Archive for December, 2006

Teenager-y teenagerness

December 27, 2006

My son Taylor turned 13 on Thanksgiving.  And, like magic, he has suddenly become a teenager.  Not just in age, but appearance and attitude. 

For example, Taylor has never cared about clothing.  Other than comfort, that is.  He spent the first 12 years of his life only wearing windpants, t-shirts and special “blue bottom” socks that he pulled up to his knees.  In the summer the windpants were exchanged for basketball shorts but the rest of the outfit stayed the same, even the socks, which he would wear with sandals and would have to be continuously pulled up to stay at the “Taylor approved” to the knee look. 

In 6th grade he became a little more savvy and traded in the wind pants for an occasional pair of jeans and started wearing shorter socks. 

Since his birthday, though, he has sought out new clothing.  New, cool, look-like-they’re-20-years-old, holey, splotchy jeans.  T-shirts with a layered look and hoody’s. 

But Saturday, Saturday was the day the teenager-y teenagerness really became apparent.  We went to Wal-mart and he walked around by himself and came back with the two items he had purchased – Altoids and Axe.

What screams teenage boy more than breath mints and body spray? 


December 19, 2006

This has been a bit of a rocky Christmas.  I have been really grumpy this month, then feeling really guilty about feeling grumpy.  Then feeling guilty that I am wasting my time feeling guilty and grumpy, when really, life is good.  My family is healthy; my husband and I both have decent jobs.  We have a house, cars (knock on wood, they are both getting up there in years and miles) and are doing better financially (though still not great) than we have in the past. 

I have been really stressed out, though, and this brings out my anxious nature.  I wake up in the night, worrying about the future.  Not even the immediate future, but things like “what if one of the kids becomes a drug addict?”  “What if one gets in a fatal car accident?”  The kind of worrying that brings only misery.


lazy is as lazy does?

December 13, 2006

I thought of a number of suitable reasons for my writing negligence, illness, company, housecleaning, shopping, extra-curricular activities, etc.  But it really all comes down to laziness, oh, and lack of imagination. 

We have had a weird stomach ache/headache/sore throat thing going on in our household, but not bad enough to really sideline anyone.

This was my husbands first time planning one of the kids’ parties.  I tried to give him some advice (I’ve done 2 of these a year for, oh, the last 7-8 years) but he said “it’s not that complicated, it’s a birthday party. I’ve handled much more complicated events, etcc…..”  Here’s just a brief run-down of how it went:

1. Drunk brother-in-law shows up at In-play with his two homeless friends in tow.

2. The boys (obviously not spending the night) were not told to bring their stuff (we picked them up from school, so their bookbags were at our house) so when (oh, honey, you take the boys home; I’ll take the girls back to our house) I went to drop the first one off at home (who lives 25 min from our house) he didn’t have his stuff and we had to turn around.

3. All the regular plates, forks and cups were used to feed the kids cake and snacks in the evening.  Left unwashed, all around the house  for me to gather and wash before feeding the girls breakfast.

4. Speaking of breakfast.  No breakfast foods were purchased.  We had no milk, no juice, no pancake mix, no donuts, etc…  I had a choice, (Chris was at work Sat. morn) either leave the kids home by themselves and go to the store or scrounge something up at home. 

5. When talking to the parents to arrange the party my husband had not specified a time for them to go home.  Ugh!  I always arrange an early pick-up time; 15 + hours of numerous small children is usually enough!

It was more work for me to have my husband plan the party (poorly) than if I had planned it myself.

Okay, enough bitching.  The kids had a good time, which was the important part.  They were cute climbing the rock climbing wall and enjoyed the video games.

The girls only had one fight in which one girl told the other “the truth”…  hmmmmm, about what? None of them would tell me.


December 7, 2006

Last night I met my good friend Katrina in Peoria; the plan was to attend a cooking class at a college extension ofice.  I arrived late (surprise!) and upon a bit of reflection Katrina and I decided to go shopping instead.  Because, you know, we wouldn’t want to interrupt a cooking lesson, it was really a decision made out of good etiquette, not a desire to shop. 

We went to the “old mall” (yes, vs. the “new mall” which I refuse to call the “Shoppes at Grande Prarie” because I hate those kinds of names, plus it’s just too damn long). Has anyone been in that crazy Hollister store?  One, okay, I’m an idiot and tried to enter one of the fake doors.  Two, it’s dark and cluttered.  Three, why would anyone pay that much for a tank top, hooded sweatshirt or the like?

Today is a day full of minor annoyances.  My husband wants to lease a new car because his (paid-off) car needs new brakes and a new windshield. We argued about this because we have little in savings (okay, that is an exageration-we have NO savings), one kid in braces, one about to get them, and oh, yeah, NO SAVINGS!  Plus, to me a car is to take one from point a to b.  It doesn’t have to be pretty or new; it just has to start when the key is turned.  Obviously to my husband it means a lot more.  Oh, back to minor annoyances, my copier jammed 5 times in the printing of 5 items and with much more to copy I am getting nervous. Additionally, my word perfect program keeps freezing up and requiring a restart of my computer.  And  I was grumpy to my kids for the second morning in a row.

December 6, 2006

I finally spoke to my mom today, well kind of, via email.  She said she has been really unhappy for a really long time and gets really depressed about her relationship with my dad and that she has stayed with him for so long due to the many traumatic things that  have happened to our family over the years…. I guess it just never seemed like the “right” time.  I think I understand things better now. 

My being upset mainly had to do with my hatred of change.  While this is a difficult time I do feel like everything will be okay in the end.

My son was sick (again) yesterday.  He has now puked on our down comforter, bathroom floor (x3), bedroom floor (x2),  and my feet (once now and once in the past). Upon waking up nauseous my son’s first reaction isn’t to go to the bathroom nearest his room, but to come into our room and upchuck on the nearest surface, be it the carpet or my feet. 

However, there is one benefit to his being ill; unlike most kids (i.e. our daugther) who are whine-y, grumpy and miserable, for some reason he is sweet, apologetic and super-cuddley when sick. It’s like I have my sweet 3 year old back for the day, instead of my increasing mute and surly 13 year-old.

6 weird things about me

December 4, 2006

1. I used to be a nude model for figure drawing classes at ICC.

2. I’m an atheist (okay, I don’t think this is weird, but a lot of people do.)

3. I hate any meat that is anyway ground up, it doesn’t matter what kind of meat it is, yet I will eat sushi. 

4. As a child I would eat cold spinach out of a can with vinegar and salt on it (yes, voluntarily, I loved it); another favorite snack was saltine crackers spread with butter.

5.  If I get food that is in a plastic container I can’t eat it unless my fork/spoon is also plastic.  I have a 150 pack of plastic spoons and forks at home for carryout-they-forgot-the-silverware emergencies. 

6. I took three years of swim lessons as a child and never got farther than blowing bubbles.  I wasn’t afraid of the water, either, just uncoordinated.

Saturday night, all right, all right….

December 3, 2006

Last night my husband and I braved the poor weather and bad streets and went to eat at Vonachan’s Old Place.  It was pretty nice. We had the calamari which was okay; the breading was pretty but the calamari tasted oddly sweet, and the dipping sauce lacked any bite at all.  It wasn’t bad, per se, just disappointing.   I had the horseradish encrusted sea bass with mashed potatoes and crispy leeks, and it was enjoyable.  My husband ordered an oddly bland pasta dish. We ended up splitting my dish and taking his home to our son, who seemed to enjoy it.  The non-picky taste buds of a hungry 13 year old boy, I guess.

 After dinner we rented a couple of movies and went to K’s merchandise.  It’s not hard to see why they are going out of business.  They carry so much crazy, poorly made crap. We walked through housewares and my hubby seriously wanted to buy our 12 year old daughter a new humidifier for Christmas.  Yes, just what any 12-year-old (in a day!) girl wants for X-mas, an appliance assuring more humidity. 

We did end up buying a new tv stand to replace our current monstrous entertainment center.  My husband was also going to get our son a center speaker for his stereo.  The sign had the brand name and the price (mid-30’s) on a stack of the speakers but rang up at over $50.  My husband went back to the stereo department to try and sort it out.  The young man that helped him said the sign was wrong; they called a manager, no luck, they insisted the higher price was correct.  Hmm…. but don’t you think if it was their mistake (which they admitted) that they would honor the price?  Plus, my husband had looked at this component before the store was going out of business and the regular price (before the now 30% off sale) was $50.  It’s pretty obvious price gouging and likely illegal…

Later in the evening we watched the movie “A History of Violence.”  It was pretty good, but way too violent for me.  (Lesson:  if you don’t like violent movies, don’t rent one with the word violent in the title.)

Mom Left Dad, background info

December 2, 2006

I grew up in Sunnyland (a small, unicorporated area outside of Washington, aka “scummyland,” home of the “745 boys” and most of the burnouts in Washington).  My mom worked as a secretary and my dad was a factory worker at Caterpillar.  My dad also happened (oh, and still is) to be an alcoholic.  He always went to work but he also always went out to drink. When drunk he was emotional and often emotionally abusive.  It was a stressful childhood in some ways, not ever knowing what to expect, what mood he would be in.  However, in many ways I did have a great childhood.  We didn’t want for anything and my mother did instill a love of reading, which I still have and is probably the attribute I appreciate most.

My mother always seemed to just accept my father’s behavior and poor treatment.  We never, ever discussed it.  At least she and I never did.  My very vocal sister M. would often urge her to leave him, but she never did.

Now my parents are in their upper 50’s, early 60’s and are getting divorced.  It’s just so strange. 

Per my sister M., who was told by my sister K., my mom had told my dad a year ago that she was going to leave him.  We ate dinner at their house on Thanksgiving and everything was normal and the following Saturday my mom went to look for an apartment. 

 I haven’t spoken to either of my parents and a week has gone by.  Neither have called me.  I’m not so much mad that they are divorcing (I don’t think it my place to judge their relationship, etc…) but that I found out in such a way.  Of course, the divorce has caught me off guard and raises so many questions in my mind.  Here’s just a few:

1. If my dad is so difficult to live with (which I totally do not doubt) then why haven’t they gone to counseling?

2. Why did my mom stay married to my dad for so long if she has been unhappy?  My sisters and I have been grown up and out of the house for quite a while, so I don’t think she was just waiting for that….

3. What will our family be like now?  Will both my parents stay in this area?  Will we still have family holidays?

Okay, I should be asking my parents these questions, but I just don’t feel ready to deal with either one of them.  I have a feeling my dad is feeling really bad for himself, very self-pitying, and while I feel bad for him, he has brought much of this on himself.  As far as my mom goes, I am kind of upset that she didn’t call me, especially once she accidentally told Kelly.

“A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water.” ~ Carl Reiner

December 1, 2006

Maybe I should have entitled this entry “The Blizzard of 2006.”

Watching, the closings on a local station-lots of chiropractic offices, childcare providers, and inexplicably “Mad Tatoos”….   Guess my plan to get my daughter’s friends an “I attended Reagan’s 12th birthday party and all I got was this lousy tattoo” tattoo is out the window. 

I’ll continue the “Mom Left Dad” thread at another point when I have my thoughts more together.

Gotta go, just realized my husband left “Harold and Kumar go to White Castle” playing on the living room TV and my son and his friend are watching it.  Hopefully at 13 they are too young to get the pot references!