yesterday, Mark came over. Yes, I know. I was surprised too. He phoned the night before and never really gave an explanation as to why he flaked out last time. I told him I would not do any special preparations and would likely look like crap...crud....well, not doll myself up. Because then, surely, he would not show once again. As it turned out, I was fully dressed, WITH make up on and hair somewhat nicely done (it was a rainy day and I'm prone to the tiny-est bit of humidity--FRIZZY curls). Oh well. Who cares. Only me, I think.
It was nice to see him. He looked the same in lots of ways. He was dressed horribly though. Baggy shorts, a few layers of shirts with outer one being a blue plaid quilted jacket, white socks and black sneakers. And a baseball cap that never left his head. Not the outfit to make a girl swoon, you know? And swoon, I didn't. Maybe I wasn't supposed to. But we chatted and caught up for over an hour and then I had to make an appointment for my first acupuncture visit and he had a dentist appointment. He has a beautiful smile. He always has. I don't know if I'll hear from him again. I'm indifferent, either way.
Shit. I wish I could feel something, some time.
He said he could fix my side gate so that I could open it, so that would be nice. We'll see.
T has been playing Wii for HOURS. I'm feeling like really bad mom. A few days ago I caved and bought a new Wii game for him. He'd only had the Sports edition and that was plenty. It still is. But he sure is loving this SpongeBob Boating Bash. This week the weather has been quite rainy and that was my excuse yesterday to allow him to play it nearly ALL DAY LONG. This morning he woke at 7AM and asked to play it again. I said yes, thinking I was getting up shortly and then I'd change it to the Today show while I had my coffee. But I ended up getting out of bed by 8:30 and he was playing it until after 9. I finally put my foot down and changed the channel so I could tape a few movies. We just had DirectTV hooked up yesterday and I'm really loving all the extra channels. But it also makes me feel more like loser. Accomplishing nothing. But I've learned how to manage a DVR (never had one before) and I'm trying to record a few movies I've SO been wanting to see, but haven't made the time/effort to do yet.
As I type, T plays on. And it's not even raining today. Poor kid. He needs a buddy to play with and I'm falling down on the job. To be honest, T is really happy playing the Wii games as long as I root for him and watch from time to time. I wish there was another kid he could play with, but I really doubt I will foster or adopt another child. I can't load my parents up with another responsibility, and I don't have the funds either. Guilt. Either way.
I have a headache.
I need to mobilize myself. I have to buy an external hard drive so I can copy all my pictures that are stored in my home computer and then I can scrap this old one (circa 2001 or so) and get a new one. I pay for "high speed" Internet service but it's almost as slow as dial up because my computer is old and full. At least that's what I think. Plus I can't ever turn it off because chances are pretty good that I won't be able to turn in on again. It's busted inside and my computer guru-friend says it's time to move on. But for now it works well enough. A few days ago I though I was a goner. The PG&E guy came over to install a new "SmartMeter" while I was at work and, interrupting my my electric service for the few minutes he needed to, my computer was dead-as-a-doornail. CRAAAAAAP.
I think I tried to turn it on about 250 times. And then, for some unknown reason, it actually turned over and stayed on!! All was not lost. (Actually I have 99% of my pictures on an Internet picture site, so I can access them from there. But still. I wanted to copy them and have them to myself.
I don't like getting dressed lately. I don't like what I see when I'm undressed. It's all changing. I'm not overweight. But, I have been there. In my early 20's I used to weigh about 170 pounds. I say "about" because at some point I refused to stand on a scale or have my picture taken to document my misery. I did once make a drawing of myself, pointing out all the areas I hated. It was my way of motivating myself to lose the excess baggage. Somehow, little by little, I did it. These days, I'm about 10 pounds up from my lightest adult weight. (The lightest weight was due to a post break-up depression, and doesn't really count because I will never get down to that weight again, nor should I.). I just need to shape up! It's all going the way of gravity. Down. Plus I'm getting these weird pains. I've had a strange hip pain that is so severe it stops me from walking. Then it switches to the other side with no residual pain in the first side. It can go on for months in different modes of severity and then be GONE. As if it was never there. I had this pain 3 years ago, but after one year of procrastination I went to an acupuncturist and after 3 treatments the pain vanished. It stayed gone for 1.5 years until last February. When it wouldn't leave me after a month, I had referral put in to the acupuncturist again. My favorite acupuncturist moved an hour north from here (bummer!) so I asked for someone that had the same kind of style that Phillip had. Yesterday I met her. Her name is Lisa. Actually it's a hard-to-pronounce Chinese name, but she goes by Lisa. She was amazing. I really enjoyed my time with her and she came up with good explanations and a plan that sounds like it might work.
I will see her every Monday for a month and then we will re-evaluate to see if this treatment is working or not.
What was clear was that my posture needs work. I hunch too much. And my stomach is weak making it difficult to support good, even weight distribution. I've heard this before. But who likes sit ups? I'm working myself up to doing something really different. I want to have a strong body that I'm proud of. One I don't mind dressing in the morning. Clearly it's going to take some concerted effort on my part. Strong, muscular bodies don't happen by accident. Unless your day job requires you to lift heavy objects and incidentally get aerobic exercise in the mix.
I stumbled on an infomercial a few days ago. In just 60 short days, you too can have a body like the ones they sport. Just by following along with these fun filled DVDs. And 3 payments of $39. AND lots of sweating in front of your TV in the comfort of your own home.
Well, that just suits me fine. Being a single parent, I can't leave the house without someone else here to watch T. The only hours I can find to spend exercising that wouldn't induce more guilt is before the day gets going--6-7AM would be ideal. Not too early, as long as I make myself get to bed by 10 or so. Maybe with this new DVR, I'll be able to watch my favorite shows earlier (without commercials!) and get to bed sooner. My problem is that I have let T become addicted to the same shows I like and so we watch them together. And then he gets to bed well after 9PM, there is no time to read together (which I think is horrible, creating more guilt) and there is no "me" time at the end of the day--prompting me to stay up too late vegetating in front of the TV.
Will I do it? Can I find the energy everyday to wake up and do a workout all by myself? (I've tried to find someone in my neighborhood to commit to doing it with me but I've found no takers.) I don't know. I'm trying to talk myself into it. It has lots of up sides, and the only down side is my own potential to slack off. I won't pay to join a gym. Even if I did join a gym, with all the sports obligations T has during the week and weekends, I couldn't go after work and the only available time is too crazy to make him wake up at 5:30AM so he can sit in some day care (I bet they don't even offer it at that time because that would be just cruel.) and wait for me to be done sweating. See? Working out at home is the best option. And the cheapest too. It's a good idea. I just have to pump myself up, ramp the energy and motivate myself to stick with it.
And the backyard is still a mud pit. That's got me down too. I don't like clutter and the ugly, disorganized way my yard sits in is weighing on me. I just had the equity line of credit approved so now it's just about finalizing the plans and getting the right contractor. It's moving at a snails pace. Dad is helping with the written drawings, but I'm not sure about the materials for the patio surfaces. So it can't move forward until I make up my mind. I did a drive through the next neighborhood and found a home that had used a mix of brick and stamped concrete--very close to what I had envisioned. It looked good. The pattern of brick wasn't the same as I'd planned, but I might revised that part. Because this guy's yard looked really nice.
We'll see how it morphs.
Well, I better get going and find a direction to move. I've been at this computer too long and T has played much too much Wii for one day.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Ups And Downs

The up news:
My brother is moving out!! Yay! He found himself a new place all by himself too. He's not a computer person but I showed him how to find Craig's List and he busily got to work. I mean, he didn't even have "clicking" skills and now he's navigating around all by himself. Good for him! He was impressed with all the rooms for rent in his price range. He found a nice neighborhood back in our home town (where he wanted to be) and will be learning to live with 3 strangers (3 men) in a two story home. They accepted him after the first meeting and apparently weren't phased with the lack of work history. I doubt they did a credit check either. He just flashed the $400 dollars deposit and that was all they needed from him. Hurray for sloppy leasers! This is the first time he will be living with someone that isn't family or an old friend. I hope he finds it a learning experience and I really hope he finds a J O B. Likely that won't happen until they stop giving him extensions on his unemployment checks (been over 2 years now!). Not that I'm against getting hand outs that long when you really NEED it, but a LEAST make an effort in trying to find work. Well, I won't jump on that soap box now. I'm just happy that I will, once again, have my extra bed room available and that I can stop fretfully "shushing" my son every single morning as he speaks in his louder-than-most voice (and he's a talker--which I love, most of the time) so that someone can sleep in as long as they'd like and do nothing with their day. Bitter some? Not really. Just frustrated!!!! It's such a wasted life.
Until last night I thought he'd like living somewhere else since he seemed genuinely unhappy most of the time, scowled at my son at seemingly every turn, and walked around like the world owed him something. But no. I was wrong. While speaking with my mom last week (she was sworn to secrecy but that never applies to us, lol), he mocked me "She needs her own space." in that whiny kind of voice that goes along with mocking.
Well, I think he's being ridiculous. I get to chose how to live my life in my own house and I refuse to live with a sour puss any longer. But the most pressing and important factor: he's a lousy role model for my son. And I could go on but I won't. It's not worth our time. I've decided not to tell him exactly why he needs to move and all that bugs me because I'm afraid it would just cause a big rift between us and stuff like that doesn't generally get forgotten/forgiven between adults. (OK, and I'm not good with confrontation, I confess.) We should really learn from children on getting past disagreements. I have a lot to learn too. (Hence, the neighbor across the street issue.)
On the down side:
Mark flaked again. OMG. That makes 4 times in a short row. Well, the first time we sort of cancelled on each other equally, but the next 3 times it was all him. As I wrote before, he phoned last week and then he said he would like to visit on Thursday or Friday. He still hasn't phoned. No email message. Nothing. It's so disappointing. I had such hopes since our phone conversations flow so easily. And now I'm in the same position: can't/won't call him but still sorta want to meet with him to see how a face to face meeting goes. Honestly, I really don't need friends I can't trust to do what that said they would do.
I'm just....disappointed.
And back to square one.
One advantage: something has changed within me and I think I now have more courage to try and stir up something (well, it waxes and wanes day to day) with interesting men that I happen to notice around me. Hopefully some of them are unattached and emotionally in the same place I am.
In the mean time, T still keeps picking up every dandelion seed head that he sees in his path (there are tons this time of year), blowing on it to disperse every last seed, while wishing out loud, "I wish I had a baby." He's gotten a few completely naked down to the stem and quickly checks in with me that maybe NOW he'll get his wish.....
Sweet boy.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Well, I was a big chicken.
I decided to really think about my feelings on whether or not to continue to date PetSmart man. After a few days and then a few more days, I had decided I had no interest in seeing him again. Now how to tell him? But actually, since he had not written after that first note the day after our last date, I decided that I would just not write. Let it drop and die on its own.
And so far, so good. Maybe it was a mutual thing. I hope so. I hate to hurt any feelings.
So, moving on!
Mark phoned a few days ago and I didn't let him off the hook. I reminded him that he has now cancelled on me 3 times and he's skating on thin ice. He seemed fully aware of his bad behaviour and apologized a few times. He said it's not like him to be so flaky (his word choice) and I told him I didn't remember him being that way either, but when it walks and talks like a duck....ya know?
We talked for about an hour and it was really easy chatting with him. Something very familiar and comfortable about our conversations together. He said he'd like to visit Thursday or Friday and would call to confirm with me for day and time. But it's Thursday afternoon and still no phone call. Hmmmmmm.
I made plans with my parents this evening for dinner and tomorrow I have plans with another "401 mom" (that's what we call us moms that conceived with the same donor) and her daughter for dinner. They are in town until Saturday and I'm excited to get to know them a little more. We've met twice before, but I take it as a good sign that she wants to spend more time with us, the more she gets to know us. Her daughter and my son play very nicely together, although they really don't understand the genetic connection they have. But one day they will.
This Saturday, as with the past two Saturdays, T will go to another ballet dance class. I chaperoned my first field trip with T's class and we went to the local ballet company to see the behind the scenes and watch the dancers. The kids also received a small instructional session and anyone who wants to could attend free classes for the next 3 months. Cool! T loved it and had chosen to go to ballet classes instead of Tae Kwon Do. So far, no one has given him the idea that ballet might be just for girls. And I love watching him in his little white ballet shoes. I don't know if we will continue beyond this semester's free classes, but it's great to expose him to this kind of dance and see if he wants to further his dance career in the future.
Speaking of Tae Kwon Do.....
T successfully tested for his "yellow senior" belt. The testing sessions come every 3 months, but for the past 6 months he has been unable to perform all the tasks to move to the next color belt. Finally! He made it and he (and all of us too!) were so excited for him to show the class and masters that he knew all his stuff!
He says he wants to get his black belt some day....we'll see. I thought he would want to stop soon, but earning his new belt has motivated him to do better.
Yay. Except I really wanted to stop paying the $84 a month. Oh well, at least the sparkle in his eye has returned with going to practice 4 days a week.
And speaking for 4 times a continues. And T LOVES it. He's pretty good at most positions and I love watching him play. With the weather improving lately it's much more fun sitting on the sidelines and rooting for his team while soaking in a beautiful day. Sorry no recent pictures. It's the old computer. Can't upload much until I get a new machine. It's on my list.
Well, gotta go now. We're having home made pea soup! Yum. My mother can't make a bad dish. The deal is, when she cooks, she cooks for an army. We had pea soup last night and probable will have it twice more this week before it's gone. Good thing it's yummy.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Date Report

Well, yesterday PetSmart man showed up at my work right on time. He phoned me on the cell phone that he was in the parking lot and not sure which building was mine. I said I'd walk outside and find him. So, the office staff didn't get to ogle him on the way in. Oh well. Most had left to get their own lunches anyway.
He remains seated and I get in the passenger side. So far so good. We decide to drive over (it's close enough to walk over) and then order and find a nice table. The ambiance at Erik's DeliCafe is nice. Sort of rustic and cozy.
He was bumping up against my arm/elbow while standing in line to order. I kind of liked that.
As usual, he was all smiles. I asked about how his work weekend in Colorado went. I tried to follow along, but it's all engineer -ese and computer stuff. I can't follow for too long. He says he likes to complete a task as fast as he can. Sort of like a challenge for him each time he takes something on. I'm getting that he is quite competitive. So am I.
He brought up Tae Kwon Do fighting. My son has been taking it for almost a year and has had the same color belt for the past 9 months. He's almost there with his form but can't quite master it perfectly. He offered to teach him but I was thinking that I wasn't ready for him to meet my son or come to my home. He went on about how he was taught in Germany. There was an emphasis on high kicks. Especially to the face.
Uh, well. The masters at our gym don't teach their pupils that style. I think it's more like points for kicking to the body and making good blocks. But he was insisting that that was the cool thing about Tae Kwon Do-"I kick hard to de chest and den BAM! I kick zem in de face! Den it's over. I kick der ASSSSSES."
Yikes. I was not getting a warm fuzzy feeling. In fact I wasn't feeling anything. I started having a conversation in my head as I was sitting there. I was running out of things I wanted to talk about. I felt nothing. I wanted to get up and go back to work. But I had to get back in his car before getting to my office. Drat.
He asked me how I would say in Dutch, "Kiss me, please." I told him and then asked the same of him in German. And he just smiled at me across the table. Had I actually FELT something I probably would have leaned across the table and kissed him. But there was nothing. I was sorting of simmering a small panicky feeling within myself that there was something dead inside of me that no longer worked. How come I felt NOTHING?
The hour was up and we stood up to leave.
He wrapped his arm around mine and we walked to the car together. Then, once in the car, he started kissing me. And then KISSING me. And I followed his lead. But I felt like a cold fish. I had nothing.
He said he would call me later.
I have no idea what the problem with me is. He's a very nice man. (Although the kick-his-ass attitude didn't sit well.) He's good looking, has an accent that I like to listen to, athletic, smart, he listens to me and responds to what I say, and seems to be emotionally available. He even has a job. What else is there?
I'm missing that elusive "chemistry" thing. I'm not sure how to turn that on. He seems to have it for me, unless he's faking it too.
I just can't fathom going any further--physically. I don't WANT him.
Maybe something died with menopause. I feel hormoneLESS.
(I have admit that yesterday was a horrible day for allergies and I took benedryl and it really knocked me over with side effects. But at least the snot stopped.)
The last guy I really WANTED was back in 2001. That relationship never went anywhere--he was fresh out of divorce #2 and a bit skittish about starting up a new relationship.
Heavy, heavy sigh.
What do I do?
Do I go on another date (assuming maybe it was the benedryl blahs that did me in)?
Or is this a sign that it just isn't right with this guy? I don't want to throw him away when there might be a chance for something nice to develop.
I wish this stuff was easier. Sheesh.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Can you say F L A K E ?

Well, the "date" on Sunday didn't happen. He never phoned the day before (as he said he'd do). In fact, he didn't reconfirm the last time he was supposed to come over (His idea--which I thought was a nice and thoughtful move) and then cancelled the day of the planned meeting. I'm starting to learn that maybe what Mark says he'll do isn't what Mark will really do. Not how I remember him being....
I phoned him yesterday (the day we were supposed to see each other) and left him a message. He called me right back (apparently I had awakened him) and apologized for not calling (as he said he would!). He has been sick with a cold--or something that has sapped him completely. What is it with men and getting sick? They turn into such babies. That's not fair. I'm sure I'm stereotyping. But I've heard from more than one source that more than one man becomes a child once sick. He said he'd been sleeping all day and was starting to feel much better. He wanted to put off visiting until he's healthy again--to spare getting me or my son sick too.
So, we'll see. I'm not phoning anymore. The ball is in his court.

PetSmart guy, though, has not yet dropped the ball. He couldn't make our planned for lunch date last Thursday. He phoned 2 hours before lunch and explained that he needed to drop off his car at the mechanic and was then told it would be 4 hours of work before he would get his car back. So lunch was now off--or rather postponed. He emailed if we could change the lunch date to next week. Sure, I said. We made plans for next Tuesday (tomorrow). I told him we could meet at Erik's DeliCafe or at my office. He said he was fine with either, but would like to be a gentleman and pick me up from my office, if I was OK with that. Well, suddenly that sounded quite nice, so I wrote, "I'd love that. Yes, please. Pick me up at work."
Now all my office mates are so excited to see what he looks like. (I tell them most everything about my dates so they can live vicariously.) He will get the eye from every direction when he steps in the waiting room. :)
I received another email from him today, asking if we were still on for tomorrow. He says he "can't wait" to see me.
I'm kind of excited to see him too. I still can't quite envision how he will fit into my life, but I think that's a bit too much to work out just yet. I'll take it one date at a time.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Second Date

And a second cup of coffee.
It was hastily arranged to meet at the same coffee house at lunch time today.
We had written emails on potential times to meet over the weekend, but I was dragging my feet on any particular time. Partly because I really was quite busy and it would have been a hassle to find a babysitter for the small amount of time I could spend (Mom would have stepped up but she had just spent Thursday and Friday evening over and Dad starts to grumble when it's too many days in a row spent away.). But the biggest reason was I just wasn't too "in a hurry" to see him. I wanted to but some brakes on. It seemed the more time passed since the first date, the better things felt for me towards him. When ever he sent an email though it was clear he wanted very much to see me again. Soon.

So today I met him again. We ordered our coffees and sat down on ottomans with a small table between us. Again, he body language reaffirmed he was happy to be with me. He even said a few times that he wished he could get closer to me. That was my cue to address the speed of this whole thing. I told him that I had felt like things were rolling along too quickly. That I needed to get to know him to feel more comfortable with things. He smiled (actually he never stops smiling) and said, "We can't go back. It's too late." I think he was quite happy with that. But I think I made it pretty clear that I wanted to slow it down.
He tried to explain to me how it was in Munich and the space between people and what was considered "normal" space between people is much smaller than what Americans think. I think I've come to understand that he feels reassured when he is rubbing elbows with someone. And I'm thinking, "Hey, did I say it was OK to enter my 18" of personal space?"
He also looked different in daylight (as I'm SURE I did too). His teeth need some brightening and I saw evidence of European dentistry. Duh. Of course. They're just old crowns, with a couple gold ones in the back. I am such a nit picker! Teeth are one of those things I pay attention to. Perhaps because I live in California--but I almost expect that if you had the time and money, you'd make sure your smile was bright (not NEON white but certainly not yellow). His teeth were a bit yellowed. The normal yellowing that happens as we all age--if we were all coffee drinkers. Unfortunately, with all the whitening materials out there, that "normal" is not as normal as it used to be.
I know. I'm a bitch. Uh, witch. I mean, unreasonable.
Anyway, it all went well, once again. I asked more questions about his kids and he was happy to talk about them and the time he spends with them. He says he's strict with them and thinks it's important that they know good manners and eat with knife and fork--no slouching at the dinner table and no hands in your lap while eating. That kind of "strict" OK with me--I teach my son to do the same thing. He did say he "kicked" his 13 year old when he gets out of hand. Made some sort of joke that he took many years of Tae Kwon Do and he's a better kicker than his son is. I'm not sure what to make of that. I'll reserve judgment until I know more. We also talked about scuba diving and the changes in equipement over the last few decades, and other unimportant topics.
Then it was time to go.
He asked if he could walk me to my car and once there he asked me when he could see me again--some time this week. He leaves for Colorado for work on Friday for 3 days. So we made soft plans for lunch time on Thursday. He will call/write me and pick me up from my work--or meet at an agreed place. My hair kept falling in front of my eyes with the wind. (I've been trying to grow it out--and the bangs are just at the point where they are so annoying!). When he brushed them to the side of my face, it felt nice. Like he was being appropriately affectionate. I liked that part. Then he kissed me--just a little peck. And then one more.
And that was it.
I think he got the message that I want it slower. And he seems ready to oblige.
With that, there's potential for a couple more dates.

I still want to go out with Mark though. He called last night and left a message, but we still have yet to make a date to meet.

When it rains, it pours. Even after such a long and dry drought!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Coming Up For Air

Oh my gosh. I have been naked all week with a cute German engineer chasing me, nonstop. Sorry for the delay in writing the date details....I just haven't had the chance to sit at a computer!

Ha! Juuuuuuust kidding.

I had to come up with a juicy excuse for my tardy update!

So, we met at a coffee house. He was waiting there as I drove up. I walk up and suddenly am standing too close. It was awkward. I passed the space where a hand shake was expected and entered the zone where hugs start to happen. So, I hugged him. But not really sure I should have.
We walk in and he starts bumping into my arm/elbow in a "we're so familiar, we stand this close" sort of way.
We both order Chai, his treat. Then we sit down.
His body language is all good: He's leaning into me across the table, always smiling and we never had a shortage of stories to tell. And we didn't focus on old relationships either. Mostly stories of travel. He freely and often admitted to information he had on me that he found on the Internet. I was continually surprised that he knew so much.
Note to self: Internet is helpful but quite dangerous on some levels.
I also knew tidbits about him (from my earlier Googling) but didn't let on that I knew anything. Isn't that the way you're supposed to do it?
I appreciated his candor and truthfulness though.
Sometimes it did get kind of icky.
He knew what I did for living, and heck, I talk about stuff most people would NEVER discuss at the mere suggestion of bodily functions of dysfunctions.
He gingerly brought up potentially taboo subjects with permission and, of course I said it was OK to discuss. But after a while, it just felt icky. After all, this IS a first date. So I kind of ended that kind of talk with, "Well, maybe there's a good reason for a certain etiquette with first dates." And it stopped. Sort of.
He was telling me a story of going through a rescue scuba diving course he took. He had to pull a woman (fellow student) out of the ocean, lay her on the beach and then perform CPR. Then he looked at me and said, "I'd love to do mouth-to-mouth with you."
Did you just say what I thought I heard you say?
Ewww. Please don't say stuff like that.
I kind of shrugged it off. Perhaps that's what German guys are like. Maybe he doesn't know the subtleties of dating in the US. There were a couple more instances where it suddenly felt out of bounds, sexually. Part of me was like,
"Well, he likes me!" and the other part was saying, "He's just saying that because he wants my clothes off. Now." Maybe I AM pretty. I don't think so.
I don't generally take compliments well. How could he be so IN to me so quickly?? It must be about sex. (the conversation in my head never stops...)
After about 1.5 hours of mostly excellent chatting, we decided we needed to go.
He was going to buy more fish for his tank. He needs A LOT.
I'd assumed that first day I saw him in Pet Smart that he was the owner of a lovely LARGE aquarium and loved his little fishies the way I've come to.
But no.
He has just one fish.
A Piranha. A big Piranha.
It's illegal to have them in our state. He bought it (along with 4 others that had died) while in Kansas.
Now, that puts another dimension to this guy. And not the direction I was hoping it would go. Maybe he's a bit of a bad boy. Is that a good thing, or a bad thing? Don't more women like a bit of "bad boy"? Do I?
Maybe. But not like this.
He said, if he gets too big and costly to keep alive (it eats a LOT of gold fish or what ever he puts in the tank), he'll just eat him.
Maybe he was just kidding.
I'm not sure what to think of that.
He has to go around to different fish tank stores so no one gets suspicious. He tells them he has a turtle that eats them (they're legal).

Anyway....we get to the car and then he's getting closer...and closer.
Yep. We kiss.
And kiss. And kiss.
And I'm feeling nothing. He seems all "into it" and I've got nothin'. But I follow his lead. After a short while, I'm done. I break it off and nicely say, "I've gotta go."
I called him from my cell right then so he'd have my phone number. That way I didn't have to call him later and potentially have MORE conversation.
I was done. I wanted to get away.
I liked him. He's very easy on the eyes. But it was too much suddenly.
I really hoped he was NOT going to call or write me soon.
He travels for work a lot. He'd be gone all week and then a few days home before off to Florida. He even invited me to go with him to India in April.
Thanks, but no. 20 hours on a plane for a 4-5 day trip doesn't sound like fun. But it was sweet to ask me, just the same.
He seemed very jazzed that we might be great travel partners. Me too, but I do have a son that will be coming along. I'm not a singular package and neither is he (I'd think....)

He was married for 12 years and now divorced for almost 2 years (by my calculations on when he bought his house--found that on the Internet too, purchase price, picture and all. Sheesh. Dating these days is a whole new ball game.) He has 3 kids, ages 13, 8 and 3.
He should be quite busy with all that he has to do outside of work, in addition to all the time he puts in at work. Add to that all the driving around to feed that hungry fish and I don't know where he gets time to date.
Oh yeah, and he swims every lunch time in his training for a Navy SEAL race that involves swimming, pull ups, sit ups, squats, whatever....etc.
And still, he has found time to spend with me.

He wrote an email 3 days after our date and said he'd been thinking about me all weekend, had a great time and wants to see me again.
I wrote back the next day and said sort of the same think back.
He's just back in town again, no doubt catching up with life and going for more food for Mr. P and wrote that he'd love to have another coffee this weekend.

I don't know why I am having reservations. I think it's just the left over ickyness from some of our time together, the hands-y kissing at the end and his exuberant, enthusiastic, almost (but not quite) too much interest in me. It feels like it might just turn into a physical thing.

We'll have to see. I'll go out for coffee again, and I'll see how things feel then.

Also, not a word from Mark. I wrote him a while back and then yesterday phoned and left a message. I'd really like to visit with him and see if there are any sparks still there.

I like this. It's something new. I might just get a love life after all.