Monday, November 30, 2009

Yes, I am that kind of person

Thanksgiving is over and now we move on to Christmas. I was excited beyond reason to get our tree this year. I was really looking forward to decorating the tree because this year I convinced Bill to let me decorate with a new tree theme.

What? Tree theme? Yes, you read that right. Tree theme. I am that kind of person. A tree theme person.

I've always been this way since we got married and decorated our own tree. I've been fascinated with the beautiful details and the design process. It's a creative outlet for me. Apparently, I'm darn good at it too (or so Bill says). For the last four years, we've had a rustic Colorado themed tree with wooden bears, moose, bird houses, and everything woodland-creature related. It was cute and I liked it a lot. But, it was getting tired. It was time to switch themes. I asked Logan what he thought we should do - flowers (poinsettias) or snowflakes. He chose snowflakes.

The boys helping me get the lights up, meaning, stomping on the lights and breaking glass all over the floor.

I bought all new ornaments - silver balls, silver glittered balls, ice cycles and snowflakes. We even have a snowflake as the star on top of the tree. I wasn't so sure about it when I was buying the ornaments, but now that it's finished - it turned out better than I imagined. It's beautiful.

So, now we have a winter wonderland snowflake tree that glows in the front room right in center of the window facing the street. It's picturesque.

Someday I will do the hall of trees - volunteering to decorate a display. Someday, when I'm not doing everything else!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Thankfulness

This year has been particularly good to us. Thinking back on the last four years (or more), this year has been the least stressful, the most fun and the most successful. It's been nice to catch a break, to be able to breath and actually enjoy life for a while.

I am so thankful that Bill has a stable job. In this economy where some are without employment, others wonder how they are going to pay the bills, we are fortunate beyond measure to have his company in our lives. He loves going to work everyday and unlike other jobs, never goes to bed dreading the next day. While he may travel more than we'd like, it's an easy sacrifice to make.

I am thankful for my family - the sane members. I'm happy beyond the moon to be able to create wonderful memories with my kids, going on special family outings or even doing relaxing puzzles at home.

I am thankful for my fabulous friends. Without them, my life wouldn't even be as fun as it is. I laugh heartily, to the point of tears. They listen to my complaints and offer a shoulder to cry on. They make me smile. A lot.

I am thankful for our health, because without it, we have nothing. I am thankful for the home we live in and that we will be able to continue to live here for as long as we want.

I am thankful for the personal growth I've made in the last year, the lessons I've learned and the changes I've made. I'm thankful to evolve and not stay stagnant in a stage of life.

I am especially thankful for writing. It has changed my life. While I may not write here daily like I used to, I'm still writing every day (somewhere). This blog has changed my life for the better, has helped our family and has assisted the troubles in our home. I cannot imagine my life without writing.

There are so many things I am thankful for - the list could go on forever. But, I am so very thankful for all that we have.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The in(sane)-laws

This is not working out. I want it to stop. Now. I hate it. I hate Sundays. This arrangement is worse than the ones we've had before.

Ever since we agreed to the weekly Sunday phone call between Logan and the grandparents, Sundays have become full of tension, anxiety, stress and it's resurfacing my pent up rage towards them. Bill and I have been getting along pretty well lately, but I feel like every Sunday slowly drags us back down. All of the problem feelings surface, like resentment, anger and hurt and they bottleneck in my chest as Bill shrugs it off trying to pacify me. Why did I think it was going to be any different?? Why am I continually driving myself insane thinking that situations are going to change?

Each Sunday is just another reason to argue. You'd think Bill would put two and two together and make the best decision for our family, especially since last Sunday he didn't make the call for Logan. He was supposed to be out of town and plans changed. He stayed home, but the in-laws still thought he was on business. No phone call to them, no stress in our house. Simple equation, right? He's too busy making his mom happy instead of helping the happiness in our house. Again.

I finally got Bill to agree to have the phone call on the speaker so I could hear what was being said, especially since I thought I heard an unsettling remark in the first call. Three or four weeks later, it finally happened. And just as I thought, "clueless" Grandma L is making inappropriate comments. First, Logan is talking about going over to their house to play hide and go seek. "Wouldn't it be fun if you could stay here the whole time?" she says to Logan. ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? She just asked my three year old son if it would be fun if he could spend the whole time there. We're having issues with her understanding the role of a grandparent and this just digs her grave even deeper.

Then, Logan gets tired of talking on the phone after only a few short minutes. "I want you to talk to Daddy, " he tells her. "But I want to talk to you," she replies. "Why do you want to talk to me? Why don't you want to talk to Daddy or Carter?" There's an uneasy silence as she thinks about her answer. "Because I love talking to you" she responds. "Well, I want you to talk to Daddy", he says again. "That makes Grandma sad," she tells him.

I glare at Bill and it takes EVERY. OUNCE. OF. SELF. CONTROL to just sit there and say nothing as she tries to emotionally manipulate my son with a guilt trip because he doesn't want to talk to her anymore. Bill just sits there and shrugs his shoulders like it's no big deal.

I couldn't sleep last night because the hatred for her began growing inside me like a toxic cancer. This was the very reason I thought the cut-off was the best choice for our family. Now with the phone calls, that cancer grows bigger every week, infecting our family more intensely. It's too much. And now with this stunt that she just pulled, I am without a doubt going to contact her to let her know that I don't appreciate her guilt tripping my kids. Bill won't do it. He'll just shrug it off again. The mama bear is wide awake now and Grandma L better watch out. These claws are sharp.

Friday, November 13, 2009

I won't answer

Not too long ago I got a new cell phone. It's a spiffy phone that has a full QWERTY keyboard and is easily linked to both of my email addresses. Texting is simple, checking my email is a piece of cake. Really, I'm hyper-connected.

However, if anyone calls me - I usually won't answer. And if I don't recognize the number, I'm definitely not answering. AND? If you don't leave a message, I won't call you back. It's been this way forever. I don't know why I don't like to talk on the phone because when I was a kid, I used to have conversations for hours. Now? Not so much. I'd rather just email or text back.

Maybe it's because I'm traumatized from our poor years when bill collectors were constantly calling. Maybe it's because when I try to have a conversation with a friend, I'm always stopping mid-sentence to yell "STOP PUTTING THAT IN YOUR NOSE! Don't climb up there! Stop fighting! " Maybe it's because I have so much to do that I just have time to talk and can just as easily stay in touch via email. Or Facebook - that's even better.

Whatever the case, I usually won't answer. But, at least I'll call you back! Usually...

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Literary abandon or abandoned literature?

A few weeks ago I brought up the idea of participating in this years NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). A few of the other writers thought it would be fun and three of us decided to take the plunge. So, we have 30 days to write a 50,000 word, 175 page fiction novel. One of the writers averaged it out to 1,700 words a day. Do you want to know how many I've typed up so far?


I totally bit off more than I can chew.

I have a story line for a horror fiction novel. Funny, because I don't read fiction and I certainly don't read horror. I don't even watch horror films because I get nightmares easily. But, for some reason, I think I can write horror. Actually, I've wanted to write a memoir of my childhood, but I can't remember a whole lot (the brain does funny things, I suppose). I had a journal of everything and when Bill and I were engaged, we burned the journal in a barbecue pit at a park. It was a way to close that chapter on my life and not have anything to remind me of the horrors.

I think I can take the details that I do remember and then add some more craziness with a serial killer living in a family house and turn it into a work of fiction. I suppose all I have to do now is find the time to write it all up. Bill was going to be on a business trip all week this week and I was going to use that alone time at night to write and catch up. The trip got canceled, so now I think I'm just going to have to neglect my family this week to get it done.

How are all of these writers with jobs (or I should say, multiple jobs) doing it all? How can I fit preschool, playgroups, food writing assignments, meetings and everything in between? I'm not one to admit that I have too much on my plate - but seriously, I'm full. However, I'm not giving up. I'll get there, even if I have to lock myself in the office for a while.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Halloween bust

This year Halloween was a bust. Well, not totally, but it was cold and snowy. Many of our plans were canceled because we got a record-breaking snowfall that shut down the city for a couple of days.

We were able to go to the pumpkin patch for Logan's school field trip and pick out some pumpkins together. We got to go trick-or-treating at The Farm the day before it got really cold, which was great. Logan got to knock on doors and Carter got to come along, all the while we didn't freeze our fingers off. On one of the snow-in days, we were still able to make it out to a Halloween party with Logan's friends who are also classmates. We all had a great time there too.

We missed out on Logan's preschool fall festival where they were going to dress up in their costumes and play games. I was going to do face painting for the class (I have no face painting skills, so that would have been interesting). On Halloween, it was still cold and even though the snow melted, it was too cold for Carter to go. Bill and Logan went out in the neighborhood and Carter and I stayed home to hand out candy.

It wasn't a horrible holiday, but it could have been so much more fun without the snow. Yuck. I hate winter.

The best part of the season this year was Logan's interest in being scary, spooky and having the creepiest costume an almost 4 year old could have. He really got into it. At first he wanted to be a Sleestak from the Land Of The Lost. We found a swamp monster costume at Target that would have been perfect. But, when we went to get it, he changed his mind and wanted to get the Grim Reaper costume with glowing red eyes. Whatever works!

So, here is this little kid in a creepy costume walking around with glowing eyes. When we were at The Farm, it was designed to be a "not so scary" event. I later heard that the kids weren't supposed to wear scary costumes. Oops! While the other kids were dressed up like pirates, princesses and super heroes, Carter was a super cute and cuddly frog, here comes Logan dressed as Death. Awesome.

Logan is getting more brave as the months go by. Not only did he want to dress in a scary costume, but having a mean mom moment, I wondered if he would be traumatized watching a scary video clip online. You know those pop out and scream monster videos that go around? Well, there was a Ghost of Michael Jackson one and I let him watch that (with the volume turned down). He thought it was funny and wanted to watch it three more times. I got this on camera too. Hilarious!