Monday, November 27, 2006

Who's the Boss In Your House?

The other night as we were putting up pictures on our wall at 9Pm, hubby and I talked about who was the boss in our family. Hubby said that I am. I asked him if he really felt that way. He said, "Look, we're putting pictures on the wall at 9 at night." Good point. I don't really feel like the boss, though. I always make sure hubby is happy about, or in agreement with, what we're doing. So I have to ask. Who is the boss in your house???

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Blessings With a Little Curse Thrown In

I cannot believe that for the first time since my mother's death, I had a nice Thanksgiving. We went to my brother's, and it was small and intimate. No one was upset, no one was fighting. There was no fighting back tears during grace, and for once, the feeling of someone missing was not there. Not to say that I didn't think of my mom at all, because of course I did. It was just this Thanksgiving there was a happy feel, instead of the usual sad 'I can't wait until this is over' feel. My dad's new wife's son joined us, and I must say that I really like him. He fits in very well. He's also a dog lover, which is a plus to me! Actually, he rescued a Katrina dog, which I think was a great thing to do. Add all of that to my brother's improved health, and we were overflowing with blessings this year.

Afeter dinner, my nieces. stepmother and I worked on some crafts and generally had a good time talking. It was so nice. No drama, just relaxing and calm fun. Poor hubby had to meet with his sister the next day for coffee and to 'talk' about their relationship. I don't know how many times you can talk about the same thing and get anywhere new as this was the fourth such discussion, but he went. Turns out my husband's family has set up accounts for the boys to use for college, weddings, a house whatever, which by itself would seem like a nice thing. The not so nice part of it is they have hubby's sister as the one in control of it. She decides when, or for what, and how it will be distributed to them. Hubby is in finance; that's his job. I understand not wanting me to be on the account because they blame me for everything, but their own son who they know would make sure the boys were taken care of and the money used properly, now that I don't get. Besides the fact that hubby's sister is terrible with money. She didn't even have a savings account until she was married, and credit card debt...yikes! So it's not about what's best for the boys. It never has been. They have held their money over our heads since we announced our engagement. They try use their money to control us, not to help. Anyway, my ILs basically used my SIL as a gopher. She kept bringing up things about their parents. Like, that my ILs are now willing to see a psychologist/mediator with us. That was on the table a year ago, and was not accepted by them because they aren't the ones with the problem. Then my SIL says that the ILs don't understand why they can't have a relationship with the boys. Hubby was firm in saying if they don't have a relationship with us, they can't have one with the boys. That would only confuse them. As it is, they haven't seen hubby's sister since last February because each time she has come into town, she didn't want to deal with what her parents would say when she comes back from seeing us. It's so sad. So basically she sends the boys gifts, but never calls to talk to them or comes to visit even when she's only 20 minutes away. And her husband hasn't seen them since Tot's christening because he is not happy with us. Whatever. They had only been married a year, and lived in another state, when this all went down so he has no idea what hubby's family is really like. Besides I could go into details about his first marriage that made me downright leery of him, but I decided to get to know him first before I made up my mind. He chose not to do the same. I guess they are now trying to have a baby which would take some of the pressure off of our kids as well as us. Anyway, hubby told his sister that things will not change in regards to his parents, so for them to try to have a friendship-type relationship. No talk of the family problems. She feels she's in the middle, and hubby feels that no matter what she says nothing is changing, so it's best for them both to let it go. We'll see how that goes. When will this ever end???

At any rate, I did have my mom's family over last night, and everything went SO well. This has been the best Thanksgiving weekend in many, many years, and for that I'm thankful.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Perfectionist in Me

My brother is doing well, although a bit sore from the angiogram. We are still set to celebrate Thanksgiving with them. I want to thank all of you for your prayers for my brother. It meant a lot to me to know that so many people were praying for him. It must have worked too! Our family has an extensive history of heart disease, and knowing that his heart is healthy is such a relief!

Tomorrow is S.'s first preschool Thanksgiving program. I stupidly volunteered to bake 2 dozen cookies for the day before Thanksgiving. Not one of my smarter moments, I tell you! A month ago, when I signed up, it sounded like fun. However, at 3:00 this afternoon as I was creaming butter and generally making a mess because I am going to make homemade cookies damn it!, I determined that it was not fun at all. I also had to make the cookies orange. No, the teacher did not tell me to do that. It was another one of my this will be fun thoughts. Oh, and making pumpkins out of the dough by using the cookie press? How cute! Did I mention that I am having a holiday party for my mom's side of the family on Saturday? So now I have to add clean the floor to my already large list of things to have done before then. Why am I always such a perfectionist about these sorts of things? Why didn't I do what a friend of mine told me to do and just buy the pre-made dough? Because I have to make sure my little boy has the mom with the homemade cookies??? Lesson learned!

Another thing that's bugging me is that I sent out invitations to the party I am having on Saturday, three weeks ago and many people have not responded. This is the 6th year in a row that I've had this party, so it's not like the guests can claim ignorance here. I have the main courses catered, so the problem I'm facing is how much to order. I thought to myself 'Should I call those who haven't responded yet?', and then I thought that you know, I shouldn't have to. I went ahead and ordered the amount I usually do, and if many people don't show up, then I guess we'll be eating leftovers next week. You know, I promised my mom that I would keep the family together. I promised I would keep on having this party and attending family events. My mom and I started this party together when her cancer came back the first time. Family was very important to her. I have always enjoyed getting together with my mom's family, but lately I feel as if I am the one putting in most or all of the effort. If I don't call, no one calls me. It bugs me. BTW, this is my maternal grandmother's side of the family. My maternal grandfather's side mostly live on the west coast. What do you guys think? Should I back off, or should I call? Am I over-reacting? I tell you, ever since my mom died this time of the year is just not very fun.

Friday, November 17, 2006

It Ain't Ever Easy, Is It?

After all that my brother went through, the angiogram came back as fine. Great. Excellent. Strong heart. Yada, yada. He was released this morning.

So what is the pain caused by anyway? Beats me, and it also apparently beats the doctors. He has been turned back over to his primary care doctor who guessed that it might be acid reflux. He's now taking Nexium. Man, do the drug companies love my family or what! He will have a follow up with Dr. D. on Friday. If the Nexium doesn't work, they'll look into an ulcer, which would totally make sense given the stress he's been under. Dr. D's full name is something that always makes me laugh when I hear it. It makes me think of my childhood allergist. His name used to cause my brother and I to laugh so hard we'd almost pee in our pants. His name? Dr.Pissit. I swear I am telling you the truth! My bro. and I would call him 'Dr. Piss-on-it'. Boy were we creative and funny, I tell ya'! Anyway, at least that memory gave me a laugh when I so desperately needed one. As my mom used to say,"Nothing is ever easy or simple in our family." No, mom, it definitely isn't!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

What Hospitals and Pottery Barn Have In Common

Neither one can get it right! My brother sat, layed whatever, in his hospital room to receive word that he was on his way to the other hospital. The doctor accepted him as his patient, his MIL has pull there, and said they were just waiting on a room to open up. Five hours later, and having had no food because he was going to have the procedure done at that hospital, and he was still at the original hospital. And then if that were wasn't enough excitement already going on for him, he started having chest pains again. Luckily, the cardioloist that my mom really liked was at the hospital. He came in and told my SIL and brother his opinion. He felt my brother should have the procedure now. It didn't look like any beds were opening up anytime soon at the other hospital, and in light of the worsening chest pains, he felt they should go and in and try to figure out where the blockages are. Ten minutes later, and he was on his way down. As I am typing this, he is having the procedure done. How nervwracking to wait all day to be moved to a hospital to get this damn test over with, and then only to end up having it at the original hospital and it could have been done already! I'll update when I know more.

And damn PotteryB*rn. I ordered the Anywhere Chair for Tot to match his brother's, which he loves. Well, it came today and is perfect. However, I ordered an outfit for him, which I had personalized. I know, gag! And while I paid for the it, his name was not on there. Great! Customer Service was nice, but now I have to wait another week, and with the holiday and all, who knows when it'll show up! UGH! How hard is it to personalize and item a customer paid to have personalized. It's just one more thing, albeit a small one, that I have to deal with right now. That and my husband who seems awol. I've called several times to update him about my brother, and all I get is his voicemail. Gotta go. The Tot has now mastered tantrums. Whereas his brother just drops to the floor, Tot likes to bang his head into the object closest to wherever he is! I think he found out that concrete is not a good thing to bang on with one's head. Oh, hell! Who am I kidding? I'm sure he'll do that again soon. Life with boys=never a dull moment!!!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Update On My Brother

The tests that came back have what the doctors believe to be a blockage, so my brother will be transferred to another hospital tomorrow morning. This hospital specializes in this type of care, and so he will be having an angio-gram there tomorrow. The kicker is he will have to be transferred by ambulance over to the new hospital. Yah, my brother has never had any type of health problems before, so this all is very difficult for him. He is very anxious. Luckily, three of my mom's friends still work on that floor, and they came and answered all of his questions which greatly helped to put him at ease.

Until 6:00PM it looked as though he was going home. In fact, we were on our way to church for our usual Christian Fellowship Night where we take a parenting class and the kids also have a class to go to. Well, The Tot goes to the nursery:) My dad called me on my cell, and told me the news and that my brother could really use me to come and see him. So hubby changed course, and headed to the hospital. The hospital where I gave birth to my two boys, the hospital where my mom died and spent ten years of her life caring for other patients. Anyway, my brother kept thanking me for coming, which made me feel good.

I did have a bit of a problem when I walked into the hospital. I hadn't been there since the Tot was born. That was a happy event, but my visits prior to that were not. When I punched in the number for the floor, it felt strange. And then when the doors opened up, and I looked for which way to turn, it hit me. Not only did my mom work on this floor, but she died on this floor. And this was the first time I had been back there. See the floor is divided into the Telemetry(heart)floor and the oncology unit. Just a few feet from where I exited the elevator stood the room where my mom had her chemo. in. A few feet from there, the main desks, and then the hospice room where my mom took her last breaths. My brother noticed that she had stopped breathing as the hospital was having their fire drill. Guess what happened tonight? Yep, as I was leaving there was a fire drill, and we were told we couldn't leave.

You know, I am the type of person who just sucks everything up. I admit that I am good in a crisis because I am able to stay calm and see the big picture. However, that is both a blessing and a curse. It's a blessing because I am able to make hard decisions quickly. It is a curse because I hold everything in during the event, and then I tend to have trouble afterwards because I haven't dealt with any of my feelings. So I'm going to share this only with you internet community. I am scared. I only have my brother and my dad. Yes, I have my awesome husband and children, but from my childhood family, my brother and dad are it.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

One of THOSE Calls

I received a call this afternoon on my machine. It was from my brother who said to me to call back right away. He needed me. Man, I hate these phone calls. I got one last week about my aunt, and heck I got them several times about my mom. I can just feel what the information is going to be when I get those phone calls. Anyway, my 36 year-old brother was having heart pains. Enough of them that he called the doctor. You know men and doctors, so he musn't have felt well! Anyway, he was taken to the ER, and some tests came back as not good, so they are keeping him overnight. One of the nurses in the ER was a very close friend of my moms, so she made sure he received the best care. My mom used to work at that hospital. He is going to be on the telemetry floor tonight, which coincidentally is the first area my mom worked on. My SIL agreed with my dad, that she should tell them that he is my mom's son. There are still people who used to work with my mom there. Yes, it does matter if you know someone in charge of your healthcare. It is sad, but I know for a fact that it is true. I will post when I know more. Of course, my babysitter post is being postponed. If you could, please say a prayer for my brother. We are very close, and I worry about him. There has just been way too many health problems in our family. We need a break.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

It Always Happens This Way

Today I am taking the boys for holiday pictures. I love getting pictures from friends with their children in them around the holidays, so I send one of my kids every year now too. As most of you moms know, getting pictures taken of your child/ren is never easy and almost never fun. I only do it because I love having pictures of my boys. Oh, and I love to multi-task. This picture will serve as Tot's 18 month picture and S.'s 4 year old picture. If I'm lucky I won't have to have another picture taken of the children until May when the Tot will be 2.

So I'm trying a new picture place; one that allows appointments! Kiddie Kandids, inside Babies R' Us, has always taken excellent pictures of my boys, however they do not allow for appointments. Two weeks ago I had the boys all dressed up only to be told there was a two-hour wait. This has pretty much happened every time I have tried to have pictures taken in the last year. I'm sick of going back after having waited so long. I'm sure the boys haven't exactly liked it either!

But you know what happens whenever you try to have pictures taken. Yep, S. woke up with a bad cough. Of course, I'm not as worried about that since that won't show up in a picture. What I am most concerned about is the black eye Tot is sporting. S. thought it would be fun to knock his brother down in the living room. There is carpet there, but that did not help; it was actually worse. Poor Tot got a carpet burn to the right eye, which in addition the blackness that formed around it, is also a lovely scab. I have tried concealing it with my best concealer, but you can still see a bit of it. I was so angry with S.! He sort-of seems sorry, I guess. Ugh!

The other thing that happened today is that it is going to be in the upper 60's. That's great isn't it? So why am I concerned? Because they both are wearing sweaters with shirts underneath as well as corderoy pants. They are going to roast! Tot is always hot, so I feel the worst for him. This place also tells you to bring a change of clothes. Well, I had matching Gap sweatshirts with jeans for them with a shirt underneath. Yah, normally this would have been fine, but this is Chicago so what did I expect? I told the photographer when I made the appointment that I am not so sure that I'll even be able to get them to change outfits and then have ANOTHER picture taken, so it make be a moot point anyway. I'll have to let you all know how it goes. Please pray for me!

***Next post I'll tell you about my babysitting situation.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Aren't They Supposed To Be Dead Already???

Not only did S. let in a fly when he opened the door for the dogs, but now there is a wasp clinging to my back door. It is NOVEMBER for pete's sake; I thought these creatures are supposed to be dead already! Have I also mentioned how much I hate flying bugs. I think it's my lack of control over where it goes that bothers me. I like my bugs to stay in one place. Like, if you land on my door, you should stay on my door. No surprises here. I don't want to have to go looking for you. I don't want to freak out in front of my kids because you chose to fly right in my face. I hate that. Speaking of which, I just looked up and that damn wasp is nowhere to be found. UGHHHHH..................!!!!!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

How Long Will This Last?

S. still has not adjusted to the time change. He is still getting up between 5:30-6:00AM! I am NOT a morning person AT ALL! Prior to the time-change, he would get up between 7:00-7:30. Not great, but do-able. Whenever I try to tell him it is too early to get up, he tells me the sun is out. Meaning, it must not be too early, the sun is out! Ughhhhh.....!!! S. has never had this problem before. I don't get it. He was always my late sleeper. Now that title has been given over to his brother. How long will this last??? I am SO tired!!!

Also, how long will these political commercials last? We've had our current governor running them for months already. The slogan, 'What's she thinking?' keeps replaying in my mind. I know this is what they want, but it just ticks me off, and I end up disliking the candidate even more. I am ready for these smear-campaigning commercials to be over with! I am sick of hearing how awful the other candidate is. These commercials never tell us the important things we need to know, like a candidate's position on important issues. Instead, they just tell us what the opposing candidate's position is, which may or may not be the truth. It's maddening! And I don't know about your state, but there is so much corruption here. The FBI is investigating our current governor for corruption, and what they found appears to make the allegations true. However, the candidate running against him used to work under the former governor who is now going to jail under the whole 'License for Bribes' case. There appears to be corruption everywhere. I could go into the whole Stroger power play for County Board President, but I will spare you. Let's just say, we aren't known as the 'Windy City for nothing'! I also am having a hard time believing that any politician gives a damn about people like you and me. It seems they only care about what you can possibly do for them. And if that's nothing, then you are a non-issue to them. It's really sad.
Onto S. again. He will not take a nap or be quiet during 'quiet time'. Can anyone give me any ideas about how to change that as I am at the end of my line. 5:30Am to 7:30PM is a long damn day with no break. Plus, the little monkey is SO crabby in the evening since he obviously is very tired. It's enough to make me want to have a glass of wine to mellow out so I don't snap at him, and say something I don't mean.
How long will this all last???........................................................
Our little cutie: Tater Tot!
Followed by S., who has been our early-riser, thus crabby boy! The picture says it all.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

May the Force Be With You!

Poor little Tot had to do these nebulizer treatments every four hours for over a week. He got so used to them, in fact, that he would just sit with the facemask on while I did other things. We went to the doctor yesterday, and Tot is healthy, knock on wood!. So healthy that he was able to receive his flu shot, which is now highly recommended due to his asthmatic condition. Tell me mothers of older children, does this stuff ever end????