Monday, December 31, 2007

I have not dropped dead

maybe from exhaustion, but I'm still here. But, I haven't been on the computer in ages. When I'm home I try to stay off as much as possible. And I actually have already had 12 days off, and I'm working today, then 6 more days off. So, not much computer time

We had a wondeful Christmas. I have found places for most of the toys! Yay me! My parents came down yesterday for dinner and some Wii competition. Let me tell you, that thing is addictive! And so fun for the whole family. Even Xander gets in on the action. We love Mario Party 8, Rayman Raving Rabbids (thanks Bubblewench!) and Wii Sports. The first night my arm was SO sore from playing tennis. And Carissa and Daddy like to box. But, they get all sweaty and out of breath!

We had some portraits taken the day after Christmas. I haven't seen all of them, but you can get a sneak peek here. If you live in the Tucson area, I highly recommend Leah. She is just wonderful. And a lot of fun too!

On the 6th, I'll be back in action. Look for lots of meaningless posts!

Friday, December 21, 2007

A little holiday cheer

Quick update: My mom e-mailed me back feeling really badly. She said she thinks she's going through a depression or menopause because she's not just like this with us, but in life in general. She's trying to get some help.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Sometimes families suck!

Sometimes I hate the holidays. I hate the juggling of family obligations. And the guilt. Oh, the guilt. I wish sometimes that the grandparents and everyone else could remember what it was like to be a young family and have to juggle everything. I wish they could remember not wanting to travel with young children. And wanting to be in their own home for Christmas day. I wish they would remember what it was like to spend Christmas as a small nuclear family and have the extended family 2,000 miles away.

But, this isn't the case. And there aren't 2,000 miles separating us, but 110. You would think it would be so much easier, but it's not. And I know that I put some of the guilt on myself because I'm a people pleaser (it's a flaw I tell you).

I just sent my parents a big ole e-mail about Christmas and visits in general. I pray they don't get mad or defensive. I didn't intend for that at all.

Let me give you some background. I am the oldest at 32. My brother B is 25 and my brother M is 22. I have four children 13, 7, almost 3 and 1. B has three children 10, 4, 1 and M has one child almost 3. B just recently got married. M lives with B and his family. They live 20 minutes from my parents. We live 2 hours from my parents. B and M and their families are ALWAYS at my parents house. Pretty much every Sunday they are there.

We, on the other hand, are not. And herein lies the problem. It's hard to get four kids packed up, make a 2 hour drive, hang out (and mind you it's never just us and my parents, B and M and their families are ALWAYS invited when we visit), pack up again and drive home. And it's pure chaos when we're there. B and M are still pretty immature. They cuss and get the kids all riled up. The talk about inappropriate things and generally cause trouble. My mother is usually in the kitchen making snacks and getting kids drinks and taking care of one of my brother's little ones. There is no time to actually visit or have a conversation.

So, we don't make the effort very often. But, we do invite my parents down to our house. Especially for birthday parties and things like that. But, at least half of the time they make excuses and don't show up. This year they've come to our town (I can't even say house, because one time they came for a soccer game and left from there) four times. And don't even get me started with Thanksgiving last year.

Ok, I'll spill it anyway. I've ALWAYS done our own Thanksgiving, since we've been married. Both families are always welcome, but we always stay home and do our own thing. Last year my parents were supposed to come. But, my dad decided to go golfing that morning. And he was gone for two hours longer than planned. By the time they go on the road the traffic was awful so they turned around and went home. And I had crying kids at the dinner table because they couldn't see Mima and Popa.

So, starting in October, they didn't come to Robert's birthday because M had a custody issue with his son that weekend. And they didn't even attempt Thanksgiving this year. Then Carissa's birthday party was on the 8th, but my mom was sick and they had a court date with M. So, they were going to come to our holiday open house on Sunday, but my mom was sick again. Not that I don't think she was sick, but jeez, something ALWAYS comes up. They never seem to be able to make the two hour drive, yet I'm usually there once a month and at least every other month so that they can see the kids.

This brings us to Christmas. Back at Thanksgiving (I made the trek up the their house the Saturday after so we could be together) we decided that we'd do our Christmas on the 22nd. I wanted to do Christmas Eve because I knew my dad would appreciate that if we couldn't be there on the actual day, but B said they had to go to his wife's father's house that day. So the plan were made. We planned the day for my husband's family around this, everything was good. We were going to try to convince my parents to come to our house on Christmas Eve since they'd be alone.

Except, last night we get a call from my mom saying that B decided they COULD do Christmas Eve. They'd just have to leave around 3:00. And it would mean a lot to my dad if we could switch it to that day. My initial reaction was anger. I was already upset about the cancellations for the last two weeks and this set me over the edge. Why am I now made to feel guilty? I was the one that wanted to do Christmas Eve in the first place!

Maybe I'm being spiteful, but I told them no. I told them that we couldn't do it. I told them that we hope to persuade them to come to our house to see the kids. By then the kids would have opened a lot of their presents and we were going to make a gingerbread house. I also told them how we feel neglected and that we feel that we always make the effort to visit, yet they never do. I told them that I am upset that my brother's children seem to come first and that sometimes we like to visit without everyone there (which I've said to them before, but my mom always tells me how much my brother likes to see the kids play, so I guess his opinion is worth more than mine). I hope they take it well.

Do you struggle with this? Why is it so difficult? I hope that when I'm a grandparent I'll understand and go with the flow. I'm sure it'll be hard not to see the kids and grandkids on the specific holiday day, but I think I'd also be willing to go to them if that's what works. Or to celebrate the season. It's not about the specific day, is it?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Saving my behind (in other words, Getting Caught Up)

Whew! After the last week or so, I've got awards piling up. I'm definitely honored. I've got more bling that Puffy or P Diddy or Sean or whatever the hell that guy calls himself.

First off, Cami wants to get me in bed. I mean she invited me to a slumber party. What fun THAT would be!

To the party, I would also like to invite:

Lisa- we actually had many a slumber party in our day. And what fun we had.


Veronica- since she's up anyway.

Next, Cami also gave me this lovely piece of bling

I'm not sure that my skillz are that good, but I try.

I'd like to pass this one on to:

Ingrid- who has mad writing skillz.


Meghan- who has mad photography skillz.


Stephanie- who can create anything out of fabric. Seriously! She had J's b-day dress and a quilt for her when she was born. This woman is TALENTED!

Then, Dixiechick gave me this award, because I enjoy pimping out my friends.

And then she gave me this:

Which I would like to pass on to:

Sybil- Since she had a few extra bananas at one point.


Casey- because that woman can cook!

Whew! I feel better now.

But, there's one more thing. That lovely tattooed woman also tagged me for a meme. So, here goes:

8 Things I Am Passionate About

my kids

my husband

my job

anything Disney

equal rights


the Internet

sex (I mean, that's a given, right?)

8 Things I Want To Do Before I Die

watch my children become adults

meet my grandchildren

go on a Mediterranean cruise

deliver a baby (like me help deliver it for someone else, I've already delivered four of my own)

have money in my savings account

travel the country in an RV

figure out Windows Vista

meet Johnny Depp (I can dream, can't I?)

8 Things I Say Often

Ass is a bad word.

Even when you call Daddy an ass it's still a bad word.

We don't say the word poop unless we're in the bathroom.

For the love of God...

I'm going to kick you out of the kitchen!

Get down!

Stop telling your brother what to do.

I missed you.

8 Books I Have Read Recently

Term Limits by Vince Flynn (a good thriller)

Protect and Defend by Vince Flynn

The Kite Runner

Pinkalicious (great kids book)

When in the Hell is Dora? I mean, Can You Find Dora?

How to Talk So You're Kids Will Listen and Listen So Your Kids Will Talk

Bedtime for Frances (my favorite story as a kid)

I can't even remember another one.

8 Songs I Could Listen To Over And Over

Christmas Canons by Trans Siberian Orchestra (I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS SONG, not to mention it's a version of the song that I walked down the aisle to)

Welcome to the Black Parade by My Chemical Romance

No One by Alicia Keys

Hotel California by The Eagles

Bon Jovi (pretty much anything)

Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol

Fire and Ice by Pat Benetar

8 Things That Attract Me To My Best Friends







common beliefs

the ability to listen

8 People Who Should Totally Do This Meme




And anyone else who feels like it.

There, all caught up! Check back tomorrow before I leave. I'll give you a glimpse at the Polar Express last year!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

So. Far. Behind.

Ugh! I'm so far behind on posting. I have awards piling up (thanks friends) and memes to do (um, yeah, thanks). But, I have been doing my Christmas baking. I made 30 loaves of bread and tomorrow will make fudge and truffles and holiday bark and rum balls. Then, next weekend, I'll make a ton of cookies. And we're going on The Polar Express on Thursday and Friday and we're having a Holiday Open House on Sunday. So, yeah, I'll see you when I see you.

But, I am currently watching the Saturday Night Light Best of Will Ferrell (who is my favorite), so I'll leave you with my favorite bit of all time. Enjoy!

Monday, December 3, 2007

I made it! I'm still alive!

So, I made it through the party. Let me tell you, those girls have more energy and talk louder than anyone I know! They just didn't stop, not once. Yeah, not even to sleep! Two of them did crash out from 2:30-6:30, but the other two didn't stop at all!

Let me suggest that tie dying shirts should NOT, I repeat, NOT be done by crazy sugared up 13 year old girls. There was dye flying everywhere! And I had just had the carpets cleaned! But, the shirts were a major success. They came out really cool and the girls loved them.

As for the sundaes, um yeah. I didn't put out the wipe cream. Although I warned them that when giving a written list of demands, next time they better be spelled correctly or they'll get what they ask for.

Chubby bunny! OMG! This was SO funny. I have some pics that I'll have to upload. They were stuffing those marshmallows in there. And drooling and spitting them out. Brought back some crazy memories.

They did a lot of hopping in and out of the hot tub. And they even jumped in the 60 degree pool! Crazy girls.

They also played Dance, Dance Revolution. I don't know how these kids get so coordinated. I couldn't pass one level, but they just kept going and going.

We gave Carissa a digital camera for her birthday and they had TONS of fun with that. Thank God it was still the innocent fun, not the myspace teen porn type of fun.

I don't know if they made prank calls. As long as they did it from their cell phones, that's fine with me. I just didn't want angry people calling my house back because they didn't block the caller ID. One day I'll have to share some of my best prank calls (you remember those days Lisa)!

Unfortunately, the little ones didn't sleep. There was too much excitement in the house. They went down around 10:00 and then were fitful until 5:00 when they decided to wake for the day.
So I was very tired last night. Add to that the fact that one of the parents was mad that his daughter missed church, so he didn't pick her up. At all. She called and called and he wouldn't answer. Finally at 5:00 last night (they were supposed to leave between 10:00 and 11:00) he called and told her to have me bring her home. Real nice!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Glutton for punishment

That's me. Why is it when you're a parent you sacrifice yourself for their happiness? Or your sleep to be exact.

Not only have I had babies in my bed for the last three years, tonight we've invited three 13 year old girls to spend the night.

Next week is Carissa's birthday. So, tonight three of her friends are spending the night. Did I mention that they're 13?

They already have a "plan" of what they're going to do. Some things on the list were: play chubby bunny (you know, where you cram marshmallows into your mouth), make prank calls (oh the fun I had doing this, they will NOT be doing this though), decorate T shirts (we're doing tie dye), play games, truth or dare, make sundaes (they listed the ingredients they want, one was "wipe cream", dare I put out the Preparation H?) and go in the hot tub.

No where on this list is SLEEP! Say a prayer for me. I don't so much care if they stay up all night, but PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD don't wake up the other children! I can send the older kids home the next day, the younger ones stay with me!