Friday, May 21, 2010

maybe I wish it wasn't the weekend

aren't weekends supposed to be when you relax? they should be. but when 2 little girls have a dance recital on Saturday, and company comes next weekend, and there's end-of-the-school-year goings on, and I'm subbing both Tuesday and Thursday next week (that I need to prep for), we'll be lucky to get a load of diapers washed, let alone sit and relax for a few hours.

oh, and I suppose the recital could be a bit relaxing, except I have helium hand syndrome. Ever heard of it? It's where, whenever some group needs a volunteer, those that suffer from hhs cannot keep from raising that hand. So I am stage mama for both of my daughter's classes. Not just one class, but both. Because the girls are in different recitals. The powers that be think it's good for siblings to watch siblings perform. They work really hard to make sure that big sis can watch little sis, and vice versa. so, we will be at the college auditorium at 9:45, for Lauren's 10am recital, ready for Aubrey's 2pm recital. and, if they pass out surveys about the recitals, you can bet I'll be letting them know that ONE recital would be less stressful for those parents (grandparents, doting aunts) that have more then one child performing. fortunately, there's no cost to watch the recital. unfortunately, they sell dvd's. $36 a pop. $72 if I want each of their recitals. ha. hahaha.

blogging cut short... whining 4 year old is having a meltdown....

I was like a kid

and it was like the candy store.

albeit a small candy store. but still.


Saturday was the start of the book sale at the library. All childrens books $0.50 a piece.

The sale was scheduled to begin at 9am, when the library opened. I had $20 to spend on books for Lauren's preschool. Another $20 of my money, for books for us.

There was no way I was gonna miss out on the best of the best of the fifty-cent books, so I was there at 8:45. And the parking lot was empty. Did I get my days wrong? Does the sale start on a different day? Why on earth are there not hoards of people?

The sign was still up on the door, announcing that it did, in fact, begin that day. So I walked around the block. And another block. And marvelled that the little coffee shop downtown isn't open on Saturdays. Of course, downtown was pretty dead, so maybe it makes sense that they are closed Saturdays. But I would've gone in and gotten some tea, had they been open.

Then I went and sat outside at the library. at 8:58 another lady arrives, and she just stands by the door. I join her. There's an employee on the inside looking at us. I ask Other Lady if she's there for the book sale. Nope, just there to use the computer. There's a book sale, huh? Umm, HELLO!!!

Finally they open the doors. I beeline for the children's section. It's pretty small, but I'm not discouraged. I am the only one there. seriously? Well I'm not complaining, but seriously? Maybe 10 minutes in, with my stack 10 inches high, a friend (who I told about the sale, thankyouverymuch) arrives. I keep adding books to my stacks - now there are two, each about 10 inches high.

Finally, at about 9:30, a few more people wander in. And see me add to my piles. "Ma'am, are these books you have set aside?" "Yes, those are mine." Had we both actually said what we were thinking, I think it would have gone more like this: "Ma'am, are ALL these books set aside? Really, you are buying ALL THESE books? Umm, don't you think you should leave some for the rest of us?" "Yes, those are mine. Book sales are serious events. Next time you better be here at 9. Don't you dare touch my piles, I bite."

But, as the crowd grew (to, umm, 5), I felt a bit self concious that my stacks were so high. So I left with 42 books. 25 for the preschool, and 17 for us. Never fear, though, I went back Monday and got 15 more for the preschool, and 1 more for us.

And, when we were at the library for story time on Wednesday, I didn't even let myself walk over near the sale shelves. I have incredible restraint, loads of will power. Just don't tell me about a book sale ever again.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

in response

April asked a question on her blog, and while she posed the question on her blog, I felt like I could better articulate my answer here, instead of as a comment, so here goes. (Her question is here, the brief version is "What makes you, you?" - but deep down, not on the surface.)

***** the short answer *****

Luck, determination, and awareness - or a lack of any of the above - make people who they are.

***** the long answer *****

So, jumping in, feet first... recently I ran across an article (can't find it, sorry!) that said, pretty much, so long as your child knows she is loved, your parenting style is not going to make (or break) her... as a very conscientious parent, I let out a big ol' breath when I read that. Because there's always a little voice, "Could you have handled that differently?" (that's the little voice on a nice day - my little voice has said worse at times!)

I had a conversation with my sister a month ago, and we really became aware of how 'normal' we are. Not just her and I, but some of our cousins. And we talked about the biggest factor seemed to be that we all knew we were really, really loved. Not just by mama. Not just by mom and dad. But also by our extended family of aunts and uncles, grand parents, great aunts and uncles. No matter the crap life has thrown at us, there's always been this group of allies/defenders/protectors (By no means is that the cure-all, but, to us, it seems like one possibility).

From the outside looking in, my childhood seemed pretty great. And it was good, but it definately looked better than it was. The way my parents communicated (or didn't communicate) was all I knew. Looking back, I think it was an unhappy marraige painted over to look happy. Though there was (and is) obviously love there. And you could argue that with dad being a cop, working crazy shifts, communication was hard. Understood. One parent was very quick to find fault in whatever the other parent did or didn't do, treating the other like they were incompetent. Luckily I began to recognize this, and early in my relationship with Andy, told him about this pattern that I was afraid I might inadvertantly copy. Didn't realize this before it kinda became habit to treat 'incompetent parent' the way other parent had. Broke that habit, fortunately, but it was tough. As for Andy and I, well this habit creeped in periodically, and since Andy and I were woth aware of it, nipped it in the bud quickly. Oh, and for the record, my parents seemed to have figured out their patterns and habits, and things are much better balanced then when I was a kid.

Kids are resiliant. Really, really resiliant. I'm sure some of my habits and quirks just happened, but others, I know, I got from my dad (a serious concern for others well-being, to the point of doing whatever I can to get involved) or my mom (a big ol' case of wallflower syndrome). That's fun, btw, the internal battle between wanting to jump right in and *invite a stranger to dinner because I know they need a meal* versus *smile and walk away, and maybe I won't have to figure out what to talk about with this stranger - it might get uncomfortable.*

And, a whole 'nother set of my habits and quirks are because I saw the way someone (usually a parent, sometimes a grandparent or aunt/uncle) in my life was and I either liked that trait or didn't like it, and chose (rather subconsciously, I think) to act accordingly.

So, what makes a good person, good?

As for friends who's home life was less than good, one friend comes to mind, and she turned out good, overcame some potentially big barriers. But guess what. She had love. A crazy mom, crazier grandma, physically absent dad, a whole host of aunts and uncles. And for all the craziness, she knew she was loved, and protected, and wanted. A healthy dose of self esteem, some close friendships were also thrown in the mix.

On the flip side, what makes a bad person, bad?

I'm speculating here, that someone not realizing they are loved (because Lord knows there are bad people whose parents did the best they could and really, really love their children) might be enticed to do bad things, as would, more obviously, someone who really wasn't loved as they should have been. Abused, neglected, forgotten - how easy to fall into patterns of selfish, distructive behavior if you know no other way.

So, I guess the short answer is, luck, determination, and awareness - or a lack of any of the above - make people who they are.

**** and, for the heck of it, the fun, not so deep answer ****

My mom's patience and brains (passed down from both her parents), my dad's compassion and generosity (passed down from his mother), my Papa Ross's case of the always right, never wrongs, Grandpa John's silliness and constant desire to learn about things, Grandma Marg's faith, Grandma Ruthie's crazy craftiness, Great-Grandma Susie's craftiness, Great-Aunt Ibby's Sure, use more glitter! attitude, Great-Aunt Alyce's grace and love of letters, Great-Aunt Mary Jane's love of books, Tio's desire to take care of the world, and the joy of baking, which cannot be credited to any one person. Those are just some of the things that make me, me :-)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

"Taylor the Latte Boy"

Have you heard this song? It's been around, but I haven't heard it until recently. Oh it cracks me up. I think I love Kristin Chenoweth. "Who'd have thought love could be so caffeinated?" hahahaha

Did I mention my bruised tailbone? It's been bruised for, oh, 2 months now. I have no idea how I bruised it, and it hurts all the time. Makes me feel bad for people with chronic pain, because this is mild, and really, it's not all the time. Just whenever I go to get up from sitting, or re-situate myself while sitting. Getting out of the car after a long drive sucks. Royally.

I've lost count of how many people have told me Sasha looks like a doll. Really, some have thought I was one of those ladies who carries around the life-like dolls. I have no problem with people choosing to do that - it doesn't hurt me, and if it makes them happy, then so be it. But, I happen to bring a real baby shopping. And, I have to wonder how many people think I'm one of those and that Sasha is one of those and they see us in passing and don't say a thing. Maybe all the grins I get from other shoppers are the, "Oh my, look at that lady, bringing a doll to the store, treating it like a baby. Just smile and keep walking. KEEP WALKING!" grins, versus your normal, everyday "Hello!" grin. Hmm. I'll never smile back at a fellow shopper the same again. ;-)

I've been readingThe Secrets of The Immortal Nicholas Flamel, and I like them! Classified as "teen fantasy." And I was about to tell you that it's a series of 3, but I was wrong. It's a series of 6, the 4th of which comes out later this month. Crapola. Because I thought I was about to finish the 3rd and be done. I hate reading series as they are released. Drove me crazy with Harry Potter. Driving me crazy with Nora Roberts' Bride Quartet. Loved that I didn't read Twilight until this past fall - I was able to read the entire series in a months' time. Anyway, back to the books. I was drawn in by "Nicholas Flamel" - he was in Harry Potter. And he really did exist. And, apparently, his grave is empty. Sophie and Josh are twins that turn out to have some awesome powers. When they meet up with Flamel, they then end up meeting all sorts of cool, famous people throughout history (really, most of the characters did exist) that some way or another became immortal and have been living among us all these centuries (or decades, or millenia). Lots of destruction, mythical and mystical creatures, glowing auras. I'm enjoying it more than I thought I would. But crap, I have to exercise my patience in finishing this series.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

My internet conection is having a bad day. Crappiness. Hopefully it's worked the kinks out, it's annoying to have to reconnect every few minutes.

I've been slipping into crappy mood, by the way. Nothing to do with internet connectivity. I'm pretty sure it has to do with human connectivity. I don't have many friends here yet, and the ones I do have are not very close friends. Yet. I'm working on it. In the mean time, I've been the crappy, snippy version of myself lately. Deep breaths. It will get better.

And, I really, really miss my Wisconsin friends (in part, for sure, due to the lack of close friendships here). So the girls and I will spend a week or two up there this summer. I am very excited. I have a mental list of who we'll see, what we'll do. Need to make sure the most important folks will be around, and coordinate where to sleep when. :-) This completely scraps my plans for a west coast-ish wild and crazy roadtrip. And I'm cool with that. Wisconsin is the place both Aubrey and Lauren remember as home, so I want to keep them connected to that place and 'our people' there.

And, on the Sashafront, that girl is crawling everywhere. Everywhere. But she doesn't really like being on her knees, so it's an interesting scootish crawl, using her feet almost as much as her knees. She finally likes food, but it took over 8 months. And Cheerios. I delayed and delayed introducing a grain, for health reasons, but as soon as I gave in and gave her a Cheerio, now she's much more intrigued by food of any kind.

Oh, and the peaches. Millions of peaches. Peaches for me. Millions of peaches. Peaches for free. (Sorry, couldn't resist) The drive up into Aubrey's school parking lot is lined on one side with peach trees. We picked some of the yummiest, juiciest peaches I've ever had Saturday, and may go pick more again.

This weekend I'll be getting my composting worms. I'm very excited. Am I crazy to be excited about getting worms? Don't answer that. Anyway, they'll live in a big rubbermaid bin on the patio, and will be well fed, eating almost all our kitchen scraps. I heare they also like junk mail... so we'll try that, too. :-)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

fill in the blanks

i want a maid.
i can't get enough plum walnut yogurt.
i think batteries are a very wasteful necessity.
i think it's annoying to be asked "why" 6 times in a row, when I can no longer elaborate the answer.
i'm not sure i like swiss chard, but I'm gonna try it.
i'm hungry for some girlfriend time.
for cinco de mayo I looked at the calender, and said, "Oh, that's today, huh?"
i'm mad at the dog that thinks treats are buried in the litter box.
i'm glad that we've been able to camp so much recently (another trip this weekend!).
i'm nervous about sharing my blog with too many people.
i have long hair.
i need to find a yoga class.
i wish I could sit outside with my Wisconsin friends, talking about noyhing.
i'm excited to be making friends here in Texas.
i'm happy that the crafty bug hit me in time to make gifts for the grandmas and grandma figures this mothers day.

now you fill in the blanks. unless you already have. :-)

trying to find my groove

I want to be back to blogging, but I'm still drawing blanks as to what to blog about. So I'll try, and it may be a bunch of ramblings, but I want to get back into blogging somewhat frequently.

Our garden is going strong. It's small, but it's going strong. 3 whiskey barrels, plus a handful of medium pots, and one spot actually on the ground.

What's growing:

1 yellow bell pepper
1 yellow pear tomato
1 large red tomato
1 unidentified tomato
2 strawberries
1 watermelon hill (with 2 watermelon hills not sprouting at all - arg!)
3 cucumbers
5 green beans
lemon balm

And, in recent weeks I've also planted:

2 petunias - sugar daddy petunias that Lauren just calls sugar daddies :-)
1 red geranium
1 lavender (not the herbal variety, just a plant called lavender)
1 jasmine
1 lobelia
1 rose bush
1 pecan tree

I'm having lots of fun in the dirt, and I hope that my thumb is somewhat green - right now it's too early to tell. But there are actual tomatoes growing on the vines now - good sign. :-)

One of our favorite foods here recently has been bean salad. It makes my heart swell when the girls want to take bean salad in their lunches. And, I am a dork. But I've worked really hard to make sure our kids like a variety of healthy foods, so it makes me feel good. Oh, and this batch of bean salad - all made from dried beans. I normally open up cans, but I had the dry beans in the pantry so I went for it. Is it silly that I was feeling intimidated by cooking dry beans?

Oh crap, I keep forgetting to get or do something for Aubrey's teacher for teacher appreciation week. crap crap crap.

But, we did do some crafting for Mother's Day. :-) Two super cute, easy-peasy projects that I'm hoping the grandmas will love. Painted towels and clay thumbprint pendants (only, instead of making pendants, we made window charms). Unfortunately, in my haste to get them mailed off, I forgot to take pictures. For the towels - some were floral, very similar to the example shown, and others had Aubrey's handprints, Lauren's handprints and Sasha's footprints. LOVE those! I need to make some of those for me. :-)