Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Too High Maintenance

I don't like Halloween. Never have. I would often refuse to wear a costume when I was younger and I would stay home to hand out the candy.

Today I took The Boy to his music class and all of the other kids were in their costumes. Even the baby. THE BABY! HE DOESN'T EVEN KNOW IT'S HALLOWEEN!!! I have a costume for The Boy. He has worn it twice, once for pictures while at the beach and once for his school's parade but did I think to just randomly put it on him for our music class? No. Did they send out a memo? No. Perfect Moms just automatically know that 10/31 is a costume day and this Grumpy Halloween Scrooge Mom just wanted to get out the door and to the class relatively on time.

And I think that now gets added to my long list of reasons for not liking Halloween (right after 'adults have taken the fun out of it' and 'it is a holiday celebrating nothing and yet people spend gobs of money decorating their houses').

To add insult to grumpiness I cannot go to yoga tonight because there is no childcare because it is trick or treat night. Sounds like it's movie night for The Boy and I. Upstairs. With the blinds closed just in case someone actually drives here and comes to the door. I have laundry to fold anyway.


Yours Truly,

Grumpy Goblin

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Way to Do It

So I am still on vacation. The church gave me an extra week of professional leave as a way to help care for me during this time and I gotta say I could get used to coming home from being away on vacation and not having to immediately jump into preacher/pastor mode. I'm just kind of easing my way back into it; a Bible study here.... a few phone calls/emails there.... It helps that I am not preaching this Sunday.

You might note that I took down a couple of pics. If you are desperate for more of the Boy and hismamma and you know AKMA then you will be able to find more.

Thank you all for your kind comments about missing me. It is nice to be missed.

I missed you too.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Home

Good trip. Real good trip. Some fun stories I am sure I will share as we go. There were of course some melancholy moments as well - all to be expected.

I did some thinking about home. What is home? Where is home? I spent some time eating personal comfort foods that remind me of home. I spent time with some folks who treat me like home - buying me stuff and loving me unconditionally since they have known me since I was Will's age and either they or their children were that age as well. I spent a Sunday morning in my home church and I stayed in two places that TDH and I at one time called home and visited another.

Where is home? What is home?

The Boy and I had a wonderful time together. For 10 days the agenda was pretty much set by him rather than by my schedule or my to-do list or my computer. It was nice. I wish his agenda started later in the morning but it was still really great.

Truly, I am blessed. My last ten days were spent with family and friends who might as well be family. I was constantly reminded of how much people care about me no matter where in my life I met them and no matter what hill or valley I am currently on or in. And throughout I had by my side my son with his precious smile and his big hugs and his funny 'stories' and his trusting hand in mine.

With him, I am home.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

2!

Things that make me happy: last night I was given the passcode to the garage of the beach house.

Out here it might stink like spread, but all I can smell is SWEET VICTORY!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Sports Update

I had my reasons for giving up my obsession with professional and D-I football. So far, so good. Have I watched? Sure. No college, some pro. It will be on in the background on Sunday afternoons and I did check in on my team last night when the baseball game was on commercial. But so far, no more obsession.

One of the major reasons for that was that I don't want The Boy playing football and with paralysis, a broken eye socket, broken femurs and torn acl's on the list of NFL injuries already this year, I gotta say I'm still ok with that decision.

As avid of a fan as I am for only one beloved NFL team, my baseball fandom is a lot less obsessed. Some would say 'bandwagon-ish'. I grew up a HUGE fan of the blue and white pinstripes. When Reggie left and Dave arrived my young heart that did not yet understand free agency was torn. I remained a fan, but I also just love the game. And so frequently you can find me rooting for the underdog... or at least the team that hasn't won the big one in awhile.

This love continued as I enjoyed going to Spring Training games during my 10 year stay in Fallic Southern State. At my last stop in said state the mayor went to our church and she had many lovely connections not the least of which was free baseball tickets that she was able to give away to one very interested Youth Director.

This team is currently in the ALCS. This team has not won the big one in a long time AND is playing the team of my youth's nemesis. So it would seem like a no brainer to root for this team.

Yet, the last time this team was in the World Series was twelve years ago. Their victories and defeats were a big part of the conversations and plans I made with the man I was dating at the time. And now we are planning our divorce.

And so I am rooting against them because next week when I can stay up as late as the baseball games go I would like to watch the World Series with no memories attached.

It just is what it is.

Monday, October 15, 2007

4 Continued

Good day today so far. We hit the gym early today so that I could try out a new class. It all worked out well (although I sense that my abs are going to be voicing a different opinion when I try to get out of bed tomorrow). Then The Boy and I hit the pool for a bit and came home. All told it was about 3 hours at the Y.

TOW1 was there too but I never saw her or her husband. It was sad when The Boy said 'bye-bye' to their daughter when I picked him up from the childcare. They used to be buddies... well as much of buddies that two toddlers can be.

The benefit of the pool is that there is one very tired toddler already upstairs playing quietly in his room - per his request - so that gives me time to do some piddly things around the house like figure out what I need to tell the housesitter who comes in late tonight for her directions and to meet the dog. And of course, to touch base with YOU.

I am both VERY ready for this break and glad that I pushed it off like I did. If I took it right away when all of this was coming down then I don't think I could have appreciated it. Now I have combined it with time that was already scheduled to give me three Sundays off from preaching (the last one I will be in worship), I have gotten fairly caught up at work (and I have this sermon-less week to do a few more things), and I know better what needs to be done in the legal arena so I can leave with that as taken care of as possible.

I am 80% sure that I am leaving my computer behind because The Boy gets more of Mommy's attention when I don't have it AND a lot of work anxiety is attached to this laptop and a clean break for 10 days will be a good break. I will miss my cyber support team though :(

One more thing to share... yesterday a 90+ year old who was widowed in her 40's told me that not many people know it but her husband "stepped out on her" right before he died. She said - with tears in her eyes - that she believes this is why the Lord took him so early.

I didn't argue.

4


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Good Day Today

Thank you size 12 pants that didn't fit and then the size 10's did!

Thank you Red Robin and the sweet and savory Bonzai burger. Of course in order to keep the pants victory I will need to desist on the Red Robin victories.

Thank you Mom and Dad and a few friends.

Thank you The Boy for pulling it together and finally having a good time.

Thank you green balloon for aiding in that good time.

And thank you dog for comforting The Boy when he came home and told you that green balloon popped and balloon scare, balloon sad. Truly, you are Boy's best friend.

ADDENDUM: At 1:38AM the pitter patter of little feet came into my room, crawled into my bed and laid down next to me.
"Mommy... Mommy."
"What Will?"
"My balloon popped."

I am not sure if that was a memory or a bad dream but I let him stay. Besides... it was cold! :)

We're in Single Digits



Only 8 more days (and 1 sermon).

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Tao of Poo(h)

One of the challenges of this separation has been the single parenting aspect. Believe me, I know I am one of the lucky ones. My soon to be ex sister-in-law has four kids and has to deal with TDH's brother who is a self-medicating bipolar. (Let's not delve into the clear mental health issues on TDH's side of the family at the moment). TDH is a great Dad and wants to be with The Boy as much as possible and when it suits my schedule. Also, The Boy has an absolutely wonderful personality. I can say that freely because we all know that parenting only has so much to do with it. Some kids are just easier than others. The Boy is a dream - fun, funny, fairly laid back (for a 2 year old), inquisitive and charming.

That said, I never would have signed up for this on my own. Some women are so sure that they want to be a Mom that even single they adopt. This is not me. I always wanted to be part of a family. Parenting for me was always going to be a team effort. I am not very good with other people's kids and although I sometimes do some good parenting stuff (remember, I laminated his artwork for use as a placemat), I certainly do not know how to do 101 things with an empty egg carton. I handed it to him to use in his play kitchen and I frequently enjoy make-believe eggs. This is the extent of my egg carton genius.

This past Sunday evening through Monday were particularly trying. I have been fighting a headache/head cold and that fight left me exhausted. Combine that with the depressingly hot weather here and we ended up not doing much on Monday - my day off. This resulted in him not taking a nap and us alternately enjoying each other and getting on each other's nerves until he finally crashed at bedtime. Phew!

This morning I woke up to a new day! He was still playing in his room so I threw in a load of laundry and brought in folded clothes to his room and as the stench hit my nostrils he held up his blankies and said, "Mommy, poop on blankies."

And indeed there was.

Insert Deep Sigh Here

School is at 9, we leave at 8:30, the poo was discoverd at 7:45 and our frontloader washer may be energy efficient but you CANNOT add to the load once the water has gone in for obvious reasons.... I'll wait.... there you go - 'frontloader'.

Why were blankies so important? Because today his Dad picks him up from school for him to stay overnight and so in the backpack there must be pajammies, clothes for tomorrow and The Blessed Trinity of Blue, Other and Pooh.

My son has three blankies. One is yellow (unlike this picture) and has the stuffed head of Pooh in the middle (which I have actually always found a bit disconcerting) - Pooh Blankie.

One has blue stripes - Blue Blankie.

One is a lighter shade of Blue - Other Blankie (pronounced 'udder').

In the immortal words of Jinx (Jeffrey Tambor) in Mr. Mom I always try to, "Keep that sense of humor. It's critical."

And so when I prepared the blankies for the wash so that they could be dried so that I could run them into town in time for his Dad to have them for naptime I had to ask myself, "How IS it that every time we have had a poo escape incident that Blue gets it, Other gets it and yet ironically enough the poo never gets on Pooh.

No Contest



In discussing the schedule for last Tuesday I mentioned that I had a counseling session on Wednesday and would then know which was more therapeutic. There is no contest - it was the tattoo.

Wednesday's counseling visit was very disconcerting - too much focus on the practical and not enough on the emotional. I need in a counselor someone who will push me emotionally, not someone who pushes me to talk about how okay I am, and how okay I eventually will be. The latter is ALL I do.

Then there is this - the counselor asked me if I ever thought about how these three random things have all come into my life (loss of finger, loss of child, loss of husband). What do I do with that?

Ummmm, frankly if I think about it too much I don't want to leave my house for fear of being hit by a plane falling out of the sky (randomly and all) so can we talk about something else please?

I rationalize it all by thinking to myself that random accidents happen to everyone. Losing a child certainly isn't that uncommon and the divorce rate for couples who have been through losing a child is practically off the charts. Granted.... our divorce is most likely not directly related but this is how I rationalize.

I am not quite sure where he was headed - maybe somewhere good - but all I keep thinking today is that his line of questioning would have worked really well for an anxiety medication salesman.

And yes, Mr. Counselor, I do get the foreshadowing and irony involved to my finger being lost due to my wedding rings. Thank you for pointing that out.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Perfect Timing


After 180 years of ministry without, the Sanctuary of my church now has air conditioning.

In October.


Sad thing is we actually could have used it yesterday but I didn't have the guts to turn it on in October.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Revgalblogpal Friday Five: Thankfulness Edition


Good timing on this one as I am battling a headache (real and in the form of the soon-to-be-ex) and need to think of some things of which I am quite thankful. Obviously this week there is the clear-cut, bad ass choice but it got a week of posts so I will focus on five other things.

This one is going to be veeeery simple: List at least five things (people, places, graces, miracles...) for which you are thankful. You may elaborate as you wish, or keep it simple.

1) Family - My parents live about 20 minutes away. I have NO idea how people get through life without family support.

2) Friends - See family! I have friends who make me laugh, friends who hear me out, friends who call me on my bs, friends who pay for me to come and visit them and eat their food, friends who read what I write on the internet and friends who let me use their beach house (in only 14 days!). I am a firm believer in the theory that you are only as strong as the support system around you.

3) The Beach - I shall see you soon, my love.

4) Leaf Wreath - Now I know why parents have boxes of arts and crafts projects that to the naked eye look like recyclables. So far I have the very first art project on the fridge (which is often greeted with a gleeful, "Mommy, I draw that!"), a laminated placemat, a beautful book of leaf tracings and this wonderful door ornament. All of them made by...

5) THE BOY! - Cliche maybe but this is not some random, 'of course' statement. A lot of thought lately has gone into whether I should have entered into this marriage in the first place and has it been worth it and the answer is an absolute YES. There are many reasons why this is so actually, but THE BOY makes it a resounding, no-doubt-about-it answer. I will never forget the joy as his cries cut through the delivery room, the look on his Father's face, and the feeling in my own heart. And it has only gotten better since. Truly, I am blessed.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

To the Mom Who Still Glares at Me

I am so sorry.

First, let me tell you that I TOTALLY understand that your child was comfortably sleeping in her car seat when you came to pick up your toddler from the same school that mine goes to. And I TOTALLY appreciate that your plan was to carry the sleeping child in her car seat and pick up your toddler from his wonderful first day of school and have time to hear from him all about his day... maybe even look around the facilities a little bit.

And when my car alarm went off frightening your sleeping child into an immediate state of wailing frenzy you had every right to be absolutely infuriated at the owner of the offending vehicle. And then when that owner looked at you practically catatonic with an alarm blaring that Helen Keller could have heard from 5 miles out and said, "Is that my alarm?" Indeed... incredulous is absolutely the word to use here.

Please know that I too really was stunned. And I am not an idiot, I was just a Mom in the midst of picking up her own son from his very first day of school and entering a new world where his Dad was there too, but not because we are a family any more but rather because my son was going to his house afterwards. I unlocked and opened my van to pull my son's backpack out that had his clothes and toothbrush in it and for some random, inexplicable reason the car alarm went off.

No key pad had been touched and the doors were already open - this is why I had that look on my face.

I turned off the alarm. I apologized and I apologized again and then realized there was nothing else I could do.

So you see, it was an accident. I didn't set it off on purpose and I own the fact that I came off looking like a little more than an idiot. Your daughter appears to be fully recovered now and so I ask please... can you stop glaring at me now?

Peace.
Will Smama

ps - Have you seen my bad ass tattoo?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Bad Ass

(More pictures below)
Bad Ass: Going to get a tattoo.
Not So Bad Ass: Planning Holy Week with the local ministerium before you can leave for said tattoo.

Bad Ass: Getting a tattoo.
Not so Bad Ass: Getting into your minivan afterwards... that was parked in the library parking lot no less. (Although the child's seat and the blanket covering the seat where the dog sits are decidedly bad ass.)

Bad Ass: Not limping at all from the tattoo.
Not so Bad Ass: Limping anyway due to the self-inflicted children's gate wound.

Bad Ass: Getting a beer with your friend after the tattoo.
Not so Bad Ass: Getting groceries by yourself at Walmart after the beer.

Bad Ass: Knowing that the lotion you need for tattoo care can be found next to the diaper wipes - a-THANK you.

Bad Ass: In response to the tattoo artist asking you how high your pain threshold is simply holding up your left hand and having him nod and begin loading up the ink.

Bad Ass: At the end having the tattoo artist say to another one that you 'sat well'.
Not so Bad Ass: Realize that when you and your friend are saying the same phrase outside the tattoo parlor that you sound like you are talking about how well your dog did at the vet.

TOTALLY BAD ASS: In front of snooty mommies at the music class, having your toddler son exclaim. "Wow, look Mommy! Letters on leg!!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

F'ing Awesome!

Sorry, but that is the only phrase for it. What an amazingly Holy moment. So very great and wonderful and a tad painful, but WELL worth it. It doesn't even hurt now. I can handle momentary stinging, it is long-term throbbing that gets me down and the tattoo has caused no throbbing.

Photo Essay today, narrative essay tomorrow.


A blank canvas... (with pretty pink toenails - huh?)





First, the stencil. This part didn't hurt.


Then the needle... um yeah, that stung a bit but it really wasn't that bad.





The outlining is complete.


Then came the color:




Final Product:

Yes, the middle letter is still a bit flat on the bottom but we liked the edgier look to the angles.

Monday, October 1, 2007

The Schedule

9 - Drop The Boy off at school.

1 - Meet with a couple of conservative clergy members in the area.

3:30 - Meet LadyBurg

4 - Tattoo.

5ish - Drink.

Later - Post pictures.

Incidentally, I have a counseling session scheduled for Wednesday. I will let you know which of the two appointments I find more therapeutic.

Ow.

I was pretty sure that was going to be the title for my post-tattoo message tomorrow evening but in some sort of subconcious preparation for the pain I walked into part of the child's gate that has been in our kitchen for TWO YEARS and gave myself what I believe the medical world calls a 'self-inflicted noogie' on the upper right thigh.

Debilitating.

I may need to call on Teh Clooney for a little more TLC.
I had a wedding this weekend - off site, nonmember. These are usually the easiest. I do counseling, show up for rehearsal, show up for wedding, exit stage left.

Off site can be interesting though in just trying to figure out what works best where. Usually a wedding coordinator can make or break you. I have had pretty good luck with them so far. The 'day of' wedding coordinator my sister had was brilliant.

At this rehearsal the wedding coordinator was busy doing other things.
Exactly.
And the bride seemed to have a bunch of different ideas that she liked from other weddings but had no idea how they were all going to fit together.
Both she and the groom were born in the 1980's.

oi.

One of the things we had to figure out at the rehearsal was when people would blow their bubbles at the couple. After a LOT of discussion it was decided that during my 'pre-ceremony, outdoor, turn off your cell phones' speech I would include a bit about blowing the bubbles at the couple as they recessed down the aisle. Whatever.

Then I heard the bride say something that I thought sounded like 'gun' and so I stopped and asked her to repeat. She said, "Well we have these bubble guns that shoot more bubbles. I guess we could give them to the flower girls."


To which I responded, "Well, I sure am glad that Jesus resurrected because he would be rolling in his grave on that one!"

Even her equally young bridesmaids had their eyes open wide and were shaking their heads 'no'.

Can you imagine the beautiful picture.... bride and groom up in the gazebo in front of the stairs, young, beautiful and handsome wedding party surrounding them and a 5 and a 6 year old flower girl on each side of the bride and groom, carrying their flowers... and their guns.

The crisis was averted.